Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

August 10, 2001

Captain Ray Lahr
18254 Coastline Drive
Malibu, CA  90265

Gwendolyn L. Turner
Executive Officer
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20516

Dear Ms. Turner:

            This letter is in regard to your recent response to Jack Cashill’s request that the Department of Justice examine some of the unanswered questions about the downing of TWA 800.  My understanding is that you found no credible evidence to support Mr. Cashill’s request.

            Those of us seeking answers are just honest patriotic Americans seeking the truth.  Dating back to World War II,  I spent 16 years as a Navy reserve pilot, and I am ready to serve again if needed.  The rest of my career was spent as an airline pilot.  Let me explain my particular difficulty in obtaining the credible evidence referred to above.

            The CIA produced a video midway in the investigation and it was televised nationally on a show hosted by the FBI.  Later the NTSB produced a similar video which was televised nationally at the accident public hearing.  These videos showed the nose exploding off of TWA 800, and then the aircraft continuing to fly and climb from 13,800 feet to 17,000 feet trailing flames. The flaming climb is supposed to be the climbing streak seen by the eyewitnesses. These videos were used to discredit the hundreds of eyewitnesses, many of who saw the bright streak rising from the horizon, not 13,800 feet. Would you believe that not a single eyewitness was allowed to testify at the public hearing?

            There is a major difficulty with the CIA/NTSB zoom-climb theory.  That climb  wasn’t physically possible.  Using the Boeing data published in the NTSB report, the loss of the nose caused the center-of-gravity to move from its normal position ahead of the center-of-lift to about 11 feet behind the center of lift.  This created a huge nose-up torque of about 6 million ft-lbs.  That caused the aircraft to pitch-up right through a full stall in one and a half seconds.  After that, the aircraft was in free-fall.  The most the aircraft could have climbed in one and a half seconds is about 200 feet. The aircraft fell downward out of the explosion, not upward. This was substantiated by two eminently qualified pilots who saw the explosion, and who know up from down.

            I have been struggling to obtain the information used by the CIA and the NTSB to compute their climb.  After normal requests failed, I made requests through the Freedom of Information Act.  The CIA responded that it had used data and conclusions provided by the NTSB.  The NTSB responded that it couldn’t release the information because it was proprietary to Boeing (in spite of the fact that the NTSB had already released the pertinent Boeing data).  And Boeing stated that it had no knowledge of the data used by the CIA for its video.  It is a complete run-around.

            Please Ms. Turner, help me pry the climb information out of the NTSB.  Once we have dispelled with the myth about the climb, then maybe the NTSB will interview the eyewitnesses (something the NTSB was obligated to do from the beginning and still has not done to this day).  If you will talk to the eyewitnesses, then I believe you will be convinced as I am,  it was a missile that brought down TWA 800.



Open letter 
Ray Lahr

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