Shortly before the 55th anniversary of Commander Lionel Crabb’s disappearance in Portsmouth Harbour, I contacted my MP Jeremy Hunt, whom I asked to look into the case of Commander Lionel Crabb RN GM, the naval diver who disappeared over 55 years ago, while on a secret mission in Portsmouth Harbour.
The official papers, some of which were eventually released for public examination, left the public in no doubt whatsoever that Cmdr Crabb was acting under orders, contrary to the spurious assertions by the government at that time.
Members of his family, including myself, have always believed Lionel Crabb was captured by the Soviet Navy and taken to Russia, where no attempts were made by our government either then, nor subsequently, to obtain his release.
Jeremy Hunt has been kind enough to refer my concerns to Liam Fox, our defence secretary, who is in a position to release all the outstanding documentation on Cmdr Crabb’s disappearance which should shed some light on the many unanswered questions surrounding this bizarre mystery which Donald Hale describes in his biography of Cmdr Crabb entitled The Final Dive.
One of the many disturbing aspects of the case is the documentary film made by Jim Sainsbury during the mid-1960s, which featured interviews with a number of Cmdr Crabb’s colleagues and relatives, but which does not appear to have had a public screening and is said to have been ‘shelved’ on instructions from someone in high authority.
Who knows, perhaps it may emerge one day from some dark corner where it has resided for more than 40 years. But then again, perhaps it will remain hidden and covered up.
Meanwhile, I hope positive action will be taken by our government to ensure the public learn the full facts about the fate of Cmdr Lionel Crabb as the truth is long overdue and to smother it for another 50 years would shame this country, as well as successive governments, who have hoped that people would forget.