Brother of the Quill
Just came across this. Worth remembering. Hammarskjöld was one of the last non-partisan, admirable Secretaries-General (despite being a Swede). He deserves to be remembered!Today sixty years ago, on September 18th 1961, UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) died in a plane crash near Ndola, Zambia. Hammarskjöld was on his way to negotiate a cease-fire between the Katangese secessionists in (former Belgian) Congo, and the UN troops that fought against the secession. All sixteen crew and passengers perished in the crash.
According to the official inquiry, the plane had crashed because of pilot error, flying too low in the dark of the night.
Alternative theories claim that the crash was an assassination, either by a bomb, or by having it shot down. Concerning the latter, a Belgian pilot, mercenary in the service of the Katangese, is often mentioned. He was a former RAF pilot with experience with night fighters. However, he has always denied he was in Katanga at the time of the crash. Furthermore, the alleged plane, a Fouga Magister, was not suitable for nightly operations, unless it would be stowed with extra navigation equipment, that would have made it too heavy to fly the distance from its point of departure to the crash site and back. The mystery remains unsolved as yet.
Hammarskjöld was awarded posthumously with the Nobel Peace Prize 1961.