Category Archives: Bogus press reports

Welt am Sonntag – how Springer’s news outlets deliberately misrepresent facts

Correction to report from 26.02.2017

It is now a year ago, almost to the day, that for the 2nd anniversary of the Germanwings crash the “Welt am Sonntag” revisited the topic again in order to “deal with it”, as they  wrote. A three-page article with the headline “Chronicle of an announced catastrophe” appeared on 26.02.17.

Before the appearance of the article, there were repeated attempts by the editors, Dirk Banse and Michael Behrendt, to contact us, attempts which did not cease even after our reply letter explaining that we had no statement to make.

Because their last of several letters, on 18.02.2017, did not provoke a reaction from us, both men appeared on our property on Sunday morning, 19.02.2017, and surprised Günter Lubitz, who coincidentally happened to be present in front of the house. Angered by this personal intrusion, the two were expelled from the property under threat of police intervention.

For reasons of space, we will not include the entire correspondence here, but it can be found under the following link for all to read:

Welt correspondence

In the article it was claimed that we had approached the Welt am Sonntag via correspondence. The reality is that we responded only after the newspaper’s first letter pressing us for information. Our written response was our refusal – namely, that for certain reasons we did not yet want to express our opinion. So, in fact, we did not “contact” the Welt am Sonntag, but rather the newspaper contacted us.

Incidentally, the Welt am Sonntag was not the only medium we responded to in a similar fashion, but in all other cases our refusals were always respected and no other news outlet misrepresented the facts in order to create a news story.

In one of the reporters’ letters to us, they claimed that they possessed a “number of documents” and that they were “investigative journalists” with the unbiased aim of reporting the whole story. However, the published article once again attempted to substantiate a negative image of Andreas. There was no “news”, nor any answers to speculations or lingering questions.

It remains doubtful if the Welt am Sonntag would have offered an objective report had we  indeed consented to share information.

We do not want to split hairs and attempt to weigh every word of every article. But it has certainly been done by others. For example, Franz Josef Wagner in his BILD column, and in the same online portals, wrote: “The Parents (Lubitzes) call it an accident …”, but, in fact, the BEA Final Report itself states: “Accident on 24 March 2015”!

A day later Mike Passmann of the BILD went even further: “Now the parents of Lubitz speak publicly for the first time and report doubts”. (Based on our letter of refusal)

In the same article lawyer Giemulla (victims’ lawyer) comments: “For the survivors of the fatalities, it is a shock to be confronted with alternative facts”. But no “alternative facts” were presented in the article.

Furthermore, at the time of publication our reply letter was almost a quarter of a year old.

Although we had offered nothing, written or spoken, we were again placed in the negative headline spotlight.

This is how Springer journalism works.

L. U.

further bogus press reports:

Maria W. – The ex-girlfriend who never existed

Recent event – the Warm-up for the 3rd Anniversary has begun

Was Andreas Lubitz deep in debt?

Recent event – the Warm-up for the 3rd Anniversary has begun

A new lie from the tabloid press and an open letter from relatives to Lufthansa CEO

The first media harbinger was already to be seen shortly before Christmas, when a victim’s relative complained publicly. This complaint was subsequently legally initiated at the end of January, and since 02.02.2018 the entire mainstream media has meanwhile jumped on the topic. Although we cannot know who of the affected families have so far accepted Lufthansa payments, the latest development is that Lufthansa will allegedly only provide further payments, e.g. for psychotherapeutic treatments (which are normally covered by all health insurances), if, in return, relatives forego ongoing and future lawsuits against Lufthansa.

Just before midnight on 03.02.2018, the usual time that the BILD newspaper posts its latest online news, it suddenly woke up from its month’s-long slumber with a lengthy report.

Nothing new, just old, warmed-up stories: the same as their counterparts in other media outlets, with here and there a bit rewritten and spruced up, with some remarks from relatives.

And so we come to the main point: Almost a year ago, on 21.03.2017, the father of a teacher who died complained to the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) that Andreas’ parents (us) were stirring everything up again with a news conference and he would be glad if it was all finally over with. But now this same man claims that probably all of Andreas’ colleagues knew about his illness and wondered why he was even allowed into the cockpit. Or were these words put into his mouth? However, this is just as much a BILD lie as was the story of Maria W.

https://andreas-lubitz.com/en/2017/09/04/maria-w-the-ex-girlfriend-who-never-existed/

Regarding this assumption about Andreas’ colleagues, here are the facts:

  1. If Andreas had been continuously ill, he would not have been able to do the training nor be allowed to. Please refer to the article from December 2017.
    https://andreas-lubitz.com/en/2017/12/17/the-reality-behind-andreass-health-problems/
  2. Had a colleague noticed something, he would not have flown with him and would have been obligated to immediately report it to Germanwings.
  3. On the accident flight the captain would certainly not have left the cockpit if he had known about an existing illness, and this must be true about all previous colleagues who left Andreas also alone in the cockpit. Incidentally, the captain leaving the cockpit for a long period of time on both the outbound and return flights is extremely unusual on short-haul flights, yet nobody has questioned this critically.
  4. Without exception, colleagues who flew with Andreas praised his professional skills and found him a very pleasant colleague. Within the company he was considered “one of the good ones”, as colleagues have commented. The questioning of colleagues and the professional evaluations in his personal file are part of the investigation file.
  5. In the official BEA final report of the Germanwings crash (German version) the following statement on the health status of our son was made on page 17:

“None of the pilots and instructors who flew with him in the months prior to the accident and were interviewed during the investigation expressed concerns about his attitude or behavior during flights.”

https://www.bea.aero/uploads/tx_elyextendttnews/BEA2015-0125.de-LR_04.pdf

Here, therefore, it has again been tried to undermine the picture of Andreas with untruths, which has been going on for three years now. Perhaps only if this picture is maintained can one hope for further payments? It appears to us that this is what it’s all about, as we note that victims’ lawyer Giemulla has recently demanded higher payments from Lufthansa.

There is nothing more to say on this. We conclude by saying that we will not allow ourselves to be provoked by such untruths and will continue to confront them, now and in the future.

L. U.

other bogus press reports:

Maria W. – The ex-girlfriend who never existed

Was Andreas Lubitz deep in debt?

The reality behind Andreas’s health problems

Correction of false conclusions – the vision disturbances in 2015 were not recurrence of depression symptoms

For this report we have invested a bit longer time and have studied and evaluated the relevant pages from the investigation files. In the end we came to the conclusion not to judge single medical aspects, because if taken out of context they would justify the opinions of those who believe they know better. In nearly the last three years certain medical specialists have responded to requests for their views and have volunteered their opinions and analyses regarding Andreas Lubitz’s personality, without ever having met him or come to know him. Any good psychiatrist or psychologist knows that “remote diagnosis”, as in this case, followed by evaluation and judgement, requires care, as this can only lead to a subjective conclusion. The BFU, also, has as yet not found it necessary to correct the demonstrably false conclusions which they had previously reported to the French authorities. It is true that in 2008/2009 Andreas experienced an episode of depression. However, it is also true that by the middle of 2009 he had overcome this episode and was perfectly healthy, which was certified several times. What is untrue is that he was ever hospitalized for depression treatment. What is also untrue is that from 2008 to 2015 Andreas was in the continuous care of a psychiatrist and received medication. In July of 2009, after ending medication and thorough examinations by an aviation doctor and a psychiatrist, he was cleared to resume his flight education in September. Furthermore, the medical history form was correctly filled out by Andreas for his medical flight certificate. One just has to read these pages accurately and not intentionally misinterpret their content, which was unscrupulously done by victims’ lawyers who were looking, on behalf of their clients, for the needle in a haystack in order to attach blame to anything or anyone. We were surprised by the number of doctors who Andreas consulted within a seven-year period. It should also be pointed out that during this period Andreas lived in three different locations. Up to 2015, none of the doctors were psychiatrists or psychologists, but were all general practitioners and dentists, orthopedists, ears-nose- throat specialists and ophthalmologists. These last made up the majority of doctor consultations and mainly took place in 2015. We do not know exactly what caused Andreas‘s eye problems, insomnia, etc., and have only our guesses. But we exclude (as we always have) a recurrence of the depression in 2015 because of our experiences in 2008/2009. It is obvious to associate the symptoms Andreas spoke about with his earlier depressive episode, if one has no other explanation. Unfortunately, most doctors (psychiatrists and psychologists included) have no knowledge of the existing problem of “aerotoxic syndrome”, so they are unable to diagnose it after excluding any organic disorder. For most affected people things go badly, also without a medical history. Knowing what we know today – that a certain number of predisposed persons are not able to reduce the toxins, or require a long time for reduction, then consequentially suffer lifelong nerve damage – we would have discouraged Andreas from becoming a pilot, dream job or not. Specific medical examinations of our family members have provided unexpected, but unmistakable, results.

Everyone who flies (including passengers), can become an affected person. In this connection we would like to refer to the following link so that you can make up your own mind. Help for those affected should be different, shouldn‘t it?

https://www.change.org/p/9899447/u/22070243utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_campaign=197729&sfmc_tk=EQofcVA4Ss%2f2Le2JY11OoMElClnho%2b4Ybng9Nv4G%2fWW4Dy13wO6K8v0iM82twciK&j=197729&sfmc_sub=195850815&l=32_HTML&u=36535400&mid=7259882&jb=78

L.U.

Evaluation of Andreas’s flight logbook:

Evaluation of Andreas’s flight logbook

Germanwings crash 4U9525: Must the negative image of Andreas Lubitz be regenerated?

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Update from 27 September 2017

Unfortunately, the French video material is now on the Internet. It is a hackneyed advertising film for the partly fictional book by a crazy, fanatical, French reporter. In this video he walks near our house, the Düsseldorf apartment of Andreas, the cemetery, and finally in front of the BEA building in France. There, he finally removes his jacket to reveal the printed words on his T-shirt: “Skydevil”. Yet again base behaviour, for at the beginning of the accident reporting in 2015 it was claimed that Andreas logged on to the Internet under this name, “Skydevil”. This term has NEVER been used by Andreas and is one of the many falsehoods from the BILD newspaper in order to generate a negative picture in a sensational report.

Since the Frenchman in the video is too cowardly to use his real name he is known to us only under his pseudonym. In order not to jeopardize the initiated investigations, we will not name any names here and will not link to the video.

******************************************************************************
We had planned to offer today an article which would review Andreas’s medical history and its public misinterpretation, and this will appear soon. However, an event has recently occurred that takes precedence and we feel it should be reported immediately.

This event occurred on 13 September 2017 in the afternoon at about 4.30 p.m.
Scene of the incident: Residential area, Montabaur.
Three younger men with a film camera and a drone positioned themselves across the road from our home. One of the three proceeded to walk back and forth along the road in front of our residence while being filmed by the other two. After a while they realized we were observing their activities and they quickly decided it was time to leave.

As the men were retreating to their automobiles – two white cars: one a sports convertible with French plates – parked a short distance down the road we telephoned the police but were informed that no squad car was immediately available. We then made the decision to follow them in our own car in order to learn who they were and what they wanted.

We followed them some distance until the men stopped in the parking area of a parsonage. All three got out of their cars and approached ours. We remained inside and spoke to them through a gap in the passenger-side window. One of the men began speaking to us in French, to which we replied, “English, please.” He continued by asking, “What’s your problem?”

Our answer was a question of our own: “Why were you filming our house?“ The man appeared rather excited and demanded to know why we were upset and following them. He claimed that he was only a professor (but of what?) here on vacation with his students (because apparently our residential area is a holiday paradise par excellence!) and they were simply looking for a quiet area… (For what? To make unauthorised films with their drone?)

He also wanted to know what problem there was with our house and asked our names. We didn’t answer these questions, of course, and instead pointed out that it is not allowed to film private homes in residential areas (although it may be perfectly O.K. in France) and we drove away.

In summary:

  1. The French parked their cars on the border of our residential area, as other reporters have done over the last 2 ½ years.
  2. These reporters always position themselves in the driveway of the opposite house and, like the others over the previous 2 ½ years, begin filming our home.
  3. When they were discovered, they were suddenly in a hurry to disappear… like all the other reporters during the last 2 ½ years.

What is new is the attempt to explain their actions, but in a truly ridiculous manner. Now, of course, the question arises: by whom they were sent and what is their purpose?

Looking at the entire media landscape over the last half year, one thing about the Germanwings accident is clear, but very curious: Silence from all sides (except for the desperate petition by a victim’s relative who attempts to promote the fiendish image of Andreas and stir up new anger).

And now the French show up. Regardless of who sent them, we cannot escape the impression that the purpose is, again, to support and refresh the established negative image of Andreas via media reports and films. Enough of this nonsense has already been produced, often spiked with false facts and badly researched or manipulated.

Finally the police came to us, filed a report and gathered evidence.

We will continue to react to incidents of this kind, with or without police assistance.

 

L. U.

another article:

Maria W. – The ex-girlfriend who never existed

Maria W. – The ex-girlfriend who never existed

To fabricate an affair is bad enough, especially if you never knew the person at all. But to do that in the way that the print edition of BILD of March 28, 2015 did lacks any form of decency and served only to ruin the reputation of a man – after he was dead.

According to the BILD:

“He boasted: One day everyone will know my name The stewardess Maria W. (26) was a long-time girlfriend of death-pilot Andreas Lubitz (27). For five months last year they flew throughout Europe and secretly stayed together in hotels. BILD reporter John Puthenpurackal checked their identity. He claims that she produced a photo showing herself with the amok pilot on a flight in the same crew.”*

*Evidence: see boulevard newspaper article on “Links” page, Link 1 to topic

Whether the BILD reporter invented the lady or the lady invented herself is unimportant, because the entire story is fictitious, no matter the source. Andreas’s log book clearly shows which routes he was assigned, and he was required to return to his home airport at the completion of his workday, which would necessarily make it impossible to stay overnight in hotels away from his base. Due to the daily crew changes a flight shared with this specific stewardess could have occurred only exceptionally and randomly. Rather, Andreas always slept at his apartment in Düsseldorf which he shared with his true long-time girlfriend.

The assertions of Maria W. are clearly disproved.

During our witness hearing with the public prosecutor in March 2015 we asked why he had not questioned this Maria W. His reply was that hers was a “fictitious story”. Interestingly, it turned out in March 2017 that the person does exist. Only her story is fictitious …

https://www.buzzfeed.com/petrasorge/dieses-bild-interview-uber-germanwings-pilot-andreas-lubitz?utm_term=.pk8GEJAAN#.peK68Rggn

If the BILD indeed possessed the above-mentioned identifying photograph, it is curious that it did not publish it. Instead, the newspaper printed a photo showing an anonymous woman from behind.

Four days after the crash this invented story provided building blocks to further strengthen the previously generated perception of Andreas Lubitz: emotional outbreaks, threats and the promise of a sensational act. It is strange that if Maria W. was afraid (as claimed in the report), she did not inform anyone but continued to fly with him.

Strange also is the controversy which took place via Twitter in March 2017 between a journalist, Ms Sorge, and the current chairman of the BILD editorial board, Julian Reichelt (who has only been in this position since February 2017), who included the publication of e-mails containing the opinions of the public prosecutor.

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/twitter-streit-ueber-journalistische-arbeit-bild-gegen-zeit.2907.de.html?dram:article_id=382348

Andreas was committed to the happy relationship with his girlfriend and he was not at all the type to seek affairs. Furthermore, in 2014 he was certainly not in psychiatric treatment, which Maria W. claimed to be the case. We had regular contact with him and he visited us often when he was free. He frequently sent us photographs of his travelling life. He would certainly have told us about a “new” friend.

This BILD article contains not a single grain of truth.

L.U.

 

another bogus press report:

Was Andreas Lubitz deep in debt?

 

Was Andreas Lubitz deep in debt?

“War Lubitz hoch verschuldet?” – Bait for the reader – a new headline of the biggest German boulevard newspaper on 10 July 2015

Evidence: see boulevard newspaper article on “Links” page, Link 1 to topic

In this article the public was presented another “missing piece of the puzzle” regarding the possible motive for the crash, but this purely speculative question of debt is yet another personal attack with the aim of denigrating Andreas Lubitz: an attempt to reveal a “dark side” of the pilot and further promote a negative image already established in the public consciousness. With no background knowledge, the author of the article speculates about the repayment of training costs and other possible creditors.

Yes, it is true that “estate insolvency proceedings” were initiated and carried out. However, this is common procedure when there are special circumstances, as was the case here, and these proceedings have been concluded. After deductions of various expenses, a five-digit amount remained from Lubitz’s estate. This was distributed among the creditors according to priority and paid accordingly.

This clearly shows that Andreas was not heavily indebted prior to the crash, otherwise the creditors would have received nothing. So debts would not have been a motivating factor.

In connection with this topic, a relevant report appeared on 10 September 2015, exactly two months after the publication of the above-mentioned article and six months after the crash:

Allianz demands 7.5 million euros from Lubitz insolvency administrators

Evidence: see boulevard newspaper article on “Links” page, Link 2 to topic

Quote: “According to BILD information, Allianz’s industrial insurance division reported a claim of up to 7.5 million euros from pilot Andreas Lubitz († 27).”

In fact, the sum demanded was lower, showing that the author’s report was purely speculative.

But what is the public more likely to remember: “up to”? or “7.5 million”?