Monday, January 27, 2014

TWA: Flight 800: Very Disturbing Documentary

I caught this on Netflix recently.  I generally find conspiracy theories not very interesting, because to make them work, you need a lot of people to keep their mouths shut -- and how often does that happen?  In this case, people are not keeping their mouths shut about what was at least evidence tampering -- and it does not much matter, because nothing is happening.  (I have followed this story since 1996, and have been deeply troubled the whole time.)

For those who are too young to remember what happened: in 1996, TWA Flight 800 left from New York City to Paris, and crashed shortly after takeoff into Long Island Sound.  Dozens of witnesses reporting seeing what appeared to be at least one, perhaps two missiles come up from the surface and hit the plane, at which point it exploded, killing more than 200 passengers.  And these were not just ordinary fools on the street who might not know what they were seeing.  They include an Air National Guard pilot who was in a helicopter when this happened.  They include a private pilot in the air in a small plane not far away -- who could see a missile come up from below him and pass his altitude.

And yet, the National Transportation Safety Board eventually ruled that Flight 800 suffered a mechanical failure -- an empty center fuel tank exploded because there was some fuel in that empty tank which vaporized, and an electrical short caused an explosion that destroyed the plane -- decapitating it, causing the now headless airliner to rise many thousands of feet, thus confusing all the many dozens of witnesses who were certain that they saw one, perhaps two missiles rise from the surface, collide with the plane, at which point there was a fireball.

Huh?  This documentary includes interviews with NTSB investigators, TWA employees, the Suffolk County medical examiner, all presenting a disturbing story of intentional alteration of data to cover up what was apparently a missile strike.  Some of the NTSB investigators describe catching both FBI agents and a newly hired NTSB employee (now in charge of the agency) entering a locked hangar in the middle of the night, and changing tags on scraps of the airplane to change where these scraps were found.  They describe an incident in which a piece of the center fuel tank was examined which had residue on it that was swabbed, and initially found to be positive for nitrates -- and then the FBI hurried them out of the test lab, and later reported that the initial test showing nitrates was a false positive (as were several others), but the final result was no nitrates.

They provide strong evidence that the metal scraps removed from the recovered bodies did not match the claims of a fuel tank explosion -- and by the time the FBI returned the metal scraps, they were so jumbled together that they were no longer useful for reconstructing what happened.

Most impressive of all is the radar information from the night of the crash that appears to show fragments leaving the explosion downward at Mach 4 or greater -- not at all plausible for a low velocity explosion of jet fuel in a tank, but quite plausible for a high velocity explosion, such as would fit the dozens of eyewitness accounts of a missile rising from the sea.

There is so much that screams coverup here, including FBI agents attempting to pressure witnesses into changing their statements, and encouraging a woman who had applied for citizenship to say nothing, for fear that it might be a problem for her application.

Watch it.  And remember that this is the same FBI that worked to cover up BATF and FBI malfeasance at Waco.


xpxinvxpy said...

Probably this was based on the fine work by Jack Cashill, who is an excellent writer as well as (apparently) a good investigatize reporter. He literally wrote the book on this one. He argues that the coverup was orchestrated by Clinton. I've also read his equally compelling book on Ron Brown, and am currently reading his book on Trayvon Martin.

ザイツェヴ said...

Good grief, Clayton. You do realize that this post is going to be archived forever, right?

Clayton said...

Yup. There is a surprising amount of discussion, even in mainstream media, about how there is something a bit disturbing about how this was handled.

AlanKH said...

"causing the now headless airliner to rise many thousands of feet"

I remember listening to "Coast to Coast" radio show years ago when I still worked graveyard shift. George Noory had a guest on who cited that part of the official story as evidence that space aliens were involved. Guest's logic: that sort of climb is physically impossible, unless some external force grabbed the plane and dragged it in a rapid descent - a force that no known technology can produce. I think the credibility of that theory lies in between the missile theory and the official story.