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The Hull Thread


And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot

While no one disputes that the center fuel tank on TWA 800 exploded there is a substantial body of evidence, both direct and circumstantial, that several missiles exploded near the TWA 800 aircraft and that these explosions were the initiating events in the aircraft's destruction. Because of a  missile event that I witnessed while driving along I95 to Stamford, Connecticut in the winter of 1995/96 prior to the TWA FL800 disaster, I began to monitor news accounts of the investigation very closely. What I read did not match with where the investigation eventually went. This website describes the route that I believe the official investigation should have taken.


The item below shows where the official investigation has ended up - looking for a "spark", worrying about ignition sources that haven't been thought of, shifting from the cause of the problem to fixing a strawman problem, blowing up more 747's because the last one was blown up improperly.

July 16, 1998   New York Times
Two years after the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, the National Transportation Safety Board is moving toward finishing its investigation without knowing the source of the spark that touched off the explosion that destroyed the Boeing 747. .... "If we were able to pinpoint what ignited T.W.A. Flight 800, and fix that ignition source, there are still the other ignition sources we've identified as possibilities, and the ones we haven't even thought of," said James Hall, chairman of the safety board. .....Since the fall of 1996, when investigators concluded that the 747's center tank had exploded, their vision of the end point of the investigation has gradually but fundamentally shifted, away from determining what set it off and toward finding out how such explosions can be prevented. .....The board also plans to blow up a full-size tank from a decommissioned 747. The board blew up a similar tank last year, but that tank had previously been damaged, engineers say, and the fuel they used, propane, had more energy than jet fuel does

In my opinion there is one scenario that best fits the facts:  the TWA 800 downing was the result of a "terrorist" missile attack. Other individuals are presenting the case supporting the "friendly fire" scenario and the reader will find details at

I recommend that you begin by reading Cmdr. Donaldson's report which was produced with the full knowledge of Congressman Traficant, Jr. for the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure - Subcommittee on Aviation, U.S. House of Representatives. It provides technical proof that TWA 800 was destroyed by two air-bursting anti-aircraft missiles.  Also please read the Donaldson File where you will find further analysis of the physical evidence which leaves no doubt as to the initiating event in this tragedy.  

Cmdr. Donaldson was a Navy carrier pilot and crash investigator over a 25 year career. We agree that the firing of several missiles was the cause of this disaster and that the evidence points to an act by elements hostile to the United States. You may also care to read the Report of Congressman Traficant, Jr. to the same committee. Cmdr. Donaldson's Report was requested by Congressman Trafficant who is a member of the House Aviation subcommittee. However, two days before the scheduled release of this report, Congressman Trafficant issued his own report stating that he agreed with the NTSB findings but criticized the handling of the matter by the NTSB and the FBI. He concludes by weakly stating that there should be Congressional hearings to quell the controversy surrounding the Crash Investigation by the NTSB and FBI. It appears that the administration has influenced Mr. Trafficant, since he issued his "report" without ever seeing Cmdr. Donaldson's Independent analysis and now supports the NTSB's position. Congressman Trafficant said there was "no new evidence" to support the missile theory. If, after reading this report, you disagree, you should speak out.  At a press conference on July 20, 1998 where Cmdr. Donaldson's report was explained, Dr. Vernon L. Grose, former Board Member of the NTSB and former commentator for CNN stood up and declared that he could no longer support the Center Fuel Tank being the cause of the crash and that there was sufficient new evidence that a missile could have shot down TWA Flight 800. He joined Cmdr. Donaldson in calling for full Congressional Hearings.  If you think there should be Congressional Hearings into the TWA Flight 800 Crash, please send an e-mail message to:  Hon. James A. Trafficant at:   or to   Hon. John J. Duncan, R-Tennessee at:

Cmdr. Donaldson and I are independent researchers who have basically come to similar conclusions from separate backgrounds and perspectives.  He has focussed on the technical aspects of TWA Flight 800's destruction while I have been primarily interested in documenting and linking a framework of geo-political events which may explain why this disaster occurred.  In my research, I have concentrated on looking at linkages that exist around a "terrorist" scenario and in the "Hull Thread" I present a series of linkages which reveals a pattern indicating that TWA 800 was not an isolated aircraft incident. Similar incidents have connections pointing to Islamic groups supported by Iran and they are linked to two bombings in Saudi Arabia, two bombings in the United States - the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, two bombings in Argentina, and two bombings of US embassies in East Africa.

Mr. Kallstrom, who headed the FBI probe into the investigation, stated on the program "TWA 800 - The Investigation" broadcast by The Learning Channel:

"We were a week away from the Olympics on a high state of alert from a terrorism standpoint.  So my initial thought was, you know, this could very well be terrorism. It could very well be multiple aircraft. If it was terrorism and if it was State-sponsored - we didn't know either - but if it was, it was an act of war".

In this web site you will find indications that multiple aircraft were indeed involved though not on July 17, 1996 - see the item  Missile events).   Kallstrom tried to dismiss the whole missile scenario (terrorist and friendly fire) by holding up and knocking down 'strawmen' questions raised about the possibility of a friendly fire accident by the USS Normandy which was over a hundred miles from the scene:

"We are in the business of looking at all possibilities. We're not the Federal Bureau of the 'Obvious' - we are the Federal Bureau of 'What Could Have Happened' ......  I spent the night there in the command center - orchestrating - being the conductor of the symphony that was about to take on a major, major investigation". ...  The missile theory was on the board the first night. We know there were missiles that were left in Afghanistan. We know that missiles have been stolen. Missiles were made to shoot airplanes down.  So when you put the missile theory on the board now you are concerned about - Where did the missile come from? - Where was it shot from? - What were the technical specifications? - What would be left over .. the casing .. maybe a motor .. maybe scorch marks on something .. how would they get rid of that? - If they shot it from a boat ...what boat ?.... stolen boat? .... friendly boat? .. rented boat?  How would it vacate the area?   North, South, East, West? ... go to a marina ...go out to the high seas to be met by a submarine? ..... We looked at the ordinance on the ship - the Normandy - it was all accounted for.  And by the way the ordinance could not fly that far - we know exactly where the ship was - it was 185 miles south of the tragedy. The missiles can only go 100 miles, so technically it couldn't reach TWA.  And guess what - if they fired a missile of that size, it would be obvious on radar because it is a big missile. And we wouldn't be looking at little holes in the plane the size of dimes and quarters.   If a missile from the USS Normandy hit the plane it would demolish the plane and evidence, metallurgy evidence, would be everywhere.  People wouldn't be looking at little pieces ten times and saying 'Jeez, I wonder' - it would slap you across the face."

Well, no one contributing to this website is interested in the USS Normandy!  In Cdr. Donaldson's report, you will find evidence that the first missile was fired from a point 7.3 nautical miles north of TWA Flight 800, three nautical miles east of Moriches Inlet and one nautical mile off shore and you will find evidence on this web site that this firing was the result of a terrorist act.  There was also a missile launched from a point 2.9 miles to the SSE of TWA Flight 800 from the vicinity of a "30-knot" vessel which then proceeded to sail out to the high seas and away from the downed aircraft.

As I look at the published information, my view evolves around the belief that a "terrorist" scenario also explains better than a "friendly fire" scenario why missile incidents were reported in the NY metropolitan area before and after the TWA disaster. For example, you will read in the "Hull Thread" how a Pakistaini Flight and a TWA Flight on November 16, 1996 were apparently involved in a carbon copy incident to the TWA 800 downing. It was hinted by the US Government that this was a meteorite observation but meteorites descend - they don't rise out of Long Island Sound. (For the FAA audio file of this incident see The Tale of the Tapes). Further,  it would seem logical to assume that following this additional incident, the government would have called a halt to missile testing in the area of Long Island had it been occurring at the time of the TWA 800 downing. Yet we find that there were at least two more well- documented missile events which occurred on February 7, 1997 and March 17, 1997 in the NY metropolitan area. Also, my own experience in seeing a missile launched off I95 while I was driving to Stamford, Connecticut pushes me towards a "terrorist" explanation.

Some of the links that point to a terrorist act are:

1. There were numerous missile events  reported in the NY area between November 1995 and September 1997.

2. Some of the missile events involved Saudi, Pakistani, Swiss, Egyptian and U.S. carriers. The attacks appear to have continued to the winter of 1999.

3. The Saudi dissident, bin Laden, appears to be a central figure, supported by Iran. He lives in Afghanistan, beyond the reach of the West, where the Taliban have their headquarters.

4. Terrorist  groups related to the bombing of U.S. facilities in Saudi Arabia, the World Trade Center, and the attempted bombing of a Brooklyn subway claimed responsibility for the TWA 800 downing.

5. The U.S. government reportedly has intelligence intercepts pointing to a role played by Iran.

6. The U.S. government brought a Saudi dissident involved with the Dhahran bombing to the U.S. from Canada. He has bin Laden and Iranian intelligence connections. He later refused to cooperate with the U.S. authorities and was deported to Saudi Arabia.

7. Those involved in the World Trade Center bombing have links to bin Laden and plotted to destroy airliners. Yousef, who was tried for the WTC bombing, stayed in a house owned by bin Laden.

In an August 10, 1997 CNN program - Impact - "Holy Terror" - Osama bin Laden stated:

"The U.S. government has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal through its support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and we believe the U.S. is directly responsible for those killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. Due to its subordination to the Jews, the arrogance of the United States regime has reached the point that it occupied Arabia, the holiest place of the Muslims, who are more than a billion people in the world today. For this and other acts of aggression and injustice we have declared a jihad against the U.S."
"By being loyal to the U.S. regime, the Saudi regime has committed an act against Islam. When this main foundation was violated, other corrupt acts followed in every aspect of the country, economic, social and government services".
"The U.S. today has set a double standard calling whoever goes against its injustice a 'terrorist'. It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose agents on us to rule us and then wants us to agree to all of this. If we refuse to do so, it says we are 'terrorists'".
"You will see (my future plans) and hear about them in the media - God willing".

and speaking to an Arabic newspaper, he said:

"We had thought that the Riyadh and al-Khobar blasts were a sufficient signal to sensible U.S. decision- makers to avert a real battle between the Islamic nation and U.S. forces, but it seems that they did not understand the signal."

On ABC's Nightline program on June 10, 1998 Osama bin Laden was profiled as follows:

He may have backed the bombers that attacked the World Trade Center. Weapons which he supplied shot down U.S. helicopters in Somalia. He applauded the bombings of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia. American forces have now gone to a higher level of alert because he has threatened new attacks on U.S. targets. .. He's rich, well-educated, and by his own description one of America's most dangerous enemies. He has a personal fortune estimated at $250 million. His family, which has publicly renounced any connection with him, is nevertheless believed to be a continuing resource. Their worth is said to be in the neighborhood of $5 billion. He lives in a cave atop a range of mountains in Afghanistan. From there he controls a web of financial, logistical and strategic assistance to Sunni islamic groups engaged, in what they consider, a jihad or holy war. The principal targets of that jihad are the Israelis and the United States. His name is Osama bin Laden ... Washington does in fact take him and the threat he poses seriously. Some intelligence sources claim that Osama bin Laden was connected to the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the bombing of Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia two years ago on June 25. Bin Laden described that particular terrorist act as "the beginning of war between muslims and the United States". ..... Khobar Towers was a turning point for the United States. Nineteen american servicemen came home in coffins. Within the military there were two frightening realizations - that it could have been much worse - and almost certainly would happen again. In Saudi Arabia, once considered safe for americans, the landscape changed overnight .... A sometimes difficult relationship with the Saudis becomes even tougher on certain types of intelligence - they have yet to come clean with the U.S. on who they believe conducted the Khobar Towers bombing and who trained them. It came as a bit of a shock to the Saudis to find out how many Saudi young men had been trained overseas by the so-called Afghani in extremist or potential terrorist roles. Further tensions were created by the way the FBI handled itself in Saudi Arabia. In the view of the Saudis the FBI tried to "muscle" them. The Saudis simply stopped talking. The image of the FBI is "a forensic bull in an arab china shop - and a bull that can't speak the language and doesn't understand the culture". ..... The businessman turned terrorist, Osama bin Laden, issued a new threat against Americans - a threat taken so seriously that the Departments of State and Defense have ordered security tightened at embassies and U.S. bases throughout the Middle East and Persian Gulf. ... Osama bin Laden speaking: "We believe that the biggest thieves in the world are Americans and the biggest terrorists on earth are the Americans. The only way for us in face of this assault is by using similar means. We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians - they are all targets in this Fatwa. .. You will leave when the bodies of American soldiers and civilians are sent in the wooden boxes and coffins - that is when you will leave". .... Clearly he is a role model for a lot of islamic militants in the world today. ... Osama bin Laden speaking: "We must use punishment to keep your evil away from us - muslim women and children. Americans impose themselves on everyone who believes in his religion and his rights. They accuse our children in Palestine of being terrorists - those children who have no weapons and have not yet even reached maturity." .... American intelligence agencies believe it was bin Laden who dispatched his personal brigades with rocket launchers to shoot down U.S. helicopters (in Somalia) - eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed.... Osama bin Laden speaking: "Our people realized more than before that the American soldier is a paper tiger that run in defeat after a few blows. America forgot all about the hoopla and media propaganda and left dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat". The FBI believes that bank accounts controlled by bin Laden may have funnelled money to Ramsey Yousef to blow up the World Trade Center. When Yousef was captured in February 1995 he was staying at a guest house paid for by bin Laden. Osama bin Laden speaking: "Ramsey Yousef after the World Trade Center bombing became a well-known muslim personality and all moslems know him. Unfortunately I did not know him before the incident. America will see many young men that will follow Ramsey Yousef". ... The U.S. Justice Department believes bin Laden is operating what is in essence an underground foundation where terrorists can apply for a grant..... Bin Laden has issued these Fatwas and made these threats before but this time there is something different - he put a time cap on it saying that whatever action will be taken against Americans in the Gulf, whatever violence awaits, will occur within the next few weeks. ..... (bin Laden) has sought to open and fund training camps in the Phillipines (See Musings) and other places to do a two stage program - religious indoctrination into moslem fundamentalism and then military training to serve in his various armies.

In a New York Times article on October 23, 1997 Ramzi Ahmed Yousef when asked why he had bombed the World Trade Center said:

"It was in retaliation for U.S. aid to Israel,"

and when asked, why not select Israeli targets he said:

"Israeli targets were too difficult to attack. ... if you cannot attack your enemy, you should attack the friend of your enemy."

He related that during World war II the Americans had dropped the atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 250,000 civilians, and he said that the Americans would realize if they suffered those types of casualties that they were at war.

In another article in the New York Times on the same date Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the guiding symbol of the militant Islamic movement Hamas, vowed not to abandon holy war against Israel.

"A nation that does not wage jihad cannot exist. God is with us and Satan with them. We will fight and fight until we regain our rights and our homeland, God willing. I want to proclaim loudly to the world that we are not fighting Jews because they are Jews ....we are fighting them because they assaulted us, they killed us, they took our land, our homes, our children, our women, they scattered us, we became scattered everywhere, a people without a homeland. We want our rights. We don't want more. We love peace, but they hate the peace, because people who take away the rights of others don't believe in peace. Why should we not fight? We have our right to defend ourselves."

The question that I am often asked is: "Why would the government cover up a terrorist act?"  Perhaps in trying to understand the tragedy of TWA 800 we need to reach beyond the label of "terrorist" and try to understand the positions of those opposed to the United States and its foreign policies. Mr bin Laden is a highly intelligent individual with deep personal convictions and  he has the leadership abilities to pursue his philosophical goals. We do ourselves a disservice to dismiss him or to ignore the views that he expresses. As the article below from the NY Times shows, the U.S government knew in 1996 that Iran was supporting bin Laden to conduct "hostile" operations against U.S. facilities, including perhaps playing a role in the TWA 800 downing,

September 26, 1998    The New York Times
Federal authorities charged Friday that a person described as a senior deputy to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile suspected in last month's bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, made significant efforts on behalf of the bin Laden group in 1993 to develop nuclear weapons. ..... The allegations, concerning Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, also assert that bin Laden had an official agreement with the Iranian government and with Sudan's ruling party to oppose the United States, and suggested that the United States had penetrated the bin Laden organization and learned detailed information in 1996. The allegations were contained in newly unsealed court papers that charged that Salim with conspiracy to murder and to use weapons of mass destruction against Americans stationed outside the United States, including in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia. Salim was arrested in Germany last week after flying there from Sudan and the U.S. government said Friday that it would be seeking his extradition to face charges in Manhattan. The government also asserted for the first time in court papers that the Iranian government had entered into a formal three-way "working agreement" with bin Laden and the National Islamic Front of the Sudan to "work together against the United States, Israel and the West." The front is the ruling party in Sudan. Members of bin Laden's organization, al Qaeda, sent emissaries to Iran and some of its members received explosives training in Lebanon from Hezbollah, the terrorist group backed by the Iranian government, prosecutors said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The government also said that during the time when the working agreement was being negotiated, Salim met with an Iranian religious official stationed in Khartoum and also traveled with al Qaeda members to Tehran to arrange for training by Iran in the use of explosives. The allegations against Iran come at a sensitive time, since Tehran is currently trying to improve its relations with the West and is also at odds with the Taliban, the dominant group in Afghanistan, which is protecting bin Laden. .... The authorities also acknowledged for the first time ..... that the FBI had won the secret cooperation of an admitted terrorist in al Qaeda as early as 1996, and obtained extensive information about the group from the asset, who was not identified. The source was described in court papers as someone who "was a member of al Qaeda for a number of years" and was "personally familiar" with bin Laden and Salim. The document said that the source "has admitted to participating in terrorist activity against American interests." .... The document does say that the information from the source was provided to the FBI in the late summer and fall of 1996, raising questions about how much the government knew about the bin Laden group in the months leading up to the bombings. ..

Given the above it can not be in the interest of the United States to pursue a 'tit-for-tat' approach towards Iran given that in the last Iranian elections a government more inclined to open a dialog with the West was elected. A war of "revenge" against Iran (or any other nation in that area) would be a disaster for the world's economies, especially that of the United States, and would reverse the more moderate political developments in Iran.  Thus it is my opinion that the United States government decided to declare that the center fuel tank of the TWA 800 aircraft exploded from an ignition source which is unknown and leave matters at that.  Subsequent events indicate that this approach may have worked.

February 21, 2000    NY Times
In unusually bold language, the Clinton Administration welcomed the election results in Iran today and said it interpreted them as an unequivocal demand for greater freedom within the country and for improved relations abroad. "By all indications this is an event of historic proportions," the State Department spokesman, James P. Rubin, said this evening, referring to the partial results available so far. The vote showed, he said in a statement, that the Iranian people want "engagement with the rest of the world" and "made clear their preference for greater freedoms within Iran." The parliamentary election, the most open since the fall of the Shah, has been long awaited by the Clinton administration as a test of whether it could turn around the hostile relations of the last 20 years before Mr. Clinton leaves office. A series of American inducements for opening a dialogue over the last several years, including a secret message from President Clinton last August, have all been spurned by the Iranian leadership. With the strengthening of President Mohammad Khatami's moderate forces in Iran, the Clinton administration clearly hopes that the stonewalling will at least be reduced and that Mr. Khatami will be able to make inroads into the power preserves of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who controls the military, intelligence services and the judiciary. In tonight's statement, the State Department cautioned that it remained to be seen whether the "clear hopes of the Iranian people can be translated to reality." "Obviously we hope that the trends of the elections will be reflected by a different approach to the outside world," Mr. Rubin said. In that regard, he said, the United States was most concerned to see whether Iran would change its opposition to the Middle East peace negotiations and whether it would cease its support of terrorist groups seeking to derail the current rounds of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and Syria. The United States has recently stepped up its accusations against Iran for supporting such terrorist groups. For the United States to take real advantage of the election results, it must first find someone authoritative to talk to. The first move by the administration will most likely be to search for a way to open substantive talks, a senior administration official said today. The official pointed out, that even North Korea -- which has hostile relations with the United States and which, like Iran, is on the State Department's list of countries that sponsor state terrorism -- has official talks with the United States. Ever since Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright offered in June 1998 to draw up a "road map" to re-establish relations with Iran, the Iranian government has rebuffed the administration. Last year, the administration was rebuffed again when President Clinton sent a message that the United States had information concerning the involvement of "Iranian government officials and others" in the bombing of an American military building in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American servicemen. In the letter, Mr. Clinton attempted to gain Iranian cooperation in the case and at the same time to test the willingness of the moderates in Tehran to engage the United States. The United States, in addition to trying to start a dialogue with Iran, has some leverage with the wide range of sanctions that have been imposed on its government. Many of these were imposed by executive order and can be lifted without the approval of Congress, where there has been criticism of Mr. Clinton's efforts to reach out to Iran. In 1995, President Clinton cited Iranian support for terrorist groups as the reason for banning all American trade with country. Some of these sanctions were relaxed to allow the sale of grain and medicine. And last December, the administration allowed Boeing to sell parts to Iran's national airline so as to ensure the safety of its Boeing 747 passenger aircraft.

The Saudi government appears to have followed the same policy towards Iran in its investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing covering up what it knew about Iran's direct involvement. On June 25, 1996 nineteen Americans were killed by a truck bomb at the Khobar Towers in the Dhahran military base in Saudi Arabia. Within two days suspicions focused on Saudi dissidents funded by Iran ....

June 27, 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition) Issue 415
Suspicion for the bombing .... outside Dhahran was .. pointing towards internal enemies of the Saudi monarchy ... Middle East experts were last night discounting the most immediate theory that groups connected with Iran's fundamentalist regime were involved in the blast....

August 5 1996 International News The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition) Issue 442
Iran has embarked on the most far-reaching campaign of state-sponsored terrorism ever conducted against the United States, threatening US airliners, public buildings with a wave of destructive attacks. US officials are convinced that the clerical regime in Teheran has made a strategic decision to escalate its permanent war against the "Great Satan", striking US targets on American soil for the first time in a systematic way. ... Coming just weeks after the Iranian-backed bombing of the US barracks in Dhahran, which killed 19 American servicemen, it is now widely suspected that the TWA tragedy is part of Iran's ugly new campaign. "This is just the beginning," said Kenneth Timmerman, publisher of the Iran Brief in Washington. "More aircraft are going to fall out of the sky." .....

January 19, 1997 International News The Telegraph Issue 604
Iran provides training and support for numerous Arab terrorists, including two groups of Saudi dissidents which have been involved in previous attacks within the kingdom: the Organisation of Islamic Revolution of Jezier al-Arab, and the Hizbollah of the Hejez, both outlawed in Saudi Arabia. ....... the Saudis were put in contact with Osama bin Laden, a 40-year-old Islamic fundamentalist terrorist. bin Laden, who works for Iranian intelligence, is a fierce opponent of both the Saudi regime and America's presence in the Gulf......... Any doubts about bin Laden's involvement in the Dhahran attack were removed by an interview he gave in Peshawar shortly afterwards. The Saudi bombing, he said, "marked the beginning of war between Muslims and the United States".

March 31, 1998 New York Times
The Saudi Arabian government said on Monday that it had completed its investigation into the June 1996 terrorist bombing there that left 19 American airmen dead but would not .... release the results of the inquiry. . .... There was concern, officials said, that the Saudis failed to conduct an adequate inquiry because it might produce evidence of a link between the bombers and Iran, embarrassing the Saudi government.  Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have warmed dramatically in recent months. ......

So for both the Saudi and the U.S governments, Iran appears to be too hard a nut to crack. It had a formal agreement with the world's number one terrorist to finance his activities which means that the attack on TWA 800 was State-sponsored. Not being "embarassed" appears to be more important than telling the truth to the american public about the loss of life of its citizens.

As I began to research the news items that are presented in the "Hull Thread",  I became very aware of similarities between the problems in the Middle East and those here in Ireland. In the North of Ireland there has been a bitter conflict going on for centuries between two groups who define themselves on the basis of their different religious heritages. My family has suffered from "acts of terrorism" perpetrated by the I.R.A. in the loss of one member assassinated in a mistaken attack and in the shooting of another who remains paralyzed. But this is a statement that can be made by many people on both sides of the conflict here in Ireland and by many on both sides of the conflict in the Middle East.

The word "terrorist" is used frequently by both the British and U. S. governments, particularly with reference to the I.R.A., yet it is ironic that a substantial amount of the funding for the I.R.A. and its "loyalist" counterparts comes from citizens of the same nations whose governments speak of them as "terrorists". Further, the leader of the political wing of one the main "terrorist" organizations in Ireland, which has exported its "terrorism" by bombing buildings in English cities (compare the World Trade Center) is received in the White House by the U.S. President and by members of the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Government dropped the I.R.A. from its list of terrorist organizations because its political wing, Sinn Fein, had entered "peace" talks. Yet this organization is a model for other organizations involved in internal terrorism within the United States. Strangely, the American mainstream press seems to avoid providing details to the American public that residents in the United Kingdom are fully aware of through its press. An example of this are the connections that run between Ramsey Yousef, Terry Nichols, the Philippines, state sponsored terrorism by Iraq, the bombing of the World Trade Center, and the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building.  See the article Dublin and Oklahoma City.  Indeed, from my viewing of American news broadcasts, it appears there is more interest in reporting El Nino's weather patterns than in presenting investigative reports on international terrorism. This inordinate amount of news coverage about El Nino inspired the satirical article Who's on First, What's on Second, I Don't Know is on Third.

The missiles fired at TWA 800 caused the nose to come off. PETN and RDX were found in the aircraft and explosive residue was also found on the right wing. The right wing had holes punched in it indicating travel of an object transiting the right wing. The right inboard engine was fodded with debris from the forward fuselage.

August 23, 1996   NY Times
Chemists at the FBI crime laboratory ...have found traces of PETN ...between rows 17 and 27 .... senior investigators said ... Five days after the crash, a chemical test indicated a trace of PETN on ...the right wing where it met the fuselage....

The Village Voice    February 24 - March 2, 1999
"You ever shot a .22 through a tin can? You know how the holes look where it punctures the metal and it rolls the metal back and tears it as it stretches?"
the veteran pilot asked. "Well that's what these holes looked like, except they were oval-shaped." He was recalling three holes— each at least six inches long by around three inches high, he said— which had been punched through the thin aluminum paneling of a structural piece from inside the right wing of the 747. The holes were punched out "from the airplane toward the wing tip," he added. The piece, called a rib, came from within the wing's leading edge about five feet out from the fuselage, he said, where the landing lights would be. The pilot .... said, "Look, I think that these holes were caused by a high explosion."  There is an apparent exit hole in the aircraft fuselage just forward of the right wing (Note from website author: the hole in my opinion looks like an entrance hole) and a red residue, consistent with missile fuel, was found on seats in the aircraft in this same location. Further, it has been admitted that Federal officials were baffled by impact damage on the doors that close over the front landing gear. The nose gear doors were blasted inward and whatever caused this damage happened before the plane's center fuel tank exploded since these nose gear doors were among the first things on the airplane to have come off in flight.

An article entitled  Two Projectiles from the Hull Thread  developed the early evidence that there was more than one missile fired at TWA 800. Commander Donaldson has now independendly proven this scenario that at least two projectiles were fired at the aircraft. Major Meyer, who witnessed the disaster from his helicopter, is also a supporter of this view. In our opinion the missile launched from close to shore was a terrorist attack, while the nature of the "30 knot" vessel that launched a later missile remains an open question.

An important item of the "Hull Thread" presents information on missile attacks in the New York area from 1965-1967, while the section entitled "Events Database Used in the Hull Thread" comprises the main record of geo-political events spanning the date of the TWA downing.  For example, you will find the following item:

August 23, 1996      NY Times
Mr. Kallstrom ordered his agents to research the Mistral, a French-made missile that could be launched from a tripod and that would have had the range capability.

which links to this one and to Saudi Arabia.......

July 10, 1997     The Subcommittee on Aviation Hearing "Status of the Investigation of the Crash of TWA 800 and the Proposal Concerning the Death on the High Seas Act"
While many experts believe Flight 800 was out of the range of the American-made Stinger missile, there are some foreign surface-to air missiles that reportedly have the capability of shooting a plane at 13,800 feet. One of these missiles that has been mentioned is the French-made Mistral. The Mistral has been sold to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, countries with growing Islamic fundamentalist movements.

The Mistral missile uses a two stage rocket propellant. The first stage ejects the missile from the launcher and spins the missile to provide stability in flight. The sustainer motor accelerates the missile to supersonic speed towards the target. The missile is equipped with an infra-red homing head supplied by SAT and based on an indium arsenide detector array operating in the 3 to 5 micron band of the infra-red spectrum. The missile has a 3kg high explosive warhead loaded with tungsten balls which may put a lot of holes in an aircraft the size of dimes and quarters. One might well ask: 'Jeez, I wonder' - is this slapping me across the face?"   The mistral warhead is fitted with contact and proximity fuses.

Another example of the connections that one may find are the following items in which the dates are given for the Gregorian, Hijri and Jewish calendars respectively.

July 17, 1996         1 Raby` al-awal 1417 A.H.          1 Av 5756
TWA 800 downing.

The TWA downing occurred on 1 Raby` al-awal which is also the date on which the Six Day War ended.

June  10, 1967     1 Raby` al-awal 1387 A.H.        2 Sivan 5727
On June 5, 1967 Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt. Israel issued an appeal to Jordan to stay out of the war. Jordan refused and opened a heavy artillery barrage on both west Jerusalem and the Tel-Aviv area which forced Israel to counterattack. By June 8th the Israel Defence Forces defeated the Jordanian forces and captured the whole of Judea and Samaria. On the morning of June 9th, Israel attacked the Syrians on the Golan Heights. The war ended on June 10, 1967.

The date of the TWA downing was also the anniversary of the start of the "Two Week War" in Lebanon .....

July 17, 1981
Israel begins bombing the PLO strongholds in attempt to drive the PLO out of Lebanon.

Then there was the carbon copy of the TWA 800 incident which occurred on November 16, 1996

November 16, 1996 22:00 (EST)     4 Rajab 1417 A.H.       5 Kislev 5757
Co-pilot of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 712 Leaving Kennedy at 9:25pm, bound for Frankfurt saw an orange light coming from the left hand side to the right hand side of the airplane. The object was 3 - 4 miles in front of the aircraft and above it. A TWA crew following behind was so alarmed by what they had just seen that they considered returning to JFK.  (See The Tale of the Tapes for a transcript and audio file of this incident)

and you will find that the date 4 Rajab  is the date on which the U.S. embassy in Lebanon was bombed.

April 18, 1983       4 Rajab 1403 A.H.           5 Iyyar 5743
A car bomb exploded in front of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing sixty-three people, including seventeen Americans. More than one hundred others were wounded. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, calling the bombing "part of the Islamic revolution." Iran subsequently denied having any role in the attack.

The date of this bombing has further significance in that it occurred on  5 Iyyar which in the Jewish Calender is the date on which the State of Israel was proclaimed.

May 14, 1948        5 Rajab 1367 A.H.      5 Iyyar 5708  (a)
State of Israel Proclaimed.

From the database I have extracted several strands which I would recommend that you read first to give you a flavor of the linkages that can be found in the complete database. The first item is On a Clear Day You Can See Forever which is a compilation of eyewitness statements. In this article I have provided links to the radar evidence which you will find supports the eyewitness testimony. Particularly strong parallels between the radar evidence of a missile which turned sharply towards TWA 800 and eyewitness testimony is also presented in Musings.  Some of the articles are written satirically - this is not an attempt to be funny about a very tragic situation - but Irish writers tend to use satire as a way of searching for truth and I live in that tradition.   Particularly recommended is As Time Goes By  which highlights interesting linkages using the Gregorian, Islamic and Jewish Calendars. The article is extremely speculative and the reader should read it with this point of view. A lot of the linkages are just coincidental, but when doing research one first gathers every apparent linkage, irrespective of how improbable, and then by a process of elimination one attempts to separate the wheat from the chaff. I have not yet begun this process with the linkages in this article but intelligent readers are quite capable of beginning this process for themselves.

Take for example these items from  Don't Get Mad, Get Even

July 3, 1988
290 die after two missiles are fired by USS Vincennes at Iran Air Flight 655 A300 Airbus flying at 13,000 feet over Gulf.

July 17, 1996
230 die after two missiles are fired at TWA Flight 800 747-100 flying at 13,700 feet over Atlantic.

December 12, 1996 Associated Press
The new, more violent face of terrorism in the 1990s can be summed up in a single word - 'revenge' - an FBI assistant director (Kallstrom) said in a speech at a synagogue.

Could it be that simple? Or did Iran hope to have it's revenge on "the Great Satan" through its support of an attack by Islamic Jihad on an airliner in the "Great Satan's" back yard?

Another way to look at the Hull Thread is that it is an attempt to solve a "jigsaw" puzzle by using publicly available material.  The way that one solves such puzzles is to take pieces and see if they fit together so that a recognizable picture eventually emerges. Like all jigsaw puzzles there are pieces that seem to fit rather well at first but as the puzzle is assembled one realizes that some of the elements are misplaced and one needs to do some rearranging. So it is with the links in the Hull Thread - a pattern is emerging but there are certainly some pieces which have been mis-linked and there are certainly some that are missing.   The reader should go to the original source for the complete articles or documents.   I have tried to provide accurate references to the original source material and I hope there are not too many errors.    I have no "inside" information on this matter and if such information were to come my way, I would immediately provide it to the proper authorities as I did with my observation mentioned above.

I invite you to work with me on assembling the puzzle by contributing suggestions for linkages and by indicating which elements in the puzzle may be in the incorrect relationship at this time. I hope that this presentation of geo-political events surrounding the TWA FL800 disaster, in conjunction with Cdr. Donaldson's independent work and documents, will help in your personal search for an explanation.

Three weeks to the day before TWA 800 was shot down, at the same time in the evening, in approximately the same location as the TWA 800 downing, and within hours of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the Coast Guard received a report of "three red flares" launched 25 miles south of Shinnicock Inlet. An air and surface search was carried out which found nothing out of ordinary. You will find in Cdr. Donaldson's report an eerily similar account to my own experience of how an ex-FBI agent tried to bring this event to Mr. Kallstrom's attention and how its possible significance was ignored. I attempted to do the same with the event that I witnessed prior to the TWA 800 downing and the possible significance of what I observed was also ignored.

Or was it?  Did the U.S. government know that terrorist missile launches were occurring in the Long Island area prior to, and after, the TWA 800 incident and had it tried unsuccessfully to prevent them?  

October 14, 1998   New York Times
An admitted Mafia member testified at his murder trial Tuesday that while in jail he spied for the government on four other inmates -- the mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing and three others eventually convicted of terrorist acts -- and reported their plans for further acts to the authorities.  The defendant, Gregory Scarpa Jr., testified in federal District Court in Brooklyn that, using a tiny "spy camera" that a jail official had given him, he worked undercover for the FBI for about a year in 1996 and 1997 after gaining the confidence of the others while all of them were being held in a high-security area of a federal jail in Manhattan. At the time, Scarpa was awaiting his current trial on charges that include participation in five gangland murders, racketeering and other charges. The four other inmates, including Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was convicted in November 1997 as the chief plotter of the World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people, were either being tried or were awaiting trial. The three others were convicted with Yousef, one in the 1993 Trade Center bombing and two in an aborted plot to blow up American airliners in the Far East.

Was the launch of a missile(s) on November 16, 1996, which was reported by Pakistani and TWA flights, an attempt at a carbon copy of the TWA disaster?  This would fit a pattern of other terrorist events. (See From Here To Eternity)

Even the best of governments cover up uncomfortable things. Very close to my home here, over the Irish Sea, there was a missile incident which involved an Aer Lingus flight in 1968 in which the recovery of wreckage, like that from TWA 800, was controlled by navy personnel and about which the British Government witheld the truth. The item below can be read in detail in the main database of this website.

March 15, 1998     London Telegraph
New evidence has emerged to support claims that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) covered up the cause of one of Britain's worst air disasters - the 1968 Aer Lingus tragedy that claimed the lives of the 61 people on board. Allegations that a stray missile from the Royal Aircraft Establishment's testing range at Aberporth, Dyfed, may have caused the crash - when the Viscount plane mysteriously plunged into the Irish Sea on March 24, 1968 - have always been dismissed by the MoD. But one of the salvage crew who looked for the wreckage has now come forward on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the disaster. He claims that he and his colleagues were prevented by the Navy from searching the area where the plane crashed. Billy Bates, a 34-year-old lifeboatman at the time, said last night: "There were lots of Royal Navy ships in the area immediately following the crash, including minesweepers, which seemed unusual. They got there very fast. What was odd was the fact that we were turned away from an area they called Area Alpha. That was where the plane actually fell. Every time we offered to help search that part of the water - our job was to try to find the wreckage - we were told to look elsewhere. Only the Navy trawled that section and took away what they found." Hugh Byrne, the Irish minister of state at the Department of the Marine, also claims there has been a cover-up. ..... It doesn't take a very smart man to deduce that something happened. The whole thing stinks." For further details on this particular incident see

And so we have this strange case of TWA 800 where.....

The parties who conducted the act kept confessing to the crime as they were jailed for other terrorist acts.

The parties who witnessed the act were the object of an FBI-presented CIA analysis to rewrite their observations.

The parties who reported on the act held endless talk shows on the subject of a stained dress, yet would not host a talk show with the eyewitnesses.

The parties who investigated the act were reduced to simulated center fuel tank explosions using propane liquefied gas to represent commercial aircraft fuel, and a search through a bundle of tangled wires for a phantom, elusive spark.

The parties who make laws protecting its citizens from such acts issued reports denying the act.

The party who leads the nation through the crises caused by such acts, like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned, fiddled in the Oval office while bin Laden bombed.

All governments sometimes fall into the trap of trying to hide facts from the public. Before the birth of the internet they usually succeeded, but now information flows with complete freedom and those who publish views contrary to the government line are labeled "conspiracy theorists".  'What Could Have Happened' is promulgated by our government agencies and parroted by the press.   'What Did Happen' is the object of obloquy.   Here is the latest 'What Could Have Happened' on the second anniversary of the disaster.....

July 12, 1998    The Associated Press
A Harvard University English professor believes electromagnetic interference - possibly from military craft - might be responsible for the downing of TWA Flight 800. Professor Elaine Scarry's theory is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board ..... Investigators say the plane's central fuel tank exploded, but have not been able to say why. ....  Electromagnetic signals from other craft could have prompted an electrical charge aboard TWA 800 to jump from high-voltage wires to low voltage wires and then travel to the fuel gauge and the fuel tank. ... Ms. Scarry insisted in a June 17 letter that a TWA pilot's comments about a "crazy" fuel gauge and difficulty stabilizing the plane just before the explosion could be anomalies hinting at an EMI event. Hall was not available for comment. 

Professor Scarry's interests according to her Harvard bio include the 19th-Century British Novel; 20th- Century Drama; Language of Physical Pain; Structure of Verbal and Material Making in Art, Science, and the Law and her selected works include The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1985). Tom Kelleher writing on 7/14/98 to our private mailing list at quotes Scarry's work at:  

"I believe that the most compelling insight into the nature of the tattoo, of that inimitable locus of both pleasure and pain, person and present, is Elaine Scarry's The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World.  Scarry states that we humans identify ourselves with our body through pain, because pain gives us the feeling that we are alive. .... According to Scarry, "political power ... entails the power of self-description;" it is imperative to "arrive at an understanding of making and unmaking" to understand political justice.  If, in the past, questions of right and wrong were framed in terms of "truth," in future these questions "must be reperceived as centrally bound up with questions about 'fictions' ...

Are you surprised Chairman Hall was not available for comment?  Common sense seems to have departed the "conspiracy theorists" in the NTSB.  Those of us who have documented the clear and convincing evidence that a missile attack brought down this aircraft did not need the help of a psychic in reaching this conclusion ......

November 26, 1998    The Washington Post
In September 1996, two months after TWA Flight 800 exploded off the Long Island shore, an FBI agent led a woman in cutoff jeans into the high-security hangar where the wreckage was stored. She surveyed the debris, then announced her conclusion: A bomb hidden in a suitcase near the left wing had destroyed the plane. She was wrong ..... but her error, according to Senate investigators reviewing the FBI's $20 million probe, was not surprising, considering her area of expertise. She was a self-described psychic. ...........  Some were goofy but inconsequential, like .... the "military officer" who helped oversee helicopter landings near the hangar until he was exposed as a fraud in a costume. ..... In one misstep, according to NTSB witnesses, the FBI tried to store bloodstained clothing and other physical evidence in a refrigerated truck. But the refrigeration unit ran out of fuel over a hot September weekend, and the evidence baked for more than two days in 90-degree heat. By the time the problem was fixed, mold had grown all over it. The witnesses also reported that  an FBI agent hammered two pieces of wreckage together in the hangar, and an FBI supervisor ripped metal fragments out of a seat cushion during an argument about their trajectory.

Quoting Flora Headley, the mother of Capt. Ralph Kevorkian:  "I guess I'm the only stupid one yelling about it".  Ms. Headley, maybe the United States needs a Federal Bureau of the 'Obvious' after all, and not what Mr. Kallstrom claims it has - a Federal Bureau of the 'What Could Have Happened' and then we could all go back to being dumb.

Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

Peruse further!

Michael Hull