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Media Monitor

The Truth About TWA Flight 800

By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

July 30, 1998

Two years after the crash of TWA Flight 800, Bill Donaldson, who has been investigating the cause of the crash for 15 months for Accuracy in Media, released a 109-page report on his findings at a Washington news conference. Flanked by Admiral Thomas Moorer, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other aviation professionals, Donaldson, an experienced aircraft accident investigator, reported that TWA 800 was downed by two powerful missiles.

The evidence he presented included strong eyewitness testimony which he had personally obtained. He showed a chart on which he had plotted where these people were when they saw the missile and where it was. Connecting the dots, he was able to show that one missile was launched about a mile off shore from the barrier island that runs along the southern coast of Long Island. Paul Angelides, an engineer, saw it go up and he said the noise shook his house.

Angelides watched the missile streaking southward toward TWA 800, seven nautical miles away, and explode. Al Gipe, a former Navy gunnery officer, was on his sail boat out at sea 25 nautical miles offshore. He saw what he thought was an emergency flare go up about 15miles north of his position. He said it looked like a tracer bullet, streaking upward, from south to north. It also exploded high in the sky a few seconds later. These were obviously two different missiles, but they both exploded almost at the same time very close to each other and close enough to TWA 800 to destroy it.

These sightings were confirmed by others. What makes this even more interesting is the fact that shore radar had recorded a large ship three nautical miles to the south of the crash site that sped out to sea doing 30 knots when TWA 800 exploded. Its size and speed rules out a merchant ship. Racing out to sea instead of heading for the accident site to see if it could be of assistance is a violation of the law of the sea and is highly suspicious. This was only one of four surface targets recorded on radar near the crash site that have not been identified. Bill Donaldson said he had tried hard to get the FBI and the NTSB to tell him what ships these were, but they claim they don't know.

The Navy had claimed that a Navy P-3 plane and the USS Normandy, a guided missile cruiser, that was 180 miles away, were the only "assets" it had operating anywhere on the East Coast near the crash site that night. But the Press Enterprise of Riverside, California has obtained documents showing the Normandy in two different locations that night.

They also showed that the carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and its planes were involved in round-the-clock exercises along the Maryland and Virginia coasts, and unidentified submarines were participating in the exercise in an area that began less than 20 miles from the crash site. The Navy has lied about its ships and the government is lying about the cause of the crash.

Media Monitor


By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

January 22, 1998

The major media's handling of Accuracy in Media's recent news conference on the TWA Flight 800 crash shows there is a continuing reluctance to challenge the government's claim that a mysterious accident brought the plane down. Most of the media don't want to deal with the evidence, including eyewitnesses and an analysis of flight data recorder information, which suggests a missile or missiles hit near the plane, causing it to explode and fall into the ocean. Commander William Donaldson has identified the likely culprit as a Phoenix anti-aircraft missile that was supplied to Iran during the time when the pro-Western Shah ran the regime. Donaldson's theory is that the Islamic regime that now runs the country is using these missiles against the United States -- which they call the great Satan.

Does that sound extraordinary? Not to a leading expert on Iran named Anthony Dennis, the author of the new book, "The Rise of the Islamic Empire and the Threat to the West." During an appearance on the Janet Parshall radio program, Dennis didn't say explicitly that he had evidence of an Iranian role. But he didn't rule it out, either.

While refusing to embrace a "conspiracy theory," he said that "The conclusions reached [by the government] in the TWA investigation have never sat right with me...I felt that there was some evidence that was held back...There were some witnesses that were not allowed to testify....I even suspected for a bit that perhaps the Administration did not want to let Americans know how vulnerable we are to terrorism...There's something funny about TWA 800."

Dennis is right: some of the witnesses who were not allowed to testify were those who actually saw the missile. Once Dennis becomes acquainted with the additional evidence of terrorism, he will become even more skeptical of the government's case. Dennis said there is already a lot of evidence about how agents of the Iranian regime have carried out terrorism on American soil. One chapter of his book, "The Threat at Home," deals with "fairly unknown incidents where the Islamic republic of Iran has sent agents in to assassinate people in the U.S." He said Iran has "an amazing capability" to carry out terrorism abroad "and they use it."

For example, he cited the case of a woman who was married to a former official of the Shah's regime and who was living in New Jersey. He said she was shot down on her doorstep in the late 1980s, and that he suspects agents of Iran were responsible. In another case, Dennis noted that the American commander of the U.S.S. Vincennes had his automobile firebombed in California. His wife escaped with minor cuts and burns.

Remember that this is the captain of the Navy ship which accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger jet in 1989. Which raises the question as to whether Iran brought down TWA 800 as additional retaliation for that tragic mistake. These are questions that have to be answered, not suppressed, by the media.

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