On the night of 28 September 1994, one of the most significant peacetime maritime disasters in Europe took place in the Finnish Baltic Sea Rescue Zone.
The passenger ferry "Estonia", designed to sail in ocean waters, swiftly sank on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm.
852 people died, 137 were saved, only 94 bodies were found and raised to the surface. The search for the rest of the victims was soon curtailed and never resumed.
The investigation concluded that the ferry was sailing at too high a speed in the stormy sea with four-meter waves, due to which the bow gate was allegedly destroyed - a lift for cars to enter (they were transported on the lower deck of the ferry). Water poured out, the ship lurched to starboard and sank in less than an hour. Other versions were not even considered.
Sweden persuaded its partners in the investigation of the disaster - Estonia and Finland - to sign a special agreement on burial rest, according to which approaching the deceased ferry is prohibited and punishable. She was even going to pour concrete with steam, but instead of it, several thousand tons of gravel were dumped onto the ship so that no one in the future would try to lift it.
Crew directors Henrik Evertsson and Bendik Mondal took a serious risk when they decided to stir up this old and almost forgotten business by filming a five-episode documentary "Estonia: A Find That Changes Everything" for Discovery Networks. They used an underwater robotic video camera to examine the condition of the sunken ship. The Swedish government, in order not to let overly curious researchers into the mystery of the death of the ferry, threaten with two years' imprisonment those who dare to disturb the underwater tomb, which has become "Estonia".
And this camera showed the whole world the secrets of the Swedish government. In the hull of the ferry there was a black hole about four meters long and a little more than a meter wide. It is not for nothing that the Swedes poured most of the rubble onto the starboard side that had suffered from the impact, but they failed to hide the hole.
Estonian Radio quotes the words of the former head of the Estonian disaster investigation commission, Margus Kurm. He suggested that a Swedish submarine collided with the ferry, which was connected to NATO maneuvers in the area. That is why the Swedes have made so much effort to hide the steam from prying eyes. Kurm believes that this hole was noticed back in 1994, but the investigation hid this fact from the public. Experts confirm that an extremely heavy object hit the ferry. And only the appearance of the investigation film forced the governments of Estonia, Finland and Sweden to make a joint statement the other day that they are investigating the facts set out in the film. Earlier, the leaders of these countries ignored the complaints of the relatives of the victims and those who escaped about the authorities' unwillingness to conduct a proper investigation.
The filmmakers were the first to carefully interview the survivors of the disaster. Obvious failures in the official investigation immediately came to light. People told the documentary filmmakers that it all started with a strong blow that felt all the passengers of the shuddering ferry. The Norwegian expert believes that such damage could have been caused by an external impact of 500-600 tons.
“As journalists, we had an obligation to try to find a hole in the ferry,” says Evertsson. "We methodically examined the hull of the ship and came across a long and relatively narrow hole, a piece of metal plating was concave inside the ship." One of the survivors, Karl Erik Reintamm, said he saw a large, bright object next to the ferry.
The discovery of a hole in the ferry threatens a political crisis in Sweden, and a number of parliamentarians ask the question: why did the investigation cover up the hole? But 500 Swedes died in the crash. Carl Bildt, then Prime Minister, declined to explain to the media about the facts presented in the documentary. His successor as prime minister, Social Democrat Ingvar Karlsson, also does not want to comment on them.
Bildt bears the main blame for the falsification of the investigation. After leaving the post of prime minister after the disaster, he continued to hide the secret of the death of "Estonia". The facts discovered, as well as the unique prohibition to approach the sunken ferry and even attempts to cover it with gravel, give rise to thinking not about the negligence of the investigation, but about much worse - a conspiracy at the highest state level in order to hide the true reasons for what happened.