Talk:Iran Air Flight 655

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How many rockets hit the plane?[edit]

There are two sections in this article that mention the plane being hit with the rocket. The first mentions one rocket hits while the other misses. Later in the middle of the article, it says two rockets hit the plane. So which is it? (talk) 01:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One missile was shot , an actual there was an fighter there hidden , using flight 655 ! Yes iranian fighter was covering it self with flight 655 to bomb uss . But uss detect it, fired missile and pilot escaped missile and the only heated target was 655 ! And how i know this ? Cause i am persian and if u ask and di some deep researches, u will see i am telling the truth ! Daryus89 (talk) 21:51, 12 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bombing of Rogers' family minivan[edit]

Terrorism and "retaliation" was ruled out, so what does this incident have to do with anything in this article? It is totally unconnected, mentioning it implies some connection. As with many other related articles, I suspect a bias is at work here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems awfully coincidental that such a thing would happen. Hard to believe terrorism or retaliation were ruled out, but it is what it is. Still, I don't necessarily have a problem with its mention here. I think it's somewhat relevant and doesn't imply bias--it happened to someone who was a central figure in this event; that's not in question. Darkest tree (talk) 23:26, 22 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"At that time pipe bombs were a common occurrence (over 200 each year) in San Diego County and a largely homegrown threat according to the local sheriff's department". San Diego county experiences over 200 pipe bombing explosions each year? How can this figure possibly be accurate? The source for this claim is a dead link. -- Big Brother 1984 (talk) 20:52, 8 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That figure can't possibly be right. 200 pipe bombs exploding a year in San Diego County would have created such a state of terror that it would be memorable to anyone. I bet, if that statistic was ever accurate at all, that it meant that some 200 pipe bomb devices were found (not exploded) per year in the entire U.S. I think that sentence can be safely removed unless someone can find another source for the dead link. Darkest tree (talk) 23:26, 22 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Payback Theory[edit]

Is there anything to the theory that the downing was payback for the taking of the US hostages in 1979? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deceglie (talkcontribs) 15:08, 5 Novemb♦er 2009 (UTC)

Is there anything to any conspiracy theory? Not unless you can prove it. So, no? Darkest tree (talk) 23:29, 22 September 2011 (UTC)nReply[reply]

I don't believe this was pay back or a military blunder. I worked on U.S. naval avionics systems. If that Commercial plane was transmitting an IFF (Interrogation friend or Foe.) signal? it was doing so for the sole purpose of drawing fire! It is possible that the USS Vincennes was set up. That commercial airliner interrogated a military aircraft! Commercial airlines are only equipped to respond. Not to interrogate.

I'm hoping the sentence above blaming the plane for, uh,... auto-suicide, is masterful satire; but as unsigned, and bearing in mind the number of stern patriots aka 'crazies' on the internet who will fiercely minimze any action of the United States whilst living in abject terror of those opposed to her at any period, let's not go down this road of blaming the victim... Claverhouse (talk) 13:36, 9 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How do you get to that from, "The airliner was transmitting a friend-or-foe identification code for a civilian aircraft..."? Nick Cooper (talk) 14:46, 9 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pan Am Flight 103 section.[edit]

Why is this section so long? Most of the things in there seem to have nothing directly to do with Iran Air Flight 655; the only connection is one assertion made by one guy at the end that it was a retaliation for Iran Air Flight 655. That can be covered with just that paragraph; the rest of the details don't seem to be directly connected to this. --Aquillion (talk) 04:28, 18 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

USS Stark Reference[edit]

I believe this should be mentioned in the background events leading up to the shooting down of the Iranian jetliner. The Stark was a USS ship that was hit by exocet missles fired by an Iraqi jet in 1987 in the Persian Gulf. About 37 sailors were killed. I believe the captain of the ship was court marshalled for failure to act. This event changed the US policy in that region and may have contributed to the more aggressive response by the USS Vincennes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 19 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Territorial Waters[edit]

Where the USS Vincennes was at the time the missile was fired -- whether inside or outside Iranian territorial waters -- is an important detail in this episode. The article currently states that the USS Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time. However, no source is cited to support this claim. I therefore suggest tagging that statement with a source-missing-tag until a source is provided to prove this claim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 8 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe, and I will, just delete. Too often controversial positions are left in by hit and run editors who have no intention of ever sourcing their statements. It is July now, and the paragraph is going.. SiberioS (talk) 16:29, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The fact that the Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time it launched the missile was explicitly confirmed by Adm, Crowe on Nightline.

Ted Koppel (interviewing). But if I were to ask you today, was the Vincennes in international waters at the time that she shot down the Airbus—

William J. Crowe Jr. Yes, she was.

Ted Koppel. In international waters?

William J. Crowe Jr. No, no, no.

She was in Iran’s territorial waters.

Futhermore the VIncennes was NOT "Traversing" through Iranian waters rather it entered into Iranian waters after its helo - which had buzzed some Iranian speedboats - drew warning fire. The Capt of the Vincennes then entered into Iranian waters and specifically sought permission to engage the speedboats. The Vincennes was NOT, repeat, NOT engaged in innocent passage through Iranian waters at the time and was not "traversing":

" At about 0940, the Vincennes and Elmer Montgomery crossed the 12-mile line into Iranian territorial waters. There is no mention of this crossing in the unclassified version of the official report of the investigation. According to the investigation report, at 0941 Captain Rogers was given permission to open fire. Note, he was now inside Iranian territorial waters and ready to engage boats that had not fired at him. " SOURCE:

The Vincennes helo had buzzed the Iranian speedboats while they were inside Iranian waters too:

"Ted Koppel (voice-over). The Iranian gunboats on that particular day — during their gun battles with the Vincennes the Montgomery and the helicopter from the Vincennes — the Iranian gunboats, during the actual shooting, were in Iranian territorial waters.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, we obtained the testimony of the Vincennes’ own navigator, that his ship had crossed into Iranian waters before she opened fire on the gunboats.

Quote: “I relayed down to the Tactical Action Officer at some point — I’m not sure if it was when we crossed the 12-nautical-mile limit or not — that we are now inside the 12-nautical-mile point. I did that a couple of times later on, also to let him know that we were still within Iranian territorial waters.”End quote.

SOURCE: Nightline Sea of Lies interview transcript copy located at

Proposed Lede[edit]

Here is my proposed new lede, trying to be more high level and avoid trivia. Will source it appropriately. Please any comments or questions? LoveUxoxo (talk) 08:29, 30 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655), an Airbus A300B2, was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz by two surface-to-air missiles fired from the U.S. Navy ship USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988, about 7 minutes after takeoff. All 290 on board were killed and the aircraft was destroyed. IR655 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Vincennes was participating in Operation Earnest Will, protecting Kuwaiti oil tankers from Iranian attacks during the Iran–Iraq War. According to the U.S. Navy investigation, the Vincennes, while engaged in combat with Iranian gunboats, misidentified the airliner for an attacking F-14 fighter jet and fired in self-defence. The Iranian government has maintained that the Vincennes intentionally shot down IR655. Other reports and analyses have criticized the Captain of the Vincennes for being over-aggressive, and the crew for not correctly identifying the approaching aircraft as civilian, not military, when they had the ability to do so.

In February 1996 the United States agreed at the International Court of Justice to pay US$ 61.8 million in compensation to the families of the 248 Iranians killed in the shoot-down. Further compensation was paid for the 38 non-Iranian deaths. The payment was characterized by the United States as being on an ex gratia basis, with the United States not accepting liability or legal responsibility for what happened.

Wrong year?[edit]

Hi, I have never contributed to a wiki page before but my dad thinks this event has happend in 1987, instead of 1988. He remembers being on his honeymoon when he saw pictuers of the crash while visiting the Pentagon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 14 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Casualty Numbers[edit]

The article states that there were 290 people on board of whom 38 were non Iranian. How come this doesn't tally when the 254 Iranian Nationals are added? -- (talk) 18:27, 24 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should the list not be 254 of Iranian Nationality and 36 non Iranians. -- (talk) 19:11, 24 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is caused by two dual nationals, as with recent Malaysian air loss, and several other crash tabulations "nationals" sums to more than total because persons may be a dual nationals. Eg a person with dual US-Dutch citizenship may sho on some lists as a US casualty and a Dutch casualty. (talk) 01:56, 19 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name of Skipper?[edit]

For no good reason, I was interested in what happened to the skipper of the US ship after the shoot-down. Oddly, the article does not simply state his name. Was this done on purpose after much discussion by you Smart People, or is it simply an oversight? Paul, in Saudi (talk) 10:28, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Even more oddly, we have a nifty article on the guy and his career, William C. Rogers III. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 10:32, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK I added it. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 10:35, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


WhisperToMe (talk) 20:21, 16 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pro-conspiracy/anti-American bias emerging?[edit]

I read this article a year or so ago (maybe longer--don't remember exactly) and it seemed balanced, neutral, and factual. I was surprised when I re-read it today and found a lot of parts of it have been moved around and changed to have an angrier, accusatory tone, with some subtle changes to include inflammatory terms. An example of this is use of the simplistic phrase "US missiles" in the lead sentence, instead of more accurately saying (at the very least) "surface-to-air missiles fired by a U.S. Navy warship." Also the name of the section "The shooting down of Flight 665"--while not factually incorrect (though grammatically questionable)--seems to be unnecessarily grandiose. The article also fails to make much mention of the international situation and U.S. tensions with Iran at the time, as well as the preceding and ongoing naval operations and chain of events that led up to this day. I think the bigger picture sheds more light on how such a thing could happen, and merits inclusion in this article.

There are plenty of sources of information on this incident. It was a stupid, inexcusable mistake by the U.S. Navy, a product of a set of bad circumstances and exacerbated by a captain with an aggressive personality and other problems (all these things discussed in this article's sources). However, there is nothing, anywhere--no source whatsoever--showing that the U.S. Navy deliberately, intentionally, shot down an airliner full of civilians, or did so at the behest of another U.S. government agency or political leader. Any theory or claim to the contrary is unverifiable. As such, these claims, or any insinuations to this effect, have no place in this article (other than to say, obviously, that "the Iranian government claims the U.S. did it intentionally").

I'm concerned that this article has been moving in the direction of giving equal weight to the view that it was an intentional act by the U.S., when that is not, in fact, something that can be demonstrated. I don't want to unilaterally make changes without some discussion, but this is what I think. Darkest tree (talk) 00:15, 23 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Obviously, this was an unfortunate incident, but perhaps the best solution would simply be to revert to a better version. Worst loss of life in an airline incident in the Indian Ocean? Really don't think anyone cares. Nevard (talk) 05:21, 23 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The way to determine whether anyone cares about whether it is the "Worst loss of life in an airline incident in the Indian Ocean?" is simple, really. A secondary source that points this out = shows that this is an important aspect. WhisperToMe (talk) 06:21, 26 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The fact that they have been treated like heroes and the unuwillingness of the US Government to issue a formal apology suggests it simply was not a tragic mistake. Considering the appalling circumstances, the tone of the article is way too pro-American as it is. -- (talk) 11:48, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"The fact that they have been treated like heroes and the unwillingness of the US Government to issue a formal apology suggests it simply was not a tragic mistake."
Why? It's at least as plausible that it was a "tragic mistake" and that the U.S. government simply found it too embarrassing to admit, considering the (deservedly) loud criticism it had levelled at the USSR for shooting down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 a mere five years earlier. To me, this suggests spin and damage control, rather than conspiracy. Not to mention that it's pretty hard to come up with a plausible scenario in which the U.S. would have any motive to purposefully shooting down an Iranian passenger airliner. See also: Hanlon's razor. Mojowiha (talk) 12:03, 25 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Iranians did not say the US did it intentionally, thats what Ken Pollack claims. The Irananisn said they didn't think it was intentional only that hte US didn't care enough - in otherwords criminal negligence not deliberate act

References and external links[edit]

Link rot appears to have taken out the History Channel "military blunders" external link, but it does not appear to be archived anywhere else either. Advice? (BTW - my very first wiki edit was to this page tonight.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ottersan (talkcontribs) 10:37, 5 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ISRAELI AERBUS shot down during KUWAIT-IRAQ war 1990/1991[edit]

I reviewed several posts referencing air transport insidents and don't find mention of the Israeli aerbus shot down during the aforementioned war overthe Mediterranean sea by U.S. Airforce pilot. The incident made all the headlines and press meetings were held for over a week until it was assigned to military investigation and hushed "until further notice". The pilot was reprimanded and after having admitted error for "running" from the war zone during an anxiety attack.. pulling the trigger on the civilian plane before rationalizing that it was only civilian not warcraft.Pres Bush (elder) and Schwarzkopf handled the situation but nothing was ever concluded. My husband was on the plane. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lustig only partly identified[edit]

This is probably due to a previous edit; "Lustig" is only partially identified, and only named in the Medals Awarded section. In both cases, only Lustig's surname is used; in one case, he(?) is identified as the "air-warfare coordinator." IMO, "Lustig" should probably be fully identified, by name and rank, on first reference. Again, I imagine an overeager previous editor might have inadvertently sliced out that full identification. (talk) 20:30, 17 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Number of missile hits[edit]

The article states the aircraft was hit by one of the two SAMs, and then later that both missiles hit. One of these must be wrong. (talk) 22:09, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Medals awarded[edit]

That section title reads as if the crew were awarded for the downing of the flight when it is completely unrelated to this event. I would consider either deleting this section, or retitle and rewrite the section. If it is to be rewritten, it should be made clear that the awards were given despite the errors made, rather than for the downing. This article doesn't read like a neutral article, and this section in particular reads like something polemical - for example the source that gave the "quickly and precisely complete the firing procedure" quote used it in a manner that could be called sarcastic, a style that has no place in Wikipedia. The quote should not be used at all here as it has no relevance to this article and was only used in the source as a form of rhetoric. Hzh (talk) 02:15, 18 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree the section title suggests the USN awarded the sailors for their erroneous actions. The section itself gives cause for each award, and in doing so makes itself moot as the awards are entirely unrelated to the shootdown. I see no reason for its inclusion in the article. Jill Orly (talk) 18:04, 15 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

U.S. government accounts section[edit]

Indeed Bush made the statement on not issuing an apology, but half of the push and pull on this up to the final settlement was during the Clinton administration, which also steadfastly refused to issue an apology either. It it is problematic to only mention Bush not apologizing of the US, when half the legal wrangling went on during Clinton, and the actual settlement occurred during Clinton's time, and Clinton also refused to apologize either. (talk) 02:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The George-Bush-will-never-apologize statement did not previously exist in the article and was only added yesterday by an IP in this edit here. The Vice President was campaigning in the presidential election and had repeatedly made his "I won't apologize for America" statement at other campaign stops on other issues months before Flight 655 was shot down. User:Dual_Freq attempted to put this in context by adding the background info but his edits were reverted by the same IP editor who added the Bush statement in the first place (see here and here). Obviously, if Bush's statement is important to the article, so is the context. However, I think a better solution is for the Bush statement to simply be removed in it's entirety because it's not really part of the US governments account of the shootdown nor is it the official response of the United States Government (i.e., if a U.S. apology was going to make an apology, it would have been handled through diplomatic channels). Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 20:35, 19 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those items have been in and out of the article for 6 or 7 years. The apology / non-apology thing is a sticking point that goes back 25 years and will never be resolved. An apology is said to be an expression of remorse, and diplomatically the US expressed a regret for the loss of life and paid reparations. I don't know what people expected there would be. Was there one when KAL 007 was shot down? or any of the others? Countries can't exactly apologize to one another, especially when they are in a de facto state of war, ie. the tanker war. --Dual Freq (talk) 20:59, 19 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The US had titled towards Iraq"[edit]

Had it? Fotoguzzi (talk) 15:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I reverted those recent edits as unsourced. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 16:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"[Carlson] was unaware that Rogers had been wrongly informed that the plane was diving."[edit]

This is the only mention that anyone had thought that the Airbus was diving. Other than this obscure reference, the reader is unaware that the Airbus was thought by the ship's captain to be diving. Fotoguzzi (talk) 15:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cited source presentation and WP:NPOV[edit]

I happened to be looking at this article today, and noticed that a reference currently numbered 28 is:

Fogarty, William M. (28 July 1988). "Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 198". 93-FOI-0184. Retrieved 31 March 2006.

That cite links a copy of the report which has been annotated, apparently by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

This web page, apparently associated with Charles Judson Harwood Jr., contains a section headed, "U.S. ambush of Iran Air Flight 655 (July 3 1988, 290 victims)". The annotated copy of the report is linked in the cite to a URL on a subpage of that web page.

Mr. Harwood may or may not be well known; I don't know him and didn't know of him until now. Citing and linking to this copy of the report, especially without prominently explaining the presence of the annotations and profiling their source, appears to violate WP:NPOV. This should be corrected.

I've recently placed a link to an online viewable un-annotated copy of the report in the Further reading section of the article. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:13, 24 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed, that link should not be used, but historically it usually gets reverted back to that one. As far as I could tell several years ago, he doesn't even say who he is or why his opinions matters. What I see today is an obituary for Charles Judson Harwood Jr., written by his family, that describes him as follows: " He gave up his successful law practice to research politics and news like a conspiracy theory movie plot, until he was all but destitute." and also described him as "socially troubled ... reclusive" I don't think we should be linking his opinion site here. The background information seems to match his other blog about page. --Dual Freq (talk) 21:23, 24 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Here I've clarified that several other items cited in this article come from Mr. Harwood's personal blog and are annotated with his analysis, commentary, and opinion. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 22:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding Charles Judson Harwood Jr., after reading his obit again and the comments talking about how he was politically active on the computer, etc, I saw the link there with his photo Parrot man searching for lost bird. It kind of scares me that links to his blog have lasted so long on wikipedia. --Dual Freq (talk) 02:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Explanation of my 2014-07-25 change in the Iranian government account section[edit]

The Iranian government account section contained a sentence reading as follows:

During the incident, the Vincennes had also covertly entered Iranian territorial waters without first declaring war, while aiding Iraq's 1980–1988 war against Iran.


in support.

I had problems with this, including:

  • I was unable to find a copy of the cited Newsweek article but, though it is clear that Vincennes entered Iran's waters, I found no support in the cited sources which I could check (or, indeed anywhere else) that Vincennes had "covertly entered" into Iran's waters during the incident.
  • The sentence could be read as asserting that covert entry had occurred at another time, while Vincennes was aiding Iraq's 1980–1988 war against Iran, but I could find no support for that either.
  • The sentence asserts that Vincennes had made covert entry without declaring war. No authority present on the Vincennes had the authority to declare war.
  • It seems inappropriate to cite the Newsweek article and the transcript of a Nightline episode in support of a description of the Iranian government account of the incident, when the ICJ source which quotes the 24 July 1990 submission by the Iranian government on the matter is available.

I have changed this to read:

During the incident, the Vincennes had entered Iranian territorial waters,[1]: §4.65  and was inside Iranian territorial waters when it launched its missles.[1]: §1.27 

citing Islamic Republic of Iran (24 July 1990). "Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) – Iranian submission: Part IV B, The shooting down of flight IR 655" (PDF). International Court of Justice. Retrieved 20 January 2007. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) in support.

I have also inserted "According to Iran, " at the beginning of the paragraph containing this sentence. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:27, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good catch and appropriate correction. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 02:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with removing "covert", but the "According to Iran" is uneccessary as the sentance already had "Iran argued" in it, and it also is in the section context of "Iranian government account". We now have the poor english duplicating the point: "According to Iran, even if the aircraft had been an Iranian F-14, Iran argued". As the previous para starts "According to Iran,", for stylistic variation I think the old "Iran argued" is better in this para. I'll go back to the previous form - please rephrase if you feel strongly about this. NB On the territorial water issues I suspect (but cannot source) that back in July 1988 the U.S. Navy may well not have accepted Iran's 12 nautical-mile and baseline claims - the U.S. still used 3 nautical-miles then and had been diplomatically resisting the international agreement over 12 - so both sides may well have been using different boundaries for "territorial waters" in this argument. Rwendland (talk) 10:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. It's clear that I am not a grammarian. This addition was an afterthought to my other changes. Even though the section is titled Iranian government account, I still think that a quick reading might pick up claims by the Iranian government as statements purported to be fact in Wikipedia's voice, but I'm not going to argue the point. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 12:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference ICJ-Aerial-Incident-IV.B was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Fourth of July rumors[edit]

I heard Lloyd Dumas on the radio mentioning that there had been rumors the U.s. might be attacked around the Fourth of July holiday. I assume he mentions this in his book [1]. If this is corroborated it would be interesting to add to the article. -- Beland (talk) 02:41, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

655 did not respond to Vincennes' challenge on 121.5mhz[edit]

121.5 -> international emergency frequency ../// non actions in a war zone has consequences CorvetteZ51 (talk) 09:57, 3 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this in aid of improving the article? See WP:NOTFORUM #4. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 10:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I want to improve the article by adding this important fact. The Vincennes challenged the IA655 on 121.5mhz, a frequency that should be monitored when entering a war zone. CorvetteZ51 (talk) 09:03, 4 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The current version of the article says, "According to the same reports, Vincennes tried unsuccessfully to contact the approaching aircraft, seven times on the military emergency frequency and three times on the civilian emergency frequency, but never on air traffic control frequencies." This is not well supported, but my guess is that it is accurate. Engaging in a bit of original research here, I will comment that in my experience it is not usual practice for civilian aircraft to monitor the military emergency frequency, which are in a different frequency band (UHF 243 mhz vs. VHF 121.5 mhz, and which may require additional equipment to monitor). I'm a former pilot, but not an airline pilot. That said, I would not be surprised if a civilian airliner were not monitoring 121.5 mhz. The WP article on Aircraft emergency frequency contains an unsupported assertion that it is monitored by "many commercial aircraft." I don't know how valid that assertion might or might not be (in my experience, it is not valid), or to what extent it might apply here. In short, I think you would need to add information about why it might be a good presumption that flight 655 would be monitoring 121.5 and cite a reliable secondary source to support an assertion about this, rather than implying that the monitoring of 121.5 might have been required (or even usual) practice which flight 655 ought to have been following but was not. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:08, 4 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've added content from the official ICAO report which says that frequency 121.5MHz should have been monitored by the flight crew. "But it added the crew was supposed to listen to a second frequency, 121.5 megahertz, on which four warning were issued." from here. Stickee (talk) 03:57, 30 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm... It might be better to use the quote saying, "There was no response to these challenges, indicating that the flight crew may not have been monitoring 121.5 megahertz in the early stages of flight or did not identify its own flight as that being challenged," instead. There's a related {{cn}} there which this could satisfy. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Mistakenly (??) shot down[edit]

Here, I have reveerted an anonymous edit which removed the word mistakenly from the summary in the infobox, saying, "Not really, this is probably still disputed".

It seems to me that the "mistakenly" characterization is justified by the cite supported description of the shoot-down and the reactions to it in the article lead section. I do not doubt that some fringe sources espouse the view that the shoot-down was a deliberate act by the U.B., but I see no clarification of that view in the article, nor citation of WP:RS sources to support it. If this reversuion requires discussion, please see WP:BRD. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:48, 6 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia prefers avoiding judgmental words such as mistakenly. And removing the word does not imply that it was intentional. Being shot down by USS Vincennes is a fact and stating facts is just neutral. Pahlevun (talk) 17:27, 9 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I'll buy that -- especially as we are talking about the article's lead sentence here. My revert was triggered mostly by what I saw as a weak explanation given in the edit summary for removing the characterization ("Not really, this is probably still disputed"), My internet access is very slow today and I'm still waiting after some minutes for the cited sources to load, but I see from my earlier comment that I then read them as supporting that characterization to some degree. At this point in the article, though, I agree that it is best to limit what the article takes from the sources cited to hard facts. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:42, 10 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article uses dmy date format[edit]

I've noticed that this article is using dmy dates according to tag at top. This seems a bit bizarre seeing as it's written in American English (as it should seeing as it concerns a US Navy cruiser) and several of the ref. titles include mdy dates as you would expect. For this reason, does anyone mind if I change the tag to mdy dates and alter the dates in the article accordingly? The article was created by a Puerto Rican and the original did indeed include mdy dates, so this must have been changed somewhere along the way but I can't really see why.

Also, @Deeday-UK: how do you get your edit summary to say →top when you're working on the lead section? Mine just stays blank when I click Edit source at the top. Thanks, Rodney Baggins (talk) 12:54, 6 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Rodney Baggins, you may want to check the WikiProject Aviation Accidents guidelines with regard to dmy vs mdy. I seem to remember it said something about dmy being more ICAO-compliant, or something like that, but I could be wrong. For your other question, go to your account Preferences --> Gadgets tab --> Appearance section --> enable 'Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page' and click on that link, if you want to edit only the lead. --Deeday-UK (talk) 13:28, 6 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Picture scaling[edit]

@Rodney Baggins: I'm not sure about the rationale behind some of your latest changes regarding image sizing. My understanding of MOS:IMGSIZE is that, as long as the size is not given in px, then pictures are automatically scaled to whatever the user set as preferred size. Scaling up or down with upright= is generally needed only for images that are horizontally or vertically stretched, with the idea of giving the article an overall balanced visual appearance (or enhance fine detail, if appropriate). For example, this picture:

is roughly square, so would not normally need any further scaling, but I see you set upright=0.8, which makes it noticeably smaller than the surrounding pictures. Another example:

This one is slightly stretched horizontally, so if anything it should be up-scaled to some factor greater than 1 (although it's hardly necessary), yet you set it to upright=0.9, which makes it look tiny. Does all of the above make sense? --Deeday-UK (talk) 11:41, 13 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi. The main rationale for changing the images is that I've developed "a thing" about captions! I find some of them a bit "wordy" and I think the important information is best conveyed within the main text rather than just in an image caption, especially if the caption introduces some new information that's not mentioned at all in the main text (good example of this is the picture of the Vincennes in Background section). But then in some cases, such as the image of Captain Rogers, I don't think there's enough information! So I simply got the urge to reword some of the captions. Following on from that, I try to make sure the caption sits neatly under the picture. In some cases, the word wrapping leaves unsightly gaps at the end of the lines of text in the caption so I like to close it up a bit, or sometimes captions simply just run over too many lines. So I increase the width of the image to spread the caption over fewer lines if possible. A good example of that is the picture of the missile being launched in the U.S. government accounts section, where I thought the image was too narrow to carry the caption and I managed to reduce the caption from 6 lines to 4 lines. The caption for the Newsweek covers image now spreads over 7 lines, rather than 8, but I still think it's too long!
As for the upright issue, I was under the impression that the image in its original form is the equivalent of upright=1.0 so you just change the upright value to scale the image up or down in size. According to MOS:IMGSIZE, an image's size is controlled by changing its width and the software automatically adjusts its height in proportion (so the aspect ratio remains the same as the original). The image doesn't get stretched horizontally or vertically because the image width and height are equally scaled. If I didn't think this was the case, I wouldn't have touched the image sizes at all. The |upright=scaling factor expands or contracts the image by the required factor. Rodney Baggins (talk) 19:20, 13 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, you got the scaling logics right. When I said, a bit ambiguously, horizontally stretched, I actually meant 'wider than it is tall, or landscape-like', and vice-versa for vertically. In general, however, I would argue against scaling an image based on the length of its caption, because it's mainly a futile exercise (and it's not in the guidelines either): a caption that looks balanced and gap-free on your device might look quite different to other readers using different settings for the image base length, not to mentions today's responsive design of web pages, which shrinks and reflows content all the time. The main purpose of upright=, instead, is to rebalance the appearance of pictures that are not square or near-square (quote: "Landscape" images (short and wide) often call for upright of 1 or greater; "portrait" images (tall and narrow) may look best with upright of 1 or less.").
As for the article, I think the captions you edited read better now. Agree that the one below the Newsweek cover is far too long, and possibly not entirely in topic, if half of it refers to the Korean Air shoot-down. --Deeday-UK (talk) 21:23, 13 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My main concern is with the captions, so if you feel the need to put the image sizes back to how they were, then that's fine by me. I do think the missile launch picture needed to be wider though. Just out of interest I'm going to ping Mandruss because he might have some insight to add about uprights. Rodney Baggins (talk) 06:10, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Mandruss: Please can you take a look at this conversation – just wondering if you have anything to add. Is picture scaling a futile exercise? Do you know what the base value for a normal user (non-editor) would be? I've noticed that whatever zoom value I use, the images and text shrink or expand by the same amount (obviously) so that captions stay "routed" to their images according to their original setting. Rodney Baggins (talk) 06:10, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Rodney Baggins: I don't understand all of this thread, but I'll respond as best I can and perhaps some further clarification will be in order.
Do you know what the base value for a normal user (non-editor) would be? For all unregistered readers, the base value is 220px. The user preference is 220px upon registration and can be changed to any of seven other values ranging from 120px to 400px. The image width is then determined by multiplying the base value by the |upright= value, and the aspect ratio is always kept intact (same as the original image). Thus, a registered reader can enlarge or shrink all thumbnails with a simple change to their user pref, to whatever extent px values have been converted to |upright= values site-wide. We have a long way to go with that conversion.
With no exception that I've found to date, an ordinary thumbnail should never use px, because px defeats the user preference completely. So the question is what |upright= value to specify, and |upright=1 should probably be allowed to default. I'm not clear why you would ask the question, but I certainly don't think scaling is a futile exercise. I think there are good reasons not to use the default size for everything, and it makes sense not to vary the size wildly within an article, but beyond that editor opinions differ widely. Since editor opinions differ widely, there is little site-wide consistency on thumbnail size. My personal opinions stem largely from my personal aesthetic taste, which is obviously, well, personal. My view on captions is that they should be kept concise, limited to about 25 words; anything else should probably find a place in the body text or be omitted. And this is especially important for narrow images, as it looks ridiculous when you have ~15 lines of ~3 words each.
Unless you need clarification on how this stuff works, I'm just another editor whose opinions don't count for any more than yours. ―Mandruss  07:16, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rodney Baggins, to clarify further what I said: scaling images in general is not a futile exercise; scaling an image to make the caption look better is. You said earlier "In some cases, the word wrapping leaves unsightly gaps at the end of the lines of text in the caption so I like to close it up a bit, or sometimes captions simply just run over too many lines. So I increase the width of the image to spread the caption over fewer lines". That is what is mostly futile; once you've adjusted the image size so that the caption looks pretty on your device, another user with different settings will see an image of a different size, while the caption will stay the same, and will be reflowed around the resized image, so gaps will reappear, or more lines will wrap around, and so on.
As Mandruss said, in general there are good reasons to scale an image with |upright=, but making the caption look pretty is not one of them. --Deeday-UK (talk) 09:13, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, fair enough. Thanks for the heads up. As I said before, feel free to revert my resizing! But I'm glad you agree the captions read a bit better. Rodney Baggins (talk) 09:20, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would be impractical to consider all 8 possible base values in our layout decisions. We would have to make a layout change and then change our user pref 7 times, checking the effect after each user pref change. We would probably find that something looks best one way for some of the base values but looks best a different way for the others. For example the concise caption thing becomes less important with larger thumbnails, as the text size is not affected by the user pref. Since 220px will be the most common base value by far for the foreseeable future, I leave my user pref at 220px, try to make things look reasonably good for me, and assume that they will look good enough at the other 7 base values. But I certainly would not spend any time worrying about the amount of space at the end of the lines in a caption. ―Mandruss  09:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reagan and H.W. Bush agreed to compensate victims.[edit]

According to two New York Times articles, one dated 1988 and one dated 1989, and a LA Times article, dated 1989, the US governments under Reagan and H.W. Bush Administrations did agree to compensating the victims prior to 1996. President Ronald Reagan agreed to compensate the Iranian victims way back in 1988 in order to, as then White House Press Secretary Max Fitzwater put it, keep with "the humanitarian traditions of our nation" (NYT 1988). In 1989 State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the George H.W. Bush Administration decided to expedite payments to the families of the non-Iranians instead of waiting for the resolution of a Washington-Tehran dispute, which has stymied a U.S. compensation offer for the 250 Iranian victims. He said "In general, the United States has offered to pay $250,000 per full-time wage-earning victim and $100,000 for each of all the other victims" (LATimes 1989). However the US government also said it would not pay Iranian families until the Iranian Government named an "appropriate intermediary" to distribute the money (NYT 1989). The LA Times reported that the lack of diplomatic relations and Iran's refusal to divulge information on the families of the victims caused delays (LATimes 1989).


I think this information is important, cause as it currently stands it sounds like the US government opted not to compensate victims till it was brought to the international court 10 years later. Neglecting to mention this story I think paints the then US governments in an unnecessarily negative light.

I also think it might be useful to young scholars and the historically curious if the compensation process be given its own subsection under aftermath, to aid in quick and easy research. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2607:FCC8:A306:1100:B8A3:3B9A:2A18:656E (talk) 04:00, 29 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Media Psychology[edit]

@AzureCitizen: Newsweek was specifically mentioned under two aspects, but your summary is missing what was pointed under Identification. Took a look at the research of Entman (p. 14) that the source is talking about:

Graphics helped create a differential distribution of moral empathy. Thus, for example, two weeks in a row the magazines featured detailed drawings of the flight path, chase, and destruction of the KAL plane. They also engaged in a kind of verbal litany, describing and redescribing the shootdown throughout the coverage. Figure 3 shows the graphics from the second weeks issues taking up a full page of Time and about three-fourths of a page in Newsweek. As Figure 4 shows, such details were barely visible in the Iran Air coverage, and only for the first week. There were 239 square inches of graphics showing an exploding KAL plane in the two magazines (including the material in Figures 1 and 3). Johnson (27, p. 36) asserts that the plane probably did not explode or burn when first hit by the missile; none of the recovered wreckage showed fire damage, and at 32,000 feet the air was too thin, he argues, to allow combustion. Also, radar showed that the plane was still in one piece as it fell to the ground. On the other hand, the Iran Air plane was at a relatively low altitude where it could explode and burn. Yet no graphics showed the impact of the missile on the Iran Air plane. There were 18 square inches depicting the Iran Air plane in any guise, most of these filled by a photo of the nose and other wreckage of the jet. All the drawings of the Iranian plane were about one inch square or less. The Newsweek story depicted the actual impact of the American missile on the Iranian plane as a jagged starlike figure. As Figure 4 shows, the illustration implied an explosion, but the passengers’ suffering was reduced in salience, since the picture did not even depict an airplane. Time had no picture of the Iran Air plane, only small lines ending in dots, tracing the intersection of the plane route and the ship-to-air missile-no representation of an explosion, let alone a passenger plane.

The striking difference between a full-page drawing of an exploding KAL plane and a tiny dot representing the Iranian plane offers a powerful demonstration

of how thoroughly the frame suffused the visual dimension and promoted moral evaluation in one case but not the other. This finding also supports the notion that the essence of framing is sizing-making individual idea elements more or less salient, in this case literally by making the KAL but not Iran Air victims’ fate loom visually large in the graphics.

Pahlevun (talk) 22:51, 31 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, Pahlevun. Correct me if I'm wrong, but what was pointed under Identification was with regard to what was inside the magazine (the articles inside of it, the disparate types of coverage about graphics with exploding airplanes or lack thereof), and was not an analysis of the external magazine covers. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 22:59, 31 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Figures 3 and 4 of the article are the internal pages, but the point applies to the cover as well. This certain book can be judged by its cover :) Pahlevun (talk) 23:29, 31 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The overall thrust of Entman's research is certainly legitimate for presenting in context within the section's text, and the content there seems to do a good job of covering that. For the two pictures of the Newsweek covers, I think the directly applicable comments about the covers in Giles' book seem to provide the best reliably sourced content for the image caption. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 13:42, 1 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MIT presentation[edit]

I meant to do this tweak ages ago... I spoke to Bill Litant, Director of Comms at the A&A dept. at MIT and he told me that the slide presentation was not "published in M.I.T.'s Spring 2004 'Aeronautics & Astronautics" as they don't have a publication of that name. It was presented by the graduate students (named on the first slide) on the Aeronautics & Astronautics course when it was run in Spring 2004. So it was a temporary presentation that was given as part of the coursework that year. It has been marked as a potentially unreliable source but I'll leave that to others to decide. I personally quite like it and doubt that MIT would publish it if they had doubts about its accuracy/authenticity, although I agree that some of the material is subjective. But surely any publication, no matter how reliable, is likely to include subjective material when the authors are inclined to make their own deductions about the facts they are presenting? Rodney Baggins (talk) 13:38, 21 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo of aircraft[edit]

I believe I found a pic of the actual aircraft if anyone would like to update this page with it. Not my photo so can't upload here apparently. Idk how to do otherwise (e.g. in Wiki commons). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimmy0923 (talkcontribs) 20:23, 13 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Editing error[edit]

In section "Critique of U.S. media coverage", the paragraph:

"In July 2014, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine, some commentators noted the discrepancy of U.S. official position and media coverage of the two similar incidents.[46][57][58]"

needs to go after the paragraph "In a comparative study of the two tragedies ..." as the later is a continuation of the discussion of those two events, not the 2014 one. (talk) 01:38, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested edit implemented here. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 01:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 15 January 2020[edit]

Insert info about tracking numbers bug into lead: From: While the F-14s had been supplied to Iran in an air-to-air configuration,[8][9] the Vincennes crew had been briefed that the Iranian F-14s were equipped with air-to-ground ordnance.[10] Vincennes had made ten ...

To: While the F-14s had been supplied to Iran in an air-to-air configuration,[8][9] the Vincennes crew had been briefed that the Iranian F-14s were equipped with air-to-ground ordnance[10]; a design flaw in the Aegis radar software contributed to the mis-identification as an F-14 at the instant of attack.[1] Vincennes had made ten ... (talk) 02:08, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done I'm not convinced this detail warrants mention in the lead section. Please establish consensus first. VQuakr (talk) 04:38, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Not done I don't think this should be added, seeing as this is only one of the many issues that factored in the shootdown. Corn Kernel (talk) 17:39, 15 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Softening of initial US denial[edit]

We went from: The Pentagon initially denied the Iranian claim that the U.S. has shot down the airliner, and declared that information from the fleet indicated it had shot down an attacking Iranian F14, but within hours confirmed it shot down the Airbus.

To: Pentagon officials initially said Vincennes had shot down an Iranian F-14, but issued a retraction within hours and confirmed Iranian reports that the target was instead a civilian Airbus.

If you look at the source it literally says the the US denied the claim from Iran they shot down the airplane. This page doesn't say, "Iran initially said", they call it denial. I think this page should follow the source we use and do so too. Corn Kernel (talk) 15:52, 27 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, it was never softened, the opposite actually. In early January and the many years before, it never even existed in the article:[2]. It's only here because you've added it in several, times. Stickee (talk) 06:18, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't say I didn't add it, but after I added it, it was softened. Literally everything on wikipedia was added at some point, my point is that this is what the article says (i.e. denied Iranian claim), and that was softened. I am using a source you added for this. The point is not if it existed before or not, the point is that now it does, there is a source that says this and it is being softened.Corn Kernel (talk) 09:07, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a subtle way in which the two incidents differ. With the shoot down of Flight 655, U.S. national authorities reversed themselves within hours when the initial reports from Vincennes personnel that they had shot down an Iranian F-14 changed to reports the U.S. had shot down an airliner; there were no denials in which the U.S. authorities knew they had shot down an airliner but denied it anyway. With the shoot down of Flight 752 in the Iranian Capital, the Iranians continued to deny it for three days when they knew within hours that the IRGC had carried out a shoot down with a Tor-M1. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 15:03, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They are not the same. But if a source says denial of a specific claim why does that not get included? We should follow the source and not editorialize. If there a good reason for it, sure. But right now the source we use says the US denied a specific claim, and it has been edited to soften that. It already did include that within hours they confirmed it was the airbus. Secondly in the source "Evans, David" it's indicated that least a US nearby frigate commander knew within minutes that the Airbus was shot down. So I don't think the claim "there were no denials in which US authorities know they had shot down an airliner" will stand without an independent source, it seems to me that there must have at least some confusion (so maybe no denials where they were confident in the facts). Corn Kernel (talk) 16:02, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gotta agree with Azure here. They're different and sources indicate that. The part about Evans is just straying into original research. Stickee (talk) 10:55, 29 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't say we should add that, but "there were no denials in which the U.S. authorities knew they had shot down an airliner but denied it anyway" also seems to stray into original research. Get back to the topic please. Why don't we follow what the source says? Corn Kernel (talk) 13:30, 29 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia is a tertiary source - we summarise multiple secondary sources. It seems a fairly accurate summary of what the sources say in context of the article. Taking a step back, I'm sceptical this sentence event warrants being in this article in the first place, as sources rarely mention it an it fails WP:DUE. Stickee (talk) 11:35, 30 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Potential Factors" poorly written[edit]

There are A LOT of points, many of which lack even a single citation, and several of which are very vague and questionably worded. To draw just one example:

"The radar, for all its sophistication, cannot detect the type or size of the aircraft."

Why include [for all its sophistication], this sounds like really unnecessary congratulating of the US equipment? Likewise that seems like a pretty major factor, why don't we have a citation there or the type of Radar being used?

Ditto for the point on the aircraft ascending instead of descending, why phrase it [people they could trust]? It sounds highly apologetic of the actions of the crew and clearly in this instance they couldn't trust people over their instruments?

While this section of the article is vital, as explaining how the event came to pass is key, the phrasing comes across on many points as less objective and more a specific effort to try to reframe the incident much like US media at the time had done. 2A02:C7F:2246:5600:3CB1:94CA:5673:6868 (talk) 09:22, 4 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for speedy deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for speedy deletion:

You can see the reason for deletion at the file description page linked above. —Community Tech bot (talk) 14:53, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

British ambassador to Amman Bridget Brind was shot dead[edit]

What is this sentence doing at the end of the 'Nationalities of the victims' section? Zommes (talk) 17:23, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]