January 29, 2002


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TIME Magazine's Wake Turbulence

As TIME magazine flew off with a hot story on Sunday, January 27th titled, "Flight 587: Video May Hold Key", (story is at http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,197613,00.html), the turbulence that story generated on Monday created a very bumpy ride for those who followed in its wake.

TIME magazine reports the NTSB has "an important new piece of evidence". According to the article, "Government sources" say the NTSB got their first look at a "remarkable videotape of the deadly accident" just last week that recorded "nearly the entire catastrophe". Now citing an unnamed NTSB source, the article states the plane can be seen "flying along normally and intact, and suddenly things start to go very wrong". The article ends by stating that experts at the NTSB believe this "new" tape will answer critical questions.

The NTSB told me on Monday the 28th, the second video "is actually stop action photography. The quality is not good; the aircraft is basically a blur. The photo is grainy." The NTSB also states they've had this unremarkable second video since November.

The TIME article appears to be in conflict with what little information the NTSB has released about this mysterious second videotape.

The New York Daily News claimed on Monday the 28th that back on November 16th, one of their reporters was shown this now infamous 2nd tape and it was ... unremarkable. The Daily News article quotes an NTSB spokesman, Terry Williams as saying, "We just actually learned of it (the 2nd video) a couple weeks ago." What adds to the confusion is the Bridge and Tunnel Authority of New York City stating to me on Monday the 29th, "there is no 2nd tape". The NTSB states there is a 2nd tape and they would get back to me as to its origin but there is still some confusion as to when the NTSB received this 2nd tape and why some folks at the NTSB were under impressions they had only recently received it.

Of course, this three-ring circus would fold up and go away if the FBI and NTSB released the raw footage to the press and public.

I will be asking the NTSB to release all the footage now. Please help me in this effort by calling them at (202) 314-6000 and letting them know how you feel.

Victor Trombettas

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