Group has new look at TWA 800 crash
By HIL ANDERSON
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) - A group of independent
their analysis of recently obtained radar images lends support
theory that there has been a government cover-up in the probe
1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, New York.
The Flight 800 Independent Research Organization
(FIRO) and the
Associated Retired Aviation Professionals said at a news conference
today that their analysis of the radar data pokes holes in the
government's conclusions that the disaster was caused by a fuel
explosion rather than a missile fired either by a terrorist or,
accidentally, by a Navy warship or plane.
In the report issued by FIRO, the FBI, CIA and National
Transportation Safety Board were criticized for what the investigators
saw as misleading conclusions about the crash that killed 229
The presentation, which stretched some three hours,
came up with
little in the way of a smoking gun that would prove any of the
theories, and was aimed more at the evidence that was used, and
used, by the official investigators.
The analysis of the air traffic radar images from
provided two routes of attack on the fuel tank explosion scenario.
aimed to cast doubts on the accuracy of a CIA computer simulation
showed the doomed plane rapidly gaining altitude immediately
fatal explosion, a scenario that has been used to explain the
streak flying into the sky that some witnesses on Long Island
seeing. It also indicated a good deal of air and surface activity
a restricted military area, dubbed W-105 by the Navy, which was
activated the day of the crash.
Thomas F. Stalcup, a member of the Florida State
department and the head of FIRO, said tracking the new radar
shows the Boeing 747 picked up speed in its final moments, meaning
aircraft was descending rather than climbing, which would have
to lose speed.
"It is clear to see that the radar data doesn't follow
simulation data," Stalcup said. "The conclusion can be drawn
plane did not climb."
The radar information also provided a wider view
of the area where
Flight 800 went down, showing some 30 ships sailing in formation
patterns that could indicate an active naval exercise.
The ship that attracted the most attention was an
that crossed the airliner's path at about 30 knots a short time
the crash. The ship, which Stalcup said was larger fairly large,
never been identified and continued sailing toward W-105 as the
What was unusual about the activity around W-105
picked up by radar,
Stalcup said, was the seeming lack of reaction by the ships and
to a fiery explosion that should have been clearly visible to
None of the ships altered their course or seemed to make any
head for the scene to offer assistance.
"It would have looked like the sun was setting,"
Stalcup said. "It
would have been a huge ball of fire in front of them."
Before the news conference, Reed Irvine, the head
of Accuracy in
Media, said any role the Navy might have played in the crash
probably not be revealed by anyone in the Navy because no one
willing to risk their military career by talking to the media.
Accuracy in Media organized today's news conference.
Implicating the Navy in the downing of an airliner
and any supposed
cover-up, however, did not seem to sit well with some of the
officers on hand to represent the Associated Retired Aviation
Professionals, including retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, a former
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Moorer said the Navy is not in the habit of firing
knowing where they are going.
"We don't fire a multi-million dollar missile willy-nilly,"
said. "You have to have a target."
"I don't think you are going to get to the bottom
of this," said
Moorer, who said the final word on Flight 800 would have to be
determined through Congressional hearings that would have the
compel testimony from government officials. "You have a lot of
and no final decision."
Copyright 1999 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.