Sabotage on Estonia?
Video films from the wreck shows strange things. Johan Ridderstolpe has discovered them.
On a video from Estonia in December 1994, a packet that could be a non detonated bomb is shown on the port side of the wreck. The packet is fastened to the hull with a magnetic plate on deck 5 near the bow. Martin Volk, German expert of explosives and Stig Hermansson, Swedish rescue diver with special training on underwater explosives, have both come to the same conclusion.
What's in the packet?
The packet that is 60 centimeters long and 20 centimeters wide have by the Board of Accident Investigation been explained as trash, a plastic cover or a survival packet. Thereafter the director of the Board, Ann-Louise Eksborg said that the packet never was recovered so nobody knows what it was.
An other explanation is that it should be burning electrodes for the divers. It is not possible, Stig Hermansson says after 18 years of experience. The wrapping of the packet is a waxlike paper of the kind that explosives and ammunition is wrapped with. It is held together by tape and in the bottom right corner a detonator is probably seen.
The packet was filmed by a underwater robot, and the robot stops and interests around the packet before investigating the bow area. It would be very strange if the packet was not recovered.
There were water under the cardeck before Estonia listed, water that must have entered the ship from a leek under the waterline. Survivals also witness this. The leek or hole must be on the starboard side near the bow area. A hole can have been done by a similar explosive that somebody fastened under the waterline there. This parts of the hull has never been filmed in spite of the fact that the camera was over this part of the hull. The camera operator has to the German lawyer Henning Witte said that Swedish police forbid the camera to take pictures of some parts of the hull. Witte has for more than a year believed that the ship was sunk by a sabotage.
The Estonian Chairman in the commission, Andi Meister, resigned from his post in June 1996 after accusing the Swedes from censoring and manipulating pictures from the wreck. In his book "Catastrophe of Estonia - never finished logbook" (Estonian edition) he questions the police actions on the diving platform, and states that the crew on the bridge of Estonia never was identified in contradiction to the Estonian claims. The crew could easily been identified when they all ware a uniform.
Police in control of the diving
The day after divers investigate a number of cabins on the 6:th deck. The police are in control, and it can be verified from the band. Meister was right when he accused the Swedes, and the divers had different tasks than they had from the Estonian part of the commission.
The police are looking for suitcases and one is found in the cabin 6230. This suitcase could have belonged to the Estonian citizen Alexander Voronin who survived the accident. The case have a name tag with his name attached. He has stated that he had was in the cabin 6320, but he can have remembered wrongly. A strange coincident is that according to the Purser onboard the cabin 6230 was Avo Piht's, the disappeared Captain. A. Piht was rescued and after the 2/10-94 he disappeared and was explained dead in the accident.
The drawing and the suitcase
A clue for what they searched for is the word drawing that is mentioned by the diver when he investigates the first suitcase they find. The diver was searching for something important and broke doors and moved bodies. It seemed more important to find this something than to investigate the complete hull, that is not yet done. If this was so important to the police that obviously have Estonia as a scene of crime, it could also have been even more interesting for other people to stop something from reaching Stockholm.
Exercise of sabotage
The 2:nd of February 1994 a major RITS -exercise was held after MV Estonia had left Stockholm. The scenario was that a bomb threat should alert the crew and the police force. One bomb to be found and a second bomb to explode in public sleeping quarters at deck 2. A sabotage by exploding bombs was a realistic scenario, and this is not mentioned in the commissions report.
In serge of the suitcases
Following a part of the conversation between the diver (D) and the diver supervisor (L). The full out print of the conversation can be read at:
After 20 minutes work the diver enters cabin 6132:
L - a lot of suitcases there, isn't it?
D - A single one - you see my hand (diver show his hand in a mirror)
L - Oh, there is a mirror there yea
D - This cabin...I have to try...exactly now...to check this thoroughly...
L - OK, we check this one very thoroughly because of the...eee...suitcase it could possibly have been occupants
D - OK roger
L - ...Yea John, could you POSSIBLY check the suitcase, it MAY have a name tag on.
D - OK...I...it appear to bee...I would say a female cabin
L - Possibly a female cabin
The diver look around and pick up the suitcase
D - OK, it's open, and...I'm looking for a cargo or something...something which will identify the case with me to this cabin
D - Eee...It concern to me attached that drawing he had
L - (immediately) stand by.......NO.., PLEASE SAY NO! (upset)
D - OK, the case WAS open when I came in and...
L - Yes, the case was open, we saw that
D - And nothing fell out when...
L - OK, we will have a good search in here John, underneath cushions and everything
D - An anorak...not readable...in fact....account...not readable
L - He is going to check the coat if there is a name tag on it (obviously L is telling someone else)
D - I'll see if there is something behind the door that I've missed
L - OK they...they are not really to concerned of the name now, John, just have a good look around to confirm or deny
The diver speak about the panel in the sealing that has fallen down in the companionway , then starting to brake into 6134
L - OK, John, after we have done this one the police don't want us to brake any more doors, we just try them or try corridors.
D - I understand that! (as if he already knew it)
The supervisor is upset when the case was open, or by the fact that the diver was concerned of something. The case doesn't seem to belong to the women that had the cabin. The police is refereed as "they" and some cabins are interesting and others are left without even trying to enter. A bit forward on the tape it is time for a large cabin 6230.
L - Very big cabins this, might take a while searching
L tells the diver what the cabin look like, where the toilet is and everything
D - Enters
Diver look around, find refrigerator, make joke of cold beer if any, look around
D - I'll found an attaché case here
L - Attaché case, any markings on it?
D - Eeee...yes, hold on here, jepp, we got a name....Alexander Vorin
L - Alexander...
D - Alexander Vorin
L - Can you spell it?
D - Victor, Oscar, Romeo, Alfa, November, November
They try to read the name tag several times and come to VORANI
L - OK, I'll just see if that name rings a bell up here...
D - Can I leave...suddenly
L - OK, it's a Russian name, Alexander Voran
D - Voranoly
L - Yes
D - It possibly could belong to the man outside
First the supervisor tells the diver that it can take a while to search the cabin, then the diver leaves the cabin directly after finding the suitcase. The suitcase was the target.