On the subject of the CIA animation, however, no witnesses are more critical than the two pilots of an Eastwind Flight 507 from Boston to Trenton, First Officer Vincent Fuschetti and Capt. David McCLaine.
described the plane with its landing lights still on as "definitely the brightest light in the sky."As Flight 800 approached them at a slightly lower altitude and began crossing its path from right to left, McClaine
flicked on his
own inboard landing light to signal to the pilots of TWA 800 that he
and Fuschetti had the aircraft in sight.
Just as he
flicked on his
light, wrote McClaine
report to Eastwind Airline immediately after the crash, "The other aircraft exploded into a very large ball of flames."At this point, the two aircraft were less than 20 miles apart."Almost immediately," observed McClaine
, "two flaming objects, with flames trailing about 4,000 feet behind them, fell out of the bottom of the ball of flame."Within 10 seconds of witnessing the explosion, McClaine
called in the explosion to Boston air-traffic control.He
was the first one to do so.The FBI
knew this by day two: Eastwind: "We just saw an explosion out here, Stinger Bee 507 (Dave McClaine, Captain, Eastwind Airlines)"
Fuschetti and McClaine
both witnessed the initial explosion.
and Fuschetti could not see a missile streak from their angle, they undoubtedly saw the first explosion and the immediate plunge of the plane into the sea.
was telling Boston air-traffic control that the plane "just went down - in the water" within 10 to 15 seconds of that first blast.
This may well explain why the NTSB
never interviewed Fuschetti and did not interview McClaine
until March 25, 1999, nearly a year and a half after the FBI
closed the criminal case with a showing of the CIA video.
was by no means the "only person," Young's acknowledgement boldly refutes the CIA claim that no one had seen the initial explosion.
, "None at all."
"I didn't see it pitch up, no," McClaine
elaborated."Everything ended right there at that explosion as far as I'm concerned."When McClaine
ironically ventured a far-fetched scenario that could have resulted in the CIA's zoom-climb, Young responded in the same spirit, "We'd be cutting new trails in aviation if we could do that."
A few weeks after its interview with McClaine
, the NTSB witness group managed to secure an interview with the two CIA analysts responsible for the video, now a full 18 months after the video's sole showing.
"If [the nose-less plane] had ascended," Young asked the analyst rhetorically, "[McClaine] would have been concerned because it ascended right through his altitude."