Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.
'I can very well understand that persons from the 'Estonia' are first declared dead and later are found to have survived, but it is very difficult to understand the opposite event, thus that persons are first, during the first five days, declared to have been rescued (and alive) and thereafter are declared to be dead without finding the bodies.
Sven Anér - 6 June 2001
disappearances from Sweden are nothing new, according to
Swedish journalist Sven Anér. More than 10 years ago,
on Sept. 28, 1994, nine Estonian survivors from the Estonia
ferry disaster "disappeared" in a similar manner.
Christopher Bollyn - American Free Press - January 2005
One of the more sad and shocking incidents during the investigation of the 'Estonia' accident is that relatives and friends of (at least) twelve lost Estonian crewmembers think that they survived.
The twelve (at least) are:
The matter is not mentioned in the Final Report (5), but is public knowledge, discussed and published in Estonia, where the disappeared persons are considered un-dead. This writer believes that all twelve above persons were rescued by helicopter Y 64 or by the 'Mariella' or the 'Silja Europe' 1.41.
There are a number of official lists of passengers dated 28 September with about 80 survivors, 29 September 06.00 hrs am with 146 (sic) survivors, 29 September pm with 1 042 names of presumed dead and survivors and 30 September with 1 023 names of presumed dead and including 146 (sic) survivors and 7 October with 137 survivors, from the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs, where several of above listed persons are shown as having survived.
Also two other crew members, Kalev Vahtras (born 510325), store keeper, and Tiit Meos, musician, were listed as having survived on some lists but were later announced 'found dead' earlier (found drowned on 28 September but not identified), as follows:
Note 1- reported as survived on 28
September - see list 14 below.
These lists, originating from Estline, Swedish and Finnish police and hospitals, have evidently contributed to the belief that many Estonian crewmembers, declared dead, survived. It seems quite clear that at least 146 (probably more) persons were in fact rescued on 28 September 1994 as recorded 29 and 30 September and that at least 8 names were deleted for various reasons (and some real survivors added that had been missed in the confusion), so that the total later became 138 of which one died in hospital - thus officially 137 survived as stated on 7 October.
The alleged death of Kalev Vahtras is a mystery. He was listed as alive with his correct birth date on the first list and was then confirmed alive on several lists until 30 September - in October it was announced that he had been found drowned already on 28 September (sic) and that an autopsy had been carried out (drowned) and identified him. But how could he have given his birth date on 28 September and why wasn't he confirmed dead on so many lists (see below)? How could somebody have declared Kalev Vahtras alive - if he was dead?
That store keeper Kalev Vahtras (b. 1951) got out and into a life raft has been confirmed by his friend the galley assistant Peter Palgunov (b. 1946) who survived and shared life raft "R" with him. Palgunov was rescued by one helicopter, OH-HVG, and brought to "Silja Symphony". Maybe Vahtras was rescued earlier by helicopter Q91 and brought to Utö? In (28) Vahtra's wife Ruth suggests that Kalev was rescued by the same helicopter as Avo Piht (it must then have been Y 64) ! Kalev knew Piht since a long time. Ruth Vahtras and Kalev's brother were later shown a photo of Kalev taken by the Finnish police - apparently taken before the autopsy - and they suggest that there is no evidence of drowning. Ruth has told media that the body returned to her after the autopsy/identification is not her husband - nobody reacts. Is Vahtras really dead?
In an interview of Silver Linde 2001 by German journalist Jutta Rabe Linde stated that he had shared the same room as Kalev Vahtras at the hospital at Turku! Later Vahtras should have been transferred to another hospital - and disappeared! Jutta Rabe has on 22 February 2002 told the Finnish police that she thinks that Kalev Vahtras was murdered! See her home page http://www.balticstorm.com. Jutta Rabe has in fact proposed to the Finnish police in February 2002 that Kalev Vahtras was murdered in Finland 1994 after the accident! The Finnish police is 2002 not interested.
Many Reasons for more Survivors
There are other reasons to believe that several crewmembers survived. The final report (5) chapter 7.6.1 states that 138 persons were rescued and brought to hospitals and that one rescued person then died in hospital, but there is no evidence for anything. Furthermore that 94 dead bodies had been identified - 92 were picked up from the sea just after the accident, one body was found on 17.10.1994 and another one on 11.5.1996. This is reiterated in chapter 8.9 - one died in hospital, 92 bodies were found in the water and two bodies were picked up later. But there are no details in the final Report (5) - lists of survivors and victims, who rescued who, etc. because the Commission was apparently told not to investigate the matter.
The 'Silja Europa', the 'Mariella', the 'Isabella' and the 'Tursas' allegedly rescued 34 persons from the sea 1.20 but we know that that figure is incorrect (see below). The Final report chapter 7.5.4 states that helicopters rescued 104 persons and found 92 bodies 1.41. The final list of the 137 survivors is (act G42) dated 12 September 1995 - 43 crew members and 94 passengers. The final (sic) list of bodies recovered - including the rescued person that died? - is (also act G42) dated 23 May 1996, which is stated to include 37 crew and 58 passengers, total 95 persons, but there are only 57 names of passengers in the list, thus 94 persons. It could in fact be the 92 bodies found 28 September, one body found 17 October and the rescued person that died in hospital: the body picked up on 11 May 1996 may not have been included.
Supplement 604 dated 16 January 1996 states that 93 autopsies were done in Finland - of the 92 bodies found 28 September and the one body found 17 October. It furthermore states that 94 victims were identified - probably the 93 autopsies and the person (a male passenger) that died in the hospital (on which no autopsy was done in Finland as the person died in Sweden). But then it goes on to say that only 56 passengers and 37 crew victims - total 93 victims - were identified. There are no names in Supplement 604.
Two extra Survivors in Finland
The Final report (5) states clearly that in the morning of 28 September 61 survivors had been brought to various hospitals in Finland, but according to a report of the Swedish Board of Social Affairs (35) there were 63 survivors at Finnish hospitals at that time, i.e. two extra persons - Piht and Vahtras?
Everywhere you look, the numbers do not add up - one, two or more persons are rescued, one, two or more dead victims are found and/or identified, etc. This opens up the awful possibility that certain crew members were in fact made to disappear or were killed - murdered - after having been rescued in order to prevent them from telling the Truth. We know 1.9 now that the Final report (5) lies about the cause of accident and sequence of events before and after the accident. Can we trust the Final report about the number of survivors? This writer does not any longer. That is why this chapter has been added to the book. The original purpose was otherwise to improve safety at sea; not to get involved in a criminal mystery.
The wife Sirje Piht of captain Avo Piht was informed about the accident at 05.30 hrs in the morning of 28 September 1994 and was later told via radio Kuku (an Estonian radio station) at 11.30 hrs that her husband had been rescued - and was alive. Several persons called about the good news and the son came home and informed the same thing - he had also heard the radio. Did the radio send false information? All these persons listened to the radio and the radio broadcasted some good news - Avo Piht had survived! From where did the information originate? Probably Huddinge hospital in Sweden! A curious journalist should try to find it out.
At 14.30 hrs captain Erich Moik, an old family friend, called Sirje Piht from Rostock and said that several crew members had seen Avo Piht on German TV in a reportage from Utö (sic - could have been Mariehamn), where Piht and other survivors had landed from helicopters to be sent on to Turku. Another witness, Heinrich Tann, has also stated that he saw the TV reportage with Piht. The German film of the TV reportage has later disappeared. A paramedic at Utö has informed that he talked to Piht, who had said that he was the extra master on the 'Estonia'. The Estonian prime minister Mart Laar later tried to meet with Piht at Turku. A nurse at the hospital at Turku (33) told survivor RS 2.12 that Piht was in the hospital.
For three days Sirje Piht was convinced that her husband had survived. Then the original message changed - that he was missing. But Sirje Piht evidently believes that her husband is alive. Who has ever heard about somebody being rescued by name and rank and later being reported as missing?
In September 1996 Sirje Piht inquired at the Swedish government if it had any information about her husband and eight other missing Estonians. Many months later the Swedish government (Ines Uusmann) replied that 'no evidence what so ever has been found that any of these people survived' in spite of the fact that the Swedish government were sitting on secret lists where they were listed as rescued.
How Piht and Vahtras survived - and disappeared
The writer believes that Piht and Vahtras were rescued by helicopter Y 64 and brought to Huddinge hospital, Sweden, and only later landed at Mariehamn (or Utö), where Piht was seen, on way to Turku. At Turku both men disappeared.
Tiina Müür (b. 1962) was shop keeper onboard and was listed several times as a survivor 28-30 September. It is very likely that she was rescued to the 'Mariella' (or the 'Silja Europe'). But then she disappeared completely. Not even her body was recovered. She was finally listed as missing by the Finnish authorities (which were responsible for that matter) but no body has been found.
Ago Tomingas and Tiit Meos
Ago Tomingas (b. 1956) was shop assistant onboard, worked probably with Tiina Müür, and was also listed several times as a survivor 28-30 September. But later he was announced as 'missing'. Tiit Meos (b. 1969) was similarly listed as a survivor (see e.g. list 14 below right) but later it was announced that his dead body had been found.
Captain Erich Moik is certain that Piht and Leiger were rescued: (You can read the full interview in Swedish translation from Estonian here)
After (or before?) such a frank interview captain Moik was dismissed from Estline.
15 Lists of Survivors
Also the Swedish journalist Sven Anér considers that Piht and others, including Tiina Müür and Ago Tomingas, must have survived:
Anér never got a reply from Finland. Other relatives had similar experiences as Sirje Piht and Moik.
Illu Erma, wife of Viktor Bogdanov, got a telephone call after the accident, where one survivor, the purser Andres Vihmare, said that Viktor had survived with him on the 'Mariella' 1.41. Erma and her daughters are certain that Viktor survived. Later Viktor Bogdanov was named as a survivor in a Swedish newspaper. He was finally listed as 'missing'. Victor Bogdanov apparently arrived at Huddinge hospital and met ...
Hannely and Hanka Veide
Ulo and Aino Veide, parents of the twins, are also convinced that the children survived. Aino has informed that one daughter phoned her after the accident (from the Huddinge hospital?) and that the call was interrupted. There were two more calls, which were interrupted. And on one list it is written that Anne Veide survived, i.e. the nickname few knew about. Other lists said that both were rescued. The sisters had only been aboard half a day and few knew the nickname. The variety show was just over, when the accident occurred - the sudden listing - so all artists were awake and ready to get out. Two artists survived, two were found drowned, and three, including the sisters Veide, are missing. Did helicopter Y 64 save them together with captain Piht?
The Independent Fact group has reported that the Fourth Officer Kaimar Kikas was also marked on some early lists of persons rescued and that he had had to state his name to get on the list. On 28.09.94 at 11.30 a.m. a news program of Estonian Radio 2 announced that the crewmember Kaimar Kikas was rescued. On 30.09.94 during the night arrived a fax from "Estline" to the Estonian Social Ministry with information that 'IV Navigation Officer Kaimar Kikas' was rescued. On 30.09.94 at 8.30 a.m. in the list of the Estonian Social Ministry Kaimar Kikas was marked being OK (not on the list this writer has a copy of). But Kikas never returned to Estonia. Was Kikas on the 'Silja Europe'? Or at Huddinge hospital? Rescued by Y 64?
On 30 October 1994, i.e. a month after the accident somebody phoned the Kikas family - the mother Viive Kikas and father Ülo Kikas - and told Viive that 'they are coming home', i.e. the son and his wife Merit.
Kikas was starting his watch at 01.00 hrs, but he was maybe called to the bridge earlier - there must have been some problems before the sudden listing - and maybe some crewmembers were alarmed to muster on the bridge before the listing occurred. As he was staying with the wife in the cabin, it is possible that he took her with him to the bridge. And maybe they were saved by the MoB-boat located just outside the bridge on the starboard side, which apparently was launched.
The Man over Board Boat
It is a fact that the starboard MoB-boat may have been launched, but the Commission has never bothered to examine the matter. The Commission was only interested to cover up all essential information. Persons in the water saw the lifeboat with the engine running. Maybe later a helicopter, Y 64?, rescued the persons in the boat. And they knew exactly what had happened on the bridge just before the accident. So they might have been told to keep a low profile for a while, until the investigation was over. Andi Meister thought that a complete Final Report could be issued in one or two months. The Finnish vessel MS Hylje picked up the empty MoB-boat 36 hours later about 35 miles straight East of the wreck. It was undamaged with some fuel in the tank for the engine. No helicopter is reported having sighted and/or inspected the MoB-boat during 28 September 1994; 2.25 and 3.18.
It is possible that the Commission informally has advised the above relatives that they were mistaken, etc. But today, 2001, when it is a fact that all the members of the Commission cannot be trusted after having written a completely false Final report (5), the writer believes above information should be reviewed.
It is very possible that some of the missing persons, e.g. Bogdanov and Leiger were in fact rescued and brought to the 'Mariella' 1.41. And probably they were given new identities and made to disappear! It is of course unbelievable - but what should a normal person believe?
A common held theory is, as related by Captian Moik above, that captain Piht and chief engineer Leiger survived and were alive, and that the other missing crew members were aware of this fact and/or knew that the ship sank for other reason than the visor, e.g. that a crew alarm about leakage of the hull was given long before the alleged story of the visor problems started.
Note that only Estonian crewmembers are assumed to be un-dead. And note that the Estonia star witnesses of the accident, Linde, Treu, Sillaste and Kadak, lied about what happened onboard 1.48. This combination - missing (murdered?) and lying crewmembers - is extremely disturbing. You get the impression that some crewmembers were forced to lie - and that, if they did not lie - they disappeared or were going to be killed.
And is there any evidence that the Master Arvo Andresson really drowned? The Master Andresson should have been one of the first to be informed about an alarm long before 01.00 hrs. Perhaps also Andresson was rescued and was the first to be hidden and later murdered - and then it was thought that a false accident investigation could be presented. But then nine or ten other surviving crewmembers appeared who knew that Andresson had been rescued. And they too must disappear (be murdered)!
137 named survivors (they were 138 but one man died at hospital and was never questioned) and 12 Estonians that are assumed to also have survived are listed in Table 1. After the accident there were several lists where these 149 persons are named in different locations and you have to assume that they were actually rescued. The 149 persons managed in most cases to reach different rafts and lifeboats as per Table 2. More rafts than stated by the Commission were used. Various ferries and helicopters later rescued the survivors as per Table 3 and Table 4.
The 12 survivors that later disappeared are assumed to have been salvaged by the 'Mariella' (3 persons in raft "X") and by the Swedish helicopter Y 64 (9 persons in two rafts, "X1" och "X2") at around three o'clock in the morning.
Three un-dead Estonians on the 'Mariella'
The Commission/Final report (5) p 104 states that the 'Mariella' winched down four rafts, so that survivors in 'Estonia' rafts could jump into these and be hauled up and that 13 persons were rescued in this way. Three 'Estonia' rafts have been identified, "N", "O" och "Z" with 7 + 2 + 4 =13 persons being winched up in three 'Mariella' rafts. You should however assume that a fourth raft was in fact lowered by the 'Mariella', exactly as stated in the Final report, and that three persons from raft "X" were salvaged. Later 'Mariella' crewmembers managed to rescue two more weak persons from a fifth raft. The Final report (5) states that 'Mariella' rescued 15 persons from rafts in the sea, but Jörle-Hellberg (20 p 231) reported already 1996 that they were 18 (and that totally 140 were rescued). The three extra persons on the 'Mariella' are assumed to have been evacuated later to Huddinge hospital by police helicopter.
Eight un-dead Estonians rescued by Y 64
The Commission/Final report (5) pp 111-112 states that Swedish helicopter Y 64 started at 04.45 hrs and reached the accident area at 05.52 hrs and rescued one person. According to the media however Y 64 was already in the air at two o'clock and rescued 9 persons (one of whom should have died) from two rafts and that these survivors were brought to Huddinge hospital (outside Stockholm) already at 04.40 hrs. Captain Piht is supposed to have arrived at Huddinge and was later flown Mariehamn and Utö to Turku to assist in the accident investigation.
The information in tables 1-4 is collected by persons in Estonia, Finland, Germany and Sweden that are not satisfied with the contradictory descriptions and conclusions of the Commission and is published here for public knowledge.
Were they murdered?
It is quite amazing that the citizens of Estonia have allowed above to happen without further investigations. Evidently in 1994 Estonia was still suffering from 50 years of Soviet occupation and police state rule, but now we are in the year 2001, when Estonia has won the European popular television song contest and some normality has returned. To solve the mystery of the un-dead Estonians (probably murdered by Swedish and Finnish secret agents) young Estonians should really ask their government to re-open the full investigation of the Estonia sinking. It will really make Estonia part of Europe.
In Sweden (and Finland) the information about the un-dead Estonians are conveniently just swept under the carpet as - rumours. But the alleged rumours were spread long before the Final report (5) was published, when the story about the visor and the water on the car deck in the superstructure was still believable by a majority of concerned parties due to a clever disinformation campaign. Then the un-dead Estonians could be considered as 'rumours'. But now - when the Final report (5) is proven to be 100% disinformation and when it is a fact that the Swedish Royal Navy removed the visor from the 'Estonia' at the bottom of the sea after the accident - can we still consider the un-dead Estonians as 'rumours'? Evidently not!