Thursday, June 20, 2013

New TWA Flight 800 documentary asserts additional evidence shows 'external detonation'

The co-producer of an upcoming TV documentary film about TWA Flight 800 defended the film on Wednesday, saying that there was "solid proof that there was an external detonation." The film, titled simply "TWA Flight 800," will premiere on EPIX TV on July 17.

It's a theory that has long been posited, that TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a missile. All 230 people aboard the 1996 flight died when the plane, headed for Paris, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Early suspicions were that terrorists had hit the plane with a missile, after a number of witnesses said that they saw a streak of light and a fireball during the incident. Although even in 1996 there were shoulder-fired missile available, investigators later concluded after an intensive probe of four years that the streak was likely burning fuel streaming from the plane's wing tank.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the explosion the result of an electrical short, most likely originating in a fuel gauge line, which it detonated fuel vapors in the center wing fuel tank, causing the 747 to explode and fall into the waters off Long Island.

Co-producer Tom Stalcup told CNN's New Day:
Of course, everyone knows about the eyewitness statements, but we also have corroborating information from the radar data, and the radar data shows a(n) asymmetric explosion coming out of that plane -- something that didn't happen in the official theory.

The family members need to know what happened to their loved ones.
In addition to Stalcup's statements, six retired members of the original investigation team filed a petition Wednesday to reopen the probe.

Jim Speer, an accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Association and one of those seeking a new review of the probe said:
We don't know who fired the missile, but we have a lot more confidence that it was a missile.
In addition to theories over a shoulder-fired missile, there have also been some that posited that it was an error by U.S. military forces that was covered up. In one particularly famous example, Pierre Salinger, who was Press Secretary for President John Kennedy and later a reporter for ABC News, claimed he'd seen proof that the U.S. Navy shot down the plane and then covered it up.

John Goglia, a member of the five-person NTSB team assembled during the investigation, was adamant that the NTSB's report was complete, truthful, and accurate. He said he "took offense" at the documentary's suggestion that NTSB team members ignored evidence.
I would never be part of any coverup -- period.

This accident, this (NTSB) report, over 50,000 pages, if you take and just look at certain pieces of it, you can move the cause of this accident any way you want. You can take just the radar; you can say it was a missile. You have to take all of the pieces and look at them as a whole.

The sequencing report that told how the airplane fell apart, none of it supports a missile -- none of it. When you look at the physical evidence inside the tank, it's clear that there was an explosion inside the tank. If the top of the tank goes up and the bottom of the tank goes down, and the forward side goes forward and the back of the tank goes back, that tells you that the blast was inside the tank -- not outside.
Speaking of the petition to reopen the investigation, NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said:
As required by NTSB regulation, a petition for reconsideration of Board findings or a probable cause determination must be based on the discovery of new evidence or on a showing that the Board's findings are erroneous.

We assign petition responses to the relevant modal office for drafting. The NTSB's Office of Aviation Safety will assign staff, to the maximum extent practicable, who did not work on the original investigation to carefully prepare a response. The response will be presented to the full Board for their consideration and vote.
While not speaking of the merits of the documentary, Nantel left open the possibility that the case could be reopened.

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