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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    800 the last few years Then I picked up Nelson DeMille s Night Fall at an airport bookstore to help pass the time on a several hour flight Books about plane crashes or explosions are probably the wrong choice for a plane flight But in any case by the end of the next day I had finished the 600 plus page book Suffice to say DeMille who has written several engrossing mystery police novels before has outdone himself Night Fall is as seductive a page turner as I have read since the Day of the Jackal And like the Day of the Jackal this is the case despite the fact that you know the outcome from the beginning The reader knows that De Gaulle was not assassinated from the outset of the Day of the Jackal and as Night Fall makes clear in its first few pages DeMille believes there was a missile that rose up from the water on that night of July 17th In the Day of the Jackal the excitement is the chase a very skillful contract killer planning his attack and an equally skillful detective trying to keep within a step and eventually catch up to him and prevent the assassination In Night Fall the drama surrounds how a policeman gets interested in the TWA 800 case at a memorial event held five years after the plane was lost and doggedly presses ahead to figure out what happened and challenge the official story and the cover up Unlike Michael Crichton s recent book on global warming State of Fear DeMille does not posture or hit you over the head with any argument over what happened to TWA 800 He allows a skeptic of the official explanation to tell the policeman what he thinks happened the missile theory and an equally convinced defender of the official story to present his case DeMille then allows for the possibility of some convergent theory that would explain both the missile that so many saw and the purported lack of physical evidence of an explosive device hitting the plane First Strike TWA 800 and the Attack on America by Jack Cashill and James Sanders is not so evenhanded I read this as part of my own digging through the TWA 800 internet debris field inspired by Night Fall to find out more This book presents a tough detailed attack on the official explanation the center fuel tank theory and the conduct of the investigation of the explosion The authors believe the real story of what happened to TWA 800 was known by President Clinton and his closest advisors almost immediately In fact the county was on heightened alert that night due to credible intelligence of coming attacks There were several Navy ships and submarines prowling around near the Long Island shore that night and there were military planes in the air over Long Island The authors believe the White House allowed instructed the FBI and NTSB to create an alternative explanation

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/thinker-3-27-05.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    of the analysis of arguably the most significant and essential direct evidence about the explosion in the whole of the investigation In 2000 the NTSB finally concluded that an electrical spark probably caused a fuel tank explosion that wrecked the aircraft Hundreds of supporters of this litigation contend that the never released shrapnel analysis evidence is critically decisive because either the metal fragments match the metal from the fuel tank and the residues confirm explosive fuel residues or they indicate some other type of residue and source of explosion Judge Ponsor ruled that the FBI s search for the critical documents met the legal standards for an adequate search But he noted his sharp disappointment that in the final days of the lawsuit the FBI refused the judge s request for a sworn statement regarding the one aspect of the search that was still in contention In so denying the judge it appears that no one at the FBI was willing to swear that that they knew or sincerely believed that the FBI had performed an adequate search that could have been expected to find substantially all responsive documents i e that they at least looked in all the right

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/sephton/pr-4-3-05.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    last few years Then I picked up Nelson DeMille s Night Fall at an airport bookstore to help pass the time on a several hour flight Books about plane crashes or explosions are probably the wrong choice for a plane flight But in any case by the end of the next day I had finished the 600 plus page book Suffice to say DeMille who has written several engrossing mystery police novels before has outdone himself Night Fall is as seductive a page turner as I have read since the Day of the Jackal And like the Day of the Jackal this is the case despite the fact that you know the outcome from the beginning The reader knows that De Gaulle was not assassinated from the outset of the Day of the Jackal and as Night Fall makes clear in its first few pages DeMille believes there was a missile that rose up from the water on that night of July 17th In the Day of the Jackal the excitement is the chase a very skillful contract killer planning his attack and an equally skillful detective trying to keep within a step and eventually catch up to him and prevent the assassination In Night Fall the drama surrounds how a policeman gets interested in the TWA 800 case at a memorial event held five years after the plane was lost and doggedly presses ahead to figure out what happened and challenge the official story and the cover up Unlike Michael Crichton s recent book on global warming State of Fear DeMille does not posture or hit you over the head with any argument over what happened to TWA 800 He allows a skeptic of the official explanation to tell the policeman what he thinks happened the missile theory and an equally convinced defender of the official story to present his case DeMille then allows for the possibility of some convergent theory that would explain both the missile that so many saw and the purported lack of physical evidence of an explosive device hitting the plane First Strike TWA 800 and the Attack on America by Jack Cashill and James Sanders is not so evenhanded I read this as part of my own digging through the TWA 800 internet debris field inspired by Night Fall to find out more This book presents a tough detailed attack on the official explanation the center fuel tank theory and the conduct of the investigation of the explosion The authors believe the real story of what happened to TWA 800 was known by President Clinton and his closest advisors almost immediately In fact the county was on heightened alert that night due to credible intelligence of coming attacks There were several Navy ships and submarines prowling around near the Long Island shore that night and there were military planes in the air over Long Island The authors believe the White House allowed instructed the FBI and NTSB to create an alternative explanation for public

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/amthinker-3-22-05.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    Aviation Administration said new technology has improved safety For example many planes now have systems that warn pilots if they re about to fly too close to the ground Jets and turboprops manufactured after March 29 2003 are required by federal regulations to have a so called Terrain Awareness and Warning System All other planes with more than six seats must be retrofitted with the devices by March 29 2005 The plane that crashed in Missouri in October was months away from being outfitted with a terrain warning system that might have prevented the accident On the ground 34 major airports have been equipped with systems that warn air traffic controllers of a potential collision on runways One of the worst aviation disasters in history involved two jumbo jets that ran into each other on a runway in Tenerife in the Canary Islands in 1977 killing 582 people Weather radar and wind shear alert systems also have helped eliminate accidents caused when planes encounter concentrated downward bursts of wind on approach to the airport Safety experts agree that better training and awareness of safety issues have played a big part in making U S skies safer A key effort has been the FAA s formation in 1997 of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team which set the goal of reducing fatal aviation accident rates by 80 percent by 2007 The accident rate has fallen 50 percent since then and is on track to meet the goal said FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette As part of the CAST project airline unions and management along with federal agencies and manufacturers are collaborating on identifying safety problems and solving them Among the 85 safety improvements CAST is working on include Teaching pilots how to recover from unusual flight conditions that could be dangerous Developing tougher

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/airdisaster/ad-1-4-05.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    move ahead five years to July 17 2001 The investigation into the crash is long closed but Kate Mayfield has become close to some of the families of its 230 victims and she asks her husband to come with her to the annual beachside memorial service There a senior FBI agent warns Corey that he and Kate will endanger their jobs if they question the official version of the crash Corey being a surly sort the warning ensures that he will pursue the case Kate admits that she is part of a hush hush group of FBI agents who question the official explanation that a frayed electrical wire caused a spark that ignited a gas tank Kate arranges for Corey to talk with a Navy pilot who flew 115 combat missions over North Vietnam This man was in his sailboat the evening of the disaster and saw a streak of light rising into the sky toward Flight 800 He knows from experience exactly what a surface to air missile looks like and he has not the slightest doubt that was what he saw and that it brought down the plane There were as DeMille often reminds us more than 200 witnesses who described seeing that streak of light only to find their accounts dismissed by the government Kate also takes her husband for a visit to a naval station where they view the reconstructed Boeing 747 the result of an unprecedented salvage effort that brought up more than 70 000 pounds of metal and plastic more than a million pieces from a hundred feet of water Then Kate produces an engineer who is just as sure there was no missile as the Navy pilot is sure there was one There is lengthy discussion of whether the evidence supports the possibility of a missile Corey forces the expert to admit that the only evidence of the official cause of the crash is the lack of evidence of anything else Corey keeps digging and is repeatedly warned off The villains are mostly CIA agents and the hostility between the CIA and FBI is a recurring theme The CIA DeMille reports made a video animation claiming that the witnesses who thought they saw a missile really saw the reflection of burning fuel falling toward the ocean The witnesses say that is absurd as do some at the FBI There is also talk of radar evidence of a never identified speedboat fleeing the scene and of U S war games in the area that night Having presented the case for both a mechanical malfunction and a missile attack either by friendly fire or terrorists DeMille comes down hard on the side of a conspiracy His novel which explores the conflicting theories about the crash in far more detail than can be summarized here will bring to a larger audience a debate that has raged on the Internet for years When Corey and his wife persist in asking questions both are sent abroad to cool

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/nightfall-12-8-04.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    out with the murderer of Rabbi Meier Kahane and plotting with the Blind Sheik Omar Abdul al Rahman The sheik and his followers according to the FBI agents who had the mosque under surveillance always called Yousef Rashid the Iraqi Yousef s fellow traveler Ahmad Ajaj was arrested and charged with a visa violation not with being a terrorist He served six months in jail and was released Incredibly Judge Reena Raggi ordered the feds to return Ajaj s bomb recipes to him After Yousef s team detonated the World Trade Center bomb in February 1993 the Mozart of Terror as author Lance dubbed him flew to Pakistan to see uncle KSM another Baluch ethnic who was already planning Operation Bojinka Bojinka was an insanely ambitious plan to blow up 11 commercial airliners simultaneously over the Pacific Ocean kill the pope and poison President Clinton in a cloud of chlorine gas It was foiled in 1995 during the last stages of planning by a chance kitchen fire in a dingy Manila apartment But back in 1993 while the North Tower of the Trade Center was still smoking Yousef s co conspirator Ahmad Yasin boogies to Baghdad in the immortal words of Clinton s terror czar Richard Clarke Co conspirator Mohammed Salameh age 26 was hoping to make it back to Saddam s tender mercies as well but was arrested as he showed up at the rental car office to collect his deposit on the van he rented to blow up with the bomb For his part Salameh s phone records reveal him to have been the messenger to Saddam At his trial much later it emerged that Salameh had been calling Iraq one or two times a day between June 10 and July 9 running up enormous cell phone charges that he was unable to pay Salameh was Palestinian it isn t as if he had a sick Iraqi mother to console long distance But his uncle Kadri Abu Bakr had worked in Baghdad since 1986 for a Palestinian terrorist unit funded by Saddam So Yousef aka Rashid the Iraqi joined his uncle KSM to work up the Bojinka plan with assistance from Osama bin Laden s organization Far from being devout Muslims Yousef and KSM enjoyed the high life in Manila They went to karaoke bars and strip clubs dated dancers and stayed in four star hotels They had plenty of cash KSM took scuba diving lessons and once rented a helicopter just to fly it past the window of a girlfriend s office in an attempt to impress her as the L A Times reported in June 2002 In 1995 it was time for a wet test of Bojinka Yousef needed to be sure his bombs would work correctly so he tested one on an actual airliner filled with people He planted a tiny Casio watch timed bomb with Nitro gun cotton chemical on a Philippine Airlines flight to Japan As Peter Lance reports Yousef s bomb unlike

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/fpm-12-3-04.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    the NTSB investigation says the facts do not support what the skeptics say ROBERT FRANCIS FMR NTSB VICE CHAIRMAN A missile doesn t hit an airplane and you recover 98 percent of the airplane and still not see a single scratch or indication on the airplane that a missile hit it TUCHMAN But the NTSB and the FBI do say the investigation can be reopened at any time if there is new evidence Gary Tuchman CNN New York END VIDEOTAPE COOPER Well we wanted to make sure we cover all the angles on this story So tonight joining me from Washington is Jim Hall the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board at the time of the TWA disaster Thanks for joining us Jim And from Agoura Hills California investigative journalist Peter Lance author of the book Cover Up What The Government is Still Hiding About The War on Terror Jim I want to start with the missile conspiracy theory Some witnesses claim they saw streaks of light rising from the surface to the sky We just saw that in the piece How do you explain that JIM HALL FMR NTSB CHAIRMAN Well I think the explanation obviously was what came out in the work of the CIA and the NTSB in terms of the streak being the fuel from the airplane that had exploded in mid air as it streaked higher in the air after the explosion COOPER And Peter you also you believe there was a conspiracy there but you don t think it was a missile You believe a terrorist bomb in the fuel tank caused the explosion What proof do you have of that PETER LANCE AUTHOR COVER UP Well we have new evidence and evidence I think that merits reopening this case and I m sure Mr Hall has never seen this that Ramzi Yousef ph the original World Trade Center bomber who with his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the architect of 9 11 while awaiting trial in New York passed information to an FBI informant and this information in the form of FBI 302 memos is on my website Peterlance com said we want to put a bomb on the plane to get a mistrial He was about to be tried Anderson for what was called COOPER Where do you come up with this LANCE I got it from a forensic investigator Angela Clemente ph who got it from the actual FBI informant who s now serving time in federal prison And these are actual FBI 302s in which Yousef says COOPER Have you told the FBI about this LANCE Have I told them I interviewed James Calstrom ph for the book But here s the thing Not only do we have evidence of a bomb on board in the area of the center fuel tank It mirrors forensically the precise bomb that Yousef set off in COOPER Wait a minute You say you have evidence of a bomb on board And

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/ac-12-1-04.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    research too reading government documents interviewing eyewitnesses and talking to FBI and police investigators on the task force Writing this kind of what if book says DeMille is risky because events such as another terrorist attack or the emergence of new evidence on Flight 800 can overtake it Philip Roth s current bestseller The Plot Against America which imagines Charles A Lindbergh becoming president in 1940 is alternate history DeMille says but it s in the same vein in that you re taking reality and going off in a different direction with it His book s hero is John Corey a former NYPD cop who is now a member of the Anti Terrorist Task Force DeMille s variation on the name though he keeps it at its real address 26 Federal Plaza 26th floor The wise cracking street smart anti authoritarian Corey was also the hero of Plum Island and The Lion s Game He ll return in yet another novel the one after next says DeMille in a story that wraps up events in The Lion s Game DeMille credits his son Alex who works in film with coming up with an idea to end Night Fall on Sept 11 2001 two months after the fifth anniversary of the crash when the fictional Corey first becomes interested in its cause Corey gets involved in his own renegade investigation after his wife an FBI agent takes him to a memorial service for the victims families DeMille missed the real life ceremony so he had to rely on descriptions in Newsday and the New York Times he says But he visited a Coast Guard station the hangar where the remains of the downed plane were reconstructed and the Hamptons beaches and communities where he sets his novel DeMille also stopped by the memorial at Smith Point County Park with its landscaping of natural grasses and trellises of silver cedar and was visiting it again with a reporter There on a curved black granite wall filled with the victims names DeMille notes that of the pilot Ralph G Kevorkian Kevorkian he says was a friend of one of DeMille s best friends also a TWA pilot who had flown the same aircraft from Paris two days earlier On a lower wall that tells the story of the flight and of the monument DeMille notes that the text calls what happened to TWA Flight 800 an explosion of controversial origin Carefully chosen John Seaman the man who wrote the text is the chairman of the board of The Families of TWA Flight 800 the nonprofit group that raised the money to build and maintain the memorial He s at the park this day overseeing expansion plans and seawall work to prevent erosion from damaging the memorial His phrase carved in stone Seaman says was carefully chosen reflecting something all the families took comfort from I just left it at that not a bomb or this or that Seaman who lost his 19 year

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/newsday-11-23-04.htm (2016-02-13)
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