John Ashton has uncovered a truly bizarre story. (See Cover-up of Convenience, p 269)
“According to American investigative Journalist Don Devereux, Richard Sherrow passed him an A4 sized envelope containing a number of colour photographs mounted on a sheet of paper at a meeting in May 1993 . Some showed a piece of electronic timer, some arms and others items he had seen in Lome, Togo including an MST-13 timer. The photographs were undoubtedly the same as the ones shown to Sherrow during his testimony at the Lockerbie trial.
“Devereux says that Sherrow told him that while working for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) when asked to identify the timer in the photograph he was certain that he knew the origin. Rather than implicating the MST-13’s original manufacturer MEBO, Sherrow said a company in Florida made the timer, and made it exclusively for the CIA. Sherrow allegedly told Devereux, that he brought this information to the attention of senior personnel at the ATF he was reprimanded and immediately removed from active duty and taken off the Lockerbie investigation.
“Angry at his treatment, Sherrow sought advice from Arizona Senator John McCain. A McCain aide, Thomas McCanna, met with Sherrow and introduced him to Charles Byers, a ‘special ordnance’ manufacturer had a long running dispute with the ATF and the CIA. According to Byers, Sherrow told him a similar story.
“In 1994 Byers took the photographs given to him by Sherrow to an invitation only trade show for ‘Special Operations’ held at Fort Bragg North Carolina. At the show he showed the photographs to another exhibitor Dan Perreault, the owner of a Florida Electronics Company called Mathews and Associates. Byers claims that he asked Perreault if he could make such an item and again according to Byers, Perreault said that his company ‘did’ make the device. Byers asked him for whom they were made and according Byers, Perreault said, ‘the same people you make your stuff for, the CIA.’
“The timing of these events meant though that if indeed Mathews and Associates had made a timer identical to the MEBO timer, supplied it to the CIA and for whatever reason it was one of these timers that was used on Pan Am 103, it would have to have been made prior to December 1988. At that time Mathews and Associates was owned by the founder, Herman Mathews, with Perreault taking over in 1993. Perrault has no recollection of speaking to Byers at the trade show. Copies of the same photographs were sent to him by the authors and he said he did not recognise the timer. When Herman Mathews was contacted he claimed that he never did any circuit board work or any work for any branch of the US Military. Although he did not wish to comment on Herman Mathews statement, Perreault did say that Mathews and Associates under Herman Mathews did in fact work with circuit boards and did the majority of his work for the Defence Department. Perreault went on to explain that it was possible that circuit boards could have been ordered without either he, or Mathews, knowing anything about the end-user.”
The story is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, as explained by Ashton in his book, it is quite obvious that this information was – almost certainly – neither investigated nor shared with the defense.
Secondly, it seems to imply that Sherrow had serious doubt about the role of the CIA in this affair. After all, he was almost certainly told not to reveal the presence of the CIA person on their investigation team.
Thirdly, one may wonder why Sherrow suspected Mathews Associates? (I am told that this company has now been bought by a UK company.) Did he notice something in Togo?
Fourthly, it seems to strongly imply that Sherrow had seen the timers in Togo. Keep in mind that he had said that, in his opinion, the timers had been planted and manipulated by a third party. If he had not seen the timers in Togo, it is quite certain that he would have said so to Devereux and Byers.
And finally, if Devereux and Byers are telling the truth about their meeting with Sherrow, then he obviously forgot about them when he gave his Police statement S5757A . Because in that statement taken in Boulder Colorado on 01/12/1999 by DC Kenneth Bell, Sherrow said that:
“I have not passed the photographs, copies, or negatives to any private individual. […] I have no idea and can not comment in respect of any private individual or non-federal agencies receiving the photographs.”