The Konformist

KON4M 99
November 1999

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EgyptAir: Net News

Steve Reed (asreed@lastings.softnet.co.uk)

1999/10/31

At 01.30 this morning, Air Egypt 990, a Boeing 767, took off from JFK and headed east towards Cairo. It flew about two hundred miles, before crashing into the sea about 45 miles south of Nantucket. Spotter planes reaching the scene at first light report wreckage strewn across a wide area. According to the BBC, Air Egypt in Cairo say that the pilot made a distress call before the plane disappeared from radar-screens when it was about 60 miles south of Nantucket (the nearest land) The pilot may, therefore, have turned north after losing height.

Reports from the US Air Transport Safety Board (ATSB) do not mention any "distress call".

Confusion has also arisen regarding the flight-plan of the aircraft BEFORE it reached JFK. Cairo insists that the aircraft landed at Edwards Air Force Base, en route from Los Angeles to New York. American sources claim that the Egyptians are interpreting "EWR", which is the Newark Airport code, wrongly, as "Edwards Airforce Base".

These contradictions accompany yet another air disaster, with Middle Eastern connections, on the North Western Seaboard of America, which is also the third exceptional and, as yet, unexplained incident to occur within days of the Athens meeting of the Trilateral Commission. It is the second of these incidents to involve aborted flights to Cairo.

Of course, there doesn't have to be a significant connection - but there might be!

Late Sunday: An Air Egypt spokesman told German reporters that the plane must have been sabotaged. Same German news station reported FBI as saying that "there were no indications of foul play as yet". Pres. WJ Clinton said (rather more realistically) that it was too early to make any statement at all about the causes of the crash. AT LAST WE HAVE AN INCIDENT IN WHICH WE ARE NOT BEING TOLD WHAT TO THINK FROM THE VERY OUTSET - curious.

1999/11/01

Monday: Reports from US, radar observers say that the plane, after flying normally for about 33 minutes, dived steeply, losing many thousands of feet in altitude, immediately before disappearing from radar-screens. One might assume, therefore, that it dived straight into the sea.

*****

EgyptAir Anomalies?

Tuesday, November 02, 1999

Ian@Goddard.net

Right after the sudden crash of Flight 990 not far from LongIsland, I did a search of the Coast Guard's Local Notice to Mariners for District 1 to see if there were any live-fire warnings (http://www.navcen.uscg.mil/lnm/default.htm). I found no warnings during the month of October. However, there is a report from NewsMax of air-traffic control being overheard rerouting planes because "there are rockets being fired in the area." Here's that report:

http://www.newsmax.com/showinsidecover.shtml?a=1999/11/1/101212

After receiving many reports from people hearing that Flight 990 landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California but then the story was denied, I went to search the AP wire. Indeed, the AP reported that Egyptian TV quoted EgyptAir officials who said that the plane made a stop at Edwards Air Force Base after departing from LA. The relevant excerpts from those articles are below. Reuters then reported the denial from an FAA official, who said "This Edwards story has got to stop." One would assume that EgyptAir officials would have immediate knowledge of their plane's itinerary.

Another oddity was that only one person got off at JFK, and he works as a grief counselor for families of air-crash victims. He was speaking at a press conference hours after the crash, and, according the report below, never mentioned he'd been on the plane. That's got to be one of the more bizarre twists I've ever heard of: one man walks off the flight, a guy whose job will be to console the families of those who didn't get off. MSNBC calls it an "odd twist." Also included below is a time-line for the plane reported by the AP.

===================================================================

REUTERS

Sunday October 31 10:16 AM ET

US Coast Guard Finds Body From EgyptAir Crash

By Leslie Gevirtz

...

Earlier reports from Cairo had the plane coming from Los Angeles International Airport to JFK airport via Edwards Air Force Base in California. But the FAA said those were reports were wrong.

"This Edwards story has got to stop. This plane didn't go into Edwards,"FAA spokesman Bruce Nelson in Los Angeles said.

==========================================================

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Plane Disappears Off East Coast

By Laura Vozzella

Associated Press Writer

Sunday, Oct. 31, 1999; 6:37 a.m. EST

Egyptian television quoted EgyptAir officials as saying that after the flight left Los Angeles it made a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California before continuing on to Kennedy. However, there was no immediate confirmation from Edwards.

According to FAA officials in Washington, the plane's takeoff from Kennedy was delayed by two hours because it arrived late from Los Angeles.

==========================================================

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Plane Disappears Off East Coast

By Laura Vozzella

Associated Press Writer

Sunday, Oct. 31, 1999; 7:04 a.m. EST

According to FAA officials in Washington, the plane's takeoff from Kennedy was delayed by two hours because it arrived late from Los Angeles. The cause of the delay was not immediately known but Egyptian television quoted EgyptAir officials as saying the plane landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California after leaving Los Angeles; there was no confirmation from Edwards.

==========================================================

You'd think EAFB would be able to quickly confirm or deny.

==========================================================

MSNBC Repub of AP article (no date given):

Timeline of EgyptAir jet's final hours

Saturday

8:02 a.m. EDT - Plane, diverted because of inclement weather, lands at Newark International Airport.

10:25 a.m. EDT - Plane leaves Newark, N.J., bound for Los Angeles International Airport.

1:46 p.m. PDT - Plane lands in Los Angeles.

4:30 p.m. PDT - Plane departs Los Angeles for New York's JFK airport. The scheduled time of departure from Los Angeles was 12:30 p.m.

Sunday

12:48 a.m. EDT - Plane lands at JFK airport.

=============================================================

Only one passenger got off at JFK and he, which was lucky because he works as grief counselor for the crash victims.

=============================================================

MSNBC repub of AP article:

Man who got off doomed flight is a grief counselor

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 -- Only one passenger got off EgyptAir Flight 990 when it landed in New York, but in a strange twist, his services were needed by the airline almost immediately. Ed McLaughlin works for the Family Enterprise Institute, which helps airlines notify family members of air accident victims.

MCLAUGHLIN EVEN PARTICIPATED in a news conference eight hours after the plane went down, describing his work to reporters.

"We work with EgyptAir to try to help the families with the notification process," he said. "At the moment we're struggling to get everything together."

McLaughlin never mentioned that he'd been on the doomed plane and was the only passenger who boarded in Los Angeles to get off in New York. The plane vanished off radar screens near Nantucket Island while en route to Cairo from New York. ...

____________________________________________________________

Local Notice to Mariners and live-fire warnings

While someone claimed that the LNM had a warning issued for July 17, 1996 but it disappeared from the document at the LNM website (that person never responded to my requests for more info), there were none listed for July 17, 1996. However, that does not mean warning zones were not activated on short notice. Aerospace Daily reported on August 28, 1996 that W-105 WAS ACTIVATED AT CRASH TIME on July 17, 1996, and documents confirming activation on the 17th were also acquired. Therefore, the fact that I found no warnings in the LNM for October of 1999 does not necessarily mean no activities occurred during that time. Of course we're going to have to have something more to go on that one report of over-hearing ATC issuing warnings of military activity.

As it turned out in the Flight 800 case, as you may know, there were approximately 30 radar targets fitting the profile of large Navy vessels traveling in or toward the activated warning zone W-105. See:

http://users.erols.com/igoddard/30ships.htm

http://flight800.org/flotilla.htm

============================================================

GODDARD'S JOURNAL:

http://www.erols.com/igoddard/journal.htm

*****

NewsMax.com

America's News Page

Rocket Fire?

NewsMax.com Overhears Controllers' Strange Conversation

With Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff

For the story behind the story...

Monday November 1, 11:07 AM

"Rockets" Fired in Area of Downed Jet?

Already the tragic flight of an EgyptAir jet is making news on theconspiracy mill.

Perhaps even more so because of the seeming snap judgment of federal authorities who have downplayed any idea of a terrorist attack -- or worse.

There is "no indication that any criminal act took place," Coast Guard Rear Adm. Richard Larabee was quoted yesterday as saying.

How about holding an investigation before federal officials like Larabee make any presumptive judgment?

And there is good reason to have an investigation.

EgyptAir's Boeing 767 fell from the sky sometime early Sunday morning -- at about 2 a.m. Later Sunday morning, NewsMax.com editor Christopher Ruddy was on United flight #976, which departed JFK at 9:15 a.m. headed for London.

At about 10 a.m., Ruddy put on his headset. He clicked through the music channels and tuned in to transmissions between his United plane and air traffic control in the United States.

"Air traffic control was advising planes to change their flight paths, giving out new coordinates and altitudes for planes on the flight paths over the Atlantic," Ruddy recalled the conversation he overheard.

"At one point, a crew member of one of the planes radioed air traffic control to ask why the change. Air traffic control responded that 'there are rockets being fired in the area.'"

"I heard early that morning before boarding my plane that there was a missing EgyptAir plane," Ruddy said, "the conversation I heard on the plane really struck me, as did the controllers' use of the word 'rockets.'"

There is no indication yet of any U.S. military activities in the area. Still, the suggestion that there was some military activity near the plane's flight path raises the specter of TWA 800. Critics of the government investigation have alleged U.S. naval vessels were in the area and may have accidentally fired a missile at the civilian jet.

*****

Thanks to Sightings ( http://www.sightings.com ) for the following.

Flight 990 Carried Egyptian Military Officers - Pentagon

Fox News

11-1-99

WASHINGTON - About 30 Egyptian military officers were aboard EgyptAir Flight 990 when it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off Nantucket with 217 people on board, U.S. defense officials said Monday.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said the Egyptians from different branches of that country's military had been in the United States for training and were heading home when the airliner crashed Sunday, apparently killing all aboard.

"Defense Secretary (William) Cohen spoke with Marshal Tantawi (Egyptian Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi) on the telephone this morning and expressed his deep condolences," one senior Pentagon official told Reuters.

The official said some of the Egyptians were army pilots who had been undergoing training in flying AH-64 "Apache" attack helicopters.

Egypt is one of Washington's biggest military and political allies in the Middle East, and the two countries exchange dozens of officers annually in training programs as well as taking part in joint military exercises. Egypt has billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment in its defense arsenal.

In Cairo, aviation and security sources said more than 30 officers "most of them high-ranking" were on board the airliner. But U.S. military officials said most of the group were not senior-level officers.

Egyptian Defense Ministry and other government officials would not comment on the report.

One security source in Cairo said the group represented various branches of the armed forces and included four Air Force officers, two brigadiers-general, a colonel and a major.

"Three of the officers went on board the plane without being checked in," one of the aviation sources said, without explaining why.

Newspapers in Cairo were censored from reporting the presence of the officers on the flight, Egyptian reporters said.

The cause of the crash has not been established. U.S. aviation authorities did not receive any distress call.

Coast Guard cutters scoured the seas through the night, but picked up only small bits of wreckage and personal items.

Only one body had been recovered by late Monday morning.

President Clinton said in Oslo that he was not aware of any threats against airlines flying out of the United States. He said until more of the plane was recovered, the cause of the crash could not be determined.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak also played down suggestions of sabotage.

"Sabotage? I don't think that, or a terrorist act? I don't think that, but I cannot foretell. We are waiting until the investigation comes to an end," he told CNN television.

*****

Thanks to Sightings ( http://www.sightings.com ) for the following.

FBI Informant Warned Of Terrorist Attack Prior To Flight 990

By Gregory Burnham <monk13@san.rr.com>

11-1-99

Interesting that the Pentagon was not involved in the briefings this time, no? It was only a "foreign airline" I guess? One that fell from the sky at a rate that EXCEEDED "terminal velocity" by a significant rate of acceleration...

JFK Jr's plane had 3 non-military passengers aboard. Yet, THE PENTAGON HANDLED THAT BRIEFING!

Hmmm. I wonder why?

Informant describes plastic bomb

In a Sept. 24 "information circular," a copy of which was obtained by the AP, the FAA said several U.S. agencies received a warning by letter in August "that a bomb or explosive device with `spiral expansion' would soon be used on a flight departing from either Los Angeles airport or New York's JFK airport."

The circular said the informant "identified himself as Luciano Porcari," and noted that "an individual with this same name hijacked an Iberian Boeing 727 during a flight from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on March 14, 1977," before being overpowered and arrested.

The alert said the writer said "three of these devices were smuggled into the United States between 1992 and 1993, and that the devices cannot be detected on a metal detector because of the PVC (plastic) composition."

The alert was in effect until Oct. 30. EgyptAir Flight 990 departed Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 30, and stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport, bound for Cairo. The plane took off from JFK at 1:19 a.m. Sunday en route to Cairo and disappeared from radar screens about 40 minutes later.

At a news conference in Cairo, the head of EgyptAir, Mohammed Fahim Rayan, said he had no information of any direct threat against his airline.

Last month, the FAA offered no comment on its alert.

"The FAA often sends out information on threats to ensure that airlines can properly implement security measures," agency spokeswoman Rebecca Trexler said at the time.

"We do want to assure the public that the FAA works with law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the United States and other countries and we closely evaluate all threats and take appropriate security measures as warranted," Trexler added.

Eight Bombs Made, Three In Circulation

The FAA circular said a Luciano Porcariwas sentenced to 10 years in prison on Jan. 25, 1979, but later escaped. In August 1981, he threatened to hijack another aircraft unless he was paid $250,000. He was subsequently arrested in Italy and sentenced to nine years in prison on Jan. 27, 1982. The circular said he was released on Aug. 12, 1982.

In the warning received by letter "to several U.S. government agencies," the informant "claimed that between 1975 and 1983 eight of the devices were manufactured, that only three remained and that one was in the U.S.

He also said he had warned various U.S. authorities about the device before the July 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island and the September 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Newfoundland.

The TWA plane had taken off from Kennedy airport en route to Paris, while the Swissair plane had taken off from Kennedy en route to Geneva.

After an extensive investigation, authorities ruled out a criminal act in the TWA crash. They now believe there was an explosion for an undetermined reason in the plane's center fuel tank.

The Swissair plane crashed 16 minutes after the pilots reported smoke in the cockpit. Authorities have not determined a cause but are focusing on the airplane's wiring and insulation material.

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