Copyright Patrick Harris 2016. All rights reserved.

Media Lies and Disinformation in the Brutal Slaughter of 230 On Board TWA Flight 800

Dockers Restaurant is a well known eatery situated on Dune Road in the middle of the Hamptons. On the evening of July 17, 1996 the restaurant hosted a fund-raiser for the Town Supervisor of Southampton, Vincent Cannuscio. The menu featured lobster, and the invited guests enjoyed a beautiful view from the restaurant deck facing north across Shinnecock Bay. By 8 PM the party was in full swing, and Cannuscio’s aide, Linda Kabot, began taking pictures of the gathering for posterity. A little after 8:30 the guests heard tremendous thunder coming from behind them over the Atlantic, but the party went on undisturbed, until phone calls started rolling in about the TWA disaster.

A week later the pictures were developed. Kabot and her husband noticed something unusual in the background of one photo: a long cylinder with flames coming out of the end appeared to be flying across the sky. The Kabots told the FBI of their discovery, and the photos and negatives were quickly seized.

The photo was eventually published in the French magazine Paris Match and promoted by journalist Pierre Salinger as evidence of a missile attack. The FBI determined that the photo was authentic, but alleged that the object in the sky was an airplane, not a missile, and that Kabot’s camera was "facing the wrong direction." Obviously this is not true. The photo unmistakably shows a missile, and the missile is heading straight towards Flight 800 (courtesy of Paris Match, reprinted with permission. Individual identities were not obscured in the original).