- 1999 DEC 06 -


99-12-06          0700    Morning routine.  The sort line for the vacuum material finished up yesterday. 


This afternoon, an investigator’s meeting was held and several items discussed.  Jean Ives VERMETTE gave an overview of his actions here, showing several pieces that have saw-tooth pattern, but that he feels are not indicative of an explosion.  Most of the pieces are engine fan blades and we had already drawn that conclusion.  Several pieces though are frame and skin, but they are not being taken as a sign of an explosive device.  They could have been in a location that had been struck by the disintegrating fan blades.  His report is dependant on the results of the AUGER testing, but he was told that it could be some time before Dr. BROWN provides his results.  There was some discussion about an interim report, but nothing was decided.  It is also interesting to note that Jean Ives has received the impression that several of the TSB people are indicating that this file might be a criminal matter.  This is based on the fact that these saw-tooth pieces have been shown to him, that they have told him about the high magnesium in the wires, etc.  It’s strange that he gets this impression when we who are working here every day are concerned that events will negate the chance to investigate the matter thoroughly to determine what the cause was. 

Then, discussion turned to Brian LONDON’s BURNE memo, and everyone was in agreement that a follow-up of this investigation must be conducted.  It was also determined that the wording would be re-worked, but Andy LATHEM will deal with this with Brian, and we will not be involved.  This is unusual in that there was no discussion at all over the wording, only over the timing in relation to the previous report from all of us to Crim Ops last month.  I have concern over the remarks indicating that BOURN’s experience relates directly to the cause/fire-source of the accident.

Tasks are to be completed by the 17th where possible, and a weekly meeting will be held each Thursday aft.

My notes from Saturday were discussed briefly, in that the oxygen cup that had been found on the torso was discussed.  Vic GORMAN remembered the exhibit, and the cup was found lying up against the torso along with some other material.  It could not at the time be associated in any way as having been purposely applied to the torso and was most likely crash debris.  Comments were made about notes and being careful about what is included and in what context.  I maintain my position that notes must be thorough and as complete as possible.

There was a short discussion about the TSB investigation for blood alcohol in the pilots.  It seems that they have supplied samples to the FAA who have been able to determine a “blood alcohol level”.  This is questionable in that the readings are from decayed flesh that is highly contaminated.  No one in our crime lab alcohol section would touch the samples because the readings will be inaccurate.  It can even be altered by the sugar content of the food that was eaten.  It seems that Dr. DAVIES has today taken several samples from the children for testing to create a base level, thinking that they too will provide a “decomposition” base level to which the pilots can be compared.  Who’s to say that they also didn’t drink a spit of wine or did/did not have a high sugar dessert.  Certainly, the meals in first class - which the pilots eat - and tourist are different. 

(Clarification:)    The "Burne" memo should read 'BORN' memo, and it dealt with the complaint from a head flight attendant on a previous Far Eastern flight during which he smelled something akin to burning plastics.  This was checked out by maintenance staff and nothing was found.




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