Monday, 20 August 2012

The "Boat People" (2)

As the crow flies the "boat people" were some 600 yards from the spot in the wood where David Kelly's body was found.  My information is that Thameside Farm to the west wasn't occupied and this would mean that if the boat people had spent the night moored where Brock found them then they would have been the closest known people to the dead body.

Even if the police, who the boat people had seen at some point previously, had failed to spot the boat then the statements from Holmes and Chapman on the 18th would have informed them.  Surely then the police would pull out the stops to find the boat people, they couldn't have travelled far.  The police provided no evidence whatsoever that they tried to find these potential witnesses.

The very day after Mr Dingemans has heard from Paul Chapman he is examining ACC Page at the latter's first visit to the Inquiry.  Now Dingemans is a sharp operator and it seems unthinkable to me that he didn't raise the question of the boat people with Page especially after it was revealed that some police had been seen on the riverbank early that morning.  What did Dingemans say on the subject?  Nothing whatsoever.  Perhaps Hutton intervened.  He didn't.

If it wasn't for the testimonies of the two searchers we would be blissfully unaware about the people moored on the Thames.  Most people I suppose would assume that the boat people were innocent parties to the drama of Dr Kelly's death.  But were they?  

One Dr Kelly investigator has pointed out that there is a track running down to a field that is on the north bank of the Thames at this point.  It's possible the reasoning goes for Dr Kelly to have been transported down this quite straight track in a four wheel drive vehicle and the boat used to ferry him across and then for him to be carried up from the other side of the river into the wood.

Fantasy?  Well I see it at a minimum as a viable scenario.  If Dr Kelly was murdered by agents of this or another country then there would be no shortage of resources.  Perhaps the key point for me is the seeming lack of interest by Thames Valley Police in the boat people.  Moreover we see the Inquiry totally ignoring the subject once the searchers had been examined and made their revelation.  I don't believe that this is credible if there is no cover up.    


  1. It has always struck me how odd it was that TVP didn't try to contact the boat people. As you say, such boats don't travel fast and the searchers gave their statements on the day.

    When there is a serious road accident the police put out signs giving a contact phone number, even if they have no idea whether or not potential witnesses exist. So in this case I would have expected strenuous efforts to contact those they did know existed.

    It contrasts starkly with the effort involved in contacting 167 houses in the vicinity, but further away.

  2. Yes, it's a double whammy in a way. Not only was there a seeming lack of interest by TVP but the very next day after the searchers were examined ACC Page turns up at the Inquiry. Either Dingemans or Hutton could have (and should have) raised the question of the boat people.

  3. Anonymous,
    We don't know for certain that TVP didn't take statements from the boat people...there are numerous police statements that are on record but were never released.
    When I did my original research I came to the conclusion that Dr Kelly had almost certainly entered the wood from the northern end via the track from the river and therefore he either walked or was carried right past the point where the boat was moored (you can’t access the path by the river from the track to the wood any other way due to the thick hedge and a stream that runs almost parallel with the river) and secondly he probably didn’t enter the wood until quite late on the evening of the 17th (after dark, when such people as Paul Weaving, people walking dogs etc and the badger watcher had left the area)
    Therefore as you say the boat people are crucial witnesses. The argument would no doubt be raised that if the boat people had been involved in any dubious activities during the evening of the 17th or the early hours of the 18th then it would not have been logical for them to hang around at the scene of the crime until the morning.
    However research led me to conclude that staying put was the best option. If they had wanted to get away by going up-stream they would have needed to start their engine and turn the boat around, this would have made a noise and could have attracted attention. On the other hand if they decided to make their getaway by floating downstream they would have soon arrived at Newbridge where there is always a lot of boats moored overnight, again they would run the risk of attracting attention.
    It should also be noted that which ever way they went within less than a mile there are locks on the Thames… way could these locks be navigated in the dark. So staying put was the best option.
    My guess was that if the boat people were involved in the death of Dr Kelly then the boat was most likely hired from one of the local boat hire companies. I spent many hours contacting local boat hire companies. I did eventually find a local hire company who admitted they had boats on the river that night but they were unable to divulge any information due to the Data Protection Act.

  4. I believe that it was highly likely that the river bank was the scene of dubious activity. This might explain why such a tall mast had to be set up in the garden of the home of the Kellys when a shorter one was found to be inadequate - they needed a mast that could "see" over Harrowdown Hill and down to the river. The mast had to go where it did - it needed road access and if erected nearer the real action it would have caused suspicion.

    The "technical expert" at the Inquiry telling us how high it was and what it was used for was ... Mrs Kelly.