LET ME EXPRESS GRATITUDE...
4 december 2007
By Tofik Dadashev
Let me express gratitude for your interest in my website. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that everything written about me is confirmed by people and facts.
Reading the articles about me you will understand that my work is versatile and embraces not only present-day life but also refers to the mysteries which have been exercising people’s minds for centuries. You have got an opportunity to read about my view of Mona Lisa’s life and personality. Once, a friend of mine and an art expert Stanislav Sergeev came to me with a brainwave. Knowing my ability to “see through” a person he wanted me to confirm whether it was she, Mona Lisa, who was portrayed in the picture and to interpret the mystery of her smile. Having had two cups of coffee and discussed different topics I agreed. My story was spontaneous and full of inspiration. Answering these two questions I got carried away and it turned into a whole life story. For two hours running I spoke looking at the reproduction of the portrait. I confirmed that it was she, Mona Lisa, who was portrayed in the picture and I “saw” that the mystery of her strange smile was related to her pregnancy at the moment of creating the portrait. Stanislav put down my story word for word preserving its logic and strict succession. It should be noted that later not a single correction was introduced to the text. There were some doubts cast that Leonardo da Vinci really portrayed Mona Lisa, the daughter of a Florentine merchant. Various hypotheses and suppositions were put forward: some people believed that the picture was a self-portrait of da Vinci himself; others supposed that da Vinci portrayed one of his mistresses or ancient Egyptian goddess Izida. This treatise was written in January 1981. Meeting Soviet and foreign journalists, scientists and cultural workers I presented them my work as a gift which, as it seemed to me, left no one indifferent. A few months later in French Embassy in Moscow through advisor for culture Claude Croix I handed my manuscript to the Louvre. My creation was accepted with gratitude and interest as a new version of the mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile. In 2006 French and Canadian researchers announced that it was exactly Mona Lisa who was portrayed by Leonardo da Vinci when she was pregnant. No doubt that my version prompted the scientists to conduct their research in this direction.
As nowadays I would like to remind you and specify such best-known facts in my work as helping the anti-terror subdivision group “A” to prevent hijacking with hostages on board and also my participation in Karpov-Kasparov rivalry for the world champion’s title.
The latter has been much reported and discussed in our country and abroad. I consider it more essential to tell my readers about the aircraft hijacking since this fact has been poorly described and sometimes even misrepresented.
On March 31,1989 an aircraft hijacked by a terrorist landed at Bina airport in the town of Baku. I was staying in Baku those days. KGB headquarters applied to me for assistance through my familiar KGB officer Alexander. After some brief hesitation I agreed although at that moment I couldn’t imagine how I was able to help. But I clearly understood that so many people’s lives were concerned and it was my moral imperative to agree to cooperate.
When I was taken to the airport there was practically no time left. The current situation was briefly explained to me: the terrorist demanded a large sum of money in foreign currency and a further flight to one of the eastern countries. He threatened to detonate a bomb if his requirements were not fulfilled until 8 o’clock a.m. In addition the special devices had reordered the tickling of some clockwork and separate phrases of the terrorist allegedly addressed to an accomplice. The situation was worsened by the fact that at the airport where the criminal had got on the plane there was no baggage and hand luggage inspection (screening). The terrorist was warning: it was enough for him to press the button of his electronic wristwatch to blow up the aircraft. I was given the task to persuade the terrorist to wait until 11 a.m. as it was impossible to get such a large sum of money in the republic at that Soviet time. It became clear from the conversation that the headquarters had made the decision to let the terrorist go as according to the Convention he would be arrested and handed over to the Soviet government. There were some other circumstances that could influence such a decision. All this was taking place just before President Gorbachev’s scheduled visit to the UK and also there had been negative experience in such kind of anti-terror operations (only a year before the Ovechkin family had hijacked an aircraft: during the storming of the plane 9 people were killed including 5 hijackers; 19 people wounded). I was brought to the boarding ramp. By the terms of the terrorist I was to stand aside, 25 meters away from the ramp. I introduced myself as an MFA of Azerbaijan official (I had to think it up myself). I appealed to the terrorist to wait until 11 o’clock a.m. as the money was being delivered from Moscow. The terrorist listened to me with the door open cautiously standing so that not to be seen. Having listened to me he warned with irritation that 11 a.m. was the deadline and closed the door. On our way back to the airport terminal I asked Alexander smiling: “What am I supposed to do? I have been told that he has a bomb and accomplice but that is all nonsense. There is no bomb and no accomplice.” He replied; ‘Say as you feel.”
On returning to the headquarters I immediately stated: “I understand all the gravity of the situation but I am absolutely sure that it is all a bluff: there is no bomb and no accomplice. In my opinion you shouldn’t let him go.” Staff officers asked me the way I imagined the further actions to neutralize the terrorist. Being in such a situation for the first time and relying on my imagination and intuition I advised to touch upon a definite topic while speaking to him: “He will be carried away with the topic and will let you approach him. Then he will ask for a light… and you will seize him (I was not aware of the fact that he smoked). At 11:05 the disarmed terrorist was brought into the staff room. There turned out to be an ordinary alarm-clock in his bag. As it was confirmed later there was no accomplice. Hero of the Soviet Union, Commander of the subgroup of subdivision “A” Major General V. Carpukhin came up to me to express gratitude: “We exactly followed your advice… He asked for a light and we seized him.” This anti-terror operation to rescue the hostages was acknowledged as the most successful in the world. Due to the highly professional and well-coordinated team actions it ended without victims and bloodshed. Many of the participants of this operation (including me) were awarded the highest government honours. Short-term cooperation with those intelligent and courageous people is engraved on my memory.