I can’t believe it’s been 17 years since TWA flight 800 crashed off the coast of New York’s Long Island. I know exactly where I was, and I remember thinking that it must have been terrorism almost immediately. Slowly, as the investigation moved forward, it was discovered through the evidence gathered that there was an explosion in the center fuel tank of the plane. Two hundred and thirty people died in that accident.
In the years since, there have been numerous conspiracy theories on what happened. Some say that it really was a terrorist bomb onboard that went off, but, because of the proximity of the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta, the authorities kept quiet about it. Other say that there was a missile that took down the plane. Whatever the theory, the evidence gathered by aviation and forensics experts all points to an explosion in the fuel tank. End of story, right?
Well, not quite. As it turns out, there is a documentary (surprise!) asking that the investigation into the crash be reopened:
“In the film, former investigators Hank Hughes from the NTSB, Bob Young from TWA and Jim Speer from the Air Line Pilots Association call on NTSB to reopen the investigation because of suspicions that missiles sparked the explosion.
Speer, a former Air Force pilot, said Wednesday an initial test found explosive residue on a part of the right wing, which was retested without him present and the first result declared a false positive. He also found holes in the piece that he said indicated an explosion outside the plane.
Hughes said Wednesday that information about physical evidence from the crash was “manipulated” and is “a cause for grave concern.””
Wait. Now, 17 years later, they’re coming forward? They didn’t raise a stink 17 years ago, when the investigation and all the forensic evidence was available? Seriously, WTF?
And you want us to believe that everyone else that worked in the investigation has kept it quiet? And, if it was a missile, everyone on that ship that allegedly fired the missile has kept quiet about it? And the people at the airport, the ones looking at all the radar screens, they would have seen the missile hit the plane on radar, have they been keeping quiet all this time?
See, that is the thing about conspiracy theories. Somehow, in the mind of the theorist, everyone is in on it. We’re all “sheeple,” except for the conspiracy theorist and his/her followers. They know the truth. They know what’s really going on and who is really in charge. The rest of us just go and believe what we’re told. Well, not quite. We go and believe what sounds reasonable and is backed up by facts and expert opinion.
There was a time when more than a few people believed the Wakefield fraud because he and his colleagues laid it out so well in their case series. There were biopsies, lab tests, and patient histories. But then the scientists tried to replicate the findings and couldn’t. And then Brian Deer dug deep into the whole thing and uncovered the fraud. We weren’t all in on it. I don’t even know Brian Deere personally.
Why the media continue to try to give conspiracy theorists time in the name of “balance” is beyond me.
“Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom, who headed the criminal investigation into the crash, told CNN that the new accusations hurt the families of the victims.
“I think it’s preposterous,” he told CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. “You know, if they felt that way back then, they could have come to me.””
Yeah, let’s put the families through all that again because someone wants to sell a documentary, and someone else has an axe to grind.