Mystery helicopter fuels Dr Kelly conspiracy theories

May 15, 2011
Eliot Sefton

‘If the purpose of the helicopter flight was innocent, one has to ask why it was kept secret’, says doctor

The revelation that a mystery helicopter landed at the site where the body of Dr David Kelly was found has breathed new life into conspiracy theories surrounding the apparent suicide of the UN weapons inspector who apparently committed suicide in 2003 after being unmasked as the whistleblower behind claims that the Tony Blair government lied in order to make the case for war in Iraq.

The Daily Mail reports that flight logs for the helicopter, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, are heavily redacted - to the extent that the purpose of the flight and who was aboard has been totally obscured.

What is clear is that the helicopter was hired by Thames Valley police and landed 90 minutes after Dr Kelly’s body was found on Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire on the morning of July 18, 2003.

The existence of the helicopter was not mentioned in the Hutton Inquiry into Dr Kelly's death, which concluded in 2004 that the government was not guilty of any wrongdoing. The report was widely criticised at the time as a "whitewash".  

Dr Andrew Watt, a clinical pharmacologist who has previously raised doubts over the official version of events, said: "If the purpose of the helicopter flight was innocent, one has to ask why it was kept secret." He has written to the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, who is currently considering whether an inquest should be held into Dr Kelly's death.

The release of the Dr Kelly's post-mortem files last year - which confirm that his wounds were self-inflicted - was supposed to have put to bed conspiracy theories surrounding the whistleblower’s death.

However, a group of doctors was not satisfied with the conclusions and they are currently pursuing a court action to force a judicial review in the event that Grieve decides not to open a coroner’s inquest.

Sign up for our daily newsletter