Investigations Visuals Guestbook In Memoriam Further Info Search


Evidence pointing to a cover-up*

Lax security in Cairo and Cologne

Islamic Jihad claims responsibility

High level communications between Gander and Washington

Early official dismissals of sabotage, and explosion or a fire on board

Eyewitness accounts

U.S. military calls for investigation of ground personnel in Cologne

Major General John S. Crosby of the U.S. Army calls for the bulldozing of sites the day after the crash

Arrow Air denied access

Contradiction between the CASB spokesman and the CASB's chief investigator on the "Contents" of the black box tapes

Weapons, ammunition, flares, practice grenades on board?

FBI's Criminal Division involved in the investigation

Autopsy reports

The ice build-up theory: statements by ground crew at Gander / FBI report

Cockpit microphone turned off

Why did the pilot activate a fire extinguisher before impact?

The master fire warning light was turned on.

The Pinkel report

What caused sudden loss of speed?

The board of directors of the CASB divided.

The Sopinka report.

Statement by CASB member Les Filotas.

Benoit Bouchard's letter to CASB board members.

Other points of interest.

List of Exhibits

*(added to the Table of Contents by the author for clarity purposes)

Union of Canadian Transport Employees Report

Islamic Jihad claims responsibility

On December 12, hours after the crash, an anonymous caller telephoned a French international news agency in Beirut stating that the Islamic Jihad, the Shiite Moslem extremist group was claiming responsibility for the crash at Gander. The caller asserted that the group had planted a bomb on board the aircraft to prove "our ability to strike at the Americans anywhere" (see Exhibit 4).

Dismissals came instantly, beginning with the Pentagon's chief spokesman Robert Sims: "We have no indications of explosions prior to the crash or of hostile action" (see Exhibit 5). Other rapid dismissals followed from the White House's spokesman Larry Speakes, the RCMP and Transport Minister Don Mazankowski -- all on the day of the crash only moments after the Islamic Jihad' s claim for responsibility (see Exhibits 5 and 6).

How was it learned so quickly that the call was a hoax? Is it possible to verify the validity of an anonymous call so quickly? This very fast dismissal on the part of the U.S. government, without explanation or valid grounds raises serious questions. If the dismissal was not done on solid grounds why was it ever done in the first place?

The possibility of terrorism was discounted instantly even though 10 months earlier, on February 14, 1984 the Director-General of the same American Multinational Force and observers unit based in the Sinai, Leamon Hunt was ambushed and gunned down by terrorists in the streets of Rome (see Exhibit 7). Knowing full well that the MFO was a terrorist target, it is curious to say the least, that American intelligence would instantly dismiss the Islamic Jihad's claim. A politically motivated response evidently comes to mind but logical grounds based strictly on normal intelligence gathering and procedure are completely absent.

If indeed there was a cover up in this affair, much would be revealed in the strategy developed by U.S. officials in the first few hours following the tragedy. It was during these delicate moments that a decision was taken at high levels as to what the official U.S. government response would be. The only problem with the response was that it was categorically impossible to discount sabotage or a pre-impact fire in those early stages because no investigators had even begun to examine one square inch of the wreckage on the other hand, such a rapid dismissal of the Islamic Jihad claim from an area where news travels comparatively slowly could and should not have been publicly discounted so quickly.

It may have been decided as such because U.S. officials knew from the very first communication they received about the crash in the early morning hours of December 12, 1985 that the aircraft was engulfed in flames and that in all probability any evidence of wrongdoing, if there was any, would be destroyed by powerful flames being fed by some 45,000 litres of jet fuel poured into the aircraft moments earlier at Gander airport. The wreckage was in fact completely destroyed by fire which was still raging up to 20 hours after the crash.

Top of page Next page Previous page

[ Home | Investigations | Visuals | Guestbook | In Memoriam | Further Info | Search ]
©Copyright 1997-2008 JWS