For Your Discernment: Did Site Of Flight 800 Crash Have Mystical Connections?
By Michael H. Brown
This week they erected a memorial to the victims of TWA Flight 800, which exploded on July 17, 1996, off Long Island, killing 230 people whose names "are now etched in a striking, concave, black-granite wall" (as one newspaper put it.)
Equally striking although not the fodder for media coverage is the fact that Flight 800 fell into the water in a spot that is directly in the gaze of the Virgin Mary. She towers as an 18-foot Madonna and Child at a spot in Eastport, New York, that overlooks the crash site. The shrine at which the statue is located is called "Our Lady of the Island" and oversees, too, the posh, money-drenched Hamptons.
We wonder, of course, about the potential mystical significance. Long before the crash of Flight 800, one local man, Ned Dougherty, about whom we have written previously, experienced visions at the shrine, describing a manifestation that he calls the "Lady of Light." This occurred many years after Dougherty -- former owner of a famous nightclub in the Hamptons -- had a near-death experience during which he claims to have been shown a place he now identifies as the shrine, a place he says may one day be a place of refuge.
We can not, of course, verify every supernatural claim. But there seems something peculiar about this setting. Why would a statue of the Virgin peer directly at the crash site? Was there more significance to the event than is commonly recognized?
According to authorities, the Paris-bound Boeing 747 went down when an apparent electrical buildup in one of the plane's fuel tanks ignited fumes, sparking the catastrophic explosion. Others claim it fell victim to an errant Navy exercise, or to a shoulder-to-air missile fired by a terrorist.
Whatever happened, it is part of an interesting series of events playing out on this island just outside of the nation's largest city.
In recent years -- and especially since September 11, which killed a tragic number of island residents -- mystical occurrences have been cropping up on this stretch of land. We receive them on a fairly regular basis. One woman who frequently prays at the shrine is also a survivor of an extraordinary near-death experience which we wrote about in May. The story is available in our archive for your discernment. The woman is named Barbara Marie, and in Huntington is another woman who saw apparitions of the Blessed Mother and Therese the Little Flower the week before September 11.
In the case of Dougherty, who is now out of the nightclub business and active in pro-life causes, he says he was shown future flooding on Long Island -- some of which may have occurred in the way of "northeasters" that pummeled the island during the 1990s (dragging a number of the posh beachside homes out to sea), but some which may loom in the future. We recently stood with him at the shrine overlooking the Atlantic and watched as he waved his hand toward the wealthy homes lining the beach, indicating where he had been shown the flooding. This is a stretch of real estate where estates can cost in the tens of millions and where owners include the likes of director Steven Spielberg. It is also the place of high-flying actors and actresses and writers, of corporate executives and stockbrokers and investment bankers. When the storms hit in 1992, it was Fire Island -- a rich homosexual enclave -- that bore the brunt of it.
"I watched scenes of these events taking place, depicted like black and white movies," wrote Dougherty in a book called Fast Lane To Heaven, which detailed his alleged experiences. "I watched one scene from a hilltop location on the coastline of Long Island, New York, as rows of massive tidal waves descended on the coastline, burying the land under the water. I saw another scene from a street corner in New York City. A wall of water rushed down the wide street as surrounding office buildings began to collapse."
This indicated to Dougherty that it wasn't just a northeaster. He wonders about quakes occurring deep in the Atlantic. "In another scene," he asserts, "I watched as a massive wall of water hit the coastline of Miami Beach."
Although there are always controversies around such seers, and although we always take a wait-and-see approach (even if in this case we would rather not wait and see), Dougherty was right on the money in foreseeing the reach of terrorism, predicting attacks on New York and Washington before they occurred and also expressing dire concerns for the Vatican -- which we are now learning has been under severe threat, with police just recently raiding an apartment in Milan which housed a ring of document fabricators linked to Al Qaeda. ("Italian investigators say they have uncovered a plot by Al Qaeda operatives who last year planned to attack targets in Italy, including the Vatican and a church in Venice, as well as U.S. diplomatic missions in Europe," reported Milan's most respected newspaper, Corriere delle Sera.) A similar plot in 1994 sought the assassination of Pope John Paul II during a visit to the Philippines.
So Dougherty had been close to the mark there. Are some of his more dramatic prophecies true? And might they somehow involve the Eastern seaboard -- with a focus on Long Island? Was Flight 800 one in a series of events that are linked in ways that we can't yet know? And will we see an interplay of both societal and natural events?
If the latter is true, Flight 800 stood as one of the initial events in what is developing as a war -- and perhaps this is the significance. We sense something strange in the event. We certainly wonder if that and certain other recent happenings -- the Israeli plane that crashed over the Ukraine, the attack on a Greyhound bus driver in the South, the attempted hijacking of a medical plane in New Mexico -- were terrorist activity and not (as the government chose to believe) isolated events.
But that's nearly beside the point. The important matter is that these are all part of a larger picture -- the picture of a world that through its lust for money and power and status (nowhere is more prestigious as parts of Long Island's south shore) has lost much of its spiritual protection.
In this way, perhaps the statue of the Blessed Mother stands on Long Island not so much to point as to beacon. Perhaps, as some claim, the shrine will be a refuge. And perhaps Dougherty did hear the Virgin's voice.
If so, let's heed her words. For according to Dougherty, she said if mankind would only come to pray and recognize and work with God's plan, "that none of these future events would have to take place."
[Ned Dougherty's book, Fast Lane to Heaven, is available in our bookstore for your discernment]
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