Lockerbie bomb evidence is found 20 years later in tree

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FOR local workmen David Pagan and Douglas McCulloch last Friday meant just another day felling trees alongside the Lockerbie to Lochmaben road through the Dumfriesshire countryside.

It was only when they saw the bright yellow shape wedged into the lower branches of a tall Norwegian Spruce tree about 20ft from the ground that they began to wonder what they had stumbled across.

After they had felled the 40ft pine they pulled the yellow package out from the branches and discovered, not only was it a buoyancy flight safety jacket but it was printed with its owners name – Pan Am.

"It really gave me an odd, eerie sensation to find it there," Mr Pagan, from Sanquhar said yesterday.

It was immediately clear that it came from Pan Am Flight 103 which was destroyed by a bomb over the Dumfriesshire town in December 1988.

The lifejacket found by Mr Pagan and Mr McCulloch, from Lockerbie, was made in 1986 by Hoover Industries, Miami, two years before the crash and was in surprisingly good condition, given the time it has been up in the tree.

Mr Pagan said it seemed obvious that the lifejacket has never been used because the two gas canisters were still intact.

The workmen intend to hand their find over to the disaster museum in Lockerbie this week but a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Police said it should be given to them.

The spokesman said the debris from Flight 103 had fallen over a wide area of both Scotland and England, with some found as far away as the east coast.