The Downing of TWA 800 – Overview and Introduction

A documentary on the 1996 attack that brought down TWA Flight 800 will air on July 17, 2013, the 17th anniversary of the crash. This series of articles is the story behind the attack.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is” – Winston Churchill

TWA 800 (2)

 

BY  MICHAEL N. HULL

TWA 800, a Boeing 747, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 8:31 pm, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy Airport, killing all 230 people on board. There was much initial speculation that a terrorist attack was the cause of the crash. The FBI initiated a parallel criminal investigation. Sixteen months later the FBI announced that no evidence had been found of a criminal act and closed its investigation. The four-year NTSB investigation concluded that the probable cause of the accident was an explosion of flammable fuel/air vapors in a fuel tank although it could not be determined if the most cause of the explosion was a short circuit.

Tom Stalcup
 told CNN’s “New Day” on June 19, 2013 that a new documentary would air on the 17th Anniversary of the crash of TWA 800 in which investigators involved in the analysis of the crash would come forward and tell the truth to the American people.  Over the next couple of weeks the public will be bombarded with programs on TWA 800 defending the indefensible that the nose can be blown off a 747 jumbo jet by an internal explosion and that it can continue to fly and climb 3,000 feet before falling into the ocean thus defying every known law of physics and aerodynamics.

I was one of the citizens who was involved in investigating this crash and who provided court affadavits with Stalcup and Commander William Donaldson to investigator Ray Lahr on the eyewitness testimony of the crash for Lahr’s court actions against the United States government.

Lahr, a retired United Airlines pilot, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, on November  6, 2003, against the NTSB and CIA. Lahr sought documentation and data denied to him through previous FOIA requests to the NTSB and CIA. On August 31, 2006, a District Court issued an initial ruling that the evidence submitted by Lahr as justification for his FOIA lawsuit was “sufficient for the plaintiff to proceed based on his claim that the government acted improperly,” and that Lahr should be granted access to some of the documents he was seeking. In a further ruling the court finalized the list of documents that the NTSB and CIA must provide to Lahr. Upon being handed this verdict by the court, the agencies involved claimed the documents had been “lost” and could not be located.

Over the next few weeks before the documentary airs I will present a series of articles on what we found back in the late 1990s about this airliner crash. I will present eyewitness analysis that I performed, provide audio recordings of cockpit voice tapes obtained by filing Freedom of Information Requests with pilots describing missiles fired at their planes in the NY metropolitan area, and provide a geopolitical analysis of the events surrounding this crash.

I will start in this article with an overview and an introduction …..

While no one disputes that the center fuel tank on TWA 800 exploded there is a substantial body of evidence that several missiles exploded near the TWA 800 aircraft and that these explosions were the initiating events in the aircraft’s destruction. The center fuel tank exploded after the nose section came off the aircraft and jet fuel from the center fuel tank misted in the atmosphere and ignited.

Several months prior to the TWA 800 crash I observed a missile launched just of the I95 highway while driving to Stamford, Connecticut in the winter of 1995/96. Numerous other motorists in the area observed it too but strangely nothing appeared in the newspapers. Later I became aware that a Concorde pilot had reported a very strange incident on the same night as I had witnessed the launch.  Here is the FAA transcript of that incident.

After the reports on the night of July 17, 1996 that a missile had brought down TWA 800 I contacted the FBI with my observations but they were strangely uninterested and so I began to monitor news accounts of the investigation and found that what I read in the papers and what was coming out of the NTSB did not match with what the eyewitnesses were saying.

That was the beginning of a ten year odyssey for me working with people like Major Meyer who with Chris Baur as his co-pilot flew the first helicopter over the burning wreckage and both of whom saw the missiles that brought down the aircraft.  Major Meyer subsequently had a CIA van parked outside of his home for over a year to keep him silent after it was realized that he was one of the pilots who had been flying the wreckage, showing evidence of missile destruction of the aircraft, out of Calverton to an FBI location beyond the eyes of the NTSB.  I will get to his story in the next article.

Let us begin here ……

The news item below shows where the official investigation ended – looking for a “spark”, worrying about ignition sources that hadn’t been thought of, shifting from the cause of the problem to fixing a strawman problem, blowing up several 747’s because every time they blew one up they couldn’t replicate the TWA 800 damage.

July 16, 1998   New York Times
Two years after the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, the National Transportation Safety Board is moving toward finishing its investigation without knowing the source of the spark that touched off the explosion that destroyed the Boeing 747. …. “If we were able to pinpoint what ignited T.W.A. Flight 800, and fix that ignition source, there are still the other ignition sources we’ve identified as possibilities, and the ones we haven’t even thought of,” said James Hall, chairman of the safety board. …..Since the Fall of 1996, when investigators concluded that the 747’s center tank had exploded, their vision of the end point of the investigation has gradually but fundamentally shifted, away from determining what set it off and toward finding out how such explosions can be prevented. …..The board plans to blow up a full-size tank from a decommissioned 747. The board blew up a similar tank last year, but that tank had previously been damaged, engineers say, and the fuel they used, propane, had more energy than jet fuel does.

But the one scenario that best fitted the facts was the one that was being covered up. The TWA 800 crash was the result of a “terrorist” missile attack.

I recommend that you scroll through Commander Donaldson’s website as I will be making reference in later articles to his work.  His website provides the technical proof that TWA 800 was destroyed by at least two air-bursting anti-aircraft missiles.  Also read the Donaldson File where you will find further analysis of the physical evidence which leaves no doubt as to the initiating event in this tragedy.

Commander Donaldson was a Navy carrier pilot and crash investigator over a 25 year career. We initially came to work together when he could not reconcile apparently conflicting eyewitness reports with the belief that a single missile had struck TWA 800.  He contacted me when he learned my analysis of the eyewitness reports showed that they were describing the launch of at least two missiles. Donaldson immediately realized that this analysis explained why the helicopter pilots Meyer and Baur reported that the “missile” they saw came from different directions. Each of them had seen different missiles. Donaldson subsequently began to work with Meyer, Stalcup, and others on determining where the missiles had been fired from and who fired them.

The evidence we uncovered pointed to an act of terrorism by the newly rising star of international terrorism, Osama bin Laden, abetted by the government of Iran. At a press conference on July 20, 1998 the first cracks began to appear in the NTSB’s “center fuel tank” explosion theory. Dr. Vernon L. Grose, former Board Member of the NTSB and former commentator for CNN stood up and declared that he could no longer support the Center Fuel Tank being the cause of the crash and that there was sufficient new evidence that a missile could have shot down TWA Flight 800. He joined Commander Donaldson in calling for full Congressional Hearings which never took place.

Donaldson, Stalcup, Lahr, and I were independent researchers who basically came to similar conclusions from separate backgrounds and perspectives.  Donaldson and Stalcup focused on the technical aspects of TWA Flight 800’s destruction while Lahr focused on the legal case against the government and I focused on documenting eyewitness testimony and linking a framework of geo-political events to explain why this disaster had occurred.

In the coming series of articles I will show that TWA 800 was not a single and isolated terrorist incident. Other incidents also had connections pointing to Islamic groups supported by Iran, involving Osama bin Laden such as two bombings in Saudi Arabiathe fuel truck bombing of the World Trade Center, the fuel truck bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, two bombings in Argentina, and two bombings of US embassies in East Africa.

Mr. Kallstrom, who headed the FBI probe into the TWA 800 crash investigation, stated on the program “TWA 800 – The Investigation” broadcast by The Learning Channel in the late 1990s:

“We were a week away from the Olympics on a high state of alert from a terrorism standpoint.  So my initial thought was, you know, this could very well be terrorism. It could very well be multiple aircraft. If it was terrorism and if it was State-sponsored – we didn’t know either – but if it was, it was an act of war
.

When we found indications that multiple aircraft were targeted with missile attacks on dates in addition to TWA 800 on July 17, 1996 Kallstrom tried to dismiss the whole missile proposal by calling us “conspiracy theorists” and later “bottom feeders” and tried to dismiss our findings by holding up and knocking down ‘strawmen‘ questions raised about the possibility of a friendly fire accident by the USS Normandy which was over a hundred miles from the scene of the TWA 800 crash:

“We are in the business of looking at all possibilities. We’re not the Federal Bureau of the ‘Obvious’ – we are the Federal Bureau of ‘What Could Have Happened’ …… The missile theory was on the board the first night. We know there were missiles that were left in Afghanistan. We know that missiles have been stolen. Missiles were made to shoot airplanes down.  So when you put the missile theory on the board now you are concerned about – Where did the missile come from? – Where was it shot from? – If they shot it from a boat …what boat ?…. stolen boat? …. friendly boat? .. rented boat?  How would it vacate the area?   North, South, East, West? … go to a marina …go out to the high seas to be met by a submarine? ….. We looked at the ordinance on the ship – the Normandy – it was all accounted for.  And by the way the ordinance could not fly that far – we know exactly where the ship was – it was 185 miles south of the tragedy. The missiles can only go 100 miles, so technically it couldn’t reach TWA.  And guess what – if they fired a missile of that size, it would be obvious on radar because it is a big missile. And we wouldn’t be looking at little holes in the plane the size of dimes and quarters.   If a missile from the USS Normandy hit the plane it would demolish the plane and evidence, metallurgy evidence, would be everywhere.  People wouldn’t be looking at little pieces ten times and saying ‘Jeez, I wonder’ – it would slap you across the face.”

Well, no one looking at the facts, especially Donaldson and me, was at all interested in the USS Normandy nearly 200 miles away!  You see the evidence from the eyewitnesses showed that the first missile was fired from a point 7.3 nautical miles north of TWA Flight 800, three nautical miles east of Moriches Inlet and one nautical mile off shore.  The second missile was launched from a point 2.9 miles to the SSE of TWA Flight 800 from the vicinity of a “30-knot” vessel which then proceeded to sail out to sea at a high speed away from the downed aircraft.

My view concerning a “terrorist” scenario linked to Osama bin Laden became stronger as we began to uncover evidence for other missile incidents in the NY metropolitan area before and after the TWA disaster.  In a later article I will describe how a Pakistaini Flight and a TWA Flight on November 16, 1996 were apparently involved in a carbon copy incident of the TWA 800 downing just four months after TWA 800 was shot down. It was hinted by the US Government that these incidents were meteorite observations but as most of us know meteorites descend – they don’t rise out of Long Island Sound. Further, there were two more well-documented missile events which occurred on February 7, 1997 and March 17, 1997 in the NY metropolitan area.

Some of the evidence that strongly pointed to a terrorist act and which I will develop in future articles were:

1. There were numerous missile events reported in the NY area between November 1995 and September 1997. These events involved Saudi, Pakistani, Swiss, Egyptian and U.S. carriers. The attacks appear to have continued to the winter of 1999.

2. The Saudi dissident, Osama bin Laden, appeared to be a central figure, supported by Iran. He was living at the time in Afghanistan, beyond the reach of the West, where the Taliban had their headquarters.

3. Terrorist groups related to the bombing of U.S. facilities in Saudi Arabia, the World Trade Center, and the attempted bombing of a Brooklyn subway claimed responsibility for the TWA 800 downing.

4. The U.S. government reportedly had intelligence intercepts pointing to a role played by Iran in the TWA 800 attack.

5. The U.S. government brought a Saudi dissident involved with the Dhahran bombing to the U.S. from Canada. He had bin Laden and Iranian intelligence connections. He later refused to cooperate with the U.S. authorities and was deported to Saudi Arabia.

6. Those involved in the World Trade Center bombing had links to bin Laden and plotted to destroy airliners. Yousef, who was tried for the WTC bombing, stayed in a house owned by bin Laden.

In an August 10, 1997 CNN program – Impact – “Holy Terror” – Osama bin Laden stated:

“The U.S. government has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal through its support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Due to its subordination to the Jews, the arrogance of the United States regime has reached the point that it occupied Arabia, the holiest place of the Muslims, who are more than a billion people in the world today.  For this and other acts of aggression and injustice we have declared a jihad against the U.S. You will see (my future plans) and hear about them in the media – God willing.

Speaking to an Arabic newspaper, he said:

“We had thought that the Riyadh and al-Khobar blasts were a sufficient signal to sensible U.S. decision-makers to avert a real battle between the Islamic nation and U.S. forces, but it seems that they did not understand the signal.”

On ABC’s Nightline program on June 10, 1998 Osama bin Laden was profiled as follows:

He may have backed the bombers that attacked the World Trade Center. Weapons which he supplied shot down U.S. helicopters in Somalia. He applauded the bombings of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia. He lives in a cave atop a range of mountains in Afghanistan. The principal targets of the jihad are the Israelis and the United States. 

Some intelligence sources claim that Osama bin Laden was connected to the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the bombing of Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996. Khobar Towers was a turning point for the United States. Nineteen american servicemen came home in coffins.

In Saudi Arabia, once considered safe for Americans, the landscape changed overnight …. It came as a bit of a shock to the Saudis to find out how many Saudi young men had been trained overseas by the so-called Afghani in extremist or potential terrorist roles.  

Osama bin Laden speaking: “We believe that the biggest thieves in the world are Americans and the biggest terrorists on earth are the Americans. The only way for us in face of this assault is by using similar means. You will leave when the bodies of American soldiers and civilians are sent back in wooden boxes and coffins.

American intelligence agencies believe it was bin Laden who dispatched his personal brigades with rocket launchers to shoot down U.S. helicopters (in Somalia) – eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed….

Osama bin Laden speaking: “Our people realized more than before that the American soldier is a paper tiger that run in defeat after a few blows. 

The FBI believes that bank accounts controlled by bin Laden may have funnelled money to Ramsey Yousef to blow up the World Trade Center. When Yousef was captured in February 1995 he was staying at a guest house paid for by bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden speaking: “Ramsey Yousef after the World Trade Center bombing became a well-known muslim personality and all moslems know him. America will see many young men that will follow Ramsey Yousef”.

The U.S. Justice Department believes bin Laden has sought to open and fund training camps in the Phillipines to do a two stage program – religious indoctrination into moslem fundamentalism and then military training to serve in his various armies.

In a New York Times article on October 23, 1997 Ramzi Ahmed Yousef when asked why he had bombed the World Trade Center said:

It was in retaliation for U.S. aid to Israel,”

and when asked, why not select Israeli targets he said:

Israeli targets were too difficult to attack. … if you cannot attack your enemy, you should attack the friend of your enemy.

Ramzi Yousef was trained in the Phillipines to make the truck bomb used to bomb the World Trade Center.  Terry Nichols visited the same camp in the Phillipines and later bombed the Murrah building with Timothy McVeigh using an identical truck bomb.

The question often asked about TWA 800 is: “Why would the government cover up a terrorist act?”

As the article below from the NY Times shows, the U.S government knew in 1996 that Iran was supporting bin Laden to conduct “hostile” operations against U.S. facilities, including playing a role in the TWA 800 downing,

September 26, 1998    The New York Times
Federal authorities charged Friday that a senior deputy to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile suspected in last month’s bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, made significant efforts on behalf of bin Laden in 1993 to develop nuclear weapons. ….. The allegations, concerning Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, also assert that bin Laden had an official agreement with the Iranian government and with Sudan’s ruling party to oppose the United States, and suggested that the United States had penetrated the bin Laden organization and learned detailed information in 1996. The government also asserted that the Iranian government had entered into a formal three-way “working agreement” with bin Laden to “work together against the United States, Israel and the West.” Members of bin Laden’s organization, al Qaeda, sent emissaries to Iran and some of its members received explosives training in Lebanon from Hezbollah, the terrorist group backed by the Iranian government. The allegations against Iran come at a sensitive time, since Tehran is currently trying to improve its relations with the West and is also at odds with the Taliban, the dominant group in Afghanistan, which is protecting bin Laden.

Given the above it was not in the interest of the United States to pursue a ‘tit-for-tat’ approach towards Iran since in the Iranian elections in the 1990s a government more inclined to open a dialog with the West was elected. A war of “revenge” against Iran (or any other nation in that area) would have been a disaster for the world’s economies, especially that of the United States, and would have reversed what was believed to be the more moderate political developments in Iran.   Further, to acknowledge that over a period of years missiles had been fired within the United States at civilian aircraft would have collapsed the airline industry.

Thus it is my opinion that the United States government decided to declare that the center fuel tank of the TWA 800 aircraft exploded from an ignition source which was unknown and leave matters at that.

Subsequent events indicate that this approach may have worked for a time ….

February 21, 2000    NY Times
In unusually bold language, the Clinton Administration welcomed the election results in Iran today and said it interpreted them as an unequivocal demand for greater freedom within the country and for improved relations abroad. “By all indications this is an event of historic proportions,” the State Department spokesman, James P. Rubin, said this evening, referring to the partial results available so far. The vote showed, he said in a statement, that the Iranian people want “engagement with the rest of the world” and “made clear their preference for greater freedoms within Iran.” 

The Saudi government appears to have followed the same policy towards Iran in its investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing covering up what it knew about Iran’s direct involvement. On June 25, 1996 nineteen Americans were killed by a truck bomb at the Khobar Towers in the Dhahran military base in Saudi Arabia. Within two days suspicions focused on Saudi dissidents funded by Iran ….

June 27, 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition) Issue 415 
Suspicion for the bombing …. outside Dhahran was .. pointing towards internal enemies of the Saudi monarchy … Middle East experts were last night discounting the most immediate theory that groups connected with Iran’s fundamentalist regime were involved in the blast….

August 5 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition) Issue 442
Iran has embarked on the most far-reaching campaign of state-sponsored terrorism ever conducted against the United States, threatening US airliners, and public buildings with a wave of destructive attacks. US officials are convinced that the clerical regime in Teheran has made a strategic decision to escalate its permanent war against the “Great Satan”, striking US targets on American soil for the first time in a systematic way. … Coming just weeks after the Iranian-backed bombing of the US barracks in Dhahran, which killed 19 American servicemen, it is now widely suspected that the TWA 800 tragedy is part of Iran’s ugly new campaign. “This is just the beginning,” said Kenneth Timmerman, publisher of the Iran Brief in Washington. “More aircraft are going to fall out of the sky.” 

March 31, 1998 New York Times
The Saudi Arabian government said on Monday that it had completed its investigation into the June 1996 terrorist bombing there that left 19 American airmen dead but would not …. release the results of the inquiry. . …. There was concern, officials said, that the Saudis failed to conduct an adequate inquiry because it might produce evidence of a link between the bombers and Iran, embarrassing the Saudi government.  Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have warmed dramatically in recent months. ……

So for both the Saudi and the U.S governments, Iran appeared to be too hard a nut to crack. It had a formal agreement with the world’s number one terrorist to finance his activities which means that the attack on TWA 800 was State-sponsored. Not being “embarrassed” appears to have been more important than telling the truth to the american public about the loss of life of its citizens aboard TWA 800.

The missiles fired at TWA 800 caused the nose to come off. PETN and RDX were found in the aircraft and explosive residue was also found on the right wing. The right wing had holes punched in it indicating travel of an object transiting the right wing. The right inboard engine was fodded with debris from the forward fuselage.

August 23, 1996   NY Times
Chemists at the FBI crime laboratory …have found traces of PETN …between rows 17 and 27 …. senior investigators said … Five days after the crash, a chemical test indicated a trace of PETN on …the right wing where it met the fuselage….

That was evidence that a missile had passed through the fuselage and there was a hole in the plane at those rows.

The Village Voice    February 24 – March 2, 1999
“You ever shot a .22 through a tin can? You know how the holes look where it punctures the metal and it rolls the metal back and tears it as it stretches?” the veteran pilot asked. “Well that’s what these holes looked like, except they were oval-shaped.” He was recalling three holes— each at least six inches long by around three inches high, he said— which had been punched through the thin aluminum paneling of a structural piece from inside the right wing of the 747. The holes were punched out “from the airplane toward the wing tip,” he added. The piece, called a rib, came from within the wing’s leading edge about five feet out from the fuselage, he said, where the landing lights would be. The pilot …. said, “Look, I think that these holes were caused by a high explosion.”  There is an apparent exit hole in the aircraft fuselage just forward of the right wing and a red residue, consistent with missile fuel, was found on seats in the aircraft in this same location. Further, it has been admitted that Federal officials were baffled by impact damage on the doors that close over the front landing gear. The nose gear doors were blasted inward and whatever caused this damage happened before the plane’s center fuel tank exploded since these nose gear doors were among the first things on the airplane to have come off in flight.

As I mentioned above I had developed the early evidence that there was more than one missile fired at TWA 800. Commander Donaldson later independently proved this scenario that at least two projectiles were fired at TWA 800. Major Meyer, who witnessed the disaster from his helicopter, was also a supporter of this view.

One of the most important pieces of information that we discovered was that there were numerous missile attacks on aircraft in the New York area from 1995-1997 which we matched with the record of geo-political events spanning dates surrounding the TWA downing. Here are some examples:

There was the carbon copy of the TWA 800 incident which occurred on November 16, 1996.

November 16, 1996 22:00 (EST)   
Co-pilot of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 712 Leaving Kennedy at 9:25pm, bound for Frankfurt saw an orange light coming from the left hand side to the right hand side of the airplane. The object was 3 – 4 miles in front of the aircraft and above it. A TWA crew following behind was so alarmed by what they had just seen that they considered returning to JFK.  In a future article I will publish the FAA voice tapes with the pilots so you can hear what was said in the pilots own words.

Then we have this ….

July 3, 1988
290 died after two missiles were fired by USS Vincennes at Iran Air Flight 655 A300 Airbus flying at 13,000 feet over Gulf.

July 17, 1996 
230 died after two missiles were fired at TWA Flight 800 flying at 13,700 feet over Atlantic.

December 12, 1996 Associated Press
The new, more violent face of terrorism in the 1990s can be summed up in a single word – ‘revenge‘ – an FBI assistant director (Kallstrom) said in a speech at a synagogue.

Could it be that simple? Did Iran hope to have it’s revenge on “the Great Satan” through its support of an attack by bin Laden on an airliner in the “Great Satan’s” back yard?

To analyze the TWA 800 crash one has got to understand the puzzle of why the United States had to bury the true facts behind this terrorist attack. The way that one solves such puzzles is to take pieces and see if they fit together so that a recognizable picture eventually emerges. Like all jigsaw puzzles there are pieces that seem to fit rather well at first but as the puzzle is assembled one realizes that some of the elements are misplaced and one needs to do some rearranging. So it was with the analysis that people like Stalcup, Donaldson, Lahr and myself were doing. But eventually a pattern did emerge and though today there are some parts that are still missing the overall picture is clear and I will allow you to draw your own conclusions as I present further aspects of this case in the forthcoming articles prior to the airing of the documentary on July 17, 2013.

Meanwhile consider this ….

Three weeks to the day before TWA 800 was shot down, at the same time in the evening, in approximately the same location as the TWA 800 downing, and within hours of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the United States Coast Guard received a report of “three red flares” launched 25 miles south of Shinnicock Inlet. An ex-FBI agent tried to bring this event to Mr. Kallstrom’s attention but its significance was ignored.  It was a report that in many ways mirrored my own observation while driving along I95 that winter night.  The significance of what I saw was also ignored.

Or was it?

Did the U.S. government know that terrorist missile launches were occurring in the Long Island area prior to, and after, the TWA 800 incident and had it tried unsuccessfully to prevent them?   Was the launch of the missile on November 16, 1996, which was reported by Pakistani and TWA flights, an attempt at a carbon copy of the TWA disaster just four months later? 

And so we have this strange case of TWA 800 where…..

The parties who conducted the act kept confessing to the crime as they were being jailed for other terrorist acts.

The parties who witnessed the act were the object of an FBI-presented CIA analysis to discredit their observations.

The parties who reported on the act to the American public held endless TV talk shows on the subject of a dress stained by a President, yet would not host a single talk show with any of the 600+ eyewitnesses.

The parties who investigated the act were reduced to simulating center fuel tank explosions using propane liquefied gas to represent commercial aircraft fuel, and a search through a bundle of tangled wires for a phantom, elusive spark which they could not find.

Like Nero fiddling while Rome was burning, the party who was supposed to lead the nation through the crisis caused by such acts, fiddled in the Oval office while bin Laden bombed and blasted his way to the ultimate terrorist act now known as 9-11.

All governments sometimes fall into the trap of trying to hide facts from the public. Before the birth of the internet they usually succeeded, but now information flows with complete freedom and those who publish views contrary to the government line must be destroyed by being labeled as “conspiracy theorists”.  ‘What Could Have Happened’ is promulgated by our government agencies and parroted by the press.  ‘What Did Happen’ is the object of obloquy and ridicule.

Here was one of the ‘What Could Have Happened‘ press stories that was put out on the second anniversary of the disaster…..

July 12, 1998    The Associated Press
A Harvard University English professor believes electromagnetic interference – possibly from military craft – might be responsible for the downing of TWA Flight 800. Professor Elaine Scarry’s theory is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board ….. Investigators say the plane’s central fuel tank exploded, but have not been able to say why. ….  Electromagnetic signals from other craft could have prompted an electrical charge aboard TWA 800 to jump from high-voltage wires to low voltage wires and then travel to the fuel gauge and the fuel tank. … Ms. Scarry insisted in a June 17 letter that a TWA pilot’s comments about a “crazy” fuel gauge and difficulty stabilizing the plane just before the explosion could be anomalies hinting at an EMI event.

Chairman Hall of the NTSB was not available for comment.

Are you surprised Chairman Hall was not available for comment?  Common sense seemed to have departed the “conspiracy theorists” in the NTSB.  Those of us who had documented the clear and convincing evidence that a missile attack brought down this aircraft did not need the help of a psychic in reaching this conclusion. But yet that was what the FBI was reduced to …..

November 26, 1998    The Washington Post
In September 1996, two months after TWA Flight 800 exploded off the Long Island shore, an FBI agent led a woman in cutoff jeans into the high-security hangar where the wreckage was stored. She surveyed the debris, then announced her conclusion: A bomb hidden in a suitcase near the left wing had destroyed the plane. She was wrong ….. but her error, according to Senate investigators reviewing the FBI’s $20 million probe, was not surprising, considering her area of expertise. She was a self-described psychic. ………..  Some were goofy but inconsequential, like …. the “military officer” who helped oversee helicopter landings near the hangar until he was exposed as a fraud in a costume. ….. In one misstep, according to NTSB witnesses, the FBI tried to store bloodstained clothing and other physical evidence in a refrigerated truck. But the refrigeration unit ran out of fuel over a hot September weekend, and the evidence baked for more than two days in 90-degree heat. By the time the problem was fixed, mold had grown all over it. The witnesses also reported that an FBI agent hammered two pieces of wreckage together in the hangar, and an FBI supervisor ripped metal fragments out of a seat cushion during an argument about their trajectory.

Quoting Flora Headley, the mother of TWA 800 captain Capt. Ralph Kevorkian:  “I guess I’m the only stupid one yelling about it”.  Ms. Headley, knew that the United States needed a Federal Bureau of the ‘Obvious‘ and not what Mr. Kallstrom claimed it had – a Federal Bureau of the ‘What Could Have Happened”.  Something was rotten in the State of Denmark back in 1990s.  According to Marge Gross who lost a brother in the crash “Kallstrom confided in me that a missile had in fact brought down the plane.  But, he added, If you quote me, I’ll deny it.” 

Stay tuned!  In my next article Major Meyer will describe his TWA 800 experiences in his own words. Here is part of what he said in 1998:

When you fly a helicopter at 120 knots over North Vietnam in the iron triangle – in the most heavily defended airspace in the history of warfare – you see a lot of missiles – you see a lot of flak – and I did – I saw a bunch of it – I know what it looks like.  My purpose in being here tonight is to tell you that what I saw explode in the sky on July 17, 1996 was military ordnance. We’re here is to say it’s no accident – somebody shot this aircraft down” – Major Fred Meyer speaking on March 12, 1998.

If you are interested in a fast read of the salient points I shall be covering I recommend the book ‘First Strike – TWA 800 and the Attack on America‘. The author provides an excellent description of the salient facts surrounding the downing of TWA 800. It builds on the work of numerous private researchers and completely puts to rest the government’s explanation for TWA 800 crash. It would have been a superior book had the authors ended it with a final chapter dealing separately with the two principal theories concerning the question of ‘who’ caused this crash, i.e. terrorist versus friendly fire. Unfortunately the authors attempted to incorporate both theories into their final chapter with the use fictional dialog. I had hoped that when subsequent editions of the book were released the fictional chapter would have been removed and that I would have been able to recommend the work without this reservation.

Michael N. Hull is a retired senior citizen who now writes opinion pieces on theology, philosophy and local political issues.