This TWA 800 Missile Topic is a guided tour of internet available witness information.
Witness Reports are the foundation of the Missile Theory. Hundreds on land, on boats and in the air witnessed the crash of TWA Flight 800. Many believe they saw a "rising streak" prior to the initial explosion.
Immediately after the crash, the FBI restricted NTSB's access to the witnesses. Months later the FBI shared notes, but with interviewee names blacked out. The NTSB eventually prepared a report devoid of any eyewitness quotes, a mere statistical analysis. Even this was withheld from their December 1997 public hearing at the FBI's request.
Twenty-one months after the crash the FBI finally turned over eyewitness statements to the NTSB.
To this day no "official" Witness Report has ever been made public. In spite of Public Law 93-633 requiring the National Transportation Safety Board to report its findings in writing and make those findings available to the public.
Many believe the official investigation's unusual secrecy surrounding the Witness Reports is proof of a cover-up.
In the following you can read:
- Background: The Chronological History of the handling of the Witness Reports.
- Press articles written about TWA 800 Witnesses.
- Independent investigators' articles found on their websites.
- The unreleased NTSB Exhibit 4A - Witness Group Factual Report, as leaked to the internet.
Background: Witness Reports
- July 19, 1996
- Witness Group Formed and DisbandedTwo days after the July 17, 1996, crash, as the witness group was preparing to start interviewing witnesses, an FBI agent informed NTSB officials that the bureau ``was not prepared to share any information outside the NTSB, so parties [to the safety board investigation] could not be involved,'' the witness group report states. The NTSB had named one of its investigators, Bruce Magladry, to head the witness group, which initially included representatives of TWA, the Air Line Pilots Assn. and the FAA. On July 21, 1996, the report states, Assistant U.S. Attorney Valerie Caproni informed Magladry and Norm Wiemeyer, head of the Flight 800 probe's operations group, ``that no interviews were to be conducted by the NTSB.'' Safety board investigators could review FBI-supplied documents on the witnesses, ``provided no notes were taken and no copies were made.'' The next day, FBI and NTSB officials reached an agreement that safety board officials could conduct interviews ``under the direction and in the company of the FBI, and all information would be kept private with no notes taken.'' Concerned that this interfered with the NTSB's mandate to make public the information gathered in its investigations, Magladry withdrew from the witness group two days later. From Aviation Week article.
- November 10, 1996
- New Witness Group FormedThe NTSB's efforts to glean information from witnesses did not resume until mid-November 1996. The new witness group was made up of representatives of the NTSB, TWA, ALPA and the FAA, as well as Boeing, the International Federation of Flight Attendants and International Assn. of Machinists. It was then that the FBI permitted the group members to review notes of interviews with witnesses. From Aviation Week article.
- October 16, 1997
- NTSB Witness Group Factual Report completedThe report said there were 458 witness interviews provided by the FBI. Of those, 183 reported seeing a streak of light and 102 provided information on the origin of the streak. The report stated that six witnesses said the streak originated in the sky and 96 said it rose from the surface. It is not clear whether the accounts of the 96 witnesses were included in the 244 analyzed by the CIA for the FBI. From Aviation Week article dated December 15, 1997.
- November 18, 1997
- CIA Video Attempts to Discredit WitnessesTo view the video and understand the controversy surrounding it, visit Mike Rivero's site.
- December 3, 1997
- FBI objects to disclosure of Witness Reports at NTSB Public Hearing
From Text of Letter from Kallstrom to Hall on Baltimore Hearings as Reported in the Flight-800 Discussion List...the FBI objects to the use of the CIA video at the hearing if the purpose is to examine the eyewitnesses observations or negate the possibility that a missile caused the crash. Because they are the product of a criminal investigation and the remote possibility that the criminal investigation could be reactivated, the FBI also objects to requests to disclose or include in the public docket of any FBI FD-302s or summaries of FD-302s prepared by the NTSB that report the results of any interviews or reinterviews of the 244 eyewitnesses whose reports were examined by the CIA in connection with its analysis and to calling any eyewitnesses to testify at the public hearing.
- December 8-12, 1997
- NTSB Public Hearing in BaltimoreThe Witness Report is not discussed, per FBI request. The NTSB shows its own animation which is different than the CIA's version. To view the video and understand the controversy, visit Mike Rivero's site.
- April 1998
- FBI quietly turns over witness info to NTSB
From FBI Response to questions from Congressman Trafficant letter dated July 27, 1998:In light of the FBI's planned production of eyewitness statements in response to the subpoena, in April, 1998, this office provided the NTSB with copies of the materials we will be producing in connection with the litigation. Since then, NTSB has been reviewing the material and the FBI is working with NTSB in an effort to satisfy NTSB's needs with respect to this material while at the same time protecting the FBI's concerns regarding making public the results of a criminal investigation into this still unresolved tragedy and to protect the legitimate privacy interests of those interviewed by the FBI. It is our understanding that NTSB, upon completion of its review and discussions with the FBI, will make these materials part of its public docket. We also note that, since early on in the FBI's investigation, NTSB has been afforded full access to the FBI's investigative work.
The last sentence in the above paragraph seems to be an attempt to rewrite history.
- As of May 1999
- Witness Report still not entered into the public docket!More than 34 months after the crash, Exhibit 4A the Witness Group Factual Report has not yet been entered into the public docket. Failure of the official investigation to release key evidence looks suspiciously like a cover-up. In addition it appears to be against the law. See below.About the Public Docket from Accident Investigation DocketsPublic Law 93-633 requires the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate transportation accidents and report its findings in writing. Other requirements include making these findings available to the public. Maintaining the Accident Investigation Dockets meets these requirements.
Check for yourself. The NTSB public docket exhibits are at www.ntsb.gov/events/twa800/exhibit.htm. Look for Exhibit 4A, the Witness Group Factual Report.
- Report Cites Obstacles To Witness Interview Published December 15, 1997 by James T. McKenna, Aviation Week and Space Technology. From the article:NTSB efforts to elicit potentially vital information from witnesses to the flight and crash of TWA Flight 800 were stymied for months by FBI agents who blocked any attempts to interview the witnesses, according to a copy of a safety board report obtained by Aviation Week & Space Technology.
- Questioning the Witnesses Published by Mark K. Anderson, Valley Advocate, July 23, 1997. From the article:One hundred fifty people seldom speak in one voice. But if there is such a thing as a single account for the 150 eyewitnesses to the Flight 800 crash, it would appear to be this: There was a "flare" or "fireworks"-like object that rose from the water -- or from the horizon -- and then, intercepting the jetliner, burst into flame. The Advocate has obtained 20 eyewitness depositions recorded by the Suffolk County, N.Y. Police Department during the first week after the crash, all of which testify to a high-speed object rising into the air and striking the 747.
Witnesses boost missile theory Published October 20, 1997 by David Hendrix, Press-Enterprise. From the article:Three eyewitnesses to the fiery midair breakup of TWA 800 share one clear recollection -- an ascending object struck the jumbo jet. Yet when federal investigators reinterviewed 244 of the more than 400 eyewitnesses to the crash, no agency -- not the FBI or the CIA, not the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board -- conducted a follow-up interview with any of the three, whose accounts have not been widely published.
- Witnesses Allege NTSB Covering Evidence of Missile Attack Published December 15, 1997 by the World Internet News Distributary Source. From the article:The FBI has interviewed 244 eyewitnesses and there are many more who were not interviewed, according to investigators. This was not an obscure event. It had high visibility over a wide area by hundreds of individuals, many of whom are very credible. Witnesses were very clear in what they saw. Those witnessing the events leading up to the explosion were located along eleven nautical miles of shore- line. Some were in aircraft, some in boats, some on the beach, some within their homes. The nearest eyewitness reached the crash site in three minutes by air. The eyewitnesses give similar descriptions of the events they saw. "Several eyewitness like Mr. Roland Penney and his group of eight not only saw a missile-like object rise up from the haze at sea, leaving a thin gray smoke trail. They distinctly describe a bright white flash, 'like a flashbulb' when it hit TWA Flight 800." (Donaldson letter 11-14-97).
- Accidental Witness Published by Robert Davey for the Valley Advocate, March 20, 1997. From the article:Dismissed by the lagging official investigation of Flight 800, credible eye witnesses and Internet denizens continue to pursue the friendly fire theory.
- How Did TWA Flight 800 Blow Up? Published March 3, 1998 by Robert Davey, Village Voice. From the article:When Dean Steward and his girlfriend Susan Smith set out for an afternoon at Gilgo State Park a couple of summers ago, they were looking forward to a day at the beach - sunbathing, tossing a Frisbee, strolling in the sand. The mid afternoon appearance of a naval warship about three miles offshore, slowly moving westward, didn't seem remarkable at the time to Seward and Smith, both of them airline pilots. The ship was an entertaining diversion that gave the 34-year-old Seward a chance to brag a bit, drawing on his eight years of navy experience, including two tours on carriers as a bombadier-navigator flying A-6 Intruders. In some detail, Seward described to Smith what kind of ship it was.
- Eyewitness: Ordnance Blast TWA 800 Published July 29, 1997 by David Hendrix, Press Enterprise. From the article:A military eyewitness to the TWA Flight 800 disaster who was the first rescuer on the scene says the jetliner and 230 people aboard were knocked out of the sky by an explosive projectile, probably a military warhead, and not by some internal mechanical catastrophe.
Witness Reports from Independent Investigator Websites:
- From the Donaldson Report (pages 12-15) - Eyewitness Accounts Point to Missile.
Click to view ==> [page 12] [page 13] [page 14] [page 15]
- Exhibit 25 from the Donaldson Report is the most comprehensive list of witness accounts in one place. Forty-seven entries.
- Eyewitness Lisa Perry's October 17, 1998 letter to Commander Donaldson.
- Eyewitness Account of Paul Angelides, July 12, 1998.
- Missile Witness Traingulation From the article:The illustration [on this page] shows the known locations of twenty-two eyewitnesses of the TWA Flight 800 accident (click on witness numbers for their accounts). The NTSB eyewitness report (Exhibit 4A) states that 183 people saw a streak of light in the sky prior to explosions, 96 of which saw it rise from the surface.
- What the TWA 800 Experts Say Twenty-two eyewitness acounts.
- Eyewitness Reports Extensive eyewitness accounts pertaining to the TWA 800 disaster followed by an anlysis entitled Statistical Calculations of Eyewitness Events.
- They Didn't Believe Me From the site: Witness Comments After Viewing FBI Presentation of the CIA Video.
- Eyewitness Meyer Speaks to the Granada Forum From the site: ...This is a partial transcript from a video of the Donaldson/Meyer presentation.
- Report #04 June 17, 1998 reposted October 21, 1998. From the article: "The Flight 800 disaster was seen by hundreds of people on Long Island. It was seen by many people flying in aircraft over Long Island and boaters offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. Little did the eye witnesses of the Flight 800 tragedy know that their government would spend millions of dollars over the next 23 months in an attempt to make the rest of the country think that they (the eye witnesses) didnít know what they were seeing. The independent investigators of Flight 800 have been gathering eye witness accounts of what happened on that July evening in 1996 off the shore of Long Island. Hereís a brief sampling of some of the many eye witness accounts collected thus far. "
- Report #01 May 27, 1998 reposted October 21, 1998. From the article:"I can tell you that to this day there are many of the eye witnesses on Long Island that are mad as hell because of the statements made by the NTSB about their eye witness testimony. They all say they know what they saw that fateful evening. They are ready to tell their story under oath if a new hearing is held into the crash of Flight 800. Last December 8, 1997 the NTSB held a hearing into the Flight 800 investigation in Baltimore. Because of a request from the FBI the NTSB did not allow any of the eye witnesses to testify or any of the eye witness interviews taken by the FBI to be used. "
The leaked Witness Group Factual Report[Cover Page] [page 1] [page 2] [page 3] [page 4] [page 5]
NTSB Exhibit 4A from Corazon site:
[page 6] [page 7] [page 8] [page 9] [page 10] [page 11]
These are the actual scanned images of the unreleased NTSB Exhibit 4A that the FBI did not want discussed at the December 1997 Baltimore Public Hearing. These pages are large and very slow to load. To save time, you may want to read the December 15, 1997 Aviation Week article which essentially covers the same information.
Return to TWA 800 - Missile Website Roadmap page