Why has the cargo door escaped detection for eleven years as
it has continued to kill and maim?
I must anthropomorphize the metal door into a human villain to explain. The door has been extremely smart, lucky, and has friends in high places.
The smart part was to disguise his crime of opening in flight when he is not supposed to by destroying the scene and evidence of the crime and at the same time making it look like someone else did it. The door causes explosive decompression which mimics a bomb leads to destruction of the aircraft. The innocent bomb villain was blamed for two crimes and possibly will be blamed for a third.
The door was smart by targeting his victims among different airlines, different locations, and different times so that differing jurisdictions investigated each crime and did not connect them to each other. 1985 Air India, 1988 Pan Am, 1989 UAL, 1996 TWA.
He was extremely lucky by narrowly escaping detection on the first crime because a cable broke. As the door was being retrieved the cable broke and the door sank into thousands of feet of impenetrable water.
He was extremely lucky on the second crime when another potential villain appeared on the scene and led investigators astray. After the door did his second crime, a blast villain appeared and led investigators astray.
His only bad luck happened on the third crime when his victim did not crash and die but returned with convicting evidence of his deed. But the original report was incorrect and was only corrected two years later. But he still got caught and was mildly punished with some stiffeners. The airplane barely made it back and landed with door missing but nose intact. An Airworthiness Directive was issued to prevent the villain from acting again.
He was lucky on the fourth crime when eyewitnesses saw him do it but thought it was another potential villain. He was seen by the setting sun but was disguised as a missile.
His timing was lucky because all the police were willing to believe it was the red herring of bomb which caused the crimes and did not look further once the mimic evidence was seen.
He has friends in high places such as the largest airplane manufacturer in the world, employing thousands of people directly and many more thousands indirectly. Boeing has a fine reputation for building safe airplanes and people are loathe to suspect the company of designing, building, and installing a criminal door.
Entire governments are on the villain's side and will defend him against any insult. Governments depend on the continued good health of the powerful friend of the door and are loathe to investigate the villain. The government will become more powerful if the door is protected and stays undetected.
But his crimes are catching up with him. He has been seen visually, seen on radar, heard on audio tape, felt on engine vibrations, and kept his method of operation constant. He left behind tell tale clues on each crime which match up to the one crime he was caught such as audio tapes, data tapes, fodded engines, destruction patterns and location, and missing bodies. The potential villains who were blamed before, bombs and missiles, are now being discounted by cooler heads. His luck ran out when technology enabled the internet to quickly connect his clues to his crimes, the Cargo Door Website, and tell his potential captors, the NTSB, an independent investigatory board.
There is no conspiracy, no coverup, no plot to hide the truth of the cargo door cause.
Upon hearing the explosive decompression the copilot viewed
the big hole where the door was and reported to the Tower that
a bomb had gone off. Only upon landing and investigation was the
cargo door cause determined. First NTSB Accident report had probable
cause of improper latching for door opening. That was wrong. Once
door was found, probable cause was changed to electrical short
to door motor. NTSB not proud of this report and reluctant to
use it for pattern of other door crimes. Forward cargo door conclusively
proven to be the cause of this crash. The door left evidence of
audio tapes, data tapes, fodded engines, missing bodies, destruction
patterns, damage location, and radar blips.
Door sank in thousands of feet of ocean. But found and retrieved and initial probable cause error corrected.
Door not retrieved and examined because cable on winch broke.
Sikh terror activity in India, religious trouble in temples, another
bomb in similar circumstances thousands of miles away on same
day led to conclusion of bomb. Explosive decompression mimics
Door sank in thousands of feet of ocean. But door still there on bottom of ocean.
Official cause: Bomb
Mild blast in forward cargo hold caused by explosive decompression
of door opening left explosive residue construed by investigators
as powerful plastic bomb planted by Libyan terrorist secret agents.
Explosive decompression mimics bomb blast.
But door still there in hangar.
Door ignored in quest for bomb.
Official cause: Bomb
For five months the FBI investigated thoroughly a bomb cause.
All wreckage was first examined by the FBI before the NSTB.
Door departing in evening sun appeared to eyewitnesses as streak and interpreted as missile. Aircraft was skirting warning area when lost. Explosive residue found in two places on wreckage. Explosives were previously planted during dog training exercises. Some blast damage on seats. Explosive decompression mimics bomb blast. Evidence of fire in center fuel tank which may be powerful enough to destroy plane. Center fuel tank explosion 24 seconds after nose torn off and rest of plane disintegrated.
Door sank in hundreds of feet of ocean. But found and door still there in hangar.
Door ignored in quest for bomb or fire evidence.
There was a fireball but many seconds later, after disintegrating aircraft and fuel ignite by falling engine number 3. But the fireball is thought to be initial event.
Two radar blips with no transponder information, one is P3 and other is cargo door.