Friday, February 19, 2010
Diana, the Princess of Wales, was killed on August 1, 1997 resulting from injuries sustained in a car accident in the Pont de I'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Dodi Fayed, her companion, and Henri Paul, her driver, were also pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Amazingly, Fayed's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, was the only person to survive the tragic crash. In 1999, an eighteen-month French judicial investigation concluded that that the crash was caused by Paul's loss of control of the car at high speeds while intoxicated and under the influence of antidepressants. On April 7, 2008, the Royal Courts of Justice in London, England concluded that Diana had been unlawfully killed by the grossly negligent driving of her chauffeur and paparazzi photographers.
Now that we know what happened, lets see what some of the conspiracies are. Allegations about the driver, Henri Paul, claim that he was paid by a national security service. Evidence supporting this is the large amount of money in his possession at the time of his death and his personal wealth. These allegations were covered in chapter four of the Operation Paget criminal investigation report. A well know allegation questions the reliability of blood tests carried out indicating that he had been drinking before taking control of the car. The French investigators concluded that Paul was drunk based on blood samples that had been taken indicating that his blood alcohol content was three times over the French legal limit. In response to a British pathologist's challenge, French authorities tested the blood sample a third time confirming Paul's blood alcohol content and the fact that he had been taking antidepressants at the time of the crash.
On November 2006, various news sources reported that the identity of the person to whom the blood samples belonged had been found. They claimed that the blood samples belonged to a suicide victim. On December 10, 2006, it was reported that DNA evidence concluded that the samples belonged to Henri Paul. In November 2006, Lord Stevens apparently told Henri Paul's parents that he wasn't drunk. The CCTV footage at the hotel supported this. Another issue raised by Lord Justice Scott Baker was the high level of carbon monoxide found in one sample. If true, the sample would have shown Mr. Paul to have been noticeably unwell.
Richard Tomlinson, a former M16 agent who was dismissed from the intelligence services, alleged that the M16 had been monitoring Diana before her death, and that her driver was an M16 agent. He also alleged that her death mirrored plans for the assassination of then President of Serbia, Slobodan Miloševicoth. The M15 and M16 gave the Operation Paget inquiry unprecedented access to their offices to investigate Tomlinson's claims. They found out that he was referring to a proposal to assassinate another Serbian power. The plan did not contain any details of a car crashing in a tunnel and Tomlinson confirmed that it was the one he was referring to in his claims. The inquiry found no evidence that Paul was an agent for any security service and found limited evidence of surveillance on Diana. There is strong evidence that British Authorities had no way of knowing she was in Paris at the time of the accident. The inquiry concluded their investigation by dismissing Tomlinsons's claims.
Another allegation is that Diana was pregnant with Dodi Fayed's child and that the couple was about to get engaged. Mohamed Fayed theorized that the couple was planning to announce their engagement on the Monday after the accident on September 1, 1997. Operating Paget commented that such announcement would attract media attention worldwide and would require much preparation. No evidence of such preparation was found making the scenario unlikely. Dodi did however purchase an engagement ring on the day of their deaths. It is not certain whether Dodi intended to present the engagement ring to Diana. Statements from Diana's eldest sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, her spiritual adviser, Rita Rogers, as well as other friends who spoke to her in the week before her death, unanimously stated that she was firm about not wanting to get engaged or married to anyone at that point in her life. Her former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, said that her facial expression at the Paris Ritz on her final evening with Dodi Fayed was one she would wear when she was displeased with a situation. Dodi and Diana met each other seven weeks (or 47 days) before the accident. They spent a maximum of 35 days together but it is likely they only spent about 23 days together before the accident.
Regarding her pregnancy, Doctor John Burton said in January 2004, that he personally examined her womb and found her not to be pregnant. The Operation Paget also had scientific tests carried out on pre-transfusion blood found in the seat of the wrecked Mercedes the Princess occupied at the time of the accident. The blood did not contain any trace of the hCG hormone associated with pregnancy. Her friends reported that she was in her normal menstrual cycle further indicating she was not pregnant. Diana's holistic healer, Myriah Daniels, who traveled aboard Mohammed Fayed's yacht said that she was one hundred percent certain that Diana wasn't pregnant because she told her she wasn't, allowed her to perform a deep message on her stomach, and the fact that she found no indications that she was pregnant through the course of her work.
Mohamed Al Fayed believed her body was quickly embalmed after her death to ensure her pregnancy tests would produce a false result. According to the Operation Paget, August 31, 1997 was a very hot day. Diana's body was stored near the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital where she had been treated. Although dry ice and air conditioning units were placed in the room to keep it cool, such attempts appeared to have little success. Diana's two brothers, Prince Charles, and President Jacques Chirac wished to view the body and pay their respects later that afternoon. This means that there was little time to prepare the body to an acceptable state for viewing. Due to such pressure, the hospital staff embalmed the body with only the verbal authority of Madame Martine Monteil, the local superintendent of police, who assured them "that everything would be in order". French law requires paperwork to be to be completed before a body that is likely to endure a autopsy is embalmed. Such paperwork was only completed after the body was embalmed causing allegations to rise from such suspicious circumstances. It turns out that there was no way the hospital staff could have known whether Diana was pregnant or not.
Richard Tomlinson claimed that a bright white flash blinded the driver before the car entered the tunnel and alleged that it was consistent with eyewitness testimonies. Operation Paget investigated Tomlinson's claims that part of M16 agents' training was to blind helicopter pilots with a powerful strobe light. The police found that such tactic was never at anytime taught to agents. The police found that only one witness, François Levistre, made a clear, specific reference to seeing a bright flash. He claimed to have seen this out of his rear-view mirror. His testimony differed from his then-wife's, who sat in the passenger seat next to him. Various television documentaries raised the issue of Levistre's criminal record for offenses involving dishonesty. In a detailed reconstruction of the event, the chain of events that led to the car crashing into a pillar started well before it entered the mouth of the tunnel. If a strobe light was used, it would probably have been so powerful that it would not only blind Henri Paul, but the perusing paparazzi and witnesses standing at the roadside. The Operation Paget report concluded that the alleged flash did not occur.
I do not believe that Henri Paul was paid by a national security service but believe he was incompetent to drive due to his mental and physical state at the time of the crash. I also don't think that Richard Tomlinson was qualified to make the allegations he did due to the fact that he clearly didn't know what he was talking about. Based on the accumulation of data, it seems highly unlikely that the princess was pregnant. I think that her body was so quickly embalmed due to the fact that Diana's brothers and Prince Charles wanted to view her body with such short notice. It seems almost impossible that a bright strobe light was used to blind the driver. The tragic crash that took the lives of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed was truly a tragedy. Diana was a great Princess of Wales who did high-profile charity work. She also had a strong interest in landmines focusing on the injuries they create, often to children, long after conflict is over. In the end, the life of a great person was tragically cut short, the life of the People's Princess.