HOUSTON WRITERS’ LEAGUE
October 12, 2001
By Cheryl L. Daniel
“The events of September 11th shocked everybody. What is in the minds of people who would do that?” asked Carl A. Davies, HWL’s October 12th guest speaker.
Davies, author of Plane Truth: A Private Investigator’s Story, might come closer to answering that question than any of us. Davies spent years investigating three major aircraft disasters: Pan Am 103, TWA 800, and Air India 182. His efforts uncovered discrepancies between physical evidence and the official explanations for those crashes. But perhaps the most pertinent message he formulated, especially in light of today’s War on Terrorism, was cut out of the book by a short-sighted editor. Chapter 15, “Inviting Terrorism,” prophetically outlined actions taken during the 1980s and 1990s that may be indirectly linked to terrorist attacks on the West today.
“I’m totally supportive of President George Bush,” Davies said, “but we have to be very careful. We are doing things that are upsetting the Muslim world.”
Admittedly, that is a strong statement to make in this day and time, but in the course of Davies’ investigation of the three airliner disasters, he gained insights into the physics of the crashes as well as the political ramifications that contributed to them.
A petroleum engineer, pilot, businessman, and world traveler, Davies became acquainted with the Middle East when he lived in Libya from 1968 to 1973. Back in the States, Davies became interested in what was causing these crashes, when TWA 800 crashed off Long Island on July 17, 1996. There seemed to be a relationship between these three crashes. As an RAF pilot and son of a former crash investigator, Davies spent months going through records, studying the 747 design, and interviewing experts. What he discovered was that though we were in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, substandard aluminum made in Russia was used to build those airplanes in the early 70’s. From unique documentation he had in his possession, he concluded that the substandard aluminum had led to metal fatique and this had caused the front section to blow off while in flight. He found that in all three crashes, this same section was found up to five miles away from the rest of the wreckage.
Further investigation led him to find that pieces of a particular timing device were alleged to have been located at the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie sight, and this device was traced to a Swiss-German inventor. This timing device was then traced to suspects from the Palestinian Liberation Organization linked to the Middle East countries of Syria, Iran, and Libya. At the time of these findings in 1992, the West was at war with Iraq and needed cooperation from Syria and Iran. In an unexpected event, suddenly two Libyans were blamed. In early 2001, the trial of the two indicted Libyans concluded, and one was accused of the crime and the other set free. The accused has an appeal pending next year. Davies had earlier expressed concern that the “Pan Am 103 crash had been pinned on Libya.”
Davies also explored evidence of a cover up connected with the TWA 800 crash. The official story was that the aircraft’s central fuel tank exploded, but as a chemical engineer, Davies knew this was unlikely. Tests by the Navy using lighted matches and actual sparks failed to ignite similar tanks of jet fuel. An explosion was only achieved when propane was introduced into the test tank. From photos, Davies saw that once again the plane’s weak aluminum front section had blown away well ahead of the wreck. “There’s a lot of disinformation associated with Flight TWA 800,” he said.
How do these facts figure in to today’s situation with Middle Eastern terrorism? Davies cited several examples. The SS Vincent inadvertently shot down an Iranian airbus. “We weren’t friendly with Iran, but in my opinion there should have been an apology and compensation,” he said. Instead, the captain and crew were awarded medals, a ceremony which was shown repeatedly on CNN. That infuriated the Iranian people. In addition, the U.S. helped drive the Russians out of Afghanistan then left them in the hands of the Taliban who devastated the country. Also, five hundred thousand Iraqi children have died in the face of stringent sanctions.
Davies suggested that it wouldn’t be hard for an individual as charismatic as Oshama Bin Laden to gather around him people who agree with him and to convince them to commit atrocities, especially when they believe they are going to a higher place in the name of Allah for doing it.
“Terrorist may be the wrong word. I think they think they are in a guerilla war with us,” Davies said.
Perhaps the recent terrorist acts could have been avoided with a little more political savvy. “Afghanistan is a huge country. There are a lot of people there prepared to hide and wait us out. It will be a long time solving this problem.”
More information on the subject of Carl Davies’ book and today’s events can be found at his web site www.plane-truth.com.
FROM THE CRITICS ................
"Western Review" - Raises new questions about corporate and tribal loyalties, structural engineering, and money and politics, in a credible scenario that makes my flesh creep.....I think I'll take a train next time. Or walk.
"Book Addicts" - Life seems flat after reading these 'travels with Carl' (or is he Sherlock Holmes?). In this investigation cum adventure story, he takes us around the word and finds treasure under stones that had been left unturned.
"Booknews" - A British petroleum engineer now living in Texas, who is a self-described crusader but not subscriber to conspiracy theories, pursues disturbing questions still lingering over the crashes of Pan Am flight 103 at Lockerbie, TWA 800, and several other US airplane crashes. E.G., "why do Boeing 747's break up in flight?" Includes a few photos. Lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
BARNES & NOBLE - CUSTOMER REVIEWS - AN OPEN FORUM. www.bn.com
Rodolphe W. Schelbert, Morges, the owner of the Fleur du Lac Hotel, August 31, 2001. *****
A fascinating book. I had a chance to meet Carl A. Davies personally in connection with an international transaction. I then learned about the book he would publish and I got glimpses of what it will be from his web page that is currently updated whenever new facts pop up. If this was already fascinating, the book outpaced my expectations. It shows that reality can often be more thrilling than fiction. No wonder I tell all my friends about this book and give it a top rating. I will be following the Lockerbie story over the next few months, with special reference to the Lockerbie appeal which will begin in February, 2002, in Zeist, The Netherlands.
"The Gauntlet" - August 23, 2001 *****
Timing mechanism - Pan Am 103: Davies interviewed Edwin Bollier, Swiss manufacturer of timing mechanism whose keen observations were overlooked by court. Negligence is implied by secret Boeing report on flaws of foresection, not just Flt Pan Am 103 craft, but the first 686 of 747s made. His interview of those at crash scene validates evidence tampering. Bibliography neglected Rodney Stich's 'The real unfriendly skies,' which would have helped author understand the collusion between airlines and FAA and the federal judicial system. Mr. Stich's concerns, as FAA investigator, went unheeded; instead he was jailed for doing his job. I highly recommend Davies' book because U.S. controlled press, including tv/radio, was kept at bay. The strength of this book certainly was by focusing on (above) issues, rather than CIA drug trafficking, and the death of Maj. Charles McGhee, CIA/green beret, on board flt. Pan Am 103, along with Lester Coleman's attempts to reveal the sinister sides of the CIA. Pan Am allowed their craft to be used by CIA to run cocaine out of the Middle East since 1950's. As a Brit, Mr. Davies is not informed about such things. Mr. Davies' work is to be highly commended. As so often is the case, it takes someone outside of the U.S. to awaken its citizens.
Also recommended: Rodney Stich: The real unfriendly skies. Defrauding America. Drugging America.
Scott (email@example.com) - a nervous flyer, August 22, 2001, *****
Read before your next flight. An excellent book that is a must read for anybody that has to sit in an aeroplane. The details of how corrupt a world we are living in is extremely shocking. After reading this you will be waiting patiently for a phone call to make sure any firend you saw onto a flight makes it to the final destination.
Robert E. Thorpe, The guy on the street, just me, March 1, 2001 *****
A REAL person, for a change. Here is a man who cares. It is wonderful to read a book written by a person just like all of us who wish and often say, I should write a book about this or that. This man gave up everything else and DID IT. Who knows when a person like Mr. Davies will put himself or herself on the line and seek what is real, rather than be content with the trash fed to the world populace by government and media hacks. One spark of truth can burn all lies.
Dr. Frank H. Wright
I finished Plane Truth in a single day, very intriguing. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that the "System" prefers protecting corporations rather than people. The bad thing is that the truth is out there and the traveling public is still at risk, while our so-called "military-industrial-government" leaders believe that cover-up is the best route. I am surprised by the lack of public outcry from the American Airlines airbus that appears to have fallen apart in mid-air. I like your writing style, it made me feel as though I was a participant in a conversation instead of a third-party reader. I also liked the insight into your persona. (Author's comment: I agree with Dr. Wright - these problems are not limited to Boeing aircraft. These aircraft maintenance problems are the responsibility of the air carriers and the FAA - not the aircraft manufacturers).
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