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PART 1 of 3



By Stewart Nicol
November 28, 2009

Even after over twenty years the enigma of the Lockerbie Disaster haunts the planet. The disaster has claimed many victims after the event too.

The families of the 270 killed still have not got closure as the truth of what happened to the plane is still hidden. Governments of all political colors both sides of the Atlantic seem to be unwilling to let the public in on what they know and have known for decades. Many ask why this silence? Others seek closure in accepting the script as per Kamp Zeist and the compensation paid by Libya, not because it accepted any guilt, but rather to get back into the money club.(Have sanctions removed).

The desperation for that vital resource Oil has made Libya very popular in the latest decade. Col Gadaffi is as popular in the corridors of power in D.C. as Hugo Chavez was unpopular with the Bush administration. However, we need to explain this enigma by taking apart some vital clues which are and have been in the public domain, but much of the media have been too lazy or too disinterested to find. Pan Am 103 was among the first 747s to roll off the Boeing manufacturing line in Washington State. It was sold to Pan Am and spent its whole career with that airline.

The first name of this aircraft was Morning Light and it had over a decade flying around the world as this before in the early eighties being renamed as Clipper – “Maid of the Seas.”

The end was abrupt - as we all too tragically know - over the south west Scotland market town of Lockerbie, whose name got appropriated by the media, and thus into history as the Lockerbie disaster.

However, before beginning allocating blame we should have looked closely at the signs of what caused this to happen. Air accident reports are done so that the same does not happen again. Before PA103 fell from the skies as we are told it had the year before undergone a thorough re working to make it ready as a CRAF aircraft (i.e. Civil Reserve Air Force combat ready aircraft) which cost well over $20 million to refit the plane adding a considerable amount of weight to the protective hull and thousands of pounds of weight to the flooring above the cargo deck. This meant that the outer hull was strengthened and the rear of the plane practically a solid cocoon. The idea that 340 gramms of Semtex would even dent this, let alone break the total integrity of the plane is according to one of the explosive experts I talked to, highly improbable.

The extra weight would translate to extra fuel costs and that is why Government subsidize such aircraft so that they are kept flying. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic that in the first “Gulf War, PA103 - Maid of the Seas -would have been the first into service, had it survived.

The first time you read the official reports you tend to accept them without question after all they are prepared for government. If anyone was to alter or omit something vital in such a report it would be next thing to treason. We are on the whole very trusting of such documents. Secondly few of us are trained enough in the science or even grounded enough in physics to question what on the surface appears ok.

I am no scientist, but it was a spelling error which put me on the more questioning phase. When I experimented in looking at a map and tracking the described demise of the aircraft it was the report which began to fall apart. A lexicographer later highlighted the spelling error was no error but the way a foreign national might spell that word. A national from Iraq, or the middle east - surprisingly. The word by the way was Taxi spelled Taxy!

There was another absolutely glaring error which related to ordinance survey material. A six figure references takes you very close to an object and in two cases references were given and the suggestion of 500 meters and 300 meters was given as the closeness to this object. In reality it would be a tenth of that.

Now such a qualified scientist as an air accident investigator would not make that mistake and it was no typo as by the time such a report is printed and published it is scrutinized and corrected many times over. After all the lives of people are at stake, in the future at least, in such reports and it is very qualified people who need to study them.


There are other strange anomalies such as where the plane was when it came down we are told 31000 feet, yet the debris trail belies both the direction of the flight and the speed. How did the cockpit land at Tundergarth if it was crossing the Solway Firth when it broke up?

I have tracked down two people who saw it crash to the ground like a spinning top. Indeed the Cockpit is full of strange questions. Why were there four bodies (one armed with a handgun) in the cockpit? (there are only three crew.)

Why does the Fire master report point out that it was nearly two hours after the first call at 7.04pm to the fire brigade, that he dispatched someone to Tundergarth to see if fire tenders were required. Yet one journalist at Tundergarth very early saw a fire tender there (more than likely from Longtown military base). The journalist had to be driven to Lockerbie by a local Doctor, as the area had been cordoned off. The doctor was on scene early, prior to the police deployment. The description of what landed at Tundergarth by the firemaster’s senior man is worth looking at in relation to the accident report photos. His description is in the Firemasters official report.

It suggests that that it landed “…landed nearly intact from the cockpit to the spiral staircase section leading to the upper clipper class section. That suggests that at least two or three of the upper windows section would be there yet on Dec 22 1988 a photo from another angle shows a truncated cockpit with the first class section but little of the upper section.

Why arc lights were sent up there why were CIA and Mossad (Israeli Secret service) there nosing for material to take away. Did they work all night? Was a survivor or two removed? Even a well oiled (with a good malt whisky) FBI man has confirmed to a police man as much many decades later.

There could have been survivors a scientific article written by a former president of the North American Medical Examiners Dr. William Eckhart of Wichita University, said as much on his reconnaissance of the scene a few months after the event in 1989. Scottish police unsuccessfully tried to have his article stopped from being published in an American Scientific Journal. What were they afraid of in this article revealing?

A much later investigation found one source who stated that although an unproven piece of information suggested a CIA person on the plane linked to the BCCI investigation had been spirited away (alive!). Who knows someone carries this secret maybe even to the grave.


If it were an accident, then cargo doors may have played a role, but only partially. Indeed from reading other air accident reports both sides of the ‘pond’ it could have played a role, but only a partial one. Secondly these reports tend to suggest that ‘Debris trails’ give a clue to what the cause of the plane's demise. Large trails tend to suggest explosives and very large ones Lockerbie has been suggested to be at least 800 square miles at most but well over 15 miles possibly military standard explosives, while narrow and short trails can be mechanical failure in origin.

So as you see there are more questions raised by the report than are answered. Also the photographs betray things too. One so glaringly bad even a child could detect the material shown is from a different aircraft. I personally tested a 7 year old and she spotted it saying that's different from that pointing to the area which was supposedly highlighted in the enlarged section. Later in the report in the diagrams, why use an example from Air India crash which happened over three years earlier?

The suggested line of descent too is off when you discover, by questioning people who worked on the scene, other interesting information to the contrary.

Although officially never confirmed, one soldier who worked in the crater area was puzzled that the fields before the crater were a couple of inches thick in Kerosene fuel and why it was sucked up by an unmarked military truck and when he noticed it happening he was approached and told by a senior man never to talk of this! Why not! Would it destroy the myth that Sherwood crescent was destroyed by the air fuel? If not air fuel what?

Another explosives engineer who was among the volunteers on the first couple of days was in the crater and was puzzled that there was no real smell of burnt fuel!

There were also in the crater few pieces of metal larger than 6-8 feet long. There were gruesome finds of body parts sadly but little else. Bombs and fuel explosions don't make craters but missiles do! Could there have been smuggled on board munitions set is such a way as to destroy the plane?

Some are convinced of this. However, as we are dealing with this plane, we should point out that a logical reason for the seats being freed up at the last minute had nothing to do with a massive conspiracy. Rather I was told from a reliable source in Pan Am that the flight would have been piloted by a different person had he not been ill. He was due to retire soon and as was the custom he had been gifted a third of the seats for his family and friends. Because the crew was changed those seats became free. This matches with the fact that the Syracuse Students were able to get several seats and that Flora Swire (Jim Swire’s Daughter) was able to get a last minute booking to meet her boyfriend in New York. Earlier she had tried to book that flight and was told it was full.

Perhaps the only diplomat who got a warning something was up, was Pik Botha whose BOSS (secret service with close ties to Mossad) entourage changed his booking from Frankfurt via PA 103 to a direct Lufthansa plane, if I remember the conversation right.

There are still those who feel that the integrity of PA103 may have been compromised. They may feel that caused the crash, but even if it played a role the debris trail tells another story, too long for this article. The ground zero (i.e. where the crash happened) evidence was tampered with by many some things were taken away and replaced. Some police even approached their MP’s about this crime. Others merely kept quiet out of fear for their pensions! Off the record I have so much more I can never say, but Libya or Abdel Baset al Megrahi, was never remotely in the frame for this one unless you call Margaret Thatcher a Liar! In her autobiography she underlined allowing the use of U.K. bases for the attacks on Tripoli and Benghazi stopped Libya being a source of terrorism. That took place in 1986 so why did she go with Bush in blaming Libya in 1991 for the PA103 attack? Why in her autobiography years after this is Lockerbie nearly omitted? It was given only a very small mention.

The largest terrorist attack in the history of U.K. terrorism following no less than 30 years against the IRA and under her watch should have warranted at least a chapter.

Why did Margaret Thatcher then Prime Minister stop Coleman Churchill, head of counter terrorism in the U.K. from being lead investigator? Instead, she insisted that the Scottish Police carry out the investigation and this at a time well before any devolution. Jurisdiction could not have been a problem. Indeed 32 countries could have taken up an investigation and Germany did their BKA had busted the PFLP-GC cell in Neuss near Frankfurt a couple of months before. However, they did not proceed with a case against Megrahi and cohort as they said to me in a telephone interview there was insufficient evidence.

So from just looking at the Crash site of the Plane we gather much that has not seen the light of day in the Court at Kamp Van Zeist.

In the next feature I will look at the people around this enigma which has brought shame on the Scottish Justice system which only recently showed proper compassion to a terminally ill man they wrongly convicted.

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The day of the judgment I wrote a story from Zurich about tainted evidence. The so called fragment of timer. Only the Edinburgh Evening Times published that story. Despite its devastating claim – that the fragment of timer was a prototype and therefore could not have set off a bomb! In other words it was fake! None of the media followed up this at all. For part two click below.

Click here for part -----> 1, 2, 3,


1- The Firemaster’s Report on the Lockerbie Disaster. The intelligence report JPRS-NEA-89-04. SECTION “Iranian describes PFLP-GC role in Pan Am Bombing. London Al Dustur 22/5/1989 [pp15- 17.]

� 2009 - Stewart Nicol - All Rights Reserved

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Stewart Nicol has worked in Journalism for over twenty years, primarily in the freelance field. Stewart has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists since 1976. He covered the Royal Deeside area for the regional newspaper The Press & Journal for a decade. For some of that time I had a small column in the Evening Express their other title. Following that, Stewart covered the North Sea Oil industry which led to his pursuit of deeper investigative journalism. He's also spent a number of years covering the Church of Scotland and the Church of England for specialist publications.

Stewart has been on a sabbatical of sorts child minding and being a house husband as well as writing a book for St. Andrew Press on Saints. Currently he is working on a Lockerbie book. Stewart lives in the West of Scotland and has a Theology degree.

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Another explosives engineer who was among the volunteers on the first couple of days was in the crater and was puzzled that there was no real smell of burnt fuel!