Re: TWA 800: Paris-Match is OUT

Mark Grant (
Sat, 15 Mar 1997 10:54:33 +0000

On Thu, 13 Mar 1997, Hal Finney wrote:

> It would be very dramatic and exciting if it turned out that there were
> a big conspiracy to cover up an accidental missile hit, but the radar
> pictures which Paris Match is displaying don't make the case as far as
> I can tell.

Unfortunately (because as a frequent flyer I'd prefer to believe that some
idiot in the Navy shot it down than that 747s sometimes just blow up for
no good reason) I have to agree with Hal. Looking at the images on their
Web site the two circled dots clearly come very close to each other, and if
one were TWA800 I'd probably accept the missile theory. However, the dot
marked as TWA800 never seems to come within a couple of miles of the
supposed missile. Or perhaps that should be "the dot which appears to be
marked as TWA800," since the number is hard to read.

OTOH, given the FBI's massive over-reaction I wonder if I've missed
something... One question I have is whether a modern traffic control radar
could actually pick up an anti-aircraft missile? I was under the
impression that they now rely more on the aircraft's transponder replying
when painted by the radar than on the returns from the radar itself.


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