In a recent post (LOCKERBIE: THE LONG ROAD TO MEBO ), I explained that:

“All the good scientific work on PT/35(b) – and the various parts cut from it – never led to anything connecting PT/35(b) and MEBO. The “link” between PT/35(b) and K1 (Togo timer) led to some investigations in TOGO and Senegal which again produced no link whatsoever to MEBO.”

I also pointed to the following statement of the SCCRC (8.147) report:

In a subsequent fax dated 31 August 1990 (classified document 997, see appendix of  protectively marked materials) reference is made to Mr Thurman having re-examined the timer and, although he thought it possible that the third character was a “B”, he doubted this. The fax also states that Mr Thurman was “clearly aware of Meister and Bollier and made a cryptic reference to the company already being of great interest to the investigation.”

“It is in this document that the suggestion is made to the police by a member of the Security Service that enquiries be carried out regarding MEBO.”

Here is the fax.


This fax needs a lot of explaining. The Chad device is of course at the heart of this story. Later, I will explain all this but for now I will just say that the last part of this fax  is highly significant.

“It could be damaging to our continuous liaison were we not able to lay the ground work for you before you go. To this end I have been asked [Redacted] if I could visit and brief our liaisons ahead of your visit. This I am happy to do, and would be willing to do at very short notice so as not to hold up your enquiry.”

Let us reflect on what this means exactly…

This entry was posted in Chronology, CIA, COMPONA, Intel, MEBO, MI5, MST13, NYMPH, PT/35(b). Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to THE LONG ROAD TO MEBO – FAX DATED 31/08/1990

  1. Craig says:

    Deary deary me, not only were MI5 intentionally, sorry, intelligently heavily involved in this case, it appears a spoon fed method was being applied to SIO Henderson and his colleagues.

    The fax also confirms the records with regard to related items of the 1985 Chad device, more importantly, the knowledge and retention of this information.
    Also demonstrates reliable information and ‘intelligence’ usually just comes down to fairly banal searching of purchasing records and the like.

    I have to say the dramatic mentions of maybe M580 or MEBQ etc, it is painful to read how this is and was being portrayed at the time.
    It is crystal clear organisations on both sides of the Atlantic were fully aware of MEBO many, many years prior to 1988.

    The contradictions of the various organisations are stacking up to monumental levels;
    Example – Sherrow apparently provided a presentation of a timer which was subsequently known as the ‘Togo Timer’.
    At no point did Sherrow note any markings of M580 or any other markings on same.
    If he did, it would have been in the Orkin report front and centre.

    Feb 1988 – CIA Orkin apparently completely dismantled the ‘Togo Timer’ including bench tests and forensically examined this item with forensic photographic techniques.
    Orkin report at page 9; ‘Markings – The markings are not obscured and the device is not potted’.

    Fast forward to June 1990, not only Thomas Thurman but McLean, Williamson et al can clearly see markings noted without any magnification but by naked eye and at least one of these crooks, McLean even offers up ‘MEBO’.
    How did McLean have knowledge of MEBO ?

    Rewind to Orkin Feb 1988 report, Orkin as a technical expert of many years standing with knowledge and retained information including1985 Chad device, this laddie appears to be having the worst off day of an examiners professional career as the MI5 & Thurman crew instantly suggest ‘MEBO’.
    Either Orkins report concedes significant omission, significant errors including significant chronological related errors or it is a work of fiction.

    Trial Transcript – PDF page 940
    Q Now, you mentioned that you then received information that MEBO was the manufacturer, or might be the manufacturer, of the MST 13 timing device?
    A Yes, sir.
    Q Do you recollect where that information came from, Mr. Williamson?
    A Yes, sir. From Mr. Gilchrist, the [3004] deputy senior investigating officer.
    Q And do you know where Mr. Gilchrist received that information from?
    A I don’t, sir, no.

    I think questions must be raised as to the veracity of the aforementioned exchange.
    A ‘Detective’ who is supposedly in charge or at least in a supervisory position is informed of a manufacturer related to the most major criminal event in Scotland, Williamson doesn’t even ask the source and where the information originated ?

    Picture the scene;
    Gilchrist: Hey Willie, MEBO is the manufacturer of the device which brought down Pan Am 103.
    Williamson: Ok, thanks for that.
    Gilchrist: As a detective investigating the case, do you want to know anything else ?
    Williamson: No

    It is not a secret that MI5 were heavily involved in the Lockerbie investigation, MI5 themselves declared this information. BBC News website confirms this;
    Eliza Manningham-Buller: Life in the shadows;
    “An expert on counter-terrorism, she was heavily involved in the Lockerbie investigation, served as MI5’s liaison officer in Washington and became director of the agency’s Irish counter-terrorism branch, spearheading the fight against the Provisional IRA.”

    1985 -1987
    If the reporting is correct, numerous shipments of Libyan regime provided arms and explosives were shipped to IRA using vessels which reportedly began their rendezvous trips from both Malta and Gozo.
    It should be noted, the reports clearly state these islands were not loading points but the majority of the ships did depart from Malta & Gozo for subsequent rendezvous at sea and onward voyage.

    UK authorities including MI5 must have rightly made it one of their top priorities to find out about all suppliers to Libya for items regardless of proposed use.
    Late 1987, the vessel Eksund which was intercepted at sea without any prior security services involvement at all…..

    I would have thought from at least 1987, Malta and surrounding areas would have been a hotspot for intelligence gathering and also an area of heightened concern to MI5 et al for obvious reasons.
    Surprising there is no UK sourced information with regard to Malta through 1988.


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