Was former U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold murdered?  Hammarskjold died in a 1961 plane crash, which was believed to have been accident, until now.

Current Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for a more in depth investigation bringing the case back into the spotlight.  Hammarskjold died along with 15 others on September 18, 1961 when their plane crashed into a forest en route to the Congo in southern Africa.  Hammarskjold, a Swedish diplomat, was traveling there to broker a truce between rebels and the government in order to unite the Congo.  The crash occurred in what is now Zambia.  Hammarskjold was highly respectable and won the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.  He is remembered for his actions promoting peace during the Cold War.

Though it was thought to be a pure accident, it wasn’t just conspiracy theorists who believed it was more than that.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman just two days after the diplomat’s death said, “Dag Hammarskjold was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice I said, ‘When they killed him.'”  He never elaborated.

Ki-Moon said there is enough new evidence that has surfaced to question the assumed-fact that it was an accident.  He had appointed a special panel to look into the matter.  The panel found new information, which was assessed as having “moderate probative value” — enough to further pursue aerial attack or other interference as a hypothesis.  The 3 member panel interviewed witnesses who claimed to have seen two planes that night, one of which caught fire before crashing.  The report also says that the government including foreign troops had air capabilities.  The report ruled out sabotage to the plane itself and hijacking as potential causes.  The panel also said that crew fatigue should be investigated as a contributing cause.

U.S. National Security Intelligence Officers gave testimony to the panel, in which they said they had overheard or intercepted radio transmissions that suggested the crash was not an accident.  Ban Ki-Moon said that he hopes that all countries involved in the U.N. will cooperate with the investigation in order to “finally establish the facts”.  Neither Britain or the U.S. are fully cooperating.


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