TWICE AS FAR

 

SWISSAIR 111

CRASH INVESTIGATION

 

 

 

- EVALUATING THE EVIDENCE -

 

 

MAKE IT SO

CONNECTIONS AND MEETINGS

CONNECTIONS AND MEETINGS

 

 

The following  two photos

show some of the connections and meetings

that took place

during the early stages of the file investigation.

 

 

 

This photo shows Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his wife upon arrival in Halifax soon after the crash.  He likely had meetings with officials of the Province, as well as attending functions involving the family members.  The important point is that he had an involvement in the file.  To what extent we likely will never know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows Mr. Bouchard, the TSB's Chairman, second from the right.  The Commanding Officer of 'H' Division, RCMP Assistant Commissioner D. Bishop, is beside him, second from the left and gesturing with his hands.  Vic Gerden is to the right of the photo looking somewhat distracted.  The setting for this meeting is early in the investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the 23rd of April, 1999, the Federal Solicitor General, Lawrence MacAulay, was conducted through the hangar along with some senior officers from the Force.  He was the Government Minister responsible for the RCMP at that time, so he obviously had an interest in how the file was being conducted.  Manny, the TSB photographer, took this photo while the panorama and object model photographic process was being explained to him.  With a telephoto lens, he has framed the photo as though the Sol Gen is about to be strangled.  Nevertheless, he survived the explanation and acted as if he understood the procedure and its value.  Some of the high priced entourage in the background included Lee Fraser, who can be seen between the Sol Gen and me, and Assistant Commissioner L'Abbe, who was the Director of the Force’s Information and Identification Services.  He is on the Solicitor General's right.  Lee as the Director of the RCMP's Forensic Identification Services was subordinate to L'Abbe.  Cpl. Chris Harmes, who did a great job in the hangar until June 2000, is to the right of the photo behind my camera and tripod, and the other officers beyond remain unknown to me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RCMP Commissioner Murray's second trip to Shearwater to view the debris occurred on the 13th of May, 1999.  During this trip, his shadow was able to rest as Murray didn't rush through the hangar as he had done in September of 1998, much to the embarrassment of those RCMP members who caught only a fleeting glimpse of his shadow running to keep up with him.  The Commanding Officer of 'H' Div., Assistant Commissioner Dwight Bishop is on the right end with Andy Lathem in his standard 'Men in Black' business suit beside him.  On Lathem's right is Commissioner Murray.  Andy's dark glasses and his 'wand thing-a-ma-jiggy' are likely back in his office.  Vic Gerden, Lead Investigator for the TSB, is at the Commissioner's right shoulder in the blue TSB pullover shirt.  Larry Vance is on the extreme left with Chris Harmes on his left shoulder at the back.  Of course, this photo opportunity was carried out in front of the reconstruction jig in the hangar at the Shearwater base.   Dr. Brown's initial AES findings are still four months away, and there is no indication yet of anything amiss with the file other than the extreme amount of burning and extensive molten aluminium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MEDIA RELEASE OF SWISSAIR INVESTIGATION

MEDIA RELEASE OF SWISSAIR INVESTIGATION

 

The following was located on the internet

and purported as

comments made by Sgt. Bill Price of the RCMP Halifax Media Relations.

Following that are

portions of a speech made by Mr. Benoit Bouchard,

Chairman of the TSB

at an NTSB and TSB Symposium

in 1999

 

 

 

Perhaps it's my background as a police officer,

but I cannot help but think that the attitudes of the TSB

expressed here by its Chairman

are more than a little naive.

Those attitudes were reflected in how they performed this investigation.

Companies who originally manufactured vital pieces of equipment

were asked to perform examinations of that equipment

after its retrieval from the debris

to determine if it had been faulty.

Yet Mr. Bouchard felt that

if any of those companies had found a fault in their piece of equipment

they would not have hesitated to come forward and lay claim to it being faulty

and thereby possibly incur the expense of civil actions against themselves.

The TSB's methods for crash examinations are faulty to the extreme.

They ask the foxes to inspect all aspects of the hen house.

 

 

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FILE NOTES OF MEETINGS & DISCUSSIONS

FILE NOTES OF

MEETINGS & DISCUSSIONS

 

The following links

provide my actual file notes

that were written

after each major meeting or discussion

that I attended between the RCMP and the TSB,

or with my RCMP management

Each dealt with some important aspect of the investigation.

They all provide an insight into how events progressed,

and how the actual criminal investigation

was curtailed by the management of

both the TSB and the RCMP.

These dates not only indicate the day of the meeting,

but the day on which those notes were made.

In every instance

 the notes were made as soon as possible after the meeting.

For some of the notes,

names have been removed

as they had no direct involvement in the matter described.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

LATHEM'S FOLLY & RECKLESS MEETING

1999 OCT 12

 

-- NOTES FOR 99 OCT 12 --

 

This is the first meeting two weeks after learning of the initial AES results.

Supt. Duncan had already advised me

that I must be involved in all testing until this matter can be resolved.

But Lathem's approach was that there woulf be no change in the investigation

and he questioned the integrity of the testing process and results.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

NOT BEING OBJECTIVE

1999 NOV 16

 

-- NOTES FOR 99 NOV 16 --

 

A conversation with a TSB member and then

discussions with GORMAN

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

AES MEETING WITH GERDEN

1999 NOV 30

 

-- NOTES FOR 99 NOV 30 --

 

The TSB was seriously questioning whether or not to continue with the AES testing.

My attitude was that once started, we had to follow the evidence trail to the end.

Gerden's approach was much different.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

AES MEETING WITH TSB

1999 DEC 15

 

-- NOTES FOR 99 DEC 15 --

 

Meeting to discuss AES test equipment,

and additional testing methods.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

MEETING WITH GORMAN

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 FEB 08 --

 

Gorman meets to discuss my loss of objectivity.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

AES MEETING WITH TSB

2000 FEB 09

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 FEB 09 --

 

This is the meeting where future AES testing is discussed,

and Jim Foot states that he is going to put Dr. Brown back on track.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

MEETING WITH LATHEM & GORMAN

2000 FEB 17

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 FEB 17 --

 

This meeting starts out as Gorman's exhibit control problem,

but spreads into many other areas when Lathem joins in.

It includes my email that warned Dr. Brown about Foot's threat.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

MEETING WITH LATHEM & GERDEN

2000 MAR 24

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 MAR 24 --

 

This meeting is where we were notified

that the TSB will no longer pay for the back room investigators,

so they must leave the file.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

SPOOLING DOWN MEETING WITH LATHEM

2000 APR 11

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 APR 11 --

 

Discussions between Lathem and file investigators

about the 'spooling down' of the file for the RCMP.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

PARKING THE FILE

00 MAY 03

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 MAY 03 --

 

This meeting was with Superintendent Steve Duncan and Inspector Atkins

during which some questionable reasons are provided

for the closing of the RCMP's file.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

MEETING WITH LATHEM & GORMAN

00 MAY 12

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 MAY 12 --

 

This meeting is where Lathem & Gorman express their fake concern over my stress levels,

and I am subtly threatened about my approach to the file.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

MEETING WITH LATHEM & THEN GORMAN

00 MAY 15

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 MAY 15 --

 

Another meeting with Lathem about the closing of the file.

Then Gorman shows up and seems to nearly apologize for his actions.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

AES MEETING WITH TSB

2000 MAY 16

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 MAY 16 --

 

Foot describes the bead cutting process and lies about it.

Discussions about other exhibit testing,

and the FBI's previous use of AES

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

GERDEN'S 56 MILLION DOLLAR MEETING

2000 MAY 25

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 MAY 25 --

 

This link is actually for two TSB meetings.

One discloses the further attempts to discredit the AES testing results.

The second reveals the TSB's desire to close down the file

before all their investigation is complete.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

PARKING THE FILE

00 JUN 29

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 JUN 29 --

 

This meeting is the last group investigators' meeting in the hangar,

for what little all but two of them were worth.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

GORMAN'S AUDIT, ARGUMENT & REPRIMAND

00 JUL 14

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 JUL 14 & 00 JUL 17 --

 

This describes Gorman's audit of the hangar Ident Section,

and his removal of required equipment.

Then there is his delivery of the the reprimand.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

DR BROWN'S EMAIL & DISCUSSION WITH LATHEM

2000 NOV 06

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 NOV 06 --

 

 This link is the meeting with Lathem

just before his trip to Ottawa to advise the Commissioner on the file's status,

and three weeks before the 'Ambush Meetings'.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

LATHEM'S AMBUSH MEETINGS

2000 DEC 01

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 DEC 01 --

 

This meeting is where Lathem, Gerden, and Fraser

severely reprimand and humiliate me,

and I end up walking out of the second meeting.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

LATHEM'S REPRIMAND & DISCUSSION

2000 DEC 19

 

-- NOTES FOR 00 DEC 19 --

 

Lathem provides his written reprimand,

and more issues are discussed.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

'CHANGE THE NOTES' MEETING

2001 FEB 20

 

-- NOTES FOR 01 FEB 20 --

 

This link is for the meeting where they should have been arrested

and charged with obstruction of justice.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

DISCUSSION WITH FRASER IN FREDERICTON

01 JUN 19

 

-- NOTES FOR 01 JUN 19--

 

Fraser tries to say the meeting was a training exercise,

and he informs me of the turnover of the AES reports.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

THE TANNER MEETINGS

2001 NOV 21

 

-- NOTES FOR 01 NOV 21 --

 

These are the notes for one of the meetings with Tanner.

 

 

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PREPARATIONS FOR THE OFFICIAL TURNOVER

PREPARATIONS FOR THE OFFICIAL TURNOVER

TO THE RCMP

OF

THE AES REPORTS

BY THE TSB

 

GERDEN/FRASER PHONE CONVERSATION

2001 MAR 20

FRASER'S NOTES

 

The following are notes written by Superintendent Lee Fraser

as the Director of the RCMP's Forensic Identification Services.

They are of a phone conversation that he had on 2001 MAR 20

with Vic Gerden as the Lead Investigator

for the Swissair investigation

 

 

Note that Fraser uses the term

'regarding a report'

indicating a single report.

When read in context with the line

'not changed appreciably since last info but it is not going away',

one can only conclude that he knows of Dr. Brown's first AES report,

and here he is speaking of the second AES report.

 

Lee Fraser had never been involved in the aircraft reconstruction.

Once the morgue was finished in early November, 1998,

he spent considerable time travelling to give his morgue presentations to other agencies.

However, he was not involved in the reconstruction side

other than to arrange manpower for the various positions.

For certain though,

he had been quickly briefed by Lathem before the reading of the notes

and the subsequent 'Change the Notes' meeting.

Likely it was during the phone conversation they had

when they set up the reading of the notes and the change-the-notes meeting.

However, would not have been privy to the AES process and all its fine details.

He likely had been present for the Commissioner's meeting on the 15th of November, 2000

when the future of the file was discussed.

So he knew what the intended direction was for the file.

Upon receiving this phone call,

he immediately would have contacted someone in the Commissioner's office

along with Lathem in Halifax.

He would then have received his directions from the Commissioner's office.

Also remember that he was fully aware of Access to Information

and what should and should not appear on paper.

Any notes of those internal phone calls would have been destroyed.

After all, he was using a note pad with tear-off sheets of paper.

The writing gives the appearance of a re-write

of notes previously made.

 

So the obvious question is,

why did he become involved in the 'investigation'

when everything should have been handled by Halifax?

As the RCMP's lead physical evidence investigator,

shouldn't I have been involved in the matter?

 

 

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GORMAN'S MEETING ARRANGEMENTS

GORMAN'S MEETING ARRANGEMENTS

 

So now for the meeting and the official turnover of the reports.

However,

they already knew what was in the reports.

They had known five months earlier,

back on the 1st of December, 2000.

At that time, the reports were not to be physically turned over to the RCMP.

It would seem that Garstang upset those plans by forcing the issue with Gerden.

 

 

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DR BROWN'S

DR. BROWN'S

SECOND AES REPORT

TO THE TSB

 

It was not until after the airing of the CBC program

that I learned of the contents of Dr. Brown's reports.

The second report is lengthy,

too long to put on this page.

So a link is provided.

 

-- DR BROWN'S SECOND AES REPORT --

 

Again, without having to look for them, here are his conclusions.

 

While the conclusions are considerably toned down,

there is still a problem with unresolved magnesium and aluminum.

It was my experience when dealing with the FAA burn unit

and others knowledgeable of fire cause determination,

that the mere mention of high magnesium led to a comment about an incendiary device.

Perhaps others without the knowledge

should have listened and heeded the warnings.

The fact remains that

Dr. Brown was pressured to supply this second report in a prescribed manner.

It disturbed him enough

to cause him to send off an email to me describing that pressure.

The second report did not reflect his true opinion of the facts,

an opinion that he was highly qualified to provide.

An opinion that only a few others who are similarly qualified could verify or dispute.

 

 

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hta

HTAA

& THE SIGNIFICANCE OF

ALUMINUM, MAGNESIUM & IRON

 

ALUMINUM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite

In the following example, elemental aluminum reduces the oxide of iron.  The materials are commonly powdered and mixed with a binder to keep them together.  Aluminium forms stronger, more stable bonds with oxygen than does iron.

Fe2O3 + 2 Al → 2 Fe + Al2O3

The products are aluminum oxide, iron, and a large amount of heat.

The burning of magnesium creates the heat to start this reaction that then produces large amounts of additional heat to ignite surrounding combustibles.  This produces large amountsof heat and smoke.  The smoke contains these materials that will then distribute within the immediate area.

MAGNESIUM

http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/mg.htm

Magnesium is very chemically active.  It takes the place of hydrogen in boiling water.  A great number of metals can be produced by thermic reduction of its salts and oxidized forms with magnesium.  It joins together with most non-metals and almost every acid.

Chemical dangers:  The substance may spontaneously ignite on contact with air or moisture producing irritating or toxic fumes.  It reacts violently with strong oxidants and many other substances to cause a fire and explosion hazard.  It reacts with acids and water forming flammable hydrogen gas causing fire and explosion hazard.

This is an exothermic reaction in which there is a net release of energy as heat.

2Mg + O2 →2MgO + energy

Magnesium is also capable of reducing water to the highly-flammable hydrogen gas, which will be ignited by the excess heat given by the reduction reaction.

Mg +2H2O Mg(OH)2 + H2

Magnesium also reacts with carbon dioxide to form magnesium oxide and carbon.

Mg +CO2 → 2MgO + C

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers cannot be used for extinguishing magnesium fires.  Burning magnesium is usually quenched by using a Class D dry chemical fire extinguisher, or by smothering with a non-flammable material.

MgO is a white residue or powder that will adhere to surfaces.  Of course, the debris was submerged in seawater for mere days up to more than a year.  But it was possible that some of the residue would have remained.  However, the debris went through two wash procedures to remove the salt and sand residue.  What's more, no tests were ever conducted on the debris in the hangar for magnesium oxide or aluminum oxide, merely the more complex chemicals that make up commercial and military explosives.  Of course, the one test that was conducted was Dr. Brown's AES testing, and it showed the presence of magnesium, aluminium and oxygen.  It was too bad those tests were unacceptable to the TSB and the RCMP.  What's more, it was too bad that a TSB metalurgist, a top Chemist for the RCMP, and a RCMP explosives expert failed to examine for these residues.

HTAA - HIGH TEMPERATURE ACCELERANT ARSON

http://carmanfireinvestigations.com/dl/(Carman&Associates)%20-%20High%20Temperature%20Accelerant%20Fires.pdf

This site contains an article written by

Steven W. Carman, Special Agent, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

May 1994

While lengthy at 155 double-spaced pages, it covers what was known of HTAA at that time.

 

 

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