The following is a detailed timeline of the establishment of the radio model used for the IED that took down Flight 103. Led by Mr. Allen Feraday and Dr. Thomas Hayes of RARDE in 1989, the model they decided on was a black Toshiba BomBeat RT-SF16, was sold largely (76%) to a Libyan company. Thus, the very radio model became another clue of Libyan guilt, and like the rest became full of strange inconsistencies suggestive of a fraudulent investigation.
The dates are as given. Fudging and backdating cannot always be ruled out. There is in fact a serious and obvious insertion of pages within pages and apparently a missing original page 50 (a new twist on an old anomaly, to be explained soon). This affects the alleged timeline May 12-15. Emphasis is on radio case plastics, main circuit board, and user's manual. Speaker mesh, speaker magnets, a screw, some wires, and other bits appear sporadically but not worth this level of dredging for you or for me.
Note on evidence labeling: In example item PI/995, the "P" means property (evidence), the “I” indicates search sector it was found in (sectors ran A-K), and the number should mean the 995th item found or logged in I sector. PT however means evidence removed from other items (PT/35 was found inside PI/995, for example). Again, the numbers within the PT category are supposed to be sequential – PT/35 should be found right after PT/34. Such a label is often attached to all debris found within a piece, subdivided by letter (ex: PT/35(a), PT/35(b), etc.)
- Late Dec and into 1989: Dr. Hayes’ examinations work (mostly) alphabetically, from PA/ to PB/ etc. It will take a while to get to PH/, PI/ and PK/ where the bomb damaged material and radio remains will be concentrated.
- mid-Jan (date not noted): Thomas Claiden at AAIB finds a lump of materials, trapped in a fold of a data plate for container AVE4041. He hands it back to the police.
- Jan 17: This is received by RARDE, and designated evidence AG/145. The largest fragment (left) is app. 10x6 mm, and another marked “02” was about 5mm sq.
- Jan 17-22: Feraday: "very early on, I thought we'd probably got a white case, because I'd got white fragments with that AG/145 fragment." No others would surface ever.
- Jan 23-25: Mr. Feraday takes a trip to Germany “to compare the Lockerbie circuit board fragments (AG/145) with the radio/cassette device recovered in Germany [Khreesat’s BomBeat 453].” No match. For one, Khreesat’s was black.
- Feb 2: Feraday goes to Toshiba UK headquarters at Camberley, Surrey. He examined “over 130” service data sheets and found the AG/145 pattern “was tentatively identified as originating from a Toshiba brand portable radio/cassette player, model number RT-8016.” A same-day physical examination of that model supported that.[3023-24]
- Feb 3: Feraday sends a memo to Senior Investigating Officer John Orr: “I am completely satisfied that these fragments originate from a Toshiba brand radio stereo cassette recorder types RT-8016 or RT-8026 […with] a white plastics case.”
- March 15: last entry in Dr. Hayes’ examination notes for two months - next entries are in mid-May.
- April 18-21: Indian Head forensics tests, Maryland. Five blasts in luggage containers are set up by Feraday. He prepares all the devices, using the RT-8016 in all. He personally oversees the low-end test, using 360 grams Semtex-H. He makes no detailed report, relying on DCI Bell’s police report, which he’s not even sure RARDE got a copy of.
- April 23-May 1: Feraday visits Toshiba HQ, Japan, learns the board he’s looking at was put in seven different models. One and only one of these is, surprisingly, given the BomBeat title - the RT-SF16. Identical to the 8016 except for the black case. And it had its Libya links.
- ??: Control sample PR/105 is obtained – RT-SF16 new in its box. The owner’s manual is “removed” from this “evidence” and dubbed PT/1. PT otherwise means actual blown-up evidence removed from other real evidence. Here they emphasize the “removal “ of PT/1 from “evidence” PR/105.
- May 11: radio manual cover PK/689 is received at RARDE. Supposedly from the bomb and found in a field in K sector near the North Sea, it’s ripped but can be read to announce “..Hiba … o cassette recorder … SF16 … BomBeat SF16.” It matched the control PT/1. Gosh, why didn't they call this in earlier? Afterwards, items are said to be from the RT-SF16. However, see June 30.
- May 12 (by lab notes): “PT/2” is discovered – five crumpled bits of paper, consistent with same spot on most pages of PT/1. Found in clothing PI/995, along with (but not included in) PT/35. PT/35 included 11 bits of black plastics PT/35(a), the famous PT/35(b) (non-radio), and speaker mesh PT/35(c).
- May 15: Hayes discovers black case plastics PT/41(a), and PT/42(c).
- May 16: Hayes examines PK/689 (above, left). “And I've concluded there that the two-page fragment of paper appears to have survived a close-range explosion involvement.” Hayes discovers case plastics PT/34(b), manual papers PT/34(c).
- May 18: Hayes discovers case plastics PT/38(b), PT/40(b), PT/48(b), PT/78. Manual PT/40(c)
- Mid-May, presumably (dates unavailable) – Hayes discovers case plastics PT/32(b), PT/33(b), PT/36(d), PT/37(a), PT/53(a), PT/56(a), and PT/61(b).
- May 22: Hayes finds manual scraps PT/56(c).
- June 1: Hayes finds PT/31, ten tiny bits of RT-SF16 manual, examining the 'blue Babygro' PK/2209.
- June 8: Hayes discovers tiny radio circuit board fragment PT/30 embedded in suitcase fragment PK/2128. It’s about 4mm square.
- June 18: DI Williamson claims in a letter to SIO Henderson that Feraday discovered the ”potentially most important” PT/30 this day examining PK/2128 [Leppard 207] Either way, it was shown to fit the same Toshiba board as AG/145 did (all labeled together in a prosecution photo). Clearly RT-SF16.
- June 30: Feraday notes: "On the 30th of June 1989, some explosively damaged paper fragments [PK/689] were received at this laboratory, thus conclusively establishing which of the seven models of the Toshiba radio had been employed in the Lockerbie bomb.” He meant May 11. “It's a mistake that I made when I wrote the reports," he explained under questioning, "because sometimes items would come and go to the laboratory several times.”
- July: Feraday attends a second set of four blast tests in the U.S., again using RT-8016 radios.“Mr. Feraday, you referred earlier in your evidence to having taken part in explosion trials in the United States in April and July of 1989 … nine in total…”
- Aug 17: Dr. Hayes does an examination on AG/145. (first ever?) "A small quantity of aggregated partly carbonised material from which many fragments were recovered."
- September 14: Feraday visits Dextar looking for matches to PT/30 (no luck) [Leppard 208] See also, Forensic Follies.
- Late 1989 (date unclear): Dr. Hayes retires from RARDE. His slot as head of the explosives division is taken by Mr. Feraday. Hayes continues unofficially as a "consultant" for three month, then extended.
- Nov 12, 13 1989: FBI interview with Marwan Khreesat in Jordan – the RT-SF16 has been decided on. Khreesat says he’d never use such a radio, is absolved of suspicion.
- Dec 19 1989: date of DI Williamson’s letter regarding PT/30 cited above. He’s asking for more evidence from Germany – alarm clocks - to see if it can match up with PT/30. [Leppard 207]
- ... 1990 ... 1991 ...
- Nov 15 1991 - Indictments read out against Megrahi and Fhimah, using the identified RT-SF16 as part of its evidence. The rest is history.
Leppard, David.On the Trail of Terror: The Inside Story of the Lockerbie Investigation. London, Jonathan Cape. 1991. 221 pages.
Testimony of Allen Feraday and Thomas Hayes, Camp Zeist NL. Days 16-21, June 6-15 2000. Too varied to cite individually.
Others explained at provided links