Investigators claim that a 1961 plane crash in Africa that resulted in the death of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and all else aboard may have been the result of a missile shot from another aircraft piloted by Belgian RAF member Jan van Risseghem, who was a mercenary pilot on behalf of Congolese rebels at the time.
Hammarskjold, a key post-World-War-II Swedish diplomat, and 15 others were killed when their plane came down in the jungle as it approached Ndola in what is now Zambia. Hammarskjold’s plane crashed nine months after Patrice Lumumba, the left-wing prime minister of the Republic of Congo, was ousted and executed by forces backed by the US.
According to film-makers investigating the crash for “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” documentary, Van Risseghem, who died in 2007, admitted to to a friend that he had shot down the UN plane. In addition, the film-makers collected testimony from another pilot that weakens Van Risseghem’s original alibis, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
The documentary, which will premiere at the Sundance festival in Utah in two weeks, notes that the Belgian-born Van Risseghem trained with the Royal Air Force, the United Kingdom’s aerial warfare branch, and that he flew missions over Nazi-occupied areas during this period.
The documentary asserts that In 1961, Van Risseghem, flying for separatist rebels in Congo, was ordered to shoot down the Hammarskjöld’s plane,…