Twenty years after flight TWA 800 exploded, many still speculate whether or not the U.S. government has been entirely truthful about the incident.
The flight was on its way from Long Island, New York to Paris when it blew up only twelve minutes after taking off, the New York Post reports.
All 230 passengers were killed. Experts rushed to the ocean where the debris lay as quickly as they could.
“We tried to get close to a piece of burning wreckage at the beginning,” witness and police officer Vincent Termine said, reports the New York Post. “I remember operating the boat between flames. But we couldn’t get close enough. The smoke was making us sick. One of the guys had to throw up over the side.”
The plane wreckage would eventually turn up on a New York beach.
Many were surprised by such an event, especially given that the sky was perfectly clear that day -- and the temperature at a nice 70 degree Fahrenheit.
Some conspiracy theorists argued the U.S. government may have deliberately caused the explosion.
A four-year investigation -- the most expensive in aviation history -- would eventually conclude a short circuit in the plane’s center wing fuel tank caused the explosion.
“What we can say is that the United States military did not shoot a missile at this airplane,” said Jim Kallstrom, then-FBI assistant director, who says he lost a close friend in the crash. “The United States military did not shoot anything. Nothing, nothing like that has taken place, would take place, would ever take place under any circumstances.”
However, many remain skeptical -- ranging from experts to even surviving family members of those who died in the crash.
Author Jack Cashill recently released his book “TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover-Up, and the Conspiracy,” maintaining that there is at least more to the tragedy than we’ve been told.
“In TWA 800, historian Jack Cashill introduces new documents and testimonies that reveal the shocking true chain of events,” reads the book’s description on Amazon.
Among these testimonies are witness statements taken by the CIA and FBI revealing they’d seen a streak of white light heading towards the airplane before it exploded. Some even called it a “missile” or “rocket.”
As of yet, the U.S. government still has not provided an explanation for these sightings, fueling conspiracy theories back then -- and likely continuing to do so in the future.
Sources: New York Post, TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover-Up, and the Conspiracy/Amazon.com / Photo credit: ALAMY via Daily Mail