Wiesława Lewandowska talks with prof. Kazimierz Nowaczyk about the lack of the basic control in investigations of Smoleńsk, concealed in the register of the black boxes and disbelief

WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: - Why did you get engaged in investigating the Smoleńsk catastrophe?

PROF. KAZIEMIERZ NOWACZYK: - There were a few reasons for it. First of all, the fact that I knew a few people who died in this catastrophe. In the 80s of the last century I worked at Gdańsk University where within the work of Solidarity and also in the Senate of the University I cooperated with the next president Lech Kaczyński, during students’ strikes in 1988, I met Przemek Gosiewski. I also knew Mrs Anna Walentynowicz.

– So, it can be said that it was quite a personal decision.

– Yes, but not only that. After the catastrophe I started receiving information which caused my surprise. As it usually happens, in the case of this kind of catastrophe, there are many deceptions in the beginning, contradictory information, but it has lasted very long here. What’s more, amount of the contradictory information has been increasing for some time.

– We all had an impression that despite various information the picture is being obscured and something unclear is happening around this issue…

– Yes. And it was the most astonishing. In normal cases after such an informative hype, the matter is getting quiet for some time, there is a report, the first misunderstandings are getting clear. Whereas here it is the other way round. I was shocked especially by the photos of 11 and 12 April in which I saw that the wreckage of the airplane are moved- two days after the catastrophe! I did not expect that a map of the wreckage arrangement had been made, because in the first sight it was seen that it must have been a longer work. Not to say that my fears were confirmed when the MAK report appeared.

– Fears that the investigation was being badly carried out?

– Not only that. One could suspect something more which is worrying. For it turned out that the report considered the arrangement of one of the elements of the airplane on 12 April (that is, after moving it into another place). While analysing the MAK report, I found out that there was something wrong with the register of the board computer used for navigation and an American device which informs about a dangerous approaching the land. I noticed that only in one place – a very concealed MAK report – the last register of these devices is shown, and it is not mentioned nowhere else. Although all others are enumerated, this one detail is omitted. Therefore I got more interested in the history of these read-outs and exact registration of these two devices. Because these were the devices of American production of the Universal Avionics company, their registrations were read out by the Americans. I was trying to find out what the types of these registrations are and what can be found in them…

– Were you doing all this to the order of the Parliamentary Team for Investigation of the Smoleńsk Catastrophe?

– No, I wasn’t but made a contact exactly at this time with the team of Mr Antoni Macierewicz and a bit later I received the registrations of these devices from him. These registrations, especially the last one omitted and concealed registration (TAWS 38), disagree with the thesis which were presented by the commissions of MAK and Miller, because they prove a completely different (higher) location of the airplane at a particular moment, than the authors of these reports want. So they prove a completely different course of events.

– Can one make an accusation about the deliberate omission and manipulation of data?

– Yes, and there are evidences to it.

– Is it the reason for which you state that the ‘professional’ report of Miller’s commission cannot be considered as the base for reliable analysis?

– Yes, and the report of Miller is hardly useful, whereas there are some, its more interesting composing parts. We have visualisation of the last seconds of flight, which is an appendix to the protocol of the Commission for Investigation of Air Accidents, published over a month after the announcement of Miller’s report. There is also a report of the Universal Avionics company with the read-out of all alarms and registrations of TAWS in which the registration number 38 was revealed! So the commission of Miller was fully aware of the existing registration. A similar thing is with registration of a black box called a box of a quick access. We have received this registration recently from the representative of the parliamentary team and we give it under detailed analysis.

– And these analysis will be subjected to a strong criticism again, in the same way as all earlier findings of experts of the parliamentary team. When your surname appeared, it was said: and what can such an expert for fluorescence and phosphorescence of biological systems know about air accidents? Please, explain to these sceptics and disbelievers what the usefulness of your qualifications and scientific experience is like, during explaining the causes of the catastrophe.

– An integral part of the most interesting scientific actions for me, a subject of my numerous lectures is just the analysis of data. In the investigations on much noise of the background, I am trying to get very specific information – this most interesting and the one which describe the investigated objects in the possibly best way. And the objects which I am investigating, can be various. It does not mean whether these are the molecules or satellite photos. Methods are the same. In the analysis of data the same rules oblige. And in this specific case, when we deal with deceptions and omitting some phases in the searching of information, there is really the same problem to solve: from this informative hype this information must be gained which is the most probable and coherent with many others. We always search for this information which composes the whole picture. My work is based on it, exactly speaking. It is an area in which I have long experience.

– So one does not have to be a prominent specialist for air accidents – in Poland this value was strongly emphasized – in order to find the causes of the flight catastrophe?

– Usefulness of my investigating work does not depend on the knowledge of aerodynamics – although I will admit that I am willing to get to know this area – and any information from this area is only secondary in my analysis, do not have any influence on it. The method of the analysis remains unchangeable and is an evaluation of mistakes, evaluation of repeated events, deceptions in charts and extracting the so-called accidental noises.

– Speaking simply, you are searching for concealed information. How deeply is the truth about the causes of the Smoleńsk catastrophe concealed, or maybe – how is it concealed?

– It can be said that here there is a lot of media hype and deceptions which conceal the truth. And there is not one method of obscuring the picture. Different methods are used by MAK, different methods are used by Miller’s commission, and the charts are being changed and particular events are being synchronised. But everything is subjected to one thing – two commission assumed in advance a particular process of the catastrophe. And the first and the second commission state that the airplane hit into a birch with the end of its wing, that it lost this end of the wing and fell into a rotation and this was a reason for the fall of the airplane and its crash into the ground.

– Is it possible to reject this hypothesis?

– Yes. Certainly, we were discussing about it, analysing it particular elements. Prof. Binienda presented a simulation of the hit of the wing into a tree, whereas I was investigating a possibility of doing the so-called barrel by the airplane after the loss of the wing end, and maintaining an even path of flight (and it results from the MAK description of Miller’s commission). It was excluded. In this way a fragment by fragment, the thesis was getting overthrown, which had been presented by official reports. I admit that, disbelieving and with much resistance, we start being aware that the hypothesis of explosion is becoming more probable.

– Why with much resistance?

– Because it was not easy for anybody to accept. Although we were uncovering this thing slowly, step by step, we had to overcome this psychical barrier of disbelief, in order to state finally that the hypothesis of explosion becomes very probable and must be considered seriously.

– What is the degree of its probability in the present phase of the investigations?

– It is the most probable, there is no other competitive hypothesis which would be able to describe the catastrophe and its results in a more coherent way.

– The experts of the parliamentary team rejected the hypothesis of the ‘armoured birch’. Are other versions of the process of the catastrophe being discussed, which are less probable?

– There may still be discussions if this explosion, which tore off the wing, had happened as a result of the explosion of the petrol in the container placed in the wing. Whereas we will not surely consider the intentionality of these events, which we give only under technical investigations. We do not want to say about possible intentions of the third parties, we are not going to set any thesis about who may stand behind the enigmatic statement ‘third parties’ because it is not a subject of our analysis.

– And this may raise the highest interest, as well as these two mysterious explosions. What can be said today about the nature of the second explosion?

– It is known that the explosion happened in the airplane hull. We are not able to imagine another reason, than a cargo of high energy.

– Will it be once possible to state it with complete certainty?

– Today the best answer to the question can be proceeding of the Russian and Polish authorities. There is no access to the wreckage and there were no investigations of the wreckage. There is no reason to set up the airplane from these parts which remained. The autopsy was not done in a right way either. No standard basic investigations which are usually done in such situations. We do not know anything about any investigations which would aim at uncovering explosive means – from the standard ones – to the more untypical ones. There is no protocol of these investigations, so they might not have been done.

– The strangest fact is that in Poland this all does not raise a special surprise. And what is being said about it in your American scientific community?

– The interest in this catastrophe lasted for quite a short time, and stopped just after the announcement of MAK report. In fact the report of Miller did not become a subject of interest among people. However, Poland is still a country very far for the Americans…The catastrophe was treated as a local event, the thesis about the mistake of the pilots was taken quite without reflection…Whereas one can talk for a while, and this opinion would start changing. And great astonishment starts.

– What astonishes the most?

– Everything which was being done, but in fact, what was not being done just after the catastrophe; that the wreckage was not protected at all, that there was no autopsy done in Poland….One can enumerate all neglect in order to raise suspicion that something else must stand behind it than the ordinary mistake of the pilots. My American interlocutors, getting to know how the Polish and Russian investigation is being carried out, easily consider the fact even of a possible assassination.

– Whereas in Poland, despite the whole knowledge, the hypothesis of the assassination is somehow ridiculed. Wrongly?

– Everybody has a right to his own opinion on this issue, especially in private situations. As an expert I always say only about explosions. In our technical investigations we do not deal with the hypothesis of an assassination.

– But is it serious enough to be verified by somebody?

– I think that it should be a subject of interest of procurators for whom the results of the analysis might be useful. But, certainly, the procurators’ investigation about the participation of the third parties may be effective only when the process of the catastrophe is recognized in a right way, as well as the sequence of following events. And as we know well, it has been strongly obscured since the very beginning.

The second part of the interview with prof. Kazimierz Nowaczyk – next week


"Niedziela" 46/2012

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