Vinnova and Chalmers University deny Faults with Estonia Study
Anders Björkman wonders why


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Vinnova and Chalmers University deny Faults with Estonia Study (15 October 2008)

Below letter has been sent to Vinnova. A similar letter has been sent to the Head Master Karin Markides and the Board of Governors of Chalmers' University.

Verksledningen/GD Per Eriksson, Lena Gustafsson, Eva Lindencrona




Beausoleil 8 June 2008

Ref. Heiwa/AB 08.06.032

Dear Ms Gustafsson, Ms Lindencrona and Mr Eriksson

Re: Falsified research financed by VINNOVA (The Estonia sinking study 2005-2008)

Regretfully I have to report that the SSPA consortia appointed by Vinnova 2006 to explain the MV Estonia sinking has provided you with misleading scientific reports based on wilfully manipulated model tests and computer animations, etc.

The SSPA consortia consists of of Chalmers University (its Shipping and Marine Technology department), Gothenburg, SSPA Marin AB, Gothenburg, MARIN, Holland and Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland and all four parties are providing false reports.

The project has regularly been reported in the media. The project was completed on 23 May 2008 with a work shop at Stockholm. I assume you are now going to report to the Swedish government that the project is completed.

The fakery is described at Heiwa Co web site and can be summarized as follows:

Model tests by SSPA use a manipulated model that cannot capsize or sink and is remotely controlled to produce a strange heeling and sinking that contradicts all laws of physics. The model deck house is made air tight to prevent too rapid flooding/capsize upside down and the model hull is arranged to allow air to escape when it is upside down so that it sinks (otherwise it would not sink).

Computer animations by Strathclyde are simply falsified to copy the behaviour of the faked model tests. The animations cannot be supported by correct mathematical calculations of stability and floatability.

Laboratory tests by MARIN about inflow into a superstructure (sic - should be deck house) are also manipulated to support the above fakery.

Chalmers (Department of Shipping and Marine Technology) have contributed with various reports to support what can be seen in the false model tests and animations. Professor Rutgersson is no doubt aware of the manipulations of SSPA and Strathclyde and has adjusted his findings and reports accordingly.

The manipulations are very easy to confirm! Just check the model deck house and model hull with its illicit control gears or allow some independent experts verify the findings. Please advise what action you intend to take.

With kind regards

Yours sincerely

Anders Björkman, M.Sc.

Vinnova has replied 16 June 2008 that everything is in order. Chalmers (Karin Markides) suggests also (later) the same thing. Below was sent to Vinnova 18 June 2008:

Dear Mr Eriksson.

Thank you for your answer and explanations by the SSPA-consortium. In the meantime I have sent the below e-mail to the SSPA and HSVA consortia:


----- Original Message -----

From: Anders Björkman

To: ; Andrzej Jasionowski ; ; Claes Källström ; Björn Allenström ; Olle Rutgersson ;

Cc: ; John Graffman

Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 7:48 AM

Subject: Vinnova - Estonia research


As you know I am reviewing your research and publish articles about it and would be grateful for answers of some questions. Pls cc this message to relevant assistants of your research incl. members of your Panel of Experts:

1. Intitial inflow:

All SSPA model tests indicate an inflow of >2 000 tons/min with open ramp in the given conditions resulting in an angle of heel >45° within a couple of minutes.This does not tally with survivors testimonies and the JAIC report.

1.1 Why is this simple fact not emphasized in the final reports?

1.2 Why is this not shown in the computer animation?

1.3 Why does the computer animation show ECR crew watching monitors at <2° heel, when the crew was not in the ECR then?

1.4 Why does the computer animation show evacuation at <10° heel and rolling, when model tests show that vessel heeling does not stop then?

1.5 How could two ECR crew reach open, port (upper) deck 7 after evacuation?

2. Floating on deck house:

The Estonia had 170+ windows in the starboard side deck house, decks 4-6, with a total pane area > 110 m² and also normal doors in the aft bulkhead. The SSPA model tests indicate heavy rolling at heel >45° and you would expect all these windows to break and the doors in the aft bulkhead to be pushed in by waves/water when submerged resulting in massive inflow of water into the deck house. However, only a small inflow is recorded in the model test as only two windows per deck are assumed 'broken'; at one time the model floats at 90° heel with about six metres of deck house submerged and 18 metres above water line and rolling severly. Windows are generally not permitted in a superstructure and, if fitted, must be fitted with permanent, internal closing devices of steel to provide weather tightness.

2.1 Why are only two windows per deck aft assumed being broken allowing water inflow?

2.2 Why are no (MARIN) model tests done of deck house (pls not 'superstructure') flooding at 90° heel with deck house side six metres below water?

2.3 Why do you insist that the deck house is a weather tight superstructure, when according international standards/rules it is a simple deck house that does not provide any buoyancy at any time?

2.4 Can you give any example of a ship floating on a deck house prior sinking?

3. Floating/sinking upside down:

When a vessel has capsized upside down, the compressed air trapped in the intact hull provides buoyancy. If the buoyancy exceeds the weight of the vessel, it floats and cannot sink. If the buoyancy is less than the weight of the vessel, it sinks immediately (and persons can be trapped in air pockets inside the sunken vessel; compare e.g. a submarine). In the Estonia case it seems it took 20 minutes for the air to compress to allow sinking and this was simulated in model scale by allowing air to escape through two vents!

3.1 Does it really take long time for air to be compressed inside a capsized hull and does the buoyancy of a capsized vessel diminish with time after capsize?

3.2 If answer is yes, can you give any examples?

4. General, Definition of wave impact.:

The project description included investigation of other possible sinking scenarios and assistance by a Panel of Experts.

4.1 Why didn't you investigate sinking due to hull leakage below waterline and loss of (hull) buoyancy as cause of accident?

4.2 Do all members of your Panel of Experts agree with your findings?

4.3 What is your definition of a wave impact and what force/load does it apply to a structure (bow visor, window pane)?

Kind regards

Anders Björkman

Heiwa Co - European Agency for Safety at Sea


So I repeat:

SSPA model tests show clearly that the inflow of water into the superstructure through an open ramp (visor has ripped open the ramp and initiated the accident that now starts 15 minutes earlier than according JAIC) is of the order 2 000 tons/minute and that an angle of heel >45° degrees develops within a couple of minutes (full scale - less than a minute model scale). This is not according to testimonies of survivors and would prevent any evacuation of any kind. The computer animation shows something completely different.

It is quite clear from testimonies that the engine crew outside the ECR observes, like all the passengers, the heavy rolling and a stable heel <15° durig several minutes that enables the passengers and some crew to escape to open deck 7 during about 10 minutes. The engine crew on the other hand returns to the ECR ... and observes a closed ramp 2-3 minutes later, stays in the ECR for 5-10 minutes and then escapes, two of them to deck 7 port side, when the heel exceeds 60°. An impossible task.

So the SSPA model tests thus show that the heel becomes >45° very quickly (see e.g. fig 37 in SSPA Final report) and then it is suggested that the ferry floats on the deck house for 22 minutes with heeling increasing from 45° - 90°. Reason is that only two (!) side windows on each of decks 4, 5 and 6 break and allow water inflow into the deck house.

There is no scientific evidence of any kind that only two windows per deck breaks. According internationl standards, experience and regulations a deck house is not water tight, weather tight or air tight and is flooded momentarily when submerged as all windows break and doors are pushed open. If the deck house, decks 4-6, were a superstructure, as suggested by the SSPA consortia, windows are generally not permitted at all, and, if fitted for any reason, must be arranged with an internal closing device of steel, etc. Doors must be weather tight with six closing toggles and with a sill of a certain height. The MARIN tests of flooding superstructure (sic) deck 4 do not prove anything as only 2 windows in the side are open and the openings are just below water.

Actually the alleged floating on the deck house (called superstructure (sic) by SSPA) is the most obvious falsification of the research. Any ship does not ever float on a deck house. A ship does not float on window panes.

Regarding the sinking of a capsized hull upside down with bottom up that is floating on compressed air trapped inside the hull, the proposals of SSPA are nonsense. Either the capsized vessel floats permanently on the compressed air as buoyancy exceeds weight, or sinks immediately when weight exceeds buoyancy as per Arkimedes. It does not take 20 minutes for the air to be compressed or the buoyancy to be reduced to be less than the weight. The arrangement with two valves in the bottom and allowing air to escape in a controlled fashion due to scale effects is foolish talk.

You are thus kindly recommended not to hand over the SSPA/HSVA reports to the government until the content has been properly verified by, e.g. any reputable authorities. I would suggest that you ask the classification societies Det Norske Veritas, Registro Italiano Navale (RINA) and Japanese NK or the experts you used to select the research consortia in 2005 to comment upon

A. the rapid water inflow/flooding of the car deck superstructure - does it tally with testimonies and allow evacuation?,

B. the alleged floating on the deck house - is it possible or should not the deck house be flooded momentarily, i.e. the vessel should capsize at once?, and

C. the mysterious sinking of the capsized hull (what happens to the air and Arkimedes principle?).

Reason why I did not attend the workshop was that I was otherwise engaged and had already informed the consortia of the above and had been told by SSPA (Jazionowsky) that it was unreasonable. HSVA (Valanto) could not offer any comments at all.

Kind regards

Yours sincerely

Anders Björkman

No further clarifications have since been received from Vinnova, the 'scientists' and Chalmers. It is however clear that the latest research produce more new questions than answers.

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