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Who Shot Down TWA Flight 800?

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

First of all, Alex Shrugged says that no one shot down Flight 800. On the other hand, the explanations given for what really happened are shaky. Here are the basics: On July 17th, a Boeing 747-100 took off from JFK Airport in New York on it's way to Paris. 12 minutes into the flight at an altitude of almost 14,000 feet the cockpit voice recorder catches a very loud noise consistent with an explosion. An explosion has blown off the nose cone of the aircraft. That includes the pilots. The rest of the plane (including most of the passengers) continues on. The plane pitches up and gains another 2,000 feet (more or less) and then pitches down. Most of the passengers are already dead, but a few toward the back of the plane have survived. It is a long way down with no parachute. Some witnesses on the ground report a missile trace... something heading up and up and up. The FBI questions everyone. The NTSB is called in to investigate. It is the 3rd worst air disaster in history (to date). It will also be the most expensive investigation in history (to date). [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. So what caused the explosion? They are not sure, but their best guess is that it was a short in the electrical system causing a spark in the fuel tank. I assume this means a faulty fuel sensor. Does this make sense? Not to me. The fuel they use is Jet A, a kerosene fuel. I wouldn't strike a match around it, but a potential ignition source like a faulty fuel sensor should be spark-proof. That seems obvious. They had evidence that the tank exploded, so if it was a bomb it would have to be located inside the fuel tank. Is that likely? I don't think so. The so-called missile trace was attributed to burning fuel. It was evening. When the plane pitched up, people saw the burning fuel trailing behind. OK, but how did the plane go up so fast? That usually requires powered flight. It doesn't make sense to me. I saw an interview with a physicist on Fox News who tried to explain it, but he contradicted himself, so I judged him to be a guy who wanted to be on TV. I have lots of questions. Only a few answers are available. Objects in your mirror may appear like a large government conspiracy, but not to me. [3] [4]


Contributed by Southpaw Ben


My Take by Southpaw Ben

The Electric Car is Here!

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

Actually, the electric car been here since the early 20th century, but California is enforcing their new ZEV program, that is, Zero Emissions Vehicles. The law requires that a certain percentage of new car sales from a manufacturer must produce zero pollution. At this time that means battery-powered cars, so General Motors has come out with the EV1. It runs on lead-acid batteries, and it can take you about 70 to 100 miles on a charge. Since a full charge can take 8 hours, the car is only good for local hops. Next year an improved battery set will extend the range and reduce the battery weight. These cars are only for lease. The lease payment ranges from $349 to $574 a month depending on the government subsidies available. The actual market value of the vehicle is undetermined, but some say it costs $80,000 to make. Others say a lot more. In the end only a little over a thousand of the EV1 will be leased. GM will take them all back, and crush them. This little experiment in Zero Emissions Vehicles proves that no one wants an electric car. [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Really? I'm not so sure. The EV1 had some problems, but radio talk show host Neil Boortz drove one of them and loved it. The problem was that the batteries often wore out before the lease was up and required replacement. It was an economic loser, but maybe that was the point. Sometimes a company will produce a certain type of machine because it is required by law (or by an industry standard), but not because any customers will want it. I think GM wanted the EV1 to fail in order to prove to the California Air Quality Board that Zero Emission Vehicles don't sell. Thus, placing artificial sales quotas on electric cars was ridiculous. Once that was proven, GM crushed the cars because those rolling advertisements for clean air might build up a following, and then GM might actually have to produce them. But until they can get the range up (meaning a longer battery life) electric cars will remain a novelty for rich people. [8] [9]

Notable Births

  • Sophie Turner: Sansa Stark on HBO's Game of Thrones. (I loved the books, but never seen the HBO series.--alexshrugged) [10]
  • Tom Holland: The new Spiderman. [10]
  • Hailee Steinfeld: Petra in Ender's Game. (Loved the movie but the book is better.--alexshrugged) [10]

Notable Deaths

  • George Burns (age 100, cardiac arrest): He played the Almighty in Oh God!. [11]
  • Carl Sagan (age 62, pneumonia): From TV's Cosmos. [11]
  • Mark Lenard (age 72, a type of blood cancer): Spock's father, Sarek from Star Trek, the Original, and Next Generation series. [11]
  • Greg Morris (age 62, brain cancer): Barney in TV's Mission: Impossible. (No. He didn't like the film.--alexshrugged) [12]
  • Tupac Shakur (age 25, Drive-by shooting): He will continue to sell recordings reaching 75 million units by 2007. (They say "records", but in 1996 compact discs are outselling all other media types.--alexshrugged) [13]

This Year in Film

  • Independence Day: A derivative Sci-Fi invasion film, but fun. [11]
  • Twister: Michael Crichton film, loosely based on a real Texas tornado outbreak. (FYI, my son used to organize tornado chasing for science. He is not a jackass, but don't ask his wife for her opinion.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • Star Trek: First Contact: (Moby Dick, again, but with a better soundtrack.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • And...: Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire, and Matilda, a Roald Dahl story. [11]

This Year in TV

  • The Daily Show: with Jon Stewart. (Very clever. Obviously biased, but it's comedy.--alexshrugged.) [14]
  • Judge Judy: A reality court show. (It is real in that the participants have agreed to abide by the judgement.--alexshrugged) [14]
  • 7th Heaven: A drama centering on Reverend Camden and his family living in California. [14]
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: A sitcom featuring 4 extraterrestrials on an expedition to Earth. [14]
  • Fox News premieres: Featuring Your World with Neil Cavuto, Hannity & Colmes (now Hannity) and The O'Reilly Factor, now cancelled. [14]

This Year in Music

  • Macarena: Los Del Rio. "Dale a tu cuerpo alegría Macarena," that is "Give happiness to your body Macarena". [15]
And in Honor of the marriage of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw...
  • All I Want is a Life: Tim McGraw. "All I want is a life / To drink from a glass from a well that ain't dry / I'm sick of the crumbs I want a piece of that pie / All I want is a life". [15]

This Year in Video Games

  • Quake: 1st person shooter with full, real time 3D rendering. [16]
  • Tomb Raider: It's Lara Croft! [16]
  • Resident Evil Thus begins the survival horror genre. The film comes 6 years later [17]
  • Nintendo 64 is released: It is called the 1st true 64-bit home console. (I'd call it the 1st one that works.--alexshrugged) [16]

In Other News

In Economics

  • Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan gives his "irrational exuberance" speech: (The dot-com bubble is building.--alexshrugged). [18]

On the Jihad Front

  • The Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia is bombed, killing 19 US servicemen: . [18]
  • Osama bin Laden calls for jihad to remove the American military from Saudi Arabia: . [18][19]
  • The US launches 44 cruise missiles at Iraq military facilities: The official reason is that Iraq has been violating the no-fly-zone, and shooting at US fighter planes. (More likely it was to stop the Iraqis from murdering the Kurds.--alexshrugged) [18][20]

Animals Gone Wild

  • The British government announces that Mad Cow Disease has probably been transmitted to people: . [18][21]
  • Tony Silva gets 7 years without parole for illegal parrot smuggling: (These illegal parrots are just doing the jobs that American parakeets don't want to do.--alexshrugged). [18]
  • Dolly the sheep becomes the first cloned mammal: . [18]

Children Found Murdered

  • 9-year old Amber Hagerman is abducted and murdered.: Her death will inspire the AMBER Alert system. [18]
  • Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is murdered on Christmas Day: She was a child beauty pageant queen. Many suspects, but no murderer will be found. [18][22][23]

Death in the Skies

  • ValuJet Flight 592 crashes in the Everglades after oxygen canisters in the cargo hold catch fire: All 110 on board are killed. [18]

Death at Centennial Park

  • A bomb goes off at Centennial Olympic Park during the Summer Olympics, killing 1 and injuring 111: (A security guard is wrongfully accused of setting the bomb.--alexshrugged) [18]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1996, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. TWA Flight 800 Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Documentary HD - YouTube. Retrieved on 2 May 2017.
  2. In-flight Breakup Over The Atlantic Ocean, Trans World Airlines Flight 800, Boeing 747-131, N93119, Near East Moriches, New York, July 17, 1996 - AAR0003.pdf. NTSB (OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SITE) (2017). Retrieved on 2 May 2017.
  3. New Evidence on TWA Flight 800 Disaster Revealed in Documentary - Megyn Kelly Reports - 6/19/13 - YouTube. Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “Published on Jun 19, 2013 June 19, 2013 - Tom Stalcup, the Co-Producer of 'TWA Flight 800' Documentary joins FNC's Megyn Kelly to discuss new evidence that's been brought forward that sheds a different light on the controversial flight disaster. Former FBI agent, James Kallstrom offers his perspective as well.”
  4. Alex Shrugged notes: The contradiction I saw on Fox News was that the physicist correctly identified problems with the physics, but his answer was a missile attack near by from above. He contacted an expert on missile attacks. The expert said that he couldn't imagine how that could happen. The physicist then did some hand-waving and concluded that it must have been a missile attack because... it was a missile attack. I found that argument unconvincing. The official version sound reasonable, with holes in it. I'm going with the official version.
  5. Zero-emissions vehicle - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “A zero-emissions vehicle, or ZEV, is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power.”
  6. ARB GLOSSARY. arb.ca.gov (2017). Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Vehicles which produce no emissions from the on-board source of power (e.g., an electric vehicle).”
  7. What is an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV)?. thoughtco.com (March 15, 2017). Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “As part of California's 2004 low-emissions vehicle initiative, which provided much stricter regulations for qualifying as a low-emission vehicle, the tiers were further broken down into six sub-classifications: Transitional Low-Emissions Vehicles (TLEV), LEV, ULEV, SULEV, Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) and Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV).”
  8. EV-1 White Paper (September 11, 2002). Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “There is a common -- but incorrect -- perception that electric cars are technically and economically unfeasible. Ironically, this position has been most aggressively promulgated by General Motors, creators of the highly successful EV1. Perhaps that is why GM is pulling functional EV1s off the roads, to its own financial detriment and to the distress of drivers, who fear the cars will be destroyed.”
  9. Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) - IMDb. Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.”
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 1996 Births - Wikipedia (1996).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 1996 in film - Wikipedia (1996). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  12. Greg Morris - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 1 May 2017. “Morris died on August 27, 1996 of brain cancer in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 62 years old. Shortly before his death, he went to see the film version of Mission: Impossible that starred Tom Cruise. The reports were that he disliked the movie so much (an opinion that was shared by most of his former co-stars) that he left the theater early.”
  13. Tupac Shakur - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 1 May 2017. “As of 2007, Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide.”
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 1996 in television - Wikipedia (1996).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 1996 in music - Wikipedia (1996). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 1996 in music - Wikipedia (1996).
  17. Resident Evil (film) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 1 May 2017. “2002”
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 1996 - Wikipedia.
  19. "The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places"
  20. Operation Desert Strike
  21. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  22. Murder of JonBenét Ramsey
  23. Death of JonBenét Ramsey - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 2 May 2017. “A lengthy ransom note was found in the house, and her father, John Ramsey, found JonBenét's body in the basement of their house about eight hours after she was reported missing. She sustained a broken skull from a blow to the head and had been strangled; a garrote was found tied around her neck.”

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