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TWA Flight 800: A Missile Shootdown

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mikegriffith1

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mikegriffith1;13998009 said:
In 2009, the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) in New Mexico conducted an experiment with a center fuel tank in an attempt to validate the FBI-NTSB theory that a spark from faulty wiring ignited vapors in TWA 800’s center fuel tank, caused the fuel tank to explode, and blew up the airliner. . . .[SNIP]

-- The EMRTC experiment heated the fuel tank to 112 degrees because the FBI-NTSB theory is that running the A/C units under TWA 800’s center fuel tank while the plane was delayed caused the tank to heat up to 112 degrees, which in turn produced enough explosive vapors to cause the alleged spark-induced explosion. . . . [SNIP]

-- The video narrator says that the engineers sought to set the conditions “to mimic that hot summer day in 1996.” “Hot summer day”? TWA 800 took off at 8:19 p.m. When TWA 800’s delay began at 7:00 p.m., the temperature at JFK International Airport was 82 degrees. 51 minutes later, 20 minutes before takeoff, the temperature had dropped to 80 degrees.

One clarification and one revision.

Clarification: The EMRTC engineers chose the temperature of 112 degrees apparently because they viewed it as the approximate median point of the NTSB's temperature range of 101 to 127 degrees for the temperature inside the center fuel tank. The NTSB reported that in their 7/14/1997 flight test, the temperature inside the center fuel tank of an identical Boeing 747 got as high as 127 degrees (NTSB report, p. 261). (The report fails to mention, however, that this flight test was done when the outside temperature was 87 degrees, which was at least 13 degrees warmer than the outside temperature when TWA 800 was delayed for 74 minutes.)

Revision: It turns out that the historical weather website that I used when I wrote my post on the EMRTC experiment provided incorrect data. It was not 80-82 degrees at JFK Airport at the time in question. It was 70-74 degrees. The Weather Underground database says it was 74 degrees (New York City, NY Weather History | Weather Underground). Investigative journalist Pat Milton, who supports the FBI-NTSB version, says the temperature was 70 degrees (In the Blink of an Eye: The FBI Investigation of TWA Flight 800, Random House, 1999, p. 328).

This means the NTSB flight test was done when the outside temperature was at least 13 degrees warmer than it was when TWA 800 was waiting on the tarmac. Just about everyone would agree that a temperature difference of 13 degrees is quite significant, and that a difference of 17 degrees is even more significant.
 

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a U.S. Navy missile test gone horribly wrong

Yeah, just too bad that there were no Navy ships anywhere close to there. You know, kind of hard to shoot down an aircraft form a ship when there are no ships anywhere close to it.

I can't believe this is being dragged up again 3 decades later.
 
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Yeah, just too bad that there were no Navy ships anywhere close to there. You know, kind of hard to shoot down an aircraft form a ship when there are no ships anywhere close to it. I can't believe this is being dragged up again 3 decades later.

HUH??? The myth that there were "no Navy ships anywhere close to there" was debunked during the investigation itself! Even before the NTSB closed the investigation, the FBI was forced to admit there were a number of Navy combat ships, including missile-firing submarines, in the immediate area at the time. They were there because the Navy was conducting a large-scale missile exercise that week.

Asst. FBI Director Kallstrom, who headed the Bureau's investigation into the incident, admitted to CBS producer Pat Milton that on July 18, the day after the crash, he learned that a Navy P-3 Orion, frequently used in missile exercises, was flying almost directly above TWA 800 when the plane began to explode. FOIA lawsuits later brought forth further information on the Navy combat ships that were in the area when the plane crashed.

I'm just wondering what source you read that repeated the myth of "no Navy ships in the area," given that this myth was debunked so long ago.
 
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including missile-firing submarines, in the immediate area at the time. They were there because the Navy was conducting a large-scale missile exercise that week.

he learned that a Navy P-3 Orion, frequently used in missile exercises

ROFL

Submarines have no surface to air missiles.

And the P3 also does not have any kind or air to air missiles. It is an anti-submarine platform.

This is why this belongs in Conspiracy Theory. Just garbage heaped upon garbage nonsense.
 
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ROFL

Submarines have no surface to air missiles.

And the P3 also does not have any kind or air to air missiles. It is an anti-submarine platform.

This is why this belongs in Conspiracy Theory. Just garbage heaped upon garbage nonsense.

What??? Where are you getting this stuff? Some submarines most certainly do have surface-to-air missiles.


I didn't say the P-3 has missiles. I said the P-3 was frequently used in missile exercises, a fact that you can easily confirm with a few Google searches. Here's one of many articles that discuss the P-3's role in anti-air missile defense:


And this is not really a "conspiracy theory." It is a case about a cover-up and subsequent whistle blowing.

Are you aware that over 100 eyewitnesses saw an object take off from ground/sea level and streak toward TWA 800? These witnesses were located on land and on sea, and a few were even in the air at the time.

Open your mind and do a little serious reading. You could start with this article, written by Ray Lahr, a former airline pilot who worked as an accident investigator and airline safety expert for the Airline Pilots Association:

 

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What??? Where are you getting this stuff? Some submarines most certainly do have surface-to-air missiles.

OK, now tell me exactly where in your "reference" it talks about surface to air missiles. All that talks about is surface to surface ICBMs.

Those are not surface to air missiles. There is no such thing as an anti-air missile on submarines. Period.

In case you do not comprehend missile naming nomenclature, it starts with where the missile is fired, and ends where the target it. Air to surface, surface to air, air to air, and surface to surface. And for nomenclature purposes, submarines are surface vehicles. Your entire reference only discussed surface to surface, not surface to air.
 
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OK, now tell me exactly where in your "reference" it talks about surface to air missiles. All that talks about is surface to surface ICBMs.

Okay, so we're gonna play this silly game. Try these sources, all of which specify that submarines can fire surface-TO-AIR missiles:




Those are not surface to air missiles. There is no such thing as an anti-air missile on submarines. Period.

See above. Furthermore, the missiles would not have had to come from the subs. There was at least one combat ship equipped with surface-to-air missiles in the immediate area.

In case you do not comprehend missile naming nomenclature, it starts with where the missile is fired, and ends where the target it. Air to surface, surface to air, air to air, and surface to surface. And for nomenclature purposes, submarines are surface vehicles. Your entire reference only discussed surface to surface, not surface to air.

I've corrected that oversight/deficiency above. And, again, the subs would not necessarily have been the ones to fire the missiles. The SAM-equipped combat ship could have done this.

I notice you declined to address any of the evidence that I cited of a missile attack.

I should mention that I do *not* believe that the missiles were fired by mistake in a training exercise. I lean toward the view that they were trying to shoot down the small plane that was headed straight toward TWA 800.

You know that a major terrorist group took credit for TWA 800's destruction, right?
 

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Okay, so we're gonna play this silly game. Try these sources, all of which specify that submarines can fire surface-TO-AIR missiles:

They have been trying to do this since the late 1940s. As of this day, not one has ever been fielded.

You see, I am able to tell the difference between a proposal, and reality. Now can you give some kind of evidence that such existed in 1996?

Hmmmm?

This is why I am laughing. You are trying to use something that is a current proposal, and trying to force it back over 25 years in time. Show me such a system in 1996. Hell, show me a single system today that is actually in use by any military, anywhere.

Want to know what US subs use for this role? In the event they are stuck on the surface and can not submerge, they actually stick a couple of sailors on the deck with STINGER missiles.

You are typical of conspiracy nuts. Your own arguments chase themselves in circles.
 
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They have been trying to do this since the late 1940s. As of this day, not one has ever been fielded.

You see, I am able to tell the difference between a proposal, and reality. Now can you give some kind of evidence that such existed in 1996?

Hmmmm?

This is why I am laughing. You are trying to use something that is a current proposal, and trying to force it back over 25 years in time. Show me such a system in 1996. Hell, show me a single system today that is actually in use by any military, anywhere.

Want to know what US subs use for this role? In the event they are stuck on the surface and can not submerge, they actually stick a couple of sailors on the deck with STINGER missiles.

You are typical of conspiracy nuts. Your own arguments chase themselves in circles.

You are immune to fact and logic. Navy submarines have been able to fire ICBMs for many, many years, even without surfacing. The acronym SLBM stands for "submarine-launched ballistic missile." Firing ICBMs is far easier than firing anti-air SAMs. Here's an article that documents that our navy and other navies have been able to fire anti-air SAMs for quite some time:


Furthermore, you again ignored the point that there was at least one missile-equipped Navy ship in the area, and that it could have fired the missiles.

And, just to make my view clear, I am still undecided about the source of the missiles. It may not have even been a Navy ship. It may have been two small boats operated by terrorists. A small plane packed with explosives may have been involved. I am simply undecided on this issue.

The ARAP interim report to Congress noted that there were sightings of other missile firings in the months that preceded TWA 800:

 

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You are immune to fact and logic. Navy submarines have been able to fire ICBMs for many, many years, even without surfacing. The acronym SLBM stands for "submarine-launched ballistic missile." Firing ICBMs is far easier than firing anti-air SAMs. Here's an article that documents that our navy and other navies have been able to fire anti-air SAMs for quite some time:

An ICBM is not a SAM. And notice, you are posting from an article posted in 2020 that even states they are not yet in use, but may be soon.

Not yet in use in 2020, and certainly not decades ago when this happened.

You are the one that suffers issues with logic.

Oh, and anybody can submit anything to Congress. You are free to write a report on how the Founding Fathers were assisted by magical unicorns, and have it submitted into the Congressional Record.

Just doing so does not make it any more real.
 

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Mike Griffith, it's time to throw in the towel. None of your scenarios will withstand any level of serious scrutiny. Please stop believing in something that is not true, it's not healthy.
 
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An ICBM is not a SAM. And notice, you are posting from an article posted in 2020 that even states they are not yet in use, but may be soon.

Uh, yes, an ICBM is a type of SAM. You must be kidding. Adamantly stating erroneous arguments does not make them any less erroneous. I guess you missed, or ignored, the distinction I drew between anti-air SAMs and ICBMs.
You know, when you get on a public board and declare that an ICBM is not a SAM, you show you have no business talking about this subject.

Not yet in use in 2020, and certainly not decades ago when this happened.

I cited an article for you that discusses the fact that subs have been able to fire anti-air SAMs for quite some time. Did you not bother to read it?

And I, yet again, note that you keep ignoring the point that we're not just talking about subs but also about surface combat ships that were in the area. Why do you keep ducking this point?

I also note that you've made no effort to defend the physically impossible mythical "zoom climb" that was theorized in an attempt to explain what the 100-plus eyewitnesses saw. You know that we now know that the radar data prove that no such climb occurred, right?

You are the one that suffers issues with logic.

Oh, and anybody can submit anything to Congress. You are free to write a report on how the Founding Fathers were assisted by magical unicorns, and have it submitted into the Congressional Record.

Just doing so does not make it any more real.

This is your pitiful response to the ARAP TWA 800 report??? The fact that you would so casually and ignorantly dismiss a report written by aviation professionals with experience in every relevant field involved in this case again shows that you are not to be taken seriously.

How about we do this: Let's read some of the new information, much of it obtained by FOIA suits, that's presented in the major lawsuit that was filed a few months ago by the prestigious law firm Bailey and Glasser on behalf of several family members of the crash victims:

In August that year, just six weeks after TWA 800 went down off Long Island, a rocket with classified Department of Defense sensors flew near and “startled” an American Airlines pilot near CSEDS’ sister land-based site on Virginia’s eastern seaboard.

A month later and in the same area, two missiles were launched from Navy ships at aerial target drones flying nearby.

Another two months later, on November 16, 1996, almost precisely where TWA 800 went down off Long Island, a Pakistani Airlines pilot reported to Air Traffic Control that a “rocket” rose in front of him and continued rising above his altitude. People on shore that evening were interviewed by the FBI and confirmed that a projectile rose between airliners off Long Island at the time.

Six hours earlier that November day, a witness described seeing a missile-like object rise quickly over South New Jersey or Staten Island, NY.

On that same day (March 17, 1997), an Air Force cargo pilot reported to Air Traffic Control, and later to the FBI, that he had been seconds away from taking “evasive maneuvers” to avoid being hit by a missile fired over Burlington, Vermont. After the missile arced away from his aircraft at the last minute, he flew by its “non vapor” exhaust plume.

Steve Habeger, the Executive Director of CSEDS’s sister site in Virginia during this time, recently testified in Dr. Stalcup’s FOIA in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Thomas Stalcup v. Department of Defense, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-11967-DLC (the “FOIA Litigation”), that he was personally aware of at least a dozen Aegis missile tests off the East Coast of the United States around this same overall time period.

As part of the FOIA Litigation, Dr. Stalcup recently obtained crucial new evidence regarding what caused TWA 800 to explode on July 17, 1996.

For example, Dr. Stalcup obtained several FBI records never released to the TWA 800 families or the public. One described an “original [Navy radar] tape” showing an object “heading straight for TWA 800.” Another describes an object on radar “impact[ing]” TWA 800 and “spiral[ling] away,” while also stating that witnesses described seeing a “flair (sic) going up. . . . , orbit/circle another object. Subsequently debris fell from the sky". . . .

One of these witnesses, Steven Habeger, the Executive Director of an East Coast Navy land-based test site, testified that within minutes of the TWA 800 disaster, he was ordered to allow the FBI to remove all Navy radar tapes from his facility that might have recorded the TWA 800 incident.

This event was corroborated by Mr. Habeger’s commanding officer and by FBI custody records obtained during the FOIA Litigation.

Dr. Stalcup also discovered that five days after the TWA 800 disaster, the Joint Terrorism Task Force directed the FBI to obtain another “original [Navy] radar tape” showing an object “heading straight for TWA 800” and to “prepare FD-302 re-procurement of this original tape.”

These radar tapes were confiscated by the FBI immediately after the crash of TWA 800. According to records obtained in the FOIA Litigation, they show an object “impact” TWA 800. . . . (pp. 15-18)


Matted Joybeard:

holy *&Y% you're retarded.

And your bilge is not worth answering.
 

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Uh, yes, an ICBM is a type of SAM.

OMG, no it is not.

A ballistic missile is a surface to surface missile. Period. It strikes nothing but a surface target.

And SAM literally stands for "Surface to Air Missile". Air, as in it inly hits targets in the air and nothing else.

Sorry, but you are simply proving yet again that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You are just making it up as you go along, and hoping that others will believe your nonsense.

And no, you cited an article about a program in the last few years where they are trying to do so. Not that they have, and certainly not that they were doing it 3 decades ago.

As I said, there is a reason why this belongs in the Conspiracy Theory area. You are literally making things up as you go along, or simply ignoring actual facts and spouting nonsense.

But here is the biggest problem. There would have had to have been hundreds if not thousands of people actually involved in such an event if it was the Navy. Tell me, where are all the eyewitness reports from them? You see, this is where that kind of coprolite falls apart every single time. It is impossible to keep that many people quiet, especially for decades. And it's not like our Navy has not shot down civilian airliners by mistake in the past. So tell me, where are all the eyewitness reports form the Sailors about this?

And great, you did a copy and paste. Know what was missing there? Any actual information! It says things like "in the area". Uh, what area? Where where they? Hell, what ships were they?

They fired missiles at drones, what missiles? Once again, I read claims, no actual facts or data.

That is the kind of coprolite conspiracy nuts thrive off of. Give no actual facts, just spin enough bullshit and hope others believe it and fall for it.

As I have said for years, conspiracy theories are the only mental illness that seeks to spread itself to others.
 

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not to be content with being a moron on his own personal website, mikegriffith1 seeks to be a moron on multiple sites by posting delusional conspiratorial claims on multiple internet forums for all the world to behold
 
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OMG, no it is not.

A ballistic missile is a surface to surface missile. Period. It strikes nothing but a surface target.

And SAM literally stands for "Surface to Air Missile". Air, as in it inly hits targets in the air and nothing else.

Sorry, but you are simply proving yet again that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You are just making it up as you go along, and hoping that others will believe your nonsense.

Let's try to peel through your smokescreen, shall we? No one is saying that the missiles fired at TWA 800 absolutely must have come from any of the submarines that were in the area. The more likely source would have been one or more of the missile-equipped combat ships that were in the area.

Nor is anyone saying that in 1996 the Navy had put anti-air missile systems into operation on submarines. The argument is that this capability was being tested off the coast of Long Island at the time of the TWA 800 incident, that two of the missiles fired in this exercise caused TWA 800's destruction, and that one or both of them may have been fired from the submarines or from one or two of the combat ships that were in the area. That's the argument that has been made, the same argument that is made in one of the articles I've linked.

We know for a fact that a missile exercise was being conducted in July 1996 near the Long Island coast and in adjacent areas.

This being said, I say again that I myself am still agnostic about the source of the missiles.

As the following quote shows, the idea of firing anti-air missiles from submarines was around and being tested long before the July 1996 Navy anti-air missile exercise near Long Island:

The concept dates back to the dawn of aerial anti-submarine warfare, when anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the decks of submarines to defend themselves against aerial attack while surfaced. During the Cold War, man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) were tested by the Soviets on submarine periscopes. Nothing much came of it as targeting was a troublesome affair. NATO countries also played around with the idea. The UK went maybe the farthest, with a submarine-launched version of the Blowpipe missile.

The concept featured four remotely controlled missiles clustered around a TV camera, mounted atop a telescoping mast on the sub’s sail. The seaborn Blowfish never saw widespread operational use, but there are rumors that the Israelis did purchase the system. (Have Submarine-Launched Anti-Aircraft Missiles Finally Come Of Age?)


Now, as for your polemic about ICBMs not being SAMs, I should have known better than to assume good faith and sincerity on your part. As you surely understood, I was speaking in general, realistic terms. Of course, I know that in formal military nomenclature, an ICBM is not categorized as a SAM. Yes, I'm perfectly aware of that fact, which is why I drew a distinction between ICBMs and anti-air missiles.

But, in general and generic terms, and realistically speaking, an ICBM most certainly is a type of surface-to-air missile because it is launched from the surface into the air. It is not designated as such in formal military terminology, because that terminology is based on a missile's intended target, but an ICBM is undeniably a missile that is launched from the surface into the air and that spends 99% of its time in the air until it dives to hit its target.

But here is the biggest problem. There would have had to have been hundreds if not thousands of people actually involved in such an event if it was the Navy. Tell me, where are all the eyewitness reports from them? You see, this is where that kind of coprolite falls apart every single time. It is impossible to keep that many people quiet, especially for decades. And it's not like our Navy has not shot down civilian airliners by mistake in the past. So tell me, where are all the eyewitness reports form the Sailors about this?

Here we go again with another one of your straw-man scenarios. First of all, if you knew anything about Navy missile exercises, you would know that very few people are involved in the actual firing of missiles. The vast majority of personnel on a destroyer will have nothing to do with missile operations. Unless they work in the ship's Combat Information Center (CIC), they will not be involved in such actions. What's more, even the few persons who work in the CIC would not necessarily know if a missile hit the wrong target, even if their ship was the ship that fired the missile.

Second, some Navy personnel [/i]have[/i] come forward to researchers about this matter, as I pointed out in an earlier reply. I also provided a link on the primary whistleblower, who has gone public with his account. He is a former Navy NCO who used to be in a missile-related military occupational specialty and who worked in his ship's CIC. Let me guess: You didn't bother to read the link, right? This man is also discussed in the Bailey-Glasser lawsuit filed on behalf of a number of family members of the crash victims. Here's a link to the lawsuit:

LINK

I'm still waiting for you to explain the upward-streaking object that 100-plus eyewitnesses saw heading toward TWA 800 before it blew up. These witnesses saw the event from a wide variety of locations, some on the beach, some out at sea, some in aircraft above/below TWA 800, and some farther inland. Most of them were professional, educated, successful people. Some of them were scientists, ex-military, or active-duty military. One of them was a former Vietnam War chopper pilot who had seen numerous fuel and ordnance explosions and who knew the difference between the two. The witnesses gave their accounts independently. Only a few of the witnesses knew each other.

Now that we know that the alleged "zoom climb" did not happen, since the radar data show it never occurred, how, then, do you explain the 100-plus eyewitness accounts of an object streaking upward toward TWA 800 before it blew up? How?

I hope you won't fall back on the false claim that there was "no physical evidence of a missile." There was plenty of physical evidence of a missile, some of it documented in photographs (such as the fact that a large section of the center fuel tank was bent inward, which could only have been caused by an external explosion of high velocity--the impact on the ocean surface would not have even come close to causing such damage).

And great, you did a copy and paste.

Uh, yeah, that's what you do when you're quoting a long segment from a source. Any other inane points?

Know what was missing there? Any actual information! It says things like "in the area". Uh, what area? Where where they? Hell, what ships were they?

They fired missiles at drones, what missiles? Once again, I read claims, no actual facts or data.

Then you can't read. If you didn't see any "actual facts or data," then you have a serious reading comprehension problem.

"What ships were they?" We know the identity of some of the ships that were there because the FBI grudgingly identified them, but we don't the ID of all the ships that took part in the missile exercise. That's one of the things researchers have been trying to get the government to divulge for years, but that information remains "classified."

"Where were they"? Sheesh, seriously? Can you read? They were off the coast of Long Island and adjacent areas. We even know the military designations of two of the training areas. The segment I quoted mentioned missile sightings near Long Island and New Jersey. How did you miss that? And I mentioned in a previous reply that the FBI admitted that a number of Navy ships were in the general area where the crash occurred. Do you not process information well?

That is the kind of coprolite conspiracy nuts thrive off of. Give no actual facts, just spin enough *$R(&@ and hope others believe it and fall for it.

As I have said for years, conspiracy theories are the only mental illness that seeks to spread itself to others.

So after you decline to address a single point of fact discussed in the segment quoted from the lawsuit, you resort to more juvenile insults and posturing.

"Conspiracy nuts"??? Really? This is your description of the hundreds of aviation and naval professionals who reject the NTSB's ludicrous theory, including former admirals (one of them a former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), former naval officers who specialized in missiles, engineers, physicists, audio experts, military and commercial pilots, former NTSB and airline accident investigators, and aerospace technicians, and aircraft maintenance personnel?

Why don't you read the TWA 800 report submitted by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which rejects the NTSB theory and concludes than an external explosion caused the crash, and then write to them and tell them that they're all just a bunch of "conspiracy nuts," hey?
 

Matted Joybeard

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lmfao. 'i always knew an icbm is not actually a sam, i was just pretending to be an idiot, not actually being one.'
 

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Most credible explanation I recall was that it was a Stinger MANPAD, fired of the back end of a pleasure craft, that hit and brought down the 747. Supposedly there was an Israeli airline 747 scheduled for about the same takeoff time and that might have been the intended target. Quite a few of the Stingers that made it to Afghanistan in the 80s for the war with Russia were never accounted for/returned and speculation is some of them made it into the hands of Islamic Jihad orgs.

IIRC, during wreckage recovery a can (slightly larger than a soda can) with wires attached was found by one of the search vessels but considered not of consequence and tossed back into the sea. Supposedly descriptions match the ejector can used to boost a Stinger out of the launcher tube.

It was a great day for boating and seems the waters off that part of Long Island were crowded with pleasure craft. Step out to the fantail, aim, and launch. As soon as the missile is away, your partner guns the boat and does a rapid weave in and out of the other boats and gets blended into the crowd of such on the waters.

BTW, the auxiliary power unit of the 747 vents heated exhaust out the underside, mid wing/aircraft location, providing a heart source for lock on from front underside angle.
 

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An ICBM is not a SAM. And notice, you are posting from an article posted in 2020 that even states they are not yet in use, but may be soon.

Not yet in use in 2020, and certainly not decades ago when this happened.

You are the one that suffers issues with logic.

Oh, and anybody can submit anything to Congress. You are free to write a report on how the Founding Fathers were assisted by magical unicorns, and have it submitted into the Congressional Record.

Just doing so does not make it any more real.
A SAM is harder to fire than an ICBM...that was his logic. You probably could have just stopped right there and asked the board to consider anything else posted after that by giffith to be utter bullshit given the pure-bullshit-nature of the allegation. Apparently he's never heard anything about missile keys and command and control. But lets say that he was right... The only thing the sub commander would have had to do after coming to that realization is invent a submarine launcher for a SAM, purchase the SAMs, have them loaded onto his boat, and then, for some reason, decide he wants to dust a commercial airliner for no reason whatsoever.
 

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