Skip to comments.Aurora Father Still Wants Answers
Posted on 07/12/2006 8:54:19 AM PDT by Hal1950
Doomed TWA Flight 800 took his daughter, 2 granddaughters
Ten years after the rain came, Wayne Rogers is still waiting for answers.
He does not question why 17 inches of water fell from the sky, flooding his home in Lakeside of Sans Souci and destroying most of his possessions.
Act of God. Mother Nature. Inadequate drainage. End of discussion.
But that Flood of 10,000 Years the anniversary of which is coming up next week is nothing more than a footnote to the tragedy that forever changed Rogers' life on that awful date.
That's because July 17, 1996, is also the 10-year anniversary of the TWA Flight 800 explosion that disintegrated the Paris-bound 747 off the Long Island coastline, killing all 230 passengers and crew on board.
While the rest of the Fox Valley was bailing water and trying to salvage furniture and photographs, Aurora firefighters had to boat Rogers out of his flooded subdivision to catch a flight to New York, where his worst fears were realized: His middle daughter, 37-year-old Pam Lychner of Houston, was on board that doomed flight along with her daughters Shannon, 10, and Katie, 8.
For the next two weeks while his neighbors back home were drying out their flooded rooms and waiting for FEMA intervention, Rogers, along with his son-in-law Joe Lychner, waited for three precious bodies to be pulled from the Atlantic Ocean.
Pam, a former flight attendant who had become a nationally recognized advocate for crime victims' rights, was found almost immediately; Katie soon after. Shannon was not recovered for 13 days.
The memories of that gruesome wait off the coast of Long Island will be with this man forever. But each year Wayne Rogers returns to the site of the explosion, where a beautiful memorial has been erected in memory of those who died and those who risked their lives diving for their bodies.
Rogers will leave again on Friday to make the 17-hour trip by car his mistrust of airlines is so great he can no longer board a plane where he will be joined in New York by his two surviving daughters, including Lori Musselman of Oswego, their children and other relatives and friends.
And all of them, in turn, will join other families who continue to challenge the government's take on why Flight 800 turned into a fireball 11 minutes after taking off from JFK airport.
"We still do not believe we are being told everything," Rogers says simply.
Initially, doubters believed the plane may have been downed by a surface-to-air missile or a wayward Navy warhead. The FBI investigated these claims, but a year later called off the investigation after ruling no criminal action was involved. Then, in 2000, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded TWA 800 was destroyed by an explosion in the Boeing 747's center fuel tank, likely caused by a spark from a wiring short-circuit.
But the actual cause of that spark has never been proven. Nor has the nose cone ever been recovered, says Rogers. And because so many witnesses claim they saw a bright light streaking toward the 747, conspiracy theories have flourished.
Those unanswered questions will no doubt be explored when CNN airs a two-part documentary this weekend on the disaster that will feature Rogers and four other families.
The television news station spent two days with the Aurora man at his home last month, where they compiled footage of him doing everything from fishing in the back yard to visiting his daughter's and granddaughters' graves at Riverside Cemetery.
Rogers, a member of the National Air Disaster Association, welcomes this coast-to-coast media attention and hopes it will put renewed pressure on the government to answer questions that have long plagued him and others.
Ten years later, just as there is no sign of water damage in his well-kept home, there is no longer the flood of emotion that washes over him as he talks about Pam and the girls.
Tragedy has fallen frequently upon this house in the past decade he lost wife Betty less than two years after the TWA explosion, and his former son-in-law was killed in a roadside accident a couple years ago.
"We are not a complete family," Rogers says softly.
But life offers few alternatives except to press on. To enjoy the two daughters and four grandchildren who survive. To keep alive the memories of those who did not.
And, he says, to "never stop asking why."
We all want to know what happened and if the clintoon administration kept information secret. Prayers up for all the families affected by this tragedy.
He will never get an honest answer regarding the downing of TWA 800.
Which explains why the pain is so raw.
I will never believe the "frayed wiring" BS...........
If he wants an honest answer ask me or any one of the other freepers here who saw the video tape of a missile shooting down the plane- it was shown once then pulled from the air.
yeah- since when do live wires run THROUGH a fuel tank.
Besides, jet fule is nothing but KEROSENE - Not very exposive (go buy some and try it)
Even if they did, how did they get frayed?........
No answer ever will satisfy him.
Jet fuel has a VERY HIGH flash point...hard to ignite...
Jet fuel has a VERY HIGH flash point...hard to ignite...
I saw it on CNN the first day and it was then pulled off the air.
IIRC, the late Pierre Salinger - White House Press Secretary for JFK - was chased from the US (he moved to France) because he aggressively pursued the missile-shoots-down-Flight 800 theory. There's even a syndrome named for him, applied to those who believe anything they read on the internet.
Thanks for the link...I knew someone had it ;)
This man is cursed. Prayers for him.
As to TWA800, if it was simply a wiring mishap, how come it never occurred before or since?
Could be any number of things -- including the possibility that somebody who worked on that one plane did something funny to cause a wiring mishap.
I recall a story from several years ago about a series of wiring failures on F-16s, all of which were eventually traced back to a single assembly worker who insisted on using fasteners that were too long for the piece in question, and they rubbed against the wires going past.
It's really not hard to come up with scenarios that can result in a single-aircraft wiring problem.