Why the TWA Flight 800 Conspiracy Theorists Are Wrong
John Goglia served two terms, from 1995 to 2004, on the NTSB's five- member board. At first, Goglia said, he thought about what would happen if the crash were found to have resulted from some sort of equipment failure. "I knew it could be the demise of TWA," Goglia said. "I wanted to be sure the report was accurate and I was hoping to be able to prove that it was not something under TWA's control. But one by one, we eliminated all of the other possibilities (besides a center wing tank short circuit). That's one of the reasons why it took so long. We didn't discount anything."
In its investigation, the NTSB sought help from the U.S. Navy research station at China Lake, Calif. "We went to the missile experts at China Lake and asked them to explore any possibility as to what would it look like if a missile hit the plane or blew up outside the plane," said Peter Goelz, the NTSB's managing director from 1995 to 2001. "They set off missiles near an airplane skin, then examined the airplane skin, and then we examined every hole we had in the plane. There was nothing that looked similar."
According to the NTSB report, "No area of structure in the reconstructed portion of the airplane contained any unexplained holes large enough to represent the entry point of a missile (and), the victims' remains showed no evidence of injuries that could have been caused by high-energy explosives, nor was there any damage to the airplane seats and other interior components consistent with a high-energy explosion."
The doubters include Hank Hughes, a former senior accident investigator for the NTSB. who laid out the matrix for the reconstruction of the aircraft interior in one of four hangars devoted to reconstructing sections of the aircraft. Previously, Hughes worked directly for Goglia. The two men do not criticize one another. But Hughes believes the investigation was flawed.In an interview, Hughes said the center fuel tank contained only about an inch of fuel when the explosion occurred, and "no system in the plane could have produced enough heat in the wires for that pump to get to a flash point." So what caused the explosion? The documentary film claims that three missiles exploded in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft.
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