The Mystery of Swissair 111
Something which could be the size of a "fingernail
It will be difficult to be conclusive without finding the "piece"
"Bring down their planes"
Sheikh Rahman - associate of Osama bin Laden - issuing a fatwa from his prison cell
The facts surrounding the crashes of TWA 800 and EgyptAir 990 (See The Mystery of EgyptAir 990) become more curious in the light of the crash of SwissAir 111.
February 1, 2000 The Associated Press
On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 was climbing gradually after taking off from New York City and well along in its flight when it exploded at about 13,000 feet. All 230 people aboard were killed. Last October, Egypt Air Flight 990, a twin-engine Boeing 767, was cruising at 31,000 feet off Nantucket, Mass., when it suddenly dove, and plummeted at breakneck speed into the cold Atlantic, killing all 217 people aboard. The reason for the dive is still a mystery. About two months earlier, on Sept. 2, 1998, Swissair Flight 111, was also cruising along a similar route on a flight from New York to Geneva when it crashed off Nova Scotia, killing the 229 people aboard. "We don't see any common threat (sic) in these accidents,'' emphasized Capt. Dwayne Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association".
The Canadian Transportation Safety Board hints that "something else" other than an arcing wire might be involved ....
August 30, 2000 The Globe and Mail
Pinpointing the origin of the fire aboard Swissair Flight 111, which crashed into the sea near Peggys Cove, N.S., killing all 229 people on board, may prove impossible, Canadian crash investigators acknowledge. After spending $50-million and two years of painstaking effort, including salvaging nearly two million pieces of the shattered MD-11 from the sea bottom, Canadian Transportation Safety Board investigators have failed to find the cause of the fire. "Finding the origin of the fire is only one aspect of this investigation," said Vic Gerden, who heads the TSB team conducting the largest and most expensive probe in Canadian history. In an interview, Mr. Gerden said the origin -- perhaps an arcing wire, perhaps something else -- "could be the size of a fingernail." The board released one of its periodic status reports yesterday, just four days before the second anniversary of the crash on Sept. 2, 1998. In the report, investigators say they are still attempting to find a way to "distinguish between arced wires" to determine if one of them was the origin of the fire, or whether they shorted only after fire burned through their insulation. But it "will be difficult to be conclusive without finding the piece" that caused the fire, Mr. Gerden said.
November 5, 1998 The Associated Press
Before Swissair Flight 111 crashed, the temperature rose to 572 degrees in the front part of the plane, the airline's in-house publication said Thursday. Swissair's "News'' also said there are no traces of fire despite the high temperature and the source of the heat still is not known. According to the newsletter, investigators were surprised that the heat was in the upper part of the plane and not below the cockpit floor, where most of the wiring is located.
Elaine Scarry (The NY Review of Books, Vol XLVII, Number 14, Sept 21, 2000 http://nybooks.com/nyrev/WWWfeatdisplay.cgi?20000921092F) highlights some very strange facts about what was going on with SwissAir while it travelled along the same flight path as TWA 800. Both flights took off on a Wednesday evening at 8:19 pm and followed the same flight path along Long Island Sound. Scarry writes:
"Reports about Swissair 111 have left the public with the incorrect impression that the plane managed to make its way, uneventfully, east along Long Island and north along the New England coast before suddenly beginning to encounter trouble when it was sixty miles from Halifax. The record of the difficulty, as widely reported in the press, begins at 9:14 PM, when Swissair 111's pilot requests permission to make an unscheduled landing at Boston; the air controller in Moncton, Canada, reminds him that he is much closer to the Halifax airport than to Boston, and asks him if he would prefer to land at Halifax. At the moment of the 9:14 call, the cockpit has smoke in it.
In the early stage of the flight, while Swissair 111 was still traveling east along the southern coast of Long Island, it lost radio contact with the eastern seaboard air controllers for thirteen minutes. TWA 800 had begun its fatal fall (and had lost the use of its radio, transponder, cockpit recorder, and data box recorder) at a clock time of 8:31 PM. Swissair 111 had its last normal exchange with the Boston air controllers at 8:33 PM, after which it lost radio contact with every air controller on the northeast coast for the next thirteen minutes.
Under normal conditions, exchanges between air controllers and pilots occur in pairs: a call initiated by the air controller will be answered by the pilot, who restates what the air controller has just said; or the call may instead be initiated by the pilot, who asks a question (such as permission to climb to an altitude that has less wind turbulence), which the air controller answers, after which the pilot repeats the information to verify that the words have been heard and understood. This pattern of call and recall is not a casual practice; it is a required procedure. While the sentences of pilots and air controllers normally occur in tight pairs, there can be many factors that for a few seconds interrupt the rhythm of the call-and-recall pattern, and necessitate a repetition of the call. But the failure to answer is never taken lightly and if it continues, it may become a matter of grave concern.
For a thirteen-minute period from 8:33 PM until 8:47 PM, no completed act of radio contact took place between Swissair 111 and the Boston area air controllers, whose radars are positioned at Sardi on Long Island, Hampton on Long Island, Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Augusta, Maine. As the plane progresses, it is passed along from one controller to the next. In Swissair 111's last successful exchange at 8:33, the Hampton controller had told the pilot the radio frequency he should now use as he begins to enter the Cape Cod airspace and the pilot had accurately repeated back to him that new frequency:
Hampton Controller: Swissair 111. Boston
one two eight point seven five.
Swissair 111: One two eight seven five. One Eleven, right.
Hampton Controller: Good bye.
From this point forward, Swissair 111 should be in communication with the Cape sector. But the Cape controller cannot reach the plane; and so at 8:34 PM, he asks the Hampton controller to try to reach him on the old frequency: "Try him again, thanks."
Hampton Controller: Swissair 111.
Swissair 111: [no response]
The radio a commercial pilot uses for communication with air traffic control has a double screen: the frequency used for one sector (in this case, Hampton) is kept in place on the first screen when the new frequency (in this case, Cape) is dialed in on the second screen. That way the pilot can quickly get back to the first frequency, should he discover that he has misheard or misdialed the new frequency. But Swissair 111 can now be reached on neither frequency (though it remains visible on radar). Unable to reach Swissair 111, the Hampton controller goes on to normal exchanges with other planes in the areahe instructs a plane addressed as Echo Charley to descend and maintain a specified altitude (and Echo Charley repeats back the altitude); he instructs a Delta flight to proceed to its destination (and the Delta flight repeats back the instruction).
The clock moves forward to 8:36 and the Cape controller renews his efforts to reach Swissair 111:
Cape Controller: Swissair 111. Climb and
maintain flight level three one zero [31,000].
Swissair 111: [no response]
Cape Controller: Swissair 111. Boston.
Swissair 111: [no response]
The Cape controller now contacts the associated controller at Hampton to enlist his help once more:
Hampton Associated Controller: Hampton.
Cape Controller: Try Swissair 111 again, please.
Hampton Associated Controller: We tried him, he's not here. We'll try him again.
Cape Controller: O.K.
At 8:38 the Cape controller tries and fails to reach the plane:
Cape Controller: Swissair 111. Cleared
direct [to] Bradd.
Swissair 111: [no response]
Cape Controller: Swissair 111. Swissair 111. Hear Boston Center. Contact Boston one two eight point seven five, one two eight point seven five. If you hear Boston, ident.
Swissair 111: [no response]
The Cape associated controller contacts the Hampton associated controller to ask for help:
Hampton Associated Controller: Hampton.
Cape Associated Controller: Yes. This is Cape. Could you try Swissair 111 again off of Kennedy.
Hampton Associated Controller (speaking to Hampton controller): Try Swissair 111 again, Gary.
Cape Associated Controller: Thanks, Bob.
The Hampton air controller now twice tries to reach the plane, once by calling the name of the plane and announcing the radio frequency to be used for contact; then by calling the name and identifying who it is that is attempting to reach him:
Hampton Controller: Swissair 111. One
Swissair 111: [no response]
Hampton Controller: Swissair 111. Center.
Swissair 111: [no response]
Having observed the failed exchange between the Hampton controller and the pilot, the Hampton associated controller now reports the unhappy result to the Cape associated controller:
Cape Associated Controller: Ya. Go
Hampton Associated Controller: Negative joy on that Swissair.
Cape Associated Controller: O.K., then. Thanks.
Although Swissair 111 is still in the air, it has lost radio contact.
Swissair 111off the air for a total of thirteen minuteseventually does get back in contact with the air controller. The pilot's voice first comes through not at the air controller station at Hampton, Cape Cod, or Nantucket but at Augusta, Maine. The Augusta air controller at first believes he is receiving a call from a different Swissair plane (flight 104), one that is flying in the Augusta region airspace; but he quickly corrects himself and swiftly relays to the Swissair 111 pilot the frequency on which he should contact Boston:
Swissair 111: Boston Center, Swissair
Augusta Air Controller: Is that Swissair 104?
Swissair 111: Negative. This is Swissair 111...[Here Swissair 111 and Swissair 104 begin to speak simultaneously.]
Augusta Air Controller: Stand by, Swissair 104. Swissair 111, Boston Center.
Swissair 111: Boston Center, Swissair 111. Go ahead.
Augusta Air Controller: Swissair 111, contact Boston Center, one three three point four five. [frequency 133.45]
Swissair 111: Three three four five. Swissair 111.
The time is 8:47.34 A moment later, at 8:48, Swissair 111 successfully contacts Boston's Nantucket sector:
Swissair 111: Boston Center. Swissair
Nantucket Air Controller: I'm sorry. Who was that last call?
Swissair 111: Boston Center, Swissair 111 heavy is calling 133.
Nantucket Air Controller: Swissair 111. Boston Center, roger. How do you read?
Swisssair 111: I read you loud and clear. Go ahead.
Nantucket Air Controller: Swissair 111. Climb to flight level two niner zero. Higher shortly.
Swissair 111: Level two niner zero. Swissair 111.
Other than the spirited inquiry about legibility"How do you read? I read you loud and clear"the air controller and pilot do not stop to welcome one another back or to discuss the previous radio blackout. They at once turn to the business at hand, the resumption of the scheduled climb to 33,000 feet that had been interrupted at 27,000 feet when the radio transmissions were suspended. The confident tone and the reassuringly professional procedure of information given (two niner zero) and repeated (two niner zero) continue over a sequence of exchanges about altitude and radio frequency until 8:58, when the Nantucket controller passes the plane on to the Moncton controller in Canada. Radio contact has been restored; a normal flight has been regained; the events of the previous quarter-hour now seem an uneventful anomaly."
It should be noted that the Flight Data Recorder shows that the pilots keyed their microphones several times in this blackout period and were therefore aware that they were out of radio contact with air traffic control. Shortly thereafter smoke was observed in the cockpit and the emergency descent of SwissAir 111 began during which radio transmissions with the aircraft again ceased for the six and one half minutes that preceded impact with the ocean...
10:10:45 (Atlantic Summer time) Pilots first notice odor and 2 minutes later smoke in the cockpit.
10:14:15 - 33,000 feet Swissair 111 declares "Pan, Pan, Pan" with a request to divert to Boston.
10:15:08 - Air traffic controller suggests Halifax is closer. Pilots agree.
10:18:15 - 22,000 feet Non-emergency descent rate of 4,000 ft./min. Swissair 111, now heading 049 degrees is still roughly in line with Halifax's longest runway (060 degrees) and accepts Halifax's air traffic controller's offer of "vectors for (runway) six."
10:19:36 Swissair 111 is now 50 kilometres from the runway, pilots elect to turn away.
10:21:25 - 15,700 feet Pilots request a turn out to sea to dump fuel and lighten aircraft.
10:24:40 - 10,000 feet The pilots of Swissair 111, now flying level, declare "Emergency" after the autopilot disengages and ask for immediate landing.
(No further radio communication comes from the aircraft. It crashes about 6 minutes and 40 seconds later.)
10:31:21 - Impact
The TWA 800 incident over Long Island Sound, and the SwissAir 111 incident in losing radio contact in the same location, were not the only strange events to happen in this area of Long Island Sound. Here are two other incidents .....
1) Three weeks to the day before TWA 800 was shot down 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. TWA Flight 848 (New York to Rome) blocked out at exactly 10:00 pm on June 26, 1996 and assuming normal handling, Flight 848 would have passed about 11 NM South of Shinnecock Inlet at 10:29 p.m. EDT. TWA Flight 884 (New York to Tel Aviv) was scheduled to depart before FL 848 but blocked out late at 10:19 p.m. EDT.
2) On November 16, 1996, subsequent to the TWA 800 downing, a missile was fired at two commercial aircraft in the vicinity of Long Island. Pakistan International Airlines Flight 712 left Kennedy at 9:25 pm, bound for Frankfurt. The pilot, W. Shah, said his co-pilot 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. Boston apparently confirmed 'two unidentified blips' on radar. The tapes were turned over to the FBI and NTSB since the object(s) rose directly out of Long Island Sound and ascended almost vertically. Radio 5 in the U.K. reported that the object which crossed the Pakistani aircraft had exploded. (Click for RealAudio file PIA712 duration 2 minutes 30 seconds. Gaps between transmissions have been removed. See also The Tale of The Tapes)
PIA 712: Boston Pakistan
FAA: Pakistan 712 go ahead
PIA 712: Do you have any fireworks going on in this area where we are. We just saw a kind of a large something just streak ahead and it went beyond our altitude.
FAA: Ah ... no .. nothing that caused other than that. You said it was some large streak?
PIA 712: It came up diagonally from left to right and it crossed our altitude right in front of us.
FAA: OK thanks.
1504 FLL: Boston Center 1504
FAA: 1504 Go ahead
1504 FLL: Yea - where about is that aircraft that reported that streak?
FAA: Ah .. He's about 20 miles south of Hampton
1504 FLL: 1504
TWA 884: Boston Center TWA 884 heavy just out of four thousand for one one thousand
FAA: TWA Flight 884 Boston Center Climb and maintain flight level 190
TWA 884: Flight level 190 TWA 884 heavy
FAA: Pakistan 712 Boston
PIA 712: Boston 712
FAA: Just to confirm .. you saw like something that was like a white streak coming from below and ending up on top of you .. I'm not sure exactly what you saw. Could you classify maybe what you saw?
PIA 712: It was a streak of light like some kind of a large firecracker rocket or something like that coming from below .... the coast side - left to right ..... climbing beyond our altitude. At that time we were about 16,000 feet.
FAA: OK. Thanks very much.
FAA: Kennedy Departure (unclear)
Kennedy Departure: Kennedy
FAA: I'm going to put TWA on a 70 heading. Is that OK? 884
Kennedy Departure: Ya I'll shove over
FAA: TWA 884 Fly heading 070
TWA 884: 070 TWA 884 heavy
TWA 884: Boston TWA 884. Where was that fireworks area?
FAA: 884 I'm kinda ... I'm going to vector you around the area. It's about 20 miles .... actually 30 miles south of Hampton.
TWA 884: OK and I understand some type of rocket?
FAA: Yea ... we had a Pakistan just reported ... looked like a firecracker that was passing from left to right about 30 miles south of Hampton.
TWA 884: 884 heavy thank you.
TWA 884: Firecrackers don't go past 16,000
FAA: I hear ya!
During the 13 minute blackout of SwissAir 111 what was said on the cockpit voice recorders? The transcripts of these CVR conversations are not to be released and so we will be unable to determine why it is that on the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's website there is a strange reference to "speculation".
What was the speculation about?
Protection of CVR Information in Canada:
Cockpit voice recorders (CVR) are designed and installed for the single purpose of advancing transportation safety. They have no other purpose. Under Canadian law, the protection afforded to CVR recordings is found in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act. According to this law, no one shall communicate an on-board recording, a transcript or a substantial summary, in whole or in part, or give evidence relating to it in any legal, disciplinary or other proceedings - unless specifically ordered to do so by a coroner or a court. Very few workers are subjected to recording of their every word while on the job. An exception has been made for pilots, who have accepted this extreme invasion of privacy in the interests of advancing aviation safety. To offset this intrusion, provision has been made to protect flight crews whose voices are recorded on CVRs. Such protection facilitates open and frank dialogue in the cockpit of an aircraft during situations that could be extremely stressful - without fear of disciplinary or other action for what was said. Canadian law respecting the protection afforded to CVR information gives primacy to using only that information necessary to advance transportation safety, while protecting the privacy of flight crews. This protection of flight crews is designed to protect public safety in the longer term. The Board will not release anything considered to be personal and not related to an occurrence's causes and contributing factors. Without due consideration to such privacy issues, the availability of vital information could be jeopardized, which could impact on transportation safety. In the early months of the investigation, there has been much public speculation concerning the Swissair 111 accident. Some of this speculation has been based on reported access to summaries of recordings from Flight 111's CVR. Speculation has the potential to compromise the quality and the timeliness of an investigation and may be prejudicial to the investigation process in the long term. The Board does not confirm or deny speculative reports concerning its investigations. In summary, by affording strong protection to CVR information, Parliament is attempting to meet the public's requirement for a safe transportation system.
In her article Scarry mentions that investigators have investigated the possibility of a lightning strike in both the SwissAir and the TWA cases ...
Because the events have features that appear to suggest a powerful electrical event, the Canadian Safety Board has looked closely at the question of a lightning strike, as did investigators in the TWA 800 case, who discovered there had been no lightning strike within a 300-mile radius of the plane (Docket No. SA-516, Exhibit No. 5-A, p. 5).
But what about a nearby missile explosion?
Could SwissAir 111, like PIA 712 and TWA 884 in November 1996, have been the target of a missile that missed but did explode? Recall that the P3 flying in the vicinity of TWA 800 reported it had lost the use of several pieces of electrical equipment. Did it lose them because of the missile explosions that were occurring nearby and destroying TWA 800?
Could "something the size of a fingernail" be a fragment from a missile that exploded too far from the aircraft to have caused significant damage? Could a fragment have penetrated the aircraft in the region where a major fire later ignited?
Could an external explosion over Long Island Sound have temporarily knocked out the ability of Flight 111 to receive radio transmissions for a period of 13 minutes?
What cockpit conversations were going on between the pilots at the start of the radio blackout?
Did they know they were in a blackout?
Did they hear anything strange at the beginning of the blackout period?
Did they comment on any strange "turbulence" at the beginning of the blackout period?
Only the cockpit voice recorder can answer these questions.
On September 7, 1998 on the Today show Matt Lauer interviewed an eyewitness to the crash who said that there was flame coming from the front of the left wing of the aircraft .....
MATT LAUER: Brenda Murphy saw the troubled plane right before it went down
on Wednesday evening. Ms. Murphy, Good morning to you.
BRENDA MURPHY: Good morning.
MATT LAUER: I understand that you're used to hearing commercial and military flights pretty close to your house. What was it about the sound of this plane that caught your attention?
BRENDA MURPHY: Uh, the noises that the aircraft was making, uh, caught my attention.
MATT LAUER: And when you went outside to see what was exactly making those noises, what did you see?
BRENDA MURPHY: I saw the aircraft from the left wing back aglow, some type of which - of reflection that uh, made me focus more toward the front of the plane to see if there was any other problems.
MATT LAUER: Wasn't there also, according to your report, a blueish glow just in front of the wing?
BRENDA MURPHY: Yes, that's correct.
MATT LAUER: Can you describe that in further detail, what do you think that was?
BRENDA MURPHY: At the time, I thought it was a blue flame coming - coming from in front of the left wing of the aircraft.
MATT LAUER: Did you actually see the plane hit the water?
BRENDA MURPHY: No, I didn't.
MATT LAUER: What did you hear though when the plane hit the water?
BRENDA MURPHY: Uh, just one big bang and an eerie silence.
The suggestion that we must consider a possible missile attack on SwissAir 111 at approximately 8:33 pm is sharpened by the fact that military warning zones were activated when Flight 111 took off just as they were on July 17, 1996 when Flight 800 was destroyed. Scarry notes:
TWA 800 and Swissair 111 attempted to make their flights on an evening when military craft were in the air or sea below. The route from JFK International Airport east along the southern coast of Long Island and north past the New England shoreline requires any plane on its way to northern Europe to thread its way through a ribbon of air that is skirted on one side or the other by military warning zones. Such military warning zones are, of course, often unused by the military, and during such unused periods can be entered by civilian flights. But the record of scheduled military exercises shows plans for air and sea activities in the week during which Swissair 111 attempted its flight, just as the equivalent record from two years earlier shows planned exercises during the week of TWA 800's flight. This may be why Swissair 111, like TWA 800 earlier, had been directed onto the Bette route in traveling east out of New York, for this route is assigned when the military exercise zones south and southeast of Long Island, called W-105 and W-106, are in use by the military.
We know that there was a classified "maneuver" involving U.S. Naval forces going on below TWA 800 when it crashed. James Kallstrom admitted so in a telephone conversation (Click) with Reed Irvine of Accuracy in Media. As I have argued in other articles on this website, this "classified maneuver" was probably an anti-terrorist operation. Which raises the question - did the U.S. government have intelligence information that another attack was to take place on an aircraft departing JFK and was it again trying to stop this attack the night that SwissAir 111 went down. (For further details see for example: The Tale of the Tapes)
SwissAir aircraft were involved in at least two other probable missile incidents.
1) In August 1997 two Swissair pilots had to "duck" at 23,000 feet over Long Island ......
September 26, 1997 Agence France Presse
US authorities have launched an inquiry into an unidentified flying object that whizzed 50 metres (yards) past a Swissair jet near New York last month, Swissair said Friday. Company spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel dismissed reports that the object could have been a missile, saying the incident was "very serious" but the results of the inquiry were not yet known. Swiss RSR radio, reporting that the pilot thought it "could have been a missile," noted that the incident occurred near where a TWA flight blew up in July 1996 with the loss of 230 lives.
September 27, 1997 (Neue Zuricher Zeitung)
Swissair has revealed that an unidentified flying object almost collided with one of its planes over the United States last month. The captain and his co-pilot said an oblong and wingless object shot past at great speed - only fifty metres away from their Boeing Seven-Four-Seven. The American air traffic authorities said it was probably a weather balloon.
The U.S. preferred a "balloon" to a "rocket" explanation despite the pilots objections .....
March 5, 1999 www.cbcnews.com Ottawa (CP)
A Swissair pilot reported his 747 jet was nearly hit by an unidentified flying object, possibly a missile, near the area off New York where a TWA airplane crashed in 1996, The Canadian Press has learned. Swissair Flight 127 was cruising at 23,000 feet on Aug. 9, 1997, when the pilot interrupted an address to passengers to report the near miss by a round white object, says a report by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. "Sir, I don't know what it was, but it just flew like a couple of hundred feet above us," he radioed Boston air traffic control. "I don't know if it was a rocket or whatever, but incredibly fast, opposite direction." "In the opposite direction?" asked the controller. "Yes sir, and the time was 2107 (Greenwich mean time). It was too fast to be an airplane." The controller asked another aircraft if its crew saw anything like a missile in the area. The reply was negative. He then asked the Swissair pilot again how far above the plane it was. "It was right over us, right above, opposite direction, and, and I don't know, two, three, four hundred feet above. All that I can tell, 127, is that (we) saw a light object, it was white, and very fast." ..... "It passed over the cockpit, slightly right of centerline. If it had been any lower, it would have hit the aircraft. The sun was at the pilot's back. He apparently did not have time to take evasive action. ..... The first officer, whose flight time totalled 7,500 hours, said he was bent over to adjust the volume on his headset when he looked up and saw the object pass overhead "very quickly." "It was close enough that he ducked his head because he thought it would hit them. . . . He thought it passed about 100 to 200 feet above the airplane and between the right side of the fuselage and the No. 3 engine." The first officer said no markings were visible and the object appeared to be the size of a thumbnail held at arm's length. He said he had previously encountered a weather balloon over Italy, and the object did not look like the balloon.
The captain (Bobet) and the first officer (Grunder) were interviewed the following day in Boston by the FAA, the FBI, and the NTSB. The FAA report quoted the captain as stating that the object "appeared to be moving" and "the object did not appear to have an exhaust plume, or resemble any characteristics of a rocket". The captain denied that these were his statements when interviewed by staff of the UFO Research Coalition which conducted an investigation of the incident...
The UFO Research Coalition Report on Swissair
127 ISBN 1-928957-00-5 (1999) Pages 7-8
Captain Bobet: 'The object appeared to be moving...' is a wrong statement. I insisted on the very high speed of the object at different occasions. So, the object did not APPEAR to be moving, it WAS moving. "In addition, the object did not appear to have an exhaust plume, or resemble any characteristics of a rocket ...." I NEVER mentioned the word "rocket" (or missile). I would have done so only if I was sure that we encountered one. Even though it was (and still is) very tempting to use the word, I will never use it as long as I am not 100% sure it was a rocket. Thus, I certainly did not say that "the object DID NOT resemble any characteristics of a rocket." This is pure speculation from the FAA.
Asked about the FAA report that United Airlines Flight 176 had seen a weather balloon and that was the FAA's opinion of what the Swissair pilots saw, Captain Bobet commented....
The UFO Research Coalition Report on Swissair
127 ISBN 1-928957-00-5 (1999) Page 11
As already mentioned, that was one hour after we spotted the object ... (this is a) ridiculous statement from the FAA!
2) There was another Swissair incident in mid-June 1998 which Bobet revealed was reported to Swissair but not to American authorities.
The UFO Research Coalition Report on Swissair
127 ISBN 1-928957-00-5 (1999) Page 26
In July 1998, Bobet advised us that Swissair had experienced another UFO sighting in the vicinity of JFK International Airport in mid-June. The airplane had been airborne only several minutes, and was en route to Zurich. All three cockpit crew members saw the object. No report was made to Air Traffic Control authorities at the time, and apparently no notification of U.S. authorities was made subsequently. Only Swissair management was briefed by the crew.
These incidents with two other Swissair aircraft should lead one to be suspicious of why Swissair Flight 111 from JFK crashed on the tenth anniversary in the Islamic calendar of the bombing of PA 103....
September 2, 1998
11 Jumaada al-awal 1419 A.H.
Swissair jet from JFK crashes off Nova Scotia not far from the city of Halifax
December 21, 1988 11 Jumaada
al-awal 1409 A.H.
Pan Am 103 bombed over Lockerbie.
Was this crash an attempt to down an aircraft on the tenth anniversary of the downing of PA 103 in exactly the same spot as TWA 800 had been downed earlier?
On board the aircraft was a Saudi prince whose family Osama bin Laden is attempting to overthrow.
September 5, 1998 The Hindu Online
A Saudi Arabian prince was among those killed in the Swissair plane crash off Canada. The English-language Saudi Gazette quoted a Swissair source confirming that Prince Bandar Bin Saud Bin Saad Abdul Rahman al-Saud was among the 229 passengers and crew killed when the plane plunged into the Atlantic near Nova Scotia on Wednesday. Prince Bandar, 45, a former Saudi Air Force pilot, was on his way to visit his father who was receiving treatment in Switzerland.
And the Saudi royal family saw itself in a state of siege ....
October 7, 1996 The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition)
Bombers fail to undermine the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia is waiting for its next bomb. Platoons of heavily armed soldiers ring the royal palaces in the capital, Riyadh; security guards cruise its opulent shopping centres, and the 5,000 American servicemen who are the focus of the terrorists' wrath are moving to a new impenetrable compound in the heart of the desert. ... From his exile in Afghanistan, the government's most feared enemy ... Osama bin Laden, has declared jihad, or holy war, against the foreign presence. Quietly, embassies and barracks are tightening security......Pessimists draw close parallels between Saudi Arabia and its neighbour Iran, where the Western-supported Shah was overthrown in 1979 by a broad-based Islamic revolution ......
Should we be amazed therefore that two months later Osama bin Laden was the victim of an assassination attempt by poisoning which he blamed on Saudi Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz.
Bin Laden suffered acute kidney failure and for
the next few months he hobbled around leaning on a stick.
Jackals by Simon Reeve)
In 2003 the Canadian NTSB published it final report in
which it did not definitively find the cause of this crash!
March 27, 2003 The Globe and Mail
Swissair report fails to pinpoint cause of crash...... After the most expensive and exhaustive air-crash probe in Canadian history, investigators have failed to pinpoint the cause of a fire aboard Swissair Flight 111 that crashed off Peggys Cove, N.S., in 1999, killing all 229 people on board. Although a probable source of the first electrical fault lies in the improperly installed entertainment and gambling system that the now-defunct Swissair used to pamper its highest-paying passengers in First and Business Class, investigators from the Transportation Safety Board acknowledge that they cannot be certain. And, they add, it is "unlikely that this entertainment power-system supply wire was the only wire in the lead arcing event."
(Articles from news sources have been placed
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with "Fair Use" criteria established in Section 107 of the Copyright Act