Former investigators are pushing to reopen the probe into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York, saying new evidence points to the often-discounted theory that a missile strike may have downed the jumbo jet.
The New York-to-Paris flight crashed July 17, 1996, just minutes after the jetliner took off from John F. Kennedy Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.
The effort to reopen the probe is being made in tandem with the release next month of a documentary that features the testimony of former investigators who raise doubts about the National Transportation Safety Board’s conclusion that the crash was caused by a center fuel tank explosion, probably caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the wiring.
“We don’t know who fired the missile,” said Jim Speer, an accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Association, one of those seeking a new review of the probe. “But we have a lot more confidence that it was a missile.”
The missal theory was all over then news the night of the crash, I'm surprised at the skepticism.
[quote]The missal theory was all over then news the night of the crash
Death by prayer book? I hadn't heard of that one before.
The problem with the missile theory is that it presumes it was a shoulder-launched missile fired from a boat, but no such weapon exists. Shoulder fired weapons simply don't have the range to hit an aircraft at the altitude TWA 800 exploded at.
Strawman. Nobody said it was a handheld missile, but in any event, it was not outside the capability of the Stinger.
I remember it happened a few days after MSNBC launched and Brian Williams did a great job that night. I think it immediately cemented him in the minds of executives that he could be in the anchor chair at NBC.
This could be big - if it's found that a terrorist's missle brought down the plane, it pre-dated 9/11, and could have been the first shot fired, so to speak, in the new age of terrorism. It would have also clouded Clinton's legacy even more, since 3 years before had been the 1st attack (the bomb in the parking garage), on the WTC . I'm not a conspiracy nut, but .........
This is strictly a fishing expedition by the Republicans meant to serve as a political smear against the Clintons in case of a presidential run by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
They do not want Hillary telling what she knows now that she has been a Secretary of State and seen the files.
Bob Dole knows it, you know it, and the American people know it.
Everyone knew it was a missal that took down 800 but the government just kept up their lie. Giving us a completely ridiculous cause for the explosion.
And the flight that went down 2 months after 9/11...who thought that was an accident? But of course our government insisted...just an accident. Bullshit.
The ridiculous extent that they went to dismiss the eyewitness reports of a missile seen heading towards the plane reminded me of the "magic bullet" theory and the JFK assassination.
WHAT flight went down 2 months after 9/11?
R8: the first WTC bombing was the first shot fired in the "new age of terrorism." My guess is that the US military accidentally shot down this plane, hence the coverup.
[quote]Strawman. Nobody said it was a handheld missile,
You're right, no one has said it was a handheld missile. In fact, the words handheld missile appear no where until you brought it up.
Anyone that uses the term "strawman" should die in an excelsior fire!
Here you go R13
Flight 587 in Bell Harbor, Queens NY
[quote] Everyone knew it was a missal that took down 800
The terrorists used a great Hail Mary, I must say.
I've heard of a shoulder fired missle, but not a handheld missile. Or missal.
What kind of missle could be fired from a fair-sized pleasure boat?
As one pilot said, "747s just don't go poof."
I seriously doubt the crash two months after 9/11 was terrorism. This will sound awful but I am afraid is true...a flight to a 3rd world country filled with mostly non-Europeans is not a "high visibility target."
It was going to the DR and the passengers were almost all of Domincan origin.
While a Stinger missile may have the range, firing one from the deck of a pleasure boat would be disastrous.
I heard three explosions that evening (the sun was still out, so that's why I don't call it "night"). The third may have been the plane hitting the water or hitting the bottom of the ocean, because my house shook from the bottom up. The first was just an explosion that sounded like thunder, or a propane gas explosion. The second, I felt the roof of my house shake a bit. The third was bottom-up shaking.
I called the police, but hung up before they answered, because I didn't know what to tell them. "Hello, 911 what is your emergency?"
"Umm... there were loud booms and my house shook."
"Did you see anything?"
"Can you tell where the sounds came from?"
"Uh, no... the sky, maybe? My pet birds thought it was thunder, but my neighbors dogs are lying in my front yard under a tree and they didn't move, so I guess it's not an earthquake."
I called my mom 40 miles to the west and asked her if she heard loud booms or if her house shook and she said no.
I turned on the Weather Channel to see the local radar but there were no storms. My mother called me about an hour later and told me to turn on the local news channel, a plane had crashed off shore. I immediately knew that's what I heard... that the plane had blown up and fallen into the water. First news reports said that a radar center in Nassau County confirmed that a small plane had hit the jetliner. They said that on the news for several hours before they suddenly stopped saying it.
The next day they showed an Air National Guardsman who was in a plane off Westhampton Beach say that he saw something go up and hit the plane and that the plane exploded after that. They took his video off the air, too.
Numerous regular, ordinary people without any kind of tin hat or axe to grind saw the explosion. They saw something go up and hit the plane. They had no reason to lie. They were just calling the news channels and newspapers and telling people what they saw. They all saw the same thing. Some were on their boats in the water, some were on the beach, some were in their backyards, some were at clubs and restaurants on the water. They weren't crazy people. They wanted to help the investigation. They saw a light -- like a pink or red flare -- go up in the sky and then there was an explosion.
Except for a sealane or two and a flight path, the Atlantic just off the east coast is reserved for military use.
Nah, R23. Ever since I was a kid I could hear roaring in the sky when I stayed with friends in Montauk in the winter.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Jetliners," said my friends' father. "They hug the coast and they turn out over the ocean here, gun their engines and head overseas."
I asked if they only did that in winter and he said, no, they do it all year long but the cold winter air made it easier to hear. Something about transmission of air waves depending on atmospheric conditions. I didn't quite understand it. He was military.
[quote]Except for a sealane or two and a flight path, the Atlantic just off the east coast is reserved for military use.
Utter bullshit. There are millions of people who live on the east cost who have boats and they take them out all the time. They are free to take their boat almost anywhere they want. And there is more than one flight path which planes use in crossing the Atlantic.
[quote] It was going to the DR and the passengers were almost all of Domincan origin.
Mama's mussy is in mourning.
None of the direct testimony of the eye-witnesses was ever incorporated into the final report. There were over 80 witnesses and many of them described seeing a missile. Some of the witnesses had military backgrounds and were certain beyond doubt that they saw a missile fly through the air and hit the plane. This did not square with the official story so it was ignored.
I had a friend who was a steward for TWA back then and he said it was "common knowledge" among employees that the plane was shot down and that the federal government was covering it up.
So if it was a missle, then why?
You know, sometimes planes crash, sometimes Presidents get assassinated and sometimes terrorists attack us. Looking for an explanation for why things happen, because they couldn't possibly happen naturally, makes conspiracy theorists as loony as Christians who deny that evolution could have never happened naturally, it must be a God.
R28, if you are defending the idea that the plane spontaneously blew a huge hole in itself, you are the one who sounds loony.
Military missiles can be fired at civilian aircraft by accident. Military outfits all over the world kill people by mistake. And of course the military does everything in its power to cover up such mistakes.
Mistakes happen. r28, if it was a military mistake, it would not be completely surprising that they would not want to admit that.
I distinctly remember it coming out that there were military exercises in the area that night - but of course, there was firm denial that had anything to do with the crash. I would think THAT would be a perfect reason to cover it up.
Our military made a mistake...of course we will never get the truth on that, just as we seldom get the truth about anything.
Our government lies to us about almost everything and any serious journalist are made to look like fools or simply dispatched in an accident.
The Egypt Air flight 990 crash was also terrorism. They said it was a suicidal co-pilot who acted alone, while chanting Allah Akbar, as he plunged the plane into the Atlantic. The plane was full of Americans and 30 Egyption military officers.
What kind of terrorist down a US airliner and doesn't claim responsibility? The Joker?
They checked. No military missiles unaccounted for and an accidental launch from a ship would be very difficult to keep secret. The entire crew would know.
I'm really sick of the argument "The US government lies about everything so my conspiracy theory is legitimate."
I'm open to evidence that there was a missile, but that is not evidence.
There have been reports from pilots of missiles being sighted off the East Coast for 20 years.
I can imagine the military wanting to cover up a tragic accident, though I think they are far more likely to come clean. But why would the NTSB, TWA and Boeing play along?
R35, there is a shit ton of evidence including dozens of eye-witnesses at a variety of locations who SAW the missile.
yeah, the rumor was that there were exercises in the area
and wasn't there a photo taken at someone's bbq or something outside on Long Island that showed something that looked like a missle?
[quote]You know, sometimes planes crash, sometimes Presidents get assassinated and sometimes terrorists attack us. Looking for an explanation for why things happen, because they couldn't possibly happen naturally,
WTF, you retard? None of the events you listed ever happens *naturally.* Conspiracy theorists may come up with explanations that differ from the official explanations, and their theories may indeed be loony--but not nearly as loony as the notion that assassinations and terrorist attacks can happen naturally!
Why would Bill Clinton cover this up?
Somebody has either a book to sell or a special about to premier on cable. PR people are at work. It's total absolute BS - birther - alien autopsy - bigfoot - BS.
The military would insist that he cover it up...you don't think our Presidents actually have some control over our government?
I mean, Bush THOUGHT he was in charge but was he REALLY in charge?
Why cover it up if it was an act of terrorism? We had terrorism before. Are you saying that if it was a mistake on the military's part, that's why they would want to keep it under wraps? Would Clinton even make that call?
Arrrh, arrh, me thinks me sees a SEA MONSTER or a MERMAID!
Clinton would not have known if the military lied, but in a case of this prominence I don't think the military can get away with a coverup.
R13- a plane crashed in Queens right after 9/11. I don't think it was even 2 months later. It was soon after.
Obama's Kenyan birth certificate was on that flight and it was destroyed in the crash. It was a conspiracy.
"The New York-to-Paris flight crashed July 17, 1996, just minutes after the jetliner took off from John F. Kennedy Airport, killing all 230 people aboard."
I hate the way people misuse the word "crashed" in a case like this. The pane didn't "crash" into the sea, or a mountain, or a building; it partially exploded in mid-air, for whatever reason. And yes, the remains of it then crashed into the ocean, but that's really not the same thing.
Who really thought that crash was really just an accident? No one said anything because most were still traumatized from 9/11 but really, I never thought for a minute that it was an accident.
[quote]No one said anything because most were still traumatized from 9/11 but really, I never thought for a minute that it was an accident.
Which crash are you talking about? If its the one this thread is about then you seem to have made a mistake. This crash happened years before 9/11
[quote] I never thought for a minute that it was an accident.
Evidence be damned. You're going to believe what you want to believe and be proud of it!
Disinformation. It's very scary to think that fuel tanks on thousands of airliners could explode at any minute because they were badly designed. Easier to think somebody was trying to kill somebody on that plane.
Notice how this "story," which will not lead to any probe, is being floated at the very minute our military probably hit one of their journalistic critics in Los Angeles.
That's what's it's all about these days. Float false theories to reduce the credibility of people concerned with actual crimes.
Has anyone come out and blamed Bush yet?
The most interesting fact that I've read on the 800 flight is that there was a delay/reshuffling of flights at JFK right before the incident. The plane that was supposed to be in that spot at that time was an El Al flight to Israel, not a TWA flight to Paris.
r56 any further info on this? very interesting...
I only read it once, R57, but as I recall traffic was backing up, and the TWA flight was carrying organs to be used in a transplant. Planes on medical missions can get priority and that's what the TWA flight did. It jumped ahead of El Al and whoever else was in line, and that's why it was there at that exact moment.
"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it ... You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
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