This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

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.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs