The alleged Poisoning of
Sergey and Yuliya Skripal


Author: John Delacour, MA (Cantab 1964)
First published: Saturday 24th March, 2018
Last updated: Monday 24th April, 2018; 12:30am GMT+1
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⚠ Article in Progress ⚠

NB: This is not your ordinary MSM or pundit article, written prematurely on the basis of a couple of hours of ‘research’; it is an article-in-progress, updated, enlarged and corrected to take account of new findings as they appear. It is related to my Twitter #SARUM_HOAX thread, now over 100 tweets long, but neither is an exact reflexion of the other. Unlike real journalists, I respond to queries and am happy to discuss the contents with serious enquirers.

Introduction—This is not a whodunnit, where you have to wait for the dénouement to know the culprits. In the very title, I declare the events of 4th March in Salisbury to be a hoax; not a ‘false flag’ but a hoax. In case you are not clear about the difference : a false flag event is where one country carries out an attack of some sort, or has some terrible accident, and blames it on another (enemy) country; whereas a hoax is a planned drama made to create the appearance of an attack that did not in fact happen and then blame this staged attack on another country. Two such hoaxes in 2017, both of which I have dealt with in depth, were the Abdo al-Satouf (legless boy) hoax in al-Habit, Idlib, in February and the better-known Khan Sheikhun sarin hoax in April. An example of a false flag would be the Volnovakha bus affair south of Donetsk. In this case, bus passengers at a Ukrainian checkpoint panicked when a DNR rocket flew overhead, ran into the undergrowth and set off a mine, which killed people on the bus and outside in the snow. The Ukrop then staged a ridiculous show to make it look as if the DNR rockets were the cause.

The Sarum Hoax is hoax, pure and simple; and I have developed certain rules and axioms in dealing with these hoaxes. One of these is that Nobody ever does half a hoax, and people would to well to commit this axiom to memory. A hoax needs to be planned months in advance. No matter what imbeciles do this planning—and in this case we have a battalion of them—they cannot allow chance events to be included in the scenario, let alone to became the central event in the scenario. So, in the Abdo case, the boy had to be an amputee already; at Khan Sheikhun the hole made by the imaginary sarin bomb had to be artificially created in a certain place

In the case of the Sarum Hoax, the central event is, of course the slumping on the bench following the Russian poisoning of Skripal and his daughter with a deadly nerve agent. By the rules of the hoax, this cannot possibly be real. You simply cannot spend months planning a hoax that stands or falls by Putin stepping in at the key moment in the drama and doing his stuff. If that is not crystal clear to you, I suggest you read these paragraphs again.

By this rule, then, the novichocked pair on the bench must be fiction and fakery.

The extraordinary thing about this hoax is that from start to finish it does not even pretend to produce evidence. There are reports galore of Skripals slumping on a bench, just as there were reports galore of hundreds of victims at the alleged sarin-bomb crater at Khan Sheikhun, but in neither case is there a single photograph to show it.

Let me repeat that : we have at least one, and maybe two more, reports of the two on the bench before the police arrived. It is alleged they were first sighted at 4:03pm, that the emergency services were called at 4:15 and arrived within minutes. The police then taped off a small area within, say, 30 yards of the bench. Reports say that the pair were taken to hospital from there about 5:15pm. The public were able to approach near enough to the scene from three quarters, to take whatever photographs they wanted. At least four professional photographers to my knowledge were also at the scene. In the full hour that for some extraordinary reason these two people were kept out in the cold and not taken to hospital, where is a single photograph or video showing hide or hair of either of them or of their carers?

As I write, five weeks after the Happening, not only have we no evidence of anybody, let alone Skripals, near the bench, but we have no evidence of ANYBODY having seen them in hospital. Yuliya Skripal is now awake and well and talking…and refusing to see not only the Russian Consul but also her cousin Viktoria from Moscow—who has now been refused a visa anyway. Anybody who has asked to visit has been turned down point-blank.

We now have news that Sergey Skripal is on the mend, and I heard from somebody just now that the MSM tale has now changed : This time the Kremlin poisoned them with a mere homœopathic dilution of the fearsome Novichok…as a warning! I have absolutely no doubt I shall find the article in question.

Viktoria has been refused a visa because she has been spreading the seditious rumour that her relations got food-poisoning at Zizzi’s. Fear not! They got neither food poisoning nor any other sort of poisoning. Sergey and Yuliya have been willing and complicit protagonists in this hoax from the beginning.

I have placed this section at the beginning only because it is new. It will later be olaced in its proper position in the narrative.
The early-flowering Hazmateers—Having investigated in depth a number of these hoaxes, I have become aware of how easy it is, even for the most sceptical, to refer to as fact what is nothing but claims and reports. In the case of the less sceptical. or course, this is how the hoax succeeds. So it is all too easy to refer, for example, to the Skripal’s being taken to hospital when there is not a shred of evidence that they, or anybody purporting to be them, were ever at the slumping bench, or ever removed from there to any hospital. If you are in the slightest doubt about this, please provide me immediately with materials to prove the contrary; challenge me with evidence in open Twitter, by all means, and I will respond.

By 5th March, it had been revealed that the victoids® in this incident were a 66-year old ❝Russian spy❞ and an unidentified woman in her thirties, “known to him”—as though one might slump on a park bench with a stranger! The fact that Skripal’s career as a “Russian spy” had ended many years ago and that he was now a semi-retired British spy, was not emphasized at the beginning.

It is significant that no mainstream media outlet reported the story on the day, nor till the evening of 5th March, and there was very little reported even then. At least two or three local photographers, either freelance or employed by the local press, were able to get to the scene fairly soon after the police arrived about 4:20pm and to take pictures, certainly from the perimeter of the small taped-off area and possibly also from within it. No reporter arrived until just after the victoids had allegedly been carted off to heaven knows where. Now, according to all reports, these victoids were treated, at the scene, in the open [sic], for about one hour before it was seen fit to transport them to any accident and emergency unit, the nearest of thse being at Salisbury District Hospital, less than two-and-a-half miles away, say five or six minutes’ drive in an ambulance. This factoid is astonishing enough in itself.

Even more astonishing is the fact that neither the professional photographers at the scene nor any passer-by in possession of a camera or a smartphone, thought fit, or was able, to capture hide or hair of anything resembling an Anglo-Russian double agent or any young woman known to him.………

I was hoping to complete this section on Tuesday evening 10th April. Various delays, and the arrival of new information, have prevented this.


Early Reports—An article was published in the Salisbury Journal at 5:48:03 pm on 4th March with byline Rebecca Hudson & Joe Riddle (the Editor)

TWO people are being treated in hospital tonight (Sunday) after they collapsed in the centre of Salisbury.

Police and paramedics were called at 4.15pm after a man in his 60s and a woman in her 30s were found unconscious on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre.

The woman, who was unconscious at the scene, was airlifted to Salisbury District Hospital at about 5.15pm. The man, a former Russian spy, was transported to SDH by road and is understood to be conscious…

The Editor has clarified that the content of this article was modified the following day, though this is not evident in the code. The identity of Sergey Skripal was not made public till the following evening. The detail of the ‘airlifting’ remains in the article. In fact, the helicopter that landed in Sainsbury’s car park was not used. It is therefore possible that at 5:15pm it merely took off and returned to base, giving people the impression that it was taking somebody to hospital. Later reports elsewhere claim the two unseen patients were both taken by road to the hospital.

The times on the tweets from Joe Riddle, one of the authors, show that the decontamination team had already arrived by 6 pm, as well as the helicopter; which means that they had arrived before the article was published and probably a good while before. I will try to narrow this down in due course.

Joe Riddle tweets

Alas! the screenshot of the tweet on the left is also misleading, since the image is from the Twitter card for the article, which had been updated by the time I took the screenshot, giving the impression that the decontamination team had arrived by 6pm on 4th March. Exactly when they did arrive, we have yet to discover—and this is a significant question that needs to be clarified.

It is reported here that the emergency services were called at 4:15 pm; by whom we do not yet know. By that time we know for certain that G & T Cards, outside which the bench was situated, had shut up shop and gone home. Sainsbury’s supermarket will also have closed at 4 pm in observance of the Sunday Trading Act, and we can suppose that most of the shops in the Maltings that do open on Sundays, will also have closed by four o’clock. A young woman who had been working at a gym in Market Walk, a shopping arcade, emerged from the arcade and claims she saw two people “slumped” on the bench in question. We’ll come back to her testimony later.

The day was dull and cloudy, the nominal temperature about 6°C with a windchill of about 3°C. It seems as if there was snow on the ground from recent days. With the shops closed, there was little to keep people there and we can assume that the Maltings was, if not almost deserted, at least pretty quiet.

On 31st March I came across this statement from (outgoing) AC Mark Rowley, which confirms my impression. Since he was further than I am away from Salisbury, he will also have got his information at second hand: “…The weather was poor that day so there were not as many people out and about.”

Sergey Skripal’s House—Skripal had lived for several years at 47, Christie Miller Road, SP2 7EN, half a mile from the cemetery where are the graves of his wife and son, and just over a mile and a quarter from Sainsbury’s Skripal’s house at the Maltings, where the police claim he parked the car that day. The photograph is from the Daily Mail, and shows two policewomen, presumably from the local force, outside the house on 6th March.

Let me make it plain here, that nothing can be taken as fact, whether witness statements or statements from the police or MoD-related entities, unless there is judicable evidence to support it—evidence that will not be laughed out of court.

If two people are discovered in a state such as is claimed of the two found on the bench, apart from attending to their medical needs, it is important to find out who they are, so that their medical records can be checked and so that their relations can be informed. And yet on the evening of 4/4 there is no evidence that such a check had been made or that any visit to the house had been made.

First let us find out when the world was informed of the purported identity of the man said to have been taken very ill on the bench—I have to use such language, since we have no way of knowing whether anybody was in fact there, let alone the Skripals. We learned very early in this affair that the word of a police chief, a Foreign Secretary or a Prime Minister was not to be taken as evidence.


The Burgundy BMW— Special kudos is due to Martin Fricker of the Daily Mirror for two articles published on 14th and 16th March, 10 and 12 days after the slumping on the bench, accompanied respectively by “chilling” and “haunting” videos of…THE CAR. In the first,

Chilling new CCTV shows Sergei Skripal driving in the BMW police fear was laced with nerve agent

we are given CCTV footage from the Devizes Inn webcam, showing the fateful BMW apparently on its way into town at 1:32pm for the Bishops Mill pre-prandials. In case that is not chilling enough of itself, for those familiar with THE CAR, Frisker points out that ❝Sergei’s hands can be seen clutching the steering wheel❞. So gripped and chilled is our reporter, that he fails to notice the motions of the utterly ghostly arm gesticulating out of the first-floor window of the Inn.

In the article of 16th March we have the headline,

Haunting CCTV shows ex-spy Sergei Skripal and daughter driving into town hours before being found poisoned

In this video, neither Sergey’s gripping hands, nor yet so much as a square inch of daughter Yuliya’s nubile flesh is to be seen; yet Frisker is able to assure us that these two are in the car and on the way to the inexorable bench-slumping, following the bevvy at the Bishop’s, the pizze chez Zizzi and the walk along Market Walk disguised as a totally dissimilar couple.

It show the Russian exile's BMW, which is [12 days after the event] the centre of the investigation, on a camera close to his home at 1.33pm on March 4—just hours before he was found slumped on a bench.

Counter-terror police are probing whether Russian assassins booby-trapped the maroon car with the nerve agent.

There are fears the deadly Novichok poison was placed in the car’s ventilation system or smeared on the door handles.

Police have appealed for help in tracking Sergei and Yulia’s movements in the vehicle between 1pm and 1.45pm.

Oh, but Martin, dear fellow! you told us on 14th March that between 1pm and 1:45pm—1:32pm to be precise—Sergey and Yulia were seen driving past the Devizes Inn. Are the police not satisfied with this? Are you sure the police are not rather seeking help in tracking their movements before 1:30pm?

In the first article you tell us “The CCTV footage was recorded at 1:35pm, [though it is clear for all to see that it is 1:32pm] less than three hours before the Russian spy and his daughter Yulia were found collapsed on a bench,” and in this article of 16th March you write. “It show the Russian exile's BMW, which is the centre of the investigation, on a camera close to his home at 1.33pm on March 4 - just hours before he was found slumped on a bench.”

Re: SLUMPING—I ought to note here that no eye-witness, false or true, has suggested Sergey ever slumped; and the closest Yuliya is reported to have come to ‘slumping’ is being, according to Freya Church, ‘sort of leant in on him’. The slumping was born of the fertile collective imagination of a hundred-and-one mercenary hacks.

[ But wait! Shome mishtake shurely—Ed. ]

Well, yes Sir. If it’s not exactly a “mistake”, we can surely call it a slight slip of the journalistic pen. Frisker has assured us that “Sergey and Yuliya”, disguised as a burgundy-coloured BMW, were at two different places at exactly the same hour, namely 1:32/33pm : simultaneously on the snow-free main road from Devizes, and on some lesser, sludgier, thoroughfare. But surely we can’t blame Frisker for this seminal™ and iconic™ cock-up.

Timestamp 14:55

Since the Mirror uses Brightcove for their video content, I was able to check the metadata of this item, from which we see that its ‘encoded date’ is 55 minutes before the publication of the article at 5:00pm. Metadata can be edited at will, at any stage, but what this suggests is that the video was uploaded to the Brightcove server at 4:05pm. This tells us nothing of when the CCTV footage was shot, but we have that from the video itself, unless the timestamp is incorrect; and if it is, why?

On the face of it, then, we have Skripal’s car travelling along a road at 2:55pm, at an hour when all other accounts, including those of the police (see Basu below) have averred that the Skripals were chez Zizzi, preparing for the walk to the slumping-bench.

[Twitter] @JonKriet took the trouble to traverse the route in Google streetview from Skripal’s house towards town and located the characteristic gate, marked 73, and other features in this video, opposite №10 India Avenue, about 350 yards from the house at 47 Christie Miller Road, a couple of dozen yards before the junction with Devizes Road, which leads to the city centre. The ‘73’ belongs to a building in Macklin Road, to the east of India Avenue. We calculated that the CCTV camera was located either at the upper window of №77 Macklin Road (almost certainly), or, just possibly, of №75. A camera is indeed visible here in the 2016 imagery.

If we assume (without any solid evidence to do so!) that the timer on the camera at the Devizes Inn was accurate, then the BMW would have come to the India Avenue/Devizes Road junction about 1:31:30pm, and this would mean the timer on the India Avenue camera was 1 hour 24 minutes in advance. JK identified Securicam as the maker of the camera and contacted the firm, who informed him that the time has to be set manually on such cameras. The simplest, and most probable, explanation for this huge discrepancy is that the the resident of №77 installed the camera and set the time during British Summertime two or more years ago, and never attended to it since, during which interval the cheap timing device gained 24 minutes.

The obvious question then arises : if it is possible for one camera to be so far out, how much reliance can we place on the time given by the camera at the Devizes Inn? Unlike the India Avenue footage, the footage from the Devizes Inn camera was requisitioned by the Police, who ought also to have verified the timer. Whether they did or not, ought also to be a matter of record, and would need to be if any credence at all as evidence in court is to be given to this footage.

Here follows an excerpt from a statement issued by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police on 13th March:

Yulia arrived at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Russia at approximately 2:40pm on Saturday, 3rd March.

At approximately 1:40pm on Sunday, 4th March, Sergey and Yuliya arrived in Sainsbury’s upper level car park in the Maltings.

At some time after this, they went to the Bishops Mill Pub before going to Zizzi Restaurant at approximately 2:20pm, where they stayed until around 3:35pm.

Emergency services received a report from a member of the public at 4:15pm and police officers arrived within minutes at the scene to find Sergey and Yuliya extremely ill on a park bench near the restaurant. Subsequently, scientists have determined this to be the result of an identified military grade nerve agent.

The Devizes Inn CCTV, assuming that it is authentic, shows the car passing the Inn headed for the city centre at 1:32:22pm. From here to Sainsbury’s would be barely two minutes’ drive at that hour, which would get the car there by 1:35, and not Basu’s ‘approximately’ 1:40. If the police have CCTV footage to tell them when the car turned up at the car park, why do they need to announce an approximate time a full five minutes later than the most likely time of arrival; and where is the footage? If it was by other means that they discovered when the car arrived there, what were those means?

You may think it’s a bit rich to question the word and the methods of a newly appointed Assistant Commissioner from Scotland Yard, but alas! policemen of various ranks in this case can be shown to have made statements that are little short of downright falsehoods.

Note again that the Devizes Inn video was not published before 14th March and the exclusive Mirror video not before 16th. By that time the BMW had found a home at the Ashley Wood Recovery dépôt. AWR is the largest and best-known such firm in the area, operating in the three counties of Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

Salisbury Journal
Thursday 8th March 2018; 4:20pm
Major Incident Unit at
Ashley Wood Recovery in Salisbury

EMERGENCY services are investigating a burgundy-coloured BMW at a garage in Salisbury.

A team is getting dressed into grey protective suits and it appears they are preparing to examine the BMW 3 Series—the same model of car driven by Mr Skripal, according to his neighbours.

A major incident unit is among a number of police and ambulance vehicles at the scene at Ashley Wood Recovery on Churchfields industrial estate.

Two ambulances, three police vans and one police car are also present.

This is the first we hear of the BMW, and the car is not definitely stated to be Skripal’s, though it is obvious that it is. The two CCTV BMW at AWR BMW at AWR videos do not emerge till a week later, and if the police have footage of the car arriving at Sainsbury’s, this has not yet been released. AWR serves as one of two pounds for cars impounded by Wiltshire Police in the Salisbury area, and is by far the closer of the two both to the city centre and to Skripal’s house. The question is, when was the car impounded and from where was it taken?

However highly-likely™ it may be that Skripal and his daughter (and perhaps a third person) were in the car as it passed the Devizes Inn at 1:32pm, and however likely it may be that they were headed for the Maltings to park at Sainsbury’s, not a scrap of evidence has been produced to make these likelihoods into certainties. Theresa May ought to have enough education to know that no judge in the world is going to be interested in what is likely in whatever degree of highness, since that relative probability can be drastically altered by the emergence of new evidence.

Finally, the possibility that an identical car was used and Skripal’s registration number stuck on it, has to be considered as a possibility, however remote. There are many considerations that make this unlikely, but it is by no means impossible, especially in view of the fact that this whole business is an elaborate and very expensive hoax. What makes this unlikely is only that it is also an extremely ill-thought-out hoax, planned and executed by an ill-assorted crew of inadequates.

The Non-Sightings of the Skripals in Market Walk—A video was published of a couple at 3:47 pm, that is about twelve minutes after the Skripals are said to have left the restaurant. Why it should be thought that this couple is the Skripals I know not. The woman appears to be very tall and slim, and her hair seems to be no more than shoulder-length and swept back from the forehead. Their gait appears very confident and purposeful : perhaps not what might be expected after a long lunch preceded by an hour at the pub.

The footage is said to be from a webcam installed at Snap Fitness•24•7 in Market Walk, which is where the witness Freya Church was working that afternoon. This is a mere sixty yards from the bench, and it is half an hour before the alarm was raised. This couple are quite clearly not likely to feel inclined to head for a bench facing a card shop on emerging from the arcade and begin to slump, not to be noticed for half an hour. In short, I think the couple in the webcam footage can be eliminated from our inquiry.

Footage from another establishment in Market Walk has also been published purporting some absurd hypothesis. I have watched this video a dozen times and can make no sense of any of it.

If the Skripals were at Zizzi—a question we shall consider in due course—and indeed finished up on the bench, then they would have needed to pass along Market Walk in order to get to the bench or to get back to Sainsbury’s, supposing they had any reason to get back there, since our Mirror video above appears to show that the car might not have been there to greet them on their return.

Emergency Services—The Police—Basu and probably others—confirm that a call was made to the emergency services at 4:15 pm and that police reached the scene almost immediately. In fact the police station is less Distance to ambulance stations than a mile from the bench, and there will probably have been a patrol car even nearer. In view of the nature of the report to the 999 operator—old man and young woman on a bench in the Maltings; something very wrong—an ambulance or two would, in normal circumstances also have been called. Let us allow five minutes for the 999 operator to verify the caller and the location, and to alert the police. By 4:20 they are on their way.

There are two ambulance stations, one to the north-west and one, not far from Salisbury District Hospital, to the south; both of them are less than a mile and a half from the bench. Traffic will have been very light. Even allowing for unreported hiccups, both services would have been at the scene by 4:30. Technically this is a Category C2 incident, I am informed by an insider, which means that an ambulance is required to attend the incident within 11 minutes. In practice, the nearest free ambulance to the scene would be assigned to the incident. In the event, all reports agree that ambulances arrived “within minutes”; and there will be records of exactly when they did arrive.

There is very little reason to doubt that the services arrived promptly at the scene. By contrast there is so far, a month after the Happening, every reason to doubt that they had any good reason to do so.

What would be the expected procedure from this point on? Surely for the paramedics to administer any essential first aid at the scene and, that done—say, by 4:35—cart them in the ambulances at top speed to the nearest Accident and Emergency facility, namely Salisbury District Hospital, less than two-and-a-half miles away. For this transit, let us allow ten minutes. By 4:45, therefore, our patients ought to have been in the caring hands of the emergency staff at SDH. Let us now try to discover, from the various reports, what actually happened in the event.

From the Daily Mirror of 11:15 am on 8th March we have:

Firefighters, paramedics and police were called to The Maltings at 4.15 pm on Sunday afternoon after Mr Skripal and his daughter were discovered slumped on the bench.

The air and land ambulances left the scene with the two Russians almost an hour later at around 5.10 pm.

In an article published at 5:29 pm on 8th March, the BBC writes:

Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body.

The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she “feels fine”.

The description of the unidentified woman’s condition by this nameless Doctor is to me frankly too good to be true, as I will explain in a moment. First let us listen to Freya Church, who is standing on the little bridge over the canal that leads to Market Walk, the covered ‘arcade’ that leads to Castle Street and Zizzi.

I believe (tbc) it was about 4:03 that Freya saw the pair, and there is no suggestion that she was acquainted with the Skripals. From what she says—“I just left them”—it also seems certain that it was not she that phoned the emergency services. There will be a record of who it was that did phone them.

According to Freya, speaking of the young woman, “She was sort of leant in on him it looked like she had passed out, maybe”; and yet, by the time Dr Nameless saw her very soon afterwards, we are told that she was vomiting and fitting, and had wet herself and soiled herself—which is what is intended by the words, “She had also lost control of her bodily functions.”  Exactly what she means by “fitting”, we cannot know, but her recitation of symptoms sounds all too like a partly-remembered list of the symptoms of organophosphate poisoning, although at this stage in the drama no such cause had yet been enunciated by the powers-that-be.

In a drama such as this, NO player must be taken at face value.

Freya Church with policeman on bridge
First Responders—At least three of the first responders were to meet PM May at the Guildhall, Salisbury. In an article in the Salisbury journal of Thursday 15th March, published at 4:36pm we read:

Paramedic responding to Salisbury drama thought drugs were cause

A PARAMEDIC who was among the first to respond to Sergei Skripal and his daughter told the Prime Minister they had initially treated the pair for drugs.

The medic was among members of the emergency services and military who met Theresa May at Salisbury’s Guildhall, where she thanked them for their response to the nerve agent attack.

The man, named Ian, said he had been in the first ambulance service response car on the scene.

Mrs May asked him: “At that stage you could only treat for what you can see?”

Salisbury MP John Glen interjected to say he had heard initial reports the incident was drug-related.

To which the paramedic replied: “Absolutely that’s what I was treating for, that’s what we treated them for initially.”

Mrs May also met PC Alex Way and PC Alex Collins, two Wiltshire Police officers who were first to respond to the emergency call.

PC Collins told the prime minister they had believed the incident was “a routine call”.

He said: “It was a routine call, two people on a bench, slumped over, which is nothing out of the ordinary.”

Mrs May remarked: “You had no idea what you were dealing with. Thank you, what you did was what police do day in and day out. A routine call and you don’t know what’s there. You did a great job.”

Asked about their colleague Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who remains in hospital after suffering exposure to the nerve agent, PC Collins said: “Obviously our best wishes go to him.”

The Independent, in an article bylined Lizzie Dearden & Kim Sengupta, published at 9:20 pm on 8th March, refers to this unnamed woman as “a passing doctor”, from which we get the image of a squadron of police cars and ambulances standing by, engines running, and half a dozen fully-qualified paramedics hanging around, twiddling their thumbs, while a stranger practises her unverified skills on a young woman they have come to take to A & E. In the same article appears the following paragraph:

The developments came as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was named as the police officer who was also admitted to hospital after exposure to the nerve agent. A total of 21 people were affected by the poison, police said last night.

I will come to the question of the “21 people affected” in a little while; let us first remain at the Maltings and consider the cases of Doctor Nameless and Detective Sergeant Bailey.

According to various reports, it was at 4:03pm that Freya Church noticed the couple on the bench. So far as I know, there is no report as to who contacted the emergency services at 4:15pm. The interview with Freya Church appears in a BBC article published at 6:27pm the following day, 5th March. In the half minute the video lasts, there is no sign of any other person except for the workman who appears to the right, in the last couple of frames. The tent over the bench is already erected, which would have taken place after the departure of the ambulances, and no human presence or activity is observable within the taped-off area.

Sunset on 4th March was at about 5:48pm and on 5th about 5:50pm.

In the normal course of events, a report of two people on a public bench, an oldish man behaving oddly with a young woman “slumped” against him, as the hacks repeat ad nauseam, on a Sunday afternoon, will suggest the most common cause of such a scene : too much alcohol or too much drugs. The unidentified call is most unlikely to have said that the pair looked as if they had been poked with one of those special Russian umbrellas, or that they were fluorescing.

Why, then, do we, according to reports find not only a doctor, but also a detective among the first responders? We have heard all we are going to hear from Dr. Nameless, so let us now look at the equally, if not more, interesting case of Detective Sergeant Bailey.

The police have arrived, and if the ambulance is not there yet, the sound of its approach is audible. When it does arrive, there will be paramedics and—if she did not arrive with the police—Dr. Nameless, to tend to the pair. What on earth is a detective sergeant there for, and what on earth is he doing approaching or touching the clients, and he alone at that?

A long account, in the purplest of prose is given of Bailey’s heroism etc. in this ITV News article, which I recommend you leave for reading later. When I find an article detailing the nature of his heroic deeds, I will add it to this article.

In news articles up to the end of 6th March there is no mention of anybody but the pair on the bench having been affected by the alleged poison. Quite to the contrary, we have the clear claim from the above Ms Dr Nameless that she felt no ill effects after serious hands-on ministration to the woman of the pair, who was thitherto unidentified; but that report itself is from late afternoon on Thursday 8th March, exactly four days after the alleged ministrations. DS Bailey is at this point not only unnamed but unmentioned.

In a Daily Mail article updated at a quarter to midnight on 6th March, we read:

Tests on the substance involved are being carried out at the defence research centre at Porton Down. Two police officers who were among the first to come into contact with Mr Skripal and his daughter on Sunday were also admitted to hospital after suffering itchy eyes, rashes and wheezing on Sunday. Up to 10 other people suffered symptoms including vomiting.

I cannot continue without mention of an article in The Times of 16th March 12:01 am [sic], referring to a letter from an A&E consultant at Salisbury District Hospital. I print the relevant excerpts from the article, followed by the letter itself in its entirety. You will see that DS Bailey is mentioned twice, and it claims that he was named by both AC Basu (of whom more anon) and Mr/Dr Stephen Davies. Both this article and the article to which Dr Davies refers, are bylined:

  • Fiona Hamilton, Crime & Security Editor
  • John Simpson
  • Deborah Haynes
As you will see, not content with lying in their article of 14th, they must continue to lie in this report, though they link to the letter in question, which clearly shows them to be lying. I don’t deal in euphemisms such as ‘embellish’ and ‘adorn’ or ‘hindsight’; these are experienced senior journalists (itself a euphemism), and they are lying, and their lies remain online to behold ten days after they were printed.

…Stephen Davies, a consultant in emergency medicine at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said that no one other than Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey had needed treatment.

…Neil Basu, the police head of counterterrorism, said on Tuesday [6th March] that 35 people, other than the Skripals and Mr Bailey, had been seen by doctors after the attack.

In a letter to The Times Dr Davies writes that no patients experienced symptoms other than the three with “significant poisoning”.

As you see, Dr Davies states first quite clearly that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury He continues there have only ever been three patients [in Salisbury] with significant poisoning; I emphasise only ever. He names nobody, let alone Skripals or Baileys. He mentions that in the whole history of the Salisbury NHS Trust, there have only ever been three significant cases of ¿malicious? poisoning in the City and that these were not poisoned by nerve agents—I add ¿malicious? because I presume there have been many cases of food-poisoning and the like.

Stephen Davies
Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.
Stephen Davies
Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

There are no two ways to understand what Dr Davies writes. Not only is he the very best qualified to pronounce on this matter; he is also not speaking off the cuff or affected by nerves while speaking to a reporter. He is writing a letter to THE TIMES, which he hopes will be printed. To round off, “Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.” Since the Skripals are not even alluded to, let alone named by Dr Davis, it is hardly worth adding that they are, of course, ‘members of the public’.

The Novichok Canard—It pains me even to have to bring up this ridiculous distraction, but since it has been reported and discussed in social media ad nauseam, I need to deal with it at some length.

Daily Mail, 16th April, 2018

A paramedic who was among the first to respond to Sergei Skripal and his daughter told the Prime Minister they had initially treated the pair for drugs.

The medic was among members of the emergency services and military who met Theresa May at Salisbury's Guildhall, where she thanked them for their response to the nerve agent attack.

The man, named Ian, said he had been in the first ambulance service response car on the scene. Mrs May asked him: 'At that stage you could only treat for what you can see?'

Salisbury MP John Glen interjected to say he had heard initial reports the incident was drug-related.

To which the paramedic replied: 'Absolutely that's what I was treating for, that's what we treated them for initially.'

By the time this article was written, it had already been declared that the Skripals had been poisoned. But it is worth examining what preceded this declaration. As we learn from this encounter, the paramedics claim initially to have treated the alleged (and unphotographed) bench-slumpers as drunks or drug-takers. It is twelve days till we learn this, and the tale is at odds with other accounts; but let that pass for the moment. The fact is, that a few hours later—at 8:20pm according to a report in The Times—a decontamination team in hazmat suits were at the scene, from which fact we might assume that some discovery of the nature of the alleged poison had been made…or made up.

At this point, it might be expected that the evening news would be full of the story that Salisbury has been the scene of an organophosphate poisoning and that an emergency had been declared. This was all in good time for the 9pm and 10pm news headlines. In the event, nothing of the kind! That evening and all the following day until after dark, the news media were silent. Reports then, and on the morning of 6th April, began to appear naming Sergey Skripal as one of the victoids. The second was not named but referred to was as woman known to Skripal. The Daily Mail appears to be the exception in having the news soon after midday. Unfortunately there is no archived version of this article before 10th April, so it is impossible to tell what the original article contained before subsequent modification.

At this point, the poisoid is referred to as a “mystery substance”, no more. Nevertheless the Mirror reports an interesting detail: The pair are currently in intensive care at Salisbury Hospital under supervision of experts from Public Health England's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards. By the luckiest chance, both PHE and their close neighbour DSTL at Porton Down are based within eight miles of Salisbury. No better city in England could be chosen by any person proposing to be poisoned with a mystery substance, or even an extremely rare substance, as this was to become as the mystery was unveiled. Fentanyl was mentioned as a possibility, it is reported, by certain paramedics at the scene, but there is no reliable evidence of this conjecture.

By midnight on the Tuesday, then, there had been no reports of “nerve agent” or even of “extremely rare substance”. The whole of Tuesday yields very little more. The police announce that at present it is not being considered a terrorist incident but that they are keeping an open mind. PHE and DSTL have by midnight had fifty-four hours to apply their unsurpassed expertise to the task of identifying the mystery substance.

Early in the afternoon of Tuesday, 6th March—the ‘encoded date’ of the video is 3:46pm—Temporary Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, introduced by Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, appears before the assembled press at the door to the Divisional Police Headquarters in Salisbury. to give this update on the situation. No questions are asked. Note that, while PHE is listed among the “multi-agency response”, there is no mention of DSTL Porton Down by name, though “supporting partners” are twice referred to; and while the “assessment” [for possible contamination] of a number of first responders is mentioned, there is no mention of DS Bailey.

Shortly before midday on Wednesday 7th April, the MP for Salisbury refers to “a very rare toxic substance”. By this time PHE and DSTL have had sixty-eight hours to discover the identity of this rarity.

Evening Standard

Evidence points to a Russian double agent having been poisoned with a “very rare toxic substance”, a minister said today as police appealed for witnesses to the suspected assassination attempt.

Treasury minister John Glen said he “feared foul play” and stressed that the suspected poisoners of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia needed to be quickly identified so they could be hunted down.

Ahead of Home Secretary Amber Rudd chairing a meeting of Whitehall’s emergency Cobra committee on the incident, Mr Glen told the Standard: “All the activity and evidence points to foul play and poisoning with a very rare toxic substance—what we need to quickly establish is who is behind it and where they are now.”

Speaking as MP for Salisbury, he added that a “robust” government response would be needed if it was shown that there had been an operation to kill Mr Skripal and his daughter, 33, in the Wiltshire city on Sunday afternoon.

By the Wednesday evening we have a report from the BBC, whom Home Secretary Amber Rudd has told of a “nerve agent” that is not VX and which is likely to be extremely rare. Thus, seventy-two hours after the slumping on the bench we have the first intimation that a nerve agent is involved. And fireplace salesman and newly appointed Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson supplies the bottom line, on message:

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Russia was becoming an “ever greater threat”, amid speculation the attack could have some element of state involvement.

“Russia’s being assertive, Russia’s being more aggressive, and we have to change the way that we deal with it because we can’t be in a situation in these areas of conflict where we are being pushed around by another nation,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Still no word of the dreaded “Novichok”. The Sun, the Sun, Never to be outdone, adds “ultra” to the rarity of the recipe: “DEADLY TOXIN RIDDLE Ultra-rare nerve agent used to poison spy ‘points finger at Putin’, say spooks…SERGEI Skripal was poisoned by a very rare nerve agent which only a few laboratories in the world could have produced, security sources have told The Sun”. The cat is now truly out of the bag. Who would have thunk it! Putin, Vladimir of that ilk, sure of victory in the imminent presidential election, decides that it would be a good time to have a bit of sport at the expense of the Britons. One of the said laboratories is, needless to say, eight miles from Salisbury, and has been thoroughly familiar with the ultra-rare poison for at least fifteen years, as the ineffable Boris Johnson is soon to let slip sotto voce in an interview with Zhanna Nemtsova.

And finally, on 12th March, we have the first mention of what the government is pleased to call Novichok, in the same breath as we have the “highly likely” of the Great Leader Theresa May.

Quick guide—What is Novichok?

Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you

Ministers on the national security council were told that the nerve agent used was from a family of substances known as Novichok. “Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at Porton Down, our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so, Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations, and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal,” she said.

…from which we are supposed to gather that it has taken these world-leading experts eight days to identify the ultra-rare nerve agent, ten times more deadly than a bullet in the temple, and thus ultimately to enable the dedicated staff at Salisbury District Hospital to restore the hapless Skripals to perfect health.

The purported lodging for the Skripals at Salisbury District Hospital is Radnor Ward, Intensive Care/High Dependency Unit, a ward with eight beds in the main unit, with 4 one-bedded side rooms. We can assume that one of these side rooms was allotted to each of the persons in question. To enter the ward, a bell must be rung. In case anybody should neglect this formality, the entrance is guarded by an adequate contingent of policemen. According to the page linked above, the nurse in charge is Helen Aldridge, and the ‘clinical lead’ Chartered Occupational Psychologist Phil Donnison P.D. What measures are taken to deny access to the four annexes, is not known, but it would be impossible for visitors to the main ward to gain access to them, and possibly they are locked and/or guarded.

Now we have already learned that our ‘Skripals’ are not in the care of the regular staff of the hospital, but attended to by staff from Public Health England. I emphasize that this information is gleaned purely from two or three official statements. Whether the nursing and ancillary staff assigned to the two rooms are from the Hospital, I rather doubt. So far as we can tell, then, the presence of these two patients in the hospital in now way impinged on the regular staff of the hospital, and there is no reason to suppose that they have ever been seen by them, since PHE agents will have been on hand from the beginning to take care of the situation. This is at present only conjecture.

There now arises the question of the taking of bodily fluids from the incapacitated patients, and this is an interesting question, which also tends to confirm my conjecture above. Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust sought leave in a three-day secret hearing of the Court of Protection (20-22 March) to take samples from the ‘Skripals’, and the resulting judgment by David Basil Williams is quite informative. If Salisbury NHS, in view of a proposed visit by persons unknown connected with the OPCW (I can be no more specific), saw fit to require a court order to allow them to take samples, it is logical to assume, either that they were never previously involved in the care of the patients, or that they broke the law when the original samples were taken; but this doubt is resolved when we read in the judgment—of which we have only the public version—that the original samples were obtained by DSTL: On 4 March 2018 Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were admitted to hospital in Salisbury. Tests carried out by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down concluded that they had been exposed to a nerve agent. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

Porton Down

Now, supposing that the two slumpers on the bench were considered at first to be under the influence of drugs, and that it became apparent once they were admitted to A & E that something more mysterious was at work in their bodies, it would be normal for doctors to take blood samples within a short time of their arrival; and this procedure might take place in A & E, or it might take place when the patients had been taken to the conveniently unoccupied private rooms off Radnor Ward; but we can assume, from what has gone before, that this was done not by the doctors of Salisbury District Hospital but by staff of PHE, Porton Down. The question then arises : why would these outsiders be at the hospital to receive these unexpected sufferers? Or did the Hospital, on a Sunday evening, make an urgent call to the office of PHE and within half an hour have a full team of experts race to the bedsides?

It ought to be quite obvious to anybody, that all that is required to produce a poisoned sample of blood or urine belonging to X is a sample taken from X, and something to poison it with. If X has been poisoned, then his blood and urine will be found to contain the metabolites of this poison as it has degraded naturally in the body. If he has not been poisoned, then suitable traces of the chemicals in question will need to be mixed with it to emulate as closely as possible the natural process. We shall learn later that this emulation was carried out with a lick and a promise.

The poison selected for the purpose was a nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union and known as ‘A234’. An interview with Vladimir Uglev, one of the chemists who worked on the so-called “Novichok” group of organophosphate nerve agents provides some useful information on this group of chemicals. Four types are mentioned, but Uglev refrains from giving them their official names. The name “Novichok” was never used. We learn also that this group of chemicals were developed in the Volsk branch of GosNIIOKhT, the State scientific-research Institute of organic chemistry and technology, which is in the Saratov region.

Interesting also is a New York Times article from 1999 from which I copy the essentials below:

U.S. and Uzbeks Agree on Chemical Arms Plant Cleanup


The United States and Uzbekistan have quietly negotiated and are expected to sign a bilateral agreement today to provide American aid in dismantling and decontaminating one of the former Soviet Union's largest chemical weapons testing facilities, according to Defense Department and Uzbek officials.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to spend up to $6 million under its Cooperative Threat Reduction program to demilitarize the so-called Chemical Research Institute, in Nukus, Uzbekistan. Soviet defectors and American officials say the Nukus plant was the major research and testing site for a new class of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons called “Novichok”, which in Russian means “new guy”.

It would be ingenuous in the extreme to suppose that during this work the Americans will not have obtained not only samples of the chemicals involved, and their ‘precursors’, but also all necessary information regarding the production and application of these chemicals. And what the Americans got, so would DSTL Porton Down have acquired in the twinkling of an eye.

We have no idea when, where, and by whose hand PHE or DSTL took the initial blood samples from the Skripals, but we can be very certain that these samples were taken directly to the laboratory at DSTL, which is a section of the War Department, now euphemistically called the MoD or Department of Defence. Those involved in taking, transporting, testing and reporting on the samples, will all have been bound to secrecy under the Official Secrets Act.

I would go further, and assert that no person not signatory to the Official Secrets Act and cleared for Top Secret, will have had sight of the Skripals after 4th March, and probably for some days before that.

Now comes the question of the taking of samples by the OPCW following the Williams judgment of 22nd March, 18 days after the alleged poisoning. Just what the value as evidence is of any blood or urine taken after such an interval I will not presume to guess; that is for physiologists and technicians to judge.

From that time forward until the OPCW announces its report, there is no mention in the media of any visit to Salisbury by the OPCW. The first mention ever of Salisbury in the OPCW’s Twitter timeline is 12th April, 2018. The name Skripal appears nowhere in their timeline, and there is no mention of the Williams judgment. Twitter account @UK_OPCW roughly equivalent to @PeterWilson the UK ambassador to the Netherlands and the OPCW, is, as to be expected, more verbose; but makes no mention of any OPCW visit to Salisbury District Hospital.

<Here I enter unabashed conspiracy theorist mode> Did anybody from OPCW ever actually come to the Hospital? Frankly I doubt it. What would be the point?! The Skripals were not there. Whoever was in the private rooms of Radnor Ward, if anybody, was not named Skripal; so what would be the point of having anybody take their blood or urine? If, by chance, there was such a visit, carried out in the strictest secrecy, what doctor took the blood? The slender Executive Summary, the only document available to the public, makes no mention of a visit to Salisbury District Hospital. If you have any doubt about that, read the document again.

A few comments on the OPCW Summary S/1612/2018

  1. No hospital is named or alluded to directly, except that the word ‘hospitalisation’ is used
  2. A single ‘toxic chemical’ is mentioned but not directly identified. The expression ‘nerve agent’ is not used.
  3. It is said that the team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals. There is no mention of clinicians at SDH being involved in the taking of the samples, and the word ‘collect’ is—probably deliberately—ambiguous.
  4. The recital of the expression ‘full chain of custody’ makes no mention of what individuals or bodies comprise the links in that chain.
  5. The summary fails to give any significant information at all.

What we do learn, for what it’s worth, is that The TAV team deployed to the United Kingdom on 19th March for a pre-deployment and from 21st March to 23rd March for a full deployment. Exactly what that is supposed to mean, we are probably not intended to understand too well. Deployment is a speciality of the unimpeachable OPCW. Wherever they go, they deploy. As to TAV, I discover this stands for ‘Technical Assistance Visit’, but am none the wiser for that gem of information.

One important thing we have learned, is that, just as was the case with the Khan Sheikhun #SARIN_HOAX, the British government, either directly or through its Permanent Representative, or both, was in direct communication with the OPCW in the case also of the #SARUM_HOAX, riding roughshod over established rules. At the time of the former hoax, the ambassador to the Netherlands and to the OPCW, and was Geoffrey D. Adams. That person was replaced last year with Peter Wilson. The main qualification for this post is the ability to lie. It is very probable that similar irregular meetings took place in the case of the ridiculous East Ghouta #DOUMA_HOAX of 7th April, 2018, in which the British were deeply involved, as principal paymasters of the White Helmets among other things, but that is another matter.

THE HAGUE, March 13. /TASS/. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) offered assistance to the United Kingdom in investigating the Salisbury incident, OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü said, addressing a session of the OPCW Executive Council on Tuesday.

I now quote from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address to the 26th Assembly of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow, April 14, 2018. UN Fiction Prizewinners I should mention that not only is Spiez, Bern Canton, like DSTL Porton Down, one of the OPCW’s ‘designated laboratories’, but also that its Chemical Director is Stefan Mogl, colludor in the 2013 Ghouta hoax and more recently one of the panel of three, headed by the criminal Edmond Mulet, who produced the infamous JIM report into the Khan Sheikhun incident. We can be absolutely sure that Mr Lavrov did not get his confidential information from this person, but, as he says, from professional scientists who value their reputation. Mogl’s reputation is beyond redemption.

S. V. Lavrov—Our colleagues tell us (I have already given examples in describing previous situations) that they have secret data that they cannot share. You will well understand, that we also have the capacity to obtain confidential information; and since this information concerns issues that are literally matters of life and death, we are not planning to hold back any secrets.

We became aware of this from the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection in Spiez. The information was obtained on condition of confidentiality. On 27th March, experts at the Institute completed their study of the samples collected at the site of the incident in Salisbury, in line with OPCW, and sent to them by the OPCW. This laboratory in Spiez, where, I am sure, professional scientists who value their reputation are employed, came to the following conclusions. I will now be quoting what they sent to the OPCW in their report. You understand that this is a translation from a foreign language but I will read it in Russian:

Эта лаборатория, в которой я убежден, работают профессиональные и дорожащие своей репутацией ученые, пришла к следующим результатам - я сейчас буду дословно цитировать: по итогам проведенной экспертизы в пробах обнаружены следы токсичного химиката BZ и его прекурсоров, относящихся к химическому оружию второй категории в соответствии с Конвенцией по запрещению химического оружия. BZ является нервно-паралитическим отравляющим веществом, временно выводящим человека из строя, психо-токсичный эффект достигается через 30-60 минут после применения и длится до четырех суток", - указал глава МИД РФ. "Данная рецептура находилась на вооружении США, Великобритании и других стран НАТО, - продолжил цитировать доклад министр. - В Советском Союзе и России разработок и накоплений подобных химических вооружений не осуществлялось. Кроме того, в образцах также выявлено наличие отравляющего вещества нервно-паралитического действия типа А-234 (вещество, которое британские власти обозначают термином "Новичок" )в исходном состоянии и в значительной концентрации, а также продуктов его распада".

“Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho-toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither developed nor stored such chemical agents. The samples also indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state as well as products of its degradation.”

According to the specialists’ estimates, the significant concentration of A-234 discovered would have inevitably been lethal, and taking into account its high volatility, the fact that the specialists in the town of Spiez found it in its virgin state and also with high purity and in high concentration, seems suspicious in the extreme, since the period which elapsed between the poisoning and the sampling was fairly long—over two weeks, I think. [17-18 days, if the samples were taken in the presence of the ‘TAV’—JD]

Taking into account that Yuliya Skripal and the policeman have already been released from hospital, whereas Sergey Skripal, as the British claim without letting us see either Yuliya or Sergey, is still recovering, the clinical pattern corresponds more to the use of a BZ agent. Nothing is said whatsoever about a BZ agent in the final report that the OPCW experts presented to its Executive Council. In this connection we address the OPCW a question about why the information, that I have just read out loud and which reflects the findings of the specialists from the city of Spiez, was withheld altogether in the final document. If the OPCW would reject and deny the very fact that the Spiez laboratory was engaged, it will be very interesting to listen to their explanations.

14th March—Update by Permanent Representative of the UK Peter Wilson to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, on the use of a nerve agent in the UK

12th April, 2018—OPCW Issues Report on Technical Assistance Requested by the United Kingdom

18th April, 2018—OPCW Director-General’s Update on Salisbury to 59th Executive Council Meeting (ECM-59)

Address to the OPCW Executive Council Meeting by Peter Wilson, UK Ambassador to the Netherlands and the OPCW.

🎥 Christine Blanshard statement, 6th April

🎥 Christine Blanshard statement, 10th April

OPCW Documents related to the Salisbury Incident

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the 26th Assembly of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow, April 14, 2018

Yuliya with parents

The Begetting of BaileyBearing in mind Dr Davies letter to The Times, let us now go back to Thursday 8th March, a week before his letter, and see what wonders were being performed.

As I have said, there has hitherto been no mention of any police officer affected by nerve agent X. The drug fentanyl was reported in the Salisbury Journal to have been considered by the first responders on 4th March the most likely cause of the condition of the two on the bench. As I have said above, little significance can be attached to this; it could have been just one cleverdick who pretended to know, or it could be nothing but a tall tale. It was made quite clear by the powers-that-be that whatever the substance was, it was a nerve agent, and moreover a very rare nerve agent, a very mysterious substance indeed. No conclusions were to be jumped to, EXCEPT, of course that it could not possibly have come from anywhere but Russia, and the Kremlin in particular, because the fact that the most deadly and advanced and most criminal chemical killer establishment probably in the world, was only eight miles to the north of Salisbury was irrelevant.

DS Nick Bailey Recall that up to this point, three days and a night following the spy-on-the-bench drama, the very existence of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey had not been revealed to the world.

On Thursday 7th March the Daily Mail at 7:50am—modified 6:58am 8th March—publishes an article with the headline “Nerve agent WAS used to poison Russian spy and his daughter: Anti-terror chief reveals pair who were ‘targeted’ and a policeman who was first on the scene are ALL in comas fighting for their lives.”

Speaking outside Scotland Yard on Wednesday [6th March], head of counter-terrorism policing, Mark Rowley revealed government experts have identified the specific nerve agent that was used, but would not be making that information public.

Establishing the substance’s origins will be an urgent priority as authorities attempt to track down the person or people responsible.

‘Having established that they were exposed to a nerve agent, we are now treating this as a major incident involving an attempted murder by the administration of a nerve agent,’ he said.

‘Sadly, in addition, a police officer who was one of the first to attend the scene and respond to the incident is now also in a serious condition in hospital.

'Wiltshire Police are, of course, providing every support to his family.

The Guardian 8th March 7:21am adds:

Scotland Yard assistant chief commissioner Mark Rowley said the police officer who was first to the spot where Skripal was found in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon was “seriously ill” in hospital. His condition had deteriorated, Rowley said.

At almost exactly the same hour, todaysbreakingstories publishes a statement from temporary Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Kier Pritchard:

The officer injured in the nerve agent attack has been named by police as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

The officer, 38, who was in intensive care following the incident, is now “stable and conscious”, Wiltshire’s [temporary] chief constable Kier Pritchard said.

Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, are still critically ill after being found collapsed on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday.

Twenty-one people have been been treated in hospital after the incident.

Mr Pritchard said Det Sgt Bailey was sitting up and talking.

“I very much hope Nick will be on his feet back at work very soon,” he told the BBC. “We desperately miss him.

“He’s a great character. He’s a huge presence in Wiltshire Police, well-liked, well-loved, a massively dedicated officer.

“He’s not the Nick that I know, but of course he’s receiving a high level of treatment.”

You get the picture : a detective sergeant, not previously mentioned, let alone named, suddenly materialises in hospital, where he is in a coma, his condition deteriorating; nevertheless he is stable and conscious and sitting up talking. His chief, who loves and likes him to bits, hopes he’ll soon be back at work with his massively adoring chums.

DS Bailey is later—22nd March, on his alleged release from hospital—to make a statement describing his experience as ‘surreal’—and who would disagree with him?!

Wiltshire police tweet at 7:17pm on 8th March:

A statement from Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and PCC Angus Macpherson on our injured officer Sergeant Nick Bailey can be found on our website…
And in this undated publication, we read, in addition to the media variations I have quoted,

Kier Pritchard said: “I have visited Nick in [unspecified] hospital this afternoon…

"…I would like to reassure you all that Nick is receiving medical intervention and care from highly specialist medical practitioners experienced in these matters.

We can allow that the use of the phrase “in hospital” does not necessarily mean that he is deliberately avoiding naming the hospital, and that his omission of “detective” in Bailey’s rank is not necessarily significant; but the highlighted text seems to me quite unambiguous. We know from Dr Davies that the District Hospital has never treated anybody suffering from organophosphate poisoning, and has only ever dealt with three cases of [malicious] poisoning by other substances. We can therefore be reassured also that, whether or not DS Bailey was at the District Hospital, the practitioners alleged by Pritchard to be treating him were employed neither by the Salisbury NHS Trust nor by any other clinic or hospital. These ‘highly specialised medical practitioners’ will have come, without the shadow of a doubt, from Porton Down, where the only practitioners ‘experienced in these matters’ hang out, and perform their cruel and macabre experiments.

Precisely how they are supposed to have ministered to him, we can only imagine, since in all highly-likelihood® there was nothing whatever the matter with him.

Note well that the invention of Bailey coïincides exactly with the announcement that the unidentified ‘very rare’ poison in the case has been identified as ‘some kind of nerve agent’.

In all the time from the begetting of Bailey, followed by his naming and the reports of him sitting up talking and engaging while in a coma and deteriorating, fighting for his life etc., we have been assured that he was one of the very first on the scene and that he caught his dose of Novichok-like™ while tending to the Skripals, though paramedics were already at the scene. Alas! for the hoaxers, this will not wash, since Madam Dr Nameless has let the cat out of the bag and claims to have emerged unaffected from “about 30 minutes” close clinical encounter with the stricken Yuliya. It is thence clear to the world that the likelihood of a detective sergeant’s getting poisoned at this location is not high.

A different tale, therefore, has to be told to explain Bailey’s life-threatening condition. Enter Ian Lord Blair, erstwhile Commissioner of Police, of Litvinenko investigation fame—what man more familiar with Putin’s pernicious poisoning practices?! On the morning of 9th March:

LONDON (AP)—The Latest on British investigation into ex-Russian spy’s poisoning (all times local):

12:30 p.m. GMT

Investigators are retracing the movements a former Russian spy and his daughter before they collapsed from nerve-agent poisoning, as they try to discover how the toxin was administered.

Police have cordoned off sites including ex-spy Sergei Skripal’s house, a car, the cemetery where his wife is buried, a restaurant and a pub.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday. They are in critical condition in a local hospital.

Former London police chief Ian [Lord] Blair said on Friday [9th March] that a police officer who is in serious condition visited Skripal’s house—perhaps a hint that the nerve agent may have been delivered there.

Blair told BBC radio [Radio 4 Today airs till 8:55am] that Det. Sgt. Nick Bailey “has actually been to the house, whereas there is a doctor who looked after the patients in the open who hasn’t been affected at all. There may be some clues floating around in here.”

Note well that the Dr Nameless spoiler came 6 days before the devastating spoiler of Dr Davies’ letter to the Times on 15th March. We learn from Blair’s script also, what indeed we suspected : that Dr Nameless spent her half hour with “the patients”—in fact, by her tale, with only one of the patients—in the open on a cold overcast evening, while ambulances and paramedics stood by waiting to take them on a ten-minute drive to the urgently=needed hospital. Just what clue is “floating around there”, no doubt we shall one day discover. The only clue I see floating around is that Blair has been urgently called in as a fire-fighter, briefed on what has gone wrong with the Bailey narrative, and required to introduce the substituted falsehood. Let’s see how realistic that supposition is, by finding out just when the police began to take an interest in Skripal’s house as a Novichok source.

At 7:13pm on 9th March, the Guardian dutifully reports:

DS Nick Bailey is seriously ill in hospital having visited the home of Skripal after the defector and his daughter were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Sunday afternoon.

Investigators want to know whether Bailey visited the scene where the two Russians were found and was poisoned there or by items there, or whether the officer was contaminated on his visit to Skripal’s home.

Sources say that, while it is not certain, it is believed more likely that Bailey became contaminated on his visit to the home.



The Cat and the Guinea-pigs—How long Yuliya has spent in England since her father moved there is not well known at the moment. At one point she is said to have worked at Holiday Inn in Southampton. At any rate she will have spent a considerable time in England and probably speaks good English. She also speaks Italian and Spanish. As to her full CV since she left University, I have few details.

In Moscow, whence she flew to Heathrow on 3rd March according to the Met, she had a cat, named Manyúnya. This cat was brought to England recently, exactly how I will find out, but I think with a special company, at some expense. I don’t think she brought the cat on the flight from Moscow.

Most people, when they are making a short trip abroad, do not take the cat with them; they either have friends to come in and feed it or they put it in a cattery. We can suppose, then, that Yuliya intended to stay in England for a long while and not just for a week or two. Whether her friends and relations in Moscow were aware of her plans, is rather doubtful. Of the fiancé or boyfriend. reports suggest that this was a rather troubled and spasmodic relationship, but this is rather irrelevant at the moment.

As soon as Skripal’s vet heard the tale of the bench-slumping, he immediately called the police and offered to take care of the animals.

Friends said the Skripals spent thousands bringing the cat to England from their homeland.

Vet Howard Taylor, 56, said: “We phoned the police on day one to offer to help if they needed it.

"I thought it unlikely the police would have gone to the house and not done anything.”

He said of Mr Skripal: “He was a nice chap and we got on well.

“He never said he was in fear for his life. He used the vets for some years and I had seen his cat and his guinea pigs.”

Howard Taylor’s practice is in Exeter Street, Salisbury.

The above information did not emerge at the time but only when, two weeks later, it was reported that the animals had be taken away “for tests”, supposedly by the mass animal torturers of Porton Down. Neighbours said they had not seen the cat since the “poisoning”. Whether the house has a cat-flap, I don’t know, but if it has then the neighbours would have seen it. We need, therefore, to discover whether there is a cat-flap, because if there is, then we can be pretty certain that the cat was not there to begin with.

If Manyunya was shut in, why did she not escape when the police opened the door in the first days after the bench drama? It is inconceivable that the police did not notice either cat or guinea-pigs in a house they had come to inspect following an alleged attempted murder; inconceivable that successive shifts of two police officers stationed at the front of the house should not have her her miaowing to get out or to be fed, or at least sitting in the window at the end of this quiet cul-de-sac.

Neighbours “didn’t see Manyunya”, Howard Taylor offererd to help on the first day. What about close friends? Haulier Cassidy, for example? Did this caring bosom pal forget that there were animals in the case?

So far nothing makes sense, and part 3 of the animal tale is equally incongruous : They have had to put the cat down “because it was distressed”. Well, if Manyunya was distressed to the point of destruction when they allegedly collected her on 17th March, why didn’t they put her down then and there? And if she was not distressed when they picked her up but became distressed during the three weeks she was in their care, what can have caused her to become distressed but behaviour on their part that caused her to become distressed?

Here we have another important question that eventually must be answered by the players in this drama. Cruelty to animals is not something the English, or civilised people of any race, can tolerate.

My thesis, as I have now stated at the head of this article, is that Sergey and Yuliya are victims of no poisoning or other misadventure, but willing protagonists in yet another drama designed to convince the world that Russia is such a threat, and Putin such a monster, that we have no alternative but to go to war against them. Skripal has worked for the secret services and probably has done until very recently. He is now 66, and perhaps not quite so well provided-for as he might like. Yuliya will not be rich either. To taske part in the Sarum hoax would be a good way to earn a lot of money in a very short time. Yuliya has just inherited $200,000, is going nowhere with here current on-off boyfriend in Russia, and is probably looking for a complete change.

Be that as it may, I suspect that Manyunya and the guinea-pigs were taken to a safe place to be later reunited with their owners one they had ‘recovered’ and been taken to convalesce at some secret location away from the attentions of hoax-debunkers.

Article in progress; to be continued…

Topics/items for later inclusion:
  • ¿The Mill or Bishop’s Mill?
  • Statements from Zizzi staff and diners
  • Changes in chiefs at Met and Wilts Police
  • Porton Down—various matters
  • Refusal of access to YS under Vienna Convention
  • False claims of the Police regarding people affected
  • The recovery of Yuliya
  • The Sarum House incident
  • Police activity at Gillingham, Amesbury, Alderholt etc.
  • Handover to the Counter-terrorism network
  • Involvement of the Army
  • The cousin in Russia