- Just two days after the FBI said it was investigating
witness accounts that American Airlines Flight 587 exploded in midair before
it broke apart over New York's Jamaica Bay on Monday, NTSB investigators
are pushing the theory that air turbulence from another jetliner - and
not any explosion - caused the crash that scattered wreckage covering a
- "We are consistently looking for any sign of sabotage
and not finding any," said NTSB spokeswoman Marion Blakely on Wednesday.
"There is no evidence of any bomb, of any sabotage, at this point."
- That's not what the investigators were saying just hours
after the crash, as reported in an Associated Press alert that flashed
into newsrooms across the country.
- "The Associated Press [is] saying the Bush administration
says the FBI believes there was an explosion aboard the plane, and they
are investigating its source," reported CNN's Paula Zahn around midday.
- "Senior administration officials tell CNN that the
FBI is trying to find out the source of that explosion on the American
Airlines flight," echoed the news network's Major Garrett.
- As what sounded like an official confirmation that Flight
587 had exploded ricocheted around the world, Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer
denied the report, saying no administration official had made that statement
- but that the FBI would not dismiss what eyewitnesses had seen.
- And what nearly every witness to Flight 587's ascent
over Jamaica Bay said they saw was an explosion and/or a fire, something
not likely cause by "wind turbulence."
- CNN's Zahn reported that morning, "We got five eyewitnesses
to describe what they saw as an explosion coming, most of them believed,
from the right wing."
- On WABC Radio in New York, vivid accounts of a midair
explosion poured in from callers who saw Flight 587 from both sides of
- "I saw an enormous flash where the wing meets the
plane," a woman who was out walking her dog told host John Gambling.
"I don't know if it was fire or an explosion. It appeared that debris
fell from the left side [of the plane]."
- Another eyewitness who called into the radio station
said, "The right wing seemed to catch fire and explode. The wing was
on fire with a trail of smoke behind it."
- "I saw the plane going across Jamaica Bay,"
a third witness told WABC. "It was trying to ascend and then it just
- By Tuesday, some already suspected a cover-up.
- "I keep hearing the authorities talk about an engine
falling off the plane and [then] an explosion," eyewitness Rod McHale
told the New York Post. "That's not what I heard and saw. There
was an explosion and then the engine fell off. ... I'm convinced it's terrorism."
- Before the NTSB mounted its full court press on the air
turbulence theory, ABC News aviation expert John Nance told WABC Radio's
Gambling that probers were grasping at straws.
- GAMBLING: The theory that this plane, Flight 587, was
going through the wash of a 747 ahead of it - that really seems to be sort
of a bogus theory.
- NANCE: It really is. I think a lot of folks jumped
on that last night, I think, misunderstanding the reality that these aircraft
fly through severe turbulence. It could be the initiating event of something
that was about to happen, but it would not be the cause itself.
- Stay tuned.
- All Rights Reserved © NewsMax.com Posted by permission
of NewsMax.com http://www.newsmax.com/showinside.shtml?a=2001/11/15/133624