Skip to comments.16 years after the death of a princess, new allegations point to M16 involvement...
Posted on 09/13/2013 6:46:36 PM PDT by rickmichaels
The latest version of the story of Princess Dianas tragic death goes something like this: 23 minutes past midnight on the evening of Aug. 31, 1997just after the black Mercedes that was carrying Diana and her lover, Dodi Fayed, entered Pariss winding Place de lAlma tunnela black motorbike and two cars (one dark and one white) entered the underpass in a tight formation. The white car approached and quickly brushed the side of the Mercedes, nudging it off kilter and allowing the motorbike to surge ahead. Then a great flash of light (likely a strobe light)followed by a thunderous slam, as the Mercedes crumpled into the tunnels 13th pillar. (Fayed died on impact; Diana, about four hours later). Moments later, one of the motorbike passengers stopped to peer inside the broken car, before turning to his partner and raising his arms into an X: the military signal for mission accomplished.
According to last months British broadsheets and tabloidsmany of which carried variations of the above talethose shadowy operatives were members of the Increment: an elite squad of the Special Air Service (SAS) that is attached to Britains Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6. In 1997, new accusations charge, Increment soldiers banded together to murder the nations most unruly princess.
Arriving days shy of the 16th anniversary of the crashand after numerous official inquiries, all of which concluded that Dianas death was a horrible accidentthe claims of military involvement appear preposterous. Nevertheless, for the first time since its own inquiry closed, Scotland Yard has pledged to review the allegation, assessing its relevance and credibility. In a brief statement, a spokesperson explained that an assessment will be carried out by officers from the specialist crime and operations command, stressing that this would not amount to a reinvestigation of the case. So what is it?
The office gave no further details. Scotland Yard is thought to be evaluating whether claims of military involvement have been thoroughly ruled out. This new accusation, after all, comes from the inside, which is what makes it difficult to ignore.
Speculation about the peoples princess and her untimely death has never really gone away. So many different versions of the same few minutes. The cast of potential Diana murderers has changed over the years, variously including Balkan arms dealers, Islamist terrorists and, of course, the royal family.
But Scotland Yards indulgence in this latest round of revelations has captured mainstream attentionand even swayed a few naysayers. Some have taken the move as a validation, that claims of MI6 involvement are worthy of scrutiny. Others believe that Scotland Yard has simply been backed into a wall: that in the face of such highly publicized claims, and in an effort to maintain public trust, the office has no choice but to go forward.
BBC broadcaster Nicholas Owen is not the only respected journalist to recently speak of a lot of unanswered questions about what happened in those desperate days after Dianas death. Even Dai Davies, head of the Metropolitan Polices royal protection squad at the time of Dianas death, who calls the new accusations a complete load of rubbish, grants, there are some curious factors.
With a new Diana biopic due out in theatres this fall, and new theories of her murder cueing up hysteria about a Buckingham Palace-directed inside job, there is plenty to bolster the worlds enduring fascination with the Diana story.
In 2011, a 38-year-old SAS sniper named Danny Nightingale was arrested for illegal possession of a pistol and 338 rounds of ammunition. A key witness in his court martial was a man identified as Soldier N: Nightingales housemate and a member of the same elite military unit, who was himself jailed for illegal weapons possession. Prior to his arrest, Soldier N allegedly told his wife that his SAS unit had arranged and covered up Dianas death. Around the time of Nightingales trialat which point Soldier N and his wife were estrangedthe mans mother-in-law sent a letter to military authorities, relaying Soldier Ns boast. (Scotland Yard would not confirm its source.)
For whatever reason, the Royal Military Police (which conducted Nightingales investigation) appears to have waited two years before passing the letter on to London constables. Scotland Yard has said only that it received new evidence recently. News of that letter, and Scotland Yards subsequent pledge to assess its credibility, has propelled a steady rush of news stories. Mainstream outlets have given the scoop a fair nodwhile tabloids like the Express and the Mirror seem to cover little else. Last week, the Daily Mail published tantalizing new clues, under the headline, That SAS murder claim and why it may not be as mad as you think.
From his home on the Isle of Man, author Alan Power is feeling vindicated. Power is a long-time proponent of the inside job theoryas outlined in his new book, The Princess Diana Conspiracy: The Evidence of Murder. The book tells the story of the Increment and its alleged role in Dianas death. The main motive was simply the self-preservation of the monarchy, explains Power, who used to own an IT company, but recently decided to take up writing. Diana was going to take the children to live abroad after she married Dodi. She also had a whole stream of evidence on Prince Charles, which she planned to release to make sure he didnt succeed to the throne.
But back in the summer of 1997, all the world knew was that Diana had embarked on a new love affair with Dodi Fayed, the son of an ostentatious Egyptian-born billionaire, and had escaped to Fayeds yacht for a nine-day vacation, sailing the waters around France, Monaco and Sardinia. By then, Diana was travelling without official personal protectionat her own request.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, the couple arrived in Paris, dining at the Ritz Hotel. Around midnight, they decided to drive to Fayeds apartment, just off the Champs-Élysées. At 12:20 a.m., Diana and Fayed got into the back seat of a Mercedes S280 car; Henri Paul, head of security at the Ritz, took the wheelalongside Fayeds bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones. They drove from the rear of the hotel, in a botched effort to elude the journalists gathered out front.
The crash in the Alma underpass took place just minutes later. Details of the carnagethe ruined Mercedes, Dodis mangled limbs, Dianas stunned eyes and torn left pulmonary veinwere reported worldwide, in grisly detail. Only Rees-Jones, the bodyguard, would survive.
Within hours, several paparazzi were arrested by Parisian policeand later investigated for failing to provide assistance to the victims at the scene. (The prosecutors department eventually judged that there was insufficient evidence against them.) Over the following months, French authorities carried out an extensive investigation. In August 1999, they ruled that no manslaughter charges were warranted. A month later, French Judge Hervé Stephan released his long-awaited report, blaming the crash on Henri Paul, the driver, who was reportedly drunk and under the influence of antidepressants.
Meanwhile, roused by a growing chorus of public skepticismand the stalwart insistence of Fayeds father that the crash was no accidentthe British royal coroner asked the Metropolitan Police to open an investigation. In 2004, Operation Paget was launched. It would prove an immense undertaking, involving elaborate recreations of the crash site as well as interviews with some 250 witnessesall at a reported cost of $20 million. Two years later, an 832-page forensic report was released. Like the French authorities, British investigators blamed the driver. They also cited paparazzi aggression and the fact that Diana and Dodi were not wearing seatbelts. In 2008, a separate judicial inquest came to the same conclusion, again emphasizing the drivers gross negligence.
And still, conspiracies abound. As early as 1998, Dodis father Mohamed Fayed told investigators that the crash was a plot by MI6 to kill Diana. Later, in a letter to British authorities, Fayeds lawyers claimed that Diana had been pregnant at the time of her deathand was imminently planning to announce her engagement to Dodi. The Establishment, Fayed charged, could not accept that an Egyptian Muslim could eventually be the stepfather of the future king of England.
The letter named Prince Philip as the plots mastermind. (Later, Fayed implicated prime minister Tony Blair, the American CIA and Dianas older sister, among others.) Fayed retained the services of American Senate majority leader George Mitchell (decorated for his role in Northern Ireland peace talks), to make inquiries on his behalf in Washington.
From early days, conspirators have fed on alleged gaps in the official account. Why did none of the CCTV cameras in the Paris tunnel capture the crash? (They werent positioned to.) Where is the white car that was spotted at the scene? (It was never identified.) Did it belong to paparazzo James Andanson, who was found dead with two bullet holes in his head 23 months later? (The inquiry says no.) Amateur sleuths allege that Henri Pauls blood tests were botched; that the cars seatbelts had mysteriously malfunctioned. One particularly popular claim is that Dianas anti-land-mine activism had provoked the ire of global arms dealers, who had arranged the hit themselves.
But the most enduring theory is the one that places MI6 at the heart of the plot. In large part, the story has stuck because of a seemingly prophetic letter that Diana wrote to her former butler in October 1993. (Paul Burrell, the butler, reportedly hid the letter from investigators. He was later prosecuted and acquitted for hoarding Dianas belongings.) In the letter, Diana warned: This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. My husband is planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry. The letter was presented at the Royal Courts of Justice during the 2007 inquestthough some have questioned its validity.
In some versions of the story, intelligence forces in the Paris tunnel used a technique (blinding the driver via stroboscopic light) that was drawn up as part of an earlier plot to assassinate Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. This morsel came from ex-SAS agent Richard Tomlinson, who testified that MI6 was involved in Dianas death. During Operation Paget, however, British investigators were granted unprecedented access to MI6, and were unable to substantiate any of Tomlinsons claims; indeed, they discredited many of them. In other versions, the soldiers had simply been ordered to scare Diana straightto cause a minor crash, perhaps break a couple of bonesbut had, in the dark of the Paris tunnel, pushed the Mercedes just a little too far.
So interesting how conspiracies came out around the 16th anniversary of Princess Dianas death, scoffed Dickie Arbiter, Queen Elizabeth IIs former press officer. Its quiet all year. But then at her anniversary: presto!
Its been 16 years. And every year, someone comes out with new information. I find nothing new in this, insists Dai Davies, the former Met officer, about these recent allegations. Davies is now retired (he spends part of his time lecturing on cruise ships about royal protection in a historical sense) but he has followed Diana investigations over the years, and remains 100 per cent convinced of the official version of events.
Many of the most popular conspiracy theories, Davies points out, are the easiest to refute. For one: medical investigations showed that Diana was not pregnant when she died. As for the fact of Fayed being Muslim? Diana had a number of affairs. She dated a Pakistani for almost two years. If someone wanted to get rid of her because she was [romantically linked] to a Muslim man, it could have been done many times over. (This romance, with British-Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, will be the central plotline in the upcoming Diana film, staring Naomi Watts.)
Davies is critical of Scotland Yards management of the new allegationsand, in particular, its pledge to investigate the new claims. They should have given the caveat that we get many such allegations, with each given the weight it deserves. In his day, Davies says, he used to have a cozier relationship with reportersand was able to quash misleading stories about the royals before they even appeared in print.
Power, the author, might argue that theyre still trying. On the phone with Macleans, Power was adamant that authorities are trying to hush him up. I had an unmarked helicopter hover over my house. They stayed there a while, I just waved at them. They are almost certainly MI6. And who can disprove him? After all, the whole premise of a good conspiracy is that it can only be undermined by an especially astute coterie of code-breakers. Edward Snowdens colossal revelations about American and British spy programs have added weight to the old adage: Just because youre paranoid doesnt mean theyre not following you. In Britain, Scotland Yards reassurances on the Diana front are less comforting than they might once have beenbefore the police force was implicated in Britains ongoing phone-hacking scandal.
Arbiter, the Queens former press agent, predicts that all this will come up with nothingbut that, over the next few months, London police officers will go through the motions of investigation. They have to. If they didnt . . . there would be a hell of a to-do.
Do MI6 agents carry M16s?
Didn’t bother reading to the end: of course we all know that ultra-secret military units signal “mission accomplished” to their peers in public.
No, but probably 9IW .
Well that really turns things upside down.
The “MI” in MI6 stands for Military Intelligence.
Yea, when I saw it wasn’t an AR they were talking about I went right to the comments.
this matches the earliest reports....Henri was their Oswald....a patsy...
I always thought she was taken out because of her behavior which didn’t sit well with the Royals. Plus the rumor that she was pregnant with Dodi’s child. Then there’s the remarkable similarity between Harry the red-head son and her riding partner.
Prince Charles got Camilla the horse-face in the end so it was all for naught no matter what. Fergie was lucky to get out of her marriage alive.
Allegations can point to anything at all and on a given subject allegations likely point to several incompatible things at the same time.
Rumours had it that she was about to quit the royals and marry Dodi.
Considering that none of the children look like Charles, it’s probably safe to say that he really wasn’t into women that much.
I heard that they had a tiny MI6 agent disguise himself as Diana’s seat belt buckle... /sarc
What an absurd scenario! It would be much more credible if it simply had a British agent getting Henri Paul sloppy drunk at the bar. Of course, that wouldn’t be dramatic enough for the James Bond fans.
It worked on the Breitbart murder.
I think the eldest son is his and Charles really loves Camilla so he’s not a homo...or at least I don’t think so but you are right about her leaving the Royals and for a family with far more wealth. That must have hurt.
The real motivation is the same old story....power and retention of same. Diana and Dodi were not meant to be together in this world. The Brits didn’t want any Muslims in the castle.
They must be LOL at us to have one in the White House.
Ping to read later.
Wow, and I thought it was a car crash, not a shooting.
O.K. But this is the last rat’s ass I own....
Agreed. Prince William is Prince Charles’ son and Prince Harry biological father is clearly that Major
We were listening to the news reports on the radio about the paparazzi on motorcycles possibly causing the crash.
One of my co-workers stated "What the hell is that fat bastard doing riding around on a motorcycle chasing her?"
I thought about it.
And then I busted out laughing.
Are we happy or sad?
MI6 agents can carry anything they please, any time, any place, any where.
It does. The headline says ‘M16’ not ‘MI6.’
Who killed Buckwheat?
And, still awaiting the answer as to the Kennedy assassination and the Ruby/Oswald/grassy knoll conspiracy. Let’s not forget Lincoln.
Isn’t that Luciano Paparazzi? The world famous singer/photographer/biker/hitman? If he does taxidermy too, he could open a store in Alabama.
Exactly what I was thinking.
With a new Diana biopic due out in theatres this fall...Explains everything, IMO.
We know it was an inside job. The car wasn’t hit by any planes, but it crashed anyway.
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