In it, Donaldson stated that TWA was struck by two missiles, fired from the water, most likely as a terrorist attack, and subsequently the FBI and NTSB conspired to cover up this fact due to political pressure. Navy involvement; however, he viewed circumstantial evidence of a terrorist attack "more compelling". Donaldson received support and funding from the advocacy group Accuracy in Media ,  which promoted his views. On July 17, , the 17th anniversary of the tragedy, the Epix premium TV channel aired the documentary TWA Flight , directed by Kristina Borjesson , which alleges that the crash investigation was a cover-up.
The film highlights extensive eyewitness interviews, with many interviewees directly objecting to publicly described versions of their own descriptions of events. It also highlights interviews with investigators who had been involved in the original inquest, six of whom had filed a petition to reopen the probe.
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Their petition was based on eyewitness accounts, radar evidence indicating a possible missile and claims of evidence tampering. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Afterward, all that remained of the huge aircraft and its contents was debris spread across a bymile stretch of ocean, ranging from huge chunks of fuselage to badly burned bodies to a still-legible postcard and one running shoe, bobbing atop the water when it was found the following morning. The final circumstances of TWA Flight are all too clear, and marked the worst air disaster since terrorists blew up an Air India flight from Vancouver to London in , killing people. At week's end, the cause of the disaster was still unknown, but combined U.
The notion was enhanced by the fact that the world's eyes were already focused on the United States for the start of the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Whatever the cause, the explosion rocked lives and sensibilities on both sides of the Atlantic, and left behind a trail of lost lives and dreams that at times seemed almost unbearable in their poignancy. Among the dead: a year-old man whose girlfriend had accepted his marriage proposal less than two hours previously; 16 students and five chaperones from a French immersion program at a high school in the tiny Pennsylvania town of Montoursville; a wealthy philanthropist who decided to take an earlier-than-planned flight home to her husband and children; an award-winning sports television network executive who took his wife and daughter, but left his twin sons behind, on his last-ever assignment for the ABC network.
No Canadians were aboard: the closest connection was the year-old newly engaged man, Michel Breistroff, a Frenchman who played junior hockey in Quebec and Ontario in the late s. S federal authorities took great pains to avoid labelling the crash an act of terrorism until they had conclusive evidence. In that incident, suspicion initially focused on Middle East terrorists. Ultimately, however, investigators arrested and charged members of a local grassroots anti-government militia group. Yet from the outset, it was clear that federal authorities regarded terrorism as the likeliest cause of the downing of Flight Although the inquiry officially remained an accident investigation, the FBI treated it as a criminal case.
The bureau moved within hours of the crash to create a joint terrorism task force, with more than FBI agents working alongside other federal law enforcement agencies and New York City police. As is almost always the case after a major tragedy of indeterminate cause, federal authorities also received an unspecified number of calls from unidentified people claiming responsibility.
The Downing of TWA 800 - Overview and Introduction
But the most compelling signs of terrorism were the circumstances of the giant aircraft's sudden fall from the sky. Although eyewitness reports of sudden disasters are often regarded as inaccurate and inconsistent, the volume and similarity of accounts in this case - with almost all of them describing two explosions - suggested to some experts that the only potential causes were an onboard bomb, a surface-to-air missile or a freak explosion of the aircraft's fuel tanks, which carry , lb.
The last scenario is considered unlikely, however, because it has never happened before. Similarly, authorities discounted the surface-to-air missile theory because the aircraft was well above the normal range of even the most sophisticated Stinger missiles. By a process of elimination, then, experts said that a bomb appeared most probable: some new plastic explosives cannot be detected by the kind of baggage scanners in use at Kennedy airport.
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By week's end, authorities had recovered the bodies of about half of the dead. The scene of search-and-rescue efforts along the Long Island coast - an elegant area renowned as a getaway retreat for monied New Yorkers - was particulariy jarring for the contrasts it offered. Despite police roadblocks aimed at sealing off the area, locals and tourists flocked to watch coast guard cutters unloading pieces from the crash. Meanwhile, workers in white jumpsuits conducted a horrifying shuttle of body bags into white and silver refrigerator trucks where they were kept because the local morgue could not accommodate them.