Naneen Levine: the first eyewitness interviewed by authorities.
9) Inability to explain over 100 official eyewitness accounts.
FACT: 134 witnesses provided federal investigators with detailed descriptions of events early in the crash sequence. These details included the origin and/or trajectory of a rising streak of light.
FACT: The NTSB failed to isolate these "Origin/Trajectory" witnesses, but attributed the rising streak to Flight 800 itself, climbing sharply as it headed east, to Paris.
FACT: The Origin/Trajectory witnesses do not describe the path of Flight 800. Most saw the streak rise from the surface and/or head straight up. Thirty-four watched the streak rise westward, a direction the crippled jetliner never traveled. Several others said the streak impacted with Flight 800.
Figure 7: Origin/Trajectory witness accounts compared with the official crash scenario.
FACT: As shown above, 116 (86%) Origin/Trajectory witnesses reject the official NTSB explanation for the streak. These witnesses described the earliest events surrounding the crash of TWA Flight 800, but their accounts were never isolated and studied by the NTSB.
FACT: Eyewitness 649 (numbered by the NTSB) is a good example of an Origin/Trajectory witness. He provided investigators with a compass bearing to the object he saw rise into the sky and created a hand-drawing of his observation.
FACT: Eyewitness 649's description of a projectile rising into the sky and meeting a second airborne object is inconsistent with the official crash scenario. See Figure 8 and Attachment V.
Figure 8: Frames 1-4 are based upon a hand drawing given to FBI agents by eyewitness 649. Attachment V contains the actual drawing. Flight 800's position shown above was determined from the compass bearing line to the rising projectile and landmarks that witness 649 provided to investigators. Flight 800 was not included in the original drawing, and witness 649 never stated that he recognized an aircraft. His account states that he observed a projectile rise, arc to the right, and meet a "shiny object" in the sky just prior to seeing a fireball erupt. The NTSB concluded that the red ball he saw falling to the surface was Flight 800. All quotations in this figure have been taken from the official FBI witness documents of eyewitness 649.
FACT: Witness 649's drawings depict an initial airborne explosion on a bearing line and at an altitude consistent with where Flight 800 lost electrical power. See Attachments V and VI.
FACT: Witness 649's picture shows debris falling on a compass bearing line consistent with where wreckage was recovered. See Attachments V and VI.
FACT: The NTSB misrepresented witness 649's observations at its final "Sunshine Hearing" held in August 2000 by stating that "it doesn't appear that this witness was looking in the right location" to see Flight 800 when it lost electrical power (see Attachment VI).
FACT: Neither witness 649's picture nor any other eyewitness drawing was displayed or discussed at any NTSB hearing on the crash.
FACT: According to NTSB radar and debris field analyses, Flight 800 began breaking up at 13,800 feet (2.6 miles) while heading east, to Paris. NTSB Witness Group Chairman Dr. David Mayer said, "Flight 800 was never ascending straight up; Flight 800 in crippled flight didn't originate at the surface"
ASSESSMENT: The NTSB's conclusion that the rising streak of light reported by over 100 witnesses was Flight 800 itself must be reconsidered in light of the compelling statistics (Figure 7) representing these witnesses' observations.
ASSESSMENT: The NTSB's misrepresentation of witness accounts such as that of witness 649 at the NTSB "Sunshine Hearing" is irresponsible given the four years available to investigate the crash and prepare for that hearing. The NTSB must immediately and publicly correct all of the misrepresentations presented at the August 2000 Sunshine Hearing, and reconsider its finding that the well-observed rising streak of light was Flight 800 itself. A detailed accounting of the NTSB's misrepresentation of the TWA Flight 800 eyewitness evidence at the August 2000 Sunshine Hearing can be found in Attachment VI.