By FALK International's president Ole C. Ostlund.
In May 1990 I had a meeting in the Norwegian Parliament with all representatives from my county, conservatives as well as socialists. The purpose of the meeting was to motivate the elected politicians to put the sabotage of Alexander L. Kielland on the agenda. During the discussion one of the representatives from the Labour party expressed - "it took Labour only 1 day to appoint the investigation commission for the <<Alexander L. Kielland>> while it has taken the Conservatives 3 weeks to appoint a commission for investigation of the fire onboard the ferry <<Scandinavian Star>>". Wherafter I bursted out from the top of my head - "yes, it might look like the candidates for the <<Kielland>> commission were picked out in advance".
I thought for a long time that the Commission had overlooked
something unless my suspicion was wrong. However, my suspicion grew stronger
as time past by, media reported about the first uprighting attempt in 1980
which failed, further about preparations for a second uprighting which
organizing and planning did not sound convincing. Due to my suspicion that
somewhat irregular had taken place on March 27 1980, I followed <<Alexander
L. Kielland>> closely in the press. The official statement from the
Labour Government was that everything possible should be done to upright
the rig in order to look for missing corpses and fulfill investigation.
Later officials from the same Government strongly advocated for sinking
the rig. From a technical point of view uprighting <<Kielland>>
should be a lot easier than putting a man on the moon.
During and after inspection on board the uprighted rig on Oct. 13th 1983 I started realizing that the Commission were holding back on information. Their response to any suggested investigation of matters which could affect their reported conclusion about the fatigue crack was further categorical rejected. Still I had hard to believe that people higher up in the byreaucracy and political powerplay were involved. This understanding developed over time with increased knowledge of the different players and their relationsship. An important event in this respect was the persual of case documents at the Stavanger Police Office on June 23rd and 24th 1987.
On April 23rd 1987 I had been given the honour of seeing Norways late King Olav V in audience at the Royal Castle in Oslo. The meeting with King Olav incouraged me in the struggle for finding the truth about <<Alexander L. Kielland>>.
My demand of September 1987 for seeing Norways Prime Minister Mrs. Gro harlem Brundtland about the same matter was however denied.
6.1 Persual of documents at Stavanger
Policedepartment in June 1987.
6.2 Inspection onboard <<Kielland>> October 1983.
6.3 Ballast Discussion.
On April 6th 1980, merely 10 days after the disaster with <<Alexander L. Kielland>>, the accomodation rig <<Henrik Ibsen>> took a heavy list in Tananger harbour outside Stavanger. <<Henrik Ibsen>> was operated by Stavanger Drilling, the same company as operated <<Kielland>>. <<Ibsen>> was getting ready to replace <<Kielland>> at Ekofisk when it listed. The reason for listing was said to be an open manhole in one of the lower bracings during ballasting after inspection. The late Attorney General mr. Magnar Flornes instructed by letter dated April 10th 1980 to the District Attorney in Stavanger, to look upon <<Kielland>> and <<Ibsen>> as one case. He further instructed the Police to perform its own investigations in parallell with the Commission and secure evidence. These recomendations were not followed. From fact we know that the steel bracings from <<Kielland>> were melted down and lifeboats covered on Stavanger garbage area in summer 1980. The Commission presented their report in May 1981.
On April 8th 1980 I occasionally ran into professor. Moan of the Commission at Fornebu airport. I had 3 weeks earlier finished my work as consultant for the Official Committee analyzing Cost Increases in the North Sea. During my work I had reported knowledge about what seemed to be corruption within Statoil involving Kværner and Brown & Root. The Cost Analysis Report was to be presented ultimo April 1980. I mentioned to mr Moan my suspicion about sabotage against<<Kielland>>.
On April 13th 1980 PAX publishing company presented a book about the <<Kielland>> disaster. The book which was written by several authors belonging to the political left wing in Norway, stated the fatigue crack in bracing D6 had caused the disaster. Picture of the D6 bracing with the fatigue crack were presented in the book. The chapter about the D6 fatigue crack was written by a subordinate to professor Moan at the Technical University in Trondheim. I am informed he wrote this chapter in the offices of the publishing company and in close contact with his superior mr. Moan.
This is a major breach of conduct. In no way conclusions of this type should been made nor published at such a short time after the disaster. The rig was not yet towed ashore, neither was bracing parts picked up from the seabed nor inspected. Investigation had not proceeded to a point where such conclussions could be made without great risk of misleading the public. The book and findings were presented by the state owned Norwegian Broadcasting Television Company on prime time.
Articles in the press further draw a picture of bad workmanship, bad inspection, and bad seamanship onboard <<Kielland>>, blaming the entire industry of rig and shipowners in Norway including Det norske Veritas. Instead of fighting back the shipping industry, traditionally consisting of right wing conservatives escaped into the fire ditches. Newspaper article about cracks on Aker H3 drilling rigs further made the fatigue crack a common and likely problem. "The same could happen to other structures." Aker sued the newspaper and won the case years later.
Ultimo April 1980 underwater video recordings were taken
of the rig at Kallstø. During this survey a scare and a hole was
recorded in the remaining part of the D4 bracing connected to the rig.
The scare might be the result of either a container falling of the platform
during capsizing hitting the bracing or more likely caused by the bow of
a ship, supplyboat. The Frenchmen reported in 1985 of shipcollision as
a possible cause to the disaster.
There should be no hole in bracing D4, especially not close to the node. However, from a sabotage point of view a hole is required to connect wires from the explosives on the inside to the timerclock on the outside of bracing D4. The alternative use of radiosignal was probably downrated because of the high risk of uncontrolled explosion caused by other radio activity on the field. The insurance company Storebrand is in posession of the videotape with the D4 hole.
The Commission did not perform metallurgical testing of material from upper breaking point of bracing D4. Material from this part of bracing D4 was not sent Sintef in Trondheim for examination. As mentioned elsewhere the bracing material was melted down and lifeboats scrapped during the summer of 1980. There was however still one part left of the D4 upper breaking point fixed to the rig. Uprighting the rig could disclose this and other evidence divulging the true cause of the disaster. As such the uprighting had to fail.
6.4 the first uprighting attempt summer 1980.
Shortly after the disaster Ivar Garberg's name showed up in the press. From a poor childhood in Hedmark county he as grown up had become seacaptain. Hedmark county is regarded as one of the most "red" parts of Norway. Norway's Prime Minsiter at the time, Oddvar Nordli, is from the same county. In 1980 mr. Garberg was 42 years old. For 28 years he had been member of the ruling Labour socialist party in Norway before he in 1980 left the party. Personly he claimed to have very good relationship to party top officials including Norways trade minister at the time mr. Reiulf Steen, later Norwegian ambassador inChile, who in the early 80's visited Moscow standing beside Bresjnev at the Read Square during the May 1st parade. Reiulf Steen together with Minister of Justice Mr. Andreas Cappelen were in line responsible for appointment of the Commission. Andreas Cappelen belonged in his youth to the revolutionary communist movement "Mot Dag" in Norway.
Garberg early claimed he had been given a special assignment from the Attorney General to involve himself in <<Kielland>>. His paper "Truth do'nt kill - lies do" was in early May 1980 distributed to several people connected to the case. The paper got press coverage. Garberg challenged the safety in North Sea drilling operation also south of the 62nd parallell. He specificly comments stability and lack of seaworthyness on <<Kielland>> at the time of the disaster. Garbergs involvements and behaviour puts forward serious questions about his role in the <<Kielland>> plot. Was he an informer, provocator, or just a former seacaptain? Garberg became assosciate member of the Professor Advisory Committee for the second upprighting attempt and Technical Advisor to the <<Kielland-Foundation>> representing a group of relatives and survivors. From a Seacaptains point of view he should strongly have objected to or commented upon the need for deck drainage when the decision was made to turn the rig 360 degrees under the second uprighting, instead of turning it back to 0 degrees allowing trapped water to escape through the same holes it entered keeping positive buoyancy of air still being trapped in the structure.
His numerous contacts and engagements gave Garberg an opportunity to collect inside information from various parts of the operation. His testimony about narcotics onboard <<Kielland>> is one of the missing testimonies during persual of documents at Stavanger Police Office in June 1987. Garberg wrote, however, to sets of notes of which copies were given to the <<Kielland-Foundation>>. During my contact with the <<Kielland-Foundation>> I was given copies of the notes of Seacaptain Ivar Garberg.
6.5; The notes of Seacaptain Ivar
Garbergs notes were handed over to Attorney General Riber Mohn during a meeting which took place in his office on Dec. 21st 1987. Ref. registered letter to the Attorney General dated December 31st 1987.
6.6; Brown & Root (Norge) A/S
April 2nd 1997.........comment: their is a lot more to the cover operation which still is going on.
6.7; The knowledge about the fatigue crack in bracing D6. Section 6.7 added April 21st 1997.
6.8 The second uprighting attempt
Section 6.8 added in November 2002
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