Yoharie: Existence (part five)
notes for TWA 800
The beam weapon designed to disable enemy satellites was first in the news in 1989. [Tested at SW facility]. Also Russians launching nuclear powered satellites w/i this timeframe, fear these could be forerunners of nuclear space weapons. Crash witness accounts describe object as point of light rising from sea, or seen emerge from behind roofs of beach houses. Laser either illuminates or ignites, passing within milliseconds (in real terms, far smaller time increment), producing localized combustions, dust and/or water vapors carried on currents in that particular layer of troposphere or stratosphere. To witnesses it appears directional, because the visual effect lingers, while the beam itself has long since passed. One witness who described the light as wobbling, might have seen currents of air behaving normally, but uncharacteristically made visible. The witnesses know of no explanation other than a projectile, so they develop this as memory, that they’d seen a missile, supporting partial truth/partial untruth in government representations during later hearings, that memory is an unreliable source. The dismissive attitude was calculated to make them dig in, so the missile narrative would be strengthened and adhered to, while being also refutable. The principle of animation, that two separate images seen very close together look to the brain like the movement of a single object, can account for the perception that the “missile” moved around the plane. In fact the beam could refract unexpectedly from the surface of the satellite, and struck Flight 800’s left wing. The wing sheathing was penetrated but the fuel, while released into the air, did not immediately combust. The pilots, suddenly having lost control of the plane, with the trouble affecting the left wing and its engine, sent a command to alter power to the engine, or to adjust some other mechanical part of the wing, which electrical pulse surging along to an exposed wire, created the spark of combustion. All this was a matter of seconds.
Witnesses saw the vapor plume and what appeared an explosion beside the plane, rather than one striking the fuselage. The heat and shock of the explosion triggered a second explosion in the center fuel tank, which detached the front portion of the plane. Later recovered wreckage therefore had both breaches from outside object entering plane’s body (left wing), and evidence of center tank exploding outward. As shown on radar tracking, the rear did not climb but the entire plane, though broken, plummeted. It is possible the test was done a second time before those manning the equipment became aware of flight 800, thus accounting for witnesses who saw another “object” seeming to rise from sea. It is probable someone of high authority, in the military or the CIA, was present (literally or remotely) monitoring the test, and at once called in FBI to contain the scene. The concern would have been that some piece of evidence unforeseeable but telling existed in the wreckage, while they would also have felt unconvinced that the crash was not coincidental. For military purposes, it would have been necessary to allow those partaking in the test to believe they had not caused the accident. The CIA-produced video assured watchers “there was no missile”. This is a kind of True Lies speech commonplace among intelligence officers (presumably to keep options open and allow deniability).
Why, then, Swissair 111? Because government authorities had come nearer convincing themselves the laser beam could not affect commercial air traffic, and they wished, two years later, to repeat the experiment/test. This was on a defunct American satellite. The satellite was in the same place. They had probably done additional testing in a safe environment and made adjustments, among which was the accounting for the beam’s visibility to witnesses as it interacted with the atmosphere. The reporting of the Swissair crash had a different, muted tone. The effects of the beam on the plane (possibly the creation of or influence upon a magnetic field, that fatally disable the plane’s electronics) had a distinct mystery, a period of radio silence that the pilots, when contacted by the tower again, seemed unaware had taken place. Could their communications for a time have been mimicked, in order to clear radio signals from the area?
So that was Trevor Royce’s thing…other thing. Aloud, Savannah said, “The world is crazy and evil.”
Her invited guest was eating a mini-bundt cake, of her own making. He’d slid his phone across, mouth full, hand gesturing check it out, and she’d started scrolling.
Not into Kennedy conspiracies. Not into any of that junk, of course, but stalling on this. Stuff about airplanes. Was it better, if you were thinking of getting free, to face the worst or hide it from yourself? What if you did become an iconic dead person, shouting from the other side, Solve My Mystery?
Make me count, people. I lived. I was somebody.
“Is it good?” she asked.
Val looked at her puzzled. “No, I agree. Crazy and evil. What else?”
“The cake. You’re not dying from eating it.”
“Homemade. Not from a mix.”
“And these violets.” He snagged one from her plate.
“They’re from out of the yard. But I rinsed them and everything.”
“Really, it’s great. I don’t think I need seconds, though, you don’t mind. I’m not a big sugar person.”
“Beatty! Stupid!” She elbowed the dog, having now to lift her plate overhead, letting him dance after her into the kitchen. The coffeemaker had beeped a second ago.
“So you don’t want sugar!” she yelled. “Cream?”
She heard him laugh and say, whatever. Savannah had never been on a date, that was the weirdness of her life. She didn’t think she was either ugly or terrible, but somehow, in school, she’d got to be, “Ew, her.” If this was what happened when your name came up, you were never leaving Loser Lane. It was material to her interests, and because right now she hated her father forever, to find out from Val Yoharie how he’d done it, drop out of school.
But the boldness was from the utter creepiness of Todwillow.
“What’s he doing? He’s pointing something at us!”
Val had turned to look over his shoulder. The car was down the street, at the curb.
“You wanna come to my house? There’s nobody there.”
So, spontaneous like that, under duress, it had been easy. To connect, at any rate. There was no future in this relationship.
(2019, Stephanie Foster)