Open Letter to the NTSB


In Re: Flight 587 Debris Field in Jamaica Bay and Other Debris on Land


To Whom It May Concern At The NTSB:


U.S.Read and The Wave are requesting the following from the NTSB related to the debris field in Jamaica Bay, and debris found on land a distance from the crash site:


1.         Make available all photographs and video NTSB may possess taken in Jamaica Bay on November 12th, 2001 

2.         The Public Information Division (DCPI) at the NYPD, has stated to U.S.Read that they will not release any photographs or videotape taken by the NYPD unless the NTSB explicitly gives the "o.k." to do so.  Therefore, U.S.Read and The Wave request that the NTSB contact DCPI at the NYPD and grant that authorization.  Phone number for Lieutenant Burke at DCPI will be provided below. NTSB should specifically request that pictures taken by any NYPD units, including but not limited to:


(a) The Crime Scene Unit (CSU) in Jamaica, NY

(b) The Harbor Unit at Floyd Bennett Field

(c) The 100th Precinct


... should be released to U.S.Read and The Wave.


The CSU has informed U.S.Read that such pictures are considered "crime scene evidence" and "are never released except under order by a Judge".  U.S.Read informed CSU that the NTSB announced at the Flight 587 Hearings that criminal activity has been ruled out, but CSU needs to hear this from the NTSB.  CSU's phone number will also be provided below.


3.  NTSB has in their possession several pictures taken by Witness # 321 of debris in the Bay that he and his friends recovered and then turned over to either an NYPD or Coast Guard vessel. This witness' boat was just east of the flight path along with witnesses # 18 and #122.  U.S.Read and The Wave request the release of all the pictures surrendered to you by Witness # 321.


4.  Several, if not dozens, of pieces of debris from flight 587 landed up to 3/4 statute mile away from the crash site, on land.  Aside from the engines and tail section, the NTSB has provided no pictures in the Structures reports of that debris.  Your Structures Report mentions the "left wingtip" at 116th Street but there was no specific mention or pictures of the following, for example:


(a) two "panels" found on the roof of the Rockaway Sunset Diner at 116th Street and Beach Channel Drive. These pieces were at least 8 square feet each.  


(b) Witness # 292 describes a 4 foot by 4 foot section picked up at 116th street

(c) the left winglet at 125th street and Cronston Ave.  (d) what appeared to be a crew member's or flight attendant's seat belt near the winglet at 125th street.  I have the names of the two residents who picked it up and surrendered it to the authorities.  The seat belt was slightly sooted and left some residue on their hands.


U.S.Read requests the release of pictures (with descriptions) of all debris recovered away from the crash site and that the NTSB produce a map of this debris field.  Seasoned Air Crash Investigators are surprised to learn that such a map does not exist.


5. On July 10th, 2002, a Rockaway resident submitted to an NYPD detective charred pages from a book (in english text) entitled "Manual of Islamic Behavior", that were said to have been recovered at the crash site.  The FBI recovered other pages from this book on the day of the crash.  The resident who surrendered the pages from this book to the NYPD did so with the understanding that a copy would be made and returned to this resident.  This was not done.  The NYPD forwarded these pages to FBI Special Agent (name withheld) in Queens, NY.  The NYPD stated to U.S.Read that this is "an ongoing criminal investigation".  U.S.Read sees yet another instance where the NTSB should update the NYPD (and perhaps the FBI) that this is an ongoing "accident" investigation.  This might encourage the FBI to release the pages from the book back to the resident, or, if the FBI has connected these pages to a specific passenger on board 587, then perhaps the Family Affairs Office at the NTSB should ensure that the family of the passenger will be given this and any other personal effects the FBI may be withholding.   Either way, there seems to be no legal basis (since there is no criminal investigation) for the FBI to continue holding this debris that either belongs to the resident who found it or to the family of the passenger. 


The requests for Jamaica Bay pictures have been initiated due to corroborated eyewitness statements in the NTSB's Flight 587 docket, and in followup interviews with those witnesses by U.S.Read, that:


(a) luggage and escape chute(s) were seen falling out of the sky along with flight 587 and ...

(b) luggage and possibly one escape chute/raft were seen floating in Jamaica Bay immediately after the crash.


NTSB's current position, as you informed U.S.Read, is that no such debris fell into the Bay, or away from the main crash site.



1. DCPI @ NYPD - 646-610-6700, ext 8792

2. Crime Scene Unit - 718-558-8822 and 8823


Thank you


Victor Trombettas

U.S.Read / The Wave