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The date was July 17 1997.
TWA flight 800 on route from New York's JFK airport to Paris.
Went down off the coast of Long Island just after 8 PM eastern time killing all 230 people on board.
Here's how the event's first unfolded.
-- -- Big -- number -- ballpark it private probably combined revenue reported explosion that correct them I.
Well prepared I have ever -- hardball good out of the wallet thank you very much certainty.
WA 800 -- that I did.
-- -- -- that I didn't.
-- -- -- -- -- -- The US Coast Guard tonight is reporting an explosion.
About ten miles south of Long Island 747 to go on its way to -- from JFK in New York we now have at -- TWA flight 808 commercials 747.
Carrying 212 passengers a crew of seventeen.
About ten miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.
July 17 nineteen and six the official explanation.
Concluded that a gas tank explosion caused by an electrical short circuit.
Brought that aircraft down.
But today a half dozen self described whistle blowers who took part in the investigation.
Are challenging that explanation.
One saying he was convinced this plane had been damaged by a quote high explosion.
So he asked the FBI to test out a sample from the plane.
Now listen as he describes what happened next.
Slob this piece and -- -- -- and so they did.
And sure enough that tested positive which I was sure it would do positive for residue of the -- explosions.
So they picked up the phone and called somebody in ninety seconds.
-- FBI agents ran in the room and their coats and ties and physically pushed me aside and would not be here the conversation and they turned to me and said the -- -- frequent.
-- -- -- -- -- have been investigating the claims he is here with me now.
And what a day it is -- and what a documentary.
This is having seen it myself with errors.
Later this month yeah but they have got 66.
Self described whistle blowers who say.
We were not told the truth about what brought this airplane down.
It was very compelling the documentary is very compelling and the witnesses are compelling.
And the filmmakers won't say why they think the government would cover -- the truth about TWA flight 800 but the documentary says the evidence conclusively shows.
There was an external explosion that something likely a missile.
Blew up outside the plane causing it to break up soon after take off from JFK and plunge into the Atlantic.
Dozens of witnesses reported seeing a smoke trail ascending into this guy.
Before the 747 erupted in a fireball in summer featured heavily in the film saying.
The official version of events does not match what they saw and former investigators including members of the go team who spent four years on the case.
Say -- believe evidence was manipulated and the results flawed.
Investigators and I have come together and agree that this was an external -- -- that caused the crash.
Now that's as far as I'm willing to go.
And I believe that.
Adequately explains the radar evidence the physical evidence and the eyewitness evidence something the official investigation has yet to do.
Yesterday I spoke exclusively -- Jim cops -- who was head of the FBI's New York office at the time of the crash and headed the criminal investigation now he tells me.
The documentaries claims are nonsensical.
He says the agency was first to investigate the possibility of a missile strike and spared no expense over sixteen months searching for proof.
But found there was no criminal act no -- no missile.
But we got a full court press for months and months and months on that theory but the reality was there's no.
Of a missile hitting the plane you know outside the plane inside the plane penetrating the plane concussion from a missile there's no evidence of it.
You know there -- theories that this could have been naval exercise gone wrong and -- from tells me they investigated every possible military asset in that region he said the -- ship.
The USS Normandy was way out of range of its missiles but they still interviewed.
Every sailor on board.
And the idea that you could keep 500 sailors quiet he says is -- Pop stress he ate it for a great job getting him because the documentary.
Filmmakers could not get him he did not -- for an interview with them.
But but he was head of the FBI team that was that was looking into this it's the NTSB guys for the most part -- are saying.
This stinks and that they claim the reason there's no evidence of a missile strike.
Is because the FBI team and others were manipulating the evidence to make it look like there wasn't one -- when in fact there had been.
And they -- very compelling argument that might have happened.
And -- -- from says that's ridiculous.
They went there with the assumption that it was a missile strike they were trying to did find the evidence to conclude that it was some sort of terror attack we were on high alert back in 1996.
They were just suspicious of this event.
He says they have no agenda there agendas to tell true.
Well that's why that SA diving in defense of the whistle blowers that's what they're going to say it rendering -- in a cover up and the and the whistle -- point to this CIA.
-- animation animation thank you of what they put out to the public saying this is this is how it happened the -- the nose of the plane broke off and then the remainder of the plane continued to us and and it was that that that that the witnesses so many 200 witnesses described going up into the air and not a missile not -- -- it was the remainder of the plane.
These other was a -- saying.
That is ridiculous the plane would not -- continue to ascend after the nose broke off.
Right and they say it defies the laws of physics and that's one of the reasons why they're presenting their findings to the NTSB they have this petition for reconsideration which was presented today.
And harassing NTSB to reopen the case to reopen the investigation which.
They're going to do the and his -- it says it's going to review this evidence and if there's new evidence or some proof that their conclusion was.
-- that they'll present that to the full board vote on it and possibly bring it all up again if it's new that's the -- that is the key Rick Leventhal thank you great job you.
Again in the days following the crash of TWA flight 800 hundreds of eyewitnesses were questioned.
According to reports nearly 100 of them describe seeing a streak of light move from the earth.
Leading to an explosion other words in which had an upward trajectory which seemed to suggest.
A missile may have -- this play.
CIA weapons analysts looked into it and here is that animation -- I were just discussing.
Just after the aircraft exploded.
It -- up abruptly.
And -- several thousand feet from thirteen 1800 feet to about 171000.
Those who said they saw something -- and culminate in an explosion probably so the burning aircraft a sand and erupt into a fire people.
Not a missile.
The NTSB has called that a cartoon the guys who know about -- said anybody who knows about planes would understand that a plane would not do that.
If the front nose of the aircraft came off.
We are not done digging on this.
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