I'm the brother of Bob Kokoruda. Both Bob and his wife Jean were on flight 111. We miss them every day. Although everything that happened and the sequence of events that night points to an accident, I have always wondered about the jewels that were never found. I have not been able to find any detailed discussion and or facts as to an investigation related to the 300 to 500 million dollars of jewels that supposedly was on-board in the cargo area.
When various people discuss the possibility of a terrorist act, I agree that since no one terrorist group stepped up to claim this act, that it probably eliminates that as real possibility. However, if it was theft, then keeping it as an accident would be the goal. For example, was it verified that the jewels were definitely aboard the flight? Again I have not seen any detail investigation eliminating this possibility.
I want to be clear, that I’m looking for the details that the jewel aspect of this incident has been investigated in-depth.
Does anyone have any information related to this aspect of the investigation?
Hi Dan. Even if the person (the name of which has never been disclosed) that 'shipped' those jewels really sent nothing, and convinced Lloyds there really was a shipment of valuables aboard, it wouldn't mean that it was their goal to have the plane crash. They could have been ready to claim that they were lost somewhere along the way, possibly by the baggage handlers.
I too have seen very little information about this and am not aware of any investigations that have taken place. You know that Lloyd's did try to go and recover them shortly after the crash, but family members successfully blocked their attempts?If they made a later attempt to recover the jewelry, I'm not sure we'd know about it.
Sorry if that didn't make sense. I'm not sure how they go about handling cargo like that! Of course there is also the possibility that the jewels were recovered early on by a dishonest diver. I don't know if we'll ever have any answers to this one.
Barbara, thanks for your quick response. I was aware of the request by Lloyd's and the reaction by some of the families(which I respect). However, it is not clear to me why this wasn't a part of the overall investigation given the value of the jewels and the circumstances.....
Regarding the owner of the jewels, there is no need to make the name public but all the details related to the cargo at JFK and people who touched the plane and cargo should have been interviewed.
Regarding the dishonest diver possibility, I would assume that the search parties were very aware of the need for security of what was being found and if properly supervised a very difficult task to steal that many jewels.
Barbara, again thanks
Dan I agree with what you said above. Maybe as a result of this documentary, more information will come out regarding the jewels, though I doubt it. It is very mysterious for sure.
Thanks for posting. You bring up some very interesting questions.
Here is an old article regarding these jewels, etc.
I live in East River, which is not far as the crow flies from the "crash site". I can only tell you what i saw in the days following the incident. Just down the road from me several hundred yards is a Union Hall, for the Union members of a local paper products plant. Within days this hall was being used by the RCMP to temporarily house their personnel.
I have lived in NS for a lot of years and this was the first time I ever seen RCMP carrying automatic weapons. I seen this several times as i have to drive by there to go to work. I thought at the time that seemed to be over-kill to me. It leads me to believe that they were very concerned about the crash site security. Were they concerned about the possibilty of the diamonds still being on the flight? Were they concerned about looters (not just diamond looters)?
It just seemed really like over-kill to me.
Sorry about your loss.
Questions still remain about the cargo that was on Swissair Flight 111, 17 years after the aviation disaster.
The Sept. 2, 1998 crash, which took the lives of 228 people, was carrying numerous diamonds, other jewels, paper currency and a Pablo Picasso painting.
Altogether $500 million worth of cargo is still not accounted for from the flight, according to a 2011 report from CBC News.
RELATED: Original coverage of the crash
Picasso had multiple paintings titled "Le Peintre," but one in particular may have been lost in flight 111.
The painter created the piece in question in 1963. It was being transported on the plane in a normal cargo container. Shortly after the crash, Swissair officials refused to identify the owner of the painting and who it was being sent to, but did say that the piece of art was destroyed, according to an Associated Press report that ran in the New York Daily News in Sept. 1998.
At the time, Swissair official Klaus Knappik said the painting was worth an estimated $1.5 million.
Two years prior to the crash, a painting with the same name was sold at an auction in London, according to a 1998 NY Times report. However, it was never confirmed that the painting from the auction was the version of Le Peintre lost on Flight 111.
Small pieces of the painting, about 20 centimeters, were recovered in the search effort, Operation Persistence, but the case it was being held in never was. Swissair Flight 111's cargo also included 4.4 pounds of watches, 110 pounds of U.S. paper currency, and 2.2 pounds of diamonds.
Altogether the search turned up 98 percent of the aircraft and 16 tons of cargo. None of the diamonds were recovered.
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