Many of us remember the terrible tragedy of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800, which crashed off the coast of East Moriches, Long Island, on July 17, 1996 en route from JFK International Airport to Paris, France, killing all 230 people on-board.
At the time of the crash, and the subsequent four-year-long investigation that included reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the TWA, the Airline Pilots Association (APA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and third party accident investigators, the official statement was that it was caused by a gas tank explosion due to a spark from a damaged wire.
But not everyone believes that, and producers of a new documentary on the crash, appropriately titled TWA Flight 800, aim to prove that the second deadliest plane crash in U.S. history wasn’t an accident at all, but that it was shot down.
Their line-up of credible experts is pretty incredible, too. The three men actually worked on the initial investigation. The Daily Mail reports:
Among the skeptics who worked on the investigation are Hank Hughes, a senior accident investigator, Bob Young, a TWA investigator, and Jim Speer, an accident investigator for the Airline Pilots Association.
The documentary features interviews with these key members of the original investigation team, who now claim that their investigation was systematically undermined.
All three aforementioned whistleblowers, who are now retired, claim that they were placed under a gag order by the NTSB. And while they apparently fall short of naming an exact cause of the explosion that brought TWA Flight 800 down in the documentary, their acknowledgement that the official cause statement is false corroborates what more than 736 eyewitness accounts reported to the media and FBI following the tragedy: that they saw a missile hit the plane.
Here are the top 10 facts you need to know on the conspiracy theories surrounding the missile strike of TWA Flight 800 so YOU can be “in the know” when you watch the documentary on EPIX, on Wednesday, July 17, the 17th anniversary of the tragedy.
1. Explosive Residue Found
After the explosion, wreckage recovery and chemical testing began immediately. In the initial reports, FBI scientists stated they had found cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX), nitroglycerin, and a combination of RDX and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) in a concentrated area on on the right-side of the cabin in rows 15-25. This since removed CNN graphic, courtesy of WhatReallyHappened.com, illustrates:
RDX, nitroglycerin, and PETN are necessary components in military-grade bomb making. PETN is also commonly found in both nuclear and non-nuclear missile warheads. Even more alarming, these three chemicals were found in an area with a strange red residue, a known indicator of rocket fuel combustion.
This information was not public knowledge until almost a month later.
2. 736 Claim They Saw a Missile (Or Two!) Hit the Aircraft
At the same time the FBI was conducting chemical analysis in their Washington, D.C., labs, they were also conducting interviews as to what East Moriches, Long Islanders saw in the sky moments before the explosion occurred. Several of the interviewees included experienced military personnel.
Major Fritz Meyer, who watched the event while flying a National Guard helicopter, was one of the military personnel interviewed. WorldNetDaily, a conservative and political news site, reports:
Meyer says he saw a trail of white headed for the plane and then four explosions before the ultimate fuel-tank explosion that erupted into a fireball. But when Meyer approached the FBI to give his testimony, a five-minute interview with a single agent who took no notes was the only time he was given.
Meyer is a Vietnam war combat veteran who flew 46 rescue missions in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. But despite the witness’ credibility, the FBI never contacted him again.
Later, Major Fritz Meyer personally filed an affidavit pending the four-year-long investigation. Here is an excerpt of his official statement.
Other eyewitnesses told very similar stories.
On August 15, 2000, some witnesses of the event, still frustrated at not being given the time of day by the FBI and NTSB, had formed the TWA 800 Eyewitness Alliance and took out a full page ad in the Washington Times to highlight the struggles of their ignored “truth.”
Your friends would be so into this, share it!
3. Media Blackout
One of the main complaints both civilians and media pundits had was the lack of official confirmation from any official on whether explosive residue had been found, despite reports from unaccredited or anonymous sources leaking.
A month after the investigation, CNN was voicing their chagrin at how little official information was being released, even when the explosive residue was all but confirmed.
A key investigator of the crash of TWA Flight 800 declined Friday to confirm or deny a CNN report that a trace of explosives had been found in the wreckage of the passenger cabin.
Robert Francis of the National Transportation Safety Board also refused to comment on a similar report in The New York Times.
A week later, on August 30, the FBI and NTSB finally broke their silence to CNN (via WhatReallyHappened.com):
Investigators have found traces of the chemical RDX in the wreckage of TWA Flight 800, CNN has learned.
FBI scientists found the trace of PETN on a section of flooring from the center of the TWA Boeing 747 jetliner.