“Is it still over, are we still through? Since my phone still ain’t ringing, I assume It still ain’t you,” sang Randy Travis in his country classic, a song I found myself humming this past weekend.
The “you” in question in my case is the major media and their timid acolytes in the respectable conservative media. This past weekend, any number of media covered the 20th anniversary of TWA Flight 800’s destruction.
I have a new book on the market “TWA 800: The Crash, The Cover-Up, The Conspiracy.” It is the most comprehensive look at the disaster to date. With one notable exception, however, not a single reporter called me, despite considerable prompting by myself and my publicist.
On July 10, I sent an email individually to 10 media people with whom I have had at least a passing relationship. I spoke of how I had lunch in D.C. with Vernon Grose, a former NTSB board member who is now an active supporter of the missile theory.
Joining us at lunch was an official whose name I prefer to keep off the record – and asked the media people to do the same – but who is shockingly high up in the federal hierarchy. This case is not a dead issue.
“I can put a reporter in touch with Grose,” I told my media friends, “the air traffic controller who monitored the event that night, the NTSB official in charge of reconstructing the plane, several pilots who flew the plane, and several others who worked the investigation, any number of eyewitnesses, including CIA “Witness #1,” the man around whose fully manufactured “second interview” the CIA created its infamous animation.”
Of the 10, only Paul Mulshine of the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, took up my offer. His reporting was refreshing in its honesty. After interviewing myself, Grose, and CIA “Witness #1,” Mike Wire, Mulshine concluded, “The skeptics are calling for the investigation to be reopened, and I fully support that.”
In the interim, while the media continue to honor the oath of Omerta that they seem to have sworn upon leaving J-School, serious people with inside information to share keep coming forward.
“A primary radar return (ASR-9) indicated vertical movement intersecting TWA 800,” an air-traffic controller at New York TRACON that fateful night told me.
Asked by his supervisor if he had ever seen anything like this before, the controller said yes – while in the Navy doing missile test fires at sea.
One correspondent, a 28-year NCIS veteran, called the FBI upon learning from a trusted source, “A missile from one of the Navy ships was fired and hit the plane. Right after that the ships fled the area.”
Agent-to-agent contacts are usually pretty “congenial,” but the FBI agent the NCIS vet contacted “seemed annoyed” that he would have to call the source in question.
“I thought I should provide some additional information. I was on the missile team from XXXXXXX. It would be better if we had a chat on the phone,” wrote another correspondent. “I can prove that it was a missile.” (More on this as it develops. Name of team redacted by author.)
Another fellow was working a security contractor at the Atlanta Olympics, which was to begin two days after the TWA 800 crash. At 4:30 on the morning after the crash, he attended a venue management meeting.
“We were told by one of the military briefers that security was ramping up severely because ‘they just shot down a commercial airliner off NY City.’ Those were the exact words, and he said where he got the info, and that was all he could tell us at that time.”
“As a side note, I can assure you that plane did not blow up because of a frayed wire,” the fellow continued. He knew whereof he spoke, having “spent hundreds of hours inside aircraft fuel tanks on similar aged airliners as TWA 800.
Another correspondent is an engineer involved “in the design of electrical systems in hazardous (explosive) areas.” He shared with me an essay that he had written several years ago “that repudiates the government claim that a shorted wire in the fuel tank caused the explosion.”
Wrote one person of some obvious influence, “My late colleagues, Admirals Tom Moorer and Mark Hill, were, they told me, working with you on your investigations into the crash and agreed with the direction in which you were headed.” Correct.
A retired airline captain related how he watched CNN for hours “with a stick stomach” due to the horror of it all. “The first eyewitness interviews by CNN and local reporters ALL sounded the same,” he wrote, “rocket trail(s) from the beach or the ocean up into the sky followed by big booms and an exploding fireball that fell into the sea.”
Another fellow was working on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of his colleagues were recruited by the Navy to operate ROVs, short for remotely operated underwater vehicles.
“Prior to being released after the job, the government had brought them in a room and threatened their lives and families if they talked about their work, and made them sign papers,” he told me.
The fellow continued, “They had watched the news in the Rig TV room and saw what was being reported did not remotely correspond to where they recovered the debris and that debris had holes in it which appeared from the outside in.”
“I suspect it might have been a Navy missile exercise gone wrong,” wrote one vet. “As a junior officer in the U.S. Navy in 1974, I recall an incident with another Navy missile cruiser.
“The missile fired into the sea,” he continued. “I could not believe my eyes! I’m guessing the missile tech stumbled on some breach in the command and control sequence that allowed him to fire the bird without the CO punching what we called ‘the red button’ on the bridge.”
“I knew instinctively that TWA 800 was shot down,” wrote a retired 747 captain. “I even naively called the FBI giving my opinion. The exploding center tank theory was ridiculous.”
I encourage anyone with inside information to contact me through my website, Cashill.com. If we cannot break this story before November – it has obvious political implications – we never will.
Media wishing to interview Jack Cashill, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.