AP Washington 

                      2 Witnesses Doubt Flight 800 Probe 

                       by G. STEPHEN BIERMAN Jr.
                       Associated Press Writer 

                       WASHINGTON (AP) -- On the fourth anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight
                       800, two witnesses criticized investigators Monday for doing too little to
                       determine the source of a light they say they saw in the sky near the doomed

                       They speculated the light might have been a missile. 

                       Investigators of the wreckage have found no evidence that a missile struck the
                       plane, National Transportation and Safety Board spokesman Paul Schlamm told
                       The Associated Press. The board, expected to pronounce its findings next
                       month, has focused on mechanical malfunction in the Boeing 747's center fuel
                       tanks as the cause of the explosion that brought it down. 

                       All 230 people on board were killed in the July 17, 1996, crash. 

                       Dwight Brumley, who watched as a passenger on another flight 5,000 feet
                       above Flight 800, said he told his story to the FBI but felt it wasn't taken

                       ''I could not positively say that what I saw was a missile. What I saw was a very
                       bright flame of light moving parallel to my aircraft,'' Brumley said at a news

                       Tom Stalcup, chairman of a group called the Flight 800 Independent
                       Researchers, said 260 eyewitnesses told the FBI that they saw a light in the sky
                       before the crash. Of them, 96 said they saw it originate from the surface. 

                       Federal investigators recently test-fired missiles under similar conditions in
                       Pensacola, Fla., to determine just what witnesses might have been able to see
                       the night of the crash. Schlamm said board staff members stressed that the tests
                       should be seen as ''dotting the i's and crossing the t's,'' not as an indication of
                       new findings. 

                       The NTSB is expected to reveal the results of the missile test and other tests
                       when it meets August 22-23. 

Home - Last Updated: