© 2000 The Independent Fact Group


The M/V Estonia Visor riddle

The picture of the visor "standing" on the side of the ship!

The Independent Fact Group Visor riddle ask for an explanation of the mysterious facts presented below. This is something for you to look in to, explain, judge or just accept. Our intention with this findings and our limited analyze of the material is not to hold it as conclusive evidence for any scenario. It is to question whether or not it by coincidence was possible to create pictures showing an identical object with the visor, standing on the side of the ship after the accident.


During the early spring 2000 the Swedish organization AgnEf arranged "The International M/V Estonia seminar" held in Stockholm 29-30 May founded by the Swedish government. The Independent Fact Group was involved in planning and arranging the seminar. During the preparation for the invitation folder to the seminar, AgnEf requested material to use for it from the Swedish National Maritime Administration (SNMA). The idea was to show a sonar picture of the wreck at the seabed. SNMA provided a picture of the wreck taken from a plot of the seabed, originally produced by the contractor who was supposed to cover the wreck with concrete. The picture was printed on the cover of the invitation folder for the seminar.

During the preparations for the seminar the Independent Fact Group discovered that the "seabed deep curves" in the picture, seemed to be drawn over - on - or under the wreck and in the bow area of the Estonia they matched the contours of an upside down standing visor more or less exactly. This is of course impossible as the visor was found far west of the wreck the 18:th of October 1994, or....

But still, the picture is there.

The Independent Fact Group visited SNMA to see the original seabed charts with the mysterious picture of the wreck and the presumed visor. The material from the contractor was extensive covering thousands of documents, and among those there were about 50 charts similar to the one used by AgnEf for the folder. Out of those 50 charts 4 showed the visor on the side of the ship, but none of them was identical. The seabed deep curves matching the visor was however almost identical on those 4 charts. On the other charts out of those 50 there were no deep curves other than showing a "normal" flat seabed in the area.

When questioning the officials at SNMA we got the answer that the contractor had used a sonar picture of the wreck and transposed the lines of the wreck to the bottom survey charts produced by the contractor. The original sonar picture was to be found either at the contractor or at the Finnish part of JAIC, from where it was believed the sonar picture originated.

The Independent Fact Group has tried to find the original sonar picture without success.

The AgnEf folder picture

Picture 1. This is a part of the invitation folder with the sonar picture of M/V Estonia. The picture was copied from a chart "Projection of the Estonia, Nordic Marine Contractors AS, Sandfilling Drawing 11/11", that was received from SNMA. The picture below is an explanation of the curves in the picture.


Picture 2. The ship is resting partly up side down with the bow area to the right in the picture. The contours of the ship has been filled with blue lines, and the missing visor position with red lines. The mysterious "deep curves" outlining the visor at the side of the ship is just to the left of the missing visor. The lines in the rest of the picture are deep curves.


Picture 3 and 4. A close-up of the area of the visor. This is the limited, original (and only) analyze we have done. We traced the lines in the picture, compared them with the other 3 charts found at SNMA, and we could confirm the lines to be there.


Picture 5 and 6. The background picture has been erased leaving the "visor lines"free. The "object" has then been filled with color and shading to illustrate the form of the upside down standing visor. The visor arms for the hinges has been added in the "right" position. Note the following:

1. The difference in height between two deep curves is 1 meter. Assuming the first curve (outer) is 1 meter above the ship side, the total height of the object is 6 - 7 meters. The visor had the same height.

2. The perspective and relative angle correspond with the list of the ship, i.e. the visor lists like the ship towards starboard.

3. The length and width correspond with the visor.

4. On the exact location on the starboard side of the visor, the visor damage can be traced. The damage also correspond in relative height on the visor. See the picture below.


Picture 7 and 8. In the left picture the reconstructed visor has been rotated to the same direction as in the photograph to the right. However, the left picture illustrates the visor seen from above when standing upside down.


If the visor in fact stood on the side of the ship some time during the first days after the accident, how to explain that JAIC found the visor about 1 nautical mile west of the wreck?

If the visor stood on the side of the ship, how could it end up there?

Was the visor in place when the ship went down, and if, how was it removed from the ship?


The Independent Fact Group