Lockerbie images 1988


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    Pure speculation, but I wonder whether for photographic purposes, the crash-scene at Lockerbie was fabricated as a scale-model. Whether modelled in whole or in part. If the latter then perhaps using a scale-model of the wrecked buildings and the gouged crater at the front. Pasted on top of a genuine photograph of the undamaged houses behind? Was that beyond the technical limitations of image (and video?) compositing back in the day (1988)?

    There’s just a feel to the Lockerbie imagery which reminds me of a miniature town; something of the model railway village to it. Perhaps it’s the lack of finer detail, missing in the very smallest objects; that lack of definition in the vehicle components, for example. Were they just too tiny to be modelled properly, if that’s how they did it? Explaining perhaps why even today, we are still only shown poor, low-resolution imagery. The safest way to cover-up those modelling limitations, maybe? Much better images must exist somewhere, yet we’re never shown them.

    BELOW: Inconsistent brightness levels? Unduly dark region between the damaged houses and the undamaged houses. Yet the white house at an angle to the camera is very well illuminated. Inconsistent lighting levels? Could that dark area be disguising the seam where two separate images are joined?

    The elevations of the houses in the image below feel odd. The wrecked building in the foreground seems too low compared to the houses in the middle-ground, which seem too low compared to those houses in the background.
    (Could just be me though, not appreciating the effect of the (aerial) camera angle?)

    Regarding the huge gouge in the ground – described in early news reports as “a crater twenty feet deep and a hundred feet long” – where the fuselage supposedly struck.

    If the imagery isn’t of a scale-model, could that crater perhaps have been from conventional ground-workings? Undertaken shortly before the “crash”, under the cover-story of effecting a water-main repair or some such? And then just attributed to the plane crash on the fateful day? It’s not like anyone would take note of a local claiming “that crater was there already!”

    Or, as the crash purportedly happened in the hours of darkness – 7pm on 21 December – maybe the crater was hastily excavated during the hours between the alleged crash and daybreak, or whenever the first faux-to-graphs were released.

    If the gouge wasn’t created by a crashing plane, and the image of it wasn’t a scale-model, and it wasn’t mechanically dug, how else could the crater have been created?

    It’s tempting to think ordnance was used. But the deep crater doesn’t seem to have the correct physical profile to suggest the detonation of buried explosives. It’s that rounding of the edges; and the tapering in width and depth towards one end. Not concordant with damage from a buried bomb, or bombs, which surely wouldn’t be so shaped.

    Presumably the crater was intended to subliminally represent the path of the belly of the plane, as it gouged along the ground. And yet there was very little plane debris in the imagery to corroborate such a narrative.

    Plenty of signs of the familiar “fly-tipping” problem in the Lockerbie imagery though; this image from the Scottish Record only surfacing many years (2013) later:


    I did consider that, Psyopticon. The placing of the car and truck look deliberate to add a sense of scale, as a fisherman might place a coin next to a fish for photography purposes.
    I was wondering how soon the road was re-opened, bearing in mind how long the A27 at Shoreham was closed in 2015 after a smaller “plane crash”. Seems like it was never closed!

    On this BBC page

    in February 1989, June and I drove past Lockerbie on the way to a short break holiday cottage in Scotland. Large hoardings hid the crash site from the motorway.
    Hugh McMullen, Air Traffic Controller, Carlisle Airport

    A lot of the guys who were sent to recover the debris, a most distressing task, had the unenviable job of attending Kegworth [the British Midlands plane crash on 8 January 1989] not long after.
    Neil Small Scotland [RAF]

    I was only 13 at the time, but I remember what happened like it was yesterday. I live in the surrounding countryside of Lockerbie, not five minutes from where the cockpit landed.
    I remember arriving at the scene about 10 minutes after the explosion and feeling an enormous sense of fear and confusion.
    Richard Miller, Scotland

    We passed the site in the early hours of the morning of 24 December and it was so terribly eerie.
    Only the northbound carriageway of the A74 was open at the time and you could see the devastation. Burnt-out cars were still on the southbound carriageway and it made me feel sick to see the shells of the vehicles that had been hit by the fire and know that what I was seeing was death…..
    ….two days later. When we came close to Lockerbie there was a huge tailback, either due to road restrictions in place or macabre “rubberneckers” and we had to crawl past the village on the A74.
    I remember looking out of the passenger window as the car slowly moved forward and seeing metal on the ground, beside the road and on its edges.
    I had to look again before I realised that we were actually driving over parts of the downed plane – small pieces of white, painted metal with the rivets still in place on some pieces.
    Katrina, UK

    The A74 had just been re-opened and I was driving north from London for Christmas with family in Glasgow……
    There was just a huge bite out of the southbound lane of the A74.
    The nose of the aircraft (seen in the signature photo of the event) seemed like it was within touching distance of the car on the west side of the road.
    Everywhere else was a confetti of aluminium fragments – some carefully swept to the side of the road in little piles…….
    Graeme Smith, USA, ex-Scotland

    …Lockerbie was like a war zone with no windows in any of the houses and the southbound caariage way of the A74 missing .
    There were pieces of aicraft all about, burnt-out cars and an enormous crater, those views will stay with me until the day I die. I then proceeded to just miss the Kegworth crash by a few hours a few weeks later.
    Tony Bathurst, UK

    I was living in Northumberland at the time and was only nine years old, but I remember it very well.
    It was really windy in the north-east on that day and parts of the plane, like insulation, silver and yellow, stuck in the trees in the woods where we lived. I collected it all up, along with people’s mail, and the odd bit of clothing which we had to hand into the police.
    We collected the debris up in black bags and my mother even found someone’s driving licence in the hedge just next to our house.
    I remember that on the next farm down they had a whole sack of mail that landed in one of their fields….

    Jonathan Smith, US

    …On our arrival we at first went to a local hall and then went out to locate the bodies. I along with a number of others were sent to Sherwood Crescent. My first impression was of the overwhelming smell of aviation fuel and the utter devastation of the houses.
    As the electricity had been knocked out we were working by torch light and the scene that we found will remain with me. As I only found body parts the scale of the disaster began to hit home and I will never forget the sights which I encountered that are too horrific to mention here….
    Raymond Pratt [Glasgow police officer]

    My most vivid memory was of the A74 which was littered with cars and and parts of the aircraft.
    We where directed by the police along the road. The scene was quite surreal. The four ton truck we had even managed to get a puncture from a piece of aircraft. (those tyres are hard to puncture).
    Brian Lee, UK [St Athan RAF Rescue Team]

    These, and other “witness” stories on the page have a very familiar ring to them. Even the “lucky escape” story of
    “Sylwester Chyb”, UK

    I call BS on these stories.


    burnt out car?? The only vehicle visible in aerial photos? Familiar scenario??



    Pure speculation, but I wonder whether for photographic purposes, the crash-scene at Lockerbie was fabricated as a scale-model. Whether modelled in whole or in part.

    Well spotted. They were using terrain scale-models for flight simulation in the 70s. Terrain boards mounted vertically, with a movable camera. So why not use a scale model for a flight crash simulation in the 80s?


    Looks like a model car…

    But look at the greenhouse in front of the white cottage – intact. I bet the glass is still in it!


    A few more images and a very strange story:


    the shoe shot…

    and another


    The Flannigan saga –

    The body of his 10-year-old sister was eventually found in the 30-foot crater gouged out of Sherwood Crescent, but his parents, blasted into pieces too tiny to recover, were never found. [Kathleen, 41, and Thomas, 44]
    Steven, 14, was lucky

    his 19-year-old brother, David, had also survived the crash. After an argument with his family some weeks before, David had been living with a friend in Blackpool

    Five years and eight days later, David was dead. His new life of fast cars, drugs and drink had taken its toll and on 29 December 1993, he died from heart failure in a cheap hostel in Thailand.

    When [ITN TV Cameraman, John] Boyce and his wife, Jo Shard, moved to Ashe Cottage in the hamlet of Heywood [Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire] to start a guesthouse 18 months ago, Steven became a partner in the business and moved in with them,

    On Thursday 17 August,[2000]… at around 3am, two drivers of a slow-moving maintenance train saw someone lying motionless in front of them on the track with their limbs chaotically splayed.

    It was too late to stop the train but its momentum was so slow that, despite being whisked to the Royal United Hospital in Bath within half an hour of the collision, it took Steven two days to die. Surrounded by 20 friends, he never regained consciousness and at 3pm on Sunday 20 August, the last victim of the Lockerbie tragedy eventually gave up his battle for life.


    Images of the crater – same source:

    and a few more from nearby

    Tom Dalpra


    Regarding the huge gouge in the ground – described in early news reports as “a crater twenty feet deep and a hundred feet long” – where the fuselage supposedly struck.

    Amazingly, I reread, we’re told that a ‘wing section’ ( not even a whole wing) caused that great crater, not the fuselage, it would seem ! How likely does that appear to you?

    ‘Eleven Lockerbie residents were killed on the ground when the wing section hit 13 Sherwood Crescent at more than 800 km/h (500 mph) and exploded, creating a crater 47 m (154 ft) long and with a volume of 560 m3 (730 cu yd). The house was completely destroyed, and its occupants, Dora and Maurice Henry, were killed. Several other houses and their foundations were completely destroyed, and 21 others were damaged so badly they had to be demolished. ( amazing isn’t it? All from that wing? ) Four members of one family, Jack and Rosalind Somerville and their children Paul, 13, and Lyndsey, 10, died when their house at 15 Sherwood Crescent exploded.’

    Crikey, their house just exploded!

    I’m hesitant to call ”Dinky Toy!”. It’s doable, obviously, but I’m thinking perhaps it is the real scene – The main road there for a quick get away looks about right.



    I then proceeded to just miss the Kegworth crash by a few hours a few weeks later.

    Is that one on our list? I can’t keep up.

    Of the 126 people aboard, 47 died and 74 sustained serious injuries.

    They tend to come in pairs or series, these aircraft crashes.

    Now when’s that third Russian bird gonna fall..?


    Looks like a model car…

    Apparently, red cars were all the rage in Lockerbie, back in the 80s. I count four of ’em.

    Typical modellers’ habit to use strong primary colours for cars (red, yellow) to make ’em stand out in your model.

    Also typical modellers’ habit is to use jokes in your model, like a guy pissing in the corner of a backyard…


    I’m not too well-versed in this case of fly-tipping and I didn’t know this bird was actually named Clipper Maid of the Seas.

    Ha, clip ‘er. I like!


    The Flannigan saga is extraordinary. See above.

    In a strange twist, Steven decided to become a jumbo jet pilot. He travelled to Florida, won his private licence and returned to Glasgow with a new friend, John Boyce, an ITN cameraman 15 years older than him who was to turn his life around.

    Well, 14 years, but I won’t quibble.
    John runs a holiday business in Bradford-on-Avon with his wife
    but the prices don’t seem to have changed since 2002!

    There was no probate in England relating to Flannigan, despite him owning his own plane…
    bought…23 December 1996 [hmmmm]

    and here it is at Carlisle, near Lockerbie in 1997
    However, back in 2001…

    16 July 2001

    THE three-year-old son of a man known as the Lockerbie orphan has inherited the bulk of his father’s £1.5m fortune. [in property, Treasury bonds and an impressive shares portfolio]
    Luke Flannigan will not receive his legacy until he is 25, but by then it could be worth between £8m and £10m.
    Details of the estate are revealed in Steven Flannigan’s will following his death in a railway accident almost a year ago.

    Luke, the result of a relationship between Mr Flannigan and Lisa Gregory, will inherit most of the fortune on his 25th birthday [October 2022]. Before this he will receive a car when he passes his driving test and a modest sum of cash when he is 21.

    The bulk of the estate will be held in trust by Steven’s uncle, Lawrence Doolan, who lives in Australia.

    Mr Flannigan also left £10,000 each to 12-year-old Lockerbie twins Rachel and Hannah Prothero. He was their godfather, and came to regard the Protheros as his new family. The girls will receive their legacy on their 18th birthdays.

    Luke’s mother has since married Jim Nesfield, a gamekeeper. They live on a farm outside Lockerbie. She declined to comment on her son’s inheritance.

    Probate was only granted when David Thomas Flannigan apparently died in late 1993 on 9 June 1997

    The original report from 2000 on the train death is here
    He had one of those lucky escapes in 1988

    He was visiting a friend when the burning fuselage landed on the house.

    Mr Flannigan suffered serious injuries after he appeared to jump in front of a slow-moving maintenance train on the line close to his home in Heywood, Trowbridge, Wilts. He died on Sunday, his 26th birthday. Insp Andy Cousins, of the British Transport Police, said: “There are no suspicious circumstances. It appears to be suicide.”

    He was forced to leave Lockerbie in 1994 after an affair with a married woman 25 years his senior. He went to Florida but returned to Lockerbie in 1996 where he fell in love with Lisa Gregory. She became pregnant but they separated because of his heavy drinking. She gave birth to their son, Luke, in September 1997.

    What did the coroner Paul Forrest at the inquest say?
    25 Oct 2000

    having consumed up to 14 pints of lager, an inquest was told yesterday.

    [which could be half a pint of lager…]

    had a habit of falling asleep in unusual places when he had been drinking, the hearing at Bath, Somerset, was told.

    oh right.

    Recording a verdict of accidental death, Paul Forrest, the Avon district coroner, said: “Steven Flannigan falling asleep beside the track on his way home was entirely consistent with his history of doing so when drunk.”

    I fantasise about a coroner giving a verdict of “faked death” one day.

    There’s some more detail here

    The inquest in Bath heard Mr Flannigan drank 12 to 14 pints of lager
    Mr Flannigan was next door mending his sister’s bike when debris from the jet crashed on to the family home.
    Mr Flannigan moved to Wiltshire in 1996 to join friend and fellow pilot John Boyce.
    Mr Boyce, and Mr Flannigan lived in Heywood. After moving to Wiltshire he became a popular regular in many pubs including The Royal Oak in Hawkeridge, where he was drinking on the night of the accident.
    Landlord Tony Elderkin said: “He was a popular man.”
    Mr Flannigan died in the RUH in Bath on his 26th birthday, three days after the accident.

    Doesn’t quite sound like a jumbo pilot….or any sort of pilot

    An archived page from the Independent circa 1993/4

    David Flannigan, 24, was found dead in a hotel in the beach resort of Pattaya, 80 miles south of Bangkok, on Wednesday night. His 19-year- old brother, Steven, the only surviving member of the immediate family, has been told that a heart attack is suspected. Thai police are said to be investigating the role of drink or drugs in the death.

    Mr Flannigan was travelling with a male friend en route for Australia.

    Last night Bob Jardine, with whom Steven lives, said that he was greatly distressed by news of his brother’s death. David Flannigan, Mr Jardine added, had visited Steven just before going abroad. ‘He said he was in very good form. He seemed to have put his troubles behind him and was greatly looking forward to his holiday.

    as Steven said at some later stage…

    ‘We were working in his garage when we heard this roaring noise. Then there was an almighty bang. We rushed outside but all I could see was flame and smoke. I couldn’t see my house. I didn’t know then that it was because it wasn’t there any more.’

    Just to keep the story bubbling away until 2022, we have this 2008 20th anniversary story giving maximum publicity to the future heir and mum
    but we learn that it’s now payday in October 2018 – on his 21st birthday, no longer the 25th as reported previously.

    As the only direct descendant of the Flannigan family, Luke also became entitled to £6million from the Libyan government paid as compensation to all the victims.
    By the time he is given access to the sum – currently held in a trust fund – in 2018, it is expected to be worth more than £18million.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by xileffilex.

    Cowboys and children were killed in this op.


    Plane crash at 9:11


    I say Märklin.

    Quite possibly…
    The later photos with water gathered in the bottom indicate subsequent excavation. It’s totally unbelievable that a wing did that. In those innocent decades pre-2000 the traffic is deliberately allowed to pass the site with no hoardings – this would be a crime scene extending across the carriageways normally.

    which may be compared with this view

    The miraculously undamaged houses can be seen today

    and the agreeable dwellings across the street to the east are

    and this is
    crater central

    Here’s a view looking south

    and this site
    has some images from the museum in Lockerbie
    ongoing excavation…I think we’ve seen that toasted car before

    finished work

    Not sure what this fireman is doing


    The presbytery was the only surviving building in the lower part of Sherwood crescent –
    The odd numbers are on the west side, the presbytery, or former presbytery, is here

    December 15 2013

    , only one house is left standing — Number 1. From it a solitary figure emerges. He is the local Roman Catholic priest, Patrick Keegans.

    Shell-shocked, he tries to take in the scene but nothing can prepare him for the horror that unfolds. Standing over a 47-metre crater gouged out by the aircraft, he sees Number 13 is gone, obliterated by a section of wing and, with it, his friends and neighbours Maurice Henry, 63, and his wife, Dora, 56. He would later learn that there was nothing left of their bodies to bury.

    Number 15 has exploded, killing John and Rosalind Somerville, both 40, and their children Paul, 13, and Lynsey, 10. Next door, Kathleen, 41, and Thomas, 44, Flannigan and their daughter Joanne, 10, also perish. From a neighbour’s garage their son Steven, 14, sees the fireball engulf his home. He and his older brother David, who was then living in Blackpool, are never to recover from their loss. Both die in tragic circumstances a few years later.

    Mary Lancaster, 81, and Jean Murray, 82, are also killed.

    Paul and Lyndsey were never found but the remains of their parents, Jack and Rosaleen, were found and as their coffins lay side by side in the church I thought of how they would have looked as they stood side by side on their wedding day.

    1998 article – source

    PS Actually, from the above aerial Getty photo it is clear that #3 and #5 Sherwood Crescent were left intact, although they seem to have had a makeover in modern views.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by xileffilex.

    (hot-linking blocked again)

    These images show a crater looking very ‘dug’; a mechanical excavation. Not reconciling with the (alleged) aerial photographs of the same scene.

    One of those who reportedly lost a loved-one in PanAm 103 was Eton- and Oxbridge-educated Dr Herbert (Jim) Swire. Swire has played a leading faux-leftist role, generating rabbit-trails of his own. Pleading for compassion toward Libya and “wrongly-convicted” bomber Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi. While underpinning the official crash/bomb narrative. Quite possibly descending from the British hong operation of John Swire & Sons – the notorious 19th century opium smugglers; an intelligence-linked firm reputedly still ‘in the business’ today.

    Bookshops report brisk sales of novel linking Swire to drug trade

    The book [When We Were Orphans] describes Swire as making vast profits in the lead-up to World War II by importing opium through Shanghai and turning millions into addicts.

    Swire, which denies involvement in the opium trade and fears the book will damage its reputation in Hong Kong and China, said this week it was not behind the sudden surge in sales.

    Yet from Dope, Inc. (1978; with same paragraphs in latest 2010 edition):

    The Keswicks, Dents, Swires and Barings still control the world flow of opiates from their stronghold in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. Jardine Matheson, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company still control the channels of production and distribution of the drugs from the Far East, through the British dominion of Canada, into the United States.
    The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank is not an independent malefactor, but a special operation of the British oligarchy’s top banks, specializing in the Far Eastern drug traffic. The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank’s governing body, the London Committee, is the British oligarchy’s delegated group assigned to the
    Far East drug traffic.

    More specifically, it is an economic warfare operation. Two of its directors, J.K. Keswick — of the family that founded Jardine Matheson in 1828 to trade opium — and J.K. Swire — of the Swire family of hereditary opium traders — were senior officials in Britain’s Ministry of Economic War during World War II.

    Tom Dalpra

    As I said, I’m hesitant about calling ‘Marklin!’. I don’t see why the trench couldn’t have been excavated in the night and the actual mess that was left was the evidence for all to see as they passed by the next day.

    That said, I’ve been trying to work out what’s going on with the roof of the white house at the end of the trough (at the other end to the main road).

    In the aerial photos the roof looks unblemished, but in others there’s clearly a difference in the colouring of the tiles. There’s a patch bottom left, particularly, which which I would think would stand out, even from the sky.

    There may be an explanation, but it just seems a bit odd to me.

    Unblemished roof.


    Patchy roof.




    On review I see the windows boarded-up too. This seems like evidence that the house has been attended-to in some way. It’s quite credible to me that some of the tiles may have been removed in preparation for demolition.

    Though I laugh at myself as I write, I did look at the guy (in the top aerial photo ‘having a piss’) under a magnifying glass. My feeling was, I could see a protrusion from the right hand side of the figure, suggestive of an arm sticking out, slightly. This made me think it probably wasn’t a figure posed as if urinating!

    The four ‘red’ cars also got me a little excited for a minute.
    As it goes, the 1980’s were the peak time for red cars in the UK.

    Red was understandably chosen for the clearly-staged burnt-out Opal, up on the road.
    Maybe the others being there was just a fluke ?


    Tom Dalpra

    My take is that this Op went off at 7 pm in December in the UK, allowing 10 hours plus further hours cover of darkness.

    It all happened at night in an isolated area by a main road – easy to secure.

    Evacuation happened when it went ‘bang’ – easy to do.

    They had the whole night to excavate and design the crash site.
    Evacuate and excavate.
    Daylight came and we could see the evidence for ourselves.

    They had hours, some may say too long.
    I imagine someone, somewhere saying – ”For fucks sake Dave, I said dig a hole, not dig out Channel fuckin’ Tunnel 2!”.

    ‘Dave’ and the boys look to have made a mess getting rid of all the soil up the road, too. It happens. It’s strikes me as the same as every building site I’ve ever worked on. A bit of a shambles.




    As I said, I’m hesitant about calling ‘Marklin!’. I don’t see why the trench couldn’t have been excavated in the night and the actual mess that was left was the evidence for all to see as they passed by the next day.

    Think inclusive: modelling and digging. Märklin and Caterpillar.

    This was 1988, the year Photoshop was created. It was the end of an era. From now on it was “Pack it in Dave, we’re doing it in CG these days.”

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About xileffilex

doubter of everything in the MSM - photojournalists especially. Especially interested in the David Kelly suicide psy-op, Diana faked crash, Boston Marathon hoax. Old man with time to read behind the headlines. Southern England