Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.
4.4 Disaster Investigation
The incomplete, illogical and totally improbable investigation of the 'Estonia' sinking has been described in part 1 - the conclusion is that the official Final Report is a shameful manipulation of all relevant and essential facts.
Part 2 is an attempt to show what actually happened based on new, proven facts, which were not published in the Final Report (5) and kept secret 1994-1998.
Part 3 is a summary of technical investigations in particular about the visor and the ramp that had nothing to do with the accident, which show that the visor could not have fallen off, when the ship was upright, and naturally the visor could not have pulled open the ramp 3.10, etc. An allegedly wide-open ramp at the forward end of the superstructure should have caused immediate capsize with the ship floating upside down on its watertight hull. Under no circumstances can a passenger ship sink due to water (>2 000 tons) loaded on the car deck in the superstructure several meters above the waterline, it always capsizes. The watertight subdivision and integrity of the hull below would ensure just that. Only if the watertight subdivision and integrity below the car deck were damaged or not intact and the vessel was leaking below the waterline, the vessel would have sunk - due to leakage of the hull.
So a contributory cause of accident must have been a severe hull leakage below waterline of unknown origin and open watertight doors. Part 4.1-3 above shows that the investigation cannot be regarded as completed. No explanation is given why the investigation only concerned the visor locks and their faulty design.
The Finns have in their clumsy manner confirmed many unclear areas 1999. The mystery with the false position of the wreck 1.14 and the censored damages of the starboard front bulkhead 3.10 of the superstructure demand a final analysis. It is thus time for some more questions, analysis and a conclusion.
· The obvious question is - why did Lehtola and the Commission manipulate the investigation with a false position of the wreck, the 'steel plate', fragments, etc.? As the cause was design fault of the visor locks, there was no reason to announce false info of any kind.
· Who invented the story about thousands of tons of water on the car deck inside the superstructure? Didn't this person know that water loaded there on an intact ship would only lead to capsize/floating upside down when GZ was zero?
· Why and who decided that it was necessary to change the time of the listing from 01.02 to 01.15 hrs?
Why delay the Accident?
The last question is easiest to answer. It was a quick decision so that false data would fit other false data. The Commission was forced to delay the listing, while otherwise AB seaman Linde would have been on the car deck in the superstructure, when the visor was allegedly broken lose during 10-20 minutes, which the German group of experts believes actually happened for other reasons. The Germans are certainly wrong 3.18. It was not possible, e.g. to say that the Atlantic lock broke at say 00.40 hrs during the normal patrol round of Linde and that the visor then hit against the forepeak deck for ten minutes, and that then the ramp should have been pulled (fully?) open already at 01.00 hrs resulting in a listing at 01.02 hrs as observed by survivors 2.1. Linde 1.1 had already told the media (see below) that he was on the car deck at that time and then did not hear anything from the ramp except a big bang at about 00.40 hrs (in later testimonies at 00.55 hrs), the origin of which could not be identified. Linde then added that he had seen the ramp closed at 01.30 hrs, when he had abandoned the ship.
Linde has given several different statements about his movements around at various times and who were on the bridge then. Linde has however never stated, like many passengers, that there were two bangs just before 01.00 hrs and that they were followed by an enormous listing/roll to starboard followed by a stable condition with starboard list except in one very late questioning 1.48, when he was at the reception on deck 5 and fell, when the sudden heel occurred.
Leakage of the Hull reported by Dagens Nyheter 7 October 1994
One version by Linde what happened is as follows from an interview in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter October 7, 1994 by an Estonian speaking Swedish reporter, Mert Kubu. It is evidently made long before the Commission started to change all times: It is said that fire patrol man Linde was at 00.30 hrs (sic) in the garage in the superstructure, when he experienced that the vessel suffered a heavy impact, so that Linde fell to the deck 2.1. Linde contacted the bridge by talkie-walkie and reported the incident and was told to check the forward ramp and to continue the fire patrol round. In retrospect this event is strange as the impact would have been heard on the bridge and all over the ship if it were a normal wave impact against the bow, when you slow down.
Linde found nothing wrong at the ramp, he continued his patrol round and returned to the bridge at 00.40 hrs (sic - no more wave impacts against the bow during 10 minutes), where he reported to 2/0 Peeter Kannussaar and saw 3/0 Andres Tammes and the Master Arvo Andresson. The Germans believe that Linde and Peeter Kannussaar and some other crewmembers on the car deck were trying to secure the lose visor and ramp at this time 00.40-01.00 hrs Appendix 5 and never returned to the bridge at all. Note here that Linde, in this DN interview, meets the Master already at 00.40 hrs on the bridge on deck 9 and that he has then terminated his fire patrol round, which must have started earlier than 00.30 hrs.
Linde - back on the bridge at 00.40 hrs - noted that the vessel's speed was 15 knots. At about 00.45 hrs (sic) there was a telephone call to the bridge taken by 2/0 Kannussaar. It was about the presence of water on deck 1. Kannussaar, not the Master, told Linde to go down and check deck 1. This is also a strange event. The person calling, probably an officer or senior crew member as passengers cannot call the bridge, must have reported more. Linde must have been told where this person were located and where on deck 1 there was water.
Linde descended the forward stairway and reached deck 4 level, where the stairway is reduced in width down to deck 1. There Linde met many passengers from deck 1 saying that there was water on deck 1. The ship had not yet listed! Linde could not go down against the flow of passengers. Linde contacted the bridge by way of talkie-walkie and reported this. The abrupt listing >30 degrees to starboard and back to upright and to equilibrium at 15 degrees starboard list occurred soon thereafter, thus at 01.02 - 01.05 hrs. Linde then reached deck 7 and assisted passengers, and Kadak and Sillaste 1.48 into life rafts.
From this simple sequence of events it would appear clear that the ship had suffered a leak - say at 00.30 - 00.40 hrs, that this, or something else, was reported to the bridge at 00.45 hrs and that then the ship lost its stability due to free water on deck 0 - the inner bottom of the hull - at 01.02 hrs.
Modified Statements - the Time and Events change
In another statement to the Commission, which is partly used in the Final report, Linde stated another version to the effect that he was in the garage/superstructure much later (20). He experienced the heavy impact, reported it by talkie-walki to the bridge (2/0 Kannussaar) and was told to check the forward ramp for five minutes. Linde did not notice anything suspicious. He then returned to the bridge, where he met 2/0 Tormi Ainsalu and 4/0 Kaimar Kikas (sic). The reason for this was that the crew watch on the bridge had been changed at 01.00 hrs. Note also that 'Estonia' had two second officers (2/0), Kannussaar and Ainsalu.
Linde stated clearly to the Commission that 2/0 Kannussaar and 3/0 Tammes had left the bridge and he did not mention the presence of the Master Andresson. The time was thus after 01.00 hrs. In another statement, a third version, Linde has proposed that he arrived on the bridge just behind the Master.
Strange Noises at the Ramp
According to the second version of events of Linde as reported by Hellberg 1.44 in (20) Linde was then on the bridge a few minutes, when there was a telephone call taken by 2/0 Ainsalu (sic). The call was about strange noises at the inner ramp but not about water on the car deck and not about water on deck 1 and Linde was ordered to go down and check. He descended the stairway and reached deck 5 level in the deck house and asked the reception (sic) to open the fire doors to the garage in the superstructure - deck 2. Then there was the abrupt list >30 degrees to starboard. And then the passengers started to escape from deck 1 saying there was water on deck 1 in the hull. Linde followed the passengers to deck 7 and, there he reported by talkie-walkie to the bridge (2/0 Ainsalu), that there was water on deck 1.
After Linde left the bridge to attend the emergency in the garage or wherever, the Commission suggested that the Master visited the bridge at 01.07 hrs (Lloyd's List March 17, 1997). The Master is quoted to have said 'we are one hour late' and then he left. How the Commission knows this is not known to the writer. All persons on the bridge at that time, whoever they were, are dead, and according to many passengers, the vessel was already listing since 01.02 hrs.
3/E Treu has told the Commission that he overheard the last conversation between Linde on deck 7 and 2/0 Ainsalu on his talkie-walkie/portable VHF unit in the ECR. Treu states that Linde told Ainsalu that 'there was water in the garage (deck 2)', not on deck 1 as Linde stated, even if Linde had no possibility to know anything about water on deck 2. Treu has evidently told the Commission that he (Treu) saw water entering the garage/superstructure at the forward ramp at 01.15 hrs (without raising an alarm). Treu is the heroic star witness of the Commission. The abrupt listing should then have taken place after 01.15 hrs. 3/E Treu has also stated to the Commission that, after the abrupt listing had occurred, he talked to 4/0 Kaimar Kikas on the bridge about the possibility to shift ballast in order to reduce the listing caused by free water in the garage (sic). This conversation took place between 01.20 and 01.25 hrs, when normal passengers had immediately escaped from wherever they were. We shall believe that Treu stayed behind in the ECR for 10 minutes, whilere there was full panic everywhere else on the ship.
However, Linde must leave the car deck and return to the bridge just before (or after) 01.00 hrs to witness what the Commission then invented happened on the bridge. There is no evidence at all that Linde actually returned to the bridge at any time - all is based on his own testimonies probably manipulated by the Commission, even if the first, DN version sounds good - Linde was back already at 00.40 hrs. But the Final Report states that Linde was on the car deck (deck 2) at 00.55 hrs (or little earlier), heard the bang, waited five minutes - no noise, no wave impacts, nothing - and then returned quickly to the bridge on deck 9 with or without completing the patrol round on decks 1 and 0 of the hull.
Linde has actually at other occasions testified that he completed the round, but it would have taken another five, ten minutes, as there was no hurry or cause for alarm - no more wave impacts! Linde is therefore back on deck 9 - the bridge - at around 01.00 hrs. The telephone rings or had rung earlier - not proven - and somebody - evidently a member of the crew - informs about problems, noise (sic) down in the ship and Linde is ordered by the second mate to go down to the car deck again, just after 01.00 hrs, to check the noise. This is not proven either. Linde goes to the reception (deck 5) and waits another five (!) minutes - the reception shall open the doors to the car deck three decks lower down?!? Of course Linde had his own key, but Linde must be further delayed. The reason for the delay is that Linde must not see any water on the car deck in the superstructure and raise an alarm before the 'accident'. And then slow listing allegedly occurs at 01.15 hrs, when the water starts to flow into the superstructure at the leaking (or fully open ramp - announced two months later). The Commission suggests that the time is 01.14-01.15 hrs. The Estonian delegation has given two versions of the above Appendix 8 but neither is convincing, because they ignore all testimonies of surviving passengers and what was reported in the media the first week. The Estonian proposals are just stupid.
Nevertheless - it seems that the first version of Linde reported to the daily Dagens Nyheter on 7 October is most close to the Truth. Linde had already done his patrol round and found nothing special - except one impact/bang, which probably caused the hull leakage - and had returned to the bridge long before 01.00 hrs. Then he was called down and met the passengers from deck 1, i.e. the bridge was informed that something was wrong before 01.00 hrs - and the Master was already on the bridge!
This is what the Commission tried to hide - that the ship officers were aware of something being seriously wrong before 01.00 hrs and that the accident - the listing - occurred at 01.02 hrs, which probably was clear from the famous, original Utö-plot!
That some passengers from decks 1 and 4 already were on their way up, before the listing occurred, some had been awakened by two 'bangs' sometime before, and that all passengers talked about a sudden listing at 01.02/5 hrs was difficult to explain, but the Commission had no choice. The Commission simply had to manipulate all crew testimonies and to forget all passenger statements, so they fitted the invented new time schedule: what had been published in the newspapers and the summaries of Mr Schager's summaries of testimonies 2.1 had to be forgotten or censored.
The Commission delayed the listing - the 'accident' - 14 minutes - in order for Linde to leave the car deck and for him to inform, in manipulated later testimonies, the unproven events on the bridge, etc.
We do not know where Linde was at 01.02 hrs. And he probably panicked like all others and ran straight to deck 7 port side to save himself, when the listing occurred. And there he remained, met Kadak and Sillaste that had got away from the ECR immediately and got into a life raft. Not very heroic but human. This writer does not blame Linde. Linde did his job and nobody listened to him.
As the time for the accident was delayed about 14 minutes by the Commission, it apparently decided to change the time for the sinking from 01.36 hrs to 01.50 hrs or later. It made the Utö plot worthless - of course it was already worthless, probably showing the 'Estonia' changing course towards Sandhamn earlier, slowing down, never turning after the 'accident' and many other things, which the Commission could never explain. From the above description it should be clear that everything about the accident is inventions by the Commission using falsified testimonies, etc.
Inventions - by whom?
As the Commission could manipulate the times, it could also invent the story that 1 000's of tons of water had entered the deck 2 of the superstructure due to a lost visor and a pulled open ramp and to say that this combination of events had caused the listing. The independent 'expert' Mr Hans Wermelin was used to plant the story in the media 1.3 on the day of the accident. The Commission then did not know that 1 500-2 000 tons of water on the car deck would have resulted in immediate capsize and the end of the voyage. All aboard would have died. But the disinformation worked smoothly. The Commission skilfully talked about capsizing and sinking, as if it were one and the same thing. That it was impossible to sink a passenger ship with an intact hull and watertight subdivision due to water inside the superstructure had to be conveniently forgotten.
The false Visor Position
The Commission probably found the visor at the wreck already on 30 September 1.14 and it was confirmed, when filming the wreck on 2 October and then Lehtola decided, or was told or forced, to announce a false wreck position marked by a blue buoy. Curious persons should stay away from the actual wreck position. It is highly likely that the visor was then detached from the wreck, under water, during 2-9 October. Why, otherwise, announce a false wreck position?
As the Commission delayed the listing 13-14 minutes, they forced 3/Eng Treu and his two colleagues to delay all they did - or did not do - in the ECR 15 minutes. We do not know if Treu really were in the ECR at 01.15 hrs. It is highly unlikely. He would have had great difficulties to evacuate that space, if he were or stayed on. Somebody apparently convinced Treu to state that he not only was in the ECR at 01.15 hrs, he also stayed on for more than 10 minutes trying to save the ship long after the lifeboat alarm was allegedly raised at 01.22 hrs 1.33. But it was difficult because all passengers and crew agreed that the ship was on the side with 70-90 degrees list at 01.30 hrs. Treu's testimony could have been accepted with about 30 minutes between the first listing at 01.02 hrs and the ship on the side at 01.30 hrs with Treu evacuating at the last moment, about 01.08 hrs!, even if it is highly likely that Treu immediately abandoned the ECR 1.48, if he were there. That the same events of Treu; listing, ballasting, telephone calls with the bridge, evacuation, etc., could be compressed between 01.16 hrs (listing) and 1.30 hrs (>70 degrees listing according the Commission) was not possible, 1.9 and .1. If the vessel were on the side at 01.30 hrs as proven by broken watches, when the last people on the side jumped into the water, then the ship sank already at 01.32-01.36 hrs as stated by the mate of the 'Mariella' and shown by the clock on the bridge of the 'Estonia', which stopped at 01.35 hrs, and not as late as 01.53-01.55 hrs, which the Commission states.
The alleged sinking after 01.53 hrs was necessary, so that the false plot of Huss/Rosengren 1.9 would fit.
Huss/Rosengren needed >35 minutes to allow the 'Estonia' to lose the visor at 01.15 hrs, turn 180°, drift and sink a mile East of the visor. They never managed to show this as any water in the superstructure would have flowed out after the turn and the stopping, so in the end they used the plot of an undamaged ship to perform the feat. Quite remarkable. Why did Huss and Rosengren assist hiding a crime?
It means that all testimonies from the ECR are manipulated 1.48; Treu's, Sillaste's and Kadak's. And that Linde also lied about the last 60 minutes in his latter testimonies. Things were not improved by Treu stating that it was full speed forward all the time until after the listing. Probably the vessel had slowed down and stopped earlier, as shown on the Utö plot, but the Commission could evidently not admit that.
It meant that the bridge then should have known that there was a serious fault on the ferry - the real cause of accident - leakage of the hull and that they had slowed down to investigate - and it meant further that they could not announce the correct positions of the wreck and the visor, which would have indicated that the speed was reduced.
Key Witnesses lied about everything on 28 September
The writer thinks today that the four 'key witnesses' lied about everything of the accident already on the 28 September. Linde was probably never on the bridge and the three persons in the ECR, if they were there - they might have been in the engine room or in the stabilizer space, sewage tank compartment or the swimming pool room trying to prevent the leakage - probably evacuated immediately to open deck, when the listing occurred at 01.02 hrs as otherwise they had drowned.
But why did they all lie so coordinated - even if details and times did not match - already on the day of the accident?
The above means that the alleged course of events of the Commission was falsified already he same day of the accident on 28 September 1994, before they had found wreck or visor, the latter probably at the bow of the wreck.
Who could have initiated this manipulation/falsification so early?
Enn Neidre 1.6/7? No, the matter is probably more complex than that, even if Neidre and several members of the crew evidently knew exactly what happened on board, but for various reasons did not say what. Neidre was on location in Finland, when the surviving crewmembers came ashore and told him what had happened. Of course the crewmembers told exactly what had happened. They were not responsible for the accident; only victims. Naturally the crewmembers were then ordered to tell another story. But the falsification was decided very early - before anybody checked the stability aspects of the falsifications 1.9, etc. That is why nothing tallies. It was in fact Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt that announced on 28 September 1994 that the visor had probably caused the accident!
The early Birds of the Swedish Government
Let us repeat the events on 28 September after the sinking, as they are summarised in the part report of the Swedish Analysis group 'En granskning av Estoniakatastrofen och dess följder' (25) ('A review of the 'Estonia' disaster and its consequences') published 1998 1.40. It provides another perspective why the crew lied.
Already at 03.00 hrs Estonian time on the night of the accident, i.e. 90 minutes after Mayday, parts of the Swedish government including Prime Minister Carl Bildt and civil servants, politically and publicly appointed, gathered to analyse the situation (page 24 in (25)):
'At around 4 o'clock ... they concluded that the procedures of an accident investigation is an important question. They want to avoid that another state is responsible for such an investigation without giving Swedish experts insight into the work.'
Nobody informed, naturally, at this early hour that the United Nations ship safety organ the IMO had previously approved two resolutions about the procedures of marine casualty investigations and that a third was being developed. There was already an internationally accepted standard for marine casualty investigations 1.2 and the Swedish government did not have to worry. Nowhere in any public Swedish examination and investigation 1994-1998 around the 'Estonia' events is this fact mentioned. The Swedish Board of Psychological Defence denies it today, 2001 1.49.
Not only the experts of the Swedish government but also the public had the right to attend an accident investigation of this kind. But you get the impression that the Swedish government at 04.00 hrs - three hours after the listing occurred - was prepared to ensure that Swedish experts should have insight into the investigation. It was self-evident.
But what about the public?
The government immediately asked its Board of Accident Investigation, SHK, to fly to Turku and assist the Estonians. But why the Swedish government 1994 then decided that the investigation should be secret for more than three years should be clarified today 2001! The Swedish government also apparently encouraged their civil servants not to follow the Swedish law (1990:712) about accident investigations, which refers to the IMO-resolution. It is a self-evident fact that the secrecy of the investigation enabled both the manipulations of the Commission and the conspiracy theories of unknown parties. At the same time the government put the Swedish rescue service Räddningstjänsten on alert to arrange a dive inspection of the wreck 1.3.
In the morning the Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt contacts his Finnish and Estonian colleagues (the Prime Ministers) and they agree to meet the same day (page 26 in (25)). In the afternoon the Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt and two assistants, Jonas Hafström and navy brigadier (commander) Emil Svensson, took an aeroplane to Åbo/Turku (page 28 in (25)). It was about this time, when German TV showed captain Arvo Piht at Utö and informed that also Piht was on his way to Åbo/Turku 1.46 and when the 'Mariella' left the area of the accident with 25 or 28 or more survivors onboard 1.41.
On arrival at Åbo/Turku the Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt informs that the government has asked its Board of Accident Investigation, the SHK, to assist Estonia to investigate the accident (page 29 in (25)). It was exactly in accordance with the UN/IMO resolutions about international cooperation at marine casualty investigations, even if the Swedish prime minister should also have ensured that the Swedish public should have had full insight during the whole investigations. Secrecy during a purely technical accident investigation is not permitted.
Later there was a presentation at the rescue centre followed by private deliberations between the prime ministers. Apparently they decided a three-party Commission, total secrecy during the investigation and that all evidence should be confidential. Nobody else could have decided that. The Estonians could then appoint delegates with no interest in a proper investigation 1.7.
Then the three prime ministers met survivors. The Estonian prime minister
'Mart Laar talks to three Estonian crew members, who tell about a wave, which lifted the bow visor from below' (page 29 in (25)).
This explanation in (25) is not possible. The three, evidently 3/E Treu, systems engineer Sillaste and oiler/motorman Kadak, had no possibility to know that one wave had lifted the bow visor 1.10 on 28 September and they have never repeated such statements. They had never seen a pulled open ramp of the superstructure. They had, reported in a first version of events, only seen a closed but leaking ramp at the forward end of the superstructure on a TV-monitor in the ECR after the sudden listing, which was then the official position of the Commission.
If (25) is true, already on 28 September the testimonies/crew members were manipulated before the meeting with the prime ministers! Or did the Analysis Group get things wrong?
Then there was a press conference.
Later the Swedish prime minister went home and now the description becomes interesting. From the airport Carl Bildt called the Swedish transport minister Mats Odell and ordered (25) that
'it shall be investigated if other passenger ferries in operation are designed in the same way as the 'Estonia'. The information from the surviving crew members about the bow visor being 'lifted from below' can be an indication of design fault' (page 29 in (25)). 'The transport minister is given the task to contact the NMA'.
At the about the same time two Swedish helicopters land on the 'Mariella', which just entered Swedish waters, and disembarked police men to 'protect' the 25/28 survivors 1.41 on the ship, which is not mentioned in (25).
Why was it so important to isolate these survivors on the 'Mariella' from the public and media?
The official explanation was to protect these survivors from the media, but there was no media on the 'Mariella' at the time.
On his return the Prime Minister Carl Bildt attends a crisis group meeting at the government headquarters (page 31 in (25)). The prime minister summarises, i.a.
· 'As a design fault may have caused the accident, it should be investigated if similar faults can be found on other ships' (page 31 in (25)).
For the second time on the day of the accident itself the Prime Minister Carl Bildt hints that design fault may have caused the accident. Interestingly enough the Commission later just investigated design fault. And nothing else.
The Swedish delegates of the Commission did not arrive at Åbo/Turku until the evening; Forssberg, Stenström, Gunnel Göransson (secretary), all three SHK, and Sten Andersson,(the NMA observer. They met the Finns, there is no protocol of the meeting, and were told that the Estonian delegates of the Commission will arrive the following day (page 33 in (25)). It is not correct. Captain Enn Neidre was already in place questioning crewmembers. Transport minister Meister was apparently at Tallinn and discussed with Stolt Comex about salvaging all bodies and may have come later. The Estonians were not formally appointed until the 10 October 1.5, so it was not clear on the 28 September, who the Estonian investigators were, but many Estonian officials were at Turku already on the 28th.
During the day of the accident the stability of the 'Estonia' with water in the superstructure seems not to have been discussed!
The following day (Thursday 29 September) the Swedish government crisis group meets again (page 45 in (25)):
'The question about bow doors with design faults is discussed'. 'The prime minister points out regarding this matter that it is important that all requested material (about bow visors) is collected and that it must be checked by Finland' (page 46 in (25)). 'He finds it remarkable that the suspicions about the bow visors came via the government and did not seem to be known by the responsible authority'.
At the same meeting the government apparently gave the go-ahead with its own dive inspection by Räddningstjänsten/Swedish navy. Concurrently the Commission meets at Åbo/Turku 1.3. Captain Avo Piht is still reported as a survivor by the Baltic News Service, the media and official institutions; Estonian ministries, Finnish police, and one of the Veide sisters calls her mother - the call is cut - and the purser Andres Vihmare 1.46 calls the wife of the ship's doctor, Viktor Bogdanov, and states that he has survived. It is not mentioned in (25). The Swedish and Finnish delegates then question some crewmembers and then Meister decided to send the crew home. No representatives of hull and P&I underwriters or legal counsel of the ship owner is reported in (25) to have attended at Åbo/Turku to assist with the investigation and support the crewmembers 3.20. This was no normal accident investigation.
However, the interest of the Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt of bow visors with design faults on 28/29 September is remarkable, as nobody at that time had stated that the visor had caused the accident or pulled open the ramp in the superstructure. It is also remarkable that nobody informed him about the UN/IMO resolutions about international cooperation at marine accident investigations and that the public should have full insight.
On the second day after the accident the stability aspects with water in the superstructure were not yet discussed.
No Information of Stability and the Principle of Archimedes
On Friday (30 September) the Swedish government crisis group meets again. It discussed
'a meeting with NMA safety director Bengt-Erik Stenmark the same morning about the NMA analysis of probable causes of accident' (page 49 in (25)).
What actually was discussed at the meetings on 30 September is not given in (25) - probable causes of accident? It would have been interesting to know, what various causes suggested by the Swedish National Maritime Administration were discussed. Stenmark apparently does not inform about his talk with senior ship inspector Åke Sjöblom Tuesday evening eight hours before the accident; 1.1 footnote 11, 1.23 and 1.33, about the 'Estonia' not being seaworthy with a long list of defects at departure on 27 September.
Stenmark apparently does not inform that a ship floats on its hull and that a ship sinks, if the hull is leaking below the waterline, but capsizes and floats upside down on the hull, if it gets water on the car deck above the waterline 1.9 inside the superstructure above the hull. Stenmark does not mention that a lost visor protecting a superstructure cannot cause sinking of a ship.
Not a word about the ramp just closing an opening in the weather tight superstructure around the car deck and that water in such superstructure does not sink the ship in 30 minutes, as it floats all the time on the hull.
It is not known how correct the above report (25) of the Analysis group is. It could be a clever part of continued disinformation that all qualified authorities supported the false visor theory from day one, but it shows that the interest quickly focused on the bow visor in the superstructure - design fault - as cause of accident - strongly encouraged by the Prime Minister Carl Bildt - while the Swedish NMA evidently withheld damaging and/or essential information about the 'Estonia' not being seaworthy. The stability of the 'Estonia' seems not to have been discussed at all and it is still a subject not to be discussed by the NMA staff.
That the Swedish NMA had a particular interest to support a cover-up was not noticed by anybody 1.16. The Swedish NMA evidently knew that the ship was unseaworthy eight hours before the accident.
In retrospect they knew that the 'Estonia' was unseaworthy from the start of operations 1993.
It must be added that the 'the faulty visor' theory was already, also discussed on the Internet on 28 September 1994 and reported in the media on 29 September. The origin of this theory was always crew members from the ECR (or elsewhere), who were then in hospital at Turku. One of these crew members was however also quoted to have been standing to his knees in water somewhere on a lower deck, just before the listing. Evidently he could not have been standing in water to his knees in one location (aft of the ramp on car deck no. 2) and at the same time be witnessing the drama on the monitor in the ECR on deck 1. But it is a fact that a Mr Mats Winberg of email@example.com on 28 Sep 1994 at 11:12:15 hrs GMT reported on the Internet that:
I just heard on the Swedish radio that an Estonian crew member that has been saved has told the news agency TT: "I was on the lower deck when I noticed water streaming in through the front (where the cars and trucks are loaded/unloaded). I had water to my knees and then the ship started to tilt over".
One reason why the investigation was manipulated is the following:
Assume that the ship sprang a leak at 0040-00.50-00.58 hrs and that only some crewmembers were called upon to control the situation and that no passenger alarm was raised. It was the bang that Linde noticed on his patrol round and told DN that caused the leak. Assume that at that time all the watertight doors in the hull were open 1.23.
Say that the crew managed to close locally the watertight doors on deck 0 and managed to isolate one or two watertight compartments that had already been flooded. Closing watertight doors should have activated loud alarm bells and no survivor reports hearing such an alarm, but maybe the alarm clocks were disconnected.
Assume that Treu, Kadak and Sillaste were occupied with that and had started the bilge pumps. Everybody thought that the situation was under control, but assume that Treu then reported by phone to the bridge that the water was rising up on deck 1, where the passengers were accommodated. Confusion on the bridge! Linde was sent down to warn the passengers on deck 1. Some passengers had already noticed the water and were running up. Nobody had at that time closed the watertight doors on deck 1. Linde met the escaping passengers in the stairwell at deck 4. At the same time there was further confusion on the bridge - some lamps were red, some green on the watertight door control panel. Somebody decided to close all watertight doors but pushes the wrong button on the panel. The watertight door control panel was very confusing 1.23. The locally closed doors on deck 0 were opened from the bridge. The doors were under full water pressure of the flooded compartment(s). Two bangs were caused, when the water shot out of the full compartments and spread on deck 0! Soon after followed the sudden listing!
After the accident the crew members were requested not to say anything about it, but to blame the accident on the visor and water leaking into the superstructure. And that events developed so fast that they could do little; e.g. slow down.
Captain Avo Piht and chief engineer Lembit Leiger 1.46 probably survived and they disagreed to keep quiet. They must have been extremely upset about the whole stupid accident and wanted to tell the media. But they were kept isolated in various hospitals as Piht was flown to Finland and later they disappeared. Maybe they were forced to keep a low profile for a while? Six, seven years?
Thus only Treu, Sillaste, Kadak and Linde stated in various ways, just what Prime Minister Carl Bildt told the media, that the visor must have caused the accident. They had seen water leaking in at the closed ramp (except Linde of course) and that the visor was missing, when the ship sank, but that the ramp was closed, and all these statements were published on 28 on the Internet and 29 and 30 September in the media and the Finnish and Estonian prime ministers supported them. Linde didn't like the situation and gave a frank interview to DN. But then the visor was probably found at the bow on 30 September and filmed on 1 October 1.3 by the Swedish divers and on 2 October by the Finnish ROV, i.e. it had not fallen off 30 or 40 minutes before the sinking. The four testimonies and the whole theory about the visor then became useless. The Commission thus decided to move the wreck (!) - on paper of course..
Lehtola announced a false Wreck Position!
A blue buoy was anchored at the false wreck position and the ships guarding the wreck were moved to the buoy. Another ship (HMS Furusund or Urd from the Swedish navy) could then anchor at the wreck 1-3-4 October and remove the visor! Simple lie became a flood of lies. Probably the condition of the visor and ramp was bad - the ramp was twisted, could not be locked and was leaking and was secured by ropes and the visor was also twisted and did not fit properly. The Atlantic lock was probably damaged earlier and was not in use. But it could be used as the 'cause of accident'!! And it worked well in the beginning - false statements presented by media as facts became established facts.
Why the Commission - and the prime ministers - did not want to admit normal leakage, as cause of accident, is not known - to protect the crew and the ship owner - or themselves?
In the end the Commission accused the innocent shipyard - as an Alfred Dreyfus - to have incorrectly designed and manufactured the visor locks in 1979. But the explanations in the Final report (5) are evidently not convincing at all about the faulty designed and manufactured visor.
Interestingly enough the ship's insurance underwriters kept quiet - they should pay for the accident, but apparently just accepted the lies of the Commission. The underwriters should evidently not have paid a penny - the ship was not seaworthy with false certificates, etc.
Swedish NMA safety director Bengt-Erik Stenmark and his staff certainly knew that there were severe defects on the 'Estonia' and that it was not the visor that was the main problem - it was, e.g. the life saving equipment 1.27, 1.33 and 1.34, the bilge pumps and the watertight subdivision 1.23, and other defects in the hull: stabilizer installation, the swimming pool on the double bottom, etc. But it seems that Bildt and Stenmark only discussed the visor. According to the description by the Analysis group above in (25) 1998, it seems clear that on the first and following days only the bow visor in the superstructure should be examined and that only one cause of accident - design fault - should be investigated.
It is of course possible that Stenmark told Prime Minister Carl Bildt that the 'Estonia' was not seaworthy at departure from Tallinn and that this information was kept secret; like all evidence of the investigation. You get the impression that these two persons, Bildt and Stenmark, have not given correct information to the Analysis group 1997/8.
However, the Analysis group 1.36 was aware of all information in (1) at that time and most new facts in this book - all censored by the Commission - when it wrote its reports (25) and (26) 1998 and 1999. None of the new facts of this writer were used by the Analysis group in its investigation and analysis.
The reason not to use the writer's information was that the Analysis group should not study the accident investigation (sic). The Analysis group studied only if the dead bodies were to be salvaged and how Swedish authorities had looked after survivors and relatives of the victims.
Anyway - according to the description of the Analysis group the Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt strongly influenced the Commission only to investigate a design fault of the visor (a) before it had even been established, if the visor could have pulled open the ramp, (b) before they had studied the intact stability with water loaded in the superstructure, (c) before they had interviewed the survivors and (d) before they had investigated any other defects of the ship. Neither wreck nor visor was officially found, when Carl Bildt put his demand forward.
No other safety defects should be investigated. The stability of the 'Estonia' with water in the superstructure was never discussed. It is quite strange actually. It seems that everything that really happened was censored, and that only bits and pieces of disinformation were made public the first days.
The matter was complicated by the fact that the Commission delayed the time for the loss of the visor and thus the listing by about 14 minutes. It was done to protect Linde - see above -and it took place on 28/29 September before finding the wreck. It meant that the Utö-plot became worthless or 1.13, as Rosengren told captain Mäkelä on the 'Silja Europa' in November 1994, was "incorrect", as it must have shown that the listing occurred at 01.02 hrs, when the ship stopped and the course changed unless course and speed had changed earlier?.
Why was it really necessary to change the time for the listing?
It took place on 28/29 September. In his first testimony of 28 September 2.1 Treu said clearly that the listing occurred at 01.00 hrs, in his second testimony (probably false - it never took place!) on 29 September that it was at 01.16 hrs. Also the time for the sinking was changed. Probably all assisting ships saw that the 'Estonia' sank already at 01.32-01.36 hrs, but the Commission decided to delay the sinking to about 01.52 hrs so that the ship could drift one mile while being filled with water and sink a mile East of the visor 1.9.
Why didn't the Commission accept that the listing occurred at 01.02 hrs, as most survivors said, and decided instead to advance the visit of Linde on the car deck to already at, say, 00.30 hrs, when he normally should have been there anyway - and probably was? The false course of events was still working, even if the time between the listing and the Mayday increased from six to 20 minutes. A delayed Mayday could have been explained by panic on the bridge after the listing.
The last question is not really necessary. The error of the Commission was that it stated already on 4 October 1994 that water on the car deck in the superstructure had caused the sinking - the first interim report 1.4.
The Commission did not know on 29 September or 4 October, what would actually happen with 2 000 tons of water on the car deck in the superstructure - it thought it could invent anything to mislead the public.
The Commission or Meister, Forssberg and Lehtola did not know the physical relationship between free water on an enclosed car deck inside a superstructure above the waterline of an intact hull and the resulting angle of heel, and that the residual stability became zero at a certain angle causing immediate capsize and floating upside down 2.16 on the intact watertight and airtight subdivision of the hull.
The Ramp was fully open - but why no Capsize?
The Commission did not know that you needed 1 000 tons on the car deck inside the superstructure to cause a list of 20 degrees. If a 20 degree list occurred quickly, the water - 1 000 tons - must have entered quickly, and it was not possible through a half-closed, leaking ramp. So later, on 15 December 1.17, the Commission stated that the ramp had been pulled fully open - quickly. But the Commission still did not know, what should happen then. If 1.000 tons entered in one minute, then of course 2 000 tons entered in two minutes and the angle of heel would become >35 degrees, which would have caused immediate capsize. But nobody in the Commission had any knowledge about these simple stability matters - at that time. Only later various experts tried to explain the realities to the Commission in closed and secret meetings - and the Commission did not know what to do - except to suggest that the ship floated on the deck house and to delay the publication of the Final report, while dr. Huss was falsifying the stability and sinking data and the plot of the accident 1.9. When much later the suggestion by this writer, that the ship should have capsized and floated upside down, became generally known and accepted by the public, the Commission and the Swedish NMA (Selén and Franson) went out with the totally untrue suggestion that the 'Estonia' had floated on the watertight deckhouse above the superstructure (car deck space) and 10-20 meters above the waterline, preventing capsize, etc.
This book clearly demonstrates that Forssberg, Lehtola and Meister were incompetent or rather criminal amateurs regarding, i.a. stability. That is why the Commission 1994 shamelessly announced its theories about water on the car deck and didn't say that there was a severe leakage below the waterline, which could have been caused by bad maintenance or repairs previously or repairs being done at sea, even if a hull leakage should under normal conditions not sink the ship. A leakage should have been isolated by closed watertight doors, and water could have been pumped out by bilge pumps. etc. But it seems that the Commission did not want to confirm that the watertight doors were open and could not be closed, etc. Now the Commission and the German experts censored all facts about the watertight doors 1.23 in the Final Report (5) and then the Commission and the German experts could never explain how the 'Estonia' sank 1.9, i.e. how the watertight compartments in the hull were flooded! The bilge pumps were conveniently forgotten by the Commission and the Germans. Not to be forgotten it was apparently confusion on 28-29 September 1994. The public demanded quick answer, what could have caused the accident. So the visor was a good idea. It sounded good - 99.9% of the public believed it then including the Germans and many still believes it today with the help of the SPF 1.49.
To blame the accident on crew error or negligence in connection with the leakage, faulty watertight doors and bilge pumps, etc. was apparently not possible. The visor story was good - four key witnesses could make up some stories about it, even if the stories did not tally. 'Respectable' Commission members could agree. Then the media could be manipulated quoting 'experts' stating that passenger ferries sink due to water on the car deck in a superstructure above waterline. The latter is very serious.
The perfect Condition of the Ship - a Myth
The Commission had otherwise several possibilities to manipulate the investigation. Officially it stated that the visor was in perfect condition and that it was a design fault and bad manufacture in 1979 by the shipyard and, not to forget, the lack of a proper inner collision bulkhead, which was the responsibility of the Estonian administration.
The Commission could instead have confirmed that the condition of the visor was bad and that it in itself didn't cause the accident and that it was a combination of high wave loads and fatigue of important parts and the lack of the collision bulkhead that caused the accident. In marine accidents normally you blame the Master for incompetence and the Master had drowned in this accident and could not defend himself, but this went against the Estonians. No individual Estonian should apparently be accused, as it would have hit back against the shipowner's superintendent and safety manager Ulf Hobro Appendix 7 at Stockholm and the classification society Bureau Veritas and its surveyors Anders Wirstam and Hans Olsson, who also worked for the Estonian administration. These persons evidently knew all about the true condition of the 'Estonia' and the Commission did not waste time to manipulate these professionals - they were left in peace. Any criticism about the ship's condition - or anything - would also hit back against the Port State Control of the Swedish NMA at Stockholm - and Tallinn - so the Commission decided to blame the shipyard. And this was very good. The German shipyard decided to check everything what the Commission was doing Appendix 5.
The Germans never understood that all Information of the Commission was false
Without the German private investigation many facts about the accident would have been swept under the carpet. The cover-up and the falsification of History would probably have succeeded. But the German investigation is still not satisfactory. It accepted many statements of the Commission as facts including the loss of the visor, when everything stated by the Commission 1994-1997 today must be regarded as false. But who could have believed that 1994/5? The German experts must have been completely fed up in the end. They knew then that everything the Commission had stated was rubbish - lies - but, very interestingly, they never stated it clearly. In the end the Germans published its Final report Appendix 9 - a strange document avoiding many items mentioned in this book. The German final report is as totally unsatisfactory as the Commission's but for other reasons. This writer believes the German shipyard was convinced to drop the matter quietly. The Germans became part of the conspiracy! The German yard had in fact built a ferry with a lot of inherent defects due to incompetence, e.g. the watertight doors.
Crew Members know what happened
3/E Treu is an interesting person - he knows that they know, that he knows, that the accident did not develop as he has testified. Treu also knows who told him to change the story - it was probably the Estonian investigator captain Enn Neidre, after the visit of the prime ministers? Treu's time for the listing was changed then - AE has kindly pointed this out 2.1. In Treu's latest testimony (act D24) allegedly made at 10.00 hrs on 29 September it is clear that all times have been delayed 15-16 minutes. As an example Treu states that at about 01.30 hrs the list was about 40-45 degrees and the main engines had stopped. And True had still no intent to abandon the control room.
In this second testimony (act D24) - which must have been manipulated in many ways, Treu states that
'Sillaste ... he had come down at about the time the problems started'.
'the engine staff's own staircase'
to get out, when the listing was almost 90 degrees 1.48. How was it possible? How can you run seven floors up - totally about 20 meters - when the list is 90 degrees? It is impossible! But later the Germans (sic) have provided 'evidence' for this fabrication - a vertical, 20 meters long, narrow, emergency exit trunk should have existed (sic) between decks 1 and 9, even if it were not shown on any drawings. Evidently all the fabricated events in Treu's second testimony were delayed at least 15 minutes, and it is on this, and only this, testimony that the Final Report bases the time for the sudden listing. And what happened before the listing occurred - Treu says nothing - all was normal.
Who asked Treu to change the time?
When we know that, we know who made up the story about the water on the car deck already on 28 September, before the majority of Commission members had arrived at Åbo/Turku and after the first questioning by the Finnish police of Treu. The protocol of the second questioning of Treu by the Finnish police is so confusing, so you wonder, if the questioning actually took place at all. It may be that the second testimony is totally false. Because why would the Finnish police question Treu twice, first on 28 September and then on 29 September, ask the same questions and accept different answers? It is something to investigate. Copies of the police records are at the Swedish Accident Investigation Board. Treu is alive in Estonia.
The three prime ministers were at Åbo/Turku already in the afternoon, but Forssberg, Stenström and Sten Anderson didn't arrive at Åbo until late evening on 28 September (page 33 in (25)).
It means that the scenario about water on the car deck was not made up by the Commission, but by persons in place before the Commission arrived, at about the same time captain Avo Piht disappeared between Utö and Åbo/Turku and the three persons he probably shared life raft with disappeared from the 'Mariella' 1.41. Lembit Leiger was recovering at the Huddinge hospital but was kept locked up by the police. When he started to make noise, he also disappeared.
The Visor Story was made up by a third Party
The conclusion of this writer is that neither the crew nor the Commission made up the story about the visor but that somebody else - probably with assistance of captain Enn Neidre 1.6 first told Treu and then Linde what to say. It was difficult, so their stories did not tally. They also did not tell the full, new story to Sillaste, who told the media and the Finnish and Estonian police that the bilge pumps were running and that the ship was leaking 1.3. The Commission was then told only to confirm the scenario with a faulty visor and water on the car deck with strong support of the Swedish prime minister. Early the Swedish 'expert' Hans Wermelin had told media that the visor was lost and that ships sink without visor. They discovered however that Linde had told the media that he was on the car deck some time (20 or 5 minutes) before 01.00 hrs, when all was OK, so they had to change the time of the listing to 01.15 hrs to give time for all false events to take place, even if Treu had already confirmed the time 01.00 hrs of the listing, when he was questioned the first time. So Treu was questioned again and confirmed the time 01.15 hrs for the listing. When later Sillaste started talking about bilge pumps, the Commission censored that statement completely 1.3 in the Final Report (5). The Commission suggested that Sillaste meant that pumps were started to pump the car deck (!) empty, but the car deck was 2,5 meters above the waterline inside the superstructure and you did not have any pumps in the superstructure! Bilge pumps evidently pump from the bilges of the hull below deck 0.
Who had reason to totally manipulate the course of events already on the 28th?
The three prime ministers? They had officially nothing to do with the matter. Officially they knew nothing? But they were there at Turku and spread the story about the visor!
And why was it necessary to blame the whole accident on the visor?
Why not accept that the ship had sunk due to leakage. It would have been easier to falsify a story based on that (correct) assumption. But for unknown reasons somebody decided (captain Enn Neidre naturally knows who) already on 28 September (a) to blame everything on the visor and (b) to change the time for the listing to protect Linde. The Commission was then presented the task to sort out the 'details' with help of its 'experts'. To verify the developments Enn Neidre, a middle manager in the ship owning company, was manipulated into the Commission 1.6 to investigate the accident, i.e. to ensure that the accident was not investigated properly. Neidre could control the crew and Neidre succeeded to convince the crew to produce false statements. Captain Piht and chief engineer Leiger had to disappear.
Supporters and Conspirators of the false Cause of Accident
The Swedish NMA observer Sten Anderson supported the false cause 1.4 in the media with so much disinformation, so that safety director Bengt-Erik Stenmark later (February 1995) had to resign from his position 1.37. The Swedish NMA had a very strong reason to support the false cause to hide, e.g. that the 'Estonia' lacked correct life saving equipment and that it was impossible for all onboard to abandon the ship under any circumstances. It is very probable that both Sten Anderson and Bengt-Erik Stenmark know what actually happened.
The writer has a strong feeling that the Commission was ordered, late on 28 or early 29 September that the cause of accident should be the lost visor and water on the car deck and that the Commission should only announce and investigate that cause. Who gave the order to the Commission is evidently not yet clear. It was probably Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt. The Commission (Forssberg) then only demanded that the investigation should be secret and the demand was met. Who decided that? Did anybody ask why all this was necessary? Didn't anybody wonder if a crime had caused the accident?
Somebody should ask judge Olof Forssberg in the Svea Hovrätt appeal court about it.
Anyway - the result can be studied in this book. The Commission met on 29 (30?) 1.3 September but it did not discuss the cause of accident - it was already decided. The full Commission was probably not aware of the fact that captain Piht and chief engineer Leiger had 'disappeared'. Then the Commission shamelessly announced the course of events and the cause of accident on 4 October 1.4 as ordered by respective governments. But there were immediate problems. The Finns had probably found the visor at the wreck and Lehtola had to announce the false wreck position, 1.14 and 4.3, so that the visor could be removed and salvaged at the wreck (by the Swedes). Finland first announced that the visor had not been found, the search took a very long time, and in the meantime Swedish divers apparently detached the visor from the bow assisted by the Swedish and Finnish navies. This took probably place 30 September - 9 October 1994. With the visor off the bow, then the Commission could reconfirm the cause of accident on 17 October 1.11, even if there were confusion 1.13. All the members of the Commission were however at this time totally compromised - they could not withdraw. They had become co-conspirators to hide the Truth! Co-conspirators to hide a crime.
Call the Navy!
The situation must have been so critical that the Commission demanded and got help from the Swedish Navy to remove the visor from the wreck 30 September - 9 October 1994. The persons controlling the Commission had strong powers.
That Swedish divers (from the Royal navy, the
Räddningsverket (Rescue Board) and private companies
1.3) have actually dived
on the 'Estonia' was confirmed in the Swedish daily
Expressen on 22 August 2000, page 13 (by Fredrik
Engström) The article was later same day taken out but
no explanation or correction was given:
The diving of Bergmark and his four - actually
14 - colleagues was probably under the leadership
of Mr Gustav Hanuliak and has never been mentioned
or reported by the Commission. The Commission
states that only one diving expedition took place -
in December 1994 - with American and British
The diving of Bergmark and his four - actually 14 - colleagues was probably under the leadership of Mr Gustav Hanuliak and has never been mentioned or reported by the Commission. The Commission states that only one diving expedition took place - in December 1994 - with American and British divers.
The Visor was found and salvaged
And then the visor was allegedly found on 18 October by a Finnish ship the 'Tursas' - with Swedish navy officers on board - without a real search (the 'Tursas' was in port the day before and went straight to the visor!) a mile West of the 'wreck', i.e. we do not know, if it was relative the false or the real (then unknown) position, where the visor was found. So the actual position (lat./long.) of the visor was not announced! Probably the 'Tursas' went to the wreck and filmed the visor on the bottom below the bow of the ship without filming the wreck!
And then the visor was salvaged by the Swedish navy in the middle of November1994 without the actual position being given. The obvious question is - where did the salvage of the visor actually take place?
It seems that the Swedish and Finnish vessels of the wreck filming and visor salvage operations were told not to tell their positions to the media or the public. It enabled Lehtola to separate the visor from the wreck on the paper. Iivonen arranged that the Utö plot disappeared.
When these primary manipulations had been done, the Commission could present its false course of events. And as it apparently was accepted by the public, the Commission decided to state that the 'Estonia' was in perfect condition with correct lifesaving equipment, emergency plans and certificates, in spite of it being very easy to show the opposite 1.33. One condition was of course that the investigation was secret and all the evidence confidential - no insight for the public. If the real facts - equipment, plans, certificates, etc. - had been published in 1994 anybody would have understood that the Commission's statements were false! The Baltic ferry industry gladly played along in this stupid game!
What does the Commission and the Baltic ferry industry say about the above?
The Commission and the Baltic ferry industry do not say anything. Forssberg refuses to speak - he is today a fairly incompetent judge at the Svea Hovrätt appeal court at Stockholm (according to certain staff) which is conveniently located in the same building as the SPF 1.49. In a letter April 1997 to the writer he stated that he never was going to comment about the accident investigation. It is highly probable that Forssberg was ordered only to investigate (lie about) the design fault of the visor that fell off, and that there was water on the car deck. Forssberg had previously made and signed many doubtful accident investigation reports. Stenström was ordered the same thing. Stenström probably did not fully believe in it, but agreed. The writer knew Stenström before the accident. He appeared to be a qualified naval architect representing the International Chamber of Shipping at the IMO. But when the writer met Stenström on Monday 31 October 1994 at the IMO and proposed that the Commission should check the stability - that the 'Estonia' should have capsized and floated upside down with water on the car deck 1.9 Stenström went pale and was never more himself, when the writer met him later 1995/6. Stenström must have been quite worried at this time (October 1994). He knew that the visor was still at the wreck - it had just been removed under water and fallen to the bottom below the bow - and that it must be 'salvaged' in a secret operation, so that later a false visor position 1 560 meters West of the wreck could be announced. Sten Anderson must have known what was required, as well as his boss, safety director Johan Franson, who manipulated the diving 1.16 - protect the Swedish NMA! But the other Swedes in the Commission, Rosengren, Huss, Noord, Schager and Eksborg, might not have known what orders hade been given at the beginning, i.e. 1994, but later, 1996/7, they must have known or suspected that the whole investigation was not correct. But they never protested. The resignation of Schager in September 1997 was for show only when he had been paid >SEK 3 millions as a consultant.
In Finland Kari Lehtola, admiral Heimo Iivonen and Tuomo Karppinen must have been fully aware that the official cause of accident was false - Karppinen and Iivonen had seen the visor on 2 October and made the Utö plot disappear and Lehtola announced the false wreck position, 1.14 and 4.3, and probably a false visor position. Iivonen falsified the information about the rescue operation 1.20.
The Finnish expert Klaus Rahka does not seem to understand that something was wrong with the investigation. He worked as a slave to find information and statements confirming the official cause that wave loads should have ripped off the visor - a useful idiot. The only proper meeting protocol during the investigation was written by him. That the content was rubbish was one thing - it looked proper. The Swedish expert Michael Huss must have known from 1995 on that all was wrong, as his reports were falsified by the Commission 1.9. And NMA safety director Fransson, who directed the diving 1.16 and wrote all reports of consequences and analysis to the Swedish government, knows full well that all is a big bluff. He was rewarded by the appointment to safety director of the NMA. In April 2000 Franson appointed Huss as director of the Technical department of the NMA.
Today the complete top management of the Swedish NMA and Safety Inspection are active participants of the 'Estonia' cover-up*.
And the Baltic ferry industry keet silent!
It is quite unbelievable that so many persons became party of the falsification of History and since have not leaked about it or told the Truth. But today they seem to believe in their own lies - otherwise they cannot sleep?
A natural question - did the Commission on 28/29 September know, what really happened?
Or didn't they give a damn and just reported what they were told?
Was the Commission itself misled?
Did the Commission know, e.g. that the ship sprang a leak at 0040-00.50-00.58 hrs and that an alarm raised the crew (but not the passengers)?
Did the Commission know that the bilge pumps had been started and that the crew thought that they had the situation under control?
Can it be that the crew was informed about the leakage long before the sudden listing and that many crewmembers mustered on the bridge?
Can it be correct that at least one lifeboat - no. 1 starboard just outside the bridge - was made ready - if?
It seems that the crew assumed that the situation was under control - no alarm was given to the passengers. And then came the listing very suddenly! It could very well have been caused by somebody on the bridge opening the watertight doors, water spread with two bangs, the stability was lost, the vessel heeled to starboard - and panic developed. We know what happened in e.g. the Admiral's bar. The same thing must have happened on the bridge. The crew on the bridge was thrown down into the lee, but they might have got out and managed to get to the no. 1 starboard lifeboat, which was launched - and many crew members survived that way. The un-dead Estonians 1.46? And they were rescued the same day and told what had happened. And the Commission did not want to announce that? They covered it up.
But why couldn't the Commission announce that a stupid error of a crewmember on the bridge caused the accident?
Then it would not have been necessary to hide the survivors, who knew what had happened. Maybe the Commission thought that they could produce a false Final Report and that the accident would soon be forgotten, and that the hidden survivors could go home later without causing too many questions. The answers to many 'Estonia' riddles may be found in Estonia proper.
In Estonia investigators of the Commission resigned or were dismissed en masse to cover up all traces of what had happened. The poor Estonian investigators with Andi Meister and captain Enn Neidre in the lead made what they were told as faithful party workers in the former Soviet republic. Typically the head of the Estonian secret police, Priit Männik, entered the Commission for 15 months to ensure that the testimonies 'fitted' and then he conveniently resigned two months prior to publication of the Final report 1.20 so that another poor Estonian professor must sign the Final report. All protests from powerless relatives in despair and from serious experts were ignored.
· The result is described in this book: a one-sided, incomplete, totally false and improbable Final Report, a dive expedition which should only confirm the false course of events, where the divers of Franson 1.16 broke into parts of the 'Estonia' searching for luggage, which was never informed to the public - an Underwatergate** - and a suppression of all facts and information contradicting the suggested causes of accident and the condition of the ship. The international work for safety at sea was sabotaged for a long time into the future. The responsibility for the cover-up and the falsification of History remains with the president Lennart Meri of the republic of Estonia and the Estonian, Finnish and Swedish governments and their maritime administrations and boards of accident investigation. They are the true authors of this Disaster Investigation.
The discovery by Mr Gregg Bemis of dead bodies outside the wreck in August 2000 2.24 may be another explanation of the questions above. How could these bodies be found outside the wreck six years after the accident? Why hadn't they floated to the surface and ashore - see the reflexions of the writer in 3.22. Is it possible that bodies were salvaged and later sunk at the wreck? And that it is one fact to hide? Among all the other lies. To cover up a crime without any identified bodies.
* It is quite interesting
to note the following staff changes in the Swedish National
Maritime Administration 2001 since the 'Estonia' accident
** Watergate was the given name of the famous attempt 1971-1973 by US president Nixon to cover-up the revelations of his staff breaking into the head quarters of the Democratic party at the 'Watergate' building. Nixon ordered his staff to lye about what had happened and to pay off the burglars. False information was fed to the media. The Nixon staff also lied to various political commissions appointed to investigate the matter. When one Nixon staff (Dean) decided to tell the truth, the cover-up collapsed like a house of cards. Another staff member, still un-named, probably leaked to the media earlier and guided the media to reveal the scandal. Nixon fired most of his staff in the process but had to resign as president later. The responsible staff - mainly lawyers -were sent to jail. Nixon was given immunity against prosecution by his successor (Ford).