Lockerbie: The Metamorphosis

The story of the Lockerbie “Primary Suitcase” is a good example of how the very same evidence was transformed to point the finger away from the initial suspects to the final ones.

Initially, Dr Hayes concluded that the “Primary luggage” had been sitting directly on the floor of the container. However, the final report concluded that the “Primary Luggage” was actually on the second layer, as possibly indicated in the following picture.

AVE 4041

AVE 4041

This is not without consequence as the new location probably rules out the infamous “John Bedford luggage” seen about one hour prior to the arrival of the plane from Frankfurt. This fact was known — and debated — at the trial.

But there is more. On the very first page of his forensic notes (December 27 1988), Dr Hayes concluded from the location of the “pitting” that the locus of the explosion was well above and on the “right side” of the outboard pallet frame. (He estimated the angle was about 45°.)


In the final analysis, the locus had moved to the “left side” of the same pallet frame and 25 cm above the floor level!



Is this not AMAZING? And — just in case you wonder — no other parts of the container show any “pitting”, not even the inclined wall. Really AMAZING. Remind me again: who is the genius who found this crucial evidence “sticking out from the ground”?




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One Response to Lockerbie: The Metamorphosis

  1. George Thomson says:

    Armed with the intelligence on the PFLP GC s activities in Neuss in October and the FAA Warning the Scottish Investigators on the ground assisted by their American friends were no doubt that they were looking for the remains of a copper Samsonite suitcase which would contain a semtex based IED concealed within a Toshiba Radio. The radio would be enclosed in a cardboard box along with an instruction manual. They even knew that the explosives within the radio would be wrapped in Toblerone type wrapping foil
    In no time whatsoever they “””found”””” what they were looking for.

    The piece of pitted container metal (found by Thurman ????????)

    AG145 debris from the identification plate of the luggage container which Feraday was satisfied was from a Toshiba 8016 or 8026 but then he changed his mind later on. At trial however the Air Accident Investigator Claiden testified that the fold in the identification plate which harboured the debris identified as originating from a Toshiba HAD NOT BEEN CAUSED AT THE TIME OF THE EXPLOSION

    A Black Explosion Damaged Cardigan with Toblerone foil violently impacted into its fabric was found and initially was described as originating from the bomb suitcase but later the classification was changed as the emphasis moved away from the PFLP GC

    Then impacted into various items of clothing which Gauci later remembered selling to “a suspect” Originally Talb, the scientists found pieces of the cardboard box, the instruction manual and various pieces of plastics and mesh which Hayes claimed was from the IED Radio.

    In relation to the detonation device a report was submitted from the Scottish Police to the Lord Advocate asking for the detention of various suspects who had been involved with the PFLP GC in Neuss. In that report the Police assert time and time after time that the bomb had been triggered by a barometric device

    The net was finally closing and by a spectacular piece of detective work a pair of trousers from the bomb suitcase was traced via the manufacturers on Malta to Tony Gaucis shop where he remarkably remembered selling a variety of clothes to a Suspect which had turned up in the bomb suitcase. To be fair to Tony however he did not make the whole thing up from nothing, he was shown a variety of photographs of items said to originate from the bomb suitcase and he picked them out.

    The slight fly in the ointment however is that the Police claimed to have been led to Gauci by a Manufactures Label (Yorkie) attached to the trousers and by a Stamped Number 1705 on a pocket which was an order number for Gaucis Shop. Unfortunately we now have a Police Document which indicates that when the trousers first came into the possession of the Police there was no such label attached and the number 1705 apparently jumps from one fragment of trousers to another depending on what report or which police statement you chose to read

    Gauci went some way to identifying Talb as the purchaser of the clothing, however Gaucis identification would have been bolstered by the evidence of a witness with a shop nearby who made a definite identification of Talb being in his own shop at the relative time. This shopkeepers evidence has never been heard

    So sure were the Police that Talb was their man that they even fabricated evidence of a piece of clothing found in his home in Sweden and originally described as a pair of child’s kick-trousers with a size and a manufacturer into being a Babygro with Penguins on the front the same type of course as described in the shipment note lodged at Court to prove the evidence of Gauci and his lamb/sheep Babygro he claimed to have sold to the man.

    I could go on and on with discrepancies in the case but I want to make the point that Megrahi was in my mind convicted on evidence much of which was designed to prosecute Talb and all they had to do to was change the tentative identification by Gauci of Talb to Megrahi and introduce the small fragment of circuit board PT35b

    That’s what makes this case so different. Megrahi was convicted on false evidence originally intended to be used against someone else and if any of that evidence was tested in Court by a Defence Team Properly briefed by Defence Investigators then Megrahi’s name would be cleared.

    Baset would be pleased if that were to happen because on his deathbed he asked me to not only try to prove his innocence but prove that he was deliberately convicted on false evidence.


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