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Pan Am 103 As Seen From Pan Am Media Relations  
User currently offlineLatinPlane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2738 posts, RR: 14
Posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9483 times:

December 21st will mark the 24th anniversary of the terrorist attack of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie. I found this interesting article written by a then young employee working in Pan Am's media relations department and he tells his accounts of what happened over the course of the days after the bombing of the plane. Quite an interested read and perspective of the events.


http://www.flickr.com/groups/936087@N22/discuss/72157611547804432/



[Edited 2012-12-17 16:20:33]

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinenighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5186 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 8859 times:

your link doesn't work, unfortunately.


That'll teach you
User currently offlinefn1001 From Moldova, joined Sep 2008, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 8700 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 1):
your link doesn't work, unfortunately.

it works...



Mai bine să-ţi fie rău decît să-ţi pară rău.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27337 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 8684 times:

Quoting LatinPlane (Thread starter):
Quite an interested read and perspective of the events.

Certainly is. Thanks for posting, hard to believe its been 24 years. I remember it well as I was living near LHR and remember the ITV news flash on TV.


User currently offlinenighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5186 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 8399 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 3):
Certainly is. Thanks for posting, hard to believe its been 24 years. I remember it well as I was living near LHR and remember the ITV news flash on TV.

I live just 10 miles from Lockerbie. I was 5 at the time, and still remember hearing the windows of our house rattle from the explosion caused by the wings hitting the ground.

Quote:

We met one villager, a 14 year old boy named Steven Flannigan, who, four days away from Christmas, had slipped from his house to his friends across the street, to assemble the new bike he was going to surprise his sister with. A loud crack was heard and he headed out to see what it could have been, he told us and the AAIB, and then suddenly he was thrown back into the garage as one engine, still attached to the wing, and still at throtle, impacted the house he used to live in … evaporating the house instantly and killing his parents Katherine and Thomas Flannigan and his sister Joanne – to whom the bike was for.

Steven Flannigan died 11 years after the Lockerbie disaster - he was hit by a train while returning home from a pub. It is thought it may have been suicide.

It's worth noting that this family also had a second son, David, whom they had had an argument with a few weeks earlier. He had fled to Blackpool at the time, and was due to return on Boxing Day to try and make up with his parents. He died of heart failure 5 years later in Thailand after abusing drugs and alcohol.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/aug/27/lockerbie.ameliahill



That'll teach you
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2718 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 8284 times:

Damn, that is such a tragic story.


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3362 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8051 times:

Remember that night, when working in the car rental business, the phone was banging off the hook with TV & Newspapers wanting the nearby Carlisle office to open up and provide rental cars for reporters heading there from London.
24 years has past quickly for me.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineFI642 From Monaco, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8039 times:

My friend Rolland was on the PA go team. He had nightmares for years. One thing he consistently said
was how wonderful the residents of Lockerbie were to them.

Twenty Four years. Rest In Peace. May this never ever happen again.



737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
User currently offlinedrgmobile From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 688 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7878 times:

Cynical perhaps, but Is this an authentic account? It is awfully riddled with spelling and grammatical errors for somebody supposedly in media relations. It also is hard to imagine somebody who actually worked at Pan Am repeatedly writing "Pan American World Airways" after the first reference.

User currently offlinedenverdanny From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

Well, I don't see anything new being offered in the piece. Really just a reassembling of parts of info from other sources. I mean, we're not really getting the perspective of someone working at Pan Am in the PR office. There is so little of that and more of the known incident facts. We don't need a retelling of the accident events, so, I don't understand why the author would go through that unless he has nothing else to offer. The author also makes a comment about a "new world of terrorism" early on, which to me, seems out of place. Gonna go with fake here. I could have written something much better using what I know from the books I've read. Disappointing. But, at least people perhaps are still interested in what happened that night and the people who lost their lives.

[Edited 2012-12-18 10:56:09]

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27337 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 7590 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 4):
Quoting garpd (Reply 5):

Certainly is and a sad story. Understandable to some extent if he did take his own life. Sometimes people just can't handle it. When these huge events happen you just see the numbers but it is good to see the personal accounts and stories despite them pulling at the heart strings.


User currently offlinerichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4298 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 7439 times:

Quoting denverdanny (Reply 9):
Well, I don't see anything new being offered in the piece. Really just a reassembling of parts of info from other sources. I mean, we're not really getting the perspective of someone working at Pan Am in the PR office. There is so little of that and more of the known incident facts. We don't need a retelling of the accident events, so, I don't understand why the author would go through that unless he has nothing else to offer. The author also makes a comment about a "new world of terrorism" early on, which to me, seems out of place. Gonna go with fake here. I could have written something much better using what I know from the books I've read. Disappointing. But, at least people perhaps are still interested in what happened that night and the people who lost their lives.

I'm not going as far to say it was BS but there were a couple of parts that seemed odd to me too.

For example, the part about the nose section. The aircraft was described as being crumpled on its left side and not looking like a familiar Boeing 747 nose. Without sounding disrespectful, all I can say is "no kidding!" Anybody can clearly see what the crumpled nose looks like - the photo of the front of the aircraft sitting smashed in a field was one of the most iconic and enduring images of that awful crash.

I was expecting more of a description of the raw emotion of hearing about the crash. For me, I would imagine time would have felt like it stopped when somebody enters the 'fish bowl' and says that there is a 747 missing and likely a crash. Basically that would mean all other PR projects are on hold indefinitely, and the thoughts immediately turn to the presumed human tragedy as well any training or accident protocol kicking in. I think the author summed up this very sensitive, critical period in about two sentences.

My heart goes out to all involved in that horrible tragedy. Much like the recent school shooting in my home state, PA103 was a cruel, heinous act that bares the evil soul that lies within some of us. Much like Lockerbie, a place I have passed through both before and after 1988, Newtown CT, an area I am quite familiar with, will forever be linked to the sad viscious crime that occurred there.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineSouthernDC9 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 7435 times:

Quoting drgmobile (Reply 8):
Cynical perhaps, but Is this an authentic account? It is awfully riddled with spelling and grammatical errors for somebody supposedly in media relations. It also is hard to imagine somebody who actually worked at Pan Am repeatedly writing "Pan American World Airways" after the first reference.

I wondered this too, and also noticed (as did another poster here) that a lot if it is just stuff that's featured in Wikipedia and other sources...

Plus for a media relations account, there didn't seem to be much relating to the media, just creepy details about bodies and how they were strewn about or still strapped in to this or that. Plus I'm not sure that a media relations team would have been granted such CSI-like access to the crash site, nor would I imagine that an airline in that situation would want its MR team to be so thoroughly knowledgeable about the details of the crash site in general, because that isn't info that would be useful to share with the media or that would even be shared (or withheld) by the airline itself. (I would think the media would turn to the investigation officials for details about the conditions of bodies, and would hopefully be met with a "No comment" of some sort.)

This line also bothered the heck out of me: "The hotel was nice enough to grant us privacy while we were there and did not allow media nor family and towns folk access to us while we were there" - I know this wasn't easy for anybody, but this reads as though this alleged Pan Am media relations team was the put-upon party, not the families and "towns folk" whose lives had been quite literally blown apart (and the Pan Am media relations team being granted privacy from the media struck me as pretty hilarious). The only thing that sentence could mean is that media, families and "towns folk" were not allowed to break down the doors to their individual rooms, for example, which really goes without saying.

But perhaps I'm nitpicking, who knows...



What does AA/US merger mean for CLT/JFK/PHX/North America/Southern Hemisphere/God's Plan for the Universe
User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 7393 times:

I stiill remember that day. I was living in San Francisco and came out of the BART/Muni station at Embarcadero. It was late afternoon and they had (have?) newspaper kiosks all over and the headlines on the afternoon edition told us the news.

Im not saying airline crashes are blase and common, but remember when an air accident happened involving a US carrier and the news stations literally had full 24 coverage of it. Not like today with social media, internet, CNN, but literally ABC, NBC, CBS would have Peter Jennings or Tom Brokaw on for hours. I think the last time I remembered that happened was with TWA JKF to CDG in the 90s.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2370 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 7329 times:

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 13):
Im not saying airline crashes are blase and common, but remember when an air accident happened involving a US carrier and the news stations literally had full 24 coverage of it. Not like today with social media, internet, CNN, but literally ABC, NBC, CBS would have Peter Jennings or Tom Brokaw on for hours. I think the last time I remembered that happened was with TWA JKF to CDG in the 90s.

Think about how many fatal accidents (especially with large jetliners) there have been involving US airlines since TWA 800 though...not a lot.


User currently offlinedenverdanny From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 6572 times:

Quoting richierich (Reply 11):
My heart goes out to all involved in that horrible tragedy. Much like the recent school shooting in my home state, PA103 was a cruel, heinous act that bares the evil soul that lies within some of us. Much like Lockerbie, a place I have passed through both before and after 1988, Newtown CT, an area I am quite familiar with, will forever be linked to the sad viscious crime that occurred there.

I know whenever I hear about Connecticut, I think of Turhan Ergin, a student and passenger on PA 103, who was from West Hartford, CT. Certain areas you associate with things or people. When I hear Syracuse, I obviously think about this accident too. I got a lot of emails from people I know when the Aurora theater shooting happened, even though it was in another city than the one in which I live.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26021 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 6521 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):
Think about how many fatal accidents (especially with large jetliners) there have been involving US airlines since TWA 800 though...not a lot.

A quick check shows 12 fatal accidents involving US carriers since TWA800, counting jets only (regional jets and larger). Six of the 12 involved freighters.


User currently offlineShuttle9juliet From UK - Scotland, joined Jul 2010, 192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6077 times:

Lots of the volunteers helping in the recovery in the days after we're often bumping into "Pan Am" people out in the fields ect. These people were supposedly CIA agents dressed in Pan Am jackets and baseball caps. I wouldn't imagine Pan Am would send their media team to the scene? Maybe a senior VP?

User currently offlinedrgmobile From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 688 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6014 times:

Quoting Shuttle9juliet (Reply 17):
Lots of the volunteers helping in the recovery in the days after we're often bumping into "Pan Am" people out in the fields ect. These people were supposedly CIA agents dressed in Pan Am jackets and baseball caps. I wouldn't imagine Pan Am would send their media team to the scene? Maybe a senior VP?

They absolutely would have sent somebody to the local area but as SouthernDC9 pointed out, there would be absolutely no reason for this team to be quite so up close as was described. British accident investigators and/or law enforcement would have been in charge of the scene. Pan Am technical personnel probably would have had such access, but not the media team.


User currently offlineShuttle9juliet From UK - Scotland, joined Jul 2010, 192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5871 times:

There was a Pan Am 727 that landed in Carlisle, bringing in people including two people from ALERT which was Pan Am,s security division.Also on board were people from the U.S embassy in London.Perhaps some Pan Am technical people too?

User currently offlineLatinPlane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2738 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5791 times:

Someone took a picture of that special flight and here she is:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Logan - PrestwickAviationPhotography



User currently offlineShuttle9juliet From UK - Scotland, joined Jul 2010, 192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5712 times:

Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 20):

LatinPlane, this was at PIK and I believe brought the relatives up from LHR..A PA 727 flew up to Carlisle on the night of the 21st or the early hours of the 22nd bringing in certain people. I believe Carlisle airport went from one or two movements to quite a few during that duration.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26021 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5686 times:

Quoting Shuttle9juliet (Reply 19):
There was a Pan Am 727 that landed in Carlisle, bringing in people including two people from ALERT which was Pan Am,s security division.Also on board were people from the U.S embassy in London.Perhaps some Pan Am technical people too?
Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 20):
Someone took a picture of that special flight and here she is:
Quoting Shuttle9juliet (Reply 21):
Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 20):

LatinPlane, this was at stwick (PIK / EGPK), United Kingdom">PIK and I believe brought the relatives up from LHR..A PA 727 flew up to Carlisle on the night of the 21st or the early hours of the 22nd bringing in certain people. I believe Carlisle airport went from one or two movements to quite a few during that duration.

It would be ironic if the 727 in the photo was the aircraft that operated the FRA-LHR sector of PA103 and actually carried the bomb that was then transferred to the 747 for the LHR-JFK sector. It was a change-of-gauge operation using a 727-200 on the FRA-LHR sector but using the PA103 flight number all the way.

Does anyone know the registration of the 727 that operated the FRA-LHR sector of PA103 that day? It's not mentioned in the official accident report.

[Edited 2012-12-19 13:06:41]

User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3673 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5528 times:

Quoting drgmobile (Reply 8):
It is awfully riddled with spelling and grammatical errors for somebody supposedly in media relations. It also is hard to imagine somebody who actually worked at Pan Am repeatedly writing "Pan American World Airways" after the first reference.

I'm not arguing in favor of its authenticity; I'm not arguing one way or the other. But you'd be surprised at how people in MR or PR write. If a company is lucky, they have one person overseeing the department who corrects all the spelling and grammatical errors. If they're not, you get those absurd press releases occasionally featured on web sites, posted solely for people to laugh at. I personally work for a company right now that doesn't put out anything all that egregious, but they consistently misuse commas as a sort of "wrapper" for people's names, e.g. "Australian director, Garth Davis, joined Jane Campion to direct..." and that drives me absolutely batty. It's actually embarrassing, but I don't work in that department so there's nothing I can do about it.

Also, while I noticed the oddness of using "Pan American World Airways" so often too, in my opinion a PR or MR person would be the type of person who *would* do that. These departments always have a set of rules for how to refer to certain things when addressing the media (mostly proper company names or titles), and the people who work in these departments have that drilled into their heads until they probably just do it instinctively. No doubt if this person were writing a media release, the same person correcting the grammar and spelling would also either remove some of the company name instances or shorten them (if that was allowed at Pan Am; I've never read one of their releases so maybe they did use the full name all the time). The interesting thing is he didn't just copy and paste the name a bunch of times - a couple of instances have typos in them! He actually typed it out each time.

Again, not saying this is a truthful account, but I wouldn't discount it on either of these criteria.

There does seem to be info in here that's of a personal nature and that shouldn't be hard to verify if someone really wanted to, specifically the names and relationships this guy had with other people in the MR department. I'm always careful about calling somebody a liar when there's verifiable information right there, if only somebody wants to take the time and effort to verify it.

Also, to the people claiming it's fake because it matches info on the Wikipedia page, how do you know he didn't write some of that?

[Edited 2012-12-19 15:34:46]


I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5466 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 23):
I'm not arguing in favor of its authenticity; I'm not arguing one way or the other. But you'd be surprised at how people in MR or PR write. If a company is lucky, they have one person overseeing the department who corrects all the spelling and grammatical errors. If they're not, you get those absurd press releases occasionally featured on web sites, posted solely for people to laugh at.

Agreed, I teach humanities at a small college, and colleagues who oversee the communications program tell me that while their students have a good "feel" for the field, they cannot spell for their lives. As for a lot of the detail being on Wikipedia, well, yeah. The thing has been researched and discussed raw! People are numbed by these things and pay attention to the silliest things (nice hotel....). The PR guy at Geneva when SR 111 went down, usually a pretty well spoken fellow, was saying the biggest platitudes. There's a reason it all feels cliche: words cannot express....


25 3rdGen : The grammar seems to be that of a non-native english speaker. I was also surprised about how the author describes the crash scene. It seemed kind of f
26 type-rated : For me after the first two paragraphs I had the feeling I was reading a novel about a fictional plane crash, not something that actually happened.
27 navynuke : I was stationed up at Holy Loch, Scotland when this occurred attached to the sub squadron up there. I remember everyone was in shock, and very angry o
28 spacecadet : Yeah, and also, anyone can edit Wikipedia, that's the point of the site! I have actually had it happen to me where someone accused me of sourcing som
30 Post contains links Klima : There's a Pan Am 103 archive being developed at Syracuse University. The university lost 35 students, but it looks like the archive will include all v
31 denverdanny : I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the archive at the library at Syracuse in 2008. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time as I woul
32 Post contains links LatinPlane : And here's a story from one of the station managers working at Pan Am's Worldport on that day 24 years ago. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claudi...e/p
33 tymnbalewne : Carefully read the headline of the HuffPo article.
34 EIDL : Link in the OP doesn't work for me Relatives of mine died on the ground in Lockerbie, to date I'm the only member of my family that's managed to bring
35 EA CO AS : This link does not work.
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