On July 17, 1996, #TWA800 was blown out of the sky shortly after taking off from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
Two hundred thirty people died in the crash. Investigators and journalists have covered the event, and the official cover story is that an electrical failure in the 747 caused the fuel tanks to explode. #TWA800
The United States Navy was running a training exercise off Long Island at the time, testing the Lockheed Martin SPY-1A radar system on the Frigate USS Carr, under the command of Commander Keith L. Wray. #TWA800
The Carr was part of a battlegroup testing a system that allowed one ship, the Carr, to track a target drone while another ship fired a missile. No actual missiles were to be fired in the exercise. Instead, only dummy missiles that could not fire were to be loaded. #TWA800
The US Navy, by policy, only fires missiles in firing ranges. #TWA800
One eye witness, Operations Specialist (OS) William H. Teele III, was in the command center of the USS Carr when the incident occurred but was ordered to remain silent. #TWA800
Teele was in the best position to observe the incident as a trainee under instruction for Air Coordinator Console in the Combat Information Center (CIC); Teele sat between the Tracking Supervisor OS Brian Miller in charge of radar identification & Air Controller OS Patrick Kelly.
Around the corner from the CIC sat Radioman 2nd, Class Cummings, watch supervisor of Radio Central communications center. #TWA800
What Teele describes is what was supposed to be a routine training exercise. They expected a "low-slow-flier" when TWA 800 entered their radar screens in the "hot box." #TWA800
The USS Carr's SPY-1A system got a radar lock and fed the information to the other ship (many miles away), which fired two missiles. Only they were not supposed to be actual missiles. #TWA800
Teele describes the immediate confusion in the CIC as Miller, Kelly, Cummings, and Teele begin to consider the implications of the United States Navy shooting down an airliner. #TWA800
Teele was ordered to remain silent about the events surrounding TWA 800, but the stress of keeping the secret for years haunts him. In addition, he had an unusually close relationship with Captain Wray and stayed in contact with him until Wray's death. #TWA800
Finally, on July 17, 2015, Teele could not hold back anymore, and after talking to two journalists and the parent of one of the victims, he posted a video on YouTube, trying to describe what he knew. #TWA800
That video only got a few hundred views until it was discovered by @WilliamKittel5 of D-State News on July 17, 2022. Now, William Teele wants to tell the whole story. More, next week on http://TheDukeReport.com #TWA800
Update! Stew Peter's interviews William Teele III #TWA800