Two letters to AHMP from the father of Flight 800 passenger Michelle Bohlin, age 15
October 4, 1998
To the Director:
I stumbled across you response to Time magazine. The media went on a reckless exploitation of this tragedy.
My daughter died on that flight. Please be assured that the families feel confident that the plane left Greece safely.
Montoursville PA, USA
American Hellenic Media Project
P.O. Box 1150
New York, N.Y. 10028-0008
Thank you so very kindly for your e-mail and for your moving message. It really meant a lot to me, and I know that it would mean a great deal to the Greek and Greek-American community, as many felt pained by being unfairly associated with such an enormous and tragic human loss.
We agree that the media coverage was markedly irresponsible and exploitative, and the Greek community were just some of the many who were unnecessarily and carelessly damaged by it. I would like to ask for your permission to post your letter on our website as I think your message will give comfort to many and may help in remedying the unfair coverage given by the press.
On behalf of the American Hellenic Media Project, please accept my sincerest condolences for the loss of your daughter. If there is anything I can assist you with or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and I shall be sure to return your call. Thank you again for sharing your special message with us.
October 8, 1998
Thank you for your e-mail. Yes, you have my permission to re-post anything that I send you. To elaborate further, I and many of the other families of TWA Flight 800 have followed the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) investigation of the accident. The FBI and the NTSB have conducted an extensive criminal and aviation investigation of this accident. As a parent who attended the NTSB hearings in Baltimore last year, and as a scientist who has read the approximately 5,000 pages of the investigation, I feel well informed as to my thoughts about the investigation.
The NTSB thoroughly examined fuel samples from Athens, and the FBI, CIA and other government agencies conducted extensive investigations as to whether there was the possiblity of terrorist involvement in Athens, or anywhere else. There is no evidence of a bomb or missle in the 5,000 pages of the investigative reports. The plane left Athens safely before landing at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Although I don't know the family members of every one of the 230 victims, I don't know of anyone who feels that the safety of the Athens airport or that anyone from Greece is responsible. As I recall, Antonio Cavellas (a Greek citizen who had a restaurant in Philadelphia) lost his son, who was a flight attendant. Mr. and Mrs Cavellas have since moved back to Greece. So you see, Greeks and Greek-Americans were affected by this tragedy. In your respone to Time magazine, that I read on the internet, I wholly agree with you that the media pursued a reckless and irresponsible course in their coverage of this accident. On behalf of my family, tell people of Greek heritage that we do not think for one minute that the accident was the result of the plane having departed from Athens.
Jeff Bohlin, father of
Michelle Bohlin, age 15
E-mails of encouragement and support can be forwarded to Mr. Bohlin at: