Did U.S. Gov't Lie About TWA Flight 800? Ex-Investigators Seek Probe as New Evidence Emerges.

Published on Jun 20, 2013 By:democracynow
http://www.democracynow.org - Seventeen years ago TWA Flight 800 crashed off Long Island, killing all 230 people aboard. The official government investigation blamed mechanical failure, but now a group of former investigators are petitioning the National Transportation Safety Board to reopen the probe, saying the original report was falsified. Was the plane accidentally shot down by the U.S. Navy conducting a nearby exercise or was it a terrorist attack? We speak to the filmmakers behind a new documentary on the crash, "TWA Flight 800," former CBS news producer Kristina Borjesson and Tom Stalcup, a physicist and co-founder of Flight 800 Independent Researchers Organization. We also play an extended excerpt of the film "Shadows of Liberty," which also explores the controversy.

Watch Part 2 of this interview: http://youtu.be/gAkIdb-DUYQ

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Best Evidence: TWA Flight 800 Friendly Fire

Suggesting a Missile Launch
Military Activity Near
the TWA Flight 800
© 2001 Ian Williams Goddard
In determining the nature of the phenomenon witnesses reported streaking toward
Flight 800, ascertaining its point of origin is critical. While a jet at 13,700 feet 10+ miles
away would be seen to slowly crawl across the sky, a surface-to-air
missile would originate from the surface and virtically rise to 13,700 within
seconds. The phenomenon doing that reported by witnesses is called the "streak of light."

The NTSB addressed the question of the origin of the phenomenon streaking toward the crash in two studies
of the FBI witness reports.
The first study concluded: "Of the 102 witnesses who gave information about the streak
94.11% said it originated from the surface." Therefore,
most of the relevant witness reports (those indicating an origin) support
the missile theory. The second study used a different set of definitions:
witnesses who said the phenomenon streaking toward the crash came from the "horizon" were grouped
separately from those who said it came from the "surface." But once the
two groups are combined, we find that 93% of the witnesses who
indicated a point of origin and who had a clear view of it said the rising
"flare" originated from the surface or horizon, 13,700 ft below
Flight 800. Once again, most of the relevant witness reports were shown to
support the missile theory.

Of the 755 FBI witness reports, not all witnesses reported seeing an
upward streaking "flare." The FBI interviewed anyone who saw or heard
anything possibly related to the crash. For most witnesses, their
attention was drawn to the crash only after the initial events.
These witnesses typically only reported falling fire. Many witnesses only
reported hearing loud booms. Witnesses who saw something streaking up from
the surface before there were any explosions in the sky saw early
events, and those witnesses are a subset of the entire 755-witness-report
database. The following is a selection of FBI witnesses who appear to see
early events suggesting a missile launch and/or who report unusual
activity in the area that might be related to military activity.

Analysis of FBI Witness Sketches

FBI Witness 8: "saw a red
object flying upward. ... described the object as a flare ... was actually
much bigger than any flare he had ever seen. As the 'flare' lifted into
the sky he next saw a big explosion of a large red color."

Witness 9: "saw a steak of
light, orange light come up from the bay or the ocean and head straight up
or at a slight one o'clock angle. The light was bigger than a flare and it
lasted approximately ten seconds. ... lost sight of the light and did not
see or hear any subsequent explosion." Witness 9 is one of several
witnesses who saw a streak of light that did not end in a large explosive
event, and was thus apparently not associated with the Flight 800
. Such accounts suggest that several rockets may have been
fired in the area during the day.

Witness 10: "observed an
eastbound, low flying red and white Piper airplane, that had either 'NB'
or 'NG' [perhaps for "National Guard"?] markings on it ... flying
approximately one hundred feet off the water and approximately two hundred
feet away from the shoreline. ... After the explosion the aircraft
immediately 'banked hard over Zachs Bay' and ... turned around heading
west [away from the crash]."

Witness 29: "saw a flare going
up and then saw white smoke. He said he thought it was just a boat sending
up a flare and did not pay much attention to it. ...10 - 15 minutes prior
to the flare there was a small white airplane with a blue strip toward the
tail circling ... for approximately 15 minutes. ... [assumed] a boat lit a
flare because that small plane went down. ...the small plane was unusually
low, approximately 100 feet off the water, circling over the ocean and the

Witness 32: was above Flight
800 aboard USAir Flight 217 and "observed a light which appeared to be a
'flare' and looked like the shooting of an unexploded fireball into the
air. It was moving right to left [F800 would move left to right from
witness's airborne position
] ... then observed an initial small
explosion [that] turned into a large explosion."

Witness 33: "observed a jet
traveling east and another jet traveling west towards each other. ...
observed a third smaller plane ... they were close to each other and she
thought this unusual. The jet traveling east began to climb and was
spewing white exhaust. [Witness] thinks it is unusual that she has heard
nothing about the other planes in the media." Ten minutes later Witness
33 saw the Flight 800 crash
. Such radical aircraft activity might
suggest a military exercise.

Witness 34: "saw what he
thought was a shooting star [that] was more like a bottle-rocket with a
dull orange glow to it ... the glow moved faster than an aircraft ...only
observed the light it emitted, due to the speed of the object." May
have seen rocket unrelated to the crash

Witness 36: "saw an orange
color flash, similar to a roman candle or rocket, flash by. ... came from
the approximate direction of the northwest and was heading toward the
southeast [90 degrees opposed to the flight path of Flight 800].
The flash streaked across the Bay. ... It could have been a firework or
rocket." Did not report seeing crash.

Witness 39: "heard an
extremely loud report coming from the rear of her property and a large
'puff' of black smoke which blew from west to east and over and enveloping
her house and others. ...she never looked skyward." Witness 39 lives
near a large uninhabited and overgrown area . While there may be better
explanations, this account would be consistent with the nearby property
having been utilized as a launch site for a small man-portable missile. Or
perhaps the witnessed loud noise and subsequent cloud of smoke over the
houses was something that fell to that locaiton.

Witness 40: "observed a bright
white object traveling very quickly across the sky ... moving toward the
East River. The object traveled horizontally and slightly upwards across
the sky." Witness 40 lives in New York City and the observed anomalous
aircraft is probably not related to the crash other than suggesting
widespread military activity.

Witness 41: "observed what he
described as a reddish colored streak ... going from the ground towards
the point of the explosion." Witness 41 said the streak rising from the
ground looked like "a flare."

Witness 43: "observed a small white
trainer-type plane flying extremely low, approximately 50 - 60 feet above
Bellport Bay ... had never seen a plane flying so low."

Witness 59: "observed a
National Guard aircraft flying ... from west to east about three miles out
[to sea] ... then saw an intense bright light in the sky ... the white
glow then descended." The Coast Guard also first stated that the
National Guard was offshore, but the official story quickly became that
no NG aircraft were offshore before the crash.

Witness 63: "observed an
airplane off to his left flying in an eastbound direction ... observed a
bright flash of white light on the rear portion of the plane ... similar
to firework ... airplane appeared to be flying through the white flash
[suggests an external blast] ...[then] airplane dipped ...before...
bursting into flames."

Witness 73: "observed an
aircraft climbing in the sky ... keeping her eyes on the aircraft, she
observed a 'red streak' moving up from the ground toward the aircraft at
approximately a 45 degree angle. The 'red streak' was leaving a light gray
colored smoke trail. ...[The streak] closed in from behind the aircraft,
rose above the path of the aircraft, then dropped down and intercepted the
aircraft. ...[she] believed that she witnessed a missile ... fired from a
boat which was located somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean."

Witness 80: "saw what he
described as an orange flare, which appeared to be launched from the beach
or beyond which went straight up then suddenly he saw a large red glow
which he described as an 'explosion.'"

Witness 82: "saw a flare shoot
from the water. The flare went up in a concave arch. The flare had a pink
flame at first which turned into an orange flame ... [The flare] turned
into a large ball of orange fire."

Witness 84: "observed a flare
heading up into the sky. ...flare was orange and went up into the air at
about the same speed as a firework. ...[it flew] further out toward the
ocean ... [then] burst into a large fireball. "

Witness 86: "observed two
orange streaks ascending in a curved path. ... streaks were bigger and
brighter than ordinary boat flares and left long trails [behind them] to
the water. ...he lost sight of the flares when they appeared to die out.
...did not observe any visible explosion in the sky." One of many
accounts suggesting missiles that did not hit a jet, as one might see
during military exercises in a littoral environment

Witness 88: "observed what he
thought was a firework ascending into the sky. ...this object which was
ascending left a wispy white smoke trail. ...observed an airplane come
into the field of view. ...the bright red object ran into the airplane and
upon doing so both ... exploded into a huge plume of flame."

Witness 90: "saw a red fire
ascending... It ascended to 12 o'clock and she saw an orange/yellowish
light which continued to get bigger... Light began to descend and burst
into massive flames."

Witness 92: "observed a small
white airplane [that] kept circling the park and descended to a height of
just a few hundred feet over the beach. ... 15-20 minutes later ...
observed what she described as a flare ascending from east to west
[opposite to F800's path] and outward towards the ocean. ...flare
reached a point in the sky where it appeared to die out. ...[then] she saw
a huge fireball in the sky [that] dropped towards the water."

Witness 93: observed an
extremely odd ship that was "Riding very low in water, lumbering along,
appearing to 'plow' through the water due to weight and blunt bow."
Mystery ship had a "low 'squatty' cabin." Tends to fit a description of
a littoral missile platform similar to the Arsenal

Witness 96: observed "a flare
appear in the Atlantic Ocean ... she thought this flare originated from
the surf [ocean] ... described the flare as having an orange tip with a
white trail of smoke. ...flare went straight up ... then observed a red
ball near the flare ... red ball continued to grow and then began to

Witness 102: was on Route 27
"when a large firework exploded in the sky. ...described the burst as a
bright ball, bluish and silver that threw blue and white sparks in all
directions. ...did not see any other fireworks or anything else in the sky
that night."

Witness 104: saw "a large
firework" that "shot trails of green and white." Was a passenger in car
with witness 102.

Witness 105: observed "a large
green and yellow firework ... the burst was green and yellow."
Passenger in car with witnesses 102 & 104. These last three
witnesses were looking away from the ocean when they saw a fireworks-like
burst. It may have been actual fireworks, or perhaps indicative of
widespread military exercise.

Witness 107: "observed what he
believed to be a flare ... [the] flare seemed to hit the object [Flight
800] ... giving off an orange and red glow." Then saw explosions and fire
that fell to the water.

Witness 108: "saw what appeared to be
a flare rise up ... orange/pink in color and was moving away from
[witness] in a south/southeasterly direction [F800 traveled a northeast
] rising at a 65 degree angle at a steady speed. ...flare left
behind a smoke trail which was bluish/gray in color ... streaming out from
behind flare. ...flare rose upward and then arced downward. ...the flare
descended from the arc for approximately one second and exploded into an
orange ball ... which fell."

Witness 117: "noticed a twin
engine aircraft, she believed to be an Apache, pass overhead heading in a
westerly direction following the shoreline. ...later noticed a flare take
off from the ocean. ...flare ascended from the ocean, from what [she]
assumed to be a boat, and initially traveled straight up ...[then] the
flare's flame seemed to grow in size and ... fall into the ocean."

Witness 128: "observed a glow
of fire ascend to the sky ... [Also saw] white male ... at the fishing
dock. He had snorkeling gear and was going into the water. The man told
[witness] that he had to go snorkeling because 'today is the day.'"

Witness 129 & 643:
observed "a flare to the southeast. It first appeared to him at eye
level and continued to rise upward from that point, at a fast rate of
speed. It rose to a certain point and appeared then to curve southeast and
slightly downward. He then saw a small flash or explosion and then a large
explosion or fireball [that] descended to the ocean."

Witness 135: "saw a
reddish 'flare,' already off the surface moving upward in an east to west
direction [F800 was on west to east path] with a slight arch. After
approximately 5 seconds or less he saw a wide illumination like a
firework. He saw wreckage (orange-red) fall."

Witness 144: "noticed a plane
in the sky traveling right to left ... then saw an object angle to the
right with a bright orange glow with a white streak behind it. ...then
lost sight of the streak ...described this streak as 'taking off like a
rocket'. She thought at first that she saw fireworks, but then changed her
mind and said 'no way, it was a missile'. ...[then] she saw a bright
orange fireball ...[that] feel straight down."

Witness 145: "saw a plane and
noticed an object spiraling towards the plane. The object, which she saw
for about one second, had a glow at the end of it and a grey/white smoke
trail. ...she saw the object hit the plane."

Witness 147: "observed a flare
shoot upward from the water, ascend with a bright orange-red glow skyward
and at its apex, burst into numerous orange red flames. ...her boyfriend,
also watched the flares ascend. ...[then] the flare descended into
numerous red flames.

Witness 150: "noticed an
unusual object traveling at high speed from north to south [F800
traveled from south to north
]. ...described the object as cylindrical,
tubular and bullet shaped. Having no apparent wings, except perhaps, a
small vertical shape at the rear" "moved more quickly than any plane"
"almost flat trajectory."

Witness 151: "described what
he thought was a flare ... described the flare as a white wispy trail that
went straight up. ...he followed the flare for about five seconds, when
the flare turned into an orange burst. ...he did not see anything fall to
the water." One of many witnesses who saw a rocket yet nothing falling
to the water.

Witness 157: "noticed a red
flare or firework trailing white smoke ascending ... The flare was angling
east-southeast. ...seven (7) to ten (10) seconds later, he observed a
large fireball erupt ... Before the explosion in the sky, he observed a
plane in the area of the flare. After the explosion, he could no longer
see the plane."

Witness 158: "observed double
orange flares streak upward and explode into a large orange fireball. She
states the flares were slanted, arcing and trailed by gray smoke. ...also
reports a strong order of diesel fuel."

Witness 159: "observed an
orange/white glow diminishing in size as it moved away from him. Glow was
rising skyward from southwest of is position. He thought it was a flare or
fireworks from the beach. At top of trajectory he observed a whitish glow
and an object dropped into the ocean, on fire." 159 appears to be
witness Tom Dougherty

Witness 166: "noticed a large
commercial plane flying east ...[then] noticed something ascending ...
looked like white, yellow fire, trailed by black smoke ... It ascended in
a straight line at an angle of seven to ten degrees away from a vertical
ninety degree ... believed it was from the water ... concluded that he had
seen a missile. [Witness] stated he was in the Polish army in 1974 and has
experience with missiles ... opined that this was a medium size missile
which would have required three experienced people to operate."

Witness 168b: "saw an upward white
smoke trail then a red flash that he thought was a flare."

Witness 174: "saw a skyrocket
type object streak up into the night sky ... had an orange contrail ...
few seconds later, after the skyrocket contrail disappeared, [witness] saw
a large orange fireball." See Witness 174's sketch animated.

Witness 175: "observed a flare
going straight up, but he was unclear as to whether it had originated from
land or water. ...observed the flare turn into a large red and orange
flaming object or 'fireball.' ...the fireball slowly fell toward the sea."

Witness 178: "saw what looked like a
shooting star. He stated that the 'star' seemed to come from Moriches
Inlet ... described the 'star' as a reddish/orange streak that was thicker
in the front and thin in the tail ... the 'star' was rising ... [then] he
observed a large orange/yellow fireball."

Witness 179: "she observed an object
... which looked like a flare or a firework going up ... observed the
object climb in an erratic fashion for about five seconds at which point
she noticed an explosion ...[that] dropped down."

Witness 184: "saw a yellow/orange
small firework going up in the air over the ocean. ... then saw a big
explosion in the sky followed by a larger fireball."

Witness 185: "was facing south,
watching a star. To the right of the star, a 'yellowy-orange' light, 'all
glowing', was coming up, it arced, from the right of the star going left.
It went in front of the star and then exploded like a big bright light."
Witness 185 then saw something bright orange falling. About the upward
streaking light, "She said it was like fireworks, it rose in a matter of
seconds. ... She would say it came from the ocean." Seeing only points
of light, one can tell witness 185 was in fact 30-40 miles from the crash
(aircraft lights
can be seen at 50 miles, and a missile's exhaust plume should be
brighter). This account is important, since at such a distance and at dusk
all visual information except luminosity would be eliminated. The results
of this "luminosity-only test" indicates that there were two luminous
entities in the sky and one moved much faster than the other. The
fast-moving entity also appears to have tracked the other and exploded
near it. Account 185 provides an important visual test (luminous-entities
only), and the test results appear to support the case for a missile shoot

Witness 186: "a soft-edged,
pinkish-red flame was observed ascending in the sky. ...[later] a glowing
red mass was observed at water level [probably fire on the water].
... Described the object that was ascending as ... traveling at a high
rate of speed. ... A couple days prior to the crash, an unusual
Styrofoam cooler was observed washing in and out of the surf. Shards of a
mirror were glued onto the outside of the cooler. A one-two yard string
was tied to the inside of the cooler and ran through a hole in the lid.
Subsequent to the crash, four men, one in uniform with red lapels,
picked up the cooler and left in a grey van." Underlines added. Who
would construct such an odd thing, and for what purpose? Could a buoyant
Styrofoam box with mirrors on the outside serve as a low-budget
radar-reflector for testing the acuity of underwater radar systems or
marking a boundary? Was this odd item such a device that broke free from a
tether? New York Times (3/12/97) reported that a submarine involved in
maneuvers was "near the flight path."

Witness 188: "saw a white-colored
flare rise up into the sky. ...flare suddenly exploded into a fireball
which ... fell into the ocean."

Witness 190: "observed something go
up in the air ... believed to be some sort of fireworks. Several seconds
later he saw an orange fireball [that] descended from the sky. ... When
[witness] looked back up in the sky where he had seen the first event, he
saw a big ball of white smoke." Many witnesses note the flare and the
first blast left white smoke. Burnt jet fuel always produces black smoke,
solid-rocket fuels and high explosive detonations usually produce white

Witness 196: "saw three orange lights
shoot out from the horizon in quick succession. ...believed that this was
more than just a flare or firework." Witness saw no explosions. Appears
to have seen other projectiles not directly associated with the crash.

Witness 199: "saw an orange elongated
mass shoot straight up from the horizon. ...an orange glow seemed to
follow it ... The object went straight up into the sky for about two
seconds, reached its apex, and then broke apart. ...did not observe any
fire ball." Witness estimates the event was seen at 8:15, which was 15
minutes before the crash. Appears to be another witness to other
pyrotechnic activity.

Witness 200: "stated that somebody on
the dock said, 'Look, a flare.' ...observed a small pale red/pink dot
[about] the size of an eraser going up in the sky. ...The dot was followed
by a thin, very white trail of smoke, which was slightly wider than the
dot. ...The dot traveled a path shaped like a candy cane: straight up,
then curving at the top ...As the dot started to come down, it exploded."

Witness 201: "at approximately 8:00
pm [30 minutes before crash], observed for 5 - 7 seconds an object 7,000 -
10,000 feet in the sky, moving from the west in a south-east direction.
[Witness] advised this object appeared to be an airplane similar in
appearance to a space shuttle. [Witness] advised this object was trailing
white smoke." Sounds like an unconventional aircraft, perhaps a
military asset

Witness 207: "noticed an explosion in
the sky ... saw black smoke and flames fall ... He noticed a vapor line
from the ocean up to the sky, like a firework. He saw this vapor line
after the initial blast ... thought it could have come from the ground or
possibly the horizon. ... [The witness, who] is a former EOD in the Marine
Corp, stated the initial colors of the explosion were white, yellow and
orange and that it reminded him of napalm or the crack of a bomb." FBI
witnesses routinely described the first explosion as bright white, which
differs from the red-orange of a fuel blast, which followed the first

Witness 217: "was sitting ... with a
friend [who] mentioned to [witness] that a boat must be in distress
because a flare had been shot up. [Witness] described the flare as a small
reddish-orange ball with a whitish flash around it. ... only observed the
reddish-orange ball for two to three seconds ... then there was an

Witness 218: "stated that it looked
as though two propane tanks had caught fire and were streaking up from the
water or coast line ... The objects had an orange and purple tail of
flame. ...There was then a blue and dark purple flash. Something came off
the top of the plane followed by flame. Then another part dropped off. The
rest of the plane seemed to coast a little further. ...There were orange
and yellow flames and black smoke coming from the object as it fell."

Witness 220: "saw a reddish flare in
the sky ... It then burst into a small fireball. It looked like the puff
associated fireworks. A larger fireball erupted off the smaller one."

Witness 221: "looked up to see a
large commercial jet ... [then] saw a streak of light travel up from the
water into the sky. [Witness] described the streak of light as though it
was a rocket or like a shooting star only going upward. ...did not watch
the light because his attention was drawn [away by wife] ... [then he] saw
a flash of light..."

Witness 223: observed "a column of
rising orange red flame that was quite big ... then went away in what
[witness] described as faint sparkles similar to a roman candle drifting
down. ...the positive inclination of the burning orange/red column was
almost straight..."

Witness 224: "saw something dark rise
from lower left to being above the island ... He then saw a yellow orange
flare-like thing that exploded..." See
Witness 224's sketch animated

Witness 226: "noticed a red flame
streak towards the sky. The flame then curved right and proceeded downward
toward the water before finally splitting into two balls of fire.
[Witness] stated that the bright flame was like a flare being launched. It
had a head, followed by a small tail, and its path was defined by a narrow
trail of smoke."

Witness 231: observed "a fireworks
rocket ascending ... At the point where the 'rocket' was last seen,
[witness] saw an orange fireball erupt and fall to the horizon.
...[witness] is a Police Officer..."

Witness 233: "noticed a flare off in
the distance, rising into the air. [Witness] originally observed the flare
approximately halfway up in its flight. She described it as moving
steadily straight up and described as orange with a short reddish-orange
smoke trail. ...then observed the flare pause, then brightly pulse in a
small concentrated area. ...described the flare as being a steady glow and
rose at a steady, remarkable pace. ...stated that within two seconds of
the pulse she observed a large object seemingly stopping its forward
momentum while igniting into a fireball, then breaking into two large
pieces [that fell] downward."

Witness 234: "was flying private
Cessna with his friend when they witnessed the explosion of TWA Flight
800. ...described observing a 'bright stripe of light', which 'looked like
an S' a few seconds prior to witnessing a fireball. ...was unable to tell
whether the 'bright stripe of light' was ascending or descending."
Flight 800's path is not indicated by radar to have had a trajectory that
would've "looked like an S."

Witness 235: "at approximately 8:20
PM [10 minutes before crash] ... saw two silver cylindrical objects
traveling 'very high up' across the sky ... The larger of the two objects
traveled from west to east ... The smaller object traveled from west to
the southwest, possibly splintering off the larger object. Both objects
left vapor trails." Witness does not report seeing the crash -- appears
to be one of many who saw rockets not related to the crash.

Witness 237: "observed a small
reddish-orange round dot rise from the water, reaching its apex, making a
small arch, falling a short distance, then disappearing. [Witness]
observed no explosion, noise, or trail of smoke. [Witness] believes this
object to be a flare."

Witness 239: "saw a flash of light,
and when he turned, he saw a red-orange color flame going up in the sky in
a southeast direction [90 degrees to F800's flight path]. [Witness]
assumed it was a flare from a boat although he believed it looked larger.
[Witness] added the projectile rose ... at a very high arch and at its
apex, separated into 2 reddish-orange balls."

Witness 241 & 242: "observed a
bright white light arching into the sky ... it appeared to her to be
emanating from Westhampton Beach, at an angle not exactly vertical, and
travel over the ocean [approx.90 degrees to F800's flight path]. At
the time she thought it was a firework. This light reached high into the
sky ... At its apex ... appeared to fizzle out, then moments later, a huge
explosion occurred, consisting of a bright oblong wall of flames."

Witness 243a: "had gone crabbing with
about 20 other people ... when a young boy ... noticed something that
appeared to be a flare flying up into the air ... called the group's
attention to this object as it flew into the air. This flying object
looked like it came up from land ... and took about four or five seconds
before hitting the airplane. The smoke, which trailed this object, was
whitish in color and the band of smoke was narrow. It looked like a flare
or Roman candle flying into the air. The object flew at an angle into the
air and neither it, nor its impact with the plane, made any noise."

Witness 243b: "observed an object,
reddish/orange in color, ascending into the sky ... The sighting lasted 3
to 4 seconds ... then saw an explosion."

Witness 248: "heard series of booms
which shook the house. ...[looked out to see] pieces engulfed in flame
fall out of sky into ocean ... At about the same time the pieces were
falling from the sky there was a helicopter hovering over the ocean about
five miles from where the pieces had fallen. The helicopter had a
searchlight which was shining toward the water. The helicopter hovered
briefly and then headed west out of sight. ...described the helicopter as
being like the 'big green Army ones.'"

Witness 249: "saw a definite white
clear trail of smoke going straight from the ground to the sky a few
minutes before 8 p.m. [30 minutes before F800 crash] ...stated that
she saw an object at the top of the smoke trail that seemed to be leading
the smoke trail upward. [Witness] stated that it was still daylight at
this time."

Witness 250: saw "a yellow explosion
with red and purple shooting out from the center ... in the light of the
explosion he observed a vapor trail. The trail appeared gray, and seemed
to be consistent in thickness and color. ... described the path and
direction of the trail as being straight up from the ground." Witness
estimates those events happen at 8:15, crash was at 8:30. Not clear if
this event was directly related to the crash or an account of other
pyrotechnic events witnessed.

Witness 254: "observed ... a very
large indistinguishable ball of fire. This 'burst of fire' began falling
and split into two pieces ... The fires hit the water and [witness] then
observed a white-hot colored dot at about the same location as the
original fireball. For about five seconds, the dot appeared to be
suspended in the sky. The dot grew slightly larger and its intensity
became brighter. The light went out in a manner similar to a propane gas
light." What was the residual luminosity witness 254 saw? It sounds
like some kind of illumination pyrotechnic, several witness have described
seeing an intense shining white light.

Witness 260: "saw what appeared to be
a flare rising into the sky ... whitish/yellow in color ... it appeared to
him that the flare was launched from a position off-shore and not from any
beach area. He watched the flare move upward in the sky to a point where
the flare seemed to lose energy and arc and began to descend, he observed
a fireball somewhat above where he last saw the flare." Appears to be a
pyrotechnic event not directly related to the crash

Witness 261: "saw a red navigator
light from an airplane in the distance. [Witness] then saw an orange
firework, with a tail in the air southwest of him. The firework traveled
up, then arched down before lost sight of it. Seconds later [witness] saw
a second and third fire work in the sky simultaneously. Both were orange
with tails and they traveled in the same arching pattern of the first
firework. Approximately 30 seconds later [witness] heard a rumble and saw
... smoke stretch down to the horizon."

Witness 266: "noticed a very distinct
line of black smoke rise up from the water. A second later she noticed a
cloud of white smoke, followed by a big glowing red circle of fire rise up
further into the atmosphere and came right down."

Witness 267: "observed a blue flash
that reminded him of an aerial firework, explode in the sky,
north-northeast of his residence. The blue flash disappeared within a few
minutes." This explosive event appears to be far removed from the
crash, but along with many accounts of other pyrotechnic events suggests
military maneuvers were in the area.

Witness 271: "recalls seeing a
flare-like light rush up into the sky. ...The flare built up and then
pieces of fire fell. ...believed it was a fire work that failed to

Witness 275: "observed an orange
colored 'arc' moving upward ... The arch continued to travel upwards and
appeared to bend to the left a little at the end. Then the arc ... ended
in a large explosion ...[Witness] is sure that what she saw was a missile,
based on what she has seen in television and the movies."

Witness 276: "noticed a flare like
object traveling upward from a north to south direction [roughly 90
degrees to F800 flight path]. She then saw a bright orange fireball in the
sky ... the fireball then fell to the ocean, followed by black smoke."

Witness 277: "saw what looked like a
flare shooting into the sky ... there was a red burst and then a yellow
ball falling from the sky.

Witness 279: "saw large fireball in
the sky ... called the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to report what
they saw, stating it appeared as though a plane was in trouble. The USCG
responded stating the military was conducting pyrotechnic exercises and
would this have been what they saw?"

Witness 281: "observed a barge with
lights approximately one mile east of the Moriches Inlet at approximately
7:00 pm. [Witness] felt this was unusual for a barge this size to be so
close to the beach." Non-military vessels could be associated with
military activities. As the Press-Enterprise (07/17/98) reported: "A Navy
captain assigned to the Pentagon told an Atlantic Fleet watch officer
about 24 hours after the crash to keep the names of three merchant ships
that could have been near Flight 800 'in-house Navy for the time being.'
The directive was noted in Atlantic Fleet logs released under a Freedom of
Information Act request."

Witness 286: "noticed a flare
ascending ... described the object he saw as a skyrocket ... [Witness]
said he followed the flare for 10-15 seconds and then saw an explosion.
...then saw the plane explode but he did not see it crash in the water."

Witness 287: "noticed a firework
ascending into the air ... after watching the firework for a few seconds
saw an explosion."

Witness 289: "saw a red flare
ascending into the air before he saw an explosion. ... After the explosion
[witness] saw the plane go over the horizon. "

Witness 305: "observed what appeared
to be a thin stream of orange flame ... When she first saw the orange
stream, which looked like a 'firework,' it came straight up out of the
water. ...did advise that if she went back to the restaurant for
interview, she would be able to exactly duplicate what she saw."
There's no indication that the follow-up interview suggested ever took

Witness 313: saw falling fire, then
"advised that [redacted] immediately called the Coast Guard and was
informed that the Air National Guard were testing bombs in the
area." Also see witness 279 and 525b.

Witness 318: "was sitting at a table
facing south...when he observed a small orange ball or flame, moving
directly away from him [southbound]. [Witness] walked over to the middle
of the deck, and saw the flare get bigger as it went down. There was an
explosion, and an object broke into two pieces and spiraled down toward
the horizon."

Witness 319: saw what she initially
thought was a boat flare. She saw the flare when it was already at a
midpoint in the sky. ... She did not see where the flare originated from,
but thought it was as close as the bay. The flare continued ascending for
about three seconds, but [witness] too her eyes off of it ... The flare
was red-orange in color with white in the middle [exactly as 649 describes
it], elongated in shape like a baseball bat, but more squat. ... The light
seemed to be moving away from her, as if further south. As the flare
ascended, it suddenly turned a deeper orange, and got larger, but not
exactly round in shape. ... Slowly, the entire body of fire descended...

Witness 320: saw a red streak, which
was comprised of red and orange flames and resembled a plant called a
cattail. The streak was thick and trailed white smoke. ... Almost
immediately she saw a second streak, which resembled the first. She
thought the streaks were flares or fireworks but something did not seem

Witness 326: was traveling with his
daughter...and remarked to her to look at the firework. [Witness saw a red
glowing object ascending from the tree tops. ... Suddenly, the glow burst
into a larger red glowing ball.

Witness 334: "observed a white smoke
trail ascending through the sky culminating in a bright orange fire ball.
... noted that the smoke trail seemed to start off slowly, but gained
momentum and speed before evolving into a fireball." Report also notes a
"white plane that She observed in the area doing loops several minutes
prior to her observation of the smoke trail."

Witness 335: "While at the beach,
[witness] noticed an unusual ship in the water off the coast. ...unusual
in that it had a smoke stack in the middle and a high front and high back.
...The ship appeared to be sinking because the bow of the ship appeared
unusually high. [Witness] could not recall ever seeing that ship off the
shore by Great Gun Park." After the witness saw a "flare," the FBI report
notes: "[Witness] believed that the flare may have been a distress flare
from the boat observed earlier which appeared to be sinking." Was it a
sinking ship or perhaps a submersible ship?

Witness 337: saw an "ultralight
aircraft [that] was in the vicinity of East Moriches and heading west at
the time of the explosion." Unmanned aerial vehicles look like
untralights. In all, there are numerous accounts of unusual aircraft,
aircraft activity, and ships.

Witness 340: "noticed a huge ball of
fire west of her plane. ... At approximately the same time She observed
two (2) dark green helicopters flying between USAIR flight 217 and the
ball of fire. The helicopters appeared to be flying in a circular
pattern." A lot of aircraft seen flying in circles that day.

Witness 341: "was in a window seat on
the right side of USAIR FLIGHT 217 (7/17/96) when he saw what he thought
to be a boat on the ocean below his plane. ...the boat was going west at a
speed which made 'foam come out of the back of the boat.' ... He then
turned back to the window and saw something red in the same location as
the boat. He did not know what this red thing was in front of him but he
watched it for approximately fifteen seconds and then it exploded." The
red thing that exploded may have been a missile that came from the

Witness 353: "saw what looked like a
rocket rise ... appeared to be like a rocket used in fireworks ... the
rocket followed an arched path and then She saw an explosion..."

Witness 354: "noticed a flare out
over the ocean fly into the sky ... next saw an orange fireball explode."

Witness 358: "observed what appeared
to be a flare ... [that] turned into a wide flame that descended. ...
Approximately 20 minutes prior to the explosion [witness] observed a large
orange-rust colored boat, 250-300 feet in length with large arm like
structures on its rear, south of Moriches Inlet. [Witness] thought this
was unusual because large commercial fishing boats are rarely that close
to the inlet."

Witness 359: "saw what appeared to be
a boat flare shoot straight up into the sky from the horizon beyond Dune
Road, [witness] knew that it originated from the ocean. ...The flare
ascended for what [witness] estimated to be about fifteen seconds. It then
burst into a yellow flash [that] descended ... then burst again into a
huge fireball ... about twenty times the size of the yellow flash."

Witness 361: "noticed a reddish/pink
flare ascending upward into the sky. ...This flare then exploded into a
huge ball of fire which fell from the sky."

Witness 364: "saw a red streak rise
from the horizon. He thought it was fireworks being fired from Smith Point
Beach over the ocean. ...It ascended at a slight angle to the right [from
vertical], very high and then curved downward slightly and then leveled
off and appeared to explode..."

Witness 367: "noticed a streak in the
south east arching toward the sky which She thought was a flare. ...She
believe this 'flare' emanated either from the bay of from the Westhampton
Beach area. [Then] saw an explosion..."

Witness 369: "observed a red streak
... west bound [F800 was east bound] ... observed the streak for
about three to four seconds and then saw red flames."

Witness 371: observed "a red arc
which at that time he believed to be a red distress flare... stated that
he actually recalled saying look it’s a boat flare and at that point
[redacted] said no its fireworks out on Long Island. [Witness] stated that
this was happening while watching this thing going up from Long Island,
and when it reached a certain point in the evening sky there came an
orange explosion and at that point [witness] stated that he felt he was
neither looking at a boat flare or fireworks." Witness then saw fire
falling to the water. NTSB report includes this witness's sketch.

Witness 372: observed "a tube of
reddish/orange fire appeared to go straight up into the sky. It took off
like the space shuttle."

Witness 374: "saw a thin plume of
flame rising up from the horizon ... approximately thirty seconds later he
saw a second plume of flame approximately one-half the height of the

Witness 376: was with 374 and also
saw "a thin red flash to the Southeast of his home. The flame was narrow
and rose upward... Five to ten seconds later, he saw a second flash
approximately one half the height of the first. [Later he saw] columns of
black smoke rising from the horizon."

Witness 378: "reported that at
approximately 8:20 PM ... he was in a car traveling towards the Shinnecock
Canal when he observed a gray military aircraft flying overhead South
towards the water."

Witness 379 & 380: "saw an
orange/reddish streak traveling upwards and arcing off in the air. The
[redacted] stated that they saw an explosion which looked like a
waterfall... They could not determine if the streak originated from either
land or water."

Witness 385 & 386: were in
a boat when they saw "a bright glow, which was described as orangey-red
and perfectly round... It seemed like it came off the horizon... At first
they thought it might have been a flare, but realized that it was too
huge. It traveled diagonally at an approximate 70 degree angle going in a
westerly direction [F800 traveled in an easterly direction]. The
object rose in the sky for approximately six (6) seconds, leaving a white
smoke trail in its wake. It then disappeared from sight for approximately
½ second. After that time, without a sound of an explosion, a large oval
ball of fire appeared just above the area where the object was last seen.
... [then] the ball of fire came straight down."

Witness 391: "saw a bright reddish
orange light (like lightening streak) going straight up to the south. The
streak wasn't a straight line, it was in a zig zag pattern. Her husband
[392] then saw a big burst of light."

Witness 393: "saw a red and orange
light traveling up from the ground of the ocean. ...thought it was a flare
but decided it was too big to be a flare. ... did not hear or see any
explosion." Sounds like this "flare" did not strike a jet.

Witness 396: "saw two red streaks,
very vivid in color, ascend ... assumed it was fireworks."

Witness 399: "heard a loud 'swoosh'
going over the house. [witness] related that the swoosh sounded like a
large rocket going over the house."

Witness 409b & 607: "saw a
light grayish streak/line ascending into the sky over the ocean [at an]
almost vertical angle. The streak was fine, like a pencil line ... the
line then disappeared ... then observed a bright white light in the sky in
the area where the streak disappeared. The light appeared one second after
the streak disappeared. ...The light ... began to slowly descend..."

Witness 411 & 412:
"observed a reddish glowing flare streak skyward from due east but could
not tell if it was from land or water. Flare was tight, corkscrew shaped
with and even but fast speed. They did not see what flare struck, but it
exploded in air into a large orange fireball. Two large flaming chunks of
debris fell from the fireball. ... They also recall a light, low flying,
single engine plane with a maroon stripe low on the beach about fifteen
(15) minutes prior to flare and explosion incident."

Witness 415 & 416: "saw a
sparkly thing go up into the sky... [416] said he saw a sparkly thing go
up and then a bigger sparkly thing come down."

Witness 422 & 423:
"observed a low flying airplane. The airplane was approximately 25 feet
above the ground. It was observed flying erratically, with wings dipping
from side to side. [422] stated that it was a fixed wing airplane ... with
landing gear down. They lost sight of the airplane behind the house line
and approximately after one minute pass they observed an orange glow in
the sky." Two of many witness accounts of unusual aircraft activity in
the area before the crash

Witness 429: "observed a brilliant
red flare commencing above the horizon moving in a straight line upward
towards the sky. The flare then exploded into a brilliant red ball.
Approximately a half second later another explosion occurred directly
under the first explosion."

Witness 432: "saw a trail of fire
going up in the sky. ...thought it was some kind of flare or firework.
...described the flare as being a bright orange and red, that went
straight up into the sky."

Witness 434: "observed a white light
... moving north to south [F800 moved south to north]. ...stated
that the white light was moving at a high rate of speed. He then saw a
bright golden explosion..."

Witness 435 & 436: saw a
"'flare' rise up directly in front of her... [436] saw was appeared to be
a 'flare.' [435] and [436] said that the 'flare' went straight up into the
sky and then curved before they lost sight of it. The flare looked like a
red stream that got thinner as it rose through the sky."

Witness 443: "observed a grayish
colored plane flying low with two (2) red strips on it. She observed a
smaller plane flying higher than the big plane. ... no more than two (2)
minutes later, heard one large explosion, followed by a few smaller

Witness 463: saw a "smoke trail ...
described the smoke trail to be a well formed line of white smoke that
looked as if it started from land. [Then] saw three explosions."

Witness 478: "observed a flare
ascending ... that traveled [sic] at a 10:00 [10 o'clock] angle (from
perpendicular) from his position and increasing in brightness.
Approximately one minute following his flare observation, [witness] saw
two large sections descending towards the ocean..."

Witness 484: "observed a lighted
object in the sky ... observed the object traveling in a arc from her
lower right to upper left. Object disappeared for approximately one second
and then [witness] observed a large explosion in the same area where the
object disappeared."

Witness 485: "witnessed what appeared
to be a 'flare' rise above the horizon over the water. This flare was
'red-orange' in color and initiated from the east in an upward diagonal
trajectory. Flare disappeared and a second later a 'wide area' of the sky
was filled with 'something' descending on fire resembling a 'white bright

Witness 491: "observed a red light
moving up into the air. ... He stated that this red flare was moving in an
irregular type arc. He felt this red flare was trying to follow something.
... The red flare then suddenly turned into a huge ball of flame and fell
in two pieces."

Witness 492: "observed a
reddish/orange object in the sky ... The object moved to the south
[F800 moved to the north] and when it was about 45 degrees above
the horizon it burst into a larger fire."

Witness 493b: "saw a firework/rocket
go up ... the rocket was orange in color and had fire coming from its
tail. He realized it was not a firework but a rocket."

Witness 496: "saw what appeared to be
a flare rising through the sky. ... The flare had an orange tail and was
traveling south to southwest [F800 traveled to the northeast]. She
watched the 'flare' rise through the air and then come down a little
before it exploded. ...did not see a plane ...[but] realized that a plane
had exploded when She saw the plane break into two pieces as it fell."
Notice that the plane broke into two after the flare was seen,
contrary to the official witness explanation which purports that the
breaking in two preceded a rocket-like rising of the rear section. The
pattern of a flare seen, then something large breaks into two is common
throughout the FBI witness accounts.

Witness 497: "observed what appeared
to be a red flare ... The direction of the flare-like object (FLO) was due
south [the direction of F800 was northeast] ... The FLO's path was
straight up for approximately three (3) seconds and at a high rate of
speed and terminated in a bright white explosion ... After the explosion,
[witness] described a sheet of flames that fell towards the water..."

Witness 500: "observed what he
described as a firework launch up into the air... This 'firework', which
[witness] further described as a bright yellowish/orange flame, reached
its peak and then began to descend almost towards him, but at a slight
left to right direction ... then observed an explosion ... which then
'dripped' downward."

Witness 502b: "noticed a bright light
flare type pattern shoot up into the sky from the waters ... [then] there
was a big fiery colored explosion that took an oval shape and then
ascended into a column form, which fell straight down into the water."

Witness 503: "saw a red light, like a
boat flare, with a smokey white stream following it, shoot up from the
horizon. ... The red flare went straight up into the sky for about two or
three seconds. Suddenly, the red flare expanded into a much larger
fireball ... Then a red flame funneled down from the fireball, and
descended downward when a second, much larger fireball erupted."

Witness 506: "saw what he believed to
be fireworks emanating from Moriches Bay. He describes the firework
appeared to be [sic] orange and ascending slightly to the 12 o'clock
position. ...the flare-like object began to descend and then turned into a
bright red/orange fireball which plummeted into the sea..."

Witness 507: "advised She and her
husband, [redacted] were in a boat with the [redacted] when [redacted]
noted a flare go straight up and then observed an explosion."

Witness 508: "observed an orange
thing streak toward a dark object for about ten seconds. The orange streak
approached from behind and on a downward angle and continued on until an
explosion occurred."

Witness 521: saw what "appeared to be
a flare, round and orangy-red in color. It left a smoke trail of the same
color, density and thickness in its wake that disappeared as the object
continued to ascend. It rose from the southeast from their position and
arched slightly at an approximate 70 degree angle while it made the ascent
from east to west [F800 traveled from west to east]. The object
traveled for approximately 3 to 5 seconds until it erupted into a ball of
fire. "

Witness 525b: "observed a 'wavering
orange-yellow glowing ball' possibly trailed by white smoke ... This
object, which had the characteristics of a flare, rose and fell (like an
arc) before hitting the plane. A huge explosion ensued. The plane crashed
to the water beyond the barrier islands. Two (2) C-130 aircraft were east
of [witness's] boat as this occurred. [Witness's] husband, [redacted]
immediately reported what was observed to the United States Coast Guard
... the Coast Guard reported that routine military exercises involving
pyrotechnics were being performed and that a response was not
." That was the easiest explanation on day one, and some
say to this day. Witness 525 sees two C-130s offshore at the time of the
crash, where the official story denies they were.

Witness 530: "observed a 'thing' rise
up through the air that looked like a red ball of fire. ... She said
whatever it was, was more than just a flare." See
Witness 530's sketch animated

Witness 531: "observed a flare shoot
upward from the water, ascend with a bright orange-red glow skyward and at
its apex, burst into numerous orange red flames. ...advised that her
boyfriend, [147] also watched the flares ascend."

Witness 535a: "saw the end part of
something going up into the air. [Witness] explained that She did not
actually see any defined object, but She saw a smokey orange streak.
[Witness] could not see where the streak originated from, but it seemed to
move from east to west [F800 moved from west to east]. The streak
lasted for only about one or two seconds, when it then burst into a very
large bright orange-red round fire. The fire descended..."

Witness 536a: "saw huge flare that
came from the water, went up and exploded, and flames came down. ...She
saw grey smoke and white smoke behind the 'flare'. ... There was a bright
orange glow at the leading edge of the smoke."

Witness 536b: (with witness 536a)
"saw an object that looked like a flare ascend into the sky. The object
began at about (3) inches off the horizon, and ascended left to right
[F800 would would be seen by witness traveling right to left],
although it was almost completely vertical. At the apex of the ascent, the
object hesitated, then exploded ... and 'showered down' to the horizon."

Witness 540: "observed what She
termed as a 'dud roman candle or flare.' [Witness] further stated that
this flare was white in color with a gray smoke trail. She stated that
from her perspective the flare seemed to move from a southwest direction
to a more westerly direction [F800 traveled in an easterly
]. ...She stated that the speed of the flare was fast. She
stated that the flare went only 'so high' but it seemed to be still moving
west. Since She thought this was a roman candle that did not function
correctly, She turned back and headed for the parking lot."

Witness 541: "observed a red dot
emanate from the dunes and assumed it was kids with fireworks. It traveled
upward very fast and after several seconds saw a large bright
yellow/bright orange mass fall to the ground. ... the red dot traveled
upward, slightly arching left to right [F800 would be seen by witness
traveling right to left
]." See witness 541's sketch.

Witness 542: "observed a reddish
orange flash from the surface of the water... believed that it was
possibly a distress flare ...[but] appeared to be too large to be a flare
and was moving south and east until it disappeared from his view. He then
saw a whitish flash and then an orange light, which he believed might be a
roman candle, coming down." Witness 542's follow-up interview states:
"saw an intense reddish-orange light ascend upwards from the surface
into the sky. The light traveled from left to right (North to South) in an
arc..." Once again and contrary to the official interpretation, this
reported trajectory is opposite to the flight path of Flight 800, so the
streak is
not consistent with its being Flight 800.

Witness 547: "saw a red flare streak
across the sky on the horizon... The flare was traveling from east to west
[F800 was traveling from west to east] in an upward manner."

Witness 548: "observed a red
flare-like object [redacted] in the southeast, ascending straight up for
one second. [Witness] stated that the [redacted] reached the peak of his
ascent, descended for three to four seconds, and then exploded."

Witness 549: "noticed something like
fireworks or a flare going up from the water. It first appeared to be a
fiery orange color. Shoe also noticed white smoke. She then observed a
bright orange explosion in the sky... observed this fireball fall into the

Witness 550b: "saw a plane coming
from the northeast on a dead course heading toward the nose of the larger
plane. ...saw the smaller plane for about 3 or 4 seconds before hearing a
crackling sound [possibly the sound of a rocket launch just offshore
reaching 550b at that time
] and saw what looked like aerial bomb

Witness 560: "observed a fine, pencil
thin white line. ... This white line extended upward in an arc shape at
approximately 70 degrees [almost vertically upwards] from approximately 2
vertical degrees over the horizon and extending to 20 degrees above the
horizon. ... As the line extended upwards and began to arc, the tail began
to dissipate. ... The fine thin line at 20 degrees off the horizon became
a brilliant, bright white light which quickly traveled into a star-shaped
light radiating rays of white light [many witnesses note extreme
brightness and whiteness of the initial blast, which indicates high
explosives, not a fuel
]. This transformation occurred in a
split-second at which time it became a bright red/orange ball of fire
[that] began to cascade in an arc-shape downward toward the horizon."

Witness 562: "saw what he thought to
be a flare fly into the air to his southeast side over the ocean. When the
'flare' reached its highest point a bright orange fireball erupted. That
fireball then fell ... into the ocean. ... He described the 'flare' as
glowing and stated that it rose 'straight up' from the ocean and was in
flight for approximately ten (10) seconds. ... In twenty years of boating
[witness] has seen half a dozen flares fired and this amber light was a
different color and thicker than any flare he has seen."

Witness 563: "observed a long streak
proceed from the surface of the horizon. ... Advised that it proceeded
from the lower left in his view toward his upper right [contrary to
F800's path
]. ...after a few seconds he saw a large burst in the sky
where the streak was heading. This burst turned into a large fireball ...
falling from the sky."

Witness 566: "saw what he described
as 'the biggest Roman Candle' he had ever seen. The flare, trailing fire,
'burst out really big and then fell.' ... the flare ... appeared to
originate from land."

Witness 567: "saw a white light,
along the horizon ... [that] moved from the left to right [F800 moved
from right to left viewing from witness 567's location
], in an arc,
for approximately five to ten seconds. On the way down from the highest
point of the arc, it disappeared for a second, and then reappeared as an
orange flicker. ...[that] grew into an orange ball. The ball dropped to
the horizon..."

Witness 571: "saw what appeared to be
cheap fireworks coming off the beach ... described this one firework as a
white spark (meteor, that went up and arched across the sky. A short time
later ... [witness] observed an orange fireball in the sky to the south of
the bridge. The fireball fell out of the sky." See
Witness 571's sketch animated

Witness 575: before the crash "saw a
big plane circling and said something to the effect that, 'it must be
trying to land.'" Multiple witnesses observe circling aircraft before
the crash, and in one case during the crash (see witnesses 29, 92, 340).
Why so many low-flying circling aircraft? Could these aircraft be
participating in an aerial military exercise?

Witness 581: "saw a sharp, yellow,
very distinct, streak rising ... [N]oticed the streak started at the
shoreline and traveled up to the sky and veered westbound." Flight 800
was eastbound.

Witness 586: "observed a large red or
orange fishing boat, approximately 200 feet in length, several miles to
the southeast. ... this boat was a commercial fishing boat with a large
boom or tower on its rear. [Witness] did not notice the boat moving. At
approximately 8:30 PM ... [witness] was engaged in a task such as baiting
a hook when ... witnessed a large explosion. ... Following the explosion,
[witness] looked in the direction of the previous sighting of the large
red/orange boat and saw what appeared to be bright lights in the water
which he believed was burning wreckage." That large boat is located
very close to one of two launch sites triangulated by the Suffolk County
Police. Witnesses 281 and 358 seem to see the same large boat in the same

Witness 607 & 409:
"stated, 'Watch this, we're going to see fireworks.'" Witness 607 was
with witness 409 and report 607 indicates that both witnesses saw the same
See witness 409 above.

Witness 628: "saw a plume of red
flame rising from the horizon." The witness claims to have seen an
explosion before that -- a unique account.

Witness 631: reported that
"approximately thirty minutes prior to the crash, a small plane, possibly
blue in color, was observed flying very low and erratic over the beach."

Witness 634: "saw what seemed to be a
shooting star from the ground up... He stated that the shooting star's
color was white and it was arching in a south-eastern direction [F800
would be falling in a northeastern direction

Witness 637: "said to his son, 'Look
at the fireworks.' He saw something that did not look like a flare to him,
it had a continuous red tail with red sparks coming out. ... He thought he
saw two of these 'red tails' go up into the sky ... two seconds apart. ...
One 'red tail' appeared to be ahead of the other one, moving from
[witnesses] left to his right [F800 would move from his right to his
]. Then all of a sudden there was a bright orange light. ... He
assumed the tails had to come from a boat. ... The tails had curved to the
south as they rose [F800 traveled to the northeast]."

Witness 640: saw "a jet plane in the
sky, off to his left, and moving eastward. At the same time, he saw, off
to his right, a 'green flash' rising up, and going toward the plane."
Witness then changed the direction of his attention away from the
ocean. May have been an unrelated incident since the flash was green.

Witness 641: "was interviewed
regarding the sightings of a 'flare' he observed risings from the ocean...
The 'flare' went straight up... stated that he has been 'around the
water,' all his life, and has seen many flares. He described this flare as
larger than usual, and noted that it also climbed more steeply than usual.
[Witness] also recalled that at approximately 8:00 pm ... he noted a small
yellow and white plane flying west, along the beach, at approximately 50
feet over the water. A 8:05 PM, he recalled that same plane returning, now
flying easterly, along the beach."

Witness 642: was with Witness 641 and
both "saw what appeared to be a flare being fired from a boat in the bay.
They stated that the flare did not appear to be an ordinary flare, and it
could have been something like a fireworks, but the burst at the end of
the flare seemed pretty unusual. It was not a normal boat flare that they
are used to."

Witness 649: "saw over the tree line
at Mill Road what he described as a projectile ascend in the sky.
[Witness] described the projectile as red or pink with a trail of whitish
smoke. The projectile moved in a squiggly manner in a southwest direction.
The projectile was airborne for six-seven seconds and then met with a
shiny object that produced white smoke. The white smoke disappeared and
then a red ball began to form. The red ball fell in an easterly
position..." See
Witness 649's sketch animated

Witness 650: "observed a white
colored object that appeared to be fireworks travel up into the sky. The
object traveled fast and left a trail. The object appeared to come from
the water. Seconds later, [witness] observed a big, reddish/orange

Witness 653: saw "an orange or red
flare ascending over the Atlantic Ocean. ...the flare or projectile, which
was already airborne, went straight up ... the flare at some point
disappeared and the next thing he saw was a red ball that ultimately fell
into the ocean."

Witness 655: "saw a red and white
dot. [Witness] described the dot as moving as if it were a ball thrown
into the air and at its highest point it slows and arcs over the top ...
then he saw a huge red explosion."

Witness 656: "observed what appeared
to be a roman candle shoot up over the ocean from land. ... there was an
explosion at the end of its flight."

Witness 665: "saw a 'flare' rising in
the sky. ... The 'flare' traveled straight up into the sky on a southerly
course, and then hooked southwest [F800 traveled northeast]. Then,
he saw a large red/orange explosion at the end of the flare's course of
travel. ... said that there was an ultralight aircraft flying in the area
of East Moriches at the time of the explosion."

Witness 666: "saw an object ascending
... and just prior to what appeared to be its maximum height, it hooked to
the right and then exploded."

Witness 668: "observed what She
described as a 'comet.' [Witness] stated that it started from ground level
... does not know if She turned away from the object or it burned itself

Witness 672: "Witness observed a tan
light aircraft flying low over beach, wheels down just prior to incident."

Witness 675: "noticed an orange flare
ascending from the south traveling in a west-northwest direction trailing
white or light gray smoke. He then observed the flare strike what looked
like an eastbound Cessna airplane on the port side. [Witness] saw a small
burst of flame erupt from the port side wing near the fuselage.
Approximately two (2) seconds later he saw the plane go into a spiral and
explode. The fireball descended..."

Witness 694: "saw a red flash ... The
flash traveled upward with a very slight arc to the right [F800
traveled to the left from witness's position
]. When the flash reached
its highest point, it turned into a blackish gray smoke cloud. The cloud
remained stationary, then eventually vanished." Since 694 did not see a
massive fireball that fell to the water, this may have been another
pyrotechnic event.

Witness 695: "observed a flare,
yellowish in color, shooting upward from the ocean... Witness says that
flare reached an apex, then burst into a large golden yellow fireball in
the sky, which quickly descended back to earth."

Witness 715: "observed a white streak
moving skyward from southeast of his location proceeding southerly
[F800 proceeded northerly]. ... The streak burst into yellow sparks
after a puff of smoke. Then orange flames descended to water in two orange

Witness 730: "saw a slanted bright
red line going from the horizon up and to the right [F800 would appear
to move to the left
]. ... then she saw what appeared to be 'dud
fireworks', a fiery patch, bursting into sparks. She then saw a reddish
explosion ...[that] sank down to the horizon."

Witness 733: "saw a gray smoke trail
ascend at a high rate of speed and where the trail terminated an explosion
occurred. He described it as going straight up, not zig zag and the trail
was visible for a period of time after the explosion."

Witness 735: "approximately twenty to
thirty seconds [after the crash] he then observed a twin engine jet
aircraft traveling from south to north cross directly in front of him.
[Witness] stated that he felt that the aircraft was flying unusually low
and he added that he could see significant light emanating from inside the
jet. ... he was positive that it was not a 747. [Witness] followed the
path of the plane as he continued west on Ocean Drive and added that the
aircraft made a wide swing heading in a westerly direction..." So many
unusually low aircraft seen in the area, in this case a low-flying

Witness 746: "observed, to his right,
an object similar to a rocket, which appeared to have come from the
ground, moving straight up in the air. [Witness] observed a reddish/blue
flash in the sky..."

Analysis of FBI Witness Sketches

Media Myths about the Friendly Fire Theory






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