The Holes in the Official Skripal Story 1404

In my last post I set out the official Government account of the events in the Skripal Case. Here I examine the credibility of this story. Next week I shall look at alternative explanations.

Russia has a decade long secret programme of producing and stockpiling novichok nerve agents. It also has been training agents in secret assassination techniques, and British intelligence has a copy of the Russian training manual, which includes instruction on painting nerve agent on doorknobs.

The only backing for this statement by Boris Johnson is alleged “intelligence”, and unfortunately the “intelligence” about Russia’s secret novichok programme comes from exactly the same people who brought you the intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programme, proven liars. Furthermore, the question arises why Britain has been sitting on this intelligence for a decade and doing nothing about it, including not telling the OPCW inspectors who certified Russia’s chemical weapons stocks as dismantled.

If Russia really has a professional novichok assassin training programme, why was the assassination so badly botched? Surely in a decade of development they would have discovered that the alleged method of gel on doorknob did not work? And where is the training manual which Boris Johnson claimed to possess? Having told the world – including Russia -the UK has it, what is stopping the UK from producing it, with marks that could identify the specific copy erased?

The Russians chose to use this assassination programme to target Sergei Skripal, a double agent who had been released from jail in Russia some eight years previously.

It seems remarkable that the chosen target of an attempt that would blow the existence of a secret weapon and end the cover of a decade long programme, should be nobody more prominent than a middle ranking double agent who the Russians let out of jail years ago. If they wanted him dead they could have killed him then. Furthermore the attack on him would undermine all future possible spy swaps. Putin therefore, on this reading, was willing to sacrifice both the secrecy of the novichok programme and the spy swap card just to attack Sergei Skripal. That seems highly improbable.

Only the Russians can make novichok and only the Russians had a motive to attack the Skripals.

The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear.

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal’s MI6 handler Pablo Miller’s work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump.

Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts.

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller’s long term friend, the BBC’s Mark Urban, that the Russians “may have been” tapping Yulia Skripal’s phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack.

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets. I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia’s phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed.

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there.

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury?

Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily. Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around. Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain.

Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective?

Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected.

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill?

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly? Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies.

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.

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1,404 thoughts on “The Holes in the Official Skripal Story

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  • J Galt

    BBC promotion of anti-Trump protests.

    We’ve moved on from 1984 – today we have not one but two Emmanuel Goldsteins being put up by the authorities of Airstrip One for the prole’s two minutes hates – Vlad for those of a certain persuasion and Donald for the rest of the brain dead!

    • glenn_nl

      “Promotion”? Illustrate where they promote these protests, or it will be rather obvious you are not promoting the truth.

      • MJ

        In their broadcasts. There have been huge anti-austerity marches that passed without mention.

        • J Galt


          Ok they are not saying we want you to go on an anti-Trump march, however their wall to wall coverage of them as opposed to the scanty coverage of Scottish Independence or indeed anti-austerity marches is in my humble opinion suggestive of some kind of agenda.

          I don’t have exhaustive coverage figures accurate to the minute unfortunately, but it’s fairly obvious to someone who keeps even half an eye on the BBC.

          Why they’re doing it – who knows?

          • George

            They’re doing it because it’s always safe to focus on personalities rather than issues. If they showed an anti-austerity march they’d run the risk of drawing attention to austerity policies. But an anti-Trump or anti-anyone march holds up a figure to boo and hiss. It’s the old medieval stocks and rotten tomatoes treatment.

        • Sharp Ears

          A review by James Petras of Trump’s activities, so far, in Latin America, Asia, Europe and at home and the continuum from Obama’s days in office.

          Trump Marches Onward and Downward
          / July 14th, 2018

          He concludes:
          ‘President Trump has benefited, and to some extent, succeeded in temporarily gaining dominance in Latin America, expanding the domestic economy and imposing demands on China, the EU and North America.

          Nevertheless, his policies have undermined allies, antagonized competitors and provoked retaliation. All of which increases the economic cost of running an empire.

          Trump has failed to provide viable substitutes for the EU and China markets. Nor has he secured the markets of his remaining clients in Latin America. The notion that Trump can build ‘national capitalism in one country’ is a chimera. At most it would require intensive exploitation of US labor and high rates of investment, sacrificing profits and salaries. The electoral oligarchy and the mass media will force him to retreat from the trade wars and surrender to the globalizing elites’.

          Petras gets it.

  • Margaret McGregor

    So they’ve now found a small bottle. The whole story becomes more like Alice In Wonderland every day. Maybe on the outside it said ‘Drink me.’ Curiouser and curiouser.

          • SA

            «Награда, если она найдена, пожалуйста, отправьте письмо В.В. Путин, Кремль, Москва “

          • Tatyana

            SA, it is not a relevant translation )))
            I could print russian equivalent here, but at the moment I do not wish to help ‘them’ with correct one )))

          • SA

            I am sorry I cheated and used Google translate! I wish my knowledge of Russian was better.

          • Tatyana

            SA, now when they expelled russians, they will probably use Google translate too. I’m looking forward for more fun ))))
            – Dis is dangeres russkies toksin. Beeware. Spasiba. –

      • truthwillout

        We are getting really sick with these comments. I fear that someone may have set poor alcoholic Dawn up…

        • Rod

          You’re quite correct, it is indeed absolutely appalling that Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley are quite likely to have been unwitting participants in this whole affair and may well have been specifically targeted because of their perceived social standing in the community. For my part in the above comments I apologise, unreservedly, for my comments that appeared flippant. My comments, in the form of questions, were intended to show I did not believe for one moment the British government narrative being put out and I support Mr Murray’s view that the evidence does not show Russian complicity. I shall endeavour to be more circumspect in future.

        • Tatyana

          @truthwillout I’m sorry I may seem chatty and talkative when it is not a decent behavior, when we know Ms. Sturgess passed away. I’m sorry. It is not good time for sarcasm.

    • Ort

      Or it might be labelled “The Smoking Gun!”, exclamation point and all, just to ensure that the officers who “found” it understand its significance.

      In the US, we also have a traditional children’s game called “Spin the Bottle”.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The Guardian heaping praise on Mueller’s “carefully crafted indictments” of 12, claimed GRU officers. Pure mischief making (can ramping the tension up for WW3 be described as mischief making?).

    For a truly devastating, forensic deconstruction of the indictments, read Joe Lauria at Consortium.

    The timing of this farce really sticks. Dark forces are trying to poison any chance of concord being reached at Helsinki.

    • Isa

      Great link , thank you . Helped making some sense of all of it as the guardian’s piece was unintelligible .

    • grabit

      The idea that Trump wants both himself and the US people to have a strong peaceful relationship with Putin and the Russian people is as stupid and naive as the ”Putin controls Trump” meme.

      These shit show meet and greats are no more than hollow, empty distractions that produce nothing more than soundbites – See also ‘Denuclearizing North Korea’, ‘Making America Great Again’ and all other bullshit being shoved down out throats by his MSM friends (less than 10 men across the globe) – its fantastic soap opera, with fuck all substance. Trump is an extortionist, backed by gangsters. He’s leading all these extreme types, left and right, up and down the garden path.

      Wake up and appreciate the facts. Facts. Pentagon policy continues unabated under the Orange one. ”Russia is a global threat, buy US energy only”, ”Russia is a global threat, we have to arm these proxies in Ukraine, Syria Libya…”, Russia is a global threat, we have to slap more sanctions on them”, ”Russia is a global threat, despots better buy are weapons”.

      Nothing of substance has been or will be achieved by Trump. But he and the US will attempt to claim credit for what ever happens. The Korean people voted in a man who promised to negotiate with the North. Trump hijacked the credit with hollow soundbites. Russia liberated Syria from US occupation and Salafist butchery. Trump will claim credit for it (defeating ISIS rather than the reality of enabling them). Standing up to China trade in balance for the little peoples jobs, well making billions manipulating the stock market.

      He is a fraud, a dead cat merchant, enabled by his friends in the global MSM. If you think he wants peace with Putin and Russia because he shakes a few hands and says a few hollow words you are a naive mug. Trump is only interested in his bank balance. The end.

    • Ort

      The Guardian is a very poor judge of carpentry, then.

      Mueller has taken more than a year to produce a frame, apparently working from Rube Goldberg plans, and has so far only succeeded in presented a very crooked, wobbly frame– a frame composed chiefly of rotten and warped scraps, to boot!

      * See:

    • lysias

      The Financial Times’s article on the indictments does not allow for comments. Unusually for the FT, I believe.

  • Humbaba

    > Furthermore the attack on him would undermine all future possible spy swaps.

    More importantly, it would make recruiting new spies very hard because the only way for a spy to escape prison or execution when he is caught is a spy swap. Many potential spies would think long and hard before hiring on and existing spies would be reluctant to take risks without the prospect spy swaps.

    One point that hasn’t been addressed sufficiently is that we are not talking about a “chemical weapon” in the case of the Skripal poisoning. A chemical weapon is a toxic chemical industrially produced by the ton for use in shells on the battle field. What was used on the Skripals was a small sample produced with great care in a laboratory. That’s why it had a very “high purity.” An industrially produced chemical weapon would have impurities that would allow the detection of the origin if a sample for comparison is available.

    Those who want to pin this on Russia are obviously aware of this weakness in their argument. That’s why the OPCW chief tried to spread the idea that 50 to 100 g of the toxin was used on the Skripals, which was immediately denied by the experts. 50 to 100 g of the substance would be more than what would typically be used in a lab for tests.

    The UK is obviously trying to prove that Russia still has secrete chemical weapons even though it destroyed its known stockpiles under OPCW control last year, while the US is still hasn’t destroyed its own stockpiles.

    • Igor P.P.

      “UK is obviously trying to prove that Russia still has secrete chemical weapons” – this is an interesting angle. Among the many benefits it would bring is the future possibility to accuse Russia of using chemical weapons. Russian parliament has recently given permission to deploy conscripts in Syria which is only necessary for a large-scale ground operation. Considering how the war has been going there is no military need for that, so I’d wager they are thinking of using Russian army to separate Assad’s forces from the rebels. The problem for the West is that the “chemical weapons” card cannot be convincingly played in that scenario. Perhaps this is issue that is being addressed here?

      • SA

        The almost immediate juxtaposition of this incident with the Douma alleged Cw incident and the immediate reflex bombing of Syria corroborates what you say. Moreover the repeated unconfirmed accusations against Damascus of using CW has always been accompanied by the accusations that Moscow supports this. Now that the OPCW also has powers to be judge and jury you can see where this is all leading.

  • Sharp Ears

    A better part of Cameron’s legacy. It’s amazing that the new polar ship, Sir David Attenborough, has been funded by the government and that Cammell Laird, who built it, are still in business since the C19th after various stops and starts.

    Sir David will name it today at its launch on the Mersey shortly.

  • SA

    How not to have an open mind when starting an investigation.
    “The investigation into Russia’s suspected use of novichok in Britain intensified after police found a bottle containing the military-grade nerve agent in a Wiltshire home where a British couple fell ill after being poisoned by it.”

    How biased can you get. Starts with an assumption, not an open question, then makes another assumption ‘military grade’.

    The Guardian has reached the pits.

    • Goose

      If ‘sources’ told the Guardian, Putin himself had slipped into the country under an alias with a fake passport and painted it on the Skripals’ doorknob himself . They’d report it verbatim without an ounce of credulity.BBC same.

    • SA

      From same
      “Britain believes those who tried to murder the Skripals were under the control and direction of the Russian state. ”
      L’etat ces’st moi as some megalomaniac once said, but the whole of Britain thinks so?

      • SA

        They were a bit better but the turning point was when they were asked to smash thier hard drives because of Wikileaks.

        • kgbgb

          I gave up on them when they dismissed the Odessa Massacre as violence between football fans. (Their third-wave Feminists’ campaign against Trans people didn’t help, of course.)

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Mr Murray, here are a few things the media has not cleared up:

    1) Which chemical formula does Boris Johnson mean when saying ‘A234’ was used?

    This is a fairly fundamental point. Two very different formulas are quoted, one referred to as ‘Mirzayanov’, another by ‘Hoenig’. To complicate matters further, Vladimir Uglev, a third ex Soviet scientist working on original developments, assign wildly different properties to ‘Novichok’ (namely a stable oily liquid, a highly stable chemical which is not affected by water and does not break down wuickly).

    Some are suggesting that what Uglev is referring to are weapons termed GW class, which does suggest that before anyone discusses any further matters pertaining to this, that a specific definition of A234 is required.

    2) Uglev has recently been hit by a car, but has claimed, for personal preservation reasons or based on truth (how can we know?), that it was an accident.

    Uglev has claimed that either Porton Down or OPCW (he did specify) sent him mass spectrograms of the identified compound, which he claimed to recognise as that of a compound he synthesised. So for whatever reason, the West was bypassing official Russian channels and going straight to Uglev himself, who decided to engage both with them and with the BBC. In Russian power structures, would that be a highly inadvisable act likely to lead to retaliatory repercussions?

    In that regard, how was Zuglev able to assure himself that what he was being sent actually corresponded to analyses of real samples from Skripals and not a print out from a chemical spectrogram online database? Rather an important matter for an old Russian chemist not au fait with Western acts of subterfuge and trouble making, I would have thought.

    3) Uglev also claims that he formulated ‘A234’ into a form which could be applied to a telephone using cotton wool, which it is claimed was the mechanism used to kill a banker and his secretary several years ago.

    One wonders whether official autopsy reports exist demonstrating ‘A234’ present within the cadavers and whether any other useful analytical data emerged from those poisonings, assuming they actually were A234-related.

    None of what I have said here presumes that I believe that the Skripals suffered ‘A234’ poisoning and managed to be restored to health, in the way Uglev was after spilling his ‘Novichok’ on his arm (suffering the shakes for five or six years after). They may have done, but the storyline is still riddled with holes.

    I am just highlighting how sloppy journalism can confuse, muddle and distort arguments and narratives when we cannot even agree on which definition of A234 we are working from….

    • Bob

      I had come across article on the web that was purporting that A-234 and A234 were in fact different beasts when it comes to nerve agents.

      But I used to drink Chardoney and there were so many varieties of which some I liked and some I didn’t. Even the closely protected and controlled brand of Champagne has many variants.

      So I can believe US A-234 is different to UK A-234 is different to Russian A-234 etc

      It was less than helpful to refuse and prevent Russia taking samples of what was in Salisbury because they might have said no this isn’t our A-234, ours had a formula of blah but this one that Porton Down thinks is Russian A-234 has a formula of blah blah. Now the OPCW know with certain what the Russian formula was and they know what the British government presented to them.

      But I bet that a competent chemist can create both formulas (if they are indeed different) – wherever they are in the world.

      What the British Government is now saying is that the Russian formula (original) has a long latency built in and an extremely aggressive, rapid second stage but may not kill. This sounds like a lie to me.

      Another article to support this post

  • Doghouse

    Here’s an example as to why you cannot trust a single official word of any of this. A bullshit statement designed solely to prop up the bullshit scenario they themselves have created –

    Speaking in regards to how long it would take before the affects of the nerve agent would come into effect on a person, Public Health England Medical Director Paul Cosford said:

    “If you become ill with this stuff (Novichok) from actually coming into contact with a significant amount of it then its within 6-12 hours, maximum (that symptoms would occur) – 3 hours is the minimum but you have to be in touch with a large dose.”

    Significant amount. Large dose. Minimum 3 hours. 12 hours!!!

    Bullshit. A frickin aspirin takes effect within about 20 mins.

    Weaponised nerve agents are designed to stop armies in their tracks, as swiftly as possible, as permanently as possible so that they won’t kill you. You don’t hear this sort of bullshit about VX the British nerve agent that does in deed almost instantly kill, and this stuff is supposedly 10x more toxic and powerful. But nah, that doesn’t fit the story we’ve spun ourselves into so up pops another shameless govt official, selling untruth to anyone foolish enough to allow themselves to be deceived.

    Remember as well, this stuff was said by the OPCW to be exceptionally pure, lab grade pure.

    • SA

      This is the reason why novichok was chosen:
      1. It is not one compound but a group of compounds.
      2. It could be unitary or a binary agent.
      3. It could be smeared on door knobs but completely removable with baby wipes.
      4. It can be very persistent, months at a time in the open or very short lived.
      5. It is extremely lethal but fails to kill 4 out of 5 victims supposedly exposed to it.
      6. It could kill in 20 seconds or up to 12 hours.
      7. It could only be made in Russia but can under licence also be made by many other states and organisations.
      8. It can be militarised but also remain 100% pure.

  • Patrick Mahony

    There is another scenario.
    Russia assessed that the Skripals suicide pact was a plausible story.
    They have access to Sergei’s forensics from his jail time.
    They then put his DNA and fingerprints on the novichok “bottle”, maybe several bottles, and left them around Salisbury where a drunk might pick them up.
    The unfortunate Dawn did find one. That bottle is found and now police and security services either have to lie and say Sergei’s forensics not on it or say they are and checkmate to Russia.

  • Isa

    So let me see if I got this straight : a small bottle with novichok was found in rowley’s house on Wednesday .

    The first thing that strikes me as impossible is that if the contamination came from the substance in the bottle both would have died within minutes as the substance would not be degraded . Instead he goes to a hog roast and to boots and his friend who was in the house and in contact with him , the paramedics etc are fine .

    That a poisoner applies a highly potent and hard to come by poison gel to a door handle and then leaves a bottle of the poison behind …

    Someine either put that shall bottle in Rowley’s house post event because this is just too
    nonsensical to believe because this couple saw something they shouldn’t .

    At least the CIA and Mossad provide better more credible plots , this is just shambolic nonsense . Someone in the uk watched a bit too much of home land .

      • Isa

        Porous glass eh ?

        It’s really ridiculous all of it . I do feel very sorry for these two poor souls . Especially for the poor lady who has passed . They were just expendable . It’s quite cynical and cold blooded , all of it .

        • Ort

          Sadly, those who set great store by the belief that bottom-feeding, refuse-scavenging junkies are capable of anything can easily rationalize (imagine) any and all improbable habits or behavior to fit the equally improbable “facts”.

          Perhaps some knowledgeable commenter will instruct us that junkies who are also alcoholic usually grow out their pinky fingernail to a fearsome length, then shape it into a corkscrew.

          • SA

            I am not sure that you meant this to sound so lacking in feelings but your descriptions are somewhat offensive to those who, through circumstances may have come across bad times and who are addicted. This sort of language however is what those of the 1% use to describe the rest of us and is somewhat elitist.

          • Ort

            @ SA: I see that this comments platform doesn’t allow “sub-threads”, i.e. replies to a reply.

            In any case, my language was pure satire, deliberately chosen to mock the offensive attitude you reference. I became appalled by the flood of speculation based on stereotypical pejorative views of addicts– mostly blithe attempts to explain the events by citing supposed “facts” about the habits and lifestyles of the addicted.

            I admit that I resist using “sarcasm tags”, despite the argument that they are necessary because Internet comments are ambiguous by nature. (see, for instance, “Poe’s Law”). Sorry for the confusion.

    • Igor P.P.

      Well, a bottle isn’t something you’d keep a gel in, especially if you need to get it out quickly. Perhaps it will soon be claimed that the poison was liquid and that’s why it got washed off the door handle by the rain.

      • Ecstatic Ex Cop

        The rain must have been lashing down at right angles, presuming there was no awning over the front door like there is on most modern day dwellings

        • Igor P.P.

          There is no proper awning, but the roof extends a fair bit over the door. From the photos it seems that would take some strong winds to get the door handle wet.

  • Tony

    I consider the ridiculous ‘doorknob’ theory has been thoroughly debunked in previous comments. I think it was given by someone who didn’t consider all the implications such as inevitable further contamination, effectiveness and sheer stupidity of a murder method. Continuing to use this explanation officials demean themselves. Occam’s razor, which states that the simplest solution tends to be the right one, prefers that the attack took place on the park bench. This neatly explains why the Skirpal’s and the policeman were affected around the same time (the DCI a bit later). More questions need to be asked of the CCTV image and the red bag. Of course this rules out the bottle of novichok story. However the door handle theory is still being pushed.

    How a novichok type nerve agent therefore came to be identified is the question – who knows what happens to samples when they are passed around. Being one of the mysterious novichoks immediately pointed to Russia for the un-initiated and this was loudly, and quickly, touted as the truth, despite the investigation still ongoing. The only obvious reason could be to demonize Russia (remember May extraordinarily gave Russia 48 hours to explain herself – what’s that if not evidence of promoting blame. The general public could not disagree as the MSN asked no questions. As it was not a nerve agent everyone got better (especially so in Yulia’s case) – occam’s razor again.

    Several people commented at the time when the Skirpal attack failed that an another attempt would be made to prove it was Russia. And so it appears a vulnerable person was selected to be infected and make big news on her sad death bringing these comments to reality. The only possible way to prove it was novichok was to find further evidence of it that could be traceable back to Russia this time. It’s all so predicable really. Give this story to the public as big headlines and here we go again.

    I predicted in a previous post it would be found in Charlie’s house as I consider him key to the story. If was a nerve agent this time the action would be quick so contamination had to be in the house. I have a problem with Charlie’s infection though. The convenient (and unaffected) eyewitness said Charlie had a shower before he had a fit (including ‘hallucinations’ which is from the symptom textbook – how would he know that anyway. How could it survive that wash. What happened to Sam by the way)

    If it’s novichok in the ‘bottle’ where is the ‘applicator’ to get the stuff on the handle – they couldn’t have just poured it on, don’t tell me that? Why would the assassins leave the novichok bottle to be found anyway? It’s not like you can buy it at Boots (ha). The idea was to kill the Skirpals’ but they didn’t so keeping the novichok for another attack would seem reasonable. If the novichok was in liquid form when the bottle was opened surely it would have been breathed in and thus super deadly. If it was in gel form, why would Charlie and Dawn even bother to touch it? It can’t be a powder as officials have already stated it was a gel on the handle. I predict in the coming hours the revelation that identifying marks will be found somehow tying it to a Russian lab (I doubt fingerprints other than from Charlie and Dawn as agents would have treated the bottle very, very carefully – apart from carelessly throwing it away that is).

    I mentioned in previous comments the the disturbing and unexplained events that happened the evening the couple fell ill. According to reports in the evening services went to into Charlie’s house. They turned off the electric and gas for the whole close and also the water (linked to the shower infection theory?). Why? They left shortly later and returned everything to normal. A gas leak was the explanation never questioned by the MSM. One theory is Dawn and maybe Charlie were affected by bad drugs (as per the original story) but the search of the house removed the drugs and hid the bottle of novichok that was found days later (they said Charlie hid it, but why do this – also if the contents of the bottle were responsible for Dawn’s state why did Charlie not tell or give it to the services, after all he can’t have known what was actually in it. If it was a drugs issue that explains his relativity calm manner, as he thought he knew the cause. Occam’s razor again would explain it was drugs related.

    Whew! All this points to contrivance on the side of the officials to carefully (or haphazardly depending on your viewpoint) point fingers at Russia based on planted evidence

    More investigation should be on Yulia’s background as I don’t think it was coincidence the attack happened when she arrived. Look into her furtive boyfriend and those bizarre texts she sent. Look forward to Murray’s next post, unless he gets a D notice for uncovering the truth

    • Deb O'Nair

      Whatever happened to The Skripals and DCI Bailey happened at the bench, as that is where all three were taken ill. This is blindingly obvious. The reason the door handle nonsense emerged was to cover up this simple fact. That is also why no CCTV of the Skripals, or Baily has emerged, even though they must have been captured on camera numerous times.

      The red bag seen in the CCTV which was later pictured by the bench was being carried by a blond woman who bears a distinct similarity to the Amesbury victim who has died. This connection is compounded by the additional similarity of the male she accompanies.

      This is the most plausible narrative IMO, i.e. that the couple in the CCTV were involved in the administration of a chemical agent at the bench. And everything that transpired since has been done so to hide this, primarily by creating a blizzard of stories containing multiple claims about what happened, in the hope that the obvious ‘facts’ will be obscured.

  • Den Lille Abe

    I do not think there is much sense in the Skripal case at all, it is from toons network. It is purely made for English consumption. I risk contaminating my “bodily fluids” interactinc here and that I do not want. We the Vikings tried to civilize England , but failed and now you bear the burden, not too smart, all more or less serfs, most of you desttute, we tried but gave up, realizing you are too stuid to rule yourselves. But the US will be a good master for you.
    In the mean time I will share “Bodily fluids” with some women in the Crimea who claim to know my forefathers, I track them at 1347 , so this is big news, and anyway are good looking and DECENT. (they can be very indecent, but that is choice)
    BTW the longing in Russian poetry hooked me.

  • Tatyana

    I imagine an agent examining this blog and reporting to his seniors:
    – Sir, a syringe will not fit in the story. No, Sir, people will not beleive it, neither a sealed military container. They are laughing, Sir. We need a simple object, like a bottle…

    • Tatyana

      Mr. Agent, please note, I don’t believe that russian assassins were unable to pick up the bottle in the park (which was not even cordoned off and researched by police) during 4 months.
      Why not use easy access and get the evidense away?
      I’ll be waiting for your ingenious answer.

      • giyane


        The clean-up search was to plant more incriminating evidence.

        The prime suspect was always Israel. Boris Johnson has deliberately failed to convince us of Russia’s guilt and has now lost his job. The Israelis failed to convince a British judge that Craig Murray was anti-Semitic.

        The Square pegs in round holes didn’t fit so we have moved to the second part of Mrs May’s original assertion, i.e. that Russia has lost control of its novichok. Whereas in fact the UK has lost control of its satellite in the Middle East.

        Within a few months Mrs May has passed the buck on helping Al Qaida to Pritti Patel who was obeying May’s orders, passed the buck on Windrush, and is now passing the buck on novichok. Mrs May does not have any political intelligence. She tries out ideas to see if they will wash with the public. We are now being asked to believe that through the unreliability of the Russian state, its state employees have acquired and distributed supplies of Novichok, which is criminal negligence on behalf of the Russian state.

        Mrs May thinks this second attempt to discredit Russia by Israel will work, after the first one failed, except among those of us who have previously been shafted by Tory governments, and she’s not remotely scared of us. After all the Tories managed to pin the blame for the 2007 crash on the Labour Party. The BBC is extremely fond of broadcasting little old people who say they don’t trust Labour any more.

        Tell me this. Richard Branson says he wants to go into space. Did he manage to stop a hurricane wrecking his estate on the British Virgin Islands? When the racist topic of Brexit stops dominating the news maybe people will start complaining about austerity. Maybe there will be problems picking this years harvest without East Europeans to help. Tory policy is just smoke and mirrors.

        I don’t know what will end this Tory government, but I do know what started it, two public schoolboys from Eton and Westminster, Cameron and Clegg, who pooled their parties’ electorates in 2010 even though they both supported EU membership. Now we have had a gang of public schoolboys trashing the country with Hard Brexit. Traditionally we get fed up with these idiots from time to time and throw them out. Then there’ll be no more ice cream vans selling novichok.

        • Herbie

          Why would Netanyahu want to cause problems for Putin.

          The same people who are attacking Putin are also attacking Netanyahu.

          • giyane


            I normally leave all questions of ‘why’ to my son. Here are a few:

            Why doesn’t Netanyahoo fight his own wars against his own neighbours rather than getting US and UK, France, EU, Saudia , Qatar, Germany, Turkey, iran and Russia to do it for him?
            Most countries spend money on defence, but Israel seems to concentrate on de-stabilising of their region. Is that because they know they are not entitled to be there?

            Why do both East and West, China and NATO both want to help Turkey, which used to have a criminal empire, to regain its criminal empire after NATO spent two world wars destroying Turkey’s criminal power? Who actually wants a brutal tyrant on the borders of Europe and why is that considered to be an asset to the UK?
            Why is freedom of movement by Brits to other places as feared by the British government as freedom of others to travel here?

            Why does NATO support the criminal franchise of the world’s last functioning monarchy, QE2, the Saudi Arabian monarchy. The murderous , fascist, internecine, crypto-jewish clan of Saud? Wouldn’t life be simpler if the common ideals of Christianity and Islam were pooled? If not simpler, more peaceful?

            In answer to your actual question, about Putin and Netanyahu having a common enemy,
            => they are both heirs to the black holes of fallen empires. The sins of the fathers…

          • Herbie


            Don’t see Israel joining in the Globalist attacks upon Russia, so far.

            I mean, Netanyahu’s power base in Israel is Russian.

    • Tom Smythe

      Right. I wonder if Met does monitor the forums here, as part of reading (or even creating) the crackpot public pulse. The purpose of disruptive trolls here is clear but who are the employers? We don’t know. Possibly communications specialists are looking at which aspects of the narrative are not going down, as a guide to competing conspiracy theories likely to become entrenched or even mainstream.

      Police have received over 500 calls on their tip line, no word on whether any of it was useful. The police have theories of their own and better information; they are not looking for help from A. Christie — what at IBM was called the not-invented-here syndrome.

      There is no question complaints are heard about a weak park search and lack of assurance of Salisbury public safety. Those get a strong ‘we care’ response at all levels. So there is definitely monitoring but it is to diffuse criticism.

      This site does not often surface on the google search top page (have to pay for that now) although the page is indexed by their engine and all key words are present at high count. It is rarely linked in Twitter, dedicated blogs, or newspaper comments.. While Craig Murray is definitely a factor to be reckoned with, he could name the perpetrator and provide compelling evidence, yet it might still all go down the cyberspace rabbit hole.

      • laguerre

        I’m sure the Brits do monitor this blog, though not necessarily the Met, and probably electronically. Craig has a reputation. If they’re willing to put in undercover agents over years, to undermine nutty irrelevant lefties, they’re hardly likely to miss out on something which might be an embarrassment for them.

        • giyane

          I am a Brit, and I monitor those who you are calling Brits. Britain paid the price for its arrogance with two world wars, Within one generation they started up again attacking and subverting other countries and harming their own population. A Brit in my book is someone who learned the lesson of millions of dead and changed. Jeremy Corbyn is by my definition a Brit. All the rest are just un=polished brown diamonds, in the jargon of the Foreign office.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ giyane July 14, 2018 at 23:24
            Basically agree with with you. But being a ‘nutty irrelevant leftie’, as laguerre seems to regard my ilk, I’ll just respond with ‘Nastarovja’. Trust France (despite their despicable Regime and past abnormalities and atrocities) beats the unashamedly Fascist Croats ‘Manana’.

    • Tatyana

      P.s. I mean it was the Maltings park for Skripals and Queen Elizabeth Gardens for Dawn and Charlie. Two different places and the second was never cordonned off.
      I’m thrilled to know your opinion why assassins failed to take the bottle away for 4 months.

  • Tom Smythe

    Four more vehicles have been taken in for testing at Porton Down. One is from the Salisbury’s Ambulance Station and three from a police/garage in Swindon. These seem to have been the two ambulances and vehicles bring responders to Rowley’s residence. There has been no update on tests conducted on previously removed vehicles and no reports of additional people affected.

    No further information has been released about the bottle type, despite complaints from the public that this would help in avoidance of yet others. Another option for small glass bottle, beyond a miniature, is an one ounce amber eyedropper bottle which again would not arouse interest at airport security. Amber glass protects against UV light. However the various formulas floating around for A234 suggest a lack of chemical bonds that would make UV sensitivity an issue. The liquid would be clear rather than coloured based on a lack of resonant double bonds that adsorb in the visible, so vodka or gin rather if a whiskey miniature.

    It is sobering to think of what people are putting in overhead bins. There is no need for diplomatic pouches in moving a few ml of novichok around — airport security scarcely opens each for a sniff.

    There’s been no confirmation that the outside of the bottle was contaminated. One newspaper wrote “Rowley and Sturgess are believed to have handled the bottle, with novichok recovered from swabbing of their right hands.” We’ve heard previously that only one hand of each tested positive. No one has inquired of relatives whether either was left-handed. The odds in the UK that both are right-handed are ~81%.

    Because of the long delay in finding the bottle in a small but high priority search area, the vast majority of commentators, including Prof Collum, believe police failed to find the actual source and the bottle is a plant. If the material on Sergei’s doorknob was also a plant for the benefit of OPCW inspectors, then it will come as no surprise if both plants are determined to come from the same batch. Indeed, in the rogue PD insider scenario, that individual could be the same individual running a lot of these tests.

    A post-mortem is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 17 July and an inquest into Dawn’s death is set to open and adjourn in Salisbury at 11:00hrs on Thursday, 19 July. It is doubtful any public information will emerge from either.

    • Sharp Ears

      Just so long that it’s not the same Home Office pathologist who ‘conducted’ the PM for Dr David Kelly, Dr Nicholas Hunt.

      see pp 107> Forensic Findings – An Inconvenient Death – How the Establishment Covered Up the David Kelly Affair – Miles Goslett
      Head of Zeus 2018

    • copydude

      I disagree slightly. A coroner usually discerns whether it is an accidental death or an unlawful killing.

      The actual cause of death may well be heart failure.

      I think the outcome will be very interesting.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ copydude July 14, 2018 at 15:37
        You seem to have missed the point – in a ‘politically sensitive’ case, the outcome is whatever the ‘chosen’ Coroner is told to say it was.
        So who chooses the Coroner? Eh bien, alors…., such a thing.

    • Patrick Mahony

      Are the police/ambulance vehicles being taken for decontamination? In which case how come they are and the bus wasn’t?
      Or are they suspect in some way? The car removed from Semington was Wilts Air Ambulance Rapid Response Vehicle. It would be interesting if that was at both incidents. Anyone know?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Tom Smythe July 14, 2018 at 14:22
      ‘..It is sobering to think of what people are putting in overhead bins. There is no need for diplomatic pouches in moving a few ml of novichok around — airport security scarcely opens each for a sniff….’
      ‘…Department for Transport rules on liquids, aerosols and gels in cabin baggage
      * Containers must hold no more than 100ml
      * Containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
      * Contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
      * The bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
      * You’re limited to one plastic bag per person
      * You must show the bag at the airport security point….’

      That last point may have created a problem:
      ‘..Err, and what do we have in that little bottle, sir?’
      ‘Oh, err, nothing special, just a tonic – I get airsick….’
      ‘Hmmm, then perhaps you’ll open it up and just take a sip for us?…..’

      But that whole issue of liquids (or gels) on board was the ‘result’ of a patent hoax – Craig has blogged about it:
      ‘The War on Shampoo’:
      and here’s another article: ‘The Liquid Bomb hoax: The larger implications’:

      A hoax and a pack of lies fits Salisbury and Amesbury to a ‘T’.
      How on earth can we sleuths get to the bottom of an ever-changing hotch-potch of smoke and mirrors?
      The only thing for sure is whatever happened or didn’t happen fit’s the ‘Demonise Putin’ and ‘prepare the public for further ‘alleged’ Assad CW attacks in the case of Salisbury, and the FA Cup in the case of Amesbury (though the ‘White Helmets’ are bound to pull off more False Flag CW attacks or hoaxes, in order to hopefully draw more unfounded ‘Coalition’ attacks on Assad’s forces).

  • Tom

    It isn’t just the BBC and the Guardian that have been stirring up protests against Trump. The Mail and Telegraph have been advertising the protests for months, while pretending to be outraged and frightened at the prospect. They used the same tactics to promote Farage and UKIP. The right-wing media get two bites of the cherry with this tactic – they help stir up the protests for their American bosses while embarrassing the British public at the same time.
    It’s strange how the Guardian seem to be more outraged at Trump’s occasionally ill advised comments than either Obama’s drone strikes and botched efforts at regime change, or George W Bush’s murderous campaigns against Islamic countries under false pretences.

  • Ben

    “I used to love London as a city,” Trump said. “I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?”

    How many attended?

    Well it seemed important..

    • Herbie

      It wasn’t as impressive a reception as Putin’s state visit to UK in 2003, if that makes you feel any better:

      Though, that was when UK thought it could buy the leadership and ravish Russian resources like in third worldie days.

      Putin gets blamed for many things, but i suppose you could say he has some responsibility for Austerity in the West, in not going with the plan.

      Could, just possibly, explain why there’s so much Russophobia about these days.

  • Sharp Ears

    Not Sleepless in Seattle but Toothless in Virginia.

    ‘Toothless in Virginia: Pain relief for the uninsured of America

    In the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, hundreds of people gather at dawn at a rural airport’s parking lot, to be the first in the queue for free medical and dental attention at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) pop up clinic.

    They are people without insurance who in many cases have driven for hours just to relieve an unbearable toothache or heal infections that might’ve been there for years.

    They’re greeted by hundreds of volunteers, doctors, dentists and even a Syrian refugee ready to help them.

    Reporter/Producer: Natalia Guerrero
    Filmed and Directed by Alvaro A Ricciardelli

    In the US of A, the land of the free, except medical care, including dentistry, is not free. We had a perfectly good NHS dentistry service until BLiar came along and in 2006. privatised it by introducing a new contract. Many dentists stopped taking NHS patients. Do you remember one of Bliar’s earlier promises that there would be a dentist on every street corner for everybody needing treatment?

    ‘Following the government’s introduction of a new contract in April 2006, NHS dentistry is not as widely available as it once was, with 900,000 fewer patients seeing an NHS dentist in 2008 and 300,000 losing their NHS dentist in a single month. This has forced many patients to pay much higher sums for private treatment, and has been criticised by the British Dental Association as having “failed to improve access to care for patients and failed to allow dentists to provide the modern, preventive care they want to deliver”.

    Ben Bradshaw when Minister for Health was questioned on Radio 4 in 2007 about the shortfall in NHS dentistry leading to patients unable to access NHS dentists and even resorting to pulling their own teeth out. He suggested that those needing urgent treatment should go to see their GP, prompting the British Medical Association to observe that a General Practitioner was no substitute for a qualified dentist.

    There are repeated stories of shortage of NHS dental services, especially in remote areas such as Skye and Cornwall. Lack of access to emergency dentistry is often seen as contributing to overcrowding in hospital accident & emergency departments.’

  • Shava Nerad

    Novichok is, according to available technical info from a defector in open sources, transported as a two factor agent as a powder. Some friends of mine at MIT and I were batting around how we would trap a door with the stuff. Idle engineer mcguyver stuff, take it for what you will.

    We originally assumed the agent was inhaled but I’m sure this could be adapted to liquid with some additions.

    You need two scored 1ml glass ampules, a pressure switch the size of a lady’s watch, pin, frame, and a small cylinder of nitrous. You should be able to rig this in any sort of hinge — door or car door might be easier. Very easy to rig to fall to bits because of the gas, and look like litter.

    Testing could be done with neutral nontoxic colored powders, then animals (sorry, but the people who do this would). It’s not rocket science.

    Tradecraft and social engineering mostly relies on the concept of people expecting utter normality. Skripal might be wary, but his neighbors and even the local police wouldn’t before the first incident.

    Read a meter. Inspect something. Garden. Paint touch up. Mow. You’ll never be back. I’ve done social engineering on the human/physical security for companies. It’s generally simple. I don’t like it — I’m not enough of a sociopath. You’re a grifter, a con artist and someone will feel bad at the end because you’ve made them look bad at their job so they can improve (and that has to be the emphasis). But it’s human security debugging.

    Really, it’s likely the world is well off because smart people are mainly white hats.

    • Igor P.P.

      Don’t know what sources you are referring to, but the only known Novichok assassination (Kivelidi in 1995) was carried out with a non-binary form.

    • Tom Smythe

      “Novichok is, according to available technical info from a defector in open sources, transported as a two factor agent as a powder.”

      The reason you don’t provide a simple supporting url to the “technical info source” is because no such source exists.

    • Billy Novichok

      Without meaning to question any claims about the high intelligence and virtue of your team I have some doubts about the theory you’ve proposed. You seem to be both contesting the dominant theory about a liquid nerve agent applied to a door handle and then also providing an alternative suggestion for how the door could have been rigged to poison somebody. I agree that the lack of any visible evidence present at the site of the door does support a suggestion that there may not have been a liquid nerve agent applied to the handle but it also seems to rule out the second half of your proposal due to the absence of ampules, switches, nitrous gas cylinders, powders. Are you suggesting the assasins returned to retrieve all the artifacts and hose down the remaining powders? That sounds like a risky plan considering the suspicion such an elaborate mechanical contraption might raise with the victims. In addition to the critique on pragmatism, I’m not sure I’m following the logic of assuming that the door is involved while also rejecting the only known evidence which implicates the door.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Billy Novichok July 14, 2018 at 21:32
        Slam dunk! The ‘Never tell a lie’ government narrative is obviously spot on, as usual.
        ‘False Flag’ attacks and hoaxes are a thing of paranoid ‘conspiriloons’. They absolutely never happen in real life.
        Pull the other one, it’s got bells on, Mr./Mrs./Ms./?/ ‘Novichock’.

  • Igor P.P.

    New satatement from Met police:

    Seems like it’s mainly aiming to explain why it took 9 days to find the bottle:

    “Once inside the scene, those carrying out the searches are limited to around 15-30 minutes working-time before they have to exit due to the effects of heat and exhaustion. The nature of the protective suits also means visibility and dexterity are also extremely limited; further hampering the searchers in their task.”

    “The scientists and forensic officers then begin the process of disrobing from the protective suits – which again takes around 40 minutes – to ensure they are not exposing themselves or any others to the risk of contamination.”

    “Blood samples from everyone entering a scene are taken regularly and compared against a baseline sample to check for any signs of exposure to the nerve agent that they are working to find. Typically, only two deployments per day can be carried out at any particular scene per day.”

    • Isa

      How utterly ridiculous . It gets worse every time an official force opens their mouth .

      • Kempe

        Please share your expert opinion as to why you think it “utterly ridiculous”.

        • Igor P.P.

          I don’t think it’s ridiculous, just highly implausible. What could their task have been other than to pack every item and send it off to lab for analysis? Cannot for the life of me see this taking longer that a couple of days, with all supposed impedements taken into account. It’s a small flat occupied by one person, not a family home. They should have had no problem getting at least two people on the job continuously, one pair working, the other resting. Or are we supposed to think they could not find enough people qualified to do this?

          • Ecstatic Ex Cop

            If your experience of forensic building searches makes you think it is simply a case of packing the contents into cardboard boxes, perhaps the course you went on was run by the same people advising the meeja on how to conduct an assassination in a middle England town.

          • Igor P.P.

            Can’t reply to Ex Cop, so excuse me posting here. The statement by Met police is made for the general public. It should not need a course if forensics to make sense and convince people they are not beild manipulated. If you read carefully what you are replying to, Mr Ex Cop, you will note that I’m asking questions. Why don’t you answer them and enlighten the many puzzled how it can take nine days to recover a bottle from a small flat? Your attempts at humor or personal attacks are out of place here.

          • JohninMK

            Given the weather perhaps part of the heat problem was the temperature during the day. If so it would have made sense, given the urgency, to search at night instead. But maybe they did.

          • Kempe

            The space inside the flat and the number of HAZMAT trained officers will also have an effect.

            Of course if they had found the suspect bottle within a day or two the usual suspects would be bleating that it was found so soon.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Igor P.P. July 14, 2018 at 20:22
            I’ll forget the obvious quip ‘Who wants to dance with Igor’ (but check out the various versions!).
            ‘..Or are we supposed to think they could not find enough people qualified to do this?…’
            Look, FFS, we are dealing with Britain, who to stop the debilitating ‘leaves on the line’, decided to cut down trees alongside the rail lines, no probs about trees supplying our oxygen supplies, only to have to slow down the trains, due to thermal expansion of the rail lines under direct sunlight.
            ‘Ve haff vays of screwing ourselves up’, as Confucious might have said.
            All our main effort is towards alienating and provoking Russia (apart from the sidelines of destabilising and destroying other countries ‘en route’).
            How on earth do you expect Britain to have a functional Chem Bio Rad Nuc reactive capacity?
            After all, they don’t really need one, when their dirty game is CBRN ‘False Flag’ hoaxes?
            Kinda makes sense, in a logical world, sans Regime/MSM ‘narratives’.

        • Isa

          It’s ridiculous because they could have several teams on the go . To say that in a 12 hour working period you can only deploy one hour search tops ( two deployments ) makes no sense . So it is a ridiculous statement to make . It’s also not a palace but a small flat like stated here and I’m sure that they have enough suits and enough manpower .

          • Burnaby Wilde

            There doesn’t need to be room, the teams would be employed consecutively, to avoid the heat exhaustion problem.

      • bj

        Like I said the other day:

        Every utterance weaves more of the rope with which they’ll hang themselves.

        Sit back & enjoy.

        • giyane

          Ever seen a spider ravel up an old web? Every false-flag that is not believed, like for example Jokichok, has its stickiness re-cycled into new false-flags. Prepare yourself for a major false-flag attack.

    • Doodlebug

      “To date, more than 400 exhibits have been recovered as part of the Amesbury investigation, of which a significant number are potentially contaminated and have been submitted to DSTL labs for analysis. This includes the small bottle, which was recovered from the address in Muggleton Road and which detectives now believe to be source of the contamination of Charlie and Dawn.”

      Never in the field of human espionage has so much been contaminated with so little by so few.

      • MaryPaul

        I am sticking with my idea that there is some direct link with the Skripals . Meanwhile what if Rowley rented a locker or storage unit where the contaminated bottle was stored and has managed to tell police about it. ? That might explain the latest announcement of finding 400 potentially contaminated items.

        • Grum

          You may be right. I’ve seen the CCCTV images of the mystery couple/red bag and am fairly sure they show Charlie & Dawn. Strange that a couple is involved in both instances. Also, perhaps a lot of “retrospective evidence” is being planted to try and shore up the tottering story?

      • Patrick Mahony

        Who says they were in the flat? Remember they have taken several police cars, the air ambulance rapid response vehicle, and a private car belonging to a HEMS paramedic.
        Unlikely counter-terrorism command would unmask some wurzel conspiracy but you never know.

        • truthwillout

          My initial reaction after hearing the story of Dawn being taken away by ambulance was… Who dialled 999, if she was home alone on Friday, after her 10 mile bus trip from Salisbury.

      • copydude

        Oh dear. It sounds as if we will need another multi-million pound clean up operation.

        The last cabin-baggage ready, 10ml mini-bottle contaminated over 10 square miles (see BBC map) . . . and that was presumably after its contents had been emptied over the fateful doorknob.

        I’m not happy about this selective demolition of houses and car crushing. Surely the entire area should be laid to waste.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ copydude July 14, 2018 at 21:38
          ‘..Surely the entire area should be laid to waste.’
          No sweat, Comrade, my oppo Vlad is working on it. Or that is what May & Co. would wish you to think? J’sais pas.

    • Billy Novichok

      I’m glad the police are beginning to release more information about this case as the public has a right to be informed. We now know something about the temperature (too hot!) inside those green suits we’ve been seeing. This information is relatively low priority on the list of things I’d like to hear more about, in fact I forgot to list it at all, but it’s better than nothing. If my standards for acceptable public updates on the case have fallen too far it’s because I’m getting right bored staring at Litvinenko deathbed photos in the newspaper. Hopefully this trend towards sharing more evidence continues and maybe soon we will find out what Commissioner Basu’s favourite television programs are.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Billy Novichok July 14, 2018 at 21:57
        ‘…I’m getting right bored staring at Litvinenko deathbed photos in the newspaper…’
        Doesn’t that give you a clue about what this is all about?

  • Republicofscotland

    Well Tommy Robinson’s foot soldiers never miss a chance to protest and shout free Tommy. Today the small band of followers of the xenophobe and racist Robinson, coatailed it behind the more vocal and menacing, (possibly EDL neanderthals) pro-Trump supporters.

    News reports showed them scuffling with the police, as they tried to defend Trump on immigration. Of course watching them on tv, it appeared that they were spoiling for a fight, with the anti-Trump protestors.

    One pro-Trump gorilla, was covered in Chelsea tattoos, and he couldn’t string an intelligent sentence together if his life depended upon it.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland July 14, 2018 at 18:35
      On the bright side, at least they weren’t shouting for the release of Stephen Lennon, one of his mates (they wish to keep this info out of the public eye, but being a bit of a stirrer (especially where Paedos are concerned), I try to make people aware:
      ‘DISGUSTING RAPISTS AND PAEDOPHILES Tommy Robinson’s EDL, Paedophile member Has Been Jailed for 17 Years’:

      On another site, I have read they were still more or less ‘bosom buddies’.
      If he was fighting paedos, fine, I’d back him. He is just using the Muslim gang as a race hate excuse.
      The perps are no more real Muslims than are the Jihadis attacking Syria or Yemen, and indeed than the ‘Royal’ (sic) Saudi Family.
      As a Christian who has not studied Islam very much, I can attest from my travels among REAL Muslims in about a dozen countries.

    • Herbie

      “One pro-Trump gorilla, was covered in Chelsea tattoos, and he couldn’t string an intelligent sentence together if his life depended upon it.”

      Well, that’s the point isn’t it. There are very articulate supporters of Trump out there, but Trump’s enemies in media pretend it’s all just Neanderthals.

      There are very real issues at stake, in terms of the Trump position and that of his opponents.

      But no, we don’t hear that. We have comedies and comedians and juvenile nonsense.

      Anything and everything but a real debate on the issues now facing us.

      These are rather more important than the distractions.

  • Tatyana

    Let me please entertain you with more wild theories, while we wait for further info….

    1. What if the real goal of the Skripal case were….. guinea pigs?

    … Secret MOD laboratory carries secret experiments on animals. By chance, a couple of guinea pigs are saved by a beautiful scientist, who is kind-hearted and cannot give them out for demolition.
    The scientist knows that the experiment failed. She knows that these g-pigs will be destroyed due to stupid protocol. She takes them out secretly (in her red handbag) and finds a new home for poor animals.
    Soon control group of animals in the laboratory shows out unexpected symptom. All the dead animals are to be taken out of refrigerators for examination. Our scientist has to find the guinea pigs, or the whole world may be put on the brink of Armageddon.
    The scientst learns that the g-pigs are in the house of Skripal (by chance as she thinks). But in fact, the double agent Sergei hopes to return to Mother Russia, so, he purposely arranged this, hoping to earn Putin’s forgiveness by valuable intelligence.
    His daughter Julia is the link , expected to carry the g-pigs back to Russia with her.
    Skripals and Russia must be stopped! The scientist turns to govt for help and the show begins….

    • Tatyana

      2. Marina Litvinenko feels angry with Putin and Russia getting away with the murder. She turnes for help to powerful ex-russian oligarchs in London. They begin plotting Litvinenko 2.0 case.
      Another ex-KGB spy living in UK found, they try now to find another poisoning substance, which can be attributed directly to Russia. Accidentally, Marina meets Julia at an internet-forum for unmasked spies’ relatives. The two women find out much in common connecting them, so they unite for revenge…

          • Herbie

            Why not translate Solzhenitsyn’s works into English. Those that haven’t yet been translated.

            He became a major figure in the West. For a while.

            Traditional Russian against atheistic Communist thugs.

            But yeah, his star declined as the Communists declined.

            They were only ever interested in aspects of his work which suited a particular purpose in time.

            They weren’t interested in his whole view.

            Definitely an opportunity for an entrepreneurial Russian-English translator.

    • Tom Smythe

      >while we wait for further info….

      Sergei, who in most images is the very picture of contentment, kept two hamsters close by his desk computer. According to his friend Ross, the three spent many happy hours there playing (war) video games. But which ones? That has never been disclosed and so could be an important source of diversion. Black Ops 2? Splinter Cell: Double Agent? Morskoi Boi? Red Army: Company of Heroes II? IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad? Правда о девятой роте? There is so much we don’t know here.

      • Tatyana

        … Oh, it was not a good idea of Mr. Scripal to spend much time like this!
        The g-pigs learned that brave russians are unfairly humiliated in the modern Britain. They conspired with the second cat in the house ( known as the cat of russian origin, but actually russian exploited spy-animal, Sergeant Fuzzy Boots is the pseudonim)…

      • Herbie

        I was thinking that the other day when you were spouting on about whether elites were slaughtering their own or other peoples.

        Like the difference mattered

  • Stephen

    Continuing on my earlier point about the timidity of the way Russia is defending themselves against this:

    I feel this latest press release from the Russian embassy encapsulates exactly what I mean:
    They are saying that maybe it was a leak from Porton Down. But even to someone who hasn’t paid much attention to the story would discount this as a feeble excuse given the odds on the first people exposed being a former Russian traitor and his daughter.

    Something it definitely not right about how feebly Russia are trying to deflect the accusations and point to other possibilities. Something else has to be afoot here.

    • bj

      If they appear to be feeble, it’s probably the old adage “around idiots, tread safely”.

    • Tatyana

      Stephen, Russia is not defending, RT and Sputnik are under Ofcom trials and are making maneuvres to cover news and not brake license at the same time. The only official info in Russia is ‘go away and shut up’ by Minister of Defence, take your diplomats home, bwcause Russia is guilty by Foreifn Minister and Prime Minister, and OPCW report.
      Other ways of information are not legitimate sources.
      That is why we invent theories at forums.

    • Igor P.P.

      I also get the impression that Russia is being passive. Their speculations based on the proximity to Porton Down are not in the least credible. One possibility is that secret, informal talks are underway with the UK which Russia does not want to disrupt. History tells us that such talks were conducted during most crisis situations.

      • truthwillout

        Why is a rogue employee from Porton Down not credible to you. Surely it is just as credible as Novochok on a door knob that sleeps on the hand for six hours before activating!?

    • Goose

      They responded as they always do. People said the muted response to Babchenko’s faked assassination was some sort of proof of guilt at the time remember. Putin laughed at the initial incident and that was presented in our tabloids as sneering in the UK press. Maybe he thought the whole thing was absurd.

    • Deb O'Nair

      If Russia knew exactly what had happened it is unlikely to spill the beans as this would give security forces a heads up as to their intelligence gathering abilities. This is why the Russian hacking of the DNC mail server is cod’s wallop, the last thing the GRU would do is kill the goose that lays the golden egg, i.e. they would not compromise the gathering of information for the sake of a few headlines which will be forgotten about in a few months.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Stephen July 14, 2018 at 21:05
      Maybe Vlad’s offering a way out of the UK’s and it’s ‘Cronies’ total BS story.
      Vlad is far smarter than our lot, who rely on a totally corrupt ‘under the thumb’ MSM to ask NO serious questions.
      You should watch Vlad (and others) answering ‘hostile’ questions – they come out smelling of roses every time; and there is a good reason – he and the others are TELLING THE TRUTH.
      I shan’t give you links – IF anyone is interested, search the stuff out for yourselves. There is plenty on the web.
      Vlad doesn’t want a war, but he knows the USUKIS/NATO bunch of War Criminals do.
      Perhaps you believe the ‘White Helmets’ are ‘Angels in Disguise’ (rather than the Headchoppers’ PR and fixer Agency) and that Assad’s forces are really using Chemical Weapons??

  • quasi_verbatim

    Watch BoJo closely. Now ex officio and anointed by Trump as PM successor I expect him to turn on a Salisbury sixpence if the omens prove propitious for a back-stab on Skripalgate.

    • Stephen

      Unlikely considering he was caught telling the first and biggest lie. The intelligence services would never allow him and the establishment would finish him or possibly even accident him. Road accident while cycling or something similar.

        • Anon1

          Almost as ironic as Gerry Adams complaining about having a bomb thrown at his house, which he called “cowardly”.

          • Deb O'Nair

            A concern that I voiced a while ago was due to the potential of Sinn Fein becoming the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly because of anti-Brexit feeling, especially with support from an emerging generation of young voters born since the Good Friday agreement, and how this would encourage some dark forces to reignite sectarian violence in order to nullify a potential attempt by Sinn Fein to call a reunification referendum, which they would be able to do as part of the Good Friday agreement and with complete independence from Westminster. I consider that these could be ‘warning shots across the bow’.

          • Deb O'Nair

            By ‘dark forces’ I do of course mean the DUP and British security services. 🙂

          • Herbie

            This is all manufactured crap.

            I mean, it’s The Twelfth. Anglo-Saxon word that. Hard to pronounce by non-native speakers.

            1690 and all that, and then 1694.


            The poor protestant people are celebrating the private banking system that finally enslaved them much more tightly than monarchs had previously achieved.

            They do it every year.

            The middle class don’t take part no more because it no longer forms any part in the power and advancement system. Think, Communist party membership before and after the fall of same. Kinda embarrassing but all the players are on the same trek.

            They’re too busy in their state-subsidised make-jobs, anyway.

            The whole NI political system is so much a fake contrived politics in so many ways.

            It’s just a bureaucracy, with Punch and Judy distractions.

            There’s no substantial political debate. SF and DUP represent the by now most tiresome divisions in NI. And we have them rather than the SDLP and UPNI and Sunningdale, which seemed a reasonable compromise.

            There’s no reason for anyone in NI to be fighting about anything other than Austerity, and that applies to most of the Western world.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Stephen July 14, 2018 at 21:44
        Lies? Smies! The ‘Intelligence Services’ do the bidding of the Bullingdon Boys, they don’t ‘accident’ them.
        They may well ‘accident’ (or ‘suicide’) someone who tells the truth, though

  • Doodlebug

    @Tom Smythe
    July 13, 2018 at 19:27

    “30 June Dawn then Charlie admitted to hospital 5 hours apart”

    Now then…–2CaLXQpY

    Dawn Sturgess can clearly be seen purchasing several not so small bottles. @ 0:43 local man Sam Hobson says, “I came round at 11 o’clock in the morning, there was a load of ambulances parked outside and the door was open and I seen Dawn getting taken out on a stretcher. Charlie came out upset and he explained what happened, he said that Dawn was complaining of a headache so she went to have a bath and then he heard a thump in there and she was on the floor having a fit and foaming at the mouth, that’s when he started sweating really badly, he said he felt he’d been poisoned and that.”

    The Sun records that, “Charlie Rowley was also found unconscious at the property” (well it is the Sun). Presumably then the first responders managed to resuscitate Charlie so that he could explain what had just happened to his friend before leaving for hospital with Dawn.

    However, according to the time-line released by the Police, he succeeded in doing all manner of things until finally succumbing himself around 6:20 p.m. Or did the Sun, for some unknown reason, simply edit the word ‘later’ from the end of their photo caption?

    Whatever, it seems mighty odd that someone, who in the morning believes they’ve been poisoned, should simply proceed with daily life in the afternoon until they collapse.

    • Inquirer

      I’m not sure that Hobson’s words “that’s when he started sweating really badly, he said he felt he’d been poisoned and that.” were said immediately after what precedes in the video.
      There is a change of view just at this moment. Thus it is possible that words of Hobson explaining that hours passed were cut.
      See here a more complete quotation :

      • Doodlebug

        The ‘cut’ is clearly visible. Not so the video link which has since been removed from Youtube!

        That said the ‘tailoring’ lasted only so long as it took the character emerging from the car in the background to walk around his vehicle before heading off down the street. Time enough for Hobson to have said ‘several hours later’ I grant you. But why should the Grauniad have deleted whatever reference he may have made to elapsed time? That doesn’t make sense either – except of course it doesn’t ‘jive’ perfectly with their written report.

  • Igor P.P.

    Turns out there are many detailed videos about hazmat suits and decontamination. The green suits we all saw look like DuPont, well covered in official videos. Getting it on or off is shown in detail and obviously takes no more than two minutes. Before the suit can be taken off after work it is thoroughly washed with pressure washers, possibly in 2-3 separate stages.

    Donning a DuPont suit, clearly under 5 minutes:

    Complete 3-stage decontamination, all under 5 minutes:

    “The scientists and forensic officers then begin the process of disrobing from the protective suits – which again takes around 40 minutes – to ensure they are not exposing themselves or any others to the risk of contamination.”

    Either they use water pistols instead of pressure washers, or….??

    • Tom Smythe

      Right, Igor. Pure theatre … or they drank too deeply of their own kool-aid. The chief’s whiny tirade is to appease the Salisbury public, angry with months of investigative cordons and impatient for the town to finally be cleared.

      Sam Hobson spent hours in the flat that afternoon despite the bottle present, no ill effects whatsoever. PD has told them A234 is a non-volatile liquid. Hence the air in Charlie’s flat is not a risk factor. even on a hot day. They could easily vent the flat with a small fan as an extra measure. I see no justification whatsoever for respirators. Now in terms of avoiding skin exposure, on hands mainly, a simple throwaway jump suit, shoe covers and gloves would suffice. They are treating it like Chernobyl when it isn’t even Ebola.

      New details for Tatyana’s account: it seems Sergei was playing World of Tanks with his Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). This is a massively multiplayer online game developed by the Belarusian-Cypriot company Wargaming, featuring 1930s-1960s era combat vehicles: light tanks (LTs or lights), medium tanks (MTs or mediums), heavy tanks (HTs or heavies), tank destroyers (TDs, tank hunters, jäger or anti tank guns/cannons), and self-propelled guns (SPGs, artillery, artillery gun/cannon or “arty”, short for artillery). You will not find the top Russian tank T-72B3M nor reactive armour.

      WoT currently includes over 400 armoured vehicles from Britain, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and the United States. Tanks are based on historical designs. On 24 May 2011 total number of registrations for all three game servers reached 3,000,000 players (2,000,000 on Russian server and 1,000,000 on Europe and North America).

      Is Sergei still playing WoT today at his current confinement site? There are gamers out there who might tell us.

      • Tatyana

        Tom, I hate the WoT, I’m sorry. No place for it in my story 🙂
        I prefer Euclidea and Pythagorea, or The Room. But best of all I love Submachine and Daymare Town.

  • Maureen

    What would have attracted the Amesbury couple to the bottle?
    Is it fancy?With resell value?
    An ornament?
    Why did they pick it up and take it home?
    And how did they magically transport it, contaminating one hand each but not the bus they travelled from Salisbury on?
    Is it a bottle commonly used to store a stash of heroin or cocaine?
    My reading tells me that heroin in the UK is mostly sold in the form of a brown powder, cocaine, amphetamines either powder or crystals
    So there would be no mistaking the bottle for a drug stash
    Was it a miniature spirits bottle?
    There would be no worthwhile amount left.
    Was it an eyecatching foreign bottle, to add to a collection?
    If the Amesbury couple had any Russian heritage or contacts , I’m sure the story would be”The Skripals poisoners caught red handed!”
    These people must explain within 12 hours how it is
    they are in possession of Novichok!”
    The political agenda here is so incredibly transparent
    Shame on the media for not being true to their contract with the public, serving their political masters instead.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      Just as well Prince Charles and Camilla didn’t go walkabout to meet the locals during their visit to Salisbury last month to reassure people everything was safe. As eco- conscious recyclers they could just have picked up something nasty.Heirs and spares seem to be arriving regularly now….

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