TWA Flight 800
The Impossible Zoom Climb
Latest Court Update
November 4, 2003
The Hearing Date is still scheduled for December 15, 2003
The strategy of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to block and delay our lawsuit. The DOJ maintained that we had not properly phrased our FOIA request for the data and calculations developed by the NTSB to support the zoom-climb portrayed in the CIA and NTSB video animations. Therefore, the NTSB claims it is not obligated to provide the information requested. Consequently, we filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint so that there will be no doubt about what we are requesting. Judge Howard Matz took our Motion under advisement, and yesterday his decision was recorded. Our Motion is granted. The reasoning in his five-page decision is very interesting. It is now posted at our website http://webpages.charter.net/raylahr/ under the button "Latest Court Update". It indicates that Judge Matz not only went through the 500 page opposition by the DOJ, he also considered information on the internet referenced by Plaintiff, namely Commander Donaldson's ARAP site at www.twa800.com . I am encouraged that Judge Matz is so thorough.
Judge Matz also referenced www.cnn.com/US/9707/twa.800/video/ . This CNN website is an especially good website because you can see all four videos in one place - the one video prepared by the CIA and the three videos prepared by the NTSB. In my opinion, it is a quick way to see the discrepancies between the CIA and NTSB versions and to see the absurdity of the whole zoom-climb concept. Keep the following in mind as you watch the videos.
Nearly one hundred witnesses saw a streak of light rising from the surface and intersecting with Flight 800. A huge explosion followed, and the debris fell downward in two flaming balls to the ocean.
In order to explain away these eyewitnesses, the CIA postulated that after the nose of TWA800 was blown off, the remaining aircraft zoom-climbed from 13,800 feet to 17,000 feet trailing flames. The CIA claims the witnesses did not see the first explosion because the sound had not reached them and alerted them. Nevertheless, (even though the sound still had not reached them), the CIA claims the witnesses looked up in time to see TWA800 climbing and trailing flames. This was supposed to be the rising streak of light. Then at the top of the climb, the CIA postulates a second fuel explosion. The witnesses thought this was the first explosion. Then the debris fell to about seven thousand feet where the CIA postulates a third fuel explosion. This was about 42 seconds after the first explosion. It took about 40 seconds for the sound of the first explosion to reach the witnesses on the shore. Supposedly, these witnesses heard the sound, looked up and saw the third explosion (thinking it was the first explosion), and then they saw two streams of flames descend into the ocean.
Well, this scenario is ridiculous, but the CIA video was presented with a straight face and an authoritative voice. The aviation community scoffed. Nevertheless, a month later the NTSB showed its own video version at the first Public Hearing. The NTSB reduced the verbal description of the zoom-climb to about 1500 feet, but the NTSB video itself still portrayed a climb of about 3,000 feet in order to have some semblance of a rising bright streak. The zoom-climb picture on my website home page was assembled by Dr. Tom Stalcup using the individual frames from the NTSB video. As you can see, the top of the climb scales at about 17,000 feet.
The only part of these videos that agrees with what the eyewitnesses actually saw is the last explosion where the left wing breaks away and the debris falls downward to the ocean in two flaming streams. In reality, this last explosion was the only explosion and it occurred at 13,800 feet when the center fuel tank exploded. There was no zoom-climb.
The legal jostling is making the hearing date of December 15, 2003, less certain. We will keep you informed if the date changes. Several people from all over the country are planning to attend. One gentleman, Michel Breistroff, is trying to arrange his schedule so that he can come all the way from France. If the hearing date is continued to a later date, it will probably occur around the middle of January. I don't know if that would hurt us or help us, but I do know that I sure appreciate all of the support that is coming in from a lot of wonderful people.