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I posted this five days ago, but am reposting it here because tonight we’re going to be talking about the TWA 800 cover up with Jack Cashill, author of First Strike, (and the man Rush Limbaugh mentioned on his show today when talking about Bill Ayers as the author of Obama’s supposed “autobiography”).
Join us this evening at 9 ET for what will be a most interesting conversation.  Clinton cover up?  You betcha!

Listen LIVE or LATER — (but live is better!)

During an email conversation with one of my radio show listeners — retired airline pilot JetDriver2  — the topic of the DC-10 aircraft came up then quickly shifted over to TWA 800 and its mysterious plunge from the sky over Long Island.  The conversation went from there. With his permission I have reprinted it here.


TWA was acquired by American two months after my retirement in Nov 2000. We never recovered from the July 1996 shoot-down of TWA 800 described by Jack Cashill in his book “First Strike”. This was a massive cover-up (for which I have personal evidence) ordered by Bill Clinton, who also ordered the assassination of Ron Brown described in another Cashill book “Ron Brown’s Body” which I recently read.

Yes TWA 800 was absolutely shot down. The FAA knows it and the FBI knows it. There was explosive residue on the seat cushions and a hole in the reconstructed fuselage. Many pieces of the wreckage were confiscated by the FBI and never seen again, including pieces identified by TWA volunteers working in the hangar at Calverton as showing missile damage.

There is no way that jet fuel fumes in an empty center fuel tank could have blown up that plane. Jet fuel is not volatile and is very difficult to ignite, nor was there enough energy in the residual fuel in the center tank to produce an explosion of that magnitude. There is testimony on this point by scientists.

There is an audiotape of an ANG helicopter pilot who was a former Navy Search and Rescue pilot in Vietnam, and who is also an attorney on Long Island. He was shooting a practice approach in the direction of the TWA 800 explosion. He testified that he saw the missile trail and he saw the explosion – it was an ordnance explosion, not a fuel explosion. This guy is familiar with anti-aircraft missiles and with military ordnance.

Shortly after the crash I had a co-pilot who was in the AF Reserve at McGuire AFB in NJ. He told me he was on Reserve duty the weekend following the crash. One of his colleagues who was an FAA inspector told him that it was a missile, and that the FAA had radar tapes clearly showing that. (These radar tapes disappeared, and audiotapes from the TWA flight recorder were tampered with.) In addition, FBI SAIC James Kallstrom stated in a TV interview that it was a missile

Several weeks later, after Clinton had shut down the criminal investigation and turned the accident investigation over to mechanical failure issues, this USAFR pilot encountered the FAA colleague again at McGuire and asked him what’s up with the investigation and the rejection of the missile theory in Kallstrom’s public statements. The FAA guy became very agitated and denied that he had ever said anything about a missile.

About six months later, I had a co-pilot who had been director of 747 flight engineer training at the time of the accident. He had been called in for a deposition concerning 747 F/E training procedures in connection with lawsuits from families of passengers who were killed (the fuel tank explosion theory rested on a hypothesis that the flight engineer had turned on the pumps in the empty center fuel tank to clear out residual fuel, and that action had initiated the sequence of events that resulted in a fuel tank explosion). When he met with the TWA lawyers to prepare for the deposition, they told him in these words as he related them to me:

“Just answer the questions they ask as carefully and accurately as possible. Don’t be concerned about the focus on mechanical failure or crew procedures. We know it was a missile, and their lawyers know it was a missile. This is just something that must be ruled out.”

This copilot told me that nobody in TWA flight operations senior management believed it was anything other than a missile. TWA was one of the first operators of the B-747, and the aircraft were very well maintained and reliable.

The NTSB and the FAA inspected TWA’s entire 747 fleet and they could find no example of a “frayed electrical connection to a center tank fuel pump producing a short which ignited the fuel fumes” in accordance with the fuel explosion theory.

Bill Clinton is thus responsible for another huge lie which destroyed TWA and left the families of the victims without the truth about what caused the deaths of their loved ones. Of course, the press was led around by the nose to conform to whatever Clinton wanted them to publish. However, Jim Kallstrom’s willingness to go along with this fraud is unforgivable.

As to the DC-10, TWA did not have DC-10s, but we had the L-1011. It was a beautiful airplane and, in my experience, a dream to fly. I do not believe that a 1011 was ever lost due to mechanical failure. Eastern lost one in the Everglades due to pilot error, and Delta lost one in Dallas due to a wind shear that exceeded the capability of the aircraft to recover by the time the pilot reacted with max power. Later procedure changes required application of max power immediately upon sensing wind shear, and both aircraft and tower wind shear sensors were installed.

Wind shear is an abrupt change in wind velocity and/or wind direction at low altitude in the vicinity of an airport. It is usually associated with cold front passage or thunderstorm activity near the airport, which was the case in the Delta accident at DFW.

It can also be caused by strong winds flowing over mountainous terrain features, which can occur at airports like Palm Springs, CA or Kodiak, AK.

A decreasing wind shear can cause a sudden loss of airflow over the wing, drastically reducing the lift produced by the wing. An increasing wind shear can increase airflow over the wing sufficiently that the pilot is required to reduce power to maintain the desired airspeed and vertical approach path while in the landing configuration. This can quickly become a decreasing wind shear with low power and high drag – a very dangerous combination. The introduction of wind shear detection systems, both in the cockpit and at the airport control tower using sensors placed around the perimeter of the airport, have virtually eliminated wind shear accidents.

Pilot wind shear training was significantly improved after this accident, and every pilot on every aircraft type was required to demonstrate the ability to react to and survive a “Delta wind shear” reproduced in the simulator.


One thing finally killed both the DC-10 and the L1011 – these airplanes were designed for long-haul overwater operations on routes which could not support a 747, before two-engine overwater operations were allowed. Boeing initially designed the 767 with a three- pilot crew while the crew complement battle was going on with the Air Line Pilots Association. Pilots believed that three pilots were needed in all large jet aircraft for safety of flight and pilot workload reasons.

After ALPA lost that battle, the flight engineer station was removed from the 767 design and all controls were made accessible for two pilot operation. Then Boeing and TWA, working together with the FAA, established a protocol for Extended Range Twin Engine Operations (ETOPS). It required demonstration and continuous documentation of a significantly higher level of engine reliability, as well as certain other mechanical modifications to the airplane, including installation of an air driven electrical generator (Ram Air Turbine or RAT) deployable in an emergency. ETOPS also required the availability of designated ETOPS alternate airports along the route with acceptable weather conditions during the flight.

Once TWA’s ETOPS program was approved, allowing long-haul overwater operations with 2-man/2 engine aircraft, other airlines followed suit and the L-1011 and the DC-10 were immediately obsolete.


One other problem took TWA’s L-1011s out of service prematurely. Food preparation took place in a forward lower galley, and fluids from the upper galleys also drained down into the lower galley and collected in the bilges of the aircraft. These fluids caused extensive corrosion which extended into the main wing spar which passed through that area. As I recall, the cost of replacing the wing spar was around $10 million per aircraft. So when wing spar corrosion became an issue in a particular aircraft, that aircraft was grounded and permanently taken out of service.

The DC-10’s reputation was not fatally damaged by the AA Flight 191 Chicago accident on May 25, 1979 in which an engine dropped off the wing. This was caused by damage to the engine strut during maintenance at AA’s facility in Tulsa, so the DC-10 fleet was not really hurt by this accident. What hurt the DC-10 was the Sioux City UAL accident (UAL Flight 232, July 19, 1989) in which an uncontained failure of the center engine caused the loss of all three hydraulic systems due to placement of critical components of all three hydraulic systems in the tail area of the aircraft. This could not happen in an L-1011.

UAL Capt. Alfred Haynes

UAL Captain Alfred C. Haynes and a DC-10 check pilot who happened to be on board by the name of Captain Dennis E. Fitch, working together with no flight controls and only manipulation of the throttles on the wing engines as directed by Captain Haynes, managed to get that aircraft on the ground without a total loss of life. This was an incredible feat of airmanship which very few pilots were able to duplicate successfully in a simulator.

At one time I was one of five Executive Vice-Presidents of ALPA. I was present at an ALPA Board of Directors meeting  in Miami when Captain Haynes was awarded the annual ALPA air safety award for 1989. He was a very humble guy and an excellent pilot, much like Captain Sully. Some pilots just seem to be born with flying ability, and in my experience, most airline pilots I flew with were outstanding pilots. (I am sorry to say there were a few exceptions.)

Like Captain Sullenberger, airline pilots seem to be able to rise to the occasion and accomplish amazing feats of airmanship when needed.

I could tell you several stories about similar feats by TWA pilots, including a story about a fully loaded B767 taking off at night from Tel Aviv non-stop to JFK when the right engine ingested a flock of birds and exploded just before lift-off.

In this situation, the airplane cannot be safely stopped on the remaining runway and the pilot must continue the take-off on one engine. (We often practiced this in the simulator for the B-767, taking off on runway 31L at JFK. The rate of climb with one engine out at max gross take-off weight –MTOW- was very low. Turns were not permitted until reaching 1000 feet above the surface, but this particular runway pointed directly at the World Trade Center. Not having enough altitude to clear the buildings, we were forced to turn to avoid them, thus sacrificing our rate of climb.

The captain of that aircraft struggled to gain altitude on one engine while trying to get the gear and flaps retracted, flew out over the Mediterranean to get turned around, then came back and landed downwind, way over max landing weight. They destroyed the landing gear and wheels getting stopped, but that crew saved the aircraft and all the passengers. I just hope I could have done as well.

I knew a number of USAir pilots in my work at ALPA. I remember when they were Mohawk and Allegheny, and the huge fight over the merger of the pilot seniority lists. They had a reputation as an ornery bunch, but they were survivors.

By the way – Jack Cashill did a follow-up story on TWA 800 two years ago. He still feels that the truth needs to be exposed on this cover-up. Perhaps you could devote a program to this story with Jack Cashill.


If you are interested in TWA 800, go to this site:

http://raylahr.entryhost.com/multimedia.php then go to “Expert Eyewitnesses” at the top and click on “Major Fred Meyer (ret)” for the clip of Fritz Meyer’s description of his view of the explosion from the cockpit of his ANG helicopter.

The ANG helicopter pilot referred to above, Major Fred “Fritz” Meyer, provided statements to NTSB investigators concerning his observations of the explosion and crash of TWA 800 in the waters off the southern shore of Long Island in the evening of July 17, 1996. After witnessing a huge fireball “four times the size of the setting sun” settle into the Atlantic Ocean just south of his position on approach to the Suffolk Airport, Major Meyer and his co-pilot, Captain Chris Baur proceeded to the crash site in their Blackhawk helicopter. They found floating debris from the giant 747 and many bodies in the water, but no survivors. A talk given by Major Meyer describing these events was recorded and may be found at this site:http://raylahr.entryhost.com/multimedia.php

Following is a direct link to the recording:   http://raylahr.entryhost.com/Videos/web/MajorFredMeyer.html

After listening to Major Fritz Meyer’s description of the downing of TWA 800, you will have no doubt that a B-747 carrying 230 innocent passengers and crew on their way to Paris, France was taken down by a missile fired from the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Who fired this missile and why they did this is one of the enduring mysteries of modern aviation.

As with Pan Am Flight 103, the loss of a Boeing 747 (in the Pan Am case a loss triggered by a bomb in the luggage compartment which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988) resulted in the demise of a major airline with a long and storied history.

TWA was formed from the merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express in 1930 and formally named Transcontinental and Western Air or TWA. Its name was officially changed to Trans World Airlines following extensive trans-Atlantic military service during World War II. TWA played an important role in the development of the commercial aviation industry in the United States.

TWA undertook the original efforts to create a true cabin class airliner (for which the Ford Tri-Motor, predecessor of the DC-2/DC-3 barely qualified), approaching Donald Douglas with a proposal for what became the DC-1. The one and only DC-1 specimen was delivered to TWA in December 1933. In May 1934 the first DC-2, an improved version of the DC-1 and forerunner of the DC-3, was delivered to TWA. DC-3s entered the fleet shortly thereafter. DC-3s flying over the “Hump” prevented the complete loss of China to Japanese forces in World War II. Truly, WWII could not have been won without the logistics capability provided by the DC-3.

TWA conducted the early research that led to the first pressurized high-altitude passenger aircraft, beginning with the Boeing 307. TWA also pioneered early efforts to develop instrument flying techniques, allowing pilots to fly through the weather without any visual references outside the cockpit. TWA also pioneered in-flight meal service, and logo lights on the vertical tail of the aircraft.

TWA pilot training was considered a world standard, and TWA assisted in the establishment of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and after the war, the German national airline Lufthansa Airlines. Airlines from around the world sent their pilots to TWA for training.

Those who worked for and flew for TWA were stunned by what happened to TWA Flight 800 on that beautiful summer evening in 1996. We sensed that this could be fatal for TWA, but we believed that our government would spare no effort to find the truth of what happened to TWA Flight 800 and hold those responsible accountable. Unfortunately, the evidence indicates that our government betrayed TWA and its employees, and failed to fulfill its duty to the aviation industry and to the American people.

Whether this was in fact a terrorist attack, as some believe, or a horrible mistake by our navy or a friendly navy, is not yet known.

TWA 800 is an open wound that remains untreated. There is much that has happened in our country about which the truth has been covered up. The cover-up of the loss of TWA 800 has continued now for fifteen years. Perhaps now is the time that the truth about what caused the loss of TWA 800 can finally be discovered and its victims can be properly remembered as victims not of shoddy workmanship by some TWA employees, but as victims of something much more serious – something for which those responsible can be held accountable.

More here: TWA Silver Wings

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