Lockerbie – Looking for help from those who were there and a photo of the Control Point in the School?


Not many know that Mountain Rescue, SARDA and a many other Agencies apart from the Police, Fire Brigade Ambulance,Coastguards and Raynet were involved in the tragedy of Lockerbie in December 1988. It is a day I will never forget as will most people involved and it remains the biggest terrorist incident in the UK where just under 300 people lost their lives.

I am doing a lot of research for my book (yes I am back on the case) and looking for information from any of the 4 RAF teams who attended Lockerbie in 1988. I have no pictures of the Control at Lockerbie High School and would also appreciate any stories as this was the biggest incident that RAF MRT ever were at. Sadly it is not mentioned in the SAR MR History that celebrated the 75 th Anniversary ?  I know that Stafford MRT located the Black box early in the morning, but would appreciate other details.  Sadly little is known of the huge work by the RAF and Civilian Teams and the effect on many of the teams. I understand this may not be easy for many but I would appreciate any help my contact by email please or messenger. I also want to name all the teams involved especially the civilian Mountain Rescue  teams North and South of the Border who worked for weeks after the crash. I would also like to get the names of all the Agencies involved,the Army and RAF who did such sterling work. I cannot name all those personally who were involved but it would be good to have a role of honour of teams and Agencies of all those who helped as part of the sad story.

Please forgive me if this brings up sad memories to those who were involved in every Agency I feel there is still a tale that has never been told.

Thanks please pass on to anyone who can help.

Comments/ thoughts welcome and it would be great to get that illusive photo of the Control Point in Hall at Lockerbie High School.

Sadly still all those years on no one has been called to account for this tragedy, it is all hidden in a veil of secrecy and no one seems to care. There must be a politician out there who will stand up and ask the questions as many are asking? Would they get away with this today I doubt it?

We owe it to those who lost their lives and to those whose were involved and effected forever by this crime.


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Lockerbie, PTSD, Views Political?. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Lockerbie – Looking for help from those who were there and a photo of the Control Point in the School?

  1. Susan B says:

    I was there as part of Strathclyde Raynet. Ron Cowan—ronald-cowan-abipp-glasgow-clarkston-19274509.html may be able to assist eith photographs of control.


  2. Thanks for that!
    Raynet did a great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan B says:

    Ron was the Strathclyde Raynet Controller at the time and is also a pro photographer so there’s a good chsnce he can help. I don’t think the rest of us took photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Russell Emmerson says:

    Northumberland National Park MRT were involved in the searches, a lot of time spent around the Kielder Forest area as well. Could get more details as still in touch with some of those who were involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Potts says:

    My father-in-law, Geoffrey Leeming, was RAF SAR-heli pilot who went up there. He covers it in his own book “From Borneo to Lockerbie: memoirs of an RAF helicopter pilot”. Would be happy to put you in touch as he may have other useful contacts or images that aren’t in the book. Mike Potts


  6. David says:

    I was involved with the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Rescue Team in searching Kielder and the high ground to the west. I haven’t really publicised our role and what we found during the searches, except to uploaded a couple of rather poor shots of the control at Bellingham village hall at the time as part of a blog when I visited the area again 25 years later. (see Link)

    You are welcome to PM me if you need any information about our experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for your input and blog. it is good you shared your story. I was after the Control point at Lockerbie High School but so interesting to hear your account , I am so glad you shared it.

      Thinking of you all Regards Heavy


  7. Graham Lowe says:

    I am writing an article for the 33 Squadron Association. I was part of a small groundcrew contingent (4 of us) that operated 2 Puma helicopters on the disaster. Initially we operated from what I believe was a Junior School and we landed the aircraft in the small sports field. This school was located at the end of a road that the road adjoining had a engine from the stricken aircraft buried in the bus stop. We then had to relocate to the opposite side of the school in the entrance to what looked like the beginnings of a housing development. We were located in a large caravan (that belonged to the women’s refuge – I believe?). We operated up to 3 Pumas from this site and we also had a TSW (RAF Tactical Supply Wing) refuelling point established there. We under slung many (upwards of a dozen) Large Skips up onto the crash site.
    I am trying to get details of where we were located but Google Maps (and Lockerbie) appears to have changed and I cannot see where we operated from anymore. Apart from our small occupancy at the school (before we moved to the caravan) RAYNET, AAIB and Police were also operating from there. The main control was over at the Lockerbie Academy (which also does not look familiar anymore!). I will assist you in any way I can and I am also hopeful you can recipocate?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The place has changed the School is new now a big High School. We had 12 helicopters in that field that night


      • Graham Lowe says:

        Which night was that? 21st December? We did not arrive in our Puma’s until the 28th. I am led to believe that initially there would have been SAR (Yellow) aircraft and maybe some civilian ones.There could have been the odd Chinook or two? We operated 2 and I thing we got to 4 Puma’s during that period that I was there with the odd visit from a SAR aircraft. We were also accompanied by 1 (or 2?) Squirrel helicopter from a company called PLM.


      • Sorry we were there from the beginning and left after the 3 day !


  8. Graham Lowe says:

    Hi “Heavywalley”,
    Am I correct that this post “Lockerbie – Looking for help from those who were there and a photo of the Control Point in the School?” is from you?

    If so I believe I have quite a lot of information that could be relevant. Especially as you ask “I am doing a lot of research for my book (yes I am back on the case) and looking for information from any of the 4 RAF teams who attended Lockerbie in 1988”.

    Your responses to my messages so far are either brief or appear to be dismissive. I am willing to help you but I do need more of a positive response.


    • Sadly – i never meant my replies to be brief or dismissive we were there at the start on the night the tragedy happened and located over 160 fatalities at first light and many more for the three days we were there,
      You said you did not arrive till 28 th we were gone by then as 3 days was enough for many of us. Sadly some of my friends are still affected by what we did and saw, I myself suffered and still do for PTSD as did many of my team.

      I think you got me very wrong and I know the control moved and I wanted a photo of the first few days.

      Apologises but it is a hard at times to write about hence the delay in my book.



      • Graham Lowe says:

        First of all many thanks for replying. I had no idea how this was affecting you. Having been there I fully understand. We to were affected in varying degrees. Many of my colleagues were involved in extricating human remains from the wreckage.

        When you are ready to continue perhaps you can contact me privately and I will assist you all I can.

        I do have a couple of photographs taken in Staff Room of that school, where we appended a large map of the crash site. The map extends fully across from the Eastern Coastline to the Western one. I can send these to you but only by private message/e-mail.

        I was also in attendance when the Tape Recorder was found plus the floor remnant of the container that the bomb was in.

        In the meantime I will keep this link active as there maybe some other contributors that can assist.

        Good luck.


      • Many thanks and appreciate your help! We located the Black box on the morning and did the initial mapping it was 4 maps and the area in the end was 1500 k!

        I have struggled over the years as many of my team did. Our job was to locate and move on ! Something we found hard as in the past we would also recover.

        As it was scene of crime it was a massive slow process!

        My best email is

        A picture of the control would be great.

        Thank you for your understanding

        Kind regards David “Heavy “Whalley

        Sent from my iPhone



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