What caused the Itavia DC-9 to crash during a flight from Bologna to Palermo has been one of Italy's enduring mysteries. Some theorized a bomb exploded. Others contended the jet was caught in the crossfire of a military aerial dogfight, with a Libyan plane possibly the target. French, U.S. and NATO officials have denied military activity in the skies that night.Basically the Italian court has overturned an appeal leaving the official verdict as a shoot down by a missile. This leaves the theory that an air-to-air missile from a military aircraft caused the crash--more specifically either a French, US or Libyan missile, which their investigation board first determined in 1989. According to some Italians there were NATO jets in the area engaging with two Libyan MiGs; according to NATO there were not.
Whatever the case, radar tapes showed something intersecting with the jet while they found a downed Libyan MiG and dead pilot (dead for weeks) several weeks later on a nearby Italian island. They recovered parts of the aircraft and reconstructed it in a hangar but there were no visible entry points for a missile, but there was some indication of an external force based on autopsies of some of the victims.
Weird, wild stuff, since many items are similar to what happened with this aircraft 16 years later.