Little Grey Rabbit's Historical Skepticism Blog

Correction Corner: Ian Bell of the Herald Scotland on Armenia, Hitler quotes and Churchill

Posted in Correction Corner, Miscellanous by littlegreyrabbit on March 17, 2011

I am firmly of the opinion that journalists, taken as a whole, are both honest and well-informed.  Alas, the ones that are honest are seldom well-informed and the ones that are well-informed are never honest.  A rarity is a journalist like Ian Bell of the Herald, who combines a lack or honesty with a surprising level of general ignorance.  Normally I would not bother correcting such a low profile individual, since there aren’t enough hours in the day to correct foolish statements by journalists, but Mr Bell managed to cram enough errors into this post and then refused to allow polite corrections to stand to make an exception in this case.

My interest was directed to Mr Bell and his journalism/blog by a slight interest I have in police corruption surrounding the Lockerbie investigation.  The Pan Am flight was allegedly brought down by explosives hidden in a radio cassette, using an MST-13 timer constructed in Switzlerland and sold to the Libyans, and wrapt in clothing purchased in Malta from the store of Tony Gauci.  Every one of these strands of evidence can be shown to have been deliberately fabricated by elements within the British investigation.  Tony Gauci made numerous errors in identification and his evidence was widely believed in Malta to have been that of a perjurer;  with the benefit of some 3 million dollars from the US Government the Gauci brothers have started a new life in Australia [1].  The manual of the radio cassette that supposedly contained the explosives, which was found intact by a Mrs Horton, was ripped and damaged in police custody to appear like it had been through an explosion:

Zeist Court Transcripts

“Q Right. I wonder if you would look, please, at Label 24. You’ll see there is a bag which contains items there. Do you recognise anything?

A Well, not in its present state. I’m sure when I handed it in, it was in one piece.

The MST-13 timer itself was stated by the manufacturers, MEBO telecommunications, to be a falsification and not a genuine, functioning timer.  In 2007, former employee Ulrich Lumpert, stated in an affidavit that he had given false testimony at Zeist and that in fact he had stolen a prototype MST-13 circuit board and given it to an “investigating official”. [2] In short, the entire “forensics” of the Lockerbie case was a conscious and deliberate fabrication from start to finish.  That the MST-13 timer, wrapt in Tony Gauci’s clothing, was only found many weeks after the downing of the plane also points to investigator misconduct [officially it was found on 13 January 1989, although the first documented reference to it dates from May 1989].  Mebo directors also claimed that, like the Gauci brothers, they had been offered 4 million dollars to give false testimony.

There is further evidence to support the falsificaton and planting of the MST-13, for example this affidavit:

A former Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.

The retired officer – of assistant chief constable rank or higher – has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.

The police chief, whose identity has not yet been revealed, gave the statement to lawyers representing Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, currently serving a life sentence in Greenock Prison.[3]

While I would have no theory of what did in fact bring down the Pan Am flight, it is worth noting that a few seconds before the explosion an unexplained radar signal turned up in close proximity to the aircraft.  As the Air Accidents Investigation Report described it:

Recorded radar information on the aircraft was available from from [sic] 4 radar sites. Initial analysis consisted of viewing the recorded information as it was shown to the controller on the radar screen, from this it was clear that the flight had progressed in a normal manner until Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) was lost. There was a single primary return received by both Great Dun Fell and Claxby radars approximately 16 seconds before SSR returns were lost. The Lowther Hill and St Annes radars did not see this return. The Great Dun Fell radar recording was watched for 1 hour both before and after this single return  for any signes of other spurious [sic!!!!] returns, but none was seen. The return was only present for one paint [sic] and no other explanation can be offered for its presence [Appendix page C-11]

Lockerbie Air Accident Investigation: Anomalous Radar Return

I have always been amazed at the rapidity which which the plane is supposed to have disintegrated.  As for the radar return, my only suggestion is that it was probably Al-Megrahi on his broomstick chasing the Pan Am flight, waving the samsonite suitcase and crying “You forgot this!”


Blowing up the ravine walls of Babi Yar and Rumbula

Posted in Einsatzgruppen, Police etc, Resistance and Psychological Warfare by littlegreyrabbit on March 10, 2011

I have posted previously how visiting American journalists were sceptical about what the Soviets alleged and happened at Babi Yar; what I wish to do now is examine the claims that in order to conceal the 34 000 bodies, the walls of the ravine were dynamited.  The claim is repeated in many places and may have been a finding of the trial of Sonderkommando 4a by the West German courts.  One reference will suffice here, War of Extermination: The German Military in WWII, edited by Hanse Heer et al, page 254; “Immediately following the massacre on 30 September, engineers blew up the edges of the ravine in order to cover the mass grave with stones and earth.” My view is the story about the about blowing up the walls of Babi Yar developed very early among resistance groups inside Nazi Germany, and when this claim is repeated it points not to an actual event but rather contaimination by pre-determined narrative which was never grounded in any sort of reality.

We have photographs allegedly immediately after the massacre and immediately after liberation and to my mind there is no trace of the use of explosives:

Soviet Special Commission 1943: Place of the shootings