TWA Flight 800 "Documentary"

Just watched this documentary on Netflix streaming and while I am about as Anti-Conspiracy as they come I did find their obviously biased presentation compelling.

In particular I found the sheer number of former NTSB investigators and other “credible” subject matter experts to be compelling.

From a factual standpoint though I would be curious to learn some fact checking on the following statements made:

  1. An FBI agent named Ricky Hahn was found to be tampering with evidence by - literally they claim - hammering out a piece of the fuselage to change its shape. Did that REALLY happen? I could find no follow up on this agent. Was he reprimanded?

  2. The radar data that they claim shows debris ejecting from the plane at mach 4 at around FL13 which would indicate a ballistics explosion.

  3. The nitrate residue that was proven to have been melted onto the outside of central fuel tank prior to the explosion, thus - as they claim - eliminating the fuel tank as the source of the explosion.

To be clear I do not necessarily think there was a conspiracy or even a cover up. I generally agree with the NTSB that eye witness accounts are generally unreliable. However I do believe that the documentary - while biased - does a good job of showing that perhaps the NTSB’s final review of findings was inaccurate and that the fuel tank may not have been the catalyst for the disaster.

Would love to hear some opinions and fact checking on this!

The film “JFK” is extremely compelling, too… because it has total control of the presentation and can give weight and validity to whatever points it wants to without contradiction or questioning things like sources, accuracy of transcription, or even simple fact. It’s been dismissed, point by point, as the next thing to an extended fairy tale in which each fact or factoid might be correct (and many are sheer fabrication), but are strung together to form an utterly false picture.

Given that the conclusive reports are in on Flight 800, I suspect this “documentary” uses much the same selective presentation, even if it doesn’t bend the facts or fabricate anything outright. It’s how the former science channels fill their dreary hours with “compelling” paranormal and conspiracy crap; by simply picking and choosing what bits to string into the presentation.

ETA: Googling pretty much any of the points in your post brings up a top-ten list of nutball conspiracy sites and little else. Just sayin’.

I don’t have the book with me at the moment, but Mary Roach’s *Stiff *contains a chapter on TWA 800, which how the burns and injuries on the recovered remains of the passengers supported the fuel tank explosion theory and discredited that it was from a missile.

That’s typical of how these things are distorted - there is layer on layer of evidence that points to a single root cause, but someone finding one piece of metal bent funny, and all of the other evidence must be wrong.