more Problems with Probability in connection with four Airbus crashes
between November 2008 and June 2009 see our new site at
there human factors, computer factors and something more involved in these
curiously interconnected crashes? Amended 10th August 2009.
on Aviation Human Factors
and 27th August 1995
Dr. B. J. Cocksey
Auckland, 27th April 1995
Light Eternal Publishing Ltd
This paper considers an unusual aspect of human factors in
aviation, by considering two aircraft accidents. It examines unusual elements relating to
the Lockerbie disaster in Scotland on 21st December 1988 and the Palmerston North accident
on 9th June 1995. It raises the question as to whether there is another factor that
relates to human factors and merits further consideration.
2. A Coincidence of
In November 1988, 1 stopped at a Scottish Borders garage for
petrol. At the time, I had a 1.6 litre Austin Maestro that I felt was nearing the end of
its useful life. The idea suddenly came to me to enquire about a car, which I had chosen
to replace it. I explained to the manager that I was looking for a low mileage 2 litre
Austin Montego estate car. Although he did not have one in stock he offered to contact me
should he obtain one. As I was not seriously considering changing the car at that time, I
forgot about the incident until about a month later when, on 9th December, the manager
telephoned to say that he had just taken into stock precisely the type of car which I had
The next day we drove the ten miles or so over to the village
of St. Boswells to look at the car. It was pale blue and only about six months old. I
lifted the bonnet to see how the engine compared with the Maestro engine. It was my wife,
Jenny, who noticed the number 557 chalked on the end of the rocker cover. Inspection of
the chassis number revealed that this had been a marking used when the engine was on the
production line to indicate the intended chassis 7AM396557.
We then took the car for a test drive and took the road to Melrose. I had long been
interested in railways and Jenny spotted what seemed to be a railway station on the
Melrose bypass. We turned off into the town to investigate. It transpired that the station
had once stood on the old Waverley route from Carlisle to Edinburgh but the track-bed had
been converted to a dual carriageway at that point. In some quarters, it is called
progress......The railway station had been restored and converted into a restaurant, art
gallery and model railway exhibition complex.
After a cup of coffee, I strolled around the restaurant
looking at the old railway pictures. There was a B1 class locomotive passing through
Melrose Station in the days when it had served its true function. There was also a collage
of photographs taken about three years earlier of the station being restored. Suddenly, my
eye was drawn to a car in one of the pictures. Perhaps its vivid colour attracted my eye.
I do not know. My eye took in the registration number TSG 557V. That number was familiar.
Suddenly I remembered....The car in which we had arrived at the station had that very same
number written on the engine.
For some while, I had been interested in coincidences,
especially in numbers. I had postulated a theory that there appeared sometimes to be a
code. At that time, though, I could see no significance at all in those particular
numbers. In conversation with the restaurant manageress we discovered that the art
gallery, although empty at the time, was let out for exhibitions. We decided to take the
opportunity to put on an exhibition of our Egyptian papyrus paintings over Christmas. The
last time we had exhibited these paintings was during the Gold of the Pharaohs
exhibition when our shop in Waverley Market, Edinburgh, had a telephone number on the 557
It was on 21st December that we opened the exhibition. We
sold one painting that day. - It was an 'Eye of Ra'. That night, after closing
the exhibition, I took a wrong turn on the way home. However, we decided to continue on
that road and do the Christmas grocery shopping. After arriving in the supermarket car
park, I turned off the lights. The clock immediately became brighter. It was the same
numbers as on the car and at the station we had just left. Glowing in the dark were the
3. A Meaning In the Numbers
About an hour later, we arrived home at our remote farmhouse
high in the Border hills. It was a wild night. Jenny could hardly open the car door as the
wind was so strong from that direction. The clouds scudded across the moon. After a meal,
I put on the teletext to look at the news. An item had just come up in yellow on the index
''Plane Crash in Scotland''. A plane had crashed at Lockerbie. The
details rapidly changed as the magnitude of the disaster became clear. Because of our
previous experiences, Jenny went to look up Lockerbie in the atlas. A chill passed through
her as she located the Lockerbie entry...55o7'N, 3ol'W.
Was this why the number 557 had been brought to our attention
so strongly in the previous fortnight, the last occasion being only half an hour before
Pan Am Flight 103 had left the runway at Heathrow on its intended flight to JFK
4. Another Part of a Code?
Very little happens in the Scottish Borders and so Border TV
took the opportunity to broadcast extensive live coverage of the disaster over 22nd
December. The various official mourners, Mrs Thatcher, the American Ambassador and the
Duke of York appeared in succession.
Eventually some aerial shots of the cockpit
wreckage by Tundergarth Church enabled us to read the name and identify the aircraft
involved. It was Clipper Maid of the Seas, registration N739PA.
These three numerals were the very same as the
first three numerals of the chassis number of the Montego estate car 7AM396557. Was it
just a curious irony that the second word of the airline name PAN AM makes up the second
and third characters of the chassis number? Rather curiously, the only car I had ever
damaged badly had been an estate car of exactly the same blue. So, even in the colour
there was a crash connection.
5. A Date with Destiny
N739PA disappeared from the radar screens a few seconds
before 7.03 pm on 21st December. As a result, no photographs were available for
the newspapers on 22nd December. Coverage was restricted to library photographs
of Pan Am 747s and maps showing the location of Lockerbie. It was not until 23rd
December that the main Lockerbie coverage of all the national newspapers occurred.
That same day, the local weekly paper, the Hawick News
published its latest edition, number 5570. Having first been published in January 1881,
various editions had been missed during the War. Was it meant to reach edition number 5570
on that fateful day? Did something know long, long ago that this coordinate, in time and
space, had to be met?
Even the existence of the newspaper came to our attention by
a very circuitous route. Jenny had owned a house in Epsom in Surrey since 1972. It was
empty and about to be sold. We called at the house in January 1989 on a brief visit to the
south of England. A copy of the Hawick News was in the pile of post and circulars
lying on the floor. It was even wrongly addressed. It should have been delivered to
another No.4 two streets away. Why should this paper have been sent 300 miles and wrongly
delivered to a house which Jenny owned? Was this just chance? Or were we meant to discover
the 5570 connection?
6. Yet Another Part of the Code
July 1989 marked the first anniversary of the shooting down
by the Aegis Cruiser USS Vincennes of a civil airliner on a
scheduled flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. A series of gross errors led to the Vincennes
firing two missiles at the A300B Airbus on 3rd July 1988, blowing off a wing and killing
dating, 3rd July is written as 7.03.88. Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed at 7.03 pm. The
chassis number 7AM396557 has one numeral which has not been used so far in this apparent
code. If 6 is paired with the next two numerals, it produces 655. The A300B Airbus
destroyed by the Vincennes had been Iran Air Flight 655.
The official US and British Governments'
position is that Libya is to blame for the disaster and, in November 1991, two Libyans
were accused of bombing Pan Am 103. Sanctions against Libya are still in force. Relatives
of many of those who died on Pan Am 103 feel that this official version owes more to
politics than to truth. Many are convinced that there was some Iranian connection with the
loss of Pan Am 103.
7. What's in a Name?
In August 1989 circumstances forced us to move from Scotland
to England and live in Jenny's house in Epsom which was still on the market as no buyer
had been found. Jenny managed to get a job in a local firm of estate agents and one day
Liz, a former air hostess but now one of the house sales agents, came in with surprising
news. "Here is something to add to your coincidences. We have just taken on a house
called Lockerbie." It was by now April 1990, some sixteen months after the
One evening after work, I picked up Jenny and we drove to the
house in Ashtead, a village just outside Epsom, to see if we could find out why the house
should be called Lockerbie when it was over 300 miles away. We had no sooner
parked outside the house when a car came down the road towards us. There was no other
traffic. Its registration number was F557 BBL I looked at my watch. It was a few seconds
before 7.03 pm, the precise time that N739PA had been destroyed on 21st December 1988.
I knocked on the door and explained to the owner my interest
in Lockerbie. He invited me in and showed me the Deeds to the house. There was no clue as
to why it was called Lockerbie. All that we discovered was that before 1902 it
was known as Hammond's House and by 1904 it had become Lockerbie. A
little disappointed, I left the house and looked at my watch. It was 7.39p.m. precisely.
All evening I puzzled over the numbers. What did it mean?
What could this house possibly have to do with Lockerbie? All the numbers were there -
557, 703, 739 and the name, Lockerbie. It may have been the next morning when I
was in the bath that the solution came. Around 1903, the house name was changed to Lockerbie.
1903 is 7.03 pm on die 24 hour clock, the time that N739PA was destroyed.
Was this what it was meant to mean? Did something know in
1903 that 85 years into the future, at 1903 hours N739PA would crash onto the town of
Lockerbie at the latitude 55o7'N? I have often wondered about this house since
that day in April 1990, but have never been able to think of any other explanation.
8. Early Links to New Zealand
In 1986, through my interest in ancient Egypt and her
business in papyrus paintings, I met my wife, Jenny. I often tease her about advertising
for a husband as I saw her advertisement for the paintings. Jenny is a New Zealander, an
old girl of Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland who had lived abroad since 1968 and
owned a house in Epsom, Surrey since 1972.
In 1923 in Britain, the railway amalgamation produced The
London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, then the largest company in the world. In
1935 it built the first of 191 express passenger locomotives, giving it the name
Silver Jublilee and the number 5552. The next 86 locomotives were named after
countries of the British Empire and their States. The number 5570 was allocated the name New
Zealand. This, you may remember, was also the edition number of the Hawick News
on 23rd December 1988.
In May 1959, 1 began an interest in railways that has
continued to this day. As a teenager I also had an interest in model railways. This
interest lapsed when I went to Oxford until about 1982 when I again began collecting model
railway locomotives. It was through model railways in 1984 that I met someone who was the
catalyst for my research into what is referred to as psychic or paranormal phenomena. I
use the term paraphysics to describe this field in which I work. Para in
Greek means `beyond'. Physics is concerned with the laws of space and time. Many of our
experiences can only be explained on a hypothesis that there is something beyond current
theories of space and time.
Was I meant to become interested in railways to lead me into
this research? Was I meant to meet a New Zealander? Were we both meant to be involved with
Egypt? More and more as time has gone on and evidence has accumulated, we appear to
unravel clue after clue. Even though I am a rational scientist, earning my living in
wastewater treatment and odour control, I am forced to the inescapable conclusion that
there is a destiny and that there is a Supreme Being who knows what this destiny is for
each and every one of us.
9. A Move to New Zealand
In January 1995, we came to live in New Zealand. I had
obtained a job working in wastewater treatment for Tonkin & Taylor, an Auckland firm
of Consulting Engineers. In the course of my job I have to fly to various places in New
10. Disaster Codes - New Zealand
n April 1995, I had to fly to Christchurch for a conference.
When the Ansett ticket came, I found it had the number 68 739 208 26. The company travel
agent 'Travel Productions' has the fax number 09 309 1557. Less than 400 yards and less
than 5 minutes after my leaving Christchurch Airport, there were pointers to an Ansett
plane crash. When I arrived at Lincoln University, I found I had been allocated Room 103.
Jenny flew down from Auckland to Christchurch on Friday night
to spend the weekend with me. She parked at Auckland airport in the only available space,
and found that the car in front was NZ5570, the same number as the LMS locomotive New
Zealand. And then, she had just collected a hire car in. Christchurch and was driving
past the terminal building when she saw NZ5557 parked. This combination of NZ with 557 at
either end of her journey puzzled her as it seemed to link Lockerbie to New Zealand.
11. Disaster at Palmerston North
On 9th June 1995, Ansett Flight 703 crashed on its approach
to Palmerston North airport. When my wife telephoned me at work to tell me the news, I was
surprised that it should be such a significant flight number. 7.03 pm was the time PA103
was destroyed and that had linked to the destruction of IA655 on 7.03.88. It was also
curious that the name given to the Dash 8 which crashed had been PALMERSTON
NORTH. It was as though this one had also been marked out.
Three people were killed in the accident and eighteen
survived the crash itself. The Dominion newspaper the next morning talked of the
`miracle of flight 703'. Given the speed of impact, it was surprising that the death toll
was not eighteen, with three survivors.
The aircraft was based in Christchurch and the air hostess,
Karen Gallagher, died in the crash. The signs which I saw on 26th April 1995 were only 400
yards from Christchurch airport terminal. Two passengers died in the crash - Jonathan
Keall and David White. Both lived in Papakura, about 30 km south of Auckland. If you look
at the front page of this paper, you will see the address for correspondence. I, too, live
in Papakura and the postcode for Papakura is Auckland 1703. Is this all just chance? Or
does it relate to some Supreme Being? Is there indeed a Designer of the Web of Destiny?
12. A Late Departure
On 29th June 1995, I flew back from Gisborne after working on
another project. I was accompanied by Robert Docherty from our Auckland office. His
internal telephone extension is 739. We had just entered the terminal building at about
7.25 pm when Jenny came up and told me to hurry and see the Departures board.
The next flight out was the 7 pm Flight NZ557 to
Christchurch. It was still listed, even though by now the time was approaching 7.30 pm. I
photographed the Departures board several times over the next ten minutes. I wondered
whether it would leave when I expected. Sure enough, just after 19:39 came up (7.39 pm),
the Departures board rolled over. The photograph shows random characters where the flight
How often does NZ557 leave late? How often has it left at
7.39? Is it just chance it did on the only occasion I have flown on a New Zealand domestic
flight since returning from that Christchurch trip in April?
What is its message? Time will tell..
(PS Time did indeed tell when on 27th November 2008,
off the French Coast at Perpignan, when Air New Zealand lost its next
big plane, with powerful links to the 1979 Erebus disaster and to destiny.
The 557 codes again predicted the disaster..... But was the real message of
the coordinates of Disaster NZ557 departing at 7 39 pm a pointer to the
destination, where the really major disaster was to come, the most extensive
and costly disaster in New Zealand's history, the
Christchurch Earthquakes, 4th September 2010, 22nd February, 2011 (the
Big One) and 13th June 2011. So now its '3 in 1' as though
intended to contradict the priests who all deny the real God, preferring
instead the treacly confection of their own making, the false god of love
and personal salvation, courtesy of St Paul twenty centuries ago.
The message of those
first two Airbus crashes is very clear. There is no Salvation, only
so many messages in plane crashes.....Note
added 20th June 2011. )
13. A Rose by any Other Name
Two weeks ago, after I had offered this paper for this
symposium, the Chief Engineer for one of our clients suggested that I travel to Hawera
with him to assess a waste water treatment plant. He suggested I fly into Palmerston North
as this was a convenient place for him to pick me up.
Because of the connections to the Ansett plane crash, I
decided to fly with Ansett. Flight 703 was the first departure from Auckland, but although
listed in the timetable still, it has now become Flight 791. One member of the Ansett
staff informed me that flight numbers are always changed after 'incidents'.
Our usual '1557' travel agents confirmed the flight details.
Jenny drove me to the airport and we arrived at 7.39 am for the 8.15 flight. It was a
beautiful morning as we left Auckland. There was not a cloud in the sky. As we approached
Mt. Ruapehu, the Captain announced over the loudspeaker that the view from the cockpit was
excellent and passengers were welcome to come to the flight deck. I had never known any
such announcement ever on any other aircraft on which I have flown, although I have, on
occasion, at my request, visited the flight deck on international flights. I took the
opportunity offered by the pilot, thinking what a curious coincidence it was to end up on
the Flight Deck of Flight AN703. Or was it destiny?
We landed at Palmerston North and shortly afterwards, we were
on the road to Hawera. I tried to telephone Jenny a couple of times on the Chief
Engineer's mobile phone, without success until we stopped for petrol at a garage in the
town of Waverley. I dialled. the number and she replied immediately. For me, this
symbolised that there was a valid communication link in all these connections. After all,
it was on the Waverley route that it had all begun in December 1988.
The weather was beautiful for the whole day. The views of the
volcanic Mt. Egmont were most impressive. After a useful visit to the South Taranaki
District Council wastewater treatment plant, we returned to Palmerston North.
As we pulled into `the airport car park, my eye was drawn to
the clock. It was 5.57 precisely!
14. Numbers and Numerology
People sometimes try to suggest that I make the numbers fit.
How could I do that? David Smith was driving! Some people call it 'numerology' but that is
from ignorance. Numerology is a simplistic way of reducing all numbers to the single
numbers 1-9 by a process of repetitive addition and then drawing mystical conclusions.
This has nothing whatsoever to do with my work. I use numbers as a scientist. I record
them. I postulate that there appear to be connections between numbers that conventional
science says cannot be. I record the evidence and I try to make sense of it. There appears
to be a coherent message in the coincidences. Why should this not be the case? A quotation
by Albert Einstein was used by Canon Bob Lowe as a postscript to his article in the
Sunday Star- Times of 2nd July 1995:
"The ultimate arrogance is to confine reality to
that which we can understand."
I am a scientist by training. In all the work I do, in
whatever field, I apply the methods of science as far as they can be applied. I question
why numbers have apparently been emphasised to us. There appears to be a coherent message.
This is my conclusion. I leave it for you to weigh the evidence and decide for yourself.
You may prefer the conventional explanation of "pure chance". There is a
probability of 1 in 10 to the Nth power that it is all entirely random and there is no
pattern at all. If this satisfies you, so be it. I would be very interested to hear from
any statistician who has sufficient ability to assist me in estimating a value for N.
A physics lecturer at Auckland University said to me "If
you have discovered some new principle, I will be the first to admit it." I have not
discovered any new principle. I suggest that this research merely provides different
evidence for a very old principle, probably the oldest principle man has ever had on this
planet - the idea that there is some Being which knows all our actions and which knows the
future as He knows the past. Perhaps this is as close as man can get to proving the
existence of God.
I suggest that these particular aircraft accidents are being
used by a Supreme Being to provide evidence that He exists. Aviation represents one of the
pinnacles of this civilisation's achievement. It enables men to span the globe in a matter
of hours, to go from one side of the world to another in little more time than it takes
the sun. But mankind, or should I say personkind, takes heed only of death on a grand
Consider the example of 21st December 1988. 188
Americans were killed when Pan Am 103 crashed at Lockerbie. Consider the colossal
resources which have gone into what has been called the largest criminal investigation in
history. But remember also that on that same day, more Americans were killed by their own
countrymen, either by guns or cars. But these were individual tragedies and not an affront
to a flag.
As the signs which come, relating to air disasters, are not
heeded, so inevitably the disasters will proceed to the ultimate triumph of science - the
harnessing of atomic power to satisfy the greed and arrogance of man. 739 has not been
heeded. Indeed, its message has been totally distorted by the country which considers
itself the greatest power on earth. So nothing can prevent the progression to 740. This
will show that the Statisticians are as much in error on the consequences of a nuclear
accident as they were in the probability of the loss of a space shuttle prior to the Challenger
disaster on 28th January 1986.
l will conclude with another quotation from Albert Einstein
that came to light when Jenny was unpacking books last weekend:
"Raffiniert ist der Herrgott aber bööshaft ist er
"Subtle is the Lord, but malicious is
He is not".
The paper received a variety of responses. One
professor from the Department of Psychology exhibited the characteristic response of
many scientists. He made several mocking references, such as being worried about being in
a plane crash if you arrive at an airport at 5.57 pm.
"As long as God and not Ghadaffi keeps destroying
aircraft...." was another comment he made during his paper. Naturally, it
produced the cheap laugh intended. The fact that the Source of Intelligence knew which
plane would crash and where does not imply that this Source caused Pan Am
103 to crash. I myself believe that this disaster was due neither to God nor to Ghadaffi.
( PS Out of
the blue Muammar Gadaffi's son Saif al Islam arrived in Christchurch for a
'break' just after Christmas in 2009, in his private jet...a black A340
Airbus - talk about the spoiled children of the rich a four-engined jet
aircraft that could carry 250 people...... Next Air New Zealand took
delivery of their own black Airbus, only a much smaller two-engined A320, on
1st February, 2011. It was intended to fly the flag for rugby -mad
kiwis and to support the All-Blacks in the September 2011 Rugby World Cup in
New Zealand. I had a bad feel about that plane from the moment it had
been announced many months before. New Zealanders revere all things
black To me, black is the colour of death or the colour of evil, viz the
uniform of the big business world of today. From the start, I called
that black A320 'the death plane'. But the disaster proved far greater
than the loss of one Airbus. That black A320 Airbus was just the
pointer...It was like an omen for Christchurch, it turned out. The Big
One came on 22nd February, just three weeks after the death plane first
arrived in New Zealand. And Jan, the '946 Hammer of God woman' brought me
the NZ Herald on 2nd February with the picture of that plane's arrival.
The next day I too was dressed in black, but unlike kiwi choirs I had a
white shirt. I drove Jan in her 'new' car to
Waikumete Cemetary in West Aucland for a memorial service for the wife
of one of her friends. The car trip mileage at the cemetery gates was
2297km the code for the Apocalypse ...see
The Seventh Sign..3rd February happened to be
the 80th anniversary of NZ's worst earthquake up to that point in time.
That 1931 earthquake destroyed much of Napier.... Is it really all chance?
Incidentally when 'The Big One' came in Christchurch Gadaffi's problems had
only just begun, with the start of the Libyan uprising... Note added 20th
June 2011 11.20pm)
At no time did I suggest that God destroyed Pan Am 103 or any
other aircraft. Why should He when various combinations of human factors do such a good
job, without any intervention on His part. Aviation Human Factors is, after all, the theme
of this conference.
The book Destiniation Disaster by the Sunday
Times Insight Team, which investigated the Turkish Airlines DC10 crash near Paris in
1974 drew to our attention the following very appropriate lines from one of Rudyard
Kipling's poems The Secret of theMachines. It should be pinned up in every school
of aviation and every aviation design office, especially those developing `fly-by-wire'
computer controlled Systems, and particularly in every nuclear power station:
We can pull and haul and push and lift and drive,
We can print and plough and weave and heat and light,
We can run and race and swim and fly and dive,
We can see and hear and count and read and write...
But remember, please, the Law by which we live,
We are not built to comprehend a lie.
W can neither love nor pity nor forgive -
If you make a slip in handling us.... you die!
My hypothesis is that some Source of Intelligence knew in
1903 that the Lockerbie disaster would occur 85 years into the future and,
that it would involve a jumbo jet. If this interpretation is indeed correct, it is ironic
that it was only on 17th December 1903 that the Wright brothers achieved the
first ever powered flight. Was mankind's progress in aviation from 1903 to 1988 known
precisely, even when the Wright brothers took their first tentative leap off the ground?
The reaction exhibited to my research by different people is
very interesting. There is a definite correlation between the field of study of the person
concerned and his or her reaction to this research. The most hostile individuals tend to
be ones who work in so-called `soft' sciences such as psychology and statistics. It is as
though, by attacking work such as mine, they gain in credibility as real scientists by
distancing themselves from anything on the fringe of conventional science.
There is a high level of scepticism among the natural
scientists - physicists, chemists and biologists - most of whom demand stringent tests of
repeatability before acceptance. Repeatability is not possible in this field of research.
The real world is too complex. Nor is the observer in control of the events. I feel often
that I am part of some complex experiment. But I do not direct it. At best, I record the
results on paper and film.
The most truly scientific approach tends to come from the
applied sciences of engineering and occasionally medicine. Often practitioners in these
fields are more practically involved in day-to-day events in the real world. Often they
have experiences in the course of their work which enable them to relate to the
experiences which I describe.
An example of such a reaction at the other end of the scale
from Professor Owens was that of Dr. Anne Isaac from the Massey University School of
Aviation. During tea, she came up to me and suggested that I might like to add the
following incident to my paper:-
On Sunday, 21st May 1995, James Beggs had made a routine
return solo flight from Palmerston North to Gisborne in a Cherokee Warrior aircraft owned
by the Massey University Aviation training school. He was flying the return leg when his
last routine call was made at 3.30 pm, about 50 km south of Gisborne. Nothing further was
ever heard from the pilot, who was known to be highly competent. It was a clear, calm day.
There was no distress call. No wreckage was ever found anywhere. No one had reported
seeing a plane go down. It was a total mystery. No trace of ZK-MBI has ever been found.
Massey University is, of course, located just outside the town of Palmerston North.
On 8th June 1995, a memorial service was held for the lost
pilot. The very strange link which made Dr. Isaac draw this incident to my attention was
the call sign of James Beggs. All staff have two-digit call signs and students three-digit
ones. James Beggs had been allocated the number 703. Less than 24 hours after the memorial
service had been held to mark the loss of MBI 703 on his flight to Palmerston North, news
broke of the total loss of Ansett Flight AN703 on its approach to Palmerston North. Dr.
Isaac did not scoff at my paper. In 60,000 hours of flying, this was the only accident
there had ever been at the Massey Aviation School. She had clearly thought at the time
that it was a very thought-provoking coincidence. She also added that in the early 1970s,
whilst living in America, she remembered flying on Clipper Maid of the Seas. The
name had stuck in her mind.
Another psychologist who presented a paper, Dr. Ross St.
George, also from Massey University, joined in this discussion over tea with helpful
comments. His reaction was in marked contrast to the scoffing of the other psychologist,
Dr. Owens, during his presentation. Was this perhaps because Dr. St. George had had the
personal experience of the loss of the Massey Cherokee Warrior and its odd link to AN703?
During the discussion at the end of my paper, one delegate
volunteered another curious element of coincidence. l thought at first he was making a
joke, but he assured me that it was true. He said that the farm that backed onto his house
was called Lockerbie. Whilst talking to Anne Isaac over tea I explained that l
was trying to find a good colour photograph of a Pan Am jumbo jet in the old blue
cheat-line livery. She suggested Graeme Porter, Editor of NZ Aviation News may be
able to help. He was standing just beside us. I was rather taken aback when he began by
saying that he had been the delegate who lived beside the Lockerbie farm. He
elaborated on the details. He lived at Morrinsville and, from his door, looked across to a
farm called Lockerbie. Until around 1989, there had even been a dairy factory
known as `the Lockerbie factory'. It had produced ` Lockerbie ' brand butter. At that time
it was taken over and the name disappeared.
The training of a Scientist should be to teach him to think,
to evaluate evidence, and to try to explain the evidence in terms of a theory. It is a
pity that too often the approach instead has now deteriorated to "I cannot make sense
of that. It does not fit in with what science tells me the world is like. Therefore it
must be wrong." A common reaction then is to scoff, or even to ridicule, as if by so
doing, the scoffer's own position is strengthened. The ordinary member of the public does
not understand science and looks to the scientist for guidance. Instead, the Scientist, in
his blinkered ignorance, chooses to mislead. It almost is a point of honour not to say
"We do not know". Such an admission brings with it the implication that science
is inadequate. Many of the Scientists who are members of the association called `Skeptics'
are best categorised in the above manner. I have noted the weapon most used by the
Skeptics in trying to discredit any so-called `para-normal' work is ridicule. This is not
the tool of a scientist, more that of a public relations adviser trying to defend a
religious dogma which is threatened by new evidence.
I would like other scientists to consider my work and think
about it carefully with open minds. If there arc errors in it, I would like to hear of
them. First and foremost, I am a scientist. I seek to understand all aspects of the world
in which we all live. I do not seek to make the world fit into the limiting confines of
the scientific understanding of today.
I reiterate what Albert Einstein said:
The ultimate arrogance is to confine reality to that
which we can understand.
17. Post Script
After reading the paper, my colleague Robert Docherty added
the following additional links. As well as having extension 739 in the office, his date of
birth, in American dating, is 7.5.57 and he lives in Epsom, Auckland. We had been living
in Epsom, Surrey, England when it was he who had been instrumental in offering me my
present job at Tonkin & Taylor during the course of my first visit to New Zealand in
October 1994. Incidentally, the pointers to the Ansett plane crash which I had observed on
26th April 1995 at Christchurch Airport had centred around a car with the
The date on the title page of the paper was done hurriedly on
Sunday morning when there was a last minute change of paper format. For some reason, Jenny
typed 27th April instead of 27th August. A main part of my hypothesis is that
there are two key elements in these connections - meaningful coincidence and inspiration,
and by this I mean inspiration in its absolute sense, i.e. an idea from 'outside'.
Symbolism is also an important element in the message conveyed in this apparent
communication. It was on 27th April 1995 that I was given the key to my room at Lincoln
University, CEN 103. Was Jenny's 'mistake' actually disguised inspiration, implying that my
hypothesis is indeed the key to the loss of Pan Am 103?