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

"... (it) is meaningless to start a discussion about the cause of the sinking of the 'Estonia' before all (sic) documents are on the table, i.e. when the Final Report of the Commission is made public. I want however to point out that behind the content of the Part report was a united Commission with access to highly qualified experts within your field of expertise"

Olof Forssberg, 'consultant' at the Swedish Ministry of Transport, to the writer 971030

'Reports, or relevant parts of reports, into the circumstances and causes of a marine casualty should be completed as quickly as practicable, and be made available to the public and the shipping industry in order to enhance safety at sea and protection of the marine environment through improved awareness of the factors which combine to cause marine casualties'

IMO res. A.849 (20) 12.3

'Reports should include, wherever possible:
.4 a narrative detailing the circumstances of the casualty;
.5 analysis and comment which should enable the report to reach logical conclusions, or findings, establishing
all the factors that contributed to the casualty;'

IMO res. A.849 (20) 14.6   

1.19 The Swedish Government interferes. A 100% false Part Report. Falsified Model Tests to support the Part Report

The Swedish social democratic government (i.a. prime minister Ingvar Carlsson and transport minister Inez Uusmann) decided on 15 December 1994 that the 'Estonia' should not be salvaged and that no bodies of victims should be recovered.

Thus the same day when the Commission met for only the third time 1.17 and produced a modified but fully unproven sequence of events (the ramp was fully open, etc) and long before the Final Report (5) was published December 1997 and all documents were public in March 1998 and long before anybody knew what exactly had happened, the Swedish government decided that salvage would not take place. In retrospect the decision of the government 1994 was a tragedy and a strong support for a conspiracy.

It is today clear that all essential facts presented by the Commission 28 September - 15 December 1994 to the government, media and public were false due to the secrecy arrangements adopted from the start of the investigation.

The strange visor position - a mile West of the wreck of which a false position had been announced - had only been determined a week earlier (9 December) and had not been explained. But it is a historic fact that the Swedish government brutally interfered in the accident investigation and drastically permitted a change of course of the investigation with fantasy modifications of the sequence of events.

The government decided that the area of the wreck would be regarded as a grave. To secure its peace the wreck should be covered up in concrete or by stones and particular rules established together with Finland and Estonia to legally protect the grave. It meant that no further examinations of the wreck were possible. Luckily this decision was never fully implemented and it is today fairly easy to dive and inspect the wreck.

The Swedish NMA (Franson) presented a report on 10 February 1995 how to cover the wreck.

The Swedish government decided on 2 March 1995 that the Swedish NMA should cover up the wreck with concrete or similar and to liaise with the Finnish authorities. That the Swedish NMA had no competence or expertise to cover up a wreck on the bottom of the sea was not considered.

Who has ever heard about a government deciding, before the inquiry into the accident was completed (it took another three years), that a wreck shall be covered up in concrete? Cargo owners, relatives and survivors were not asked about their property being salvaged. And interested parties were not asked if more evidence needed to be collected from the wreck. And the official dive investigation of the wreck 2-4 December 1994 later turned out to be totally manipulated. All films of the diving were edited not to show anything of interest.

Due to the Swedish decision 15 December 1994 the Swedish Foreign Office contacted their Finnish and Estonian counterparts how to legally 'protect' the wreck and the dead bodies. Both governments were willing to cooperate. At a meeting at Stockholm on 16 January 1995 all three governments agreed to introduce national laws to prosecute anyone disturbing the peace at the wreck and that an international agreement would be adopted to the same effect. The relatives of the 'dead bodies' were not consulted.

At a follow-up meeting on 7 February 1995 at Tallinn the international agreement was agreed - it was then signed on 23 February 1995. They also discussed common principals to apply national law. To disturb the peace at the wreck should be regarded a criminal act. ARTICLE 4.1 of the agreement stated:

1. The Contracting Parties undertake to institute legislation, in accordance with their national procedures, aiming at the criminalization of any activities disturbing the peace of the final place of rest, in particular any diving or other activities with the purpose of recovering victims or property from the wreck or the sea-bed.

You get the impression that any diving with the purpose of only securing technical evidence establishing the real cause of accident would still be possible. But it was a false impression - no diving of any kind to secure evidence was to be permitted.

The Swedish Law of Graveyard Peace

The Swedish law of graveyard peace is described in proposition1994/95:190 to the Parliament. It was adopted on 30 March 1995 and signed by Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson and justice minister Laila Freivalds. Thus a few days before the Commission was going to present its 'part' report (which later turned out to be 100% false) - see below - the wreck was off limits for anyone interested in the accident. It must be recalled that at this time all relevant evidence was confidential and that the public had no access to the meetings of the Commission. Individual members of the Commission had said nothing. The public only knew what the Commission had stated in various press releases. All essential information of the Commission at this time has later been proven false.

The law itself entered into force 1 July 1995.

The law (in the Swedish language) is below. It is similar but not identical to the UK law adopted four years later (right below):

Lag om gravfrid i och vid Estonia

1 § I denna lag finns bestämmelser till skydd för gravfriden i vraket efter passagerarfartyget 'Estonia' och i ett anslutande område i Östersjön. Det skyddade området är rektangulärt och har, enligt det geodetiska referenssystemet World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84), följande positioner som hörn.

The United Kingdom 1999 No. 856 MERCHANT SHIPPING The Protection of Wrecks (M/S Estonia) Order 1999
Made 17th March 1999 -Laid before Parliament 26th March 1999 - Coming into force 12th May 1999.
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 24(1) and (2) of the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997[1], and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, hereby makes the following Order:
1. - (1) This Order may be cited as the Protection of Wrecks (M/S Estonia) Order 1999. (2) This Order shall come into force on 12th May 1999.

1. 59 grader 23,500 minuter nordlig bredd, 21 grader 40,000 minuter östlig längd
2. 59 grader 23,500 minuter nordlig bredd, 21 grader 42,000 minuter östlig längd
3. 59 grader 22,500 minuter nordlig bredd, 21 grader 42,000 minuter östlig längd
4. 59 grader 22,500 minuter nordlig bredd, 21 grader 40,000 minuter östlig längd

2. For the purposes of this Order "the protected area" means the area delineated by geodesics joining in sequence the following points -
59° 23.500'N, 21° 40.000'E;
59° 23.500'N, 21° 42.000'E;
59° 22.500'N, 21° 42.000'E;
59° 22.500'N, 21° 40.000'E[2].

2 § Dykning och annan undervattensverksamhet får inte bedrivas i vraket efter passagerarfartyget 'Estonia' eller inom det område som anges i 1 § andra stycket. Förbudet gäller dock inte verksamhet som avser att täcka över eller skydda vraket eller att förhindra förorening av den marina miljön från vraket, om verksamheten bedrivs av en myndighet i Estland, Finland eller Sverige eller på uppdrag av en sådan myndighet.

3 § Den som uppsåtligen bryter mot 2 § döms till böter eller fängelse i högst två år. För försök döms till ansvar enligt 23 kap. brottsbalken.

4 § Föremål som någon har kommit över vid brott mot denna lag eller föremålets värde skall förklaras förverkat, om det inte är uppenbart oskäligt. Detsamma gäller ersättning som har lämnats till den som har begått ett sådant brott. Egendom som har använts som hjälpmedel vid brott mot denna lag får förklaras förverkad, om det behövs för att förebygga brott eller om det annars finns särskilda skäl. I stället för egendomen kan dess värde förklaras förverkat.

5 § För brott mot denna lag döms vid svensk domstol, även om 2 kap. 2 eller 3 § brottsbalken inte är tillämplig.

3. - (1) A person shall not do any of the following, or cause or permit any other person to do any of the following, in the protected area:
(a) tamper with, damage or remove any part of a vessel lying wrecked on or in the sea bed, or any object or body in or formerly contained in such vessel;
(b) carry out diving or salvage operations directed to the exploration of any wreck or to removing any object or body from it or from the sea bed; or
(c) use equipment constructed or adapted for any purpose of diving or salvage operations.

(2) Any contravention of paragraph (1) above shall be an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or on conviction on indictment by a fine.
Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Glenda Jackson

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateDepartment of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

17th March 1999


EXPLANATORY NOTE - (This note is not part of the Order)

This Order makes provision for the purpose of giving effect to the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden regarding the M/S Estonia (Cm 4252). The date of the United Kingdom's accession to the Agreement will be published in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes.

The Agreement designates the wreck of the M/S Estonia and surrounding area as the final place of rest for the victims of the disaster. United Kingdom accession to the Agreement is subject to a reservation to article 4(2) which requires that disturbance of the final place of rest be punishable by imprisonment under national law. Accordingly the offences created by this Order (which are subject to section 24(3) of the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997) are punishable by fine.

With this law the Swedish (and other) government(s) may have succeeded to prevent all further Swedish (and others) work to examine the wreck to clarify the accident. You can end up in prison in Sweden two years breaking the law (in the UK you are only fined)! Any objects recovered from the wreck will be confiscated. The Swedish government can however, in order to do work to protect (read cover up with concrete) the wreck itself, allow diving. The UK law is much milder - only diving is forbidden and you are only fined, if you break the law. The British will not confiscate any objects recovered. But the British law is still a mystery - there are 1 000's of wrecks around Britain and no law to preventing to dive on them and film and to have a look. Why is the United Kingdom prepared to prevent its citizens to dive on the 'Estonia' in the Baltic? Isn't the United Kingdom interested in safety at sea? United Kingdom was interested in why 44 British subjects had died on the 'Derbyshire' 1980 and reopened the investigation 1998 Foreword. Why is it of no interest to know why >850 persons on the 'Estonia' died? The British law is badly written - it prevents diving made by, e.g. a Swedish contractor to protect the environment!

It is in this light that the Part Report (16) must be seen. The Commission could now say and manipulate evidence any way it liked - nobody could disagree, as the wreck was off limits and all evidence confidential.

However it should be possible to dive - it seems that only the diver himself may be prosecuted. Persons directing the diving - even if they are aboard the dive vessel - may escape prosecution according to the Swedish law. The English law may prosecute a person that may cause or permit a diver to dive, whatever that means. However, if the purpose of the diving is not to explore the wreck from inside but only to have a look from outside, you may escape prosecution in the UK. You will only be prosecuted for using dive equipment. Strange laws to ensure graveyard peace. However, diving is not required to re-open the 'Estonia' investigation. Just review the official 'allegations' against the later facts.

A correct Analysis

Once all facts are collected, they need to be analyzed to help establish the sequence of events of the accident, and to draw conclusions about safety deficiencies uncovered by the investigation.

Analysis is a disciplined activity that employs logic and reasoning to build a bridge between the factual information and the conclusions.

The first step in analysis is to review the factual information to clarify what is relevant, and what is not, and to ensure the information is complete. Thus, this process can give guidance to the investigator as to what additional investigation needs to be carried out.

In normal investigation practice, gaps in information that cannot be resolved are usually filled in by logical extrapolation and reasonable assumptions. Such extrapolation and assumptions should be identified and a statement of the measure of certainty provided.

Despite best efforts, analysis may not lead to firm conclusions. In these cases, the more likely hypotheses should be presented.

After fact finding and analysis it should be possible to give a description of the occurrence, its background, tuning, and the events leading to it in, e.g. a Part report.

The Part report should include such factual items as:

· the weather conditions;

· the operation(s) involved;

· the equipment in use, its capabilities, performance and any failures;

· the location of key personnel and their actions immediately before the accident;

· the pertinent regulations and instructions;

· uncontrolled hazards;

· changes of staff, procedures, equipment or processes that could have contributed to the accident;

· what safeguards were or were not in place to prevent the accident;

· response to the accident (first-aid, evacuation, search and rescue);

· medical treatment actions taken to mitigate the effects of the accident and the condition of injured parties, particularly if disabling injuries or death ensured;

· damage control including salvage;

· inventory of all consequences of the accident (injury, loss, damage or environmental damage); and general ship's condition.

It should also be possible to identify active and underlying factors such as:

· operational deviations;

· design aspects of hull structural failure;

· defects in resources and equipment;

· inappropriate use of resources and equipment;

· relevant personnel skill levels and their application;

· physiological factors (eg. fatigue, stress alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medicine);

· why safeguards in place were inadequate or failed;

· role of safety programs;

· problems relating to the effectiveness of regulations and instructions;

· management issues; and

· communication issues.

In the 'Estonia' investigation the Commission avoided carefully during the first six months to present any facts and analysis of above self-evident type but was of course forced to present some information. The result was the Part report. It was a necessary part of the cover-up.

The Part Report - a first Test to misinform the Public

The Part report (16) is only 32 pages and was issued on 3 April 1995. It is a purely technical report only about one thing - the defective visor and how it supposedly fell off.

The Part report does not explain that the 'Estonia' was initially floating on its watertight, subdivided hull with a good freeboard and with a superstructure above the hull and bulkhead deck with a deck house on top. But it clearly states (on page 31) that the vessel capsized (sic) due to water in the superstructure and because the deck house was flooded. But the ship never capsized - it sank slowly. How the hull was flooded has never been explained.

The Part report does not include anything about hull leakage, bilge pumps, watertight doors, life saving equipment, safety systems, maintenance, crew competence, etc. or about stability with water on the car deck in the superstructure and how to abandon ship.

The alleged sequence of events 1.9 was not described and no reports of survivors testimonies were included 2.1 - the Commission evidently had no idea how to present these things - they totally contradicted everything in the Part report - so they could not get published - they were in fact censored.

The Commission instead stated in the completely misleading Part report that

"The Final Report, that will be issued later, will include all other factors and circumstances, which have contributed to the accident".

Of course that was not the case, when the Final report was issued on 3 December 1997.

Then only further falsified factors and circumstances were presented, as will be described later. The Part report only repeated exactly the cause of accident from 17 October (the second meeting) as modified 15 December 1994 (the third meeting of the Commission 1.12) and it was not much to report in the media.

In retrospect year 2001 it is easy to conclude that the Part report was an intentional attempt 1994 to cover up the real cause of the accident. All essential facts in the Part report are false, falsified or not proven.

As it was common knowledge before the publication of Part report that it declared the shipyard of the 'Estonia' responsible for the alleged defective design and manufacture of the alleged defective visor locks 1.22 - a design fault, the yard had previously informally proposed another cause - defective maintenance during 14 years of service (particularly the last 18 months) and associated reduced strength of the visor locks. The yard added that lack of maintenance also had resulted in a leaking visor, water inside the visor, added weight, increased loads on the locks and that it was this weight and load that made the visor hinges break and the visor to tip forward and to break the locks. If that had actually caused the ship to sink, the Germans never admitted. The Commission reputed the informal German proposal without any comments neither in the Part (16) or the Final (5) reports.

All Facts and Conclusions will remain unchanged

Instead the Commission wrote in the preamble of the Part report:-

'The Commission has earlier concluded54 that the accident was initiated by the locks of the bow visor, which could not resist the resulting loads under actual conditions due to the speed, course and sea conditions. This conclusion is still valid '.


'The content in this Part Report may be expanded and revised … but it may be assumed that all facts and conclusions as now presented will remain unchanged in principle'.55

The amazing sequence of early - not proven - events established only nineteen days after the accident, when the Commission met for the second time, was again confirmed as the Truth and fact.

The accident was 'initiated by too weak locks' of the visor.

It has not been proven!

The visor had fallen off under way to Sweden (the ship was otherwise undamaged) at 01.15 hrs.

That the visor had fallen off has never been proven!

Water had forced itself into the superstructure at the ramp opening - the ramp was fully open - but the ramp had closed itself later - when? - as found on the wreck.

Every seaman knows what would have happened - immediate capsize.

But in spite of the fact that the ramp was fully open and the speed was in excess of 14 knots, the ship had only 'capsized' (sic) slowly, i.e. started to heel at 01.16 hrs but did not sink until after 01.50 hrs.

And during these 34+ minutes the ferry turned 180° and drifted more than two miles. It was not stated in the Part report but had to be announced in the Final report 32 months later. The latter suggestion is of course false.

There was not one word in the Part Report that surviving passengers reported a sudden listing >30 degrees starboard already at 01.02/5 hrs and that the ship then was in a stable condition with about 15 degrees list 2.1, i.e. it did not capsize, and only sank slowly, permitting at least 230 persons (probably more) to escape to open decks and to abandon ship and 137 to survive. Actually the Commission treated the survivors with outmost contempt at this crucial time - they were not in a position to contribute to the investigation - they were shocked victims, the observations of which could not be taken into consideration.

The Commission made it clear that the Final report was a formality to be published a few months later. However, the public had to wait for 32 months for a Final report in English and 44 months for a Final report in Swedish (or Finnish or Estonian). In the meantime one Commission member and one expert died and five members were dismissed or resigned 1.20. It is clear that there were big problems inside the Commission to write the Final report based on the false statements of Part report and falsified testimonies of some crew members (which were continuously changed).

It is not a healthy business to write a false accident investigation report.

Nine False Facts and Conclusions

The part Report (16) presented nine conclusions, which today (year 2001) have no foundation.

First it says that the ship capsized due to large amounts of water on the car deck in the superstructure, that the 'Estonia' lost its stability and that the deckhouse was filled with water.

In reality the 'Estonia' never capsized and she never lost stability, when the deckhouse was flooded. She floated stable on the side for at least 30 minutes, while she heeled more and more and then sank. It was not possible with water on the car deck in the superstructure! If the deckhouse had flooded, when it was water on the car deck, the 'Estonia' should immediately have turned turtle - capsized - and floated upside down; 1.9, 2.16 and 2.17. Nobody should have survived.

Then the report states - evidently - that the accident took place in severe weather and that similar conditions had only occurred twice, when the 'Estonia' ran the trade since 1993.

This suggestion had already been refuted by, e.g. Mr Esa Mäkelä, Master of the 'Silja Europa', which ran exactly the same trade on the same days and who had stated in November 1994 that similar weather had occurred often Winter 1993/4. The same information was given by the SMHI (the Swedish weather bureau). The weather was not as bad as reported.

The third suggestion was that the visor locks had broken due to the speed, the heading and the wave/sea/weather loads.

Instead of showing any evidence the Commission just stated these alleged 'facts'. That e.g. the bottom - Atlantic - lock might have been damaged before the accident and was not in use was not considered.

The fourth statement was that the visor locks had been designed and manufactured with less strength as required by calculation, and that, when the yard manufactured the visor, there were no work instructions, etc.

The Commission had not examined and analysed the condition of the visor and its locks prior to the accident, when this was announced. The Commission had not even asked the yard (sic), how they had designed and manufactured the locks or how the calculations had been done. It was done considerably later; 1.1, 1.22 and 3.6.

In its fifth conclusion the Commission said that after the locks were broken, the visor had hit against the stem and forepeak deck for ten minutes after 01.00 hrs, and that these repeated hits were clearly heard by passengers and crew.

But regardless that the crew for ten minutes heard that something was wrong, no action was taken, e.g. to reduce speed. It was full speed until after the sudden heeling took place. The Final report (5) has similar info but puts no blame on the crew. It is strange. In reality very few passengers had heard strange noises - some recalled two hard impacts at 00.50-01.00 hrs. That is all 2.1. No crewmember has stated that he heard repeated hits from the bow - see Chapter 6 in (5). The forepeak deck is not even damaged 3.9.

Then there is a jump in the conclusions - there are no clear conclusion and evidence, why the visor hinges on the no. 4 open focsle deck forward (the top of the superstructure) had broken, except that the hinges had been broken by a sudden overload in tension (in the forward direction >700 tons).

It was stated that the surfaces at the ruptured parts showed this, but by what type of outside load was not clear 3.9. It is a fact that the Commission could not demonstrate, why the very strong hinges had broken.56

As the sixth conclusion the Commission suggested that the visor had pulled open the ramp protecting the superstructure.

There is no evidence for this. And the Part Report could not show what would actually have happened then - the ramp itself would have been bent aft, when it got under water, the forepeak deck would have been smashed and the water inflow through the opening would have been very, very big - 1 800-3 600 tons/minute followed by immediate capsize. The ramp was in fact never open, 1.10 and 3.10, i.e. here the Part Report presented a complete lie! The Commission was forced to repeat the lies from 15 December 1.17. The big hole in the starboard collision bulkhead was not mentioned.

Then the Commission pointed out as the seventh conclusion that Class rules regarding visors had been reinforced, since the 'Estonia' was built. Unfortunately the Commission did not point out that strength of hull doors in ship superstructures is the responsibility of the flag administration (Estonia) according to rule 12 in the Load Line Convention 1966.

The eights conclusion was that the 'Estonia' lacked a proper collision bulkhead (or that it was in the wrong position) in the superstructure (not the hull). This conclusion is correct - but it was not pointed out that the responsibility for collision bulkheads in superstructures belongs to the flag administration (Estonia).

Then there was a conclusion about lack of knowledge by administrations, shipyards, shipping companies and crews. However shipyards, shipping companies and crew associations had no insight into the investigation.

That was all. Not a word about why 852 persons had died and why only 137 had survived and how and why the ship had sunk. Every essential information in the Part report was false!

The Part Report is thus very easy to criticise (apart from lies and falsifications of History).

Plenty of hidden Facts

No mention of the unchanged speed until after the accident in spite of ten minutes of alleged warning (noises).

No mention that the ship was only designed for protected coastal trading Finland/Sweden and that the new trade was short international voyage over open seas. The Estonian administration had not even approved the stability manual 2.17, correct life saving equipment and evacuation plan; 1.33 and 1.34, etc. No permanent trading certificates had been issued.

There is no explanation why the visor was lost 1 570 meters West of the wreck, etc. 1.9 and 1.14.

The sudden list >30 degrees starboard at about 01.02 hrs and that the ship was stable with a list for a long time are not mentioned. There are no stability calculations. The calculations of Huss 1.9 and 1.15 were kept secret until the Final report (5) was published.

There are no explanations why and how the ship sank and no details about bilge pumps or watertight doors.

It does not show the design of the locks of the inner ramp of the superstructure and why they were broken. That the ramp might not even have been locked was not considered.

There is no mention about the experiences of surviving passengers - the time for the sudden heel, water on deck 1 prior to the accident, the stable condition after the sudden heel, etc.

No other possible causes were mentioned.

The Part Report does not explain how the key witnesses in the ECR escaped at 01.20-01.30 hrs , when the list was >60-70-90 degrees and when >500 passengers were allegedly caught inside the ship 1.48. The testimonies of the key witnesses in the ECR cannot be true!

The amazing performance of the forward ramp at the forward end of the superstructure was not explained. It was seen closed and leaking at 01.15-01.17 hrs two minutes after the sudden listing, then it was alleged to have been fully open, and finally it closed itself before the sinking as seen down on the wreck. The relationship between water on the car deck in the superstructure and angle of list (of the hull) could not be given and were later falsified; 1.9 and 1.13-4. The ramp was seen closed at about 01.30 hrs, when the ship sank.

Why only 137 persons survivied was not discussed or if any of the 852 dead could have survivied, if the lifesaving equipment was in order.

The Part Report made three recommendations:

1. about modifications so that existing ferries comply with international rules for safety.

Comment: According to the Commissionen the 'Estonia' was in full compliance with the SOLAS for short international voyages. As is shown in this book, it was not the case. But the Commission suggested that other ferries did not comply with the SOLAS.

2. about bow arrangements on ferries ... and their effects on safety.

Comment: After the accident some visors were welded tight. But it was only for show. Later they were in normal use again.

3. about arrangements for subdivision of enclosed decks of large areas above the waterline.

Comment: The result was the so called Stockholm agreement, which does not contribute to safety at all.

In retrospect it is easy to see that the whole Part report was disinformation and falsification of History. It was no doubt written only by Stenström and Forssberg.57

The Commission evidently refused to discuss the Part report with the public.58 It can be seen from the records in the SHK archive that Forssberg and Stenström were worried about the reaction of the public about the report. The reaction in the media was tepid as the report only repeated what had been said before and the public had no idea of the real facts. But it hardly helped the Commission. It should now write the Final report.

German Protests

On 3 August 1995 the German Group of Experts made its first oral presentation for the Commission. The Germans disapproved of most of the information of the Part report but never made any suggestion that the report was totally false.

The Germans later gave written evidence on14 August and 11 October 1995 to support their observations given earlier. All German information was made secret/confidential by the Commission (acts B104** and B122**) according a Swedish secrecy law and became official only in March 1998. Only a reporter of the biggest Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, Anders Hellberg, could access the letters and use the content to produce more disinformation 1.44

The German letter (51 pages) in act B104** is quite interesting and supported by photos, drawings, etc.

The 'Estonia' had at least 12 serious defects only at the visor/ramp at departure Tallinn 27 September 1994:
(i) the stem profile was damaged,
(ii) the visor did not rest on its intended supports,
(iii) cracked weldings were obvious,
(iv) buckles and deformations (prior to the accident) evident,
(v) badly repaired hydraulics,
(vi) damaged rubber packings,
(vii) defective deck hinges,
(viii) the visor did not fit any more,
(ix) electric indication open/closed out of order,
(x) manual side locks not used, (xi) the ramp was probably not locked and
(xii) the bridge indication was out of order.

Even a layman understands that these defects indicated that the visor was not in good shape. The Commission decided to ignore all this German information in the Final report, where it instead states that according to unnamed person the visor was in perfect shape (sic).

The German report - act B104** above - was however discussed at the seventh meeting of the Commission on 22 and 23 August 1995, but as mentioned the critical reports of the Germans are not included in the Final Report (5); 1.22, 3.13 and Appendix 5 - collusion!

The Commission summarized the German information as follows in its meeting record 23 August 1995:

"their way of analysing is different and they try to find a connection between the accident and the maintenance of the ship"

That was all! The Commission then never mentioned the different German way of analysing the accident. In the Final report (5) 1.21 the German observations are not mentioned at all. Instead the Commission (page 35 in (5)) states that

"Individuals concerned with maintenance of the ship during the various periods of her life have generally expressed satisfaction with the vessel as a sound and trouble-free one.".

Actually the maintenance of the ship the last 18 months was not investigated at all by the Commission 1.46.

The Commission just asked a few anonymous persons about the ship and they apparently stated that the ship was OK - several years back. But if you do not do any maintenance the last 18 months, doesn't it affect the condition of the ship?

Falsified Model Tests to support the Part Report

The Commission continued to regularly spread disinformation in the media. Thus the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on its first page 31 August 1995 stated:

'One wave may have knocked out the 'Estonia' - model tests provide a new picture of the disaster'.

Stenström announced that measurements at model tests by the SSPA Marin AB at Gothenburg, Sweden showed that if the 'Estonia' made 14,5 knots then the load of one single big wave during the night of the accident was sufficient to knock out all safety systems Appendix 2. The assumption was that the 'Estonia' pitched down into the approaching wave and that the visor was hit straight on. It was nicely illustrated by three pictures - (a) the wave hits the visor, (b) all locks are simultaneously ripped apart/the visor moves and the hinges are also ripped apart and (c) the visor falls off pulling open the ramp and a few seconds later the superstructure forward part was open to the sea. That the Commission previously had stated that the visor was hitting up/down on the forepeak deck during 10 minutes was thus forgotten. Stenström stated further that:

'Our original theory is correct; it was the locks that were broken first - that the locks were too weak we concluded already in the spring - they had only one third of the required strength'.

As per 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 one wave cannot possibly damage all locks at once, but Stenström announced the opposite. Stenström forgot to mention that the model tests did not measure any loads on individual locks or hinges. It was only the total load on the visor in a seaway that had allegedly been measured. But such details are easily forgotten when you spread disinformation. Now the public got the impression that the SSPA Marin AB officially was behind the Commission. And correct strength tests of the locks were done much later - with the opposite result - the locks were stronger than expected.

Then Stenström added that

'it took only ten minutes from the first damage until she was lying with the bow open against the sea and the waves were rolling in on the car deck'.

When Stenström made the statement he knew for sure that water on the car deck would have caused the 'Estonia' to capsize and to float upside down after a few minutes.

But the reporters of Dagens Nyheter did not check the model test report themselves and did not ask any pertinent questions. Dagens Nyheter just printed the unproven statements of Stenström. It might have been to ask too much of the reporters to check the model test report (it was secret until the end of the investigation), but if they had done so, or had asked an expert to have a look, they would have been told that the model test report was probably false!

Evidently 100-tons loads do not hit the visor every minute or 600-tons loads every four minutes in 4,2 meter waves.

And how on earth can a 1 000-tons load suddenly hit the visor as pointed out by Stenström. The loads on the visor in regular 4,2 meter waves were periodical and very moderate - small - only due to a little buoyancy - 40 tons - when the visor was submerged for one and a half second. No impacts! How could suddenly the load become 25 times greater in irregular waves of same height 4,2 meters when the visor was only half submerged?

The answer is that the SSPA Marine AB report was faked Appendix 2.

The reason was simple - various people had asked the Commission, if really one or more waves could knock off a visor on a ferry in the Baltic. The classification society Lloyd's Register had >100 ferries with similar visors in areas with much bigger waves and had never had any problems whatsoever. The answer was of course the model tests - look here, we have measured very big loads! What could you answer? But the test report itself was secret. Later - to back up the faked model tests, similarly faked 'simulations' were calculated and they were likewise manipulated to show the same result. The statements in chapter 12.2.4 in the Final report (5) to these effects are thus false. The Commission states:

"Qualitatively the simulated results agree well with the experimental data".

This statement in the Final report (5) is a lie to support the false experimental data.

Obviously anyone asking the question how a 700-tons or 1 000-tons force could have been measured in model tests would only have been dismissed by the statement that simulations produce similar loads. Furthermore the Commission states:

"The experimental time histories of the vertical load on the visor have high upward peaks similar to those of the simulated records and in the downward direction the loads are negligible".

This statement is also false. It is more probable that the very high upward modelled peaks are false as no simulated records exist (!) to support the experimental data.

But Stenström and the Commission were at this time forced to back up its weak invention about the visor in the Part report with false model tests with the results spread in the media. It was absolutely necessary to fool the public. Otherwise the disinformation campaign would never succeed.

The ferry industry kept quiet. It had never experienced any problems with wave impacts on fore ships of their ferries before or after the 'Estonia' accident, i.e. full scale experience contradicted the Commission and just confirmed that with model tests and simulations you can produce any result you like.

(The ultimate manipulation - how SSPA faked further the model tests (to hide the true cause of accident!) - June 5 2008)

15 Secret Meetings to write the false Final Report

After the publication of the Part Report the Commission met at least 15 times to write the Final Report. All work was confidential - the public had no access - and no proper records of the deliberations were kept 1.12. It was not a serious accident investigation - the total sequence of events and the cause of accident had been made up already in 1994 - and a majority of the 'scientific' reports handed in to the Commission 1995-1997 had to be edited to suit. It takes time to falsify a report.

All members of the Commission must now have been aware of the swindle.

But they all happily worked on. Of course there were resignations, dismissals and two persons passed away during the investigation but nobody dared to suggest that the whole investigation was - a swindle.

It was not healthy to participate in the falsifications.

It may be easy to falsify a proximate cause of accident and a course of events - but all statements must be proven. That is the difficulty. But it simplifies with understanding governments that prevent collecting the evidence by making international agreements to this effect.

Thus after the Part report had been issued the Commission started to write the Final report 1.21. Every delegation had a particular interest to protect in the swindle - the Estonians wanted that the report would conclude that the crew had acted prudently, the Finnish wanted that the report would conclude that their initial approval of the ship was in order and that the rescue operations had been done correctly and the Swedes wanted that the report concluded that the safety arrangements and all surveys were in order (as the Estonian NMA had subcontracted all these matters to the Swedes).

It was probably the reason why they all agreed to the completely unrealistic sequence of events 1.9 and that the visor was to blame. They would all smell like roses, when the Final report was issued.

The Commission never appointed an official information secretary to handle contacts with outside, interested parties. It was logical, as the investigation was secret and all parties had agreed not to tell the public anything - in spite of protests from relatives and survivors. The Swedish government therefore on 21 October 1996 appointed the Board of Psychological Defence, (SPF), Stockholm, 1.49 to maintain contact with the (Swedish) relatives and, later, with the survivors. SPF suggested to the authorities not to discuss any questions raised by, i.a. the writer.

December 1996

Mr Lehtola said (Lloyd's List December 4, 1996) that the Commission's final report manuscript should be ready for release by February (1997).

Mr Lehtola also said -

'It is very possible the structure of the bow visor was not as good as it should have been. We have carried out a lot of calculations, and we have more still to do. I cannot really comment more - the results are not yet in and it is too early to draw final conclusions' .

Thus two months before the manuscript should be ready for release, 'we (the Commission) have still more (calculations) to do',....'the results are not yet in... too early to draw final conclusions'. This was said 20 months after the Part-Report was published in April 1995 and 24 months after the strength analysis was ordered to be done by the Royal Institute of Technology at Stockholm. The Final report (5) was in fact published exactly one year later.

All essential information in the Final report (5) has later been proven false. The visor fell never off the ferry.


54 The Commission had of course never concluded anything earlier - it had suggested that the visor had fallen off under way, etc. in various press releases, but noting was proven.

55 Several conclusions were changed/modified in the Final Report (5), e.g. how the visor hinges broke 3.9. But it didn't change the alleged cause of accident.

56 An explosion between visor and ramp could result in a sudden tensile overload in the hinges, which 'blew off' the visor forward and bent the ramp inwards, aft.

57 Forssberg suddenly wrote to the writer on 30 October 1997 under the letter head of the government and suggested that

"... (it) is meaningless to start a discussion about the cause of the sinking of the 'Estonia' before all documents are on the table, i.e. when the Final Report of the Commission is made public. I want however to point out that behind the content of the part report was a united Commission with access to highly qualified experts within your field of expertise".

The letter was written after Forssberg had resigned or been dismissed from the Commission and the SHK 1.20, 30 months after the publication of the Part Report, when still most of the records of the Commission were secret. All 'highly qualified experts' still refuse to discuss the matter - but of course - the Commission had only access to them. It means that the 'highly qualified experts' were used as part of the cover up.

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