Accuracy in Media

There is no doubt that President Clinton had the FBI, NTSB and CIA collaborate in covering up the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 in July 1996. As hundreds of eyewitnesses testified, it was shot down by missiles. There is strong evidence they were launched by Navy vessels, and some of that evidence was secretly destroyed by the National Transportation Safety Board last summer.

It appears that President Bush has copied a page out of Clinton’s play book. His FBI director refuses to release the cockpit voice recorder tape of Flight 93. That is probably because it proves that no male passengers got into the cockpit and forced the hijackers to crash the plane into an old strip mine in Pennsylvania. The government appears to be hiding the fact that the plane was shot down by the Air Force.

Recently WorldNetDaily published an article which makes the claim that AA Flight 587 crashed in Queens right after taking off from JFK because a second “shoe bomber” succeeded in doing what Richard Reid was trying to do: ignite a small but powerful plastic bomb hidden in his shoe. This rumor feeds on the evidence that the government lied about TWA 800 and Flight 93. In addition, the official investigators have yet to come up with an explanation of the crash that fits both the forensic and eyewitness evidence. The NTSB has yet to release the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the data from the flight data recorder.

Marion Blakey, the chairman of the NTSB, put the blame on mechanical failure before any investigation had begun. This gave rise to speculation that she wanted to assure the flying public that this accident was not caused by terrorist action. Even a suggestion that it could have been a terrorist act would have dealt a serious blow to the airlines, which were still reeling from the loss of business caused by the 9/11 attacks.

The bomb theory claims that the bomber selected a window seat just behind the wing because this would be the best location for a bomb explosion to breach the wing fuel-tank. Howard Mann, a retired TWA pilot and crash investigator, disagrees. He says that the best seat for achieving that result would be near the front of the wing. That would be closer to the fuel tank. Another flaw in the bomb theory is that with every seat taken, it would have been very hard for the bomber to ignite a shoe-bomb without attracting the attention of his seat-mates.

Captain Mann believes the crash could have been caused by an engine stalling, putting the plane into a “Dutch roll.” A loud noise and fire would come from the stalled engine, and the loss of power on that side would cause the plane to yaw and roll in that direction. An over-correction would produce the same problem on the other side, and the plane would appear to be “wallowing,” a description given by some eyewitnesses. The CVR is said to indicate that the pilot was having difficulty controlling the plane. The Dutch roll would explain that, but not both engines and the tail fin breaking off. The bomb theory doesn’t explain those either. It’s too bad we can’t trust the government to tell the truth.

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