The Hull Thread
Chronology of Events From April 2001 - June 2001
(Articles from news sources have been placed
within for educational, research, and discussion purposes
only, in compliance with "Fair Use" criteria established in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.)
April 12, 2001 NY Times
The National Transportation Safety Board today described the explosion of a Boeing 737 in Thailand last month in terms similar to those used to describe T.W.A. Flight 800, a Boeing 747 that exploded in 1996 off Long Island. The Thai Airways International plane exploded at an airport in Bangkok, in what was initially believed to be sabotage. Thai authorities said they had found traces of explosives. But the safety board said today that the F.B.I. had found no traces of explosives. The blast was in the center-wing fuel tank, in the fuselage. On both models, the tank is above heat exchangers that the air-conditioning system uses to take heat out of the cabin. The air-conditioners had been running for about 40 minutes, the board said. Heating the tank allows fuel to turn to vapor, and it can explode if a spark is present. Investigators say they believe that is what happened to T.W.A. 800, shortly after takeoff on July 17, 1996.
April 13, 2001 International Herald Tribune
The Thai Airways International plane, which was nine years old, exploded at a gate at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok on March 3 in what was initially believed to be sabotage. The prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, had been due to fly on the plane, and Thai authorities said they had found traces of high explosives. But the safety board, which is involved in the investigation because the plane was made by an American company, said Wednesday that the FBI had found no traces of explosives. The explosion was in the center-wing fuel tank, a structure on the 737 and the 747 inside the fuselage, where the wings come together. On both models, the tank is above heat exchangers that the air-conditioning system uses to take heat out of the cabin. The weather in Bangkok was very hot, and the air conditioners had been running for about 40 minutes.
USAToday.com - April 13, 2001
TWA 800 Redux!
An explosion that destroyed a Boeing 737 last month on the ground in Bangkok was caused by the same problem that downed TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York in 1996, according to preliminary evidence. A Thai Airways International 737 burst into flames March 3. Investigators (Note from website author: the article should point out that these 'investigators' were from the FBI) found no evidence of a bomb and traced the blast to the center fuel tank, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday. The NTSB is assisting Thai authorities because of the board's expertise. A flight attendant aboard the jet died. The jet's cockpit voice recorder captured the sounds of the explosion. The NTSB said those sounds "are similar" to noises recorded in the explosion of the center fuel tank on a Philippine Airlines 737 in 1990. Last year, the NTSB ruled that TWA's 747 broke apart from a center tank explosion. All 230 people aboard died. In that explosion, the NTSB suspected frayed wiring or one of several other sources led to a spark in the hot fuel vapors. The safety board has recommended steps to reduce the chances that tanks can explode. For example, the NTSB said that air conditioning systems be switched off on the ground. The air conditioning units emit heat, which can cause the fuel in the tank to vaporize and become explosive. Last May, Boeing also warned its customers in a letter to switch off air conditioning on the ground. In both the TWA and Thai accidents, air conditioning systems adjacent to the center tank in the jets were turned on. The NTSB said the Thai jet's air conditioning system had been operating for about 40 minutes on the ground. The temperature was in the 90s. It could not be learned why Thai Airways had not heeded Boeing's advice.
(Note from website author: I wonder if the Thai authorities believe the CWT story? Sounds like a premature bomb explosion. After all their investigators found explosives on the plane before the FBI brought in its 'experts'. See the April 13, 2001 article above in which it is stated: "The prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, had been due to fly on the plane, and Thai authorities said they had found traces of high explosives. So now we have two different models of Boeing aircraft, both testing positive for high explosives after an explosion, yet miraculously according to the FBI/NTSB scenario both suffered from some unknown ignition problem in overheated center wing fuel tanks. The explanation last time was that TWA 800 was ''old" and therefore had 'bad wiring'. The Thai aircraft was nine years old!)
April 18, 2001 Open letter to NTSB from Captain H. Ray Lahr (ret.) Malibu, CA 90265
Mr. Daniel D. Campbell
National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, D.C. 20594
Re: Appeal of the NTSB denial of my information request (FOIA) #20010048
Dear Mr. Campbell:
This appeal seeks to reverse the denial of my request for information regarding the NTSB computation of TWA 800’s flight path after the nose was blown off. My request was denied on the basis that I was seeking information that is proprietary to Boeing Aircraft, Inc. That is not correct. All of the necessary information from Boeing is already a part of the public record. The information that I have requested is the method used by the NTSB to manipulate the Boeing data into a 3,000 foot climb. The NTSB and the CIA maintain that the aircraft climbed as much as 3,000 feet trailing flames before diving into the ocean. This is supposedly what scores of eyewitnesses saw as a rising streak I believe this scenario is impossible for the following reasons:
My friend and fellow pilot, Captain Richard Russell, received a FAA radar tape of the final minutes of TWA 800. I saw the tape before the FBI came to Dick’s home and confiscated the tape. The NTSB dismissed the blips on the tape as anomalies. One blip might be an anomaly. Several high-speed blips leading to the end of the transponder trail of TWA 800 indicates a missile. An unbiased accident hearing would have shown the radar tapes to the public.
I have met and spoken with Major Fred Meyer, a National Guard helicopter pilot who was first to the scene of the accident. Major Meyer was searching the sky for another aircraft when he saw the streak across the sky. He is unequivocal that it was a missile (Major Meyer is a Viet Nam veteran and he has seen many missiles). The streak culminated in two bright white ordinance explosions followed immediately by a huge orange-red fuel explosion. The wreckage fell downward out of the explosion, not upwards as the NTSB and CIA would have us believe (I have a video tape and a transcription of his testimony if you are interested). Major Meyer should have been asked to appear as a witness at the public hearing.
Captain David McClaine was the pilot of the Eastwind Airlines B-737, which had just leveled off at 17,000 feet on a flight from Boston to Trenton, NJ. He was head-on to TWA 800, which was climbing through 13,800 feet. Captain McClaine saw the lights of TWA 800 ahead and reached up to turn on his own landing lights to alert the other traffic. As he touched his switch, TWA 800 exploded into a ball of flames. The remains of TWA 800 fell downward out of the ball of flames. Captain McClaine should have been asked to appear as a witness at the public hearing.
I have met and spoken with Commander William Donaldson, a retired Navy pilot and accident investigator. Commander Donaldson is very familiar with modern jet fuels and he couldn’t accept the "explosion from a spark" hypothesis put forward by the NTSB. Modern jet fuels just don’t explode unless they have been misted. This led Commander Donaldson into an exhaustive investigation of his own and he amassed a wealth of information (much of it can be found at www.twa800.com). That investigation convinced Commander Donaldson that it was a missile (or two missiles) that brought down TWA 800. No less a person than Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has endorsed the efforts of Commander Donaldson. Admiral Moorer has called for a Congressional investigation.
I met investigative reporter Jim Sanders at the NTSB hearing on August 22, 2000, and we have become good friends. Jim likewise has unearthed a wealth of evidence, and his evidence indicates two missiles were involved in the downing of TWA 800. I have read both of Jim’s excellent books, "The Downing of TWA 800" and "Altered Evidence". The amount of abuse heaped on Jim and his wife Liz by our Department of Justice is unbelievable. Fortunately, these good people are not easily intimidated, and they are determined to see the truth prevail.
My own activity in this investigation stems from my experience as a kid with a flying model that lost its nose (fortunately, I have never lost the nose of an airplane I was flying). When the nose comes off and the center of gravity shifts behind the center of lift, the model (or an airplane) immediately pitches up into a full stall and falls out of the sky. There is no swooping climb as the NTSB and the CIA would have us believe in the case of TWA 800. You see, a conventional aircraft in flight is like a balanced teeter-totter. The center-of-lift of the wing is like the supporting pivot of the teeter-totter. The center- of-gravity of the aircraft is normally slightly forward of the center-of-lift, and it is like a heavy rider sitting ahead of the pivot point. The horizontal stabilizer in the tail has a negative angle-of-attack, and it is pushing down like a light rider on the other end of the teeter-totter. As with a teeter-totter, those three forces must be in balance for an airplane to fly and climb. We all know what happens if the heavy rider jumps to the other side of the teeter-totter. Both riders slam to the ground. I will come back to this point later.
Well, I couldn’t believe it when James Kallstrom hosted a national television show and presented a video of TWA 800 climbing 3,000 feet with the nose blown off. That video was produced by the CIA (the same CIA that told us the Glomar Explorer was a ship built to mine nodules off of the ocean floor when the real purpose was to raise a Russian submarine). Later, when the NTSB accident report came out, the NTSB repeated the CIA climb scenario (although the NTSB backed off slightly on the number of feet in the climb). During the coffee break at the NTSB hearing on August 22, 2000, I tried to talk to Dennis Crider, the author of the climb portion of the NTSB accident report. However, Bernard Loeb intervened. We had a lively discussion, but they weren’t about to tell me how the climb was computed.
Subsequent to the hearing, I contacted Jim Hall, the Chairman of the NTSB, and again requested the information about the climb computation. He seemed cooperative at first. There were e-mails and a couple of phone calls, but then finally a letter came from Jim Hall saying that the information was proprietary to Boeing and that Boeing wouldn’t authorize the NTSB to release the information. Previously however, on the day after the CIA video appeared on national TV, Boeing tried to distance itself from the climb scenario by issuing a statement that it was unaware of any data used for the video. Thus, it appears that the NTSB is simply hiding behind Boeing’s skirts as a pretext for not releasing its own secret calculations.
It became clear that the NTSB was not going to willingly provide the requested information, so on November 10, 2000, I submitted separate requests to the NTSB and the CIA for the information under the Freedom of Information Act. The CIA responded with a letter dated January 26, 2001, which stated, "We have researched this matter, and have learned that the pertinent data, and resulting conclusions, were provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)". Thus, it appears that the CIA was just a strawman for the scenario that Kallstrom and Hall wanted to disseminate to the public. This was midway in an active investigation when the FBI and the NTSB should have been neutral.
All trails to the source of the climb calculations lead back to the NTSB. Well, when the wreckage flight paths were calculated as part of the NTSB accident investigation, all of the interested parties should have participated in those calculations. A group should have been formed to determine the main flight paths of the wreckage. ALPA and TWA and Boeing should have had representatives in that group. The results of that group effort should have been part of the public record. Ah, but in this case, the NTSB broke that basic rule of accident investigation. A flight path wreckage group was not formed. Instead, the NTSB kept the flight path wreckage data and calculations in house, and the NTSB did not even reveal its secret calculations to the other parties to the investigation. This is what ALPA had to say in its 43 pages of comments to the NTSB:
Component Trajectory Study
The NTSB trajectory study was conducted to calculate the airborne trajectories of certain key fragments of the aircraft in an effort to determine the breakup sequence of the aircraft. ALPA is concerned that the independent nature of the study, as well as the use of uncertain wreckage recovery information, weakens any conclusions reached in this trajectory study.
The analysis conducted in the trajectory study requires numerous estimates and assumptions, both in initial object travel (velocity and direction) and resultant flight path (coefficient of drag of an individual piece). A minute change in any of these variables can yield a substantial alteration of the calculated trajectory. Since some of the input values can never be known accurately, uncertainty is introduced into the results of the study. Furthermore, although ALPA does not doubt the technical capability of the NTSB, we are concerned that this analysis was essentially accomplished by only one individual at the Board, with little or no party input or participation. (my emphasis) It is a well known and accepted tenet of engineering analysis that the output (results) can only be as accurate as the input data. As cited in the previous section, the trajectory study utilized several uncertain or erroneous component recovery locations, increasing the uncertainty of the study’s results. Had this study been conducted as a group activity, opportunities would have existed for necessary cross-checking and party ‘consensus-building’, and it is likely that a more thorough, accurate and universally-accepted product would have been generated.
The following two excerpts are from the TWA 21-page submission to the NTSB:
The accuracy and integrity of the wreckage recovery database were "less than central" and did not form a "foundation" for the Board’s determinations and findings, including its reports pertaining to the structural sequence of the breakup of the aircraft and aircraft trajectory.
The captain of Eastwind flight 507 was in a good position to view the accident aircraft prior to the explosion. He related observing the accident aircraft for several minutes in normal flight, with what appeared to be its landing lights on, whereafter the aircraft exploded in a huge orange ball and evidenced no climb above its pre-explosion altitude. These observations did not comport with the trajectory of the aircraft in its final stages of flight and structural breakup, as depicted in the CIA videotape entitled "TWA Flight 800, What Did the Witnesses See".
As mentioned before, Boeing made it clear that it had no part in the CIA climb scenario. However, Boeing had earlier provided the pertinent mass properties to the NTSB and they were included in the NTSB accident report. That data is sufficient to analyze the climb. My FOIA request is not a request for additional Boeing proprietary data. My question to the NTSB is, "How did you manipulate the Boeing mass properties to come up with a 3,000 foot climb?" The Boeing mass properties refute such a climb.
Boeing estimates the weight of the aircraft at the time of the event as 574,000 lbs. After nose separation, the weight was 494,606 lbs. (In round numbers, the nose weighed about 80,000 lbs which is a considerable number). For weight and balance purposes, aircraft engineers use the mean aerodynamic chord (MAC). The MAC is a hypothetical average section of the wing. It is located where the center-of-lift (CL) of the wing is normally 25% MAC. Before nose separation, there was a downward force of 574,000 lbs located at the center-of-gravity (CG) which was 21.1% MAC (the heavy teeter-totter rider was about a foot ahead of the pivot point). The horizontal stabilizer, which is more than 100 feet behind the CL, was exerting a downward force of about 6,000 lbs (the light rider was at the other long-end of the teeter-totter). The wing was exerting an upward force of about 580,000 lbs at the CL (the pivot point of the teeter-totter). The three forces were in balance vertically and rotationally.
After nose separation, the CG moved aft to 57.8% MAC (the heavy rider jumped to about 11 feet on the other side of the teeter-totter). This created a terrific rotational imbalance. The CG and the downward tail force combined to create a nose-up torque of about 6,000,000 ft lbs. Boeing calculated the angular moment of inertia at 15,780,000 slug-ft^2. Dividing the torque by the angular moment of inertia gives an angular acceleration of about .39 radians per sec^2 or about 22 degrees per sec^2. That much angular acceleration would rotate the nose upward to about 45 degrees in two seconds. Of course, that is well beyond the point of complete stall. The maximum lift the wing could generate in that short time span before stall would climb the aircraft less than 100 feet. That is why the competent eyewitnesses saw the wreckage fall downward out of the fire ball.
There is another consideration that argues against the climb scenario. FIFO (Flight 800 Independent Researcher’s Organization) is a group that has thoroughly researched this investigation. FIFO is circulating a petition to reopen the investigation, and I endorse the effort. During my career I participated in several accident investigations, and I had complete trust in the NTSB and the accident investigation process. That trust was destroyed in the TWA 800 investigation. Reopening the investigation and putting all the evidence on the table would help restore that trust for all of us who are disenchanted with the NTSB. FIFO and others who have studied the radar returns of the falling wreckage have determined that the heavy objects followed a free-fall trajectory. In order for TWA 800 to have climbed 3,000 feet, most of the forward velocity would need to have been converted into vertical velocity. The radar only shows horizontal velocity, so the main body of the wreckage would have appeared on radar to slow down and fall much shorter in the debris field. That didn’t happen.
In conclusion, the NTSB was derelict in its duty to the American people.
· The NTSB withheld important radar information and did not present it at the public hearing.
· The NTSB did not interview all of the eyewitnesses and did not introduce the key eyewitnesses at the public hearing.
· The NTSB did not form a Trajectory Study Group, and the NTSB did not allow participation in its own study by the other parties to the investigation, and the NTSB did not reveal its own secret calculations at the public hearing.
Mr. Campbell, please give me the NTSB climb calculations.
cc: Open letter
BBC News April 20, 2001
Egypt has reacted angrily to the draft report by American experts into the crash of an Egyptian airliner off the coast of the United States in October 1999. Although the conclusions of the report have not been made public, the Egyptian government said its findings were nothing but "unacceptable speculation". Egypt has always rejected a theory that the co-pilot of the airliner deliberately crashed it, killing all 217 people on board. The airline, Egypt Air, which last year accepted liability but not responsibility for the crash, has demanded that the investigation continue.
Ha'aretz News April 22, 2001
The head of Egyptian flag carrier EgyptAir yesterday denied persistent speculation that a co-pilot had deliberately brought down EgyptAir Flight 990 almost 18 months ago, killing all 217 people on board. His remarks came two days after the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) submitted a draft report on the crash to Egyptian authorities. U.S. safety investigators have long said there was no mechanical explanation for the crash, which has focused attention on co-pilot Gamil al-Batouti, whom investigators have suspected of causing the disaster. "All the evidence indicates that things progressed in a natural way in the cockpit. The steps which Batouti took during the incident were a reaction to an emergency situation and do not point to an intention to commit suicide," EgyptAir Chairman Mohamed Fahim Rayan said. He also denied Batouti could have caused the crash for other reasons. Despite the attention on Batouti, the NTSB has never concluded in investigative documents or interviews that the crew member acted deliberately to bring down the plane on October 31, 1999, off the Massachusetts coast. Egyptian officials have refused to accept that a member of the crew would cause the plane to crash on purpose. Flight 990, a Boeing 767-300ER flying from New York to Cairo, was at 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) when its autopilot shut off and it began the first of two dives that ended with its plunge into the sea. Egyptian investigators continue to focus on the possibility that the plane's elevator panels - movable components on the tail that control the up and down movement of the plane - played a role in the crash. Egypt has two months to respond to the draft report. Rayan said Egypt would provide evidence backing its views. The NTSB has refused to comment on the substance of the draft report, saying it was a confidential matter between U.S. and Egyptian investigators. Aircraft maker Boeing said on Thursday it has never found any mechanical explanation for the crash.
April 27, 2001 ABCNEWS.com
Until recently, the former Gulf War veteran had not admitted his involvement in the bombing or explained his reasons for doing it. Last month, though, in a book about the bombing written by two reporters who interviewed him, McVeigh admitted his actions and called the children killed "collateral damage." Asked about the passage, McVeigh told Fox: "Collateral Damage? As an American news junkie; a military man; and a Gulf War Veteran, where do they think I learned that "It sure as hell wasn't Osami Bin Laden!" (Note from website author: For the significance of this comment read From Dublin to Oklahoma City )
May 4, 2001, Middle East Newsline SPECIAL TO WORLD
Saudi billionaire fugitive Osama Bin Laden has increased links to Middle East terrorist groups as part of an effort to raise his profile in the Arab-Israeli conflict. A new State Department report on global terrorism said Bin Laden agents have infiltrated the Palestinian Authority and the surrounding region such as Jordan and Lebanon. The report, entitled "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000," said Bin Laden's Al Qaida network provided money and training to terrorist groups to ensure attacks against Israeli and U.S. interests. "Al Qaida and its affiliates especially used their ability to provide money and training as leverage to establish ties to and build the terrorist capabilities of a variety of small Middle Eastern terrorist groups such as the Lebanese Asbat al-Ansar," the report said. The State Department linked the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden to militants trained by Bin Laden. The report said those linked to Bin Laden are believed to have sponsored efforts to attack U.S. installations in the Gulf. The State Department cited Lebanon as a major arena for Bin Laden. The report said Bin Laden works with other groups to pose threats to U.S. interests. The report said U.S. allies in the Middle East have increased efforts to block terrorist threats. The State Department cited Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait. Lebanese authorities have also arrested Bin Laden agents, the report said. Israel, the report said, arrested a suspected Bin Laden militant last summer. The report cited Israeli assertions that Nabil Awkil, with links to Hamas as well, was trained in Bin Ladin-affiliated camps in Afghanistan before returning to the West Bank and Gaza to establish terrorist cells.
May 4, 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
A 500-page report written by an investigative committee on the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., is set to be released this month, the head of the project tells WorldNetDaily. Charles Key, a former Oklahoma state representative and head of the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, said the report contains volumes of evidence citing inconsistencies and omissions in the government's official version of events. Key, who left the state legislature in 1998, said he hopes the report will help Americans finally "get to the truth" about the bombing just weeks before one of the prime suspects, Timothy McVeigh, is to be executed in Terre Haute, Ind., for his role in the attack. "The purpose of our report is to document the truth," Key told WorldNetDaily. "We, as so many others do, believe that facts regarding other perpetrators, prior knowledge, and the number of explosive devices used to damage the Murrah Building has been concealed." Key said that when he began his investigation he hoped to accomplish three main tasks: empanel an Oklahoma grand jury to look into the bombing; lobby Congress to hold open hearings on the bombing and the government's handling of the case afterwards; and finally, produce a comprehensive report about his findings.
Though the Justice Department has vehemently denied that federal law enforcement officials knew anything about the attack before it happened, Key's committee found what members believe is substantial evidence proving otherwise. First, the report documents that two of the government's own informants had warned federal officials of "possible terrorist attacks in the United States," but that neither of these witnesses were allowed to testify in the federal trials surrounding the case. Also, two informants affiliated with organizations in foreign countries issued terrorist warnings to the U.S., the report says. And, the committee found evidence that officials from four government agencies "were notified to be on the alert for possible attacks against individuals, federal institutions, or the public at large. ..." Of those four agencies, two of them -- the U.S. Marshals' office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms -- were actually officed in the Murrah Building. In addition, the Oklahoma City Fire Department was warned by the FBI, says the report. And Federal Judge Wayne Alley admitted in an interview the day of the bombing (published in the Portland Oregonian, April 20, 1995) that he also had been told to be on the alert for a possible bombing. Five witnesses who spoke to Key and his committee said they talked to federal officials who in turn claimed that no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were in the building at the time of the bombing. And another five witnesses said they saw bomb-squad vehicles in downtown Oklahoma City shortly before the blast went off at just after 9 a.m.
Key said his committee found "over 70 witnesses" who said they saw McVeigh "and one or more 'John Does'" in the days before -- and on the day of -- the bombing. After the blast, said the committee in its report, about 40 witnesses came forward in response to FBI composite drawings of "John Doe 1" and "John Doe 2," thought to be of Middle Eastern descent. Many of these witnesses notified federal authorities "about seeing McVeigh with one or more John Does," the report said.
The Key committee talked to a number of witnesses who were in the Murrah building at the time of the blast who said they felt it "shaking before the bombing and assumed it was an earthquake," suggesting that there was another blast before the truck bomb went off in front of the building that was ultimately blamed for all of the damage. Some of those witnesses told the committee they owed their survival "to having had time to seek protection under their desks just before the [truck] bomb exploded," the report said. Also, the committee obtained seismologic evidence from an expert source that "supports the fact that there were multiple explosions" that morning. But, as was the case with other witnesses, the expert "was not allowed to testify at the federal trials," the report says. The committee noted that estimates of the size of the ammonium nitrate-fuel oil ("ANFO") truck bomb changed frequently, but officials eventually said the bomb was 4,800 pounds. "This finding was calculated on incorrect measurements of the crater" left in front of the Murrah building, the report said, "rather than on forensic evidence." The committee's report also documents "at least four sightings of [additional] bombs inside the building," which were reported by witnesses and local news agencies, as WND documented in an April 23 story. The sightings, the report said, resulted "in rescue personnel being evacuated from the building, leaving behind the injured and dying" victims. None of the five experts in munitions and explosives, whose reports all concluded that no ANFO bomb of any size could have caused the type and extent of damage at the Murrah building, were allowed to testify at the federal trials, Key's group documented in its report.
Though only McVeigh and Nichols were arrested, tried and convicted for their roles in the bombing, the Key committee found that the federal government knew that others were involved, despite official denials. The committee found that "in addition to McVeigh and Nichols," suspects listed as "others unknown" were also named "in indictments … in both federal trials." The report said McVeigh was reported by witnesses to have been in the company of "several Middle-Eastern [persons] in the downtown area shortly before the bombing," and that Nichols "frequently visited the Philippines, where it is possible that he developed connections with Middle Eastern terrorists." Corroborating this, Jayna Davis -- a former investigative reporter for Oklahoma City television station KFOR -- told Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" on March 20 that Nichols may have been in contact with associates of Saudi billionaire terrorist Osama bin Laden in the Philippines. "Davis also points to court records offered in the Nichols defense that suggest he had contacts with a member of bin Laden's terrorist organization in the Philippines prior to the bombing," WND reported, based on excerpts of Davis' interview with the show's host and WND columnist Bill O'Reilly. McVeigh, she said, was also in the company of Mideastern men shortly before the bombing, one of whom was a former member of Iraq's elite Republican Guard army corps. As Davis noted, the Key committee also said that shortly after the bombing, an "all-points-bulletin" was issued by authorities for a man of Mideastern descent who had been spotted with McVeigh in the Ryder rental truck containing the bomb. But both Davis and Key's committee said the APB was rescinded later in the day "without explanation," and, the Key report noted, "federal law enforcement officials subsequently denied that there was involvement by anyone other than McVeigh and Nichols."
The committee's report also detailed failures by federal law and court officials -- before, during and after the bombing. "There is sufficient evidence to confirm that law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma City, as well as Washington, D.C., had sufficient prior knowledge of the impending disaster, yet took minimum measures to avert the bombing," the report said. "Documents and witnesses support this conclusion." Also, the report said the "FBI quashed reports of explosive devices found in the … building and reports showing that the ATF [was] unlawfully storing explosives inside." The committee said the FBI also refused to allow Federal Emergency Management Agency officials access to the building to conduct their portion of the investigation, and that the FBI failed to run checks "on over one thousand fingerprints that were obtained in this case." In the aftermath of the bombing, when federal and state grand juries were convened to examine evidence, Key and his committee said "blatant bias against anyone asking questions or probing into facts was evident. ..." "Virtually all of the rules governing grand juries were broken," the report says.
The report concludes that the Clinton administration's law enforcement agencies and officials "had prior knowledge of the bombing," and that "McVeigh and Nichols did not act alone." Also, Key's committee said government informants were not allowed to present testimony at the federal trials, and "critical scientific evidence" was never presented in either McVeigh's or Nichols' trials. "The final report represents years of extensive investigation and countless interviews," Keys said. "It contains information never reported before in any forum."
May 21, 2001 NewsMax.com
New evidence indicates that the organization of Saudi exile terrorist, Osama bin Laden, used experts from the Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah, to build the huge bomb that badly damaged the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen last October, killing 12 Americans, former CIA officials said. According to these sources, an earlier planned attack scheduled for Jan. 3, 2000,on another American ship as it refueled in Aden, the U.S.S. Sullivans, was timed to go off simultaneously with strikes at other targets that included American tourists in Jordan and famous sites in the continental United States, including the Seattle Space Needle, Los Angeles airport, and Disneyland. Other targets included the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, they said. But the attack on the U.S.S. Sullivans "was pretty poorly run" which was what led to its being uncovered, the former CIA official said. Thanks to intelligence exchange among several countries, Jordanian authorities arrested suspects who confessed to planning attacks on the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman and two Christian pilgrimage sites, all aimed Americans on Jan 3. The former CIA official then said: "The question we had to ask ourselves was, what did the bin Laden organization do in a matter of months to go from something amateurish to something so lethal?" According to the former CIA official the answer is to be found in the use by bin Laden of expert bombers from the Hezbollah. A U.S. government official told United Press International that the blast was a "cone-shaped charge" that used "moldable high explosives such as SEMTEX H," shaped to create a high-speed, high temperature blast wave. The blast took place in two stages over a fraction of a second, he said. During the first stage, the blast "forces all the air out with tremendous force," creating a vacuum, but as air rushes back in, it creates another tremendous force that causes further damage. "It's a trademark of bombs made by Hezbollah and raises the question of the involvement of Iran," he said. A former CIA official agreed: "We have to start looking at Iran's involvement in the incident. The evidence warrants this." U.S. intelligence sources insisted that the terrorism situation in Yemen is serious, and that Iran- and Sudan-backed groups have a strategic alliance whose aim is to consolidate control by Islamic militants over the area around the Horn of Africa and drive the United States. not only from the area of the Red Sea, but the Persian Gulf. Les Campbell, regional director for the Middle East and Africa, for the Washington, D.C.-based National Democracy Institute said that in addition to the Islamic fundamentalists like bin Laden: "There may well be (other) terrorist elements" in the country. He spoke of "a latent Iraqi and anti-American influence" in the upper echelons of Yemen's ruling General People's Congress Party. Yemen backed Iraqi in the Persian Gulf War, and Iraqi sympathizers are a "drag" on Yemen's efforts at reform, currently being financed by the United States, he said. According to U.S. government officials, the Hezbollah consists of an umbrella organization of radical Shi'ite groups that closely follow the revolutionary aims and philosophy of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. The organization was established following the 1982 Peace for Galilee War launched by Israel when it invaded Lebanon. Iran's response was to send in trained terrorists from its Revolutionary Guards to help build up Hezbollah forces that would engage in "jihad" or holy war against American and Israeli targets. The spiritual leader of the Hezbollah, Shiekh Muhammed Hussein Fadallah, is the chief interpreter of Islamic law for the group. An attempt was made on Fadlallah's life on March 8, 1985, when an explosive-packed car was driven into a Beirut suburb about 50 yards from Fadlallah's residence. The car disappeared in a blinding blue flash that killed 80 people and wounded 200 more. A former State Department official told UPI that the group behind the bombing had been trained in the United States, but denied there was any American involvement in the assassination attempt. "We trained them in self-defense. So they got a bit out of hand? What can I say?" The United States discovered the first "hard evidence" of a connection between the Hezbollah and bin Laden last Oct. 20, when a bin Laden operative, a former U.S. Army Sgt. Ali Mohamed, confessed in Federal District Court in New York that he and senior bin Laden operatives had met with mysterious Hezbollah security chief Imad Mughniyah, who is believed to have carried out the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the Marine barracks in 1983. When a former State Department counterterrorism official Larry Johnson joined with former CIA official Milt Bearden to write about this for The New York Times, they met with outrage from the White House's Richard Clarke, who at that time was part of the Clinton policy of re-establishing good relations with Iran.
May 26, 2001 The Associated Press
An Algerian man facing up to 140 years in prison for his April conviction in a terrorist bomb plot is trying to win a lighter sentence by cooperating for the first time with federal prosecutors, The Seattle Times reported Saturday. Ahmed Ressam, 33, is scheduled for sentencing June 28. The Times reported sentencing may be postponed to allow Ressam to testify in the July trial of alleged coconspirator Mokhtar Haouri in New York. The newspaper quoted sources close to the talks as saying Ressam has broken more than 17 months of silence, providing federal authorities with ``a major breakthrough'' in their ongoing investigation into the alleged plot to bomb U.S. sites at the turn of the millennium. Ressam was arrested in December 1999 -- two weeks before millennial New Year's Eve celebrations -- as he entered the country by ferry from Canada, where had lived since 1994, in a rental car containing bomb-making components. He was convicted in Los Angeles, after a month-long trial, of conspiring to commit international terrorism and eight related counts. Federal prosecutors described an international plot involving Islamic extremists in Canada, France and the United States who wanted to "punish America." On April 6, the day he was convicted in Los Angeles, Ressam also was convicted in absentia in Paris and sentenced to a five-year prison term for involvement in terrorist activities there. Prosecutors in both countries believe Ressam has information on targets and on Saudi businessman Osama bin Laden's organization and its ties to the Armed Islamic Group in Algeria, where Ressam was born. Federal agents linked Haouri, Ressam and another man, Abdel Ghani Meskini of New York City, through monitored telephone calls after Ressam's arrest. Haouri, accused of providing assistance to Ressam, is believed linked to higher-ups in the Islamic fundamentalist movement. He has denied any involvement in the alleged plot. Meskini, who traveled to Seattle to assist Ressam, has already made a deal with the government. He faced up to 105 years in prison, but was given an 18-month prison term and a visa allowing him to stay in the United States. At Ressam's trial, Meskini testified that he never was given details about why he was to meet with Ressam. He also is expected to testify against Haouri, who allegedly sent him to Seattle.
May 26, 2001 Halifax Chronicle Herald
The third anniversary of the crash of Swissair Flight 111 will come and go without a final report into what downed the passenger jet. Jim Harris, spokesman for Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said this week a final report into the Sept. 2, 1998, disaster off Nova Scotia won't be coming this year. "There's not going to be a report this year for sure. . . . There's so much work, just an awful lot of work to be done," he said of the $50-million probe. "It's a very complicated report and it's a very complicated investigation, complicated airplane, mix them all together and it just takes time." The Boeing MD-11 plunged into St. Margarets Bay after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit and a complete electrical failure followed. All 229 passengers and crew were killed. Board officials have long said the final report may not pinpoint the exact cause of the crash, which splintered the aircraft into about two million pieces. Wiring has long been suspected of starting the fire. But investigators still haven't determined if burnt wires found in the wreckage, which show signs of a phenomenon called electrical arcing, started the fire or were scorched by fire from another source.
May 27, 2001 New York Times
One of the newly discovered F.B.I. documents handed over to lawyers in the Oklahoma City bombing case was a report about a witness on the day of the bombing whose testimony at trial was later discredited. The witness's credibility came under attack, in part, because lawyers on both sides did not know about the document, a person familiar with the case said. The missing document, known as a lead sheet, was one of about 4,000 pages of information turned over to lawyers for Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols in recent weeks after the Federal Bureau of Investigation sought to close down its case in preparation for the execution of Mr. McVeigh. The lead sheet pertained to Morris John Kuper Jr., a witness who called the F.B.I. on April 21, 1995, two days after the bombing, to suggest that the bureau investigate activities in a parking lot a block away from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building an hour before the bombing. Mr. Kuper, who was called as a witness by the defense at the trial of Mr. Nichols, testified that he saw a man resembling Mr. McVeigh walking with another man along the sidewalk near the Federal Building in Oklahoma City at 8:02 a.m. the morning of the bombing. He said he saw the two men getting into an old, light-colored car similar to the Mercury in which Mr. McVeigh was arrested later that morning. In court, Mr. Kuper described the other man as being muscular and dark-haired, a description that was similar to that of a number of witnesses who have described the unidentified suspect who came to be known as John Doe No. 2. Mr. Kuper also testified that he called the F.B.I. on April 21 to suggest that they check cameras at the Public Library and Southwestern Bell that might have caught something in that area, "but they took my name and phone number and never contacted me again." In his cross-examination, Patrick Ryan, then the United States attorney in Oklahoma City and one of the prosecutors, emphasized that the date of the first F.B.I. interview report with Mr. Kuper was Oct. 24, and repeatedly challenged his credibility, saying that he had made no attempt to reach the bureau until then. In an interview on Friday, Mr. Ryan said that he had had no idea the document existed and that he would have treated the issue much differently if he had. "I certainly would never intentionally tell the jury someone had not come forward for six months if I knew they had come forward a couple of days after the bombing," Mr. Ryan, now a lawyer in private practice, said. Mr. Kuper was among a number of witnesses who were called by lawyers at Mr. Nichols's trial, in an effort to show that someone other than Mr. Nichols helped Mr. McVeigh. During his testimony, Mr. Kuper, a data communications specialist for Kerr-McGee, an energy and chemical company, said he was confident of the time of his sighting because he was late to work that day and was checking his own watch, which he set against the atomic clock at the Naval Observatory in Washington, a service provided by a local radio station. He noticed the car, he said, because he restored cars as a hobby, and added that "it was not the type of car you would normally see in that parking lot." The driver, he said, was white, with short light-colored hair, and was wearing a white or light T-shirt and dark pants. The other man was shorter and stockier, with a dark complexion and dark hair. He was also more muscular than the other man, Mr. Kuper said. In a filing with the Supreme Court last week, Michael E. Tigar, the lead lawyer for Mr. Nichols, said he had found at least two instances in which prosecutors tried to impeach the credibility of defense witnesses with assertions that were contradicted by the newly disclosed F.B.I. files. Mr. Tigar did not provide details, and the documents are covered by a protective order forbidding disclosure by any of the lawyers involved.
May 31, 2001
TWA FLIGHT 800 Haunting evidence of missile attack New video documentary makes compelling case for shootdown
By Julie Foster © 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
In light of recent FBI disclosures of buried evidence that have resulted in a postponement of the execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, new questions are being raised about other high-profile U.S. government terrorism investigations including the explosion of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. Those questions are sure to multiply with the release today of a compelling new video documentary shedding light on evidence government agencies once again appear to have ignored or buried. In "Silenced: Flight 800 and the Subversion of Justice," footage of National Transportation Safety Board hearings and excerpts from government documents combined with eyewitness testimony and independent forensic analysis cast serious doubts on the veracity of government explanations of the tragedy.
While it has been reported before that 736 official eyewitnesses to the July 1996 mid-air explosion testified that they saw what appeared to be one or two missiles headed for the aircraft, the new documentary shows that several of them were experienced military personnel. One such witness was even flying a National Guard helicopter as he saw the tragedy unfold. Major Fritz Meyer tells what he saw in the sky at 8:31 p.m. that summer night off the coast of Long Island where 230 people were killed. On site with the documentary's camera crew, Meyer says he saw a trail of white headed for the plane and then four explosions before the ultimate fuel-tank explosion that erupted into a fireball. But when Meyer approached the FBI to give his testimony, a five-minute interview with a single agent who took no notes was the only time he was given. Meyer is a Vietnam war combat veteran who flew 46 rescue missions in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. But despite the witness' credibility, the FBI never contacted him again.
Other eyewitnesses tell their stories. One, whose testimony the CIA says was used to create the agency's animated account of the plane's demise, said the animated explanation did not depict what he saw, and he was never contacted by the agency. Other witnesses also say the animated version did not reflect the real-life event. Indeed, according to the documentary, the CIA did not interview a single witness to the disaster, relying instead on FBI summaries of witness testimonies. And no witnesses were allowed to testify in the NTSB hearings about the crash.
Independent writer and producer Jack Cashill produced the documentary. An Emmy-award-winning producer, Cashill also developed the documentary "Triumph of Design" about the life of Charles Darwin. "Silenced" features investigative reporter James Sanders, a former California police officer-turned-journalist who has written books on prisoners of war and soldiers who were declared missing in action. He also wrote "The Downing of TWA Flight 800" in 1997. Three years after the Flight 800 incident, Sanders was convicted of conspiracy and theft after his research led to the exposure of physical evidence of a missile explosion. Sanders and his wife, Elizabeth, a former TWA flight attendant and trainer, were both found guilty of the felony offense after one of TWA's top investigators assigned to Flight 800, Capt. Terrell Stacey, testified against them. The couple knew that Stacey, a pilot who flew the Flight 800 route from Paris to New York the day before the crash, was preparing to scrape a residue sample off the interior of the passenger compartment. But when scraping proved implausible, Stacey removed small pieces of the plane and seat cloth and sent them to Sanders, who had lab tests performed on the residue.
Test results confirmed what Sanders had suspected: The residue could have been produced by a "solid fuel missile or warhead explosion," Sanders says on the video. Government agents on the case dismissed the lab results, first saying the residue was glue and then claiming it was the result of a bomb-dog drill. But Sanders' didn't have the opportunity to dig deeper as his investigation was cut short. After a California newspaper ran a front-page story about the missile theory, Sanders and his wife both of whom had gone into hiding to avoid scrutiny were arrested. Given a three-year probation sentence, Sanders' research has effectively been halted. "I cannot go anywhere outside of the federal judicial area I live in without telling them where I'm going," he said, noting that his financial records are inspected every month as well. "They have effectively removed my ability to open any investigation of them whatsoever during the 3-year period and to have sensitive sources in those 3 years. You can't investigate them without sensitive sources." During the couple's April 1999 trial, the jury was not allowed to know about Sanders' occupation as an investigative journalist, according to the documentary.
Experts in aviation, military personnel, a national machinists union and others all contest the CIA's explanation of the crash. Cashill's hour-long documentary looks into different explanations and theories about the catastrophe and gives voice to witnesses the FBI, NTSB and CIA chose not to hear. From tampered and stolen evidence to de-bunked theories about the plane's post-explosion trajectory and the modification of eyewitness testimonies, "Silenced" sheds a startling light on what government officials want to sweep under the rug. Before beginning production on "Silenced," Cashill said he personally inquired into Sanders' research, saying he didn't want to commit until he was convinced. Once Cashill saw the evidence, his skepticism vanished. While the documentary does not attempt to point a finger at who allegedly shot down Flight 800, it does condemn officials for covering up what may actually have happened. The cover-up is so spectacularly brazen, and the truth is so obvious, it stuns even a cynic. To watch 'Silenced' is to come away a believer," said Cashill, who says the problem in the investigation lies in the Justice Department and perhaps even higher. Cashill also blames the media for merely accepting the government's explanation of the crash without investigating further. What happened to the Federal Aviation Administration's radar data showing a high-velocity object colliding with Flight 800? Why hasn't the NTSB been able to prove a mechanical error caused the spark that ignited the fuel explosion? Who was driving the mystery boat at sea under the site of the explosion, and why did it speed away after the incident? What evidence was being removed from the aircraft's reconstruction site the night three FBI agents were caught fleeing the scene at 3 a.m.? "Silenced" explores these questions and many more.
"Silenced: Flight 800 and the Subversion of Justice" is available in the WorldNetDaily store. http://www.dxmarket.com/worldnetdaily/products/V0028.html
June 12, 2001 CBS News
Nearly five years to the day after terrorists blew up an American military barracks in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 servicemen, the federal government is finally preparing to hold someone accountable. Meanwhile, accusations are already flying that the true culprits may be getting a free ride. Just before the five-year statue of limitations for attempted murder charges in the Khobar Towers bombing expires, a federal grand jury in the eastern district of Virginia next week is expected to charge 13 men, mostly Saudi citizens, with carrying out the attack. A Lebanese chemist who allegedly built the bomb will also be charged and sources say the indictment will be made public, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart. And although it will contain numerous references to Iran and its radical Revolutionary Guard, it will not name any Iranian official as either an indicted or unindicted co-conspirator to the attack. Such a finding appears to directly contradict previous conclusions reached by the FBI's own investigation of the attack and comes at a time when the U.S. is eager to improve relations with oil-rich Iran following the re-election there last week of President Muhammed Khatami, a political moderate. Despite statements by suspects in Saudi Arabia that they were recruited and trained by Iran, plus substantial physical evidence, sources say prosecutors have backed away from accusing anyone in Tehran for planning the attack and the reason is not clear. Law enforcement sources hint at State Department and White House second-guessing. Others suggest the FBI's case was never strong enough. Meanwhile, family members remain frustrated. "Every country here is dancing. No one wants to really find out who exactly was to blame for this bombing," said Catherine Adams, mother of a slain service member. This would appear to be a less-than-perfect ending for a case that has tormented the FBI. They got little help from Saudi Arabia in the case and distrusted the Clinton administration, which was also pursuing better relations with Iran at the time. Now it appears that under the Bush administration, too, Iran will escape the ultimate blame. The evidence Iran was behind the deaths of 19 American servicemen and the wounding of 500 others is compelling enough to justify military retaliation or at least some form of diplomatic or legal action against Iran. And that evidence has been in hand for two years, according to Pentagon officials.
June 13, 2001 NY Times
After a five-year inquiry that at times seemed near collapse because of disagreements with Saudi Arabia, American authorities said today that they were close to bringing charges against Saudi militants for the 1996 truck bombing at the Khobar Towers apartment building that killed 19 American airmen. It was unclear when the indictments might be returned or whether any of the dozens of Saudis already in jail in connection with the bombing would be among them. It was also uncertain whether any of those likely to be cited in the charges could actually be brought to the United States to stand trial. For years, the case has been swept up in the changing relationship between the United States and Iran, which some counterterorism officials have blamed at least in part for helping to mastermind the attack, through officers of its state intelligence service. Some officials said that it now appeared unlikely that any Iranian officials would be accused of complicity in the bombing, although the complete list of people to be charged, their nationalities and possible links to foreign governments remained unclear. In recent years, as relations improved with the moderate government of President Mohammad Khatami, American diplomats have demanded what law enforcement officials have described as direct and specific evidence of Iranian involvement before they would accuse Iran of responsibility. A charge of state sponsorship against Iran could provoke politically unpalatable demands for military retaliation, which the Clinton administration initially threatened against the perpetrators. Federal officials complained that the Saudis refused to allow agents to interrogate dozens of suspects arrested by the Saudis and to review critical evidence. It took months after the bombing, they said, for the Saudis to agree to allow the F.B.I. to examine a car used by the bombers during their escape. Some American business executives and others close to the Saudi government said the Saudis were equally frustrated by the F.B.I. They said the Saudis complained that the bureau was reluctant to accept the validity of evidence gathered by the Saudis, suggesting that the attack was carried out by Saudi dissidents with the help of Iran. The evidence, they said, included videotapes of confessions by some suspects and wiretaps.
June17, 2001 NY Daily News
An EgyptAir flight carrying 475 passengers and 20 crew members was held at Kennedy Airport overnight Friday after the airline received a threat. EgyptAir Flight 989 from Montreal stopped over at Kennedy about 9 p.m. Friday on its way to Cairo, Port Authority spokesman Pasquale DiFulco said. Passengers had reboarded the plane about 11:30 p.m., DiFulco said, when Port Authority police got a call from EgyptAir officials informing them of a threat to the aircraft. All passengers, crew members and baggage were removed from the plane, and the aircraft and cargo were searched mechanically, manually and by a canine explosives unit, DiFulco said. Nothing unusual was found. The Boeing 747 was cleared to fly at 4:15 a.m. yesterday, but by that time it needed a fresh crew. The plane finally took off at 9 a.m. DiFulco said he did not know the nature of the threat, and EgyptAir officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
June 18, 2001 Letter from Ray Lehr to NTSB
Capt Ray Lahr (ret.)
Malibu, CA 90265
June 18, 2001
Mr. Daniel D. Campbell, Managing Director
National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, D.C. 20594
Dear Mr. Campbell:
This letter is in response to your letter of June 13, 2001, which denied my appeal for certain information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) #2001-0048. Mr. Campbell, the NTSB has made the ridiculous claim that TWA 800 climbed several thousand feet with the nose blown off. The NTSB refuses to reveal how it computed that climb. That climb has not been verified by independent parties. Now you refuse to comply with the FOIA when information is sought regarding the climb.
I submit that this is not the right way to conduct an accident investigation.
You assert that Boeing will not allow you to release data about the B-747, yet you have already published the pertinent data from Boeing in your own report. That data plus the laws of aerodynamics demonstrates that TWA 800 couldn’t possibly have made the climb claimed by the NTSB and the CIA (the data and conclusions used by the CIA came from the NTSB). Now if the NTSB has discovered some new law of aerodynamics, then the world deserves to know about it.
Let me explain the aerodynamic principles in simple terms. Here is the Boeing data that the NTSB released to the public:
Parameter Before Nose Separation After Nose Separation
Gross Weight (lbs) C.G. %MAC Iyy slug-ft^2 Ixx slug-ft^2
CARDINAL RULE NUMBER ONE : the airplane must be in balance.
Think of the airplane as a teeter-totter, or as the balance scales held by the Goddess of Justice. The balance point is the center-of-lift (C.L.) where the upward force of the wing is located. The center-of-gravity (C.G.) is located ahead of the C.L. and it is trying to pull the nose down. It has a short lever arm. The horizontal stabilizer at the other end of the balance is trying to pull the tail down. It has a long lever arm. These forces must be in balance both vertically and rotationally in order for the aircraft to fly straight and level.
Before nose separation, the gross weight of 574,000 lbs was pulling down at 1.3 ft (21.1% MAC) ahead of the C.L. The nose-down torque was 748,000 ft-lbs. The horizontal stabilizer was pulling down with a force of 6,800 lbs at 110 ft behind the C.L. The nose-up torque was also 748,000 ft-lbs. The wing’s upward force was 580,800 lbs.
Look what happened when the 79,394 lb nose was blown off. After nose separation, the C.G. of the remaining gross weight of 494,606 lbs shifted to a point 11 ft behind the C.L. (57.8% MAC). Now instead of the gross weight producing a nose-down torque of 748,000 lbs, the gross weight was producing a nose-up torque of 5,445,000 ft-lbs. The horizontal stabilizer was still producing a nose-up torque of 746,000 ft-lbs.
How long did it take for the aircraft to stall and fall out of the sky? Using Boeing’s Iyy of 15,780,000 slug-ft^2, the nose-up acceleration was 22.5 degrees/sec^2. Using that acceleration, it only took 1.5 seconds to pitch up to 25 degrees and the rate was still accelerating. At 25 degrees, the wing was essentially stalled.
How much could the aircraft have climbed in 1.5 seconds? Assume generously that the wing with half of its center box structure blown away was still strong enough to pull 5 times the force of gravity. In 1.5 seconds, the aircraft might have climbed 180 feet, and then it was in free fall. The aircraft never even reached the top of the fireball. The credible eyewitnesses saw the wreckage fall downward out of the fireball.
Boeing disavowed the climb scenario in a public statement issued the day the CIA cartoon was shown on national television. “Boeing was not involved in the production of the video shown today, nor have we had the opportunity to obtain a copy or fully understand the data used to create it… The video’s explanation of the eyewitness observations can best be assessed by the eyewitnesses themselves.” The whole purpose of an accident investigation is to openly debate all of the evidence so that the best probable cause can be determined. That purpose was defeated in the case of TWA 800 when one person within the NTSB, Dennis Crider, worked independently of the other interested parties to the investigation. The only climb data Mr. Crider has revealed is the Boeing table above. Mr. Crider’s calculations have never been verified by an independent party. The conclusions reached by Mr. Crider are contradicted by accepted aerodynamic principles.
How did Mr. Crider get from the data in the Boeing table to the climb claimed by the CIA and the NTSB? I have sought this information directly from Jim Hall, Dennis Crider, Bernard Loeb, and Jim Ritter. Under the FOIA, I have contacted Melba Moye and now you. You are all hiding behind the pretext that Boeing won’t let you release the data. No documentation has been offered to confirm that Boeing has made any objections. The above public statement by Boeing indicates that it is unaware of any data that would support such a climb. Furthermore, weight and balance information, stall characteristics, and operational performance is information that Boeing offers to all of its customers, and it is necessary for the safe operation of their aircraft. There would be no reason to deny this information to the parties of an accident investigation.
Be that as it may, Boeing voluntarily gave the NTSB the information pertinent to the performance of this particular aircraft, both before and after the nose separation, and the NTSB released it to the public. Using that same information, the NTSB came up with some strange conclusions. The American public and the world deserve to know how the NTSB reached those conclusions.
I respectfully resubmit my request for that information.
CC: Open Letter
June 21, 20001 Report from Producers of Video "Silenced:
Flight 800 and the Subversion of Justice"
From: J Cashill
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001 4:19 AM
TWA 800 Controversy Heats Up
On a warm June evening in Kansas City, the historic home of TWA and the current site of its huge overhaul base, a group of 75 or so airline pilots watched the documentary Silenced : Flight 800 and the Subversion of Justice in stunned horror.
Afterwards, not a one among them, either publicly or privately, challenged the video's thesis that TWA Flight 800 had indeed been shot down. Offered instead were corroborating details, particularly from angry TWA pilots, about the money trail and the inexplicable Pentagon visits of then TWA CEO, Jeff Erickson. Said one TWA pilot. "90% of us believe there was a government cover-up."
From the Boeing community in Seattle the response has been much the same. Writes one Boeing engineer, a man who had spent countless hours helping analyze TWA 800 on Boeing's Cray Supercomputers, "I brought it (Silenced) to work today and showed it during lunch to eight of my fellow Boeing workers. The room was deathly quiet the entire time . . . . My impression then was a missile strike and it is even more so today."
Even more troubling is the response of Mike Wire, the Philadelphia millwright on whose presumed testimony, the CIA based its notorious animation of TWA 800 rocketing upwards like a missile. "The video "Silenced" presents a factual reenactment of what I saw that night. My part of the video also is what I told the FBI a few days after the incident at an in-depth interview at my residence. As you can see what I saw originated from behind the houses on the beach that is why I at first thought it to be a firework. It most definitely didn't start up in the sky like the FBI/CIA story says. I don't know how they could (come) up with that scenario because it doesn't match what I saw and told the FBI or what other witnesses I have talk to since May of 2000 had reported."
Writes Dwight Brumley, a 20-year Navy vet who watched the tragedy unfold from above, after watching Silenced. "The CIA animation in no way represents what I saw that night. Based on the time line, as I understand it, the "flare" that I reported seeing off the right side of and below USAir 217 COULD NOT, I repeat, COULD NOT have been TWA 800 in crippled flight just before and after it exploded. There are two reasons why. First, TWA 800 would have been moving in my field of view from left to right, not from right to left as I clearly observed; and Second, my understanding of the basic laws of aerodynamics leads me to conclude there is no way that TWA 800, with the nose section gone, could have possibly climbed 3000-4000 feet as the CIA video portrays."
The fifth anniversary on July 17 presents the last great opportunity to share this story with a mainstream media that definitely does not want to hear it. If the overwhelming public response in the last two weeks is any indication, this is one story that may well from the bottom up.
June 21, 2001 Bloomberg.com
Fourteen people, alleged to be members of a terrorist organization supervised by the Iranian government, were charged in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. airmen, U.S. officials said. The indictment names alleged members of Hezbollah, described as a terrorist organization operating in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Kuwait, as suspects in the bombing near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The charges handed up by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, include murder, conspiracy to murder, and use of weapons of mass destruction. Those charged include the military leader of the Saudi Hezbollah organization and an unknown Lebanese man identified only as John Doe, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said. Iranian government officials, none of whom were named in the indictment, helped direct the attack. For five years, the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI have ``worked to develop the evidence necessary to bring these charges for this terrible crime,'' Ashcroft said. He noted that a five- year statute of limitations for charging suspects with some of the offenses was about to run out on Monday, the anniversary of the attack. Nine of the men are charged with 46 separate criminal counts. The other five are each charged with five conspiracy counts. The indictment alleges that the conspiracy was driven by a motive to remove Americans from the area. FBI Director Louis Freeh said none of those charged are in U.S. custody. He said some are being held in other countries, but he would not say how many are in custody or where they are being held. The indictment describes officials of the Iranian government as being behind the explosion that sheared the face off a military apartment high-rise building. Freeh said that based upon the evidence gathered so far he did not recommend that the Bush administration pursue indictments against Iranian officials. However, he left open the possibility that the U.S. government might do so at a later date. The bomb plot can be traced back to 1993 when Ahmed Al- Mughassil, one of those charged today, was head of the military wing of the Saudi Hezbollah, the indictment alleges. Al-Mughassil and officials in Iran reviewed surveillance reports of Americans in Saudi Arabia, according to the indictment. By 1995, an unnamed Iranian military official directed Hezbollah members to search for sites of possible further attacks against Americans, the indictment alleges. The attack occurred on the night of June 25, 1996, when a bomb-laden fuel truck was detonated outside the Khobar Towers. The explosion was so powerful it left a crater 85 feet wide and 35 feet deep. Ashcroft said that in addition to the 19 killed, 372 Americans were wounded. Hani Al-Sayegh, one of the men indicted, was arrested in Canada, then met with U.S. investigators in 1997. He denied knowledge of the attack and "falsely described an estrangement'' between the Iranian government and the Hezbollah, according to the indictment. He was later removed to the U.S. based on a "promise to cooperate,'' upon which he is alleged to have reneged. Al-Sayegh unsuccessfully sought asylum in the U.S., the indictment says, and ended up back in Saudi Arabia.
June 23, 2001 NY Times
The United States has never known quite what to do about Iran's role in anti-American terrorism. From the embassy bombings and hostage taking in Lebanon during the early 1980's to the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996, Washington's response to evidence that Tehran was sponsoring violence against American interests has been marked by deep ambivalence and contorted internal debates among several generations of policy makers. To critics who advocate a harder line toward Iran, the government's indictment of 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in the Khobar Towers bombing, handed down Thursday, just short of Monday's five-year anniversary of the attack, once again revealed an American reluctance to tackle Tehran head-on on state-sponsored terrorism. United States officials have said they have evidence of Iranian involvement, and at a news conference announcing the indictment, Attorney General John Ashcroft charged that Iranian officials "inspired, supported and supervised members of Saudi Hezbollah" in the attack. But prosecutors stopped short of bringing charges against any individual Iranian officials. "Why haven't we been more forward leaning on Iran?" asked one former United States official familiar with the long debate in the government over the Khobar Towers case. "The intelligence on Iran is pretty strong, and they could have named names of Iranian officials." The Clinton administration was widely criticized for its failure to pursue evidence that Iran was behind the bombing, but now, the Bush administration has shown that same reluctance. Prosecutors did not cite Iranian officials by name despite what some officials said was the hope of Louis J. Freeh, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that Iranian officials would be charged. Mr. Freeh, who had taken a personal interest in the case, said on Thursday that it would remain open, and Mr. Ashcroft made it clear that the United States would be willing to pursue charges against Iranian officials if more evidence emerged. The United States has often been willing to punish lesser nations when they step over the line into support for terrorist acts, often with less evidence of their involvement in specific acts than was the case with the Khobar Towers bombing. The United States bombed Libya in 1986 after it linked it to the bombing of a Berlin nightclub that killed American soldiers. The Clinton administration launched missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 after the embassy bombings in East Africa. Yet, several administrations have hesitated to retaliate against Iran. By 1999, the evidence linking Iran to the bombing was strong enough so that President Clinton sent a secret letter to Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, asking for help in solving the Khobar case. The letter was sent after the United States obtained convincing information that Iranian officials were behind the attack. The letter came in the midst of Mr. Clinton's broader efforts to reach out to Mr. Khatami and engage the reformist forces in Iran. But the Iranians refused to help on the case. Mr. Freeh reportedly concluded that the Clinton administration was not serious about solving the case, and he is said to have waited until Mr. Clinton left office in order to try to bring charges in the matter.