Flight 800 didn’t crash “like a missile”

July 16, 2017 – Tom Stalcup

TWA 800 on fire “may have looked like a missile attacking an aircraft”, proclaimed the CIA in a nationally televised video played during an FBI press conference. But TWA 800 attacked nothing. Witnesses said a missile intercepted it.

CIA Video

Still from from the CIA animation of TWA Flight 800, released on November 18th, 1997.

At least twenty-one witnesses (one in a Black Hawk helicopter) saw two distinct objects, one being TWA 800. The other had a missile-like origin (“the Atlantic ocean”), a missile-like speed (“very fast”), and a missile-like ending (“an explosion”). Some said it “struck” or “impacted” the jetliner, which was flying 2.6 miles up.  Nothing like the CIA video.

witness73snippet

Snippet from witness 73’s (name redacted) FBI Interview summary.


Watch the Trailer for TWA Flight 800

Full documentary now at Amazon (DVDs and Streaming)


After watching the video, I called some witnesses and asked what they thought. “Yeah right, [TWA 800] coming off the water”. Long Islander Paul Runyan said the first object rose up from the surface “like a rising flare”.  Darrel Miron said the CIA video was a “total fabrication”. He said a rising light went nearly straight up from the ocean and ended in a huge “star-burst”. After learning the event was nine miles away, Miron estimated the burst reached a mile in diameter. As a graphics artist, he offered to draft the sequence on his computer.  His FBI interviewers wanted “no part of that”.

The US news media never challenged the CIA video, subtitled “What Did The Eyewitnesses See?”. It was just like their failure to call out the CIA’s story that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. (Note the common denominator here). Veteran news anchor Dan Rather admitted to being one of many “stenographers” during that dark period for US journalism. A few weeks after the CIA’s eyewitness video, the National Transportation Safety Board suddenly banned actual eyewitnesses, who could have cleared things up, from their only fact finding hearing.

Dan Rather and the rest got to practice their stenography.

With all significant news rooms at bay, the Safety Board’s Orwellian hearing was a success. Witness Group Chairman Norm Weimeyer, who determined that more than 90% of the relevant witnesses saw an object rise from the surface, was sidelined. He was ultimately replaced by a newbie who, according to then Acting CIA Director George Tenet, “worked closely” with the CIA for sixteen months. A young Dr. David Mayer distorted the eyewitness evidence at the second and final hearing to resemble the CIA video, which we’d learn years later from internal CIA memos drafted before its release, “couldn’t possible” (sic) be correct.

Investigators found missile explosives and high-speed fractures in the wreckage.  FAA radar tracking and debris field data matched eyewitness descriptions of a high-velocity event in midair.  And in 2013, six whistle-blowers from the Safety Board’s investigation, then safely retired, detailed a cover-up. The documentary featuring these whistle-blowers and the above evidence, which in full disclosure I co-created, made the news.

A few shows like NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, Megyn Kelly’s program, Democracy Now, and Sean Hannity’s radio show got it. But that wasn’t enough. News rooms at the New York Times and Washington Post remained conspicuously silent, though each paper of record told me privately they hadn’t the expertise to report on it, which I find hard to believe.  CNN’s Jake Tapper let a PR representative who had no business managing the Safety Board misrepresent a whistle-blower and myself by name. The rep then told a convoluted story about how most witnesses heard a sound first and thus couldn’t have seen a missile. The truth is hardly anyone who saw a rising object heard a sound first. The guy was just brazenly dishonest, and why not? With Tapper and the rest transcribing, he could have said anything.


Here is Jake Tapper’s offending broadcast, with our corrections:

If you have a twitter account and feel motivated, re-tweet this request to Jake Tapper and others to #OwnUp.