TWICE AS FAR

 

SWISSAIR 111

CRASH INVESTIGATION

 

 

 

- EXTRACT FROM FILE NOTES -

 

 

FOR

- 2000 MAY 08 -

 

00-05-08          . . . .

              Forwarded a memo to Andy LATHEM (Vic GORMAN later advised that he received it from LATHEM Ė see below why) that is actually a memo to Vic GERDEN asking for a meeting Ė as follows:

(CLARIFICATION)      It turned out that this memo created considerable annoyance (putting it mildly) with Lathem and Gorman because they claimed that it had not gone through the proper channels.  The process was that I was to give my correspondence to Gorman who then would have added his comments or, as in this case, generated an additional memo.  He then would have passed it on to Lathem.  Since they were both in the same office with desks only a few feet apart, and Gorman was frequently elsewhere other than in the hangar, I didn't see it as much of a problem.  Whatís more, the memo had been handed to Lathemís secretary, who I then expected would put it in Gormanís in-basket.  It seems she didnít, and possibly I should have been more explicit with my instructions to her.  Nonetheless, the higher up the rank ladder, the more important becomes the paper trail as, after all, thatís how they justify their existence on the payroll.

          My memo called for a meeting with the TSB (Gerden and Sidla, and hopefully Garstang) to discuss the further examination of the wire beads.  The TSB's normal process was to grind them to nothing while periodically examining them under a high-powered microscope.  It would have resulted in the beads being totally destroyed.  Dr. Brown had an alternative method that would leave the beads intact for future examination by other methods and for court.  This was important because I believed the cause of the fire to have been a criminal act which hopefully would have resulted in a suspect being charged with the potential for criminal court.

          However, even though Gorman appeared to support the suggestion of an Ottawa meeting that included Dr. Brown, one can see in the hindsight of the big picture that Lathem was against it.  Plus, it appears that the bead destruction was solely my concern and not that of Lathem's.  At the time I had no idea what his motives were, but it is now obvious that he did not want Dr. Brown present in any meeting.  What's more, before drafting his memo, he would have consulted with Vic Gerden as his memo is dated the 15th, and the very next day there is a meeting with all the TSB members briefed and ready just as Gerden suddenly appears in the hangar.  It though was obvious that neither Gerden nor Lathem wanted to sit down in the same room with Dr. Brown as they would have learned of his opinion that there had been a criminal device onboard that aircraft.  What's more, his evidence and presentation would have been most persuasive.  That would have required a complete and full criminal investigation which would have brought in the FBI, and out the hangar door would have gone the TSB.  They would then have lost their honeypot of a file and all its ensuing glory. 

          A meeting was quickly arranged and held in the hangar on the 16th May.  Lathem and Gorman were be present along with Foot, and it was another debacle controlled by Gerden and Lathem without any expert opinion of either Dr. Brown or John Garstang.









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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