- 2001 OCT 09 -


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01-10-09          …..

            At about 0900 hrs, John GARSTANG, who is still in the hangar, came to see me about the several areas of concern.  The main area involved the explosive wires (Exh #1-162, #1-384, #1-634, & #1-11273 which are in notes for 00-10-07 and the photos are on my roll #571) that were previously photographed and described by me in my notes on 00-10-07.  He had contacted Vic GERDEN over the weekend by email for direction from him in disclosing their existence to Boeing and Swissair during the upcoming Fire Committee meeting, something that has not yet been done.  John advised me again that he had been previously told by GERDEN not to say anything about the items, and he wanted to know from Vic if those instructions still held true.  John said that Vic phoned him and was very non-committal over the subject, but wanted only verbal transmissions on the matter, and would actually like the matter handled by the RCMP.  John feels that Vic GERDEN’s attitude is that since any existence of the wires tends to lend itself to a criminal act, even if they are associated to a non-aircraft event like illegal fishing, then it is definitely a topic that the TSB should have nothing to do with.  Vic seems to take very seriously the fact that the TSB is not supposed to handle criminal matters of any type at all.  John and I discussed the matter, and I advised him that I had gotten in trouble back on 01-02-20 over the subject and the write-up that I had put in my notes, with the term conspiracy having been thrown about by certain people at that meeting.  However, we both agreed that there is no conspiracy, no matter what someone else in the future may think.  But failure to act on the matter of proper disclosure may tend to cloud the matter in a cloak of intrigue when it does not deserve a second glance.  Vic GERDEN just wants nothing to do with anything that may be thought of as a criminal investigation, only safety issues.  But he confirmed the fact that the partner companies have no knowledge (at least he has no indication that they have any knowledge) of the subject.  He even indicated that most of his own people know nothing of their existence, as Jim FOOT was surprised to learn of them last week when the subject was mentioned at their meeting. 

            John also mentioned one of the areas of possible concern being the XXXXX human remains.  He had contact with the matter through the body modelling process with Dr. DAVIS and knows of the hole and projectile in the lung area.  This was news to me, although I had heard rumor of it before.  The projectile showed up on the x-rays when Dr. DAVIS examined them, and is believed to have been a pen tip, but the torso had already been returned before it could be further examined.

            Two other areas of concern are the bullet that was found in the human remains that turned out to be an old wound in which it had been left in the victim, and the other area was the fact that several traces of RDX was found in the wreckage, this being attributed to the fact that the materials were transported on Navy vessels, onto a naval wharf, and in an active military hangar with munitions having at one time been present at all locations.

            John’s recommendation was to have a meeting with us to discuss what is in E&R, come to an agreement of what should be updated in E&R, and to provide a suitable article for disclosure of the materials so that everyone knows exactly what is involved.  John reminded him that it will become public, as the photos have been taken and the material is in E&R already.  So, he is waiting for Vic and Larry VANCE to have a meeting this morning to determine what should be done on the matter.

            John also asked for direction regarding other areas of possible concern, including the hot spots on the ceiling tile, molten aluminium, etc.  He wanted to know if the RCMP should be officially appraised of the matters, especially since the ceiling tile Exh #1-6865 has been appraised as being burnt at 1100oF for 10 minutes, and he asked if they would like to undertake further testing or analysis of the materials on their own.  John agreed with me that under the circumstances, there is little if any chance of ever finding any usable results if indeed the fire had been the result of a non-accidental cause.  But at least he will have put the TSB in the position of having offered, and at a later date, no one can come back on him for failing to notify the RCMP.  Vic GERDEN advised that he would contact Andy LATHEM today to discuss the matter, and perhaps arrange a meeting.    

            John also advised that he would like to take the explosive wires out to the beach and determine if the wires will float or sink – on video.  One must keep in mind the fact that if they sink in salt water, they could have come ashore on something else that floated, so it is not necessarily indicative of anything.  He would also like to analyse the insulation on the wires to determine the melting temperature.  This would tend to definitely rule out their involvement in the fire since if the temperature is in the normal range for plastics such as this, they would very likely have been consumed or at least suffered heat damage during the ensuing fire.  There is no sign of any heat damage on these wires.

            I also brought up the topic of the magnesium in the wire melts.  John has been told that Dr. BROWN has done further testing and may have come up with a reasonable explanation, but he does not have this as firm knowledge.  Dr. BROWN’s final report is due at any time now. 


            This afternoon, …..

            John advised that Vic GERDEN had contacted him regarding the detonator wires and the questionable areas (hot spots, etc.).  GERDEN advised him that he had contacted Insp. LATHEM who would in turn be contacting him about holding a meeting involving either himself or Keith STOTHART.  John had expected a call this afternoon, however nothing was received as of quitting time (1800 hrs).  John is out of here tomorrow on the 1400 hrs flight, so time is short.  John suggested that the tone of the message to him from GERDEN was that the RCMP has closed their file and is no longer interested in it as a criminal matter.  However, this still leaves him having to deal with the outside companies regarding the wires.  So, I don’t know what will happen there. 



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