By Jack Cashill
More than five years ago, retired United Airline Capt. Ray Lahr began his FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) petition to discover why TWA Flight 800 blew up on the night of July 17, 1996, off the coast of Long Island.
The powers that be at the Central Intelligence Agency may have thought they could stall Lahr until he just gave up or died trying. If so, they didn't know the man. Capt. Lahr is as fixed on the truth as Capt. Ahab was fixed on his whale.
Last week, Lahr and his attorney, John Clarke of Washington, D.C., filed an amended complaint in a U.S. District Court in California against the CIA, the National Transportation Safety Board, and now the much-in-the-news National Security Agency. In so doing, Lahr has left his adversaries increasingly little room to maneuver, and Lahr's is but one of three, active TWA Flight 800 suits making its way through the federal courts.
From the beginning, Lahr has focused his attack on the most vulnerable point of the government defense – what he calls "the zoom-climb scenario." The FBI first publicly advanced this scenario in November 1997, 16 months after the crash. To negate the stubborn testimony of some 270 FBI eyewitnesses who had sworn they saw a flaming, smoke-trailing, zigzagging object ascend, arc over and destroy TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island, the FBI showed a video prepared by the CIA.
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See Also: Alleged UFO/Plane Collision Case Solved