Sunday, 22 November 2009

Austrian Forensic Method: Burn the Evidence, Quickly!

Austrian Police had to be restrained from destroying what may be the only useful forensic evidence left in the "investigation" into the increasingly suspicious death of the British weapons expert, Dr Timothy Hampton, in Vienna.

If Dr Hampton's body can be returned, intact, to England for burial, the relevant county Coroner (Berkshire, probably) can hold an inquest to review the available (unburnt) evidence before a jury. Coroners exist to determine fact rather than guilt or liability; only an authority frightened by the facts would seek to frustrate such an inquest.

To contact Her Majesty's Coroner for the County of Berkshire:


P J Bedford
Yeomanry House, 131 Castle Hill
Telephone: 0118 901 5447

(+44) 118 901 5447 if calling from outside the UK or Channel Islands, of course.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


The BBC has, properly, made much of the fact that this is the first Armistice day where Great Britain no longer has a living veteran of the Great War to observe the silence, no living link to the conflict itself.

But we've been here before.

In the early eighties, the last two veterans of the battle of Spion Kop died, at a Cheshire Home in Hitchin. Medawar remembers there being a small handful of such men, then just those two, both in bath-chairs having suffered traumatic amputations in the battle, who would attend remembrance day services for the fallen of the Great War, even though this tended, always, to eclipse any memory of their own war. For the rest of the year, while they were still able, they would come into town and bath chairs would be propelled, by hand-cranks, across Market Place to Merrick's sweetshop and tobacconists by the entrance to West's Arcade, to purchase the necessary comforts for that week.

Their regiment, the Middlesex, went on to fight in many more wars, being commanded in both Burma and Kenya by Colonel Rilely Workman. He fell, not in battle, but at the door of his retirement cottage in East Herts, shot by a murderer who remains officially unknown. The gulf between the soldier and the murderer is vast -and murder stains the Earth after the scars of battle have healed.

Medawar remembers, too, a small handful of Great War veterans who'd queue outside W.E Waylett's little barber shop. One of them was permanently blue as a result of his experiences -and gas- and this is a disturbing sight that almost no-one younger than Medawar will have seen, and hopefully those who do not understand that a man can turn blue and stay that way for over fifty years, won't ever be faced with a practical demonstration.

Medawar remembers how many men died at Bluff Cove, because of a ten minute gap in their fighter cover. Which the defence correspondent of the Daily Mail evidently does not bloody remember, even though he was on the Falklands at the time, as he simpers away that cutting RAF fighters and Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers will fund more equipment for the "boots on the ground".

Modern, industrial, warfare did not start in 1914, because most of the painful lessons learned then had already been painfully obvious at Spion Kop -and at Gettysburg. It did not end in 1982, either.

We are not into a new phase of history where all wars are about terrorism and counter-insurgency: that was precisely what the US Marine Corps had been trained for, up to 1917-1918 and their eye-watering losses taking Melville Woods from the Germans, who were not Filipino insurgents or terrorists, but an organised and disciplined army with a huge industrial machine behind them. We still live in the same age, in fact, where "terrorism" and insurgencies fill the gaps between major conflicts between industrial powers, not because anyone is consciously using them to keep the troops fresh, but because both are symptoms of the different stresses caused by different phases of the economic cycle.

If we want peace, then we have to remember, causes as well as sacrifice. And we need to sacrifice a bit more money, so we sacrifice fewer lives.

Banknotes Protest

This link shows how Iranian pro-democracy activists are putting slogans on banknotes in general circulation.

Ethically, one has to ensure that one isn't handing a shopkeeper a note that he cannot redeem, otherwise it's equivalent to passing a forgery, but if the notes circulate and are accepted as currency with a little bit of writing on them -and it's long been the practice of banks and businesses to write odd numbers on the notes when totting up- then it's perfectly acceptable. Some of the notes have great long spiels written on, though, and that must make it hard for anyone to use the note as currency.

Medawar likes the idea of inkjetting a little picture of Neda onto every Iranian banknote.
Perhaps Bank of England and Royal Bank of Scotland notes might have a little picture of Dr David Kelly added.

Northern Ireland readers could inkjet Northern Bank notes with thumbnails of all the people murdered by paramilitaries, whose graves have not yet been found. And perhaps British tourists could put a little thumbnail of Madeline McCann on every single Portuguese Euro note that passes through their hands.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Timothy Hampton and the March of Time

Anyone looking for a motive for the murder, in Vienna, of Dr Timothy Hampton, needs to do much more than look in the right geographical region for the secrets that he might have uncovered, that others wanted covered up again most urgently. They also need to look in the right timeframe:

A few years ago, when sophisticated software was being developed, to continuously scan seismographic sensors and sound alarms when anything resembling a nuclear test was detected, one of the people developing the software argued that there was a lot of perfectly good seismic data in the archives going back to years before the software was even thought of, let alone developed, and it might be a good idea to run the new software over that, as well.

So, what happens when you run the software that Dr Hampton was using in his official, contemporary work, over archive seismic data for the period 1975-1988, for example?
And if you go to a different time, aren't the politically critical parts of the world all different?

This link is to a document which comment poster, Dave K9, offers as relevant.
Briefly, this document suggests that the second Korean nuclear test might not have been nuclear at all, or the test site had somehow achieved a much better containment of radioactive material than the first test. (Medawar believes that this site is actually a coal mining area: not an ideal choice for containment!) If the "test" was actually a stunt, pulled with thousands of tons of conventional explosives, then the cavity fusing effect that makes underground nuclear explosions self-sealing, wouldn't happen and hundreds of tons of gas would be vented or seep from the site. Medawar thinks this would be forensically detectible, for months, although not by any mechanism in the nuclear test monitoring network.
Depends a little on what conventional explosive used:
ANFO w0uld be the most cost-effective material in the west, and this is fairly clean-burning.
TNT/ammonium-nitrate (Amatol) has been used in very large conventional explosions in the past: this would definitely leave distinctive chemicals in the plume.
More modern RDX/TNT even more so. (But would cost millions: roughly £1 per 1lb.)
Thousands of tons of HMX/TNT (Octal) would be so expensive that a genuine nuclear bomb would be cheaper.

Also, it would be a huge labour to transport thousands of tons of explosives to the same depth as a nuclear device lowered down a shaft that could be drilled like an oil or water well.

However, it's also noteworthy that this document describes and ever-tightening noose of monitoring for nuclear test activity, making it harder by the month, never mind the year, to get away with doing this undetected. This means that any secrets about nuclear tests apply to tests that have already happened some time ago, before doing it in secret became difficult.

And at the same time as doubt is being cast on the technical capabilities of North Korea, it has emerged that Iran has access to a fairly advanced form of nuclear warhead design.

Actually, Medawar thought this had to be the case, a few years ago when inurgents in Southern Iraq suddenly started to use Explosively Formed Penetrator devices in roadside bombs. An EFP and a two-point implosion or "Swan" nuclear device both represent essentially the same technology.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Drug Facts Also Unlikely to Appear on Indymedia Anytime Soon

This link is to some actual facts about cannabis.

The ACMD "top twenty" list of drugs was a form of opinion poll amongst interested scientists and clinicians and was not a rigorous study, as many of Professor Nutt's supporters have assumed. "Look before you lynch" would be good advice to the Home Secretary's more strident critics.

It is also strange that Heroin, a licensed drug, given to thousands of patients every year, should be classed by the ACMD as more dangerous than Cocaine, which is no longer licensed for any medical use. Give a severely wounded person a proper dose of strong opiate, such as heroin, morphine or one of the stronger synthetic opiates, you will buffer them against the shock to some extent and this may give you time to save their life. Give them cocaine and you may make them oblivious to, or at least heedless of, the pain, but the physiological effects of the shock will be magnified and the cocaine will swiftly finish them off. Long term abuse of Cocaine causes aortic anuerisms and these kill, very suddenly, and are well nigh impossible to treat. Cocaine gives its abusers a tremendous feeling of confidence in all their decisions and ideas, even if these are actually quite garbled, and yet the first physical warning the user feels that his habit might be about to kill him, is a sharp pain in the back. He then has about twenty-five minutes to:

A/ Realize something is actually wrong.

B/ Seek help.

C/ Actually reach an operating theatre and a surgical team who know that he's having an anuerism.

D/ Get it successfully repaired.

Cocaine users are often very bad at accepting that something is going wrong, so their chances of making it to the operating table in time are very, very slim. The cocaine-induced death rate may be grossly under-estimated.

Also, Medawar observes that most Heroin addicts know that they have a problem and wish they could stop taking it, whereas most Cannabis users won't accept that there is any problem at all with Cannabis and fly into a furious rage with anyone who even suggests that there might be. Which of those two attitudes evidences the most dangerous delusion?

Don't take heroin or any opiate recreationally. Don't delude yourself, either, that because you are taking Cannabis or Cocaine instead, all is rosy.

If you are taking amphetamines, please try not to drive any sort of motor vehicle -and there's no point in your harbouring any ambitions to have sex with anyone, because it will shrink until it's so small you start having nightmares about it.

If you are taking meth-amphetamines: good bye.

Cocaine Update: If taken with alcohol, Cocaine forms a third drug, cocaethylene, which remains in the liver and is implicated in heart disease. Not that cocaine on its own, isn't. NB: this article comes from the Observer (part of the Guardian group) which rarely troubles its affluent "professional class" readership with anything particularly negative about social drug taking.

Cocaine kills. It can take a few years, and the massive explosion, not just in the number of users, but the amount that each user consumes, is a few years old. Looking on the bright side, anyone wanting to become a Television Producer is about to find an awful lot of vacancies advertised in "Guardian Media" and "Aerial".

Indymedia Censorship

This Link is to the article which Indymedia censored, apparently because it contained facts rather than AR Terrorist Propaganda. Medawar did have the text up here, but there's no need to cause confusion by having it in two places at once.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

A Walk in the Woods or a Fall from a Height

It appears that Timothy Hampton, a British Weapons Expert who died in the UN building in Vienna, was probably murdered.

Originally a biologist, Dr Hampton has been working in the field of seismic monitoring for signs of nuclear tests, developing expertise he'd gained in the construction industry. Because of his early background, it's just possible that he needed to be silenced over a matter of biological warfare, but the most likely thing was that he had found seismic evidence of a so-far unreported nuclear test, or that he was able to prove that the presumed characteristics, such as yield, of a test that had been reported, were wrong.

In any matters pertaining to North Korea, it's very unlikely that the use of nuclear weapons would be separated from the use of biological and bio-chemical weapons, especially fusella toxins, so a biologist with nuclear and seismic expertise might well see a "big picture" not apparent to his colleagues or his political superiors -and need to be silenced before he managed to get his concerns across. The same might be true, also, of Iran, but so far all the international attention has been concentrated on that country's nuclear programme. There has been no reported Iranian nuclear test, so far.

Dr Hampton's wife is a nuclear inspector in her own right, with a different organization, but she was away in the Far East at the time of his death. It is possible that Dr Hampton knew something that his wife might have communicated to higher levels of authority, so he'd have to be done in before she got home.