YAWN!If you watch Kristina Borjesson's new film, TWA Flight 800, you'll see a highly persuasive case that this passenger jet full of passengers was brought down by missiles, killing all on board.
Investigators reconstructed and analyzed virtually the entire structure of the stricken airliner. The work revealed 196 blast holes in the airplane's structure. So how did the investigators figure that an internal gas tank explosion caused this damage, instead of a missile or bomb?
The NTSB's metallurgists requested that Boeing conduct the tests (and Boeing had no motive to reach the conclusion that a defect in its own equipment, rather than an act of violence, caused the blast). Its engineers created test plates and fired fragments at them at high and low velocities. An antiaircraft missile warhead detonates close to its target, spraying shrapnel at high speeds into the aircraft to destroy it. A bomb made with high-energy explosives would also hurl metal, this time from the inside out, at higher velocities than an inadvertent gas tank detonation.
These tests indicated that high-speed fragments leave particular signs behind, like deformations on the edges and melted parts of the walls of the hole. High-speed impacts leave little surface deformation. In the TWA 800 tests, all but two of the 196 holes exhibited signs of low-velocity penetration, and the remaining two holes showed signs of both. One of these mystery holesjust 3/16-inch diameterwas examined in the Safety Board's Materials Lab. "No evidence of melted and resolidified metal was noted on any portion of the hole wall," the report states.
All the holes near the wing, where the fuel tank that exploded was located, were low-velocity impacts. About 95 percent of the airplane was reconstructed, and the missing parts were too small to hide bomb or missile damage.
To fake these lab results would require a cadre of engineers at Boeing, as well as the NTSB to be in on the conspiracy or be willing to sit quietly as their tests were rigged. Either way, there is a slew of outside voices involved with the tests that could contradict the government's story.