Joining Some Dots on the Skripal Case: Part 5 – An Educated Guess

Rob Slane, the Blogmire


I want in this piece to start joining some dots together on this case, using some of the facts, clues and suppositions that I have set out in the previous parts. I said at the end of Part 4 that there would be one more piece. That has turned out to be wishful thinking on my part, and there will in fact be a further article after this one. In this piece, I want to propose a theory — or maybe educated guess is a better term — for what I think may have happened on 4th March. Then I will need one final piece to show why I think this theory helps to explain a number of other events and incidents connected with the story. Think of that final part as tying up some loose ends.

So what of the theory?

Back in Part 2, I made the claim that two of the most important clues in the whole Skripal case are:

  1. The people who were seen on CCTV walking through the Market Walk towards The Maltings at 15:47 who were very clearly not Sergei and Yulia Skripal
  2. The red bag that one of them was carrying

These clues are very important, because one of the first witnesses on the scene, Freya Church, testified that she saw a red bag at Yulia Skripal’s feet. In addition, we know that a red bag was placed in an evidence bag and taken away from the scene.

Of course, it could be that the red bag seen near the bench was not the same red bag carried by the person walking through The Maltings. Then again, large red bags like that are not exactly very common (walk around a town and see how many you spot). If the people and the bag have been ruled out, I haven’t heard anything to that effect in the media. Rather, they have been quietly forgotten about in the midst of a lot of nonsense about door handles and deadly nerve agents that don’t kill. This itself raises suspicions, and it is therefore entirely reasonable to suppose that these two people are important, and that the red bag seen on CCTV is the same one seen next to the bench.

There is also something else quite odd about those people, which at first glance you may not have spotted. Although the footage is not very clear, and I wouldn’t want to be dogmatic about this, I believe that a careful look at the two people shows that they are both wearing gloves. This would not be especially remarkable, given that it was fairly cold that day, but what is odd is that the gloves they are wearing are white. Certainly, their hands appear to be far whiter than their faces. Why is this strange? As I said in Part 2, although I’m not 100% sure of the sex of the person nearest the camera (looks like a woman to me, but others disagree), I am very, very sure that the person furthest from the camera is male. And as you are probably aware, men don’t tend to wear white gloves. Of course, there may not be any importance in this, but it does seem to add to the already large mountain of intrigue in the case.

Anyway, 10-15 minutes or so before these two people walked through the Market Walk, Sergei and Yulia Skripal left Zizzis restaurant. They did so after Mr Skripal became extremely agitated, demanding the bill at the same time as the main course, which he ate (the food that is, not the bill). However, this was not down to his being physically unwell, or showing signs of suffering any effects of poisoning, as the fact that he ate the lunch shows quite clearly. As I argued in Part 3, the most likely reason for his agitation and obvious desire to leave as quickly as possible was that he had an appointment to keep – one that he was perhaps nervous about, but one that he could not afford to miss.

Let’s now construct a timeline of the events that followed:

15:35 – Sergei Skripal and Yulia leave Zizzis. They make their way to The Maltings, presumably along Market Walk (although strangely there is no CCTV footage of this), a walk of about two minutes or so.

15:37 – When they got to The Maltings, they appear not to have gone straight to the bench, but to the Avon Playground (approximately 50 yards from the bench), where they spent some time feeding ducks. They presumably then went over to the bench, a few minutes after this.

15:47 – The mysterious pair, one of whom is carrying a red bag, are seen on CCTV walking through Market Walk in the direction of The Maltings.

16:03 – One of the first witnesses to the scene, Freya Church, who was working in the nearby Snap Fitness, leaves work at 16:00 or thereabouts, and sees the Skripals on the bench at approximately 16:03. According to her account, they were already “out of it”, which suggests that they had been poisoned some minutes previously. She noted that there was a red bag on the floor next to Yulia’s feet.

16:15 – Emergency services are called and the pair are taken to Salisbury District Hospital, Yulia by helicopter and Sergei by ambulance. Upon admittance, the hospital believed that the pair had overdosed on Fentanyl, and treated this as an opioid poisoning for at least 24 hours after the incident.

Later that evening – Police remove the red bag, and it has never been heard of or mentioned in connection with the story since.

Assuming that the red bag seen next to Yulia Skripal is the same as the one carried by the person nearest the camera in the Market Walk – who was not Yulia Skripal – we can begin to make some educated guesses as to what happened in those crucial minutes, from 15:47 to 16:03.

In Part 4 of this series, I made the case that there is a strong possibility that Sergei Skripal, not Christopher Steele, was the author of the Trump Dossier. Certainly, the connections between Steele and Skripal make that plausible, as does some of the material contained therein, as does the fact that Russia experts, such as Paul Gregory and Craig Murray, are convinced that the Dossier was written by a Russian “trained in the KGB tradition.”

My (hopefully educated) guess is therefore that Mr Skripal, who knew much about the origins, the contents and the falsehoods of the Dossier, was hoping to be paid off to keep quiet about it. Furthermore, my guess is that he was due to meet someone for this purpose at the park bench in The Maltings at about 3:45pm on 4th March (NB. even if the theory about the money is wide of the mark, I would still say that the rest of the clues tend to suggest that he was due to meet someone at the park bench).

Why meet on the park bench and why drag Yulia along with him? In both instances, as an insurance policy. Meeting out in public, albeit at a time on a Sunday afternoon when few people would be about, would perhaps be “safer” than meeting at home. Taking Yulia along with him would also add another layer of “safety”. Even so, if my supposition is anywhere close to the truth, Mr Skripal would have been apprehensive about the rendezvous, hence his agitation in the restaurant.

According to this scenario, the people seen walking along Market Walk at 15:47 approached the bench. This would have been about 15:48. Perhaps a few words were exchanged, or perhaps the bag was simply put down on the floor, and the pair who had delivered it walked away.

My guess is that over the next few minutes, both Sergei Skripal and Yulia looked into the bag where, amongst other things, there was some kind of toxic substance (which may explain the reason for the white gloves). What was the substance? First let’s say what it was not. It was not a lethal nerve agent, 5-8 times more deadly than VX. If it had been a lethal nerve agent, 5-8 times more deadly than VX, then they would either have died over the next few minutes, or they would have been hospitalised and suffered irreparable damage to their nervous system. Since neither of these things happened, it is safe to say that whatever the substance was, it was not A-234. Indeed, it defies logic, reason and all common sense to maintain that it was.

What was it? It is impossible to say for sure, but given the fact that they were fairly quickly incapacitated, yet suffered no long lasting and irreparable damage, what we are probably looking at is some kind of non-lethal incapacitating nerve agent. For the point was not to kill Mr Skripal – that would have inevitably led to a whole can of worms being opened about who he was and what he was doing – but to incapacitate him and hospitalise him for a time, with a substance that looked like it could be some kind of opioid poisoning, in order to send him a message.

Can we say more? I think so. The hospital treated the case as that of a Fentanyl poisoning for at least 24 hours. The reason for this can only have been because the symptoms exhibited were roughly consistent with the effects of poisoning by Fentanyl. What were those symptoms? Let’s turn to the testimony of various witnesses to the scene, all of which largely agree with one another (I have highlighted those bits that I see as most crucial in pointing to possible substances):

He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky. I felt anxious, I felt like I should step in, but to be honest they looked so out of it that I thought even if I did step in, I wasn’t sure how I could help. So I just left them. But it looked like they’d been taking something quite strong” – Freya Church.


“It was like her body was dead. Her legs were really stiff… you know when animals die, they have rigor mortis. Both her legs came together when people pulled (her), and when she was on the floor her eyes were just completely white. They were wide open but just white and frothing at the mouth. Then the man went stiff: his arms stopped moving, but he’s still looking dead straight”Jamie Paine.


“He was quite smartly dressed. He had his palms up to the sky as if he was shrugging and was staring at the building in front of him. He had a woman sat next to him on the bench who was slumped on his shoulder. He was staring dead straight. He was conscious but it was like he was frozen and slightly rocking back and forward’ – Georgia Pridham.


“The paramedics seemed to be struggling to keep the two people conscious. The man was sitting staring into space in a catatonic state” – Graham Mulcock.


“I saw quite a lot of commotion – there were two people sat on the bench and there was a security guard there. They put her on the ground in the recovery position, and she was shaking like she was having a seizure. It was a bit manic. There were a lot of people crowded round them. It was raining, people had umbrellas and were putting them over them” – Destiny Reynolds.

Okay, so what do we have?

♦  Firstly, we can say that it is a substance that possibly causes hallucinations (“out of it” “staring at the building” “palms up to the sky

♦  Secondly, it also causes contraction of the pupils (“her eyes were completely white”)

♦  Thirdly, it seems to cause something like stupor (“he was staring dead straight”, “like he was frozen” “catatonic state”)

♦  Fourthly, it can cause tremors (“rocking back and forth” – see here for details on tremors, the effects of which include an unintentional, rhythmic muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements

♦  Fifthly, it can cause shaking and seizures (she was shaking like she was having a seizure)

♦  Sixthly, it can cause frothing at the mouth (which can be caused by seizures or pulmonary edema — fluid accumulation in the tissue and air spaces of the lungs)

There are a number of substances that fit these descriptions reasonably well. For instance, there is Carfentanil, which is an analogue of Fentanyl, only much stronger. Here is a description of some of its symptoms:

“Carfentanil has rapid onset [following IM administration] in animal patients, and is metabolized by the liver and excreted in the bile or by the kidneys … Signs and symptoms of exposure are consistent with opioid toxicity and include pinpoint pupils, respiratory depression, and depressed mental status. Other signs and symptoms include dizziness, lethargy, sedation, nausea, vomiting, shallow or absent breathing, cold clammy skin, weak pulse, loss of consciousness, and cardiovascular collapse secondary to hypoxia and death” – Lust et al. (2011).

Another possibility is 3-Quinuclidinyl-Benzilate (or BZ):

“Depending on the dose and time postexposure, a number of CNS [Central Nervous System] effects may manifest. Restlessness, apprehension, abnormal speech, confusion, agitation, tremor, picking movements, ataxia, stupor, and coma are described. Hallucinations are prominent, and they may be benign, entertaining, or terrifying to the patient experiencing them. Exposed patients may have conversations with hallucinated figures, and/or they may misidentify persons they typically know well. Simple tasks typically performed well by the exposed person may become difficult. Motor coordination, perception, cognition, and new memory formation are altered as CNS muscarinic receptors are inhibited” – Holstege CP and Baylor M; CBRNE – Incapacitating Agents, 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate. (May 24, 2006)

Let me clarify that I am not saying that it was either of these substances that was used to poison the Skripals. However, it is abundantly clear that the behaviour they exhibited, as described by various witnesses, far more closely matches the descriptions of the effects of substances like Carfentanil and BZ than it does A-234.

And so the sum and substance of this theory is as follows:

  • That Sergei Skripal had arranged to meet someone at around 3:45pm at the park bench in The Maltings.
  • That this was something to do with his involvement in and possible authorship of the so-called Trump Dossier.
  • That the people he met were the same people who were spotted on a CCTV camera in Market Walk at 3:47.
  • That the red bag that one of them was carrying is the same red bag that was seen by witnesses at the bench.
  • That it was in this bag that some sort of incapacitating substance had been placed.
  • That both Sergei and Yulia Skripal became incapacitated after looking inside the bag.
  • That the bag was later taken away, and probably subsequently destroyed.

Of course, if this theory has any credibility, it does raise one huge question. How did we go from Mr Skripal being targeted with an incapacitating substance, to wild and wholly absurd claims of him being targeted with the most deadly nerve agent known to man? The answer to that, I believe, is that it all went a bit wrong, there was a panic, and in that panic a cover up of frankly bizarre proportions. In the final piece, I will be explaining how I think it went wrong, and then tying up some loose ends to show how I think the theory I have advanced is backed up by some of the subsequent occurrences connected to this very strange case.


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Jul 9, 2018 9:36 AM

Fascinating mainstream media manipulation language. Last week, the woman was described as a homeless near-do-well reduced to hunting for cigarette ends and dumpster diving etc.
Now, dead and martyred, she is now described as a ‘mother of three’ who has been ‘murdered’.

Jul 9, 2018 10:05 AM
Reply to  JA139

That struck me as well. Last night’s news – may have been Sky – kept on about how two people just going about normal daily affairs were affected out of the blue in this dastardly way, as if their way of life was comparable to most people in the country. I’ve certainly nothing personally against drug users, alcoholics, homeless etc etc – far from it, I am usually the one defending them and their situation in discussions with my less sympathetic and understanding acquaintances – but the absolute hypocrisy and disingenuousness of the media is galling.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Mulga Mumblebrain
Jul 9, 2018 10:38 PM
Reply to  JA139

The male sacrifice must die, too, I imagine, lest he make some media appearances where he might utter an unwanted word or two. Keeping the Skripals disappeared forever is easy, but excuses to do so with the latest ‘logs’, as they say in the business, would be much harder, so they’ve gotta go.

Jul 8, 2018 10:58 AM

A story made of ifs has little value. As others have said there are so few first hand facts the truth of this is impossible to define.

Jim Scott
Jim Scott
Jul 9, 2018 6:59 AM

While the truths are hard to define, the lies are glaringly obvious. For instance the lies about 40 victims and the non lethal Novichok and that only the Russians could make it. Immediately blaming the Russians was a speculative lie as well. What is clear is that those telling the lies are desperately trying to smear Russia and to link poison gas attacks in general to Russia without evidence and without a valid Russian cause to carry out these attacks.
Back to Brexit everyone, that is a disaster that is very real and its becoming more poisonous day by day.
Here is a bit of speculation on my part. Given that the Skripal Fakechok attack was lampooned because of its mild effect on the victims there was not enough fear and angst raised in the community. Some new victims needed to be sacrificed to show that those cuddly world cup Russian folk are in fact very dangerous and there needs to be more weapons built and tougher secrecy laws. Just don’t mention Brexit or the wrong sort of panic will erupt which will see Tory heads roll. Although that is only if the Blairite heads are also given the poison electoral chop.

Jul 9, 2018 11:38 AM
Reply to  Jim Scott

Let me be clear that I do not for a nano second doubt that the official line on this episode contains any truth in regard to Novichok. Both the UK government and MSM are as implausible and illogical as they are devoid of any supporting facts. Even the OPCW report is seriously flawed and politicised.
Logic says they were targeted by someone who had no intention of killing them. Nobody seems to consider scopalimine or hyosine, a drug that is probably the most effective truth serum known to man and which produces exactly the symptoms in overdosed subjects as witnessed in Salisbury.
Rob Slane does produce an interesting hypothesis but it is built on ifs. And no matter how compelling it is to the author without actual evidence it is just joining dots in the dark.

Jul 9, 2018 12:19 PM

Slane admits his theory is just that, a theory. He even refers to it as an educated guess. For him it happens to be the most plausible explanation that includes most of what we do know about the original poisoning incident in a narrative framework that is not self-contradictory as a result of including all known facts. Of course it is joining dots in the dark but what would you rather have? It is part of human nature to try to make sense of a mess of facts and incidents in a certain sequence by developing a story about them.

Slane’s hypothesis does suppose that whoever targeted the Skripals had no intention of killing them. His hypothesis could have included scopalamine and hyosine if he had known of them. Where his hypothesis might be too much for some comes in his further analysis as to the motive behind targeting the Skripals in a way that suggests they were being warned to watch their step.

Jul 9, 2018 2:46 PM

Who knows, the final part may convince me yet.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Mulga Mumblebrain
Jul 9, 2018 10:42 PM
Reply to  Jim Scott

I imagine that there is a small chance that some novichok, if it was used, somehow survived in some form, despite its propensity to deteriorate when coming into contact with water, but a vastly greater likelihood that these people were deliberately murdered by the UK deep state, because the World Cup was going so well, and to further divert attention from the May regime’s terminal bastardy.

Jul 8, 2018 8:32 AM

The author proposes a hypothesis that the couple on the CCTV aren’t the Skripals (becaause of apparent hair colour) and questions why the Skripals don’t appear on released CCTV footage.

The hair of the individuals is lightened because of illumination located in the ceiling of the passageway. This light shines down lightening the hair and producing distinct bright patches on their foreheads, particularly the woman. The true hair and skin colour can be seen (indistincly because of poor image quality) further to the side of the head and it is darker than normal skin colour. The people are probably the Skripals who did not go there directly (eg window shopping or take money from an ATM).

This is all academic, as we could simply ask Julia Skripal what happened. Oh wait ….

Jul 8, 2018 10:46 AM
Reply to  Yonatan

I have to say that the CCTV couple do not appear to me to bear any resemblance to the Skripals, even allowing for indistinct images. For one thing the man appears to be younger and at least 3 stones lighter than Sergei presumably was at that time, judging from the photos we have seen of him. And, having watched the moving CCTV images several times, it appears to me that they are holding hands, which whilst not impossible for father and daughter, is slightly unusual.

Jul 8, 2018 1:29 AM

The only way eyes are completely white is if they are rolled up beyond the upper eyelids. Contraction of the pupils does not produce completely white unless the iris is completely white, which does to the best of my knowledge not exist. Anyway, Yulia’s irises are not white, as can clearly be seen in all photos of her – they are brown: http://tinyurl.com/ya2fsrr6

Jul 8, 2018 12:02 AM

“…their hands appear to be far whiter than their faces.”

To me it looks like the person furthest from the camers has an ordinary whitey’s beige skin with a white bandage on one (the fore?) finger.

“Even so, if my supposition is anywhere close to the truth, Mr Skripal would have been apprehensive about the rendezvous, hence his agitation in the restaurant.”

The guy was a double agent who had mixed with dodgy types in stressing situations on super-discreet assignments for years. This was a pre-bench scene. He’s so out of practice living the Salisbury high life of quiet, tourist-inspired greed and somnolence that yet another one now provokes, in itself, a high-profile, cover-blowing outburst in a place where he’s known?

‘Secondly, it also causes contraction of the pupils (“her eyes were completely white”)’

To the physiological amateur, an eye has thee moving parts: the white (the sclera), the coloured ring (the iris) and the black circle in the centre of the iris (the pupil). If all that can be seen is white, the eye has rolled upwards to completely remove the iris and pupil from view (as it does when its owner is sleeping, unconscious, etc). If you can see that the pupils have contracted to pinpoints then the visible eye does not appear to be completely white but more or less normal with an abnormally tiny black bit in the centre of the coloured ring.

Jul 7, 2018 7:12 PM

The Syrian tour of St Theresa’s Theatre of the Absurd.

Pacificnorthwest, BTL SyrPer 20min ago:
Quoting from the OPCW report on the alleged chemical attack in E. Ghouta: OPCW designated labs conducted analysis of prioritised samples. The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.

No Sarin nerve gas residues or degradation by products that would indicate a potential use were found. As we all knew the whole thing was a cheap piece of poorly written and produced war propaganda theater.”

Jul 7, 2018 9:06 PM
Reply to  vexarb

vexarb, you might be interested to see my comments on this OPCW development as well, on the thread entitled “Western Press Descends into Insanity as Syria Narrative Collapses” (archived end of April under ‘other media’).

Jul 7, 2018 7:05 PM

Sorry Rob, I’ve been with you ’till now:

“Witness Freya Church, 27, who later spotted the pair ‘slumped’ and ‘passed out’ on the bench, said the couple pictured in the CCTV images released today were ‘100%’ the people she saw slumped on the bench on Sunday. “


So, if Freya is right, then the couple on the bench and in the CCTV footage were the same couple. That makes the notion of a ‘meeting’ speculative: and the presence of the red bag all the more easy to explain? Also, if Sergei was anxious about meeting someone, would he go and feed the ducks? Probably not.

This is the danger of trying to piece together a narrative from conflicting secondary and tertiary evidence that has passed through the media manipulation ‘rinse and spin’ cycles? You need the primary evidence: the facts – if there are any? Is Freya’s testimony sound: or are we being told what to believe by the Lugenpresse? If it is sound: where were the Skripals? Still feeding the ducks?

I’ll go back to what I said in comment on Part 4: I do not even know for sure that the Skripals were poisoned …or if they even made it to the bench. In truth, neither does anyone else. We only know what we are being misdirected and perceptually managed to believe. I know no one was exposed to Novichok(ish): all the rest is spectacle and theater for the mind?

Jul 7, 2018 8:25 PM
Reply to  BigB

I can see where Slug Head is coming from in commenting that there is some resemblance between Rowley and Burgess and the two ‘dressed up’ people in the CCTV images. At the risk of being too far-fetched (quite possible) let’s imagine Rowley and Burgess were on the CCTV and were the people taken to hospital. I am not going to attempt to explain what their connection might be to the Skripals but it could be argued that they were bought off by whomever to keep quiet about their role (circumstantial or otherwise) – and let’s face it, who is likely to believe a couple of addicts. Then, having seen how much money is being thrown at the Skripals and Baileys, they threatened to go to the papers and spill the beans unless they are paid enough to keep them comfortable for the rest of their lives. That would be a good reason for a mishap to befall them. Will they ever be seen alive again? I won’t be surprised to receive ‘thumbs down’ for this scenario but I don’t think it’s necessarily that far removed from plausibility than many of the other possibilities.

Frankly Speaking
Frankly Speaking
Jul 8, 2018 11:09 AM
Reply to  JudyJ

The man in the video is clearly a couple of decades older than the latest man claimed to be suffering from exposure to this very interesting new strain of nerve agent i shall term as Portonchok.

The guy in the video is not him, nor Skripal. The woman with him is definitely a woman according to her physique and stride and face. She looks Slavonic, middle aged. Not convinced he is wearing gloves.

As to how something in the red bag would contaminate both of them in the open air, unlikely, unless ingested in some way. Anything else would have been a visible struggle in public which apparently did not occur.

My view is that in both these cases the victims either unknowingly took some opiate unknowingly and are unfortunate pawns, or else they agreed to be part of this war game and will be paid off very handsomely and will start new lives and identities elsewhere.

Paul X
Paul X
Jul 8, 2018 11:24 AM

It seems unlikely the ageing Sergei accepted a new identity elsewhere when his main concerns seem to have been getting to see his Mother before it was too late and to retire to his beloved Russia. All the speculation about what happened on the bench is odd when presumably both Julia and her Dad could give their own account? I wonder if they will ever be allowed? Julia is more likely to rebel against her detention; her whole life and career have been put on hold by MI6. She comes over as feisty; let’s hope it’s not decided she needs a relapse.

Jim Scott
Jim Scott
Jul 8, 2018 5:21 PM

Frankly I enjoyed your identification of Portonchok. Most appropriate.

Jul 9, 2018 11:13 AM

Frankly Speaking, I also enjoyed your coining the mysterious substance as
Portonchok. Also, given Kyiv’s love of staging spectacles (like fake deaths), could it be called Kyivchok?

Jul 8, 2018 12:50 AM
Reply to  BigB

“Feeding the ducks” may have been a pre-arranged signal.
But you’re right: even for this detail, one would have to know where the duck pond is located relative to the bench…
The accuracy of Freya Church’s testimony may be in doubt as the CCTV image is not really clear. Was there a description of what clothes the Skripals were wearing? If Yulia was wearing beige pants, then Freya may have been correct.

Paul X
Paul X
Jul 8, 2018 12:53 AM
Reply to  RMM

Feeding ducks at a pond (usually St James or Hampstead) is classic John Le Carre. It is an idea, opportunity to speak to the other guy without anybody taking any notice.

Jul 8, 2018 9:13 AM
Reply to  Paul X

The ‘facts’ of this incident were counterfeited a posteriori to constitute an agenda. What is True and what is False becomes an arbritary judgement.

I’ll take another aspect of the case. The BBC reported that a doctor treated Yulia at the scene: but was “feeling fine”. This compromised the narrative that DS Bailey was contaminated at the bench and was fighting for his life. The next day: Establishment liar Ian Blair was on Radio 4 to allege that DS Bailey was, in fact, contaminated at the house. This was ‘confirmed’ by the Torygraph. The narrative was straightened then: but only for a day. DS Bailey issued a statement to say he was part of a group of first responders at the bench. The Torygraph issued an article that Bailey was at the bench AND the house.

This is not misreporting: this is mens rea mendacity – demonstrating the intent to deceive? In a similar vein: I doubt if we will ever know what happened that day. Counter-narrative construction from contrived ex post facto retrospective narrative construction will not help make sense of the incident – quite the opposite, IMHO. We knew they were lying as soon as they said Novichok(ish). Let them squirm and try and sell us a counterfeit narrative based on fake facts. I see no real need to play along to try and make the Unreal into the Real(ish)?

Jul 8, 2018 10:25 AM
Reply to  BigB

“Witness Freya Church, 27, who later spotted the pair ‘slumped’ and ‘passed out’ on the bench, said the couple pictured in the CCTV images released today were ‘100%’ the people she saw slumped on the bench on Sunday. ”

Eyewitness testimony, even to the what and who of some completely unstressful, closely filmed and recorded event or scene that was witnessed only five minutes earlier, is – at one and the same time and by a very large margin – both the single most effective persuader of judges and juries and the single most unreliable sort of testimony you can dredge up to make a point or obtain a conviction.

Jul 9, 2018 10:52 AM
Reply to  BigB

If, and I don’t know this, the bench was in sight of the place where they were feeding the ducks, this could facilitate a closer synchronisation of the meeting avoiding unnecessary delay for either party.

Slug Head
Slug Head
Jul 7, 2018 3:28 PM

If you play the CCTV that was released and freeze it a couple of frames before the still that was released and compare the still with the images of the two new residents of Salisbury hospital, Sturgess and Rowley you may (or may not) see a resemblance. I suspect the answer to these two mysteries is a lot more simple, in that Sturgess and Rowley delivered some substance to Yulia and Sergei (hence Sergei’s bad mood in Zizzis) Given that on both occasions paramedics diagnosed Fentanyl, I think it is reasonable to suspect it was Fentanyl. Treason May and co, with good reason I would say, probably suspected something untoward with the first incident and used it to their advantage – but! its not a good look they’ve created for themselves. To try and pull it off a second time?

Jul 7, 2018 3:05 PM

The red bag may of course be a red herring but I agree something doesn’t add up here. I still think the old double spy really did want to return to Russia and I don’t think it’s denied he did write to Putin asking permission. It’s not just his elderly mother he wants to see before she dies but the rest of his family. He comes over as a patriot, Special Forces, Russian boxing champion and KGB agent. If he was involved with the Steele dossier then it was crisis time in MI6 because after all it was the top men there who had authorised ex-spy Steele from writing it and distributing it to US politicians. Steele personally leaked its contents to the media in the attempt to stop Trump winning, While Russia is blamed for ‘interference’ in the election the UK was probably more effective, a fact British Intelligence doesn’t want rubbing in by revelations in Moscow. I reckon he was getting more and more determined to go not least because his mother’s health was fading. The obvious danger of him reverting to his former role or at the least being interrogated by his old colleagues must have made it a big NO to the British. Maybe his annoyance was because it was becoming clear to him he wasn’t going to be allowed to leave so easily; perhaps the identity of who he was meeting alarmed him, not Mr D Notice but somebody more senior? There is no word (here) about his mother’s health but you might expect he will still want to see her but he’s effectively in custody.

Jul 8, 2018 10:32 AM
Reply to  Pembury12

“The red bag may of course be a red herring.”

I think we can all agree that it was, at some time, if only briefly by some trick of the light, relective in some part of the red spectrum. Probably.

Frankly Speaking
Frankly Speaking
Jul 8, 2018 11:13 AM
Reply to  Pembury12

“The red bag may of course be a red herring“

Yes, it all smells rather fishy to me 😉