In an interview with Gregg Bemis in a news program in swedens TV1, he claimed that german experts have found technical
evidence for an explosion in samples taken from the wreck of Estonia and Bemis said that it could not be explained as
The general feeling among swedish authorities appears to be that Bemis and Rabe are seeking publicity for
commercial reasons and that they have an empty case. It would be very sensational if Bemis claims are confirmed.
Bo Janzon at the department of weapons and protection of the swedish defence research establishment
was interviewed in a news transmission. According to him, the sample material used by Bemis, can not be used
to conclude that there has been an explosion.
Anders Hellberg, Dagens Nyheter 2000-11-23:
The Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications has issued
documents, where a renewed investigation of the Estonia catastrophy is demanded,
for review by the governments of Finland, Estonia and Denmark.
The documents originate from an organization, the Agnef Seminar among the relatives of the casualties.
This summer they turned to the following authorities:
Chalmers Institute of Technology,The Royal Institute of Technology,
The Directory for Psychological Defense,SSPA Maritime Consulting AB (former Gov. Ship testing inst.),
The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) and the Board of Accident Investigation.
Some of these authorities have answered but, as indicated, the criticisms have also reached the
communication departments of Finland Estonia and Denmark.
This can be interpreted as a wish on the part of the assistant minister, Mona Sahlin, to provide an opportunity
for discussion with the mentioned governments concerning a completely new investigation.
Dagens Nyheter, Tisdag 2000-12-05:
Accusations against the Maritime Administration (SMA): "The Estonia protocol is a falsification"
by Susanna Popova, editor of Moderna Tider and reporter Mats Holm
"Estonia" wasn't seaworthy as she left the harbour of Tallin. The control made by swedish inspectors showed several deficiences.
With a falsification of the protocol from the inspection, the SMA has tried to escape criticism for having allowed the ship to embark.
The SMA undoubtedly had the duty to stop "Estonia". If they had done their job properly, the accident had never happened.
Jutta Raabe was interviewed on swedish TV, and claimed that the evidence they had obtained during the previous
diving expedition proves that there was an explosion near the visor of Estonia. The technical samples had been investigated by German
and Brittish military and or police experts and showed that the material had been heated to a temperature of 700 (C?)
According to Bo Janzon of FOA (defence research establishment), the copy of the report from the experts did not reveal
anything about their expertise in the field of explosives and he seemed a bit hesitant about the value of the presented evidence.
Disregarding technical evidence, what could be the motive for sinking the ship, if it wasn't an accident? When
people are killed and it isn't obvious that it happened through an accident, it makes sense to look for a
Could there have been an economical motive? For the ship proper or for something aboard it.
Or could there have been people aboard who posed a threat to someone powerful and ruthless enough to be willing
to kill 852 people in the process?
What about the bottom valves? If they where open, would that explain the short sinking time?
(not necessarily meaning that they would still be open now)
Since there seems to be consensus among the experts about not understanding how the ship could go
down so fast, it seems the entire hull of the ship should have been carefully examined for possible
intakes, (or for repairs that might have been performed on the site).
What I find worrying is that the experts have commented on Bemis and Raabes data as if
its refutation would settle the matter. Their low budget investigation only covered a limited part of the ship.
I have strong doubts about anything coming out of an investigation, since I don't think there are any official
investigators who are really interested. I think everybody wants to get it over with,
whether or not it was an accident. There is no point in wasting tax payers money unless the investigators are really
keen on getting to the truth. In order to make a complete investigation the divers would have to do all the
things previously considered unwanted by the officials. Namely to meticulously go through every angle
of the ship hull seing many of the decomposed corpses
(according to some officials this might cause psychological damage to the divers) etc.
A new investigation concerning Estonia is necessary, by Peder Svensson.
Professor of Naval Architecture, Olle Rutgersson of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) has critisized
the international Estonia investigation from 1997 in several respects.
I beleive the report to be mainly correct. But it needs to be completed to clarify what really happened
as Estonia went down. It is unsatisfactory that the conclusions of the investigation are being
questioned by the public.
Anders Ulfvarsson, professor of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
at Chalmers Institute of Technology (CTH) holds similar views.
The authorities responded to the criticism in the media by deposing 100 miljon Skr for expenses in connection with
According to Kari Lehtola, chairman of the finnish commission for the investigation of the Estonia catastrophy,
the metal samples obtained by the divers came from a hole in a damaged shot, that wasn't caused by any explosion
but resulted when the hydraulics were torn off. According to three german and one american laboratory measurements
there were traces of semtex or hexa composite.
If this was true there ought to be similar deformations on the visir, which can be easily examined on land,
said Lethola, and added that this wasn't the case. Further there was an ongoing seismological project
at the time of the catastrophy, and moreover the
military have seismological equipment, but no detonation was registered.
Docent Lars Ekbom KTH, formerly an employee of FOA for 28 years commented on the technical reports
by independent experts (independent from the swedish establishment) who investigated metal samples taken by Gregg Bemis diving expedition and confirmed their
suggestion that their had been a strong explosion.
Experts from FOA (=the defense research establishment, or rather their continuation
do not agree that there is any strong evidence for an explosion.
Note that according to previous reports, nobody among the survivors
heard any explosion.
Lars Ångström of the environmental party argued in favor of a
thorough investigation by FOA.
I beleive that this hypothetical explosion is a side issue, and if there was some kind of
sabotage it won't be found out by any experts, unless they are being spoon-fed with exact information
which isn't available. The first requirement by those who are to find out is that they have a completely
open mind and really want to get to the truth irrespective of what might be revealed,
and irrespective of whether the public opinion or the media or private investigators have some pet idea.
If these conditions are not fulfilled the only honest thing to do is to call the thing off.
In short professionalism, not just a reaction to media pressure.
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