Lynch Mob Mentality 1896

I was caught in a twitterstorm of hatred yesterday, much of it led by mainstream media journalists like David Aaronovitch and Dan Hodges, for daring to suggest that the basic elements of Boshirov and Petrov’s story do in fact stack up. What became very plain quite quickly was that none of these people had any grasp of the detail of the suspects’ full twenty minute interview, but had just seen the short clips or quotes as presented by British corporate and state media.

As I explained in my last post, what first gave me some sympathy for the Russians’ story and drew me to look at it closer, was the raft of social media claims that there was no snow in Salisbury that weekend and Stonehenge had not been closed. In fact, Stonehenge was indeed closed on 3 March by heavy snow, as confirmed by English Heritage. So the story that they came to Salisbury on 3 March but could not go to Stonehenge because of heavy snow did stand up, contrary to almost the entire twittersphere.

Once there was some pushback of truth about this on social media, people started triumphantly posting the CCTV images from 4 March to prove that there was no snow lying in Central Salisbury on 4 March. But nobody ever said there was snow on 4 March – in fact Borisov and Petrov specifically stated that they learnt there was a thaw so they went back. However when they got there, they encountered heavy sleet and got drenched through. That accords precisely with the photographic evidence in which they are plainly drenched through.

Another extraordinary meme that causes hilarity on twitter is that Russians might be deterred by snow or cold weather.

Well, Russians are human beings just like us. They cope with cold weather at home because they have the right clothes. Boshirov and Petrov refer continually in the interview to cold, wet feet and again this is borne out by the photographic evidence – they were wearing sneakers unsuitable to the freak weather conditions that were prevalent in Salisbury on 3 and 4 March. They are indeed soaked through in the pictures, just as they said in the interview.

Russians are no more immune to cold and wet than you are.

Twitter is replete with claims that they were strange tourists, to be visiting a housing estate. No evidence has been produced anywhere that shows them on any housing estate. They were seen on CCTV camera walking up the A36 by the Shell station, some 400 yards from the Skripals’ house, which would require three turnings to get to that – turnings nobody saw them take (and they were on the wrong side of the road for the first turning, even though it would be very close). No evidence has been mentioned which puts them at the Skripals’ House.

Finally, it is everywhere asserted that it is very strange that Russians would take a weekend break holiday, and that if they did they could not possibly be interested in architecture or history. This is a simple expression of anti-Russian racism. Plainly before their interview – about which they were understandably nervous – they prepared what they were going to say, including checking up on what it was they expected to see in Salisbury because they realised they would very obviously be asked why they went. Because their answer was prepared does not make it untrue.

That literally people thousands of people have taken to twitter to mock that it is hilariously improbable that tourists might want to visit Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge, is a plain example of the irrationality that can overtake people when gripped by mob hatred.

I am astonished by the hatred that has been unleashed. The story of Gerry Conlon might, you would hope, give us pause as to presuming the guilt of somebody who just happened to be of the “enemy” nationality, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Despite the mocking mob, there is nothing inherently improbable in the tale told by the two men. What matters is whether they can be connected to the novichok, and here the safety of the identification of the microscopic traces of novichok allegedly found in their hotel bedroom is key. I am no scientist, but I have been told by someone who is, that if the particle(s) were as the police state so small as to be harmless to humans, they would be too small for mass spectrometry analysis and almost certainly could not be firmly identified other than as an organophosphate. Perhaps someone qualified might care to comment.

The hotel room novichok is the key question in this case.

Were I Vladimir Putin, I would persuade Boshirov and Petrov voluntarily to come to the UK and stand trial, on condition that it was a genuinely fair trial before a jury in which the entire proceedings, and all of the evidence, was open and public, and the Skripals and Pablo Miller might be called as witnesses and cross-examined. I have no doubt that the British government’s desire for justice would suddenly move into rapid retreat if their bluff was called in this way.

As for me, when I see a howling mob rushing to judgement and making at least some claims which are utterly unfounded, and when I see that mob fueled and egged on by information from the security services propagated by exactly the same mainstream media journalists who propagandised the lies about Iraqi WMD, I see it as my job to stand in the way of the mob and to ask cool questions. If that makes them hate me, then I must be having some impact.

So I ask this question again – and nobody so far has attempted to give me an answer. At what time did the Skripals touch their doorknob? Boshirov and Petrov arrived in Salisbury at 11.48 and could not have painted the doorknob before noon. The Skripals had left their house at 09.15, with their mobile phones switched off so they could not be geo-located. Their car was caught on CCTV on three cameras heading out of Salisbury to the North East. At 13.15 it was again caught on camera heading back in to the town centre from the North West.

How had the Skripals managed to get back to their home, and touch the door handle, in the hour between noon and 1pm, without being caught on any of the CCTV cameras that caught them going out and caught the Russian visitors so extensively? After this remarkably invisible journey, what time did they touch the door handle?

I am not going to begin to accept the guilt of Boshirov and Petrov until somebody answers that question. Dan Hodges? David Aaronovitch? Theresa May? Anybody?

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1,896 thoughts on “Lynch Mob Mentality

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  • A.C.Doyle

    The whole Skripal affair has many absurd aspects to it, but one which ranks quite high on this scale is that of the “discovery of the murder weapon”.
    Professional assassins simply allowing it to be found; it turning up months later; stories that the containing package was sealed; that the applicator was custom made at great expense; etc. etc. Hence the necessity to consider some alternative versions. Two are presented here.

    One possible explanation was that the “murder weapon” was conjured up to allay public fears and prevent the situation that whenever in the future someone was discovered in or around Salisbury, say slumped over a bench or sleeping in a shop doorway, that those attending the scene had to don hazmat suits and make a great spectacle of themselves. In other words, as an antidote to all the hype about the dangers of the poison, where we were originally told that even a trace on a door knob was sufficient to necessitate considering the demolition of the entire house. Now we are told that someone spilled some on themselves and washed it off without apparent long term damage, although spraying oneself liberally with it was clearly is fatal.

    Alternatively, there are also some parallels to the anthrax attacks which followed 9/11. There the main event was a trigger for some secondary small scale “copy cat” activity, believed to have been the work of a rogue scientist. Indeed, it is easy to imagine that for an introverted, loner scientist type who likes to spend long after hours and weekends in the laboratory, the challenge of producing a small quantity of a toxin hyped up as one of the world’s most deadly and requiring the resources of a state to produce, could be irresistible. That together with creating a disguised applicator for it and, naturally, wanting it to be found to enjoy, anonymously, all the publicity generated from it. Who knows, such a scientist could even have lost some work colleagues, an irritating boss for example, to a untimely and not completely explained end.

  • Radio Jammor

    I seem to be replying to others multiple times over in this regard, so I think I’ll do this once more with feeling, in a post of its own.

    I want to address two issues: one is the Dauwalders CCTV, the other is the the return trip to London from Salisbury on the Sunday. I’ll deal with the latter first.

    You can source the train timetables from Salisbury for the period up to May 2018 from The timetables you want are for up to May 2018 for items 17- Exeter, Bristol & Salisbury to London Waterloo and 24 – Weymouth & Bournemouth to London Waterloo.

    Forget about trains to Paddington. The Met Police say P&B arrived in London at about 16:45 at London Waterloo.

    Salisbury Station CCTV has them arriving at the station at 13:50. The next direct train to London was due at 14:20, departing 14:27 (most likely a scheduled pitstop to refill the catering trolley and possibly switch staff).

    Some have instead referred to P&B taking a train at 14:36, which with changes, would get to Paddington at c:16:45. This is evidently down to the time given by The Met for P&B arriving in London – but without noting that they specified Waterloo.

    However, this 14:36 train is on a different timetable because it is the Southampton and Portsmouth train, which can get you to Waterloo if you change at Southampton (arr 15:03) and get a train from there to Waterloo (dep 15:25). This is due in to London at 16:49.

    All things being normal, this is not the route you would take, if you were at Salisbury Station by 14:00 on a Sunday. You would absolutely get the train at 14:27 that goes straight to Waterloo, arriving at 15:59.

    So the question becomes, which train or trains did they actually get? With the weather that weekend and Sunday train travel being generally prone to delays due to maintenance, it is more than possible that either a) the 14:27 train was late arriving at Salisbury (or possibly cancelled), so P&B got the 14:36 train instead and travelled via Southampton to Waterloo, or b) the 14:27 was on time getting to Salisbury but was delayed getting to Waterloo from there.

    But my point here isn’t just to clarify the most likely train they took, but really to emphasise that the Met Police have actually given so vague an account of P&B’s getting from Salisbury to London on the Sunday, that we can’t be sure which train or even which train route they took, when it seems likely that the Met knows.

    As for the Dauwalders CCTV which shows P&B in Fisherton Street at 13:49, a minute before they got to the train station, which is five minutes away, I firmly believe that this CCTV timestamp is inaccurate.

    Dauwalders is right in between the two CCTV captures of P&B in Fisherton Street at 13:05 and 13:08. I therefore believe the timestamp is c40 minutes fast and that they were outside Dauwalders in between those other two CCTV sightings.

    For the Dauwalders CCTV to be right, it would mean the CCTV at the train station was wrong. Whilst one or two here have argued that they could have got to the station in a minute or maybe two from Dauwalders, that beggars belief. They would have to have run about 500m in a minute, after apparently being in no rush to get there, having tried to enter Dauwalders having seen something of interest in the window. This also is when the next scheduled train was at 14:27, which they may or may not have actually been aware of – but either way, there was no need to suddenly run that last 500m in a minute.

    Also, for the CCTV timestamp at Dauwalders to be correct, it would mean that they were in Fisherton Street, travelling in the same direction, twice, in an hour – yet there is no CCTV evidence (that we are aware of) from any of these three CCTV cameras that shows them twice in the same spot. Why doesn’t Dauwalders CCTV show them also at c13:05 – 13:08, if their timestamp is correct.

    I don’t believe the Fisherton Street CCTV timestamps have been given incorrectly, or made-up, because it would only take one person, a bystander who was there at the time, to be able to call BS on any such, so the Met doing that is fraught with peril. No, I think the street CCTV and the station CCTV are probably very accurate, and rather than the CCTV at Dauwalders throwing suspicion on their accuracy, we should instead take the timestamp of a shop’s CCTV as being more questionable – and that the most likely time that P&B actually passed the shop is between the other two sightings at 13:05 and 13:08.

    • Brendan

      I posted a reply on the previous page without seeing your latest comment. I said much the same as what you have just said about the train times, but I mentioned a different journey from Salisbury via Southampton that was due to arrive in Waterloo at 16:37. Both that one and the 16:49 arrival are fairly close to the time of 4.45pm that the Met gave.

      dep. Salisbury 14:13, arrive Southampton 14:45
      (p. 13)

      dep. Southampton 14:55, arrive Waterloo 16:37

      • Dave will give you realtime train data for old dates, you need to register and it will show up to 1 year ago.
        BUT for looking for Salisbury to Waterloo for March 4th there is no data available – it will show trains for the Saturday and Monday and other Sundays but nothing for that route for the Sunday. Other routes, such as Salisbury to Bristol show correctly. Draw your own conclusions.

        • Dave

          I was wondering whether there were engineering works on the Sunday which might explain why none are shown but cannot find a source of historic rail engineering works.
          I did though find which shows that what Craig says about snow is very much true. Trains were apparently still quite disrupted on the Saturday, tying in with P&Bs tale but nothing there about Sunday trains. I see that Old Sarum was still closed on the Sunday, and it is worth noting that if they did go to the Cathedral it only opens to visitors at 12 noon on Sundays.

          • Radio Jammor

            Thanks Dave. That Raildar link is a keeper.

            I believe I have found the train and it is a strange entry. The train that was due at Salisbury at 14:20 (d14:27) is listed as being an Exeter St Davids – Basingstoke train, not a London Waterloo train.

            It arrived at Salisbury at 14:31 and departed at 14:33:58, almost seven minutes late.

            The timetables, physical and online, indicate that train, that arrived at Basingstoke 15 minutes late at 15:21, is supposed to continue to London Waterloo, arriving at 15:59.

            If for some reason there was a restricted timetable that day for trains running from Exeter to London (the weather in the South West, most likely), then that would mean that P&B had to alight at Basingstoke and wait for another train to Waterloo – which according to Raildar would have been a Fareham – Waterloo service that departed Basingstoke at 15:44, arriving at Waterloo at 16:48 – which completely fits.

      • Radio Jammor

        Thanks Brendan. I did overlook that circular Salisbury – Romsey – Southampton route, as a way to get to Southampton and then Waterloo from there (it’s been decades since I was last in Salisbury and I don’t think that route existed then as it does today – Chandlers Ford has a station?!).

        It doesn’t come up on National Rail, Trainline or TravelLine if you search for trains between Salisbury and London. You have to specify Southampton as either the destination or as a leg of your journey.

        So you’re right to point that out as a third possibility – although I stand by the view that P&B would have been looking to get the 14:27. I don’t think they would have been looking for the alternative route back to London and Waterloo unless something happened to the 14:27 train.

        • Dave

          Yes RadioJammor I have just found exactly the same. I assume because of engineering work the Waterloo-Exeter service started at Basingstoke on the Sunday, possibly linked to the Waterloo modernisation programme they are doing which resulted in all sorts of changes earlier in the year. It all fits in:

          Salisbury depart 1433 (6 late) – Basingstoke arrive 1522 (16 late)
          Basingstoke depart 1601 – Waterloo arrive 1711 (on time)

          If they had gone via Southampton they would have ended up on exactly the same train…

          • Radio Jammor

            Glad you agree – except for the train you have them on from Basingstoke. There was an earlier train coming through Basingstoke from Fareham, d15:44 (on time) from Basingstoke, arriving Waterloo at 16:48 (4 minutes late). – and thereby tying up with the Met Police timeline that had them arriving at Waterloo at c16:45.

            I used the Trains Passed facility in the Trains History to work all this out.

    • MaryPau!

      I think that the Met police timeline of P+Bs movements has been updated. I think returning to Waterloo (not just to London) on 4th March has been added. But more importantly still no mention of them feeding the ducks. Does anyone have a copy of one of the Met’s earlier versions?

    • Brendan

      A tweet by a a passenger about an earlier train seems to confirm that the journey from Salisbury to Waterloo was interrupted at Basingstoke.

      She was complaining about the fact that the train left Basingstoke nine minutes late. South Western Railway replied that it had probably been delayed waiting for a connecting train from Salisbury. I guess they were referring to the 13:27 from Salisbury (an hour before P&B’s most likely train) which was supposed to reach Basingstoke at 14:02:

      SWR Help
      Replying to @Freer2017
      Yes, this train had to meet another train from Salisbury, which was delayed. ^BK”

      Normally there’s no connecting train from Salisbury because all trains from there to Basingstoke continue on to Waterloo, if I understand the timetable correctly. But the twitter thread seems to say that passengers from Salisbury had to change trains at Basingstoke on 4th March, and that the train from Basingstoke to Waterloo had to wait for them.

      I’m just curious about whether the timetable change that day was due to engineering work or snow. My guess is that the rail service had not yet returned 100% to normal after the snow, and operators cancelled trains whose routes were duplicated in any way.

        • Radio Jammor

          Thanks, Dave. Specific tweet with the information is at

          So, to recap, P&B would most likely have got the 14:27, six minutes late. They would have been forced to alight at Basingstoke at 15:21, 15 minutes late, and the next London Waterloo train would have come through Basingstoke from Fareham, d15:44, arriving at Waterloo at 16:49.

          However, whilst this is the most likely route, if they had become aware of the engineering works affecting the 14:27 train beforehand, we can’t rule out that they may have got on the 14:13 train (, alighted at Southampton at 14:48 (3 minutes late) and then got the Wareham – Waterloo train ( that left Southampton at 15:25 and arrived on time at Waterloo at 17:11. This however doesn’t quite match the Met Police timeframe.

          We also cannot rule out the possibility that they didn’t get on the 14:27 train because when it arrived, they may have only then realised it wasn’t going all the way to Waterloo. Given the choice of only going so far as Basingstoke, I think it’s likely they did get on, to get a train to Waterloo from there, but we cannot rule out them waiting for the 14:36 train to go via Southampton (, a15:06. The next train to London however would have been the same train above that arrived at Waterloo at 17:11, so again it doesn’t quite match the police timeline.

          Therefore our 14:27 train, which terminated at Basingstoke, followed by the train from Fareham, d15:44 from Basingstoke, to Waterloo, a16:49, is clearly the most likely route they took.

          There is a thought occurring, however. With engineering works on the Exeter – Waterloo route stopping trains at Basingstoke, what of the outbound journey in the morning?

          And this is where we have a dum-dum-dah moment – because according to Raildar, NO TRAINS passed through Salisbury between 11:07am and 12:28pm on the 4th March 2018!

          Yet according to The Met, the CCTV captures them leaving the train station at 11:48!

          I have taken a screenshot and posted it on my Twitter feed.

          I’m going to have to research how they could have got to Salisbury in the morning and come back and post again!

          • MaryPau!

            Are you sure about that.? Here is the official Met police version of their movements, note outward journey, published by Shropshire Star on 5/9/18. Maybe a fault in Raildar did not record the morning trains due to disrupted timetables?

  • SA

    The new report by Bellingcat claims that they have insider information about the passports for Petrov and Boshirov

    What makes this report ridiculous are two statements: one that it appears that the GRU issues its own passports to its operatives so that thier numbers are close together:

    “Bellingcat compared the passport number on Col. Shishmakov’s cover-identity passport, with the numbers of the (cover-identity) passports of “Petrov” and “Boshirov”. The numbers were from the same batch, with only 26 intervening passport numbers between “Petrov”’s (654341297), and “Shirokov”’s (654341323) number. “Shirokov”’s passport was issued in August 2016, implying that Petrov’s and Boshirov’s passports were issued by the same special authority earlier that year. Indeed, as we will see in their international itinerary below, they start travelling in early April 2016, suggesting that only 26 passports were issued by this special authority between April and August 2016.”

    Imagine how naive a secret service would be to do such a thing and therefore to arouse suspicion, sounds unlikely.

    The second one is this:

    “Bellingcat also speculated citing “a source in a Western European law-enforcement agency” that Petrov and Boshirov “were arrested on the territory of the Netherlands.”

    I thought that if a secret agent was arrested for whatever reason, that that would be the end of thier spy career as they will be marked and easier to trace in future, Does Bellingcat really think we are that stupid?

    • MaryPau!

      I am ready to believe in Russian involvement, officially or unofficially, but I cannot believe GU operatives would operate in such an unprofessional manner asP+ B, drawing attention to themselves at every stage of their journey to the UK? All the recent mysterious Russian deaths in the UK have been just that, mysterious.

      I can believe Petrov is a courier/fixer/muscle who travels a lot to all sorts of unlikely places, on under cover errands which is why he was in Salisbury with his side kick on 4th March but does that make him a GU assassin using novichok? Why is the UK government and all sorts of superficially reputable journalists buying into this line? Where is the hard evidence he is a GU assassin?

      • SA

        Yes indeed we are told that the GU agents are the most ruthless and professional killers and yet presented with a tale of bungling in every step, both cannot be true at the same time. Which brings me to mention the murder of Letvinienko cast in a similar way with a trail of Polonium traced back to Moscow. Again a bungled operation from the point of view of a professional assassin. The use of one WMD scenario followed by another and in relation to the ‘coincidental use ‘ of CW in Syria suggests to me that the author is the same and to me at least throws great doubts also on the Litvinienko narrative.

      • Dish-Washer

        There is no hard evidence. Putin stood up against US and ‘Anglo-Saxon’ world hegemony and tried to point to a different course for the world. That was perceived by US and UK as a direct challenge to their power that had to be stopped. The UK intelligence service has always had this romantic image of themselves as the Lawrence of Arabia of the Middle East, and when Putin stepped in to stop the subversion of Syria by ‘our’ Jihadis, White Helmets etc., and successfully stood up to the attempt by the US to grab Sebastopol from the Russian fleet through the illegal coup in Kiev against the elected government he became the man to tear down by all and every means. Britain has remained true to this policy although Trump has dithered. That’s why our intelligence service (Steele) backed Clinton against Trump. Britain under May creates this huge fuss in order to try and pursue the old Hilary Clintonite policy of trying to tear down Putin. She wants to multiply sanctions, There’s also a lot of money to be gained for some people in a new Cold War: see the hedge fund run by May’s hubby which is reported to have invested heavily in British and US armaments stocks, biggest British investor in them.

      • SA

        ” Why is the UK government and all sorts of superficially reputable journalists buying into this line? ”

        Because the whole thing has been staged is now beginning to be more clear. It was intended that no one would die but sadly the death of Dawn Sturgess, which may have been an unintended mistake because of underlying general condition. That these two are couriers does sound more and more likely, and it also sounds that they have been monitored for a while and maybe the whole episode was also staged to coincide with inside detailed information as to thier movements.

      • A.C.Doyle

        [MaryPaul] “I am ready to believe in Russian involvement, officially or unofficially, . . .”

        Under what possible circumstance can you imagine an official Russian involvement in the Skripal affair considering all the (entirely predictable) down sides and with the possible advantages (if any) being achieved in a much more efficient way ?

        I see only these, but without finding them convincing:

        1. Signalling that Russia deals with traitors wherever they are, irrespective of the consequences.
        2. Signalling that Russia is now pursuing low budget Domesday weapons.on the basis that mutually assured destruction may as well be done on the cheap.

      • Paul Greenwood

        There is an explanation floating around the Net that they were bagmen carrying documents for signature or bearer documents which had to be handed off. That is why they stuck together like glue and flew in without luggage.

        They were forced into the open when Putin told them to present themselves (or their sponsors would be exposed).

        London does so much banking for the Mafias of the world that occasionally documents need to move to withdraw funds from one jurisdiction to another. No doubt a reputable law firm in The City is grateful for this mission.

  • Radio Jammor

    Further to my earlier post ( that discovered that no trains arrived at Salisbury at all between 11:07 and 12:28 on Sunday 4 March, my initial searches of how P&B could have got to Salisbury Station that morning has noted that the timetable says that a train should have arrived at 11:45, having departed from London Waterloo at 10:15, but as per our discovery about trains between Exeter and Waterloo only going so far as Basingstoke, the trains from Waterloo were only going to Basingstoke, too.

    So the train that was timetabled to get to Salisbury at 11:45 NEVER RAN.

    I’m still looking at how P&B could have got to Salisbury on the Sunday, as now I now the time-frame is blown, and information about how they got to Salisbury has been vague and ASSUMED, but right now, my mind is blown. Have I discovered evidence that the Met’s information, about P&B’s arrival in Salisbury, has been fabricated or altered?

        • Radio Jammor

          Hi Dave. I looked at that, but did you note that there are no ACTUAL arrival times for most of the stations, including Salisbury? That may explain why it doesn’t appear. This suggests to me that either a) it did not stop at all the scheduled stations, or b) there is a data error.

          • Dave

            I think it is reasonable to assume it is glitches within raildar. You will remember that when I did a direct search it didn’t pick up the afternoon Fareham train. If it had been cancelled it would have appeared in the cancellations section. You will see that the times on the lower line are only shown if the train is late at that point, if on time it doesn’t repeat it underneath. Whatever, it obviously did run, arrived on time, and P&B went through the barriers 3 minutes later.

        • Radio Jammor

          Anyone know how we might establish if a train that doesn’t appear on the timetable and was scheduled because of engineering works, definitely ran and definitely stopped at all its scheduled stops?

          • Radio Jammor

            Dave, you’re probably right about the train, but Raildar seems to be inconsistent. I don’t think it’s a case of simply stating when trains arrive late, they don’t say anything, because on most I looked at there are times of arr/dep at stations, and this should enable you to search for trains arriving at stations whether they are late, on time or even early. In this instance, the data does not exist for that train’s stop at Salisbury, but it does for some other stops en route to Exeter.

            I don’t think you missed that Fareham train I found for the same reason. You were searching by individual trains and probably didn’t include trains to London via Basingstoke from Fareham, as they don’t go via Salisbury or Southampton.

            That Basingstoke to Salisbury train should have had arrival/departure data regardless.

    • MaryPau!

      As above you can see Met Police timeline and CCTV still in Shropshire Star on 5/9/18. I am inclined to think a fault in Railcar to be honest

  • Patrick Mahony

    So basically P&B had no reason to get to the station before 2pm.
    The only evidence they did is the station CCTV timestamp.
    Everyone is so quick to dismiss Dauwalders timestamp as being wrong but not the station’s.
    The 13.05 and 13.08 times are not actually on the images released by the Met.
    So why not Dauwalders accurate, station out by 5-10 minutes allowing them time to get from one to the other?

    • Tom Smythe

      The Guardian ran with it as “investigative journalism” (in which in my view no fair-minded person would include bellingcrap) but did for once include some cautionary statements. There was no fact-checking, no balance in the sense of citing or evaluating inconsistencies with the much more very carefully researched 9-point rebuttal of Elena Evdokimova. excellent overall on current fake news debunking thread

      Overall, a number of other individuals are doing useful research on topics such as the duo’s route, the cctv exifs and time stamps, train stations, cctc camera distribution in Salisbury and non-reporting from them, Dauwalders cctv apparently set to British Summer Time (an hour earlier, GMT +1)), and so on. 45-part analysis

      Michael Kobs is another stand-out, doing excellent analyses of the perfume bottle adapter, non-reporting cctv along the route, and other related topics. Kalissa Vassilissa

      Some of others, like blogmire and moon of alabama, are asking good questions. A fair number of others are properly skeptical but, in my view, don’t have a good grasp of all the factoids and have gone slightly off the rails in terms of settling too early on implausible scenarios.

      So, in the absence of actual journalism by those paid to do it, we are left with citizen investigations which are uneven in quality but the best that we have.

      • Radio Jammor

        Given the posts on this page alone, right above this post, I have to say I’m a tad offended that you felt the need to reference someone else’s tweets about the CCTV at Dauwalders and the train times, that concluded that the CCTV was merely out an hour for BST (which would still mean P&B went passed three working cameras twice, but were only recorded by each one once), and when they haven’t sourced the information about the engineering works and the train times on that particular Sunday. I’d think a few of us who contributed to this page might feel that way.

        It looks you’ve paid scant regard to the posts immediately above your own and patted the head of someone who posted a week or so ago, when at least some whose conclusions have frankly been superseded by those above, in the last day or two..

        Conclusions which would still mean P&B were in Fisherton St travelling the same way twice, but with his time frame, they did that a mere 15-20 minutes apart, which isn’t at all likely. Sure, it can and does happen, but that would also then mean all three CCTV cameras, that we do have images from, missed one of those two times that P&B passed by.

        Given that they were only seen on CCTV in each location once (yes, that we are aware of, but why withhold some CCTV images from cameras they’ve released CCTV from?), and when Dauwalders is in between the other two CCTV locations – the most logical conclusion is that they passed Dauwalders between 13:05 & 13:08.

        This would make the Dauwalders CCTV c40-45 minutes fast – which could in part be down to not keeping it up-to-date for GMT/BST changes, but then lost twenty minutes somehow. There could be a lot of reasons why that might happen so I’m not going to bother speculating – but I find that more likely than any time frame that has them go by those same three cameras twice, whilst getting caught by them only once: even when we are generally of the belief that CCTV images are being withheld.

        I can’t rule out that they went up Fisherton Street twice, but I can say that with the information available, it seems far more likely that they only went that way once.

        • Tom Smythe

          Right, that is called investigative consilience. It is good to have substantially confirmative independent investigations apart from the excellent contributions posted here. I do indeed read all on-topic posts but quite a few subjects are in an active state of flux; my hope is that when the dust has finally settled, someone will pull together a definitive and balanced synthesis of each topic for which they have specialized competence.

          There are many dozens of these: British rail service, Salisbury weather, ambulance helicopter dispatch, cctv time stamps, door handle brands, oral spray applicators, OP biochemistry, novichok synthesis, Porton Down history, visa documentation, passport variations, airline manifests, Spanish oligarchs etc etc. A book wouldn’t work here but rather a responsibly edited, carefully documented and regularly updated web page (not wikipedia).

          Note because the blog here does not allow maps, still photos or youtubes to be attached directly, some topics are better done at twitter sites such as the locations of the Salisbury cctv not used or google street view scenes of newly installed ones, like the post-June addition to the Shell station .

          It is perfectly feasible for people here to provide cctv coordinates for Salisbury as kml formatted text that opens to a google earth map showing cctv used by police in red and cctv locations not used by police in red. No one has, as it is just a click to look at the jpg posted by Michael Kobs. I don’t know where he obtained his list nor whether it is complete. It is a fair amount of work to open and examine all downtown google street views, getting for example the cctv on top the sign post at Market Watch and bench.

          That approach might catch City-operated cams but not many indoors cctv operated by private businesses, such as Snap Fitness, Dawn’s favorite liquor store, Sergei’s lottery card store, Dauwalders stamp shop, and so on. Met has access to all cctv operational at the time (and retained) but has seemingly released only that fraction which supports their narrative (and even that is under serious dispute). Paul Dauwalder was not contacted by Met and appears to have come forward on his own to the Mail.

          While fascinating characters, the personal lives and travel minutiae of Petrov and Boshirov in my opinion are a secondary false flag which distracts our attention away from the Skripal and perfume bottle attacks. The UK has piled lies upon lies already, unsupported accusations add a few more.

          Does GCHQ, the world’s most intrusive surveillance operation, need bellingcrap’s second-stringers to access Russian passport databases, airline manifests, and photos of current GRU operatives? Not according documents released by Snowden.

          I can also report meagre interest in the recently resuscitated mid-March story from Holland concerning two Russians with diplomatic cover, under surveillance by MIVD for a full year, eventually being expelled for successfully hacking WADA in Lausanne, the Dutch Safety Board (OVV), OPCW’s HQ in The Hague, the member list for AAD10 (Dutch equivalent of GRU) but conducting a unsuccessful low level phishing attack on Spiez Lab.

          Despite that, Lavrov had obtained the complete novichok report on April 12th, to which in my opinion they were entitled. These efforts were saiid the work of APT28 out of St Petersburg, a hacking group more often called Fancy Bear, (or Pawn Storm or Sandworm). Russia was interested in exposing western hypocrisy at the WADA sports drug testing facility, such as the Canadian pole-vaulter given a pass on cocaine which he claimed had gotten into his system kissing a girl off craig’s list, see for the documentation.

          I have even less interest in what hoaxster Alex King (charged on 12 counts of party drug distribution: valium, special K, coke and ecstasy) and his supposed wife Anna Shapiro (£4000/night escort, self-proclaimed Mossad honey trap, supposed daughter of a Russian military band leader general) ate at Prezzo as it had nothing plausibly to do with their self-reported illnesses, which the local police seem to view as a publicity stunt or overdose/bad batch of their own drugs.

          • Radio Jammor

            You are a good source of information, I’m happy to say, but you know it and are a bit pompous and patronising.

            “Note because the blog here does not allow maps, still photos or youtubes to be attached directly, some topics are better done at twitter sites such as the locations of the Salisbury cctv not used or google street view scenes of newly installed ones, like the post-June addition to the Shell station.”

            Well thanks for the pointer, Sherlock. And let’s be clear when you say post-June, you mean post-June 2017, not 2018. Oh yes, I have been following and had already checked that myself.

            So what? The CCTV that caught them on Wilton Road happens to have been recently placed there? If anything, that helps the case against P&B because it could be said they deliberately got caught on CCTV elsewhere to provide an alibi (poor, I know, but some will agree), whereas they may have been unaware of that recently installed one, which happens to be the most incriminating.

            “While fascinating characters, the personal lives and travel minutiae of Petrov and Boshirov in my opinion are a secondary false flag which distracts our attention away from the Skripal and perfume bottle attacks.”

            I might agree over the Gatwick CCTV issue with that, but not generally. Establishing whether the Met timeline provided for their movements stacks-up or not is extremely important, not least because of the CCTV image at 11:58 at the Shell service station, which is regarded as the most incriminating piece of CCTV.

            That this means they supposedly performed the act of putting a chemical weapon on a door several hundred meters from there, around mid-day on a Sunday, in a cul-de-sac, without being seen, or exposing themselves to said chemical weapon, and when it hasn’t been publicly established at least, whether Skripal was there or not at the time, should really undermine the story about them being assassins, who have been seen so many times on CCTV (and that’s just the ones we know of), when they could simply have avoided all that by using a car.

            Establishing their movements on a weather and engineering works affected rail network on a Sunday, to see that it would fit the Met’s timeline for their movements (which I believe we have established that, in general at least, it does), whilst also comparing this to Skripal’s known movements, can lead us to pertinent questions about what we don’t know, and whether or not P&B’s movements align.

            This can also prevent us from going down any rabbit hole conspiracy theories about public CCTV being wrong or faked. I always felt was unlikely because of other people who could have been around – or not around – at any faked time stamp, then calling ‘foul’. Even so, the group effort here prevented me from still doing that, so it can work for others, too.

            The only CCTV time frame which is inconsistent with P&B’s apparent movements is the Dauwalders CCTV, a privately controlled CCTV camera, whose camera times could be wrong for a host of reasons, the most likely one being neglect.

            So no, I don’t agree with your assessment that people should regard these movements as in any way secondary, but as equally important pieces to the overall puzzle.

    • Clark

      Yeah, but you can see smudges on the lenses without modifying the photo’s, and it’s obvious that they’re different. Even after his modifications the patterns don’t match. And you can see that the gates had different stickers on the walls.

  • Patrick Mahony

    A comparison of the 7/7 bombers CCTV images at Luton Station v The Russians at Salisbury Station shows that 13 years ago Network Rail CCTV plainly embedded timestamp and camera identifier on the image whereas now times have to be added on afterwards.
    Salisbury Council CCTV is even more opaque, having no times at all on the captured images.
    My point was 13.05 and 13.08 have zero hard (or even fake) evidence to back them up.
    The Saturday 3/3 Salisbury Station image has a sort of embedded location/time but that is missing from the Sunday images.
    The only clear unmolested time is Dauwalders. And only if Dauwalders full day is released would we know if they went past twice or not. Link Radio Jammor?
    The Met only released what they released. Even if 13.05 and 13.08 are genuine times it doesn’t mean the Russians weren’t captured again later and the images not released
    I am not saying the Russians were tourists – they were there for some nefarious reason – but the Met have manipulated or cropped the times for a nefarious reason, and Dauwalders contradicted that lie.

  • MaryPau!

    Sadly the Met Police does lie. The deaths of Jean Charles Dr Menezes and of Ian Tomlinson are two recent high profile examples of this.

    • Tom Smythe

      Fabrication of evidence by police … when proven, have fabricators and approving higher-ups ever been punished? That is a fairly serious crime. (I am drawing a blank here.)

      I looked up a bit of history on EAWs, European Arrest Warrants to see if there have been abuses (other than J Assange). These are meant to expedite extradition. Poland has been a prime abuser but for petty crimes such as theft of a single piglet, bicycle, possession of a single joint, a pair of car tyres and so on.

      In 2009 some 15,827 EAWs were issued; of those 4,431 resulted in extradition. Poland issued the most – 4,844. Germany was second for the number of EAWs issued – 2,433, then Romania with 1,900. The figures for the UK were 220 issued, 80 executed.

      “A European Arrest Warrant may only be issued by the competent judicial authority in an EU member state or a state with a special agreement with the EU. The issuing judicial authority must complete a form stating identity and nationality of the person sought, the nature and legal classification of the offense, the circumstances surrounding the alleged committal of the offense including when and where it was committed and the degree of participation of the person sought, and scale of penalties for the offense.”

      In other words, no evidence of guilt need be provided. EAWs are issued secretly. Ordinary police cannot access the database. You cannot check the EAW database to see if you are on it, have no way to contest it if you are, there is no date of issuance or expiration, and no punishment for issuing false warrants. This reminds me quite a bit of ‘no-fly’ lists of the US.

      Interpol is different, they have a fast and well-designed online database search with good photos. I looked there, P&B are not wanted there though some other Russians are (true names are not needed f\or a search). The Crown prosecutor service did state on Sept 5th that an EAW was issued (but didn’t state when):

      “We have, however, obtained a European arrest warrant,” said CPS director of legal services, Sue Hemming. “[This] means that if either man travels to a country where [such a warrant] is valid, they will be arrested and face extradition on these charges for which there is no statute of limitations.”

      EAWs appear to apply to non-nationals of the EAW signatory countries, much as US “sanctions” apply to all the world’s citizens. For example, a Russian citizen cpi;d be arrested upon landing in Geneva or Oslo but not Israel/Turkey/US/China/Canada based on a UK EAW, even though the Russian constitution explicitly forbids extradition and the others are also non-signatories. It seems the answer is yes for destinations within the EU; it is not so clear the others have the necessary authority.

      The way it is set up, a politically motivated EAW is strong punishment already, a lifetime sentence for falsely accused people who need to travel for professional or business reasons. Guilt is presumed without evidence much less a fair trial. Here P&B’s Salisbury walkabout is entirely circumstantial; the claimed hotel novichok is inadmissible evidence anywhere in the world (very broken chain of custody). No evidence or even cursory outside review is needed for issuance of an EAW, there is only a token form to fill out.

      It may be that EAWs are no worse than the multitude of inter-country extradition treaties that existed before. EAWs are much faster as the seized individual must be turned over within 10-90 days. Being sent to prison in Romania in advance of an eventual trial is reminiscent of ‘renditions’. Recall the Blair govt sent off a whole Libyan family for certain torture back home. The basis for that was not an EAW, it may have been politically motivated, purely to curry favor.

      There is no accountability for the State, though power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. That was known in 1887. We seem to be globalizing now via unilateral sanctions, blacklists, no-fly lists, axes of evil, renditions, guilty til proven innocent, trial by press leaks, honour-system EAWs and so on,

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