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Dag Hammarskjöld: evidence suggests UN chief's plane was shot down

Eyewitnesses claim a second aircraft fired at the plane raising questions of British cover-up over the 1961 crash and its causes

Julian Borger and Georgina Smith in Ndola, Wednesday 17 August 2011 19.20 BST

New evidence has emerged in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history, suggesting that the plane carrying the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld was shot down over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) 50 years ago, and the murder was covered up by British colonial authorities.

A British-run commission of inquiry blamed the crash in 1961 on pilot error and a later UN investigation largely rubber-stamped its findings. They ignored or downplayed witness testimony of villagers near the crash site which suggested foul play. The Guardian has talked to surviving witnesses who were never questioned by the official investigations and were too scared to come forward.

The residents on the western outskirts of the town of Ndola described Hammarskjöld's DC6 being shot down by a second, smaller aircraft. They say the crash site was sealed off by Northern Rhodesian security forces the next morning, hours before the wreckage was officially declared found, and they were ordered to leave the area.

The key witnesses were located and interviewed over the past three years by Göran Björkdahl, a Swedish aid worker based in Africa, who made the investigation of the Hammarskjöld mystery a personal quest since discovering his father had a fragment of the crashed DC6.

"My father was in that part of Zambia in the 70s and asking local people about what happened, and a man there, seeing that he was interested, gave him a piece of the plane. That was what got me started," Björkdahl said. When he went to work in Africa himself, he went to the site and began to question the local people systematically on what they had seen.

The investigation led Björkdahl to previously unpublished telegrams seen by the Guardian from the days leading up to Hammarskjöld's death on 17 September 1961, which illustrate US and British anger at an abortive UN military operation that the secretary general ordered on behalf of the Congolese government against a rebellion backed by western mining companies and mercenaries in the mineral-rich Katanga region.

Hammarskjöld was flying to Ndola for peace talks with the Katanga leadership at a meeting that the British helped arrange. The fiercely independent Swedish diplomat had, by then, enraged almost all the major powers on the security council with his support for decolonisation, but support from developing countries meant his re-election as secretary general would have been virtually guaranteed at the general assembly vote due the following year.

Björkdahl works for the Swedish international development agency, Sida, but his investigation was carried out in his own time and his report does not represent the official views of his government. However, his report echoes the scepticism about the official verdict voiced by Swedish members of the commissions of inquiry.

Björkdahl concludes that:

Hammarskjöld's plane was almost certainly shot down by an unidentified second plane.

The actions of the British and Northern Rhodesian officials at the scene delayed the search for the missing plane.

The wreckage was found and sealed off by Northern Rhodesian troops and police long before its discovery was officially announced.

The one survivor of the crash could have been saved but was allowed to die in a poorly equipped local hospital.

At the time of his death Hammarskjöld suspected British diplomats secretly supported the Katanga rebellion and had obstructed a bid to arrange a truce.

Days before his death, Hammarskjöld authorised a UN offensive on Katanga codenamed Operation Morthor despite reservations of the UN legal adviser, to the fury of the US and Britain.

The most compelling new evidence comes from witnesses who had not previously been interviewed, mostly charcoal-makers from the forest around Ndola, now in their 70s and 80s.

Dickson Mbewe, now 84, was sitting outside his house in Chifubu compound west of Ndola with a group of friends on the night of the crash.

"We saw a plane fly over Chifubu but did not pay any attention to it the first time," he told the Guardian. "When we saw it a second and third time, we thought that this plane was denied landing permission at the airport. Suddenly, we saw another aircraft approach the bigger aircraft at greater speed and release fire which appeared as a bright light.

"The plane on the top turned and went in another direction. We sensed the change in sound of the bigger plane. It went down and disappeared."

At about 5am, Mbewe went to his charcoal kiln close to the crash site, where he found soldiers and policemen already dispersing people. According to the official report the wreckage was only discovered at 3pm that afternoon.

"There was a group of white soldiers carrying a body, two in front and two behind," he said. "I heard people saying there was a man who was found alive and should be taken to hospital. Nobody was allowed to stay there."

Mbewe did not forward with that information earlier because he was never asked to, he said. "The atmosphere was not peaceful, we were chased away. I was afraid to go to the police because they might put me in prison."

Another witness, Custon Chipoya, a 75-year-old charcoal maker, also claims to have seen a second plane in the sky that night. "I saw a plane turning, it had clear lights and I could hear the roaring sound of the engine," he said. "It wasn't very high. In my opinion, it was at the height that planes are when they are going to land.

"It came back a second time, which made us look and the third time, when it was turning towards the airport, I saw a smaller plane approaching behind the bigger one. The lighter aircraft, a smaller jet type of plane, was trailing behind and had a flash light. Then it released some fire on to the bigger plane below and went in the opposite direction.

"The bigger aircraft caught fire and started exploding, crashing towards us. We thought it was following us as it chopped off branches and tree trunks. We thought it was war, so we ran away."

Chipoya said he returned to the site the next morning at about 6am and found the area cordoned off by police and army officers. He didn't mention what he had seen because: "It was impossible to talk to a police officer then. We just understood that we had to go away," he said.

Safeli Mulenga, 83, also in Chifubu on the night of the crash, did not see a second plane but witnessed an explosion.

"I saw the plane circle twice," he said. "The third time fire came from somewhere above the plane, it glowed so bright. It couldn't have been the plane exploding because the fire was coming on to it," he said.

There was no announcement for people to come forward with information following the crash, and the federal government did not want people to talk about it, he said. "There were some who witnessed the crash and they were taken away and imprisoned."

John Ngongo, now 75, out in the bush with a friend to learn how to make charcoal on the night of the crash, did not see another plane but he definitely heard one, he said.

"Suddenly, we saw a plane with fire on one side coming towards us. It was on fire before it hit the trees. The plane was not alone. I heard another plane at high speed disappearing into the distance but I didn't see it," he said.

The only survivor among the 15 people on board the DC6 was Harold Julian, an American sergeant on Hammarskjöld's security detail. The official report said he died of his injuries, but Mark Lowenthal, a doctor who helped treat Julian in Ndola, told Björkdahl he could have been saved.

"I look upon the episode as having been one of my most egregious professional failures in what has become a long career," Lowenthal wrote in an email. "I must first ask why did the US authorities not at once set out to help/rescue one of their own? Why did I not think of this at the time? Why did I not try to contact US authorities to say, 'Send urgently an aircraft to evacuate a US citizen on secondment to UN who is dying of kidney failure?'"

Julian was left in Ndola for five days. Before he died, he told police he had seen sparks in the sky and an explosion before the crash.

Björkdahl also raises questions about why the DC6 was made to circle outside Ndola. The official report claims there was no tape recorder in the air traffic control tower, despite the fact that its equipment was new. The air traffic control report of the crash was not filed until 33 hours afterwards.

According to records of the events of the night, the British high commissioner to the Rhodesian and Nyasaland Federation, Cuthbert Alport, who was at the airport that evening, "suddenly said that he had heard that Hammarskjöld had changed his mind and intended to fly somewhere else. The airport manager therefore didn't send out any emergency alert and everyone simply went to bed."

The witness accounts of another plane are consistent with other insider accounts of Hammarskjold's death. Two of his top aides, Conor Cruise O'Brien and George Ivan Smith, both became convinced that the secretary general had been shot down by mercenaries working for European industrialists in Katanga. They also believed that the British helped cover up the shooting. In 1992, the two published a letter in the Guardian spelling out their theory. Suspicion of British intentions is a recurring theme of the correspondence Björkdahl has examined from the days before Hammarskjöld's death.

Formally, the UK backed the UN mission, but, privately, the secretary general and his aides believed British officials were obstructing peace moves, possibly as a result of mining interests and sympathies with the white colonists on the Katanga side.

On the morning of 13 September the separatist leader Moise Tshombe signalled that he was ready for a truce, but changed his mind after a one-hour meeting with the UK consul in Katanga, Denzil Dunnett.

There is no doubt that at the time of his death Hammarskjöld‚ who had already alienated the Soviets, French and Belgians, had also angered the Americans and the British with his decision to launch Operation Morthor against the rebel leaders and mercenaries in Katanga.

The US secretary of state, Dean Rusk, told one of the secretary general's aides that President Kennedy was "extremely upset" and was threatening to withdraw support from the UN. The UK , Rusk said, was "equally upset".

At the end of his investigation Björkdahl is still not sure who killed Hammarskjöld, but he is fairly certain why he was killed: "It's clear there were a lot of circumstances pointing to possible involvement by western powers. The motive was there the threat to the west's interests in Congo's huge mineral deposits. And this was the time of black African liberation, and you had whites who were desperate to cling on.

"Dag Hammarskjöld was trying to stick to the UN charter and the rules of international law. I have the impression from his telegrams and his private letters that he was disgusted by the behaviour of the big powers."

Historians at the Foreign Office said they could not comment. British officials believe that, at this late date, no amount of research would conclusively prove or disprove what they see as conspiracy theories that have always surrounded Hammarskjöld's death.
Midnight in the Congo

The Assassination of Lumumba and the
Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjold

"In Elizabethville, I do not think there was anyone there who believed that his death was as accident." U.N. Representative Conor O'Brien on the death of U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold

"A lot has not been told." Unnamed U.N. official, commenting on same

By Lisa Pease From the March-April, 1999 issue (Vol. 6 No. 3)

The CIA has long since acknowledged responsibility for plotting the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the popular and charismatic leader of the Congo. But documents have recently surfaced that indicate the CIA may well have been involved in the death of another leader as well, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold. Hammarskjold died in a plane crash enroute to meet Moise Tshombe, leader of the breakaway (and mineral-rich) province of Katanga. At the time of his death, there was a great deal of speculation that Hammarskjold had been assassinated to prevent the U.N. from bringing Katanga back under the rule of the central government in the Congo. Fingers were pointed at Tshombe's mercenaries, the Belgians, and even the British. Hardly anyone at the time considered an American hand in those events. However, two completely different sets of documents point the finger of culpability at the CIA. The CIA has denied having anything to do with the murder of Hammarskjold. But we all know what the CIA's word is worth in such matters.

In the previous issue of Probe, Jim DiEugenio explored the history of the Congo at this point in time, and the difference between Kennedy's and Eisenhower's policies toward it. In the summer of 1960, the Congo was granted independence from Belgium. The Belgians had not prepared the Congo to be self-sufficient, and the country quickly degenerated into chaos, providing a motive for the Belgians to leave their troops there to maintain order. While the Belgians favored Joseph Kasavubu to lead the newly independent nation, the Congolese chose instead Patrice Lumumba as their Premier. Lumumba asked the United Nations, headed then by Dag Hammarskjold, to order the Belgians to withdraw from the Congo. The U.N. so ordered, and voted to send a peacekeeping mission to the Congo. Impatient and untrusting of the U.N., Lumumba threatened to ask the Soviets for help expelling the Belgian forces. Like so many nationalist leaders of the time, Lumumba was not interested in Communism. He was, however, interested in getting aid from wherever he could, including the Soviets. He had also sought and, for a time, obtained American financial aid.

Hatching an Assassination
In 1959, Lumumba had visited businessmen in New York, where he stated unequivocally, "The exploitation of the mineral riches of the Congo should be primarily for the profit of our own people and other Africans." Affected minerals included copper, gold, diamonds, and uranium. Asked whether the Americans would still have access to uranium, as they had when the Belgians ran the country, Lumumba responded, "Belgium doesn't produce any uranium; it would be to the advantage of both our countries if the Congo and the U.S. worked out their own agreements in the future."1 Investors in copper and uranium in the Congo at that time included the Rockefellers, the Guggenheims and C. Douglas Dillon. Dillon participated in the NSC meeting where the removal of Lumumba was discussed.

According to NSC minutes from the July 21, 1960 meeting, Allen Dulles, head of the CIA and former lawyer to the Rockefellers, sounded the alarm regarding Lumumba:

Mr. Dulles said that in Lumumba we were faced with a person who was Castro or worse ... Mr. Dulles went on to describe Mr. Lumumba's background which he described as "harrowing" ... It is safe to go on the assumption that Lumumba has been bought by the Communists; this also, however, fits with his own orientation.2

Lawrence Devlin, referenced in the Church Committee report under the pseudonym "Victor Hedgman," was the CIA Station Chief in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). On August 18th, Devlin cabled Dulles at CIA headquarters the following message:


The day this cable was sent, the NSC held another meeting at which Lumumba was discussed. Robert Johnson, a member of the NSC staff, testified to the Church Committee that sometime during the summer of 1960, at an NSC meeting, he heard President Eisenhower make a comment that sounded to him like a direct order to assassinate Lumumba:

At some time during that discussion, President Eisenhower said somethingI can no longer remember his wordsthat came across to me as an order for the assassination of Lumumba.... I remember my sense of that moment quite clearly because the President's statement came as a great shock to me.4

The Church Committee report on the Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders recorded that Johnson "presumed" Eisenhower made the statement while "looking toward the Director of Central Intelligence."5 With or without direct authorization, on August 26, 1960, Allen Dulles took the bull by the horns. He cabled Devlin in the Congo station the following message:


Assassination requests would normally have gone to Richard Bissell. Because Bissell was away on vacation, Dulles told Eisenhower he would take care of Lumumba. According to Dulles family biographer Leonard Mosley, Dulles put Richard Helms in charge of preparing the assassination plot. A few days later, Helms produced a "blueprint" for the "elimination" of Lumumba.7 Although the Church Committee report includes no references to Helms' involvement, this is certainly plausible. One of the first people involved in the plot to kill Lumumba was Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, who enjoyed Richard Helms' patronage within the agency. As Helms moved up in the Agency, so too did Gottlieb.8 Gottlieb is identified as "Joseph Scheider" in the Church Committee report. Gottlieb was the grandfather of the CIA's mind control programs, as well as the producer of exotic and deadly biotoxins for the CIA's "Executive Action" programs.

After returning from vacation, Bissell approached Bronson Tweedy, head of the CIA's Africa Division, about exploring the feasibility of assassinating Lumumba. Gottlieb also conversed with Bissell, and claimed Bissell had indicated they had approval from "the highest authority" to proceed with assassinating Lumumba.

By September 5, the situation in the Congo had deteriorated badly. Kasavubu made a radio address to the nation in which he dismissed Lumumba and six Ministers. Thirty minutes later, Lumumba gave a radio address in which he announced that Kasavubu was no longer the Chief of State. Lumumba called upon the people to rise up against the army. Just over a week later, Joseph Mobutu claimed he was going to neutralize all parties vying for control and would bring in "technicians" to run the country.9 According to Andrew Tully, Mobutu was "discovered" by the CIA, and was used by CIA to take charge of the country when the favored Kasavubu lost authority. The CIA's relationship with Mobutu is pertinent to the ultimate question of the CIA's final culpability in the assassination of Lumumba. Tully refers to Mobutu as "the CIA's man" in the Congo.10 When Mobutu claimed power, he called on the Soviet-bloc embassies to vacate the country within 48 hours.11 John Prados wrote that Mobutu was "cultivated for weeks by American diplomats and CIA officers, including Station Chief Devlin."12

Gottlieb was sent to the Congo to meet Devlin. The CIA cabled Devlin that Gottlieb, under the alias of "Joseph Braun," would arrive on approximately September 27. Gottlieb was to announce himself as "Joe from Paris." The cable bore a special designation of PROP. Tweedy told the Church Committee that the PROP designator was established specifically to refer to the assassination operation. According to Tweedy, its presence restricted circulation to Dulles, Bissell, Tweedy, Tweedy's deputy, and Devlin. Tweedy sent a cable through the PROP channel saying that if plans to assassinate Lumumba were given a green light, the CIA should employ a third country national to conceal the American role.13 Clearly, from the start, deniability was the highest concern in the assassination plotting.

The toxin was supposed to be administered to Lumumba orally through food or toothpaste. This effort was clearly unsuccessful, if it had ever been fully attempted. Gottlieb's and Devlin's testimony conflicted regarding the disposal of the toxins. Both said they disposed of all the toxins in the Congo River. But if one of them did this, the other is lying, and both could be lying to protect the continued presence of toxic substances, as indicated by a cable from Leopoldville to Tweedy, dated 10/7/60:


In October 1960, Devlin cabled Tweedy a cryptic request for him to send a rifle with a silencer via diplomatic pouch, a violation of international law:


There is no evidence to suggest a silenced rifle was or was not pouched at this point. The CIA did, however, send rifles to be used to assassinate Rafael Trujillo by diplomatic pouch to the Dominican Republic.

A senior CIA officer from the Directorate of Plans was dispatched to the Congo to aid in the assassination attempt. Justin O'Donnell, referred to in the Church Committee records as "Father Michael Mulroney," refused to be involved directly in a murder attempt against Lumumba, saying succinctly, "murder corrupts."16 But he was not opposed to aiding others in the removal of Lumumba. He told the Church Committee:

I said I would go down and I would have no compunction about operating to draw Lumumba out [of U.N. custody], to run an operation to neutralize his operations....17

O'Donnell planned to lure Lumumba away from U.N. protection and then turn Lumumba over to his enemies, who would surely kill him. "I am not opposed to capital punishment," O'Donnell explained to the Church Committee. He just wasn't going to pull the trigger himself.

O'Donnell requested that CIA asset QJ/WIN be sent to the Congo for his use. O'Donnell claimed he wanted QJ/WIN to participate in counterespionage. (The CIA's IG report, however, indicated that QJ/WIN had been recruited to assassinate Lumumba.18) O'Donnell's plan, which appears to have been successful, was for QJ/WIN to penetrate the defenses around Lumumba and encourage Lumumba to "escape" his U.N. guard. Once in the open, Mobutu's forces could then arrest Lumumba and kill him. In the end, this is exactly what appears to have happened. Although O'Donnell denied that QJ/WIN had anything to do with Lumumba's escape, arrest and murder, a cable to CIA's finance division from William Harvey implies otherwise:

QJ/WIN was sent on this trip for a specific, highly sensitive operational purpose which has been completed.19

Another CIA operative, code-named WI/ROGUE, was dispatched to aid in the Congo operation. The CIA provided WI/ROGUE plastic surgery and a toupee "so that Europeans traveling in the Congo would not recognize him." WI/ROGUE was described as a man who would "dutifully undertake appropriate action for its execution without pangs of conscience. In a word, he can rationalize all actions."20

WI/ROGUE was apparently assigned to Devlin. a report prepared for the CIA's Inspector General described the preparation to be undertaken for his use:

In connection with this assignment, WI/ROGUE was to be trained in demolitions, small arms, and medical immunization.21

While in the Congo, WI/ROGUE undertook to organize an "Execution Squad." One of the people he attempted to recruit was QJ/WIN. QJ/WIN did not know whether WI/ROGUE was CIA or not, and refused to join him. Both O'Donnell and Devlin claimed WI/ROGUE had no authority to convene an assassination team. But that assertion seems hard to believe, given that a capable assassin was assigned to a group plotting the permanent removal of Lumumba. And given that WI/ROGUE was to be trained in "medical immunization" it seems possible WI/ROGUE was to administer the poisons brought to the Congo by Gottlieb.

The CIA, while accepting responsibility for plotting to kill Lumumba, disavows responsibility for his eventual murder. The Church Committee bought this line from the CIA and concluded the same in their report. Yet within the report and elsewhere on the record are events that belie that conclusion. For example, a cable from Devlin to Tweedy implies possible CIA foreknowledge of Lumumba's escape which led to his death:


The Church Committee believed that one CIA cable seemed to indicate the CIA's lack of foreknowledge of Lumumba's eventual escape. But in another instance they cited this troubling passage, which indicates likely CIA involvement in his capture:


According to contemporaneous cable traffic, the CIA was kept informed of Lumumba's condition and movements during the period following his escape. Some authors believe that the CIA was directly involved in his capture. Andrew Tully acknowledges that "There were reports at the time that CIA had helped track him down," but adds, "there is nothing on the record to confirm this." However, nearly all authors agree that Lumumba was captured by Mobutu's troops, and Mobutu was clearly, as Tully called him, "the CIA's man" in the Congo.

By January of 1961, Devlin was sending urgent cables to CIA Director Allen Dulles stating that a "refusal [to] take drastic steps at this time will lead to defeat of [United States] policy in Congo."24 That particular cable was dated January 13, 1961. The very next day, Devlin was told by a Congolese leader that the captive Lumumba was to be transferred to a prison in Bakwanga, the "home territory" of his "sworn enemy." Three days later, Lumumba and two of his closest supporters were put on an airplane for Bakwanga. In flight, the plane was redirected to Katanga "when it was learned that United Nations troops were at the Bakwanga airport." Katanga claimed, on February 13, 1961, that Lumumba had escaped the previous day and died at the hands of hostile villagers. However, the U.N. conducted its own investigation, and concluded that Lumumba had been killed January 17, almost immediately upon arrival in Katanga. Other accounts vary. Some accounts indicated that on the plane, Lumumba and his supporters were so badly beaten that the Belgian flight crew became nauseated and locked themselves in the flight deck. Another account indicated that Lumumba was beaten "in full view of U.N. officials" and then driven to a secluded house and killed. But a contradictory version indicated that U.N. officers were not allowed in the area where the plane carrying Lumumba landed, and that the U.N. officials only had a glimpse at a distance of the prisoners when they disembarked. By all accounts, however, this was the last time any of the prisoners were seen in public alive.

In a bizarre footnote to this story, former CIA man John Stockwell wrote of a CIA associate of his who told him one night of his adventure in Elizabethville (now Lubumbashi), "driving about town after curfew with Patrice Lumumba's body in the trunk of his car, trying to decide what to do with it." Stockwell added that his associate "presented this story in a benign light, as though he had been trying to help."25 And in a similarly incriminating statement, CIA officer Paul Sakwa remembered that Devlin subsequently "took credit" for Lumumba's assassination.26 In an open letter to CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner, Stockwell wrote:

Eventually he [Lumumba] was killed, not by our poisons, but beaten to death, apparently by men who had agency cryptonyms and received agency salaries.27

From the CIA's own evidence, the CIA sought to entice Lumumba to escape protection. They then monitored his travel, assisted in creating road blocks, and when he was captured, encouraged his captors to turn him over to his enemies. The CIA had a strong relationship with Mobutu when Mobutu had the power to decide Lumumba's fate. And then there are the admissions reported by Stockwell and Sakwa. How can anyone, in the light of such evidence, claim the CIA was not directly responsible for Lumumba's murder?

Hammarskjold's Last Flight
The CIA could not have been satisfied solely with the death of Lumumba. One of the barriers to completing the takeover of the Congo remained the United Nations, and more specifically, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.

Dag Hammarskjold's heritage stemmed from that of a Swedish knight. Subsequent generations had served as soldiers and statesmen. It seemed only fitting that with such a heritage, Hammarskjold would be drawn to a life of governmental service. He grew up in the Swedish capital among a group of progressive economists, intellectuals, and artists. He sought out companions and mentors from these fields. But Hammarskjold was on a strong spiritual quest as well, seeking his own divine purpose and contemplating the sacrifices of others for the common good. He was an intensely private man who never married. Because of this, many assumed he must have been a homosexual. Hammarskjold always denied this, and once wrote a Haiku addressing his frustration at having to deal with this constant accusation:

Because it did not find a mate
they called
the unicorn perverted.28

Speaking four languages and having a reputation as an agile negotiator, Hammarskjold was a natural choice for the United Nations. Always gravitating toward roles of leadership, he came ultimately to serve in the highest position of that body during one of the most difficult periods in its existence.

When he took office, the United States was embroiled in virulent McCarthyism. His predecessor at the U.N. had bent over backwards to please American sponsors by expelling suspected communists from the ranks of the U.N. When Hammarskjold took his place, his first acts focused on rebuilding badly damaged morale among the U.N. workers. Once in office, he traveled the world seeking peace and reconciliation among warring factions. He felt that dispatching U.N. troops on peacekeeping missions was a necessary, if poor substitute for failed political negotiations. In 1958, Hammarskjold was unanimously reelected to a second five-year term as Secretary-General.

By far, Hammarskjold's biggest challenge was the Congo. Hammarskjold understood the complexity of the political situation there and resisted moves that would put the people in that country at risk of exploitation. When Katanga seceded, the Soviets were furious that Hammarskjold didn't send troops in to prevent the secession, and claimed Hammarskjold was siding with colonialists. Lumumba too lashed out at Hammarskjold for not responding in force. Hammarskjold's hands were tied, however, by the American, British, French and Belgium factions which wanted to see Katanga secede in order to maintain access to the great mineral wealth there. But Hammarskjold did not give in completely to these non-native interests, and sent U.N. troops between the warring Congo and Katanga forces to see that one side did not annihilate the other. Hammarskjold had originally been impressed with Lumumba, but his opinion of him declined as Lumumba increasingly acted in an irresponsible manner. The country virtually fell apart in September when first Kasavubu (another Congo leader in the CIA's pocket29), then Lumumba, and ultimately Mobutu claimed to be the country's leader. One of the few world leaders openly supporting Hammarskjold's policy in the Congo was President John Kennedy.

Hammarskjold died in a plane crash sometime during the early morning hours of September 8, 1961. He was flying aboard the Albertina to the Ndola airport at the border of the Congo in Northern Rhodesia, where he was to meet with Tshombe to broker a cease-fire agreement. The pilot of the Albertina filed a fake flight plan in an attempt to keep Hammarskjold's ultimate destination hidden. Despite this and other measures taken to preserve secrecy, less than 15 minutes into the flight the press was reporting that Hammarskjold was enroute to Ndola.

At 10:10, the pilot radioed the airport that he could see their lights, and was given permission to descend from 16,000 to 6,000 feet. Then the plane disappeared. It was found the next day, crashed and burnt at a site about ten miles from the airport. The unexplained downing of the plane gave rise immediately to rumors of attack and sabotage.

Two of Hammarskjold's close associates, Conor O'Brien and Stuart Linner, had been targets of assassination attempts. Several attempts had been made in Elizabethville on O'Brien. And gunmen tried to lure Linner to Leopoldville, then under Kataganese control. One gunman even made his way into Linner's office before being apprehended. Forces both inside and outside the Congo made clear that they did not approve of the U.N.'s handling of affairs there. U.N. forces were continually attacked. And Hammarskjold himself had received various threats. Because of this obvious animosity, it was no stretch for people to believe Hammarskjold's death was no accident.

The origin of the plan to meet at Ndola was itself under dispute. O'Brien asserted in print on three different occasions that the location had been chosen by Lord Lansdowne. As one author noted,

He was doing more than accuse Lansdowne of not telling the truth. He was implying the Britisher was partly responsible for a journey that ended in disaster.30

The British government has always insisted the choice of Ndola was Hammarskjold's. But the British were clearly working against Hammarskjold by siding with Katanga. The British colony of Northern Rhodesia also sent food and medical supplies to Katanga. Rhodesia's Roy Welensky served as a media conduit for Tshombe. Clearly, the British had a motive to get rid of Hammarskjold, who stood in the way of Katanga's independence, and therefore their denial regarding the choice of Ndola should be weighted accordingly. In fact, leaders from around the world accused Britain of being directly responsible. The Indian Express, India's largest daily, wrote, "Never even during Suez have Britain's hands been so bloodstained as they are now." Johshua Nkomo, President of the African National Democratic Party in Southern Rhodesia, said "The fact that this incident occured in a British colonial territory in circumstances which look very queer is a serious indictment of the British Government." The Ghanian Times ran an editorial headed "Britain: The Murderer." Note that this prophetic piece was written in 1961:

The history of the decade of the sixties is becoming the history of political and international murders. And one of the principal culprits in this sordid turn in human history is that self-same protagonist of pietyBritain.

Britain was involved, by virtue of her NATO commitments, in the callous murder of the heroic Congolese Premier, Patrice Lumumba.

But Britain stands alone in facing responsibility for history's No. 1 international murderthe murder of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.31

Due to public interest and obvious questions, both the British-contolled Northen Rhodesian government and the U.N. convened commissions to investigate the incident. Two of the earliest claims regarding the crash were given focus by both commissions: reports of a second plane, and reports of a flash in the sky near the airport. Seven different witnesses told the Rhodesian commission of a second plane in the vicinity of the Ndola airport. In Warren Commission-like fashion, the Rhodesian authorities waved away these sightings under various excuses. The only plane officially recorded to be in the vicinity was Hammarskjold's, therefore the witnesses had to be wrong. But the airport was not using radar that night, and another plane could easily have been in the area. One witness chose not to talk to the Rhodesian authorities and went directly to the U.N.. He too had seen a second plane, following behind and slightly above a larger plane. After the plane crashed and exploded, he saw two Land Rover type vehicles rush at "breakneck speed" toward the site of the crash. A short time later, they returned. Asked why he hadn't shared his account with the Rhodesians, the witness replied simply, "I do not trust them." The U.N. report theorized that perhaps people had seen the plane's anti-collision beam and thought it represented a second plane. However, some of the witnesses claimed the second plane flew away from the first after the crash, negating that theory. 32 Earwitness evidence was also suggestive. Mrs. Olive Andersen heard three quick explosions at the time when the plane would have passed overhead. W. J. Chappell thought he heard the sound of a low-flying plane followed by the noise of a jet, followed later by three loud crashes and shots as if a canon was firing.33

Assistant Inspector Nigel Vaughan was driving on patrol that night about ten miles from the site of the crash. He told investigators that he saw a sudden light in the sky and then what seemed to be a falling object. But he placed the sighting an hour after the plane disappeared, and so his testimony is ignored. However, other witnesses also claimed to see a flash in the sky that night, including two police officers, one of which thought the sighting important enough to report to the airport.

Adding to suspicion of a broader plot was the fact that, despite the Albertina's having announced its arrival at the airport, no alarm was raised when the plane did not land. In fact, Lord Alport sent the airport people home, claiming the Albertina's occupants must have simply changed their mind and decided not to land there. No search and rescue operation was launched until well into the following morning.Later examinations of the bodies showed that Hammarskjold may well have survived the initial crash, although he had near-fatal if not fatal injuries. There was a small chance that had he been found in time, his life may have been saved.

Royal Rhodesian Air Force Squadron Leader Mussell told the U.N. commission that there were "underhand things going on" at that time in Ndola, "with strange aircraft coming in, planes without flight plans and so on." He also reported that "American Dakotas were sitting on the airfield with their engines running," which he imagined were likely "transmitting messages."

Beyond the strange circumstances surrounding the downing of the plane, the plane itself contained interesting, if controversial evidence. 201 live rounds, 342 bullets and 362 cartridge cases were recovered from both the crash site and the dead bodies. Bullets were found in the bodies of six people, two of whom were Swedish guards. The British Rhodesian authorities concluded that the ammunition had simply exploded in the intense heat of the fire, and just happened to shoot right into the humans present. But this contention was refuted by Major C. F. Westell, a ballistics authority, who said,

I can certainly describe as sheer nonsense the statement that cartridges of machine guns or pistols detonated in a fire can penetrate a human body.34

He based his statement on a large scale experiment that had been done to determine if military fire brigades would be in danger working near munitions depots. Other Swedish experts conducted and filmed tests showing that bullets heated to the point of explosion nonetheless did not achieve sufficient velocity to penentrate their box container.35

If someone aboard the plane fired the bullets found in these bodies, who would it have been? P. G. Lindstrom, in Copenhagen's journal Ekstra Bladet, wrote that one of Tshombe's agents in Europe told him that an extra passenger had been aboard who was to hijack the plane to Katanga. No evidence of an additional body was found in the wreckage, however.

Transair's Chief Engineer Bo Vivring examined the plane and noted damage to the window frame in the cockpit area, as well as fiberglass in the radar nose cone, and concluded that these injuries were likely bullet holes. He told the Rhodesian commission months later, "I am still suspicious about these two specimens."36

In their final report, the Federal Rhodesian commission concluded that the incident was the result of pilot error, and denied any possibility that the plane was in any way sabotaged or attacked. The U.N. took a more cautious stance, declining to blame the pilot. But they were unable to pinpoint the cause, and refused to rule out the possibility of sabotage or attack. In contrast, the Swedish government, along with others carried the strong opinion that the plane had been shot from the ground or the air, or had been blown up by a bomb.

And there the matter lay, as far as the public was concerned. No one would know for sure. Some had suspicions. In a curious episode, Daniel Schorr once questioned whether the CIA was behind the murder. The question must be set in its original context.

In January of 1975, President Ford was hosting a White House luncheon for New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, among others, when the subject of the Rockefeller commission came up. One of the Times' editors questioned the overtly conservative, pro-military bent of the appointees. Ford explained that he needed trustworthy citizens who would not stray from the narrowly defined topics to be investigated so they wouldn't pursue matters which could damage national security and blacken the reputation of the last several Presidents. "Like what?" came the obvious question, from A. M. Rosenthal. "Like assassinations!" said clumsy ex-Warren Commission member Ford, who added quickly, "That's off the record!" But Schorr took the question to heart, and wondered what Ford was hiding. Shortly after this episode, Schorr went to William Colby, then CIA Director, and asked him point blank, "Has the CIA ever killed anybody in this country?" Colby's reply was, "Not in this country." "Who?" Schorr pressed. "I can't talk about it," deferred Colby. The first name to spring to Schorr's lips was not Lumumba, Trujillo, or even Castro. It was Hammarskjold.37

Is there any evidence of British or CIA involvement in Hammarskjold's death? Sadly, the answer is yes. Of both. In 1997, documents uncovered by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission indicated a conspiracy between the CIA and MI5 to remove Hammarskjold. Messages written on the letterhead of the South Africa Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR), covering a period from July, 1960 to September 17, 1961, the date of Hammarskjold's crash, discussed a plot to kill Hammarskjold named Operation Celeste. The messages, written by a commodore and a captain whose names were expunged by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, reference Allen Dulles. According to press reports, the most damning document refers to a meeting between CIA, SAIMR, and the British intelligence organizations of MI5 and Special Operations Executive, at which Dulles agreed that "Dag is becoming troublesome...and should be removed." Dulles, according to the documents, promised "full cooperation from his people." In another message, the captain is told, "I want his removal to be handled more efficiently than was Patrice [Lumumba]."

Later orders to the captain state:

Your contact with CIA is Dwight. He will be residing at Hotel Leopold II in Elizabethville from now until November 1 1961. The password is: "How is Celeste these days?" His response should be: "She's recovering nicely apart from the cough."38

According to the documents, the plan included planting a bomb in the wheelbay of the plane so that when the wheels were retracted for takeoff, the bomb would explode. The bomb was to be supplied by Union Miniere, the powerful Belgian mining conglomerate operating in the Katanga province. However, a report dated the day of the crash records that the "Device failed on take-off, and the aircraft crashed a few hours later as it prepared to land."39

A British Foreign Officer spokesman suggested to the press that the documents were Soviet disinformation.40 The documents were also dismissed as fakes by a former Swedish diplomat, but according to news reports, "they bear a striking resemblance to other documents emanating from SAIMR seven years ago ... These documents show the SAIMR masterminded the abortive 1981 attempt to depose Seychelles president Albert René. It was also behind a successful 1990 coup in Somalia."41

The reference to cooperation between MI5 and CIA is not farfetched either. British and American interests worked together to defeat Mossadegh in Iran. In his book that was originally banned in Britain for revealing too many state secrets, former MI5 officer Peter Wright described how William Harvey, the head of the CIA's "Executive Action" programs, accompanied by CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton, visited MI5 in 1961 to ask for help finding assassins.42 And according to Paul Lashmar in his book Britain's Secret Propaganda War 1948-1997, the British secretly aided in the overthrow of Sukarno in 1965, a coup for which the CIA bears a great deal of responsibility.

Brian Urquhart, a former U.N. Under-Secretary-General and the author of an extensive biography of Dag Hammarskjold, stated that "The documents seem to me to make no sense whatsoever." He praised Bishop Desmond Tutu for saying there was no verification for the authenticity of these documents. But Urquhart went too far when he said, "Even supposing there was any such conspiracy, which I strongly doubt, there is no conceivable way they could have got within any kind of working distance of Hammarskjold's plane in time."43 In fact, the plane was left unguarded for four hours. There was general security at the airport, but anyone who knew what they were doing would have no trouble gaining access to the plane. The cabin was secured, but the wheelbay, hydraulic compartments and heating systems were accessible.44 Urquhart also contends that saboteurs would have attacked the wrong plane, as Lansdowne and Hammarskjold switched planes that day. But if the saboteurs were as sophisticated as the CIA was with Lumumba, that information would have been known in advance by the necessary parties. What if the plotters themselves occasioned the switch of the planes? Urquhart shows himself to be a man of limited imagination in this regard. Urquhart caps his comments by adding that he had seen "20 or 30 different accounts" over the years of how Hammarskjold was killed, and that "if one is true all the other 29 are false." In the words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Does the word duh' mean anything to you?" There can be only one truth. Having 29 false leads would not negate the truth of the remaining one.

While Bishop Tutu conceded the documents may be disinformation, he added the following qualifier:

It isn't something that is so bizarre. Things of that sort have happened in the past. That is why you can't dismiss it as totally, totally incredible.45

In the Independent of 8/20/98, author Mary Braid wrote that "In 1992, ex-U.N. officials said mercenaries hired by Belgian, U.S. and British mining companies shot down the plane, as they believed their businesses would be hurt by Hammarskjold's peace efforts." The key here is to understand that these assertions are not mutually exclusive. The CIA has shown its disdain for official government positions on more than several occasions, and has a long track record of working with private corporations to effect a foreign policy dictated more by business needs than political ones. In the Congo, we saw that the CIA apparently pursued a triple track. They planned poison, gun, and escape-capture-kill plans as they sought to remove Lumumba from the scene. If they were intent on getting rid of Hammarskjold, as the Truth Commission discoveries suggest, the CIA may have employed both bomb planters and mercenaries.

Has anyone ever claimed responsibility for Hammarskjold's death? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. A longtime CIA operative claimed he personally shot down the plane.

Confessions of a Hitman
In 1976, Roland "Bud" Culligan sought legal assistance. After serving the CIA for 25 years, Culligan was angry. He had performed sensitive operations for the company and felt he deserved better treatment than to be put in jail on a phony bad check charge so the agency could "protect" him from foreign intelligence agents. He had been jailed since 1971, and now the agency was disavowing any connection with him. His personal assets had mysteriously vanished, and his wife Sara was being harassed. But Culligan had kept one very important card up his sleeve. He had kept a detailed journal of every assignment he had performed for the CIA. He had dates, names, places. And Culligan was a professional assassin.

Culligan sought the aid of a lawyer who in turn required some corroborative information. The lawyer asked Culligan to provide explicit details, such as who had recruited him into the CIA, who was his mutual friend with Victor Marchetti, and could he describe in detail six executive action (E.A.) assignments. Culligan answered each request. One of the executive actions he detailed was his assignment to kill Dag Hammarskjold.

Culligan described first in general terms how he would receive assignments:

It is impossible, being here, to recall perfectly all details of past E.A.'s Each E.A. was unique and the execution was left to me and me alone. Holland [identified elsewhere as Lt. Gen. Clay Odum] would call, either by phone or letter memo. At times I would be "billed" by a fake company for a few dollars. The number to call was on the "bill." I have them all. I studied each man, or was introduced by a mutual friend or acquaintance, to dispell suspicion. I was not always told exactly why a man was subject to being killed. I believed Holland and CIA knew enough about matter to be trusting and I did my work accordingly.... By the time I was called in, the man had become a total loss to CIA, or had become involved in actual plotting to overthrow the U.S. Gov, with help from abroad. There were some exceptions.

...When an E.A. was planned, I was given all possible details in memo form, pictures, verbal descriptions, money, tickets, passports, all the time I needed for plan and set up. I and I alone called the final shot or shots.

Culligan matter-of-factly described five other EAs. But when he told of Hammarskjold, it was out of sequence and in a different tone than the other descriptions:

The E.A. involving Hammarskjold was a bad one. I did not want the job. Damn it, I did not want the job.... I intercepted D.H's trip at Ndola, No. Rhodesia (now Zaire). Flew from Tripoli to Abidjian to Brazzaville to Ndola, shot the airplane, it crashed, and I flew back, same way.... I went to confession after Nasser and I swore I would never again do this work. And I never will.

Culligan did not want his information released. He only wanted to use it to pressure the CIA into restoring his funds, clearing his record, and allowing his wife and himself to live in peace. When this effort failed, a friend of Culligan's pursued the matter by sending Culligan's information to Florida Attorney General Robert Shevin.

Shevin was impressed enough by the documentation Culligan provided to forward the material along to Senator Frank Church, in which he wrote,

It is my sincere hope and desire that your Committee could look into the allegations made by Mr. Culligan. His charges seem substantive enough to warrant an immediate, thorough investigation by your Committee.

Culligan was scheduled to be released from prison in 1977. He wrote the CIA's General Counsel offering to turn in his journal if he was released without any further complications. But once out of jail, Culligan found himself on the run continuously, fearing for his and his wife's life. A friend continued to write public officials on Culligan's behalf, saying,

There are forces that operate within our Government that most people do not even suspect exist. In the past, these forces have instituted actions that would be repugnant to the American people and the world at large. I have always wanted to see this situation handled quietly and honorably without a lot of publicity. Unfortunately, the agencies, bureaus, and services involved are devoid of honor. This story is extremely close to going public soon and when it does, I fear for the effect upon our Country and her position in the world community.

The story never did go public, until now. And this is only a piece of what Culligan had to say.46 You can't see all of what he had to say. These files remain restricted at the National Archives, withdrawn by the CIA, unavailable to researchers. Not even the Review Board could pry forth the tape Culligan made in jail detailing his CIA activities. And no wonder. Want to hear one of Culligan's bombshells? In the list of Executive Actions Culligan detailed, three related to the Kennedy assassination. Culligan wrote that he was hired to kill three of the assassins who had participated in, as he called it, the "Dallas E.A." Apparently, the three were asking for larger sums to cover their silence. Culligan recruited them for a mission and told them to meet him in Guatemala. When they showed up, he killed all three.

Is Culligan to be believed? Why can't we know for certain? Where are the leaders who are not afraid to confront the demons of the past, to genuinely seek out the truth about our history? Who will take this information and pursue it where it leads? Because no one pursued the truth about Lumumba at the time, and no one found the truth about Hammarskjold's death, assassination remained a viable way to change foreign policy. Malcolm X, the two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King fell prey to the same forces. When will the media serve the public, instead of the ruling elite, by finally reporting the truth about the assassinations of the sixties? ±

1. Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 325-326.

2. Church Committee, Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975), p. 57, hereafter Assassination Plots.

3. Assassination Plots, p. 14.

4. Assassination Plots, p. 55

5. Assassination Plots, p. 55.

6. Assassination Plots, p. 15.

7. Leonard Mosley, Dulles: A Biography of Eleanor, Allen, and John Foster Dulles and Their Family Network (New York: The Dial Press, 1978), pp. 462-463. From his notes, Mosley's source for this appears to have been Richard Bissell.

8. John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate (New York, W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1979), p. 60.

9. Brian Urquhart, Hammarskjold (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), p. 451.

10. Andrew Tully, CIA: The Inside Story (New York: Crest Books, 1963), pp. 178, p. 184.

11. Hammarskjold was later to write that policy in the Congo "flopped" and cited as two defeats "the dismissal of Mr. Lumumba and the ousting of the Soviet embassy." Urquhart, p. 467.

12. John Prados, Presidents' Secret Wars (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1996), p. 234.

13. Assassination Plots, p. 23.

14. Assassination Plots, p. 29.

15. Assassination Plots, p. 32.

16. Assassination Plots, p.38n1.

17. Assassination Plots, p. 39.

18. Assassination Plots, p. 45.

19. Assassination Plots, p. 44.

20. Assassination Plots, p. 46.

21. Assassination Plots, p. 46.

22. Assassination Plots, p. 48.

23. Assassination Plots, p. 48

24. Assassination Plots, p. 49.

25. John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1978), p. 105.

26. Richard D. Mahoney, JFK: Ordeal in Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 67.

27. Mahoney, p. 71, citing the letter as published in the International Herald-Tribune of April 25, 1977.

28. Urquhart, p. 27.

29. William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe: Common Courage Press, 1986), p. 158.

30. Arthur Gavshon, The Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjold (New York: Walker and Company, 1962), p. 167. Gavshon was, according to the biography on the back flap of his book, a "veteran diplomatic correspondent for one of the world's biggest new agencies and from his London vantage point has had access to the confidential information known to the diplomats and governments riding the dizzying Congolese merry-go-round."

31. Gavshon, p. 50.

32. Gavshon, p. 237.

33. Gavshon, p. 17.

34. Gavshon, p. 58.

35. Gavshon, p. 58.

36. Gavshon, p. 57.

37. Daniel Schorr, Clearing the Air (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977), pp. 143-145.

38. Mail & Guardian (of Johannesburg, South Africa), 8/28/98.

39. Mail & Guardian, 8/28/98.

40. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 8/20/98.

41. Mail & Guardian, 8/28/98.

42. Peter Wright, Spy Catcher (New York: Dell, 1988), pp. 203-204.

43. Anthony Goodman, Reuters, 8/19/98.

44. Gavshon, p. 8.

45. The Atlanta Constitution and Journal, 8/22/98.

46. For more information on Culligan, see Kenn Thomas' interview of Lars Hansson in Steamshovel Press #10, 1994.
There is already some on this I posted here long ago. Will try to find...or one can search. Yes, really sad that the first General Secretary of the UN was assassinated and the others have been selected or controlled since by the it goes. :mexican:

Dag Hammarskjold death: UN 'should reopen inquiry'

[Image: _61675987_hammerskjoldcrashsite.jpg] The DC6 plane crashed in the early hours of 18 September 1961
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A commission looking into the death of former United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold has recommended that the UN reopen its investigation.
Mr Hammarskjold's plane was travelling to Congo on a peace mission in 1961 when it crashed in Zambia.
A UN investigation in 1962 failed to find the cause of the mysterious crash.
The commission said there were significant new findings, and that the US National Security Agency (NSA) might hold crucial evidence.
In a statement, the UN thanked the commission and said the UN secretariat would study its findings closely.
It said Mr Hammarskjold had given "unparalleled service to the UN and paid the ultimate price", and that it was "among those most concerned in arriving at the whole truth".
The Swedish-born diplomat's plane crashed on 18 September in a forest near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.
All but one of the passengers and crew on the flight were killed.

Dag Hammarskjold

[Image: _55363631_rexfeatures_450605l_creditifusedinstory.jpg]
  • Born in 1905 into an aristocratic Swedish family
  • Full name, Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold
  • Helped lay foundations of Swedish welfare state
  • Swedish state secretary for foreign affairs (1947-1951)
  • The UN's second secretary general (1953-1961), proposed by Britain and France
  • Nobel Peace Prize winner 1961

Mr Hammarskjold was trying to negotiate a peace agreement between Congo's Soviet-backed government and Moise Tshombe, who had declared independence for its mineral-rich province of Katanga.
The UN secretary general was going to Ndola to meet Mr Tshombe, who was backed by former colonial power Belgium and some Western mining interests.
Three investigations have failed to determine the cause of the crash, and many conspiracy theories have swirled around Mr Hammarskjold's death.
Two investigations held in the British-run Central African Federation, which included Northern Rhodesia, were followed by an official UN inquiry which concluded that foul play could not be ruled out.
The Hammarskjold Commission report, written by four international lawyers, said there was "significant new evidence".
It said the claim of an aerial attack, which might have caused the descent of the plane by direct damage or by harassment, was capable of being proved or disproved.
The report said that given the NSA's worldwide monitoring activities at that time, "it is highly likely" that the radio traffic on 18-19 September 1961 was recorded by the NSA and possibly also by the CIA.
The report said: "Authenticated recordings of any such cockpit narrative or radio messages, if located, would furnish potentially conclusive evidence of what happened to the DC6."
The Commission said it had made Freedom of Information Act requests to the NSA, which were rejected on national security grounds - but that an appeal had been lodged.
The report concluded that Mr Hammarskjold's death was "an event of global significance which deserves the attention both of history and of justice".

Some Swedes have paid quite a price just so that others can get Sweden into NATO.
Magda Hassan Wrote:Some Swedes have paid quite a price just so that others can get Sweden into NATO.

The list is long and begins during WWII to the present.... Raoul Wallenberg, Hammarskjold, Palme, Lindh, and others less well known....'for fascism'....for being anti-fascist.
Peter Lemkin Wrote:The commission said there were significant new findings, and that the US National Security Agency (NSA) might hold crucial evidence.


Quote:The Commission said it had made Freedom of Information Act requests to the NSA, which were rejected on national security grounds - but that an appeal had been lodged.

Imagine that. National security.
[Image: 7e9ee3a21530823be10f9b5c7b5d2a146674352f...e9bb7d.jpg]

NSA link sparks UN to act on Hammarskjöld probe :Hitler:

Published: 11 Feb 2014 08:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Feb 2014 08:02 GMT+01:00

A report indicating the US National Security Agency (NSA) likely has key evidence about the mysterious death of Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarsköld will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has decided.
"I interpret it as the Secretary General wanting member states to ransack their archives and asking them to see if they have anything to uncover," K.G. Hammar, a former Swedish archbishop and one of the experts behind the report, told the Dagens Nyhter (DN) newspaper.
"Since the commisison pointed quite clearly at the NSA, I thinkBan Ki-Moon wants to diffuse things and ask: who out there knows anything at all? Bringing it up before the General Assembly creates an opportunity for a discussion."

Hammarskjöld died during the night of September 17th, 1961 in a plane crash in what is now Zambia, where he was headed to mediate in the ongoing conflict in neighbouring The Congo in his role as then UN Secretary General.
The diplomat's death has been the subject of numerous rumours and conspiracy theories over the past five decades centred around whether the crash was an accident, or if Hammarskjöld was killed.
Evidence available has left investigators puzzled, with pilot error deemed unlikely after witnesses claimed to have seen the plane going down on fire.
Last year, four senior lawyers carried out a news investigation into Hammarskjöld's death. The commission published its findings in September 2013 and urged the UN to launch its own probe into the crash.
By deciding to bring the matter to the General Assembly, Ki-Moon is indirectly urging all UN member states to release all information they may have related to Hammarskjöld's death, a move welcomed by Hans Conell, a Swedish human rights expert and former general counsel of the UN.
Corell helped put together the September 2013 report that urged the United States to declassify NSA documents, including radio communications and intercepts of war planes in the area at the time of Hammarskjöld's death.
The commission added that it was a "near certainty" that all air traffic information around the airport was "followed and recorded by the NSA and possibly even the CIA". Access to such files has been denied by the NSA due to the "top secret" classification, something the commission wants to be lifted to further the investigation.
"We were a commission put together as a private initiative. It's something totally different if the UN takes up the case," he told the TT news agency.
Despite the commission's findings, the NSA has so far refused to release any information about the crash that killed Hammarskjöld. But according to Corell, the agency has admitted that "we have three documents that correspond to the description you've given us" in the commission's report.
"They are transcripts of radio communications. Two of the classified documents are at the NSA, the third is probably from the CIA," said Corell.
"I have to believe that, after so many years, they realize that if there's anything that can shed light on what happened, it's about time they did so."
Spy messages could finally solve mystery of UN chief's death crash

US urged to hand over intercepts to establish truth of 1961 plane accident in Zambia in which Dag Hammarskjöld died

Jamie Doward
The Observer, Saturday 13 December 2014 12.56 GMT

Quote:For more than half a century, the circumstances of the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld have been shrouded in mystery.

That the former UN secretary-general died in a plane crash while on his way to negotiate a ceasefire in the breakaway African republic of Katanga, is well documented. But the cause of the crash remains to be established.

That proof may become available if the US National Security Agency (NSA) complies with a new request from the UN and hands over crucial intelligence intercepts that could confirm what brought down the Albertina DC6 in a forest near Ndola in northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in September 1961. All but one on board died in the crash. A 16th passenger, Sergeant Harold Julien, the acting chief security officer, died as a result of injuries a few days later, having told medical staff he had seen "sparks in the sky" shortly before the crash.

Three separate inquiries have been unable to come to a definitive conclusion about what happened on the fateful night. Since then, conspiracy theorists have gone into overdrive, possibly with good cause. The day after the crash, former US president Harry Truman told reporters Hammarskjöld "was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice that I said when they killed him'." Truman refused to elaborate but this served only to fuel the rumour mill.

Many countries had an interest in thwarting Hammarskjöld's attempts to reunite Congo and stop Katanga seceding. Congo, which was receiving Soviet aid, had the world's richest uranium resources. Mining firms feared their concessions would be jeopardised if Katanga's bid for independence was not recognised. The KGB, the CIA and MI6 were all active in the country as they sought to secure their countries' interests.

A report from a panel of distinguished international jurists, commissioned by the Hammarskjöld Inquiry Trust, chaired by Lord Lea of Crondall and submitted to the UN last year, heard suggestions "that a group representing a number of European political and business interests ... wanted the secretary-general's plane diverted from Ndola ... in order to persuade him of the case for Katanga's continued independence".

Quite how forcefully such interests may have made their case could explain the cause of the crash. Several people who attended the crash scene claimed the Albertina was riddled with bullets. A delay of more than nine hours in locating the plane has triggered speculation that the crash site was interfered with. Several witnesses said they saw between six and eight white men, armed and in combat fatigues, at the crash site.

Then there are lurid claims that some on board, including Hammarskjöld himself, had bullet wounds, suggesting he had survived the crash but had been killed on the spot. His body was found propped up on a termite mound a short distance from the plane, surrounded by playing cards. Reputedly an ace of spades was found on his collar.

In the aftermath, loose-lipped mercenaries claimed that they had played a part in the operation. In 1998 the South African truth and reconciliation commission published intelligence documents suggesting that a bomb had been placed on board. A separate CIA report implicated the KGB.

Given so many competing claims, some doubt whether the truth will ever surface. But tomorrow the UN will signal that the investigation into what happened should be reopened, when it is expected to pass a motion asking member states to provide it with any information they have on the affair.

The resolution is more than a symbolic gesture. It is believed that the US National Security Agency is in possession of radio intercepts, captured by its listening station in Cyprus, that will prove or disprove whether a second plane was in the air near Ndola shortly before the crash. If so, this would help corroborate claims made by a former Belgian pilot called Beukels that he accidentally shot down the Albertina in an attempt to divert it from Ndola to another airport.

Beukels said he shone a bright light down from his Fouga jet onto the cabin of the DC6 while his radio operator called on the plane to divert. After failing to receive a reply, Beukels fired several warning shots which clipped the Albertina's wing, causing it to crash.

The report commissioned by Lea suggested that the NSA's intercepts could be the "golden thread" that finally unravels the mystery. It stated that "it is highly likely that the entirety of the local and regional Ndola radio traffic on the night of 17-18 September 1961 was tracked and recorded by the NSA, and possibly also by the CIA". In his letter introducing the report to the UN, Lea observed that "there is persuasive evidence that the Hammarskjöld aircraft was subject to some form of attack as it circled Ndola".

So far requests to the NSA to produce relevant intercepts have been denied. But a direct appeal from the UN may cause the agency to think again. As the report notes: "It is thus possible that the last half-century, far from obscuring the facts, may have brought us somewhat closer to the truth about an event of global significance which deserves the attention both of history and of justice."

UN announces members of panel probing new information on Dag Hammarskjöld death

Portrait of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. UN Photo/JO (file)

16 March 2015 The United Nations today announced the members of the Independent Panel of Experts tasked with examining new information related to the tragic death of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and his party in September 1961.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mohamed Chande Othman, the Chief Justice of Tanzania, to head the Panel. The other two members are Kerryn Macaulay, Australia's Representative on the Council of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Henrik Larsen, a ballistics expert at the National Center of Forensic Services in the Danish National Police.

The Panel, which will begin its work on 30 March 2015, will examine and assess the "probative value" of new information related to the death of Mr. Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him on an aircraft that crashed in what is today Zambia on the night of 17-18 September 1961.

Established by a General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2014, the Panel is expected to submit its report to the Secretary-General no later than 30 June 2015.

The Assembly, in its resolution, had also encouraged Member States to release any relevant records in their possession and to provide to the Secretary-General relevant information related to Mr. Hammarskjöld's death.

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