- 2001 OCT 12 -


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01-10-12          0700    Morning routine.  Armed soldiers on the front gate this morning, but no hold ups other than a long line of cars.

            …..  Just after lunch …..

            Then to Lawrencetown Beach with John GARSTANG to do a salt water float test on the explosive wires, Exh #1-162, #1-384, #1-634, #1-11273.  Utilized a new tape in the Sony Hi-8 on a tripod, identified in the normal manner and with a time date stamp appearing at the bottom right corner, and photos were taken on roll #1067.  The exhibits were tested in numerical order in a pool of salt water just in from the surf.  At high tide, the area would be flooded, and there is no fresh water feeding into it.  The area was sand, and John stood in the water that was about 8 to 10 inches deep and dropped each exhibit from about six inches above the water.  Only Exh #1-634 floated, and after repeated attempts at pushing it under water to remove any trapped air, it continued to float.  The other three exhibits Exh #1-162, #1-384, #1-11273 all immediately sank to the bottom without any indication that they would float.

            The routine was to videotape the exhibit number, then the exhibit hand held in front of the camera.  Then the exhibit was handed to John who was standing in the water, where he dropped it into the water.  The video shows him holding the exhibit, then closes in on it just as it is dropped to see whether or not it floats.  In the case of the floating exhibit, Exh #1-634, numerous attempts were made to have the exhibit pushed under water to remove any air that might be lodged within the wire, and each time upon releasing it, the exhibit immediately floated to the surface and remained there to move about in the currents.  On finishing with the taping of each exhibit, the 35 mm Nikon F70, 28-85 mm lens, SB-26 flash, set on P mode and TTL, was used to take photos in the normal manner.  The exhibit tag was photographed, then an overall showing John and the exhibit in or on the water, then a close-up from the bank at max telephoto.  The camera was then given to John who took a look down photo at max telephoto.  The flash was used for fill.  The weather was foggy with only a slight movement of air. 

            Upon returning to the ‘A’ Hangar, the exhibits were secured in my office temporarily.  John requested that an exhibit update be supplied for the Exhibit Update file so that the data can be added to E&R.  We also discussed the idea of examining each wire for heat/burn evidence.  Another factor to consider the condition of each wire end.  If they are cut ends, then they could not be as a result of the accident break-up.  This will be checked next week.  John indicated that he wanted to take part in this examination, however time is limited.  I suggested that I would perform the check, and if something significant were to be viewed, he could re-examine that aspect on his return to the hangar, or photos could be forwarded to him.


            John showed me a rough draft of the email he is sending to Vic GERDEN over the areas of concern, including the explosive wires.  John is bound by whatever GERDEN decides, but he is trying to get a decision made to disclose the information.  I feel that GERDEN has no other choice than to liaise with LATHEM and develop a written document for E&R that can also be included in the Fire meeting next month.  While it may go against GERDEN’s wishes that they only stick with safety issues, he has to do something proactive now or it may be seen in the future in a negative light.  It is not our place to bring up the issue, as the RCMP is technically no longer involved in the matter.  Protocol dictates that it is up to the TSB as the lead agency and now the only investigative agency.  The RCMP is in the unfortunate position of not being able to do anything except respond after a question is asked.  But until someone knows enough to be able to ask the question, no response can be given.  What is strange about all of this is the stance that LATHEM and FRASER took with me back on 01-02-20 over the subject.  They were aghast to think that I would even mention the fact that this evidence was being suppressed.  And to think that now GARSTANG has to force the issue with GERDEN so that no one in the future will ever be able to accuse anyone of actually committing this action.  To curtail knowledge of the material during the investigation so that the investigation can be conducted is one thing, but to do so after the investigation is over is something totally different.  Basically, I am in the position of not being bound by the TSB decision, but of having agreed to honour their wishes while I am seconded to them.  As well, John will likely not have to answer to a Court, but I will.  However, in light of the discussion on 01-02-20 about the wires, I take it that my Force line management feels that there is no suppression, no reason to suppress anything, that it should be disclosed.  It would be best all around then if GERDEN supplied something for the meeting.

            Finished up about 1900 hrs & home.  Today had been scheduled as an RTO, but I didn’t want to be off while John was down.  Last week he was tied up with the meetings, but this week was scheduled to other tasks, including the wire float test done today. 

(Clarification:)  Linked below is the video for the 'Explosive Wire Float Test'.



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