I guess you (or Pair in case you don't have access to access_log) should do some statistics to see if there's a significant hits/second ratio difference when everything is OK and when the forking occurs.
Another point to check is whether the kernel version you are using has bugs concerning swap allocation.
Also, while this wouldn't help to determine the exact nature of the problem, maybe it can help to avoid DoS - mod_evasive
Of course, Pair should agree to install/use it ;)
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