Two years after the crash of TWA Flight 800, which exploded 20 minutes after takeoff on July 17, 1996 killing all 230 persons on board, the FBI’s criminal investigation has gone inactive. According to FBI Deputy Director Schirillo, “it was the biggest investigation in FBI History, we placed over 1000 agents in the field.” The National Transportation Safety Board cannot place into evidence any ignition source and proof to support the center wing tank (CWT) explosion theory, and is now experimenting to see if electro-magnetic impulse (EMI) caused the crash.
Most real scientists would place a higher probability on sabotage by the tooth fairy, than wasting taxpayer monies studying potential EMI interference. The fact that a CWT explosion has never happened on any aircraft since the beginning of civilian jet transport, appears not to have been underscored. The fact that there is no potential source of ignition in the tank, appears not to have been underscored. The fact that the NTSB’s own contract scientists tell them that even at 14,000 feet an unshaken tank will not even burn unless a very hot igniter is energized at the right place in the tank, appears not to have been underscored. The fact that these scientists also say the pressure generated in the CWT would be only 20 to 60 psi, not the hundreds of psi in evidence, appears not to have been underscored. The fact that technicians in the US Military Aviation Fuels Laboratories think the CWT theory is nonsense, seems not to have been underscored. The fact that forensic evidence is clear, the tank imploded before exploding, seems not to have been underscored. The fact that no qualified air crash investigator interviewed the hundreds of eye witnesses who observed supersonic points of light ascending to intercept the aircraft, seems not to have been underscored.
- According to FBI Deputy Director Schirillo “It was the biggest investigation in FBI History we placed over 1000 agents in the field”
Both the FBI and the NTSB have painstakingly searched for any and all new leads to help explain the explosion, with no end in sight and no new answers being developed. According to FBI Spokesman Joseph Valiquette, the Bureau remained “unaware of any new evidence that would cause us to re-open our criminal investigation.” The only facts and questions that remain in evidence or unanswered are not the new ones but rather more importantly the old ones. If Jack Webb was the Chief Investigator he would want “Just the facts, Just the facts” from the FBI.
The US received intelligence reports that stinger missiles crossed the U.S./Canadian border prior to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
The Times of London reports that Israel’s Mossad warned both the French and U.S. Intelligence agencies that an American Airliner would be a target of sabotage or hijacking by Islamic extremists.
Military sources note that both the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. military made changes in the flight patterns around Atlanta and upgraded airport security precautions nationwide prior to the 1996 Olympics.
The FBI received a videotape shot by a Long Island man four days before Flight 800 is shot down, Military experts agree it depicts a single missile shot out at sea.
A U.S. reconnaissance satellite is positioned to observe Long Island before Flight 800 is lost.
The White House immediately informs the Atlanta FBI Command Post, that the president believes Flight 800 was shot down by a shoulder fired missile.
The CIA sends the Israeli Mossad the passenger list from TWA 800 for review.
Many witnesses describe the stinger’s burnout of its sustainer motor, a residual thin smoke trail to an impact on the aircraft’s left-wing root. Of the eyewitnesses, a senior FBI agent is noted.
Military experts provide the FBI with the stinger launch footprint criteria for successful intercept of TWA 800. It matches the eyewitnesses’ accounts.
Military experts provide the FBI with thermal imaging of a B747-100 aircraft showing a stinger or any other heat-seeker missile fired from in front and below the aircraft would guide for three hot center line air pack vents just below the center wing tank.
The Times of London reports a piece of bottom wing skin was found pock marked from explosives.
Two fishermen report to the FBI they separately and at different times found a strange looking small canister in their drag nets, both threw the object back into the water.
Military experts provide photos of the ejector rocket motor canister from a Soviet copy of the American Stinger. The fisherman it’s shown to says the canister is very similar but not exactly the same. (When fired the ejector motor drops off as the missile leaves the tube). American and Soviet ejector motors are slightly different.
The FBI’s Schirillo, admits in response to congressional questions that the FBI was unable to identify the closest vessel to TWA 800 when it exploded.
That vessel fled the scene at 30 knots.
That vessel was within the U.S. Stinger and Soviet MANPAD’s successful firing envelope as defined by military experts when Flight 800 exploded.
The unclassified report prepared by China Lake Weapons Facility specifies four criteria that would be in evidence if a stinger or other MANPAD’s missile penetrated a B747-100 full wing tank and exploded. All four are strongly believed in evidence on TWA 800 and are not otherwise explained.
The unclassified report discounts the physical evidence sold on assurance by the NTSB and FBI that there were no entry holes into the tank.
Military missile experts touring the Calverton Hangar three weeks before the FBI dropped the Investigation, find a large area of missing left wing root suspicious.
- According to FBI Spokesman
Joseph Valiquette the Bureau remains “unaware of any new evidence that would cause us to reopen our investigation.”
Retired FBI Chief Investigator James Kalstrom in a phone interview this past October states that the suspicious surface targets were actually U.S. naval vessels on a classified operation.
Prior to the crash, two eyewitnesses fishing at the end of Moriches Inlet rocks, watch a black 30 to 40 foot long racing boat come through the inlet, stop in the mouth for a minute, then race away at high speed to the south east.
Twenty minutes later the witnesses see a missile go up from exactly the area the boat disappeared into.
Triangulation of multiple witnesses place that missile shot at the 30 knot surface track.
The 30 knot surface target not identified by the FBI was 10 nautical miles from Moriches Inlet when Flight 800 exploded.
A 30 knot speed boat travels 10 Nautical miles in 20 minutes.
None of these points have been answered by the FBI in any detail. For an investigation that has gone inactive, with no criminal wrongdoing found, it seems strange that the entire file is listed as “Secret.” According to U.S. military sources the US Army Missile Command, Missile Space and Intelligence Command, China Lake Naval Weapons Research Facility, and the U.S. Air Force experts were canceled in the middle of their review. The reason given “lack of funding.” If these experts were canceled in the middle of their investigation, then we can assume that the findings as reported by the FBI suffers from severe lack of proficiency and appear not to have been underscored. While the findings by the NTSB look more like a international fishing contest in waters known not to be inhabited by fish, rather than a air crash investigation.
The questions that need to be answered are not yet the new theories, possibilities or potentials, it’s the old theories, possibilities and potentials that seem to have fallen at the wayside for lack of funding. It’s time we get to the truth, there are 230 reasons to know. If it takes an independent investigation ordered by Congress to get the answers, then so be it. Better we know exactly the cause of the downing of TWA Flight 800, rather than unlimited fishing trips at taxpayer expense. We already have too many of those.
Joseph Cafasso is legislative director of the Associated Retired Aviation Professionals.