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In Light of FBI Failures, Reopen the Investigation of TWA Flight 800


The crash of TWA Flight 800 was one of the worst aviation disasters in American history, killing 230 people. As a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, I defended the government's investigation and official explanation of its cause for years. But I am now convinced that it's time the current NTSB make a courageous decision to reopen that investigation.

Let me explain why.

Just 12 minutes after it took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Paris-bound TWA Flight 800, engulfed in flames, slammed into the waters off Long Island, N.Y., on July 17, 1996, killing everyone on board. Because I served on the NTSB board and am a risk management expert who specializes in aviation, I have been interviewed more than 170 times, perhaps more than anyone else, about the crash. At first, I was a staunch defender of the NTSB's conclusion that overheated gases in the plane’s near-empty, center-wing fuel tank caused the tank to explode.

But it's now clearer than ever that highly unusual and questionable behavior of the FBI, which led the investigation and refused to consider the testimony of eyewitnesses, warrant a reopening of the case.

TWA Flight 800 documentary

The investigation is getting renewed scrutiny due to "TWA FLIGHT 800," a provocative 90-minute documentary that will air on the EPIX network at 8 p.m. on July 17, the 17th anniversary of the crash. The documentary includes comments from me criticizing the FBI's actions.

I am convinced by the evidence that a missile – not the center wing tank explosion -- brought it down, but I haven’t resolved its source. Nor am I arguing that a widespread governmental conspiracy exists to keep truth from the American people.  But I support other aviation and explosion experts, including many who participated in the original TWA 800 investigation, in saying it’s time to take a fresh look at all the evidence, much of which was withheld by the FBI. 

In this trailer for the July 17 documentary "TWA Flight 800," I question (:54 to :56) the highly unusual actions of the FBI, which excluded eyewitnesses from its investigation. Its time to reopen the case.

I realize some family members of those who died in the crash say they don't want to rehash a painful national discussion of the details. I also realize some federal officials, in response to a petition by the documentary's creators and others, recently told reporters they stand by the official conclusion.

I do not. In light of new research -- including radar data that may corroborate the missile theory -- the official explanation of what caused TWA Flight 800 is questionable at best. What troubles me the most to this day is the way the FBI handled the investigation.

This is how TWA Flight 800 was reconstructed during a four-year investigation

Incredibly, the FBI denied and excluded any of the eyewitness accounts of the fiery crash, and there were more than 100 of them. This, in my view, raises serious questions about the FBI's motive, integrity and competence, and clouds the official findings. Until questions about the FBI's curious handling of the investigation are thoroughly examined and convincingly answered, what caused the crash of TWA Flight 800 will remain a mystery.

Let's reopen the investigation to answer these questions and find the truth.

Omega Systems Group Incorporated is a Washington-based Vernon Grose at NASAconsulting firm that identifies, ranks and manages risks -- systematically. Business Week has described OSGI chairman Vernon L. Grose as a "founding father" of the application of systems methodology to managing risk.

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The FBI not only withheld and mismanaged evidence of the crash itself, but also FBI supervising agent James Kallstrom fabricated a story that a K9 training exercise in Saint Louis -- months prior to the crash -- was the source of the PETN residue found by metallurgists in the airliner's framework. (PETN is the residue from the detonation of high explosives.) 
As a former military law enforcement supervisor, I knew that the story was bogus the moment that I heard it. So, I did the research to see if my suspicions could be proven. They were. 
Documents from TWA showed that the airliner was on a short turn-around. There was little more time on the ground than the three hours needed to perform the pre-flight checklist. Documents from the Saint Louis airport police show that a K9 training exercise was conducted, but the documented location says only "a wide body" and not a tail number. There was another wide-body airliner parked at the gate next to N93119 (the airliner that would later become Flight 800). That wide-body was on the ground for several more hours. Further, the K9 training exercise was started only 45 minutes before N93119 took off. Passengers would've been boarding at that time, and so bringing explosives aboard for dog training would've been prohibited. Finally, at the time that the exercise purportedly started aboard N93119, there was a thunderstorm in the area. (I got the official weather data, too.) Explosive detection exercises are not conducted during thunderstorms, for reasons that should be obvious. 
Therefore, if the FBI was willing to fabricate a story to explain away significant evidence, and then repeat that lie in numerous press conferences, then the NTSB should reopen the investigation. 
I was a member of FIRO (the organization founded by Dr. Tom Stalcup, co-producer of the upcoming documentary). I have always found Tom to be honest, diligent and thorough. He has tried for almost 17 years to get to the truth. If the members of FIRO were actually "a band of Internet kooks" (an actual quote from James Kallstrom), then wouldn't we have given up by now? 
Truth demands an answer.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 4:47 AM by Tom Kovach
So, you think asking the government (NTSB) to investigate itself (FBI)will yield any answers?
Posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 2:28 PM by Pat Masonj
You'd be surprised. 
For example, despite all the tampering that the FBI did with both the physical evidence and the documentation of the inventory, they left the inventory of the oxygen tanks intact and accurate. That led to another big find for me. 
See this WND column: "Not much 'discovery' at the Discovery Channel" 
And, while you're at it, check out: "Flight 800: the Rosetta jackscrew" 
And, there is the point that the NTSB did not like the FBI coming in and taking over their investigation (illegally, I might add). So, if the NTSB does a review, they can use the FBI as the fall guy.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 2:54 PM by Tom Kovach
Theory 1 
The plane was empty. 
Theory 2 
The plane was filled with gay men, sex offenders and people who have had their door kicked in by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.
Posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 12:04 PM by Mommy Poppins
Flesh eating bacteria caused flight 800 to crash into the ocean. The bacteria was found in the gas tank.
Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 9:35 PM by Soleil Sullenberger
If TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a mechanical failure,this story is irrelevant. 
If TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a Navy missile, this story is irrelevant. 
If TWA Flight 800 was brought down by -- surprise, surprise --  
an act of creative sabotage or terrorism, a few things about this story are probably not a coincidence. 
Read the story the U.S. government has gone to incredible lengths to cover up. 
Should help the people seeking to reopen the investigation. 
Published by Mosaic Press.  
Distributed by Bookmasters.  
To be released to a variety of outlets soon. 
Posted @ Sunday, January 12, 2014 10:15 PM by Mind Games
Thanks for posting this informative article in your blog, which is an excellent example of investigation of fight. I really appreciate it and I think people will like your article and content. The informative content is have found which is very important for me as well.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 4:20 AM by social shopping
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