In the early days of the investigation it was clear that something very unusual had been seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses. The FBI and Suffolk County Marine Police were hot on the trail. They assembled a representative number of very good eyewitnesses, did triangulations of the witness bearing lines and pinpointed two launch points directly under Flight 800's path. They sent their findings up the line
The only problem was the FBI brass wasn't buying it! They kept insisting on finding physical evidence and when any suspicious physical evidence was found by the field agents, it was quickly taken away, supposedly for further analysis, never to be seen again. The end result, the FBI leadership claims they never found any physical evidence and eyewitness reports are too unreliable to be useful. Of course, they will accept the word of a single eyewitness in a murder case and send the accused to the electric chair with no remorse. Here we have hundreds of witnesses all saying the same thing. The FBI leadership's response - they enlisted the CIA to produce a video to explain why "the eyewitnesses did not see a missile".
Witness 649's testimony couldn't have been more clear, and completely
debunks the CIA Theory. Two days after the crash, witness 649 gave
the FBI a detailed
statement which is summarized here:
|While on the track at Westhampton High School he " observed, just above
his line of vision, and the tree line directly in front of him, an object
(object number one) ascending from behind the trees. He stated that
the object originated from the south ...object number one appeared to be
bright white light with a reddish pink aura surrounding it. He said
the object continued to maintain that appearance throughout his observation,
except for the last second, when he believed the object impacted with another
object. He compared the moving object to a firework."
"Initially, object one ascended almost vertically beyond the tree line with no apparent direction and at moderate speed. Object one evolved into a "squiggly" pattern going up vertically and increasing in velocity and then arced off to the right in a southwesterly direction. He stated that the object continued to stay just above his line of vision, and he never had to pick up his head up to observe the events."
"He stated he observed a second stationary object (object number two) that appeared to glitter in the sky. Object number one was heading toward object number two, which he said he would not have seen if it was not for object number one drawing his attention to it. However, object number one appeared like it was initially going to slightly miss object number two unless it made a dramatic correction at the last moment. In less that a second, he believed object number one impacted with object number two; ..He observed a white "puff" (white flash) approximately the size of a small ball in the sky, however, he heard no noise. Out of the puff came two objects that arched upward from the initial impact trailing smoke. He said the objects then appeared to turn into large rectangular balls of fire descending at an angle down past the horizon of the trees. After the burning objects fell beyond the horizon of the trees he did not observe or hear anything else."
Witness 649 then provided the FBI with the following sketch:
It is very clear from this drawing and from the written description that witness 649 saw two completely different objects and that the object he saw ascending was not Flight 800 in "various stages of crippled flight". Armed with this excellent description of a MANPADS missile impacting the very slow moving 747 you would have thought that combined with dozens of other similar stories, the FBI had the "smoking gun" - hundreds of eyewitnesses.
By October 14, 1996, Special Agent Steven Bongardt and Deputy Inspector Matulewich of the Suffolk County Marine Police sent letters up the chain of command pointing to two specific launch points with what would appear to be insurmountable evidence that the aircraft was shot down.
That was not to be the case. The FBI high command kept insisting on PROOF! and in the meantime enlisted the CIA to produce a film that proved the witnesses didn't know what they saw. Either through purposeful obfuscation or extreme incompetence, the CIA came up a theory, based principally on a single eyewitness, Michael Wire (who subsequently stated that the CIA video does not represent what he saw). By May 1997 the CIA was in the middle of producing its docu-drama.
On May 8, 1997 the FBI took a drawing taken from the CIA video back to witness 649 to get him to verify that it was what he saw. In doing so they told him that it was a drawing by another eyewitness and they wanted to see if his recollection was similar. CIA Drawing 2a:
Following is from the FBI witness form:
|"Witness 649 drew a sketch of what he remembered on a sheet of paper that he was given which included an approximate tree line and ground line (Drawing #1). When given Drawing #2a, he felt it was pretty accurate except that it was "missing the entire first part" and sketched that part of his observations onto the drawing (Drawing #2b). He also added the two separate lines of objects descending to the primary thicker black line already in the drawing: Drawing #2b:|
It is very clear from this sequence of events the FBI leadership had already decided that the story line was to be: "the witnesses didn't see a missile" and were using the CIA video to publicize that position. Never mind that the facts and the witness observations completely refute the CIA theory.
Evidence of a Missile
Flight 800 Database
Bomb -------- 4%
Fuel Tank --- 14%