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Unlike my opinion on Tunguska event, I am not completely convinced that the July 17, 1996 TWA Flight 800 tragedy was caused by a geophysical phenonenon. I can not completely rule out "missile" idea, or anything else, as I am not very deep in this investigation. Nevertheless, I think that some remarkable aspects of the crash are worth to consider.
Several years have past since an explosion of the Boeing 747 TWA Flight 800, but its origin is still disputable (see for example, ARAP www-site, and NTSB www-site). For example, 2/3 of participants of AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY magazine poll were not satisfied with the NTSB investigation.
In 1997 I read several articles in AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY magazine about the tragedy. An idea came into my head, that maybe it was neither missile strike, nor just accidental fuel vapor explosion, but a geophysical event. As a result, I wrote a letter to the magazine, which was printed after some editorial board shortening.
Here it is, published in the July 28, 1997 (p.8) issue of AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY magazine with the idea that the July 17, 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash possibly was caused by a geophysical phenomenon, which sometimes is called 'geophysical meteor', or 'geometeor'( see my geophysical meteors article ). But as the name 'geophysical meteor' was (and still is) poorly known, I had to call it "rocket lightning", which is better known. Unfortunately the latter one hints on a thunderstorm nearby, as there is no need for any thunderstorm in the case of a geophysical meteor.
A geophysical meteor is a moving luminous (sometimes dark!) more or less compact object, often looking like a meteoroidal meteor, and having properties of a ball lightning. Its dimentions sometimes can be much larger than a classic ("thunderstorm") ball lightning. Empirical data reveals that geometeors are used to appear during atmospheric instable conditions i.e. atmospheric airpressure variations, before cloudiness increase (besides thunderclouds, of course), etc., and gravitate to geological inhomogeneties (faults, ore and water deposits, etc.). It hints that geometeors are result of a coupling between atmospheric and subterranean (tectonic) processes. In an utmost case, when atmospheric factors strongly dominate, we have a classic ("thunderstorm") ball-lightning. In another utmost case, when tectonic factors strongly dominate, we have meteor-like "earthquake lights".
Probably, nowadays we can consider geometeors as a a high-speed kind of ball-lightnings. Despite that their physical mechanism is unknown, there is some observational/empirical knowledge about them.

Please, pay attention that apparently a geometeor is much more dangerous for an aircraft than ordinary (linear) lightning. The reason is that the linear lightning hardly penetrates inside metal aircraft, while geometeor, (being evidently a kind of high-speed ball lightning) makes it much easier (examples are in the text below).

Since that time much more info appeared on the event, icluding witness's accounts. Through Internet I get some limited geophysical data associated with the event. And it seems that the data is in favor for the proposed geophysical interpretation.

But at first, let's talk about the most disputed explanations. Official explanation excludes a bomb explosion, a missile strike, and states that it was a center fuel tank explosion due to unknown origin, probably an electric short-cut.
But the "missile" advocates point to apparent incompatibility of the official explanation with numerous eyewitness's accounts on a "flare" or a "streak of light" in the sky flying towards the airplane. Also they attract attention to other shortcomings of the official explanation.
But till now it is the only argument for the "missile theory".

Let's compare this with shooting down a Russian TU-154M airliner by Ukrainian S-200 missile over Black sea on October 4, 2001. In that case there were no any eyewitness of a missile, just an explosion of the airliner was seen. Almost all fragments and 'black boxes' had sunk at 2km depth. Russian president V. Putin in a few hours after the crash announced that a hit by Ukrainian missile can be ruled out, and Pentagon, after initual claim for possible Ukrainian missile hit, prefered not to be involved (insist). Ukrainian militaries, and even Ukrainian president L. Kuchma denied the missile hit. But evidences (of the missile strike) from the few fragments found on a sea surface were so compelling and overwhelming (numerous holes in the airplane fragments, fragments of a missile) that in a few days a state commission was to recognize the Ukrainian missile strike, despite very strong political problems it resulted.
And compare this with TWA Flight 800 situation, where almost all airplane's fragments were recovered from shallow-water area!

The TWA Flight 800 missile theory has many problems. Besides well-known ones ( i.e. that no traces of missile explosion were discovered ), I would like to attract attention to the fact that in reality the witness's accounts don't conform the missile theory too! Here are the arguments.

- Reported trajectories of the "object" (arc-like turns with diving to the airliner from above, after initial ascent (!), etc.) don't conform with real antiaircraft missile's trajectories.

- "Missile" supporters estimated a time of the "missile" strike in the aircraft approx. at 00:31:13.8 UT (see here). But what was the origin of the electric power loss at 00:31:12 UT, and moreover, of the anomalous noise recorded by a flight data recorder at 00:31:05 UT?

- Remarkably, that the "objects" were well-seen from distances at 10-15 km, comparing with low brightness and small dimensions ( ~ 0.5 X 0.5 X 5 meters ) of Stinger-type missile exhaust flame;

- Several witnesses reported about a "loud sharp noise", and "paper cracling sound", simultaneous with the "object" explosion (as it was predicted in my letter above!).

- Real experience with Stinger-type missile shows that it usually brought down rather small military aircrafts by knocking out their engines. It is practically impossible that a small Stinger-type missile warhead could tear off a giant "head" (cockpit) of Boeing-747. On the other side, according to "missile" supporters, the missile was able also to transfix easily the giant aircraft (and leaving no traces inside!)
By the way, I even don't discuss here what is to successfully launch (being almost outside of the missile range) a missile from a small boat moving at 56 km/h in a sea... Moreover, some of triangulated (see "missile's launch sites" show that they were originated in clear water, i.e. without any vessel nearby, and/or far outside Stinger-type-missile launch range!

But even presence of a superman with the mysterious supermissile can not save the missile interpretation, as some witnesses stated that at first they heard thunder-like sounds (some of them shook the ground! - according to an expert, at least in order of 1 t TNT must be exploded...), then saw an "object" in flight (a Stinger-type missile reaches its maximum range about 5 km for about 10 seconds, and its sound could travel just 3 km for this time, while majority of witnesses were on shore at least 10-15 km away...).

In other words, as soon as supporters of "missile theory" begin to try to develop their theory, they completely confuse with large descrepances at once, and practically the only what they can say is about the streak of light, and problems with NTSB explanation.

To show the complication of the event, I give just several accounts here (some interesting parts are marked in boldface). The first two I took from here:

Here is the last one from (see a map here):

In other words, D. Brumley saw an "object" flying approx. from the south to the north. But "missile" supporters calculated that the missile struck (approx. at 00:31:13.8 UT) from the north blewing out debris southwards (by the way, this "blew out" is also strange for Stinger-type missile strike)!

The accounts forced some "missile" supporters to put forward a proposal that there were several "missiles" fired: some raising from the ground and/or sea surface, as others flying almost horizontally (and far outside Stinger-type missile launch range). And indeed, several witnesses said they saw several "flares", one after another. In the most clear form the conclusion about "several missiles" is stated here. But it makes the question "who and how launched them" into practically insoluble one. And even such extraordinary idea doesn't resolve all of the above-mentioned problems.

In other words, it is practically impossible for "missile" advocates to fit even just witness's accounts into their theory, and the only way to the missile theory to survive is an extremely large deep and successful US government's cover-up, including mass-distortions of data, mis- and dis-information, etc., with many people involved. I think, that despite such super-cover-up can't be completely excluded, it seems to be rather unlikely.


Besides the above-mentined successful prediction of the sounds simultaneous with the accident (by the way, in a case of a lightning their physical mechanism is still disputable), there are many other facts hinting at geometeors.

Here is an extract from NTSB Meteorological Factual Report [DCA96MA070], regarding NTSB investigation on possible lightning strike in TWA Flight 800. Please, pay attention to the text I marked in boldface.

It is very important for the geophysical meteor interpretation, that there was a local electromagnetic disturbance at the time of the accident. And, of course, it could be unlike the linear lightning one.
Also, regarding the text above, I would like to demonstrate, that the "clear sky lightning" can be really from a clear sky, or at least far away from any thunderstorm, and not just "within a few kilometers from a thunderstorm", as stated above. Below is an example, associated with aviation.

Let's check other hints at geometeors.

  • Meteorological data.

  • According to my research on geophysical meteors, besides association with thunderstorms, thunderstorm-like clouds, geometeors tend also to appear on eve of weather worsening (i.e before cloudness increase, thunderstorms, etc.), during atmospheric front passages, atmospheric pressure changes (of course, some of these things are related). So let's check meteorological conditions for the TWA Flight 800 explosion (the data was taken from [US] National Climatic Data Center www-site, and Unisys Corp. www-site, unless otherwise stated).
    The airplane explosion occured at 00:31:12 UT July 18, 1996 a ten miles to the south of Long Island (40.6 N; 72.7 W).
    NTSB stated that at the time of the crash, there were light winds and scattered clouds in the area, but there were no significant meteorological conditions that might have disrupted the flight. Let's look at the situation in detail.

    The 12 UT, July 17 meteorological map (i.e. taken 12.5 hours before the explosion) doesn't show severe atmospheric conditions indeed. According to the above-mentioned NTSB collection (DCA96MA070), it slightly rained in John F. Kennedy airport (90 km to the west of the explosion site) about an hour before the explosion. Weather in Westhampton Beach (20 km to the north of the explosion site) was the following. At 23:45 UT, July 17 there were the 4 knots winds from SW, visibility 6 km, haze, scattered clouds (total sky cover 3/8). At 00:45 UT, July 18 winds calm, visibility 10 km, haze, scattered clouds (total clouds cover 3/8). As I read (Aviation Week & Space Technology July 29, 1996), in the Mac Arthur airport (Long Island) there were scattered clouds at 750 m, visibility - 8 miles, and the 3-kt southern winds at about 40 minutes before the explosion. Some witnesses pointed to haze (including in a plane above the TWA Flight 800 one), which is in agreement with the data.
    Satellite images analysis by NTSB releals that in the explosion site clouds tops were below about 2 km, and clouds with more or less vertical development were about 36 km to the NE of the explosion site. Radar images analysed by NTSB (radar's beams were centered at about 3.7 km height in the explosion site) showed that at 00:27:35 UT the closest more or less strong reflector was about 15 km from the explosion site. At 00:33:25 UT there were several strong reflectors around the explosion area, with total square 12.3 sq. n.miles, and assigned in the analysis as products of the explosion.
    Unfortunately, I failed to find a weather map for 0 UT, July 18, i.e. almost at the time of the explosion. In [US] National Climatic Data Center www-site I discovered a weather radar image, corresponding to 23 UT, July 17 (i.e an hour and a half before the explosion). Also nothing especially remarkable.
    About 12 hours later the haze became so strong that it was even marked in the 12 UT, July 18 meteorological map. And finaly, 23.5 hours after the event in its area a "nuclear" of clouds was formed. Here, how it was seen 46.5 hours after the explosion by weather radars.
    NOAA satellite images (taken from ) show the powerful cloud cover formation (involving the explosion's site, and with an "epicenter" to the west of it) even more clearly. Just look at the images in the satellite's band 4 (infrared), and see the development of the cloud cover: image of 22:44 UT, July 17 ( its map); image of 12:45 UT, July 18 ( its map).

    The development of the cloud cover is well-seen in the smoothed and averaged for the 6-hours long intervals cloudiness data, taken from NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center. On a cloudiness map for 18-24 UT July 17, i.e. right before the explosion, not much clouds were in the place of the event. But the situation have changed significantly just some hours later, and is seen on the map for 6-12 UT July 18.
    Details of the development are even more impressive (see for 18-24 UT July 17, and 6-12 UT July 18).

    If to establish a scale of my confidence: is weather in favor for geometeors (0 - "no", i.e. unlikely; 1 - sooner "no", than "yes"; 2 - sooner "yes", than "no"; 3 - "yes", i.e. likely), then I will give "3" in this case.

    To summ up: weather conditions at the time of the TWA Flight 800 explosion were favourable for an appearence of geophysical meteors.
    Of course, this result alone doesn't prove that the origin of the TWA Flight 800 explosion was/were geometeor(s), but together with other hints it make the idea rather plausible, or at least, the interpretation conforms with known facts much better than other interpretations.

    What could be a possible role of the geophysical meteor in the destruction of TWA Flight 800? The geometeor could affect the airplane in two ways. The first one is electromagnetic disturbance in electric wiring etc. (moreover, events, when a ball lightning penetrated inside a metal airplane are known - see below).

    The TWA Flight 800 flight recorder (FDR) recorded strange sounds (similar to tape damage noise) at 00:31:05 UT. (at 00:31:03 the FDR recorded as a crew member pronounced some unintelligible word, just the second such word for the flight). Couldn't it be caused by some electromagnetic precursor event ( for example, a ball lightning, penetrated inside)?
    Remarkably, that Navy P-3 airplane (which flew near the TWA Flight 800 explosion site about 15 seconds earlier than the latter) reported later that a part of its electronic equipment failed during the flight. Accidental coincidence? Maybe...

    It was discovered by NTSB investigators, that the airplane electric wiring was evidently in bad condition, including some problems with it right before the explosion (read here), so the investigators even said that a weak disturbance can lead to a center fuel tank explosion. In other words, a collision with a geometeor could be just a trigger (a "last drop") in that case. By the way, the electromagnetic disturbance may be partly responsible for some anomalous data recorded in the TWA Flight 800 flight data recorder in its final moments.
    For example, it seems to be the only plausible explanation for gyroes readings of the aircraft's roll jump from 0 degrees at 00:31:11 UT to 144 degrees a moment later (!), and then returning to normal 0 (!), which at once was followed by the stop/end of recording at 00:31:12 UT.
    At least, I can't imagine how moderate (very weak for such giant aircraft, in reality) shock wave (as the missile supporters say) from Stinger-type missile could do it...
    Some other "strange" damage of the aircraft can also be explained by electromagnetic effects. For example, the mysterious nosegear tire shredding (it is known that a lightning strike sometimes shreds and/or tears a tire), and some others given below.

    Remarkably, that on March 12, 2001 Ian Goddard, an advocate of "missile theory" for several years altered his opinion to "missile with an electromagnetic pulse warhead", pointing to numerous evidences of electromagnetic surge on TWA Flight 800 plane wreckage (to tell the truth, I did not expected that the evidences of the surge would be so strong, if their discoveries by I. Goddard's are correct, of course).
    Remarkably, that in January 2001 Ian Goddard e-mailed me that he had read this my www-page on the TWA Flight 800 crash... Hoping that soon he will alter his opinion further to "natural missile"...
    It is interesting that NTSB in their document "Factors Suggesting the Likelihood that a Short-Circuit Event Occurred on TWA Flight 800" write (besides mentioning traces of probably electric arcing in the plane):

    The second way of a geometer influence is a direct mechanical destruction, as sometimes a ball lightning does. For example, the reported numerous holes (perforation) in one area of the Boeing 747 right wing (see below) resemble those, which a ball lightning sometimes does.

    To better understand the situation regarding to TWA Flight 800, I insert below several extracts from various www-sites on the event. I mark some remarkable places with boldface.
    The first extract is from, the www-site of the "missile theory". There are also interesting descriptions of usual (linear) lightning strikes in the Boeing 747 (please, pay attention to the text I marked in boldface):

    The next extract is from Lloyd L. Mielke's www-site (please, pay attention to the text I marked in boldface). L. Mielke writes that probably a meteorite struck TWA Flight 800:

    And the final extract, this time again from It is a witness #73 account (I marked some remarkable text in boldface):

    It seems that the object struck upper side of of the right wing, perforated it, grounded to the fuel tank vent, (and penetrated inside the fuel tank?), making some burn marks on its way...
    I hope a specialist on the damage could check it, and correct, if it is needed.

    So there are many hints at geophysical meteors in association with the TWA Flight 800 tragedy, and evidently the idea should be taken into account. Moreover that there are confirmed cases of aircrafts collisions with ball-lightnings (fortunately, lucky ones, so we know about the cases).


    Examples of aircrafts collisions with ball-lightnings are rather known.
    Here you can read (demands DJVU-plug-in) examples taken from pp. 38-43 of a book "The Nature of Ball Lightning" by Stanley Singer (1971, Plenum Press, NY).
    Below are more fresh remarkable examples (I marked several interesting points in boldface) of contacts of an airplane with a ball lightning-like objects in none-thunderstorm conditions, and having "happy end", fortunately. Unlucky examples in aviation were not reported...

  • The first example is remarkable for a large diameter of a ball lightning:
  • Here is experience of a pilot R. Kuznetsov, who met with a ball lightning in autumn 1967 in an airplane (unfortunately no data on the airplane type is given, hinting that it was a military plane). The account is from Stakhanov's "O fizicheskoi prirode sharovoi molnii" (Moscow, 1985). Also, please pay attention on rather large altitude:
  • It the next example (taken from the Stakhanov's book), besides a ball lightning there is also another remarkable luminous phenomenon, resembling St. Elmo fire:
  • Here is one more remarkable example, demonstrating that a fireball can originate far from an airplane.
  • A remarkable adventure with Soviet top-officials on return from the May 1960 Geneva top-leaders summit
  • (based on TRUD newspaper article). The officials had accompanied Soviet leader N. Khruschev in his trip, and were returning to Moscow from Berlin on TU-104 jet airplane. When the plane was climbing through thunderclouds taking off from Berlin, it was strongly shaken. A ball-lightning appeared in a pilot's cabin between seats of First and Second pilots and went into a floor. A passenger in passenger's cabin saw as a large spark flew out from a "cigar" of a left wing fuel tank. All avionics was out of action. Fortunately, the airplane was able to get to Moscow and made a safe landing in good weather, despite jumping several times up and down on runaway during the landing.

  • There was a remarkable event with the giant AN 124 "Ruslan" cargo airplane. The story is from the article by Vladimir Shunevich: ""Ruslan's" Captain Artem Kulikov: At the first moment we took fast-approaching giant fireballs of dazzling beauty for UFO...". It was published in July 12, 2000 issue of newspaper FACTY I KOMMENTARII (Kiev, Ukraine). Here I retell essence of the event below. Some of its features look suspiciously similar with the TWA Flight 800 ones...
  • And finally, the possibly most exciting event:
  • Those were this "thing" can do!

    There is also a remarkable encounter of F-15 airplane with a "surface-to-air" fireball.

    An interesting and important report by Dr. R.F.Haines (ex-NASA) called "Aviation Safety In America: Neglected Factor" dated October 15, 2000 just appeared. It deals with about similar phenomena in US aviation.

    Dr. M. Stenhoff in his book BALL LIGHTNING. AN UNSOLVED PROBLEM IN ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS (1999, Kluwer Academic/Plenum publishers) summarizing data on aircrafts contacts with ball-lightnings, writes (p.117) that altitudes recorded for three cases of ball-lightning seen outside an aircraft are between 2500 m and 3400 m (mean value 3100 meters). Two cases record that the aircraft was ascending and one that the aircraft was descending at the time of the incident.
    In other words, the situation is well-matched with the TWA Flight 800 plane...


    The geometeor explanation fits with all known to me facts of the TWA Flight 800 crash. And, let's check other reports of "missile near miss an aircraft" in this area, discussed in various www-sites (see links in and in there).
    In general, I found several more or less similar cases, which are given below:

    - November 17, 1995, 22:20 EST.
    Here are the radar reflectivity images for 23 hours UT, November 17 (i.e. 3h. 20 min. before the event), and 23 hours UT, November 18 (i.e. 19h. 40 min. after the event). It seems that there is no need to comment them. On my scale of confidence it is "3".

    - November 16, 1996.

    Here I don't want to comment the "ascending meteorite". Let's look at meteorological maps (Unisys Corp.). Here the map for 00 UT, November 17, i.e about 3 h.15 min before the observations (the observations were at about 03:15 UT, Nov.17). Please, pay attention on a maximum of atmospheric pressure in this area. The next map I found was for 12 UT, November 18, ie. about 33 h. after the observations. The pressure dropped, and cloudness developed. The latter commenced to appear even earlier, as there is some cloudness already in a weather radar image of 23 UT, November 17, while at the time of the observations the the sky was very clear indeed, as eyewitnesses stated (see radar image of 23 UT, November 16 for comparasion).

    On my scale of confidence I give "2".

    - March 17, 1997.

    I can't locate the place of the observations. Probably, it is somewhere, not far (to the west of?) New York city.

    On the 23 UT, March 17 weather radar image (i.e taken about 1 h. 10 min. before the observation), there is no clouds in the area of interest. On the next radar image taken 23 UT, March 18, the area is covered with clouds. Remarkably, that a meteorological map for 00 UT, March 18 (i.e. right at the time of the observations) shows complete cloud cover in the area, and in about 12 hours (or even less, if the observations were to the west of NY city) a cold front was in the area (see here).

    On my scale of confidence I give "3".

    - August 9, 1997.

    Those who read my early editions of this www-page, are aware that I wrote that limited meteorological data I got for this event seems to be not favorable for geophysical meteors (at least what I know about them). Indeed on that day it was a period of more of less stable weather. In general the weather went "better", as can be seen comparing meteorological maps for 12 UT, August 9 (i.e about 7 h. 07 min. before the observation), and for 00 UT, August 10. In the most clear way it is seen on weather radar images ( 20 UT, August 9, 21:45 UT, August 9, 22 UT, August 9, and 21 UT, August 11.
    But later I obtain more detailed data which favors to the geometeor's interpretation. At first, there was some short-term small drop (minimum) of atmospheric air pressure at the time of the observation.
    Also NOAA satellites data (taken from, which I obtained later are favorable for geometers. They show a formation of a large cloud cover soon after the observation. Look at the images in the satellite's band 4 (infrared), and see the development of the cloud's cover, detected from appearence of a cloud "stream/jet" at 17:59 UT, August 10: image of 22:55 UT, August 9 ( its map); image of 11:12 UT, August 10 ( its map); image of 17:59 UT, August 10 ( its map); image of 22:32 UT, August 10 ( its map).

    All of the data allows me to reconsider my scale of confidence for this event, and give "2".


    The unexplained "dive" (40.3 N; 69.8 W) from 10 km altitude of the Boeing 767 at 6:50 UT (1:50 am EST) on October 31 led to a catastrophe. The origin of it is not resolved (see here and below).

    In early November, 2000 Boeing Co. released document named: "Submission to the National Transportation Safety Board for the Egyptair 990 Investigation from The Boeing Company. October 31, 2000" . Here is its abstract:

    There is another point of view below (I marked some interesting places in boldface):

    There were also 3 high-speed radar returns in the area ( see here).

    In Filers Files 45 (1999) interesting info is given:

    Please, pay attention, that so called Hessdalen lights can also form the regular pattern - triangle in flight (see here).

    Let's look at other accounts, this time taken from

    Here is a remarkable extract from the Egypt State Informational Service www-site:

    And here is The Egyptian Gazette (October 31, 2000) posted at the Egypt State Informational Service www-site:

    I also have been told by an Egyptian investigator about a Jordan pilot, who was shown on Qatar TV, and said that he left JFK 3 hours before EA990 and after taking off, 45 min at 33,000 feet, the pilot went to the toilet and then he was surprised to hear the co-pilot screaming and uttering some religious muslim words, and he was scared to death,the pilot came back and tried to calm him down, and he told him that he saw a fireball coming to them at a very high speed and it did in fact pass near...

    Please, pay attention, that some aspects of the above-mentioned stories may sound, to say, strange, but we always should to remember about political meaning of the results of the investigation... But despite that mis/disinformation can not be completely ruled out in some cases, appearences of similar info in completely different sources and some other aspects hint that probably some phenomena were real indeed.

    The idea about missiles means a super-cover-up, and seems unlikely for many reasons. Morever, some details of the missiles's descriptions don't resemble known types of missiles.
    By the way, behaviour of the relief co-pilot Gamil al-Batouti also doesn't resemble behaviour of a man who decided to suicide. My impression is that the co-pilot became a witness of something extraordionary and dangerous (probably even scaring), and as a result he turned off auto-pilot, then 7 seconds later he decreased engine's throttles. Finally, a second later he pushed pilot's column into "dive" (by the way, the sequence of events doesn't conform with airplane's elevator's failure as origin of the dive).

    According to the geometeor interpretation, the "missiles", the "burning aircraft", the "UFO", and possibly the "something" seen by the co-pilot could be in reality specific manifestations of atmospheric electricity.
    Indeed, it is rather strange that no words were said in the cockpit of the airplane during its final minute on the origin of this extreme dive. For me there are two most plausible reasons for this: the airplane co-pilot was scared, and the origin of the airplane dive was evident and frightening, so it was hard to talk about. In the absence on any known significant failures in cockpit, the absence of the words hints that the origin of the dive was seen outside the airplane, and probably in threatening proximity.
    By the way, the presence of the atmospheric electric phenomena can explain unknown thumps and clicks recorded by CVR in a minute preceding the auto-pilot was turned off.
    Remarkably that according to NTSB investigation, during the final few seconds of the CVR recording, a noise identified as an unsquelched background radio noise, was heard on the First Officers radio channels of the CVR recording. This noise starts at 0150:25.04 EST and continues until the end of the recording....

    Let's check meteorological data.

  • Meteorological data

  • At Long Island there was fog. In the crash area: calm sea, light wind, light haze and visibility more 10 miles. It was unseasonably warm. Two days later a storm hit the area.
    Here are details.

    More or less detailed meteorological radar reflectivity images are posted in Unfortunately, it is not completely clear, are the times given in UT or local, and what is the angle of a radar beam.
    Especially interesting is the 2:01 am image with remarkable red reflecting areas in the place of the crash. If the times are indeed local (as hinted that the images are "of the crash"), it means that short-living large and strong "reflectors" appeared at the place of the crash at its time (even if the times are in UT, that means that the "reflectors" were detected a few hours before the crash). Please note, that the reflectors are absent on radar images taken later (at 3 am, and 4 am).
    Remarkably, that NTSB investigation doesn't reveal such reflectors, but they looked at composite radar data (which usually is rather "smoothed"), and at data of another (KBOX) radar.
    Of course, the radar malfunction can't be ruled out, but the reflectors were in the proper place and in the proper time...

    An infrared satellite image taken at 6:45 UT, Oct.31 showed a band of mid (tops about 6 km high) to low level clouds (not convective) oriented from NE to SW line located over the accident site (see NTSB Meteorological Factual Report (DCA00MA006) for details).

    Let's look at behaviour of a cloudness level. Here is the GOES 8 satellite infrared image (from NCDC www-site) taken at 00:15 UT, Oct.31, i.e. about 6.5 hours before the accident. No any clouds are seen in the area of interest. As we just see, there were already some clouds at 6:45 UT in the area. On the next image, taken at 12:15 UT, Oct. 31, some clouds are seen too. And the 00:15 UT, Nov.1 image shows a large cloud cover in the area.

    NOAA satellite images (taken from ) show the cloud formation even more clearly. Just look at the Oct.31 images in the satellite's band 4 (infrared), and see the development of the cloud's formation: image of 8:34 UT ( its map); image of 10:37 UT ( its map); image of 13:43 UT ( its map); image of 21:55 UT ( its map).
    You can see "explosive" clouds appearence between 10:37 UT and 13:43 UT.

    The development of the cloud cover is well-seen in the smoothed and averaged for the 6-hours long intervals cloudiness data, taken from NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center. On a cloudiness map for 0-6 UT October 31, i.e. right before the explosion, there are already some cloudiness in the place of the event. But on the next map for 6-12 UT October 31 18 the cloudiness increased significantly, and the rise continued further ( see a map for 12-18 UT October 31).
    Details of the explosive cloudiness development are impressive (see for 0-6 UT October 31, 6-12 UT October 31), and 12-18 UT October 31).

    It seems that the ill-fated EgyptAir Flight 990 was in wrong place and in wrong time!...

    I give "3" on my scale of confidence that the meteorological conditions were in favor for geometeors.

    Another remarkable aspect is ULF electromagnetic disturbances detected by Charlie Plyler from ELFRAD at the time of the crash (see here). As it was shown, at least some geophysical meteors were accompanied with similar disturbances. Remarkably, that one of the disturbances exactly coincided with the time of the accident.

    Of course, the above-written doesn't prove that the lights seen, and the reported radar targets were geometeors, but it makes the idea about geometeors plausible. The airplane could be damaged, as in the above-mentioned cases, or at least, a pilot could urgently attempt to avoid/escape such threatening surroundings (if the above-mentioned witnesses saw the airplane indeed, possibly there was a strong St. Elmo-like fire, at least), and apparently diving is the best way for such a heavy plane to escape...
    Anyway, more investigation is needed to understand an origin of this tragedy.

    One more remarkable event occured about a hundred km to the north of TWA Flight 800 crash site in May, 2000. A small airplane almost collided with a slow-moving fireball (see here).

    A question may arise: why the geometeor's encounters with aircrafts are concentrated in the Long Island area? For me it seems due to two major reasons. The first one is that air traffic is extremely heavy in this region. And the second one. It is known that there are some regions where geometeors meet more often than in others, apparently due to geological (tectonic) and meteorological peculiarities of these regions. At least meteorologically the region is a border between continent and ocean, where various atmospheric instabilities can be expected.

    Maybe Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was right, saying: "There may be something in the atmosphere or weather conditions may be sometimes very tough there."!



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