TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS APPLIED TO THE I’AKOBI MALONEY CASE

posted May 25, 2009, 11:06 AM by Caribusiness Admin   [ updated May 25, 2009, 11:10 AM ]

I’AKOBI MALONEY, 23 years old, died on June 18th 2008.  The case and its proceedings have gripped Barbados and the public in much debate and speculation surrounding the circumstances under which this young man met his death. 

So far, it has been a case of the people versus the Police where a definite and suspicious air of secrecy and cover up has been allowed to permeate the process of judiciary and police investigation.  However, the case has been thrown into convulsions with conflicting witness statements and completely erroneous and irrelevant material being propagated, and printed in the media, in a vaguely concealed attempt at blinding the public’s eye as to what actually took place on that fateful day.   It is also completely unscrupulous of the Royal Barbados Police Force to totally ignore the family in requesting an autopsy performed by an international criminal forensics expert who could have been solicited to perform an autopsy and provide a far more experienced, second opinion, on determination of the cause of death. 

The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Maloney are open to debate, and as far as the public is concerned the case has met its end with the verdict of Madam Justice, Faith Marshall Harris in pronouncing it as; death by misadventure.  Maybe. 

Two points stand out as having been overlooked.   First, why was questioning of an individual being conducted at the alleged location, where a suspects rights in having access to his attorney would have been impossible?  Second, in conducting questioning of an individual without first apprising the individual of these rights, is a serious contravention of the laws of due process and can be considered a prosecutable crime.  If the police officers in question had apprised Mr. Maloney of his rights to an attorney before they began questioning him, due process would have dictated that he accompany them to a police station for a thorough interview, thus avoiding tragedy.   However, no mention of this process has come to the knowledge of the public and has led to speculation that a very serious attempt to cover the glaring mistakes of the RBPF may have been engineered.

The third point in question is the statement given by an independent witness one Mr. Collymore.

He stated that he observed a vehicle, registration number S 940, arrive at the location and park about 8 feet away from the edge of the cliff.   Given the reports that the area was unstable with crumbling edges and cracks, where even fishermen are reportedly afraid to approach the edge of the cliff, why would someone park a vehicle weighing over a thousand pounds as close as 8 feet to the edge of the said cliff ?   This fact calls into question the validity of the statement made, due to the fact that the observer, Mr. Collymore, was allegedly using binoculars.  It is a well known opthamological fact that in using binoculars the human eye’s ocular occlusion is unable to distinguish or judge distance accurately, due to the magnification factor of the binoculars. 

This is so because the cornea of the human eye when looking at an object at distance, and magnified, is completely expanded in order to allow maximum light reception and will thus over rule its natural peripheral vision occularity in order to properly ascertain and decipher the image being relayed.   This fact was discovered when snipers of the U.S. Army during the Second World War misjudged distances drastically with disastrous results, prompting the development in recent times of the laser range finding scope which uses a high powered laser beam to accurately calculate distance to targets, by measuring the speed of laser light reflectivity from the scope to the target and back again, thus providing accurate measurements.  

Further more, because the observer was looking at the scene, in scientific terms, on the X axis or against the horizon, judgment of accurate distance would have been impossible due to the back ground of the ocean and the sky and also lack of any vertical or Y axis object from which to gauge an accurate perspective.   Having thus proven the inconclusiveness of the witness’ statement, it is now, only possible to deduce that a vehicle and 3 men were at the scene.

Therefore there is really only one option left to the revealing of the truth, and that option is probably one of the longest shots ever attempted with only a one million to one chance of success.   This course of action would seek to access satellite photography of Barbados on that day, June 18th 2008, and also at the alleged time of the incident taking place.   The chance that an orbiting satellite of any of the five international space agencies would have been photographing the island at that time whether from a low altitude perigee or from a high altitude apogee position is extremely remote.    

However, there is a chance that a satellite placed in a geostationary orbit of 22, 390 miles over the equator might have been taking digitally enhanced and infra red photo imagery of the island.  

A geostationary orbit is directly above the Earth’s equator (0 degrees Latitude) with an equal period to the Earth’s rotational period and an orbital eccentricity, or absolute shape, of approximately zero. From any location on the surface of the Earth, geostationary satellites will appear motionless in the sky.  Therefore, due to the constant 0 degree latitude and circularity of geostationary orbits, satellites in geostationary orbit differ in location by longitude only.

 
This scenario is more likely than that of imagery from orbiting satellites due to the fact that the Atlantic Hurricane season would have been just two days old and infra red, color and water vapor imagery would have been taken as standard operating procedure.   Accessing this type of imagery from geophysical satellites is relatively easy providing the correct diplomatic channels and backing of industry officials is granted.   The imagery sought would also be dependant on which satellite type or design was the one imaging the area, DPI resolution varies greatly over certain design parameters depending on the core operation of the particular satellite in question.
 

The most likely source of this imagery of Barbados on that particular day in question would be either the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the United States Coast Guard (USCG).  Both these agencies share and monitor information received from a very efficient satellite known as Landsat which is a high resolution Earth observation satellite.  It is likely that given the reports of drug activity off the coast of Barbados on that day, there might have been an alert issued by the U.S. Coast Guard after having received data from this satellite.  This is not beyond the realm of possibility given the very accurate plots obtained on the movement of surface craft involved in drugs smuggling in 2007. (See map below) 

 

The Landsat satellite can download imagery using a broadcast system known as High Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT).  This imagery is typically between 2500 to 4000 DPI resolutions and offers observers a finite analysis of what is happening on the surface of the Earth.   Typical photo resolution imagery is in the order of 4000 DPI per square meter which when properly analyzed would give a very clear picture inclusive of detail as small as a one dollar coin.   Images which are fuzzy or out of standard transmission pixilation parameters can be electronically enhanced using a forensics process known as Infra Red Photo Spectrometry Analysis where the pixels of a grainy or fuzzy picture are electronically aligned with matching pixels of similar light absorption or reflectivity, allowing a clear image to be identified.    
 
 
 
 

There is however one unfortunate element that could be of significance in this effort.  If the particular location in question was covered by cloud at the time the imagery was taken, there would be no way of identifying any object of relevance due to the cloud cover.   Even thin cloud cover can completely frustrate satellite imagery due to the lack of sun angle measurements being rendered useless because of “no shadow” conditions.  Satellite imagery therefore is most often taken at times of day when there is almost no shadow, i.e.; when the sun is directly overhead, or at mid morning and afternoon, when accurate shadow measurement of objects on the Earth’s surface can be calculated by measuring the length or width of the shadow produced by the particular object.   

For example; In observing certain activity on the island of Cuba in 1963, imagery taken from a  U.S. Air Force Photo Reconnaissance Lockheed U2 aircraft flying at 70,000 ft altitude, revealed, that there were in fact, missile launchers located at San Cristobal, Cuba. By measuring the shadow produced from an erect Soviet R12 Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) launcher, and cross referencing the calculated result with known Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU) data received from undercover operatives within the ranks of the Soviet Union’s, Red Army.    

It goes without saying, that should there be imagery from a geostationary Landsat in existence; it would be of immense value in being able to accurately produce clear and unequivocal evidence of what took place on June 18th 2008.   Furthermore, should the evidence exist and allowed to be used in a court of law, it would be the first time in history that satellite imagery would have been used in alleged homicide proceedings. 

Should the family of the deceased, Mr. Maloney, be inclined to pursue this option it would have to be done with an official request originating from a judicial figure outside of Barbados, preferably with the cooperation of senior Interpol officers and with a direct grant of access being issued by a joint committee of the London Privy Council.   This is necessary to avoid the local judiciary, suspected of a cover up, from corrupting the proceedings further by using their official status to access the same information being sought by the family, and having it destroyed.  Should permission be granted following the above details as outlined, it must be of absolute priority that an appeal be lodged with immediate effect in order to secure all files and documentation pertaining to the case for further analysis.

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