From the book "WHO KILLED DIANA?"
Peter Hounam and Derek McAdam
A Vision Investigation.
Published by "Vision Paperbacks", 1998
Within minutes of the crash in the Pont de L'Alma underpass on August 31, 1997, the Internet was buzzing with reports of the death of the Princess and her Arab lover. Internet sites about the Princess as an individ-ual and on the Princess and Dodi as a couple already existed, but in the hours following the news breaking there was a frenzy of activity. Barely six hours after the crash, at 6.27 am, a new site entitled 'Princess Diana Dead, will Charles Rule?' appeared, and some 13 minutes later a sharp Australian antic-ipated a new growth industry with the creation of 'The First Diana Conspiracy Site'.
So it took just six hours and fifteen minutes for the conspir-acy theories to start. Twelve hours after news of the crash filtered into a stunned world consciousness, a news agency check on the Web server 'Alta Vista' discovered nearly 100 new or updated contributions - the anoraks' never sleep!
These entries were to be multiplied over the next few days mostly concentrating on the 'conspiracy' theme Seemingly breeding, one off the other, the theories rapidly grew in origi-nality and wildness. One contributor thought the villain of the piece must be British comic Eddie Large, who, it was suggest-ed, needed to draw tabloid press attention away from a 'road rage' conviction! 149
Even 'Interflora' got a dishonourable mention on the basis that it would be good for business (which judging by the floral tributes outside Kensington Palace in the days after the crash, finally proved to be a reasonable forecast on some level at least) while yet another contributor thought Dodi's ex-girl-friend Kelly Fisher might have been behind the whole event.
Continuing the good work, a lady from Bilbao thought an Arab Terror-Commando group was probably responsible. To give some measure of the fever, a 'Diana Conspiracy' Internet search carried out some three months after the event discov-ered over 31,000 entries with most of the ideas posed being completely off the wall.
There is nothing new about conspiracy theories. As a phenomenon, they have been flourishing world-wide since the death of President Kennedy, which became the bedrock of the whole industry. Since that seminal event, the premature death of just about every public figure, whether from the ranks of politics, show-business or royalty, has engendered its own plot or 'something-gate' and mostly the argument has been present-ed that the 'order to kill' must have emanated from government or its agents, or possibly out-of-control govern-ment hit-men.
As an alternative culprit, the theorists have often pointed to big business and particularly the multinational military/industrial complex. So the suicide of Marilyn Monroe, the car crash which killed Princess Grace, and the shootings of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King and also Senator Robert Kennedy, have all been attributed to organised and well-funded murder squads.
In an increasingly cynical world, it has become a knee-jerk reaction to attribute these deaths to murder, dressed up to look like something totally different. Media coverage given to conspiracies, coupled with the easy acceptance in many coun-tries of elimination by murder, has led to the popular perception that this is one way in which control is exerted by major power groups over individuals who are perceived to be 'out of control' or endangering the interests of particular, powerful organisations. In the mythology of 'conspiracy', it now seems inevitable that 'zig-zagging white car' will stand alongside 'grassy knoll' and 'Roswell, New Mexico' as symbols of the power of conspirators.
Prior to the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed, those organisations or individuals which inspired the most active conspiracy theories were reasonably easy to define. In virtually all the earlier situations it was simple to identify a particular beneficiary or reason for the conspiracy. Every one knew and, if they didn't, the media would soon tell the public who would have wanted Marilyn Monroe and President Kennedy, for example, eliminated and why.
All the necessary circumstances for a conspiracy theory came together with the crash in the Pont de L'Alma underpass. The Princess was deeply distrusted by the Royal Family and had been publicly branded a 'loose cannon' by its closest advi-sors. She had offended the international arms industry with a potent campaign against land-mines, and even worse she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize which would have raised the stakes against the military/industrial complex to a new and higher, level.
The British Establishment was horrified that a wealthy Arab playboy could become the step-father of Princes William and Harry, second and third in line to the British throne. Rumours were already widespread in the higher echelons of British soci-ety that the Princess was pregnant and further complexities for the Royal Family were forecast with the possibility of a Muslim half-brother for the Princes. And worse yet, should the Princess decide to marry Dodi Fayed, and convert to Islam, as her friend Jemima Goldsmith had done following her marriage to cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, it could have repercussions for the relationship between Church and State.
One fear was that if their mother converted, the Princes might be persuaded to follow suit, which would render them ineligible to inherit the crown or, should the conversion come after a coronation, abdication would be required. Such an upheaval, however unlikely, would be profoundly unsettling for the monarchy and would open the doors for the advocates of republicanism to press their arguments to an increasingly receptive public.
Exaggerated as it may seem, the relationship between the 'wayward flower' of the British aristocracy and the Arab heir was seen as a very real threat to the Crown, although, in the event, the death of the Princess has apparently initiated a stronger relationship between Crown and Country. There was yet another strand involved in the whole conspiracy theory: the romance was also perceived in Israel as a threat to its inter-ests, moving the balance of world opinion more favourably in the direction of the Arab world and consequently against Israeli interests.
Within each of these three strands, the British Establishment, the military/industrial complex and the Israeli State, there was both the expertise and the money to mount any operation necessary to eliminate the problem. Throw in for good measure the fact that many in the Arab world saw the British Establishment's distaste surrounding the relationship as a direct racial insult, then it is easy to understand why the conspiracy theories found both early expression and a ready acceptance in the Middle East.
So it was no surprise that the Arab media, particularly in Egypt, the early home of the Fayed family, erupted with conspiracy mania. For weeks the newspapers TV and radio had been reporting the developing romance with breathless excitement. The possibility of a marriage was seen as the precursor to an explosion of world influence for the whole region, bringing enhanced prestige and respectability, just as the Israelis feared.
In this fevered atmosphere, the finality of the deaths was a crushing blow, a setback to the ambitions of the State and rapidly perceived almost as a personal insult. Against this background, it was not a great intellectual leap to believe that if the romance had possibly challenged some balance of inter-national power then the 'accident' must have been planned and carried out either with official authority, by rogue officials without authority or by some other international force.
So many of the events which took place in Paris in the hours leading up to the crash and during the moments it was taking place remain unexplained, that even the most agnostic of observers cannot dismiss the possibility of a planned event. The Princess herself had often expressed fears for her safety and had suggested that her helicopter was essentially a dangerous place for somebody who had compromised her popularity with so many vested interests. It has been reported through her office in St James' Palace, London, that she received death threats on a daily basis, and both the Princess and her sons had to undertake a security training test with the S.A.S. twice a year.
In fact, the choice of a car crash is one of the less believ-able aspects of a conspiracy theory. It would have been easier to eliminate the Princess and Dodi (or just one or the other because the possible target for an assassination has not been established) in far more controllable conditions. It would surely be simpler to blow up one of the Fayed family yachts -the technology is simple. It can be achieved far from land, out of sight of prying eyes and witnesses, and far from the annoy-ing interference of the emergency services.
An air crash would be another effective and simple solu-tion, especially if it could be engineered over the sea. Poisons could be considered. But a car? That presents a barrage of problems when dealing with a family as wealthy as the Fayeds. Firstly they have a multitude of choices of vehicle, with the result that the one eventually used is likely to be a lottery. Secondly, routes can be unpredictable, and subject to change at the briefest of moments.
Additionally, traffic conditions can be such as to make an attack difficult, if not impossible. This particular aspect does mean that an underpass late at night is possibly just about the best location to suit the objectives.
So with the bandwagon rolling, the theories continued to proliferate. Those accused of being responsible for hatching devious plans ranged from heads of state, the Queen herself and the Pope, to the British, American, Chinese and Italian arms industries and the CIA. The British Labour Party found itself named as a villain of the piece and drug dealers also popped up on the list of likely culprits, as did Hollywood film producers on the grounds that it would later make a superb story line for a major movie. This eventually became a very popular theme especially in the USA.
The story was amplified in a number of ways. Firstly, it was suggested that Dodi's background in the film business enabled him to stage the whole event himself to enable the love-lorn couple to be secreted away to an idyllic island in the sun where they could live in peace and tranquillity. The fertile brains behind this scenario later improved the scheme to include plastic surgery for the Princess so that she could return to visit her sons. This story line was further embellished to include assistance by the Paris authorities so that there would be no leaks to the press.
'Ru Mills', whose name developed from 'Rumour Mills' and a regular contributor to the Internet, saw a slightly different scenario, although also one that involved a 'return' by the Princess. Continuing the theme of British Secret Service involvement 'Ru' wrote: '... even within British intelligence there are factions. A rogue faction in MI6, powerless to prevent the assassination, arranged for the deaths of Lady Diana and Dodi Fayed to happen at Pont de L'Alma.'
Cleverly, it was known that a death at that historic location would not only 'send a signal', it would eventually lead to the creation of a 'Saint Diana'. In Roman paganism, Diana is 'Queen of Heaven', a triple-goddess. 'Al-mah', in mideast language, means 'moon goddess'. One aspect of the Roman triple--goddess is the 'lunar virgin' The al-mahs served as maidens of Diana, the lunar virgin.'
Having 'established' the historical and religious authentica-tion for the victim and the place of the assassination, 'Ru Mill' then postulates the sanctification of the Princess and how it would be achieved. 'Before too long,' she writes, 'Project Blue Beam holographic imaging will be used to create 'miraculous appearances' of Lady Diana. Children at various locations will be randomly selected to witness 'saintly apparitions'. She goes on: 'These will claim that "Diana" has given them healing powers - and what is more, these children will be able to heal. Locations of these "miraculous appearances" will become known as places of healing and sacred shrines. "Saint Diana's" two children, William and Harry, will become akin to two living Jesus Christs, walking the earth. It will be the start of "the new religion". Who controls the new religion controls the world.'
So there we have it. The plot was nothing to do with elimi-nating an embarrassment to the Crown and Government: the crash was historically preordained to create the new religion.
A similar theme was postulated by Anita Sands, another enthusiastic contributor to the Internet conspiracy files She believes it was all in the stars and tracked the crash astrologi-cally in a long and complicated story headed: Uranus Romances: Fire Too Hot To Cool Down'. In Sands' article it would seem that everything was predictable through the powers of astrology, except apparently the power to write it prior to the event.
In Part Four of Sherman Skolnick's extensive analysis of the events in Paris entitled 'UK, French, Journalists Confide: Princess Diana was Assassinated' Skolnick goes into great detail on the 'D' Notice system in Britain where Government has some control over the stories published in the media. It is Skolnick's proposition that the truth of the 'assassination' has not been exposed in the British press because of the existence of a secret ban.
Skolnick claims that the 'D' Notice is part of the Official Secrets Act, and not only allows the Government to forbid the publication of particular stories but also permits the authori-ties to '...immediately seize and close down any printing plant that is in the process of printing such a story, any radio station, or any radio or TV transmitter involved in disseminating a given story. They are immediately seized by the London government, closed down, and the publisher, the editor and the key personnel (including the writer of the story) are imme-diately put under arrest.'
Skolnick continues, 'And the worst part of it is, the rest of the media is not even allowed to mention that these people have been arrested and their publishing and transmitting facil-ities seized. In other words, it is forbidden to discuss the 'D' Notice and also forbidden to discuss the technical operation of the Official Secrets Act. So, there is censorship regarding the instruments of censorship. It is an interesting scenario, but totally wrong. The 'D' Notice is a voluntary code without any legal backing, and editors are usually given a full briefing on the background and reason for a 'D' Notice and why it is neces-sary. None has been issued on any matter to do with the Diana crash.
If all this is not fanciful enough then here are a few more stories from the Internet Conspiracy files. It was carried out to allow Prince Charles to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles. It was to prevent a civil war between any child of Di and Dodi and the Princes William and Harry. It was a revenge attack by a busi-ness rival of Mohammed Al Fayed.
It was the British Conservative Party avenging the cash-for--questions scandal in which Mr. Al Fayed gave money to various MPs, including Neil Hamilton, to ask questions in Parliament, and then leaked the story to the press at the time of the General Election in 1997. Foreign governments were anxious not to be left out. In Libya, the head of state Colonel Muammar Ghaddafi, who claims that Mohammed Al Fayed comes from Libyan stock, alleged the British and French secret services arranged the accident because they were annoyed that a British Princess might marry an Arab.
Egypt has also been anxious to stake its claim in the conspiracy market. Egyptian publishers have already pumped out several books on the flimsy claim that the crash was instigated by Buckingham Palace and now a well-known Egyptian filmmaker, Khairy Beshara is planning a film along similar lines. The Washington Post's correspondent John Lancaster commented: 'Egypt's susceptibility to conspiracy theories is not entirely without foundation. The history of the Middle East is rife with real-life conspiracies, from the palace intrigues of the Ottoman Empire to Israel's botched attempt... to assassi-nate a Hamas leader in Jordan by injecting him with an exotic poison.
'Many Egyptians, moreover, were miffed by the refusal of their former colonial ruler to grant citizenship to Dodi's father, Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrods department store in London. They also felt slighted by Western media reports that they treated the death of his son as little more than a foot-note to that of Diana.
'Reports of a plot to kill Dodi and Diana surfaced within days of the accident... That theme has been embellished by a flood of quickie books like Sham Sharshar's 'Diana, a Princess Killed by Love', now in its third printing. "No matter what the results of the investigations, there are a lot of doubts that it was an accident," Sharshar wrote darkly. "It was very obvious, even to the British, that there are those who see their deaths as a happy ending."
"'Who killed her?" asked a competing account, "Diana's Conversion to Islam", according to a partial translation in the English-language newspaper al-Ahram Weekly. "British intelli-gence? Israel intelligence? Or both? We believe that 'Diana's conversion to Islam was the reason she was killed ...Hadn't she said she was going to shock the world?"'
Lancaster's article closes with the thought: 'Some Egyptian commentators have mocked their countrymen's penchant for believing the worst. The al-Ahram Weekly, for example, dryly comments on the failure of one sensation-mongering author to "implicate the French company that first built the tunnel in the murder."'
It is clearly a mad world out there, although it has to be said that some of these at least had more obvious links than Interflora and Eddie Large. Having worked out who stood to benefit from the deaths of Di and Dodi, it was only a short step for the conspiracy theorists to discuss the mechanics of the operation.
Already under suspicion for causing the accident by dangerous driving, the paparazzi now found Internet stories suggesting that at least one of them must have been a profes-sional killer. Others came to the conclusion that the Fayed's security staff were themselves in the pay of more sinister forces and had actively participated in causing the crash. A further bizarre idea moved along the lines of the 'Manchurian Candidate' where systematic brainwashing had programmed one of the occupants of the car, presumably with the excep-tion of the Princess, to engineer the crash.
Without mentioning all the bizarre imaginings of the 'weirdo's' on the Internet, the selection discussed here give some idea of the madness of the medium. The Internet has made it possible for rumours that once would have taken months, or even years to filter around the world, to become common currency within just days.
It is also reasonable to comment that the failure of the French investigators to keep the press and media informed of the progress of their enquiries, and the inordinate length of time they have been taking, has allowed the rumour-mongers to run wild. If the vast majority of the conspiracy theories can be rejected totally out of hand, it is nevertheless true that some require further investigation.