Of course if the disaster happened today, the world would weigh in on what witnesses saw almost immediately. There likely would be countless smartphone videos of the blast available.
So, will the NTSB have to go back to square one all these years later?
Kallstrom -- a former FBI assistant director -- said he wouldn't be opposed to the FBI joining with the NTSB to take another look at the case.
The agency told CNN it has received Hughes' petition and "will respond to the petitioners once a determination is made." The NTSB noted that petitions must be based on new evidence or "on a showing that the Board's findings are erroneous."
New evidence? The basic claim that a missile hit the plane isn't new, wrote Adcock. The radar data doesn't appear to be new either, according to journalist James Polk, one of CNN's lead producers covering the disaster.
"As far as I can tell from reading the petition, there's no new evidence," Polk said. "But their alternative interpretation of existing evidence and their assumptions alone probably will not be sufficient to persuade the NTSB to start all over again from scratch."
Whatever comes out of all this, it's unlikely to smother the debate and the conspiracy theories swirling around one of aviation history's most mysterious plane crashes.