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|09-18-2011, 10:15 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sweden,moving in a southerly direction.
Dag Hammarskjöld: nephew calls for new inquiry into death of UN chief
Book argues plane carrying Hammarskjöld was shot down by mercenaries in 1961 and evidence covered up.
The scattered wreckage of UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld's plane in woods near Ndola, Zambia, in 1961. New evidence suggests the plane could have been shot down deliberately. Photograph: AP
Dag Hammarskjöld's closest surviving relative has called for a new inquiry into the 50-year-old mystery surrounding the UN secretary general's death in a plane crash in central Africa, after the publication of a book arguing that his aircraft was deliberately brought down.
The 50th anniversary of the Swedish statesman's death is on Sunday. The book, Who Killed Hammarskjöld, raises questions about the original inquiry carried out by the colonial Rhodesian authorities and introduces new evidence suggesting foul play behind the crash of Hammarskjöld's DC-6 plane near Ndola, in present-day Zambia.
In four years of research the book's author Susan Williams examined previously classified documents including statements from witnesses who saw a second plane in the sky at the time of the incident – evidence that was discounted or ignored by the original Rhodesian commission. Williams found evidence that the postmortem photographs may have been doctored and interviewed a former US intelligence officer, then based at an American listening post in Cyprus, who said he heard a recording of a pilot shooting down the secretary general's plane just after midnight on 18 September 1961.
Williams says the evidence suggests that the DC-6, known as the Albertina, was brought down by mercenaries fighting for Katanga separatists who had revolted against the government of the newly-independent Congo with the help of Belgian mining interests. Hammarskjöld was hated by many white settlers in the region for the UN's military support of the Congolese government in Leopoldville, now Kinshasa. He went to Ndola with the aim of brokering a ceasefire, flying under cover of darkness to avoid being intercepted by Katangese warplanes.
Williams, a senior research fellow at the University of London's Institute of Commonwealth Studies, said: "We don't have any smoking gun or killer evidence but on the balance of probability on the basis of the evidence I collected, my view would be that the Hammarskjöld plane was attacked in the sky by a second plane."
Note: Friday 16 September 2011
"Nothing in life is to be feared.It is only to be understood"