July 22, 2014
Anderson Cooper: 'TWA Flight 800 Was Shot Down'
By Jack Cashill
Some truths CNN reveals only accidentally. One such truth Anderson Cooper shared on the night of July 17. In speaking about the shoot down of Malaysian airliner MH 17 earlier that day, Cooper referred back to “July 17, 1996, when TWA Flight 800 was shot down off the coast of Long Island in New York.”
See it here:
TWA Flight 800 was fresh on Cooper’s mind. Two days earlier, Cooper hosted a CNN special report on the subject, “Witnessed: The Crash of TWA Flight 800.” To understand the depth of media-government complicity, it is useful to compare “Witnessed” with two prior videos.
One is the ironically titled, “No Survivors: Why TWA 800 Could Happen Again.” CNN created this special report for the tenth anniversary of the crash in 2006. The second is a fifteen-minute video produced by the CIA in 1997 that we will call “Zoom Climb.”
“Zoom Climb,” the theatrical highlight of the FBI investigation, was designed to negate the stubborn testimony of the eyewitnesses. An animated sequence in “Zoom Climb” shows an internal fuel tank explosion blowing the nose off the 747. According to the video's narration, TWA 800 then "pitched up abruptly and climbed several thousand feet from its last recorded altitude of about 13,800 feet to a maximum altitude of about 17,000 feet."
This rocketing aircraft was alleged to look like a missile and to have confused the eyewitnesses. This animation was essential to close the investigation. Without this zoom climb scenario, the FBI had no way to explain what hundreds of official eyewitnesses had actually seen.
In the animated sequence created for the 2006 “No Survivors,” however, CNN completely eliminated the zoom climb from its explosion scenario. A year ago, I addressed this discrepancy when I appeared on CNN’s “New Day” program with the producer of “No Survivors,” Jim Polk. Polk, who spoke before me, implied that there was but a single eyewitness, a helicopter pilot who said “he did see a missile before the explosion.”
I countered, “Well, unlike what Jim says, there were 270 eyewitnesses to a missile strike, 96 of them, this is FBI eyewitnesses, saw it from the horizon ascend all the way up to the plane.”
I then asked Polk, “Why did you eliminate the zoom climb if the CIA -- and what was the CIA doing involved in this in the first place -- if the CIA used that to expressly discredit the eyewitnesses?
Polk admitted the CIA zoom climb was “controversial” and conceded that CNN removed it because “there's no supporting evidence for the CIA's animation.” In “No Survivors,” however, Polk did not bother even to acknowledge the controversy, namely that the CIA had created a bogus animation to discredit the very real testimony of hundreds of eyewitnesses, and CNN knew it. “Controversial” does not do this outrage justice.
Aware, perhaps, that some viewers caught the discrepancy, “Witnessed,” split the difference between the CIA’s zoom climb and the perfectly flat trajectory of “No Survivors.” CNN did so by showing an animation produced by the NTSB three years after the CIA video to smooth out some of the absurdities in “Zoom Climb.”
In this animation, Flight 800 rises gently for about 1500 feet, corkscrews in the sky in great sweeping loops, then noses over and falls more or less straight down. Like “No Survivors,” however, “Witnessed” does not alert the viewer to the inconsistency among these videos, an inconsistency that reveals the rank dishonesty of both the CIA and NTSB productions.
“Witnessed” did, however, add some dollops of truth to the official media position. One had to do with the testimony of pilot David McClaine who witnessed the crash from an Eastwinds airliner about three thousand feet above TWA Flight 800 and some twenty miles away.
In “No Survivors,” CNN uses his testimony to support the government position. The network quotes McClaine as saying, “I did not see any missile at all.”
In fact, McClaine’s full testimony made hash out of the government position. When a few honest members of the NTSB witness group finally got to question the CIA analysts responsible for the animation in 1999, they focused on McLaine's testimony. They did so because his testimony refuted the CIA theory.
"If [TWA 800] had ascended," Robert Young of the NTSB witness group told the CIA analysts during this interview, "[McLaine] would have been concerned because it ascended right through his altitude." When a CIA analyst tried to deflect the question, Young continued. "I think [McClaine] would have noticed [the climb]," he said sarcastically. "Your analysis has it zooming to above his altitude."
In “Witnessed,” CNN allows McLaine to make the case that when he saw the explosion, “[TWA 800] went down, not up. . . . The wings fell right off the airplane right away. So how is it going to climb, or what if it had no wings?” McLaine also conceded that a missile “could have come from the other side of the airplane,” but from his position above TWA 800, he did not see it.
Young and his colleagues also grilled the CIA analysts about just how many people actually saw the purported zoom climb. “That is something that a few eyewitnesses saw,” said Analyst 1. “The guy on the bridge saw that.” The CIA, in fact, built its animation around this one individual.
On July 30, 1996, Mike Wire, a millwright who observed events from a bridge in Westhampton, had told an FBI agent exactly what he had seen, specifically “a white light that was traveling skyward from the ground at approximately a 40 degree angle. . . . the white light ‘zig zagged’ as it traveled upwards, and at the apex of its travel the white light “arched over” and disappeared from Wire’s view.” After the light disappeared, the FBI 302 continues, Wire “saw an orange light that appeared to be a fireball.”
In “Zoom Climb,” the narrator says of Wire’s testimony, “The white light the eyewitness saw was very likely the aircraft very briefly ascending and arching over after it exploded rather than a missile attacking the aircraft.”
To make its theory work, the CIA animation converted Wire’s “40 degree” climb to one of roughly seventy or eighty degrees. It reduced the smoke trail from three dimensions, south and east “outward from the beach,” to a small, two-dimensional blip far offshore. Most noticeably, it fully ignored Wire’s claim that the projectile ascended “skyward from the ground” and placed his first sighting twenty degrees above the horizon, exactly where Flight 800 would have been.
Curiously, however, the CIA narrator repeats Wire’s claim that the projectile “zig zagged,” although neither the CIA nor the NTSB animation shows the crippled plane in anything but a perfectly smooth, elliptical ascent.
In trying to reconcile these discrepancies, CIA Analyst I told the NTSB group that when the FBI “reinterviewed” Wire, he changed his story, admitting that, yes, “the light did appear in the sky.” Said Analyst I, “Now, when the FBI told us that, we got even more comfortable with our theory.”
For “No Survivors,” CNN did not bother to interview Wire. For “Witnessed,” however, a CNN producer traveled to Wire’s Pennsylvania home and interviewed him on camera. As Wire told the producer, “I was a witness to Flight TWA 800. Yes, I do believe I saw a missile.” Wire then described events almost exactly as he told the FBI in his original interview. The animation in “Zoom Climb,” he said on air, “clearly did not match anything that I witnessed.”
Unfortunately, CNN chose not to show what Wire also told the producer, and it was something of a bombshell: there was no second interview. The CIA and/or FBI concocted that interview out of whole cloth. Wire spoke to the producer at length about how the government manufactured second interviews for several key witnesses.
When I appeared on “New Day” with Jim Polk, I spoke briefly about one of these eyewitnesses, FBI Witness #73. An aviation buff, in her original interview she told the FBI how she watched a “red streak” with a “light gray smoke trail” move up towards the airliner, and then go “past the right side and above the aircraft before arcking [sic] back down toward the aircrafts [sic] right wing.” She even reported the actual break-up sequence before the authorities figured it out on their own.
In her alleged second interview, #73 confessed to drinking several "Long Island Ice Teas," and these impaired her judgment. In real life, she doesn't drink, did not even know what a Long Island Ice Tea was, and, as in Wire's case, did not give a second interview. She only learned of the fraud a few years ago.
The CNN producers, Cooper included, know all of this. It may account for why “Witnessed” finally called out FBI honcho Jim Kallstrom on one of his many and egregious lies. While the viewer watches a clip of Kallstrom at a hearing, saying, “There were about 200 people that saw events in the sky that they described. None of which described a missile,” the camera scans several FBI witness statements and highlights the word “missile” in each.
Given what he knew, it is understandable that Anderson Cooper would say “TWA Flight 800 was shot down.” That very day the subtitle of “No Survivors” proved prophetic, “Why TWA 800 Could Happen Again.” Needless to say, Cooper’s flirtation with the truth could not be allowed to stand. He came back groveling a half hour or so later.
I just want to correct something I said regarding the plane crash, earlier I said that today was the anniversary of flight TWA 800, crashing off the coast of Long Island in 1996. I believe I said that it was shot down, obviously the government said it was a center fuel tank explosion. Although some people indicated they saw a rocket, there was no evidence of that. It was ruled to be a center fuel tank explosion, so I apologize for misspeaking about that anniversary.
No evidence? And now our media are criticizing Russia for covering up the shoot down of MH 17?