Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna • John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland


The death of Princess Diana:
What caused the crash at the Point d'Alma ?
Seán Mac Mathúna, John Heathcote
Visit Mohammed Al-Fayed's website and read his account of Diana's death

Diana crash inquiry report: Final report by Paris prosecutor's office

MI6 and the Princess of Wales by Richard Tomlinson

MI6's plot to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia in 1992 by Richard Tomlinson

We the People: the Diana forum

"One day I'm going to go up in a helicopter and it'll just blow up. MI5 will do away with me" - Princess Diana (Sunday Mirror, January 4th 1998).


Events leading up to the crash: The last day in Paris

The death of Diana's bodyguard Barry Mannakee in 1987

Was Diana pregnant six weeks pregnant ?

Why were the traffic cameras not working at The Point d'Alma ?

15 eye witness accounts of the crash

Anonymous Eye Witness Report

There has been much comment (notably on the web) on who could have killed Princess Diana and why. Many people who have investigated the crash have uncovered facts that strongly indicate that this was no ordinary car crash. There are so many inconsistencies in the offical account and the French investigation that the subject has been left wide open for speculation. There has been no official inquiry in the UK, let alone any proper analysis of the facts surrounding the crash by the mainstream British media. However, the only facts on which most people agree concerning the crash that killed Diana, her partner Dodi Fayed, and her driver Henri Paul are as follows: At 00:20 on Sunday August 31st 1997, their Mercedes left the Ritz Hotel in Paris, with her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones. Five minutes later, it crashed into a pillar of the road tunnel underneath the Point d'Alma. Paul was killed immediately, Fayed was pronounced dead at 1.30 am, and Diana, after being transferred from the wreckage at 1 am, was pronounced dead at 4 am. Only Rees-Jones survived the crash, with serious facial injuries.

Although there has been an inquiry into the crash in France (which found no foul play), there are still many inconsistencies in the "official" accounts of her death. The best research we have read so far is The Thirteenth Pillar - The Death of Di Reconsidered by Terry Hanstock in the Winter 1999 issue of Lobster. We recommend that readers interested in more background information on the crash purchase this issue. Also important has been the ITV documentary Diana: The Secrets behind the Crash (shown in 1998), which was first to publicise the "big flash" that Francoise and Valerie Levistre saw as they were coming out of the tunnel just before the Mercedes crashed.

Notably, very little serious analysis of the contradictions behind the "official" version have appeared in the British media: The one exception was an article published by the Independent on Sunday entitled Was Diana Murdered ? on 19th October 1997. Thus, the main person left publisicing the widely held view in Britain that Diana's car crash was no accident is Mohammed Al Fayed (whose son Dodi died in the crash). His website provides a wealth of interesting background information on the crash which is intended to support his belief that MI6 were responsible for the crash. In the High-Court of England (during the Neil Hamilton libel case in 1999), he openly laid the blame at the door of the House of Windsor, and more specifically, Prince Philip. In part of his website called The Intelligence Files, Fayed, not unreasonably, says:

If MI6 has nothing to hide why doesn't Tony Blair get up in the House of Commons and say so ?

He also claims that Princess Diana told him the intelligence services "might one day take her life". More controversially, he says the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States pocess a document that implicates Prince Philip in the plot to kill Diana. The document, of 38 whose authenticity has yet to be proven, alleges that Prince Philip saw the relationship between Diana and his son as:

"A serious threat to the dynasty should (the) relationship endure"

Al Fayed further claims Prince Philip is quoted as saying:

"Such an affair is racially and morally repugnant and no son of a Bedouin camel trader is fit for the mother of a future king"

The papers held by the NSA have been described as "a fact that conspiracy theorists have always dreamed about" (The Guardian, 6th August 1999). The NSA informed the newspaper that it was "Holding reports from from foreign intelligence under both top secret and secret categories". This is thought to include MI5 and MI6. Al Fayed claims that there are up to 1,056 references to Princess Diana in the 38 documents. The reports cannot be released because of "exceptionally grave damage to the national security" of the USA, and presumably, the UK. Could this include some the quotes shown above ?

Apart from the death of Princess Diana in 1997, the only other suspicious car crash - involving a Mercedes like the one driven by Henri Paul - was the fatal car crash that killed the veteran Czechoslovak politician Alexander Dubcek in 1992. In 1999, Jaroslav Volf, the former head of Dubcek's Social Democratic Party (SDS) was quoted as saying that "too many questions remain unanswered". As Czechoslovakia broke up, Dubcek began to appear the most logical choice to become the first President on an independent Slovakia. However, on 1st September 1992, Dubcek's chauffeur-driven Mercedes skidded off the Bratislava-Prague highway in heavy rain. Dubcek said later in hospital that he had sensed something was wrong and had laid down on the rear seat of the car well before the crash. His driver suffered minor injuries, but for some unexplained reason, Dubcek was found lying 20 meters in front of the car - it was presumed that he had been catapulted out of the rear window as the car spun out of control. Like in the Diana crash, no attempt was made to preserve the forensic evidence - the Mercedes was destroyed following an "examination" by investigators. Dubcek's lawyer and the SDS party is convinced there was foul play but are not optimistic that an investigation by the Slovak authorities was look at all the facts.

Events leading up to the crash: The last day in Paris

Here we suggest what we think is most likely scenario of events that led to the crash and take a closer look at what happened in the previous 24 hours: The inconsistencies start the day before the couples death. On their arrival in Paris from Sardinia on 30th August they drove into Paris in a Mercedes driven by a Ritz chauffeur, Philippe Journot. The Al Fayed family later claimed that the car was harassed by photographers on bikes and "a mysterious dark car" which tried to "cut in front and slow them down". (Independent on Sunday, 7th September 1997).

On the same day, Diana and Dodi Fayed also visited the former house of the Nazi sympathiser, the Duke of Windsor where Diana was given a "guided tour of the house and garden" by Dodi Fayed. Mohammed Al Fayed owned the house, and was at the time auctioning some of contents and property of the disgraced Duke and his wife Wallis Simpson. At one point during the evening, Dodi Fayed slipped out of the hotel to collect a £130,000 ring from a jeweller's which Diana had chosen from it's sister shop in Monte Carlo. Later, Fayed spoke to one of his cousins, a Saudi citizen, Hussein Yassin. He said Fayed was "happy and elated" and he told Yassin:

"We are very serious . . . we are going to get married". (Independent on Sunday, 7th September 1997).

Imagine the reaction of the British royal family if MI6 were reporting back to them details of Diana's private life ! Thus, it is worth speculating that at this point it well may have been the intention of the couple to announce their engagement the following morning (without, as protocol dictates, asking the permission of the Queen). This, coupled with possibility that Diana and Dodi were going to live in the Duke of Windsor's former house may have been to much to bear for the Royals. Hence, the speculation in the Arab press that she was killed so as to prevent the mother of the heir to the British throne becoming a Muslim (like her friend Jemima Goldsmith had done when she married Imran Khan, the famous Pakistani cricket player). Robert Fisk, the Independent's correspondent in The Lebanon was told:

Had l heard what the Lebanese were saying about Diana's death? They had convinced themselves . . . that it was a plot. The British establishment could not stomach the idea that Diana - in love with an Egyptian Muslim - might herself convert to Islam, So they got rid of her . . . (Independent on Sunday, 12th October 1997).

After a meal, the couple decided to make their way to Dodi's private apartment at Rue Arsene-Houssaye. However, the Mercedes is prevented from proceeding along its preferred route (witnessed by Thierry H) - a car that blocks the way along the Avenue de Champ Elysees - thus forcing the Mercedes onto the route that leads to the tunnel at the Point d'Alma. None of the two cars or motorbike chasing the Mercedes at this point contain any paparazzi - they all appear in the first couple of minutes after the crash.

As the Mercedes approaches the tunnel it is being chased by two vehicles and one motorbike - it's possible that one of the vehicles (a white Fiat Uno) rams the Mercedes just before the crash "causing it to spin out of control" (The Guardian, November 13th, 1997). As the Mercedes gets nearer the tunnel, a motorbike prevents one car (driven by Brenda Wells) from taking the approach road that leads to the tunnel. It's possible that a remote-controlled device was used - causing an explosion (reported by CNN) which was heard by witnesses - that disabled the driving controls and electronics of the Mercedes. A strobe light was also used to disable the driver on the final seconds before it entered the tunnel - which some witnesses claim was completely dark as the lights had been tuned off minutes earlier.

After hearing an explosion and then a bang, witnesses ran to the scene - only to be told to "back off" by an unknown person to runs towards them out of the tunnel from the direction of the crashed car. A second person, whose identity is also unknown, was seen in the Mercedes removing the drivers head off the car horn. Witnesses also report that a helicopter was seen above just before the crash - was it monitoring events on the ground ? As the electricity has been cut in the tunnel, the traffic cameras don't work, thus ensuring there is no video evidence of the Mercedes final approach to the tunnel, or what vehicles can be seen leaving it. One witness, Gary Hunter saw two vehicles race out of the tunnel, others saw a motorbike.

The person who takes Paul's head off the car horn injects him with a syringe containing a cocktail of alcohol and other drugs. Thus, the media settle with this as the "official" version of the car crash: the drunk driver was the cause of the crash that killed Princess Diana. After three contradictory autopsies, Paul is buried on the advice of his lawyers, and not cremated, as they advise his body may have to be exhumed again.

If MI6 were involved, then they certainly appear to have the means kill Princess Diana by faking a car crash. In 1992, for example, former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson says they planned to kill President Milosevic by using a fake car crash in Geneva. In 1996, according to the former MI6 agent David Shayler, they failed in their attempt to kill the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi - but the car bomb they used killed scores of Libyan civilians (thus, Gaddafi, who has survived at least three attempts made on his life by western intelligence services, was also the only leader of a country to openly speculate that MI6 had killed Diana).

Successive British governments have sought to keep from both the British Parliament and the British people any details of MI6 assassination attempts against foreign leaders, hence the present hysteria of the Blair government towards both Tomlinson and Shayler. We believe that the Tomlinson revelations are very significant, as he has specifically claimed that MI6 planned to kill Slobodan Milosevic, then President of the Yugoslav Republic of Serbia, by:

"Disorientating (his) chauffeur using a blinding strobe light as (his car) passed through one of Geneva's road tunnels"

You can read here Tomlinson claims that MI6 may be involved in the death of Princess Diana in his Statement made on 12th May 1999 to the French inquiry into the crash. You can also read the details of the Attempt by MI6 to assassinate Milosevic in 1992. If it's true that MI6 planned to kill Milosevic in such a way, then it proves they had the means and capabilities to organise the crash that killed Princess Diana. There have also been a number of suspicious deaths caused by car crashes of people working in the defence industry in Britain during the 1980's, which we have summarised from Tony Collin's book Open Verdict.

Historically, in recent times, the only other time the royal family are said to have been involved in murder was the famous Jack the Ripper murders in London during 1888. Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward (known as "Eddy" to his friends) is one of the most famous suspects in the Jack the Ripper case, figuring in no less than three major theories. It must be added that involvement of the House of Windsor in these crimes has never been proven.

Was Diana pregnant six weeks pregnant ?

On September 19, 1997, Time quoted Agence France-Presse as saying that Diana may have been six-weeks pregnant at the time of the crash. On July 15, 1997, The Chicago Tribune reported that Diana was pictured leaning over a yacht and reportedly telling the reporters:

"You are going to get a big surprise, you'll see. You are going to get a big surprise with the next thing I do."

Was she hinting at becoming pregnant ? or getting engaged to Dodi ? On September 8th 1997, Time magazine said Diana had later denied making the statement. Frederic Maillez, an emergency worker with SOS Medecins, who was the first medic on the scene of the crash, said that an associate at the crash site told him that Diana was drifting in and out of consciousness, and at one point saying she was six-weeks pregnant while making a rubbing gesture on her belly. Apparently, the doctor now refuses to say how she looked or what she said. Furthermore, Mailliez was quoted as saying that if she told him anything:

"I would say it only to her family, her sons, her husband."

At some point in the morning, according to the News of the World (23rd November 1997), Diana had requested that she be buried with Dodi. If this is true, who did Diana tell this to, and why did the Spencer family not honour this final wish of hers ? If they were not told about it, then why not ? Is this because the royal family would never have allowed it ? Remember, it was diplomats from the British embassy in Paris who were the first official representatives to reach the hospital, and they would have reported any details straight back to Buckingham Palace first.

Finally, why was Diana's body left alone in the chapel for almost a week during which no member of the royal family visited her ? Is is because, as the Independent on Sunday suggested in an article Was Diana Murdered ? in 1997:

"Her refusal to be cowed, to go quietly . . . had taken her into new avenues, to campaigning for the abolition of land mines to the fury of the United States government and the shadowy arms community. She was becoming ever more closely involved with a Muslim, and not just any old Muslim but the son of a man who was, and is, a thorn in the side of the Conservative British establishment. So, she was cut down" (Independent on Sunday, 19th October 1997).

If it was foul play, then a number of people would have been involved:

  • A car was used to block the route of the Mercedes thus forcing it onto the road that leads to the tunnel at the Point d'Alma as witnessed by Thierry H;
  • At least one of the paparazzi on a fast motorbike chasing the Mercedes was working for MI6 (Tomlinson)
  • At least two cars may have been involved in causing the crash (one may have carried personnel that used a strobe light to blind the driver (Brenda Wells) another may have used some kind of electronic interference device that seized up the cars electronics (potentially up to four people);
  • Witnesses saw a helicopter above just before the crash - was it monitoring events on the ground and relaying them back to a control centre (the British Embassy where Tomlinson claims that up to six MI6 officers were stationed over that weekend) ?;
  • Who was the motorcyclist who forced Brenda Wells off the road ?
  • Who were the two people seen near the Mercedes seconds after the crash, and before the paparazzi and stunned onlookers reached the scene ?

Although the French investigation in her death appeared to find no foul play, it is clear that it did not investigate all the evidence, such as the claims made by witnesses that:

  • The most direct route from the Ritz Hotel to Dodi's apartment at Rue Arsene-Houssaye would have been through the Place de la Concorde and along the Avenue de Champ Elysees - instead Henri Paul took an unexplained route that led him to the Point d'Alma tunnel. It's claimed that Paul was prevented from driving only the shorter route by an "pursuing paparazzi motorist" who blocked the exit road before the Alma Tunnel, according to one witness Thierry H.
  • They heard a helicopter above the Point d'Alma just before the crash (reported in Lobster);
  • Dodi's mobile phone: Dodi Fayed was seen climbing into the Mercedes clutching his mobile phone, which would have been automatically located and positioned by the network even if it was not in use. Experts can be so accurate because mobile phones emit a continuous signal which registers with ground transmitters logging their precise location on computer. Apparently, French police started looking at records of mobile phone networks to pinpoint the number of cars entering the tunnel moments before the crash. The question is did Dodi make any calls on his mobile before the fatal crash, and if so, who did he call ?
  • They heard an explosion followed by a crash (reported by CNN); For example, one (unnamed) witness heard: "a loud bang or explosion, screeching tires, a crashing sound, more screeching tires and another crashing sound".
  • That witnesses (Mike Walker, Tom Richardson and Joanna Luz), were prevented from entering the tunnel following the crash by a man who ran out shouting at them to get back, because the car was going to explode - it did so 20 seconds later . . . Crucially they saw someone jump out of the crashed car. The explosion was also heard by Michael Solomon. There is therefore speculation that this may have been the same person who it thought by some to have moved Henri Paul's head of the car horn to stop it sounding.
  • Some witnesses claim to have seen a bright flash in the tunnel that was used to disorientate the driver, Henri Paul - seen by at least four people: Francoise and Valerie Levistre (who were just coming out of the tunnel as the crash happened; an unnamed French taxi driver, who saw a flash of light, and they heard a crash (cited in France-Soir, 10th September, 1997); and British citizen Brenda Wells, who saw "strong lights, like flashes" before the crash.
  • There was white paint on Diana's Mercedes indicating that the white Fiat Uno had crashed into it - possibly on purpose - just before it entered the tunnel
  • Although it is commonly accepted that the white Fiat Uno was directly involved in the crash, one witness (such as British lawyer, Gary Hunter), heard the crash and rushed to his window and saw "a small dark car" leaving the tunnel "shadowed by a second vehicle, a white Mercedes".
  • One witness (Brian Anderson) claim they saw a powerful motorbike swerve in front of Diana's Mercedes at the time of the crash. Tomlinson claimed that one of the paparazzi on the night was working for MI6 "one a fast motorbike". Was that motorbike also involved in causing the crash ?
  • Why has the driver of the white Fiat Uno not come forward ? This, arguably, was the most famous car crash since Princess Grace of Monaco died in 1980. Why has the driver chosen not even to forward the details to the French police - something he or she could have done anonymously. There may not have been anything suspicious about the car and its involvement in the crash - it could have been a genuine accident. It's possible the car had been stolen and the driver choose not to stop; its also possible that the car was being driven by someone who was an illegal immigrant or did not have legal papers - or even someone who was banned from driving (possibly even drunk that night). These are all possibilities as well. The white Fiat Uno has become the "grassy knoll" of Princess Diana's death: unless the driver of the white Fiat Uno is found speculation will continue about the motives and identity of the driver.

Other claims include:

  • Why were there no proper autopsies carried out on Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed before their burial ? If a proper autopsy was carried out on Dodi Fayed it might well have detected cocaine in his blood. It has been widely reported that Fayed apparently had a "fondness" for what Private Eye (31st October 1997) called "Colombia's greatest export". For this, allegedly, Fayed was known as "Hoover" such was his appetite for cocaine. Similar insinuations also appeared in The Independent on Sunday (2nd November 1997). Would Diana have also tested positive for cocaine ? and more controversially, was she 6 weeks pregnant ?
  • Is it true that at least six MI6 officers were stationed in the British Embassy in Paris on the weekend of the crash ? At least one MI6 officer was detailed to follow Diana and Dodi after they arrived from their holiday in Sardinia (The People, 9th November 1997). And as the "official" head of MI6 what did Robin Cook, the Labour foreign secretary know about the activities of MI6 in Paris that weekend ?
  • Why did it take over some 40 minutes for the ambulance that carried Princess Diana from the crash site to the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital. The ambulance - which had a police escort - was also claimed to have pulled off the road within sight of the hospital so Diana could be given adrenaline, although hospital doctors deny that this took place.
  • If Henri Paul was drunk (which is contradicted by the Ritz video cameras) then why would Trevor Rees-Jones have allowed him to drive ? Rees-Jones has already stated that Paul was not drunk. Lobster mentions the possibility that his body was injected with drugs "immediately after the crash, possibly by the individual seen getting out of the Mercedes". To us, this appears to be the most likely possibility; after all, just who was the person seen in the Mercedes ostensibly moving Paul's head off the car horn ?
  • Why did Trevor Rees-Jones strap on his seat belt seconds before the crash ?
  • Was Henri Paul was an MI6 agent ? after the crash it was revealed that he had huge amounts of money - far in excess of what he would have been able to earn working at the Ritz (including payments of up to £4000 per month). Tomlinson claims Paul was an MI6 agent paid to spy on Dodi and Diana, whilst others cited in Lobster allege that he also a MOSSAD spy and worked for French intelligence. As Hanstock notes, Paul, as deputy Head of Security at the Ritz would have been ideally placed to observe and monitor the coming and going of guests at the Ritz - itself used in 1993 as a secret meeting place to discuss huge arms sales between the then British Defence Procurement minister Jonathan Aitken and Saudi Prince Mohammed, son of King Fahd. The huge arms sales to Saudi Arabia are alleged to have also involved Mark Thatcher, the son of the British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher;
  • Why did the French police allow the crash site to become "polluted" - they cleared the road and tunnel without preserving important evidence and opened up the tunnel hours after the accident;
  • Why did French police decline Daimler Benz's offer to send their own engineers to help with the investigation ?
  • Why were there no British photographers outside the Ritz on that night ? - as Lobster notes, were they warned off ?
  • Is there any significance in the fact that Diana's Mercedes had been broken into much earlier and had taken to a garage for repairs ?

Anonymous Eye Witness Report

There were also reports of a second car, just ahead of Diana's, at the time of the crash, and that this may be a crucial factor in her death.

PARIS/WIESBADEN, Sept. 9th 1997 (EIRNS)--There are two separate witnesses, both of whom choose to remain anonymous, who are quoted by the newspaper Journal du Dimanche, saying that a car driving IN FRONT OF, the Mercedes S280, forced the Mercedes to start braking, as it entered the tunnel. The first witness says:
"The Mercedes was driving on the right hand, shortly before the entry of the tunnel, preceded by a dark-colored automobile, of which make I cannot say. This car clearly was attempting to force the Mercedes to brake . . . The driver of the Mercedes veered into the left-hand lane, and then entered the tunnel.''

The witness said that what drew his attention to the scene, was the loud sound of the Mercedes' gears being suddenly lowered.

The other witness, who was walking along the riverside, said he was surprised by the "sound of a motor humming very loudly.'' He said he saw a Mercedes:

"travelling behind another automobile. I believe that the reason the Mercedes accelerated so suddenly, was to try to veer into the left lane, and pass that car.''

This raises the possibility, or perhaps probability, that Mercedes driver Henri Paul thought, or was convinced, that that automobile was driven by people who had the intent of killing his passengers, and therefore, decided to pass that car at any cost, by suddenly massively accelerating, from the 100 kilometers per hour he was driving just before the tunnel, to the 150 kph in the tunnel. Also noteworthy, is the Journal du Dimanche report, that there are 16 meters of skid marks left by the Mercedes' tires.

Police experts say they are unable, at the present time, to attribute a cause to the sudden braking.

Source: Journal du Dimanche, September 7th, 1997

Now that the French authorities have completed their investigation, the way is now open for the British authorities to have a proper inquest in the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. We certainly believe that if all the available evidence was presented and evidence taken from witnesses as it presently stands, then the only conclusion a jury would come to is that they were unlawfully killed or possibly, murdered. This, however, considering the secrecy surrounding the intelligence services in Britain and the royal family, is highly unlikely.

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