March 31 2021 — On 31 March 1953, the Security Council voted 10-0-1 to recommend Hammarskjöld to the General Assembly, with an abstention from Nationalist China. Shortly after midnight on 1 April 1953, Hammarskjöld was awakened by a telephone call from a Stockholm journalist with the news, which he dismissed as an April Fool’s Day joke. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
UPDATE (March 31 2022) — More than 60 years after the deaths of the U.N. chief and his team, the victims’ families believe the answer may lie in Washington’s and London’s archives. [Foreign Policy — Feb. 15 2022]
The vast majority of the descendants of the victims of the crash believe that the plane was brought down by foul play, most likely attacked by a European mercenary group employed by a Belgian mining company in support of a secessionist rebellion in the mineral-rich Congolese state of Katanga, according to two family members. Hammarskjold was on his way to mediate an end to the secession and civil war in the breakaway state when he was killed in the crash.
They fear they are running out of time to get to the bottom of what happened. Key witnesses from the time period are dying off, and the U.N. inquiry, led by former Tanzanian Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman, is set to conclude in September without having established conclusively the circumstances of how the plane crashed. Othman has been investigating the case on and off for the U.N. since March 2015.
Sven Goran Hallonquist was 10 when his father, Per Hallonquist, piloted Hammarskjold’s plane on its final flight. Through most of his life, he said, he has been unable to say with certainty whether the crash that killed his father was an accident or if the plane was brought down by hostile forces. That all changed about six or seven years ago, when the son of the plane owner’s chief engineer provided him with a copy of the original Rhodesian technical report, which indicated that the plane made an erratic maneuver shortly before it crashed, suggesting it was evading a potential threat.
“I think that is the most probable thing—that it was shot down by another plane,” Hallonquist said, noting that the vast majority of victims’ families believe so, too. Hallonquist said he and other relatives of the victims want the U.N. to pursue the case more vigorously and the U.N. chief to take a more personal role in seeing the case through.
“We think we need to put pressure on him to try to pressure the United States and Britain and South Africa for more resources to search their archives,” he said.
In his two previous reports, issued in 2017 and 2019, Othman said that the “burden of proof” was on member states to demonstrate that they have conducted a thorough review of their records and archives, particularly from their intelligence agencies.
“The continued non-disclosure of potentially relevant new information in the intelligence, security and defence archives of Member States constitutes the biggest barrier to understanding the full truth on the event,” Othman wrote in his 2017 report.
“The historical record strongly suggests that Governments, including the United States, which had a presence in and around the Congo region at the time, may hold such evidence,” Othman wrote in an annex to his 2019 report.
So far, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has made no pledge to personally press key governments, including the United States and Britain, to release all relevant documents in their archives.
END of UPDATE
UPDATE (March 31 2021) — Life, Soren Kierkegaard wrote, must be lived forwards even if it can only be understood backwards. So true, on both counts…
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the ceremony to commemorate the fifty-ninth anniversary of the death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, in New York on September 15 2020.
“Today, we gather to remember Dag Hammarskjöld and pay tribute to his accomplishments.
On this fifty-ninth anniversary of his death, we celebrate his life. Although he had a diverse diplomatic career and was a man of many interests, Dag Hammarskjöld’s name is forever linked to the United Nations. Until his tragic passing, he led our Organization with courage and purpose, and we owe him a lot.
I welcome the General Assembly’s resolution in December 2019 to continue the inquiry into the causes of the plane crash. We have a responsibility to all the victims and their loved ones to learn the truth of what happened, and I would like to reiterate my personal commitment to that quest.”
This sounds pretty nice but just ask yourself one question. What has been achieved by the UN inquiry so far? What has been done in the last 12 months? Short answer: nothing. Nothing at all! And this time there is really no excuse…
After the recent revelations regarding Crypto AG and CIA/NSA Operation Rubicon, there is no excuse for not solving this crime. Everyone one should feel angry. Flashback.
Fact #1 — A decade ago, I argued that Crypto AG had rigged the equipment used by diplomats around the world allowing US Intelligence Agencies to decode their messages in real-time.
The piece (The NSA-Crypto AG Sting — For years US eavesdroppers could read encrypted messages without the least difficulty) is still available online and its relevance to the Lockerbie case could play a major role in the upcoming appeal.
On February 11 2020, I was finally vindicated when Swiss broadcasting company SRF, German public broadcaster ZDF and the Washington Post confirmed most details of the story after gaining access to a classified, comprehensive CIA history document summarizing Operations “Thesaurus” and “Rubicon”.
Fact #2 — On November 2 2017, I suggested that Belgian mercenary Jan Van Risseghem may be responsible for the death of Dag Hammarskjold. The story was based on the testimony of a very credible source who had accepted to talk to Intel Today.
On January 12 2019, The Guardian confirmed that Belgian mercenary Jan van Risseghem was indeed the person responsible for the death of Dag Hammarskjold and his crew.
Amazingly, The Guardian forgot to tell its readers that the story had been published on this blog more than a year before. Even the pictures of Jan van Risseghem published by The Guardian were initially published on this blog.
Intel Today readers were not amused, and a few did not hesitate to tell The Guardian how they felt about this affair.
But not only had the “Guardian story” been stolen from this blog, the authors — Emma Graham-Harrison, Andreas Rocksen and Mads Brügger — failed to understand a key point.
As I wrote on the day the story was posted by The Guardian,
“Journalists are still missing the importance of one critical aspect of this story: the role of CRYPTO AG.” [Intel Today – Jan 12 2019]
And this brings us to the next issue…
Fact #3 — On January 17 2019, I posted a story titled: Boris Hagelin — The Swiss Businessman Who Sold The World Out.
In that story, I explained that all the Crypto AG machines delivered to the UN — including the one used by Hammarskjöld during his visit to Congo — had been rigged at the request of the NSA.
I concluded the piece with the following statement:
“After his initial visit to Boris Hagelin in Zug, NSA William Friedman wrote in his report:
‘The NSA has now complete control over Crypto AG. Spying can start on an industrial scale.‘
So much for Swiss neutrality…”
And yet, despite all this information, the UN investigators did not interview the current managers of CRYPTO AG and they did not request any help from Switzerland.
What on earth is going on? Those (UN investigators) who investigate the death of Dag Hammarskjöld do not want to know about Crypto AG and those who report on Crypto AG (The Washington Post) do not mention once the United Nations scandal.
We know that the US hold important undisclosed information regarding the Hammarskjöld case and we know that they refuse to share this information with the UN investigators.
Why do you think the US has been withholding this information?
END of UPDATE
The exchange between the journalist and Hammarskjöld was rather comical…
Journalist: “We understand you’ve been designated Secretary-General of the United Nations.”
Hammarskjöld: “This April Fool’s Day joke is in extremely bad taste: it’s nonsense!”
Dag Hammarskjöld finally believed the news after the third phone call. The Swedish mission in New York confirmed the nomination at 03:00 and a communique from the Security Council was soon thereafter delivered to him.
After consulting with the Swedish cabinet and his father, Hammarskjöld decided to accept the nomination.
Hammarskjöld was sworn in as Secretary-General on 10 April 1953. He was unanimously reelected on 26 September 1957 for another term, taking effect on 10 April 1958.
On 10 November 1952 Trygve Lie announced his resignation as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Several months of negotiations ensued between the Western powers and the Soviet Union, without reaching an agreement on his successor.
On 13 and 19 March 1953, the Security Council voted on four candidates. Lester B. Pearson of Canada was the only candidate to receive the required majority, but he was vetoed by the Soviet Union.
At a consultation of the permanent members on 30 March 1953, French ambassador Henri Hoppenot suggested four candidates, including Hammarskjöld, whom he had met at the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation.
The superpowers hoped to seat a Secretary-General who would focus on administrative issues and refrain from participating in political discussion.
Hammarskjöld’s reputation at the time was, in the words of biographer Emery Kelèn, “that of a brilliant economist, an unobtrusive technician, and an aristo-bureaucrat”.
As a result, there was little to no controversy in his selection. The Soviet permanent representative, Valerian Zorin, found Hammarskjöld “harmless”. Zorin declared that he would be voting for Hammarskjöld, surprising the Western powers.
The announcement set off a flurry of diplomatic activity. British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was strongly in favor of Hammarskjöld and asked the United States to “take any appropriate action to induce the [Nationalist] Chinese to abstain.” (Sweden recognized the People’s Republic of China and faced a potential veto from the Republic of China.)
At the U.S. State Department, the nomination “came as a complete surprise to everyone here and we started scrambling around to find out who Mr. Hammarskjold was and what his qualifications were.”
The State Department authorized Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., the US Ambassador, to vote in favor after he told them that Hammarskjöld “may be as good as we can get.
On September 18 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and the 15 people on board.
It’s understood that because Hammarskjöld was, at the time, advocating for Congo’s independence (against the wishes of European mining companies and other powerful entities), the “crash” was an assassination.
In 2019 the documentary film Cold Case Hammarskjöld alleged that a Belgian pilot, Jan Van Risseghem, has been named as a possible attacker.
Van Risseghem had extensive ties to Britain, including a British mother and wife, trained with the RAF and was decorated by Britain for his service in the Second World War.
The Film-makers investigating the 1961 crash found a friend of Van Risseghem who claimed the pilot confessed to shooting down the UN plane.
Dag Hammarskjöld’s inaugural speech on 10 April 1953
United Nations, New York – A short video piece of inaugural speech of H.E. Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld took oath of office as Secretary-General on 10 April 1953.
On This Day — UN Security Council nominates Dag Hammarskjöld for Secretary-General (March 31 1953)
On This Day — UN Security Council Nominates Dag Hammarskjöld for Secretary-General (March 31 1953) 
On This Day — UN Security Council Nominates Dag Hammarskjöld for Secretary-General (March 31 1953) 
On This Day — UN Security Council Nominates Dag Hammarskjöld for Secretary-General (March 31 1953) [What Really Happened to Dag Hammarskjold’s Plane?]