Dear Executives of the National Geographic Channels International,
It was brought to our attention that there is a likelihood of the Smolensk air crash episode entitled “Death of the President”, produced by Alix McDonald and Shannon Foerter from the Toronto office of Cineflix with the support of Marianna Yarovskaya in Russia, being soon broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in Australia.
Having acquainted themselves with the full version of this episode made available to them by their overseas contacts, the undersigned wish to herewith register their utmost concern at, and express their strongest opposition to this potential broadcast.
Far from being a balanced and objective material which would need to found its claims on a comprehensive and proper investigation that would thoroughly examine all relevant matters as required by the respective internationally binding regulations and the best relevant practice, this production is largely based on the report of the Russian body charged with the task of investigating air crash incidents [Miezhgosudarstviennyi Aviacionnyi Komitet – MAK] and, to a certain extent, on the findings of the Report by the Miller Special Smolensk Air Crash Commission [the Miller Commission], yet totally ignores findings by the Polish Parliamentary Committee for the Investigation of the Smolensk Crash [the Macierewicz Commission].
The very peculiar selection of material considered by the above-mentioned producers must cause greatest concern for a number of fundamental reasons:
1/ for any such production to offer a comprehensive, fair and unbiased description of an event it describes, all available body of significant findings should be taken into consideration and then carefully verified. This is clearly not the case here, with arguably the greatest and scientifically most rigorous body of evidence procured by experts who were heard out by the Macierewicz Commission having simply been ignored by the producers of this episode;
2/ it has been proven that in its investigation MAK has violated a number of relevant regulations and respective investigative practice it was bound to observe; most significantly perhaps, the Russian side has denied the Polish side immediate unlimited access to the site of this crash, failed to properly secure that site, denied an immediate access to bodies of crash victims to make it possible to carry out standard medical examination, destroyed a great deal of evidence, exceedingly delayed access to the wreck to Polish experts and still does not allow, more than 33 months after the crash, for the remnants of the plane to be returned to Poland for further examination
3/ some of the evidence collected clearly points to the responsibility of the Russian air controllers at Smolensk and to the inadequate air safety at that airport; given that the Smolensk airport is a military facility, and MAK is a governmental body we deal here with an obvious conflict of interest situation;
4/ some of the evidence collected clearly points to the responsibility of some Polish government bodies for an irregular and neglectful preparation of the President’s flight to Smolensk (some of the responsible officials are already facing disciplinary and criminal proceedings) which, in conjunction with certain omissions and transgressions on the Russian side, could well have produced this so tragic an outcome; again, as Mr Miller, Polish Internal Affairs Minister at the time, was responsible for most of them, we deal here with an indisputable conflict of interest situation;
5/ it has already been proven that many claims made by MAK, ostensibly with the purpose of shifting the blame for this tragic accident on the Polish pilots in charge of the plane in particular, and on the Polish side in general, have not been based on truth and appear to be deliberate fabrications and lies (examples thereof:
the crash could not have been caused by one of the plane’s wings clipping a birch tree during the approach to land, as claimed in the MAK report, since according to the flight recorder the plane was at that time at about 27 m above the ground and the birch in question was only about 10 meters tall,
a segment of the wing in question was found in a place 100 meters further from the place it should have been found in had hitting the tree actually been the cause of this tragedy, also
the extent of the damage, a very unusual extreme fragmentation of the plane and the distribution of its parts over a large area all point to explosion(-s) as the cause of this air crash, this is supported by the relevant recordings in the plane’s black boxes and accounts from a number of eyewitnesses who heard these explosions while the plane was still airborne;
6/ results of computer modeling and scientific computations produced to the Macierewicz Commission by technical experts, many of whom are very experienced and reputable American, Canadian and Australian specialized scientists all point to a very high likelihood, bordering on the certainty, of this crash having as its cause two very powerful explosions that occurred when the plain was still about 20 meters above earth; the exact character of these explosions, and circumstances surrounding them, are yet to be determined, though;
7/ finally, in this unprecedented air tragedy have perished all 96 passengers of the TU-154 ill-fated plane: among them, Polish President Mr Lech Kaczyński with his wife, a former Polish President Mr Kaczorowski, all Polish top Army command (indeed, more Polish generals perished in this crash than in the whole WW II), Chairman of the Polish Reserve Bank, ministers, senators, members of the Polish Parliament, the living legend of the Solidarity movement, Ms Anna Walentynowicz, several Polish bishops and priests, a few dozen of people representing the Katyn Association who joined the official delegation in this pilgrimage to the graves of Katyn, the site of one of the grimmest war crimes conducted by Stalin and his thugs on thousands of Polish prisoners of war; it is a widely known fact that Mr Kaczynski’s activities in this region, most notably his 2008 impromptu trip to Tbilisi that put a stop to the Russian invasion of Georgia, met with very clear signals of extreme displeasure from Mr Putin; let us make it very clear – it is unheard of that all passengers aboard of a large and solidly constructed plane travelling normally until about 20 meters from the airport’s ground, and almost parallel to it, should perish in a crash; interestingly in this context, one of the amateur videos made by an occasional witness to this crash has registered unmistakable sounds of firearm shots.
The undersigned believe they have by now supported their stance with sufficient number of facts, clearly, and in a convincing manner. They believe we may be just a few months away from a real breakthrough that will uncover the actual causes, and the true circumstances of this crash. Whatever they will turn out to have been, one appears to be certain even today – they will radically differ from the claims made by MAK as to the causes of this air crash.
Credibility is certainly something very precious to all involved in mass communication. We therefore believe it would be quite foolish for any TV channel to risk loosing its credibility because of one hasty and reckless decision. There appear to be two safer options available to anyone in your situation: either to present all crucial findings made by all major investigative bodies and let viewers make up their minds, or wait until the essence of truth about the Smolensk crash has been revealed.
We hope you will concur.
Adam Gajkowski – president of “ Nasza Polonia” Association, Sydney,
Hubert Blaszczyk – president of Polish Political Prisoners Association, Sydney
Richard Adams-Dzierzba – president of “ Gazeta Polska” Sydney II Club
Bogdan Platek- president of Polish Association in Melbourne Inc.