Plane Crash of Poland’s Government: Your Theories

Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M, similar to the one that crashed in Russia.  Photo: Hiuppo (CC)

Tupolev Tu-154M, Polish Air Force. Photo: Hiuppo (CC)

Damian Thompson writes in the UK’s Daily Telegraph that he fully expects myriad conspiracy theories about the unfortunate plane crash killing Poland’s president and other government members. I’m sure he’s right, but having flown on a similarly vintage Tupolev jet I suspect that it’s more likely a case of the Russian plane being unsafe, too old and way past it’s junkyard date. Here’s Thompson’s view:

Polish president Lech Kaczynski has been killed in an air crash, along with many of his country’s top brass. One of the nastier consequences of international disasters is that conspiracy theorists rush to judgment – and I do mean rush. The fact that the president and so many of the Polish elite were on a visit to Russia will feature prominently in the fantastic stories being cooked up in cyberspace right now. And I can say with confidence that they are being cooked up, because Poland, like most East European countries, is obsessed with conspiracies. Russians, Jews, Americans, Freemasons – they will all be blamed. Some stories will be more credible than others. These explanations are so much more emotionally satisfying to traumatised people than the likely truth: that the Polish politicians – like so many politicians in less developed countries – were accustomed to risking their lives in dodgy planes.

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  • tressa

    Will the black box tell the story? Why all these officials on one plane? Why wouldn't an experienced pilot be able to land this plane with instruments? This is a tragedy of such monumental proportions that it has destroyed stated the Polish Government….My condolences to the Polish people for their loss.

    • Hadrian999

      i would never call removal of politicians a loss

      • E.B. Wolf

        Addition via subtraction?

        • Hadrian999

          loss of politicians is a net gain, they consume resources and produce nothing but corruption

          • oman28

            Agreed, but unfortunately they are too easily replaced with 'newer, better (more compliant?)' models.
            Net gain cancelled out.

    • patR1

      this is no Pilot error, one of the best pilots in the world , over 3000Hrs, These pilots landed there before it worse conditions.!

  • jojo

    Poland is hardly a less developed country. http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/
    But TU 154s are not safe

  • eyadom

    1. Theory N 1 Russian behind the crash , as the whole polish delegation in the plane is enemy N1 for the Russian, who are trying to blame today’s Russia for Katyn massacre and push for a compensation
    2. Theory N2 Americans to blame, as they are from time to time making a regional conflicts for Russia with her neighbours, to weaken her.
    3. Theory N3 both Russia and the USA to blame, as their signature yesterday was a part of a bigger agreement to include cancelling the missile defence system and get rid of anyone who is pushing for it and putting the superpowers at a collision course, also to mention the polish president wanted a compensation from the USA, if they to withdraw from the missile plans, and leave Poland only with troubles with the Russian
    4. Theory 4 No one to blame- very unlikely truth!!

    • Mr. Man

      Theory 1 Russia doesn't need help weakening itself, America has no reason to plot against Poland.
      Theory 2 Russian made piece of crap falls apart in mid air.

      • macky

        The TU 154 was one of the most succesful planes EVER built. Do you research before you post moronic comments.

  • samthor

    My only theory is that maybe LGBT Poles will have a chance at a better life now that president Lech Kaczynski is gone. The guy was a real dick to his gay community. yes a plane crash is tragic. 96 dead is certainly tragic. and its tragic that Gays have so many reasons to celebrate his passing.

    • Polish in Canada

      Seriously?? Gays & Lesbians? The guy was for anti communisim….where communisim has ruled for many many years. Pretty sure a communist society would welcome gays with open arms…. *eyeroll*

      • samthor

        is that supposed to make it ok to violate other people's basic human rights?
        He had an extensive campaign of persecuting certain members of his countrymen for no other reason than their sexual preference… but that's supposed to be ok, as long as he's not a communist?

        • piotr

          samthor – your opinion is so naive that I feel I need to respond You. Firstly – how do You know that? have You been there. Did You personally meet those guys imprisoned and presecuted???? Or maybe You' ve just read somewhere?? Theres NO injustice for homosexualist in Poland. They have the same rights as other citizens. There are many homosexual people in media and they openly say that (vide mr. Raczek etc.) Nobody chase them ob streets with fire and holy water. So just to be clear – its just Your prejudice to back Your statements. Additionally there were many cases in polish media to defend homosexual people which were involved in simply criminal activity like pedophilia etc. Their line of defense was always that their country is homophobic and anti homosexual but in fact like in every community there are people with different opinions – either pro or against. Even around You there are people with same attitude.

          • samthor

            You are talking about the citizens. I am talking about the former president.
            Sure some the citizens may have been OK with gay rights, but the former president was NOT.
            One example: The former president tried to scare his people into believing the Libson treaty would lead to gay marriage which – of course- would cause “the eventual destruction of the human race”.
            (other examples are linked below. )

            I realize this crash and the deaths are tragic. And this will be a difficult time for Poland.
            But let's consider ALL the facts. Let's remember ALL he did for the country. Both good and bad. Let's not gloss over “certain things” and sweep them under the rug because they seem unpleasant & we don't want to deal with them. The man was who he was both good and bad. Let's not forget that. And more importantly, let's try to learn from it.

            http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/02/15/poland-of
            http://blog.ctnews.com/evans/2010/04/10/anti-ga
            http://www.workers.org/2006/world/poland-0622/
            http://montrealsimon.blogspot.com/2010/04/lech-

      • ChicagoPaulski

        kudos!

    • raydar878

      It is obvious what happened that tragic day. The Russians killed them all since it was a chance for the Poles to fully expose what happened to them in the past.

    • thetrollinator

      “The guy was a real dick to his gay community.”

      You'd think his gay community would welcome him with open holes.

  • dumbsaint

    The only curious thing to me was how Medvedev made a big deal of Putin heading up the commission looking into things.

  • FrankO

    I say it was Global Hawk again, just like 911.
    Yes yes, us nutty conspiracy people, yes yes. Make sure the phrase “conspiracy theory” is in the first stories about the crash, yes yes. We are the crazy ones, yes yes. It's total BS. No pilot in a mayday situation will cut off communications, but Global Hawk can do it for them……
    I am so sick of no one finding good evidence in these disasters.
    It is very obvious who was behind this.

    • Joan

      Finally a comment from someone who knows what they're talking about. Surprising how society will find some scandal to deter the further investigation of such a tragedy. Who is Tiger Woods sleeping with now?

  • JAY

    The only why you can get to the truth is if you question the facts (believe nothing you heard and half of what your read). In addition; and most important; the more people whom question these facts, the more voices that are heard, may be enough to cast doubt on what has been reported.

    • Synthetic J

      “the more people whom question these facts, the more voices that are heard”

      but we shouldn't listen to them, right, because they aren't from the half of what we read?

  • Sailor225

    This would have been a relatively simple operation for the FSB. Ask yourself this question: Would you kill off a few Guatamalans if it prevented Russia from deploying an anti-balistic missile system in Central America that would effectively cripple our nuclear warfare capability? Would the CIA? Do the Waltons take way too long to say good night?

  • Vladimir

    Tu-154 is a workhorse – been flying long and hard, very safe

    The Polish plane went down because the pilots ignored traffic controller warnings.

    • Putin – is the anit-christ

      And you know this “Vladimar” because you were working on the tower? Also, believing the story a country such as yours tells, lacks much credibility. (see Katyn Massacre) For 60 years Russia lied about culpability and we should believe you now? Putin doesn't like critics – likes to see them dead – all the dead Russian Journalists have learned that the hard way.

      • Paul

        @ “Putin – is the anit-christ” – If we can blame Vladimir of being to naive, we can say the same about you… You are just at the other end of the spectrum of opinions about Russia and Putin. You are willing and eager to believe any conspiracy theory that paints Russia black…
        With your line of thoughts, I could ask you the analoguous question: you know about the murders of journalists in Russia because you have been to Russian to make your investigation?
        It could be true that the Russian government is getting rid of it opponents. However, in my opinion this theory is overly simplistic. The Russian government is more clever than you think and is perfectly aware of the damage a dead journalist can cause. Russia is simply very corrupt (I know that becaused I have lived there) and it makes very hard to understand the political games and struggles. It's not all that black and white, as you like to put it… Those journalists who were killed had the support of people with their own political (and economic) agendas and did not necessarily come with clean hands, as the western media likes to portray them… These journalists had more enemies than just Putin and the Russian Government…

  • http://rt.com/On_Air.html JT

    What gets me is that if it was truly foggy out, then how did three little boys walking to school be able to shoot clear footage of the plane on their portable camera in detail. Also reports claim 97 on plane where Poland reports 88 on plane. Info from http://rt.com/On_Air.html

    • Misha

      I think you got something wrong. The actual numbers are 89- which is number of politics and other important people killed in the crash and 96 is overall number of victims (with crew)

  • Linda

    Lots of investigation needed – who invited them to go, why so many dignataries on one plane, did they hear “Russian warnings” not to land. Interestingly, happened just about time that Obama and Russia sign the peace nuke agreement – opposite of what Poland wanted, as it needs anti-missile protection, etc… due to all the agressor countries surrounding it. Think on these things folks!

  • Vilantina

    My question is, why would a well trained pilot refuse to land on a different place? ….maybe he was just plain stupid……although that would be strange since first of all, he was a pilot, and second, he was in charge of the most important cargo ever. Maybe, he just could not….and he had to land there, just like the pilot that landed in the Hudson River. Also, why did the plane explode? they said it clipped trees and exploded…….so, why the explotion? Third……the ocassion , of course, it was the perfect ocassion to get everyone on board of a soviet plane……say no more

  • David

    How many polish does it take to crash a plane?

  • David

    Look not toward conspiracy but, to put It nicely, polish decision to make multiple attempts to land in heavy fog even when advice to divert. Pilot was warned not to land in heavy off. 1st attempt failed. Followed by second attempt must have been authorized by higher up. Third attempt must have been demanded by the prime minister. One can just hear the Russians air force and air traffic controllers. They must have been swearing for the tragic loss but laughing their head off at the irony of it all

    • patR1

      it is not clear about the 4 attempts. It could of been 3 loops around the airport – and this is very normal operation in aviation. the only facts are :
      One of the best pilots in the world with over 3000hrs
      Two airport was a typical military airport with no ils system. they only had normal light bulbs that u use in the house on top of some tree trunks. to murk the entry,
      Poland mentioned it will look at this over 1000times before making speculations …. as this is such an important matter
      Four. russians serviced the plane just a few months before the accident

      • eryk

        5.pilot was landing many times before on this airport
        6.putin will make investigation

  • http://www.abundantace.com/ ace

    This was not just an ordinary plane crash. I would not blame Russia for making the plane go down. Instead look at the mossad/Israel and the Marxist Robin Hood in the white house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ketnom Moantek Spolsky

    I am Polish and man that is just stupidity (doesn't even fall into ignorance): “And I can say with confidence that they are being cooked up, because Poland, like most East European countries, is obsessed with conspiracies”. Sure, I like Eris, but there were no single word about conspiracies, even in media”
    Peace!

  • Daniel de Alvarado

    Just the latest round in the centuries-old Russia-Poland feud. Let's not forget that Putin means KGB –whatever its name is now. And it was the then-KGB that killled those Poles back in '40. Was Putin –precisely Putin– going to let the whole Polish government into Russian soil to commemorate the massacre? You bet your sweet life he wasn't. This accident is highly suspicious and the threads are going to begin coming into view shortly.Putin killed a whole flock of birds with one stone — a President who was his bitter enemy and along with him the totality of Poland's ruling political and military Establishment. Cute 'n handy'n dandy!.

  • guest

    This Damian Thompson sounds clearly like one Russian loving bigot. What a jackass.

  • Jan Rydzak

    While I agree that some conspiracy theories are bound to come up, especially at a point when speculations still abound (though everything points to pilot error), Mr. Thompson has made a dazzling show of tactlessness and ignorance by calling Poland an LDC and making sweeping generalizations on Eastern European countries in general. Conspiracy theories are bound to arise in such cases regardless of the country, and tying them to ostensibly less-developed countries [like Poland] is low journalism at its worst. His confidence obviously doesn't top his actual knowledge of the reality in both Poland and EE. The fact is the plane was sturdy and in excellent condition. Namibianizing Poland by making its politicians into Russian roulette players is unprofessional and sad.

  • Concerned

    From 2006:
    http://www.eurozine.com/pdf/2006-09-28-smolar-e
    “The current government have a choice: either they accept the Polish reality or
    they continue to dream their dream of an unblemished, rebellious Poland, one
    that declines to recognize either the absence of “communists” or the dominance
    of the West, with its postmodern, relativist, post-Christian values. Many Poles
    may well continue to dream along with their government a while longer –
    until they renounce their willingness to be led and return to the arduous and
    necessary task of moderation and modernization.”

    So I wonder what the unspoken other choice was? And is it truly moderate and modern to offer only one choice and call it a choice? That sounds like an old game to me and I am concerned not only for Poland's future, but for the world's.

  • eryk

    this wanker knows nothing about poland and polish people. we were living 50 years in comunism where nobody trust in goverment us usa/uk-sheep-people trust in their gov.we know russian more than mr.thompson and we know what people can expect from FSB (ex KGB, ex NKWD). maybe he doesn`t know the reason of that visit either. stupid journalist, slaver of freemasons or quasi-smart guy from them. think about litvinienko(ex FSB/KGB, politkovskaya and dozens of journalist which are dying every year from FSB hands in russia or abroad

    • Mr. Man

      Yeah sure Ivan, US/UK sheep people sure do trust government. Go back to swilling vodka and beating your wife.

      • eryk

        more people in western europe, usa,etc are blind than in poland (general in eastern europe or south america) but f**** bankers-wankers with kapitalist changing our minds using “freedom” and “democracy” (like in iraq but different way, because people don`t accept western life-style there), using media and education system (people in communism had no high degree, good education but they had knowledge) and many others way to change us in blind people. anyway they do good job
        “Go back to swilling vodka and beating your wife.”
        is it ur way of life,langer?

    • Rich

      good commands

  • Bill

    Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories.. Next thing you know, those nutjobs will be saying 911 was an inside job.. Oh.. it was?..

    • russellrussellrussell

      I think the simple fact is that something doesn't quite add up here. They were all on one plane because they were all going to the same place, that doesn't mean that it wasn't taken out though.

      Presidents and important military people do not travel on shoddy planes, that's simple and i agree whole heartedly with Jan, to suggest they would play roulette with their lives, well, that's just bad journalism if it can be called journalism.

      • Gawith

        Dear citizens of USA: your president uses older plane than this crashed Tupolev. Check it if dont believe.

  • Patryk

    I think this goes much further than Russians doing this.I'm Polish and I'm doing everything I can to try to disprove the common claim that it was pilot error.My theory goes as this:Lech Kaczyński was conservative;he didn't want laws from the European Union.This angered the global elite,which were trying to make him look bad on the media,which isn't hard.After all,who controls the media?So,they had their opportunity when Kaczyński flew to Ruusia to commemorate the 70 year anniversary of the Katyń massacre.Not only was he on board:ALL commanders of the Polish Army,chief of the Polish Central Bank,and other inportant figures were on board.So ,when the plane flew near Smoleńsk,it was shot down(without being noticed in the fog).Another thing is,there is a video,which shows after the crash,you can hear shots being fired,supposedly at anyone who survived.THE RUSSIANS TOOK OVER THE INVESTIGATION!Why?So the public doesn't know what REALLY happened.This will anger the Polish people,causing civil unrest.Eventually,America will get involved in this,blaming the Russians for this.Russia will respon in aggresion,which America will counter,causing World War 3.This war will gain the global elite major cash.After the war is won by the USA,the American government will say that so a war like this will never happen again,a One World Government must be implemented,a NEW WORLD ORDER!!!This will end freedom as we know it.

    • Sarah

      Dude, I hate to break this to you but Poland isn't anywhere remotely near to being that important. Neither to the European Union nor to the US.

      • Synthetic J

        bluntly put, but agreed

  • Mr. Man

    My theory is that something happened, and no amount of posturing on alt news websites is going to change anything. Foul play? Who cares? Maybe it was the freemasons. Maybe it was the damn Teutonic Knights. Did Julius Caeser do it? Maybe it was HANNAH MONTANA! Stewie Griffon?

  • konrad25

    “less developed countries”?
    Where are you writing from? Utopia-land?
    I highly recommend that you reconsider the use of your degenerate and arrogant language.
    With regards to conspiracies, I wish you all wonderful sessions of creative writing. Until investigative reports are examined, as well as their sources, and until it is determined to what extend Polish investigators are provided access to the crash sight near Katyn, that is all it is: creative writing.
    Patryk, I hope that you are very wrong.

  • zorrrrrrrrrrro

    what was happening in polish diplomacy before the crash:
    1. Prime minister Tusk was about to sign a contract for gas supply from Russia, for 40years.
    2. Just a couple of days before 1. Poland discovered a huge source of gas schists. It is believed that it will provide 63% of Europes demand on natural gas.
    3. Tusks cabinet made preliminary agreements with USA ( FX Energy, Chevron just to name a few ) to sell those resources.
    I know that only USA has the necessary techniques and patents to extract gas schists, but there are universities in Poland as well, and it was just a matter of time to develop similar methods.

    Now connect the dots.

  • mara

    It is very scary that those numerous gunshots were heard during the filming of the crash site right after it happened. That sounds very suspicious to me, and makes me doubt any official story that has been given.

  • Chris

    Obviously the Germans orchestrated the whole thing so that they can criple the polish milatary and invade Poland. Because that worked out so well for them the last time they tried.

  • ADM

    The application of Occam's Razor leads me to conclude that it probably was a tragic accident yet it is not the first time a polish leader has been killed in a plane crash (search General Sikorski).
    The aniversary of Katyn would have probably passed little noticed internationally, but this disaster has brought global attention – are we being sent a message?
    The plane itself was recently reserviced in Russia – dont modern aircraft have ground detection systems to precisely prevent these kind of accidents? Could such a system be remotely deactivated or tampered with (like when the terrorists changed the height of the runway to make a plane crash in Die Hard 2)?
    I cant make up my mind on this one, there is a perfectly rational explanation but it is convienient for the Russians that the government of a potentially antagonistic neighbour has been decapitated.
    Also Im still curious about the recent Moscow bombings – were they false flag terrorist attacks like others that have been alledged?

  • true_liberal

    No, the Tupolev wasn't exactly new, but there's no indication that this 20-year old plane had any significant malfunction.

    The Smolensk airport was not equipped to support aircraft operations in the heavy fog that existed, and so the Russian ATC rightfully recommended the Polish crew to divert to an alternate, safer destination. But with a planeload of VIPs aboard, the captain felt either subtle or overt pressure to complete the planned landing. This type of pressure has existed in executive aviation for many decades. It has largely been corrected in the West, but evidently not in Eastern Europe.

    In a way, I expect that the recent WV coal mine disaster will be found to have a similar root cause.

  • Lacquer Head Carney

    Well on the news some dude said that the president was known to make his pilots land in bad weather before. but i think it was HITLER!!!! FREAKING NAZI ZOMBIES KILLED THE POLISH PRESIDENT!!!

  • Zack

    While I like to consider myself a rational person excepting the existence of natural disasters “Acts of God” as they are euphemistically put. I however; can not ignore the man-made “coincidences” that occur from time to time and which we are suppose to accept as some random or benign act of fate. I am more inclined to believe these “unpredictable acts of fate” are in reality planned and executed by the parties that benefit and there are always parties that benefit.
    As someone once said and I paraphrase “just because your paranoid doesn't mean someones not out to get you”……

  • nester

    what do you mean by less developed?
    is it your ignorance? what is your evidence base?

  • CheeseOfGlory

    Wait, so eastern european countries are obsessed with conspiracy theories now? Try living under the boot-heel of communism and the soviet union for 50 years then tell me you still trust the government and police. I suppose the Katyn massacre was also some crazy conspiracy theory dreamed up by us fanatically anti-russian poles. Please, please stop masquerading as a real journalist and crawl back into the hole you came from

  • aniag
  • aniag
  • BB

    What do you know about the plane condition?
    I can tell you it was far better equipped and safer than the machines serving average people like you and me..

  • MM

    Another half baked opinion masquerading as fact from a talentless hack.
    His research source must have been the Beano!
    Beware imbeciles like this making assertions without any justification whatsoever.

  • Marek

    To all viewers of the above material.
    There is nothing to cook up, MR Thompson. I would like to briefly remind: throughout centuries Poland has been the object of conspiracies and Russia along with Germany played a great role in our mishappiness. in the 13-15th centuries there were the Teutonic Knights called “Krzyżacy” who wanted our land. Theye were in fact Germans. Hopefully we destroyed them.

    Poland ceased to exist on maps in 1772 due to RUSSIA, Germany and Austria. These three countries hatched plots to occupy our land forever. Poland disappeared from maps for 146 years.

    Then in 1920 we saved Europe against bolshevism. Had it not been for this fact, all European countries would have been communist. In spite of this fact, the world (among others: Britain, France) sold Poland to Stalin 1945.

    During the beginning of WWII all countries thought it unreasonable to help Poland. They thought Germany would simply occupy Poland leaving them safe.

    Before that in August 1944 the Red Army who were not a long distance from Warsaw did not help our guerilla soldiers in “Warsaw Uprising”. Americans, British and others did not help either. They preferred to see our nation die!

    Just after WWII we lost our independence again for over 40 years (1945-1989). (see: above)

    Countries like Germany and Russia plan to “regain” our motherland now. They will do it sooner or later. It is going to be economical and then physical. Nowadays, one does not need wars. Reasonable politics among with economical mechanisms such as European Union, all aiming at controlling the economy of a country, within the next 40-50 years will make it possible for people like Putin and Merkel to sit on our throne.

    Today, conspiracies are going on in Russia and KGB still exists (different name the same methods.)
    I do like Russian people (even had a Russian girlfriend once – lovely girl!) but have no trust in politics.

  • http://twitter.com/Elizabeth_3166 Elizabeth Jones

    Who would want to kills the polish president…probably was the polish pilot who did not know how to fly..By the way I found a website that give you prizes for your opinions and 4 play games here is the topic about this:
    http://opinion.ezwingame.com/topics/did-the-pol

  • http://twitter.com/Elizabeth_3166 Elizabeth Jones

    Who would want to kills the polish president…probably was the polish pilot who did not know how to fly..By the way I found a website that give you prizes for your opinions and 4 play games here is the topic about this:
    http://opinion.ezwingame.com/topics/did-the-pol

  • dg

    Poland is not a “less developed country”, it is part of the European Union and one of the leading countries in Central Europe. The plane that they were flying, albeit was not breathtaking, however the TU model that they were flying was the most advanced version of this plane. The model that crashed and the one still in the Polish Air Force are two unique models of this plane, upgraded with modern equipment.

  • dg

    Poland is not a “less developed country”, it is part of the European Union and one of the leading countries in Central Europe. The plane that they were flying, albeit was not breathtaking, however the TU model that they were flying was the most advanced version of this plane. The model that crashed and the one still in the Polish Air Force are two unique models of this plane, upgraded with modern equipment.

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