Tour manager Phil Dargan was deploying a group of American visitors around the cathedral near Salisbury, doing his best not to warn them that they could – just could – step in the footsteps of the suspicions of the Skripal attack, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.
"I try not to discuss it," said Dargan. "If I make a little joke, I suggest they do not take anything, but I think it's better not to say too much, not that I believe a word of what these couples say, they're full of rubbish, are not they here? or Stonehenge. "No one is swallowing him."
A British visitor, Jeff Jones, from Durham County, said that he had followed the saga with the same kind of interest that he usually saves for the espionage thrillers he enjoys. "It was fascinating but the explanations of the Russians are not stacked in. They would be comed if it were not for the fact that someone died.The naked cheek of the couple, and Putin, is really quite shocking."
The story of Petrov and Boshirov was greeted with disbelief but also anger at Salisbury on Friday. The men affirmed on the Russian state TV that they were so eager to visit the Salisbury cathedral that they traveled to the city for two consecutive days in March.
On the first day, March 3, they said they had arrived at the Salisbury train station but were repelled by the muddy conditions even though they were less than a mile from the cathedral. On March 4th they said they had visited the cathedral, but "may" have been close to the former Spykri Skripal spy home, which is two miles in the opposite direction.
The bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtham, was among those who came forward to undermine their history. He asked if there was a CCTV on their visit to the cathedral, he said there was nothing to connect to the building.
Another religious man ̵
"Anyone who knows Salisbury will tell you that a left turn from the station takes you away from a cathedral that, with its spire, is not difficult to lose.All the merit of the investigators who have been able to show these men lie. I hope that one day they will answer for this in court.The truth must prevail against lies, whether they are told by criminals or world leaders or anyone else. "
The facts and figures that Petrov and Boshirov reeled over the cathedral can also erode the credibility of their story. Petrov knew that the spire was 123 meters high and called it the "Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary".
Although he is a tour manager, Dargan did not know how tall the cathedral spire was. "Is this 160m?" Churches, interrogated by the Guardian. And he had never heard anyone refer to the church with its historical name, the cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "It's just Salisbury Cathedral". It is believed that Wikipedia was the source of the Petrov fact file.
But few businessmen and residents enjoyed the farcical elements of the Russian story. Shirley Reeves, of Salisbury City Guides, said that every time there was a new development hit the city. "It was difficult for us," he said. "Every time people think of Salisbury, they're thinking of the Russians, they're putting people away from visiting."
Matthew Dean, the head of the city council added, "People are incredulous, they feel like crazy. It's also a little angry … It's not funny, one person died and four others were injured. "
While the Russian version of the facts is untrustworthy, their account still annoys still the waters. They mentioned, for example, that they visited a bar and a park. "It makes you wonder," said Gemma, a young mother pushing a wheelchair through Queen Elizabeth Gardens, the main park in the city center. "We have no idea where they went in. It's upsetting to think they might have been here in this park until they did not do good."
The police provided a good portion of what is known about the movements of men Salisbury – but not all.
"We know what the Russians say is rubbish, but we do not know everything they were doing," said Henry the Cockleman, whose mollusk is only a few meters from the bench where the Skripals have collapsed. "My business is down 40%, it's very quiet today, I think people are still unstable and insecure."