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THE CRASH OF
TWA FLIGHT 800
On July 17 1996 TWA Flight 800 broke apart in mid air, and made a fiery fall into the ocean on an overseas flight from New York. All 230 people on board were killed. But just why this plane went down has been the subject of intensive and lengthy investigations, by both the NTSB and the FBI. Regardless of their official conclusions that the 747 exploded because of ignition inside of an empty center fuel tank, there are many other credible witnesses (and some not so credible) who claim otherwise. These witnesses, all interviewed by the investigators and some providing photographic evidence, were all deemed to have no merit as to the cause of the plane crash.
The main source of contention comes from these witnesses testifying to having seen something - possibly a missile - strike the 747. Even though the Navy was engaged in activity, in the vicinity, investigators determined that whatever the Navy was doing did not contribute to the downing of the plane. I have provided some of both sides here, along with the photos in question, so that you can see for yourself what the controversy is all about. As for myself, I can't verify the missile theory because I didn't OBE view it. However, because I did OBE see what caused TWA Flight 800 to explode, it did involve a beam of light, and it did cause an explosion at the center of the wings, I have great interest in understanding what other people may have witnessed. But when it comes down to it the thing that I believe, above all else, is what I OBE viewed myself. The way that this beam super-heated the aircraft, causing it to explode and never leaving an independent scorch mark of its presence, leads me to think that the investigators are looking for the crash cause in all the wrong places.
Federal agencies deny
TWA Flight 800 shot down by missile
They reconfirm that Internet report false
November 8, 1996
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal investigators, the White House and U.S. Navy strongly denied Friday there was any reason to believe TWA Flight 800 was accidentally shot down by a missile fired from a Navy ship. The agencies planned to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST Friday afternoon. The July 17 crash killed 230 people.
The denial followed remarks Thursday in Cannes, France, by Pierre Salinger, a former White House press secretary and ABC Television correspondent, that he had evidence the jetliner was brought down by "friendly fire" and the incident was being
covered up by the government. Federal officials denied Salinger's report. "There's no indication that there's any credibility to the report," Deputy White House Press Secretary Mary Ellen Glynn said Friday morning. Earlier, a Navy spokesman told CNN: "It's not possible that a missile was fired at the plane and we've covered it up." And, an NTSB investigator said: "There is no evidence of any missile fire bringing down that plane -- unequivocally." Investigators on the case have been frustrated over their inability to determine whether a bomb, missile or mechanical malfunction caused the explosion off New York's Long Island. Salinger was press spokesman for President John F. Kennedy before becoming Paris Bureau Chief for ABC.
Document on Internet
Salinger said he was basing the claims on information he saw in a document given to him six weeks ago by someone in French Intelligence with close contacts to U.S. officials. He refused to identify the source. Later, however, he learned from CNN that the document actually was a widely accessible e-mail letter that has been circulating for at least six weeks on the Internet's World Wide Web. Salinger expressed surprise and verified that his document matched those CNN showed him. "Yes. That's it. That's the document," Salinger said. "Where did you get it?"
The document claims the Paris-bound Boeing 747 was struck by a Navy Aegis missile shortly after takeoff from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The jumbo jet crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island, killing everyone aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board, FBI and
Navy have repeatedly denied the report. The Navy said it could not have shot down the plane because it had no weapons in the area to do so, and pointed out that federal investigators had already found that possibility "without merit."
"We've tracked any Navy assets in the area and there's nothing different. There was nothing in the area that could have done that. There's nothing more to add," Lt. Cmdr. Susan Haeg, a Navy spokeswoman, said. Another Navy official scorned Salinger's earlier claim. "I would find that unbelievable," the official said, asking to remain anonymous. The official said the Navy keeps logs to account for the positions of its ships and any firings of its weapons systems.
FBI concludes no criminal
evidence in TWA 800 crash
Probe turns to mechanical failure
November 18, 1997
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The FBI's conclusion that no criminal act caused the crash of TWA Flight 800 left open the question of exactly what kind of mechanical failure triggered the explosion that killed all 230 people aboard. Determining the cause of the disaster is now up to the National Transportation Safety Board, which has scheduled public hearings about the crash for next month.
Investigators have not determined precisely what mechanical catastrophe caused the Paris-bound jet to blow up over the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from Kennedy International Airport on July 17, 1996. But they know the explosion was sparked in the plane's center fuel tank.
Although the NTSB has indicated that no probable cause will be declared until late 1998, the hearings -- scheduled to be held in Baltimore -- will address "in great detail" the question of what caused the fuel tank to explode, said James Hall, chairman of the NTSB. They also will probe the whole issue of aging aircraft, he said.
Former Navy Commander
Commander W. S. Donaldson
Monday, July 17, 2000
PRESS CONFERENCE 7-17-2000, National Press Club, 1030 AM, Advance Statement of CDR W. S. Donaldson, USN Ret., ARAP Air Crash Investigations: We are at a critical point in the investigation into the air disaster known as the downing of TWA Flight 800. This is the fourth anniversary of that event. During this 48-month period, virtually the entire second term of the Clinton administration, the political leadership in both the Justice Department and the National Transportation Safety Board have taken aggressive and sometimes illegal proactive steps to ensure the American people remain ignorant of the cause of the loss of this aircraft with 230 souls aboard.
The NTSB is now poised to issue a final report, timed just before the administration turns over power, unchanged from the contrived nonsense first spun to the American public by Mr. James Hall, Chairman of the NTSB, in April of 1997. With the willing cooperation of the nation's major media, the administration has been successful in making a majority of citizens believe one of the world's safest aircraft blew itself up on a routine flight to Paris.
Even more remarkable, these modern day alchemists say this unique aviation event was caused by the ignition of non volatile kerosene in an empty center wing tank that their own flight tests show was non flammable much less explosive at the altitude the aircraft broke up.
To further compound insult to the intellect of aviation experts, they are insisting the source of ignition was caused by some undiscovered design flaw of which there is not one iota of physical evidence:755 witnesses, most of which saw supersonic streaks of
light and one of which described a missile impact on the
aircraft wing root were ignored.
FBI and Suffolk county marine police memorandum from
their most qualified agents in the field, that specified the
precise offshore launch point of two missiles were
Radar evidence of a left to right missile impact through
the aircraft and the establishment of a separate missile
debris field publicly predicted by myself and privately
predicted to the FBI by U.S. air force missile experts was
A department of defense report done by U.S. Navy
missile experts requesting shoulder fired weapons be
fired at 747 wing root fuel tanks was ignored.
The Ram hydraulic over pressure of the entire left wing
tank system was ignored.
The explosion and total destruction of the left wing root
fuel tank [#2 main, which was also the initiating event]
The failure and separation of the entire left wing at its
strongest point [the wing Root] was ignored.
None of the appropriate metal testing to determine
which fuel tank exploded first has been done.As I stated during my 6 May 1999 testimony before the House aviation subcommittee, "if these faults are not rectified prior to a final report, it would be my professional opinion the NTSB would be severely malfeasant and to expect me to make the appropriate criminal and civil complaints with federal and local authorities."
For those of you who wish to remain abreast of these issues I would advise you to visit our Web site, and sign up with the Web master for the e-mail alert list.Attached to the statement you will find an Op Ed that was submitted to the Washington post 4 July 2000. It was not published. This was certainly not a surprise to me, considering the Washington post has been more than friendly to the administration through all of its travails.
I would hope thinking citizens would find it somewhat disconcerting that although I had the standing with the House aviation subcommittee to be the only person called by Chairman Duncan for testimony he knew would be severely critical of the NTSB in 1999, the Washington Post cannot muster the courage to stand up to the pressure they would get from their friends in theadministration if they published similar information. I'm releasing this Op Ed to the public hoping other media are more professional and have the nerve to properly exercise their First Amendment government oversight responsibilities for the people.
A streak of light
The missile theory has stayed alive because of the number of reports from other pilots in the area and witnesses on shore who claim to have seen streaks of light or something similar around the time of the crash.
A New York Air National Guard unit put out a press release Friday as the latest rumors were circulating reiterating that two of its helicopter pilots "witnessed a streak of light" around the time of the explosion.
A statement faxed to news organizations, including CNN, by the 106th Rescue Wing based at Gabfbreski Air National Guard Station at Westhampton, New York, said: "The two helicopter pilots that saw TWA (flight) 800 explode on the night of July 17 have not changed their statements, according to a base spokesman.
"Major Frederick Meyer, the pilot, and Captain Cristian Baur, the co-pilot, both saw a streak of light, moving from east to west prior to the initial explosion. Both pilots, who have made statements to the FBI, do not know what caused the streak of light."
The flight report the pilots filed the night of the crash with the Federal Aviation Administration reflects what they now say they believe they saw. The FBI has acknowledged that some pilots in the area that night saw streaks of light but has not publicly identified those pilots.
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