Talk:TWA Flight 800

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Where are the wings?[edit]

There are numerous pictures of the wings being recovered from the ocean during the recovery mission. Has anyone been able to track down where the wings are being stored? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Ideas for improving the article[edit]

(Previous Talk was getting long so I archived it...)

The article is getting too long, and yet there is still much that is missing and needs to be added. Existing sections need to be pared down a bit; this is especially true for the technical sections.

Things are getting a bit disordered, so while the article generally follows chronological order a lot of the analysis done much later got put in the earlier sections. I think its best to first set the table, then eat the food.

We need to have a section on the unique situation of a "parallel" investigation involving the NTSB and FBI, of background, tensions, political aspects to it. The NTSB didn't air their dirty laundry, so we have to find other reliable sources. Another editor mentioned a book on the previous Talk page that sounds good. Its a VERY important issue with this crash. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 01:13, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

12-hour or 24-hour clock[edit]

WP:MOSTIME doesn't specify this, but I think its common sense that one format or the other needs to be mantained throughout the article when discussing the timing of events around the crash. Currently we have a 24-hour clock in the Lede, and the next paragraph reverts to the 12-hour clock, and switches back to 24-hour Lipsticked Pig (talk) 01:37, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Gray article[edit]

I removed this from the accident flight section, concerns more the events after the crash. Also I don't see it as a reliable source that "Crash Central" was in fact the common name for the Ramada Inn; if you read the article it is not clear at all who coined/used that phrase. Nonetheless an interesting article and am leaving the reference here so it can be integrated into the article later. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 22:57, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Family members of Flight 800 victims, investigators, media members, and TWA employees gathered at the Ramada Inn at JFK Airport, whereupon the hotel became known as "Crash Central".[1]

  • Lipsticked: The Houston Press is a reliable source, so we should take the "Crash Central" name at face value. Also events after the crash are very much relevant to the article. Why not leave the information in the article? Then see if someone can figure out a better way to organize it. WhisperToMe (talk) 23:17, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Houston Press is a reliable source, but sourcing from the article "After the Crash" that "Crash Central" was the commonly used phrase for the Ramada Inn I don't think is correct. What the article said was:
"The Ramada Inn at JFK was "Crash Central," the gathering place for the 230 victims' families as well as investigators, the TWA "go team," and the media."
That's very different than the edit that stated:
"whereupon the hotel became known as "Crash Central"
I don't see from the context of the original sentence whether that was just Lisa Gray's name for the Ramada Inn or used by many others Lipsticked Pig (talk) 02:25, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, moved the Ramada Inn stuff back to the Wreckage Recovery section since the events described in it were happening then. Changed "victims" to "passengers and crew" since at the time many were holding out hope that their relatives somehow made it (as described in articles). Removed reference to investigators, since that conflicts with information above it (where the Calverton hanger is described as the "command and control center for the investigation") Lipsticked Pig (talk) 04:09, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Nationalities infoboxes make me cry[edit]

They are so fn retarded, look at this article and Korean Air Lines Flight 007...the flags for the sake of having flags result in a minimal amount of infomation being conveyed with an incredible waste of space. At least they get collapsed in some articles. But as much as I hate them, they do seem to be convention, so how about this: resize it if possible, and put it to the side of the accident flight section? Lipsticked Pig (talk) 23:07, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I give up, I couldn't find out how to both align the table left or right and also have text next to it. Also, making it collapsible looked like crap too. I changed the font to be smaller, which I think looks better. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 02:59, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Style="float:right" seemed to do the trick for Korean Air Lines Flight 007. Doesn't work here because of all the other stuff on the right-hand margin. I agree with your sentiments, nationality infoboxes are like a macabre inverted version of an Olympic medal table - ugh. You've done a good job tidying-up here. (talk) 23:54, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
What happened to the Nationalities Infobox? And003 (talk) 04:32, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
It was deleted 19 February 2013. The table had existed for years with a citation-needed tag and was deleted as no reliable source was found. --Marc Kupper|talk 16:18, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Ok, but now it's back and its content doesn't match the 2nd paragraph of the section. One or the other is necessarily wrong. (talk) 20:10, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I was bold and removed it. Its contradicted the second paragraph which is referenced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Eastwind Airlines ATC recording[edit]

Added this because I think the audio file complements the associated text, plus the pilot's decription (the "landing light") ends up being important later (evidence of the NTSB's theory, or a missile strike, depending on your point of view) Lipsticked Pig (talk) 09:49, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Wreckage recovery section trim[edit]

I cut almost half this section, and I think its a lot better for it:

  • 1. The NAVSEA cite was dead (and not only that, the link was an executable that you were supposed to run, WTF?)
  • 2. Saying that "Numerous recovery divers required hyperbaric oxygen treatments for decompression sickness" doesn't seem to me to be relevant or notable. Recovery dives were occuring at depths of more than 100 feet, and of 752, 10 required hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Doesn't seem unusual or notable at all. You certainly can't show that from the provided link. That is not to say the dives were not dangerous, and the effort made by the recovery teams was commendable (it most certainly was). Its just that saying that sometimes they required oxygen treatment after diving is non-notable trivia for purposes of this article.
  • 3. Cut off all that stuff immediately after: "As the wreckage recovery progressed, three main debris fields emerged. The yellow zone, red zone, and green zone contained wreckage from front, center and rear sections of the airplane, respectively" ...because naming all the numbered fuselage stations, beam sections, etc. is just repeating the above in technical jargon. The two sentences and the graphics are all that is needed.
  • 4. Cut off the stuff about burn and soot analysis of the recovery wreckage, which all will be moved to the the analysis section. (This is the "Wreckage Recovery" section, which deals with the initial recovery efforts, what/how they recovered, where, etc.)
  • 5. Removed analysis of possibility of explosive detonation, which already in the article in the analysis section. This was one of many edits by an editor who insisted at every mention of the possibility of an high-explosive event to insert disclaimers, resulting in needless repetition of text.
  • 6. Moved the final wreckage location information to Aftermath section Lipsticked Pig (talk) 03:33, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Tail Registration Nos and the Crash Infobox[edit]

The crash infoboxes make an external link of the a/c registration number, which just goes to an ASN crash info page, NOT a page which gives the history for that airframe. I've unlinked the reg number. If you can link it to an appropriate page please do so, but please don't just relink it back to ASN. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 03:54, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Here is a page that could be used if you wanted to link the tail no. in the infobox to an outside page: Lipsticked Pig (talk) 23:37, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Whack-a-mole Peter Lance[edit]

What is what I believe to be essentially a plug for the Peter Lance conspiracy book keeps getting inserted into the article after being taken out. You can see the Peter Lance page itself is an (admitted - see edit history) WP:COI product. TWA Flight 800 alternative theories page is the place for TWA 800 alternative theories, and only those which can be sourced properly. John Barry's cargo door theory is most definitely NOT one of those; the sources are just self-published, and besides, the cargo door was found intact, with the latched attached/locked Lipsticked Pig (talk) 04:17, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Another major trim[edit]

Dumped the whole CVR/FDR analysis section; the stuff about the transient noise analysis was easily summarized as "In addition, a noise recorded on the last few tenths of a second of the CVR was analyzed and found to be similar to the last noises recorded on other airplanes that had experienced in-flight breakups" (that quote almost verbatim from the Final Report). The interference on the Captain's CVR channel and fuel flow indicator comment can go in the FQS wiring section, again, probably summarized in one sentence or two. The incredibily long and boring sequencing section was cut entirely; the paragraph at the start of the "Fuel/air explosion in the center wing fuel tank (CWT) section" can probably be expanded to twice its current size and sum up all that was in the deleted section adequately, especially since we have the NTSB sequencing video to illustrate their findings. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 06:21, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Images in galleries[edit]

Some of those are crappy quality screenshots from the Final Report .pdf document. I'll try to find better originals to upload, especially the radar data (I would like readers to be able to click on those and view in detail). Lipsticked Pig (talk) 01:54, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Reworked Lede[edit]

Tried to fix some of the clunky wording, got rid of the unsourced (and technically untrue when you consider the 9/11 attacks) factoid about death toll ranking (can maybe be reinserted into the article main, the lede is not the place for it),

Reconsideration: actually, it probably is, but I reinserted into accident flight which works too, change it to the lede if you feel strongly that's better.

changed the summary of probable cause (instead of "faulty wiring" I made it "short circuit", my argument being faulty wiring does not, by itself, initiate explosions, a short circuit does),

Reconsideration: Originally the verbatim Probable cause was in there, and an editor replaced it with a, er, summary, which I can see the logic behind. The tricky part is how to accurately summarize it, I don't know if I've done the best job.

and added a bit about legacy, which I hope to expand in the aftermath section later. Going to fix the cites of the lede now. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 02:58, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Got rid of the EDT/UTC conversion in the lede's 1st sentence; I don't see in WP:MOS where having the UTC equivalent is suggested, and besides, what is important in any crash article in the local time, this has nothing to do with being North American-centric. I put the UTC time/date conversion in the infobox instead, its way to long and clunky for the opening sentence. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 03:30, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Removed seat plan image[edit]

It isn't like other accident reports where the seat map documents who was killed/seriously injured/minor injured/not injured (example: American Airlines Flight 1420). In this case the NTSB didn't even bother to mark which seats were occupied before takeoff since they had every reason to believe people moved to unoccupied seats. So essentially its just a seating map of an empty 747, and not really informative of the crash of TWA 800 at all. I'm concerned that with only 4 paragraphs in that section, 2 pic boxes and the audio clip will generally format badly for most people. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 04:06, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

If we could find better quality images of the charts that are here [[1]] we should consider adding them to the article Lipsticked Pig (talk) 00:16, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Victim's families and the investigation[edit]

Changed the Ramada Inn to be just the gathering place for families (not media), one article used as a cite says media were not allowed inside the hotel, which makes sense (they probably waited outside), so to avoid confusion a dropped it. The stuff about the families being angry and putting pressure on the investigation is well-documented and notable since it did affect the investigation. "Forensic tests" isn't quite the phrase I was looking for, if you look at pg.3 of the cite and read the relevant paragraph you might be able to figure out a way to phrase that better. The thing about Bob Francis backtracking and having to say that victim recovery was the #1 priority, while acknowledging that this would hinder the crash investigation I saw last night, I think it was a Time article. Just can't find it right now but I will find it again and then add the cite to that sentence. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 00:14, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

"Accident" vs. "Crash"[edit]

At first I thought we should stick with "accident", the term that investigators use to describe a crash, even it it had a deliberate cause. However the most common and colloquial term for TWA 800 in the media and arguably overall is "crash". I'd just like whatever term is preferred to be used consistently in the article; currently its a mix of "accident" and "crash". An exception would be any of the direct quotes from the Final Report which use the term "accident flight", accident airplane", etc. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 23:34, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

"Accident," please. Use "crash" sparingly, for emphasis. Binksternet (talk) 23:38, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
OK then, I'll use "accident" and assume that is crash article convention. Will redo accordingly, "crash" will still be used occasionally for emphasis and prose. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 00:15, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Article Cleanup To-Do list[edit]

1. Add as the 2nd paragraph to the "Analysis of reported witness observations" section which BRIEFLY sums up the Sequencing Group's analysis of the post-accident, pre-breakup crippled flight sequence (and do NOT use the term "z**m climb", that's a straw man argument putting words into the NTSB's mouth). That will then lead into the 3rd paragraph logically.

2. Trim the "Fuel/air explosion in the center wing fuel tank" subsection

3. Trim the "Fuel quantity indication system" subsection

Conflicting interests subsection[edit]

This subsection will (briefly) discuss tensions/confusion between the NTSB and FBI as well as the families during the investigation. Some good sourcing can be found here: Lipsticked Pig (talk) 05:46, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

'Notable passengers' section should be deleted[edit]

The implication is that their deaths are more important than the other passengers' deaths. Sorry but that is how it seems. Please delete, or name all of them. This article is about the crash not the passengers. Furthermore I have never even heard of most of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:58, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

It's very subjective, and I had deleted many of those entries prevously as being non-notable. Other editors proved me wrong by creating articles for them that showed their notability. Still I say, FOR THE FIFTH TIME, being the wife or daughter of a famous musician does not make you "notable". I myself think that having the section isn't necessary (exceptions would be VERY notable people, like a congressman on KAL 007, etc.), however its the convention for these crash articles right now, so.... In any case, having it as a list is craptastic, so I would like to change that at some future date. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 20:53, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Any person that's in the notable passengers section must satisfy WP:BIO or WP:BLP. If they do not, then they do not meet Wikipedia's definition of notability. This removes the subjective nature of the listing. Mkdwtalk 18:13, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that listing of certain individuals and their notability or lack thereof is open to interpretation. Discussing them here on the talk page is probably a best practice. Having said that, before I noticed this section, I had restored the mention for the French club. The number of people from one town and group was definitely highlighted in the original media coverage and, as seen by the citation, in its followup. — MrDolomite • Talk 19:18, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The point is well taken re: subjectivity of listing 'notables,' including relatives of notables. Nonetheless, since the section remains, I'm asking the author to add: Dalila Lucien, 17-year-old daughter of the late ballardeer Jon Lucien and Ana Marie Shorter, wife of famous jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Thank you. (talk) 01:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)Baka Dade; Source:

Why is, as of 9/15/15, Renee Greene on the list of notable passengers? There is nothing at all in her description that would qualify under Wikipedia's notability requirements. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

CIA article[edit]

Its good stuff and should get integrated into the body of the article (doesn't really belong in lede). It would be great for the article in general to have more sourcing from FBI and others rather than just the NTSB Final Report. The article also has some interesting statements ("witness statements were remarkably consistent") which is directly contradictory of the NTSB. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 20:57, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, that wasn't the only contradiction with the NTSB Final Report. Overall less weight should be given to it than the NTSB witness analysis, BUT, considering how much media coverage the CIA animation received at the time, the background of its creation, how it was constructed, and public reaction to it (along with a screenshot or link to the video) should be added to the article, probably at the start of the "Analysis of reported witness observations" section. Lipsticked Pig (talk) 02:41, 25 March 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gray L (1997). "After the Crash". Houston Press: 3. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 

Confusing picture[edit]

On the top right on the main page is a picture of the supposedly reconstructed TWA 747-131. A Boeing 747-131 only has 3 windows on the right side of the top deck yet in the picture 9 windows are clearly visible on the top deck. Just do a simple google image search of the tail number 'N93119' and those pictures will also confirm the aircraft only has 3 windows on the top deck. So what is this aircraft shown? Well it is either a Boeing 747SP or a 747-200, it has to be a 747SP as TWA never owned a -200? I could be wrong? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Matt7272727272 (talkcontribs) 18:50, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

See this discussion [2]: 6 of the 9 windows on each side were blanked, apparently high-resolution print images (two in the thread - I didn't look) show the outlines. The blanked windows were blown out, along with the glazed windows (probably on impact). Only a few early 747s were made with just three windows on each side, but TWA had some of the early ones and apparently wanted all to look the same. Acroterion (talk) 19:28, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
While the a/c in question only flew in service for TWA, it had at one point been sold to the Goverment of Iran (IIRC) and was subject to some modifications, including the top row of windows. This sale did not go through, and the a/c was returned to service with TWA. These modifications included the number of windows you noted above. It is noted somewhere in the NTSB report. LoveUxoxo (talk) 00:23, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Iranian 747 incident[edit]

I find it odd that nowhere in the article is it mentioned that an identical 747, owned by the Iranian military, also blew up in midair some years prior to TWA 800. In a Pulitzer prize-winning article here, Seattle Times reporter Byron Acohido explains that as a result of the Iranian Air Force disaster, Boeing "took steps" to make 747 fuel tanks safer. Perhaps someone should insert something in the Wiki article to reflect this precedent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

That's some great material from a good source that the article would benefit much from. LoveUxoxo (talk) 09:06, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

#3 Thrust Reverser and VSO shutoff[edit]

I didn't remember this stuff and its kind of interesting but I am not sure its relevant enough for inclusion. The thrust reverser issue is mentioned in passing I think just because it was a branch of the fault tree that had to be examined (ever since Lauda Air Flight 004) and then dismissed. And when I searched for "volumetric shutoff" and "VSO" in the given reference (the Final Report) I didn't see that statement at all (maybe the ref tag got messed up?) so I put a {citation needed} tag (that was my anon edit). Again I'm not sure of the relevance (the VSO wiring is related to/is part of the CWT wiring, I think, but I don't believe it was particularly suspect(?). In comparison, I feel mentioning the disabled ground equipment/baggage mismatch mention in the next paragraph is necessary, since the delay at the gate, which is considered casual to the crash, should be explained. Just one opinion...Cheers! LoveUxoxo (talk) 09:23, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Good points! I agree that according to the final report there is no evidence that the locked-out thrust reverser did contribute to the accident. There are the "alternative theories", and hence detailing the overall technical state of the plane might be (somewhat) relevant. Feel free to cut this out if this makes the section too long, or seems too irrelevant to you. The override on the automatic volumetric shutoff for the fueling system, however, might be more to the point, since the final report concludes that the accident was caused by an explosion of the center wing fuel tank. Hence any anomaly of the fueling system of the plane seems worth mentioning. Thanks for catching the inconsistency with the reference (the VSO discussion might have been in the intermediate report - I'll take a look and will update the reference accordingly). Greetings, Enemenemu (talk) 23:43, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Removed geodata[edit]

I did look briefly at WP:GEO, but am not sure I "got it". Was that geodata added to the article on 08:14, September 25, 2008 by The Anomebot2? Where does The Anomebot2 get those coordinates from and what do they mean (CWT explosion? Nose falling off? The fireball?) The coordinates given as well as what they represent are dubious, no? LoveUxoxo (talk) 05:53, 6 April 2011 (UTC) + If you look at other accident reports you will see geo coordinates; here is an example from the Valuejet Everglades crash report: "The location of the primary impact crater was 25° 55’ north latitude, 80° 35’ west longitude, or approximately 17 miles northwest of MIA." There they give a spot in the map. But this is what I see in the TWA 800 report: "Pieces of the airplane wreckage were discovered floating on and beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean about 8 miles south of East Moriches, New York. The main wreckage was found on the ocean floor, between 40° 37’ 42" and 40° 40’ 12" north latitude and 72° 40’ 48" and 72° 35’ 38" west longitude." That's a big area, it's not a point on the map. I'll look some more at WP:GEO and see if there is a way to put a range in there, otherwise I think we are much better off with nothing rather than some arbitrary location for "where the crash occurred" LoveUxoxo (talk) 18:17, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Lede edits: Rechecked cites and updated, added cite and corrected terminology for NTSB Board meeting/Final report, removed wikilink that seemed unecessary, removed "was the most expensive and exhaustive investigation ever conducted by the board" (uncited and extremely dubious/subjective), added back part of 4th para - not the CIA report stuff which is awesome, and will add back into article body: "CIA Report 14Aug08">{{cite news | author=Tauss, Randolph M.| title= The Crash of TWA Flight 800 | date=August 14, 2008 | url= |accessdate=March 24, 2010 LoveUxoxo (talk) 06:52, 6 April 2011 (UTC) + Added back that quote in the lede that I called "extremely dubious/subjective" (found the cite for it), LOL @ me. Also added from the CIA paper about their sound-propagation analysis to the Witness Analysis section LoveUxoxo (talk) 22:41, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
...removed UTC equivalent of EDT time in lede; the UTC time is listed in the crash infobox and I think the most important thing here is economy of words LoveUxoxo (talk) 07:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Put the geodata back in. "The main wreckage was found on the ocean floor, between 40° 37’ 42" and 40° 40’ 12" north latitude and 72° 40’ 48" and 72° 35’ 38" west longitude", so I found the midpoint in each range (in my head, with some vague recollection of base 60 for minutes/seconds). Since the wreckage was found in an area "about 4 miles long by 3 1/2 miles wide" and WP:OPCOORD told me I got 1.85km precision at the equator with 1 minute of precision I rounded it to 40 39' N, 72 38' W and put that in. Someone check my math. Sure I don't like doing business like this, but at least now there is a reason. What was in there before was less precise because it was "more precise". And believe me, nanotechnology like that Geobot is the doom of us all. It's got airplanes flying into state capitols in other crash articles (not kidding). Thanks for putting up with me. LoveUxoxo (talk) 23:39, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Also I left a cite needed tag on the nationalities list. I'm not challenging it or anything, its probably accurate. But often with dual-nationalities and stuff, you can get different tallies. I looked only briefly for a source for a breakdown of victims by nationality and didn't find. It might be in one of our sources already, I don't remember. Cheers! LoveUxoxo (talk) 23:55, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Flight 800 files[edit]

See: Talk:TWA Flight 800/stuff WhisperToMe (talk) 15:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Aftermath vs. International Memorial sections[edit]

"On July 17, 2008 [almost 12 years after the accident, IOW, in the the Aftermath of the accident] the Secretary of Transportation visited the facility and announced a final rule designed to prevent more accidents..." The rest of the Intermational Memorial section continues on with stuff that should be in the Aftermath section, imho. The Aftermath section is too short. The International Memorial's section would then be stuck with a 1 sentence 2nd paragraph. The SoT just happened to be at the memorial. If positions of the sections were swapped...just a thought...And why would all the stuff presently in the Aftermath not be in the "in the media" section? The internet does not count as "in the media?" Try in the Aftermath section: "In the aftermath of the accident, and its ensuing investigation, the ntsb forced new rules in the following electrical codes associated with airplane gas tanks which were void of flammable liquid but possibly contained flammable vapors......and these rules are:1) 2) 3)" ...just a thought. Due to the subject of the article, ...well, ugly subject's got to be written — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

How many visitors a year does the International Memorial get? Has any notable source criticized/praised the architechure or site of the International Memorial? Does the Memorial charge a fee to visit, if so, where do the proceeds go? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 30 June 2011 (UTC)


Why is there no mention of the students and teachers from Montoursville High School that died in this flight? Erikeltic (Talk) 02:43, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Ah, someone deleted it. Apparently the death of the entire French club from a small town's high school is not notable to some. Erikeltic (Talk) 02:49, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
It's always difficult determining notability of victims. I've before deleted named persons I thought non-notable, only to reconsider. You can look back in the history and see that the wife of Wayne Shorter has been added and deleted countless times (I just looked and she's back in, but I think should not be). I think that mention of the Montoursville High School group is appropriate. LoveUxoxo (talk) 01:21, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

In the Media[edit]

"Nelson Demmille" or Nelson DeMille? Redundancy: twice mentions his 2004 novel. jen (talk) 13:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Ridiculous references[edit]

So, the NTSB changed its filing system, and all the links to the NTSB final report were dead. In changing them, I found 80+ detailed references like this, which I had to change manually one at a time. <ref name="Final Report p.313">{{cite journal | author=National Transportation Safety Board | year=2000 | title=Aircraft Accident Report: In-flight Breakup Over the Atlantic Ocean Trans World Airlines Flight 800 | journal=NTSB/AAR-00/03 Appendixes | pages=p.313 | url= | format=PDF |accessdate=April 5, 2011}}</ref>

Is there any rational reason that the reference couldn't simply be <ref>NTSB Final Report, page 313</ref>? I mean, the super-detailed link does not go to the specific page of the pdf anyways; it adds nothing more than the simple pointer, and it makes editing the article a big mess for anyone who is not an expert in navigating references. If the very instance is detailed, plus you have it in the external links and suggested reading, then al that is required by the manual of style is "NTSB FInal Report, op cit, page x." Thatcher 19:51, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

  • All the other NTSB links are dead too. They rearranged their web site and I can't find the exhibits or other reports. Thatcher 20:15, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
All those refs were me. I had copied the cite template from MOS, and yeah, it is overly-detailed and I agree with what you said. At the time I didn't know what I was doing, so just did it one way. LoveUxoxo (talk) 01:31, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

I just want to leave a note here and say that I cleaned this up substantially, by using <ref name="Final Report" />{{rp|xx}} on subsequent references, where the xx is the page number for the specific reference. This way, there's only one actual reference ("Final Report") and you only have to add the page number, and in the "References" section the NTSB final report only shows up once instead of 100 times. This is a far better way of doing things. Now, if the URL needs to be updated, it only has to be updated once in the initial <ref name="Final Report">{{cite journal blah blah blah}}</ref> and it works across all invocations of that reference. Shelbystripes (talk) 07:09, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

"Deadliest" ranking in lede[edit]

I don't think it should be there, really just one sentence in the body (as currently) will suffice. Now we have American Airlines Flight 191 and American Airlines Flight 587 in the second sentence of the lede even though they have NOTHING to do with this crash. 230 fatalities is inherently notable, and that number relative to other crashes does very little to impart (or take away from) notability, with the one exception of whatever crash is the superlative "most deadly". It's just so arbitrary anyway; the events of 9/11 do not count as the deadliest aircraft crashes in the U.S. even though before then ground fatalities were traditionally included in the death toll. It's a factoid that has very little utility, for instance, you could add to the lede of Air New Zealand Flight 901 that it was the LEAST deadly regularly-scheduled passenger flight accident in Antarctica, ever, (which is true). Anyway if you all feel the same maybe someone should revert that addition to this article. And yeah, don't add that to the Flight 901 article. LoveUxoxo (talk) 20:06, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Video links "page not found"[edit]

In section "In-flight breakup sequence and crippled flight" the two video links lead to "page not found". W1 m2 (talk) 05:04, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Archive: In the media[edit]

Archive of the 'In the media' section of the article. Placed here in the event that the referencing/relevancy issue can be resolved by discussion. This is what should have been done instead of "boldly" deleting it. In addition Tom Clancy uses this accident as the basis of something mentioned in the novel 'Shadow Watch' where the villains are discussing the testing of their prototype EMP weapon.

"And the crash of the 747 commuter plane in Los Angeles some months back. American investigators attributed its explosion after takeoff due to a spark in the conductive wiring inside the center fuel tank. This was true. But the cause of the spark remained undetermined in official reports, and the abrupt retirement of a senior FBI official who publicly speculated that it might have been a microwave pulse was swept under the agency's very large carpet.

Shadow Watch, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 275 Graham1973 (talk) 03:49, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

It is interesting —and telling — that this Wikipedia article makes no mention of James Sanders, nor of his 1997 book, "The Downing Of TWA Flight 800" (ISBN 978-0821758298), written in collaboration with investigative journalist Jack Cashill. — QuicksilverT @ 17:10, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

2013.06.19 Changes to the intro[edit]

I've edited (diff) the intro from " TWA 800 was the second-deadliest U.S. aviation accident after American Airlines Flight 191 until American Airlines Flight 587, which also took off from JFK Airport two months after the September 11 attacks" to "TWA 800 was the second-deadliest U.S. aviation accident after American Airlines Flight 191 until American Airlines Flight 587 crashed on November 12, 2001."

My rationale for the change is that AAL587 is unrelated to 9/11 therefore there needs to be no reference to it in that regard. It seems to me that the use of mentioning 9/11 was as a reference date to when TWA800 went from second to third deadliest crash. In my opinion, we provide better information if we just give the exact date of the change in status.

I don't know if there was ever a consensus for including 9/11 in the intro. If there was, feel free to revert my edit and or discuss if it makes sense changing to what it is now. Cheers! --WingtipvorteX PTT 14:41, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

In my opinion, it also makes little sense to include the 9/11 in that sentence. AA587 has, in fact, nothing to do with 9/11. But, when you talk about AA587, you will probably mention that it was just 2 months after 9/11, and, due to that, many people believed it was a terrorist act (and some still do!). But this article is not about AA587. And, if that reference were actually included, readers would be "bombarded" with 4 (series of) plane crashes is just one sentence! It could cause confusion... In fact, I think that, to improve the sentence, commas should be added after and before "after American Airlines Flight 191". But thank you very much for your contributions, Wingtipvortex! -- Sim(ã)o(n) * Wanna talk? See my efforts? 18:45, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Flight number[edit]

Flight numbers in general and commercial use are preceded by the two-character IATA airline designators - three-letter ICAO airline designators are used by traffic control and other aviation authorities. When we discuss Trans World Airline's flight 800, it should be referred to as TW 800, not TWA 800 and changed to the intro as well. Mstuomel (talk) 16:03, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I disagree, "TWA 800" is the most common naming convention for this flight. The NTSB report uses it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
The flight number TW 800 is currently not even mentioned in the article. NTSB probably uses the ICAO designator as used by aviation authorities, like with other reports. However, the name of the airline has conveniently a three-letter abbreviation (TWA) that could be confused with its IATA and ICAO designators. In any case, I think its commercial, ticketed flight number/code, which is something ordinary passengers and media would normally see everywhere, should be included on this page and also elsewhere on Wikipedia. Mstuomel (talk) 02:55, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

2013 information about missile theory[edit]

see --Kebap (talk) 14:09, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that new info has already been added. -- Sim(ã)o(n) * Wanna talk? See my efforts? 17:59, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Ambiguous/Expert Language[edit]

I am a general reader, and, after re-reading, I'm still not sure what a 30-knot radar track is. I'm guessing "military surface targets" means naval vessels, but I'm not sure why the word targets is in there:

The NTSB addressed allegations that the Islip radar data showed groups of military surface targets converging in a suspicious manner in an area around the accident, and that a 30-knot radar track, never identified and 3 NM from the crash site, was involved in foul play, as evidenced by its failure to divert from its course and assist with the search and rescue operations.[71] Military records examined by the NTSB showed no military surface vessels within 15 NM of TWA 800 at the time of the accident.[71] In addition, the records indicated that the closest area scheduled for military use, warning area W-387A/B, was 160 NM south.[71]

Thank you for reading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree, the whole article could use a re-write to use less technical terms. The above paragraph is a good example. (talk) 06:29, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Entering original research territory[edit]

This edit seems to be heading that way. I really don't know about the subject, so I'll let others handle it. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 11:56, 13 July 2013 (UTC)


Apparently Wikithunderbird (talk) 13:00, 13 July 2013 (UTC) are not required when editing an article and are used for convenience on a talk page like this. I assume that I need to be signed in (now done so for the 30 days) for my ID to appear. If not signed in then I guess the update still takes by without my ID. Is that correct?

On the subject of original research ---- I am attempting to correct significant errors in the 'original research' presented in the FINAL REPORT. My basis is rigorous and I don't speculate on the causes of the tragedy. However, when error(s) are included the FINAL REPORT they must be recognized, documented, and understood. My goal is to explain such errors in a manner that someone such as yourself will be able to understand. Please let me know if there is something unclear in my posts.

Wikithunderbird (talk) 13:00, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not try to correct the errors you see in the Final Report. Instead, Wikipedia is able to tell the reader of any such corrections that have been published. If the corrections have not been published yet, then Wikipedia must close its eyes to them. That is the essence of WP:No original research... that Wikipedia is not the place to make new arguments or corrections. You must publish the findings in a WP:Reliable source before bringing them here. Binksternet (talk) 21:41, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
For instance:

That particular section of the FINAL REPORT is notable for containing many SPOTs (Single Point Of Truth). Even one SPOT is sufficient to contradict and falsify an erroneous premise or argument. Such falsifications can often occur in the context of Mathematical Proofs. In the current case the second paragraph of page 93 flatly states that, "In all three cases, the sequences of primary targets appeared with no radar track leading to them [...] and there were no primary or secondary tracks leading to or away from them. Taking the sequence of the first five radar returns from the table above, you will soon be able to see that the NTSB's assertion here is clearly FALSE

— User:Wikithunderbird
You included a quote from somewhere (without closing the quote or attributing it to the NTSB report properly). Everything else in that paragraph is your personal evaluation of what NTSB says. Neither you nor anyone else on Wikipedia functions as an expert in anything. We editors only cobble together reliable sources. When sources disagree, we can stop to discusshow to proceed. At no point may any editor just type out what they personally believe to be correct. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Wikithunderbird I know its very frustrating when you work hard on edits and then they are immediately reverted, but I have to be honest with you, I don't see how your recent work can ever fit in this encyclopedia article. It appears to be simply your analysis of the evidence, and this article isn't a place appropriate for that. Also I had a hard time following whatever points you were trying to make. (talk) 15:59, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Pictures of the accident aircraft[edit]

If there is some confusion over whether the accident aircraft has 3 windows on the upper deck or not, I believe this has to do with when the aircraft, owned by TWA but sold to the government of Iran, underwent modifications. The sale was cancelled, and the aircraft returned to TWA with more windows. (talk) 00:56, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Cockpit video recorder data[edit]

Could the pilot's mention of unusual fuel gauge readings be included a bit more prominently? It would make sense for this to be in either the "Accident flight" or the "Further investigation and analysis" sections. Fotoguzzi (talk) 20:11, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Ramsi Yousef[edit]

Why is there no mention of evidence that Al Qaeda's master 1993 World Trade Center Bomber Ramsi Yousef may have plotted to bomb TWA Flight 800? The fact that all references to this have been removed from both this article and the Flight 800 article suggests that somebody is trying to censor this information. Redhanker (talk) 15:40, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

If you start looking for WP:Reliable sources about this you will quickly see that nothing reliable exists, only unreliable blogs and rants. Binksternet (talk) 16:16, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Is verbal testimony from eyewitnesses not good enough for you, Binksternet? — QuicksilverT @ 17:14, 21 March 2014 (UTC)


I seem to remember reading that a major Picasso painting was among the cargo destroyed in the crash. Does anyone else remember hearing anything like this? I'm trying to find out more about it. --RThompson82 (talk) 00:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Additional literature[edit]

Roach, Mary (2003). Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 113–121.  Unknown parameter |allpages= ignored (help) -- Wesha (talk) 00:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

U.S. knew of wiring flaws years before TWA crash[edit]

U.S. knew of wiring flaws years before TWA crash --Pelle Hansen (talk) 00:42, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

controversy citations[edit]

the article states that there were "claims of evidence tampering". in the official administrative oversight hearing, transcript located here, it is testified under oath that said 'tampering' did in fact take place and is described for the record, accused names are confirmed, & several witnesses are alluded to. a wealth of info regarding the conspiracy theories is addressed as well for anyone that wishes to read page on page of congressional hearings. Jill Orly (talk) 17:56, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Numerous and Significant Corrections Proposed[edit]

Dear TWA Flight 800 page editors,

The content and tone of this TWA Flight 800 page may break Wikipedia guidelines because it apparently does not maintain a neutral point of view (NPOV) and contains inaccuracies. I plan to correct the inaccuracies and other apparent violations on the page so that it adheres to Wikipedia's guidelines.

Below please find the problems I uncovered on a first read-through and the remedies I suggest for each. Please provide your feedback on my analyses and proposed remedies at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,


Wikipedia: Paragraph 1:

the FBI announced that no evidence had been found of a criminal act and closed its active investigation.

--Analysis: The FBI’s denial of evidence of a criminal act has been disputed by key members of the original government investigation who handled the physical evidence as well as other experts who point to explosive traces on interior and exterior fuselage, high-energy fractures, inward penetrations into the fuselage and wings, and witness evidence that was suppressed at an NTSB hearing.

--Analysis: While it may be true that the FBI announced that "no evidence...of a criminal act" was found, this statement has been challenged by the above mentioned investigators and experts, as well as by this very Wikipedia article that discusses the detection of explosives on wreckage items. Beyond military and other eyewitness who say they saw a missile (their statements being evidence), the explosive traces (discussed further along in this Wikipedia article), high-energy fractures, and inward penetrations are all evidence of a criminal act. Regardless of whether any official properly or improperly dismissed this evidence, they remain evidence of a criminal act. And rather than point out this inaccurate statement early on in the Wikipedia article, which could require a longer explanation than is appropriate during an introduction section, it may be advisable to explain why the FBI dismissed this evidence and quickly provide information that challenges that dismissal.

--Remedy: "The FBI and NTSB dismissed explosive traces detected on wreckage items, inward penetrations into the fuselage and wings, and high energy fractures found throughout the air frame since this evidence was not clustered together around a point of a particular blast site, as would have been the case had a bomb exploded on board or if a missile had exploded on contact with the plane. Whistle-blowers counter, saying that a proximty-fused missile could have been responsible, since it does not detonate on contact, but explodes a significant distance away from the jetliner, and therefore its destructive forces do not originate at any particular on board blast site.

  • Oppose. The statement in paragraph 2 (it's actually in the second paragraph of the lede, not the first) is factually accurate. The FBI did announce that no evidence had been found of a criminal act. You seem to be confusing two separate issues. The FBI did, in fact, conclude that no evidence of criminal activity existed. That's the first issue. The issue of whether or not people dispute the official investigation and its results is a second, separate issue. In the lede, this is addressed in paragraph 4. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I have to say first my suggested remedies were meant as a starting point for discussion, not for insertion into the current article as they are written. They have to be sourced, and some paired down. Sorry for any confusion here.
The issue I'm raising is not a dispute with the results of the investigation in this edit, it's a dispute with an inaccurate statement by the FBI. I think everyone will agree that PETN and RDX (explosives used in bombs and missiles) which were detected on various wreckage items are evidence of a criminal act, regardless how any investigator attempted to explain them away. Let's first get agreement on that before continuing a discussion of this edit.
Stalcup (talk) 18:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Stalcup (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Post-crash contamination of aircraft parts in crash sites in water is not unheard of. Another accident involving an in-flight breakup, Partnair Flight 394 in 1989, had traces of explosive chemicals being found on parts of the aircraft after they were recovered from the waters off the coast of Denmark; examination of the traces determined that they were the result of post-crash contamination while the parts were in the water. In the case of TWA Flight 800, the military exercises taking place would've left fresh deposits of chemicals used in explosives and rocket propellant in the surrounding waters.

OscarMikeGolf (talk) 1:17, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Since no one disagreed with the above statement that PETN and RDX are evidence of a criminal act, I will assume that we're all in agreement on that point.
Rather than get in a discussion right off the bat on how the FBI may have misled the public with an inaccurate statement, and explaining why it's inaccurate, I propose the following simple correction:

Stalcup (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Sixteen months later, the FBI suspended its investigation.

Stalcup (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Paragraph 2:

ending the most extensive, complex, and costly air disaster investigation in U.S. history.

--Analysis: "extensive" gives the impression that the investigation was thorough, which is challenged by high-level whistleblowers, and "complex" isn't a good description.

--Remedy: "ending the costliest and most controversial air disaster investigation in U.S. history."

  • Oppose. "Extensive" refers to the amount of time and resources, and is not inaccurate based on the citations in the article. Also, what does it mean to say that it is the "most controversial" investigation? Are you saying that the result is controversial, or that there was controversy during the investigation? It doesn't really add anything, other than confusion. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I could agree to leaving in extensive, but not to leaving out controversial. The result is controversial *and* there was controversy during the investigation, which Wikipedia should certainly point out. If you need examples of controversies with the findings and with incidents and decisions during the investigation, I can provide them.
Stalcup (talk) 18:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Proposed compromise text for article:
ending the most extensive, costly, and controversial air disaster investigation in U.S. history.

Stalcup (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Background for this discussion, not for inclusion in the article. Examples of controversy: FBI withheld wreckage with signs of a high energy event from the NTSB; FBI would not allow the NTSB to interview eyewitnesses; after FBI investigators determined a missile was involved based on "overwhelming" eyewitness evidence, the FBI leadership called in the CIA, and a CIA team produced a video on what the eyewitnesses saw without interviewing any witnesses (note: this CIA video was released the same day that FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom announced that there was no evidence of a criminal act); an FBI agent was caught hammering on a piece of curled fuselage attempting to flatten it; FBI agents were caught on surveillance camera, breaking into a locked aircraft hangar in the middle of the night; and the original NTSB Eyewitness Group Chairman who concluded that 96 witnesses saw an object rise off the surface before the crash was replaced by another NTSB employee who "worked closely" with the CIA for "sixteen months".

Stalcup (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Paragraph 4:

TWA Flight 800 conspiracy theories exist, the most prevalent being that a missile strike from a terrorist or an accidental launch from a U.S. Navy vessel caused the crash, and is the subject of a government coverup.[10][11] Witness accounts lend support to the most prevalent theory.[12]

--Analysis: "conspiracy theory" in this context is a biased and derogatory term. While such theories always seem to accompany events like this, we must be careful to separate those who speculate wildly and may be considered conspiracy theorists and whistleblowers from the original investigation, who provide insightful analysis into problems with the official narrative and evidence in support of another. This article effectively lumps them all together.

--Remedy: The officially declared cause of the crash was a center wing tank explosion. This is disputed by several high-level members of the original investigation who point to evidence of an external blast, such as inward penetrations into the jetliner and explosives traces detected on wreckage items. A significant number of eyewitness observations also support the physical evidence consistent with an external blast.

  • Oppose. These are conspiracy theories. The term "whistleblower" should not be used for a proponent of a conspiracy theory, either. See WP:EUPHEMISM. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
If you watch Senior NTSB investigator Hank Hughes' (Ret.) 1999 Senate testimony where discussed FBI interference and malfeasance during this investigation and where he was, according to former NTSB Managing Director Peter Goelz in 2013, provided whistleblower protection, you will see that he is probably the antithesis of a conspiracy theorist. Standing along side Mr. Hughes in 2013 when he pointed out problems with the official investigation and discussed evidence consistent with an external blast on nearly every news channel in the United States, were five other whistleblowers who worked in the NTSB's original investigation, including high-level officials. If we mention all of them and their titles up front in the article, would you agree that whistleblower is an appropriate term for them. As stated above, the remedy I proposed will, of course, also have to be thoroughly sourced.
Stalcup (talk) 18:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Proposed compromise text, without using either whistle-blower or conspiracy theorist.
The officially declared cause of the crash (an internal fuel-air explosion) has been disputed by several high-ranking members of the original investigation, including senior NTSB investigator (Ret.) Hank Hughes, former TWA Chief Safety Officer Robert Young, and medical examiner Dr. Charles Wetli. In a petition to the NTSB dated June 18, 2013, these investigators concluded that a "preponderance of hard evidence, including radar and forensic evidence, combined with dozens of corroborating eyewitness accounts, refute the NTSB's probable cause determination for the crash of TWA Flight 800" and indicate that there was "a detonation outside the aircraft".[4]

Stalcup (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

STOPPING here for now, since this is such a long entry. Would appreciate any feedback.

Stalcup (talk) 12:07, 3 June 2016 (UTC)


With lines of authority unclear, differences in agendas and culture between the FBI and NTSB resulted in discord.[32]:1 The FBI, from the start assuming that a criminal act had occurred,[32]:3 saw the NTSB as indecisive. Expressing frustration at the NTSB's unwillingness to speculate on a cause, one FBI agent described the NTSB as "No opinions. No nothing".[32]:4 Meanwhile, the NTSB was required to refute or play down speculation about conclusions and evidence, frequently supplied to reporters by law enforcement officials and politicians.[22]:3[32]:4 The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), an invited party to the NTSB investigation, criticized the undocumented removal by FBI agents of wreckage from the hangar where it was stored.[34]

--Analysis: Lines of authority were not unclear. The NTSB has authority as the lead agency until such a time when the NTSB determines that sufficient evidence of a criminal act exists. The FBI overstepped their authority in this instance by effectively taking over the investigation before the NTSB made any such determination. This paragraph also makes it seem as though the FBI's removal of evidence was an act by a "Do Something" agency, in response to a "No opinions. No Nothing" NTSB. However the truth of the matter is that Jim Speer, who is now a whistle-blower, and was then an investigator working within the NTSB's investigation, discovered a piece of wreckage early on and recognized high-velocity damage on it. He then had it tested for explosives, and explosives were in fact detected on it. This was not a do-"nothing" effort. And the FBI's removal of that piece was questionable, especially since it remains unaccounted for today. I believe the current spin of this apparently illegal activity goes against Wikipedia's policy of maintaining a neutral tone.

--Remedy: The NTSB was by law the lead agency investigating the crash, although the FBI took control of the wreckage and eyewitness interviews. The FBI would first screen the wreckage and then turn over most but not all of it to the NTSB. Also, members of an invited party to the NTSB investigation--the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)--say that some wreckage the FBI turned over to the NTSB was subsequently removed from the NTSB investigation by the FBI without proper documentation. According to Air Line Pilots Association investigator Jim Speer and TWA Chief Safety Officer Robert Young, this included a wing component that tested positive for explosives.

  • Oppose. This "analysis" demonstrates ignorance of the law. The FBI obtains jurisdiction whenever the Attorney General notifies the NTSB that the AG considers a case to be linked to a criminal act. See 49 U.S.C. § 1131, clause (2)(B). Your "remedy" is thus factually inaccurate. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
You are correct that the Attorney General must make the notification (I stand corrected), but before this is done, the NTSB is the lead agency in charge and the FBI is not allowed to interfere or otherwise disrupt the NTSB's investigation until this notification is made. The Attorney General never made such a notification, and therefore the FBI did not have authority to disrupt the NTSB's investigation the way it did (e.g. not allowing the NTSB to properly participate in eyewitness interviews or to have access to certain wreckage items). My point was, and I believe you will agree, that the law here was clear.
What do you think about the other changes I suggested, to correct an apparent positive spin put on the FBI's improper removal of evidence from the NTSB's investigation?
Stalcup (talk) 18:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Although there were considerable discrepancies between different accounts, most witnesses to the accident had seen a "streak of light" that was unanimously described as ascending

--Analysis: The eyewitness accounts are remarkably consistent, but not unanimous.

--Remedy: Dozens of eyewitnesses provided consistent accounts of a “streak of light” ascending prior to the appearance of a fireball which investigators determined was TWA 800's fuel igniting.

  • Oppose. It would be good to remove "unanimously described", since that is not unanimous. However, you're removing the reference to "considerable discrepancies" between various accounts, which is still a true statement. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
The event unfolded over approximately 45 seconds or so, and in the middle of it, a huge fireball erupted when the wings separated from the aircraft and all the fuel for the flight to Paris began spewing out. That and later events is what caught most peoples' eyes: a huge fireball descending. There were a considerable number however, who just happened to be looking in the right direction at the right time to see a silent, rising streak of light in the distance prior to any airborne explosion or fuel eruptions. Many kept watching out of curiosity and saw the streak explode at its apex. They then later saw the huge fireball as most of these witnesses continued watching.
Therefore, the main differences (not discrepancies) between accounts was due to the time a given witness began watching the event. However, even these differences can be properly categorized to show that the vast majority of the witness accounts were in fact consistent with one another.
Stalcup (talk) 18:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Witnesses were not allowed to testify at the court hearings.[35]:165[37]:184

--Remedy: "Witnesses were not allowed to testify at any government hearing.[35]:165[37]:184


A review of recorded data from long-range and airport surveillance radars revealed multiple contacts of airplanes/objects in TWA 800's vicinity at the time of the accident.[1](pp87–89) None of these contacts intersected TWA 800's position at any time.[1]:89 Attention was drawn to data from the Islip, New York, ARTCC facility that showed three tracks in the vicinity of TWA 800 that did not appear in any of the other radar data.[1]:93 None of these sequences intersected TWA 800's position at any time either.[1]:93 All the reviewed radar data showed no radar returns consistent with a missile or other projectile traveling toward TWA 800.[1]:89

--Analysis: the "none of these objects intersected TWA 800's position" is a challenge to the idea that a missile may have been involved, which gives the reader the misimpression that this is proof no missile could have been involved. However investigators noted that the radar sites involved would most likely have filtered out objects such as low radar cross section missiles. In fact, in 2000 the NTSB conducted live fire missile tests off the coast of Florida. Three missiles were fired and none were recorded on radar until after they exploded, when their radar cross section is greatly enhanced in a manner similar to a chaffe drop.

--Remedy: Government investigators say that a review of recorded data from long-range and airport surveillance radars showed no radar returns consistent with a missile or other projectile traveling toward TWA 800. Whistleblowers say (and tests confirm [source: NTSB 2000 Missile Visibility Study]) that FAA radar sites cannot record low cross-section targets like missiles as those sites are specifically designed to filter them out to reduce clutter on Air Traffic Control consoles. However those sites did, at the moment TWA lost power, pick up and record high-speed debris moving away from the jetliner, which the whistleblowers say is most likely related to a detonated warhead.

  • Oppose. This does not give a "misimpression that this is proof no missile could have been involved." It's a statement that nothing tracked on radar had the characteristics of a missile that hit TWA 800. Also, "Government investigators say" is poor writing and gives undue weight to conspiracy theories, and should not be used. Also, again, the use of the term "whistleblower" in this manner is not appropriate. Please provide a basis for using "whistleblower" in this context, if you have one. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Right, I believe my suggested remedy takes care of your first sentence, as I include that statement in it. I'll go over my entire entry in the next few days and put in proper references and citation, including in this section. Again, this was only meant as a starting point for discussion, and sorry for any confusion I caused.
I'll stop my responses to your comments here, as this is a very long entry and having a back and forth over the entire entry with each edit of it will be very time consuming for both of us. If you have any other general suggestions for me as I go ahead and add in the citations/sources, I'd appreciate it.
Thank you,
Stalcup (talk) 17:56, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Further examination of the airplane structure, seats, and other interior components found no damage typically associated with a high-energy explosion of a bomb or missile warhead ("severe pitting, cratering, petalling, or hot gas washing").[1]:258 This included the pieces on which trace amounts of explosives were found.[1]:258 Of the 5 percent of the fuselage that was not recovered, none of the missing areas were large enough to have covered all the damage that would have been caused by the detonation of a bomb or missile.[1]:258 None of the victims' remains showed any evidence of injuries that could have been caused by high-energy explosives.[1]:258

--Analysis: Senior NTSB Investigator (Ret.) Hank Hughes was Chairman of the Airplane Interior Documentation Group and was responsible for the complete reconstruction of the jetliner's interior. He has publicly stated, base on his review of the interior and other evidence, that a proximity-fused missile was likely involved. This conflicts with the above paragraph because of an important distinction between "contact fuse" and "proximity fuse" missiles. Contact fuse missiles explode on contact with their target and thus, like bombs, leave distinctive damage signatures such as severe pitting and cratering. The absence of this evidence makes a bomb and a contact fuse missile unlikely culprits. It is important to note here that the 400 page NTSB final report never mentions proximity fuse missiles, which were in fact the only type of missile likely to have reached TWA 800 at 14,000 feet. The official narrative often repeated in the news media, and now in this Wikipedia article, is an example of misleading "look here, not there" logic. Army Colonel Dennis Shanahan, M.D. was the NTSB's forensic pathologist consultant during the investigation, and Dr. Charles Wetli was the chief medical examiner responsible for all victim autopsies. While they both unequivocally state that there was no evidence of a bomb or a missile exploding *close to* any victim, they have joined Hank Hughes and a growing team of whistleblowers who agree that a proximity fuse missile may have been responsible for the crash.

--Remedy: Further examination of the victims, airplane structure, seats, and other interior components showed evidence consistent with the rapid breakup of the aircraft in midair. Investigators determined that there was no damage typically associated with a bomb and smaller shoulder-fired (contact fuse) missile ("severe pitting, cratering, petalling, or hot gas washing").[1]:258 Whistleblowers agree with this assessment, but point out that the damage is consistent with a proxmity fuse missile exploding a distance from the jetliner.

  • Oppose. Again, "whistleblowers" is inappropriate here. You have also removed a sourced statement that there is no evidence of injuries that could have been caused by a high-energy explosion. If you want to add language differentiating between contact-fuse and proximity-fuse missiles, that's fine, but don't go removing properly sourced factual assertions that don't support your version of events. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


The NTSB considered the possibility that the explosive residue was due to contamination from the aircraft's use in 1991 transporting troops during the Gulf War or its use in a dog-training explosive detection exercise about one month before the accident.[1](pp258–259) Testing conducted by the FAA's Technical Center indicated that residues of the type of explosives found on the wreckage would dissipate completely after 2 days of immersion in sea water (almost all recovered wreckage was immersed longer than 2 days).[1]:259 The NTSB concluded that it was "quite possible" that the explosive residue detected was transferred from military ships or ground vehicles, or the clothing and boots of military personnel, onto the wreckage during or after the recovery operation and was not present when the aircraft crashed into the water.[1]:259

--Analysis: I removed the "dog-training" exercise information, since it has been challenged by the dog trainer himself and contradicts the NTSB's "dissipation" argument.

--Remedy: The NTSB considered the possibility that the explosive residue was due to contamination from the aircraft's use in 1991 transporting troops during the Gulf War. Testing conducted by the FAA's Technical Center indicated that such residues would dissipate completely after 2 days of immersion in sea water, although this testing was conducted off a dock in New Jersey--TWA 800 went down 10 miles off Long Island--and investigators determined the microbial life off that dock played a significant role in that dissipation. While almost all recovered wreckage was immersed longer than 2 days, at least one wing component that tested positive for explosives was recovered floating and according to TWA Chief Safety Officer Robert Young and Captain Jim Speer, was severely damaged.[1]:259 The NTSB also concluded that it was "quite possible" that the explosive residue detected was transferred from military ships or ground vehicles, or the clothing and boots of military personnel, onto the wreckage during or after the recovery operation and was not present when the aircraft crashed into the water.[1]:259


Although it was unable to determine the exact source of the trace amounts of explosive residue found on the wreckage, the lack of any other corroborating evidence associated with a high-energy explosion led the NTSB to conclude that "the in-flight breakup of TWA flight 800 was not initiated by a bomb or missile strike."[1]:259

--Analysis: This is inaccurate and misleading, since again it focuses on evidence of a contact explosion. There is in fact corroborating evidence: physical (inward penetrations into the fuselage, high-energy fractures, and a random overall interior damage pattern); radar (indicating high-velocity debris just as the jetliner loses electrical power); and eyewitness evidence (including airborne military witnesses reporting "flak" and an object propelled by a "rocket type motor" in the area of the sky just before TWA 800 burst into flames).

--Remedy: Although it was unable to determine the exact source of the trace amounts of explosive residue and whistleblowers have identified supporting eyewitness and other evidence of a proximity detonation near the jetliner, the NTSB ruled out "a bomb or missile strike" [1]:259 by a contact fuse warhead.

  • Oppose. This directly quotes from the NTSB report. Your assertion seems to be that the NTSB report itself is misleading, and the way to address that assertion is to provide a properly sourced rebuttal to the NTSB's conclusion. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Because there was no evidence that a big explosive device detonated in this (or any other) area of the airplane, this overpressure event could only have been caused by a fuel/air explosion in the CWT.[1]:261 

Analysis: This is misleading and inaccurate and should probably be removed. It continues the "look here, not there" logic about a detonation that, if it wasn't in or on contact with the jetliner, it didn't happen. But in fact the left wall of the center wing tank showed signs of significant and high-speed inward failures, indicating that the event that overpressuized the tank came from the left side of the aircraft, which is near where a significant inward hole noted in a report from a party to the NTSB investigation (the IAMAW) is present, where the left wing meets the fuselage.

Remedy: [remove the sentence completely]

  • Oppose. If you want to improve this sentence, I would recommend changing it to read, for example, "Because the NTSB concluded there was no evidence that..." This is more appropriate than simply deleting the sentence. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

--- Wikipedia:

While the NTSB acknowledged that the test conditions at Bruntingthorpe were not fully comparable to the conditions that existed on TWA 800 at the time of the accident,[1]:261 previous fuel explosions in the CWTs of commercial airliners such as Avianca Flight 203 and Philippine Airlines Flight 143 confirmed that a CWT explosion could break apart the fuel tank and lead to the destruction of an airplane.[1]:261

Analysis: Since Jet A fuel vapors are difficult to ignite and low voltage airplane electronics inside the tank are designed to prevent sparks, the NTSB filled the Bruntingthorpe test airplane's tank with propane and used military explosives to set it off. Avianca 203 was destroyed by a bomb planted by a terrorist group under a seat in the cabin which penetrated the cabin floor into the tank which then caused that explosion. Phillippine Airlines Flight 143 had after-market high voltage lines that passed through the CWT. Photos online of Phillippine Airlines Flight 143 indicate that this aircraft did not "break apart", but stayed in tact on the tarmac after the explosion. There are holes in the top of the fuselage, which most likely were created by a fire that spread in the cabin after the explosion, and after all of the passengers escaped via the emergency exits.

Remedy: The explosion of Philippine Airlines Flight 143's center wing fuel tank confirmed that a CWT explosion could damage an aircraft, but unlike that incident which occurred on an aircraft which had after-market high voltage lines that passed through the tank, TWA 800 had only low voltage fuel probes in its tank, designed to avoid the possibility of a spark.

  • Oppose. I don't even understand what you're trying to do with this edit. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


The CIA's animated depiction of how TWA Flight 800 broke apart. When the bottom of the aircraft blew out from the exploding fuel tank, cracks spread around the fuselage and severed the entire front section of the plane.

Analysis: The CIA animation has been shown to be inaccurate and misleading after a detailed review by former NTSB Eyewitness Group Member Robert Young and the two key eyewitnesses highlighted in the video whose accounts it purportedly explains. See: Therefore, that animation should not be relied upon as an accurate representation of the evidence, but should only be cited for how it influenced public opinion through its inaccurate analyses, some of which were apparently purposeful.

Remedy: The NTSB determined that the bottom of the aircraft blew out from an overpressurization in the center fuel tank, and cracks spread around the fuselage and severed the entire front section of the plane.

  • Oppose. I don't have time at the moment to thoroughly vet each of these edits, but given what I've seen so far, I'm just going to note my opposition to anything else unless it appears valid and unlikely to give undue weight to conspiracy theories. Shelbystripes (talk) 05:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


After about 34 seconds (based on information from witness documents), the outer portions of both the right and left wings failed.

Analysis: This time was based on the CIA's questionable "sound analysis" relying on eyewitnesses recalling when they heard sounds and saw events. Radar evidence indicates that the wings failed much earlier and that the wreckage went off radar (hit the ocean) approximately 35 seconds after the initial event.

Remedy: [remove sentence]


These simulations indicated that after the loss of the forward fuselage the remainder of the aircraft continued on in crippled flight, then pitched up while rolling to the left (north),[1]:263 climbing to a maximum altitude between 15,537 and 16,678 feet (4,736 and 5,083 m)[1]:97 from its last recorded altitude, 13,760 feet (4,190 m).[1]:256

Analysis: Every government simulation conducted to date is invalid, since each diverge from radar tracking data, falling outside the error tolerances, during the alleged climb. This is because a steeply climbing aircraft must slow down, and each simulation shows such a slow down. The radar tracking shows no such slow down during the alleged climb, and thus the actual flight path of the aircraft as tracked by radar invalidates the simulations. It is important to note here that the CIA analysis was the first to propose such a climb, and that agency generated their first animations without regard to the radar evidence. NTSB Chairman Jim Hall acknowledged this problem at the final hearing when he asked the Eyewitness Group Chairman, "If you could prove the aircraft didn't climb after the nose separated, would that change your analysis"? The Witness Group Chairman--even though his analysis depended on the aircraft itself to explain the many eyewitness observations of a rising streak of light--answered "No..."

Remedy: The NTSB generated simulations showing the aircraft climbing steeply and indicated at the final hearing on the crash that this climb is what the eyewitnesses who reported seeing a rising streak actually saw. However, the simulations diverge from FAA radar tracking data during the alleged climb. [source NTSB simulation reports]. The radar evidence indicates that the aircraft did not perform a steep climb, since the jetliner maintained airspeed during the alleged steep climb, which is not possible due to the law of conservation of energy.


CIA analysts, relying on sound-propagation analysis, were able to conclude that the witnesses could not be describing a missile approaching an intact aircraft, but were seeing a trail of burning fuel coming from the aircraft after the initial explosion.[44](pp5–6) This conclusion was reached after calculating how long it took for the sound of the initial explosion to reach the witnesses, and using that to correlate the witness observations with the accident sequence.[44]:5 In all cases the witnesses could not be describing a missile approaching an intact aircraft, as the plane had already exploded before their observations began.[44]:6

Analysis: This is inaccurate. The CIA "sound analysis" applied to one or two witnesses who reported hearing a sound before apparently seeing a missile, while there were 670 eyewitnesses in total. And significantly, the vast majority of witnesses who saw a rising streak of light head up to the area where TWA 800 ultimately broke apart--ten miles offshore--heard *no* sounds until after the aircraft hit the water, after falling from 2.5 miles up. Also, the CIA sound analysis only considered short range missiles fired relatively close to and below the jetliner, which is at odds with a significant number of witness statements describing a longer-range missile originally traveling closer to shore. A close-in launch could have been heard prior to, or about the same time as seeing a rising object approach the jetliner.

Remedy: [remove it completely, or properly describe the CIA sound analysis, as is done in the paragraph above]


38 witnesses described a streak of light that ascended vertically, or nearly so, and these accounts "seem[ed] to be inconsistent with the accident airplane's flightpath."[1]:265 In addition, 18 witnesses reported seeing a streak of light that originated at the surface, or the horizon, which did not "appear to be consistent with the airplane's calculated flightpath and other known aspects of the accident sequence."[1]:265 Regarding these differing accounts, the NTSB noted that based on their experience in previous investigations "witness reports are often inconsistent with the known facts or with other witnesses' reports of the same events."[1]:237 The interviews conducted by the FBI focused on the possibility of a missile attack; suggested interview questions given to FBI agents such as "Where was the sun in relation to the aircraft and the missile launch point?" and "How long did the missile fly?" could have biased interviewees' responses in some cases.[1]:266 The NTSB concluded that given the large number of witnesses in this case, they "did not expect all of the documented witness observations to be consistent with one another."[1]:269 and "did not view these apparently anomalous witness reports as persuasive evidence that some witnesses might have observed a missile."[1]:270

Analysis: This is a misleading summary of the eyewitness reports, which are publicly available. It mainly relies on an NTSB Eyewitness Group Chairman who, according to then CIA Acting Director George Tenet, worked "closely" with the CIA for sixteen months on the eyewitness evidence. During this time, he interviewed none of the 670 eyewitnesses and never visited the location where anyone observed the rising streak to take line of site triangulations. It should also be noted that no one at the CIA did either.

Analysis: As discussed earlier, the CIA effort in this case resulted in misinformation, which to be truly appreciated, one should watch this 30 minute video ( ), which includes the full CIA video, stopping it dozens of times to correct its many inaccuracies. Featured on this video correcting the CIA are two key eyewitnesses referenced in the CIA video and NTSB Eyewitness Group Member during the TWA 800 investigation, TWA Chief Safety Officer Robert Young. The original NTSB Eyewitness Group determined that 96 out of 102 witnesses who reported the origin of a streak of light said that it originated on the surface. But the CIA animation pre-empted the release of this statistic by three weeks. Then, five days before that NTSB statistic and the full NTSB Witness Group report was to be released at the NTSB public fact finding hearing in Baltimore in December of 1997, the NTSB canceled all eyewitness discussions, and never entered that original Witness Group Factual report that included that statistic into the public docket. At approximately the same time, a relatively new NTSB employee named David Mayer began "working closely" with the CIA, and later replaced the original Eyewitness Group Chairman.

Analysis: Therefore, relying on the new eyewitness statistics, which originated under the chairmanship of an NTSB employee who never interviewed a streak of light witness and spent so much time working "closely" with the CIA may not be prudent in this article. It may be a better idea to rely on the original NTSB Witness Group Factual Report, which was written by an experienced NTSB employee who interviewed multiple streak of light witnesses, three of whom were military eyewitnesses who were in the air at the time flying a Black Hawk helicopter and were first to arrive during search and rescue. If the second Witness Group Factual report is used, great care must be taken on how to introduce it, by considering all of the above.

Remedy: [Great care must be taken when describing the witness evidence, since even NTSB Chairman Jim Hall admitted during the final hearing on the crash that "normal Board procedures" were not followed regarding the eyewitness evidence.]


Because of their unique vantage points and/or the level of precision and detail provided in their accounts, five witness accounts generated special interest:[1](pp242–243) the pilot of Eastwind Airlines Flight 507, the crew members in the HH-60 helicopter, a streak-of-light witness aboard US Airways Flight 217, a land witness on the Beach Lane Bridge in Westhampton Beach, New York as well as a witness on a boat near Great Gun Beach.[1](pp243–247) Advocates of a missile-attack scenario asserted that some of these witnesses observed a missile;[1]:264 Analysis demonstrated that the observations were not consistent with a missile attack on TWA 800, but instead were consistent with these witnesses having observed some part of the in-flight fire and breakup sequence after the CWT explosion.[1]:264

Analysis: This is inaccurate. These witnesses were consistent with a missile attack, and even the CIA admitted, after finally reviewing the radar evidence, that one of these witnesses may have in fact seen a missile. The revelation came just weeks before the CIA animation was released, and nothing was done to correct the video or its inaccurate depiction of that specific witness' (Mike Wire, on Beach Lane Bridge) observations.

Remedy: [Integrate into the remedy directly above, an accurate description of these particular eyewitness observations, and explain how the CIA inaccurately portrayed their accounts. Possibly cite the internal CIA email that mentions both the Beach Lane Bridge witness (Mike Wire) and the US Air witness (Dwight Brumley) highlighted in the CIA video who contradict the main conclusion in that video: that what they saw was actually TWA Flight 800.]


Because a combustible fuel/air mixture will always exist in fuel tanks,

Remedy: "Because a combustible fuel/air mixture can sometimes exist in fuel tanks,"


Though the FQIS itself was designed to prevent danger by minimizing voltages and currents, the innermost tube of Flight 800's FQIS compensator showed damage similar to that of the compensator tube identified as the ignition source for the surge tank fire that destroyed a 747 near Madrid in 1976.[1](pp293–294) This was not considered proof of a source of ignition. Evidence of arcing was found in a wire bundle that included FQIS wiring connecting to the center wing tank.[1]:288 Arcing signs were also seen on two wires sharing a cable raceway with FQIS wiring at station 955.[1]:288

Analysis: This is inaccurate. The NTSB concluded that a lightning strike was responsible for the Madrid incident. Further, “the Safety Board discounted the compensator as an ignition source" in that incident: the NTSB determined "that 'fuel did not ignite' at the compensator by noting that “[t]ests showed that it took more voltage to spark the probe than would conceivably be induced in its wiring [and that] microscopic examination found no evidence of sparking.”"

Remedy: Remove complete entry from Wikipedia page.

Overall analysis by a former high level investigator involved in the NTSB investigation ---

Avianca 203 was destroyed by a bomb planted by a terrorist group under a seat in the cabin which penetrated the cabin floor into the tank which then caused the explosion. The surge tank on the 747 in Madrid in 1976 was in the left wingtip and did not have a compensator tube as there is no fuel quantity readings for the surge tanks. The cause of the Madrid 747 accident was a lightning strike to the left wing which introduced significant voltage into the left wingtip surge tank which caused the explosion. This had nothing to do with electrical power in the 747. The Bruntingthorpe test could not in anyway replicate the conditions for TWA 800 as the center tank was not filled with propane as it was in the test and the ignition source was not C4 plastic explosive as it was in Bruntingthorpe. The engine gauges in TWA's 747's were vertical reading and occasionally presented unusual or inaccurate readings. I have seen this myself on several occasions. The inaccurate readings on the CWT fuel quantity gauge may have been the result of its 13,000 foot fall to the water after the a/c breakup. The gauge was repaired and the electrical components indicated that there had been no high voltage introduced into the system. Please let me know if I can provide any additional info.


The captain's cockpit voice recorder channel showed two "dropouts" of background power harmonics in the second before the recording ended (with the separation of the nose).[1]:289 This might well be the signature of an arc on cockpit wiring adjacent to the FQIS wiring. The captain commented on the "crazy" readings of the number 4 engine fuel flow gauge about 2 1/2 minutes before the CVR recording ended.[1]:290 Finally, the Center Wing Tank fuel quantity gauge was recovered and indicated 640 pounds instead of the 300 pounds that had been loaded into that tank.[1]:290 Experiments showed that applying power to a wire leading to the fuel quantity gauge can cause the digital display to change by several hundred pounds before the circuit breaker trips. Thus the gauge anomaly could have been caused by a short to the FQIS wiring.[1]:290 The NTSB concluded that the most likely source of sufficient voltage to cause ignition was a short from damaged wiring, or within electrical components of the FQIS. As not all components and wiring were recovered, it was not possible to pinpoint the source of the necessary voltage.

Analysis: While the NTSB did provide some of this information within it's final report, none of the alleged anomalies were listed in the Findings or Probable Cause section of their final report. Within that report however, it concluded that "These electrical anomalies were not necessarily related to the same event. However, it is possible that one or more of these anomalies were a manifestation of an electrical event that resulted in excess voltage being transferred to the CWT FQIS wiring." A high-level TWA 800 investigator during the NTSB investigation wrote that: "The engine gauges in TWA's 747's were vertical reading and occasionally presented unusual or inaccurate readings. I have seen this myself on several occasions. The inaccurate readings on the CWT fuel quantity gauge may have been the result of its 13,000 foot fall to the water after the a/c breakup. The gauge was repaired and the electrical components indicated that there had been no high voltage introduced into the system."

Remedy: The NTSB listed three anomalies in the body of its final report: 1) two "dropouts" in the Captain's CVR channel of background power harmonics in the second before the recording ended; 2) "crazy" readings of the number 4 engine fuel flow gauge about 2 1/2 minutes earlier; and 3) the recovered Center Wing Tank fuel quantity gauge indicating 640 pounds instead of the 300 pounds that had been loaded into that tank.[1]:289-290. The NTSB concluded that "[t]hese electrical anomalies were not necessarily related to the same event. However, it is possible that one or more of these anomalies were a manifestation of an electrical event that resulted in excess voltage being transferred to the CWT FQIS wiring." The NTSB was unable to determine if the CVR dropouts were a result of an on-board short circuit or external electromagnetic interference. TWA Chief Safety Officer and lead investigator Robert Young counters that: 747 fuel gauges "occasionally presented unusual or inaccurate readings [which he had seen] on several occasions" as a commercial airline pilot. Young continued, saying that the "inaccurate readings...may have been the result of [the jetliner's] 13,000 foot fall to the water...[and notes that the] gauge was repaired and the electrical components indicated that there had been no high voltage introduced into the system."


visuals and eyewitness accounts of the disaster that indicated a sudden explosion and trails of fire in the sky moving in an upward direction.

Analysis: Inaccurate.

Remedy: visuals and eyewitness accounts of the disaster indicated that a streak of light rose off the surface and ended in an explosion at TWA 800's position.


The two most prevalent conspiracy theories concerning Flight 800 involve a terrorist bomb on board or a missile strike (attributed by some to American armed forces). Supporters of these explanations claim that the NTSB's report was created as a cover-up, that the NTSB did not investigate sufficiently, or that the NTSB did not have all the evidence it needed to reach the correct conclusion.[citation needed]

Analysis: Inaccurate. While the FBI did speculate that a terrorist bomb was to blame early on, that theory has since been dismissed by nearly everyone on all sides of this controversy.

Remedy: The most prevalent alternative theory concerning Flight 800 involves a surface-to-air missile. Senior NTSB investigator (Ret.) Hank Hughes who oversaw the reconstruction of TWA 800's interior has publicly endorsed this theory.[47][48][49][50][51] Other high-profile investigators from the original investigation who support the likelihood of that theory include: TWA Chief Safety Officer Robert Young; Suffolk County Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Wetli; NTSB consultant for forensic pathology Colonel Dennis Shanahan M.D.; lead investigator for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Rocky Miller; and Airline Pilots Association Captain James Speer. These former investigators and others point to evidence such as the radar evidence which they say was not adequately considered, as well as the lack of investigators assigned to the NTSB investigation who were qualified to identify evidence of a missile engagement.

Remedy: On July 17, 2013, the 17th anniversary of the tragedy, the Epix premium TV channel aired the documentary "TWA Flight 800," which featured these whistleblowers describing alleged overlooked evidence and discussing how certain individuals within the investigation had misrepresented that evidence. The film also features eyewitnesses who describe seeing a streak of light intercepting TWA 800. The whistleblowers also filed a petition with the NTSB for the reconsideration of the official probable cause determination.

Remedy: To consider the petition, the NTSB assembled a team of investigators not previously involved with the original investigation. On July 2, 2014, the NTSB said it would not reconsider its finding that the crash was caused by a fuel tank explosion. In a press release the NTSB stated: "After a thorough review of all the information provided by the petitioners, the NTSB denied the petition in its entirety because the evidence and analysis presented did not show the original findings were incorrect."[51] The petitioners have challenged this, saying that the individual most responsible for the problems with the debris field and eyewitness evidence during the TWA 800 investigation was NTSB Managing Director during the petition review process and that other problematic investigators from the original investigation were called in early during the petition review process to provide a media briefing on TWA 800. The petitioners also claim that after the review process, the NTSB has not properly analyzed the radar evidence or compared it with the debris field, eyewitness, and other evidence.

Stalcup (talk) 07:25, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Short and simple summary: You're pushing fringe conspiracy theories using the "alternative" euphemism. Wikipedia is not a soapbox for conspiracy enthusiasts. Acroterion (talk) 12:12, 3 June 2016 (UTC)