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TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?

                       AN IMPORTANT BOOK by Kevin E. Ready and Cap Parlier that offers a unique and original hypothesis for the cause of the TWA Flight 800 tragedy (17.July.1996). The authors have collected a substantial amount of information directly related to the tragic incident. Additional associated information has also been accumulated to draw out the most plausible scenario.  When this book went to publication, the NTSB and FBI maintained three potential cause factors: 1.) an on-board bomb, 2.) an external initiator, e.g., a missile, and 3.) mechanical failure. The popular and sensational supposition centers around a so-called, 'friendly fire' incident -- an accidental weapon firing by the U.S. Navy.  This book presents a body of facts and theory to connect all the elements into a clear picture of what probably happened. The repercussions and consequences of their presented scenario also explains the reticence of the government investigators -- an act of war. The authors reject the notion of any governmental cover-up or conspiracy.

Copyright © 1998, Kevin E. Ready & Cap Parlier. All rights reserved.

                    SAINT GAUDENS PRESS acquired the rights to this book from the previous & now defunct publisher who failed to get the book to print in 1997.  Saint Gaudens Press has also obtained the copyrights to Cap's previous novel + Kevin's novels. Look for more good books from Saint Gaudens Press in the future.

Kevin E. Ready, Sr.:
CAP's CO-AUTHOR IS a state attorney in California, a former officer in both the Army & Navy, and author of THE BIG ONE, a stimulating and entertaining book about the mythical 'big one' earthquake in Southern California, and GAIA WEEPS, a new thriller about the consequences of global warming.  Kevin also has a Web site http://www.bigone.com and read his books.

FLIGHT 800 INDEPENDENT Researchers Organization (FIRO) — Both Kevin and Cap are members of the , a group of dedicated scientists, engineers, pilots, journalists, and interested people who have banded together for one noble purpose -- seek the truth. FIRO continues to press for full disclosure of information in the government's possession as well as solicit new information that might have a bearing of this unique tragedy in aviation history. 

{Postscript: Since publication of this book, the FBI proclaimed there was no evidence of a criminal act and backed off their dominance of the investigation.  The NTSB completed and closed their investigation, concluding the cause could not be determined; however, the likely cause was an unspecified errant spark in the Center Wing Tank (CWT) that explosively ignited the fuel-air vapor contained therein.  There is little doubt the explosion in the CWT caused the aircraft in-flight break-up.  The base issue has been and remains what ignited the fuel-air vapor in the CWT.  The hypothesis presented in this book remains the most plausible based on the available evidence.}


A small collection of reviews and feedback Cap has received.

LtCol T.J. Lyman, USMC (Ret.):
 "Had to go to Long Beach yesterday so I started your book. Got so interested I stayed up last night and finished it. I can't say that I agree with everything you all hypothesize but there certainly is enough unexplained events and statements to make anyone wonder what is the "real story". The technical explanations were easy to follow and not to deep. A lot of people did a poor job of investigating the events and then stupidly, tried to "arrogantly" explain away difficult positions. Be interested to hear what the majority of other readers think in comparison to my thoughts. Has anyone in "official circles" said anything? or tried to keep you from writing the book? I'm sure it embarrassed some of them or at least it should have. Let me know what if anything is said in the future. It was a well written, easy to follow, thought provoking book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will recommend it whenever."

Mr. Victor Cook:
"It was extremely interesting."

Mr. Martin Gottlieb:
"Loved the book . . . even though it didn't give me piece of mind."

Mr. John J. Rust:
"This is one of my delvings into non-fiction. "TWA 800: Accident or Incident" by Kevin Ready and Cap Parlier. Really good book. This is not one of those wacked out conspiracy theory books where "The Government" is behind everything and covering up this and that and yadda, yadda, yadda. This is a very good study into the accident that basically presents a case, much like a prosecutor would in court, that a terrorist missile most likely brought down TWA 800 two years ago. The likely suspect, Iran.
"While a couple parts went a bit over my head, mainly some of the crash scene examiniations and other technical data, for the most part it's pretty down to earth and not written in a stale manner. There is also a docudrama-like section that shows how the Iranians could have pulled this off. While they don't say definately what brought down the 747 off Long Island, they make a compelling case, using everything from eyewitness testimony to radar records to investigation reports, that terrorism is the most likely culprit. Also shows how the investigation might have been hampered a bit by some serious in-fighting between the FBI and the NTSB. The case against Iran is spelled out very well, tying in their anger over the US Navy's shootdown of the Iranian airliner in the Gulf in 1988, their public support of terrorist operations, and the struggle for control between government officials and religious leaders. It also TOTALLY, TOTALLY disproves the "friendly fire" theory. In fact, one of the authors, Cap (who I happen to know. He's also the head guy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott), told me that the kinetic energy of a Standard ship-to-air missile alone, minus the warhead, would be enough to cause significant damage to the plane. There is no such evidence of that.
For those of you sick of the conspiracy theories surrounding this disaster, or of pseudo-journalists who pluck stuff off the Internet and declare it gospel, I recommend getting this book."

Mr. Darren G. Sarvis [InfoEdge]:
"I wanted to thank you so much for the efforts you placed into the new book TWA 800-ACCIDENT or INCIDENT. I purchased it last night at a San Diego Borders and started it this morning and have gotten about 100 pages through between other tasks, and am finding the book very hard to put down.
"Your writing style is very informative and is keeping my interest. I enjoy the short chapters and exclusion of extra fluff that so many authors seem to add to their books that cause me to lose interest.
"I might suggest you get your book exposure on the talk show circuit (I'm sure you're working on this). National radio talk hosts Art Bell and Bob Grant have displayed an interest in TWA 800 as well as San Diego's Roger Hedgecock (KOGO).
"I've been involved in a cursory fashion of examining aircraft accidents and disseminating information on them for about 20 years now. The NTSB is kind enough to send me all their aircraft accident reports and I study most accidents with an intent to learn about the accident, preventing future ones and certainly the techniques employed for discovering probable causes. Probably my most sought after cause, like many, are the two still unresolved 737 accidents in Colorado Springs and Pittsburgh. The only other parallel in aircraft accident history of unresolved causes were the Comet and Electa accidents.
"Many in my group are very interested in TWA#800, and thus I will write something about your book and perhaps either a direct link to your Web site or the Amazon page, whatever you think is appropriate. There are many conspiracy theories in our times and especially on TWA #800. I find your presentation in the book to be very plausible, accurate and supportive of airline pilot friends of mine who ditto what you said '747's don't just blow up.'
"Thank you again and I appreciate your joint willingness to seek the truth in this TWA matter."

Ms. Merilyn Ulrich:
"I just finished reading your book on the crash of TWA Flight 800. I have recently read "In the Blink of an Eye" and "The Downing of TWA Flight 800" and found your theory to be the most plausible. Much to my surprise when I reached the end of the book I found that we have something in common. My son-in-law [name withheld] was a graduate of Embry-Riddle (and a flight instructor) and is currently a commercial pilot and my daughter [name withheld] graduated from Embry-Riddle as well and also worked there for one of the department heads. I appreciate the hard work that you and your fellow author put into your book and thank you for clearing up some unanswered questions that I have had for a long time."

Jeannie & Joe Weber: Joe is the author of six novels from Defcon-One to Primary Target:
"Joe and I have finished your books and enjoyed them very much. We found TWA 800 absolutely captivating. In fact, Joe has a brief white house scene in his new book (Primary Target) which is very closely aligned with your theory of what happened to TWA 800. Both were good reads. Keep up the good work."

Mr. Byron Acohido: Pulitzer Prize winning staff reporter for The Seattle Times:
"I loved the white Icon sections. The story line involving the Iranian sub and speed boat were vivid, fast paced and authentic, as compelling as anything I've seen from Clancy or deMille. I'm guessing you wrote most of those segments. By contrast I found many of the black sections to be disturbingly undistilled. Providing transcripts of press conferences, government policy statements and congressional briefings, sans context, doesn't pass muster. You ask the reader to go from briskly-written white icon sections to black icon sections wholly lacking narrative drive.
"In fact, your bold attempt to mesh a fragmented factual backdrop with your highly imaginative and entertaining postulate just didn't work for me. It's too schizophrenic. Either you have a fictionalized extrapolation or you have a journalistic account built on a solid foundation of comprehensive logic. In trying to do both, you fail to tap the full potential of either. You also underscore the precarious leaps in logic the reader is asked to make to accept the Iranian revenge explanation as plausible, if not likely."

Mr. Kjell Jetteng: Oslo, Norway:
"Just as I was about to complete reading your book yesterday, my mailman delivered a copy of Jim Sander's "The Downing of TWA 800," ordered from Amazon.com in mid-December. Delivery times obviously vary a lot. I was conveniently reminded of my promise to report back to you. I was of course impressed by the incredible amount of work you obviously have put into your efforts, and the huge amount of details that has been dug up. If one is able to distinguish between fact and fiction, it is also thrilling to observe how elegantly the two have been blended together to form a very entertaining novel as well. You have certainly received a number of congratulations already. Here is another."

Peter of OtterV@aol.com:
"My copy of your TWA800 book arrived today, and I have just finished reading it. As one who has done a couple books, I can appreciate the effort and dedication that went into it. You have assembled an impressive amount of material and presented your case well, an especially remarkable accomplishment in view of the 1998 publication date. A question. Page 137 mentions an advanced warning faxed by one of bin Ladin's men. Is there documented evidence of this fax...with name and phone numbers of both the sender and the recipient? TWA800 Accident or Incident is an absorbing work and a fine contribution furthering the understanding of the unresolved issues of TWA800. Thanks for writing it."

Mr. Sim Lowe, retired TWA 747 captain:
"Your book was interesting as was Jim Sanders. I wonder if you can tell me what happened with Jim and Elizabeth? I read that they were found guilty and were to be sentenced on a certain date but there was no news on that date or since.
"I was also curious about why there was no mention of the fact that they were unable to get a CWT to explode using all types of ignition, until they put propane in the tank. The point I was trying to make was that the investigaters proved that it was virtually impossible to ignite and explode that tank yet they hang their hat on that theory. Knowing how they work though thats normal.
"Obviously I had absolute confidence in the 747 aircraft, it was a joy to fly and Ralph Kevorkian was one of the finest pilots I had the pleasure of flying with. As for your book, yes I enjoyed reading if. I flew the Cairo, Kuwait, Bombay flight for a number of months and picked up a little insight into the attitude of the people in that part of the world. Yes the circumstances of your book would be consistant with my view of the people in that area. I was also in an antisubmarine squadron many years ago and that part seemed quite possible.
"The government could never admit to the public that a foreign country could come into the shores and shoot down an airliner, that would show a total failure of the government and the armed forces. The public might panic and no telling what might follow, of course they could never admit an american missle shot the plane down for the same reason.
"I also enjoyed Sanders book. If there is enough fact in his book I wouldn't rule that out, especially with all the missle test failures since then. We will never know what really happened unless people like you dig it out, of course if you turn over too many rocks you get stepped on like Jim.
Good Luck!

Mr. Don Fleming :
Airliners Magazine, January/February 2002, no.73
TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?
"As the fifth anniversary of the tragic TWA 800 crash was marked this past summer, the true cause of the accident seemed as elusive as ever. Several books have been written on this subject and reviewed in Airliners, but this particular volume seems to be the most non-emotional writing to date and is worthy of consideration.
"If you have found comfort with the official National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) findings that a short circuit in the center-wing fuel tank caused the 747 to explode on July 17, 1996, TWA 800 - Accident or Incident? will greatly disturb your peace. Although the publication date is 1998, the book was delayed getting to market as a result of publishing complications.
"Authors Cap Parlier and Kevin E. Ready have substantial aviation credentials and using weapons for the U.S. military and weapons manufacturers. In their book, they dissect the details of all the evidence made public by the NTSB and the FBI, drawing attention of eyewitness testimony, correlating radar observations and other evidence that has been clouded, shrouded or ignored. They do not claim to know the cause of the disaster, rather, they present a hypothesis and a unique dramatization of an act of terrorism. This act, they project, emanated from the U.S. Navy destruction of Iran Air Flight 655 killing 290 people with a missile on July 3, 1988. Key to this theory is fundamental interpretation of Islamic law and the timing of transaction between the U.S. Government and the Islamic Republic of Iran that took place in 1995 and 1996.
"This hypothesis addresses the question of why the federal government might push acceptance of the center-wing tank explosion as the most probable and only event that brought the flight of TWA 800 and the lives of 230 people to an end.
"Their work includes an analysis of the material in Jim Sander's book The Downing of TWA Flight 800 (Checklist, September/October 1997) that alleges 800 was shot down by the Navy as a result of an error during a training exercise. However, the authors dismiss this theory and present a different theory based on known facts and speculation. The portions of the text containing fact begin with a solid black icon of 747, while the sections based on supposition start with an outlined icon. This treatment makes it easy to sort out the authors' presentation while maintaining the story line. The result is some interesting reading that, at times, nearly equals a Tom Clancy novel.
"Perhaps the strongest feature of the book is the lack of anger or bias with respect to the investigating agencies that is so prevalent in most of the previous books on the subject. For authors who have closer ties to the event, it is probably not possible to avoid impassioned feelings. Parlier and Ready were able to move beyond that and to provide a well-researched approach to what remains a mystery."
[Reviewer Don Fleming completed 33 years with TWA including service as director of public relations and vice president of corporate communications between 1991 and 1995. His 37 years of aviation industry experience provided exposure to a broad spectrum of related disciplines. Don is currently a consultant and writer in New Milford, Connecticut. ]

Mr. Keith Smith:
"Just to say that I really enjoyed reading your book, I just couldn't put it down. Has there been any further developments on the saga related to the downing of TWA 800??? If you know of another other information that may be of interest, please email with the details. Thanks again, the book was well worth reading."

Mr. Clifford Cox::
"I was in attendance one night at an Elderhostel at ERAU when you lectured on TWA Flight 800. I purchased the book and came to agree with your thoughts about the missile theory. What now are your thoughts about the "revelation" that shoulder fired missiles have made their way into this country in the hands of duquats. Small wonder since we taught the muhajdin to use them in the 80's. Do you believe this will be a serious threat to US commercial aviation in this country now?"

"I read your book on TWA800 for the 1st time a few years ago, and have since gone back to it a number of times for reference purposes. I regard your and Mr. Ready's analysis as among the most sober on this question- serious but w/o the dogmatic tone characteristic of most others on this topic. I more or less share your same skepticism, without necessarily feeling the missile theory rises to the level of "probable cause." Couple of questions if I might. . . . .
"Finally, I am most intrigued by your thoughts that probably we will know the truth when all the evidence is in place. Do you still feel that way? Have you uncovered any more info that suggests some people know what happened, and the case may take a dramatic new turn sometime soon? I speculate here only because, as you probably know, a few public pronouncements by Senator John Kerry, and a few others, about the "sabotage" or "bombing" of F800, have been made in the last year. Any thoughts on any of the above would be most welcome. Thanks. And again, my compliments on a most objective, balanced, analysis."



Ready, Kevin E., and Cap Parlier. TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?  Ventura, CA: Saint Gaudens Press, 1998.

ISBN:  print:  978-0-943039-80-0
eBook: 978-0-943039-15-2
Kindle: 978-0-943039-16-9

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 98-87155 


TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?” is available in print and digital forms.  Copies can be ordered from any retailer (brick & mortar, or on-line), using the appropriate ISBN noted above for your desired format.

For your convenience, one or more copies of “TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?” may be ordered from Amazon.com by click the book cover image above or with this link -- HERE.

TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?” may also be ordered directly from the publisher – Saint Gaudens Press – by calling toll free 1-888-281-5170 with a valid credit card number.

If any difficulty is encountered in obtaining a copy of “TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?”, please contact Cap immediately via the Contract form; he will make every effort resolve the problem. 


Cap would be pleased and honored to provide any interested reader a personalized autographed copy of

"TWA 800 - Accident or Incident?"

For those who would like a personally inscribed book, contact Cap via the site Contact form for instructions.


This page was last modified: 4.January.2019