- 2019 JAN 12 -



After all this time, I had never asked Dr. Brown for a signed statement of the events surrounding his involvement in the Swissair 111 crash investigation. 

The following is the scanned copy of his statement, dated this date.












            Dr. Brown has mentioned some very interesting details in his statement.  The following are my comments regarding those details.

           Of note, the work performed by Dr. Brown and his associates at CANMET, a Federal Government Agency, was fully funded by the client who in this case was the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), another Federal Government agency.  The taxpayers of Canada covered the bill, so it was irrelevant what agency actually funded the tests as the money came out of the Federal Treasury.  It was merely a book keeping issue that was used illegally as leverage by the TSB.

            Dr. Brown states that magnesium, aluminium, iron, and zinc were rogue elements found in some of the copper beads.  Dr. Brown was the expert in this type of testing and the equipment used, and in the interpretation of his equipment’s results.  Their presence and his warning of their association to an incendiary device should have been taken seriously by both the TSB and the RCMP.  This did not happen.  Instead, considerable effort was undertaken by the TSB to shut down the testing.  As for the management of the RCMP, they simply ignored those warnings.

            Regarding the matter of flares, Dr. Brown never asked me about their presence quite naturally because he thought I didn’t know.  He didn’t realize that I had first-hand knowledge of the burnt area of aircraft and would have known that there was no magnesium source above the ceiling.  Why it took so long for Jim Foot to provide an answer, I can only suggest that he was too busy trying to shut down the AES tests or otherwise mitigate the findings to pass on the facts garnered from Boeing and Swissair.  I had already learned from Larry Fogg that the magnesium parts on the aircraft were simply the rudder pedals and small parts in the door locking mechanism, and this information was passed on to Dr. Brown during one of the test sessions.  Jim Foot was at the time still strongly suggesting that the rogue elements had come from the wires having been in contact with magnesium parts while on the seafloor.  That this scenario happened was impossible.

            I didn’t know what Dr. Brown had written in his initial report until after the CBC’s ‘The Fifth Estate’ aired.  He had told me in an email that he had toned down his report, but I didn’t know that he had used the words “incendiary device” and “sabotage” in that first report.  Of interest, it’s apparent that Dr. Brown was never negatively influenced by our conversations or my emails, especially the email that warned of attempts to have him alter his opinions.  For Lathem and the others to suggest that he was adversely influenced shows a total ignorance of the facts.  Dr. Brown acted in a most professional manner and used sound scientific methods.  I purposefully did not inform him of any of the other details that had been uncovered as the file progressed because that could later have been argued as an influence. 

            Dr. Dionne’s restrictions and controls of what Dr. Brown wrote in his reports was not only unprofessional, it was a gross miscarriage of justice.  This was a Government funded investigation with implications of a criminal act on the part of unknown persons, and she interfered.  Dr. Brown was potentially a witness for future court proceedings, so she was tampering with the evidence of a court witness.  However, for her to now be working with the TSB is not surprising.  Her actions in this matter merely augmented those of other TSB and CASB members while investigating this and a previous air crash in this country.  She seems to be well suited for their corrupt practices, especially with the likes of the RCMP’s former Professional Integrity Officer assisting at the helm.

            Dr. Brown mentions a ‘chance’ encounter with Vic Gerden in the building where his office and lab is located.  Gerden was not there for a social visit, but most certainly he was there to ensure that the final report soon to be released by Dr. Brown would meet with his approval and that it did not mention anything related to a criminal device.  Dr. Brown says that he had already met with Dr. Jackson and presumably Dr. Dionne to discuss that very subject matter, and failure to comply would result in the TSB’s non-payment of services.  Again, one Federal Government agency to another, but the bean counters rule and truth in this instance is again a fatal casualty.  

            It was generous of Dr. Brown to offer him a tour of his facilities, but Gerden was an administrator, not an operational investigator, and he would have never understood any part of the equipment.  I suspect that if Gerden has a degree, it is in business administration and not in the sciences. 

            Gerden is so out of touch with the scientific principals involved that, just like Lathem and Gorman, he has failed to differentiate the presence of Dr. Brown’s four ‘rogue’ elements with Dr. Anderson’s theory of a ‘clean bead’ versus a ‘dirty bead’.  A casual observer might just think that of him and of Lathem.  However, Gerden demanded a simple result that showed a clean short-circuit as the initiator of the fire, and purposefully chose to ignore that the ‘rogue’ elements were present and real.  Dr. Brown, as did I, felt that there was a need to explain them, not ignore them as if they didn’t exist.

            Gerden then continued to lie by stating that the TSB had definitively determined the cause of the fire was a short-circuited wire above and behind the right side of the cockpit.  In reality, there was no definitive evidence of this.  To loosely quote Larry Fogg of Boeing, the TSB had to come up with something accidental, and this was their best guess.

            It would be most interesting to learn who the TSB consulted as arson experts.  The only two associated with the file would have been John Garstang and me.  I was never consulted!  This conversation took place after the FAA fire tests, and Garstang, Sidla, and Enns knew that the one kilogram of MPET above the ceiling would have been insufficient to do the damage that was done.  Perhaps it was Gorman who was consulted.  But he was out of the picture by July 2000 and had no direct knowledge of the aircraft, the materials, or the fire debris.  What’s more, his opinion would have been biased due to his ambition for a commission and his belief that he must follow the directives of Lathem.  Bias would not have mattered to the TSB.  It merely assured compliance with their requirements.  Certainly, Gerden never sought the opinion of Dr. Lyon or Dr. Quintere, the two North American experts in aircraft fires.  So, who then would have had the direct knowledge of the materials involved along with the expertise to offer such an opinion?  I doubt that the TSB sought or found such a person.  Yet another of Gerden’s lies. 

            Gerden’s statement that “no evidence of a criminal act had been found by the best forensic investigators in the industry”, as written by Dr. Brown in his statement, was another lie.  There was only one forensic investigator on the file after July 2000, and that was me.  Consulting any official dictionary shows that ‘forensic’

                    ‘relates to or denotes the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime.’

            The TSB does not investigate crime.  Instead, it only carries out safety investigations.  They are two different entities.  So, what they do can hardly be called a forensic investigation and their members cannot be called forensic investigators.  What’s more, the TSB manipulated science and selected only the applicable results in order to fulfil the evaluation that had been decided upon long before any of the science ever took place.  That certainly is not the use of scientific methods and techniques.

            The next line indicates that experts evaluated the AES evidence and rejected it.  Again, who were these experts?  Neither the TSB nor the RCMP had such experts.  The one person that the CBC went to warned them, in a blind examination, that the presence of magnesium, aluminum, and iron in such quantities was indicative of a problem.  Two more in Europe offered the same opinion. 

            Once again, we see that Vic Gerden is a liar and that he criminally obstructed justice.  For him to tell Dr. Brown that his evidence would have to stand alone, that it was not backed up by other evidence, and that he could not swear under oath, was not only misleading, it incorporated a lie.  There was an abundance of other physical and admissible human opinion evidence to prove that arson was the cause of the fire.

            Dr. Brown, if he had been subpoenaed to court, would have been accepted as an expert witness in his scientific fields.  He would have stated that he found trace evidence of the four elements, and that he was unable to determine a natural source for those elements from the test materials that he had received during the investigation. 

            However, no Crown Counsel would ever have asked him if he believed an incendiary device had actually caused the fire.  That was not Dr. Brown’s area of knowledge or expertise.  It would imply that he somehow had direct knowledge of how the actual incendiary device was made, functioned, and how it was positioned in the plane, and that he knew the complete details of the fire damage that it had caused.  He would not be able to offer an answer.  He didn’t even have direct knowledge that the short-circuited wires that he had examined had come from the crash debris.  His knowledge of that fact was merely ‘hear-say’ and would never be admissible.  A defence counsel might even demand that he not call them ‘aircraft wires’, but merely electrical cables. 

            Dr. Brown would have been able to offer an opinion that the elements in question, under certain conditions, could have come from some sort of incendiary device or criminal occurrence.  Those conditions would have to be described by the Crown and would be consistent with what was believed to have happened during the onboard fire.  Indeed, he offered this opinion in his first report, that magnesium ribbon had been wrapped around wires, and he was illegally forced to alter his words.  There were other possible methods and designs for a criminal device, and he might even have described some.  With his extensive knowledge and background in chemicals, he could describe several scenarios that would allow a Court to conclude the physical nature of such a device.  To then corroborate Dr. Brown’s evidence, Dr. Lyon of the FAA, Dr. Quintere, Dr. Anderson, and the FAA’s Pat Cahill along with others could be called. 

            Vic Gerden’s friendly advice to Dr. Brown is in reality a joke.  One of the directives issued as a result of the TSB’s investigation is that, on smelling smoke, the pilots should land the aircraft as soon as possible and evacuate the aircraft, thereby allowing professional firefighters to fight the fire, not aircrew while in flight.  I suspect that nearly every member of the flying public expected this to have been common practice years before it came into effect.  As for the removal of the MPET material, this had been ordered by the FAA several years prior to the crash of Swissair 111.  All they did was to reinforce the need, doing so by lying to the FAA and the airlines.

            As for Dr. Brown being responsible for the deaths of future passengers, that’s a totally unwarranted guilt-trip by someone indirectly responsible for thousands of deaths.  In November 2000, Vic Gerden had the opportunity to warn the FAA about a security problem at the airports and that an incendiary device may have been placed on Swissair 111.  He failed to do so nine- and one-half months before the World Trade Center disaster we now call 9-11.  As for the insurance claims, that should never have been Gerden’s concern.  What about telling the truth because that was not only his job, it was the law.  His lies resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including those in the two wars that resulted.  What’s more, the insurance companies, once they learned of the truth, might have sued the Canadian Government, again the Canadian tax-payer, for their damages.  Hang all of that on Vic Gerden and the TSB's management.

            Now we come to Jim Foot and his seemingly feelings of guilt after the airing of the CBC program ‘The Fifth Estate’ in September of 2011.  Jim was just covering his own backside.  His comment about the smoke curtain not being present on HB-IWF is news to me, as we viewed every one of the other Swissair aircraft, and each one had a smoke curtain present.  To insinuate that it was not present was an insult to the Swissair people who maintained the aircraft. 

            Jim Foot seems to have a short memory when it comes to the ‘rogue elements’ as he was front and centre in stating that Dr. Brown had been hired to find the initiating short-circuit, not some alternate cause for the fire.  He loudly proclaimed that he was going to put Dr. Brown ‘back on track’.  Indeed, that very statement was the reason I sent the email to Dr. Brown warning him of any attempt to have him alter or ignore his findings.

            It’s interesting that since the book has been published, no one from the TSB’s investigation or management team have issued any comments about their methods or findings.  How can they as there are too many proofs of unprofessional procedures and criminal activities arrayed against them?





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