SUBJECT OF CONTAMINATED CABIN AIR
on GERMAN TV
17th September 2014
Many of you have been aware of the production of this documentary on the subject of Aerotoxic Syndrome and contaminated cabin air which was produced over the past year or so by WESTDEUTSCHER RUNDFUNK KOELN (WDR). WDR is a publicly owned and (supposedly) independent broadcast station in Cologne, Germany.
The original author and editor was the well-known aviation journalist Tim van Beveren from Berlin (www.timvanbeveren.de), who has been doing a tremendous job for over six years now, to help shed some light on the issue that airlines and manufactures tend to keep under cover. Tim has been and is a fearless investigative journalist for over 20 years; he also has an aviation background. Besides reporting on the issue on public broadcasts he has written several excellent, eye-opening articles for renowned German newspapers such as “Die Welt”.
To me it came as a complete surprise when ARD German Television Network aired the documentary on July 7th 2014 omitting to mention that Tim was the author, nor was he mentioned as the editor of this film, despite the fact that he could be seen in some of the scenes and I know for a fact that he was present doing most, – if not all the work.
Those who can read and understand German were given some more information in an article published in die “Tageszeitung “(TAZ) (link to TAZ article) on the same date as the documentary was aired. The article says that the situation has escalated between Tim, his co-author Roman Stumpf and the responsible editor for the program at WDR, Jo Angerer. Tim felt that the version WDR wanted to broadcast was not final but left room for improvement; he also did not feel that there was any team work with his co-author Roman Stumpf.
This article speculates that probably the dispute with the original author and editor of this film may have been quite convenient for WDR. It has been revealed that as far back as February 2014 , Mr Angerer sent an email to the German Airlines Lufthansa PR-department, which stated that Tim van Beveren (approx. quote) “…may have no influence on the film. Dr Roman Stumpf is the author of the film; the film will receive editorial approval by myself (Angerer).”
Quite remarkable is the fact that later, when the issue escalated between the broadcaststation and free-lance journalist Tim van Beveren, Lufthansa (!) not his employer WDR informed Tim that he was no longer the author of his film!
Attorney Frank Cannon from Glasgow, dated September 9th 2014, has heated up the discussion about this project again through an official program complaint to WDR. Mr. Cannon represents the pilot who died unexpectedly in December 2012 in The Netherlands who had donated his body to science, so they could explore the Aerotoxic Syndrome and its probable causes. This story was supposed to be one of the leading threads for the TV documentary which, and I have to repeat, Tim created. Mr. Cannon also represents the international team of researchers involved in the examination and analysis of the pilot’s brain, nerves and heart tissues. The findings were presented in a case study article published at the end of July 2014 (link to case study).
A copy of the WDR program complaint can be made available to interested parties, which is in German language in order to fulfil the requirements imposed by the German TV station for such matters.
Some major points of the criticism within the complaint are:
Mr. Cannon points out that WDR violated and breached an agreement between Tim van Beveren as the “author and editor” of the documentary, WDR as “the producer and broadcaster” of his work and the scientific research team led by Professor Jeremy J. Ramsden and that they broadcasted prohibited material and interviews.
Further he states that WDR also deceived their viewers by making false representation of facts in more than two occasions and that interviews that were presented in the broadcast and seemingly performed by Dr Roman Stumpf were actually conducted by Tim van Beveren and Mr Stumpf was later “inserted” with his questions (evidence in a video clip can be seen here) and that the presentation of facts with regard to the air-, wipe- and blood samples the journalists took during their filming, were incorrect and misleading whereby experts such as Professor Abou-Donia were perceived to be discredited.
But most interesting are some findings the lawyer came across regarding the person of Dr Stumpf, who is a fully employed WDR employee; the co-author who then became the “sole author” of the documentary. Dr Stumpf, who holds a PhD in law, has become a student again. He does not study at a public university though, but now studies at a private university in Berlin, which is run by organisations and groups lobbying on behalf of Lufthansa, Condor, Air Berlin, Airbus, EADS, Rolls Royce and others – just to name a few. Sponsors from the industry also awarded him a scholarship for this purpose at the Quadriga University of Berlin.
Mr Cannon wrote in his complaint: “ If we had been aware of this connection there would have been no cooperation with WDR at all or it would have been immediately terminated.” For Cannon and the Researchers this represents a serious breach of trust by the television station, which is apparently under “public” control.
So maybe it is no surprise that the WDR documentary turned out to be far from as critical and as factual as we have seen in various of Tim’s previous reports on the subject, so maybe it is also no surprise at all that he was removed as author and editor of this film!
We did ask Tim to comment on this issue but he refused. “I will not comment on colleagues or ex colleagues in this case.” he says. But what he told us is that he is currently working hard to finish his originally intended version of the film and he will make this available in due time to the public. To do this he is using his own funds and savings.
He stated: “This is my obligation to all those who trusted me and made themselves, or vital information, available, and also to the public who has the right to know the true and full extent of the problem of contaminated cabin air.”