SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

June 20, 2013

Former TWA Flight 800 investigators want new probe

(Continued)

She noted the TWA Flight 800 investigation lasted four years.

“Investigators took great care reviewing, documenting and analyzing facts and data and held a five-day hearing to gather additional facts before determining the probable cause of the accident during a two-day board meeting.”

The former investigators calling for a new probe say they have new evidence that a missile may have taken down the jet.

They contend that the testimony of more than 200 witnesses who reported seeing streaks of light headed toward the plane should be reconsidered. The NTSB said after the first investigation that it found no evidence of a missile strike. It explained that what witnesses likely saw was the jetliner pitching upward in the first few moments after the explosion, but some witnesses still maintain that the streak of light they saw emanated from the waterline and zoomed upward toward the plane.

The petition filed with the NTSB to reopen the probe claims “new analyses of the FAA radar evidence demonstrate that the explosion that caused the crash did not result from a low-velocity fuel-air explosion as the NTSB has determined. Rather, it was caused by a detonation or high-velocity explosion.”

John Seaman, the longtime leader of an organization of TWA 800 victims’ families, noted there have been several attempts over the years to reopen the investigation.

“Unless something was to develop that would be very clear and compelling, then a lot of these interested parties are not really helpful,” said Seaman, whose niece died on the flight. He spoke to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from upstate New York on Tuesday, ahead of the formal filing of the petition.

“They reopen wounds,” he said of the petitioners. “Personally I can’t keep going over it again and again. I think most families feel that way.”

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