USS Seawolf Shot Down TWA 800-Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
An article alleges that a senior staff member of former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton confirmed that a missile fired from the submarine USS Seawolf shot down TWA flight 800 in July 1996.
Various conspiracy theories have persisted since TWA flight 800 exploded near long island in 1996, but sufficient evidence doesn’t exist to support any of them.
The most recent conspiracy theory echoes similar claims that the airplane was taken down by a surface-to-air missile strike. The story fails to name a credible source and remains unproven.
In fact, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) rejected a petition to reopen the investigation into the crash in July 2013 based on similar claims. The petitioners, a group called the TWA 800 Project, claimed a“detonation or high-velocity explosion” caused the crash.
Among the petitioners was former NTSB Investigator Hank Hughes.
“Our investigations are never ‘closed,’” Acting NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart said. “We always remain open to the presentation of new evidence. Before responding to the petition, NTSB staff met with the petitioners’ representatives and listened to an eyewitness who described what he saw on the night of the accident. After a thorough review of all the information provided by the petitioners, the NTSB denied the petition in its entirety because the evidence and analysis presented did not show the original findings were incorrect.”
The NTSB held a media briefing in front of the reconstructed Boeing 737 in which investigators said there was no way a missile or bomb destroyed the airplane in July 2013. Hughes and other former NTSB staff members who were critical of the investigation were not allowed to attend, Flying Magazine reports.
A documentary, “TWA Flight 800,” that aired on cable television on the anniversary of the crash in 2013 also fueled skepticism.
Former NTSB Board Member John Goglia, who spent four years investigating the crash in the 1990s, said the petition and film don’t add up in a column published by Forbes in June 2013.
Goglia summarized the petition:
1) radar data that allegedly shows an explosion next to the aircraft;
2) eyewitness accounts of flashes of light traveling from the ground up that were allegedly discounted;
3) trace amounts of chemical residue that were found; and
4) aircraft wreckage that was inconsistent with a center fuel tank explosion. In addition, they allege a conspiracy by the NTSB and FBI to destroy and cover-up evidence.
Goglia contends that eyewitness accounts of a “flash” in the sky just before the airplane blew up were not supported by radar evidence. The fuselage wreckage also did not show any evidence of an explosion next to the aircraft.
The evidence reveals, Goglia said, that the airplane exploded internally:
The film ignores significant physical evidence that the center fuel tank exploded. More specifically, the evidence indicates that the fuel tank over-pressurized, tore apart significant wing structure and ejected pieces from inside the fuel tank. Those inner fuel tank pieces were found in the “red” debris field – that is the debris field closest to JFK, where the aircraft took off, indicating that the fuel tank pieces were among the first pieces to leave the aircraft. The aircraft fuel tank and surrounding floor and ceiling debris show metal pieces bowed consistent with extreme pressure from inside the fuel tank.
Goglia also said that nobody claimed throughout the entire investigation — including petitioner Hughes — that evidence had been tampered with or was concealed.
Conspiracy theories will persist about the explosion of TWA flight 800. Unless they are accompanied by new evidence or credible sources, however, they will remain conspiracy theories.