PT/35(b): A Very Simple Question

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Here is an early picture of PT/35(b)


Here is another one.



According to our timeline, Picture 334 was taken on or before 22 Sept 89.

22 September 1989

Photos 333 and 334 of RARDE report – close up photos of fragment, were taken on or before 22 Sept 89, according to the photographic register (FC3877 and FC3878).

And now, let us take a look at a picture taken at a later time. (27/04/1990)


Just to be sure, look at this one too.



And this one.


(I really like this one!)


The early pictures show that the left bottom part of the “1” shaped pad has a clean and straight edge. The latter pictures show that some “TIN” has flown over the edge of the pad.

How do you explain this?


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6 Responses to PT/35(b): A Very Simple Question

  1. Scott says:

    I’d always assumed this happened during the forensic tests – they seem to have damaged pt35b and shredded the Toshiba manual that Mrs Horton found during their tests. Pt35b is definitely a plant and Mrs Horton’s comments at Zeist suggest her Toshiba manual was in a much worse at trial than it was when she found it suggest to me the fragments of manual found with pt5b were also planted. Is it even the same manual?


    • Morag says:

      Actually, the bit about the Horton fragment appears not to be true. The photographs in the Joint Forensic Report show the paper damaged in the way it was damaged when Mrs. Horton didn’t recognise it. These photos were taken before it went for fingerprint testing. There are no photos showing it in a less damaged condition.

      Think about it. Mrs. Horton fails to identify the paper she’s shown in court. She says that what she remembers was larger and only slightly singed round the edges. So the prosecution suggests that the paper was damaged by destructive fingerprint testing after she turned it in to the police. And everyone just leaves it at that!

      Of course it was photographed before it was sent for potentially damaging testing. So why wasn’t Mrs. Horton shown the photos taken at that time and asked if this was what she remembered picking up? Why did nobody suggest this? Wasn’t it important? In fact if she’d been shown these photos (and actually I’m not entirely sure that wasn’t what she was shown in the first place), she would perhaps have been surprised. Because the pre-testing photos are no different.

      It’s not like PT/35b where we can look at the high-resolution photos taken before the fragment was forensically tested, and see how it looked before two chunks were cut out of it and so on. And we can look at later photos and note the differences. As above. There is only one set of photos of the pages of the manual, and they show the item that Mrs. Horton didn’t recognise.

      And while one might suggest that her memory had reconstructed the page to be more complete than she remembered, this is difficult to sustain. She picked the thing up from wet grass. The manual pages are torn almost across. It would be extremely difficult to pick up torn, wet paper from grass without it tearing apart completely. I don’t see how she could have picked that up in those conditions, tattered as it was, and later imagined it was intact.


  2. Craig says:

    With regard to the bottom part of the ‘1’ – can’t understand that at all.
    It looks to me like there is a track or line on the board and the secondary material layer did not take or adhere to this material.

    There is also some kind of material overrun near bottom left corner on the left vertical side of the ‘1’.
    This is clear in the later photographs but not present in the earlier photographs.

    Ref: Productions & Photographs at Trial;
    Photograph No: 116
    FC 4374
    6/4/1990 – Originator: A Feraday
    Remarks: Restricted

    Photograph No. 117
    FC 3521
    Date Written on reverse of negative: 22/5/1989

    Photograph Nos. 333 & 334
    FC 3877 & 3878
    Not returned from RARDE professional photography until 22/9/1989

    Polaroids – No FC number and not recorded at RARDE or Scottish police.

    Note the following;
    Feraday Memo ‘Lads & lasses’ 15/9/1989 – Production No. 333
    Feraday Polaroids 15/9/1989 – Production No. 334

    In a case with thousands of items, photographs, productions etc.
    What’s the chances the alleged photographs and productions carry the exact same numbers ?

    Let’s look a bit closer as to what these polaroids, sorry photographs, sorry images, sorry productions are;

    Q Can we look, please, at Production 333. It may be satisfactory just to view this on the screen. Perhaps — the first image would be fine. And can we go to the image 1. Thank you. Is this a memorandum, Mr. Williamson, addressed to you?
    A It is, sir, yes.
    Q And is it from Mr. Feraday at RARDE?
    A It is, sir, yes.
    Q And is it dated the 15th of September of 1989?
    A That’s correct, sir, yes.
    Q And do we see that it encloses some poloroid photographs?
    A Yes, sir, it does.
    Q And it explains that these are [2948] photographs of a green circuit board?
    A That’s correct, sir, yes.
    Q And Mr. Feraday explains that the fragment could be potentially most important?
    A Yes, sir, he does.
    Q And goes on to say: “So any light your lads/lasses can shed upon the problem of
    identifying it would be most welcome”?
    A That’s correct, sir, yes.
    Q Can we look at the photographs, Production 334. If you can just go straight to image 1, that would be fine. Thank you.
    And do you recognise these as the photographs —
    A I do, sir, yes.
    Q They accompanied the memorandum we’ve just looked at?
    A Yes, sir.
    Comment – I thought Production 334 were polaroids which are actually physical items.
    Why were the polaroids not produced as productions ? I thought that was the whole idea of productions.
    Why not fetch the polaroids and produce them for the witness ?
    How can one show an image ?
    What did the image show ?
    An image of a photograph of a polaroid ?

    It can’t be photograph No. 334 because that was returned to RARDE 22/9/1989 and couldn’t have accompanied the lads & lasses memo of 15/9/1989.
    Q And we see that a ‘photograph’ is provided of the front and back side of the fragment?
    A Yes, sir.

    Comment – Hmmm just the same as photograph No’s 333 & 334

    All through this whole chapter and escapade of the ‘lads and lasses memo’ of 15/9/1989 noting polaroids.
    Which associated items of this memo have never been produced ?


  3. Brendan says:

    That silver bit sticking out of the bottom left of the “1” pad appears to line up with the contours of an area of solder on the pad. That area of solder (which presumably had been applied to connect one of the pins of the relay) looks flatter in the photos taken after the other corner was cut from the board fragment. That smooth surface can be seen in these images too:

    In the photos from before the cutting, that surface looks less uniform (see Picture 334, the second image in the article above). The same kind of uneven structure can be seen in the top right part of the “1” where a wire was apparently soldered on.That looks like a mountain shape in the last picture above.

    So it’s possible that whatever flattened the surface area also pushed out some of the solder from the pad onto the bare part of the board.

    The only thing that I can think of that would cause that is something like a vice grips that could have been used to secure the fragment while the bottom right hand corner was being sawed off.

    It’s possible that the heat of the saw cutting through fibreglass caused the solder to melt while the board was being gripped. However, the solder could have been flattened simply by being gripped extremely tightly. Without a very secure grip, the fragment could have cracked as a result of the sawing action. Whoever cut the board may have set the grip extremely tight to make sure that far greater destruction of the board would be avoided.


    • Brendan says:

      It’s probably more accurate to say that it was a clamp that was part of whatever cutting tool that was used.

      It wouldn’t be surprising if the solder was squashed during the cutting operation, if you look at the slightly careless way the two perpenicular cuts were made in order to remove the corner part. Ideally the two cuts would end at the same point, to minimise the damage to the board. In the case of PT35b, the upward cut went a bit further than the sideways cut.

      The amount of damage wasn’t huge, especially when compared with the unavoidable damage caused by removing the corner. You would have expected, however, that they would be as careful as possible with main piece of evidence in a very serious crime.


  4. Morag says:

    I agree with Brendan. That was exactly what I thought when I first read this entry this morning.

    It’s obviously the same item. The similarities are way too great for it not to be. Bollier’s claims of substitution are clearly baseless. We know it was manipulated for testing, and I’ve always been quite impressed by the way they managed to cut these pieces out of it, reasonably cleanly, without completely shredding it. It must have been held in a vice.

    That isn’t tinning that’s spreading across the bottom of the relay pad element. It’s solder. And it looks as if it’s been squashed by a vice. Probably when the thing was being cut. They lost a really characteristic part of the circuitry at the same time – the bit showing what Feraday called “an over-run of the line”. Fortunately its original appearance was preserved in the photos.


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