The M/S Estonia Accident investigation
The biggest Fraud in Maritime History
Film of Explosive Device at the Bow

by Anders Björkman


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Note about one explosive Device found at the Bow and a big unreported Hole in the starboard Front Bulkhead

In 1999 an independent researcher studying the then released video films of the 'Estonia' wreck taken on 9 October 1994 found an 'orange box' attached to the outside of the port side ramp frame (the ramp was virtually closed). This discovery caused a lot of attention but was later, 1999!, explained by the investigators - the box was part of a wooden pallet!

The 'Estonia' wreck was filmed three times in 1994 - on 2 October (16 hours film according to the media, 2 hrs 46 mins according to the investigators) (no 'orange box' seen), on 9 October (four video cassettes made 1994 - today only two cassettes + a summary exist in the archive) (the 'orange box' is seen) and on 2-4 December (the 'orange box' has disappeared). The films have apparently been edited as follows: No pictures of the starboard front bulkhead are shown in the film of 2 October, even if it was stated that the filming was concentrated to the fore ship and, no doubt, the starboard side was filmed. On the film of 9 October there is only a close-up of the starboard front visor lock, the bulkhead above the visor lock is not shown. The films of 2-4 December are similar - the starboard front bulkhead is not shown! The Commission stated that the bulkhead was undamaged above the visor lock. If the various films have been edited in any way has been investigated by the Swedish SKL laboratory.

In August 2000 the Bemis divers filmed a big hole in the starboard front bulkhead.

In 2000 the Swedish newspaper reported that five Swedish divers incl. a Mr. H. Bergmark had dived on the 'Estonia' in 1994. This was news - according to the investigators only 12 British/American divers had dived on the wreck in December 1994. This author assumes that the five Swedish Navy divers visited the ship in the period 2-9 October 1994. The following happened or may have happened:

(1) 28 September - the 'Estonia' sinks (fact). The Swedish government forms a 'crisis' group, which suggests that the accident was caused by a 'design fault' of the visor locks and water inside the superstructure. The investigation Commission is requested only to investigate these causes! The conspiring parties do not know that water inside the superstructure leads to immediate capsize and floating upside down. This early fault of disinformation creates the later difficulties to write a false accident investigation report.

(2) 29 September - surviving crewmembers testify that the visor was lost and water had entered the car deck/superstructure > 2 meters above the waterline (fact). They probably lied. The Swedish government 'crisis' group promotes 'design fault' as the only cause of accident in the media.

(3) 30 September - the wreck was located by sonar. No position of the wreck was announced. A 'pyramid' shaped object was seen at the bow on all four sonar pictures made (fact). Later the investigators denied that the object was the visor (fact). What it actually was, was not explained - the object was forgotten (fact). The media publishes various reports that the visor had caused the accident, e.g. a few witnesses had seen that the visor was missing, when the ship sank. Other survivors, having seen the visor hanging on to the bow, were censored.

(4) 2 October - the wreck was filmed by an ROV for the first time. On the summary film 2hrs 46 mins naturally no visor is seen (fact).

The 'pyramid' shaped object seen on the sonar pictures (3) was not filmed! It is assumed that the official investigators (from Estonia, Finland and Sweden) saw the visor hanging from the starboard bow and resting on the sea floor on the un-edited film (16 hrs) and that the film was 'edited' not to show the starboard side. It may have been the result of an attempt on 1 October by divers to remove the visor under water. A false wreck position was announced (2 211 m North East of the actual position) (fact) and probably marked with a blue bouy. On the edited film the pictures showing the area (starboard front bulkhead), where you suspect the visor to hang, have been deleted. In August 2000 private divers filmed a big hole in the starboard front bulkhead.

(5) 4 October - the investigators informed the media that the visor had fallen off the ship at 01.15 hrs and that the ship sank at 01.48 hrs (in another location far away from the visor) (fact). They had not interviewed survivors that the sudden listing occurred much earlier (at 01.02 hrs).

(6) 5 October - the investigators informed that they had found an object looking like the visor (fact) - same shape and size - in the vicinity of the wreck. Later they denied it. Much later it was stated to have been a 'steel plate'. Later it was a sunroof of corrugated plate - see below.

(7) 6 October - Stolt-Comex made an offer to Sweden to recover all victims inside the wreck (fact) (An earlier offer had been made to Estonia).

(8) 2-9 October - the author assumes that five Swedish Navy mine destruction divers directed by Mr. Gustav Hanuliak visited the ship (for the second time?), applied small explosive discharges (normally used to destroy enemy underwater mines) to completely detach the visor from the starboard bow and to open the ramp. They succeeded - free diving with He-02 or with a pressure chamber on the dive ship to 60-70 m is very easy - and the visor fell to the dark bottom at 83 m depth below the bow. They forgot one unexploded explosive device - the 'orange box'. Probably they blow a big hole in the starboard front bulkhead. Maybe they tried to blow open the ramp or the ramp locks or this was done later. They probably blow a big opening in the starboard front bulkhead.

(9) 9 October - the wreck was filmed by an ROV for a second time (fact) - four videocassettes. The only purpose of this filming was to ascertain that the visor had been successfully removed from the bow (and was then resting on the bottom below the bow). The four videocassettes were filed in the Commission's archive mentioning that they showed i.a. the visor! (fact). The films have later been edited to remove pictures of the starboard side front bulkhead. Only two 'original' videos and a 'summary' video exist. One videocassette has disappeared. If the various films have been edited in any way has been investigated by the Swedish SKL laboratory.

(10) 10 October - the investigators said that the unknown object found on 5 October had been filmed - it was a 'steel plate' 5-7 x 10 metres (fact). No film exists of the steel plate. Later (11 March 2001) the investigators said that the 'steel plate' was a sunroof of corrugated plate. The position of the 'steel plate' has never been stated (where it was filmed).

(11) 10 October - there was a fax exchange between two of the investigators mentioning pictures of the visor and the ramp and how to film them. The faxes were filed in the Commission's archive mentioning that they concerned filming of the visor. One investigator told the press that the visor had been found (facts). The tri-partite investigation Commission was formally announced.

(12) 11 October - the Commission informed the press that the visor had not been found (fact). Two members of the Commission viewed at the same time the films taken on 9 October showing the visor.

(13) 12 October - the public was made aware of the Stolt-Comex offer to recover the victims. No reaction from the responsible parties.

(14) 17 October - The Commission announced that the accident - capsize (sic) - had been caused by the lost visor enabling water to enter at the bow ramp into the superstructure open garage > 2 meters above the waterline.

(15) 18 October - the investigators announced that the visor was found 'a mile West of the wreck' - no exact position was announced and no real search had taken place 11-17 October (fact). The visor was filmed but there is no evidence of the position a mile west of the wreck. The visor could very well have been filmed just below the bow of the wreck.

(16) Mid-November - the visor was filmed again by the Swedish Navy to enable salvage of it - no position was announced (fact). It is assumed that the visor was in fact filmed below the bow of the wreck. These films have disappeared.

(17) 19-20 November - the visor was salvaged by a Swedish navy operation - no position of the salvage vessel was announced (fact). It is assumed that the salvage vessels performed the salvage at the wreck position.

(18) 26 November - a memorial ceremony was performed at the false wreck position (fact) - the blue bouy.

(19) 2-4 December - an incomplete 'dive inspection' of the wreck took place (fact). The dive vessel first went to the false wreck position - the blue bouy - and could not find the wreck! It took half a day to find the wreck 2 111 meters Southwest of the blue bouy. No official pictures of the starboard front bulkhead were taken or shown. Mr. Gustav Hanuliak attended - apparently to ensure that no traces of the visor removal in October were recorded on any films. Several objects salvaged from the wreck were soon after thrown back into the sea without being recorded, registered, measured, described or filmed (fact).

(20) 9 December - the Swedish Navy announced the position of the visor (or that of a red buoy (sic) anchored on top of the alleged visor position - 1 570 m West of the wreck (the correct wreck position had been announced then)) (fact).

(21) 15 December - the Commission announced a modified accident scenario - the lost visor had pulled the bow ramp fully open at 01.15 hrs, which caused the ship to sink at 01.52-01.55 hrs - not to capsize (sic).

(22) 15 December - the Swedish government decided not to recover the bodies of the victims. Further dive inspections of the wreck were to be forbidden by international treaty.

(23) July 1996 - bunker oil is removed from the wreck. Mr. Gustav Hanuliak attended again - apparently to ensure that no traces of the visor removal in October were recorded on any films. No media representatives or members of the public were ever allowed to verify - to attend - any of the above exercises except the memorial ceremony - everything else was kept secret - off-limit for the public.

This author - as a safety at sea expert assumes that the above charade was performed by the Swedish NMA and navy to hide the facts that the 'Estonia' was unseaworthy 1993, without correct life-saving equipment (fact) and without correct watertight door (fact), false certificates (facts), etc. The charade was apparently performed to protect the Swedish public and >10 000 relatives, who had lost 502 Swedish citizens, from the real world - that accidents happen due to stupid people and lazy civil servants. The tragic pity is that it would have been very easy to up-grade the 'Estonia' in 1993 with correct life-saving equipment, closed watertight doors and proper evacuation procedures, etc. = correct certificates. The 'Estonia' was in fact not seaworthy since 1980!

The reason for editing the films from 2 and 9 October and 2-4 December 1994 was simply to hide the fact that there is a big opening in the starboard front bulkhead and that this damage was not there on 2 October 1994 but on 9 October 1994. The damage was filmed in August 2000 by the Bemis expedition. When the films were shown in Swedish and Estonian TV in November 2000 the TV companies chose not to show the big damage in the starboard front bulkhead.

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