- In August, 1997, a man in Sea Bright,
New Jersey makes a video of what appears to be a missile that missed hitting
a 767 in flight. He shows the video to the FBI, who take it in order to
make a copy. They have not yet returned the original video.
- Although the CIA, FBI and the U.S. Justice
Department have said there has been no definite link between the tragedy
of TWA Flight 800 and terrorism, there is a trail of events, both before
and after the event (July 17, 1996) that seem to bear continued scrutiny.
On July 19, 1996, Reuters reported that an Arabic newspaper, Al Hayat,
which is published in London, received a letter about an attack on an "American
target" that Wednesday: July 17, 1996. This was from a Saudi group
called the Movement of Islamic Change, who had claimed responsibility for
a bombing in Saudi Arabia in November, 1995 that had killed five Americans.
- Also on July 19, The New York Times quoted
a State Department spokesman: "Late this morning we got a copy of
a letter in Arabic..." The State Department concluded: "...It
seems aimed at the Saudi regime or the American presence in Saudi Arabia."
Reuters went on to report the State Department viewed it a "as general
political tract. We don't see it as a specific threat." On the morning
before, Thursday, July 18, a Tampa, Florida radio station, WTSP, got a
call claiming responsibility for the downing of Flight 800. Beyond identifying
himself as a member of a Jihad (holy war), the caller gave no further identification.
- More telling, was the report from Newsday,
that on the very day TWA came down out of the sky, an Arabic newspaper
in Beirut received a fax: "Tomorrow morning we will strike the Americans
in a way they do not expect and it will be very surprising to them."
The fax was received at 11 a.m. New York time. Of course, Flight 800 exploded
just past 8:30 p.m. that evening, not the next morning, but the proximity
to the threat and the event are disturbing. The fax goes on: "The
Mujahadeen will respond harshly to the threats of the stupid American president.
All will be shocked by the magnitude of the response."
- On July 29, U.S. News and World Report
identified the group behind the fax as The Movement of Islamic Jihad/The
Jihad Wing of the Arabian Peninsula.
- Newsday further reported that a CIA source
said the agency "does not attach too much significance to the threat."
- Indeed, terrorists make threats all the
time, and so the fax could be no more than coincidence and there is the
fact of a morning event being threatened while the tragedy occurred in
the evening and the caller to that radio station could be nothing more
than the usual crazy wanting to claim responsibility for something that
had already happened - but: The September, 1997 issue of The American
Spectator, regarding Flight 800: "World Trade Center bomber Ramzi
Ahmed Yousef told authorities his group is responsible. Yousef's claim
has not been made public, but is in the FBI file."
- Again, terrorists love to proclaim themselves
the creators of every evil - but: July 23, 1996, The London Times: a newspaper
in Tel Aviv, Yediot Ahronot, had reported that Israeli intelligence had
been asked by the CIA to check the Athens-New York passenger list of TWA
Flight 800. The plane had been in Athens before flying to New York and
from there would go on to Paris.
- According to Yediot Ahronot, the Israelis
warned U.S. intelligence before the disaster that this particular aircraft
was a possible target of "sabotage or hijacking" by Islamic extremists.
The paper quoted a Mossad officer: "The threat of sabotage or a hijacking
against an American plane was analyzed and considered serious enough for
us to pass on to the Americans. It was then up to the Americans to assess
the dangers and decide whether to pass it on to their airlines."
- Coincidence? The New York Post, September
22, 1996: Investigators are reviewing an anonymous threat received after
the October 1, 1995 guilty verdict on radical sheik Omar Abdel Rahman...
the threat was that a New York airport or jetliner would be attacked in
retaliation." Rahman is the blind Islamic fundamentalist convicted
in masterminding the February, 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- June 25, 1997: a Muslim news source in
London, MSANEWS, citing Agence France Presse and ABC as its sources, reported
on the alleged covert kidnapping by America of a Pakistani, Mir Aimal Kansi.
Kansi was kidnapped in Pakistan and taken to America. Egypt believed that
Kansi was involved in a plot to kill President Mubarak in 1995 - and the
U.S. believed that Kansi was the patron behind Ramzi Yousef and the Trade
- Brigadier General Benton K. Partin (USAF,
Ret.) is an expert on military explosives and missiles. He has a Master's
in aeronautical engineering and believes that data collected from Flight
800 indicates the plane was brought down by not just one but possibly "two
missiles with continuous-rod warheads." A continuous-rod (CR) missile
explodes outside its target, releasing an expanding accordion-like steel
rod that slices the target apart.
- "If you examine the assembled wreckage
of Flight 800, you can't help but notice how cleanly the 80 foot forward
section was severed from the aircraft in front of the wing," says
General Partin. "It looks like a melon that's been cut with a saber.
Well, that's exactly how a CR warhead is supposed to work." Partin
said that the while the fuselage wreckage "displays a lot of soot
and fire damage, the forward fuselage, however, is remarkably free of that
type of damage. This suggests that it was not a full explosion that did
that particular damage, meaning once again that a CR warhead may have been
- Gen. Partin refers to the eyewitness
testimony of Frederick Meyer, who was at the time an Air National Guard
Pilot on a routine practice flight from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton.
(See our April 17 issue). Meyer saw two separate flashes. This fits the
profile of a C-R missile; shoot-downs almost always involve two missiles,
as was the case with KAL 007 and the Iranian Airbus. One C-R warhead would
have cut the forward part of the plane, the latter the fuselage, which
would have caused the explosion and fireball." C-R technology was
developed in America, with Russia following suit. Both the U.S. and Russia
have subs that could launch such missiles. Many terrorists in the middle
east have had access to both American and Russian arms. Don't forget we
backed the Muslim Afghan rebels against the Soviets in the 1980s. August
9, 1996, The Seattle Times, picking up a report from Newsday: investigators
had compiled an "unusual" amount of radar activity among many
slow-moving ships along the East Coast for several days before Flight 800
went down. Coincidence? or...From Time, August 12, 1996: An intelligence
source says calls and transmissions the CIA gathered out of Tehran caused
the agency to take "a hard look...at the Iran possibility." April
17, 1997, International News Electronic Telegraph. American intelligence
sought to kill a Russian weapons deal with Iran. The deal would have included
500 advanced shoulder-launched "Igla" anti-aircraft missiles.
In 1993, Iran purchased two submarines from Russia, updated Kilo-class
subs that can operate in shallow coastal waters. The Navy was apparently
worried about foreign subs in the region of the Flight 800 incident. A
P3 Orion placed 39 sonic buoys about 80 miles south of the crash. The P3
is the Navy's submarine hunter. In addition to the Russian subs, Iran has
purchased two types of sea-launched surface-to-air missiles from the U.K.
These and other military purchases, had the Pentagon worried. On April
20, 1997, The Telegraph (U.K. Electronic Edition): "Hard-liners see
retaliation for the Khobars bombing as an opportunity to deal with the
Iranian military before it has the means to choke the Straits of Hormuz,
the source of 12 million barrels of oil a day, a third of the industrial
world's oil supply.
- June 30, 1997 Navy Times. The Iranians
have added three Korean "mini-subs" to their fleet. Of course
one could enumerate the firepower of other nations and not infer that it
will be directed at the U.S., either openly or covertly. No one expects
India to drop the A-bomb on us now that they have just tested their brand
new atomic terrors. But a country such as Iran, run by an extremist religious
government that has declared its hatred for the U.S. since the late '70s,
(when Americans inside the U.S embassay in Iran were held for 444 days,
from Nov. '79 to Jan. '81) has to be a prime candidate for terrorism against
- Revenge is often the dominant theme,
raised to a distorted spiritual passion, in the mid-east. And the Iranians
have all the reasons in the world to want to bring down one of our airliners
- or should one say "reason,' singular.
- On July 3, 1988, the USS Vinceness, off
the coast of Iran, mistook a civilian craft for a military one and shot
down Flight 655 A300 Airbus over the Gulf. All 290 on board were killed.
Oh: two missiles were fired. Is it too much of a stretch to consider that
the 230 killed aboard TWA Flight 800 were a terrorist retaliation for that
U.S. military "accident'?
- There is more than enough evidence to
show that the missiles that appeared to have brought down TWA Flight 800
were not the first missiles fired at American civilian aircraft. There
is documented evidence, not merely in terms of eyewitness but radar reports
of the following events: November 17, 1995: A 747 Lufthansa 405 leaving
JFK at night, bound for Frankfurt, saw an object about 2-3,000 feet above
them. Conversation between pilot and air traffic control relates"
a vapor trail...which looks like smoke." A witness driving along I-95
(between exits 4 and 6) reports what appears to be a missile launch the
driver thought at the time "some accident" at the naval base
at Groton. August 29, 1996: An American pilot reports he saw a missile
from his 757 enroute from San Juan to Boston. The plane was over Wallops
Island, Virginia. November 16, 1996: Pakistan International, Airlines Flight
712 was witness to something coming up out Long Island Sound, rising vertically.
Radar caught two blips. Boston radar said there were no military exercises
in the area. A TWA plane behind the Pakistani craft saw the event, too,
and were alarmed enough to skirt the area. Boston radar confirmed "two
unidentified blips." December 12, 1996: A Saudi Arabian plane reported
a bright object shooting by their plane as it flew along Long Island, approaching
JFK. This occurred about 15 miles southwest of East Hampton. February 17,
1997: a passenger on a Delta Flight out of JFK sees what appears to be
a missile with light grey smoke pouring out of it as it ascends up from
the ground, parallel to the coastline. The passenger's reaction was "Thank
God it's going in the opposite direction." March 17, 1997: Northwest
flight from Newark to Minneapolis and another from LaGuardia to Minneapolis
reported a missile sighting around 6:55 p.m. Two additional flight crews,
from Delta and U.S. Airways, also reported missile sightings. August 12,
1997: an eyewitness makes a video of what appears to a missile attack on
a Boeing 767 over Sea Bright, New Jersey. The plane was approaching JFK.
Eight frames on the video show what appears to be a missile; it was descending
toward the airliner. One frame shows a definite missile or cigar shape;
it is not a meteorite. The object falls into the sea. The witness contacted
the FBI, who conducted an interview and took the video, saying they would
make a copy and return it. As of yet they have not. September 26, 1997:
A Swissair Boeing 747, at 23,000 feet between Philadelphia and Newark came
within 50 yards of an object the pilot described as "white, elongated
and without wings." The pilot rejected U.S. government explanations
that this was a weather balloon. A Swissair spokesman said the object was
moving at a very high speed. These incidents steer one toward the possibility
that there have been missiles fired at aircraft before Flight 800 and after
it, a situation that leads one more toward a terrorist possibility than
that of a military accident, which would be a one-time occurrence. Is the
government "cover-up" of the Flight 800 diaster due to the fact
that make public the knowledge that planes, especially those in the metropolitan
area, might be subject to terrorist attacks, could virtually cripple the
airline industry? Or was there some other, "back-room" reason,
such as the fear, in the year the president was up for reelection, that
there would be a public outcry for some sort of retaliation? -Jerry Cimisi