|Member of||Justice for Megrahi|
Morag Kerr was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1953, qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1976 (Glasgow University), continued post-graduate study in biochemistry and, having gained a PhD in 1985, went to live in England.
In September 2003, Morag Kerr began blogging under the pseudonym "Rolfe" on the James Randi Educational Foundation ("an educational resource on the paranormal, pseudoscientific and the supernatural") website, where she concentrated on debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories.
In December 2009, on Professor Black's blog, "Rolfe" and "Caustic Logic" jointly tried to debunk Patrick Haseldine's theory that apartheid South Africa had targeted Bernt Carlsson on Pan Am Flight 103. Both Morag Kerr and Adam Larson were comprehensively defeated in their attempt when the Emeritus Professor of Lockerbie Studies concluded:
- "Means, motive, opportunity + UN inquiry = Evidence of action = Apartheid regime did it. Q.E.D."
A few years later, Morag Kerr managed to inveigle herself onto the committee of the Justice for Megrahi campaign group which has petitioned the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to open an independent inquiry into the 2001 Camp Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing.
On 24 December 2013, following publication of her book "Adequately Explained By Stupidity?", Dr Kerr was interviewed on Al-Jazeera's "Inside Story - Who was really behind the Lockerbie bombing?" but declined to say who she thought was responsible. In an article published on Professor Black's blog entitled "The real case for the Heathrow introduction", Morag Kerr explained:
- "Since my book was published I have been invited to take part in a couple of radio and TV discussion programmes about the Lockerbie case, and in general it has been a frustrating experience. My contention is that the bomb suitcase was introduced at Heathrow airport, around half past four in the afternoon, not at Malta in the morning as the Crown proposed. I have very specific and absolutely incontrovertible evidence to prove that. Of course that does, indirectly, demonstrate that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was not the man who put that suitcase on the plane. He was provably in Tripoli at that time, which as it happens is well over a thousand miles from Heathrow airport. What it does not do is give me some unique insight into who did plant the bomb. And yet, that’s all the interviewers seem to want to ask me. "Who do you think did it, Dr Kerr?"
- "I have no freaking idea who did it. I have read the same articles and watched the same documentaries as everyone else. I might have an opinion based on that, but it would be no better informed than anyone else’s opinion formed on the same basis. It is seriously not worth dragging me into Edinburgh to sit in front of a microphone or a TV camera to ask me that."
- 1 Pseudonyms
- 2 Looking behind Megrahi's appeal
- 3 Lockerbie luggage
- 4 Another letter to The Herald
- 5 Adequately Explained by Stupidity?
- 6 Adequately Explained by Government-fed Propaganda?
- 7 Foray into politics
- 8 Vet books
- 9 References
- 10 See also
Asked why she insisted on posting comments under the pseudonym "Rolfe", Morag Kerr commented:
- "The name of a beloved cat I had during the 1980s. That was itself originally the surname of his previous owners, who wanted him put down because of a minor (and curable) skin complaint. I was the beneficiary, but I never found out what his original name was.
- "I post under the cat's name as a memorial to a wonderful pet, and to prevent the entire world being able to connect me to my internet opinions without doing at least a minimal amount of digging."
On 22 May 2012 on the Newsnet Scotland website, 'Justice for Megrahi' Deputy Secretary Dr Morag Kerr posted under the pseudonym Soixante-neuf:
- "If you've only read ONE conspiracy theory that you know is complete mince, you're extremely lucky. I've lost count.
- "This is my all-time favourite: Charles Norrie's theory.
- "Warning, if you try to make sense of it your brain will probably try to crawl out of your ears.
- "Oh, and he thinks I'm "Slim Virgin", which is the cherry on top, although "Slim Virgin" is actually a woman called Linda Mack who lives in Canada. That's not why I love it, though. I love it because it is so delightfully inventive."
On Wednesday, 16 June 2010, Charles Norrie (<firstname.lastname@example.org>) sent this email to a number of Lockerbie campaigners, including Patrick Haseldine, suggesting that Morag Kerr was Wikipedia's notorious "SlimVirgin":
- Subject: "Rolfe"
- Please treat this as confidential for the time being.
- There is this person who blogs frequently on Professor Black's website, and to a lesser extent on the JREF site. Professor Black assures me she is female. Her depth of knowledge about Lockerbie is extreme and shows some knowledge of stuff not in the public domain.
- Whenever, though, it comes to commenting on theories that go well away from the mainstream, but are still in the realms of possibility, she will take one fact and say "but that fact is not possible", and then use that to destroy the whole theory.
- A particular case in point is my idea (out of Parkes) that there was a second device on the aircraft. I now have about 8 facts to assert to that claim, some of independent pedigree, and I think the whole issue of the device(s) that destroyed the plane should be re-opened. I know I have my extreme 14 second gap theory, and if any of you are unfamiliar with it, would be prepared to chew the cud with you over it.
- But any reference to it seems to enrage "Rolfe", and it would be interesting to know why, for she has never declared an interest in the Lockerbie disaster. Perhaps she has one. I know I have an exact position in relation to it that you all know about.
- Is "Rolfe" the aspect of someone else, possibly who contributes elsewhere to Lockerbie? It's odd that a person with such deep knowledge should only contribute to JREF and Professor Black's blog.
- It's odd that with such incisive views, she takes a dangerously mainstream take on the reasons for the atrocity, rather like giving a compost heap a turn over for the birds to feed on new worms.
- Being therefore a really deep sceptic, I should like to put forward a possibility for the "Rolfe" phenomenon. She is "SlimVirgin" aka Linda Mack and half a dozen other pseudonyms under a different hat!
- Charles Norrie
On the strength of which, Patrick Haseldine addressed this email on 3 August 2010 to Morag Kerr's associate Adam Larson (aka "Caustic Logic"), copying to Robert Black, Ludwig De Braeckeleer, Charles Norrie and Dr Jim Swire:
- Hi Adam,
- Today you posted this comment on the Lockerbie Divide website:
- "Sorry for the delay, Patrick! I wasn't sure which post it was intended for and hesitated.
- "Interesting new links and video. Vanessa Redgrave, huh?
- "I still [think] it's one hell of an outlandish and unneccesary way to target one person, even prominent. If it's true as you say, it has surprisingly few factual supports, and is curious in mimicking the known PFLP-GC plans just as perfectly as Libya's plot is said to mimic them. I hope you understand why I continue to come nowhere near buying it.
- "Also, can you briefly explain what you intended to achieve sharing "Rolfe"'s personal details recently? What consequence can that possibly have on any quest for the truth? Do you suspect she's MI6 or something? Because you'd show that with something other than 'hey, as soon as I know someone's name I can startle and sort of threaten them with their own personal details.'
- "You can try it against me if it gives you a rush. I'm immune. So what was that about? Makes you seem like an absolute loon, you know."
- Well, Adam, I do have my doubts about "Rolfe" aka Dr Morag Kerr.
- Six weeks ago, Charles Norrie emailed (see above) to say that "Rolfe" was none other than "SlimVirgin" aka Linda Mack of Wikipedia fame. Both Rolfe/Morag and Slim/Linda share obsessions with the minutiae of Lockerbie, and of cats, so there must be something in what Charles says.
- Also, at every opportunity, you keep referring to "Rolfe" as your 'mentor'. Could it be, Adam, that in real life you are Slim's sockpuppet admin Crum375?
- I like many others who have edited Lockerbie-related articles on Wikipedia have suffered at the hands of "SlimVirgin". Professor Black has also crossed swords with her and might be well advised to re-read this lockerbiecase.blogspot link.
- I will expect, Adam, to have the whole of this comment posted uncensored on the Lockerbie Divide website immediately underneath your comment upon mine.
- Thank you,
- Patrick H.
In the event, Adam Larson chose not to post Haseldine's comment on the Lockerbie Divide website.
Looking behind Megrahi's appeal
On 29 July 2010, Morag Kerr wrote to The Herald:
- "Has it occurred to the US senators and others who maintain that Megrahi should have remained in prison, that if that had happened, his appeal would not have been withdrawn and would have been decided by now? Any rational examination of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) findings and the evidence as a whole must concede the overwhelming probability it would have been successful, and Megrahi would now be home by right as a free man.
- "Kenny MacAskill may be prevented from 'looking behind the appeal', but the rest of us are under no such constraints, and the conclusion is not difficult to reach. The notes of MacAskill’s meeting with Megrahi are now public, and reveal an unpleasant picture of a sick and desperate man being treated like a mushroom (kept in the dark and fed manure) in an attempt to pressurise him into dropping his appeal. The hand-written letter from Megrahi is really quite distressing, when read in the light of the SCCRC report and the striking weakness of the case against him in general. This is not someone who should have escaped on a technicality; this is an innocent man sitting in jail looking at a medical death sentence. Our criminal justice system and we as a nation are guilty of a far worse crime than taking international relations and trade deals into account when releasing a foreign prisoner.
- "We have convicted a man on evidence that, in my view, wouldn’t support the issuing of a parking ticket, imprisoned him 1,800 miles from home and family, and turned him into an international hate figure while he is in the terminal stages of aggressive prostate cancer. If any wide-ranging inquiry is appropriate, surely this is the matter that should concern us, rather than silly conspiracy theories linking Megrahi’s release to the Gulf oil spill."
- Morag Kerr,
Dr Morag Kerr, deputy secretary of the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, conducted a study into the handling at Heathrow airport of the Lockerbie luggage, publishing her findings in September 2012:
- "Clipper Maid of the Seas carried eight containers of passenger luggage. Seven of these were filled with suitcases checked in at Heathrow, and sorted into the containers in the large and busy baggage build-up shed at the airport. The eighth was a container AVE4041 that had been partially loaded in the Interline Baggage Shed, and filled outside on the tarmac, taking luggage directly from the Pan Am feeder flight (Pan Am 103A) which had arrived late from Frankfurt with only 20 minutes to spare. That container was sent straight to the adjacent stand where the transatlantic flight (Pan Am 103) was preparing to depart, without entering the terminal buildings.
- "On Christmas Eve 1988, three days after the disaster, the first piece of blast-damaged container framework was brought in from the fields to the east of Lockerbie. This was the first positive indication that the crash had indeed been caused by an explosion, as many had suspected from the outset, and it also indicated that the explosion was associated with passenger hold luggage rather than cabin baggage or cargo.
- "Baggage handler John Bedford’s police statements reveal that when he set up the container to receive luggage for Pan Am 103, there were already two suitcases sitting beside the x-ray machine. He duly placed the cases in the container, upright with the handle(s) up, at the back, to the extreme left of the flat part of the floor. During the afternoon another four or five cases arrived, which he added to the line he had begun, working from left to right. At about quarter past four, as all was quiet, he went off for a tea break with his supervisor Peter Walker.
The pieces of Carlsson's case tell a story
Morag Kerr focused her attention on the grey Presikhaaf hardshell suitcase that belonged to Bernt Carlsson:
- "The only luggage which could possibly have arrived in the shed before Bedford set up the container just after two o’clock was Mr Carlsson’s single suitcase and Nicola Hall's suitcase. However, although Miss Hall was booked on Pan Am 103, her suitcase was sent to New York on Pan Am 101 which left at mid-day. Thus the 'bomb bag', having been substituted for Nicola Hall's suitcase, must have been adjacent to Bernt Carlsson's grey Presikhaaf hardshell suitcase. Mr Carlsson’s case was the most severely damaged of the group, but even that was not presented in court as having sustained damage consistent with its having been underneath the bomb, and since it is known to have been placed immediately behind the bomb suitcase within a foot or so of the IED, it would have been expected to be severely damaged in any event."
- "The thing is, the bomb wasn't in Carlsson's bag. Carlsson's bag is one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case, but because it was behind the bomb suitcase. And because it gives us 100% certainty that the bomb suitcase was on the floor of the container with its left-hand side elevated into the overhang section. Bernt Carlsson's Presikhaaf suitcase had an unusual construction. It had an aluminium frame that was recovered intact. And it had a separate panel of lining fabric covering the inside of the hinge end which was attached by press studs. Because it was the earliest case to arrive in the Interline shed, by some margin, Bedford was able to tell the cops exactly where he put it in the container. He didn't know it was Carlsson's case of course but he knew it was the one that was already there before 2 o'clock. And he put it upright, handle up hinge down, on the left-hand side of the back part of the container. The bomb suitcase was later put in front of it.
- "The pieces of Carlsson's case tell a story. The aluminium frame has been violently bashed in at one side, with severe pitting of the outside surface by a high explosive blast. This shows the case was exactly where it was supposed to be. The hinge-end piece of fabric has suffered severe, destructive charring on one side. This shows absolutely definitely that there was no other bag below the bomb bag, because that would have prevented that panel being charred in that way. This, to me, absolutely screams out from the photos of the remains of the case. But the forensics guys never spotted it."
- "Thinking again about the Carlsson case, that should have been an extremely significant find. The construction of the case fortuitously allowed the evidence of the position of the explosion to be recorded on its fabric, something that wouldn't have happened if the case hadn't had that metal frame, and hadn't had that separate panel of lining fabric. Most cases aren't made that way.
- "It is also remarkably fortuitous that both pieces were actually recovered. A lot of stuff wasn't - for example there was obviously a lot more of the blue Tourister than was actually picked up at Lockerbie. Caught in the canopy in the forest perhaps?
- "It should have been a pivotal clue. But there's a lot of shilly-shallying in the memos about whether or not that was actually Carlsson's case. He seems to have had a lot of cases, and nobody was really sure at first. Having said that though, it was presumed to have been his case from quite early on, and I think at least partly because it was so damaged and it was understood at some level that his was one of the cases that would have been in a position to have been damaged.
- "In fact it is as clear as day from Bedford's statements together with the flight arrival data that Carlsson's case was the one at the extreme left-hand end of the row at the back. I realised that as soon as I read these documents, in 2012. I had not seen the pictures of the Presikhaaf at that time.
- "The first picture I saw of it only showed the broken side panels. You can't tell anything from that. I shrugged, and concluded that it wasn't going to be possible to draw any conclusions from the condition of that case, unfortunately. Then, in February last year, I got the composite photo of everything that was recovered, including the frame and the panel of fabric. I stared at it with my jaw on the floor. There it was. Absolute proof that the case had indeed been exactly where Bedford said he put it, and that the bomb suitcase had been the one on the bottom of the stack.
- "I'm still in shock, frankly.
- "An interesting point is that the drawing of the frame of the case in Hayes's notes is dated some time the middle of June 1990. Most of the luggage, including the McKee Samsonite that also shows the bomb suitcase was on the bottom layer, was examined in early 1989. It was prioritised. But this metal frame, plainly very very close to the explosion, wasn't looked at till 18 months later?
- "Something has gone very very wrong with the inquiry at RARDE, and it needs a properly-constituted independent inquiry, not a bunch of people on the internet. But at the moment, we're all there is."
Another letter to The Herald
On 21 November 2012, Morag Kerr addressed this letter to The Herald:
- Dear Sir,
- The Herald was the daily newspaper in our house when I was a child. My parents took both it and the Evening Times. When I started to outgrow the Bunty I eschewed the Jackie and its like and graduated straight to the newspapers. My father cancelled his Evening Times subscription when I was coming up to my Highers because he thought reading two newspapers every evening was interfering with my homework.
- I began to have letters published in the paper, and as far as I recall I didn’t have any letter I sent either rejected or edited throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1980s I moved to England and tried my damnedest to continue getting The Herald daily, with mixed success. A postal subscription usually delivered six newspapers together every Saturday, and had to be cancelled. In the end I was reduced to buying it whenever I was in London and could find it on sale. In the late 1990s I started reading it online.
- In 2006 I returned to Scotland, and when I was househunting one of my main stipulations was that the house had to be somewhere a schoolboy could be induced to deposit a Herald on my doormat before 8 o’clock. Reading the actual paper with my breakfast after all these years was one of the great pleasures of my homecoming.
- It is a source of immense sadness to me (and possibly to my local newsagent and the above-mentioned schoolboy who is an obliging little fellow) to realise that I have to cancel my Herald subscription. This physically hurts. I actually walked into the newsagent’s shop to do it about six times and came out unable to say the words, until finally I managed to do the deed. My breakfast companions will probably be internet blogs now, in lieu of a newspaper that can deal honestly with political issues and actually tell the truth.
- The political bias in The Herald has been becoming too much for me for some time, and since Magnus Gardham’s appointment it has become intolerable. I have also been aware that if I write to the paper, no matter how short or carefully-crafted the letter, it will be edited to add a spin away from the message I had intended to convey. I had thought that online commenting might be freer from editorial manipulation but find that not to be the case.
- In recent weeks I have been more and more aware of the intentionally slanted and biased headlines and news stories, and, more disturbingly, of flat-out lies given front-page prominence then belatedly acknowledged in an inch-long column in a corner of an inside page. It’s all too much. If in future I become aware that The Herald is again a paper worth reading, I will be delighted to renew my subscription.
- I look forward to that day. In the meantime, after more than 40 years of readership, I must bid you farewell.
- Dr Morag Kerr
(Dr Kerr’s letter received no reply. After many months of plummetting sales, The Herald recently redesignated itself a regional newspaper rather than a national one, and now only files readership figures twice a year. – Ed)
Adequately Explained by Stupidity?
"Adequately explained by stupidity?" is the title of an article written by Morag Kerr and published by the Scottish political media monitor Wings Over Scotland on 3 January 2013:
- Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie should be commended for starting 2013 with a legitimate request rather than a party-political attack. The Herald today reports his renewed call for a public inquiry into the events of the Lockerbie disaster.
- The call was prompted by the new Libyan government’s pledge to release documents relating to the incident "as soon as time, security and stability permitted". But what will such documents reveal beyond what we already know?
- Tam Dalyell once said that the Lockerbie case is so complicated you’d need to be a Professor of Lockerbie Studies to understand it. In some ways that’s true, because there are interminable complications, wrinkles and what-ifs to consider. But there’s a simple way of looking at it too, and that is this: Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted because the police firmly believed the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 began its journey at Malta airport around nine o’clock on the morning of the disaster. Megrahi, who was suggested as a potential suspect by the CIA, was discovered to have been catching a plane from Malta to Tripoli that was open for check-in at precisely that time.
- If the bomb really did fly from Malta, then it might be reasonable to regard Megrahi with a suspicious eye. But the evidence for the bomb ever having been within a thousand miles of the island of Malta is beyond tenuous, and Megrahi was never shown to have done anything at the airport that morning apart from catch his flight home. If the bomb was introduced somewhere else, he actually has a rather good alibi.
- The biggest mystery of the entire saga is why the police persisted in their absolute conviction that the bomb had travelled on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt, despite months and indeed years of investigation finding no evidence of anything untoward at the airport that morning, and in fact no way an unaccompanied suitcase could have been smuggled on board that plane. This is even more surprising when you realise that within only weeks of the disaster, the investigation had very strong evidence indicating that the bomb had actually been smuggled into a baggage container at Heathrow airport, an hour before the feeder flight from Frankfurt landed.
- In early January 1989 a baggage handler at Heathrow described having seen a suitcase which he said had appeared mysteriously while he was away on a tea break, on the (previously bare) floor of the container in question, in the corner known by the investigators to be where the explosion had happened. He described the suitcase as a brown hardshell Samsonite. By mid-February, forensic examination had identified the suitcase containing the bomb as a brown plastic hardshell, and by March they knew it was a Samsonite.
- The absence of any rejoicing at this point is positively spooky. Rather than pursuing this lead vigorously, the police more or less ignored it. Everyone seemed to be waiting for the forensic results to declare that the explosion had been in a suitcase on the second layer of luggage, and sure enough, the boffins concluded that’s probably how it was. There had been nothing on top of the mystery item before the Frankfurt luggage was added, therefore the bomb suitcase must have been one of the ones that came in on the feeder flight. The investigation remained stalled at this stage for months, until in August a tenuous lead was identified at Frankfurt which sent the police chasing off to Malta, and they never looked back.
- The question that was never answered was this. Whose was the mystery suitcase loaded into the container while John Bedford was on his tea break, if it wasn’t the bomb? The police seemed happy to leave that one hanging. That suitcase didn’t matter, because it was in the wrong place. By about two inches. That line of reasoning held up all through the initial stages of the investigation, and the Fatal Accident Inquiry in Dumfries in 1990-91. Bomb on second layer, no Heathrow-origin luggage on second layer, therefore bomb arrived from Frankfurt. This of course presupposed that the Heathrow-origin luggage had not been moved, but the baggage handler who loaded the suitcases from the feeder flight, Amarjit Sidhu, was adamant he hadn’t moved anything, so that was all right.
- The problem with this is that it’s impossible. A suitcase under the bomb suitcase would inevitably have been pulverised. All six pieces of luggage identified as being legitimately placed in that container at Heathrow were recovered, and none of them sustained that sort of damage. Not only that, when the explosion ripped apart the bomb suitcase and the luggage in its immediate vicinity, it created a well-stirred mix of fragments which scattered across the countryside. The searchers combed the fields for these fragments, and the forensics team singled them out for special attention.
- Numerous pieces of even the most severely damaged items were recovered in this way, and everything in that category (apart from the bomb suitcase itself) was known, legitimate Heathrow and Frankfurt passenger luggage. There was no sign of any innocent (even if unidentified) suitcase in the mix that might have been loaded at Heathrow and ended up below the bomb suitcase, brown Samsonite hardshell or not. So, if Sidhu hadn’t moved Bedford’s mystery suitcase, and the explosion had been in the case on top of Bedford’s case – well, the laws of physics look like they’re in a bit of trouble.
- Putting it simply, both planks of the 1989 police reasoning cannot simultaneously be true. If Sidhu didn’t move the Heathrow-origin luggage, as was believed in 1989, then the Bedford suitcase (on the floor of the container) must have been the bomb, because there’s nothing else for it to be. If there is absolutely no wiggle-room at all for the bomb suitcase to have been on the floor of the container, then Sidhu must have moved the Bedford case – which demolishes the argument used in 1989 to exclude that case from being in the second layer, and again leaves the possibility of its being the bomb wide open.
- The only brown Samsonite hardshell suitcase seen by any witness, which had appeared mysteriously in almost the exact position of the explosion, and which the police knew about less than three weeks after the disaster, was ruled out on the basis on an absolute logical impossibility.
- Once this paradox is identified, the crucial dilemma is clear. Which is less credible? Sidhu’s statement that he didn’t move the Heathrow-origin luggage, or the forensic conclusion that the bomb suitcase had been on the second layer? Because one of these is simply wrong.
- Sidhu was absolutely consistent over three separate police statements that he definitely didn’t move that luggage. Then in the witness box in Dumfries, under oath, he emphatically and specifically denied having lifted out one of the original items and replaced it on a different layer. And there’s no reason why he should have done anything like that. The feeder flight was late, leaving him only 15 minutes for a job he normally had half an hour to complete; it was dark, cold, raining and blowing a gale; and the original items were already well positioned. Why on earth would he have started heaving cases he didn’t need to heave?
- In contrast, the best estimate for the height of the explosion was ten inches above the floor of the container. The bomb suitcase was nine inches deep, but what’s the margin of error in that estimate anyway? It’s also far from impossible that the stacked luggage shifted a few inches due to in-flight turbulence or even banking, moving the bottom suitcase into the position indicated. There were other factors of course, including an examination of the bashed-up and fragmented aluminium base of the container somewhat akin to Mystic Meg reading a palm, but it was all subjective opinion. The bomb suitcase certainly must have been either the case on the bottom of the stack or the one on top of it, and on balance the forensics boffins thought it was the upper one of the two, but that’s as far as it goes.
- So what was the court’s decision on this point? That’s a tricky one. In actual fact the court at Camp Zeist was never made aware just how crucial an issue this was, and the bench merely accepted, "for the purposes of this argument" that the bomb suitcase had been on the second layer. How that came about, and John Bedford’s extraordinarily suspicious brown Samsonite hardshell came to be wafted airily to "some more remote corner of the container", is a whole other article in itself.
- But now here we are, in 2012. Megrahi’s second appeal (begun in 2009) centred mainly on the undermining of the eye-witness evidence said to have identified him as the man who bought the clothes packed in the suitcase with the bomb. While that argument was likely to have succeeded if he hadn’t dropped the appeal, it didn’t address the question of the route of the bomb suitcase. Did it fly from Malta, or was it introduced directly at Heathrow?
- The ongoing Lockerbie investigation, paid for from our taxes, has been convinced that the bomb flew in from Malta since September 1989. It’s still convinced that Megrahi was "the Lockerbie bomber", even if there is doubt about his having been the purchaser of the clothes. Why not? He was at the airport when the bomb was smuggled on to the Air Malta flight. He must have been involved! The ongoing investigation believes he didn’t act alone, though, and is determined to track down his supposed accomplices.
- We’ve been hearing about investigations in Libya almost since the day of Gaddafi’s death. More than one Libyan official, anxious to curry favour with the Western powers, has claimed to have evidence of Gaddafi having ordered Megrahi to carry out the atrocity. All this has come to nothing. Now the investigators have turned their attention to Malta in the quest for the elusive "accomplices", though what they imagine they’re going to find there after 24 years that the original investigation didn’t find in 1989-91 is difficult to understand.
- When they find absolutely nothing on Malta, as they found absolutely nothing in Libya, is it too much to hope that some young, smart, entirely reconstructed detective might sit down and consider: could the reason we haven’t been able to find anything possibly be because we’re looking in the wrong place?
The article provoked some 250 comments which Morag Kerr answered authoritatively and in detail. Towards the end of the comments which became increasingly acrimonious and when the editor of Wings Over Scotland had to call a halt to them, Morag Kerr commented:
- "I get plenty of harmless amusement from Charles Norrie’s and Patrick Haseldine’s repeated accusations that I’m a CIA agent – or is it MI5? I’m never quite sure. The realisation that some people can’t cope with any challenge to their beliefs without declaring their opponent to be in the pay of the secret services is actually quite hilarious.
- "I wrote an article attempting to demonstrate, factually, that the Lockerbie conviction is a pile of dingoes kidneys. I’m now being subjected to abuse and baseless accusations because I decline to subscribe to a poster’s viewpoint on a completely different topic."
Who says Lockerbie bomb was planted at Heathrow?
Dr Kerr's article was also much commented upon on Professor Black's blog, concluding with this comment by Barry Walker (aka 'baz') who identified just three Lockerbie campaigners believing that the bomb suitcase was ingested at Heathrow airport: Charles Norrie, Patrick Haseldine and 'baz' himself. These were heavily outnumbered by orthodox Frankfurt and Malta 'ingestioners':
- "I suppose it is a matter of opinion as to why Megrahi dropped his appeal. It does seem to me bizarre that two of his defence teams would employ the researcher John Ashton for the fraudulent "The Maltese Double Cross" whose ludicrous claims provided straw men for the SCCRC to demolish.
- "I thought 'Rolfe' was referring to herself with that quip about one conspiracy theorist to another!
- "I'm curious who these critics are that 'Rolfe' has encountered who support the idea that the primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow?
- "Not David Leppard, Juval Aviv, John Pilger, John Ashton, Ian Ferguson, Tam Dalyell, Robert Black, Robert Fisk, Allan Francovich, Heather Mills, the crew at The Herald, Oswald Le Winter, Jim Swire, Gareth Peirce, Lester Coleman, Paul Foot, JfM committee members Andrew C. Killgore and his protégé Warren Russell Howe, Christine Grahame MSP (who ludicrously "outed" "Abu Elias"), the batty aangirfan blog, nor even Ludwig de Braeckeleer (until I pointed it out to him).
- "Those in favour are Charles Norrie and Patrick Haseldine whose accounts I for one find deeply flawed. I'm not sure where Susan Lindauer or the brilliant Sharyn Bovat stand on the issue.
- "I do not think this was 'some appalling blunder by the US Security Services' but that the bombing was at best tolerated and at worst planned for. David Wolchover largely got it right until he started making claims unsupported by evidence.
- "Well I figured it out in 1996, but obviously as Dr Kerr has now come to the same conclusion, the Scottish Legal establishment and the Scottish, British and US Governments are going to fold!
- "Megrahi was adamant he wanted to continue with his appeal", said Joe G. On what evidence? I recall Megrahi was going to leave Jim Swire material after his death proving his innocence. Presumably that never panned out either.
- "Megrahi's appeal was going nowhere - they were just keeping the meter ticking."
- "I am very much looking forward to the publication of our most esteemed Secretary Depute's book 'Adequately Explained by Stupidity?'. I refer, of course, to Dr Kerr. Cleverly, she has timed publication to perfection to coincide with the quarter century anniversary of the Lockerbie tragedy.
- "I imagine she will be available for a photo opportunity with our greatest ally, Mr Mulholland, outside the doors of the Crown Office as she hands over a pristine copy on the 21st of December. An offer he surely couldn't refuse. Could he?"
- "Does this alleged British agent even mention the targeting of UN Commissioner for Namibia Bernt Carlsson on Pan Am Flight 103? And who gave Dr Kerr access to all those reports, statements and photographs that were not previously available to the general public?"
Tunnel vision or organised cover-up?
Troubador Publishing Ltd writes:
Twenty-five years after Maid of the Seas crashed on the town of Lockerbie, this groundbreaking book introduces an entirely new perspective on the controversial investigation and subsequent conviction. Concentrating almost entirely on the transfer baggage evidence, it exposes shocking deficiencies in both the police inquiry and the forensic investigation, which led the hunt in entirely the wrong direction.
Cleverly constructed to lead the reader through the complexities of the case, the book provides insights which will be new to even the most seasoned Lockerbie pundit, while remaining accessible to those with little or no previous familiarity with the subject. The reader will see all the main aspects of the official account of the Lockerbie disaster comprehensively destroyed.
This is the first book about Lockerbie to deal rigorously with the detail of the transfer baggage evidence. Morag G. Kerr has been given access to reports, statements and photographs not previously available to the general public, and has analysed the information with forensic rigour. This analysis proves conclusively that the bomb that brought down the plane was introduced at Heathrow airport and not at Malta as claimed.
Key Selling Points:
- Published on the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster, which happened on 21st December 1988.
- Morag has been Secretary Depute of Justice for Megrahi since 2010, and is the author of the widely-acclaimed pamphlet "Lockerbie: Fact and Fiction".
- On 23rd December 1988, Morag was driving on the A74. This was the stimulus for her research into the subject.
- "A remarkable piece of work, comprehensive in its analysis of the evidence and what was missed or hidden and why." (James Robertson, author of "The Professor of Truth")
Critique by Jo G
On 3 October 2013, Lockerbie campaigner Jo G wrote a criticism of Morag Kerr and her book:
- "Why are you seeking to make money out of a book which kills, stone dead, the SNP position on Lockerbie and still defending them?"
Morag retaliated, as follows:
- "Jo, it's costing me money to publish that book, money which I don't really expect to recoup. I'm publishing it because I believe the information it contains needs to be out there. A number of people have tried to dissuade me, fearing that I'll 'get my fingers burned' financially, and strictly speaking they're right. It's merely fortunate that I can afford to lose some money in the interests of advancing the cause, as it were.
- "I'd be interested to know, what would you do? The evidence that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow is there, and needs to be explained. Would you eschew spending a few thousand on publishing a book to get the information out there for fear your effort might actually succeed and you'd end up making a modest profit?
- "I am not in a position to know why the SNP government is behaving in the way that it is. I don't like it, I believe it's seriously misguided and I'd quite like to take Kenny MacAskill up a dark alley with a set of thumbscrews. However, I don't see what good thowing around blanket and impotent 'condemnations achieves in the grand scheme of things.
- "You're very good at sitting on the sidelines throwing mud at other people, and some of that is quite 'filthy' actually.
- "Have you ever actually achieved anything, though? Just wondering."
Pure Sir Humphrey
- John Ashton wrote: "She (Dr Morag Kerr) is no daft conspiracy theorist, indeed before her involvement in the case she spent a lot of time taking on 9/11 conspiracists."
- Alas this is hardly an endorsement because "taking on 9/11 conspiracists" involves defending the official conspiracy theory that 2 planes destroyed 3 towers!
- Aka, supporting the "Big Lie" that 220 storeys (WT1 & 2) of reinforced concrete and steel disintegrated at free fall speed due to office fires and that another 49 storeys (WT7) fell in sympathy, at free fall speed, 5 hours later for reasons officially unknown! (Re.A&E9/11truth.org)
- Now I know people fear the truth for various reasons and therefore avoid looking, but why would someone spend time trying to dispute the laws of physics and on whose behalf?
- Equally Rolfe now defends the official conspiracy theory about Lockerbie that it was a "Muslim" IED/bomb!
- True not Megrahi’s conviction - that was debunked on the day it was delivered - but the original CIA false trail of a "Syrian-backed Palestinian group funded by Iran."
- And Rolfe’s defence of the official "bomb theory" and official 9/11 conspiracy theory fit within the neo-con "West Vs the Muslims" narrative that is used to promote war in the Middle East and Homeland Security.
- That said, the two official conspiracy theories are in response to distinct events, but Rolfe’s call to "look at the evidence" is pure Sir Humphrey, because it implies that the evidence supports rather than debunks both official conspiracy theories.
Undaunted, Dave continued:
- The official establishment explanation will always satisfy the majority of people out of loyal self-interest, because to dispute it can be a risky career move and the truth a burden.
- That’s why the term ‘conspiracy theorists’ employed pejoratively by the State is an effective put down, because it reassures the public that they are right not to look.
- But for those involved in any justice campaign to fear the term is misplaced because those willing to listen know that conspiracies and official conspiracy theories are common place.
- Therefore don’t say, we are not ‘conspiracy theorists’ because etc.
- But say, we reject the official conspiracy theory because etc.
Accepting this line of argument, Rolfe said:
- I reject the official conspiracy theory because the physical evidence demonstrates that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, not at Malta. It's that simple.
The rejoinder came from Dave:
- You reject that Megrahi planted the bomb, a view shared by the Judges themselves who said they convicted him on a lack of evidence, but you support the official conspiracy theory bomb explanation!
- An explanation supported by the same Judges based on a lack of evidence.
- Aka, blast damaged clothing and fragment that wouldn’t have survived as evidence if the ‘bomb’ was powerful enough to destroy the plane in 3 seconds.
- "Kerr is a drole writer: chunks of dull technical stuff are punctuated by things like this (admittedly the best example) on page 178:
- ‘There is another possibility. Perhaps the senior detectives were so convinced of the involvement of the German-based cell of the PFLP-GC that they couldn’t conceive of the bomb not having come from Germany. In other words, perhaps those in charge of this investigation were as dumb as a bag of hammers that failed hammer school.’
- "I think the case she makes is plausible: the bomb was planted at Heathrow and the Libyans are innocent. But the last detailed account of the story I read was Paul Foot’s, which was a long time ago, so what do I know?"
Adequately Explained by Government-fed Propaganda?
On 14 October 2013, BenSix posted this Tweet:
Professor Black tweeted:
- "I have always found that it's a good idea to read a book before criticising its contents."
Steven Raeburn tweeted:
- "Odd that "Rolfe" gets apoplectic and abusive at these contents.
- "Dangerous, suspicious Government-fed propaganda, based on the discredited Feraday/Hayes lies. Beware."
Morag Kerr tweeted:
- "Government-fed? Who do you think gave me the evidence?"
Patrick Haseldine joined the conversation by tweeting:
On 15 October 2013, The Firm magazine tweeted:
- "Good old fashioned twitter spat between @MrStevenRaeburn @drmoragkerr and @rblackqc last night. See the RT's to follow...
Patrick Haseldine tweeted:
- "Adequately Explained by Government-fed Propaganda?", which was Retweeted by The Firm to its 5,448 followers.
Foray into politics
In a by-election held on 10 October 2013, Dr Morag Kerr was beaten into third place when she stood as the Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate for a council seat at Tweeddale West (Scottish Borders Council).
- "About the James Randi Educational Foundation"
- "The JREF Forum's Record on Lockerbie"
- "Q.E.D. to Morag Kerr and Adam Larson"
- "Justice Committee to consider 'Justice for Megrahi' petition on 4 June 2013"
- "Inside Story - Who was really behind the Lockerbie bombing?"
- "The real case for the Heathrow introduction"
- "I post under the cat's name as a memorial to a wonderful pet"
- "Threads Tagged with Lockerbie bombing"
- "Lockerbie: London Origin Theory"
- "Dr Morag Kerr should drop all this cloak and dagger 'Rolfe' nonsense"
- "Charles Norrie's Lockerbie theory"
- "A tale of three atrocities"
- "Statement by Justice for Megrahi on the death of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi"
- "Spies in Wikipedia"
- "Looking behind Megrahi's appeal"
- "Heathrow baggage transfers and the Bedford suitcase"
- "Lockerbie - the fundamental error"
- "The pieces of Bernt Carlsson's case tell a story"
- "More about Bernt Carlsson's suitcase"
- "A letter to The Herald"
- "Adequately explained by stupidity?"
- "Rev. Stuart Campbell calls a halt"
- "Morag Kerr a CIA agent – or is it MI5?"
- "Barry Walker on Professor Black's blog"
- "Adequately Explained by Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies"
- "Robert Forrester compliments his deputy"
- "Tunnel vision or organised cover-up?"
- "Jo G's critique"
- "Morag's retaliation"
- "Rolfe’s call to 'look at the evidence' is pure Sir Humphrey"
- "Have it your own way, [http://www.blogger.com/profile/15213240619989073000 Dave"
- "We reject the official conspiracy theory because etc"
- "Physical evidence demonstrates that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow"
- "You support the official conspiracy theory bomb explanation"
- "Lobster Review"
- "BenSix on Twitter
- "Good idea to read the book"
- "Rolfe gets apoplectic and abusive"
- "Who do you think gave me the evidence?"
- "defo Govt-fed propaganda"
- "See the ReTweets to follow..."
- "Adequately Explained by Government-fed Propaganda? Retweeted by The Firm"
- "Tweeddale West by-election 2013"
- "Veterinary Laboratory Medicine"
- "An Introduction to Cat Care"