On the evening of July 17, 1996, Trans World Airlines Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from New York’s JFK Airport. All 230 people onboard were killed.
After a lengthy, costly investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the explosion was caused by flammable fuel/air vapors in a fuel tank, possibly sparked by a a short circuit. However, a new documentary due to be aired on EPIX next month challenges that conclusion in a big way.
Six former investigators told the makers of “Flight 800” that they are now believe that a missile may have hit the aircraft — a long discounted theory. According to CBS News, the crucial piece of evidence is a new form of radar analysis that shows there was a high velocity explosion, and that debris was ejected perpendicular and southward from the aircraft.
These six investigators also believe that evidence from the official NTSB-led probe was falsified and witness testimonies ignored, according to CBS. The investigators have now filed a petition to have the case reopened.
The TWA-800 flight has long been the subject of conspiracy theories, including theories that there was a bomb on board or that the flight was hit by a missile. The makers of the documentary believe that the new angle will help relatives and friends get closure. “The family members need to know what happened to their loved ones,” co-producer Tom Stalcup told CNN’s “New Day.”
However, not all family members are so sure. “Personally I can’t keep going over it again and again,” John Seaman, the longtime leader of an organisation of TWA 800 victims’ families, told the Associated Press. “I think most families feel that way.”
The documentary is due to be shown on July 17th, 2013, the 17th anniversary of the crash.
You can watch a trailer for the documentary below:
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