the Novichok™ Chimera fades further


Dawn Sturgess, guardian photo

The White Queen to Alice: ‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’

First, a few excerpts fromNew Developments in the Skripal Case Reveal it for the Sham it Always Was’, Oct. 16, 2019, James Oneill, journal-neo.org

Oneill brings the unbelievable narrative of the Skripals’ having been poisoned by ‘a highly toxic substance where only minute quantities are required to cause an almost instant death, and yet they went to a pub, to a restaurant, and to a lake to feed some ducks.  He spends time wondering why in the world some Russian Agents would poison a spy that the Russians had already repatriated to the UK, as well as his (assumedly) innocent daughter, there to visit her father before her upcoming wedding.

“Shortly after the Skripals fell ill, the story was given extra legs by two British citizens falling ill from allegedly discovering a tainted (but unopened) bottle of perfume. That woman victim, Dawn Sturgess, later died. This gave rise to fresh anti-Russian hysteria in the British media and kept the story alive for a few more weeks.


Since then, there has been a serious lack of interest by the western media. That two Russians, one a British resident, the other a Russian resident, should disappear off the face of the planet was apparently not of interest.

The western press were equally silent on what was a blatant breach of international law, of the rights of the Russian government with regard to one of its citizens, or even the whereabouts or fate of two blameless (on the media’s own narrative) human beings.

It is known that the British government issued at least one “D” Notice, a device to prevent the media from reporting facts relating to a specific incident. No explanation has been given for that D Notice, although it is know(n) that the identity of the named person, which was suppressed, was a friend of Sergei’s and an active British spy.” [snip]

Was that the D notice Craig Murray had speculated was Pablo Miller in his April 30, 2018  ‘Where they tell you not to look‘?  Or someone else?

“Under British law, where there is a suspicious death, a Coroner’s Court hearing must be held. The death of Dawn Sturgess clearly fell within that definition. The first such hearing was held on 19 July 2018 and immediately adjourned.

And the initial adjournment is not uncommon especially when Police inquiries are ongoing, as was the case here.

Earlier this month (October 2019) however, the Coroners Court issued a public statement in which is announced that the inquest into Dawn Sturgess’s death had been adjourned indefinitely.

This is an extraordinary development. It means in effect that the whole of the allegations made over the preceding 18 months, about the cause of death, the persons allegedly responsible, and all the political and propaganda barrage that went with it has now effectively being abandoned.

The Coroner’s Court cannot establish to the requisite standard how Ms Sturgess died, much less the identity of any individual or government that might be responsible.

As might be expected, the announcement by the British coroner has been met with a studied silence why the western media. The linking of Ms Sturgess’ death to the alleged activities of two Russian citizens seen in Salisbury on the day the Skripal’s became ill, and the lurid allegations about their alleged activities, have similarly collapsed.” [snip]

“The discovery of the stricken Skripals by the daughter of a woman who just happened to be the highest ranking British military nurse, and who just happened to be nearby, was another feature that singularly failed to interest the incurious media, content as ever to repeat British government propaganda.

The other feature that has been allowed to disappear down the memory hole is the whereabouts of the Skripals. They have been neither seen nor heard from in more than 15 months. The British media and their equivalents elsewhere remain singularly incurious about this feature.”

Okay, thought I, who might have more on the suspension of the Coroner’s Report on Dawn Sturgess?  Well, of course it was:

‘An Update on the Inquest Into the Death of Dawn Sturgess’, October 17, 2019, Rob Slane, theblogmire.com

A few excerpts, and yes, he indeed has more information:

“Friday 18th October was scheduled to be the date of the Pre-Inquest Review (PIR) into the death of Dawn Sturgess, but it has been adjourned. Inquest adjournments are of course not uncommon, and according to the guidelines set out by the Crown Prosecution Service:

“Inquests will, in most cases, remain adjourned whilst criminal proceedings are being considered.”

However, not only is this now the fourth adjournment (the others being 18th July 2018, 16th January 2019, and 15th April 2019), but — as far as I have been able to establish — unlike the previous adjournments no new date has been made public.

But there is more. When contacted for details of the postponement and rescheduling, the Coroner’s Office responded by saying that a press release had been sent to Counter Terrorism Command (CTC), which is a branch of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), headed by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu. However, it seems that even though this press release was sent, CTC does not appear to have released it — at least nothing has appeared in the media regarding it, and there is nothing on the MPS website. All very odd!”

Slane then explains that he’s in no way commenting on the propriety nor impropriety of the adjournment itself, nor is he commenting on the actions of the Wilshire Coroner himself, and if he’d sent such a press release to the CTC, it’s possible that the CTC/MPC have taken charge of the whole affair. 

“My real concern, however, is that the Inquest, which is surely within the jurisdiction and remit of the coroner, now appears to have been effectively placed under the jurisdiction of CTC/MPS. If so, this is disturbing. Coroners courts are supposed to be independent from interference from other institutions and organisations, as the Ministry of Justice explains:

“A coroner is an independent judicial office holder, appointed by a local authority (council) within the coroner area.”

“The costs of providing a local coroner’s service are usually met by the local authority for that area. In some areas the local police force employs the coroner’s officers. However, the officers’ work is always carried out under the authority of the coroner who works independently from both the local authority and the local police force [my emphasis].”

This being the case, it is surely down to the coroner to inform the public of any adjournment, and I am at a loss to see how it can be in the remit of CTC/MPS to do so — not that they even have in this case.

I am afraid that this has a rather unpleasant, yet sadly unsurprising, odour to it. Furthermore, my guess is that what is happening is that the public Inquest into Dawn Sturgess’s death is being quietly shelved, and will in due course be replaced by an Inquiry, which will include “Public Interest Immunity”, meaning that the evidence presented will remain secret, on the grounds that releasing it would jeopardise national security.”

Rob reckons that the Met Police have been unable to link the substance that allegedly killed Dawn Sturgess to the Salisbury case, and that their Department for Squaring Circles has been working hard for a year, but still can’t offer a believable explanation as to how the hard-plastic sealed bottle that was found by Charlie Rowley had ‘even more impurities’ than the substance on the Skripal’s doorknob, after being subjected to three weeks of sun, rain, dust, and so on.

“And so because they cannot link the two cases through the bottle, not only are they unable to charge Petrov and Boshirov with anything connected to Amesbury, but they are also unable or unwilling to allow a public Inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess to take place. Questions might be asked.”

Slane then goes on about the absurdities of bellingcat’s (crowd-sourced online journalism, Truth in a pot-Truth World) failures on the GRU dudes, and ends:

“Let me just end this piece by stating briefly three reasons why I am unable to trust MPS’s investigation into these cases (you can read more detailed explanations of these here);

As in: firstly, secondly, and thirdly, poking holes in the timelines v. witness statements, OPCW claims, BBC coverage, missing CCTV coverge, and all the rot that’s kept ‘the story’ ever revealing anything close to the truth.

“For Dawn’s family, sadly it seems that they are continuing to be kept in the dark about what really happened to her. “Weep with those who weep,” says Paul in Romans 12, and indeed my heart goes out to them in their desire to find closure and peace.

As for CTC/MPS’s handling of the Inquest adjournment, it seems that yet another part of the wall separating various jurisdictions is crumbling before our very eyes, as this country continues its quiet slide down the road towards a National Security State.”

And from bellingcat on Twitter, this reTweet of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty on Twitter linking to: ‘Russian Wedding Photos Highlight Novichok Suspect’s Security Ties’, Oct. 14, 2019, rferl.org

“Among the smiling guests was a man in a suit and cuff links, wearing a beard and a mustache, his hair parted neatly on the left, with an expensive watch on his left wrist and a drink in his right hand.

Less than a year later, that man was publicly identified by British police as one of two Russian military intelligence officers operating under cover names who allegedly planted a highly toxic nerve agent called Novichok at a house in Salisbury, England, in a bid to poison a Russian double agent. The target, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter survived the poisoning. A British woman with no connections to Russia died, apparently after accidentally coming into contact with the substance.”, and so on.

Craig Murray has a short squib up and directs readers to Rob Slane and John Helmer in Moscow:SKRIPAL UPDATE – ENGLISH CORONER RUNS OUT OF LEGAL CAMOUFLAGE, AND GENUINE EVIDENCE, FOR POSTPONING INQUEST INTO DAWN STURGESS DEATH; SPOKESMAN ATTEMPTS LYING TO PRESS’, Oct. 14, 2019, johnhelmer.com

““Why won’t, or why can’t the British Government,” commented a surprised London investigative source, “support their own narrative of the Skripal case in court after so much time has elapsed for the investigation? This isn’t a matter of catching those culpable, but of proving, at least to the satisfaction of the Coroner, that a Russian plot and a Russian-sourced nerve agent Novichok were the cause of Sturgess’s death. No inquest means no murder — no murder means no Russian plot. You’d think the British press would be all over this news.”

The cause of Sturgess’s death was announced more than a year ago by Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, spokesmen for the Metropolitan Police, and the British media. According to May on September 5, 2018, “hard evidence has enabled the independent Crown Prosecution Service to conclude they have a sufficient basis on which to bring charges against these two men [alleged GRU agents] for the attack in Salisbury. The same two men are now also the prime suspects in the case of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley too. There is no other line of inquiry beyond this. And the police have today formally linked the attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury – such that it now forms one investigation.” [snip]

“Although the two incidents occurred almost twelve weeks apart in time and nine miles in geography, the British Government has claimed that Russian military intelligence (GRU) agents were culpable in both. The evidence Basu claimed to substantiate the allegation was contradicted in public statements by the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson.”

[large snip with documents, back and forth  (his?) emails, lists posted by the Coroner’s Office in Wilshire (no Dawn Sturgess), plus a photo of the joint]

“Last Friday afternoon Ridley and Twort were asked to “provide…a copy of the press release to which you refer with delay, as there is no Met Police-Counter Terrorism record of it, as you can see. Since Mr Ridley arranged the text of the police press release; since you claim ‘the Senior Coroner issued a press release through Counter Terrorism’; and since you fail to provide the purported release with your email below, unless you provide the purported statement by prompt return of email, I am obliged to report that Mr Ridley did no such thing, and that you and he are fabricating a claim.” Ridley has not replied.

No British press organ has contacted Ridley recently to ask for an explanation of his delay in opening in court the evidence of murder which Prime Minister May told parliament was certain more than a year ago.”

I checked again, and there’s nothing from the BBC on Ms. Sturgess since Nov. 22, 2018, same for the Independent UK, the Guardian since Feb. 15, 2019: ‘Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess’s parents tell of their anger and hurt; Exclusive: Family break silence to express concerns that UK settled former spy in Salisbury’

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Through their many spies in Western governments and media, they hype outlandish and unsupported claims, so that, when Russia DOES commit some vile deed, no one will believe it it was them.

Maybe I shouldn't be saying that; the usual suspects might latch on to it as another meme, and far too many people eagerly consume such convoluted "logic". But seriously, it's getting to where I question whether any of the purported crimes of Russia were done by them.

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wendy davis's picture

@tle

and no, you shouldn't have mentioned that sneaky russian reverse pysop. ; )

i was telling mr. wd again this morning that i've wondered if the skripals were even hospitalized, given Head Nurse and her daughter had 'discovered them' on the park bench feeding ducks. where are all those dead ducks, anyhoo? doune the rabbit hole, as craig murray might say it.

and remember the alleged phone call from allegedly yulia's cousin saying 'she told me not to try to find her' or something?

then poor charlie rowley lived, but barely, as a paramedic just happened to give him some (unspecified, iirc) anti-nerve agent drug?

thanks for the hilarity, tle.

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Finds this totally unbelievable. I credit the Russian government and intelligence services with more , well intelligence, than this. They aren't the three stooges.

Which leads me to believe that the CIA or MI6 got rid of untrustworthy/no longer useful double agents and and tried to pin it on the Russians.

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Sanders-Gabbard 2020 !

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

with this: "...no longer useful double agents", as in both skripals or either charlie rowley and/or dawn sturgess?

but the skripals have apparently been stuffed into a deep dark badger hole in an undisclosed location....that' too weird to find 'inconvenient' to the scam. or am i saying that backward? if so, sorry. (lack of attention; chez davis is in the gods' meat-grinder once again for the past two days; septic lines plugged, no drains, and oh, my kingdom for an outhouse!)

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@wendy davis

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Sanders-Gabbard 2020 !

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

on a.m. edit: i should have taken the time to say that roy blakely's response had cleared it up to me, and i did spend some time trying to find out who in the real world mr. rowley was before 'novichok'.

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@The Voice In the Wilderness but give some thought to the possibility that Sergei and Yulia were actually working for the Russian government and the two "Russian tourists" were actually contacts that were supposed to receive information or other things of value from Sergei via Yulia. Their rather embarrassing interview on RT may have been Putin making asses of them because they botched the job, making them look like gay lovers. Note that Sergei and Yulia left Salisbury the morning before their poisoning and turned off their cell phones so they could not be tracked. Note also that none of the various official British stories make any sense. The Novichok poisoning may have just been a cover to conveniently remove Sergei and Yulia from the public eye while contributing to anti-Russian hysteria. Terms like "military grade" Novichok may no sense with respect to Novichok chemistry, but suggest that the authorities were trying to hype a case against the Russian government. Dawn's unfortunate death may have been a simple opiate OD as she was an addict, with the Novichok hype added to further stir up anti-Russian sentiment.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

brought these possibilities earlier, and while i honor your diligence and alternative explanations, i seriously do not remember this:

Note that Sergei and Yulia left Salisbury the morning before their poisoning and turned off their cell phones so they could not be tracked.

..nor how it fits into the purported timeline. but i'd also forgotten that there was a long lag between the time that charlie rowley gave dawn sturgess the 'poison perfume', and had never known much of these claims on the wiki:

According to the subsequent press report released by the Metropolitan Police, at 10:15 on Saturday 30 June 2018, the South Western Ambulance Service was called to a residential address in Amesbury after Dawn Sturgess had collapsed. She was subsequently taken to hospital and admitted. That same day, at 15:30, the South Western Ambulance Service was called back to that same address, after Charlie Rowley had fallen ill. He was taken to hospital, and Wiltshire Police were informed of both admissions and (thus) were alerted to the incident.

On 8 July, Sturgess died after doctors made the decision to switch off her life support.

fuck, how convenient: the doctors decided? is that so? and yes, the address in amesbury was a homeless hostel, but dig it:

On 24 July the cordon was lifted and the police announced that no contamination was found in John Baker House.

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@wendy davis in the establishment media in this country. I think the initial report was from the Sun

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5893197/russia-spy-mobile-mystery-skripal/

The Sun is not my favorite source, but I don't see why they can't be trusted in this instance. I believe that the GPS tracking shutoff correlated with them driving out of town as shown by the various cameras that are so pervasive in the UK. I may be able to find a source that has put the various bits of info from the authorities together. It is not clear to me if there is a mechanism of switching off GPS or they simply shut their phones off. Still, even if they just turned their phones off, one would have to ask why would they want to do that.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

amigo. but the sun piece was yellow journalism all the way, imo, including 'it's possible that their phones were switched off', and russians poisoned them.

i clicked thru your CCTV link to the mirror's, and at least in that one i could see people, but how on earth anyone could identify them...is a mystery to me.

but charlie rowley had claimed that the perfume and delivery pump were locked in heavy plastic, and he'd had to use a knife to open it as he gave it to dawn. some UK papers claim that the bottle was busted when he'd gotten in out of the thrift store dustbin.

most accounts say that yes, he'd washed his hands of the residue he'd gotten on his hands, but once the ambulance had come for dawn, he tried to go to the hospital, and came down with all sorts of symptoms.

now she'd apparently been into drugs in the 90s, but what CR had said about her didn't sound like any current addict, imo. partying, dancing, cooking for loads of folks at the shelter, and so on. but what do i know? but clearly what was in the bottle had nothing to do with the skripals, what six weeks earlier, how many miles away? 8? and charlie also told the met police that the bins in which he found the alleged perfume-novichok were emptied every day.

but the doctors decided to turn off her life support? they couldn't reach her kids? i dunno, pretty convenient, that. but then...we'll never know the truth of any of it. but yeah, i suppose even yulia might have been working for the GRU, but somehow, i'm not feeling that, myownself.

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@wendy davis Many sources have said specifically that the Skripal's phones were switched off for 4 hours including Craig Murray:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/skripals-the-mystery-dee...

and, notably, this has never been denied by the UK authorities. With respect to their car, it was recorded by 3 CCTV cameras around 9:15 and then not seen again until 13:30. If they returned home during that period they would have had to have an invisibility cloak. The assumption that they were out of town for a 4 hour period probably stems from the fact that CCTV cameras did not record them or their car over that time. CCTV cameras are very abundant in Salisbury. Witness the detailed tracking of the two Russian tourists. Interesting also that the roof of Sergei's house was removed and his car, which supposedly was irrelevant to the poisoning was hauled off by British Intelligence as well.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

thanks for all that, although craig's 'universally reported' link is to the times, behind a paywall for me. but the other tick-tocks i'd forgotten.

hat tip to mr. wd who'd actually read the link i'd provided in the OP: Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess's parents tell of their anger and hurt , the guardian, feb. 15, 2018 There's more about dawn's 'portrayed by the press lifestyle smears', but this is the short version:

In an odd way, Dawn’s parents were relieved when it became clear she had been poisoned with nerve agent rather than contaminated drugs or drink. “The press had given us such a crap time,” said Stan. “When we found out it was novichok we were relieved to have the confirmation that it wasn’t her fault.”

Caroline took huge comfort from the fact that no recreational drugs were found in her daughter’s bloodstream and no disease in her liver or other organs. “When they said it was purely because of the novichok it was a huge relief. She was innocent. It wasn’t her lifestyle that killed her.”

on the left sidebar is the 'third GRU suspect', but likely that's either the intergrity initiative or bellingcat. ; )

thanks for your diligence, mr. blakely.

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@wendy davis @wendy davis BMW was seen by CCTV in the morning before they were poisoned (i.e. when the the GPS on their phones was inoperative) but I can't find info on whether they were leaving Salisbury. I did find that the Independent reported that they were walking with an unidentified woman shortly before they were allegedly found poisoned.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/russian-spy-sergei-skrip...

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CB's picture

From THE SKRIPAL FILES.

How the Integrity Initiative Spun the West’s Improbable Skripal Narrative

One of the biggest and most under-reported stories of 2018 was also one of the most dazzling propaganda operations ever conducted in modern history. The narrative went something like this: a retired former Russian spy and UK double agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were having lunch in a sleepy Wiltshire town, before being brutally poisoned by an alleged “military grade chemical weapon” known as Novichok.

What followed was a textbook, state-managed media operation. Incredibly, within only 48 hours, the UK government had already attributed blame to the Russian Federation and its president, Vladimir Putin. The motive: no apparent reason, just Putin being mean. “There’s no logic in it; it doesn’t make sense, and I don’t think it needs to make sense, because essentially what the media is doing is propagandizing the population in favor of the madman theory. That’s critical to do when you’re trying to start aggression against a country,” said Moon of Alabama at the time.

How can the state and the mainstream media coordinate in a way that would make the inconceivable become the accepted ‘official’ western consensus reality narrative? Enter the British government-funded anti-Russian propaganda effort ironically named, the Integrity Initiative. A bona fide deep sate agency working under the guise of an anodyne ‘think tank,’ this clandestine government-media complex network not only helped craft the mainstream Skripal Affair narrative, but it also coordinated and organized attacks against any dissenting persons in the alternative press and on social media who dared to challenge their ‘official’ western propaganda line.

The level of Kafkaesque corruption in this government-funded psy-op is simply breathtaking…

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

and i'd looked in there and at MoA to see if they new of this utter horror show about the 4th suspension of the wiltshire coroner's report on ms sturgess, but no.

i admit i've been following a lot of it here, and others here may have as well; also ambassador craig murray.

but this tweet was news to me, and it may be what craig murray'd been talking about in my link in the OP, so good on ya:

@MoonofA
It was already known that Pablo Miller, the MI6 handler of Sergej Skripal, attended #IntegrityInitiative meetings. There is now more material to draw a connection. It is indeed possible that IfS/II initiated the affair. https://twitter.com/KitKlarenberg/status/1081255330074558465

there are by now so many 'managed news' organizations and compromised NGOs that it's hard to keep track of them, although craid keeps a list; avaaz for another: 'already 7 billion hamburgers
subscriptions sold!'

like this: the good guys and the bad guys: bin salman = chavez, putin, dilma

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wendy davis's picture

'Let me just end this piece by stating briefly three reasons why I am unable to trust MPS’s investigation into these cases (you can read more detailed explanations of these here):

Firstly, the timeline they released of the Skripals’ movements on the afternoon of 4th March 2018 is incorrect. Not only does it not include the very important duck feed, but it states that the pair went to The Bishop’s Mill Pub then Zizzis, where they were from 14:20 – 15:35. This is simply false. Multiple witness accounts confirmed that it was the other way around, and I have had it personally confirmed to me that they were in the pub between 15:00 and 15:30.

Secondly, the claim that the Skripals were poisoned at the door handle of Mr Skripal’s house by a nerve agent is a scientific impossibility. Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Dean Haydon, claimed that there was enough nerve agent in the (Salisbury) bottle to kill thousands. This is on the basis that just 1 or 2mg is enough to kill. Yet the OPCW claimed that the substance they found nearly three weeks later was “high purity, persistent and resistant to weather conditions.” Which means that anyone touching it from 4th to 22nd March should not only have become contaminated, but suffered a pretty quick death. Yet not only did the Skripals not die (and in fact went to a restaurant and pub after allegedly becoming contaminated), but none of the unprotected officers going in and out of the house via the same door on 5th and 6th March, as described by the BBC’s Karen Gardner, so much as became contaminated. Let’s just say that the place of poisoning is more likely to be about a mile away, shortly before the collapse.

And thirdly, they have not only been sloppy in their public statements and press releases, including statements that suggest that Petrov and Boshirov walked through the gate at Gatwick whilst their plane was in fact still in the air (see here for this and more examples), but also, in my view, negligent on their own terms. The metadata on the images of the two suspects that they released on 5th September 2018, shows that they were downloaded early in May. Also at the beginning of May, so it is claimed, “Novichok” was discovered in the City Stay Hotel in Bow. And so at this point MPS must have known in great detail where these men had been in Salisbury. And yet no appeals were issued, and no searches of the places they had apparently been to took place. This includes Queen Elizabeth Gardens, and the bins at the back of the Cloisters pub (now renamed), which were only searched after Dawn Sturgess passed away, but which were both mooted as possible places where Charlie Rowley picked up a bottle. Shouldn’t the search of these Gardens and these bins, which are both well covered by CCTV, along with public appeals, have taken place in May, once it was known that the men had been in the vicinity (if of course they ever had)?

and then of course, many in the UK claim that the pentagon has many projects afoot at Porton Down.

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