Explosives Revisionism and "No One Did It" Theories

18 September 2010
last update Feb. 13 2011

I recently asked for help with the contents of this site, soliciting input from the community, and as expected the most interest came from those I'm least inclined to agree with. I'd like to expand the voice of the Divide, but there are some things I just can't bring myself to support with publication here. Where the different theories fall relative to each other and what I accept and why is explained in part here.

Two groups of claims questioning what happened on the plane have become mixed together in my mind and jointly ignored until now. Those who propose a drastically different bomb detonation than alleged took down Flight 103, and those who say it wasn't a detonation at all, but an accident.

Inherently I agree the explosive force as stated is not necessarily correct, although I do suspect it's reasonably close. First, it's not clearly decided anywhere. The Zeist judges wound up taking away a median of 400 grams of Semtex-H, give or take 50, so 350-450. But the Indian Head forensic tests of 1989 found the container damage observed was consistent with the blasts done using between 454-680 grams, and not the lower amounts. There is reason to believe the higher end of that is closer to reality.

And more recently Dr. John Wyatt's unusual tests say that only a blast as low as 150 grams or less might possibly have have left the electonics remains investigators found. And to make PK/689 legitimate evidence, the bomb might have to be more like 20 grams.

I'm not going to argue the bomb was so small it couldn't rupture a suitcase - the clear solution to this is to suspect the poorly fitting evidence was planted poorly. But clearly there is a lot of room for fudging between the intact paper and the ruptured cargo pallet and plane.

As I recall, there are also some genuine-sounding mysteries over residue testing that seemed to suggest a different explosive than Semtex-H (or in addition to?) was responsible. If anyone is excited to explain this a bit better, feel free to do so in the comment section below. I'll try and dredge it up myself if and when time allows.

The rest of this post, however, is stuff just I don't buy. Partly because I don't trust these theories or theorists to get it straight for me, and partly because I don't know the science to be sure myself, I must call these theories worthy of discussion - in the comments section below and nowhere else on my blog (until further notice anyway).

John Parkes on the bomb's power
As reported in Scottish lawyer's magazine the Firm, August 2006.
John Parkes, an explosives engineer present at the crash site in December 1988, who reported damage indicating the carriage of munitions on the plane. Parkes helped in the rescue operation when the Boeing 747 came down on part of the town, killing 259 on board and 11 on the ground. He claims wounding he observed on three bodies recovered from the crash site, and on one young female victim in particular, were not caused by Semtex-based explosives as claimed in the trial.

"Every munitions or explosives device has its own characteristic signature," Parkes says. "The signature I saw was not consistent with the device they maintained was used. There was not enough power or heavy material around that device to have gone through the luggage and floor and through the back of an aircraft seat to inflict these wounds."

[Dr. Jim] Swire has asked the Crown Office to explain why this testimony was not included in the Air Accident Investigation Board report, asking "whether the AAIB gave any reason for rejection of Mr Parkes's ideas, and if so what that reason might have been".

I have great respect for Dr. Swire, but sometimes...

Well, just off the top of my head, Parkes reported the injuries to a girl he felt were consistent only with explosives coming up through her seat, injuring her feet and backside. First, it's unfortunately gruesome and sad as a "smoking gun," and for obvious reasons unverifiable. Second, I'm not convinced Parkes knows what to look for in such an unusual case, and could just be confusing a tree impact after the fall with shrapnel tears from before.

We could check by looking at damage to the floor panels this shrapnel would have to tear through. I had imagined most of this would have been found, perhaps warpedby he overpressure, but not torn up. But according to the AAIB report, many floor beams were fractured and none of the panels in the immediate blast area were recovered (that they admit!). So we can't say one way or the other.
The cabin floor structure was badly disrupted, particularly in the general area above the explosion, where the floor beams had suffered localised upward loading sufficient to fracture them, and the floor panels were missing. Elsewhere, floor beam damage was mainly limited to fractures at the outer ends of the beams and at the centreline, leaving sections of separated floor structure comprising a number of half beams joined together by the Nomex honeycomb floor panels.
Admittedly, that sounds worse than I'd expect, but then again, those beams can't be too solid. Planes rely on lightness, and simple gas over pressure might break up some beams and tear some flooring loose, without ripping through it with shrapnel. To send material tearing up through several filled suitcases, the container top. bay liner, cabin floor, and the seat structure to just stop at injuring this girl - rather than slicing through her - would require a truly massive explosion with supreme control. The focused 20-inch fuselage hole just two feet from the explosion cannot be consistent with such a blast, nor the luggage container or anything in it. I can't buy that's all faked.

Different bomb location
The above theory may also imply a different location even than the missing panels, depending where the girl was seated. I don't think this was ever sorted out, as she was to my knowledge never identified to Parkes.

Then there's temper tantrum Blogger Charles Norrie and his CIA bomb on top of an Iranian one. He cites a statement from Parkes, perhaps reflecting the seating issue above, that "a minimum of two high explosive events took place inboard Pan Am 103." Norrie also points to the twin debris fields, north and south, which could have many explanations in a complex breakup like that of Flight 103,even without another bomb.

For the location of the second blast, Norrie cites a missing section near the rear cargo area which must have been all vaporized by a "brisant explosion." See the image at left (new window for larger view), of the AAIB's painted model. Those sections coded in white were never recovered. Charles would be referring to the section on the lower rear of the craft (seen in view 3). But many other sections at random spots were missing as well, in at least seven apparent "brisant explosions" all over the plane. For whole panels of aluminum to disappear in Scotland might seem odd, but there are a lot of lochs that maybe weren't fully dredged, and the North Sea's not that far off for high-drag items. Perhaps a few still linger in private collections, bought from enterprising rural Scots.

But more prominently, a number of experty people have made themselves quite sure that mathematics prove the bomb was just a foot away from where it was reported, just outside container AVE4041, rather than inside it. These include onetime AAIB investigator named Protheroe, who now says the "mach stem" effect was calculated wrongly, suggesting 25 inches was between the bomb and the airplane skin. This distance, which fits with the physical evidence of the luggage container, is supposedly trumped by his new numbers saying 12 inches. This would mean the container evidence must be faked to appear the bomb was inside it. It also suggests someone planted the device directly in the plane, rather than remotely in luggage, as generally accepted. No explanation, Just math.

Edwin Bollier started trying to sell Libyan clues to the CIA within days of the bombing, was listed as one of the three important witnesses at Camp Zeist against Megrahi. Now he champions Libya and Megrahi as "wrongly accused," with mostly bogus claims, and he supports Protheroe's 12" revisionism.

I had thought further support could be found from Canadian researcher Ludwig de Breackeleer, but thankfully not, on closer look. Most of his other work on the issue is great, and as a science guy at heart (physics), the contribution he's most qualified for questions the official blast size, which is valid. He concludes, based on actual shown math and presumptions I haven't double-checked:
As the explosion of one pound of SEMTEX H inside the luggage container does not generate a blast wave sufficiently powerful to fracture the skin of the fuselage, we have little choice but to conclude that the verdict appears scientifically implausible.
One pound being about 450 grams, that's the upper edge of what's officially accepted. Dr. Ludwig's science fits with what I already observed at the top - something significantly over that seems a better fit with the most believable physical clues. (though I'd wager not enormously higher - perhaps 150-200% of that). I'm heartened to learn this.

No One Did It
The accident theory has two variations. The first proposes an unintended detonation of military munitions being carried secretly on the plane. This is advanced by one "Robbie the Pict" in the UK.

The other proposes no explosives at all, but a failure-induced decompression, and is advocated by a John Barry Smith in the US and also I believe this was the thesis of Carl Davies, proprietor of the Plane Truth website.

Further commentary for and against these theories can be submitted in the comments form below. Any highlights I feel worthy I may pull up and include in the post.

(more text, links, etc. forthcoming)
Update 2/13/11: I have some gripes from Robbie the Pict, which I still need to address re: the above and see if he's got a point. Otherwise, I have to revise my above take on deBraeckeleer. I hear he's been incommunicado for a couple of years now, but I didn't realize that as I tried to e-mail him recently as follows:

Dear. Dr. deBreackeleer,

Greetings. Adam Larson aka Caustic Logic of the Lockerbie Divide here. I've been appreciating your works for quite some time now, especially the interviews and original quotes. Some great work on the Khreesat and Autumn Leaves angles. I've been meaning to get in touch with you, just to see what that might yield.

I'm most interested in where your expert credential are most relevant, with your analysis of the force required to rupture the plane's hull in the first place, as explained in this article: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/8920

I have in the apparently misunderstood that article twice now, in two different ways. I just reviewed it again prior to writing, and decided I should just ask you directly what's unclear to me here. The abstract says location is the issue, and that's an issue I have some problems with.

Unfortunately for the stated goal of reaching the masses with simplicty, I have a hard time following it. Positive impulse? Critical time, wavelength, greek letters... Perhaps I should go study up on this, but actually, cutting to the last portion seems adequate for my purposes.
The outside wall of the AVE 4041 container was located at 16 inches from the skin of the plane. At this closest possible distance in the light most favorable to the original investigators, experimental data indicate that one pound of explosive will generate a positive impulse of less than 20 psi-ms against the fuselage. [27]
So from this it seems the force on the skin would be dependent on original power and distance. Correct? The force you've taken is 450 grams, which is the upper end of the range the judges accepted: 400 grams, give or take 50. Since "at this closest possible distance" is the qualifier for the inadequacy.
As this value is well below the critical impulse calculated above, namely 50 psi-ms, we have little choice but to conclude that the Lockerbie verdict is scientifically implausible.
And the AAIB decided on 25" from the hull, not 16, strengthening the point. I'd defer on what I can't verify, and concur in general. But I have a hard time seeing the blast being much closer. The luggage container appears to be blown outward in all regards, and that's one piece of evidence I tend to accept. In fact, I've never seen anyone come out and argue or allege it was faked, even as it's been implied over and over, including by an AAIB scientist himself, no less.

I'm not trying to get you endorse any theory or another, but in your scientific opinion, is it possible that the location is about as reported but the blast force was simply higher than reported? Could a wave emitted from, say, 700 grams (or maybe 900?), but from the AAIB's rough placement well inside the container, make it plausible by these same methods?

I do have some reason from other quarters to suspect the blast weight was fudged way down, in part I surmise to half-explain the manual cover and other - erm - dubious clues. The primary suitcase we've been shown might not be that at all, for one thing...
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, researchers at the Center for Explosives Technology Research in Socorro, New Mexico, estimated that up to 30 pounds of explosive was needed to destroy a Boeing 747 if the explosion had occurred in the container. [28] We agree with that estimate.
30 pounds? If I could decipher it, I'd ask to see the math on that. Investigators got it wrong by a factor of 30? I would have suspected a factor of maybe 2 or 3, so as to not appear amazingly ridiculous to other scientists like yourself. Did their models have it placed in the relevant spot, or stuffed in the middle of the container, or the upper corner?

Clearly your point here is to suggest that it was not in the luggage container, but isn't that a bit hyperbolic? Maybe unwarranted?

Beyond that, if you're at all inclined after that, I'd be interested in interviewing you by e-mail for my blog. It might increase your profile a bit, give you a few new viewers. I have Slovenian viewers out my ears all of a sudden. And either way, kudos on some very valuable contributions to a worthy field.




FullInquiry said...

CL: Do you have John Parke's materials from when he went public around 2000 while the Trial was going on?

He was definitely afraid for his safety (whether such fear was justified I have no idea).

Rolfe said...

I have never seen the report Parkes was touting at one point, but I have read a collection of his contributions to a forum or usenet discussion. Frankly it comes over as the ravings of a complete madman.

He appears to have been at Lockerbie on his own initiative, not part of any official group. He suggests he was being consulted because of his expertise, but I've seen no evidence that was the case. He seems to have been present when the body of this little girl was being retrieved and to have taken it upon himself to interfere with her body.

He says he removed her socks, and some material from the lacerations he observed. If he did this, that was wholly improper. He says he then instructed the rescuers to preserve the socks and whatever it was he removed from the laceration. This was again highly improper and he seems to have been acting as if he had authority he simply hadn't. If the socks and the other material went missing, it seems hardly surprising.

All this seems to have happened out in the open, while the body was being retrieved. It is for the official post mortem to remove clothing and probe wounds, not some random passer-by, which is what Parkes actually was.

He announces that "There is nothing else that could possibly replicate the effects of explosively driven fragments on the human body other than explosively driven fragments - trust me I have seen it before. Trauma injuries just do not produce the same effects."

He is not a pathologist. He wasn't even observing the body in reasonable conditions. He has no idea at all what he's talking about. Bear in mind that human bodies impacting the ground at terminal velocity doesn't happen very often. Much of the data on that has probably been derived from the Lockerbie investigations. I'm sorry, but Parkes simply doesn't know enough to know how little he knows.

He has pursued Professor Anthony Bussuttil, the head of the forensic pathology investigation at Lockerbie, accusing him of being involved in a complex conspiracy theory to conceal the cause of this child's injuries. This is simply ridiculous. Professor Bussuttil is a highly respected expert in Edinburgh, and the idea that he's part of the "establishment" and so my simply be assumed to be part of the great illuminati conspiracy or something is bonkers. (Professor Bussuttil is also, coincidentally, Maltese.)

If Parkes thinks he is in danger, it is because paranoia is a part of whatever mental disorder he is suffering from. In my opinion, of course.

FullInquiry said...

From memory only I recall him (or someone using his name on the internet) saying he was sought out by a doctor (coroner?) and asked for his opinion with respect to the little girl (her feet, socks and shoes, back of her legs, etc.) due to his being an explosives expert.

This after he (and his crew he took to Lockerbie to be of aid) was asked to set up the morgue in the curling rink, which services he claims to have performed.

I saved a lot of what that person posted on the internet at that time. I will dig up what I have. He definitly posted some letters he claimed to have sent to various government departments and even to the trial judges at Camp Zeist (I doubt they would have received any such letters).

I watched a forum a John Parkes was posting on at that time as well - and that is where I received what information I saved. There were a lot of cranks frequenting that forum at that time - some obviously with the purpose of discrediting that forum. I often wondered if John Parkes even existed.

Rolfe said...

I recall the bit about setting up the morgue in the ice rink. I don't have any information that that claim is untrue. However, to the best of my knowledge he wasn't sought out or employed by anyone, he was simply one of many people who showed up on their own initiative to see if they could be of help.

I too originally thought he had been asked to look at the body during the post mortem examination because of his expertise, and this is something I simply didn't understand because I can't imagine a pathologist doing that. However, I have recently corresponded with someone who is very invested in the Parkes theory who clarified this for me.

"Parkes was not asked to look at the body of the girl by an on site pathologist. He saw her before the pathologist. The emergency services knew of his background and experience, and he was asked to look at her by them because she bore explosive damage to her body, including fragmentation strikes. His examination was not, shall we say, formal. It was carried out in the midst of the chaos of the early days. Formal pathological examination took place off site."

This gets more comprehensible. Parkes' version, when pressed, is that the people recovering the bodies asked him to look at this girl's body. If this is true, it is highly improper. The rescue services have no business asking anyone to look at a body and interfere with it before the pathologists have had a chance to examine it. It would be a very amateur and cavalier recovery team who would do such a thing, even if they happened to know who Parkes was.

In my opinion, even that is not true. I think it is far more likely that Parkes himself butted into the body recovery exercise for whatever reason and persuaded the recovery team to allow him to interfere with the body.

"Parkes attests that he witnessed metal fragments being pulled from the little girl's back and calves, that he requested be put aside and secured, together with the girl's socks, because they would prove of vital evidential value later. These fragments were, he said, about the size of the top joint of your little finger, and whilst he had no opportunity to analyse them in forensic detail, he was satisfied that they arose from explosive fragmentation, commonly (but inaccurately) called shrapnel, from whatever device destroyed the plane. These left particular and specific wounding on her body. [...] The socks and fragments of course did not form part of the Crown evidence."

This is absolutely preposterous. This is something that was done informally, prior to the post mortem examination, by Parkes and/or recovery personnel. I can't stress enough how improper this is. It amounts to tampering with evidence. What on earth was anyone thinking of? If there was anything of evidential importance about that body, it should have been left strictly as it was for the pathologists to see.

Rolfe said...

As I said, Parkes has since harassed Professor Bussutil, accusing him of being a party to concealing evidence of a different explosion from the one in AVE4041. All on the basis of this extraordinarily questionable incident.

He declares, "There is nothing else that could possibly replicate the effects of explosively driven fragments on the human body other than explosively driven fragments - trust me I have seen it before. Trauma injuries just do not produce the same effects."

I'm sorry Mr. Parkes, where did you go to medical school? When did you gain membership of the Royal College of Pathologists? This is simply ridiculous. He may have seen other explosion injuries, but he cannot know what range of effects trauma can produce (explosion injuries are traumatic injuries too by the way). In particular, he is in no position to know what range of effects may be produced when a human body hits various surfaces at terminal velocity.

He saw fragments being pulled from the girl's body. He says. He claims they were metal, but apparently had no opportunity to examine the material.

I see no reason at all to doubt the pathology report that says the injuries were caused by the girl having landed on gravel. I think Parkes is attention-seeking and full of his own non-existent importance. Having read his own words (assuming it was him posting it) he appears to be poorly literate and a little - excitable, shall we say.

I know a number of people have expressed the opinion that there was a different explosion, either as well as or instead of the one described in AVE4041. If there is evidence for that, let's hear it. But Parkes' confused story of the day he interfered with the evidence doesn't cut any ice at all I'm afraid.

Caustic Logic said...

I haven't reviewed Parkes closely, despite the firm challenge from Mr. Raeburn. And I can't vouch for Rolfe's interpretation of his involvement. But in general, I agree that he wasn't likely in any danger from his strange conclusions.

The physical evidence we have doesn't seem consistent with any shrapnel bomb of sufficient power to penetrate the cabin. It may be possible to get to her feet, but legs and backside, through the seat structure? I don't want to say he just made it up, but ... as I see it it's one guy's story vs. the rest of the evidence.

I wager she also was sitting nowhere near the explosion zone, nor likely above any of the alleged "second" bomb locations.

Rolfe said...

I don't think he made it up either. It's not an either/or between him being right and being a fantasist.

I deal with suspicious post mortem examinations all the time. It's not at all uncommon for someone who saw the body to come to some completely wrong-headed idea about what has happened to cause particular injuries. I've had to talk policemen and animal welfare inspectors out of their pet, but wrong, theories several times. Sometimes the story I get told about what's in the polythene bag I'm being handed is entirely different from what I find when I open the seals.

Parkes saw a girl's body with deep gravel penetration due to the height she fell from, and formulated his own personal conspiracy theory around it. The more people like Professor Bussutil try to explain he's wrong, and the more his crackpot letters and emails don't get responded to, the more convinced he becomes that he's being expunged!

Rolfe said...

This reminds me of a separate, but related matter.

One of the principle "No One Did It" theories is that the plane was being used to transport military ordnance, illegally. This seems to be the contention of our very own FOTL. I have never seen any evidence at all that any munitions were being transported on PA103, or indeed that they were transported on transatlantic passenger aircraft on any occasion. The best I've managed to elicit from the proponents is that the can't see why that wouldn't have been possible. (At least the controlled drug shipments theory has evidence to support it.)

Leaving Parkes aside, there are two other strands to this proposal. One is that one of the things found at Lockerbie was a consignment of sewing machine needles, and the presence of the needles made things difficult for rescuers in that area.

This incident was led in evidence at Zeist, and it's clear the policeman is describing a small area within Lockerbie town, actually Rosebank Crescent, where a large part of the fuselage fell. The small size of the area is entirely consistent with a box of these needles having burst open on impact. However, the conspiracy theory says that the needles weren't needles at all, but were "flechettes" extruded from a specific type of bomb.

Exactly how the bomb went off, and shot its flechettes out as designed as it blew up the aeroplane, for all the flechettes then to land in a small concentrated area beside the fuselage, isn't explained.

Rolfe said...

The other strand is the conversations the air crew were having with Air Traffic Control. The theory states that the plane was receiving its co-ordinates for its transatlantic crossing at the moment it blew up, and claims that this VHF radio transmission triggered the bomb.

The details of the crew's interactions with ATC are easily picked out of the Zeist transcripts. The complete record of ATC communications with the Clipper is:

18.17 to 18.26, Richard Dawson at Heathrow. 118.5 MHz
18.29 to 18.32, Robin Hill at West Drayton. 128.9 MHz
18.32 to 18.41, Steven Smith, at Daventry. 134.75 MHz
18.40 to 18.56, Robert Court, at Pole Hill. 131.5 MHz
18.55 to crash, Alan Topp, at Prestwick (Scottish). 135.85 MHz
18.57 to crash, Thomas Fraser at Prestwick (Oceanic). 123.95 MHz

Note that there were two open channels with ATC at the time of the crash. This is all explained in the evidence.

Planes are always in contact with ATC, on an open VHF channel. The frequencies of the channels are given for each contact. All the way up through England, starting with the Heathrow control tower, one ATC deals with the flight for a while, then hands on to the next. The contact usually begins with the Controller saying good evening, and confirming flight details. There is usually occasional chit-chat regarding course during the contact period, and then the controller will tell the pilot which frequency he is to go to for the next control centre, and says good-bye or good night.

At 18.55, the Clipper was handed to Alan Topp, in charge of Scottish sector, physically located at Prestwick. He said good evening, but then just left the frequency open. Two minutes later, the co-pilot initiated contact with the next sector, Oceanic (Shanwick), physically located just down the corridor from Scottish, still at Prestwick. He wanted to sort out the details of the flight's transatlantic route with the Oceanic controller. So the pilot was just monitoring the open Scottish frequency in case Topp had any instructions for him, while the co-pilot was having an active conversation with Fraser, on the Oceanic frequency. This was entirely normal.

At 19.03, Topp saw the Clipper's radar signature fall apart, but couldn't believe what he'd seen. He tried to raise the pilot on the open frequency, and got no answer. His first thought (de Nile is not just a river in Egypt) was that his pilot had also switched to the Oceanic frequency to help argue the toss about the transatlantic course. This wasn't supposed to happen, but in fact it did from time to time. Topp said at Zeist:

"I called Shanwick because one of the possibilities of not being able to establish radio communication was the fact that both pilots were not on my frequency at all. This is a little frequent in the case of these flights because they will be coordinating and asking for a track across the ocean, which will be issued by Shanwick. And sometimes, when there is a bit of a query as to the level of the track, both pilots go over and sort it out with the Shanwick controller. When they do that, of course, they are not listening to me, which is incorrect. So I call Shanwick just to see if both pilots are on -- if any one of the pilots is there, in order to tell them to come back into my frequency."

Topp discovered that at the moment he saw the radar trace break up, Fraser was in the process of reading out the transatlantic course to the copilot.

"Shanwick clears the Clipper 103 to Kennedy from 59 north 10 west 62 north 20 west 63 north 30 west 62 north 40 west 60 north 50 west Hopedale to maintain flight level 310 [182] mach decimal 84 from 59 north 10 west cross 59 north 10 west not before 1947."

It is recorded that that communication ceased at 19.03 and ten seconds.

Rolfe said...

Topp and Fraser (and Liam Liney, a trainee who was shadowing Fraser and witnessed everything) then realised that neither ATC centre could raise the Clipper. They tried a few more times, got nowhere, and Topp called to his supervisor Adrian Ford that he had a problem. Ford said "Not now!", because he was trying to call the police, as he'd received a message from the Tower ATC centre saying that the pilot of the Glasgow shuttle had reported seeing a large fire on the ground. "And it was at that point that the penny dropped, sir."

So what actually happened was that the plane was in contact by VHF radio with the local ATC centre all through the flight. This is normal and mandatory. Eight minutes before the crash, the flight was handed over to Scottish centre. Six minutes before the crash the co-pilot opened a frequency to Oceanic centre. Both frequencies were open when the explosion happened, but with the pilot and co-pilot both in listening mode. Scottish sector was silent at the time, but there was a conversation ongoing between the co-pilot and Oceanic. At the precise time of the explosion, the Oceanic controller was reading out the proposed transatlantic course. Meaning that both controllers were spared hearing the actual explosion and break-up of the plane.

The Oceanic frequency, which is the one usually blamed for triggering the illegal bomb to explode (for no readily apparent reason except that it was widely reported that the plane was receiving its transatlantic course from oceanic at the time of the explosion) had been open for six minutes by that time.

Here is the conversation, read into the evidence at Zeist.

The following communication is recorded at 18.57 from Pan Am 103 to Shanwick, “Eh Shanwick good evening it’s the Clipper 103.” The response recorded from Shanwick to Pan Am 103 is “Clipper 103 Shanwick.”
At 18.58 there is is a communication from Shanwick to Pan Am 103 reading “Clipper 103 Shanwick.”
There is then a communication from Pan Am 103 to Shanwick recorded as, “Roger 103 is estimating 5, 9 north 10 west at eh -- make it eh 19 eh 47. We are requesting a random track 310.84.”
There is a reply from Shanwick to Pan Am 103, “Clipper 103 Shanwick copied stand by.”
At a time of 19.02 and 36 seconds, there is a communication from Shanwick to Pan Am 103, “Clipper 103 Shanwick your clearance.”
At a time of 19.02 and 40 seconds, there is a communication from Pan Am 103 to Shanwick, “Ah this is Clipper 103 go ahead.”
At 19.02 and 44 seconds there is a communication from Shanwick to Pan Am 103, “Shanwick clears the Clipper 103 to Kennedy from 59 north 10 west 62 north 20 west 63 north 30 west 62 north 40 west 60 north 50 west Hopedale to maintain flight level 310 mach decimal 84 from 59 north 10 west cross 59 north 10 west not before 1947.”
It is recorded that that communication ceased at 19.03 and ten seconds.

Thus it can be seen that the conversation had gone back and forth five times before the explosion.

There is absolutely nothing remarkable about this at all. There's no sign at all that there's something special about frequency 123.95 as opposed to all the higher and lower ones used by the earlier ATC centres. And the contact on that frequency wasn't initiated at 19.03 and ten seconds, it had been ongoing for six minutes with an active two-way conversation in progress.

So please, can we quit this "explosion triggered by ATC radio frequency" rubbish? The plane was always, inevitably, in VHF radio contact with an ATC centre, and there was nothing out of the ordinary about the conversation that was in full flow at the moment of the explosion.

FullInquiry said...

CL: I found my files, which are a series of letters, some in the form of reports, posted on line by someone claiming to be John Parkes in 2000. Rolfe accurately described the tone and quality of writing style used in such letter and "report".

I simply wondered if you had such information, and in the event you did not if you wanted what I have. The reason I wondered and offered is your piece on Parkes said your source was an article in The Firm magazine.

FullInquiry said...


I appreciate the time you took to post the comment that qualifies or goes against what Parkes claimed.

I have no knowlege of pathology or explosives issues.

Parkes attempted to critique the AAIB Report as well, including his assessment of the damage to container AV4011 and the plane etc., citing his qualifications and more or less concluding the amount of semtex could not have caused the type of damage in the photographs of recovered pieces of the plane and luggage container etc.

Rolfe said...

Indeed, the AAIB report. I was just coming to that. Parkes isn't the only person who has said that the AAIB report is "a peculiar document" and seems to be covering something up. I've read it, and it seems perfectly unremarkable to me. Of course it's not my area of expertise, but I just don't see what it is these people are on about.

The only person who has been specific about what he finds suspicious is Charles, who merely notes that the report says there was only one IED (presumably because there had been rumours about a larger bomb, due to reporters assuming such extensive damage must have needed more than a few hundred grammes of Semtex). He has decided that this is code for "there was only one IED, and there was also a bomb which was not improvised but was actual military ordnance".

Apart from anything else, why write a report to conceal something to huge, then put it in anyway, in a coded aside?

Others have pointed to photographs and diagrams of the damage, and have insisted there is clear evidence of a second, larger explosion. Again, what's the point of concealing something like that in the report if the evidence is there to be seen in published diagrams and press photos and understood by mere laymen?

Smith has written an entire, official-looking, alternative AAIB report. When you read it, it's ridiculous. He takes one throwaway line from the real report saying that the damage to the baggage container looked as if it had been caused by a large shotgun. He then decides there was a large shotgun, which went off in passenger luggage because the plane was already coming apart due to failure of the cargo door. This ignores so many established facts about Lockerbie, I don't know where to start.

Obviously, if there is solid evidence of an alternative cause for the crash, or a second explosion in addition to the AVE4041 one, then it would be worth looking at. But I'm not seeing anything. The people who say, "look at the AAIB report" either don't explain what we're supposed to be seeing, or produce an explanation that's just silly.

I think the AAIB was straight, until someone produces much better evidence to the contrary than anything I've seen.

Rolfe said...

At least Smith is literate. It's a beautifully-produced report, if completely barking. Parkes writes as someone who is uneducated. It's not dyslexia - I know several very bright dyslectics, and they don't write like that.

I'm afraid I have to doubt the qualifications of someone posing as an expert, when they communicate like that. I don't know how carefully he himself has been investigated, but I'm rather suspicious that he does not have the experience and qualifications he claims, but was perhaps a low-grade assistant in the field. A bit like a hospital orderly claiming to be a brain surgeon, maybe.

FullInquiry said...

Regarding radio frequencies, below is what Parkes said in one of his reports:

"If the weapons functioned accidentally than I suspect that it was the first radio call to / from Shannon ATC that activated the firing mechanism. Indeed several years ago in the USA there were many problems associated with the movement of redundant 3.5 H.E.A.T. Rockets through built up areas due to Radio Hazards."

Perhaps Parkes is responsible for the radio theories starting?

Rolfe said...

"Shannon." Did he really say that? (It's Shanwick, or Oceanic. I think the sector is Oceanic and Shanwick is the designation of the ATC centre.) It's all on a par I suppose.

I first heard the radio frequency theory on the radio, absolutely years ago. So long ago that I can't even remember if it was before or after Zeist. It was coupled, as I remember it, with the "needles as flechettes" idea. I don't believe Parkes has espoused the latter. Of course my memory could be faulty on this one.

Parkes has definitely proposed the radio frequency idea though, as has Robbie the Pict, who mainly seems to be promoting Parkes's theory.

As far as I can make it out, it was dreamed up purely because of the report that said the Clipper was receiving its flight plan from Shanwick at the time it blew up. The fact that this was the sixth ATC centre the plane had been in contact with in the course of its short flight, the frequency was nothing unusual, and the conversation had been going on for six minutes with several back-and-forward exchanges between Fraser and Wagner by the time the explosion happened, seems to have been entirely lost on the proponent.

FullInquiry said...

I distinctly remember that Parkes' report is the first time I heard of any radio theories. I also remember researching whether any of these rockets had gone off due radio frequencies in the USA and that appears to be factual. There was a certain radio frequency attributed to this, and there was some speculation or perhaps evidence that this frequency was the same frequency that PA 103 was using.

I'll check on Shannon/Shadwick tomorrow and let you know. I retyped that from a hard copy I have of Parkes' stuff which is not with me at my current location.

Rolfe said...

My memory seems to be the same as yours in that respect, however I also connect the theory about the needles and the illegally-transported bomb having "flechettes" in it to the same story. It's been pointed out to me that Parkes did not propose the flechettes part, and that he postulated the little girl's body contained "explosively driven (metal) fragments", not flechettes. So I could be confused.

We know the Shanwick conversation was occurring on 123.95MHz. It was neither the highest nor the lowest frequency used by the various ATC centres during the flight. We know that contact was first made on that frequency six minutes before the explosion, with the Clipper co-pilot radioing Shanwick for instructions.

We know that the explosion occurred durung the fifth transmission from Shanwick to PA103 on that frequency, following the initial contact. We know that this individual transmission (Fraser reading out the details of the transatlantic course) had been in progress for 24 seconds before the explosion happened.

Unless there is something magical about 123.95MHz, which I have never seen explained, there appears to me to be nothing at all about this sequence of events to suggest, even remotely, that the radio transmission had the slighest bearing on the explosion.

Caustic Logic said...

Wow, Rolfe. Kudos!

Caustic Logic said...

Oh, and FI, I'm curious and enough of a collector nerd, in theory, to take and look at those documents on Parkes. But I might not ever get to looking at them, swamped as I am with the more credible info (all of it) , so it's probably not even worth your time to e-mail them. Thanks, though.

FullInquiry said...

The sewing machine needle or flachette theory did not originate from Parkes from what I know.

Parkes stated that radio transmissions could have activated the firing mechanism - that is not to say any firing would be immediate.

I'm not supporting or denouncing his theories.

I fully agree with you that the man was likely not qualified to make any medical assessment; however, he does claim to have a military explosive background.

Somewhere I probably have the information on the radio frequency that allegedly detonated missiles in the USA by accident. Bottom line for me is that Parkes failed to expand on this radio frequency aspect of his "report". It's not up to me to further his theory - that job is up to him.

FullInquiry said...


Parkes report definitely says Shannon ATC.

Rolfe said...

Shannon for Shandwick. It's perhaps an understandable mistake. Unless you're putting yourself forward as an expert in these matters, that is....

Shannon ATC centre is in the Republic of Ireland. Ironically, it's the one PA103 would have been handled by (rather than Daventry/Pole Hill/Scottish) if it had gone the more usual route for these flights, which crosses Ireland.


Shannon - The majority of air traffic controllers in Ireland work in the Shannon ATC centre. It is from here that 80% of all flights transiting between Europe and North America are controlled. These are flights that don't touch down on Irish soil. Shannon controls these flights as far as 15 degrees west, approximately 385 kilometres off the Irish coast. From here they are handed over to Shanwick for their journey across the Atlantic Ocean.


Shanwick is the Air Traffic Control (ATC) name given to the area of International Airspace which lies above the northeast part of the North Atlantic. The name is a portmanteau of two of the air traffic facilities concerned with flights operating within this area of International Airspace, these being the Ballygirreen Radio Station, 10 kilometres (6 miles) North of Shannon Airport in County Clare, Ireland, and the Prestwick Centre in Ayrshire, Scotland.

As I said, it's an understandable error. It's just not the sort of error that inspires confidence.

However, there a lot more things about Parkes that fail to inspire confidence I'm afraid.

Rolfe said...

(Oops, you've got me putting a D in it now!)

Rolfe said...

Parkes stated that radio transmissions could have activated the firing mechanism - that is not to say any firing would be immediate.

Six minutes seems a bit of a lag, though. If it had been a few seconds, that might have been more suggestive - if of course there was also something magic about 123.95MHz.

It seems to me that the entire radio contact with the various ATC centres throughout the flight was completely routine. The plane would always have been in contact with (at least) one of them, and there would have been intermittent voice traffic on the frequency. It's not at all surprising that a new frequency had been opened six minutes before the explosion, or that there was voice traffic on that frequency at the time. It's not even as if a new frequency had been opened immediately before the explosion.

So where does the suggestion come from, that the ATC VHF radio signal could have detonated the bomb? Surely, only the knowledge that 123.95MHz was a "danger frequency" - and we have never been shown any evidence to that effect. It seems to have been entirely dreamed up based on the media reports that the Oceanic controller was talking to the co-pilot when the plane blew up. Which is about as remarkable as noting that he was sitting in his seat. If there was anything at all in this notion, the proponents should be headlining the frequency in question, and showing the evidence that it was the one implicated in the other detonations. Except, they're not.

I'll go further. The description of the accidental detonations in the USA doesn't involve anyone concerned actually receiving the frequency. All that seems to be necessary is that the frequency is being broadcast. ATC centres broadcast on a large number of frequencies, in order to have simultaneous conversations with a large number of aircraft. Do we know that 18.57 was the Clipper's first exposure to the magic 123.95MHz? That it didn't fly in an area where the local ATC was using that frequency to talk to a different flight?

I don't think anyone has thought this through at all.

I fully agree with you that the man was likely not qualified to make any medical assessment;

He wasn't likely not to be qualified to make a medical assessment, he was definitely not qualified. I don't care if he had seen exposion injuries before. He's a layman with no medical traning, never mind specialist pathology training.

However, he is actually claiming to be qualified to made a pathology diagnosis of "explosively driven fragments", on the basis of a cursory examination in poor conditions. And he's arguing with one of the most highly-qualified forensic pathologists in Scotland about it, and accusing the man of being a liar when he doesn't agree. This does not bode well.

however, he does claim to have a military explosive background.

I'm starting to get a bit twitchy over the "claims" part of that. He writes like someone who has had very little education. He claims all sorts of expertise, including infallible forensic pathology skills. However, is any of this corroborated? Do we know we don't have Walter Mitty here? As I said, how do we know this isn't someone who was the military explosives equivalent of a hod-carrier, giving himself airs? There are several features of his accounts that lead me to that suspicion.

FullInquiry said...


As I said I didn't even know at the time when Parkes went public if he was a real person. I know of no corroborating facts. He doesn't seem to be highly educated based on his writing skills but does claim to have blown up a 747 on the ground for the British Government when he was in the military and presumably partially based on such experience says 400 grams of Semtex would not do the job especially on the heavy-duty model of Boeing 747 Maid of the Seas was.

I now remember Joe Vialls also touting radio frequency theories. I think he had less than Parkes did to go on.

I reviewed some material today in army manuals that warn against radio transmissions close to HEAT anti-tank rockets (these appear to be M-20 or M-28 Bazookas Parkes was on about in his report) for fear that they may set of these electrically-fired types of rockets.

In fairness to Parkes his written report clearly says that a Prof. A Busitil invited him (after he had made himself and his explosives background known to the Professor) to inspect three bodies.

This inspection of the girl was clearly on his second trip to Lockerbie and after he had set up a temporary morgue and various ramps etc. to deal with many bodies, so such inspection he described presumably happened at the temporary morgue he had set up and this occured a few days after the disaster (as opposed to when bodies were first retrieved from out in the field).

He said part of the girl's body was protected by something (blast shadow protection) which he presumed was her seat "squab".

He described her socks but makes no mention whatsoever of touching the body or socks and does not even imply that he did.

In another report he said he witnessed Professor A Bustle recover a fragment from the young girls' back.

One can clearly infer from what is written in his report that the examination of the bodies, particularly the young girl, was not done in the field but indoors, and he implies such examination was done by the Professor.

One can reasonably infer that his role as he describes it was more of a consultant to the Professor due to having some explosives background. The conclusions in his report are his however.

So what you originally stated above about him touching bodies, taking off socks, etc. is not what he reported.

Rolfe said...

Well, I'm getting contradictory reports here. You'll notice I put the version I had in quotation marks, because I was quoting information I had been given by someone else, someone who is very invested in the Parkes theories and gives him great credence. I'll repeat the salient passages.

Parkes was not asked to look at the body of the girl by an on site pathologist. He saw her before the pathologist. The emergency services knew of his background and experience, and he was asked to look at her by them because she bore explosive damage to her body, including fragmentation strikes (not flechettes, I should add). His examination was not, shall we say, formal. It was carried out in the midst of the chaos of the early days. Formal pathological examination took place off site. Professor Busutil was not there, and did not make any initial assessment about gravel scrapes.

I do not know where that information has come from, but I assumed from Parkes himself. It was in reply to my observation that (as a pathologist myself) I found it extremely difficult to believe that anyone doing a forensic post mortem of this nature would allow a lay person like Parkes into the post mortem room at all, let alone ask him for an opinion about anything. The cause of any injuries is a pathology question, not one for an "explosives expert".

Foreign material found during such an examination might then be sent for examination by explosives experts, but that would be part of the remit of the RARDE team, not a casual volunteer.

I certainly agree, reading that passage again, that the incident described may well have taken place in the ice rink, which was used as a morgue. However, it is also stated that the post mortem examinations were carried out elsewhere, which is almost certainly correct.

Rolfe said...

The next relevant part is this one.

Parkes attests that he witnessed metal fragments being pulled from the little girl's back and calves, that he requested be put aside and secured, together with the girl's socks, because they would prove of vital evidential value later. These fragments were, he said, about the size of the top joint of your little finger, and whilst he had no opportunity to analyse them in forensic detail, he was satisfied that they arose from explosive fragmentation, commonly (but inaccurately) called shrapnel, from whatever device destroyed the plane. These left particular and specific wounding on her body.

Indeed, it is not being said that Parkes pulled anything from the body himself, but since this version says he was called over by the rescue team, and this had nothing to do with the formal post mortem examination, and Professor Busuttil wasn't there, it's hard to know who is supposed to be doing it.

The part about Parkes requesting that fragments and socks be "put aside and secured" is also very peculiar. None of this is his responsibility. If this was happening during a post mortem examination, what is he doing there in the first place, and even if he was there for some reason, preservation of specimens is the responsibility of the pathologist. If it was happening at the ice rink, with only Parkes and some body recovery people or paramedics involved, well, words fail me.

So, I don't know. I can only go by what others tell me Parkes has said. I wonder if his story is changing over the years, or depending who he's talking to?

He [....] does claim to have blown up a 747 on the ground for the British Government when he was in the military....

Yes. He claims. It's two "large aircraft" in the version I have. Have you seen any corroboration of his status, anywhere, by anyone? I haven't. He was in the military. He says. What was his rank? Which unit did he serve with and where? Is there anyone else who can vouch for this, or could we look him up and see that his record matches his claims?

I'm willing to be proved wrong, but at the moment my sniff test is saying this is a fantasist talking, a wannabee who is at best exaggerating a low-level job into claims of expertise he does not actually possess.

Rolfe said...

Talking of being able to look people up and check their credentials....


FullInquiry said...

I stand corrected. Parkes was not involved in the 747 being destroyed as Rolfe points out.

Parkes claims to have "planned, executed and destroyed two aircraft with the use of controlled explosives. One of these being a large RAF Transport the other was a bombed Civil Aircraft located 80 metres from the Airport terminal. As the youngest Sergeant in the British Army on active service (20) I also won an award for capturing terrorists in Aden during 1966 and 1967".

So his rank in 1966/67 was Sergeant.

He also states: "...I speak from 36 years practical experience in explosives engineering and military endeavours and I am currently [year 2000] supplying bomb blast munitions sytems to the U.K. Military".

I certainly can't prove Rolfe wrong and have to agree, at least until its shown otherwise, with Rolfe's sniff test.

Rolfe said...

I'm not well up on military ranks, but he comes over as a low-level position. The syndrome of the poseur, the man who has never been in the military but wishes he had been and pretends he was, or the man who spent his military time washing dishes and weaves a complex tale based on things he's overheard from others, is quite well-known.

I'm not necessarily saying Parkes is being deliberately dishonest. However, I think he's a Walter Mitty. I think he's had low-level exposure to the things he's referring to, but likes to talk big. He showed up at Lockerbie uninvited (as did many other peple who rendered valuable assistance, I hasten to add), and likes to spin a tale of being central to the rescue effort. He says he was given the task of setting up the mortuary (that bit might even be true I don't know), then was consulted by the professor of forensic pathology who headed up the "vast pathological, odontological and radiological services" needed at Lockerbie, because of his special expertise which he "had made known to him". Then Parkes is in charge, insructing people to preserve certain items for evidential purposes, and so on. He and only he knows exactly what caused these lesions, and that nothing else could have been responsible, so the professor is either wrong or lying - and no on.

Then he takes it further, finds out the identity of the child and where she was sitting, and becomes the amateur sleuth. He's going to solve the case, while the professional AAIB guys are busy covering stuff up, just as the pathology professor is covering up. He decides a bomb was detonated by the ShanwicK VHF radio frequency, while almost certainly not knowing what the frequency was, or that the conversation had been running for six minutes before the explosion.

But he's right and everyone else is wrong. Or covering up, usually the latter. His illiterate letters and emails to senior investigators and the Zeist judges are not responded to, more evidence of a cover-up. Why has he not been silenced or got-at, like everyody else? Because his presence at Lockerbie was unofficial. As if that would stop anyone!

It's not an uncommon syndrome, really. But the spectacle of the professor of forensic pathology asking a passing volunteer for pathology advice, no matter his self-proclaimed explosives expertise, is ridiculous. The pathologists would examine, record, form an opinion, and send any material suspected to be explosives-related to RARDE. These guys were used to doing police work, they weren't amateurs. It's interesting that the more recent story is about the rescuers calling him in, and not the Chief of Pathology.

Everything I read about this guy says poseur with an inflated sense of his own importance due to peripheral involvement in bigger affairs. If I'm wrong, then somebody please provide some corroboration for this guy's super-expertise in explosives and pathology!

I think it's ridiculous how much penetration of the Lockerbie literature this fantasy has achieved. It's silliness like this that makes it easy for people to dismiss those of us with doubts about the conviction as conspiracy theorists. I just wish journalists would quit mentioning him.

FullInquiry said...


I very much agree with your last paragraph above.

Often when I talk about Lockerbie to friends and express my views about Megrahi's probable innocence (perhaps more accurately the prosecution's failure to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt) I am asked: who did it then?

My answer is I have no idea but certainly not Megrahi. This answer does not seem to appease many people.

The point being that it is not necessary to finger other culprits to reach the conclusion that the wrong man has been convicted, but it so often seems people need to have a culprit-someone has to be blamed. I guess that is fine so long as it's not an innocent person.

And the flip side for me is that if I saw real evidence that Megrahi was guilty I would immediately admit I had been wrong all along.

Or even if there were significant but not compelling evidence I would take the position that I am just not sure.

But it's clear cut - there is insufficient evidence and what there is is doubtful, and that equals reasonable doubt. It's a real shame there was no jury at Zeist.

But the world is what it is and as long as we all think differently and journalists need to sell newspapers there will always be theories like Parkes' being put out there.

Thank God there are articulate and well-intentioned people like you out there too as a powerful counterbalance.

Rolfe said...

Oh, I get that "who did it then?" thing too. I point out that we have No Freaking Idea who killed Jill Dando, but thankfully it wasn't necessary to find the real murderer before the unjustly convicted Barry George was released on appeal.

I also suggest it might have been me, who knows? At least I was within 50 miles of the crime scene that afternoon, which Megrahi demonstrably was not.

(As an aside, on the JREF forum I was plagued by a poster who insisted that Megrahi was the only person in the world who could possibly have carried out the bombing. Took a lot of explanation before he realised he was on a loser on that one. He then demanded to be told the name of another plausible suspect. I explained about not needing to know who did it in order to realise that Megrahi didn't, but just to humour him I'd tell him about Jibril and Talb and Abu Elias and the rest of it. He then announced that I hadn't proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the PFLP-GC had carried out the bombing, and nobody had presented the defence case for these suspects, so that meant Megrahi was definitely guilty. Some days you just can't win.)

I'd be very very happy to learn that we were all wrong and Megrahi did it after all. The idea that our justice system railroaded an innocent man is one I am extremely uncomfortable about. But the evidence says he was railroaded, whether I like it or not.

What I don't know is whether we railroaded someone completely innocent (or as innocent as any of us are), or someone with other mortal sins to his name, just not this one. I tend to assume the latter, but when pressed I certainly don't believe that beyond reasonable doubt, it's at best a balance of probabilities thing. And then I think, maybe I'm assuming that because the idea of someone who has no blood on his hands at all languishing in Barlinnie and then Greenock, far from his own culture, a desert-dweller in a cold northern land, makes it all many times worse.

So I think he was JSO, and I think he as up to something else that morning with the false passport, something he just isn't going to tell us about. But there's no compelling evidence for that, not beyond doubt, not by a metric mile.

If he really was just an airline official, and then in an academic-type job, with a sideline in sanctions-busting and parts procurement, and he really did go to Malta that day to find a joiner to fit a wooden bannister rail, and to have discussions about setting up a legitimate travel agency business, and he only picked up the coded passport because it was the one that came to hand and his wife gave him hell for using it, later - this is a much bigger tragedy than I really want to think about.

I've gone beyond "reasonable doubt" about his guilt, though. I don't believe he bought those clothes and I don't believe the bomb travelled on KM180 that morning. Which means he didn't do it. Not "maybe he might have but there isn't enough evidence to be sure", but "no, he had nothing to do with it". I just hope he had something to do with something else - not that that excuses what was done for a millisecond, it just makes the thought of the consequences easier to live with.

Rolfe said...

So where are we with the subject on the card?

I don't give Parkes any credence at all. His story is improbable in the extreme, particularly the version where the Big White Chief of Pathology (who in reality probably didn't do many of the PMs himself as being the Big White Chief is a lot of work) called him in personally to consult on a case. And did I mention that Busuttil, whom Parkes accuses of being part of a conspiracy to put the blame on the wrong people, is Maltese, and the recipient of a lot of Maltese awards for Extreme Cleverness, as well as the standard Scottish ones? Oh yeah, I'm sure he'd have been really happy about lying in his forensic teeth in order to let Malta carry the can for the disaster, aye right.

I don't give the VHF transmission from Shanwick ATC any credence at all either. First because we have no evidence that there's anything magic about 123.95MHz, and second because we have no evidence at all that munitions were being illegally carried on the plane. And third because of the six-minute conversation part.

I don't give the flechettes theory any credence either, because the story simply isn't consistent with the way the needles were found, all in one very small area, next to the fuselage, just as you'd expect if a box had burst open on impact.

I don't give the "the explosion was outside the baggage container" much credence because we can all see that baggage container and see that its condition supports what Claiden said about the explosion being inside it.

So what are we left with? Nothing but various suggestions that the AAIB report is in some way a smoking gun fake. It's trying to conceal something (usually a much bigger explosion), but in fact reveals it to the eye of the discerning layman.

All I get on this one is exhortations to read the AAIB report and "see what I mean". But I see nothing suspicious about it. It's not my area of expertise, so I could be missing something. But nobody ever explains exactly what they're talking about.

I don't see how a second, larger explosion could possibly have been covered up, quite honestly. And we're supposed to believe this explosion is obvious from the diagrams in the AAIB report, and the press photos of the wreckage, to the point where a layman can spot it, but it was still hushed up, and everyone working for the AAIB colluded in this. Because the establishment isn't to be trusted and it could do this, surely you understand that!

No, I don't. It doesn't get any more plausible with greater thought. Certainly not till someone actually lays out a detailed case for what they're alleging.

So overall, after all that, nothing to see here, move along folks.

Caustic Logic said...

Seriously, I'm way behind and on the sidelines over here. I can't vouch for any particular reading, but from past experience (Pentagon fly-over, etc.), some serious clown activity surrounding Lockerbie wouldn't surprise me the slightest.

Luckily it's a side-line, and I can leave it be this time around. The cream is actually rising to the top in this case, and I've got a lot more recipes to keep trying it in.

Anonymous said...

If you are ever in battle ! lets say "Iraq" for a suggestion, it takes GUT and BALLS not a Pathology degree .. No direction and panic ! was the order of the day in the early hours of Pan Am hitting the ground.With only local bobby's to deal with such a shock ! LISTEN TO THESE WORDS .. John Parkes served in Middle East Command in the 1960s AND ! is a true Man amongst men, not some kind of person with ego problems.I know this man personally' the problem with Academia' THEY WINGE ! AND ARE TO SURE OF WHAT THEY SAY !! John P is a strong and powerful character, and if one day you are in a life or death situation and need help' this kind of man is one who would have the presence of mind to save you ! I look at his commendations on the wall of his house and can only respect him ! you should remain less judgmental

Anonymous said...

John Parkes was a serjeant in the Royal Engineers, he served with distinction.in Aden and has extensive experience in the effect of explosives on various substances in a combat or demolition environment. On leaving the army he established Dell Explosives, and has worked with UK and other governments as a consultant explosives engineer. He exists, i drank coffee with him today. He is passionate about Lockerbie,,as anyone who was on the ground in those first few hours was, myself included, Suggesting, as Rolfe does, that he went to Lockerbie as some sort of voyeur is to judge from a position of ignorant hindsight. Parkes was one of the few disaster experienced individuals within a couple of hours of Lockerbie, you seem to think that the emergency services had some sort of CSI unit available. Well, they didnt and they had to summon what help they could quickly. At the time, it was a dark, cold, winter night and all anyone knew was a plane had come down. I would ask you to be somewhat more considered and less personal in your musings.

John H Parkes said...

I have thought long and hard before posting any form of rebutal on this extremly biassed and ill informed website.

For Rolphes (Morag Ker)and Caustic Logics (Adamb Larson) information I did attend Lockerbie on the night of the disaster and took with me a Highly Experienced Steeplejack (an ex paratrooper from 2 Para)and one of my then workers an ex Miner trained in Mine Rescue. We worked throught the night and the next morning and IE, assisted the fire services by demolishing seriously weakend Gable Ends at Sherwood Cresect - one of the most dangerous components of partly demolished Houses including Houses under construction.

Furthermore we removed the body of a woman victim from the roof of a seriously damaged building at Rosebank.

I unilaterly returned to Lockerbie two days later where I took responsibility for conversion of Lockerbie Ice Rink into a more suitable venu to carry out Victim Identification, X Rays. Odontology Studies and hundreds of Post Mortems.

Having fully explained my Explosives Qualifications to Tony Busital he subsequently asked me if I would look at the bodies of three victims which had just been brought into the Ice Rink and whom the Professor and Co thought may have been in close proximity to a an Explosive Event. I only required to inspect the body of a young girl to confirm that she had been struck in the Back and Calfs by explosively driven fragments which could only have came from an Explosive Device such as a Cased Munition or AN IED containing a fragmentation source. This poor Girls socks also exhibited a myriad of minute holing which could only have been caused by what I deduced to be a Rocklet Motors E Flux (Exhaust).

For Rolphes (Morag Kerrs) and Causitc Logics information I served with distinction for 6 years in the Royal Engineers and 6 Years as a regular Reservist. I also held the distinction of being the Youngest Sergeant (20) on Active service during the Aden troubles from 66 to 67 and received a C in C's commendation for, among other matters, capturing 2 terrorist vehicles and their occupants on the Brigades wanted list.

I am also a memember of the Register of Engineers For Disaster Relief and I am known to the Princess Royal who is our Patron.

Furthermore I have never attacked Anthony Busital as you claim.

If You Rolphe / Morag Kerr continue to demean me, insult my integrity and make disgraceful accusations regarding me supposeldy "interfering" with the body of young girl (outwith the Ice Rink or anywhere else for that matter] I will have no compunction in raising a Legal action against you for Deformation of Character.

If you wish to defend any such action I have to warn you that I will produce evidence and winesses in Court that will totally destroy your vile name calling and baseless accusations.

Furthermore, despite being told to submit an account for "WORK DONE" at lockerbie by a Senior D&G Police Officer I have never sought a penny.

I will not be posting on this form again

John H Parkes
(Explosives Engineer)

PS My many years work in the field of Explosives Mitigation has been recognised by NASA.