Update: July 12, 2014.
An extremely important documentary named "TWA 800" has recently been produced. This first aired on EPIX TV channel on July 18, 2013. This documentary was created and narrated by Dr.Tom Stalcup and Kristina Borjesson and was created to demonstrate that the official version of why this plane crashed was totally fabricated by the NTSB. It is suggested that TWA 800 was brought down by three missiles. This story was discussed by Christine Negroni in the Washington Post. You can find this documentary on EPIX or NETFLIX.
I watched the documentary twice, then contacted Dr. Stalcup to suggest that I thought his documentary was extremely well done, but that the conclusion that the plane was brought down by missiles was not correct. My comments to him are included herewith.
"Reviewing the debris field from the departure point, it should be noted that the debris closest to the airport consisted of the two front-wheel doors, these were followed some distance later by Section 41, followed by the balance of the debris which was located over 4 miles from Section 41.
"Have you ever questioned why bursting a balloon creates such a noise? The answer relates to my explanation of what happened during the break-up of TWA 800. When Section 41 separated from the plane, the air released at 13,000 ft. from the pressurized cabin would make an enormous sonic boom. This sonic boom was heard by over 200 people along the Long Island coastline that day and they would naturally look up to see where the sound was coming from. At that point, I believe they would actually have seen the rupture of the central fuel tank as the pressure in the fuel tank of the plane was probably close to the ambient pressure at ground level at JFK airport, and was suddenly released at high altitude. This would explain why it was assumed that an explosion took place in the central fuel tank. When the fuel tank ruptured, the remaining fuel would, of course, burst into flames. It should be noted that in the official NTSB report, the testimony of the eyewitnesses was a major consideration in its conclusion that an explosion in the central fuel tank brought down the plane.
"As you know, light travels faster than sound. I suggest that the observers first heard the sonic boom, looked out to sea, and heard the sound seconds before the fuel tank erupted and the fuel remaining in the fuel tank burst into flames, giving them the impression that the rupture of the central fuel tank had caused the plane to disintegrate.
"It should also be noted that TWA 800 would appear only 14 degrees above the horizon, which would make it difficult for them to judge exactly what was going on at the instant of the break-up. It should also be noted that the humidity in the Long Island area that day was extremely high. Under these very hazy conditions, a clear image of the break-up would not have been possible.
"In the documentary, the justification for assuming that the plane was brought down by missiles was that fast moving objects, moving away from the plane, were seen on radar. I believe that these fast moving objects were actually the blades from the jet turbines which were rotating over 10,000 r.p.m. at the time of the disintegration. At the time of the disintegration, the engines would change rapidly from horizontal trajectory to a more vertical trajectory, which would cause the engine blades to break through the engine cowlings. There is a clear example of this in a crash of a DC 10 over Sioux Falls some years ago."
Four times during the weekend of January 6/7th, 2007, David Mattingly, a CNN correspondent, aired a 2-hour documentary on the crash of TWA 800. Unfortunately, Mr. Mattingly has no concept of technical understanding and, as such, he completely misled his audience by suggesting that commercial airliners are dangerous to fly as their fuel tanks may explode at any time. On this website, you can read considerable details about what happened to TWA 800 and I can also recommend that you visit the TWA800.com website. The following are the main problems with Mr. Mattingly's technical presentation:
1. It was concluded by the NTSB that TWA 800 was brought down by an explosion in the central fuel tank. This is complete nonsense as jet fuel, which is very heavy, does not readily ignite. This was clearly demonstrated many years ago by Commander William Donaldson and I recommend that you visit the following URL for a detailed explanation.
2. A research group built a quarter-sized central fuel tank and attempted to model what had happened to the fuel tank when TWA 800 disintegrated at 14,000 ft. A small amount of jet fuel was placed in the fuel tank and heated to the temperature that was believed to have been present in the aircraft's fuel tank. An actual sparking device was used in an attempt to explode the fuel. After many tries, it was found to be impossible to light the fuel and so the researchers entered a mixture of propane and air which, of course, ignited easily and blew out the side of the model tank. This was shown over and over on CNN at the time of the test but the reporters never pointed out that the test was rigged. Mr. Mattingly, who spent a whole year investigating TWA 800, clearly made no attempt to expose this false information.
3. According to Mr. Mattingly's explanation of what had happened, it was suggested that the front third of the plane had broken away from a point where the wing roots joined the fuselage. Had he read the investigation report, he would have discovered that the nose, known as Section 41, came off first, dragging a portion of Section 42 with it. The truth of the matter is the nose of the plane broke away from Section 42 and landed in the sea some 4-1/2 miles closer to the departure point.
4. Mr. Mattingly suggested that faulty wiring had caused a spark to occur in the fuel tank. He made two errors in this analysis. Firstly, there are no wires going into the fuel tank. The only wire close to the fuel tank is that which operates the fuel pumps, which are mounted on the outside of the central fuel tank. He then mentions that, in the wiring bundle, there is a wire servicing the lights in the passenger cabin which has a voltage of 350 volts. I believe it is safe to say that the lights are powered by 12 volts, but maybe 24 !!
5. Mr. Mattingly suggested that the 3,800 aircraft currently operating in the U.S. should all be fitted with nitrogen purge tanks, as was recommended 10 years ago by the NTSB. This has not been done because Boeing, the airlines, the pilots, all know that fuel tanks are designed in such a way that they are completely safe. It was suggested that navy planes have a nitrogen purge system but, of course, this is more to do with the fact that combat aircraft can be shot at ! Boeing has suggested that its aircraft will be fitted with a nitrogen purge system in the 2008 models. One has to wonder why !
6. One has to wonder why Mr. Mattingly did not contact a chemical engineer familiar with "fuel explosive limits" to determine whether or not heavy jet fuel can readily explode. Why didn't Mr. Mattingly interview a Boeing 747 pilot and ask him a number of questions about what were the problems with the early models of the Boeing 747s?
7. There are several photos of the TWA800 wreckage which had been assembled in a large hangar. It should be noted that Section 41 and part of Section 42 were covered with a canvas. Clearly, a reporter could not see that Section 41 and Section 42 were not joined together as described in the CIA animation of the break-up of the plane.
8. I seriously doubt that TWA 800 was brought down by a missile. Over 200 people claimed they saw a missile ascending towards the plane. I suggest that when Section 41 broke away from Section 42 the fuselage, which was tail heavy, climbed rapidly to 17,000 ft. As the plane was climbing, jet fuel could be burning - giving the impression of a missile climbing towards the fuselage. There is also another streak of burning fuel visible on another video which might appear like a missile but it was descending. None of the information I have reviewed indicates that any of the people who saw streaks of light heading for the plane actually saw the streaks of light starting at sea level, bringing their conclusion into question. The whole analysis of the missile causing the destruction of the plane needs to be reviewed by independently-qualified engineers. The new documentary on TWA800 claims that one or more missiles exploded next to the fuselage of TWA 800. Missiles are designed to hit a target, and there would be no mechanism to cause the missiles to explode just because they are close to the target. Missiles are triggered by hitting the target. There was no evidence of finding of any missile parts in the TWA 800 debris field.
9. It is my understanding that TWA had the oldest airline fleet in the U.S. before the crash of TWA 800. Shortly thereafter, TWA had a fleet of the most advanced commercial airlines. An investigative reporter might want to take a look at the history of the total cost of the TWA 800 disaster.
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