Aristotle Onassis – an ideal type of a modern “Neanderthal”- Epilogue (f)

(I dedicate this part of my article which talks about the final days of young Alexander Onassis to all my former Greek students, male and female, who today are playing the fools in their everyday lives, pretending not to understand what is happening around them. Too bad for them!!!)

Starting this part of our article on Aristotle Onassis, which provides more details concerning the “real circumstances” and the “real data” in relation to the airplane “accident” which cost the life of Alexander Onassis, we want to once again present the “official memorandum” of the expert technical findings which was introduced by the High Magistrate of Athens, Mr. Stephanos Matthias, who later on became President of the Supreme Court of Greece. It is a brief technical assessment produced through “consensus” by the three “legal” and “official” parties involved in the aeronautics technical investigation of the airplane “accident” which killed Alexander Onassis. These three “legal” and “official” parties were the Committee for Accident Investigation of Greece’s Civil Aviation, the Committee for Flight Security of Greece’s Military Aviation and British aeronautics technical expert, Mr. Adam Hunter, who represented legally the interests of Aristotle Onassis in the Greek courts. This “court document” which was made officially public in   July of 1973, formulated the following evaluations concerning the “real causes” for the specific airplane “accident”. It specifies that,”…there was an abnormality to the normal functions of the airplane’s steering gears which was caused by reversing the connecting wires to these steering gears(external wires because of the old construction of this particular amphibian aircraft). Other direct causes which contributed to the accident were the improper upkeep and inspection carried out by those responsible for maintenance services, as well as through negligence by the pilot(meaning Alexander Onassis) to detect the reverse placing of the connecting wires to the steering gears before flight inspection…”(trans. from greek) (p.3.

Based on this “technical court assessment”, 7 engineers of Olympic Airlines were accused of professional laxity concerning the maintenance and the supervision of this particular amphibian aircraft, while there was no concrete or even circumstantial evidence which could point to a “particular person” or “particular persons” who may have committed the criminal tampering on the connecting wires leading to the airplane’s steering gears; with the purpose of killing Alexander Onassis “in flight”. Yet, on November 7, 1977, 4 years after the airplane “accident” and almost 3 years after the death of Aristotle Onassis, the Magistrates’ Court of Athens declared those 7   engineers of Olympic Airlines innocent of all the charges. What had intervened during this period of time so that these 7 “experienced”   engineers could finally be acquitted by the Greek courts? The answer is simple; right after the “official” technical assessment was drafted by the three “legal” parties representing the engineering expertise in aeronautics(which in due course was approved by the Greek courts) and used as the “legal basis” for the criminal charges announced against the 7 engineers, these same engineers and technicians, as well as other “experts” who did not agree “absolutely” with the “court technical findings” as well as the “official” explanations as to the “causes of death” of Alexander Onassis, undertook their own proper investigation. It was a very “detailed” and “thorough” investigation of all the “official” facts and data; soon calling these into question( this “official” set-up reality) by presenting “well substantiated” evidence and   confirmations. We shall therefore examine one by one all the “critical points” related to the airplane “accident” which took away the life of “young” Alexander Onassis, as well as the “real circumstances” under which this young man died.

Let us begin with the critical point of the “court technical assessment” which refers to a “deliberate” and a “conspiratorial” criminal act by “unknown persons” whose main goal was the “killing” of Alexander Onassis “in mid flight”; this through the mechanical sabotage of this particular aircraft by “reversing the connecting wires to its steering gears”, therefore causing “an abnormality to the normal functions of the airplane’s steering gears”. As we had mentioned in the previous part of our article(Epilogue e ) concerning Aristotle Onassis, Mr. Nicolaos Pronoitis, who was then 26 years old, the engineer responsible for the proper maintenance of this particular Piaggio aircraft and the last person with whom Alexander Onassis spoke before embarking on this “deadly flight”, he personally undertook a technical investigation on a similar Piaggio airplane which Olympic Airlines had in its possession, discovering that it was “impossible” to reverse the connecting wires which controlled the aircraft’s steering gears due to their “prescribed lengths”. Mr. Nicolaos Pronoitis   confirms that,”…when we were informed about the thesis concerning the reversal of the connecting wires, we(the technical staff and the engineers of Olympic Airlines) started experimenting on the “sister airplane” of this particular Piaggio aircraft. I want to therefore inform you that it was impossible to reverse the connecting wires, since these wires have a particular length, and when one tries to crisscross these connecting wires and not place them parallel to each other onto the pulleys, the task becomes impossible because there is not enough wire…”(trans. from greek)(p.5. Even if we assume that this type of “mechanical tampering” was possible   by some “unknown criminal   instigators”, in order to execute such an operation, they would have had to dismantle the body surface of the airplane which covered the connecting wires, a very specialized procedure which would have required a group of technical experts and would also be very time-consuming. This “iconic” and “lengthy” technical sabotage on this particular Piaggio aircraft was impossible not to have been detected by the personnel of Olympic Airlines as well as by the personnel of Greece’s Civil Aviation, considering the fact that this Piaggio airplane was stationed outdoors at the Athens’s International Airport for more than 3 months. This is also the reason why in 1974, the Athens Magistrates’ Court was obliged to issue a legal supplement to its bill of indictment which referred to its latest evaluation concerning the “criminal act” of mechanical tampering on this particular amphibian aircraft. Part of this legal document (code no. 89/1974) states the following, “…If mechanical tampering(on the aircraft) had taken place, this would have been detected by the security staff of the airport, since in order to place the connecting wires the way they were later found(after the accident), one would have had to remove that part of the airplane’s surface which covered these connecting wires; a task which would require a whole team of technical experts and a lengthy time…”(trans. from greek)(p.6. A third point which would “weaken” or even “invalidate” the “official thesis” of sabotage on the Piaggio airplane, always with the design to physically eliminate Alexander Onassis “in flight”, was presented by the then President of Greece’s Civil Aviation, Mr. Sotiris Varvaroutsos, who was the person responsible for compiling the final draft of all the technical findings of his department, stating that since this particular amphibian aircraft had remained immobile and was stationed for almost 4 months outside at the Athens International Airport, the “alleged instigators” would have found it difficult to carry out their “criminal plan”; first of all because during these 4 months someone except for Alexander Onassis could have used this airplane. Second, a simple inspection of the steering gears by the company’s(Olympic Airlines) engineers and technical staff would have cancelled the flight, and third, the whole “dastardly” plan of this “very specialized” and “time consuming” mechanical tampering on the airplane would soon have been detected by the security guards at the airport, as well as by the technical staff of Olympic Airlines who worked in shifts daily, 24 hours a day. Mr. Sotiris Varvaroutsos makes the following query by asking, “…how could one substantiate a criminal act with the purpose of killing Alexander, when 3 months had elapsed since the last repair work on that airplane? Even so, a simple check-up of the steering gears would have nullified the plans of the “alleged instigators”. How could these ambitious and aspiring “saboteurs” have invested so much time and effort on an enterprise which they knew full well could easily be detected immediately; as a consequence not being able to accomplish their goal while at the same time exposing themselves irreversibly as criminals…”(trans. from greek)(p.7.

Looking now at the item which was presented by the “official technical findings” concerning the charges of professional negligence directed towards some of the engineers of Olympic Airlines(failure on their part to carry out the correct maintenance services and regular inspections on this particular aircraft) and which was identified as one of the main causes for the airplane “accident”, was soon “set aside” due to the “real data” and the “real information” which soon came to light. This is also exactly   the reason why the 7 engineers of Olympic Airlines accused of criminal professional negligence were declared innocent by the Greek courts on November 7, 1977. Some of the newly discovered facts in relation to this Piaggio amphibian aircraft were “officially” recorded in “official” reports, presented to the Greek justice authorities. The first new critical information specified that the last flight of this aircraft took place on October 7, 1972; 4 months before Alexander’s tragic flight on January 22, 1973. In the same context(the aircraft was in service), even though this aircraft had remained immobile for four months at the Athens International Airport, “…within the normal procedures of full maintenance, on November 15(1972), the steering gears and the connecting wires were removed and were replaced by new ones on November 25, 1972…”(trans. from greek)(p.4. These facts were “officially” submitted by Mr. Dimitrios Piperakis, who was an aeronautics engineer working for Olympic Airlines but also the person who supervised these particular maintenance services on this particular aircraft. Similarly, this Piaggio   aircraft was often piloted by Alexander Onassis, by the american pilot Donald McGregor and by the greek pilot of Olympic Airlines, Mr. Stephanos Maglaras(p.4. There were regular technical inspections carried out on this amphibian aircraft; this we know because after the replacement of the steering gears and the connecting wires in November 1972, there were further detailed inspections made of these recent repairs by 2 of the airline’s engineers, Mr. Efthimiou Paschalis and Mr. Nicolaos Pronoitis, under the supervision of Mr. Stephanos Maglaras, one of the most experienced pilots of Olympic Airlines. The aeronautics engineer Mr. Efthimiou Paschalis, in a written testament sent to Greece’s Public Prosecutor’s Office made the following critical points, reiterating that “…I personally checked the proper response of the steering gears and also verified that the wings of the aircraft moved in a proper way and with the prescribed ease…”(trans. from greek)(pp.4-5. Finally, a few days before the tragic airplane “accident”, on January 18, 1973, the aeronautics technical expert Mr. Emmanouil Mavrophoros, representing the department of Greece’s Civil Aviation Services, checked out the proper performance of the steering gears of this particular Piaggio aircraft and then issued an “official certificate of navigability”(p.5.

We shall now examine the particular thesis which was recorded in the “official technical findings” assigning indirectly(without naming him) blame on Alexander Onassis for unprofessional conduct, since Alexander in this “last flight” had acted as “first pilot” while the two american   pilots, Donald McGregor and Donald McCasker were his copilots. This “court document” points out that a major cause for this airplane “accident” was “negligence by the pilot(meaning Alexander Onassis) to detect the reverse placing of the connecting wires to the steering gears before flight inspection”. The main operator or the “first pilot” of that particular aircraft at that particular day, was Alexander Onassis, and based on the “official technical findings”, Alexander did not function in a professional manner, since he had not followed the prescribed procedure of airplane inspection before boarding the airplane. Within the context of this accusation, meaning a “lack of professionalism”, one could ascribe more personal negative attributes to it, such as that Alexander Onassis was not “fully competent” to adequately pilot a small amphibian aircraft, especially if there were certain technical anomalies. In the final technical findings, it was crystal clear that the focus of responsibility in the “handling of the aircraft” laid on Alexander Onassis and not on his american copilots, Donald McGregor and Donald McCasker.

In a previous text (Epilogue d), where we described the personality and the many abilities of Alexander Onassis, we had mentioned that “Even though Alexander had never acquired any basic school training, from a very early age, due to his intelligence and inborn talent, he had a deep and wide knowledge about cars and about all types of motors; a multidimensional aptitude which had greatly impressed even Gianni Agnelli(1921-2003) then, who was the president and owner of the Italian car company Fiat”. In this same text   we also emphasized the facts that “Alexander personally administered every detail of this subsidiary air-company(Olympic Air Navigation which he personally presided over), many times flying himself these small amphibian aircrafts when circumstances demanded it, such as difficult weather conditions”. After these 2 descriptions relating to the experience and the abilities of Alexander Onassis as a pilot but also as an expert in the construction of an aircraft, especially its mechanical components, it is impossible to believe that “he” during his “last flight” with this particular Piaggio aircraft, did not check if the steering gears were working properly, taking into account that this was just a simple routine for any pilot, before boarding such an airplane(a small and outdated amphibian aircraft).

Now we shall compare 2 “legitimate”  versions of this particular airplane “accident”, coming  from well established mass media sources, examining  which of this information is  “real”  and which  is  “virtual” or  “exaggerated”  so as to service  the interests of a  “social  establishment”  in a general context  and more  specifically  to  service  the  “false  ambitions”  of  particular  “powerful  personalities”. The first   news editorial   describes the setting of  the airplane  “accident” as  follows.”…The fatal   day   for  the young  Onassis  was a  Monday, on the 22 of  January, 1973. The  airplane  he was piloting, an amphibian ‘Piaggio  136’, crashed  at  the  International  Airport  of  Athens, a  few seconds after take-off. Alexander   Onassis  was critically injured, while his two co passengers had  lighter wounds. Alexander Onassis was  taken to the hospital  KAT(main state hospital for serious physical injuries), where he expired on the 23  of  January, at  7 o’clock  in the afternoon, due to  the  deep  skull  fractures he had  sustained(from the airplane  crash). He   was only 25  years old…”(trans. from greek)(p.1. The second news editorial gives the following description.”…The signal for   take-off  was  given  at  3.21 p.m.. On   the  steering-gear of the  airplane was pilot  Donald  McCasker. The  Piaggio  took off making strange creaking sounds. The  flight  lasted  approximately  2  seconds. In the third second, the right wing turned downwards, the airplane moved to the right heading towards the ground, and in front of the employees at the airport and the employees of  Olympic Airlines, the plane took a dive  and crashed onto the ground. All three(passengers)  were pulled out(of the airplane wreckage) critically hurt. Alexander with terrible injuries and a mashed up  brain. The Piaggio aircraft  had been  completely demolished. The same happened   with the heart of  Aristotle  Onassis…”(trans. from greek)(p.1. This information coming from “reliable”  and  “well  established”  greek news agencies, provides the “correct data”  concerning the date, the time and the location of the airplane “accident”, as well as the time duration between take-off and the actual airplane crash. Beyond this, we begin to notice some “gaps”  and  some  “distortions”  in relation to the real facts and the real circumstances of this air accident. First of all, we have to “isolate” and “pinpoint” to the “real fact” that  Alexander’s two copilots , Donald McGregor  and  Donald  McCasker, survived the airplane crash with only a few light bruises.(p.3. How could this be, when  the second editorial  mentions that this particular aircraft “took a dive  and crashed onto  the ground”, while  Alexander was retrieved  from the airplane wreckage with “terrible injuries and  a mashed up brain”. Why such  differences in the seriousness of the injuries among the passengers  when we know that this Piaggio amphibian aircraft was very small and there was very little space, especially at the cockpit of  the airplane. Second, none of the two editorials mentions the  “real  fact”  that when  Alexander Onassis was retrieved from the airplane wreckage, he was first taken to the hospital of the American Military Base, located next to the International Airport of Athens, then  he was transported to the greek state hospital KAT, where he died the next day (p.3. This particular “omission”  of the  “real events”  is  very critical as to the “cause  of death”  of  Alexander  Onassis, which “officially” the greek forensic doctors responsible for the case had diagnosed as being the “serious craniocelebral skull injuries” Alexander had sustained during the airplane crash. Nevertheless, there are also contradictory views concerning the “cause of death” of Alexander Onassis starting from what Alexander’s private pilot and friend, Mr. Grigoris Kouris, who emphatically  says that “…this injury(on top of the skull) cannot be justified considering  the type of fall of the aircraft on the right side …”(trans. from greek) (p.9. There are also “legitimate” accounts  by well-known journalists who have written and have reported on  “the life and times” of  Aristotle Onassis, proposing that the “real  facts” related to the “cause of death” of  Alexander Onassis   are completely different from those communicated “publicly” by the various well established news-agencies, whether in Greece or abroad. “…In  fact, some writers who  have  dealt with  the life of  Aristotle  Onassis, have gone as far as saying that in reality Alexander was physically  beaten at the hospital of  the  American  Military Base(located  near the International Airport of  Athens), without at the same time  providing any  specific or concrete evidence…”(trans. from greek)(p.9.

Two stereotype texts from Greek journalists describing “the tragic element in life”(in the context of a Greek Virtual Reality) in relation to the physical and psychological state of Aristotle Onassis after the death his “one and only son”, explain that “…Nevertheless, life’s fate had other plans for Aristo(Aristotle Onassis). In 1973, he lost his son Alexander when he crashed with his airplane. This tragic death signaled the beginning of the end not only of himself but also of Olympic Airlines…”(trans. from greek)(p.1. The second text also maintains that “…Onassis had never believed that his only son was killed in an accident, and had offered 1 million dollars to anyone who could provide some type of information which would prove that all this was a matter of ‘sabotage’. In actuality, Aristotle Onassis ‘expired’ with the loss of Alexander. And a ‘financial mogul’ who dies from pain for his lost child, ceases to be a mogul and becomes just another HUMAN BEING…”(trans. from greek)(p.6.

After the tragic death of Alexander Onassis, all of the journalistic editorials dealing with the life of Aristotle Onassis, whether they came from Greece or from abroad, describe with the same “grey colours” the “tragic figure” of this powerful Greek Shipping Magnate. It is the portrait of a “broken hearted man” due to the loss of his only son; not having the personal will anymore to fight for his vast financial interests or even for his own existence. Was this a “the true picture” or was it once again “a virtual reality”?? A “virtual reality” which accommodates almost everyone, especially those people who support directly and take advantage of a “conservative”, “undemocratic”, “inhuman” and “one dimensional” social reality. We shall soon try to prove that it is the second case; meaning that all these “tragic descriptions” of Aristotle Onassis after the death of his son, were to large a degree a “pre fabricated” montage not “reality”!!!

Even though everywhere we are presented with  an  Aristotle  Onassis  who  “is in pieces”  after his son’s  tragic death, we see that he suddenly remembers that he has a daughter, Christina, whom he wants to  immediately become  her brother’s  replacement as “the future trustee” of his vast financial empire, his name and his legacy to “immortality” in the historical  annals of  all of humanity. “…Weak  and exhausted, Aris(Aristotle Onassis)  realizes that the only ‘thing’ he has left  is his daughter. So naturally, he sends her packing to New York to be near his trusted friend and partner, Mr. Costas  Gratsos, in order to teach her(the name of the business game)…Aristotle  Onassis  sees to it that he is constantly kept informed about his  daughter’s  progress, and when he decides that she is ready, he introduces her to  important people in the oil business. ‘Gratsos  tells me that you are very intelligent and very competent. For him to say this, he must be right'(Aristotle had admitted to Christina at that time)…”(trans. from greek)( Similarly, the various news editorials had  stated then and later on, that due to his son sudden death in an airplane “accident”, Aristotle  Onassis  had lost the “zeal”, the “stamina”  and the  “interest”  to defend his vast financial interests, whether in  Greece or abroad. Nonetheless, Aristotle just a short time after Alexander’s tragic death, had the “spiritual fortitude”  and the  “entrepreneurial inspiration” to blackmail the Greek government with the shutting of  Olympic Airlines, which meant the loss of  thousands of jobs(at a period of high unemployment in  Greece), in order  to extract more benefits and privileges from the Greek State, such as large financial loans at very low interest rates. Finally, Aristotle Onassis carried out his threat, ignoring the “financial state” of  Greece  and of its inhabitants, for whom at every possible opportunity  he declared privately and publicly his “absolute adoration” and his “absolute devotion”. “…So in 1974, Onassis resorted to one more extortion, implementing a ‘lock-out’ (for Olympic Airlines) while asking for financial grants (from the Greek State) worth 45 million american dollars (with the dollar value then). On December 10, 1974 (a few weeks before the Christmas Holidays), as a very competent businessman (Neanderthal), he sent an ‘out of court’ memorandum to the Government  of  Greece where he denounces all the legal agreements  he  has made with the Greek State and declaring a termination of all services by  Olympic Airlines. The  then  Greek government of  Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis had no other choice but to nationalize the company(Olympic Airlines)…” (trans. from greek) (p.4. The financial compensation paid by the Greek State to Aristotle Onassis at that time was 68 million american   dollars, a very profitable deal  for the  “heart broken” but “clever” Levantine merchant (p.4.  Lastly but not least, we have a biographical note provided by the “most reliable” Encyclopedia on the Internet concerning rare information about the lives of famous personalities. This note describing “the state of affairs” of  Aristotle Onassis after the death of his son Alexander, makes the following remarks, “…Many people have said or  written  that  Alexander’s death was the end  of  Aristotle, in terms of his desire to go on living; that he died in all but fact along with Alexander. He(nevertheless) also expressed a desire to divorce Jacqueline Kennedy and marry a woman young enough to bear him another son…” (p.3. Finally, with all the information and all the data which we  have presented in our texts concerning “the life and times” of Aristotle Onassis, who do you presume might have wished for “the physical  extermination” of  Alexander???

George Souris (1853-1919) is the most famous satirical poet in  Modern Greek Literature, especially in political satire, like Aristophanes  in  Classical  Greece. The following few verses I  believe describe perfectly(metaphorically) our modern human condition(virtual reality),  even though they were written many, many years ago. In its english translation this short satirical poem goes as follows:

” All the amount of sugar powder
you may sprinkle onto pieces of shit,
they will never turn into
sweet cakes.”


Alexander Onassis

Alexander Onassis