11-23-2012 at 10:53:18
Peter gave us a link to jorgennielsen at Icke for a transcript of the Brett Martin interview. I have tidied up this transcript so it is suitable for posting here:
TOM SYMONDS, HOME AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, BBC: Tell me about that day – you’d gone off for a sort of fitness-inducing cycle through the area?
WILLIAM BRETT MARTIN: Yes, well a sort of normal day for me that week was to do a bit of maintenance around the house, then early afternoon go for a bike ride for an hour or two, come back, then just do some more things in the afternoon and this was just like any other day. So at about 2.30 I went out for my ride.
SYMONDS: I think you were quite tired but as you were coming up this road which is in a forestry area national park in that part of Annecy
SYMONDS: You came across something which I might imagine will never leave you?
MARTIN: Well, that’s very true. The sort of thing you would never in your life expect to come across and rather unpleasant of course.
SYMONDS: Describe to me if you can what that was like.
MARTIN: Well, as I sort of approached the scene, the first thing I saw was a bike on its side and I’d seen the cyclist ahead of me much earlier so I thought he was just having a rest. As I got a little bit closer, a very young child stumbled out onto the road and at first I thought she was just actually playing with her sibling, for she sort of looked from a distance like she was sort of falling over, larking about, like a child would. However, as I approached her, it was obvious that she was quite badly injured and there was a lot of blood on her. And as I got even close I then saw the car with its engine revving and wheels spinning. So it became evident ,well, it seemed like at that moment in time there had been a terrible car accident. So it was a case of doing that first, sort of first attendee’s type of activities, which primarily resulted in me paying some attention to the girl first because .
SYMONDS: This is seven year old Zainab Al-Hilli?
SYMONDS: Who’s still obviously recovering from those terrible injuries. What were you able to do for her?
MARTIN: Well, she was prone on the road, moaning, sort of semi-conscious. And she was lying in a position which was in front of this car with its wheels spinning. So my immediate thought was that she needed to be moved in case the car lurched forward you know should run her over or anything. So I sort of gently attended to her and moved her into a position clear of where the vehicle could possibly go, clear of the road and put her in a recovery position as best I could and just sort of asked her to stay there and then moved on.
SYMONDS: From your impression, you’re not a medical expert, but what was the severity of her injuries?
MARTIN: She was very severely injured because she was in and out of consciousness, in fact after a few minutes when I was doing other things and just glanced back at her, she had become unconscious. So, as she had quite a lot of blood and some very obvious, quite bad head injuries, so it seemed that the best thing to be done for her at the moment was – she was breathing well enough – and just to put her into I think people commonly call the recovery position. I checked that she wasn’t profusely bleeding or anything that needed to be stopped and then moved on to the other people.
SYMONDS: It must have been an awful sight. It may be difficult for you to describe it but just tell me something of what that car looked like to you that day.
MARTIN: Well, at first I thought there’s been a terrible accident between a cyclist and a car because there was a cyclist on the ground more or less in front of the car but then there were things that didn’t quite match, because the cyclist’s bike wasn’t beside him. He wasn’t grazed like you’d think you’d see a cyclist with , being a cyclist I have fallen off my bike and got what they call “road rash” in the past, and you’d sort of expect that type of injury. So things didn’t quite work, er,so as the minutes went on I suddenly , you know, started to change my opinion about whether it was a car accident or something else.
SYMONDS: And the car had shattered windows?
MARTIN: Yes, the, well, er, my first attention really was next to the cyclist because he was sort of lying near the front of the car and as I have said before, the car looked like it had risk of sort of lurching forwards because the engine was revving, the wheels were literally spinning in circles. So I needed to move him, so I moved him away from in front of the vehicle and then I sort of checked him for a pulse, any signs of life, a bit of an unusual experience for me because I’ve never sort of literally had to do that before. You know, you have various training from the military and from first aid courses and things of that nature but the first hands-on experience. I suppose it’s very routine for ambulance crews and people like that. So, it seemed to me like he was probably dead. I couldn’t feel a pulse and the most obvious thing was the totally inanimate body, so I moved on from him now he was away from the car, I thought it’s probably a good idea because I could smell burning rubber and that sort of hot burning engine smell. It seemed like a good idea to turn the car engine off, so I went round to the driver’s side and , er, as I , er needed to break the window to get in but this window was already star-crazed anyway and I noticed there were some holes and I was starting to think “is that a bullet hole” as I was breaking the window. I had my cycle gloves on, er, I literally pushed the window in because it was already crazed. Erm, and turned the ignition off. Then, I, things were a lot calmer then because the sort of engine wasn’t revving the wheels weren’t spinning and I started taking stock of the people inside and it became fairly evident that the injuries of people inside didn’t match what one would think people would be like from a car accident in a car park. Then I moved around to the other side, looked into the rear and it..I never seen people who have been shot before, for real, more the Hollywood stuff, but actually it seemed to be just like a Hollywood scene and if someone had said “cut!” and everybody got up and walked away, that would have been it. But unfortunately it was real life. Er, so it became quite obvious now, taking stock, that it was a gun crime. Now, I was getting a little bit anxious because I thought maybe there’s some crazy person in the woods because the whole area is wooded. It’s a sort of car park in a wooded area and I was .I then started scanning the woods to see whether there was some nutter who knows what with a gun and I was going to be the next shot, was it some sort of hunter with a high-powered rifle, shooting from a distance or what? So, having done a quick look around the there was no immediate need to run away, I thought “right, pull out my mobile phone, try and call the rescue services” and of all the moments in the world to have no signal on your mobile phone, that was it!
SYMONDS: Can I just take you back a little bit just to get some idea again. I’m not going to ask for too much detail, but the people in the car – what was the condition that they were in?
MARTIN: Ah, well, if you’ve seen sort of CSI Miami, it was pretty much what you’d imagine the set of CSI Miami would be like. There was a lot of blood and heads with bullet holes in them.
SYMONDS: Are you really saying that in any other way?
SYMONDS: Just to be clear, because inside that car was a four year old child hiding. Did you see her at all?
MARTIN: Not – at – all. No.
SYMONDS: Would you have had any inkling that there was somebody there?
MARTIN: None – at -all. And I’m sort of not surprised unless you were to open that car and look in, the way the bodies in the rear were slumped., its having been to the scene and then heard the subsequent news reporting that the child wasn’t found until much later, it doesn’t surprise me in the least because I can see why you wouldn’t want to go into the car for forensic reasons, and there would be no other reason to go in there, other than to move bodies, so.
SYMONDS: There was nothing you could do for the people in the car?
MARTIN: No, er, the thing as somebody with no experience of these things, is the thing that struck me was their complete inanimate nature, which was something I had sort off, how I sort of assessed really without breaking into the car and physically handling them, that they were dead.
SYMONDS: You are somebody who is trained to deal with difficult situations as a pilot. What sort of emotions were you feeling at that time or were you able to put that aside?
MARTIN: Yea, I didn’t really have any instant emotions as such. It just seemed to be really more of a sort of logical decision-making process that all pilots are sort of constantly training in, you know. I was sort of diagnosing what the problems were, making some initial assessments and deciding what things were needed to be done immediately. Then, taking stock of what the situation now was and moving on, the next action. And from that point, when I was unable to get a phone signal, I was then faced with a bit of a dilemma, about what to do with the young girl, because one choice was to leave her and the other choice was to take her with me. She was very light, so I could have done a sort of fireman’s lift and taken her down on my bike, but she had a lot of injuries and it seems from the low level of medical training that I’ve had over the years that if there’s a risk of internal bleeding, wounds, things like that sort of dragging her like a rag doll over my shoulder might have perhaps killed her so the prudent thing, decision really, was to leave her in the recovery position and go for help on my bike as soon, and as fast as I could.
SYMONDS: But that must have been such a hard decision. You’re a father, leaving a child injured in the forest
SYMONDS: It must be very hard to have decided to do that?
MARTIN: Yes, that wasn’t a very comfortable decision to have to make, to be honest.
William Brett Martin on the 13th of September
Brett Martin interview continued , as relayed by Sky News /The Sun.
…(starts overlapping with end of BBC video.”shattered windows”..) 0.58 in
SYMONDS: You went down the road, you came across another French person coming up the road in a car. That’s right isn’t it?
MARTIN: Luckily only about something like three or four hundred yards away as I was racing down the hill a car was coming up, with a man and two ladies, French people, in the car. So I sort of stopped them and in my quoted bad French, er, was trying to get rather urgently across the point that there’d been a very very bad event up at the car park and did they have a phone- a signal – and therefore could they phone the rescue services, which they did.
SYMONDS: And you went up to the scene and again that there were the concerns that somebody was there with a gun?
MARTIN: Yea, the French folks then decided to carry on up to see if they could do anything and I followed them back up which I was quite apprehensive about because it was very prevalent about where the shooter was but we went back up. They turned their car round to be able to make a prompt getaway if anything turned bad and the gentleman, the lady stayed in the car and the gentleman and I went up to the scene, looked around. There wasn’t really anything frankly we could do. The girl looked like she was she was now unconscious whereas before she’d been sort of showing, she was moaning and turning a little bit, at this point she was unconscious but she was still in that sort of sensible position for recovery and we decided to leave the scene, really, for fear of, we had no defence against someone who might have had a weapon and was going to use it again.
SYMONDS: You were going back to Annecy. It’s about half an hour isn’t it from the main road to, on a bike from the main road to the this place when this happened?
MARTIN: Yes, from the village of Chevaline, which is the nearest sort of small hamlet up to the car park, on a mountain bike, is about half an hour ride.
SYMONDS: And as you were on your way back there, the rescue services started arriving?
MARTIN: Yea, the, er, they’re called the Pompiers, which is a fire rescue services . They were the first peple to come past up the hill. There was I think three of their vehicles, followed by SAMU who’s like a fire, sorry an ambulance service, and then following them were a couple of gendarme vehicles.
SYMONDS: Straight up to the scene?
MARTIN: They went – the thing that I wasn’t able to sort of hail them down because they were ..as fast as they could go with all their sirens blaring. And I found out subsequently talking to the French Police, that on that or their radio net they knew there had been some murderous activity going on and in spite of that very high risk, they went straight to the rescue scene, so if anybody’s a hero in this event, then I think the fire and rescue services are the boys to be praised.
SYMONDS: Can I take you back to the moments before you came across this scene. You were cycling up this forest road. Firstly, you know this parking place where it happened. It’s been described as very remote and why would anybody go there. But It’s not like that is it?
MARTIN: No, not at all. It’s a national park, like any national park there are numerous sort of roads that lead to car parks where walkers park their cars and go for walks. Mountain bikers ride up , road cyclists ride up – it’s not at all unusual and I’ve been there ten or twenty times over the years. And sometimes it’s empty, sometimes it’s four or five or more cars there. It just depends whether it’s for example a Sunday afternoon or a mid-day, mid weekday.
SYMONDS: It’s not unusual to see a family?
MARTIN: Not unusual. In fact last year or maybe the year before, I took all my family up to that very car park as a family, so, pretty normal.
SYMONDS: Now, on your way up, before you came across this scene, two vehicles passed you. You’ve been able to give police a limited description. Talk me through what you saw.
MARTIN: Well, bearing in mind I had been out riding for about an hour and a half, so I was getting fairly tired and I was sort of grinding up a steep hill on my mountain bike, pretty much just looking down at the road in front of me, because of the sort of steepness and sort of exertion needed. And I had a recollection at some point of probably a four-by-four coming past me ,it was a large vehicle. And again a motorbike at some point passed me going down and that’s really ,they were the only noticeable things for anybody coming down before I reached the car park.
SYMONDS: Have you any idea of how many people in the car – the four by four?
MARTIN: If someone asks you “what are the last three cars you saw?” and you hadn’t been primed to consider what they are and try to remember them, it’s pretty hard to think back, because they were completely unremarkable and in contrast someone said “the next three cars, remember what they are”, you’d be primed and you’d remember it probably quite clearly, so unfortunately I’d love to say I saw everything, but unfortunately I didn’t see how many people in the car I didn’t get much detail on the car because I was just riding my bike an they were just some arbitrary cars that were passing me as every car on every day of the week does.
SYMONDS: If the police were to say to you “can you identify anybody in that vehicle or on the motorbike?”, what would your response be?
MARTIN: No, I mean the motorcyclist had a helmet on and the car.. I was more looking down at the road ahead of me. Because It was a single track road. I was sort of trying to keep to the edge, to sort of make space for the car to get past me, so I had no reason to be. I didn’t sort of clock every driver that past me. So, no, I wouldn’t have – I couldn’t even tell you whether there was one or ten people in the car. Obviously it must have had a driver, but that’s about it.
SYMONDS: Now one of the difficulties we understand the police are having is that several of the eye witness accounts differ as to timing that these vehicles passed. Were you able to give an exact time that you saw those vehicles come past you?
MARTIN: No, because , if you think back, obviously I was on a hill climb, on that last hill for half an hour, so just at some point you know, midway up the hill, the vehicle, and then a little bit later a motorcycle passed me, quite unremarkable events at the time.
SYMONDS: It’s a half hour time scale getting from bottom to top?
SYMONDS: So at some point in that half an hour, before you came across the scene, those vehicles came down. Were they being driven in a fast way, were they, was there anything suspicious about them at all?
MARTIN: No, nothing at all, just unremarkable.
SYMONDS: Now, yesterday, you took a trip to France. You started early in the morning. Just tell me what you were out there to do.
MARTIN: Well, immediately after the event, I went through probably about a six hour interview, a witness interview with the French gendarmerie and they asked me and explained carefully that I had no obligation to help the investigation if I went out again yesterday to fill the gaps really I think. Obviously you know they take my original statement and many many other statements and that generates quite naturally a couple of extra questions that they would like to ask a number of witnesses. So they asked me to come out if I could help fill the gaps because they had more questions they would to , more fully, understand the situation by asking me those questions. So I went out there on their request.
SYMONDS: They picked you up at the airport. What was your impression of the seriousness with which they were treating you as a potential witness?
MARTIN: [I]Well they were treating me very seriously. They were a very professional group of people and looked after me all day long and we went through, you know, an interview process and took me back to the airport to come home last night and they were professional an very nice people. Obviously they were very very thorough, forensics and things like that and they were clearly very professional in what they were doing .
SYMONDS: And looking after you as well, I think?
MARTIN: And looking after me – yes. They gave me lunch and as you know they were very supportive of me, er, as I have to say the British police are as well, er.
SYMONDS: They put you in a bullet-proof vest at one point?
MARTIN: Er, yea, but I think the reason they probably put me in that was because we had a visit back to the crime scene yesterday. It’s a wooded area and I think that it was more a case of they wouldn’t want any harm to come to me on their watch. It would look dreadful, wouldn’t it, if you’re thinking about those sort of things .
SYMONDS: Or armed officers there..
MARTIN: .So I think they were just certainly being far, probably over-cautious, it was just, you know I guess, the standard procedure for them.
SYMONDS: Let me ask you this question. I’m sure it’s one you’re not going to be able to answer.let me say that in advance ..but this is a real mystery. Nobody really knows why this happened. Do you have a theory – you’re the person who was there, you saw some things going on. Do you have any theory at all?
MARTIN: The thing is, I’ve been over this probably hundreds of times in my mind, what could have possibly happened, you know when I sort of have the image of the scene. I can think of dozens of possible scenarios. And I have no idea what actually happened, like probably the rest of the world. I’m very curious to know and very much like the perpetrators to be brought to book, but to do something quite so savage and to brutalise a young child as they did is not very pleasant, so they’re obviously pretty unpleasant people who perpetrated this, so anything that can be done to rein people in who walk around our society and do these things, the better really.
SYMONDS: Let me just ask you finally, yesterday, you became the subject of quite a lot of press interest. That is always difficult for people. Give me some idea of what your view of that is.
MARTIN: Well, it’s interesting. This is the very first occasion in my life I’ve been the focus of any press attention –
SYMONDS: And your family too..
MARTIN: And my family. Just circumstantially because I was out there by myself without my family they were just sort of innocent bystanders on the event. It’s been a bit uncomfortable because there has been a bunch of journalists outside my house. I was told yesterday because I have been away for the day, I ,you know, get involved in that, they seemed to be reasonably well behaved. My wife wasn’t stressed or, you know, particularly worried. It was just an irritation and for the neighbours in the street. Of course it has an irritation but it doesn’t seem to be too bad. But my biggest concern was that I starting reading the papers. Some of the stuff must have quite literally been made up and some of the stuff was a little bit inaccurate and I thought it was more appropriate to, having had the opportunity to go back and discuss things with the French police with regards to the predictable media interest, it was probably wise to talk to yourselves, simply to put the facts out there. Hopefully in a very unbiased way, so that the public know some insight into what’s going on – or what went on – and to dispel any ridiculous exaggerated stories that may bubble up if we didn’t do this.
SYMONDS: Well, Brett Martin, thank you very much for speaking to us. You’ve now had that opportunity
MARTIN: Thank you.