This page documents the investigative steps taken in relation to the fragment PT/35(b) since its alleged discovery on 12 May 1989.
The reader must understand that this is the official timeline reconstructed and wholly accepted by the SCCRC.
12 May 1989
Fragment of circuit board is found in PI/995 by Dr Hayes on 12 May 89, according to
page 51 of Dr Hayes notes. The police production logs for PT/35 record it as having been
found by Dr Hayes at RARDE on 12 May 1989. In his evidence (p2608) Hayes said
he had no memory of finding the timer fragment independent of his notes. In his
chapter 8 Crown precognition (“CP”), Hayes said his recollection was that he worked
alone when carrying out examination of debris, but that he occasionally called Allen
Feraday in when something of interest was found. Feraday in his chapter 8 CP
referred to the discovery of PT/35 and PT/2 and said that he remembered when this was
done. He stated that although Hayes was carrying out the examination, he thought
Hayes invited him in to see the pieces embedded in PI/995 before Hayes removed
them. He stated that Hayes knew he would be interested in what Hayes found, and he
therefore remembered that PT/2 and PT/35 were extracted from PI/995. In his chapter
10 CP Feraday does not specifically mention his memory of PT/35’s extraction. He
states that initially the main concern was with the pieces of cassette recorder manual
that were found in PI/995, as they appeared to support the identification of fragments
discovered earlier, and it was only at a later stage that the potential significance of
PT/35(b) became clear.
22 May 1989
Photo 117 of RARDE report, the first photo of the fragment, was taken on or before 22 May 89, as per photographic register (photo 117 is FC3521).
According to Feraday’s ch 10 CP, he checked the track pattern of the fragment exhaustively against his database of electronic devices used in explosions but found no match. The precise date and length of time of these enquiries is not specified.
14 September 1989
Visit by Hayes and Feraday to Lockerbie. Feraday viewed items containing circuit boards that were put aside by officers. See Fax 749 in appendix of protectively marked materials.
15 septembre 1989
Feraday sent the Lads and Lassies memo (prod 333, DP/137) dated 15 September 1989 to the SIO along with 4 Polaroid photos that he took himself (prod 334, DP/138). According to the SIO, Henderson’s, HOLMES statement S4710J, during September 1989 he was contacted by Feraday and informed that he had recovered PT/35(b) from PI/995 and he considered it of great significance. Following this contact, Henderson caused Williamson to liaise with Feraday and then carry out the necessary searches of the recovered property and wreckage in an effort to identify the PCB, and he was kept abreast of progress by Williamson.
22 September 1989
Photos 333 and 334 of RARDE reptort – close up photos of fragment, were taken on or before 22 Sept 89, according to the photographic register (FC3877 and FC3878). Photo 333 clearly shows the green colour on the reverse side of the fragment from the “1 ” shaped land.
Some time in September – December 1989 approx
After the Lads and Lassies memo was sent, according to Williamson statement 872BS, a detailed search of productions was carried out to find anything that matched PT/35(b), without success. According to Feraday’s ch 10 Crown precognition, he asked the police to examine all circuit boards that had been recovered and then attended at the production store in Dumfries and examined what the police had found but could find no match for the fragment (this may relate to visit on 14 September 1989, above). See also Henderson’s statement S4710J, which confirms that he instructed Williamson to liaise with Feraday and thereafter to carry out the necessary searches of property and wreckage; the terms of the police report, section 30, which refers to an extensive search and comparison of all other items of circuit board recovered, but no other material relating to PT/35(b) being recovered; and D5609, the memo from Williamson to Ferrie referred to under the entry for 15-18 January 1990, below, which states that a full search of the property store Dexstar was carried out for any circuit board of similar description, which resulted in all items of circuit board including all cameras, radios etc. which contained circuit boards being examined but – nothing resembling the fragment was discovered.
Williamson’s two ch 10 Crown precognitions give the most detail of events at this time. In his ch 10 CP dated 2711 1/99 he states that it was in the days following the receipt of the memo from Feraday that at every opportunity he searched through the productions in an effort to recover all fragments of printed circuit board, including broken cameras etc, in an effort to find a similar board. He states that he set aside a large number of items in the production room i.e. Dexstar, and Feraday then visited there and was unable to locate any boards or fragments that were similar to PT/35(b). He states that at the time the police were working from photos and were also unable to find any boards of a similar description. In Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 6&7/6/00, it states that Feraday contacted Williamson and said he had identified a fragment of printed circuit board which was unusual as it had “green film” on one side, and Feraday asked Williamson to examine other recovered items to try and identify the source. This initial contact was by phone, and thereafter the memo dated 15 Sept 89 was received. Williamson states that thereafter he personally looked out any recovered items that contained circuit boards, including cameras, radios and pieces of aircraft debris, but he was not able tot find anything similar; and that he recalled that Feraday himself, during one of his visits to Lockerbie, examined a number of these items and was unable to fmd anything that matched.
In his evidence Williamson stated that he informed the team of officers working at Dexstar of Feraday’s memorandum, and that it was obvious that the fragment was important, and to look out for any printed circuit board and extract any such board for Feraday’s examination. Williamson testified that as well as circuit boards, he examined items of electronic equipment – cameras, radios, walkmans, which had PCBs. He confirmed that such items might have been the property of passengers. He confirmed that Feraday came to Lockerbie to carry out these examinations but it was not possible to identify the fragment. Williamson was asked if he could recall over what time period officers in the Dexstar store were examining PCBs and electronic items. He replied that he could not recall exactly, but it was a general instruction, and that he personally withdrew a number of items of PCB himself.
On the basis of fax 749 (see 14 September 89 above) it would seem that a first search for items that might match PT/35(b) took place before 15 September 89, as on 14 Sept 89 Feraday examined items looked out by the police. However, it seems apparent fiom fax 749, the lads and lassies memo and Williamson’s accounts that the search for items at Dexstar continued thereafter.
Williamson’s CP goes on that in October or November 89 he was part of a team reviewing BKA reports on the Autumn Leaves enquiry and that in January 1990 he accompanied Feraday to Germany to view items recovered by the BKA in that operation. Although not stated expressly in the CP, it seems apparent that this exercise of reviewing BKA material is what led to the suggestion that Feraday examine the recovered items from the BKA operation to compare to PT/35(b). (See more under January 1990, below).
19 December 1989
There is a memo from McManus to Williamson (D5441 – see appendix to chapter 8 of the statement of reasons) dated 19.12.89 re a phone call McManus had with Feraday during which McManus requested a meeting at RARDE to discuss “recent and potential developments concerning PT30 – piece of circuit board of uncertain origin – and obtain as much information and opinion of this item as possible.”
Feraday replied that he had already discussed the matter with senior management at Lockerbie and saw no benefit in further discussion. McManus pressed him and referred to other potentially significant blast damaged items, and to items found in a search of Abassi’s flat in Germany, but Feraday did not agree to a visit to RARDE.
There is another memo of this date from Williamson to Henderson (D5428 – see appendix to chapter 8 of the statement of reasons) re “item of interest at RARDE – circuit board”. Reference in the memo is again to PT/30, which is said to have been found in PK/2128, part of an American Tourister suitcase, at RARDE on 18 June 1989 (which would be consistent with PT/30, except it was found on 8 June, not the 18th).
The memo says Feraday regarded this find as potentially most important and photos and a description of the item were supplied to the productions/property team to allow a full search at Dexstar for similar material [this sounds like it is referring to the Lads and Lassies memo]. It is stated that on 14 September 1989 Feraday visited Dexstar and examined various items there but none matched PT/30 (see fax 749), and on a number of occasions he has expressed interest in any circuitry that could be compared to PT/30. Reference is then made to items recovered from Abassi’s flat in Germany, and in particular digital alarm clocks and circuit boards, and it is suggested that these items be secured for scientific examination.
Much is made in the submissions about the latter memo above, and it is submitted that originally PT/30 was unidentified, and the Lads and Lassies memo referred to it, but when PT/35(b) was reverse engineered into the chain of evidence, the memo about PT/30 was said instead to have been about PT/35(b), in order to make it look like it had been there from the start. This matter is addressed in chapter 8 of the statement of reasons.
10 January 1990
The fifth internatonal conference took place at Lockerbie. The minutes for this meeting are contained in Volume D of the application, at footnote 347. There is no specific mention of any fragment of circuit board in the minutes. A further copy of these minutes was obtained from D&G. Again, there is no mention of the circuit board fragment.
15-18 January 1990
According to Williamson’s statement S872BS, he and Feraday went to Meckenheim
where they examined a large no. of electronics including PCBs recovered in antiterror
operations, but no items resembling PT/35(b) were found.
There is a further memo, D5609, from Williamson to Fenie, which is undated but
apparently compiled shortly after the visit to Germany, and it gives a detailed account
of the unidentified fragment, which is now referred to as PT/35 (although at one stage
is also called “PF 35” which is presumably a typo) and is said to have been recovered
from a fragment of shirt material described as “PA995” (presumably another typo).
Reference is made to Feraday frequently expressing interest in identifying the
fragment, and to the fact that after a Sunday Times article on 17 December 1989 he
“firmed up” his interest by stating that in his opinion the fragment could be part of the
IED timing mechanism. Reference is then made to the Autumn Leaves papers
indicating that various circuit boards etc were recovered, and that from Monday 15
January 1990 to 18th Williamson and Feraday went to Wiesbaden, BKA HQ, and to
Meckenheim to examine and photograph these items and compare them to PT/35 and
all items except a “Krups clock” were eliminated, the clock could not be eliminated as
the circuit board had been removed. The memo indicates that the Germans were
looking to obtain an identical clock or schematic diagram, and it is suggested that a
Lockerbie officer should also do this.
The document then gives a detailed description of PT/35, including its dimensions,
the fact that it is made of fibreglass, that its tracking pattern is of tinned copper and
not lacquered, it has a curved and a smooth edge that were manufactured; and it is
suggested that Feraday said discovering the origin would be a huge if not impossible task.
A separate memo from Williamson to the SIO dated 16 March 1990 which formed a
report on the fragment (and which is mentioned at various places below) documents
the outcome of the “Krups” enquiry. According to this memo, from LICC enquiries were
made with Krups, which led to the manufacturer, then the supplier of the works
for the clocks, and then the supplier of the original circuit boards, a company called
Moker. Moker advised that the board contained in the particular Krups clock found in
the Autumn Leaves raids was made with Phenolic paper and not fibreglass, but
supplied to LICC a complete range of all circuit boards they manufactured, and the
sample that was contained in the clock in question bore no resemblance to PT/35(b).
There is also a fax from Feraday dated 16 February 1990 confirming no match
between the fragment and the Krups circuitry.
In Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 6&7/6/00 he says that in October and November
1989 he was part of a team reviewing BKA reports on Autumn Leaves and that in
January 1990 he went with Feraday to Meckenheim to view the items the BKA had
recovered in the Autumn Leaves operation, including bomb making equipment.
Williamson stated that he particularly recalled a Krupz clock (although the memo
mentioned in the preceding paragraphs suggests that the circuit board had previously
been removed from this clock) and various printed boards, none of which matched
PT/35(b). He stated that he vaguely recalled that the items involved in the death of
the BKA officers during Autumn Leaves were shown, but could not recall specific
In his evidence Williamson added little about the trip to Germany, confirming that
Feraday took the lead in examining the items but that nothing similar to the fragment
Papers relating to this trip to Meckenheim were obtained from D&G. One is the
report by Williamson, D5609, the contents of which are reproduced in D&G’s letter
and which are mentioned above (a copy had already been obtained from the files held
at Dstl). Then there is another report by Williamson, D5486, re a visit to RARDE
during which PT/35 was discussed and it is referred to as recovered from PI995. The
report then lists a Q&A with Feraday re the fragment of circuit board, re what other
enquiries could be conducted should the fragment not match samples recovered by the
German investigation. The report is dated 8 January 1990 and relates to a visit to
RARDE on 5 January 1990. D&G also provided an action form for the trip to
Germany, the result of the action is dated 16/1/90 and specifically refers to production
PT35 and the result being negative. There is also a fax from Feraday of 16/2/90
confirming that PT/35 did not match the circuit board in the Krups clock.
20-22 January 1990
In a letter to Feraday from Gordon Ferrie dated 20 January 1990 (an initial look at the
date might lead one to believe it is 2 January, but it appears there is a small “0” to
make it 20 -the letter must post-date the trip to Germany by Williamson and Feraday,
as this trip is referred to in the letter, so it seems the date must be the 20) reference is
made to the negative results from the examinations in Germany and it is requested
that Feraday fax the SIO with a report on the circumstance and importance of the
fragment (which is not named) so that consideration could be given to investigating
the fragment, which would involve committing considerable resources and manpower
for an indefinite period (see chapter 8 appendix).
Ferrie’s letter appears to be what prompted Feraday’s faxed memo of 22 January 1990
(prod 1761, DC/1802), although Feraday’s memo refers to him being in receipt of a
fax from the SIO of that date, 22.1.90. A request was made to D&G for a copy of the
SIO’s fax, and D&G’s response was that the only document that could be traced that
is linked to Feraday’s memo is the letter from Ferrie to Feraday, which D&G suggest
is dated 2 Jan 90; D&G state that these two documents were attached to each other in
the HOLMES system, under the same document reference.
Feraday’s memo contains an account of the history of the fragment, including its
recovery from PI/995 and the significance of this, given the apparent proximity of that
fragment to the explosion, and given that the circuit board fragment is also blast
damaged. Feraday’s memo suggests that the fragment could be part of the IED
mechanism/circuitry and if so would be the only piece of mechanism recovered. He
refers to having attempted to provide a “flying start” to enquiries into the fragment but
that he had so far drawn a blank, and he advises that resources be committed to
identifying the fragment.
The submissions suggest that this memo is indicative that PT/35(b) was only
“discovered” in January 1990 because the memo says “Item PI995 originally
consisted of a charred fragment of grey material which is now known to have been
part of the grey ‘Slalom’ brand shirt” (emphasis added); and later, after listing the
items removed from PI995, says that these items are “now isolated from PI995 and
are collectively now identified as PT35” (emphasis added). This issue is addressed in
chapter 8 of the statement of reasons.
According to the police report, on 22 January the SIO instructed Harrower and
Williamson to dedicate enquiries to identification of the fragment PT/35.
Williamson’s statement BS states that this instruction was issued after a memo from
Feraday re PT/35(b) (which is presumably the memo referred to in the preceding
paragraphs). The SIO’s statement S4710J states that on 22 January 1990 following
further contact with Feraday regarding the fragment of PCB, PT/35(b), and its
potential evidential value in that it could have formed part of the detonating
machinery of the IED, he instructed Williamson to dedicate himself totally to the ID
of the fragment. The statement says that in the following months the SIO was
frequently updated by Williamson as regards the progress of enquiries, which related
in the main to the physical structure of the fragment.
The submissions to the Commission refer to three other documents, apart from
Feraday’s memo of 22 January, that indicate that PT/35(b) was only first discovered
in January 1990, and perhaps on 22 January 1990. This issue is addressed in chapter
8 of the statement of reasons.
NB It is apparent from the Grand Jury testimony of Tom Thurman (prod 1743) that at
some stage before June 1990 he received a copy of Feraday’s memo dated 22 January
23 January 1990
Having been instructed by the SIO to investigate the fragment of circuit board,
Williamson spoke to George Wheadon, Chief Technical engineer, New England
Laminate Co., Skelmersdale (see 26 Jan and 14 Feb, below) for the first time seeking
help in identifying the circuit board and Wheadon agreed to assist (according to
Wheadon’s statement S5576, although no mention is made of this initial contact in
Williamson’s statement or in Harrower’s). In Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 2711 1/99
he states that the reason this company was chosen for the initial contact was because
the police decided to first select companies near Lockerbie.
25 January 1990
Harrower (S929AC) collected PT/35(b) from Goulding (RARDE police liaison
officer) at Heathrow airport. This is confirmed by a RARDE note (a copy of which
was obtained from the Dstl files) which appears to be in Goulding’s handwriting and
appears to be signed by Harrower, which simply records that the signatory received
production PT/35; and also by McManus’s movement records (DP/29), and the
production logs, which record 25/1/90 as the first date PT/35 was received back from
RARDE; and RARDE’s formal records of movements (obtained from Dstl). In
Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 6&7/6/90 he states that his recollection was that he and
Harrower both collected the fragment from Goulding at Heathrow. There is no
mention in Williamson’s HOLMES statement of him having done this, nor is there
mention in Harrower’s HOLMES statement or his ch10 Crown CP that Williamson
26 January 1990
Williamson (BS) and Harrower (AC) met George Wheadon at LICC by previous
arrangement; Wheadon carried out initial microscopic examination of PT/35(b), said
it had been subjected to severe heat and flame, the surface had been brushed then
scratched after manufacture, the curved edge was milled rather than punched
suggesting it was made by a fairly good manufacturer, and it was constructed with
nine layers of glass cloth. (According to his defence precognition and his evidence,
Wheadon rubbed down an edge of the fragment to make the layers visible, but he said
in evidence that this had no material effect on the appearance of the fragment; an
additional note refers to him being precognosced at Zeist and being unable to identify
which edge of the fragment he rubbed down at Lockerbie from prod 335 photo, and
stating that he apparently did this using a matchbox, and the most likely area was
what is now DP111 (i.e. the strip cut from the top of the fragment, see below);
Williamson in his ch 10 CP dated 6&7/6/00 stated that he had no recollection of
Wheadon doing anything with the fragment at this stage). According to both of
Williamson’s ch 10 CPs, Wheadon also said that the 9 layers were unusual, and that 8
layers was more common. In the CP dated 17/11/99, Williamson says Wheadon
thought 9 layers was more common in Italy. Wheadon’s own CP concurs with this:
he stated that most manufacturers produced 8 ply boards and he only knew of two
manufacturers, PIAD of Italy and Sefolam of Israel, that produced 9 ply boards
although there could have been others. He also said that 5 to 10 years prior to his
examination, 9 ply was more common. He said that he advised the police to
concentrate on identifying the manufacturer in Southern rather than Northern Europe.
However, Wheadon’s defence precognition states that he also advised the police to
contact Exacta Circuits, Selkirk, who manufactured circuit boards. It is not recorded
in any HOLMES statements, but in a report on PT/35 that was obtained from the Dstl
files, which is basically a memo from Williamson to the SIO dated 16 March 1990, it
lists all the places that Williamson visited and Exacta is mentioned (see 29 Januaty
According to Williamson’s CP Wheadon suggested further lines of enquiry including
identifying the manufacturer of (1) the fibreglass laminate, (2) the copper foil and (3)
the solder mask. Wheadon advised that testing could be done but would involve
changing the fragment’s physical appearance. According to Williamson’s ch 10 CP
dated 2711 1/99, after Wheadon said this, the SIO was consulted and it was agreed that
samples could be removed from the fragment. None of the examinations were to be
carried out outwith the presence of the police officers, none of the examinations were
to be “all consuming” and Williamson was to ensure that he recovered both the
fkagment of circuit board and the sample which had been removed from it at the end
of each test. In Harrower’s ch10 CP, he states that whenever he and Williamson were
away overnight with the fragment, it was sealed in a bag and retained at the local
police station for security.
29 January 1990
(“other enquiry” i.e. not evidentially significant)
In Williamson’s memo to the S10 dated 16 March 1990 (the contents of which are
repeated and updated in a further memo of 3 September 1990 – as these memos were
obtained from Dstl, HOLMES document numbers are not known) he listed “other
enquiries” that were carried out duning the course of enquiries into identwg the
fragment. The first “other enquiry” is listed as a visit to Exacta Circuits, Selkirk
(PCB manufacturers) on 29 Jan 90, where the fragment was discussed with Ian Laing [a
and Colin Gass, technical director and technical manager respectively. There do not
appear to be any HOLMES statements for these individuals, nor any other details of
what the visit entailed.
8 February 1990 (removal of first sample – DP/12 (Crown label n°414) – pin head
size sample – resin test)
By previous appointment Williamson and Harrower attended Research Analysis Dept,
Ciba Geigy plc, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and met John French (S5583, although
French’s ch10 CP suggests they did nlot have an appointment). French had agreed to
assist by carrying out tests to try and identify the type of resin used in the manufacture
of the fibreglass, and he was permitted to remove from one edge of the fragment a pin
head size sample for analysis. According to statements the removal of this sample did
not change the shape or size of the fragment. The pin head sample was designated
DP/12. According to French’s statement he noticed that PT/35(b) appeared to have
been subjected to heat damage and appeared charred at the edges and advised that it
would not be possible to positively identify something which had been subjected to
large heat exposure when comparing it to something not subjected to such heat, as the
heat changes the molecular structures. According to the HOLMES statements French
examined DP/12 with an infrared spectrometer and produced DP/18 – spectra
printout, but in fact this should red DP/139, prod 338: DP/18 is a later spectra
printout produced by French on 8 March, see below. It is clear from the CP of John
French that he clarified this with the Crown. (In Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated
6&7/6/00 he states that he cannot explain why the police number, DP/139, is so high,
he states that he was not responsible for the police numbering and that it was done by
the production officer at a later date. In his chlO CP Harrower was also asked about
this, and it was pointed out to him that the contents of DP/139 pre-dated those of
DP/18, but Harrower said he did not know why the numbers were listed in this
fashion, and said he could no longer recall whether the first printout received from
French, DP/139, was sent by French through the post, although he did recollect that it
was decided following the visit to Ciba Geigy that all documentary productions
produced during examinations would be seized immediately. Harrower also noted
that he had not signed the label for DP/139, although Williamson and French had).
French concluded that the board was made with bisphenol A epoxy resin, which was
In his ch10 CP French stated that he was used to examining PCBs as companies
would come to Ciba to analyse boards. He told the officers on their first visit that it
would not be possible to identify a manufacturer of the board. He described the test
he did on DP/12. He confiied that he signed the labels for DP/12 and PT/35(b) and
when shown them he recognised both fragments, noting that PT/35(b) had been
further altered since he saw it. As stated above, he also clarified that DP/18 was the
spectra printout he produced after the second visit of police (see 8 March, below) and
that DP/139 was the original spectra printout. He stated that he recognised his work
in DP/139, and therefore signed the label for it at the precognition, having already
signed DP/18 at the time the police were there. In his ch 10 CP dated 1711 1/99,
Williamson states that following the examination by French, Williamson was of the
view that it would be beneficial to pursue the ID of the resin and he instructed
Harrower to obtain samples of circuit board from the major producers throughout the
world. (See more under 8 March 90, below.)
NB John French was also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a control
sample MST-13 circuit board – see 4 March 1992 below. Note also that inspection of
the police labels
12 February 1990 (photo of PT/35(b) – DP/140 (prod 335) / prod 1754)
Williamson and Harrower attended at the photographic department at Strathclyde
police and arranged for PT/35(b) to be photographed in studio conditions, in order to
preserve for evidence a record of its physical appearance to allow for any future
comparison. According to the officers’ HOLMES statements, the photographs taken
by Roderick MacDonald (S1892BK) there were designated DP/140 (prod 335). In
fact this production is just a single close-up photo of the fragment. It is apparent from
his ch10 CP and his evidence that there were a number of photos of the fragment
taken by MacDonald at this time, and that a selection of these were contained in a
book of photos that formed prod 1754 (police ref CS124). From its appearance,
DP/140 was just a copy of one of these photos. According to MacDonald’s ch10 CP,
the master film for the photos in prod 1754 was numbered 9920 (which cross-refers to
the number on the front cover of prod 1754) and this film formed prod 1753 (police
ref CS1122). In his CP he stated that he had taken the photos in prod 1754 using a
“Macro lens”. He confirmed that he wrote the details on the booklet and that he was
satisfied that the film prod 1753 corresponded to the photos in prod 1754. The
flipdrive image of prod 1753 only depicts the negatives for a small number of the
photos, and the Commission’s hard copy productions do not contain photocopies of
the negatives, but given the contents of MacDonald’s ch10 CP and what can be seen
on the flipdrive of prod 1753, it seems clear that prod 1753 does indeed comprise the
negatives for prod 1754. In evidence MacDonald noted that he had not signed the
label attached to prod 1754 (it was apparent that it was only attached during the
preparations for trial), but he accepted that the date on the front cover of booklet,
12/2/90, was correct. [NB note also that in MacDonald’s chlO CP the fiscal who
inserted in handwriting the production numbers of the photos and negatives
MacDonald was shown got the number 1752 mixed up with 1754, and 1753 mixed up
with 175 1. The mix up relates to later photographs taken by MacDonald of the timer
fragment – see under 17 May 1990, below.]
DP/12 was the only sample removed from PT/35(b) prior to this photo being taken.
According to the relevant witnesses the appearance of the fragment was not altered by
removal of the sample.
In the submissions to the Commission it is questioned who took this photograph and
why the fragment required to be photographed in Glasgow in February 1990 if it was
recovered in May 1989. The answer to the first question is contained in MacDonald’s
defence precognition and in his trial evidence, so should have been clear to the
defence. As for the reasons why it was necessary to photograph it, although there are
close-up photos of the fragment (photos 333 and 334 of the RARDE report) which are
dated September 1989 (above), it seems to be a sensible investigative step for the
police to have obtained a photo of the fragment before samples were removed fiom it
(especially if, as seems possible, they were not aware of the close-ups already taken
by RARDE, which were produced after the lads and lassies memo was sent). In a
memo from Williamson to the S10 dated 3 September 1990 (which is basically the
original memo of 16 March 90 with extra information added in) reference is made to
the photographing of the fragment on 12 February 1990. It is explained that at an
early stage in the investigation it was repeatedly opined by all technical persons who
assisted with preliminary assessments that test samples would have to be removed
from the fragment, and that prior to (any such samples being taken, it was necessary
that good quality photographs be taken of the fragment to record its original shape and
condition to allow future comparisons to be made with any similar PCBs or other
fragments, and that his was done on 12 Feb 90 under laboratory conditions at
13 February 1990 (“other enquiryn i.e. not evidentially significant)
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the S10 another of the “other enquiries” that was carried out was a visit to RS Components Limited, Corby, on 13 Feb 90 where the fragment was shown to unnamed members of technical and product support staff. Certain observations and suggestions were apparently put forward as to the possible identity and function of the circuit on the board but no definite information was received. There is no other information about this visit.
14 February 1990
Removal of 2nd sample – DP/11 (Crown label n°.415) – strip above “1” – laminate test
Williamson and Harrower attended at New England Laminates, Skelmersdale, and
met George Wheadon again, to allow him to examine PT/35(b) thoroughly in lab
conditions. DP/11, a cross section sample, was removed from PT/35(b) and was set
in a potting compound to allow it to be viewed microscopically in cross-section. Paul
Boyle (S5577), laboratory manager, cut DP/11 fiom PT/35(b) (in his evidence
Wheadon confirmed that he had signed the label for DP/11). According to Boyle’s
defence precognition the cut was done in front of the officers using a low speed saw,
and he also describes in detail the process of setting the sample in the potting agent
and grinding and polishing it down to get a clear image. Wheadon and Boyle
confirmed the fragment was nine layers of glass cloth, with solder mask on the
underside but they could not be sure if it was a double-sided board [i.e. if it had
tracking on both sides] (although in his CP dated 4/8/99 Wheadon says he thought it
probably was double-sided, based on the presence of solder mask on the underside
and that most material produced at the time was double-sided). They said it was from
an “FRY type board (fire retardant value) of standard thickness (1.6mm) including
the copper cladding and the glass cloth was American designation 7628, which was
very common. The copper tracks were plated with what appeared to be tin lead.
Wheadon took Polaroid photos of DP/11, the first photo showing the top layer of tin
lead, the second layer of copper foil and the remaining nine layers of glass cloth; the
second photo showing a close up of the tin lead and copper foil, and the third showing
the middle line solder mask. These photos were given the designation DP/19 (prod
339, the police label for which was filled out and signed by Harrower, according to
his ch10 CP; according to Wheadon’s CP dated 4/8/99 and Boyle’s CP dated 2/3/00,
they signed the label for DP/19; in evidence Wheadon said he thought Boyle had
taken the photos, although other indications are that it was Wheadon). (In his
defence precognition Boyle examined the photos in DP/19 and said that “Middle-Line
Solder Mask” meant nothing to him at that time and the quality of the photo did not
help him, although as he signed the label he thought it must have meant something to
him at the time.)
According to Wheadon’s defence precognition and evidence, 9 layers of cloth was
unusual in that the industry standard at the time was 8 layers, and he thought a
company, Piad in Italy still used 9 layers, but other manufacturers might have
remaining stocks of 9 layers. (This seems roughly consistent with Williamson’s
memory, as recorded in his ch 10 CPs, except that Williamson thought Wheadon said
these things after the initial meeting on 26 January (above). Likewise Wheadon’s
own CP dated 4/8/99 seems to suggest he said these things after the initial meeting.)
Williamson’s ch 10 CPs record only that it was established by Wheadon after the
examination of DP/11 that the copper was standard one ounce weight.
One thing of note in Paul Boyle’s CP dated 2/3/00 is that he states that a few weeks
after this visit, the police returned with DP/11 and it was clear that the sample had
been examined by someone else. It had been altered, the potting compound had been
further ground down and the sample was now sitting at a 90 degree angle. He
examined the sample in its new state and saw nothing which altered his previous
conclusion. He stated a similar thing in his defence precognition, stating that whoever
had altered DP/l l must have known what they were doing and would have been an
expert. The Commission has seen no record anywhere else of the police returning to
New England Laminates. However, it appears that they must have done so, given
Boyle’s very specific recollection of the changes to DP/11. The changes he describes
appear consistent with what Allan Worroll of Ferranti did to DP/11 on 11 April 1990
(see under that date, below), indicating that the return visit to New England Laminates
must have been some time after that.
[Re DP/11, note that Feraday sent a memo to the SIO on 8 July 1991 (see under that
date, below for more details on this) suggesting that he did not think DP/11 originated
from PT/35(b).] NB Note also that Boyle’s signature appears on the label for DP/11
although it is difficult to identify Wheadon’s in the labels for DP/11 and PT/35(b) and
Boyle’s signature in the PT/35(b) label.
15 February 1990
Removal of 3rd sample – DP/10 (Crown label n° 416) –
sample of copper conducting track – copper test
By previous appointment Williamson and Harrower visited Yates Circuit Foils,
Silloth, Cumbria, and met Michael Whitehead (S5587), chemical process manager,
who analysed the copper foil used to manufacture the board from which PT/35(b)
came. Whitehead removed from PT/35(b) a tiny (in his defence precognition and his
evidence Whitehead said the sample was about lmm X 3mm and triangular in shape,
visible to the naked eye) fragment of copper conducting track, designated DP/10, and
it was treated for microscopic examination (an account of this treatment is contained
in Whitehead’s defence precognition) and positioned on an examination stud, and
microscopic examination of the “matt side topography7′ on the underside of the
sample was carried out and comparison made to samples of copper foil produced by
Yates and by their main competitor, Gould Electronics (see below). According to his
HOLMES statement, Whitehead’s conclusion was that the copper was produced by
Gould Electronics because of the appearance of the “Dendritic structures” in the
copper. He suggested that the copper was made around 5 years previously, as around
that time the dendritic structures in the copper produced by Gould changed.
However, Williamson and Harrower’s HOLMES statements suggest that Whitehead’s
conclusion was that the copper was made at most 5 years ago, which seems slightly
different from “around” 5 years ago.
In his evidence Whitehead said that he was able to tell the police his own company
had not manufactured the copper and said he was able to identify an alternate source
but could not be definitive – presumably he meant the alternate source was Gould
(although note the comment in his CP below). He was not asked for any more detail.
However, in his defence precognition Whitehead said that he had concluded that
neither Yates nor Gould had manufactured the copper, and that he thought it looked
like Far Eastern technology. Whitehead was not cross-examined at all. In
Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 6&7/6/00 it is recorded that Williamson’s understanding
was that Whitehead thought that Gould had manufactured the copper, and the PF’s
note states that this contrasts with Whitehead’s precognition. In his CP Whitehead
said that the sample he examined was not made by his own company and he did not
think it was manufactured by Gould either, but it could have been an old Gould
sample. He said in his opinion the sample was manufactured in the Far East i.e.
Japan, and he recommended that the police concentrate enquiries to ID the
manufacturer of the copper there. He said he had no recollection of telling police that
the copper was produced by Gould and if he did say this it was incorrect. A note by
the precognoscer points out the inconsistency between Whitehead’s position and that
of Harrower’s statement, and says that Whitehead’s view is that Harrower’s statement
is wrong and he gives a “convincing explanation” in support of the Far East theory,
referring to the pyramid features shown in the micrographs. The note points out that
the defence are aware of the discrepancy. It also points out that the manuscript police
statements for this part of the enquiry cannot be traced. Williamson’s CP then states
(presumably after being asked about it) that he vaguely recalled there being some
discussion regarding the Far East, in conversation, but that he did not recollect
Whitehead concluding that the foil had been manufactured in the Far East.
It seems clear from this and from the terms of Whitehead’s DP that, prior to trial,
Whitehead’s recollection was that the copper had been manufactured in the Far East.
Harrower’s ch10 CP is similar to Williamson’s, in that it states his recollection to be
that Whitehead felt the copper foil had not been manufactured by his company but
had most likely been manufactured by Gould. During his original examination of
DP/10 Whitehead produced 6 close-up Polaroid photographs showing the different
Dendritic structures, and these photos were designated DP/14 (prod 340, the police
label for which was completed and signed by Harrower, according to his ch10 CP;
Harrower noted but had no explanation as to why Whitehead had not signed this
label). NB according to a note added to the HOLMES statement of Whitehead,
subsequently DP/10 became detached from the stud mounting during an examination
by Robert Lomer (see 7 March 1990 below) and because of its minute size, was lost.
In evidence Whitehead was shown DP/10 and said he did not think he could see the
sample on the stud.
NB Michael Whitehead was also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a
control sample MST-13 circuit board – see under 6 March 1992, below. NB It is
difficult to identify Whitehead’s signature on the label for DP/10, or on the label for
16 February 1990 (“other enquiry” i.e. not evidentially significant)
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the S10 another of the “other enquiries” that was carried out was that contact was made with Roy Hollaway of DuPont, UK (Solder Masks) on 16 Feb 90, who advised that they had no proper lab facilities in the UK but gave some information and advice. There is no HOLMES statement for Mr Holloway and the Commission has seen no other information about this visit.
20 February 1990 (“other enquiry” i.e. not evidentially significant)
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the S10 another of the “other enquiries” that was carried out was that contact was made with Mike Gower at the British Standards Institute but he was unable to assist in the enquiries. There is no HOLMES statement for Mr Gower.
20-23 February 1990
A liaison meeting took place between British and French during which the French
scientist Claude Calisti was shown PT/35(b) but could offer no assistance or
suggestions. See document D8924 in appendix of protectively marked materials.
According to Langford-Johnson’s police notebook (prod 1766, pages 8-9), on 4
February 1991 he and Williamson went to the Central Explosive Lab in Paris with a
view to showing photographs of the timing device MST-13 to senior forensic
scientists and to see if the device was known to them. The notebook records that they
spoke with Claude Calisti, who said he “was aware of the line of investigation being
undertaken in relation to PT35 having been at an earlier briefing on 28.2.90”.
Presumably this in fact relates to the meeting on 20-23 Feb 90.
2 March 1990
Metallurgy test and report. No samples removed
Williamson and Harrower attended the Bio-Engineering Dept of Strathclyde
University by previous arrangement and met with Dr Rosemary Wilkinson (S5579)
(Whitehead in his defence precognition said he recalled suggesting to the officers that
they try Strathclyde Uni; in her defence and Crown precognitions Dr Wilkinson said
the officers arrived out of the blue, but might have been referred to her by her
superior), to gain more information about the silver coloured metal that overlaid the
copper conducting tracks and land on the fragment.
In her HOLMES statement Wilkinson states that she examined the metallic areas of
the fragment microscopically and found that the two parallel bars showed the presence
of copper and tin and in some places only copper, which would be consistent with the
parallel tracks having originally been coated in tin but some of the tin subsequently
having been removed.
She stated that on the pad (the “1” skape) she found copper, tin and lead, which would
be consistent with a layer of solder having been overlayed to the previous structure of
copper coated by tin. She found some areas of the land to have little or no lead,
suggesting either that the solder had been melted, uncovering these regions, or that
solder was applied manually to the pad but not to the regions where there was little or
no lead. She provided metallurgy printout data which was designated DP/21 (prod
343) and 7 photographs produced in her test machinery, designated DP/20 (prod 344),
the police label for which Harrower in his ch10 CP noted had not been signed by
Wilkinson, but he could not offer any explanation as to why. According to
Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990, Dr Wilkinson also stated that she saw at the
bottom left hand corner of the pad a lead rich area with a diagonal marking that
appeared to be a section of a cylinder, which she said could possibly be the remnant
of where wire was embedded in the solder.
In his memo to the SIO of 16 March 1990, Williamson states that the fact that it was
only tin as opposed to tin/lead that coated the tracks was, without exception, regarded
by all the experts they visited as being the most interesting feature, as it was unusual.
The memo states that in furtherance of this information an examination was carried
out to establish the thickness of the tin. This was done by Digital Equipment
(Scotland) Limited using Fischer scope XRF and measurements were taken at various
points, which showed the tin varied in depth from 1.41 microns to 4.57 microns.
There is no further information about this test, the date it was done or about who
carried it out. The memo also states that enquiries were made with numerous
companies in the UK in an effort to learn more on the use of tin in these
circumstances but the enquiries proved negative, there being no companies known in
the UK who continue to use pure tin in the way that it had been applied to PT/35(b).
Again, there are no further details about these enquiries in the memo.
In her defence precognition Dr Wilkinson mentioned having done various
examinations including x-ray examinations. She suggested that the officers seemed to
want to know whether the fragment had been involved in an explosion, and her
opinion was that, while she noticed some changes to the metal, she did not find
anything that would specifically indicate it was involved in an explosion e.g.
abrasions to the surface of the metal parts or loss by melting. She could not say for
certain whether or not it had been in an explosion. She was precognosced a second
time by the defence on 1 June 2000, apparently because of her comments about the
absence of evidence of explosion damage, and she went into greater details about the
various tests she conducted. There are also papers in the McGrigors files in which the
possibility is discussed of calling Dr Wilkinson for the defence, given her position
that there was no evidence to confirm an explosion. However, it was agreed that she
accepted she lacked expertise in this area (i.e. in explosion damage and in PCBs), and
it was agreed that she should not be called as a witness. In her CP she stated that the
test of one the copper tracks revealed a high ratio of copper and no lead, and that on
the land, there was no consistency in the ratios of copper, tin and lead in the five areas
tested. She later stated that she would expect to see these three elements on the land,
as it would be consistent with a layer of solder being overlayed on a copper base, but
she would expect the ratios to be fairly uniform when produced by the manufacturer,
whereas on the fragment certain areas showed little or no lead at all. She suggested
this could be due to errors in manual application of solder or partial melting of the
solder, uncovering the copper below.
NB Dr Wilkinson was also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a control
sample MST-13 circuit board – see 28 Feb 1992 below. NB Wilkinson’s signature is
visible on the label for PT/35(b).
6 March 1990
“Other enquiry” i.e. not evidentially significant
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the SIO another of the “other enquiries” that was carried out was a visit to Prestwick Circuits, Ayr (PCB manufacturers) on 6 March 1990. Excellent co-operation and advice was apparently received during discussions with senior management and technicians, and their conclusions were that the board had been professionally manufactured but not to a high standard and using dated technology.
They suggested the best line of enquiry to be that the tin which was used as an etch resist (i.e. that coated the circuit board tracks) was uncommon as was the 9 layers of glass cloth, so these were the best avenues to pursue.
Harrower’s defence precognition demonstrates that he did not have a good memory of the various places that he visited when enquiring into the source of the fragment. However, he did mention that Prestwick Circuits rang a bell.
7 March 1990
Removal of 4th sample – DP/15 (Crown label n°.417) – sample of copper conducting track
Williamson and Harrower attended at Gould Electronics, Southampton, to allow them
to examine DP/10, previously removed by Yates, to try and confirm that Gould had
manufactured the copper. In the HOLMES statement of Robert Lomer, Quality
Assurance manager, he stated that it was explained to him by the officers that Yates
had identified the copper as possibly manufactured by Gould. Lomer microscopically
examined the examination stud on which Whitehead had fixed DP/10, but Lomer
could find no trace of copper there, so concluded that it must have become detached and was lost.
He therefore removed another sample of copper conducting track,
designated DP/15 and prepared it for examination, but found that when removing the
copper sample a part of the fibreglass laminate had remained adhering to the copper
sample, which rendered examination impossible, and because of the size of PT/35(b)
he was not confident he would take another sample without significantly damaging the
fragment. He therefore could not confirm whether Gould had made it.
At Crown precognition, while he was able to say that he removed the further sample, DP/15, from the fragment, he could no longer remember why it was that he had been unable to reach a conclusion fiom the sample. He stated in the CP that he recalled explaining the difficulty to the police at the time, and that he had no reason to believe the police statement created thereafter was inaccurate.
There is a note at the foot of the precognition stating that the manuscript statement would be necessary, followed by handwriting stating “not available”. There is no defence precognition for him.
In evidence he was asked if he was successful in his attempted analysis of DP/15, and he
said that he was not, that he was not able to identify it as being manufactured by
Gould. He confirmed that he signed the label for DP/15. In Williamson’s ch10 CP
he states that the reason Lomer did not try and take another sample was because he
was not confident he would be able to get any better a result. Williamson then states
that Lomer was shown DP/14, the photographs Whitehead had produced, and at that
time Lomer agreed with Whitehead’s conclusion that, fiom the photographs, it
appeared that the copper foil had been manufactured by Gould Electronics (although
note Whitehead’s position, at CP and DP that he did not think Gould had produced the
copper, that he thought it was made in the Far East – see under 15 Feb 90 above).
This echoes Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990, in which he said that Lomer
agreed that, based on the high magnification photos taken by Whitehead, the copper
was in all probability produced by Gould.
In Williamson’s memo to the SIO dated 16 March he stated that the two companies,
Yates and Gould, together controlled around 70% of the world market in copper foil
production, so the fact that the copper in PT/35(b) appeared to have been
manufactured by Gould was no more than of interest.
Note also that, according to Buwert’s statement S4649U, Lomer did not sign the label
for DP/10 until 23 January 1992. NB Lomer’s signature is visible on the labels for
DP/10 and DP/15. As stated, the label for DP/10 was apparently signed by him in
1992. There is no mention of him having signed DP/15 “late”.
8 March 1990
Control sample laminates tested – continuation of resin test
According to Harrower’s statement (AC) and his ch10 CP, after the visit to Ciba
Geigy on 8 February he made contact with a number of companies involved in the
production of fibreglass laminate used in the manufacture of PCBs, and obtained
samples of the various laminates they produced for comparison with PT/35(b).
He received in total 23 different sample laminates from producers in Europe and the
Middle East, which he understood covered all the production companies, and he
produced DP/143 (prod 337), a schedule showing the laminate samples and suppliers.
He provided the 23 samples to John French at Ciba on 8 March 1990 for comparative
analysis. He later obtained a statement from French of the results of the analysis
(neither Williamson nor Harrower’s statements specify when the results were
obtained from French).
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the SIO another of the “other
enquiries” that was carried out was that contact was made on several occasions with
Len Pillenger of British Telecom’s quality approval dept. Mr Pillenger apparently
provided a number of sample laminate boards from a library of information and
samples that he had, and according to Williamson’s memo the samples that he
provided were valuable in comparison at the tests carried out at Ciba Geigy.
It therefore seems that Pillenger was the source of some of the 23 samples that were
tested on 8 March 1990. The exact details of these samples or the discussions with
Pillenger are not disclosed, nor are the dates of these discussions. There is no
HOLMES statement for Pillenger.
According to French’s HOLMES statement after his analysis of the various samples
he found that two types of laminate, Ditron (manufactured in Italy) and Sefolam
(manufactured in Israel) were the closest match to the spectrum obtained from DP/12,
and he provided DP/139 (in fact this should read DP/18, prod 336 – it appears that the
designations of the two spectra printouts produced by French were mistaken for each
other in the HOLMES statements, as DP/139 is the spectra printout provided on 8
February, above), a spectra printout showing the laminates listed in DP/143 that
closest matched PT/35(b).
In French’s CP he basically confirmed this account of events, but stated that he had not seen the schedule of samples, DP/143, before. He also said he tested the fragment PT/35(b) again on this second visit by police, and he said a clearer printout was achieved on this occasion. He noted from the spectra printout DP/18 that solder mask traces were found on the non-track side of the fragment.
He stated in his CP that Williamson had produced a statement and
provided a copy to him, and he had referred to this prior to the precognition. He had
very little memory of the subsequent visit by police in 1992 (see below) which would
suggest that his memories in his CP must have relied on the contents of the police
statement. According to French’s CP and DP, he provided the outcome of his
analysis in the form of a letter dated 9 March 90, and in his defence precognition he
said the police then incorporated the letter into a statement. He apparently produced a
copy of the letter at his Crown precognition.
According to Williamson’s defence precognition, “some time later” he received the information about Ditron and Sefolam, and then later he had tests carried out by Dr David Johnson at the University of Manchester (see 23 May 90, below). In Williamson’s memo to the SIO of 16 March 1990 he reported that French said the fact that PT/35(b) was exposed to extreme heat could have had an effect on the results of the analysis and that, although
Ditron and Sefolam were the closest matches, this could in no way be viewed as conclusive.
9 March 1990
Removal of 5th sample – DP/16 (Crown label n°418) – solder mask scraping – solder mask test)
Williamson and Harrower visited Morton International Dynachem Limited in
Warrington, after previous telephone contact (according to Robert Linsdell’s
statement S5585). The company produced chemicals and solder masks used in the
PCB industry. They met Robert Linsdell (S5585) (it is wrongly spelt Linsdale in
some HOLMES statements), technical manager, who agreed to analyse the solder
mask on PT/35(b). A senior analyst, Steven Rawlings (S5581) removed a solder
mask scraping, designated DP/16, from the side of the fragment which did not have
the copper tracks and land, and a spectra printout, DP/17 (prod 341, the police label
for which Harrower confirmed in his CP was completed and signed by him) was
obtained after analysis on an infrared spectrometer.
According to Linsdell’s statement he compared this with a sample two-part epoxy and
a dry film solder, and concluded that PT/35(b) had a green coloured two-part epoxy solder
mask applied during manufacture. The normal way of applying this was by screen printing
and, once on, it could not be discerned who manufactured the solder mask.
Two part epoxy solder mask was the most common. Linsdell also microscopically examined PT/35(b) and DP/11 and concluded that, on the opposite side from the copper tracks, there was evidence of copper having been scraped away, indicating that originally the board had been double-sided (i.e. copper tracks on both sides) and that solder mask had been applied to the side of the fragment without the copper tracks on it. Rawlings’ defence precognition gives more details about the tests carried out.
In Rawlings’ ch10 CP he stated that he could no longer remember for sure whether
the solder mask was on one or both sides of the fragment, but he thought it most likely
that there was solder mask on only one side as he only took one scraping. He also
stated that he would be unable to say in court for certain that the solder mask coating
on PT/35(b) was not acrylete based as it was theoretically possible that, in the event of
exposure to high temperatures, the acrylete could have decomposed leaving other
materials which suggest that it was epoxy based, as acryletes burn off at much lower
temperature than other components of solder mask. He stated that this was only a
theory, and he had not conducted any tests. He gave evidence and confirmed that the
solder mask on the fragment was consistent with epoxy solder mask, and was not
acrylate-based solder mask so was not produced by his company, Morton. He made
no mention of the doubts he expressed in the CP. He confirmed in evidence that he
signed the label for DP/16.
According to Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 17/11/99, both Linsdell and Rawlings
concluded that the sample DP/16 was a “standard sample” and they were of the strong
opinion that the solder mask had been applied to only one side of the fragment of
According to Linsdell’s ch10 CP the police were interested in distinguishing the
fragment fiom a Toshiba radio board. Linsdell’s CP states that radio cassettes are
mass-produced, constructed from cheap materials and a simple design, and the
fragment was clearly different as the material was not cheap, being a professional
base substrate widely available in the circuit board market.
It is unclear why there would be any need to distinguish the fragment from a Toshiba
circuit board. In Williamson’s memo to Henderson of 16 March 1990 he recites the
history of PT/35’s discovery and specifically states that the circuit board that
controlled the Toshiba SF16 RCR was constructed of Phenolic paper, whereas
PT/35(b) was made of fibreglass laminate, so though closely involved with the debris from the RCR, it was not part of the RCR. That conclusion is also clear from various other sources e.g. RARDE report.
Linsdell’s CP states that the officers also wanted to know if the fragment was
commercially or domestically manufactured, and Linsdell felt that domestically no
solder mask would be placed on either side and the curved edge had been
professionally routed to fit a specific container, and such a neat finish would not have
been possible if they hand cut the corner, as it was very neat and strongly suggested a
machine had been used in the process. He felt the design was constructed in a
professional shop but the design was not suitable for mass production, rather would be
used to construct 20-30 samples. [This all seems accurate when compared to the set
up at MEBO and the no. of timers they produced, but there is no record of these
opinions in Linsdell’s HOLMES statements.] He explained that Rawlings was the
expert analyst and he was not qualified to speak to the analysis carried out on DP/16.
He confirmed he had signed the label for this sample. Note however that according
to the statement of Rolf Buwert S4649U, he arranged for Linsdell to sign the label for
DP/16 on 14 January 1992.1 He could not recall examining DP/11 by microscope but
accepted that if his police statement said this, it was likely to be more accurate than
his recollection. He was asked why a board manufacturer would put solder mask on
the non-track side of a board and not the track side, and he accepted that this would be
unusual, suggesting that the solder mask gives the board a more professional look so
if the non-track side is exposed to view, that might be the reason. As noted below
(see under 17 May), at CP Linsdell was shown DP/141, Williamson’s report on the
fragment, and saw nothing wrong with the terms of it, despite it saying that the board
was solder masked on both sides, whereas Lmsdell at CP stated that it only had solder
mask on the non-track side. At the end of the CP there is another PF’s note which
indicates that the police statements overstated Linsdell’s role in the examination and
that he was not qualified to speak to the tests, which were done by Rawlings. Only
Rawlings gave evidence, Linsdell did not.
NB Linsdell examined the fragment again on 14 June 1990 at the PCB industry
convention at the SECC (below).
NB Linsdell and Rawlings were also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a
control sample MST-13 circuit board – see 2 March 1992 below. NB The signatures
of Linsdell and Rawlings are visible on the label for DP/16. As stated below, it seems
that Buwert arranged for Linsdell to sign the label “late”, on 14 January 1992. There
is no indication that Rawlings signed the label later, and the position of his signature
might indicate that he did not sign it late. The signatures of both do not appear to be
on the label for PT/35(b).
13 March 1990
(“other enquiry” i.e. not evidentially significant)
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the SIO another of the “other
enquiries” that was carried out was that contact was made with Mr Denham of the
International Tin Research Institute, Uxbridge, on 13 March 90. He stated that after
the tin had been plated onto a board there was nothing that could be analysed in the
tin which would be worthwhile. He could not analyse the depth of the tin coating on
the fragment as he did not have the equipment to do so, but recommended that contact
be made with a company which had a Fischer scope X-ray. There are no HOLMES
statements for Mr Denham.
Also on 13 March 90, another of the “other enquiries” was carried out, that being that
contact was made with a Mr Haken of the Printed Circuit Board Federation in
London. He knew of no list or information available on companies using tin as an
etch resist but suggested publishing all available information on the fragment in the
monthly newsletter, and in the equivalent newsletters for Europe and the USA. There
are no HOLMES statements for Mr Haken, and no indication that the steps he
suggested were implemented.
(Some time prior to) 16 March 1990
“other enquiry” i.e. not evidentially significant
According to Williamson’s memo of 16 March 1990 to the SIO another of the “other
enquiries” that was carried out was that contact was made with several clock
manufacturers in the UK to establish the type of product being manufactured and the
type of circuit boards which would be contained in any clocks produced, but it was
learned that there are no companies in the UK actually manufacturing clocks
[presumably this means there are no companies manufacturing the PCBs for clocks],
all are imported from abroad.
The date of contact with the clock manufacturers is not specified, but it must have been prior to the writing of the memo on 16 March 1990.
However, it is noteworthy that although the memo is dated 16 March, in fact it seems
that the memo has been added to after that date, as there are various references to the
removal of DP/31 and to information obtained from Allan Worroll, all of which
occurred after this date (see below).
In a separate section of Williamson’s memo headed “Further lines of enquiry
considered” he states that contact had been made with Underwriters Laboratories
(UL) in the USA via the Explosives Laboratory at the FBI, but they indicated that the
only way of identifying the board would be from unique markings on it. The memo
suggests that there are no unique markings on the fragment so it would be highly
unlikely that UL would be able to progress the enquiry. There are no further details
about this enquiry or about who exactly it was who was contacted at the FBI’s
The memo also mentions that Dr Colin Lea at the National Physics Laboratory was interviewed and allowed to examine the fragment and he doubted that identification would be achieved via chemical analysis. His suggestion was that a photo and detailed description of the fragment be published in PCB inhouse journals and that to generate interest reference should be made to the Lockerbie disaster.
There is no HOLMES statement for Dr Lea, nor any other information to indicate that this was course of action was followed, although no doubt the enquiries were confidential at that stage. It is not specified when Dr Lea was interviewed.
As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, although the memo is dated 16 March 90 it
was clearly added to thereafter.
11 April 1990
No samples removed, but DP/11 re-potted.
By previous appointment, Williamson and Harrower met Allan Worroll (S5586),
chief chemist at Ferranti Computer Systems, Oldham, who examined DP/11
microscopically and suggested further tests that could be done at Manchester
University, and it was agreed that the officers would return at a later date to have
these test carried out (in Williamson’s ch 10 CP dated 1711 1/99 he said that Worroll
was unable to arrange an appointment with Manchester Uni immediately, hence the
agreement that the tests be carried out at a later date). Worroll’s HOLMES statement
goes into more detail about what he saw, stating that he saw PT/35(b) and the curved
edge appeared to be professionally milled; and there were two edges which were
broken off and charred as if exposed to heat (in his ch10 CP Worroll stated that he
was in no doubt the fragment was heat damaged and he had seen such an effect before
in his career, as accidents did happen); solder mask had been applied to both sides of
the board. He also examined DP/11 and noted that its position in the potting made it
difficult to examine, so he re-potted it and reground it to facilitate better optical
He confirmed that the board was made of fibreglass laminate constructed
with nine layers of glass cloth and the board appeared to be single-sided (i.e. copper
tracks on only one side) as there was no evidence of “through hole plating” (in his
ch10 CP Worroll stated that his view that it was single-sided because there was no
evidence of through hole plating was “simply instinct”, as there was no circuitry on
the reverse of the fragment). He suggested that there was solder mask on both sides
of the board and stated that this was a mystery as he could see no reason for the
application of solder mask to both sides of a single sided printed circuit board. The
suggestion that the board had solder mask on both sides is contradicted by other
witnesses (see 9 March above and 14 June below; the RARDE report also suggests
that the board had solder mask on one side only; in his ch10 CP Worroll himself said
it was only solder masked on one side – see in this section below). Worroll then
refers to being told by police that previous examination had revealed that the copper
tracks were lined with tin only as opposed to a tin/lead combination which would be
more normal, and that previous examinations had most closely matched the fragment
to two samples, and Worroll suggested that he make arrangements with the Dept of
Science and Technology at the University of Manchester, which could use Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry test equipment to very accurately tell if the fragment matched
the two samples. According to Harrower’s ch10 CP, as a result of the discussion with
Worroll and a suggestion made by him that they pursue the construction of the
conducting tracks, as they appeared to be pure tin rather than a mixture of tin and
lead, the police went to Siemens, Munich (see below).
Williamson’s memo to the SIO dated 16 March 1990, which was clearly updated after
that date, also mentions that Worroll had identified some evidence, a long scratch-like
mark, across the large pad on the fragment, which suggested that a thin insulated wire
could have been soldered to the pad, there being the part profile of a wire having been
laid across the pad when partial fusion of the tin occurred leaving the impression of a
thin wire lead. This might be consistent with what Williamson’s memo records Dr
Wilkinson as having seen – the cylinder which she thought could have been the
remnant of where a wire had been embedded in the solder. (see under 2 March 1990, above)
In his defence precognition Worroll states that the police were interested in knowing
if the fragment came from a board made on a production type process or if it could
have been the work of an individual working alone using more basic procedures, and
Worroll’s view was that the general finish and machining of the fragment, the
appearance of the metallic circuitry and the constituent substances used, including the
fact that the solderable finish was tin and lead as opposed to just tin, made Worroll
think it was from a production line process. His ch10 CP refers to this question of
whether the fragment was manufactured commercially or not, and he says that he had
looked at a cross-section of the tracking to see the track profile, as commercially
produced tracks tend to be clean and almost vertical, whereas domestic manufacture
tends to have a sloping profile. He suggests that the examination he carried out was
inconclusive, the track profile was fairly good, suggesting commercial manufacture,
but he could not discount that it was done domestically by an expert. He later refers
to the curved edge having been machined rather than hand cut. The PF in a note
stated that this contradicted Worroll’s original statement (in that he originally said the
track profile suggested it was a homemade board, although the milled curve was
indicative of professional manufacture). Worroll examined PT/35(b) and confirmed
he had signed the label. He stated that from this examination he could confm that
the solder mask appeared only on the reverse side, and said this was apparent due to
the green appearance of that side. He said it was unusual for a board to have solder
mask on the reverse side as it is normally used for protecting tracking and circuitry.
He could not think of any reason for it to be applied on the reverse side. He examined
DP/11 and said it bore the hallmarks of his work although he could not recall why the
fragment had been cross-sectioned at the particular angles they had been. Worroll
gave evidence but it added little to what is noted here, and the terms of his evidence
were rather vague: Worroll seemed still unable to recollect that he had removed the
solder mask from DP/31 (see 23 May 90, below) and appeared to get confused about
what he was being asked. He did state in evidence that solder mask was only visible
on one side of the fragment.
Worroll’s statement and the police report have this first visit to Ferranti dated 11 May
90, but Williamson and Harrower’s statements date it at 11 April 90. Worroll’s
statement refers to the police attending on a second occasion on 23 May 90 (below)
and being advised that since the last visit, DP/31 had been removed from the fragment
by Siemens. As the removal of DP/3 1 occurred on 27 April 90, it would suggest that
the first visit to Ferranti was before that date, which would indicate that 11 April was
the correct date for this first visit. Also, Worroll’s statement concurs with those of the
officers by referring to the day of the first visit as a Wednesday. In fact 11 April was
a Wednesday but 11 May was a Friday, again indicating that the earlier date is the
As stated above, according to the CP and DP of Paul Boyle of New England
Laminates (see under 14 February above) he was visited again by police who had with
them DP/11, which by this stage had been altered. It seems apparent that, assuming
Paul Boyle is correct in his memory (which it seems he must be, given that DP/11 was
indeed altered by Worroll) then this return visit to see Boyle must have been after
Worroll had altered the position of DP/11. As stated above, there is no record of this
return visit to New England Laminates.
NB Worroll was also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a control sample
MST-13 circuit board – see 5 March 1992 below. NB Worroll’s signature is visible
on the label for DP/11 and for PT/35(b).
27 April 1990
Removal of 6th sample – DP/31 (Crown label no.419) – large corner cross section
According to Williamson and Harrower’s HOLMES statements, in the course of the
various examinations the most unusual feature about the fragment was said by the
experts to be the application of pure tin to the conducting tracks, as opposed to a
tin/lead combination, and the statements indicate that the officers had been advised
that Siemens in Munich could assist with examining this aspect of the fragment (it is
not clear who advised them of this – as stated above, Harrower’s ch10 CP indicates
that Worroll suggested they pursue the construction of the conducing tracks because
they appeared to be pure tin rather than tin and lead, and Harrower’s CP indicates that
it was as a result of this discussion that they went to Munich, but it is not clear if
Worroll specifically advised them to go there), so a visit there was paid by previous
arrangement on 27 April, when the officers met Hans Brosamle (S5580), deputy
The purpose was to find out more about the application of tin to the tracks
and tin/lead to the land, and whether the fragment was solder masked on both sides.
Brosamle examined PT/35(b) and DP/11 but could add no further information without
taking a cross section of the fragment. Williamson allowed this to take place, as he
had previously received authority fioim the SIO to permit this if necessary. A corner
section, including part of the conductor tracks and part of the land, was cut fiom the
From the officers’ statements it might be implied that Brosamle himself cut the
segment in the presence of the officers and then immediately took photos of the
changed appearance. Harrower’s ch10 CP says that Brosamle removed DP/31, and a
PF’s note that follows this states that it was Harrower’s recollection that it was
Brosamle, not another witness, Anton Wimmer, who made the cut. Likewise
Brosamle’s own statement simply says that by means of a diamond wire saw, he had
DP/31 removed, and that thereafter he had both samples photographed to show how
the cuts had been made. The photographs in question are three Polaroid photos,
designated DP/32 (prod 342, parts of the police label for which Harrower
acknowledged in his ch 10 CP had been completed by him).
Each photo is dated 27/4/90 and is signed by various people: Williamson and Brosamle, and possibly also “Tepp” – which is likely to be Helge Tepp, the BKA officer. There is no mention in any HOLMES statements that Tepp was in attendance during the Siemens enquires, although in his Crown precognition (a copy of which was given to the defence) Brosamle suggests there might have been a BKA officer there. (See below re contact between Ferrie and Tepp on 14 May 1990, which might confirm Tepp’s involvement in the Siemens enquiries.)
In his precognition Brosamle makes it clear that it was another person, Anton
Wimmer, who made the cut, and who may also have taken the photos. However in
evidence Brosamle seemed to accept that it was he who had taken the photos
(although he might just have been accepting that it was his lab). There is no mention
of Wimmer in the HOLMES statements, nor is there a separate HOLMES statement
for this witness. He is however on the indictment list (no.580, although he did not
give evidence) and was precognosced by the Crown (and a copy of the precognition
was provided to the defence). In his precognition he confirmed that he was responsible for making the cuts that separated DP/31, and that he did this with a
diamond wire saw at the instruction of Brosamle. He said that he did it in his lab and
was alone, he thought the Scottish officers were in a meeting room with Brosamle.
In Williamson’s memo to the SIO dated 3 September 1990 he did specify that DP/31
was cut by a technician, and says this was done under the control of Brosamle and in
Williamson’s presence, but that the technician was not aware of the origin or reason
for the cutting and no statement was taken from him. According to Williamson’s ch
10 CPs, he was present when the cut was made by Wimmer (who he acknowledges
was responsible for making the cuts). Wimmer stated that he did not take the photos
in DP/32 and had never seen them before. He was not involved in any other testing of
According to the HOLMES statement of Brosamle, the testing Brosamle envisaged
canying out on DP/31 would involve setting it in a compound overnight and, as the
next day was a Saturday, the testing would not be complete until Monday 30 April
(Williamson’s ch10 CPs indicate that the problem was that it was a public holiday in
Germany). As the officers could not leave the sample nor wait till Monday, they left
with the samples, and arranged to come back in two weeks but Brosamle told them
the testing he envisaged could be done in the UK, and he was later advised that the
officers would not be returning to Germany. Brosamle’s precognition gives further
details about the testing he envisaged. It suggests that he made handwritten notes of
the examinations carried out, and gave these to the police (it does not appear that
these were lodged as productions). It also mentions that he discussed the fragment
with a resin chemist at Siemens, Dr Hoedl, and that they advised the police about
where else to carry out investigations. Dr Hoedl is not mentioned in any HOLMES
statements and is not on the indictment list. Brosamle did not mention him in
evidence although he did acknowledge that he gave advice to the police about where
they might go to conduct further enquiries.
[NB there is mention of Siemens and Hodl in a McGrigors document which summarises the BKA papers that have been received. The suggestion is that a BKA document D6601 records a visit to Siemens (undated) to conduct an assessment of photographs of the “comparison circuit boards”, and that the specialists there were Dr Maximilian Hodl and Hans Brosanle* (sic) who gave their views on the circuit board and thought it a poor quality product; and that further opinion was sought on the components on the board so the BKA visited Mr Grammuller and Mr Wend at Securing Technology who gave a further opinion on the construction of the board. It is not clear what this relates to, but it does not appear it can relate to PT/35(b), given the absence of any components on the fragment.]
In Brosamle’s precognition he also mentions that he later saw one of the Scottish
officers again in Glasgow between 11 and 15 June 90 when he attended the PCB
conference at the SECC. He states that he was there with Dr Hoedl and another
colleague, and the officer seemed to have been expecting him to be there. He states
that he went into a separate room and proof read some flip charts that had been
prepared about the fragment, and he corrected an error about the thickness of the
copper coating where it was stated in millimetres instead of microns. NB Brosamle
and Tepp’s signatures are visible on the label for DP/31. Neither signature is clear on
the label for PT/35(b).
In Harrower and Williamson’s statements it is noted that from this point onwards
Harrower was no longer involved in the timer fragment enquiries. Harrower gave
evidence about the various enquiries detailed above, but his evidence simply
confirmed that he had been to the various companies etc. and that the various samples
had been removed from the fragment of timer.
14 May 1990
On this date KOK Tepp wrote a report (see submissions to the Commission) referring to a conversation with Gordon Ferrie on 9 May 90, in which Ferrie said they would not have to come back to Siemens in Munich as they could have the same examination done in the UK for less expenditure.
The fact that Tepp was seeking this information seems to confirm he was involved in the Siemens enquiries. Ferrie also said that so far no indication of manufacturer had shown up, and no information could be found on the original purpose for the use of this circuit board e.g. component of clock, radio etc.
17 May 1990
It does not appear in the HOLMES statements of any of the relevant officers but it
seems that Roderick MacDonald (who photographed the fragment on 12 Feb 90,
above) took further photographs of the fragment on 17 May 1990, post-removal of
DP/31. Production 1752 (CS/125) is a booklet of four photos of the fragment with
DP/31 separated from it, the cover of the booklet being very similar to that produced
by MacDonald in February 1990, but the date being 17/5/90. In his ch10 CP
MacDonald confirmed that he took these photos in May 1990 at the studio at Pitt
Street, and that Williamson was present. He also stated that he specifically
remembered taking these photographs as it was the one and only time in his 28 year
career that he had to use a microscope before taking the photographs, the reason being
to try and accurately line up the two fragments of circuit board. He confirmed that
prod 1751 (CS/123) was the film relating to the photos in prod 1752. He noted that
the number of the film was cross-referenced to a number on the booklet of photos.
Later in his precognition he noted that the bag containing the film was numbered
4613, but the film itself was numbered 4913. He stated that he was satisfied that this
had been his error, and that the writing was clearly his. He did not refer to the fact
that the error is then repeated on the front of the booklet of photos i.e. the negative
says 4913 but the booklet says 4613, but given that the mistake between the negatives
and the envelope containing them is acknowledged to be MacDonald’s, and given that
he specifically recalls taking the photographs, the repetition of the error on the front
of the booklet does not seem sigmiicant.
NB MacDonald was also referred to DP/126 (Prod 314) which he noted was a booklet
of photographs based on the two master sets he had taken (i.e. the photos he took on
12 Feb and 17 May 1990, prods 1752 and 1754). He said that this book appeared to
have been compiled by someone else at a later date. The label for the photos indicates
that it was handed over by Jan Corrodi (the Swiss examining magistrate who dealt
with the interviews of MEBO personnel in Switzerland in November 1990).
Presumably this booklet was compiled and provided to him for use in the interviews
of the MEBO personnel and was then returned by him.
23 May 1990
According to their HOLMES statements, Williamson (BS) and Langford-Johnson
(S1983GJ) went back to Ferranti by appointment, and a further examination of
PT/35(b), DP/11 and DP/31 was carried out by Allan Worroll, who removed solder
mask from the backside of DP/31 by means of a grinding machine, to allow further
analysis of the fibreglass construction. Worroll’s HOLMES statement confirms that
he removed the solder mask on the reverse side of the fragment to reveal the uncoated
fibreglass laminate, to allow the most thorough examination of the resin from the
laminate. L-J in evidence stated that he was present when Worroll removed the solder
mask from the reverse side of DP/31 to the tracks. In his ch10 CP Worroll examined
DP/31 but had no memory of it, could not remember having seen it or examined it,
although he noted he had signed the label. He stated that he had no reason to doubt
the officers who were present, if they were to say he had carried out an examination
of DP/31. A PF’s note on the precognition explains that Worroll does not remember
grinding down DP/31, but that L-J’s notebook recorded this and it had been lodged as
a production. [Note also the scientific examinations of DP/31 and PT/35(b) in 1999
by Dr Reeves and by the Dundee Uni experts, which seem to confirm that the former
had been cut from the latter.]
The same day the two officers and Worroll met Dr David Johnson at Manchester
Uni’s Department of Science and Technology, after prior arrangement. According to
Worroll’s HOLMES statement this was done after direct contact between the police
and Dr Johnston, at Worroll’s suggestion. The purpose was to carry out a comparison
between the fragment and two samples of fibreglass laminate which John French at
Ciba Geigy had said closest matched the fragment, of the 23 samples he had been
given. The two samples were Ditron and Sefolam. According to the police officers’
statements another test was also carried out to allow Worroll to assess more clearly
the reason for application of a coating of tin to the copper conducting tracks.
According to his HOLMES statement Dr Johnston carried out an analysis of the
surface chemistry of the fragment (it does not specifically refer to DP/31 as the
fragment that was tested) using secondary ion mass spectrometry. After this he stated
that the fragment was not identical in composition to either of the samples. He also
stated that his analysis would assess the surface chemistry of the conducting tracks to
see if they consisted of pure tin or tin containing any other species. There is no
mention in the HOLMES statements of Williamson, L-J, Worroll or Johnston of the
results of this latter analysis. The officers’ statements mention that Johnston later
provided a full analysis report, labelled DP/36 (prod 345). Johnston’s own statement
dates the provision of this report as 4 June 1990, but although the report is dated then,
the police label attached to it suggests it was received by post on 11 June 1990. The
report is mainly in scientific jargon. The report might indicate that lead was detected
on the surface tracks of the fragment, as well as tin (see p6-7 of the report – pb is the
chemical symbol for lead; sn is the symbol for tin); however, this would be
inconsistent with Worroll’s description, which he gave the day after Johnson did the
tests (see 24 May 1990, below) where he said the tracks were coated in pure tin; and
with the analysis of Dr Wilkinson, above, that indicated that only tin and copper could
be found on the tracks. Urs Bonfadelli, an employee of Thuring, who made the MST-
13 circuit boards, stated that the tracking was to be in tin, he did not mention lead.
This is consistent with the tracks having been coated in pure tin. Note also that in
1992 Dr Johnson compared PT/35(b)’s results to a similar analysis of a control
sample MST-13 circuit board and concluded that, at its highest, there was nothing in
the results to indicate that the two were different, when considering the results
qualitatively – see under 5 March 1992, below. The report also confirmed that the
fragment did not appear to match the two samples that had been provided (see p1 of
In his ch10 CP Johnson said Worroll first suggested examining the solder on the
fragment but this was a non-starter as the likely exposure to high temperatures during
the explosion would alter the composition of the solder, so that comparison with any
control samples would be irrelevant, although he stated that it would be different for
the combination of lead and tin in the solder. He then went into details about the
testing he did of the fragment and two control samples. He was shown his report,
DP/36 and noted that he had washed PT/35(b) in heptane, a mild detergent, to remove
surface contaminants from e.g. the plastic bag, from the fragment, but he noted that he
did not wash the two control samples, Sefolam and Dytron, so he said that the
comparative results might not be entirely reliable. He suggested that it would not be
possible to totally exclude a match between the fragment and Sefolam as Sefolam
might have produced a similar result to the fragment, had it also been washed in
heptane, since the main difference between the two was the presence of fluoro
carbons on the Sefolam, which could have been washed off PT/35(b) by the heptane.
In his CP 27/11/99 Williamson was asked if Johnson’s report (DP/36) contained any
images produced by the SIMS, and he said he was certain they did not receive any
such images. In Johnson’s CP he said seemed to indicate that the SIMS images
should have been with his report (although he did not say this explicitly) and he
suggested they would have been in an A5 envelope.
NB Johnson was also seen by police in 1992 and asked to examine a control sample
MST-13 circuit board – see under 5 March 1992, below. NB Worroll and Johnson’s
signatures are visible on the labels for DP/31 and PT/35(b).
24 May 1990
Williamson and L-J visited Ferranti again and noted a statement from Worroll that
included his final assessment on the composition of PT/35(b), which was that:
(1) the board was single sided, there being no evidence of through hole plate connections;
(2) the board was one ounce copper clad FR4 epoxy glass laminate, 1.6mm thick, with 9 layered glass cloth, 7628 type, 9 layers being more popular in Italy;
(3) solder mask was applied to both sides of the board, the solder mask apparently being a wet epoxy based type either screen printed or more likely brushed onto the board, the reason for coating both sides of a single sided board being a mystery;
(4) he gave measurements of small tracks;
(5) he stated that the tracks were coated with pure tin probably from an electroless tin solution, presumably to aid solderability;
(6) normal electronic grade solder (60-65% tin, the remainder lead) was used to make the solder connection to the pad;
(7) the etch profile on the copper pad and tracks suggested it could be home-made, but the machined radius of the board suggested commercial machining operation.
These conclusions were also listed in DC11674 (prod 357), a letter to Williamson from Worroll dated 24 May 1990, which has attached to it handwritten notes of Worroll. In Williamson’s ch10 CP dated 1711/99 he stated that Worroll’s view as that the fragment had solder mask on both sides, but that none of the other scientists who carried out such analysis agreed with him. As stated elsewhere, in his own CP Worroll said there was only solder mask on the reverse of the board.
L-J’s CPs add nothing to the above. One thing of note is that during the precognition
process L-J referred to his notebooks (which he kept, despite the majority apparently
having been destroyed) and these were seized as productions 1765 and 1766. His
notes do not add anything to the above either.
The only point to note is that in his introduction to these enquiries (prod 1765, p74), it suggests that the fragment of circuit board had been found in PI/995 by Allen Feraday at RARDE. It was of course Dr Hayes who was recorded as having found the fragment. The notebooks do also mention enquiries L-J made about the MST-13 timer on 14 and 15 August 1990 (see under the relevant date, below) and re Senegal and the interview of Jean Collin.
Note that L-J only signed the police labels for PT/35(b), DP/11 and DP/31 on 27
March 1992, as arranged by Buwert (S4949U).
25 May 1990
According to Williamson’s HOLMES statement, some time after his last meeting with Worroll, he produced a “prepared descriptive report”, designated DP/141. A copy of this report was obtained from D&G.
It basically just repeats the 7 points listed by Worroll (see 24 May 1990 above) plus a couple of the other characteristics of the fragment mentioned by other experts. According to the label attached to the report, it was prepared on 25 May 1990.
4 June 1990
Dr Johnston provided his analysis report, DP/36, based on his secondary ion mass spectrometry – see under 23 May 1990, above.
12/13 June 1990
According to the SIO, Henderson’s, statement S4710J, he attended an international
conference in June 90 at which a photo of PT/35(b) and details of it were handed over
to FBI officers.
In his DP Henderson states that he agreed to provide a copy of photograph of the printed circuit board to the American Intelligence Service but stated that he was not prepared to hand over the item. He also provided British Intelligence with a copy of the photograph of the PCB. He does not state when he did this.
He does not mention the international conference. He goes on to state that, some time
later, the Americans came back and suggested the fragment could be part of a “Land”
for a timing device and in brackets in the DP it says the device was similar to one the
Americans had which eventually became K-l.
Further details about the handing over of a photograph of PT/35(b) to the American authorities are addressed in chapter 8 of the statement of reasons.
13 and 14 June 1990
Williamson and Det Supt Gordon Ferrie (S4316D) took PT/35(b) to the World
Convention of the Printed Circuit Board Industry held at the SECC Glasgow on 13
and 14 June 90, the purpose being to allow experts in the field to examine the
fragment to further identification of the fragment. A room was set up there and
various individuals examined the fragment but nobody was able to provide any
information beyond what had already been established. (Note that one individual who
attended was Hans Brosamle of Siemens – see 27 April 1990, above.) According to
the officers’ HOLMES statements, a “point of variance” with the technical description
of the fragment (i.e. DP/141 the document prepared by Williamson based on
Worroll’s analysis) was noted by two men, Robert Linsdell (of Morton International
Dynachem, who had previously examined the fragment, see 9 March 1990, above)
and David Kingsley (of Graphic Electronics Group), both declaring the strong opinion
that the fragment was solder masked on one side only. According to Kingsley’s
HOLMES statement (S5578) he examined the fragment on 13 June using a desk
microscope and advised that he thought the fragment came from a low technology but
professionally made PCB. He then returned on 14 June, accompanied by Robert
Linsdell. He wished to re-examine the fragment as he disagreed with the description
in DP/141, and he was of the view that the fragment was only solder masked on the
side without the tracks. He was present when Linsdell also examined the fragment by
microscope and was of the same opinion. He then stated that the only means of
identifying the fragment would be through tracing the art work. In Linsdell’s ch10
CP he stated that he recalled viewing PT/35(b) at the convention in Glasgow but
could not remember why he had examined it there or if he noted anything new.
The precognoscer showed him DP/141 and Linsdell said he did not recall having seen this
report previously and he no longer felt able to comment on whether the report
accurately reflected his opinion about the fragment at the time. A PF’s note follows
which points out that DP/141 expressly says solder mask was applied to both sides of
the fragment, that Linsdell at precognition had remembered only solder mask on the
non-track side, yet he saw nothing wrong with the terms of DP/141.
Note that, according to Buwert’s statement S4649U, he arranged for Kingsley to sign
the label for PT/35(b) on 23 January 1992
NOTE The visit to the SECC marked the last of the examinations of the fragment
prior to the link being made to the MST-13 timer. In a memo from Williamson to the
SIO dated 6 September 1990 he lists the enquiries that had been carried out to identify
the fragment, including investigating various aspects of the board’s construction and it
also suggests that PCB circuit drawing manufacturers were consulted, as were clock
and timer manufacturers, to see what types of PCBs were installed in their products,
and also consulted were suppliers of electronic kits for “do it yourself” manufacturers.
There is then a list of 46 different companies that were either contacted or visited,
including all those mentioned in the summaries above plus various others which have
not been mentioned elsewhere. The memo states that after the fragment was
identified to the MST timer, many of the companies were re-contacted for advice on
the identification of the manufacturer.
Consideration of scientific examinations
A number of differences can be noted in the conclusions of the various experts. The
question of whether there was solder mask on one side or both is one area of
inconsistency, although given the comments made by Worroll in his Crown
precognition, in which he seems to backtrack from his original stance, it does seem
that the board was only solder masked on the side that did not have the tracking. (See
also the examination by Dr Reeves in 1999, below and chapter 8 of the statement of
reasons). A second area of inconsistency is regarding whether the board from which
PT/35(b) originated was single or double sided i.e. whether the board had tracking on
one side or both. According to Wheadon and Boyle at New England Laminates, they
were not sure whether it was double-sided although in his CP Wheadon did think it
was double-sided because that was normal and because of the solder mask present on
the non-track side of the fragment. Linsdell and Rawlings at Morton International
were of the view that it was double sided, as there was evidence of copper having
been scraped away on the side opposite the “1”. Worroll at Ferranti concluded that it
was single sided as there was no evidence of “through hole plating”, but in his ch10
CP he stated that his belief was based on instinct, as there was no circuitry on the
reverse side of the fragment. (In fact the absence of through hole plating on the timer
circuit boards was because surface mount technology was used to fit out the boards,
which did not require through hole plating even if the board was double sided.
Surface mount technology was relatively advanced in 1985, when the timers were
The last area of inconsistency relates to the coating on the conducting tracks.
Wheadon and Boyle thought the tracks were coated in tin/lead (Wheadon said as
much in evidence when referring to the photos they had taken (DP/19)), but
Wilkinson’s (Strathclyde Uni) metallurgy report indicates that the tracks had only tin
and copper, which would indicate a pure tin coating for the copper tracks. She did
detect some lead on areas of the “1”, which might suggest solder had been applied
there. Johnson’s (Manchester Uni) report appears to indicate that he did find traces of
lead on the conducting tracks. Worroll’s account, which predates Johnson’s report
(although Worroll was present when Johnson carried out his analysis) refers to the
tracks as being coated in pure tin. As described above, according to Thuring it seems
the circuit tracks were tin coated, not tin and lead. Given that Dr Johnson’s view was
that, when comparing PT/35(b) to DP/347(a) – the control sample MST-13 timer
board – in 1992 (see under 5 March 92 below), there was nothing in the results to
suggest the two were not the same, this issue does not appear significant.
14 June 1990
An interim forensic report, signed by Hayes and Feraday and dated 14 June 1990,
stated in its last paragraph that attention had been focussed on identifying those
surviving parts of the IED including electronic or electro-mechanical timing
mechanisms and altitude/pressure sensitive switches and that
“To date none has been identified. Precisely how the explosive device was actuated must therefore presently remain undetermined in the absence of any clearly identifiable component parts of the firing circuit.”
End of PART II