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Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.

"Der finnische Leiter der offiziellen Untersuchungskommission, Kari Lehtola, sagte, die Kommission habe kein Loch in der Fähre entdeckt. Selbst wenn es ein solches Loch gebe, hätte dies nicht zu der Katastrophe führen können." (Or in English - "The Finnish leader of the official accident investigation, Kari Lehtola, said that the Commission has not discovered any damage hole in the ferry. And even if such a damage existed, it could not have caused the disaster")

Der Spiegel, 2 September 2000  

Appendix 5 - About the Damage in the Side, which Lehtola denies is there

Below are various articles in Swedish media by Mr Knut Carlqvist, Ph.D, about the 'Estonia' investigation. Carlqvist has on 3 January 2000 presented all the German findings in a big Swedish daily - bad visor/ramp conditions, corroded shell plating, leakage below the waterline, the 'lost' Utö plot, the modified course of events with the sudden listing at 01.02-01.05 hrs and strange stories about 'secret' military cargoes being dumped through the pilot door, etc. - to the Swedish public, and the only response was silence. Therefore/after Carlqvist has written a book in May 2001 about his findings - Tysta Leken (The Silence Game). The damage in the starboard side below, or above, the waterline is mentioned several times - it must be there - but the official video films of the relevant area have been edited, so that the starboard side cannot be seen. And unfortunately the Bemis divers did not inspect the relevant area, when they did their diving in August 2000.

First is the article from the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, SvD, 2000-01-03 based on the German Final report that suggests that most of the statements of the crew 1994 are lies, which the Commission used in its Final report (5). The German explanations how the ship sank are quite confusing - no stability calculations are used - but much info is quite interesting.

Did Bombs contribute to the Estonia Sinking?

By Knut Carlqvist, © SvD Brännpunkt 2000-01-03.

In the evening Wednesday 27 September 1994 there was a woman on the Finnish cruise ship 'Silja Festival' in the port of Tallinn. A ferry passed at 25 meters distance with an open visor. "A ship in Belgium sank, when it left the port like that", she told her son. The following morning she was informed that the 'Estonia' had sunk. The visor was closed before the 'Estonia' left the quay but was opened again in the port basin, so that the seamen could access and secure the bow ramp with a rope around it to the deck winches on deck 4.

The Ramp and visor were damaged earlier

The ramp was twisted; neither locks nor hooks could be used. The two port deck ramp hinges on deck 2 were broken. The wedges between ramp and frame were filled by mattresses and cloths from a store at the side. So was the condition since long. Already at the take-over in January 1993 there were remarks about the ramp hinges, the locks and the rubber packing.

Heiwa Co does not believe that the ramp and visor damages contributed to the sinking. Evidently some water may have leaked into the superstructure > 2 meters above waterline that way, but the amount must have been very small - and flowed out. One reason why the German report is not reliable is that it puts so much focus on the visor and ramp.

The latter also concerned the visor. Fifteen meters packing should be renewed around the visor and ten meters around the ramp. Nordström & Thulin were responsible for the maintenance and it was never done. Late winter 1994 the situation became worse, when the ferry was driven hard through the ice. The timetable must be kept at all cost. The repairs were postponed. Passengers have testified how seamen used sledge hammers to open and close the locks. Sometimes they were forced to cut or burn them lose.

Ulf Hobro, the NMA ship inspector, who had approved the 'Nord Estonia', the predecessor of the 'Estonia' 1991 and then joined the Nordström & Thulin, explained to the international accident commission (JAIC) on 17 February 1995:

"We never bothered about the rubber packing, we never replaced them and did not intend to do so. The visor was full of water at sea and all knew it."

The video films of the wreck show that the rubber packing is missing. Both Hobro and the Bureau Veritas Class surveyor Anders Wirstam - handpicked by the ship owner - knew that the 'Estonia' did not comply with safety requirements of SOLAS 1974 for ferries in international trade: the collision bulkhead behind the ramp was missing. She sailed with interim certificates. What they did not know, but should have suspected, was that the ferry was leaking.

Five years ago, when it was obvious that the JAIC was going to blame the shipyard for the accident, the building yard, Meyer Werft, appointed lawyer Peter Holtappels and marine insurance casualty investigator Werner Hummel at Hamburg to form a Group of experts to find the cause of accident and propose future actions. Their report is almost ready and I have just been down at Hamburg and read it. The information, partly new to me, originates from there (four thick files plus appendices).

The JAIC concluded in its Final report in December 1997 that the 'Estonia' left port with 1-degree list to starboard, in spite of the port heeling tank being full and the starboard tanks being empty. There was no possibility to make her upright. Wind from port side gave her later another 3-4 degrees list in open sea.

The Bottom was damaged - the ship was leaking

One assumption is that she was incorrectly loaded. The German report shows, after a reconstruction truck by truck, that the ferry was correctly loaded: Sten-Christer Forsberg - technical manager at Nordström & Thulin - agrees:

"It should have happened to any crew."

A full port heeling tank (and an empty starboard tank) compensates for 8 degrees, still there remained 1-degree list. Together it makes 9 degrees. There were thus almost 200 tons extra weight on the starboard side. You cannot even theoretically load 1 000 tons of trailers and trucks on a fully loaded car deck so badly.

Heiwa Co does not believe that some double bottom tanks were leaking at departure. Heiwa Co believes that the port heeling tank was never filled up at all at departure - it was made up later as an excuse, why the crew didn't use the tank later.

The extra 200 tons were somewhere else, probably in the form of water. Detailed studies of the video films show a hole in the bottom, among other things a big corroded area. One or more double bottom tanks were flooded by water at departure (and it had been like that for a long time).

The 'Estonia' was thus not seaworthy, when she left Tallinn. The Swedish ship inspector Åke Sjöblom tried to warn the officers, but he was on the ship to train Estonian colleagues and had no formal power to stop the ship. The officers ignored him.

The ferry joined the fairway at 16 knots. As usual the visor filled up with water to the bow wave level - the lower stringer. Traces of oil inside the visor prove it. When the wind and the waves increased, the amount of water inside the visor rose and leakage of water into the car deck space started. Several passengers have testified about metallic impacts, the visor hit against the hull, steel to steel.

Water in the Superstructure

At 20.45 hrs a conference was ended aft due to intermittent noise. The Group of experts have clarified, where the noise came from. On the wreck the starboard stern ramp is partly open. The 'Estonia' trimmed half a meter on the stern and the leaking water from the bow ramp ended up inside the stern ramp.

By now and then opening the stern ramp using the hydraulics the water was let out - an old trick having been used before. The intermittent noise was caused by the hydraulic pump being used from 19.30 hrs onwards. Twelve four inch scuppers were not enough. When the water inside the visor rose another meter - to 140 tons - she did not trim on the stern anymore. Water started to collect on the starboard side.

At 00.30 hrs she reached "the waypoint" - the position SE of Utö where she should change to a more Northern course towards Söderarm.

The missing Plot

Here we encounter one of the mysteries of the story, the missing plot. Readers familiar with the JAIC Final report know that all ships in the area were plotted by Finnish coast guard radar on Utö - all except the 'Estonia'. We know how the ships moved.

Differently fanciful explanations have been given, why only the 'Estonia' plot is missing. Last summer I called Hans Rosengren at the Marine Academy at Kalmar about the matter, as I on the JAIC tape recording with the master on the 'Silja Europa', Esa Mäkelä, hear that Rosengren shows Mäkelä this plot with the comment that it "evidently is wrong". Stressed Rosengren explains that he cannot comment and refers to Heimo Iivonen, Finnish member of the JAIC. Iivonen then explained to me that the 'Estonia' had gone too close to the Estonian coast, the signals were too weak. There was no plot.

But the plot existed. It was sent from Utö to Finnish navy headquarters at 16.45 hrs on the day of the accident. With 90 percent probability it shows the course of the 'Estonia', navy commander Vesa Ennevaara explained to the German group. Bearing and speed does not tally with reported positions, which was explained by some work being done manually and disturbances of radio communications. The plot shows that the 'Estonia' sailed closer to the Finnish coast than suggested by the JAIC and instead of turning North to Söderarm turned South in a west-south-west direction 1.26.

The Germans experts consider that the plot is correct, as it tallies with other observations. What happens, when the 'Estonia' changes course, is that the ship starts to roll in the side wind, an effect reinforced by the water on the car deck. Captain Andresson orders the stabilizers to be activated, but there are problems with the starboard fin.155 A couple of seamen get it out using a sledge hammer.

As the rolling does not stop, the master was forced to turn the ship against the wind, i.e. towards Southwest, and slow down - footnote 24 in 1.4.

The Visor is lose

The watchman Silver Linde reports about 00.45 hrs about large amounts of water on the car deck and seamen are sent down to do something. The visor side locks and one deck hinge have broken. The visor moves forward and aft. The hydraulic pressure falls and the bow ramp falls slowly forward against the horizontal beams inside the visor. Scraping noises from the swinging ramp frighten passengers in cabins below the car

Heiwa Co does not believe this story. If it were large amounts of water in the superstructure at this time, the ship would have listed - or if the stabilizers managed to keep the ship upright - the water in the superstructure would have sloshed forward/aft inside the 150 meters long superstructure causing slower but deeper pitchings. But maybe only 10 tons of water sloshed around - could not cause much damage.

deck. They hear water sloshing above.

An early Mayday

At 00.50 hrs a weak Mayday is heard by a ship in the vicinity, probably from the 'Estonia', but as it is not repeated, no action is taken. What are the officers on the bridge doing? Based on judgements of the personality of captain Arvo Andresson the Germans believe he receives instructions from the superiors at Tallinn. No actions are taken to evacuate the passengers, many of whom are seasick in the cabins or are listening to Pierre Isaksson in the Karaoke bar.

Lifeboats prepared

One seaman is sent to prepare the lifeboats. Down on the car deck the crew is trying to secure the bow ramp with ropes - a dangerous work. But the ship is beyond saving.

Heiwa Co wonders why only one man went to prepare 10 lifeboats. At least 10-20 crewmembers were required for this job.

It is the water at the bottom of the ship that keeps her upright and the fact that the car deck is fully loaded, so that the trucks cannot move. Latest around 01.00 hrs the crew abandons its efforts to save the ramp and escapes up to deck 7. The visor hinge arms work through the deck beam. Passengers from cabins below the car deck call the information about water in the corridor. The girls there are very frightened and do not know what happens. Nobody has informed them.

Two, three hard Impacts - 50 degrees List

Now there are two, three hard impacts, Carl Ö who sits on the berth in his cabin below the car deck and smokes is thrown aft. "Now we hit an iceberg", somebody jokes up in the bar. Many survivors think afterwards that it felt, as if the ship had run aground. The passengers escape upward in the stairwells, remarkably many from deck 1. At 01.02 hrs they are surprised by a couple of heavy rolls to starboard, the last about 50 degrees. The time is confirmed with absolute accuracy by the testimonies. It can be established on the minute, as the alarm clock of Mikael Ö lost its batteries, when it fell to the floor. When he left the cabin, he took the clock with him. The last roll caused people being thrown across the Karaoke bar, through athwart ship corridors and down the stairs. Dead and injured persons were lying everywhere.

Water on Deck 1 in the Hull

Remarkably the JAIC has decided that the time was 01.15 hrs, which is only supported by one testimony, 3rd engineer Treu's. Probably the commission wants to shorten the time between the accident and the Mayday that is sent at 01.22 hrs, the first that was effective. Carl Ö leaves the cabin (at 01.00 hrs) just before the big roll and sees water flowing out from some air pipes in the corridor. Other survivors make similar observations. This water is coming from below, not from the car deck, where it collects on the side and cannot reach the stairwell at the centreline.

The Germans assume that the impacts and the rolls develop, when the visor hinge arms have cut the last deck beam and when the Atlantic lock bursts. The visor falls forward and rests on the forepeak deck, which in turn damages the visor bottom. The visor hangs on the ramp and, due to the list, its starboard side is pushed aft, but it is prevented from falling off by the starboard hydraulic

Heiwa Co does not believe this German scenario. The ship has at this time stopped and the wave loads on the visor above the water were very small. The visor can therefore not fall forward, cut the deck beam and pull open the ramp. And even if it did, very little water would enter into the superstructure - the speed was nil and the opening away from the waves.

cylinder, which is still attached to the ship. At the same time the ship turns sharply port, which causes the roll. The ship then stabilizes itself temporarily with 10 degrees list, which until 01.10 hrs increases in steps to 30 degrees. Then it is impossible to get out. The JAIC states, as is wellknown, that the visor fell off under way (without the bridge noticing) and pulled the ramp immediately fully open. After having sailed for two minutes against the waves with an open car deck, the Estonia got a list. That theory has no support of technical facts or testimonies. I will not develop the analysis of the testimonies here, but both Treu and systems engineer Sillaste - the key witnesses of the Commission - state firmly that the bow ramp was up after the impacts and the rolls. The water flowed in continuously around it, not only when the ship pitched into the waves. Thus the ramp was protected by the visor.

Until now both the JAIC and its critics have accepted the statements of watchman Linde, who was the only person on the car deck before the accident, but at one questioning he happened to say that the control panel for visor and ramp was open "because the bosun worked with hydraulics, and it was only he who had the keys". (Evidently the control panel was not locked at all - AB note).

Therefore Linde could see the control lamps at 00.45 hrs and thus the bosun was with him on the car deck. The summary of testimonies shows that other persons were there too, e.g. 2nd officer Kannusaar and the AB Aulis Lee. But the crew was told to shut up after the accident, the truth would have been a disaster for the shipping company.

Visor attached to Ship, when it sank

Several passengers saw the visor, when they were on the side of the sinking ship. ...

The German experts can therefore establish that the visor fell off, when the list was 135 degrees, when the starboard hydraulic arm was ripped out, and the visor ended up beside the bow. It was there that it was found a few days after the accident.

So far it is a simple and trustworthy explanation of the 'Estonia' sinking. But what about the talked-about bombs?, you ask.

Bombs and Deck Sprinkler System activated

In the German report they are put in Chapter 32 with the heading "Unexplained damages/Unexplained evidence", after the summary. Peter Holtappels explains that he does not want to draw attention from the basic cause of the accident, the lack of seaworthiness. Had the 'Estonia' been better maintained, had she had an extra collision bulkhead and was she handled with judgement, then these bombs would not have sunk her.

Heiwa Co does not believe that bombs exploded in the superstructure aft of the ramp and between the ramp and the visor at 00.45 hrs, i.e. 17 minutes before the sudden list occurred. Heiwa Co believes that the 'unexplained damages' were caused, when the visor was removed from the ship after the accident under water - to back up the theory of the 'visor-lost-underway'.

That three charges detonated are almost certain, the only outstanding item is a metallurgic confirmation. Two on the starboard side and one on the port side, which probably had fallen down. In addition is seen an un-detonated charge on a film of the port ramp bulkhead. They had been placed in location after the departure from Tallinn and exploded at about 00.45 hrs. It was the reason why a group of crewmembers was sent down, and why the sprinkler system on the car deck was activated and why the fire alarm "Mr Skylight" was sent.

No. 1 Man-over-Board Boat picked up

It leads to a number of questions. Was the purpose to sink the ferry? How did the bombers in such case plan to leave the ferry afterwards? The planning was not by a suicide patrol. The last question can be answered. At the JAIC questioning of some crewmembers at Landvetter in March 1995 the Finnish member Kari Lehtola explained that all lifeboats had been found except one, the "man-over-board"-boat. According to the Final report chapter 8.10 it had been found drifting outside Hangö. The other lifeboats drifted south and ended up on Dagö. Why did the MoB-boat drift in the other direction? After several requests the Germans were told that it had been picked up by a small cargo ship 8,5 nautical miles South of the wreck position on 29 September and had been handed over at Hangö.156 It did not make things better, why should the MoB-boat drift 8 miles in 36 hours, when the other boats drifted 28 miles in 24 hours? It was also stormy weather and no intelligent master would salvage a small empty boat in the severe weather. Two survivors in their rafts saw the MoB-boat leave the ship. Thure P "saw from the raft something like a fishing boat on its way from the ship without caring about the persons in the water". The watchman Elmar Siegel recognized the boat, it had the lights on.

Military Cargo carried

The motive remains. The Germans provide the basic information but draws no conclusions. Just before the departure the port area was closed and two trucks were driven onboard escorted by Estonian military.

The German group has rank and names of these men. With the trucks were foreign, military officers, who are not listed in the passenger name lists. The receivers were the Swedish army for further delivery to another Western country. Together with other observations all this is interesting.

- At the diving in December 1994 the Swedes refused to identify the dead bodies on the bridge. It would have been sufficient to film the uniforms. The JAIC states that there were three bodies. Checking the censored video films you find five bodies, three of which are not crewmembers. One of them had a tattoo on the right hand.

Swedish Military Intelligence Services edit the Films

- All video sequences showing the bottom, the starboard side below the waterline from the bridge to the funnel and the object at the bow, and much other parts, have been cut away by the Swedish military intelligence services.

- Officially no diving took place until December, but the films prove considerable activities around the wreck from day one. In December you can see one diver too many, without lifeline. Not much graveyard peace there.

- The most serious matter is the search of the visor, which took weeks, in spite of it being already found at the wreck.

A false Lead

I guess the reason is the missing plot. The Swedes and the Finns presented a false lead - a false wreck position - to send others in the wrong direction - while they searched the sea floor north of the wreck with the visor as an excuse. They searched for something a great military value. According one statement the object was thrown out through the pilot door. The German report explains indirectly, why it is impossible to salvage the 'Estonia'. I have only two objections. The severe impacts just before the heavy listing at 01.02 hrs cannot have been caused by the port turn or by the visor falling forward. The passengers would not have experienced that with a feeling as if the ship were running aground. I cannot understand the explanation how the ship sank on the stern, that the aft storerooms were flooded. They are too small and separate from the other compartments below the car deck. The missing information is on the censored, edited video sequences.

The German group of experts has produced some information why the 'Estonia' actually sank.

There was no reaction in the media after the above article. No newspaper, radio or TV station followed up the new information, e.g. the accusations against the Swedish military intelligence sevices having edited the video films. Only the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported the following day that the German "Report on the 'Estonia' does not change anything". Further from the SvD:

" The report of the German Meyer shipyard about the 'Estonia' accident, which was on Thursday handed in to the Stockholm court of law, will not cause a new investigation of the disaster. According to the government - minister Mona Sahlin - the report does not contain any information, which requires a new examination of the wreck and the causes behind the accident.157 "

The silence in Swedish media resulted into another article by Carlqvist:

The Silent Swede (FinansTidningen 2000-01-05).

Silence is magic ... I wrote the article about the German expert group report on the 'Estonia' and sent it to Svenska Dagbladet. It contained some sensational statements. ... But in the media it was dead silent. ...

There are new facts ... That the 'Estonia' was plotted by the coast guard on Utö is a fact. That the plot on the day of accident at 16.45 hrs was sent to the Finnish navy headquarters is another fact. I have a copy of the fax in front of me. That the JAIC denies the existence of the plot is another fact. ...

The Visor was found at Wreck

It is a fact that the visor was found at the bow of the wreck a few days after the accident, another fact is that the Finnish and Swedish navy searched for the visor until 18 October. A third fact is that Kari Lehtola for the Swedish daily Göteborgsposten (10 October) stated that the big object at the wreck seen on the sonar pictures of 30 September - the visor - was "some kind of stone pyramid". Why a stone pyramid and not a circus tent? It is difficult to know.

It is more difficult to prove that the visor was found at the bow. Say that it takes a few hours to consider the matter. But when you have done that, you realise that the JAIC is providing disinformation. You can speculate why the JAIC does that, but is is a fact that it does it. ...

This article did not cause any reaction in Sweden. But Carlqvist returned on 000112 with the following:

Damage in Starboard Side (Finans Tidningen 000112)


"No external damages on the wreck have been observed, except the damages on the visor and in the area around the bow ramp."

This clear statement is from the JAIC, 'Final Report', 8.5.1, page 120. ...

When I 1998 started investigating the sinking, I was told by relatives that JAIC-member Olof Forssberg had admitted that there was damage on the starboard side of the hull. Somebody asked a question about it at a meeting with relatives the autumn 1994. Yes, said Forssberg directly. Next question? Nobody expected three years later that the JAIC would deny the information in the Final report.

Last autumn I got a tip from a colleague. The Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter had published an article about the damage in the starboard side on 18 October 1994, three weeks after the accident. The journalist Anders Hellberg (more about Hellberg at 1.44 - AB's note) quotes an anonymous source

"with good knowledge about the ship construction"


"other well informed sources",

but also the Swedish NMA observer in the JAIC, captain Sten Anderson. ...

Superstructure ripped open

The investigators could not understand why the ship sank so fast. The visor had, after getting lose, hanged on the bow ramp and pulled it open a little - a meter.

"But many experts have had difficulties to believe that this comparatively small opening at the ramp would permit the very large amounts of water to enter, which sank the ship",

Hellberg writes. The theory suggested is that

"the hydraulic cylinders, which normally regulate the opening, have ripped great tracks in the hull (superstructure). The beam to which the cylinder is attached has in its turn ripped away a large part of the hull plating ".

The illustrator of the DN shows how it may have taken place. Hellberg continues:

"According to the source of the DN it produces 'severe mechanical damages and a big opening in the hull (superstructure)'. The opening will then be situated below the waterline in the severe weather."

Whether the damage extended below the waterline is a little unclear. There is no waterline for severe weather, as far as I know. The theory is not probable or realistic. The hydraulic cylinder attachment cannot be stronger than a welded hull supported by narrowly spaced frames. The cylinder is ripped away before any beam is damaged. But the theory is presented, as the investigators try to explain the damages. Furthermore, Hellberg reports in the end two explanations. First the one in the illustration, where the hydraulic cylinder twists a beam, which in turn rips away shell plating, second that it is the visor, which has punched a hole in the superstructure after getting lose:

"The survivors from cabins below car deck forward in the ship have stated that they heard a scraping sound on the outside of the hull - thus the side of the ship. That sound could have been the visor being dragged along the ship's side."

The latter explanation assumes 1) that the 'Estonia' had a severe list and 2) that she made forward speed. These two assumptions cannot be combined. The JAIC decided early that the visor was lost underway (14 knots), while the ship was upright. What anonymous experts tell journalists has no value as evidence. But that Sten Anderson confirms the damages in the hull side has it. He is quoted directly by Hellberg and he never denies the information:

"When the 50 to 60 tons heavy visor started to move, the hydraulics ripped a track in the hull plating and there was a damage in the hull (superstructure)",

says Sten Anderson ... who himself was not present at the Monday meeting at Tallinn.

Pictures of the Damages

The colleagues in the JAIC were thus at Tallinn, when the interview was made.158 Further:

"There are pictures of these damages, which we have got from new pictures taken by the ROV",

says Sten Anderson. It is evidence that the Swedish investigators at the time of the interview thought that you could not deny that the 'Estonia' had serious damages on the starboard side and that these damages were shown on the video films. From the silence thereafter we can conclude that the damage could not have been caused by the visor movements. Sten Anderson did then not understand that his statements were critical. Today when I phone him he has

"not the slightest idea"

that the JAIC ever discussed a damage in the starboard side. It is too long ago, he says.

No Film Pictures of the Starboard Side

Anybody looking at the publicly available video films does not see any damage in the starboard side,159 you cannot see any starboard side at all. In the British Disengages report about the video films, which is attached to the German experts' report, and which shows what film frames and sequences have been cut, is said:

"... the cuttings of the films - different cassettes from various times and days - always concern the same identical areas of the ship ... and includes the starboard side between the bilge and the car deck."

Amongst the cutaway sequences no doubt are the pictures that gave Sten Anderson and his colleagues such a headache. Also Anders Hellberg suffered memory loss. The book he wrote with Anders Jörle ('Katastrofkurs', 1996) does not mention any damages of the hull or superstructure. ...

Is there any other evidence for a big opening in the starboard hull of the wreck? Yes, there is. When the ROV in December 1994 shall be transferred into the car deck, the operator finds that the opening at the ramp was too small to permit passage. Therefore the ROV is sent down to the seafloor and is then manoeuvred directly into the car deck space through the opening. The ROV is always at 89 to 90 meters depth (video B40b in the Estonia-archive) in the mud on the seafloor. Several attempts fail before the ROV finally is inside the ship. Johan Ridderstolpe spotted this a year ago and the British has confirmed his discovery. The big opening in the starboard superstructure side explains why the car deck inside starboard side is covered by mud.


Three Journalists fired - their Union was silent

Naturally there was no reaction after this article either, except that Carlqvist lost his job as culture editor of the Finans Tidningen and that also the chief editor was fired. Strangely enough, or not?, the Svenska Dagbladet editor in charge of Brännpunkt (see the first article in this Appendix) was also fired from his position! He had admittedly also published an article of this writer a few months earlier about the same subject. It was crystal clear that the journalists were fired to stop writing or publishing articles about the 'Estonia'. But their colleagues remained silent. So much for Swedish democracy and solidarity.

But Carlqvist didn't give up - in September 2000 he managed to publish the following in his old newspaper with new info about the damage in the side. Carlqvist is convinced that there is a big opening in the starboard side:

One Diver too many (Finans Tidningen 000914)

"Håkan Bergmark disappeared as quickly as he appeared. It is if he were brought to the Ljubljanka and Engström too"

"The most important is not, if there is a damage in the starboard side of the 'Estonia', the most important is that the public does not know about it.

Håkan Bergmark, 41, was one of the first to dive down to the 'Estonia'. He says that he saw and filmed a big damage in the ship's side. The statement was published in the Swedish daily the Expressen on 22 August 2000. How the journalist, Fredrik Engström, got hold of Bergmark is not clear, but he tried also to question two of Bergmark's colleagues of the dive team, but they refused to talk. Anyway, Bergmark did not consider his diving a big deal then, autumn 1994.

"It wasn't my job to find the cause of accident. But when the Final report of the commission was issued several years later and nothing was written about the damage, I was very surprised",

says Bergmark, who today rather wants to forget everything about the 'Estonia'.

Engström does not appear to understand that he had fallen upon something. Bergmark appears quietly in a text about the diving of Gregg Bemis. The morning editions have hardly left the printing office before I get the first e-mail. I went to the petrol station at one o'clock to read the Expressen newspaper.160 Not a word about Bergmark.

Well, it appears that the statements of Bergmark had been edited away in the afternoon editions; the article had been rewritten by another journalist. And evidently the matter was not followed up, Håkan Bergmark disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. It is as if he were brought to the Ljubljanka and Engström too. The damage - I wrote about on this page already last year - is not news. But that Swedish divers early inspected the wreck has until now been denied. Officially it was only Halliburton/Rockwater diving in December 1994, and that company had only British divers. The guarding and supervision of the wreck was effective from day one, so no pirates have been around. Bergmark must have been one of the Swedish navy anti-mine divers.

Big Damage in Bow Superstructure

When the campaign against Bemis had lasted a week I wrote to the editorial page of the Dagens Nyheter. Already on 18 October 1994 the newspaper had reported about a big damage opening at the bow, well illustrated. Senior representatives of the Swedish NMA had explained about it, with name and all. The journalist was Anders Hellberg. But the editorial editor (Kjellander) refused to publish the letter and continued to state that it was immoral to look for damage in the side. Then a few weeks ago I ended up in the morning sofa of Rapport (a Swedish TV morning) program with the same Hellberg and he denied all about any damage in the side. Furthermore the starboard side was in the mud.

"You have yourself written about the damage", I said later. "How can you pretend that it does not exist?"

"It is located forward", said Hellberg. "Now we talk about a damage aft."

In principle Hellberg is right. The big damage opening in the starboard side almost at the bow leads to the car deck. It does not explain why the 'Estonia' sank, unless it extended down below the waterline. Thus I have chased the video film that the Swedish NMA staff looked at, but which is now lost without trace. The Bemis hull damage is another matter; it is located twenty meters further aft in the area of the conference compartment on deck 0, at the bottom of the ship. But even if the Hellberg damage were harmless, it is still not explained. Officially it does not exist.

No external Damages

"No external damages on the wreck have been observed, except the damages on the visor and in the area around the bow ramp." JAIC, 'Final Report', 8.5.1, page 120.

On 9 September 2000 the DN editorialist Lilian Öhrström wrote regarding the rumours about an opening in the 'Estonia' hull:

"In order not to create a climate for rumours several things are necessary: That the public has full confidence in its media. That as much information as possible is given ... That you really believe in the government."

Yes, you must make the public believe. In the government and the media. Clearer cannot the media project be formulated.

Carlqvist is too good a journalist - or rather a history researcher - and must have caused problems for the Board of Psychological Defence, SPF 1.49. It seems that Lilian Öhrström was just quoting SPF above. But the SPF won the battle - no more newspaper or journalist in Sweden has dared since to write anything about the 'Estonia'. So much for democracy and freedom of speech in Sweden 2001. But the war goes on and the last battle has not yet been fought.


155 It was probably the reason why the systems engineer Sillaste was called down to the engine room at 00.30 hrs 1.3.

156 The German position is probably wrong. Another position is 2.24. Or the Finns are just telling incorrect information to anybody.

157 If you believe the SvD, Mona Sahlin had read >1 000 pages German (secret) report (in English/German) in a few days at the court of law and then concluded that

'the report does not contain any information, which requires a new examination of the wreck and the causes behind the accident'.

But Mona Sahlin cannot English! or German! And the German report only contains statements that the official report (5) is wrong 3.18.

158 It is the second meeting of the Commission 1.10-13.

159 The damages in the starboard side are further described 3.10. The damages cannot have been caused by the visor, which probably was attached to the hull when the ship sank.

160 Carlqvist had lost his job at the Finans Tidningen and worked from home.

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