On December 21, 1988 Pan Am flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland killing 243 passengers, 16 crew, and 11 people on the ground. The bombing was pinned on Libya, and Libyan intelligence official received a life sentence in 2001 for the bombing. He was released in 2009 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and died in 2012.
Muammar Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the attack in 2003 and paid out compensation to families of the victims, while maintaining that he hadn’t personally ordered the attack.
Some believe that East Germany’s spy agency assisted in the downing of the aircraft. Others have pinned the blame on Palestinian terrorists, aided by Iran, in retialation for the US shooting down commercial flight Iran Air 655 five months earlier.
A man with an Arabic accent had telephoned the U.S. embassy in Helsinki 16 days prior to the attack and warned that a Pan Am flight from Frankfurt would be blown up in the coming weeks by the militiant Palestinian Abu Nidal Organization. The FAA sent a security bulletin to all US airlines. The Frankfurt security team found the warning the day after the bombing.
Remains of the forward section of Pan Am 103 in Lockerbie, accident report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch
The Lockerbie Air Disaster Fund, one of the charities set up ‘provide support and assistance in a wide variety of ways to those affected in the disaster’ received donations totaling 2.4 million British pounds.
In 1991 there was 235,000 pounds left, which was transferred to a new Lockerbie Trust. Families of victims sought access to these funds, but they were rebuffed,
in the 1990s a delegate from the American Families of Pan Am 103 group arrived in town to try and convince trustees to use 70 per cent of the cash to pay for victims’ children’s education and donate a further ten per cent to an Aviation Security Improvement foundation. But their suggestion was ignored and the delegate never met with the group.
Now the Lockerbie Trust is being closed 31 years after the disaster, and the remaining funds are being given to a park.
Members of the trust agreed at their last meeting to close down the group and spend their approximate £690,000 funds.
They had originally planned to donate £500,000 of it towards the Lockerbie Swimming Pool project, but now the pool plans have folded, they have instead turned their attention to McJerrow Park.
Speaking yesterday, trustee David Mundell MP said: “We held on to a lot of money in the hopes that it would go towards a swimming pool for Lockerbie but now that the pool trust is no more, members of the Lockerbie Trust decided that the money should be put towards a substantial project.
“McJerrow Park was suggested as the new significant project, the park is in need of an upgrade and it’s a place for the whole town – young or old.”
The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 to fight polio. Vaccines were developed and polio the organization’s mission had been accomplished. They still had a capability, however, for fundraising so they expanded their mission and now works to improve health for babies and their mothers. Non-profits, and charitable foundations, often use the resources at their disposal and shift course over time — for better and worse.