After nearly ten months of intensive investigation by the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the exact cause of the fiery explosion which downed TWA Flight 800 has not been made public. NTSB officials have told the families of the crash victims they believe a mechanical problem caused the crash. They are "confident the cause was mechanical" because they say the wreckage from the Boeing 747 showed no signs of bomb or missile impact. Officials are scheduling two weeks of public hearings in late August and plan for a two-year investigation.
In addition to the official investigation, however, there are others who have been conducting inquiries into the crash, and they are more focused and definitive than the inconclusive official probe has been. They center on the many eyewitness accounts of the explosive crash, military sources, FAA radar tapes and sources within the investigative agencies. These investigations contrast sharply with the indefinite results of the prolonged federal inquiry.
At least 150 witnesses reported seeing a missile flying across the sky which hit Flight 800.
The New York Daily News, 11-9-96, reported this eyewitness account: "It looked like a big skyrocket going up. It kept going up and next thing I knew there was an orange ball of fire."
The New York Post, 11-9-96, said a witness who saw the crash told officials about a "streak of light" they saw streaking toward the aircraft before it exploded.
A pilot in a private plane reported seeing a white flash of light on the ground or water, very quickly followed by the white flash exploding into a huge orange ball of fire.
A retired supervisor with Suffolk County Water Authority had attended a political fund raiser at a local restaurant. After leaving the gathering, and while walking across the parking lot, he heard an explosion and saw a flare come off the water trailing an orange flame. It shot up at a 45-degree angle then sharply increased its angle of assent. He watched the object until it had almost disappeared from sight, then it appeared to strike something. "I saw this glowing white in the sky. A few seconds later the plane broke up in a fireball. It looked like the sun coming down. It made a slight whoosh over the ocean. I think I saw a missile hit that plane." WESTCHESTER COUNTY WEEKLY.
The Boston Herald quoted Major Fred Meyer of the New York State Air National Guard as telling a July, 18 press briefing, "I saw what appeared to be the sort of course and trajectory that you see when a shooting star enters the atmosphere. Almost immediately thereafter I saw in rapid succession a small explosion and then a large explosion."
The FBI has interviewed 154 credible witnesses including scientists, school teachers, Army personnel, and business executives who described seeing a missile heading through the sky just before TWA Flight 800 exploded. Some of these people are extremely credible, a top federal official said.
Former presidential press secretary, Pierre Salinger, is one who has been looking into the evidence which implicates the navy as the source of the missile that downed the airliner. At a Paris news conference Salinger and Mike Sommer, an investigative reporter formerly with ABC News, displayed radar images that were taken from an air traffic control video from JFK International Airport where Flight 800 originated. The images show a blip identified as Flight 800 and another blip heading toward it that Salinger says is the missile that caused the explosion. The radar tapes were shown to Pa Match magazine who, prior to publication, required that they be examined by radar specialists. According to Salinger, the examination revealed that the tapes were completely accurate.
Salinger's investigation reveals that there were witnesses monitoring secret Navy anti-terrorism exercises. They reportedly heard a male voice say, "Oh my God, I just hit that plane." Salinger told The WINDS, "A friend of mine talked with the father of the sailor who said, 'Dad, we shot it down'." The man asked to have his name withheld saying, "My son would be in big trouble."
The two journalists said at the news conference that "the missile was fired during a 'super-secret' U.S. Navy exercise off Long Island and was meant to target a Tomahawk missile, but hit Flight 800 instead when it 'lost its lock on its original target'. They claimed the missile was either a kinetic energy missile or a continuous rod missile. Sommer explained that the kinetic missile would explode near the target and a continuous rod missile would slice through the plane." CNN March 13, 1997.
Several TWA pilots agreed to talk with the St. Louis Post Dispatch after Pierre Salinger went public with his revelations. The pilots who for security reasons declined to give their names, said members of the crash investigation committee and sources in the Pentagon had told them that undisclosed recovered wreckage supports the Navy missile theory. SLPD, 11-9-96. An AP News Service report supports the TWA pilot's information: "The navy had recovered a section of the plane that was secretly removed from the crash site and flown to Washington, DC. The operation was kept so secret that the NTSB, the agency officially in charge of the investigation, did not know." WORKER'S WORLD, 2-20-97.
Many in the United States and abroad suspicion the official investigation. They cite evidence of "shielding the agencies responsible for the fatal crash from culpability." From the White House to the Pentagon and the FBI to the National Transportation Safety Board, is seen denial, dismissal and discredit of any who suggest the possibility of a Navy missile hit of Flight 800.
The Clinton Administration, early on in the investigation, signaled that the missile theory should not be considered or spoken of. "There's no American official with half a brain who ought to be speculating on anything of that nature," said White House spokesman, Mike McCurry. "There's no concrete information that would lead any of us in the United States government to draw that kind of conclusion." Mary Ellen Glynn, speaking for the White House said, "we have ruled out the responsibility of friendly fire. We don't know what caused it, but there is no indication that it was friendly fire."
James Kallstrom, New York's assistant FBI director, angrily denounced the Navy missile theory as "pure unadulterated nonsense", saying, "we have totally and thoroughly investigated all aspects of the so-called friendly fire theory and have not found one scintilla of evidence that would indicate any involvement of the U.S. military forces in this tragedy. There's no evidence that it happened or that it could have happened." He called it an "outrageous allegation."
In an interview on March 11, Kallstrom told CNN that "reports and rumors of a missile attack 'are not fact - are not real, and are distracting the investigators from the 24 hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week job of finding out what caused this tremendous tragedy." He said, "I think it's a real shame that this type of thing - misstatements, inaccurate information, inaccurate analysis, half truth, no truth...continues to be perpetrated on the American people." An emotional Kallstrom lambasted Pierre Salinger's assertions, saying, "the FBI would not hide such information from victims' families or the public. Nothing, nothing like this has taken place, would take place, WOULD EVER TAKE PLACE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!"
Many feel that officials have come to a predetermined conclusion in this investigation and are not willing that any other than the official position be discussed, as a reporter from Workers World discovered, while covering an FBI news conference on the crash investigation. The reporter, Hillel Cohen, asked FBI Director Kallstrom, "Why isn't the Navy a suspect"? and then suggested the need for an independent investigation. Kallstrom, pointing to Cohen, shouted "remove that man," whereupon approximately a dozen security agents speedily ushered Cohen from the room.
The officially ordained conclusion presents its own set of problems to the "hands on" investigators at the reconstruction hangar in Calverton, New York. An internet report states that with their highly sophisticated Egis Bomb detection system, workers consistently found plane wreckage testing positive for PETN hits. However, secondary testing for explosives conducted at the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC were consistently negative on the same debris, and the secondary negative tests always superseded the first positive tests. According to the New York Times, with their positive tests constantly contradicted by the FBI in Washington, DC, hangar investigators began to suspect that these FBI findings were part of an attempt to cover up the truth. The NYT reported that certain federal agents, calling the FBI's laboratory in Washington, DC a "black hole," remained convinced that the Bureau was hiding its positive lab confirmations.
In another development, Richard Russell, a retired United Airlines pilot living in Florida, says FBI agents came to his Daytona Beach home recently and seized a video tape. Russell maintains the video is a copy of an FAA tape showing a missile speeding toward the Boeing 747 aircraft minutes before the plane exploded. Russell, himself a former airline crash investigator, has challenged the government's official inconclusive examination of the cause of the crash.
Russell and retired California police officer, James Sanders, have both become the object of an FBI criminal investigation. Sanders, who has written a book about the crash and its cause, said he obtained a piece of the plane wreckage, has conducted testing which he says reveals the presence of missile fuel on the plane's seats. Both men believe the crash is due to missile impact, rather than mechanical problems, which the FBI and NTSB claim. In their efforts to uncover the true cause of the disaster, both men have come under criminal investigation by the FBI.
Even in the investigation itself, the FBI has dominated the stage. The Navy, which itself could be considered a suspect in the cause of the crash, if the plane was downed by a Navy missile, has been essentially in charge of the salvage operation. It would be in a position to dispose of any incriminating evidence.
The Jerusalem Post reported that "the French Defense Ministry agents believe TWA 800 was taken out by a Navy missile. Many of the 230 victims were French citizens, yet French investigators were in violation of routine international disaster protocol, forbidden from assisting in the FBI, Navy and NTSB top secret investigation." JP 7-21-96.
With all of the official denial of the missile strike scenario, with the FBI stating that it did not happen, could not happen, and would not happen under any circumstances, where does the actual truth lie? "A considerable number of precedents exist of previous downings of civilian aircraft. A U.S. State Department report lists 25 incidents in which commercial airliners were shot down by missiles killing a total of more then 600 people. Six weeks after the TWA 800 crash, an American Airlines pilot reported seeing a missile pass by his jetliner while in flight about 220 miles south of the TWA crash site. New American, 10-14-96. The tragic precedents already set and the recent number of pilot sightings of missiles while in flight, reveal the official denials for what they are.
Why has the investigation been top secret? Why has the French government not been allowed to participate? Why have families of the victims not been allowed to view the wreckage? Why have reporters been kept away ? Why do we not hear from the many eyewitnesses who saw a missile strike the plane? Why do we not see the photos of the missile which the FBI now has in its possession? Why have the independent investigators considering the missile evidence themselves become the target of an FBI criminal investigation? Why would the FBI seize investigator Richard Russell's video tapes of radar images, if, as the FBI asserts, they are not valid? Why physically remove reporter Hillel Cohen from the FBI news conference for asking the simple question, "Is the Navy a suspect?" Why have crash investigators consistently scored positive results for explosives residue, yet the FBI lab in Washington overturns the results ? What is the agenda of those who are attempting to manipulate and control the outcome of this tragic event?
Whatever the outcome, the mystery surrounding this tragic event seems to show there are forces behind the actors in this drama. The intense denial and dismissal, which meets any but the officially sanctioned story, personifies the disposition of the world's unseen rulers who dictate their viewpoint and bias upon world events which they have created. Is it any wonder that those theorists of a conspiracy grow and are nurtured on their way? The engineered investigation, with its managed conclusion, seems to be another portrayal of how current events are moulded to conduct the nations into the oblivion of a stupefied trust in the world forces that now shape their lives.
Yet overruling the coercive forces at work here is One who has declared, "There is nothing hidden that shall not be disclosed, nor anything secret that shall not be known, and come out into the open."
Witnesses Allege NTSB Covering Evidence of Missile Attack
Commander Donaldson's Flight 800 Report Refutes NTSB
TWA Flight 800 Analysts Say FBI is Intentionally Obstructing Justice
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