Skip to comments.Piecing It All Together: Researchers Study Flight 800 Remains
Posted on 04/23/2007 7:02:09 AM PDT by Hal1950
ASHBURN, Va. - TWA Flight 800 burst into flames, broke into pieces and plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean near Long Island, N.Y., in July 1996. All 230 passengers and crewmembers lost their lives.
More than 10 years later, a large section of the fuselage has been reconstructed in a Loudoun County hangar at the National Transportation Safety Board's Training Center, a facility rented from GW's satellite campus here in Ashburn, Va. While so many lost their lives on that plane, its reconstruction now serves as an educational tool for students and professionals studying disaster.
Most people are unaware of the airplane's presence because the NTSB does not give public tours of the facility, said John Ziemba, director of marketing and communications at the Virginia Campus.
"They don't use it as a tourist attraction," Ziemba said. "It is in honor of the people who lost their lives."
Roughly 500 NTSB investigator trainees and members of disaster management agencies view the wreckage each year, Kudson said. Despite restrictions, Loudoun County Public High School students participating in Engineering and Technology Day at the Virginia Campus toured the facility with reporters April 11.
Upon entering the building, the jigsaw of metal and wires stands long and tall. Windows and doors are still intact, and "Trans World," the beginning of the plane's former owner's name, is still visible. The aircraft is the largest reconstruction of its kind in the world, Wildey said, and often leaves observers silent.
"Most people are awed by the size and scope of the reconstruction," said Peter Knudson, the NTSB communications manager at the training center.
The Boeing 747 had a rough journey to GW. After disintegrating over the ocean, the airplane was recovered by the NTSB in 100 feet of water, and the wreckage was reconstructed in a Long Island warehouse, Wildey said. TWA did not want the wreckage, Wildey said, so the NTSB became the owner.
The investigation into the cause of the crash, one of the most complex in civil aviation history, officially ended in 2000. The pieces of the plane were packed into boxes, the NTSB Materials Laboratory chief said.
The NTSB began its lease of a building from GW at the Loudon County campus in 2003, and it has since remained the wreckage's storage facility, Wildey said. After an eight-week reconstruction, the plane began to serve as an educational tool, he said.
During Engineering and Technology Day, Wildey explained how the accident occurred to the group of high school students. Although the FBI originally blamed the crash on a criminal act, the NTSB determined that an electrical current was able to propagate through wires into the center section of the aircraft's fuel tank, which was full of flammable vapors, he said. Within six months, Wildey explained, the investigators decided that the explosion occurred in the center section of the wing tank.
Conspiracy theories about the ignition source and cause of the crash still circulate today. Wildey said the NTSB will continue utilizing the wreckage for educational purposes and that the downed plane's remains will stay at the Virginia campus indefinitely.
Here we go again!
Sandy Berger is going to need bigger socks if he’s going to smuggle out that much incriminating evidence.
I still think theres more to it
Cue the music from "Jaws", they're already circling.
Conspiracy theories = Happened under Clinton watch and deserves another look.
Don’t think I can ever be convinced to ignore all the eyewitness accounts......
“Mythbusters” proved that a spark of the type described, in exactly the same conditions, would set off a massive explosion. It stunned the guys on “Mythbusters” as to the power of the explosion.
That right there is one furry sumbitch.
No, silly. It's Rosie before the operation.
Can anyone demonstrate that propagate, er propaganda on a small scale and put it on youtube?
A plane brought down by a missile would be said to "downed", a plane brought down by an accident would be said to have "crashed".
If he believes his own rhetoric, he would've said "crashed" rather than "downed", would he not? Just seems odd to me.
Mythbusters proved that a spark of the type described, in exactly the same conditions, would set off a massive explosion. It stunned the guys on Mythbusters as to the power of the explosion.
Exact same engineering, design, scale (with less fuel of course)?
Would like to see that show.
I believe the untold number of eye-witnesses before I believe anyone connected with Der Slickmister.
Absolutely, Boening 747 is one of the best planes ever designed and produced, after 35 + years still in production.
I'll never buy an official story about some "static" in fuel system or whatever crap they came up with, caused this crash.
even lib Pierre Salinger of Kennedy fame says the plane was shot down.
My biggest problem with the explanation is the LOOOOONG time allowed for all other planes to make corrections.
Why not ground the fleet for repairs? Business decision?
People come second? Makes no sense to me.
This is quite an interesting take on conspiracy theories that I think is well worth a read.
You know how they do things. It was precise. They used a couple of different voltages/sparks, all within the area of the probable. They heated the remnants inside the tank to exactly the temperature thought to have existed on the tarmac that day.
You might want to watch the “Mythbusters” show. It was pretty conclusive.
Nor I. If it were true, then they would have grounded every last one of them. But what did they do? Nothing. Compare this with 9/11 when they grounded ALL air traffic.
The secret for which Sandy risked his all http://dickmcdonald.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_dickmcdonald_archive.html#116918836138997082
The huge fireball exploded long after that and below 7500 feet.
___ First airborne witness radio report of the huge fireball explosion - 38 seconds after the initial event:
0031:50 [Eastwind Airlines 507] we just saw an explosion out here stinger bee five oh seven http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/CRASH/TWA/ATC_TRANSCRIPT.html
___ NTSB Exhibit 4-A AIRBORNE WITNESS MATRIX - There were several airborne witnesses. Their observations are recorded on the chart below. Except for summaries 070-29,30, and 52, which was the Air National Guard helicopter crew, no airborne witness observed streaks.
Those who gave estimates of the altitude of the huge fireball explosion gave these estimates of that explosion: 5/8,000 feet - 5/6,000 feet - 3/5,000 feet - 8,000 feet - 7,500 feet - 7,000 feet and 4/5,000 feet.
___ From: Thomas Shoemaker
Subject: eyewitness report
Below is the eyewitness account e-mailed to me by Sven Faret.
Witnessing the downing of Flight 800 by Sven Faret and Ken Wendel
These events outlined below are actual and accurate. No part should be discounted in any way.They are presented without personal opinion and exactly as viewed by us from our perspective.Our intent is to offer as much factual detail as possible in order to aid in this investigation. Situation:
Pilot: Sven Faret
Passenger: Ken Wendell
8500 feet over Riverhead LI, NY.
Apx 20:40 hrs, July 17, 1996
N1182J climbing at 95 knots (AC-12 privately Owned)
Visibility 8 miles in haze below. Top of haze 6500 feet
Visibility 50+ miles above haze setting sun lighting up clouds to the north, above the haze Ground very dark,, ground surface lights outlining Long Island
< Ocean waters very black
Prior contact with Long Island departure control on 118.00
Frequency change approved, squawking 1200
Monitoring 118.00, listening to local traffic
Being cautious of traffic in a dark sky, we had all marker lights, strobes, and sky flasher operating on our aircraft. Ken pointed out traffic at 3 o'clock low (actually 2:30). Sven saw a white light steady in the sky. My first impression was landing lights pointed towards us putting it in a northerly direction. Ken saw two lights very close together. A short "pin flash of light" appeared on the ground (perhaps water). Very shortly thereafter the white light exploded instantaneously into a huge red-orange ball. My initial response was, "Who's shooting fireworks tonight?". The magnitude of the fire ball, and altitude, quickly (less than a second) ruled that out. Immediately thereafter a large fire ball emerged from the bottom of the initial fireball, accelerating straight down, as if it had just started to fall. Like a teardrop it drew with it a tail of fire down to the water surface. We watched intently as the descending fire fell closer to the water. Sven was awaiting the fire to illuminate the water surface as it fell. At the same moment a pilot reported it to the controller on 118.00. A second pilot responded and then we reported it. We saw it hit the water, lighting up the surrounding surface very well. Large splashes could be seen around the fire. The fire on the surface was relatively small, but was spreading quickly. I asked Ken, "What was that!? Its probably the National Guard boys losing a C 130 or something...Maybe they shot down one of their own planes."
We proceeded to fly over to the smoke cloud. As we crossed the shore line I looked down and saw 3 boats en route to the fire, about 25% of the way. I estimated the flames to be 6-7 miles off shore. We watched intently seeing a flashing light at the SE edge of the flames, but it soon stopped. We observed a steady blinking light drifting SW away from the scene. Ken said it appeared to be a helicopter just west of the flames. Sven thought it could have been a marker beacon on a life raft. This was about 5+ minutes after the explosion. We approached the black-gray smoke cloud on the west side. We were at 7700 feet and were at the top edge of the cloud. The cloud center was at 7500 feet. There were two small bumps upon it. There was no smoke or smoke trails above it. it was still lit up a little by the sun, clear above. There was a tornado like tail leaving the bottom of it leading down to the flames. It had a small arc in it as the winds gently moved the cloud NNW. I said to Ken, "I have an eery feeling about this place, what ever stung this thing could sting us too. Let's bolt out-a-here." We swung north. As we were turning, we saw twin engine commuter traffic above us at 8000+ traveling NW. We called Flight service on 122.6 and reported what we saw. We flew back to Riverhead and east. Over Mattituck Airport we decided that the event had to be enough of a finale for the evening. We called approach on 132.25 for clearance back to Islip. We also told that controller what we saw.
Immediate Personal Impressions:
No thoughts of commercial air traffic accident.
Some aircraft with a lot of fuel.
A missile attack seems improbable, but not impossible.
The quickness of the eruption.
A white light exploding into a fireball. Very vertical accelerating descent of debris.
The length of the flame tail extending from the descending debris.
Clear sky above the gray smoke cloud.
Dark thin drifting smoke trail down to the debris on the surface.
Post Flight Actions:
We returned back to the hanger and called our wives. We let them know that we were O.K., in case they might have heard of any air accident reports. When we got to Ken's house, we heard that a 747 went down. We called fox News and told them what we saw.
Post Media Personal Impressions:
We were interviewed by the FBI and NTSB. They took our report, but we felt they did not capture the detail we expressed, or the certainty of our facts.
Although Sven and Ken are in no position to conclude anything, this piece of the puzzle MUST fit into any official version of the incident.
Only burning debris was visible to us.
___In short, TWA 800 was not shot down by a missile. The altitude of the huge fireball explosion - below 7500 feet - tells the tale.
...Happened under Clinton watch and deserves another look.
Yes. I recall this happened right before the Atlanta Olympics and Clinton evidently didn’t want to scare people away. It was probably an act of international terrorism by some jihadist group related to the bombers of the World Trade Center a few years earlier.
Clinton’s Olympics security was breached anyway by a domestic terrorist bomber a few weeks later.
What in incredible article. Should be required reading....
They should also have a cage nearby with Jamie Gorlich in it. Present a classic study on how to cover-up a terrorist act.
I would really like to hear what the site author says about Vince Foster and Fort Marcy park - I seriously doubt he died there for a few reasons:
1. No blood on site
2. No dirt on VF’s shoes
3. Poor gun ID/ownership legacy
4. No pictures/video of Vince leaving the White House or parking deck
Did the author cover this one?
I will always have my doubts. ...thanks for the info.
The bottom line is this- there was VIDEO OF THE MISSILE COMING UP FROM THE GROUND AND HITTING THE PLANE AND THEN A LARGE EXPLOSION.
THIS VIDEO WAS AIRED ON TV (POSSIBLY ONLY ONCE) - I SAW IT WITH MY OWN TWO EYES
The video was never shown again or mentioned by the TV stations. Several other freepers here saw it.
They will never convince me that kerosene vapors caused this.
I certainly could not speak for Bill Whittle in rebutting (or not rebutting) any specific conspiracy. I would have to personally look at all the evidence to come up with any kind of conclusion.
I would think that the bald facts of the case, no matter how interpreted, would look pretty grim for the Clintons.
Victor, you might want to read Part I which in my opinion is even better. It discusses typical leftist tropes like “No blood for oil” and “Bush is a dummy” in amazingly straightforward ways I have never seen before.
Read about what a war for oil would really look like, among other topics, here:
Finally, I should add that I went through the whole NTSB report for Flight 800 and found it convincing. I’m not saying all government is this way, but I do think the investigators did a first-rate professional job. As Bill Whittle said, about Rosie O’Donnell:
“To her, and to her audience, it is taken as granted that the government is capable of such things. As if the government was operated by cyborgs grown in Haliburton vats, rather than by well-meaning and patriotic people that love this country.”
I think the conspiracy theorists about Flight 800 are making the same mistakes in trying to smear the NTSB. I have read a lot of NTSB reports - they often make fascinating reading - and I believe them to be a group of the well-meaning and patriotic people Bill Whittle refers to above.
Sorry - I should have pinged you to #34 as well, so please give it a look.
Glad you enjoyed the article!
i grabbed on to this when it happened.
but it went NOWHERE. one of the investigators died. two went to jail.
and the average tv moron is not interested.
and, say, my neighbors tell me: “isn’t bill clinton still good looking?” women like him.
why, i do not know.
appearances are more important to many people than reality.
“Mythbusters proved that a spark of the type described, in exactly the same conditions, would set off a massive explosion.”
That may be exactly what happened, but I have nothing but professional disdain for those idiots on mythbusters. I haven’t watched it since they did another aircraft “myth” where they wanted to see if someone really could get sucked out of the window if it broke. Their ignorance of proper scaling laws completely invalidated the show, and the conclusion they were so proud of. Fluid dynamicists study insect flight by putting larger robotic versions in motor oil. Those guys just make things smaller.
The TWA show was scaled also, I assume. If they got the right answer, it was pure luck.
Maybe, but I’m highly skeptical of the “shoot-down” nonsense. I’ve yet to hear any story that holds together.
Learn the lingo of the trade before climbing on the band wagon... Those low hanging beams hurt once you’ve been nailed...
Thanks for the link, I book marked it.
There never was any such video. The burden of proof is all yours.
I'd suggest that you also review Posting #26. The large explosion was below 7500 feet
It is the avoidance of dealing with things like the “pin flash of light from the land(or water)” and the investigators lack of interest in their stories that always brings me back to needing THE REST OF THE STORY.
I have my “Tinfoil hat” securely in place on several reports over the years that seem to be protecting the “stupid” populace from the real truths of events.
Can you imagine the number of things, an OLD person like me, has seen corrected. Many things have had to be re-written over the years.
I wouldn't put much store into the conclusions of a couple of hollywierd special effects guys. Entertaining they are, scientists or engineers they are not.
Besides, even when busting a myth, they always escalate the conditions until they get an explosion or other photogenic result.
In this case, scale matters.
But it's not the explosion of the fuel vapors that I doubt, it's the ignition mechanism.
For instance a missile that missed, and shot hot fragments into that tank, would produce the same explosion. And the tank would be so damaged that the initial penetration would be next to impossible to spot, thats assuming that the explosion didn't form the "into" hole so they looked like "out of" holes, or just rips in the the tank.
I'm not saying that *was* the mechanism, just that absent any other physical evidence, either explanation, spark or hot fragment, works equally well.
Well, of course, the “Hollyweird” guys only CONFIRMED what the FBI already concluded. But of course, the FBI lied too. (Sarcasm)
scientists or engineers they are not
Faret & Wendell also prepared a February 1997 addendum to their report. The following is an excerpt:
There is one fact that bothers us, however. No mention is ever made of the fact that the explosion was at 7500 feet! We do not dispute the fact that something happened at 13,800 feet, but what happened after that. There is 5000 feet unaccounted for.
We would like to emphasize we approached the black-gray smoke cloud on the west side. We were at 7700 feet and were at the top edge of the cloud. The cloud center was at 7500 feet. There were 2 small bumps atop it. There was no smoke or smoke trails above it. It was still. lit up a little by the sun, clear above. We dont why this has never been discussed in any scenarios
ALL of the conspiracy theorists have ignored that 5000 feet that is unaccounted for.
Why hasn't it ever been discussed in any of the conspiracy theorists' scenarios.?