Remembering French Investigative Journalist Pierre Péan (March 5 1938 – July 25 2019) [UPDATE : From Lockerbie to Avianca 203 — The same fake ‘scientists’…]

“It is striking to note the similarity of the ‘scientific’ evidence discovered by the FBI’s Tom Thurman in both the Lockerbie and UTA cases. Of the tens of thousands of pieces of debris collected at each disaster site, one lone piece of printed circuit was found and, miracle of miracles, in each case the fragment bore markings that allowed for positive identification: MEBO in the Lockerbie case and TY in the case of UTA Flight 772. Despite the common findings of the DCPJ, the DST and the Prefecture of Police crime laboratory, Judge Bruguière chose to believe Thurman, the expert in fabricating evidence.”

Pierre Péan — African Manipulations

July 25 2020 — Pierre Péan, one of the greatest French investigative journalists, died Thursday July 25 2019. He was 81. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: On This Day — New York Times Admits Lockerbie Case Flaws (May 21 2012)

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RELATED POST: On This Day — Lockerbie Key Witness Dies (October 29 2016)

RELATED POST: On This Day — Megrahi, Convicted in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing, Dies in Tripoli (May 20 2012)

RELATED POST: On This Day — Remembering UTA Flight 772 (September 19 1989)

“On 25 December 1988, we established where the piece of metal had been located. It was apparently at a farm. I went with some Scots to the farm. There was a gaggle of us. I remember it was raining and it was foggy. We saw a piece of metal sticking in the ground. It seemed to be a skid rail for a baggage container. (…) The Scottish Police took custody of it. They seemed to be flabbergasted that we found it. (…) I went back to Lockerbie in January 1989 but I cannot remember the precise date. I brought a number of FBI colleagues with me, all from the Explosives Unit. I was in charge. There was Rick Hahn, Paul Schrecker, David Williams and Greg Carl. We were not in the evidence chain of custody. We were more advisors.”

Thomas Thurman

UPDATE (July 25 2022) –Pierre Péan was one of the great French investigative journalists. In Manipulations Africaines (African Manipulations), published in February 2001, he investigated the sabotage of UTA Flight 772. Péan accused Thomas Thurman, a Federal Bureau of Investigation explosives expert, of fabricating false evidence.

FLASHBACK — On December 28 1988, Michael Charles, Inspector of Accidents for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch [AAIB] announced that the two pieces of metal discovered by FBI agent Thomas Thurman show convincing evidence of a high performance plastic explosive.

Out of 4 million pieces collected at Lockerbie, only these two pieces — BOTH discovered by Thomas Thurman — were ever reported to indicate the presence of explosive residues (SEMTEX).

During Crown Precognition, Thurman finally admitted that he had lied all along about his role in the Lockerbie affair.

“I was told that, as far as the CIA (the Agency) was concerned, it was not to be involved in the chain of custody and that the device was to be regarded as having come directly from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

I took the device and said that I would obtain instructions from headquarters as to how to deal with the situation. I showed the timing device and photograph to the laboratory director and he agreed with the identification. This was the first occasion on which I ‘fronted’ a find for the Agency.

The decision to present the situation in this manner was made within the administrative confines of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I do not know who made the decision. For public consumption, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had provided the timer.”

Published on April 15 1997, the US DOJ/OIG Report on the FBI Forensic Laboratory states:

“Williams and Thurman merit special censure for their work. It recommends that Thurman, who has a degree in political science, be reassigned outside the Explosives Unit laboratory and that only scientists work in its explosives section.”

According to Fred Whitehurst, the Explosives Unit laboratory was a criminal unit operating inside the FBI.

In a recent communication, Dr Whitehurst told me:

“I truly believe that the FBI lab Explosives Unit was set up to fix cases. There were no scientists in the unit and yet for years Thurman and others rewrote my reports without my knowledge or authorization. It was most strange that the people the FBI sent to Lockerbie were not scientists but Explosives Unit personnel.

The unit still exists and I believe is still manned by the same sorts of folks. I believe that Thurman had an undergraduate degree in political science and had no business at all in a national laboratory in a supervisory capacity. He would not have been allowed to wash bottles in a real scientific laboratory.”

Like Dr Thomas Hayes and Allen Feraday, FBI Thomas Thurman was a known quantity long before the Lockerbie trial. And yet nothing was done. Thurman was not even called as a witness at the trial. His testimony would have been devastating!

And by the way…

Rick Hahn – Avianca 203 — Former FBI Rick Hahn was a protegee of Thomas Thurman. Hahn was the lead investigator in the Avianca 203 case.

During the FBI “Labgate” investigation, Hahn admitted that he was not able to back up any of his “conclusions” about the bombing of Avianca 203; not even the alleged position of the bomb.

According to an expert I interviewed, the so-called ‘bomb evidence’ reported by Hahn was probably more properly characterized as cratering, not pitting, which is typically a corrosion phenomenon.

When asked if he had any knowledge whatsoever about corrosion mechanisms of aluminum alloys, or had ever seen aluminum oxide (Al2O3), Hahn admitted that he didn’t have a clue!

Like Thurman, Hahn has no qualifications whatsoever in sciences…

Today we know that Avianca 203 was not destroyed by a bomb – blamed on Pablo Escobar! — but rather by a fuel system explosion of the type that destroyed at least five other Boeing airliners.


“Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.”

Francis Bacon

UPDATE (July 26 2021) — Although Pierre Péan was widely regarded as one of the greatest French investigative journalists, he did not consider himself as such.

In fact, he did not like that expression. In his opinion, investigative journalists rely on others for tips and information and they are therefore quite likely to be manipulated.

Péan always wanted to rely solely on his own research, and he thought that time was his best tool.

In a famous interview, he said that: “My method is exclusively based on time.”

What does it mean? Péan was convinced that a good investigator must observe the trajectories of the actors of a story over a long period.

The goal is not to denounce their weaknesses but to understand them in order to discover the role they played in the story under investigation.

Obviously, such a method requires time, a lot of time. But as Cervantes famously wrote: “Sometimes, even time needs some time.”

In this post-truth era of instant gratification, information has become synonymous with immediacy and instantaneity.

MSM journalists do not care about being right. They only want to be first. The scoop is no longer everything, it has become the only thing.

Truth is derided as fake news while disinformation is printed on the front page of the greatest newspapers around the world.

Sure, once in a while, the news is actually correct. But instantaneous information rarely amounts to knowledge and certainly does not equate to wisdom. That needs time.

And who has time for anything nowadays? Learn the art of giving time to time, and time will be kind to you.

By the way, did you know? Commercial firms conducted for-hire disinformation in at least 48 countries last year — nearly double from the year before, according to an Oxford University study. The researchers identified 65 companies offering such services. [New York Times — Disinformation for Hire, a Shadow Industry, Is Quietly Booming — July 25 2021]


“… truth, whose mother is history, who is the rival of time, depository of deeds, witness of the past, example and lesson to the present, and warning to the future.”

Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Pierre Péan (5 March 1938 in Maine-et-Loire, France – 25 July 2019) was a French investigative journalist and author of many books concerned with political scandals. 

In Manipulations Africaines (African Manipulations), published in February 2001, Péan investigated the sabotage of UTA Flight 772.

He alleged that evidence pointed to Iran and Syria (acting through the Hezbollah movement), but that due to political context (notably the Gulf War), France and the United States tried to put the blame on Libya.

He accuses judge Jean-Louis Bruguière of deliberately neglecting proof of Lebanon, Syria and Iran being involved to pursue only the Libyan trail.

Péan also accused Thomas Thurman, a Federal Bureau of Investigation explosives expert, of fabricating false evidence against Libya in both the Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772 sabotages.

French Hostages in Lebanon

While taking his instructions from President Diouf and Jean Collin, Senegalese religious leader Sheikh Zein was going in between the French and the Iranian leaders.

In January 1988, Zein visited President Khamenei in Tehran. French Minister Michel Aurillac visited Dakar (and Zein) in February.

In March, French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua came to Dakar where he stayed at the Presidential Palace and discussed the release of the hostages with Zein. The next month, Zein was in Paris.

In May 1988, the three French hostages (Kauffmann, Carton, Fontaine) were released.

On September 18 1989, a Lebanese newspaper published a letter from the kidnappers reminding Paris that the promises made during the negotiations had not been kept by the French.

The next day, a DC 10 (UTA 772) exploded…

And once again, FBI Thomas Thurman solved the case… thanks to a small fragment of an electronic timer pointing to Libya’s culpability.

A top French expert opined than that timer was so big that it would not even  fit in a suitcase!

By the way… Most Lockerbie experts believe that the infamous fragment of the Swiss timer (PT/35b) was planted around September 1989.

Attentat de Lockerbie — Fausses pièces à conviction

Published on Aug 28, 2007 — Journal d’Arte du 28/08/2007 au sujet d’Ulrich Lumpert, un ingénieur suisse qui a travaillé pour un fabriquant d’armement affirme avoir livré lui même livré aux enquêteurs un détonateur dont les enquêteurs se seraient servi pour accuser la Libye.

Interview du journaliste Pierre Péan qui enquête depuis longtemps sur l’attentat de Lockerbie.


The writer and journalist-investigator Pierre Péan is dead –TellerReport


Obituary — French Investigative Journalist Pierre Péan Dies at 81

Remembering French Investigative Journalist Pierre Péan (March 5 1938 – July 25 2019)

Remembering French Investigative Journalist Pierre Péan (March 5 1938 – July 25 2019) [UPDATE : The power of reflection time]

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