Smolensk anniversary

On my way to get some breakfast after dropping Zosia at ballet I came across the early signs of public and media gathering outside the Presidential palace for the anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy. Actually there were far more police and barricades than anything else.

Outside the Palace, April 9

Embryonic media frenzy

Photos taken with iPhone 4. Click for larger version..

Given the extreme public interest in this tragic event, it can only be seen as a massive failure on the part of the Polish authorities that 12 months after the event 2/3 of Poles (that’s around 26 million people) still don’t think they have a proper explanation of what happened. What’s more, they don’t think they will ever get one.

Why is the truth being kept from us? Does it really take more than 12 months to come to some logical conclusions? Do they really not know what happened or do they just not want to tell anyone what it is?

Strangely enough, I watched a programme called “Aircrash Confidential” on Sky, Discovery Channel, the other evening that covered Smolensk and they came to a very clear conclusion – the pilots were put under pressure by at least two other voices in the cockpit to ignore the safety warnings (airport & instruments) and land the plane. They also concluded that the pilots, being military men, were far more likely to follow orders than to do the right thing.

Surely we should know who these people putting pressure on the pilots were, shouldn’t we? Given that they are at least partially responsible for over 90 deaths.

So, if you want answers don’t look to the Polish government, watch Discovery Channel!


11 thoughts on “Smolensk anniversary

  1. Well said. We’ll never discover the truth. Some facts have been covered up by people who were responsible for chaos and bad preparation of the visit, but most meaningful answers could be given be those who are in the dirt…

  2. Those would be the voices that were on version one of the cockpit voice recorder transcript and which mysteriously vanished when the recording was played during MAK’s presentation of its final report. And the Polish commision;s report that the Pilot actually gave the command ‘Odchodzimy’ (‘Go around’ – also repeated by the second pilot) also doesn’t come into the equation either it seems. ‘Aircrash Confidential’ seems a very apt title, doesn’t it?

  3. The western media and public (especially the Brits) always preferred the Russian version, because it was in their egoistic interest to keep the bear happy. Poland means pretty much s* when it comes to British “from Russia with Love” sentiments . Nothing has changed since…. how many decades ?

    This “Smolensk Aircrash Confidential” programme should be probably renamed in Churchill or Curzon Confidential. Sounds much more accurate.

    And here some facts:

    – all original documents, black boxes and aircraft systems are still in Russia
    – pilots did NOT land. Thy said “GO AROUND” TWICE.
    – there was any pressure in the cockpit. Pilots were calm and even joking until the very end.
    – The Russian tower deleted all camera transcripts…. why ?

  4. Yeah, we Brits, we’re all in love with Russia.

    So what’s the alternative conclusion then? If the pilots were not requested to ignore safety and land the plane, what did happen? I don’t really understand the significance of the ‘facts’ you’re presenting but I assume the bottom line is “the Russians did it!”?

    I’m not fixed on any particular conclusion to this, I’d just like someone to give me all the relevant facts and the agreed upon Polish version of the truth. For me the most likely cover-up is to blame the Russians because;

    a) The Russians won’t bother denying it
    b) Many Poles will be happy to accept that because it plays to their inherent mistrust of the Russians
    c) They may even be happy to play along with a cover-up

    Therefore, I’m going to need plenty of evidence before I accept that it was the Russian’s fault.

    As for the “voices in the cockpit” – I’m sure I heard part of the tape played on Polish TV where other voices were clearly heard and even identified (was that Błasik?). So are you saying the Russians doctored the tape and inserted voices?

  5. “I’m not fixed on any particular conclusion to this”


    This is all i wanted to hear.

    And now let’s wait patiently until the Polish commision releases its final report.

  6. It is sad to see that due to the secrecy of this event, emotional divisions have significantly deepened within the country – at a time when one would think Poles would stand unified.

  7. I’m also not sure about how open minded to some scenarios some people are especially the guest in the comments above.

    I’m sure that he/she would much rather believe that the Russians have some machine that generates vast quantities of fog on demand and then forces people to land at an airport without landing equipment when they were advised to land at another airport. Perhaps they fired missiles at the plane as well for good measure?

    Or, and this takes a leap of faith, someone on the plane fucked up.

    I suspect that there were mistakes made on both sides but the indignant patriotic denial when there is a possibility that some Polish people were in any way to blame for the disaster does not help the truth one bit.

  8. “I’m sure that he/she would much rather believe that the Russians…”

    “patriotic denial…”

    2 x BS.

    All i want is objectivity.

  9. No, what you want is what you currently believe…..

    Scatts has asked you for an alternative, why not provide it?

  10. No, i do not “believe” in anything. I want hard facts.

    There are 3 “alternatives”:

    – Technical problem made it impossible to “go around” after the 100m decision altitude was reached.
    – Russian tower gave false info about the position of the plane and waited too long to say “horizon” (which means go around)
    – Russian tower should have closed the airport, but did not after a call to Moscow)

    Blaming the pilots is very comfortable for both sides. Russia and But it is not the whole truth.

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