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Events in Gander -- An Overview

Prelude: Soldiers in the Sinai

Troop Movement and Security

Post-Crash Investigation

The Toxicology Reports: Burned Alive

Arms to Iran: Enter One Oliver North

The Governments' Lines


List of Sources

Gander: The Untold Story

The Governments' Lines

Although there have not been any governmental investigations which have sufficiently satisfied the family members and others who would like to know what actually happened in Gander, the government of the United States has conducted inquiries that examine the U.S. government's involvement in the investigation. In December of 1990, the House of Representatives conducted a two-day hearing on the accident. Many top governmental officials presented their testimony concerning their agencies' roles in the post-crash investigation. Gen. Crosby and Col. McMeekin were present, and answered most questioning with military precision. However, on several occasions when congressmen drilled for answers, Crosby would interrupt and speak on behalf of McMeekin, when McMeekin seemed to be verbally cornered. The subcommittee adjourned on December 5, concluding nothing of great proportions. The hearings had been the result of growing pressure from families and a select few congressmen, the final verdict stating that the "Subcommittee is dismayed and troubled by the failure of the U.S. Government to pursue an active role in the investigation of the Gander accident." (7:902)

On October 28, 1988, the Canadian Aviation Safety Board concluded its internal investigation into the accident, although it resulted in no single conclusion. A group of nine board members split 5 to 4 on the ruling of the cause of the accident. The majority concluded that the crash was due to ice accumulation on the wings, which may have caused the aircraft to stall. The minority concluded differently, stating that the crash could have been caused by an "on-board fire, possibly due to a detonation in the cargo compartment." (3:107) Later, in 1989, Canadian Judge WIlliam Estey, a former Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, was asked to review the findings of both the majority and minority, in hope that he might order a reopening of the investigation. Judge Estey, however, determined that both sides had plausible support for their respective arguments, but added that "further investigation is not ... warranted." (7:763)

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