During the past six years since the publication of our Report in the Internet in May 2000 the following information, which we deem noteworthy, has been received:
From Estonia it was reported that the head of the Nautical Department of ESCO and security adviser of ESTLINE and the initial member and subsequent expert of the Estonian JAIC, Captain Enn Neidre, died of cancer and, further, that one of the leading interrogators of the Estonian crew survivors, V. Karmi, was killed in a car crash. Some crew members have indicated through various channels that they would be prepared to tell the truth under certain conditions. The JAIC key witness, Silver Linde, was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for organized dealing with drugs in Finland and at present serves his term in prison in Helsinki. He has meanwhile told his story before a running camera to the TV journalist Jutta Rabe and was subsequently questioned under oath before a Finnish court. His very interesting statements can be found in Chapter 18 below.
From Finland it was reported that the chairman of the Finnish JAIC, Kari Lethola, retired at the end of 2000 and that the hydrodynamic scientist and ex-member of the Finnish JAIC, Dr. Tuomo Karppinen, had been appointed his successor. It also turned out that the Finnish consultant used by this ‘Group of Experts’ for years was identified and admitted to having contact to those persons/organisations being connected with the mysterious disappearance of Avo Piht, Lembit Leiger and the Veide twins – without informing his German principals. The sonar expert Dr. Nuorteva, having closely participated in the very detailed searchings of the area to the south and southwest of the ESTONIA wreck in October 1994 and subsequently – see Chapter 3 of this Report – and who allegedly has the missing video tapes in his “hobby archive” (Pirjo Valkama-Joutsen) is still not prepared to communicate or let the public see the hidden treasures of his hobby archive in which he keeps information obtained by him in his official function. One wonders about the peculiar principles of maintaining public archives in the Republic of Finland.
Another matter is the story of the plot of the ‘Mariella’, the ferry next to the ESTONIA during her last hours afloat. It was quite obvious from the very beginning that those on the bridge of “Mariella” were very well aware where exactly ESTONIA had been during the last hours before the casualty and at the casualty, and that is what her master, Captain Thörnroos, said in his statement with reference to the sea chart in use (the logbook entries for the time in question are chaotic). Consequently we asked the owners for a copy of the chart and we got it but only with positions after the casualty, however we were told that there had been an automatic plot in which the positions of “Mariella”, ESTONIA and the other vessels in the surroundings had been recorded with times and courses. This plot had been handed over to the JAIC in the early days and, so far, not been returned. A subsequent request to the Finnish JAIC to disclose the plot was rejected, stating that the plot was not in their possession and that its whereabouts were unknown to them. Surprisingly, however, the Swedish JAIC found it necessary to conduct tests, even in the ship-model testing tank in Kalmar, to find out the most likely route of the ESTONIA, although it was apparently known through the plot, through the recordings of the Finnish radar stations and by virtue of the fact that her last 300-400 m of drifting in heavily heeled and finally upside down condition was marked by many objects on the sea bottom, which had fallen off the vessel.
From Sweden it was reported that the ex Technical Superintendent of Nordström & Thulin, Ulf Hobro, had been promoted to Head of the Stockholm Office of Sjöfartsinspektionen and consequently had become a colleague of Åke Sjöblom, then and still Head of the Malmö Office of Sjöfartsinspektionen. It needs to be remembered, that it was this Mr. Hobro, who was responsible in his position for the fact that MV ESTONIA sailed between Tallinn in Stockholm with an invalid Passenger Ship Safety Certificate as well as for the extremely poor maintenance condition of visor and bow ramp, its hinges and locking devices, which rendered the ferry initially unseaworthy upon departure from Tallinn and that it was Åke Sjöblom, who was aware of this condition, when the vessel was to leave port but could not think of any appropriate measure to prevent her deadly trip.
In May 2001 Knut Carlqvist’s book “Tysta Leken – Varför sjänk Estonia?” (Silent Games – Why did Estonia sink?) came out, however, so far only in Swedish but unfortunately found only little interest in the Swedish public, although it explains the political background in Sweden before and after the sinking of the “Estonia” and is partly based on the “Peter Öhrn – Report”.