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Silenced: Flight 800 and the subversion of justice, part 5

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Ron Brown


TWA Flight 800





© Jack Cashill
June 8, 2001 -

Editor's note: This is the fifth and concluding 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 DVD 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.

Altered evidence

Indeed, a book could – and ought to be – written on the myriad details in this investigation that raise alarms. In fact, no single bit of evidence says "mechanical." Even the evidence at the very heart of the NTSB thesis – "the inescapable conclusion that the cause [of the crash] was a fuel-air break up in center wing tank that involved the explosion of the center wing tank" – argues against that thesis.

Despite its name, the center wing tank sits in the fuselage under the passenger seats. No one denies it blew up. The only questions are when and how.

Cmdr. Donaldson argues that the fuel could have blown only if the center wing tank were seriously disturbed by some external event. He has performed some simple but telling experiments on this point. In the one, Donaldson dips a lit match into a tin of Jet A Fuel. The fuel extinguishes the match. As he notes, the Aviation Fuels Handbook says the same phenomenon will occur up to 127 degrees Fahrenheit with this fuel.

When, however, Donaldson sprays a candle flame with Jet A Fuel, the spray erupts wildly into flame. This results, says Donaldson, "If something violent happens and the fuel is misted into the atmosphere by kinetic energy."

In fact, in its own tests, the NTSB could not get any kind of explosion from the Jet A fuel that they could use for analysis. So they had to test with hotter fuels. Nor could the NTSB identify the spark that would ignite the fuel especially since there is no wiring in the center fuel tank. Consider this damning conclusion by an honest NTSB investigator at the final NTSB hearing:

The search for the probable ignition location was pushed to the limits of current technology. An accounting of the scientific uncertainties was meticulously maintained throughout the entire experimental, computational and analytic processes. In the end the uncertainties were too great to locate probable location of ignition.

Comments Jim Sanders a bit more succinctly, "They spent 40 million trying to find some scientist, somewhere in America to say this hypothesis would work. They couldn't find one."

The IAMAW couldn't find anything either. In its final report, the machinists union declares, "We conclude that the existing wiring recovered from flight 800 wreckage does not exhibit any evidence of improper maintenance or any malfunction that lead to a spark or other discrepancy."

So why did the fuel tank blow up? The IAMAW came to its own conclusions: "A high pressure event breached the fuselage and the fuselage unzipped due to the event. The explosion was a result of this event."

A "high pressure event" is a technical way of suggesting an external force, like a missile. Not surprisingly, the NTSB quietly suppressed the IAMAW report.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the NTSB persisted at the final hearing in its argument that there was no "physical evidence" of a bomb or missile. NTSB staffers could do this with a straight face only because the reconstructed plane showed no apparent sign of missile damage, even though only 95 percent of the plane was alleged to be recovered and there were gaping holes in the sides of the plane.

Something to remember here. The top NTSB brass was pushing a mechanical thesis before much of anything was recovered. Indeed, it seems altogether possible that in an administration notorious for misplacing evidence – the McVeigh case only the most recent – the physical evidence from Flight 800 was "misplaced" as well.

In a telling and amusing bit of ABC news footage, a man, who appears to be an NYPD bomb expert, looks closely at a recovered part of the plane and says, "I wish Clinton would get off his ass and do something about this terrorism." He then comments to the FBI agent next to him that the part before him bore obvious signs of an explosion. The agent leans in and quiets him. Sometime before the final NTSB hearing this part apparently disappeared.

The NTSB, you see, could never "find" any physical evidence. That was their Clintonian escape hatch, "find." During the Sanders' trial, a senior FBI official, Ken Maxwell, under oath in court stated that the NTSB was not allowed to see any evidence as it came off the ship, onto shore, or into the hangar, it remained under FBI control during the entire process. The FBI would go through it at will, taking anything that it wanted. This was stated under oath as well.

Under oath, too, senior NTSB official Hank Hughes told a Senate committee that FBI agents were caught in an internal sting at 3 a.m. removing Flight 800 evidence from a hangar Hughes controlled.

Commander Donaldson's allies within the investigation were telling him much the same thing. In one specific case, a Donaldson source had a suspiciously damaged part tested for explosives. It turned up positive. "The FBI alerts on it," claims Donaldson, "and the next thing you know the part is gone."

As part of the discovery process for his criminal trial, Sanders was allowed access to information and places others were not. He took many photos. One significant series of photos Sanders obtained shows what the inner portion of the center wing tank looked like when it came into the hangar. The part was swept dramatically upwards, indicating an external force coming into the airplane blowing it up and in.

In the video, we superimposed this part on the reconstructed plane. It reveals the path a missile warhead blast would have made through the right side of the center wing tank and out through a charred, gaping hole in the fuselage above. It is frightening to behold.

This, the NTSB could not live with. Later photos suggest that the upward bending metal from this huge piece was cut off and mashed down, the way a spontaneous explosion of the center wing tank might have pushed it. At the final NTSB hearing, a video showed an NTSB official standing on this very part, pointing up toward an imperceptible scrape, declaring it to be compelling evidence of a mechanical failure unprecedented in its magnitude.

And by this time, only the reckless would dare challenge him.

Unspoken truth

Let me present a likely scenario.

Within hours of the crash, for reasons unknown, a decision is made at or near the top to contain any reports of a missile strike. To assure cooperation, participants are told that it is a matter of highest national security. Whether the missile strike is a tragic misfire by Navy or NATO forces or an act of terrorism is no longer relevant. What is relevant is that some individuals know what happened and decide to conceal the truth.

Once made, this decision cannot be taken back, not in this White House – not in the months and days before a presidential election. As the conspirators begin to realize that the media will not challenge them, they decide in small, awkward steps to tailor the evidence to fit the safest political outcome, a mechanical failure. The great majority of workers are fully in the dark. A small percentage, including much of the NTSB brass, remains willfully blind. Only a handful sees what is happening.

But a spontaneous explosion of this type and violence has never happened before, ever, and did not happen on July 17. What did happen? Here is a solid, fact-based estimate.

Yes, TWA Flight 800 does take off from JFK at 8:19 p.m. and head east along the Long Island shore. About 12 minutes later a boater sees a missile rise up off the horizon and loses it behind a beach house.

Mike Wire, a few hundred yards to the East on Beach Lane Bridge, picks the missile up as it rises vertically above that house and watches it head south away from shore, now zigzagging as it tries to acquire its target.

Lisa Perry and Paul Angelides pick up this same missile now high in the sky. So does Air National Guard pilot Major Fritz Meyers.

Meanwhile Dwight Brumley, a senior Navy NCO on board USAir Flight 217, watches a second missile rise up towards his plane, arc over and head to the north.

An unidentified ship now boldly flees the scene, perhaps having launched that very missile. Angelides sees the ship. From a school parking lot on Long Island, Witness 649 sees Brumley's northbound missile streak up vertically and then start zigzagging in pursuit of its target.

Lisa Perry who has followed the southbound missile to Flight 800 now sees the northbound missile.

Says Perry, "The other one comes up from underneath the bottom of the plane and it's in the shadow the plane and I think it's going to thread it like right through the middle of the head of the plane, thread it like a needle."

At 8:31 p.m. the southbound missile explodes in a white phosphorescent light a few feet from Flight 800, nicks the left wing and blasts into the underside of the nose, blowing it 15 degrees to the right and thrusting debris more than a mile in the same direction.

Nine-tenths of a second later, the northbound missile corrects direction at the last second, explodes, and the blast slams up into the belly of the plane, ripping through the center wing tank and transforming the liquid fuel into a volatile mist. Now noseless, the plane pitches backward, and the fuel erupts in flame.

From his helicopter, Major Fritz Meyer sees exactly what witness 649 so graphically described: "The first two (explosions) appeared to be high velocity. The last one was a low velocity petro-chemical explosion which grew into a huge fireball."

There is no 3000-foot ascent to deceive the witnesses, nothing like it. TWA Flight 800 immediately begins its slow, oddly graceful descent into the sea, breaking up as it descends, transforming itself in those sad final seconds from a horror into a tragedy, a tragedy that will soon resonate in a thousand scenes of intense personal sorrow throughout the world.

"The main thing that hit me then was anger," says Marge Gross whose brother was killed on the flight, "anger and a promise." I said "Who did this to you? I would find out who did this to him."

Five years later, Gross lives her promise. It has not been easy – not for her, not for the resolute eyewitnesses, not for the persecuted Sanders, not for the stalwart and now seriously ill Cmdr. Donaldson. These gallant souls have explored our dark places for us and, to this point, the only light they have seen is the light they themselves have generated.

Part:  1   2   3   4   5


Special Note:

Jack Cashill and James Sanders' First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America is now available. First Strike explains how a determined corps of ordinary citizens worked to reveal the compromise and corruption that tainted the federal investigation. With an impressive array of facts, Jack Cashill and James Sanders show the relationship between events in July 1996 and September 2001 and proclaim how and why the American government has attempted to cover up the truth.

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