Jack Cashill is an Emmy-award winning independent writer and producer with a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue. His latest book is the blockbuster "Deconstructing Obama."More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: This is the third installment of a five-part series this week in WorldNetDaily of commentaries by independent writer and Emmy-award-winning producer Jack Cashill detailing what he has learned in the course of producing “Silenced: Flight 800 and The Subversion of Justice,” a documentary video which presents compelling evidence that TWA Flight 800 was indeed shot down by missile fire and of the massive cover-up that followed that tragic event by the federal government.
Mike Wire’s denial is the most troubling. In a stunning bit of chutzpah, the CIA recreated the missile-like ascent of Flight 800 and its subsequent fall from exactly the same perspective Wire had on Beach Lane Bridge in Westhampton. Wire was the CIA’s poster boy. But at the time, he didn’t know it.
Mike Wire was originally interviewed by the FBI’s Philadelphia office, and his testimony is among the most detailed of all the witnesses. Said the CIA of Wire, “In his original description, he thought he had seen a firework and that perhaps that firework had originated on the beach behind the house.”
But if Wire had seen something come up from behind the house, what he saw could not have been Flight 800 – this, the CIA itself acknowledged in an 85-page transcript. According to the CIA, the plane began its rocket-like ascent 20 degrees above the horizon. As the story goes, the CIA then called the FBI and asked that Wire be interviewed once more. This time, Mike Wire now admitted to the FBI that, yes, he had first seen the streak when it was 20 degrees in the sky.
Several problems here – disturbing ones. In its hearings the NTSB made the point repeatedly that first impressions are usually the most reliable. So why go back to interview Wire months after the original interview?
Much more disturbing: The FBI did not re-interview Wire as claimed. Never. Wire’s wife did take one call from an alleged FBI agent, but when Wire called the number back, he got a New York publishing house and presumed the call a fraud. Even if the FBI had called back, Wire would not have changed his testimony. He has not changed it to this day. What is more, a boater just a few hundred yards away saw the same streak rise off the horizon and traces it exactly to the spot where Wire does.
Facts did not deter the CIA. “FBI investigators determined precisely where the eyewitness was standing,” said the CIA video, this despite the fact that the FBI had met with Wire in person only once, and that in Philadelphia.
Said Jim Kallstrom, explaining why he called off the criminal investigation in November of 1997, “In fact, we ran out of things to do.” If Kallstrom were really looking for meaningful activity, he might at least have sent an agent to talk to Wire.
“The white light the eyewitness saw was very likely the aircraft very briefly ascending and arching over after it exploded rather than a missile attacking the aircraft,” continued the CIA narrative solemnly. The animation itself not only eliminates the streak’s rise off the horizon, but it moves the explosion dramatically to the west of where Wire clearly remembers it taking place, the better to transform Wire’s ascending missile into a noseless plane.
At this juncture, one question nags the observer. Why choose Wire’s testimony to alter? Best guess: the CIA reasoned that an unassuming union millwright from Philadelphia would have much less access to the media than an affluent vacationer on the Long Island coast. In this sense, the CIA would have been right (their craft, after all, is deception). Wire did not become aware of his role in this recreation until March of 2000.
Still, the CIA underestimated Wire. An Army vet, with service in Korea, Wire has refused to roll over. With his wife’s encouragement, and with no reimbursement, he made the four-hour drive from Philadelphia so that we could interview him on Beach Lane Bridge and position him exactly where he was on that fateful night. Neither the FBI not the CIA asked him to do that. No one in the CIA ever talked to Mike Wire. In fact, the CIA talked to no eyewitness. The agency reached its startling conclusion after reviewing only about 12 percent of the FBI’s summaries, many of these hasty and slapdash in the first place.
“It is difficult to put into words the enormity (sic) of this investigation.”
Jim Hall, December 8, 1997 NTSB hearings.
Producing a video gives one a perspective that writing a book does not. It forces the producer to watch the people whose story he is telling over and over again. One gets to know them like family.
In fact, before I agreed to this project, I spent three days with the Sanders in their Florida exile (they apparently are the two felons in that state who did not vote), watching hours of video and looking for holes in their argument. What I saw only strengthened their case.
Among the more revealing of the footage I watched is the final NTSB hearing on Flight 800, August 23, 2000. To read about Jim Hall is one thing. To see him in action is another. Imagine Floyd the Barber from Andy’s Mayberry now as chairman of the NTSB: Kindly, bumbling, full of empty bromides – in so far over his head one cringes on his behalf.
Now picture Howard Sprague, Mayberry’s officious, self-deluding town clerk. Imagine him a little more unctuous and a little less charming, and you have the hearing’s best supporting actor, Dr. David Mayer, head of the NTSB’s Orwellian-titled “Human Performance Division.” At the 2000 hearings, the job of discrediting witnesses fell to Dr. Mayer.
“As you well know,” Mayer piously informed the NTSB Board, “the work of the committee is under the party process. If we would interview witnesses, we would form a group and the group would interview the witnesses.”
Please note the words “if” and “would” and the following clarification by Mayer’s boss, Dr. Bernard Loeb.
“In this particular case, some of these witnesses we did not get to because the FBI initially interviewed them. That is a slight difference.”
“Some of the witnesses”? Despite the clear directive of Title 49 that the NTSB be the “priority” agency on the crash scene, the NTSB did not interview a single one of the more than 700 civilian witnesses. Its staff talked to only a handful of military people and, then, not until 1997. As Jim Hall acknowledged more than once, “I would like to emphasize normal procedures were not followed.”
For the record, not a single eyewitness was allowed to testify at any NTSB hearing. In 1997, the FBI prevented the NTSB from introducing any witness testimony or talk of explosive residue lest, mirabile dictu, the FBI one day decide to reopen the criminal investigation it had just closed. The FBI also cancelled the screening of the CIA animation.
Wrote Kallstrom to Hall, “Until the NTSB has definitively determined an accidental cause for the crash, I believe it is prudent to withhold from public disclosure or discussion the identities of witnesses and the raw investigative details of the criminal investigation.”
By 2000, witnesses would have only caused problems for the NTSB whose mechanical thesis was now drafted in blood.
The NTSB did not, however, shut out all alternative theories. At the 1997 hearing, a witness was allowed to speak to the possibility of a meteor strike. Said Hall, congratulating himself on his open-mindedness, “The meteorite. We got a lot of correspondence on meteor strikes.”
At the 2000 hearing the NTSB did, at least, consider the witness notes gathered by the FBI, including that from one witness chilling enough to impress even Dr. Mayer. “Witness 649 described events that certainly do sound like a missile attacking the airplane,” Mayer admitted.
So specific and powerful is 649′s drawing, in fact, that when we animated it for the video, it made my editor and myself shudder in terror for the poor souls on board.
Still, Dr. Mayer dismissed 649′s testimony, and he did so for one reason only: as Mayer described it, everything 649 saw occurred “between these two flagpoles.” Mayer then used an illustration to show where those flagpoles were located and vectored 649′s line of sight from between those flagpoles out to sea. “So, again,” said Mayer, “it doesn’t appear that this witness was looking in the right location to see where Flight 800 would have been when it would have been struck by a hypothetical missile.”
One more problem. In none of the FBI notes does witness 649 ever mention a flagpole, let alone two flagpoles. With good reason. There weren’t any at his location in Westhampton. This is all easily verifiable, but the major media had long since ceased to care.
Late in the investigation, the NTSB staged a missile test. “We did not do this to prove whether or not it was a missile strike,” said Mayer, “We have known for a long time it wasn’t.” How the NTSB could have hoped for an unbiased result given its predisposition beggars the imagination, especially since it tested just one class of missile out of many.
For all that, Witness 649, like many others, described – even drew – a virtually identical pattern to the one the test witnesses reported. According to his witness documents, 649 saw an object like “a firework,” ascend “fairly quick,” then “slow” and “wiggle” then “speed up” and get “lost.” Then he saw a second object that “glimmered” in the sky, higher than the first, then a red dot move up to that object, then a puff of smoke, then another puff, then a “firebox.”
Mike Wire’s description is virtually identical to 649′s – as are many others. In video editing, when we superimposed the smoke trail of the missile test on Wire’s gestures or on 649′s drawing, it left us speechless. Curiously, too, the CIA animation acknowledged Wire’s description of a telltale wiggle but quietly attributed that to an airplane in crippled flight.