There was not any ‘barrel ’nor ‘an armoured birch’

Wieslawa Lewandowska talks to Antoni Macierewicz about Smolensk facts and myths and the influence of exterior factors.

Wieslawa Lewandowska: - The media have been trying to convince us of an opinion that the majority of Poles are tired of the Smolensk catastrophe and that they do not expect any explanations any more. Isn’t it strange to you?

Antoni Macierewicz: - That’s not true. Poles want to talk about Smolensk when they know they will meet an honest analysis, not a lying propaganda. People are not tired of information about Smolensk catastrophe but, what’s the most important, tired of helplessness towards a lie about Smolensk. Many Poles present their beliefs very explicitly...

What beliefs?

They simply think that it was an assassination, that is, a deliberate leading the President of the Republic of Poland and a significant part of Polish political elite into their death. This belief is well–grounded among the so-called ‘grey people’ but hidden and rarely revealed publicly towards such influential and oppressive media as TVN, ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’ or the present public TVN which stigmatize and mock at similar opinions. A significant part of the society thinks that the responsibility for that tragedy lies both on the Russian and on Donald Tusk’s government sides.

The Polish report of Miller’s commission who put the main blame on the pilots, did not upset the public opinion, though, but was accepted rather calmly....

However, maybe because of the aforementioned media oppression....the report is a collection of ambiguities and falsehood which extremely ignore and neglect the public opinion and they expect its tiredness of helplessness towards the lie about Smolensk. Otherwise, such inaccuracies, like presenting the photo of the cockpit of the TU-154 M plane, wouldn’t have been used and not of a crashed plane but presenting the plane number 102....That fact shows that the governmental commission wasn’t really carrying out careful investigation but was only making up a story of thesis assumed in advance. The thesis about the pilots’ fault was to be proved and facts nearly based only on the data of Anodina were appropriately and also carelessly matched. Those facts which did not fit were omitted.

And maybe, Miller’s commission did not have any chance to figure out the real cause for the catastrophe because of missing documents and no access to the evidence?

In my opinion it’s not true. It is proved by work of our Parliamentary team whose formal range of possibilities was incomparably smaller than of the governmental commission. I will add here that the officials of the Parliament have been refusing us any help since the very beginning, and Marshal Schetyna did not agree on publishing the White Book although it’s a result of work done by deputies and senators of the Republic of Poland. He refused to finance our expertise as well.

So – how are they made?

Necessary costs are covered with money from our pockets, a part of the expertise – thanks to our wonderful Polish and American experts – were done within the help and commitment of people of good will.

Both the MAK report and Miller’s report describe the sequence of events quite explicitly, show culprits and finish the matter in the same way. The investigations carried by the Parliamentary team and contradicting these findings are still going on and they give new shocking information. How many of them can we expect?

Surely, time-consuming analysis are still needed...they are going to concern still not re-played sequence of events from the last 20-30 seconds of the flight. Other partial information tells us that there had not been any crash into a birch and the plane had flown a few meters over the tree. The moment of the catastrophe was preceded by two strong jolts and at the altitude of 15-17 meters electrical power collapsed and the plane fell onto the ground. There can’t have been the so-called ‘barrel’ either, that is, a rotation of the plane and the famous ‘armoured birch’ did not break the plane’s wing.

So how do we know that there wasn’t any ‘barrel’ and the birch did not break the plane’s wing either?

We know it from the analysis of the work of a radio altimeter, which showed the data mentioned in both reports concerning the altitude of the plane. That device is placed under the hull of a cockpit, and after the bank of a plane exceeding 30 degrees, its indications stop being precise – at 40 degrees we cannot take them into consideration at all....with the rotation of a plane around the axis, the cone of the radio waves starts running horizontally and then gets into the sky, so the device shows infinity., if the plane had been turned round – the radio altimeter wouldn’t have been able to show the time 10.41.05 and that the plane was at the altitude of 15 meters above the land.... whereas these indication were recorded by the devices!

- So what was the thesis based on claiming that the plane turned round after crashing into a birch?

- It was based on a lie. Miller’s report does not hide a fact that the tilt angle of the plane was calculated and is not the result of the recorded indicators of devices showing parameters of the flight. Therefore, extrapolation was done of the previous bank of the plane, assuming that it had been deepened. But what is more important is the fact that nobody was examining the wing or the wreckage considering the crash into a birch. There is no evidence or premises indicating the fact that a birch broke the wing. And in spite of that, the whole evidence of the Smolensk catastrophe was based on this thesis. After submitting the results of investigation by prof. Wieslaw Binienda during a meeting of the Parliamentary team on 8 September this year, we know that the wing wasn’t broken by a birch. Let’s recall the fact that professor Binienda was investigating the causes of the catastrophe of Columbia space shuttle in 2003. The same methodology helped him in the investigation of the catastrophe of TU-154 M. The wing and a birch were reproduced with precise mathematics and then a series of experiments were done, testing, the behaviour of a plane after crashing into a birch at the same speed, at the same altitude and at the same angle, as MAK and Miller’s report present. The result is clear: a birch is cut across, the wing slightly jagged but the trajectory and stability of the flight – intact. Due to these facts we know that a birch did not break the wing. Therefore, the main thesis of the report of Anodina and Miller’s report are wrong. It is a non-precedent falsehood in the history of investigating air catastrophes.

- Miller’s commission consisted of apparently the best experts, so why is there such an oversight?

- That’s it! I am surprised by experts who have stated that the plane had crashed into the land. After all, three days before announcing Miller’s report, Military Procurator Krzysztof Parulski informed the public opinion that the catastrophe had happened at the altitude of 15 metres above the land – at the moment disconnecting the power of the plane. It’s a fact which we stated half a year ago!

However, that information given by the procurator was not noticed or maybe neglected because it was connected with a ‘doubtful’ result of the Parliamentary team’s work?

Yes, but then Edmund Klich suggested that it might have happened so....However –he was claiming – that plane started falling into pieces at the moment of crashing into a birch, that is, about 3-5 seconds earlier. Then during the flight over trees, branches were winding their way into the engines and that caused the catastrophe...’

And couldn’t it happen so?

No, it couldn’t. A birch did not break the wing and the plane did not do a ‘barrel’. None of the branches has wound its way into the engine either. That is nonsense from the point of view of the structure and work of the engines of TU-154. But if it had been possible – we would have easily checked evidence in the form of damaged engines. These engines have wholly remained, they did not collapse.....

But they have not been checked by Polish experts!

It is on the one hand, but on the other hand – the same people who say that branches were winding their way into the engines, claim that those engines were working without any disturbances till the very end, that is till the crash into the land. These contradictions are dramatic and explanations – completely unconvincing and unbelievable. Procurators’ confirmation of turning off the power at the altitude of 15 m as the direct cause of the catastrophe should be noted.

Polish experts, however, are still questioning this thesis claiming that nothing results from the record of black boxes and that’s only an interpretative mistake.

But this information in the course of events does not come from these boxes but from the computer memory which is independent and not connected with the time recorded by the boxes at all. The computer has got such a security which allows it to ‘freeze’ the data even if the power of the computer is off and then the data can be restored. Our findings confirm that the course of the last several seconds of the catastrophe was completely different than presented so far. The cause of the catastrophe was external factors independent from the pilots’ will. It was not the crash into a birch that caused the tragedy!

But the picture of the wing shearing a birch has nearly recorded in Poles’ imagination for good and, indeed, - as experts are trying to convince – the picture of a birch shearing the wing of the plane...

American experts, supporting our team, have done a simulation of the crash of ‘that’ wing into ‘that’ birch, with using the newest NASA program. It turned out that metal strengthening - lozerons placed in the construction of the wing couldn’t have broken during the crash into a birch. Probably, there was not any crash into a birch as the plane was flying a few meters over it.....

There is an accusation that American experts are also working with using the Russian data....

That is not true. The team work is based on data received from investigations done by laboratories in USA and an experiment done in Poland revealing that the button ‘departure’ should have made it possible for captain Protasiuk to do the maneuver, that is, retraction in the machine. Due to the revealed results of the investigations, it is known that there must have been a failure of the button ‘departure, that a birch did not break the wing and the plane did not turn by 180 degrees and, finally, the tragedy happened at the altitude of 15-17 m above the land when the failure of electrical power happened. It was Miller’s commission, which, influenced by Tusk, focused on what it got from the Russians.... The government of Tusk completely blocked that investigation, by giving it to Russian experts’ hands. And, on the other hand – thanks to that we can see how far these facts were manipulated in both reports – the Russian one and Miller’s – in order to present an interpretation of events compatible with certain thesis.

For example, what events?

We can speak about mystification presented in both reports in order to prove that the accident resulted from the captain’s mistake. The investigations of geographical points, indicated by TAWS devices, prove that the change of the aircraft trajectory is not connected with a birch in any way, but completely with different events and that it happened much later. In a box recording the flight parameters, these events are registered as two strong jolts which happened 3 seconds before the crash into the land. The cause of the catastrophe was an external operation.

Can we suppose what kind of operation?

We do not know it yet. But I repeat – it was not the result of crashing into a birch or rotation of the plane. It was not a mistake of the Polish pilots either. That fact is concealed from the public opinion both by the Russians and the government of Prime Minister Tusk. In Miller’s report there were appearances given that Polish experts were examining the wreckage, for example.

Appearances? The public opinion was informed about some problems with the access to the wreckage...

It was something worse which should be called mystification. We have an evidence for that in a form of experts’ statements signed under Miller’s report, the statements submitted in February 2011 in which they admit that they haven’t investigated the plane’s wreckage. It wasn’t done because the chairman of the Polish Commission –Bogdan Klich went to Russia exactly on that day when the Russians decided to investigate the wreckage. The fact is the half a year later at the Senate meeting those experts, remaining silent, were nodding to Miller who was saying that the wreckage had been ‘visually investigated’ -whatever it would mean.

So how was that wreckage being examined?

When we were trying to ask about that it simply turned out ....they looked at it and evaluated it.

Like bystanders of a car crash at a crossroads?

Yes! It looked more or less in that way. It is unusual in the history of investigations of air accidents! They looked at the wreckage of the crashed plane, then they looked at photos and, basing on that, they ‘competently’ evaluated what had happened to the wing, the engine and they drew conclusions and decided on a cause.... it is unacceptable. However, what is more scandalous is the fact that the procedure was accepted and authorized by the government of Prime Minister Tusk. I will say more, I think that, basing on the investigation by prof. Binienda, Minister Miller is responsible for the falsification of the state document which is the report of Investigation Commission for Air Accidents. And the public prosecutor’s office doesn’t react.

Meanwhile the Parliamentary commission is being prosecuted. For what?

For the White Book. It is the first situation in the history of Parliamentarism in independent Poland in which the Parliamentary organ is prosecuted for work on revealing the truth. We are accused of revealing the secret of the investigation. And we are accused by the public prosecutor’s office which is responsible for concealing a lot of important information from the society; the information has not been under the state secret and concerns for example the exact time of the catastrophe which was falsely given for at least a month, although it was known on the first day...
Prosecutor Seremet assured in the first week after the tragedy that the investigation would be explicit apart from the facts under the state secret. I would like to receive answers if the state secret is for example information that the plane TU-154 M-101 had several basic failures before that tragic flight, including the failure of systems shown later as the cause of the tragedy? Or, maybe the state secret is the fact that BOR officers have never checked the airport in Smolensk, which would point to Miller’s responsibility as the chairman of MSWiA, not only the political but also criminal for breaking the instruction HEAD? I understand that procurators defend the man in this way who should be prosecuted.

How will you answer this question today which has constantly been asked by both supporters of conspiracy and governmental theories for two years? The question is: was that tragedy caused by many factors?

Probably what we treat as a usual neglect was a carelessness done by somebody...Maybe that carelessness or external causes make a whole.... I wouldn’t like to judge it even if the connection of quite early and recent facts creates a logical sequence of causes.

What early facts do you mean?

We would have to start from the Georgian coup in 2008 and recently revealed suspicions of surveillance of President Lech Kaczynski, among the others by the anti-terrorist centre (CAT) situated in ABW. Why was the president under surveillance? It hasn’t been explained till today. Why after the Georgian coup there was a curious report of CAT made and revealed, stating that it was not the Russians who did the assassination but it was Georgian provocation? Why was a medium given to attack the president and believe the suggestion that the victim is a perpetrator of the act aimed against his own person? Let’s recall the words said by Marshal Bronislaw Komorowski in 2008: ‘Like a visit, like a coup’. Only a blind sniper would miss his aim from 30 meters’. Then the process of familiarizing the public opinion with a prediction that something might happen to the president and that it will be only his fault’...

And why did Poles, after the first shock finished, accept any official explanations so mildly?

I just think so. Therefore, to some extent, even the later actions done by the Prime Minister were accepted, although they were not agreeable with Poland’s interests.

Which ones, specifically speaking?

First of all, it is about resigning from executing the bilateral agreement of 1993, which gave Poland a possibility to take as equal part in explaining that tragedy as the Russians. For the first days investigations were carried out according to the procedure stipulated in that contract which was admitted by prof. Zylicz to a team, and then confirmed by minister Bogdan Klich – unfortunately, not until his resignation. Whereas on 13 April 2010, Prime Minister Tusk, we don’t know if under the Russian pressure or his own initiative, resigned from the agreement of 1993 and agreed on investigation of the Smolensk tragedy, basing on a decree of Prime Minister Putin.

Not according to Chicago convention?

No, there was a lot of confusion in this case. The Chicago convention had no application here, because the Smolensk catastrophe was not a catastrophe of a civil plane, therefore, now the organ regulating the proceedings according to the convention that is, ICAO, cannot intervene... There is no appeal from the MAK report. Therefore, what Prime Minister Tusk announced, after the Russian report was published, that there would be an international arbitration, applications to ICAO, interventions – was simply a socio-technical lie. The real legal basis to investigate that tragedy is Prime Minister Putin’s decree! Therefore we can say that Polish officials have been fulfilling commands for the last year and a half, based on Russian regulations. Donald Tusk’s decisions led to that.

Why do you accuse the prime minister of breaking the Polish law and Polish Constitution?

I do, indeed. First, because, in the contradiction with the Polish Constitution he made an agreement with the Russian Prime Minister on the resignation of an international contract beneficial for Poland. Second, he broke the article 129KK saying that who is entitled to represent the Republic of Poland and enters an agreement with organs from another country to the detriment of Poland, is liable to an imprisonment from one to ten years. Resigning from the aforementioned agreement, the prime minister made the situation of Poland’s side much worse, and, consequently – we have not got the black boxes or the plane wreckage till now. Briefly speaking – Poland is helpless!

It was announced a month after the publication of the Polish report – in the middle of electoral campaign – that the wreckage would be examined by Polish experts! Isn’t it a diplomatic success of the Polish Government?

It is rather an electoral game which the opposite side is accused of...but in my opinion it is simply admitting the fact that Miller’s report is a forgery, as it clearly shows that it has not been based on essential investigations. This report is a political complication of hypotheses, ideas and unwarranted statements. Not until the beginning of September 2011 did the general procurator Andrzej Seremet, after the conversation with Aleksander Bastrykin (a Russian chairman of the Russian committee), announce that the wreckage will be investigated by Polish experts in October. Snowfalls, typical for Russia in this time, may cover everything....

Do you think that it savours of mockery at Polish investigators?

Yes, I do, and at the very beginning, the government of Tusk allowed for it. After nearly one year and a half it can be clearly stated that the Russians deliberately block the access of Polish side to the wreckage, black boxes and other evidences for example, autopsy protocol. Everything shows that the Russians act in this way because they are afraid of being charged with responsibility for the Smolensk tragedy due to the revealed evidence. The government of Tusk is helping the Russians in this action. I want to state clearly that we deal with collusion aiming at concealing the truth.

But isn’t it a strong judgement?

No. After the team started their work, I said about a moral crime in public – now I know that we deal with facts proving that the passengers of that plane died as a result of outer factors ...

How long will Parliamentary committee investigations last?

To bring a result.

And aren’t you, like others, ‘tired of the Smolensk catastrophe’?

I am very tired of actions done to the detriment of Poland, actions with a purpose of concealing the truth but it doesn’t change my determination...

Antoni Macierewicz – is a candidate from the list of the ‘Law and Justice’ Party (PiS) for the Polish Parliament within the principles of Piotrkow Trybunalski district and Skierniewice and districts of: Belchatow, Opoczno, Piotrkow, Radom, Rawa, Skierniewice and Tomaszow.


"Niedziela" 39/2011

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: