1. When writing the previous entry, I did not know the size of the Duke of Westminster's Reay Forest estate, only that Ben Stack was within it. Well, according to this website, Who Owns Scotland, the estate comprises 94,817 acres (38,371 hectares). Here's a map showing its extent. There may be bigger privately owned estates in Scotland, but there would be few, if any, so large and remote.
2. I had understood that the Cooks were ascending Ben Stack when whatever happened happened. Now I'm not so sure - I had forgotten what had been said at Robin Cook's funeral. This is from the Scotsman:
Opening the service, Bishop [Richard] Holloway told mourners how Mr Cook's son Christopher had received a text message from his father just an hour before he died.
The text read: "Am at top of Ben Stack, view of Arkle and Foinaven can't be seen for mist - weather foul. Wish you were here."
Note that the time of death here cannot be the official time of 4.05pm, so must be the 2.20pm time instead. Therefore Cook, presumably with his wife (but note the 'am'), was on the summit of Ben Stack around 1.20pm. It would be pertinent to know how long it would take to get from the summit to the ridge where he died.
3. Cook's text to his son, a racing journalist, mentions two neighbouring mountains, (Ben) Arkle and Foinaven. Two famous racehorses were named after the mountains, so Cook's message may have been referencing the horses as well as the mountains. Therefore, his next words, "can't be seen for mist - weather foul", may have nothing to do with the weather; for all I know, it could be another racing reference. But if his words can be taken at face value, then they conflict with media reports of the weather on the mountain that day. This from the Daily Mail:
Ray Fish, of the Rhiconich Hotel, where many of the walkers stay, has been climbing in the area for 30 years. He said: "I don't think I've ever heard of a fatality or serious accident on Ben Stack. (...) "It was a really bright day and not very windy, but if you are not careful it can be dangerous and lead to falls of several hundred feet."
The Sunday Mirror reported,
Conditions on Ben Stack were good at the time Mr Cook fell ill.
Whereas the Mail had:
The rescue was co-ordinated by the RAF air rescue centre at Kinloss. A spokesman there said conditions were clear at the time.
And the Times said:
The father-of-two’s second wife, Gaynor, was at his side when he collapsed near the peak of the 2,365ft mountain in near-perfect weather.
I'm puzzled as to how to reconcile the text message sent from Cook's mobile saying 'weather foul', with these other, seemingly independent sources saying 'weather fine'. Any ideas?
4. Major-General Grosvenor, aka the Duke of Westminster, owns, as we know, much prime land in London, including the eponymous Grosvenor Square. That makes him the US Embassy's landlord. That would mean there would be a special relationship, within the special relationship, between him and the American government.
5. The previous post on Robin Cook's death got many readers, mainly thanks (if that's the word) to it being linked to by Paul Linford and Iain Dale. If more information comes to light which shows my theorizing to be ill-judged, I apologise now for having cast any suspicion where it was not due. But, until such time, my conscience tells me to raise these questions, even at the risk of being wrong.