TWA 800 wreckage destroyed

TWA 800 wreckage destroyed

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior editor

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 left JFK airport with 229 persons aboard, bound for Paris. Minutes after takeoff, the plane exploded and plunged into Long Island Sound, killing all aboard.

The government, through the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), finally told us the jet was downed because of an explosion in the central fuel tank where the wings join the fuselage.

Millions of dollars were spent to recover the wreckage from the ocean and haul it to Calverton, N.Y., where the fuselage was reassembled. Reed Irvine, chairman of Accuracy In Media, says that was to impress the public with what a thorough job investigators of the NTSB and the FBI were doing.

Irvine says, however, that there was other wreckage they didn’t want anyone to see. He said that wreckage was secretly sent to a Long Island junkyard for recycling in July and August of this year.

When that wreckage was collected, Irvine said, journalists and private investigators were barred from inside the hangar where it was stored. Even members of the official investigating team weren’t allowed in, he said. Only certain FBI agents were authorized to enter. Irvine said the FBI did not want members of the NTSB, TWA or Boeing and interested unions to see this particular debris.

The fuselage and one of the plane’s four engines will be kept, but the rest is gone. The recycler said he had to pledge secrecy in order to get the contract. Long Island’s Channel 12 television learned of the recycling only recently.

The NTSB contends all interested parties were informed of their intent to recycle most of the wreckage. The most interested parties, however, those conducting their own private investigations into the crash, were not told. They are the people who hold that the government’s explanation of the cause of the crash is untrue.

Some investigators have complained that evidence was taken to that special room in the hangar and never seen again. That evidence may have included part of the tail assembly of a drone made by Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical (TRA) of San Diego, Calif., Irvine said.

It is known the FBI asked TRA to send an official to Calverton to try to identify some wreckage colored bright orange. After seeing the wreckage, the official asked his office to send him a parts list and drawings of the tail assembly of the BQM-34 Firebee 1. Irvine said the TRA executive first said the wreckage was just junk, but changed his mind and said he saw a part similar to a TRA product and that he asked for the drawings to prove it was not his company’s item.

If it wasn’t from a Firebee, Irvine said, then it must have been from another drone; evidence hidden by the FBI and destroyed by the NTSB.

Major Fritz Meyer said he was flying an Air National Guard helicopter when he saw Flight 800 struck by missiles. He later viewed the wreckage at Calverton and was struck by the heavy damage to the nose wheel and tire. An NTSB official with him said experts told him it was caused by a bomb.

Irvine said the bomb must have been attached to a missile, and that also was evidence to be destroyed.

The leading edge of the right wing was tested by an Egis machine for explosive residue. It recorded 12 positive hits. Major Meyer flew the wing to Washington for retesting in the FBI crime lab. The lab said all but two of the hits were false positives.

Dr. Frederick Whitehurst, the FBI’s top explosives expert, said the lab failed to follow correct procedures in retesting the wing. Whitehurst became a whistleblower and was moved from the laboratory to another job.

The two hits are evidence that a missile exploded near the plane, Irvine said, and was a threat to the government’s theory of what caused the crash, so it had to be hidden or ignored.

Private investigators have claimed for many, many months that TWA 800 was downed by a missile or missiles; a claim still denied by the government. The government has refused to release other information pertaining to the crash to these investigators. Some contend the missiles were fired by terrorists; and they believe the government is covering up that evidence.

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