The 2010 Katyń Families Association

Between 21 -22 October 2013, Warsaw hosted a two day conference on the Smolensk plan crash, with the participation of academics, scientists, experts and relatives of the Smolensk plane crash.


Here is summary of the main conclusions in 12 bullet points.

Between 21 -22 October 2013, Warsaw hosted a two day conference on the Smolensk plan crash, with the participation of academics, scientists, experts and relatives of the Smolensk plane crash. - a second conference of this type, with the first organised back in October 2012.


Scientists, independent scholars and academics of various specialisations and different fields have no doubt that the official version behind the April 10th 2010 tragedy has nothing to do with reality, and that the investigations were carried under Russian guidance - with the study of evidence and investigation dictated by Russian authorities.

The two day conference including discussions, four sessions, 30 submittedpapers, speakers from Poland and around world, and the 49 member Scientific Committee - portrays the impressive initiative of the Polish scientific community. Unfortunately, the conclusions drawn from instances of individual speakers are appalling. These indicate that the TU154M aircraft with 96 Poles on board was destroyed by explosions and that the official Russian and Polish governmental investigations of the disaster from the very beginning were nothing short of a scandal.

Here is a summary of the main conclusions from the conference:

1. The Smolensk birch tree was in fact broken five days before the crash.

Professor Chris Cieszewski and his team came to the conclusion, by analysing satellite pictures of the April 2010 crash site, which demonstrated beyond any doubt, that the famous Smolensk birch tree, which according to the governmental version was to destroy the wing of Tu-154M, had in fact already been broken at least five days prior to the crash.


Professor Cieszewski specialises in the analysis satellite pictures of tree stands. Apart from conducting research at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources (University of Georgia), he is the editor-in-chief of two international scientific journals and a member of editorial committees of three other international periodicals as well as reviewer working for 23 international scientific journals. He has published over 120 articles. Another co-author of the analysis, Prof. Pete Bettinger is a forestry biometrics expert with 30 years of research experience, whose book has been recently published by Oxford University Press. Bettinger has been lecturing on air photogrammetry in aviation for many years and on the interpretation of aviation pictures. Professor Marguerite Madden, another co-author of the analysis is the head of the American Geospatial Research Centre. She is a renowned expert on the interpretation and analysis of satellite representations and aviation pictures. Also Thomas R. Jordan, Ph. D., another member of Prof. Cieszewski’s team, specializes in photogrammetry and advance analysis of satellite pictures - dealing with these issues for many years.


2. Wreckage debris and distortion indicate explosions.

According to Andrzej Ziółkowski, Ph.D. from the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences many deformations of these fragments correspond to those presented and described in scientific literature as typical deformations which occur to metal elements as a result of an explosion, especially when taking into consideration the large area of small debris. Such deformation is represented by twinning (among others), which is a type of plastic strain along precisely defined planes, and by characteristic folding of edges of some elements.


These conclusions are supported by Professor Jan Obrębski, who examined one of the fragments of Tu-154M. The researcher has no doubts as to the destruction as a result of an explosion, upholding his opinion from over a year ago, in which he stated that plane was destroyed by a multi-point explosion. Professor Obrębski is a from the Department of Civil Engineering at Warsaw Technical University, employed at the Institute of Material Strength, the Theory of  Resillience and Ductility.


3. The distribution of the wreckage debris along a large area indicate an explosion in the air (video)


The crash area satellite pictures of the wreckage after the crash in Smolensk indicate that the plane broke apart in the air and not against the ground surface, indicated by the lack of any crater, the dislocation area of specific fragments and the location of some debris in the tree crowns, possible only in the case of the fall from above - these are the conclusions of Prof. Piotr Witakowski, the head of the workshop at the Faculty of Geomechanics, Construction and Geotechnology at the AGH University of Science and Technology.


Stefan Bramski, Ph. D., a retired employee of the Institute of Aviation and a member of its Academic Council between 1991 and 2002, specializing in airframe construction, came to the same conclusions, although he did so on the basis of slightly different observations. According to Ph.D. Bramski, the explosion of the plane in the air can be confirmed by the aerodynamic separation of the remains of the machine, i.e. the manner in which specific fragments of Tu-154 got distributed on the crash site. “A phenomenon of aerodynamic separation according to weight can be observed in the distribution of the remains, which confirms that the body disintegrated in the air before crashing against the ground”, concluded Ph. D. Bramski.


4. Explosive substances found on crash site and wreckage.


Background information on TNT + chronologie: here


Experts who examined the remains of the plane in Russia, using the most technically advanced equipment found signs of TNT and nitro-glycerine on the wings and in the cabin, including on 30 seats. The substances were also found on the area linking the fuselage with the wing. The group of 11 individuals worked in Smolensk from September 17 to October 12, including a prosecutor from the Warsaw prosecutor's office, bomb experts and plane construction specialists.


Tomasz Ludwikowski, Ph. D. and Jan Bokszczanin, Ph. D. from Korporacja Wschód are producers of portable devices specifically designed for the detection of explosives (spectrometers). They stated that the MO-2M device, which had been used by Polish experts in Smolensk, ensured very exact results, detecting and identifying explosives in case of the their presence in the vapour of the analysed air.


Conducted tests on the items belonging to the victims of the Smolensk crash showed presence of nitro-glycerine ions (found, among others, on the coat of late Aleksander Fedorowicz and on the bag of the late Zbigniew Wassermann) as well as penthrite, i.e. a very strong explosive with great crushing force from the group of nitrate esters.


5. Data and black boxes were tampered and manipulated with.


According to Kazimierz Nowaczyk, Ph. D., Eng. Marek Dąbrowski and Marcin Gugulski, the data and black boxes were tampered and manipulated with. The Russians are in possession of the black boxes, Polish authorities work only with copies of the records from the black boxes sent in by the Russians. Copies of the black boxes submitted to the Polish side in the presence of the Prosecutor’s representatives, were not fit for analysis due to the number of errors contained. Secondly, the data deciphered from the ATM-QAR recording device was tampered with in a manner which consisted in erasing the last half a second of the recording and “pasting” a two-second fragment from a non-verified Russian copy in this place. Thirdly: it is not known how and in which circumstances the tape from the MARS-BM recorder (Russian black box recording flight parameters) had been removed from the recorder. Fourthly: there are five copies of the voice cockpit recordings, the duration of which are significantly different (the difference may reach even two minutes); the copies also differ in terms of pauses between specific recorded utterances. Fifthly: at least one clearly visible interference with the cockpit recording was discovered, which was proved by Anna Gruszczyńska-Ziółkowska, Ph.D.; her research also indicated that the audio recording from the cockpit does not contain the sound of crashing against the birch tree or “any knocking sound” (which was mentioned by the Russians and by the Miller’s committee; according to her, the recording contained other non-identified sounds, which do not correspond to the moment of the alleged crashing against the tree.


6. The plane could not have lost its wing after crashing against the birch tree.


The case of the Smolensk birch tree lost its significance after the presentation of the paper by Prof. Cieszewski, but even if the tree had not been broken before the crash, contact with the tree could not have resulted in the loss of the wing, which was clearly proved by Glenn Athur Jørgensen, a member of the Danish Engineer Society. According to his calculations, if the Tu-154M had crashed against the birch tree and had lost a part of the wing, it would have had a different tilting angle and a different angular tilting speed; the traces left on the ground would also be different from the ones which could be observed after the crash in Smolensk.


The analyses by Professor Wiesław Binienda from the University of Akron comply with this research. This researcher presented the results of his latest simulation, concerning the Smolensk birch tree, which can be resumed as follows: a) the tree could not have broken the Tupolev wing; b) if the version presented by the IAC/MAK (Russian) and the Miller’s committee (Polish) had been true, the plane would not have crashed into thousands of pieces and its mass should have dug a crater in the ground; c) the destruction of the plane indicates that explosions took place on the wing and body of the plane.

Let us also add that neither the Russian nor the Polish committee made calculations or simulations similar to those presented by Glenn Athur Jørgensen and Professor Wiesław Binienda.


7. The appearance and position of the wreckage was changed after the crash.


Last year during the 1st Smolensk Conference, Prof. Cieszewski presented a paper, which indicated that a number of important plane parts had been moved and repositioned into a completely different place shortly after the crash (and this change of location was recorded in the Russian IAC report).


This year the speakers presented new information concerning this issue. Jacek Jabczyński from the website (“Pomnik Smoleńsk”) revealed that the location of the wing centre section (the central part of the wing adjacent to the body) stated in the Russian report differed from the one presented by the Polish committee. The Russian report contains among others also false information on the angle of the flap extension, which can be verified by analysing the photographic material from the crash site. Jabczyński also listed significant inaccuracies between the photographic material and the information contained in official reports. He presented, among others, photos of the same plane fragment: in the second photo it was visible that a new element was added to the photographed part in the form of a metal sheet of significant dimensions.


Bogdan Gajewski, Ph. D. from the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, a Canadian expert in the area of the investigation of air crashes reminded that one of the first steps to be taken at the crash site is ensuring the integrity of the crash site and documenting the area of the tragedy as well as the plane wreck in the most detailed manner. These steps were not only properly executed in Smolensk, but also the configuration of the wreckage and the appearance of the plane parts torn into pieces and modified in a reprehensible manner.


8. No autopsies and no post-mortem examinations of the victims’ bodies were conducted.


Background reminder: No autopsies have been carried out and the coffins of the victims have been sealed in Russia and never opened, once in Poland. Coffins were sealed in Russia, transported and buried in Poland. One coffin contained 250 kg of unidentified remains, despite having DNA samples at their disposal, since DNA samples were taken swiftly moments after the crash from family members. Coffin marked NN - not identified. Unidentified remains were cremated, although it is not unknown under whose decision or consent.


The exhumations have been undertaken under the prosecutions own initiative and judgment, systematically refusing such requests to relatives. The Military Persecutors has exhumed 9 bodies so far, because as it turned out some of the bodies were switched up and buried in the wrong graves, despite having family DNA samples at their disposal in Russia, where the coffins have been sealed. Family members are refused to designate experts to participate in the exhumations. Families of victims, since autopsy files have been made available to them, have questioned the accuracy of the autopsy files, due to overwhelming amount of inconsistencies suggesting falsification or pure fabrication. Many relatives of the Smolensk victims have openly accused the autopsy files to have been falsified. (More information: here)


A shocking description of the Russian report from the post-mortem examination of the late Zbigniew Wassermann, read out by his daughter, Małgorzata, was one of the most memorable events at the 2nd Smolensk Conference.


Małgorzata Wassermann listed all non-compliances and discrepancies between the post-mortem documentation prepared in Moscow and the post-mortem examination report made by Poles after the subsequent exhumation. Russian doctors did not list in the post-mortem documents a few dozen distinguishing marks of the victim. The Russian documents did however contain the description of the victims gall bladder, which Zbigniew Wasserman had removed long before the crash. The Russian report also listed improper height and eye colour. Still, it was not all. “My father’s spleen and heart were stitched into his leg instead of the abdominal cavity. The body was not washed after the post-mortem examination and the skull was left open”, Małgorzata Wasserman told the conference participants.


The omissions and errors of the Russian documentation lead to the conclusion that the post-mortem examinations conducted on April 11th, 2010 were either fictional (faked) or highly unprofessional, since the material submitted by Russians didn't comply with basic legal requirements and standards established for post-mortem documentation in compliance with Polish law.


“In a legal jargon we call it the confirmation of falsehood (attestation of an untruth). Polish prosecutors are working on a few dozen of such documents which confirm false information. We should assume that this post-mortem examination has never taken place”, stressed Małgorzata Wassermann. Her presentation was commented by Andrzej Melak, a brother of crash victim Stefan Melak. “I fully agree with attorney Wassermann”, he said, and he added that the person described in the post-mortem documentation from Russia as his brother was 195 cm tall, while the height of Stefan Melak was in fact 172 cm.


Przybylska-Wendt, Ph. D., a forensic medicine specialist from Military Medical University in Łódź fiercely criticised the post-mortem examination reports prepared by the Russians. “I have been haunted by one question from the very beginning: who really conducted these post-mortem examinations? “It is absolutely unacceptable to use the term »multiple organ failure« in relation to all crash victims. Such term could be used without conducting a post-mortem examination. Still, the examination report should define the dominant failures which lead to death”, added Grażyna Przybylska-Wendt.


9. The agreement between Polish PM Tusk and Russian PM Putin infringed upon and violated Polish interests.


The Donald Tusk government from the start has been misleading Poles and the public opinion on the appropriate legal basis chosen for the investigation. As a result, the investigation and all the major evidence were left in Russians hands. Under pressure from Russian authorities, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk resigned from applying an existing 1993 agreement, between Poland and Russia, specific for such instances - an agreement unquestionably more advantageous for Poland - and entered into a confidential settlement with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Pursuant to this settlement, a regulation dated 13 April 2010, issued by the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, came into effect. Pursuant to this regulation, Tatiana Anodina’s Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC/MAK) was in charge of the examination of the crash and coordination of all national and international proceedings. The Chicago Convention has been declared as a legal basis for the investigation, according to the government, despite the convention applying to and concerning only civil planes (the crash concerned a military state owned plane). Even art. 3 of the Convention stipulates that the convention does not apply to state aircrafts. In conclusion, the investigation was freely given away by Polish Prime Minister Tusk to the Russian authorities. This resulted in detention of all the evidence, the wreckage, black boxes, and dependence on Russian authorities to any evidence concerned. Accepting the Chicago convention as legal basis for Polish-Russian cooperation has left Poland from the start without any means of arbitration or appeal to any subsequent conflicting Polish and Russian reports. The conclusion of an international agreement by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk should have been approved by the Council of Ministers and presented to the Polish Parliament. It should have also been submitted to the United Nations, which keeps a record of all international agreements concluded. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (the ICAO - a U.N body) refused already to even look at the matter.


The legal basis for the investigation of the crash (Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention), was selected by the PMs of Poland and Russia. However, the agreement in this scope has not been drawn up in writing – as reminded at the conference by Prof. Piotr Daranowski, Ph. D. from the Faculty of Law and Administration at Łódź University. He added that the Governmental Information Centre stated that no records, of the talks between Tusk and Putin on April 10th, 2010, have been drawn up, since the meeting between both PMs had a non-official character.


What is more, this “act of surrendering” was illegal, since the Council of Ministers refrained from the obligation to present its opinion on the “silent” agreement of the PMs and Donald Tusk did not obtain the consent of the Council of Ministers to enter into such agreement. – I hope for the moment when we will be able to hold PM Tusk accountable for that, said Prof. Daranowski.


A similar opinion was expressed by the attorney Piotr Pszczółkowski from the District Attorney Council in Łódź. As he argued, the selection of Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention as the basis for the investigation of the Smolensk crash was contrary to law, since the Chicago Convention itself stipulates that it only applies to civil flights and not to the military and state flights.


10. The Polish committee investigating the circumstances of the Smolensk crash was created and operated pursuant to provisions that are contradictory to Polish (aviation) law. With the Miller's committee being illegal, its final report has no legal basis or meaning and is void.


(More information: here)


The choice of an improper legal basis for investigating the crash also resulted in ineffective appointment of the Committee for the Investigation of Air Crashes of the State Aviation, i.e. the Polish Miller’s committee, argued attorney Pszczółkowski.


The Committee for the Investigation of Air Crashes of the State Aviation only investigates accidents which took place on Polish soil; in case of crashes of Polish planes abroad it can investigate them only if: a) a foreign state has not initiated a similar investigation, b) a foreign state has authorised the committee to conduct such investigation, c) in the case of an international agreement between both states, enabling the investigation.


Was any of these three conditions complied with upon the appointment of the Miller’s committee? It was not, since a) the Russians had already started the investigation, b) they did not authorise the Polish side to conduct the investigation, c) the only international agreement authorising the activity of the Miller’s committee, i.e. the Polish-Russian agreement on the traffic of military planes and joint investigation of crashes signed on July 7th, 1993 was completely omitted by Tusk’s government. Article 11 of the above-mentioned agreement states that the investigation of aviation incidents, failures and crashes of Polish military aircraft shall be conducted jointly by Polish and Russian state bodies applied only during the first four days after the crash, and then it was replaced by Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention that applies only to civil flights for reasons which have not been clarified until present.


The above may lead only to one conclusion: the Miller’s committee had no right to investigate the Smolensk crash, since it occurred outside Polish boundaries and an international agreement which could have been an effective basis for the appointment of an investigative committee was replaced by the Chicago Convention.


11. The researchers investigating the crash are pressured.


The 2nd Smolensk Conference also included a very interesting sociological session. Barbara Fedyszak-Radziejowska, Ph.D. was one of the speakers and spoke of tools used by state authorities and press in relation to scientists and experts actively taking part in analysing the Smolensk crash, describing them as a shameful witch-hunt, similar to that aimed at authors of the book about Lech Wałęsa, describing his past as an agent. She compared these attacks to the present campaign of hatred aimed at the researchers attempting to explain the reasons behind the Smolensk crash. Fedyszak-Radziejowska, Ph.D. quoted the current comments by the representatives of the government, treated as “directional guidelines” against the scientific environment, as well as the media and image pressure exerted on those researchers who were brave enough to investigate the Smolensk case as examples of interference of “the authorities”.


12. The mainstream media contributed in strengthening govermental confabulation.


Since the first moments after the crash, various efforts were made to cloud the truth about the causes and the course of events of the Smolensk crash. These efforts most often took form of stubs; that is alleged leaks blaming the late pilots, general Błasik and the president. These confabulations were often born in the Russian media, whereas in Poland – in TVN24, “Wprost”, RMF and “Gazeta Wyborcza”, to be repeated later by other main media. They appeared pretty regularly (and still do) – in the first months after the crash every few days, then a little less frequently. In accordance with the principles of psychological war, there were a lot of them, they often contradicted each other, sometimes they contained fragments of true facts, largely however they were a total figment of someone's imagination. It was intended to create chaos, to convince the society that it is not possible to get to the bottom, to disorient and tire the society out.  


More information on mainstream media lies, here: Let's get things straight!


A sociologist Tomasz Żukowski, Ph.D. indicated that the end of the unique feeling of solidarity after the Smolensk crash can be attributed to three reasons: the resignation of Polish government from the subjective participation in the investigation, the fact that the Russians blamed Poles and the Polish pilots and the stance of the mainstream media, which was happy to repeat the Russian narration.




Translated from source: Gazeta Polska, Specjalny raport „Gazety Polskiej”. Co wiemy po II Konferencji Smoleńskiej

Author: Grzegorz Wierzchołowski