PT/35(b): “A RIDDLE, WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY, INSIDE AN ENIGMA.”
“PT/35(b) was extremely, extremely dodgy. It was very, very suspicious. The way it suddenly appeared, embedded in a shirt collar, with the information on the page overwritten and changed, all police procedures were thrown out of the window.”
Rev. John Mosey
“Dr. Hayes seemed to have no real recollection independently of his notes of having found PT 35B. The sequence of the PT numbering and the absence from the notes of a drawing of the circuit board are unusual features. The pagination of the notes was described by Hayes as “an unfathomable mystery” , for which he did propose an explanation, but unfortunately one that does not work. The memorandum of the 15th of September 1989 is difficult to understand if the fragment was indeed found on the 12th of May 1989. PT/35B is an important piece of evidence on which the Crown rely and in respect of which it is for the Crown to satisfy the court as to its provenance. I submit that the irregularities and peculiarities which attend this item are some which the court ought to have some hesitation in being satisfied as to the item’s provenance.”
Lockerbie trial, page 9624.
PT/35(b) is a small fragment of a circuit timer that was allegedly found among the debris of Pan Am 103 near the town of Lockerbie.
PT/35(b) was the key piece of evidence of the Lockerbie Case. As Richard Marquise (FBI Agent who led the US side of the investigation) himself said: “Without PT/35(b), there would have been no indictment.” ( See: FBI Richard Marquise: “No PT/35(b), No Case.”)
On May 12 1989, PT/35(b) was allegedly extracted from the collar of a “SLALOM” shirt labelled PI/995. (See Picture above)
The Lockerbie investigators concluded early in the investigation that this fragment was part of the mechanism that triggered a bomb aboard Pan Am 103.
This fragment was eventually matched to a timer (MST-13) discovered among the weapons and material seized from rebels after an attempted coup in Togo on 23rd September 1986.
The identification was made in the mid of 1990 by FBI Thomas Thurman, with some help from the CIA.
In February 1988, the CIA became aware of another MST-13 Timer that was found in a luggage “belonging” to a Libyan citizen travelling to Dakar, Senegal.
That device was easily traced to a Swiss company because of a similarity to a device that had been found in Chad in September 1984.
This MST-13 had been manufactured by the Swiss company MEBO and supplied “solely” to Libya.
The match between PT/35(b) and the main board of the MST-13 timer looks obviously excellent. Perfect indeed.
But looks can be deceiving. An analysis of the circuit tracks of PT/35(b) reveals that they are covered with pure tin while the tracks of the board of the MST-13 timers are covered with a mix of tin and lead.
Thus, we know that PT/35(b) is a forgery. We also know that at least one witness was well aware that PT/35(b) could not have been part of the MST-13 timers delivered to Libya and that this witness deliberately withheld this information from the court.
Furthermore, the stories of the MST-13 Timers found in Togo and Senegal are very dubious… At this point, one can reasonably infer that this so-called evidence was planted.
How did we learn that PT/35(b) is a forgery? Who could possibly have committed such a crime and for what possible motives? Where, when and by whom was this forgery fabricated? These are some of the questions that this blog intends to discuss and will hopefully answer.
On this blog, you can already find:
A summary of the Lockerbie Case
A very detailed timeline of the many scientific investigations of PT/35(b)
As well as our – preliminary – investigations of:
The MST-13 Timers
The TOGO Timers
The SENEGAL Timer
The Forensic Analysis of PT/35(b)
We are currently writing about the Chad Device found in September 1984.