The Sinking of Estonia
2008 03 27

By Christopher Bollyn | bollyn.info

Listen to our Red Ice Radio interview with Lawyer Henning Witte on The Sinking of MS Estonia

Excerp from the article: When Terror Drills Turned Real: 9-11, the London Bombings & the Sinking of Estonia

...during the official dive for evidence to the wreck of Estonia, on which more than 852 people are known to have died, the crucial locking bolt from the bow visor, which officials blame for having caused the catastrophe, was thrown back into the sea.

The bolt from the Atlantic lock had been detached by divers and brought to the surface for investigation only to be thrown back to the sea by Börje Stenström, the Swedish navy commander who was the head of the technical group of the international investigation commission.

Stenström's throwing the bolt back to the sea was clearly the destruction of "one of the most important pieces of evidence," according to his own scenario of what had caused the sinking.

The Cult of the Bow Visor
Estonia's bow visor, seen open here, is blamed by corrupt investigators for causing the sinking. The crucial evidence that would prove otherwise was thrown back into the sea. The Swedish government's effort to support their "official lie" with a computer simulation of the sinking has failed because the model of the vessel simply won't sink absent a hole below the waterline.

The Estonia Catastrophe
The unexplained sinking of the Baltic ferry Estonia on its way to Stockholm from Tallinn in late September 1994 is the third mega-disaster (not in chronological order) that occurred within the framework of a military exercise.

The day before it sank Estonia had also been the scene of a terrorism exercise in which the scenario was a terror bombing of the ferry. Looking at the NATO military assets that were assembled nearby and the terrorism drill that had just been conducted on the ship, the stage was clearly set and the actors were in place for what turned out to be a real disaster.

The Estonia catastrophe is Europe's worst maritime disaster since World War II. 852 people are known to have died when Estonia sank in the early hours of September 28, 1994, but more than 1,000 may have perished, if, as reported, some 150 Iraqi Kurds were being smuggled to Sweden in one of the trucks on its car deck.

Scores of people died in the frigid water of the Baltic Sea waiting for rescue boats and helicopters that came too late. More than ninety bodies were retrieved from the life rafts.


The Toll - The bodies of some of the Estonia victims retrieved from the Baltic Sea.


NATO's "Search & Rescue" Exercise
Although it is seldom mentioned, the Estonia catastrophe occurred on the first day of a 10-day NATO naval exercise called Cooperative Venture 94, in which more than 15 ships and "a number of maritime aircraft" were prepared to conduct "humanitarian and search and rescue operations" in nearby waters.

The NATO exercise, which involved 10 NATO member states and the Baltic "partner" nations of Russia, Sweden, Poland, and Lithuania, was to be staged in the Skagerrak, between Denmark and Norway, and the Norwegian Sea, according to the NATO press release about the exercise from September 16, 1994.

The NATO nations who participated in the exercise were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Many other allies and partners sent observers to the exercise, according to the NATO press release.

The fact that Estonia sank as the submarines, ships, planes, personnel, and satellites from the navies of 14 nations were preparing to begin their 10-day "search and rescue operations" exercise off the coast of Sweden raises several obvious questions that deserve to be answered: First and foremost, if NATO had 15 ships and a number of aircraft assembled and prepared to conduct "search and rescue operations," why didn't NATO assist in the early morning rescue operation for the victims from the Estonia catastrophe?

The Swedish rescue helicopters were ill-prepared and ill-equipped, which resulted in a fatal delay for those waiting to be rescued.

"Were there specially-equipped rescue helicopters or other aircraft that could have assisted?" Drew Wilson, author of The Hole (2006), a book about the Estonia catastrophe, wrote:
Survivors who didn't die from hypothermia while floating on upturned boats or flotsam in the biting water waited four-six hours for rescue. NATO search-and-rescue personnel and equipment could have saved some lives. Flying time was under 1 hour. Why didn't they respond to the distress traffic? What happened?
The evidence indicates that the Mayday signals from Estonia had been jammed, as were all radio communications in the area.

"A series of comprehensive malfunctions in regional communication systems all at once, and all at the exact time the ferry had sunk suggest involvement by a military or intelligence services," Wilson writes in The Hole. "Was a distress call intentionally blocked? If so, why? Communications throughout the Northern Baltic Sea were disrupted during the time of the accident."

As Wilson documents, VHF Channel 16, the international Mayday channel, and Channel 2182 were blocked. "Signal jamming of all radio communications apparently occurred on the Southern coastline of Finland as the accident unfolded."

The NSA of the United States, the intelligence and spy agency which monitors signal intelligence around the world, reportedly has a file of documents about the Estonia catastrophe which remain classified more than 13 years after the passenger and car ferry supposedly sank due to a faulty bow visor. Why would the NSA maintain top-secret files about an innocent ship wreck in the Baltic Sea in 1994?

Wilson wrote:
Werner Hummel, the German investigator, said that his Group had documentation showing that the regional telephone network servicing the catastrophe site failed just as it was needed most. The malfunction was truly a startling coincidence. The telephone company stated its entire radio communications network, for unknown reasons, had been down from 1:03 to 1:58 a.m. – almost exactly the time the Estonia first encountered trouble until the time it disappeared from radar.?
Didn't the NATO communications units prepared for the "search and rescue" exercise overhear the distress calls coming from Estonia? NATO, with state-of-the-art satellite and airborne surveillance assets in place over the Baltic Sea certainly must know who was blocking the SOS calls.

Why has this information been kept secret since 1994? Blocking SOS calls and jamming distress signals is a violation of international law. Why has this crime not been investigated?

The intentional blocking of the Mayday signals from Estonia points to complicity in mass murder. "Naval exercises are meant to be as realistic as possible," Olivier Schmidt, author of The Intelligence Files: Today's Secrets, Tomorrow's Scandals, writes.

What was the "search and rescue" scenario of NATO's Cooperative Venture 94 exercise, which was commanded at sea by the Dutch submarine commander Gijsbert Goofert Hooft?

I sent a series of pertinent questions to Robert Pszczel, NATO's press officer for Baltic issues, about NATO's response to the Estonia catastrophe:

Did NATO have any naval assets in the Baltic Sea on the night of September 27-28, 1994 and what actions did NATO take in the immediate aftermath of the Estonia disaster?

Did NATO pick up the Mayday signals being sent (and jammed) from Estonia? Why didn't NATO assist, given the urgent need to retrieve hundreds of freezing people from life rafts? What was the scenario of NATO's search and recovery exercise?

Despite telephone calls and email exchanges with the press office at NATO headquarters, Robert Pszczel failed to respond to a single question about NATO's response to the Estonia catastrophe for this article.

Drew Wilson ran into the same wall of silence at NATO when he asked questions about Estonia for his book The Hole.

If NATO has a reasonable explanation for its failure to respond and assist during Europe's worst maritime disaster since World War II, why is it unwilling to provide it? To whom is this organization accountable?

NATO had 14 ships, submarines, aircraft, and personnel from the United States, Europe, Sweden, and Russia assembled near the scene of the sinking of Estonia, Europe's worst maritime disaster since World War II. The purpose of the NATO exercise included "search and rescue" operations, yet when disaster struck, NATO did nothing to help. Why? What was NATO doing that was more important than saving the lives of their citizens? Why won't they even talk about it? If not the citizens, to whom is NATO accountable? What kind of organization is this?

Estonia's Bomb Drills
The Estonia ferry had been the object of bomb threats and had participated in at least two terror bomb exercises in 1994, one in February and another just the day before it sank.

On February 2, 1994, Estonia was the subject of a major mock bomb exercise conducted with RITS, Sweden's maritime fire and rescue agency, and the Stockholm police. The Stockholm police had requested to take part in the exercise and used bomb-sniffing dogs to find explosives. The terror simulation involved a scenario in which "bombs" had been placed in the sauna and swimming pool area on the lowest deck, below the waterline in the bow of the ship. A second "bomb" was placed in the sleeping quarters on the first deck, also below the waterline.

In the Estonia terrorism scenario, the explosives in the sauna were to be found by the dogs, while the second "bomb" was to explode. The purpose of this terrorism drill was to train with the ship's crew and include shore-based terrorism experts and police with bomb-sniffing dogs, brought to the ship by helicopter. In the simulation, the "bombs" were set to explode about half way between the Estonian and Swedish coasts, which is where the ship actually sank in September 1994 after a similar mock bomb threat exercise.

When Estonia sank, another mock bomb exercise on the ship had just been concluded. Survivors from the sinking actually reported hearing two huge explosions immediately before the ship listed to starboard. Several crew members testified to having heard the coded fire alarm "Mr. Skylight to No. 1 and 2" over the ferry's public address system at about 1:02 a.m. after the vessel had listed severely.

This is the exact same message for the crew that was used during the previous bomb drill in February 1994. "Mr. Skylight" was a signal for the fire fighters to proceed to their fire stations 1 and 2 and prepare for damage control. The fact that this coded alarm was given indicates that there was damage caused by a fire or explosion that required immediate attention. The ferry sank within 30 minutes.

Eyewitness testimony from survivors plus the fact that the ship sank extremely quickly strongly suggest that explosives were used to tear a large hole in the hull below the waterline. Swedish policemen who had just conducted training involving a mock bomb threat on the ferry were returning home when Estonia sank. Of the 70 policemen, only 7 survived.


Estonia was being used to ferry drugs and Soviet military contraband, which probably included advanced space weapons technology, when she sank. The highest officials in Swedish customs, the government, and military were aware of the sensitive and illegal shipments that put the ferry at risk. Is this why they are so dedicated to protecting the lies about the sinking?

Copyright 2008 Christopher Bollyn. All Rights Reserved

Article excerpt from: When Terror Drills Turned Real: 9-11, the London Bombings & the Sinking of Estonia



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