40 Years Ago — Remembering Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 (USTICA – June 27 1980)

“81 slowly pulsating lights hang from the ceiling, representing 81 souls oscillating between being forgotten and remembered.”

Ustica Museum

“We still hope the truth will come out. We know that very probably the plane was struck down by a missile. Too many people have been keeping this secret for too long but we will not give up until we know everything that happened.”

Daria Bonfietti

“The truth must be known.”

Motto of the Pan Am 103 passengers’ families

“Your government and ours know exactly what happened but they are never going to tell.”

US President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (London, February 12 1990)

flight870

The remains of Itavia Airlines flight 870

June 27 2019 — When the passenger jet crashed, the immediate theory was that it was a tragic accident caused by some kind of mechanical or structural failure. Then, there was the suggestion that terrorists could have planted a bomb, but that theory was also rejected. And then, the truth came out. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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UPDATE (June 27 2020) — As you perhaps already know, I am currently writing the conclusions of my investigation regarding the Lockerbie tragedy.

QUICK NOTE — To make it easier for the readers to retrieve various chapters of this book, I have created a special page  “Lockerbie” where all the links to the chapters will be listed with a brief description. You can access that page directly as it appears at the far right of the top bar of this blog. End of NOTE

Here is a short extract from the first chapter: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter I : A week in December]

On December 23 1988, the New York Times reported that Frank Taylor, a former investigator for the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, believed an explosion knocked out communications, electricity and severed the cockpit from the aircraft.

(…)

Vetting the sources of a story should be an important part of a journalist job. Had the reporters done a serious check on Frank Taylor, Thomas Thurman, Rick Hahn and Michael Charles, it is very likely that the Lockerbie Affair would have been perceived as transparent nonsense since the very beginning.

(…)

On June 27 1980, Itavia Flight 870 crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea near Ustica, killing all on board.

Frank Taylor (one of the British investigator participants of the third technical investigation) concluded that a bomb had been planted in the rear toilet.

On January 23 2013, Italy’s top criminal court ruled out the bomb theory and concluded that: “There is abundantly clear evidence that the flight was brought down by a missile.”

What does that story tell you about Frank Taylor?

TRUTH never dies. Stay tuned!

END of UPDATE

Itavia Flight 870 was an Italian commercial flight operated by a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15 which crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea between Ponza and Ustica, killing all on board, while en route from Bologna to Palermo on 27 June 1980.

In 1994 – a joint investigation carried out by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Italian investigators concluded that a bomb had indeed exploded mid-flight in the rear lavatory.

(NOTE: The inspector in charge of the Ustica investigation will later play a key role in the Lockerbie Affair. Small world?)

“Then, in 1999, an exhaustive investigation by Judge Rosario Priore — one of Italy’s most respected legal figures and an expert on terrorism cases — gave the definitive version of what happened.” [The Guardian]

After a long and difficult investigation, Judge Rosario Priore  concluded that the plane had been caught in a dogfight between NATO jet fighters and a Libyan MiG.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Italian Air Force officials were charged with high treason in 1992 for omitting “information on the possibility of military operations” in the Tyrrhenian Sea and had “abused their authority and deliberately given the political authorities false information”.

But, due to a lapse in the statute of limitations for the charges, the defendants were acquitted by the Italian High Court of Appeal in 2007.

In September 2011 the Palermo civil tribunal ordered the Italian government to pay 100 million euros ($137 million) in civil damages to the relatives of the victims for failure to protect the flight and for concealing the truth and destroying evidence.

(Actually, a bit more than evidence has been destroyed. More than a dozen individuals directly linked to this case have died in suspicious circumstances.)

On 23 January 2013, Italy’s top criminal court ruled that there was “abundantly” clear evidence that the flight was brought down by a stray missile and confirming the lower court’s order that the Italian government must pay compensation.

In April 2015, the appeals court in Palermo confirmed the rulings of the Palermo civil tribunal of 2011 and rejected the appeal by the state attorney.

Question: Who fired the missile?

According to judge Priore’s investigation, the aircraft was shot down during a dog fight involving Libyan, United States, French and Italian Air Force fighters in an assassination attempt by NATO members on an unnamed ‘important Libyan politician’.

ustica

Last minutes of Flight 870 according to Judge Rosario Priore

It is usually accepted that only two countries had military airplanes flying this area at that moment: the U.S. and France.

Francesco Cossiga — Prime Minister of Italy from 1979 to 1980 and President of Italy from 1985 to 1992 — has stated that the missile had been fired from a French Navy aircraft.

Speaking about Flight 870, Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano stated:

“Time is no obstacle in the search for truth.”

The Museum for the Memory of the Ustica Massacre

The museum opened on 27 June 2007, one year following the arrival of the remains of the DC9.

The Ustica Association, alongside president Bonfietti, hosts the permanent works commissioned by French-Ukrainian artist Christian Boltanski, with the museum also working in partnership with the Institution of Museums in Bologna.

Upon entering the museum, visitors can find 81 black mirrors hang along the walls, allowing each to “plunge” their gaze into the abyss of mortality as a “choir” of haunting voices whisper from 81 loudspeakers throughout the gallery, representing the “spirit of every missing person”, the museum said.

81 slowly pulsating lights hang from the ceiling, representing 81 souls oscillating between being forgotten and remembered.

REFERENCES

The mystery of flight 870 — The Guardian

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Suspicious Aviation Tragedies: Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 (USTICA-1980)

Remembering Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 [USTICA – June 27 1980]

Remembering Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 (USTICA – June 27 1980) [2019]

40 Years Ago — Remembering Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 (USTICA – June 27 1980)

This entry was posted in Aviation Disasters, Itavia Flight 870, Suspicious Aviation Tragredies. Bookmark the permalink.

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