TWA 800 - Wreckage Missing, Cases Pending, Eight Years Later

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As the eight-year anniversary of the crash approaches, the first piece of wreckage that separated from the plane is missing. Navy divers located and recovered this piece, which left the plane at apparent supersonic speeds, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) failed to list it in their official debris field map. By the recent unearthing of withheld investigative documents during ongoing FOIA litigation, a plausible explanation for key pieces of wreckage that went missing during the investigation is emerging.

As the eight-year anniversary of the TWA 800 crash approaches, the first piece of wreckage that separated from the plane is missing. Navy divers located and recovered this piece, which left the plane at apparent supersonic speeds, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) failed to list it in their official debris field map.

The piece was recorded by multiple FAA radar sites hurling off the right side of the plane just as it exploded, but it was never mentioned in the NTSB's final report. It landed more than ¼ mile closer to JFK airport than can be explained in the official crash scenario. See http://Flight800.org/missing.htm for more information.

Two FOIA cases -- one on the West-coast in Los Angeles, and another on the East-coast in Springfield, MA -- are making headlines this month as they seek tightly held crash documents being withheld by US government agencies.

In Massachusetts, Graeme Sephton, President of the Freedom of Information Advocacy Coalition (FIOAC), is suing the FBI for forensic data and analyses of "foreign bodies" found during victim autopsy examinations. After winning an appeal at Boston Appeals Court last year, Sephton's case will be heard on July 22, 2004 at 2:30 PM at Springfield, MA District Court.

The case has already unearthed hundreds of documents, but none containing the forensic analyses being sought. However, one document describes an FBI policy of withholding "suspicious" physical evidence from the NTSB during the investigation. Such a policy may explain how wreckage recovered by the Navy never made it to the NTSB. See http://Flight800.org/missing.htm for more information.

On the West-coast, retired commercial pilot Ray Lahr is suing the NTSB to release simulation data used to explain missile sightings before the crash. According to the NTSB, witnesses who believed they saw a missile were actually watching Flight 800 climb sharply, after it exploded. Lahr's case will be heard August 2, 2004 at 10 AM at the Los Angeles Federal Court House.

TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed off the coast of Long Island, NY on July 17, 1996. Witnesses reported seeing a streak of light rise from the ocean and collide with Flight 800 before the crash. Federal investigators dismissed the witness accounts due to an alleged absence of corroborating physical evidence, settling instead upon an electrical short circuit inside a fuel tank.

Contact Information:

Tom Stalcup, FIRO Chairman, for general TWA Flight 800 information.

E. Falmouth, MA

http://Flight800.org
774-392-0856

Graeme Sephton, FOIAC President, for information on FOIA litigation.

http://FOIAC.org
413-367-2253

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Thomas Stalcup