Much talk and rumour in the early days of the search and recovery operation amongst the debris concerns the appearance of Americans, which is our quaint short-hand to describe citizens of the USA.
A lot of folk, then and now, seem to be boggled that so many could have appeared within the first few hours of the disaster at Lockerbie becoming known.
I've never found this particularly odd having taken into account a place called Menwith Hill. It's in Yorkshire, near Harrogate. If you stick to the national speed limits and drive carefully it's possible to cover the distance between the two in just over 2hrs.
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I trundled past the place with a mini-bus full of school chums in 1987. We were on a Geography field trip and the odd-looking golf balls were pointed out to us by our teacher.
The place is not exactly secret secret, I mean ask the Royal Air Force: RAF Menwith Hill
You could also drop by to find out about the place here: Original Big Brother?
But, if you can't be bothered clicking the links ( which bodes badly for the way I intend to structure pages to come ) then I'll just tell you what I think I know about the place.
This adds up to: Not much. It's a 'listening' post run by the USA's National Security Agency and has some RAF folk kicking about too. It no doubt contains loads of top-of-the-range shiny technology and plenty of computing power to process the data. (Apparantly British Telecom installed fibre-optic. Imagine, superfast broadband in the countryside!!! ) I would not have thought that there are nukes on the site, and I wouldn't want to give BadGuysInc any ideas, but it probably has a missile or two pointing it's way.
Anyhoo, I'm digressing too much. The point I was making is that it would not have been too difficult for 'authorities' from the USA to get to Lockerbie in a hurry. As a bit of pure speculation those 'authorities' probably knew about the crash before the BBC.
One thing, though. It's collected a few more 'golf balls' since I saw it all those years ago. Picture below was taken in 2010 by a hillwalker on Rombald's Moor.