When Conspiracy Theories go Bad: Government Grave Robbers

On April 10, 2010 the President of Poland, his wife, a large number of military leaders, former government members, members of parliament and some figures from the Solidarity movement were killed in a plane crash near the Russian city of Smolensk. They were travelling there to take part in a ceremony commemorating the Katyn massacre of tens of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

The death of the President, briefly, united people across the country who put longstanding differences aside in the mourning period. Unfortunately, the President’s twin brother was quick to capitalize on the catastrophe and destroyed the common feeling by demanding that his brother and his wife be buried in Wawel Castle in Cracow, an honor reserved for cultural and military heroes. Soon after he began making ominous comments about the Smolensk “Crime” (zbrodnia, a term usually reserved for murder) and all but openly accused the Prime Minister and Acting (and then Elected) President of conspiring with Russia to kill the late President.

Soon after conspiracy theories began to form with unsubstantiated claims of fog machines, gunshots, missing bodies, dummy airplanes etc*. This ended up being the conduit by witch the modern conspiracy movement made its way to Poland and the vessel through which some other elements became known to a wider audience there.

The current government (the de facto leader of which is the aforementioned twin brother) especially in the form of the Minister of Defense is now heavily invested in the idea that there was some kind of massive cover up and that grave new evidence is coming to light (but it never comes to light). Now they are committed to proving that there was an explosion (they are heavily invested in this idea).

Which is why they’re going to exhume the bodies of every single person killed in the accident looking for traces of explosives. Never mind that six bodies already tested found no trace of explosives, they’re not going to be satisfied until they check every single body. The families of some of the victims are very much against exhumation but have been told that their objections will not be taken into account.

If no explosives are found I have no doubt they will refuse to accept the result and go off on some other wild goose chase. There is literally no evidence (or lack thereof) that will covince them that it was an accident.

*My own opinion is that it was probably an accident. I am totally open to the idea that the Russian government would murder of a bunch of foreign dignitaries if it thought it had a reason to, but not real evidence has emerged that that was the case and until it does – it was an accident.

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