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- July 13, 2002
- NTSB's Implausibility
- Submitted by Ian van de Burgt, a Canadian Journalist
- Note from the Editor: My deepest sympathies
to the families of those who were lost in the mid-air collision
crash on July 1st. Neither myself nor Ian wish to add insult
to injury. However, given the dismay that we feel in regards
to how the NTSB has continued to smear eyewitness credibility,
in combination with unsupported speculations on their part, i.e.
wake turbulence encounters, Ian's piece is a rather interesting
twist with a refreshing bit of logic.
- People who question what the NTSB publicly reports about
Flight 587 are being called "conspiracy theorists".
But let's look at the agency's statements, and apply NTSB reasoning
to the recent, mid-air collision of Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev
TU-154 and a DHL Aviation Boeing 757 on July 1 over Ueberlingen,
Germany. Followed to its logical extreme, the NTSB theory looks
like one from a conspiracy quack, and we skeptics provide the
infusion of fresh logic.
- How do we know that the two planes actually collided in mid
air? One central reason is that some witnesses heard an explosion,
saw a fireball, or some such thing. Of course, another is that
the two planes were at the same altitude and on a collision course.
- But if the NTSB is to be believed, then these planes would
not have had to collide at all in order to break up in flight.
After all, one possibility is that they had a near miss, passed
through each other's wake turbulence, which caused important
composite material to break off. The pilots, alternatively, might
have found the coming, potential collision so frightening that
they made rapid, extreme rudder movements that could also have
caused the airplanes to disintegrate in the air, so rapidly,
in fact, that the pilots would not have had enough time to make
a distress call.
- As far as the many witness statements are concerned, there
appears to be much disagreement among reports about what really
happened. Of the witness statements I have read in the news,
about 50% heard an explosion, about 25% felt the ground shake.
The remainder only saw "something".
- By my reckoning, roughly half the witnesses report seeing
a fireball or explosion in the air. A small number saw a "glow";
Several described a "bright flash"; I read one account
that even described "black rain".
- Before the "alleged" mid-air collision, the vast
majority of witnesses did not hear any airplanes overhead. Not
one person reports having actually seen even one airplane in
- I think I read somewhere that 50% of the witnesses report
seeing something happen to the right. The other 50% saw it happen
on the left. (I know, witnesses can be so confused). It was dark,
so no one could possibly have seen anything clearly.
- We also know, thanks to the NTSB, that movies and TV have
distorted people's perceptions of airline disasters, and if they
heard or saw an explosion or fire "in the sky"; it
may well be that such events actually happened on impact with
the ground, and these witnesses projected the "fire"
or "explosion" into the air because that is how they
are conditioned by the movies.
- For all these reasons we should discount what the witnesses
- NTSB conclusion: "A preponderance of the evidence to
date suggests that wake turbulence and rapid rudder movements
of the pilots caused the demise of the two aircraft over Germany
on July 1."
- If that raises serious issues in your mind, than you are
a skeptic, not a conspiracy theorist. If you buy my (satirical)
account of the NTSB, then you are a quack.
- Ian van de Burgt
- Please jump
to the U.S.Read Home Page where you will see more links to
Flight 587 stories.
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