Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

R.I.P. 7/17/96

"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." -- Mt 10:26-27

At approximately 8:31pm edt., July 17, 1996 TWA Fl.800 out of Kennedy International Airport, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off East Moriches, LI. Of the 230 men, women and children aboard the ill fated flight, none survived.

Now, six years later, on the anniversary of the crash, lingering doubts still remain.

The official version of what happened that night places the blame on a "spark" of unknown origin which ignited the fuel vapors in the plane's nearly empty Center Wing Tank. Many choose not to believe this scenario.

After a controversial four year long investigation by the NTSB, assisted by other federal agencies, we have arrived at this point in time, the sixth anniversary of the crash.

This short editorial will not be a critique of that investigation, nor a news item presenting fresh evidence. For today, it somehow seems inappropriate to become embroiled in the continuing controversy that is the Fl800 mystery. Today, is a day to remember. A day to remember the 230 souls who lost their lives. A day to remember champions of the truth, like Cmdr. William S. Donaldson, USN/Ret., who himself passed away in 2001. His brother Bob Donaldson continues in his brothers footsteps. He dutifully maintains the website dedicated to the Fl800 mystery at

Yes, today we remember. It matters not whether you believe the official version of events, whether you agree with all that Cmdr. Donaldson and others had, and have to say, or whether you sit on the proverbial fence. What matters today, is that we remember.

My deepest sympathies go out to the victims and families of the TWA800 disaster, and to Cmdr. Donaldson, and his family, a victim simply of life’s end. You are not forgotten. The search for the truth continues.


Copyright 2002, John E. Fiorentino

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