TWA Flight 800 exploded in midair about 11 minutes after it took off from JFK, headed for Paris, on July 17, 1996. After four years of investigation, the NTSB declared that it was a ‘fuel tank explosion.’ In a new documentary, former investigators are breaking their silence about the painstaking examination. Now Flight 800 may be reinvestigated.
230 people died; speculation that the destruction of Flight 800 was the result of a bomb, a meteorite, or an errant Navy missile was rampant. The report by the NTSB, and the FBI concurrence, maintained that the center fuel tank exploded as a result “of the sources evaluated by the investigation, the most likely was a short circuit outside of the [fuel tank] that allowed excessive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring.”
Six former NTSB examiners told investigators for the documentary that they believe the report was a falsification of the original examination. The documentary, which will premiere on Epix next month, suggests that the investigation was “systematically undermined” by federal authorities.
“We didn’t find any part of the airplane that indicated a mechanical failure,” one of the whistleblowers says in a trailer for the film. The former officials allege the explosion came from outside the plane, though they don’t speculate any further on the original source.
Another investigator, Hank Hughes, claims FBI agents were seen on surveillance cameras in the warehouse where the wreckage of the aircraft was being examined, “in the wee hours of the morning,for purposes unknown.”
Tom Haueter, former director of Aviation Safety at the NTSB, says that the former NTSB employees are simply wrong. He said that the evidence that the explosion was caused by internal failings, was “irrefutable.”
The ‘whistleblowers’ want the case reexamined. The NTSB said they would consider it if new evidence was presented or “on a showing that the Board’s findings are erroneous.”
“While the NTSB rarely re-investigates issues that have already been examined, our investigations are never closed and we can review any new information not previously considered by the Board,” the NTSB said. “The TWA Flight 800 investigation lasted four years and remains one of the NTSB’s most detailed investigations. Investigators took great care reviewing, documenting and analyzing facts and data and held a five-day hearing to gather additional facts before determining the probable cause of the accident during a two-day Board meeting.”
As another ‘conspiracy theory evolves,’ conjecture will attack the NTSB findings from every conceivable angle. Some of the old ones will re-surface. Certainly the one that will be heard most is about a United States Naval missile being off course and striking the aircraft. Certainly there will be more ‘far-fetched ideas presented.
In the end, who are we to believe? Our government, and government agencies, continually lie to us, or keep secrets from the people they are supposed to represent.
Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq were all lies, and their initiation was based on lies. Our government has been spying on its people. The Supreme Court nullified a presidential election and chose the winner. And, without a doubt, the worst of all, politicians make campaign promises, and never intend to keep any of them.
I sincerely doubt that the government will allow Flight 800 to be reinvestigated. And they will have reasons for it, but the American public will always ask, “what is the truth.”
The Guardian Express