Desmond Boomer

Desmond Boomer

A 38 year old Belfast born engineer working in the Libyan oil fields

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

A 49 year old English born engineer

Matthew Aquilina

Matthew Aquilina

A 22 year old Maltese national returning to Malta

Tadeus Gorny

Tadues Gorny

A 48 year Polish national working in the Libyan oil fields

Phillip Farrugia

Philip Farrugia

A 43 year old Maltese national returning to Malta

Carmel Bartolo

CArmelo Bartolo

The pilot, a 47 year Maltese national

  • Malta Business Weekly - Shqaqi link possiblility to Excelair disappearance

    Malta Business Weekly

    April 11th 1996

    Enough time has now passed for anything substantial to surface in the case of the  small Piper Lance plane that failed to make the voyage from Djerba to Malta last 3rd December. In the meantime nothing has been found in the sea, despite various ships that ply the route and despite continuous searching especially in the first days.

    On the contrary an Italian trawler that sunk around the same time and in the same area has been located and according to Maltese sources an Italian plane or heliopter is continually circling the area where the ships submerged bulk lies. No reason has been given for this. Meanwhile no oil slick has been noticed in the sea area from Malta to Djerba in the  day after the planes disappearance. Usually in the case of a downed plane the fuel comes out of its tanks and forms an oil slick which becomes immediately noticeable.

    Speculation thus becomes rife in these cases. One line of speculation increasingly being held both the missing persons families and by people involved in the whole sector holds there is a direct link between the killing in Malta of Hamas leader Fathi Shqaqi some weeks before the planes disappearance. Shqaqi had been killed by two men were ascribed variously to the Mossad or to Libyan intelligence itself. The two men, who might have had accomplices were never found on the island and speculation has said that they had skipped the island as soon as the killing was done. One local paper had said that they had fled by a private plane piloted by a Maltese national while other reports said the plane had gone to Tunisia. It has been confirmed that the Excelair Piper did not fly in these days but another Excelair plane did fly twice to Tunisia.

    A further twist in the mystery is the fact that there are some reports seemingly originating in France that a may-day call was heard at the same time as the plane disappeared. These reports say that the call originated not over the sea but in an area bordering on Libya.

    One last mystery within a mystery is the fact that it was only in this case that Tunisian authorities phoned the Malta Flight Region Offices that very morning to enquire whether the plane had passed on to the Malta FIR zone. Something like this has never happened, say sources close to the Maltese civil aviation authorities.

    The Maltese on board were Carmel Bartolo, of Zebbug, married with four children. Philip Faruggia, 43, married father of two, 22 year old accountant Matthew Aqualina who lived in Swieqi, Irishman Desmond Boomer and Tadeusz Gorny from Poland.

  • Letter from Malta Consular Office to Geoff Williams


    Consular Division


    FAX NUMBER : 071-2704 1134

    Page 1 of 1 Date: 15 Apr 1996

    FROM: Jem Convery TELEPHONE NO: 071 270 4125

    TO : Mr. Geoff Williams
    CC : Mr. Frank Dobson, Heron & Dobson Solicitors

    Dear Mr. Williams

    Further to our earlier conversation, I attach a copy of a news article from the Malta Business weekly as requested.

    Miss Heather Drysdale, our Vlce-Consul, contacted your lawyer, Dr Christian Farrugia for his opinion. Dr Farraugia commented that there was no indication that a link existed between the aircraft's disappearance and the assassination of Fathi Shqaqi. He believed that the disappearance or the aircraft following the assassination was coincidental.

    The Maltese Attorney General told Miss Drysdale that the result of the appeal made by the pilot's family, about the composition of the Public Inquiry Board, should be known by 12 April. We have heard nothing to date. Miss Drysdale will check with the Attorney General’s office again to see lf there are any developments.

    I will, call you when we hear this result. Please contact me on the above number if I can help further. Also note my new address and telephone number at the top of this page.

    Yours Sincerely

    Jem Convery
    Desk Officier
    for Malta



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