Re: TWA #800: "sparker" in tank?

Date:         05 Dec 96 02:27:17 
From:         saghir@eecg.toronto.edu (Mazen Saghir)
Organization: University of Toronto, Computer Engineering
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1996.2659@ohare.Chicago.COM> regulus@earthlink.net writes:
>Another theory (which may not be new) on TWA 800 explosion:
>
>Is it possible that a spark generator could have been
>inserted into the center fuel tank?  Perhaps at any of several
>airports which this aircraft had visited over the preceding weeks.

I am no expert on the 747, but it seems that it would be nearly impossible
for anyone to gain access to the central fuel tank embedded *inside* the
airframe.

>Scenario: An Iranian/Iraqi/Hezbollah terrorist gains access to
>the parked airliner at Athens one night and magnetically (or otherwise)
>attaches the radio-activated "sparky" to the upper surface of
>the center fuel tank.

As with the Oklahoma City bombing, it is all too easy these days for people
to lay the blame on foreign "terrorists." I think we should wait for the
final results of the investigation before making such accusations.

>Days later, from the Long Island shore, he or a cohort, transmits
>a radio signal which simply activates a little battery spark.
>BOOM. "Old Sparky" is blown to bits along with the airliner.

Let me see if I get this right. A terrorist plants a "sparky" on-board a 747
and then waits for it to go back to the U.S. He then *waits* for the plane
to take off from JFK (must have some pretty impressive intelligence aparatus
to know exactly when the plane's next trip is scheduled to fly) and blows it
up using a radio transmitter. Why go through all the bother? Wouldn't it be
easier to blow it up over Greece?

>Has this theory been investigated?

I don't think this theory holds much water.

-- Mazen Saghir
   saghir@eecg.toronto.edu