Thursday, 19 October 2017

PT/35(b) — The most expensive forgery in history [Lockerbie]

This is the headline over a long article published yesterday on Dr Ludwig de Braeckeleer’s website Intel Today. It sets out Dr De Braeckeleer’s conclusions about the dodgy timer fragment and the evidence on which these conclusions are based. This is an important article which should be read by anyone with a serious interest in this aspect of the Lockerbie case.

96 comments:

  1. In my opinion Dr. de Braeckeleer is barking up the wrong tree. However, since he refuses to talk to anyone who doesn't fawn adoringly over his every word, I don't see any way to progress this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think Ludwig is barking up the wrong tree with some of this, but since he flatly refuses to talk to anyone who doesn't follow the line of "Ludwig you're a genius, you can't be wrong" then we ain't going to come to a consensus any time soon. However, this seems to be the first time he's pulled his important findings together and presented them in a coherent single article relatively free from nudges and winks and innuendo and partially withheld information, so that's good.

    Mainly, I don't logically see how PT/35b can be from a circuit board (or indeed a timer) made earlier than the Thuring boards. Once the Thuring boards existed, and there were plenty spare even after the Libyan orders had been made up, there is no reason in the wide world for anyone to make another one using an electroless tinning process, particularly if it's required to pass for a Thuring-made board. If you have the template - which was at MEBO - you have the spares as well so why make a copy which can't ever be as good as the real thing? If all you have is one of the Libya-supplied timers, then again you have a circuit board which is the real thing. You'd more or less have to destroy it to make a cloned copy, and it's senseless to do that rather than just use what you already have.

    The story about the resin laminate not being compatible with an Isola board, and the copper tracking also showing a discrepancy, is interesting. If this is correct then it reinforces the now well-known finding from the tinning, that PT/35b wasn't from one of the Thuring-boards. It makes a lot of sense to me, because I don't think this thing was made as a deliberate counterfeit, and I could never quite see how the fibreglass board and so on was quite such a perfect match to the Thuring boards. It's not surprising that it wouldn't be perfect, it's surprising that it's as close as it was.

    I've read all that stuff about the PT/35b board not being made until 1989, and it doesn't make a blind bit of logical sense to me. I appreciate the people Ludwig has talked to interpret their findings that way, but looking at the electron micrographs and so on, all I really get from these is "different". There may be some way I'm wrong, and I may be missing something, but I think the PT/35b board was made in the MEBO premises about the time Lumpert was making the prototypes that were later given to the Stasi - possibly a little later, but before the Thuring production run had been delivered. I also think it was made up into a timer within a few days of being made.

    I'm coming at this from a different direction to Ludwig and I see a possibility that we might meet in the middle, but unless he's prepared to discuss his theories and consider other possible explanations that might fit the wider picture better, that's some way off.

    The bit that interlocks here, maybe, is this part. "Swiss Inspector Peter Fluckiger met with MEBO employee Ulrich Lumpert on June 22 1989. On June 6 2008, Lumpert told me that he gave a MST-13 timer prototype — as well as various related documents — to Fluckiger during that meeting." The trouble is that Lumpert has been lying about events surrounding these timers, probably lying to order - hello Edwin! - so it's impossible to know which version if any of his multiple stories is the correct one. But this one is interesting.

    I think PT/35b is likely to be from another prototype timer other than the ones supplied to the Stasi. A slightly more refined instrument, possibly intended as a demo model, made up with the solder resist on the back. Something that bridges the time from the initial prototypes Lumpert has told us about and the Thuring production runs, which I think puts it at 1986. If I'm right about that, then the question becomes, how did that get into the chain of Lockerbie evidence?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone who has had the forbearance to listen to me on the subject of PT/35b knows I vaccilate between thinking it must have fallen out of the sky, though how that could have come about is quite baffling, and thinking it was planted. If it was part of an early demo model, either could be possible depending on who put it there.

      We do know that the bits of the Slalom shirt fell out of the sky. Ludwig is the one who presented the evidence for that, even if he hasn't acknowledged that interpretation of his very clever little map of the Cheviots. Was the "debris" inside the collar at the time, or was it put there later?

      Ludwig might be implying that PT/35b originates from the prototype or demo model MST-13 that was given to Fluckiger in June 1989, if that actually happened - it has become a bit legendary. That rather conflicts with his assertion that it wasn't made before the end of 1989 though, so who knows?

      The difficulty there is that there is a lot of evidence to suggest that for all the problems with provenance, photograph 117 that shows PT/35b was taken in May 1989, and that the inconsistencies in Hayes's notes are simply part of the general muddle and disorder of the way he kept all the notes of his Lockerbie investigations.

      That rather implies that it wasn't part of a prototype given to Fluckiger the following month. If it was planted, I think it has to have been planted some time on 14th, 15th or 16th January 1989. And I don't much like the implications of the possibility that someone in a position to get something into the Lockerbie evidence had that one all ready to go only three weeks after the disaster before much of the evidence had even been collected.

      But yeah, another Mebo prototype, I think so.

      These are real events. This isn't Frederick Forsyth on an acid trip, fouling up his plot-line with inconsistencies and mistakes. Somewhere in there, there is a truth to be found. I'd have thought the more people trying out different ideas and shifting the pieces round until they look like a coherent and convincing explanation, the better.

      There are problems with my speculations, and there are problems with Ludwig's speculations. Maybe the truth is some sort of fusion of both. I'm prepared to talk about my ideas, modify them, take on board new information and new possibilities. Pity Ludwig isn't.

      Delete
  3. I don’t think it’s helpful to indulge in personal insults. It seems you dislike Ludwig de Braekeleer, but this kind of invective really doesn’t help our common aim which is to find the truth about the Lockerbie atrocity. In saying that “he refuses to talk to anyone who doesn't fawn adoringly over his every word” and that “he flatly refuses to talk to anyone who doesn't follow the line of "Ludwig you're a genius, you can't be wrong" is to insult all those Lockerbie researchers and experts who appreciate that his output over many years has made many important contributions to finding the truth about Lockerbie and who regard him as a colleague. I’ve corresponded with Ludwig, spoken to him via Skype and met him; and I don’t fawn adoringly over him and nor do I think he’s a genius or that he can’t be wrong. Let’s just try to keep it civil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, I was a bit cross. But I spent quite a bit of time writing comments which I posted on Ludwig's blog, all very relevant to what he had posted. I was pointing out other bits of evidence and asking how they fitted in, I was suggesting other explanations and looking for comment, that sort of thing.

      I know he read them because he quoted one of these comments in a thread here, in a rather supercilious manner. However he didn't ever approve the comments on his blog and he has repeatedly refused to engage on the issues. After this happened I was contacted by a couple of other people who said they also had extensive comments non-approved. Comments which suggested alternative explanations to the ones Ludwig was proposing.

      I don't like his allusive, oblique writing style. He seldom comes out and explains what he actually means about some observation or piece of evidence, preferring to string the readers along with hints and nudges. He's said he has some great revelation he's working up to, but he won't reveal it until the end of next year (the 30th anniversary?) Hasn't this gone on long enough?

      He has studied PT/35b in great detail. He has facts about it at his fingertips that the rest of us recall only with difficulty. He has found two further discrepancies between the fragment and the Thuring boards. I just wish he would explain himself in clear and deign to engage in dialogue about possible interpretations of what he has found. He doesn't, and I find it frustrating.

      Delete
  4. Thank you, Rolfe.

    It's a real hard one to follow about that PT/35b.
    This should all have been done with the enormous resources of then investigative authorities.
    That was their duty, instead the differences were ignored, and later conveniently swept under the carpet at the trial with the word "similar".

    Much too much has happened with this fragment. The burden of proof falls on the prosecutors of Megrahi.

    And for this reason the investigators must be careful to be correct. The elaborate CLOTHES turning to DEBRIS - which I would never have spotted - is for this reason serious. As you point out in your book, the right way to correct such mistakes is simply to overstrike the wrong word, then write the correct one.

    Now all this must end up being speculative and inconclusive. And interesting!

    Of course, in the big question: do we have conclusive evidence that the person Megrahi knowingly participated in a plot to bomb Panam103, it does not matter much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some hopes that Operation Sandwood might have taken this further with better resources than we have. If they have indeed found out what it is, or even have a plausible explanation of what it might be, the trick will be getting that into the public domain.

      Delete
  5. If we take two presumptions as a starting point, where can we go?

    First, that the shirt collar PI/995 fell out of the sky. Ludwig's work seems to show that to a very high degree of probability. (I have to admit I was disappointed by that because a theory whereby the ready-prepared shirt collar was introduced into the evidence chain would have been a lot easier to construct.)

    Second, that PT/35b originates from a prototype or demonstration timer made at Mebo around 1986. This is purely my conclusion, based on the logic of the Thuring boards becoming available in (I think) 1986, and the pointlessness of creating more boards from the template after these were available.

    The first conundrum is, was the fragment (and the bits of radio/manual) inside the collar when it fell from the sky, or not? I have absolutely no idea why a prototype MST-13 timer, or a bit of it, would be close to an explosion that was triggered by one of Khreesat's altimeter bombs. If you have such a timer, why not just use it and set the explosion to go off over the ocean at midnight? But not only that, we know the intact timer wouldn't go inside the radio. So either the innards were taken out of the case and squirrelled inside the radio (Feraday thought that had been done and that the timer was still functional like that, ha ha), or the intact timer was outside the radio. Where it would have been a bit obvious if the suitcase had been x-rayed, and I think this thing was meant to be x-ray proof. So this possibility is a real problem.

    But so is the alternative, that the "debris" was inserted into the collar after it fell to earth. The far end of the timeline for that is, as Ludwig says, January 1990. The fragment definitely existed then - I think it was 25th January when it was turned over to the Scottish police at Heathrow. So when and how was it inserted into the chain of evidence?

    Despite all the anomalies in the documentation, I keep being pushed earlier and earlier. Hayes and Feraday were not competent. The idea that such a blatant clue could have been seen in May 1989 and then just forgotten about until September (and then again until after Christmas) seems implausible, but with these two, it's possible. Hayes's notes are a complete dog's breakfast of interpolated pages and inconsistent chronology, and as he insisted on doing it all by himself there were constant complaints about delays in the examination. (And then he quit his job in September.) So the anomalies in the documentation may not be as sinister as they look.

    The sticking point here is photograph 117. The SCCRC looked at the provenance of that and found it dated to May 1989. Yes, I can think of ways that could have been faked, but the complications of these ideas get more and more convoluted until you end up thinking, do you really, really imagine anyone actually did this? The problem is a lot of minor details that fit with May 1989, but which a retrospective forger really wouldn't be at all likely to have introduced. Way too complicated.

    The photograph shows bits of the radio manual. And although PT/35b itself wasn’t deemed worthy of further investigation at that point, the wad of paper was. It may be that the radio was the main item of interest at the time, and the investigators pounced on the manual pages and just forgot about the PCB fragment. For whatever reason we have a series of closeups of the scraps of paper, and diagrams about where they came from in the intact manual, dated May or June 1989. These photos were taken after the wad of paper was separated into pages, but photograph 117 shows the wad still unseparated. It also shows PT/35b.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The SCCRC looked into the chain of custody of the shirt collar and found it all to be in order from when it was at Dextar. I think we have to accept that for the moment. But, they said that to be fabricated the fragment would have to have been placed in the field before 13th January and I don't think that's right.

      I don't think it was placed in the field. The recovery positions of the four pieces of shirt show it fell out of the sky, and I don't think anyone was crawling around in a field looking for a bit of singed cloth to insert fake evidence into. I think we have to look at what was going on at Dextar.

      The scrap of cloth was recovered on 13th January according to the label. That was a Friday. It wasn't logged into Holmes until 17th January, the following Tuesday. The label was signed by Glichrist and McColm. We know McColm had landed himself a cushy job in the Dextar warehouse sorting the recovered debris and didn't go out in the field. We also know he had a pretty cavalier attitude to chain of custody. So why did he sign that label?

      We're invited to imagine that every bit of debris that was picked up from a field was individually scrutinised by both the finder and the team leader, who bagged it individually and signed the label then and there. Rubbish. I think that field was cleared of debris as fast as possible on the Friday afternoon, and taken back to Dextar as a job lot to be sorted and labelled there. I think that wasn't done until four days later, by Glichrist and McColm, who signed the label then.

      As an aside, I think that's why Gilchrist was so nervous before giving evidence. The prosecution counsel questioned him very carefully so that he could give the impression that he'd picked the thing up on the Friday when he didn't. He never had to say anything that was strictly untrue, but the whole thing sails quite close to the wind.

      So here we have a bag of debris from Blinkbonny farm near Newcastleton sitting unsorted for three whole days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We also have US agents making themselves at home within the investigation. Tom Thurman was there at the time. It's not too big a stretch to imagine someone tasked with planting evidence in the debris could have managed to get hold of a scrap of singed cloth and fill it with debris - with or without McColm's knowledge.

      The thing that worries me is, what sort of background do we have to postulate to have US agents there at Lockerbie as early as mid-January 1989, just three weeks after the disaster, trying to plant carefully-crafted pieces of evidence designed to deflect the inquiry and point it in a particular direction, to Libya. I feel as if I've woken up in the middle of that Frederick Forsyth plot, not real life.

      Delete
    2. The easy answer to how did the fragment get into the chain of evidence is that a prototype timer was given to Fluckiger in June 1989 and he passed it on to the Americans, who planted it. The explanation for the discrepancies in the PCB structure is that the thing was made as a test or demo model before the Thuring boards were available, and three years or so later nobody remembered that the thing didn't have Thuring-made boards inside it. Why not use a Thuring board? They weren't made up into timers, and whatever was used as a counterfeit would have to look as if it had been part of a working timer. PT/35b had components soldered on to it. So rather than make up a new timer using spare Thuring boards (as Mebo did for the police investigation later) they just handed over the existing assembled timer.

      But this doesn't fit either Ludwig's timing or mine. It's too late for me, because I think PT/35b was really there on Hayes's lab bench on 12th May. It's too early for Ludwig because he thinks the PCB wasn't made until the end of the year. (Why anyone had to make a new one from the template with a couple of dozen spares lying around is not explained.)

      None of these explanations makes complete sense. I still think this thing was made at Mebo, but it could have been given as a sample to a client, as the two given to the Stasi were. We can't even be 100% sure it wasn't part of one of the Stasi timers, although Lumpert said neither of these had the solder resist on the back. In that case, somehow it got from this recipient, into the Lockerbie chain of evidence. Or the thing stayed at Mebo before being handed over to be used as a counterfeit pointing to Libya.

      Maybe Ludwig can narrow this down. Maybe he has a better explanation, though I can't see how to get over the conundrum of why make a new PCB when all these perfect-match spares are just lying around.

      I'm thinking aloud really. Maybe Sandwood has discovered something that will make better sense of this.

      Delete
  6. Rolfe, companies like MEBO don't produce their own PCBs themselves, not even as prototypes or demo models as you suggest. They only do the design work and they leave the manufacturing to specialists like Thuring. Producing a PCB is a task that requires special skills and equipment, especially for a fairly sophisticated PCB like in the MST-13.

    MEBO might possibly have made some crude prototype circuits themselves just to check that the circuitry works, and for doing test and measurement. But those would be built on general-purpose prototyping boards, by manually wiring components together. They would not have any reason to use a PCB at that stage.

    It therefore seems very unlikely that any MST-13 PCBs were produced before Thuring were given the contract. And since PT35b had a pure tin coating instead of the lead-tin coating that Thuringer always applied, it looks like PT35b was from a copy of MST-13, not from an original.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lumpert did produce prototype boards, all that is known. PT/35b looks like such a prototype board, except it has the green backing Lumpert said he didn't apply to the prototypes he has told us about.

      Amateur PCB production as a hobby, using liquid tin for the tinning stage, is quite common. PT/35b seems to have been produced by such a process, using the Letraset template Lumpert made. I'm very intrigued by the provenance of the virgin board, which Ludwig is suggesting was not one of the boards supplied by Isola which Thuring used for the production runs, but is nevertheless extremely similar.

      Delete
    2. According to both Lumpert and Bollier, Lumpert produced some prototype MST-13s that Bollier delivered to the Stasi in East Berlin in February 1985 (that was months before the Thuring boards were produced).

      However there seems to be no evidence and no other witnesses to confirm these early prototypes. The only documents about PCBs that I've come across are from mid-1985 onwards.

      The Scottish judges accepted that Bollier delivered MST-13s to the Stasi, but that was in Summer 1985 (they don't mention anything about a February delivery). They also point out that a Stasi officer said that he destroyed those timers afterwards.

      In his 2007 affidavit, Lumpert said that he had lied when he said he threw away a spare board from the Stasi batch (he said in 2007 that he actually stole it and gave it to some intelligence officer). That casts doubt on his whole testimony about the early prototypes.

      Delete
    3. Another thing that convinces me that PT35b was not made in-house by MEBO is that the tracks are too narrow to be designed by someone who is not a professional PCB maker.

      I don't know the exact thickness but it's much less than a millimeter. That's not just for the those tiny strips of track that are seen on PT35b, it's for nearly all of the tracks on the MST-13 board. If there's a gap in any part of those tracks, the device won't work. You would have to have a lot of confidence in your production process to design that kind of fine detail, especially in the mid-1980s.

      Delete
    4. The difficulty there is the PT/35b was made from the Letraset template made by Lumpert. Whoever made it had the template.

      Thuring did the production line PCBs. What PT/35b seems to originate from is in effect an amateur board made from the same template.

      Delete
    5. I find it hard to believe that a Letraset template was used to design a PCB with such fine detail, unless someone can confirm that it was. It's not just that the tracks were so narrow, it's that their edges were very straight (not jagged), as can be seen in the image on Ludwig's site that's linked to above.

      The PCB that PT35b came from could have been designed on a computer, since computer aided design software started to become affordable to small businesses in the early and mid-1980s. In that case, the resolution of the tracks would be limited only by the production process and not by any template.

      Delete
    6. There is a photo of the Letraset template in the forensic report. Irregularities in the way the Letraset was trimmed prove that PT35/b was made from the template. I don't think Mebo ran to a computer in 1986.

      Delete
    7. If there is a photo I'll accept it, but has it been confirmed that it was from something like Letraset or was it a computer-generated slide? Irregularities can occur in computer aided design too, depending on how much trouble the designer takes to get the details right. Nowadays it's a trivial task to automaticaly smooth off corners of lines, but some 1980s software might not have had that feature. Back then, a lot of designers were just happy that they could save so much time by not fiddling with tiny pattern strips.

      But it's probably not all that important anyway whether the alleged forgers had access to a blueprint or template - whether on a transparency or a computer file - since they could have cloned the PCB fragment from a photo of an original board.

      Having a blueprint would make their job a lot easier, but they could do the same thing from taking a high quality image of that corner of an original board and converting it into a track pattern for a copy. That's not an easy task but it would be within the capabilities of an organisation that could cut the border shape of the PT35b board so accurately.

      Delete
    8. Even if MEBO created their own high-resolution PCB template, that doesn't mean that they also produced PCBs from it themselves. PCB design and PCB production are too completely different tasks. It's unlikely that Lumpert or MEBO had the tools and expertise to etch PCBs to such fine resolution. Getting experts like Thuring to do it would have been a more obvious thing to do.

      But as your remark "Whoever made it had the template." seems to suggest, if someone could get their hands on the template (or computer file on floppy disk?) they could have used it to produce PT35b.

      Delete
    9. It's my own assessment that the template is Letraset, however I used that a lot myself in the pre-computer 1980s and I'm certain it is. (It's a fiddly job done well, I agree.) Edwin could tell us all this of course but it's my betting that he won't.

      I've written about this elsewhere, but while a photographic clone of an existing circuit board is possible, I really don't think it's that. I think the correspondence to the template is too close (my assessment), and the thing is, if you want an MST-13 circuit board to plant to point to Libya, why destroy the timer you have to make an imperfect copy when you could simply use the original board you already have. Which is of course going to pass any forensic test with flying colours.

      Mebo has always been a small outfit, a couple of rooms in a shared building. I was working at London University in 1986 and we didn't have computers. That circuit board was designed by Lumpert in the old-fashioned way, he made a template using Letraset, then he hand-made a few boards to test it out before passing the template to Thuring to handle the production run.

      Or that's my understanding. If I'm wrong Edwin could enlighten me if he chose of course. If there was a computer file with the template pattern in it that would change the metrics of this whole thing but I've never heard such a thing mentioned and I don't think there was.

      Delete
    10. I suppose a photograph of the template is another possibility, but that again goes back to who had the template. Mebo. Mebo also had a couple of dozen spare boards from Thuring, so not much call for making another imperfect copy from the template or a photograph of it once these existed.

      Delete

  7. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE,2017, Doc. Nr.50112307.rtf > by actuality, currently only in German, partially:

    Dear Dr. Rolfe, > Folgende, beweisbare MST13 Timer These, wird die Scottish Police, "Operation SANDWOOD" zum entscheidenden Beweisbetrug des 20. Jahrhundert führen...

    Um Klarheit zu schaffen muss die erste Sequenz des analogen Vorspanns, um das MST13 Timer Fragment (PT35) ausgeblendet werden. Das Versäumnis der mangelhaften Aufarbeitung vor dem "Lockerbie Prozess" 1999/2000, wird später eingeholt.
    Aus dem "Prolog" geht jedoch verständlich hervor, dass mit kriminellen Machenschaften (Manipulationen und falschen Zeugenaussagen von Staatsangestellten unter Eid, anfänglich verdeckt - zielgerichtet das damalige Gaddafi Regime in Libyen, im Fokus stand.

    Wir leben und denken inzwischen im digitalen Zeitalter und MEBO kann, abgestützt auf freigegebene geheime BKA & FBI- Dokumente, etc. auf "Hashtag Art", die entscheidende Kurzstory mit dem "verflixten (PT35/b) Fragment exponieren:

    Wie konnte das damalige Gaddafi Regime in Libyen und der Offizielle, Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, in der Lockerbie Tragödie /PanAm 103, bis heute rechtsgültig, dafür verantwortlich gemacht werden ? (vorläufig)

    Offenbar für eine politish geplante Aktion, wurde (nicht zufällig) am 16. Januar 1990, von Experte Dr. Thomas Hayes, im Labor bei RARDE, in einem Slalom Shirt, ein schwarz karbonisiertes MST13 Timer Fragment (PT35) in einem Slalom-Shirt entdeckt.

    > Ab hier wird die erste Sequenz über den weiteren detailierten Ermittlungs
    Verlauf mit dem ersten MST13 Timer Fragment (PT35) ausgeblendet.<

    Das MST13 Timerfragment (PT35) wurde bei Siemens am 27. April 1990, zersägt und später durch eine weitere Manipulation schliesslich als Patchwork (PT35/b) und (DP31/a) vorgestellt,

    Ab Mitte Mai 1990, musste jemandem klar geworden sein, dass das Gaddafi Regime mit dem ersten, schwarz karbonisierten Fragment (PT35) aus forensischen Gründen, nicht mit dem "Bombing" auf PanAm 103, in Verbindung gebracht werden kann.
    Eine andere kriminelle "Machenschaft" musste konzipiert werden.
    Einem bekannten schottischen "Verbindungsmann" wurde durch FBI Experte Tom Thurman bekannt , dass FBI von CIA, in Besitz eines funktionierenden MST13 Timer gekommen war, welcher 1986, in TOGO angeblich bei einem libyschen Staatsangehörigen beschlagnahmt- und der CIA, ausgehändigt wurde.

    Nachdem von Dr. Thomas Hayes, bei RARDE (ein schwarz karbonisiertes) MST13 Timerfragment (PT35) - angeblich am 12. Mai 1990, in einem Slalom Shirt bei RARDE, entdeckt und auf einer zusätzlichen "fake" Seite Nr. 51 im RARDE Report 181, registriert wurde , war ab 15. Mai 1990, ein zweites - (diesmal ein grünes) zweiseitig mit Soldermask überzogenes, "fake" MST 13 Timerfragment mit gleicher Bezeichnung (PT35) bei den Scots, aufgetaucht.
    Deshalb besuchten Anfang Juni 1990, 'Scottish Officials', unter Leitung von SIO Chef Stuart Henderson (Scottish Police) das FBI Labor in Washington, um u.a. das zweite (PT35) Fragment, für einem Vergleich zwischen dem, von MEBO AG, zuvor nach Libyen gelieferten 'MST13 Timer' (TOGO Timer "K-1") forensisch untersuchen zulassen.
    Ein bis 2012, classified ("SECRET") gehaltenens FBI - Investigation *Document, No. 262-23, vom 20. August 1990, stützt sich auf die Angaben von > Forensic Scientists at the Forensic Laboratory, Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment (RARDE) - that on January 22, 1990, Forensic Scientists at RARDE advised that they had discovered, trapped in the Slalom shirt, several fragments of black plastics u.a. a fragment of green circuit board and have identified these items also as production number (PT35).

    * LINK to FBI-Doc. no. 262-23: > https://pt35b.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/36-fbi-report-dated-20-august-1990.pdf

    continued below >>>

    ReplyDelete
  8. MEBO Doc. continued >>>

    The Scottish Police have determined, after extensive investigation, that the green circuit board (PT 35) is (only) single sided (with tracks) and composed of nine (9) layers of glass cloth, type 7628.
    It the green circuit board) ic decoribed ac a ono ounoo, copper clad, FR4 epoxy glass laminata circuit board, 1.6 millirneters (mm) thick. This glass cloth laminate is manufactured using a Bisphenol A epoxy resin cured with Dicyandiamide. A solder mask has been applied to both sides of the board. The solder mask appears to be a wet epoxy base type that was either screen printed or brushed on to the board.
    *The small tracks on the board are nominally one ten thousandth of an inch, 250 microns, with 450 microns spacing between the tracks. The tracks are
    coated with pure tin, probably from an electrolysis tin solution, presumably to aid in aolderability. Normal electronic grade solder, 60 to 65 per cent tin (with the remainder lead), has been used to make a solder connection to the pad.

    * MEBO Kommentar: Das zeigt, dass die Scots zuvor, selber die forensischen Untersuchungen, an einem Prototyp MST13 Timer Circuit Board der Firma Thüring, ausgeführt haben, oder an einem anderen unbekannten Circuit Board. Das Fragment, welches dem FBI-Labor zur forensischen Begutachtung übergeben wurde, hatte keine silbrig, verzinnten "Tracks"; - diese Tracks waren aus puren Kupfer und versiegelt/überdruckt mit schwarzem "Epoxy!
    (siehe und vergleiche Circuit Board DP-111, mit Bild 2, Prototyp Platine von Thüring).)

    Personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Explosives Unit discovered a similarity between the circuit board fragment (PT 35) and a printed circuit board, which is a component part of an electronic timer recovered In Africa in September, 1986 (now referred as specimen K-l).

    On June 22, 1990, a side by side comparison of specimen K-l and PT 35, resulted in a positive identification of PT 35, as being similar to spaciman K-l. In essence, it has been determined that the PT35 circuit board fragment originated from a circuit board that was like or identical to specimen K-l circuit board, Specimen (K-1) is described as part of a digital, battery operated, long delay timer detonator, capable of providing electrical power to fire an electrical cletonator, which would initiate the high explosive main charge. (SECRET)!

    Der Zeitpunkt war gekommen, damit jetzt offiziell das Gaddafi Regime in Libyen mit dem effektvollen und formidablen - "PAN AM 103 OVERSEAS HOMICIDE /ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE INTERNATIONAL TERROSISM" - verwickelt werden konnte...

    Continued below >>>

    ReplyDelete
  9. continued MEBO doc.

    Lord Advocate, Andrew Hardie (Crown Office) von Scotland, war Ende August 1990, im Besitz des (secret) Investigation FBI-Report no. 262-23.
    Nun konnte sich Lord Advocate, auf die Deskription im FBI-Dokument abstützen, und er verlangte von der Schweizerischen Bundesanwaltschaft (jetzt offiziell auf Polizei Ebene) Internationale Rechtshilfe, speziell im Ramen über MeBo AG /Meister & Bollier). Die Rechtshilfe im Gegenrecht wurde ab 30. Oktober 1990, erteilt.
    Wie aus zurückgehaltenen Dokumente heute hervor geht, liefen in dieser Sache - lange Zeit vor der Erteilung der polizeilichen Rechtshilfe - geheime Ermittlungen durch bekannte Geheimdienste, speziell über den Fabrikanten der MST13 Timer (MEBO AG).
    Am 14./15. November 1991, wurde von USA & Scotland UK, im "Lockerbie Fall, PanAm 103", eine nach Libyen gerichtete, Anklage gegen Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi & Lamin, Khalifa Fhimah erhoben.
    Am 3. Mai 2000 begann der Prozess in Kamp van Zeist (Lockerbie Trial HMA / Megrahi and Fhimah, Fall 1475/99) gegen die Libyer Lamin Khalfa und Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi.

    Am 31. Januar 2001 wurde Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, zu einer lebenslangen Haftstrafe verurteilt, Khalifa Fhimah wurde freigesprochen. The trial was far from fair and proper.

    Eine "Application" ist seit dem 4.Juli 2017, bei The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) hängend

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd, Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage: www.lockerbie.ch

    ReplyDelete
  10. Correction: sorry, the first MST13 timer fragment (PT35) was from Dr. Thomas Hayes allegedly found on 12 May 1989 (not 1990)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bollier's wife was Iranian and the Libyans told me they could use it as well as the US DIA saying it was it was Iran. I was told point blank they had to do a defence that would not embarrass the US or the UK or the sanctions would be on forever. Ferguson said ' the trial was only about the sanctions on the Libyan side and money on the US.. not who did it. The Libyans offered to pay the FULL 3 Billion without a trial and were rejected.

    Congratulate the Iranians as the National Iranian oil company now has north seas contracts; the Scots are now allowed to have a national oil company

    ReplyDelete
  12. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2017:
    Dear Dr. Rolfe, you are right with your view.

    Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Ross Ferry (Scottish Police) informed the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) in Germany on 9, May 1990, that the Original MST-13 fragment was detected in January 1990, and not earlier (12, May 1989) as claimed unter oath, from Witness Expert Dr. Thomas Hayes (RARDE) !
    Question: Who told DCI Ferry that the fragment was detected in January 1990 ? Why was this statement at the court 2000, at Zeist "embezzled" ?

    It seems that not many experts knew that Thüring delivered first, a small number of machine made prototype boards to MEBO. The conductor tracks showed silvery solder tracks.
    The *solder tracks looked similar to the ones visible on the bottom of the Original MST-13 fragment as found alleged in the Lockerbie area > then from Dr. Hayes the fragment (PT35) was discovered in a SLALOM shirt in the RARDE Laboratory, on January 16, 1990...
    *Main difference: The solder on the Original fragment was applied by hand and not as precise as the machine made Thüring prototype boards and had 3 scratches and a letter make, by Ing. Ulrich Lumpert

    Many of this Thüring prototyp circuit boards were handed over to the Scottish Police in 1990, by Edwin Bollier, via BUPO, including 2 complete MST13 timers in housing, were ordered and sold from MEBO Ltd, to Scottish Police, one with Thüring prototype circuit board, (only one side with green soldermask) - the second MST13 timer in housing with Thüring circuit board, have tracks with copper, black overprinted and was coated on both sides with green solder mask. as the MST13 timers delivered to Libya...
    Additional empty Thüring MST13 Timer circuit boards, on both sides with green soldermask were also handed to Scottish Police. (same as in the Libya delivered MST13 timers)

    Which circuit board material was forensically examined? There could be
    4 possibilities and it leaves room for speculations:

    1) Original MST-13 fragment as found in the Lockerbie areas. (photo with red circle) Photo nr.107 ? by Siemens cut into two parts...

    2) Thüring prototype board; silvery solder on conductor tracks; not delivered to Libya. > Various forensic studies were done in order of Scots, one of these circuit boards ! see false proof photo DP/347 (a) PP8932, shown at court in Zeist !

    3) Thüring MST-13 circuit board as delivered to Libya; black conductor tracks. > Yes a part of such an MST 13 timer circuit board, was used as a forensic comparison with the TOGO MST13 Timer (K1).
    Started on June 1990, under SIO Chef Stuart Henderson, (Scottish Police) Experts Dr. Hayes, Allen Feraday (RARDE) DI Gilchrist und Mr. MacLean, visited the FBI Laboratory in Washington. They brought a „fake“ MST-13 Timer for an important forensic comparison with the so called Togo-Timer.(K-1”) (Foto HZ).
    For the fabrication of this Timerfragment (green coloured with solder mask on both sides, the same Thüring material was used as delivered to Libya. Of course the comparison showed positive results.
    If they would have brought the Original MST-13 fragment for a comparison, the result would have been very different because this prototype was never delivered to Libya.
    At the time of the 1:1 comparison the original was already cut into two pieces by Siemens. It looks as the trick worked and they were now ready to blame the Libyans.

    4) Possibly a circuit boards made by a Third Party in the ???...

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage: www.lockerbie > facebook > https://www.facebook.com/edwin.bollier > and >https://twitter.com/optium22

    ReplyDelete
  13. Reg. whether Letraset or not.
    If this is what we are talking about
    https://pt35b.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/pt92-p9.jpg
    well, as old small-scale electronics manufacturer I have not the slightest doubt that this is Letraset-made (very nicely, BTW).
    The uneven junctions and corners are the hallmark of this method.
    The problem was of course, that stopping a line could not be done very precisely, so you made it a bit too long, and post-adjusted by scratching with the point of something sharp.
    This is of course also why the corners vary so much. Some are near perfect and some are not-so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A few things to note about that PCB:

      - Look at the scale on that image - the whole board is only about 6 cm wide. Fitting all those thin tracks, some of them very close together, by hand in that small area would be extremely fiddly. That is, unless the template was much larger than the actual board size and then scaled down by the PCB manufacterer (I don't know if that's possible but I've never heard of it being done).

      - The fact that the designer made most of the tracks much thinner than necessary suggests that he had full confidence in the consistency of the design, which would be much harder to achieve by fiddling with Letraset than by computer. The only tracks that had to be made very thin were those that had to be packed close together. Making all the other ones thicker would make it less likely that gaps in the copper tracks would occur due to any imperfections.

      - The fact that tracks are all the same size also suggests that they were designed by simple software with limited features, such as the first generation of affordable PCB design applications that started to appear in the early to mid 1980s. With Letraset, on the other hand, it's easy to use different tracks of different widths.

      - The uneven junctions and corners could also be created by simple software that just joins up lines and lacks features for smoothening out irregularities. Just like with a physical template, the overshooting of the lines could be avoided if the designer is careful enough, but he generally would not be bothered by small imperfections that are not serious enough to harm the performance of the final product.

      Delete
    2. SM, no, that's not what I'm talking about. This is what I'm talking about. www.vetpath.co.uk/netpics/template2.jpg

      That's the entire field shown in the JFR, there isn't an image of the whole thing in that form. There is also an image of what seems to be an earlier stage in the process, with the pattern drawn very neatly on graph paper, without any of the irregularities where the lines seem to be trimmed at the ends.

      I appreciate it's small and fiddly, but it sure looks like Letraset to me. Of course Edwin is posting in this thread and he could tell us but it's my betting he won't.

      Delete
    3. Brendan, I really don't think Mebo had a computer in 1985. I'm interested in your thoughts and it would change my thinking if that template really did exist in digital form, but it seems to have been drawn at a larger scale on graph paper using manual drawing tools, and then made up in Letraset.

      Look at the image I'm saying is Letraset and tell me what you think.

      www.vetpath.co.uk/netpics/template2.jpg

      Delete
    4. Hello Rolfe/Brendan

      thanks for bringing memories back to times long forgotten!
      Where we made pcbs this way, as unreal as sending information by writing it with a pen on paper, putting it in an envelope, licking on a stamp and going to a mailbox.

      I have read Brendan's thoughts, and they are certainly valid points to bring up. I had written a detailed reply, but then I thought it was too much 'electronics-talk' on the outer edge of our main topic, so I have deleted it again.

      I will simply say that my own (professional) experience with both 'Letraset'-style (there were/are other brands) and computers gives zero room for doubt. What is shown here is the 'Letraset'-method, with characteristics so familiar that it makes me smile over those good old days.

      If not, it would have to be elaborately done with the deliberate intention to look like 'Letraset', which no pcb-layout software would ever have been able to do.

      Delete
    5. After looking at that image, I accept that it's much more likely to be produced by the Letraset method. The irregularities look too random to be produced by a computer, they're more likely to be due to man-made cuts with a scalpel. Also, if it were designed on computer, there would be no need for the graph paper drawing that you mention.

      But if the design was literally hand-made, as seems likely, I don't believe that it was produced on a 1:1 scale. A much larger pattern would be easier to make and result in less errors if was scaled down afterwards to the correct size.

      Delete
    6. Brendan, I think you're right. I'm thinking the template was constructed in Letraset but to a larger scale. Surely then it would be easy to take a photograph of that and make a print of the desired size. The print would then become the actual template.

      We're still bumping up against the fact that all this paper-based production stuff was at Mebo. Mebo also had a couple of dozen spare Thuring-made boards from (I think) 1986 on. Any one of these would have been a perfect "fake". Nobody needed to make an imperfect copy from the template.

      It's ironic that we have Edwin here in the thread, but still have to speculate like this. But he doesn't talk sense and given his track record of making stuff up around this issue we can't rely on a word of it anyway.

      I still think PT/35b came from an early attempt at making an MST-13 timer using boards that were made before the Thuring manufacturing run was delivered. I don't think it was made as a deliberate counterfeit for the purpose of misleading the Lockerbie inquiry, even if it was subsequently used for that purpose. How it got into the Lockerbie chain of evidence, well, that's the question isn't it.

      I need to read Edwin's German outpourings a bit more closely and see if there's any nugget there that might be helpful. I fear his intention is to obfuscate rather than illuminate though.

      Delete
    7. I've yet to see any evidence that any MST-13 boards were built before the Thuring contract. All we have is the word of two unreliable witnesses from MEBO.

      There appears to be no record of any other professional PCB maker making the boards. MEBO did not appear to have the capability to etch a board with that fine detail, even if they had a perfect copy of the PCB pattern.

      Delete
    8. I really didn't think it was that difficult. I've seen YouTube videos showing people how to do it.

      The paradox is the pattern of the circuitry showing the same irregularity as the Letraset template, but the tinning being done by the electroless liquid tin method used by hobbyists for one-off boards rather than the production-line manufacturing process used by Thüring to make the boards for the Libyan order. How do you square that one?

      Delete
    9. Dear Brendan, Please check the comment under 'CIRCUIT DIAGRAM'. It may be quite interesting... Regards, L

      Lockerbie — MEBO TELECOM and the Story of the MST-13 Timers

      https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/lockerbie-mebo-telecom-and-the-story-of-the-mst-13-timers/

      Delete
    10. That is actually extremely interesting. I wish (yet again) the Ludwig's presentational style was less allusive, meandering and directionless.

      So the date I wasn't sure of was 16th August 1985. That's when the first Thüring boards were delivered to Mebo. I can see no reason for making an amateur, electroless-tinned board after that date, once the manufactured ones were available. Ludwig may know of some reason but it is a point he never addresses.

      Electroless tinned boards have to be made up into finished instruments within a few days of the board being tinned, otherwise the solder won't stick. So I think the entire timer PT/35b comes from dates back before 16th August 1985. Bearing in mind that PT/35b had solder blobs on it and appeared to be part of a working instrument.

      It may indeed all be much more murky than it appears at first sight and Ludwig's point about Mebo being under surveillance and allowed to operate under sufferance is a fair one. However, I keep coming back to the point that if you're trying to pretend that a timer supplied to Libya was used to detonate the Lockerbie bomb, and there are a couple of dozen spare circuit boards left over from the actual production run, any of which would of course be a perfect match for the Libyan instruments, why do you produce an imperfect copy from the template instead of using what's there?

      Delete
    11. Rolfe: "I really didn't think it was that difficult. I've seen YouTube videos showing people how to do it."

      Anyone can get the equipment and materials and learn to etch PCBs, but hobbyists usually build simple circuits with wide tracks, especially in the 1980's when surface mounted components were very rarely used.

      I've read that MST-13 has a track width of only 250 microns and a track spacing of 400 microns. That means that a flaw just a fraction of a millimeter in size can cause either an open circuit or short circuit in almost any part of the copper layout. To stop that from happening, you need a very careful controlled ething process, which is normally something that only professional PCB makers can provide.

      The only way that Lumpert could have produced MST-13 prototypes is if he had a lot of expertise in PCB making that I have not read about yet. Not only that, but he would also need to have a lot of confidence in his skills, as seen in the fact that he made most of the tracks narrower than was necessary. If he had any fear that the boards would not turn out OK, he could have made most of the tracks wider. That would have been an easy thing to do, especially compared to all effort he made in laying out the pattern, apparently with Letraset.

      So I can imagine MEBO contacting Thuring who would say something like "250 width, 400 spacing? No problem" , and then Lumpert saying "Ah, then I can just design the whole PCB that way".

      Delete
    12. Rolfe: "The paradox is the pattern of the circuitry showing the same irregularity as the Letraset template, but the tinning being done by the electroless liquid tin method used by hobbyists for one-off boards rather than the production-line manufacturing process used by Thüring to make the boards for the Libyan order. How do you square that one?"

      Yes, the forgers (if there were any) did not do as good a job at copying the 'tinning' as they did with the PCB layout.

      Any differences in the layout pattern would be obvious to anyone with a functioning pair of eyes, not just to experts. So the forgers felt they had to get that much right.

      As far as the tinning is concerned, they apparently thought that MST-13 really had a pure tin layer on it. Part of the reason for that could be that they took the word 'tinning' too literaly, maybe they saw the word 'Zinn' on the Thüring order.

      Another reason could be that the overall coating on the first batch of Thüring boards did not look very professional, unlike their tracking. If I remember correctly (I find it hard to keep track of the different layers on different versions and batches), the first batch of boards had no solder mask on the etched side of the board, where the only coating was the tinning on the tracks. This was apparently requested by Lumpert to make it easier to do any modifications that might be necessary. Professionally made PCBs (like Thüring 's second batch, as far as I remember) are applied with a solder mask, except for the pads which are tinned to make it possible to solder on them.

      What might have happened is that the forgers looked at an original board that they wanted to clone. They saw the simple coating applied to it and concluded that the manufacturer only specialised in etching but not in coating. But a manufacturer does not want to leave copper tracks bare because they're difficult to solder on, especially if they form an oxide layer after being in storage for a long time. In that case, so the forgers might have thought, the manufacturer might apply a simple tin electroless plating, which is something that anyone could do in their kitchen if they order a bottle of the chemicals.

      If the forgers had been thorough they would have tested to see what the tinning material was, but they could have been misled by the apparently unprofessional finish on the board.

      Delete

    13. Ludwig, if PT35b wasn't produced by Thüring or MEBO, then someone else must have made it. Hopefuly your research will lead to more information about who that was. Of course, that's something that the professional investigators should already be working on.

      Delete
    14. What might have happened is that the forgers looked at an original board that they wanted to clone.

      Sorry to take so long to reply to this, Brendan. Tell me, why would the forgers clone a board from an original they already had? It makes no sense.

      I did think this was a possibility, until I considered it more carefully. Someone who had one of the timers but didn't have access to the template might have done this, in theory. But how would they have gone about it? First you'd have to strip all the components off the board and clean away all the solder. Then you'd have to photograph the naked board.

      ALso, small and fiddly, remember? Narrow tracks and all that. And the visual match is pretty much perfect, which makes me suspect it's too perfect to be a cloned copy, but never mind that for now.

      What do you use as a virgin board to make your counterfeit? Nine layers of fibreglass, not so usual as eight layers but "common in Italy". Fibreglass, glue, copper, solder resist, everything was nearly perfect. Ludwig has found some interesting discrepancies for sure, but they're very subtle. To know what you're copying, even to get the nine layers of fibreglass right, you'd have to cut into the original and count the layers. Even maybe analyse some parts of it?

      Basically, you'd have to destroy the timer you had and probably destroy the board you were cloning. The board you are cloning is presumably one of the Thüring boards, itself a perfect "counterfeit". Why destroy it to make an imperfect counterfeit? Why not just use the board you have?

      Delete
  14. There is also the word "schwarzoxidieren" on both Thuring orders. Schwarzoxidieren is the blackening of the copper tracks before solder mask is applied. (no black epoxy as mr. Edwin is stating). The boards from the first order have black letters and solders mask on one side, the boards from the second order have black letters or tracks and solder mask on both sides. If the forgers have tried to make a perfect copy they must have had knowledge of the first batch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to Xiaoya Ta > from MEBO
      It is possible that the copper tracks only "black oxidized" were (was not with epoxy overprinted) only with solder mask, as visible on the circuit board in the "MST13 Togo timer K-1" > and was 100% equal by comparison with the MST13 timer fragment (PT35) on June 1990, at the FBI-Labor in Washington. Foto HV.
      This does change nothing at all anything because the copper tracks were not covered with silvery solder > this is important!

      best Edwin Bollier / MEBO Ltd

      Delete
  15. That black oxidation doesn't seem to get mentioned in any discussion even though there's been a lot of talk about the other layers of the PCB (copper, tinning and solder mask). I assume that any black oxide would not get burned off the board by the explosion, and therefore it could not have been originaly present on the tracks of the PT35b PCB. That board therefore appears to be copied from the first Thüring order, as you suggest (or maybe it was an early prototype as Rolfe suggests?).

    As far as I understand, in that first order the tracks only had tinning, and no solder mask or black oxidation. As I said earlier, that could have given forgers the false impression that the coating part of the production was an unsophisticated job and therefore done by electroless plating with pure tin, although the other side of the PCB looked more professionaly done.

    One problem I have with the theory that the CIA forged the fragment is that another PCB that they had (in the Togo timer in 1988) had black tracks, indicating that it came from the second Thüring order. So why did they not forge a fragment like that with those layers of coating? The only explanation I can offer is that maybe they also knew about the first order and decided to copy that instead because it was simpler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Togo timers – as well as the Senegal one -- were introduced by the CIA as evidence of Libyan International Terrorism. This was done according the Fuller Memorandum: Blame Libya & Ignore Iran, at least, for now. PT/35(b) was introduced in the Lockerbie 'chain of evidence' in a very desperate way to redirect – around Sept 89 -- the investigation from the initial culprits to Megrahi, Fimah and most importantly Libya. But -- at the time -- it did not really matter, for the only super power KNEW that there would NEVER be a trial... The urgency of the situation (and the ‘knowledge’ that no one would ever look into this) probably explains why the CIA did such a crappy job. Things did not go exactly as planned. But, thanks to the media, the Lockerbie solution went on surviving… More or less.

      Delete
    2. We're back to my original brick wall. Why would anyone make an imperfect counterfeit for the purpose of planting it in the Lockerbie evidence?

      If you have access to the original template you also have access to a couple of dozen left-over boards, surplus from the Thüring order. Why go to the extreme lengths necessary to make a perfect copy (and then fail to make it perfect) when you have a couple of dozen perfect copies right there?

      If you have one of the original timers, you have a perfect copy right there in the timer. In order to clone that you more or less have to destroy it. What's the point? Use the perfect board from the timer you have rather than destroying it to make an imperfect one.

      This is why I think the board PT/35b came from is more likely to have been made before 16th August 1985. Something made from the original template (which I think we now realise must have been a photograph of the Letraset page, scaled down), using a virgin board very similar to the Isola boards Thüring used, wanted for some purpose before the Thüring boards were available.

      Made by someone who had the template but did not have access to the manufacturing capabilities Thüring had, and so had to use liquid tin as they didn't have the facility to apply an alloy coating.

      Delete
    3. Rolfe, Pt35b was only a small fragment resembling a corner of an MST-13 board, so that corner was the only part that had to be copied from an original. There was no need to remove componenents or solder. Someone just needed to take a photo with a suitable lens to capture all the details and irregulaties in that area, and later someone else would create a copy from the outline of the tracks.

      Sure, someone planting evidence would ideally just get an original item instead of going to the trouble of creating an imperfect copy of that item. In this case, if someone had used a Thüring PCB there would have been no reason to suspect it was planted.

      The fact that nobody did that - which we know because the tinning was wrong - just means that nobody was free to destroy an original by removing the corner. Having access to a PCB does not mean that you are allowed to destroy it.

      It's possible that the only MST-13 that the forger had was in a functioning timer, like the "Togo timer", which had to be preserved.

      Or if, instead, they got their hands on a PCB from someone in MEBO, that person wanted to return it to avoid arousing suspicion. Even if some intelligence agency was able to "persuade" either Bollier or Lumpert to help them, there might be a limit to how far he would go.

      It's even possible that the forger did not have access to a PCB, but was given its full documentation and specification by someone in MEBO. If that's what happened, they got a lot of the details right, except for the tinning.

      Regarding the details of the board composition, like the number of layers, resin and laminate, I don't have the detailed knowledge to argue about that but I'm sure it's an important issue.

      Delete
    4. The Fuller memorandum, yes indeed. I don't like to speculate, but I believe the decision to implicate Libya was made shortly after the downing of Iran Air flight 655. They knew Iran would retaliate, it was inevitable. Maybe they made PT/35b long before 21 december 1988. When they heard of the plot to attack PA 103, everything was put in place and they even arranged for some people to board they wanted to get rid of (McKee,Jaafar etc.). Maybe they even swapped the clothing. They just let it happen. Stopping it would be useless, the attackers would simply choose another plane.

      Delete
    5. Above - sorry, my comment was posted before Ludwig's was visible and was intended as a reply to Brendan, above. But fortuitously it seems apposite anyway.

      Ludwig, I would really appreciate it if you would engage with this discussion. Why does anyone need to go to the enormous effort and expense of making an imperfect copy when there are perfect ones available?

      Another point which occurs to me. If indeed PT/35b was something handed over to Flückiger in June 1989, how does that square with the suggestion that the copper tracking couldn't have been made before the end of 1989 at the earliest? Given that the fragment existed by late January 1990, is this theory that the copper tracking represented a brand-new process that was only introduced for the very first time at the end of 1989 not a wee bit tenuous?

      My other problem with this idea is, if PT/35b was not fished out of the shirt collar on 12th May, how do you explain photograph 117? That shows both the PCB fragment and the unseparated wad of radio manual pages. The separated flakes of that wad were being investigated and photographed in May 1989. The SCCRC found the negative of photograph 117, dated to May 1989. Hell of a fakery job to fabricate that lot, undetectably.

      There may be good answers to all of these questions, but I would like to know what they are so I can advance my own thinking in the light of these answers.

      Delete
    6. Brendan, I don't see how it is possible to take a photograph, even of the corner of the PCB, without removing the components and the solder at least from that corner. I also don't see how it's possible to get the rest of the composition of the board (the 9-ply laminate in particular) correct or indeed nearly correct without damaging the original board itself. The Lockerbie investigators had to saw a bit off PT/35b in order to count the layers of laminate. Hey presto there were nine, even though 8-ply is more common. The Thüring boards were made from 9-ply virgin boards.

      Who would have a timer, and want to copy it while retaining the original components (even in a damaged form as they would inevitably be after the copying process)? I presume you mean the CIA. The CIA knew where Mebo was. These spare boards are just sitting there. As far as I recall there weren't quite as many as there should have been given the number said to have been delivered by Thüring, and I don't find this at all surprising. Things get lost and damaged all the time. Why on earth might someone get the template and full specifications, but somehow couldn't get one of the spares?

      Of course it's always possible to dream up specific scenarios to explain particular problems, but when the scenario starts getting improbably complicated, I think it's time to put it to one side and think of something simpler.

      Delete
    7. Rolfe,the only component on that area of the board is the relay, actually only one of its legs that's soldered onto the top left corner of the '1' shape. There's also a wire, which might need to be pushed out of the way for the photograph, or could even be temporarily removed and re-soldered later. The only irregularities are on the thin tracks, which are not blocked by any components.

      If the CIA (or whoever) used MEBO in order to create a forgery, that doesn't mean that they had complete control over them. Their agents couldn't just walk in at any time and look around and take away whatever they wanted. They would have to go through someone like Bollier or Lumpert, who might only be reluctantly cooperating under pressure. Someone like that would rightly be afraid of being set up if they handed over a perfect sample that could be planted as evidence and irrefutably traced backed to them.

      I've no idea what it takes to find out the number of layers in a board. I would need to hear the opinion of experts about whether that's possible without causing noticable destruction to the side of the board.

      Even though we don't know the exact details of how the alleged forgery happened, it's not really that complicated - someone got enough information on that part of the board to create a copy that was very exact in some ways and completely wrong in others. We can only speculate on how they did it.

      There's a big problem with your simpler scenario of an early prototype - there's no evidence for it, even though there are plenty of documents, components and samples that are associated with the later Thüring boards. I haven't seen any record of MST-13 that's dated before the summer of 1985, around the time of the first order.

      Delete
    8. Well, as I said, I could be completely wrong. But I do know one thing. Unless we keep thinking about this, and sharing ideas, and eliminating the bad ones and thinking up more good ones, we'll never figure it out.

      Now I have realised that there must have been a photo-reduction stage between the Letraset pattern and the actual scale template, I'm even more dubious about the likelihood that the PT/35b board was photographically cloned from an existing board. I can't see that the detailed pattern of the over-run of the Letraset line would be maintained so perfectly when photographing a tiny circuit board as opposed to the original Letraset pattern. But I could be wrong of course.

      So far as I know, Meister, Bollier and Lumpert pretty much were Mebo. It wasn't a big outfit. And if you think again about the catch-letter, Bollier's closeness to and willingness to co-operate with US interests is plain - as well as working with the Stasi at the same time. As Francovich said, "The Stasi had discovered Bollier was selling everything to everyone. The timers only the Libyans were supposed to have to the Stasi, and American C4 explosives, and Italian remote radio-controlled detonators. Two million deutschmarks one Stasi payment per year. And selling directly to terrorists: The Red Army Faction, Palestinians, other Arabs, in both Germanies. The Stasi even conclude Bollier must have been working for the CIA, because he seemed to be able to get very special American equipment so easily for the Stasi. Double, triple, quadruple agent. A truly neutral Swiss businessman."

      You seem to be saying that those prototype timers made from test boards made by Lumpert couldn't have existed at all, because Lumpert couldn't have made prototype circuit boards. I find this a bit problematic, considering the amount of investigation that has assumed these things actually existed. John Ashton has interviewed Lumpert about them. Lumpert gave evidence at Camp Zeist about making them. Wenzel gave evidence about receiving timers from Bollier, although I don't think he got much beyond saying that "MST-13 rings a bell".

      The idea that these things never existed at all is a new one, and I don't know what the point of inventing a story that Lumpert made things he wasn't capable of making would actually be.

      Delete
    9. I wouldn't say with total certainty that Lumpert couldn't have made prototype circuit boards, but I seriously doubt that he had the expertise and the tools to make PCBs like MST-13, since he didn't specialise in that type of work. But even if he had that capability, there are good reasons to believe that he didn't produce any himself.

      The simplest thing for MEBO to do would have been to get some company like Thüring to do the prototypes, just like the later ones. That would be hassle-free and affordable to a successful company like MEBO. That's a lot better than doing it yourself and messing around with corrosive chemicals.

      And as I said before, the fact that Lumpert didn't bother making the tracks any wider than absolutely necessary indicates that he was confident that the PCBs would be produced with high quality. It would have been trivial to make them wider since the design was done manually with something like Letraset.

      It's always possible that the reason for his confidence is that is that he happened to be a brilliant hobby PCB maker, but I think that's unlikely. The most plausible explanation is that he knew that professionals like Thüring would do the job reliably.

      Lumpert's recollection of the prototypes seems to be very hazy. He only remembered them years later when his wife reminded him of the time that he had to work on a Saturday to finish them. It's hard to lend too much credibility to what he says, especially since he changed his story when he made his affadavit. I couldn't find out anything about his interview with John Ashton but it would be interesting if he gave any specific details about designing and producing the prototypes.

      Delete
    10. John asked him about his statement in court that his prototypes were green, and wanted to know if he was talking about the green solder resist. He said no, there was no solder resist, he thought the virgin board he was using was kind of green-ish.

      John doesn't know where Lumpert got his virgin boards from, Isola or somewhere else.

      Delete
    11. Fr4 circuit board (epoxy) is always green-ish. Fr2 board (paper) s brown. Brown fr4 doesn't exist. See https://circuitboards.com/wp-content/uploads/EverythingYouWanted.pdf page 31/32.

      Delete
  16. According to prof. Ludwig's timeline the Letraset template (circuit diagram) was drawn by Lumpert on 7 august 1985. We know that PT/35b was made using this Letraset template. Why making another "early prototype" if the first 24 Thuring boards were to be delivered on 16 august?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There could be reasons. Maybe to do another test. Maybe to make a demo model that was needed before the 16th.

      I could be wrong about this, obviously. But I cannot for the life of me see why anyone would want or need to make a board with electroless tinning on it after 16th August.

      Delete
  17. Maybe the only timer they had early 1989 was the Togo-timer. Blowing it up doesn't guarantee you get the highly identifiable "1". It's easier to make some copies, put them in a bucket with Semtex H, blow the thing up and search for the fragment you need. All the other boards, DP/100, DP/111, DP/347 etc. came from MEBO much later in the investigation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think you need to blow anything up to get that fragment, if that's what you have in mind. Forceps and pliers will allow you to break a board in more or less the places you want to break it, and then further refinements can be added. But as I understand it the Togo timer was intact with its components still in place. No sign that it had been photographed, or indeed analysed sufficiently carefully for it to be discovered that the PCB was 9-ply laminate.

      Delete
    2. Forceps and pliers?....forget it. Did you ever try that? Circuit board is a layered composite designed not to break. And if you want it to look perfect, you need the explosive residue.

      Delete
    3. I think you can break most things with the right tools. And you can add the sooting and the residues later.

      I might have been wrong about the Togo timer still being intact, it could have been disassembled. The circuit board wasn't cut up though.

      So your idea is they made a dozen or so and blew them up by the bucketful in the hope of getting one which fractured in such a way as to show the distinctive relay pad? It's a possibility I suppose so let's keep it in mind, although I still don't think anything trumps the opportunity to use a genuine board when you have one.

      I'd like to know where the virgin board to make PT/35b came from if it wasn't from Isola. How many other companies were making 9-ply boards?

      Delete
  18. to Xiaoya Ta > from MEBO

    This circuit diagram wo was drawn by eng. Lumpert on 7 August 1985, was the second diagram, slightly modified, after the production of the first 3 prototyp MST13 circuit boards by hand.

    2 circuit board, prototypes, were bumped into the MST13 timer, which were delivered to the "STASI". 1 circuit board empty, not ready for operation, was handed over to an employee of the Swiss "BUPO" - and a document show, this emty circuit board, was deliefert to officials in USA.
    by Edwin Bollier /MEBO Ltd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was in june 1989.....too late. I believe PT/35b was introduced before it was sent to RARDE (8 febuar 1989). Were there Americans at Dextar?

      Delete
    2. Well now, isn't that the interesting comment.

      Delete
    3. Xiaoya Te, my comment was in respect of Edwin's remark about the template giving a perfectly good reason to make another prototype board, after the first three. He modified the template after these boards were made, making another prototype would be perfectly reasonable.

      I don't think this change rules out the possibility that PT/35b could have been from one of the first three boards, with solder resist added later. When you have drawn a complex Letraset diagram and need to modify it slightly you don't start again from scratch, you change what you have. So unless the corner with the relay pad was changed, the irregularity of the Letraset in that corner would be the same both times. Just change what you need to change and take another photograph to get your scaled-down template.

      Yes, Tom Thurman and other US personnel were in Dextar in January 1989. I have always felt this was important in this context, and possibly in the context of the "Claiden chip" which is also a bit of an anomaly.

      I agree, the one place where PT/35b could clearly have been planted in the shirt collar is at Dextar sometime between 14th and 16th January. I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a piece of genuinely blast-damaged cloth that hadn't yet been bagged and tagged and take it away and add stuff to it, but it's not inherently impossible.

      I have a fairly strong impression that, if PT/35b was indeed a plant, neither Hayes nor Feraday knew. Hayes was a very sloppy note-keeper and his entire collection of notes is a mess of interpolations and additions. The renumbering of the pages and even the interpolation of 50 and 51 in the middle of the notes dated 15th May aren't necessarily suspicious - he did that all the time. On the contrary it would have been very easy to introduce the fragment without any anomalous renumbering or interpolation, and if that had been done you'd think he'd have been careful to make that section of his notes a little less muddled. And then you have photograph 117, which as far as I can see is almost impossible to get round.

      The part that worries me is, what are the implications for assuming that the Americans had fake evidence all ready prepared to plant in the wreckage at Dextar only three weeks after the crash? They were still bringing in debris from the countryside on a massive scale at that point. It was only two weeks since the German police had suggested the PFLP-GC as probably culprits. There's an awfully big rabbit-hole opening there.

      Delete
    4. As I said, I don't like to speculate, but I believe PT/35b was lying on the shelves months/weeks before 21 december 1988, ready to be planted. They knew Iran would retaliate flight 655, it was inevitably a matter of time.

      Delete
    5. It's one possibility I have considered. I don't like the idea, but I can't ignore it. There are other suspicious items in the chain of evidence pointing to Libya too. I don't believe the crash scene was subject to mass malicious tampering with evidence, but the strategic infiltration of three or four crucial items into the chain of evidence is something I have thought about.

      But again, why use an imperfect counterfeit when a couple of dozen of the real thing were available?

      Also, whose luggage was in tray 8849? (The conspiracy theorist in me says Parvez Tahiri's.)

      Delete
  19. A neat sort of stoy would go like this.

    The plane came down in December, and immediately the USA wanted to blame Libya. Regan threatened to bomb Libya only days after the crash, but then almost immediately the German police came forward with the Autumn Leaves evidence pointing to the PFLP-GC. Perhaps Edwin's catch-letter, delivered to the US embassy in Vienna on the very day of Bush's inauguration, was a sort of last gasp in that direction. (Never forget the catch-letter, grasshopper.)

    As the spring wore on, US interests saw more and more attention being paid to the PFLP-GC by the investigators, despite the alleged Bush-Thatcher phone call in March. So they decided to add some evidence to steer the investigation back to Libya. They knew about the MST-13 timers and they had used their unique Libyan provenance before to point the finger at Libya. And the manufacturer of these timers was the very guy who had so kindly written and delivered the catch-letter in January. (Hi, Edwin!)

    So they have a word with the Swiss police and as a result Flückiger trots off to Mebo to get something to use as a plant. They want a whole timer, not a bare board, because the thing has to seem as if it was part of a working instrument. Of course they could just have added a few soldered wires to a spare board, but it so happened that an assembled timer was kicking around the Mebo premises so that was what was handed over. Nobody realised, four years on, that it was made with late-prototype PCBs that weren't part of the Thüring production run and so were not actually identical.

    Here you have to assume it was possible to destroy the thing in such a way as to get a piece with the recognisable relay pad on it.

    Once the thing was prepared, a certain conversation was arranged with Hayes and Feraday, and they agreed to introduce the thing into the chain of evidence and fabricate a retrospective provenance for it going back to May. They then sat on it until the following January, doing very little about it, when at last it was turned over to the Scottish police.

    It's a neat story, but there are huge problems with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Photograph 117 is a huge problem. I can't shake it.

      Paradoxically, Hayes's jumbled notes are a problem. If he was fabricating a retrospective provenance for that thing, I'd imagine even he could do a better job than that of making the interpolated material look genuine. Unless it was a massive double bluff of course!

      The idea of approaching Hayes to get him to do this is very problematic. (I suppose Feraday might not have been in on it and the "lads and lassies" memo genuine, it's hard to say.) Hayes was not an honest investigator, but his form in the past was in suppressing information that would disprove the pet theory, and massively over-interpreting other evidence to support it. Not actually adding fabricated physical evidence to a case. And this was a huge terrorist atrocity. How could they know Hayes wasn't going to go to his superiors and tell all?

      It's also too early for Ludwig's proposal that the fragment contains a copper coating process that was at best pioneering at the end of that year.

      So no, this has a long way to go before it flies.

      Delete
  20. If the virgin board used to make PT/35b wasn't one of the Isola boards, what was it? Ludwig's article names Ditron and Sefolam as the products that match the spectrum obtained from PT/35b. It seems that this refers to the epoxy resin that binds the layers of fibreglass together. So tell us more. Did Ditron and Sefolam have a 9-ply structure too? Did other features of these boards match PT/35b?

    Given that these tests were being done in 1990, do we know that the products being produced by all these companies in 1985 were the same? Are we sure that Isola, for example, didn't change the source of its epoxy resin in that time period?

    Do we know where Lumpert got the virgin boards that he used to make the prototypes? (I think John Ashton may know.)

    All of this is quite important but I haven't seen any discussion of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John doesn't know where Lumpert got his virgin boards from. Pity.

      Delete
  21. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2017 > Doc. No. 50112313.rtf
    For 'Operation SANDWOOD:

    Conspiracy theories today have become global phenomenons and also the
    “Lockerbie affair” was deliberately shifted into this category, by certain people and organisations...
    I guess that the attached “Imputations” will be confirmed by your own
    investigations. My continuous research in the matter of the “MST-13
    Timerfragment” (PT 35) lead to the conclusion, that two Scottish forensic
    experts Mr.Hayes and Mr.Fareday, are mainly responsible for a fraud of
    evidence.

    Additionally with their lies under OATH at the court in Zeist it culminated in a wrong verdict against Libya and Mr, Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi. The two officials must be indicted as soon as possible.
    Other officials may be linked to the fraud of evidence as well, because they did not report their knowledge of the manipulations to their superiors.

    * The fragment of the MST-13 Timer will be the key to clear the case and restore justice.

    I will continue, day by day, with my investigations until I and our solicitor in UK see the report of the “Operation Sandwood”. I was told several times that the report is in the final stages, I hope it will be delivered soon.

    * Reminder concerning the importance of the MST-13 fragment: (Film by Gideon Levy).
    Q: G.Levy: "Would you have a case if you wouldn't have these evidence
    (MST-13 timer)"?
    Richard Marquise: "Would we have a case. It would be a very dificult case to prove. It would be a very dificult case to prove ... I don't think we
    would ever had an indictment."

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage www.lockerbie.ch and facebook > https://www.facebook.com/edwin.bollier

    ReplyDelete
  22. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2017 > Doc. Nr. 50112315.rtf
    TIMELINE AND FACTS ABOUT “THE FRAUD OF EVIDENCE”...

    After analyzing the investigation results of the Lockerbie case, PanAm 103, a serious fraud of evidence around the MST-13 fragment, to the detriment of Libya can be proven. It looks as if the person mainly responsible for the criminal act is Dr. Thomas Hayes (expert RARDE) and his employee Allen Feraday (RARDE). They must be indicted for their illegal actions and for their lies at the court.
    It all started with the questionable finding of a carbonized slalom shirt on January 13, 1989, in the area of Lockerbie (see: the manipulated police label PI'995 with
    7 signatures)...

    Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Ross Ferry (Scottish Police) informed the
    Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) in Germany on May 9, 1990, that the Original MST-13 fragment was discovered in January 1990 in a shirt.

    Not earlier! Dr. Hayes Thomas (RARDE) claimed under oath as Witness Expert (number 586); at the court in Kamp van Zeist that he discovered the fragment on May 12, 1989 !
    The fact is that Dr. Thomas Hayes, as a witness under oath, made deliberately false and decisive statements leading to the wrong verdict against Libya and Abdelbaset Al Megrahi. The important page 51 in his report was definitely forged.
    The first fragment allegedly discovered by Dr. Hayes was not applicable in order to blame Libya for the air disaster of PanAm 103.
    Even before this fragment was cut into two parts (PT35/a) and (DP31/a) on April 27, 1990 at Siemens in Munich/Germany.
    Dr. Hayes must have realized that this timer fragment was fabricated with 8 layers of fibreglass (= prototype circuit board) and not with 9 layers as delivered by Mebo to Libya.

    The focus of the investigation is now based mainly - or only – on the following fact:
    From May 15, 1990, a second MST13 timer fragment had to be created under the same marking (PT35) - this time consisting of 9 layers of fibreglass, not black carbonized, but both sides covered with green "Soldermask"; the same as the circuit boards used in the MST13 timers, delivered before to Libya, including the "Togo MST13 timer K-1.

    SIO Chief Stuart Henderson, accompanied amongst others by Dr. Hayes and Allen Feraday travelled before June 1990, to the United States. They visited the experts of the FBI Laboratory in Washington. The main purpose was a forensic comparison of the (PT35) fragment with a MST-13 timer (so-called TOGO timer "K-1").

    A "declassified" FBI-Security Report No. 262-23, issued August 20, 1990, shows that the FBI officials were deliberately deceived by Dr.Hayes. He did not present them with the original fragment, which he discovered, but a new “fake” MST-13 fragment”.
    Extract from FBI report:
    The Scottish Police have determined, after extensive investigation that the green circuit board (PT 35) is (only) single sided (with tracks) and composed of nine (9) layers of glass cloth, type 7628.
    A solder mask has been applied to both sides of the board. The solder mask appears to be a wet epoxy base type, that was either screen printed or brushed on to the board.
    The forensic comparison between the "TOGO MST13 Timer" (K-1) and the "fake" MST13 Timer fragment (PT35) turned out to be identical and therefore Libya and Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, could finally be burdened...

    A comparison with the originally discovered fragment would have shown acompletely different result... and had no chance to blame Libya.
    continuation below >>>

    ReplyDelete
  23. continuation >>>
    Extract from FBI Report:

    Personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), (Explosives Unit) discovered a similarity between the circuit board fragment (PT 35) and a printed circuit board, which is a component part of an electronic timer, recovered In Africa in September, 1986 (now referred as specimen K-l).

    On June 22, 1990, a side by side comparison of specimen K-l and PT 35 resulted in a positive identification of PT 35, as being similar to specimen K-l. In essence, it has been determined that the PT35 circuit board fragment originated from a circuit board that was like or identical to specimen K-l circuit board.
    The FBI report also states that the FBI was informed by Scottish police that the discovery date of the fragment was January 1990!
    In the 800 page report by the SCCRC a statement reveals that the FBI knew since 1986 that MEBO Ltd, is the manufacturer of MST-13 Timers.

    If the investigations by "Operation Sandwood" (Scottish Police) confirms these accusations, then it will lead to an indictment of the responsible officials Dr. Thomas Hayes & Allen Feraday. One of the worst fraud of evidence in the 20th Century can now be proven and justice could be fully restored.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage: www.lockerbie.ch and facebook > https://www.facebook.com/edwin.bollier

    ReplyDelete

  24. Rolfe & Brendan> answer, of wrong assumption: (google translation German/English):

    When a new device was developed, eng. Lumpert, always he created a prototype circuit board first in the MEBO lab. MEBO Ltd was equipped with acid bath, Fotoapperatur solder tin bath etc. everything needed to make circuit boards.

    As Rolfe correctly proclaimed, Francovich and other opponents of MeBo, have put this fake news into the world, that Bollier & MEBO, have supplied, the Red Army faction, Palestinians, and other Arabs, in both Germanies. timers and remote controls..
    These are intentional lies, which were investigated by the police organs (international) and ended as insinuations!

    MST 13 timers were only supplied to the Military Procurement in Libya and to the Laboratory of the State Security Service (STASI) of the GDR > and to the Scottish Police, multiple.
    Remote controls were delivered to Military in Libya and to Institut for 'Technische Untersuchung' (STASI) and 2 pieces to the Romanian Army.

    At the court in Zeist (2000) all investigation reports on MeBo were available. It was obvious on the court, that the prosecution did everything possible to present Meister & Bollier (MeBo) and Ing. Lumpert as unbelievable witnesses. Today is beaten back by the multiple evidence frauds...
    by Edwin Bollier MEBO AG

    ReplyDelete
  25. Perhaps, this post will help a bit.
    Lockerbie — A Quick Note on the ‘Imperfections’ of PT/35(b)
    https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/lockerbie-a-quick-note-on-the-imperfections-of-pt35b/
    Regards, L

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't be sure about this at the resolution of that image. The copy I have of the same image is no better. The copies are all from the same original and there's no immediately obvious reason why some would be tidied up and others not.

      I think we'd need a much better resolution image to see if this was a real point or not.

      Delete
    2. Are you a complete idiot?

      Delete
    3. That's not very helpful, is it? If you don't want to engage with me, save the insults.

      Delete
    4. OK, Ludwig, let's go out and come in again on this one. I read your blog post again and you seem quite clearly to be saying that the distinctive pattern on the tracking of PT/35b identifies it as being from the same template as the Togo timer. I don't think that's correct.

      The "control" PCB that was used as a comparison with PT/35b was DP/347a, which wasn't the Togo timer but was one of the left-over boards from the original production run that was given to the investigators by Bollier. It's DP/347a which has the distinctive blobs at the corners of the tracking that also show up on PT/35b. I don't think we have an equivalent photo of the Togo timer.

      So, if you're saying that only one-fifth of the production run from Thüring had that imperfection, do you believe Bollier searched through his box of left-over boards and deliberately picked out one with the imperfection to give to the police? Or what?

      I've looked again at the photos, and I still can't be certain at the resolution you present. The apparent absence of the imperfection on one of the enlarged templates could be an artefact of pixellation. I hoped to see better from the original photos in the JFR, but the file I have of the JFR photos is actually somewhat worse than yours, so that doesn't help.

      I repeat, why would anyone at Thüring tidy up the tracking on only some of the five copies in the array? If you're going to tidy it up at all, you do it on the original before you copy it. You don't copy the imperfect design five times then start to correct each one individually (then give up before you're done). Or not normally anyway.

      Delete
    5. Here you go. The relevant detail of PT/35b compared to the same area of DP/347a and the Letraset pattern template. Nothing to do with the Togo timer at all.

      www.vetpath.co.uk/netpics/3-corners.jpg

      The original identification of PT/35b as being from an MST-13 timer made by Mebo was indeed done by Thurman and Orkin matching it to the Togo timer in the CIA files. Whether Thurman noticed the irregularity at that point or not I don't know. However the detailed comparison of PT/35b to the Mebo products was done using DP/347a, which was a board obtained directly from Mebo. The middle picture in that set is DP/347a, not the Togo timer.

      Delete
  26. Even if we assume that what Lumpert and Bollier say is correct - that Lumpert had the capability to produce high quality PCBs himself - there's still something that I don't understand. Why did they get Thüring to produce the first order when they could have done the job just as good themselves?

    Yes, there was a far higher number (twenty, I think) which Thüring could churn out effortlessly, but it wouldn't be much more difficult for MEBO to make that number than than to make three (the number of prototypes allegedly built for the Stasi). If you set everything up and successfuly produce one PCB, you can repeat the procedure over and over again with almost identical results.

    I can see only see one difference between the first Thüring order and the mysterious hand-made prototypes - on the Thüring boards, the non-component side had solder mask all over, and also a black (oxide?) coating on the etched letters. Or maybe I'm missing something? Was the cosmetic improvement the only reason for giving the order to Thüring?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Brendan, Take a good look at my last posting. L

      Delete
  27. I agree, why applying the cosmetic solder mask if you are making a prototype for test purposes. And isn't it remarkable coincidence that the so called early prototypes were made using the same special 9-ply laminate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We don't know for sure what the early prototypes were made of. It wouldn't be unreasonable for Lumpert to have used virgin boards from the same source as Türing were going to use. But that question doesn't have a definite answer.

      All we know is that the Isola boards used by Türing were 9-ply, and PT/35b was also part of a 9-ply board. Ludwig is putting forward the proposal that PT/35b didn't come from an Isola board but again I don't think we can be sure about this just on the basis on the analysis of the resin without knowing whether Isola changed their resin supplier or composition from 1985 to 1990.

      I'm suggesting that PT/35b came from an early prototype. If it was an Isola board, well there's some sense to the possibility that Lumpert also used Isola boards but we don't know. If it was a 9-ply board made by someone else, we're scrabbling in the dark really.

      Delete
    2. as far as the solder mask on the reverse is concerned, it was applied to make the finished timer look a bit more professional. If a prototype board was being made into a demo instrument, it might have been decided to apply that coating.

      Delete
  28. Thüring had the facilities to do a production run, including the alloy tinning that allows the boards to be stored before being populated, and also the solder mask on the business side which is a lot trickier and most hand-made boards don't have them.

    I'm surprised Lumpert had enough time to put that number of timers together, never mind making all the PCBs as well.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Replies
    1. OK, I just had a post vanish, possibly because it had three links in it. I'll wait to see if it surfaces at some point before re-posting.

      Delete
  30. No sign of the vanished comment, I think there must be an electronic black hole for comments with too many links in them. I'll have another go.

    Yesterday, having seen that Ludwig was apparently not going to return to this thread, I thought I'd leave my observations on the tracking irregularity issue as a comment on his blog post on the subject. This post.

    https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/lockerbie-a-quick-note-on-the-imperfections-of-pt35b/

    I didn't have much hope that he'd actually approve the comment, but I wanted to submit it anyway. Well. My attempt to submit the comment was instantly and automatically rejected by Wordpress. It seems that Ludwig has blocked me from commenting on his blogs under the identity that I used when commenting on his PT/35b blog last year, comments that were never approved.

    So I logged out and logged back in again with my Twitter account. This allowed me to submit the comment, as it appears as a different identity to Wordpress. I expect that will be blocked too in its turn. I certainly don't expect the comment to be approved. So I'm posting it here now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, here goes.

      Thurman's statement that heads up this article seems to imply that he noticed the irregularity at the corners of the tracking lines at the time when he first made the match to the Togo timer, and that the irregularity is also present on the Togo board. This may well be the case, or he could simply be taking credit for something spotted later by Feraday. (He's that sort of guy.) There's no high-resolution photograph of the Togo board in the public domain that I know of, to allow this to be checked. But this is fairly academic. I'm quite certain the Togo board did indeed show the irregularity, so let's believe Thurman.

      However, we do have an excellent photo of another board, in the JFR, DP/347a which is one of the left-over boards obtained from Mebo. This is the one Feraday was making his comparison with, and the visual correspondence is indeed extremely striking.

      http://www.vetpath.co.uk/netpics/3-corners.jpg

      It's unmistakable. As Thurman said, it's like a fingerprint. Both the more obvious imperfection in the upper track, and the more subtle one which is indeed there in the lower track, in the form of a small "nick" in the right-hand edge just after it turns the corner, which corresponds with the small over-run of the Letraset line for that track. PT/35b and DP/347a are both fingerprints from the same template. As, I presume, is the unseen Togo board.

      So, PT/35b, the Togo timer (presumably) and DP/347a, all three with the same irregularity showing, that perfectly matches the high-resolution photograph of the Letraset pattern with its lines cut not completely flush. Do we have any pictures of a board without the irregularity? No we don't. Do we have any high-resolution photographs of the five-template array showing conclusively that one or more of the iterations doesn't have the irregularity? I don't think we have. The effect in the illustrations above could be an artefact of pixillation.

      So I'm not quite sure where, if anywhere, this is going. Other than back to "who had access to the template?" of course.

      Delete
  31. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2017
    Edwin Bollier / MEBO expects that the statement by crucial police witness, former Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson, will lead to the conclusion that a serious fraud of evidence occured, with a fake MST-13 timer fragment, in the Lockerbie case. PT/35 — The Most Expensive Forgery in History [of Scotland (Lockerbie]
    Attn.“OPERATION SANDWOOD“

    Dear Mr.Johnstone

    I do not intend to flood you with new reports… To your infomation you find attached an InfoGraphic „Police witness reported colours of the fragment“, published on my Facebook page.
    During the court in Zeist I had the chance to meet Procurator Mirian Watson during a coffeebreak. She confirmed that the statement by police witness Kate Thomson was recorded in writing. I have never seen it.

    This statement is of high importance, as former Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson was not invited as a crucial witness in Zeist, concerning the MST-13 fragment. To my knowledge the judges where not aware of the two „Statements of Witness“ in Dumfries and the additional statement by Kate Thomson.
    (see LINK: http://www.lockerbie.ch/mebo/mebo1-9-dok730.html
    After the coversation with Procurator Mirian Watson I intended asking the judge to invite Kate Thomson as a witness. Unfortunatelly it was not possible anymore as a further question was denied.

    Quote: (Court protocol):
    LORD SUTHERLAND: „Thank you Mr.Bollier. Thats all.“
    A: (Edwin Bollier) : My Lord, may I put a question? Am I allowed to do that?
    LORD SUTHERLAND: I think not Mr.Bollier. Your evidence is now over, and that is all we can hear.
    I hope that you had, in the meantime, access to this important protocol and the opportunity to interview former Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson.

    Thank you for your attention and I am looking forward to see the report by „Operation Sandwood“ in the near future.
    Best regards

    Edwin Bollier /MEBO Ltd Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage: www.lockerbie.ch °°° https://www.facebook.com/edwin.bollier °°° https://twitter.com/optium22

    ReplyDelete