TWA Flight 800 Disaster:

expose cover-up line

The Downing of TWA Flight 800

by James Sanders


"As the evening of July 17, 1996 began, Eastenders on Long Island's south fork had no idea that only a few miles away a joint naval task force was assembling for a critical test of a top secret weapons system. In towns like Westhampton, Mastic Beach, and along the Shinnecock Bay Inlet, as midweek parties began, as recreational boaters set out into the warm night, they could not have foreseen the light show that would soon light up the skies. At 2000 hours, July 17, 1996, a world away from the town of Southampton's resort beaches, military zone W-105, thousands of square miles of ocean located south and southeast of Long Island, was activated by the United States Navy. Within minutes, from different locations around the sector, military activity increased as the various units participating in the operation deployed their aircraft and surface vessels. . . . . "

The Downing of
TWA Flight 800


by James Sanders

expose cover-up line

Re: The unexplained loss of TWA Flight 800

Cmdr. William S. Donaldson, III - USN, Ret.

Aviation Mishap Analyst

P.O. Box 90, Clements, Maryland 20624


April 5, 1999

Mr. Philip M. Condit

The Boeing Company

P.O. Box 3707, Mail Code 10-10

Seattle, WA 98124-2207


Mr. Gerald L. Gitner

Trans World Airlines

One City Center

515 North Sixth St.

St. Louis, MO 63101


Re: The unexplained loss of TWA Flight 800


Over the last four months our investigation into the loss of TWA

Flight 800 has produced information far surpassing that contained

in our July 20, 1998 Interim Report to Congress. We can now

prove, before a jury or other independent fact-finding body, that

the aircraft was shot down. We can also explain why the

Administration covered it up and expose some of the methods they

employed to do so.


Your corporations are being scapegoated and defrauded by

Administration officials because, had the truth about this incident

been reported before November of 1996, it could have derailed

the reelection of Clinton/Gore. Exposed now, it could send guilty

parties to jail for Misprision of Felony Homicide.

We can provide your attorney's with witnesses, documents, or

reference material that will support the following text:

White House knowledge of a threat prior to the loss of TWA

Flight 800.


1. The Administration knew that in 1996, surrogates from rogue

states had access to MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense

Systems) or shoulder-fired missiles in mid-eastern weapons

bazaars. $5,000 would acquire the least capable model, the

Russian SA-7. $50,000 would buy the most capable, the Chinese

Vanguard, a deadly new missile upgraded from US Stinger

technology transferred to the Chinese in the early 90's. Superior to

the Stinger, this missile has a much longer range. The

Administration also knew Iran had a limited number of US Stinger

missiles in inventory.


2. The Administration was aware that, worldwide, MANPADS

missiles had already claimed 26 civil transport aircraft and was

only a matter of time before a U.S. Flag carrier would be targeted

and hit. They knew the Administration had dodged a bullet in

1994 when Maryland State Police found a fully armed French

Mistral MANPADS missile ready to fire on its tripod directly

under a busy northeastern air route.


3. In response to sanctions unilaterally levied against Iran by Mr.

Clinton in 1995, Iranian surrogate's car bombed US troops in

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and later smuggled MANPADS missiles into

the US from across the Canadian border. Iranian officials warned

the Administration that they considered enactment of the

Iran/Libya Sanctions Act tantamount to an act of war!


4. When Mr. Clinton signed the Iran, Libya Sanctions Act of

1996, a decision was made by the Iranian Supreme Council to

approve attacks on major American targets. Terrorist surrogate

groups from nine countries were summoned to Tehran to meet

with Iranian officials in June of 1996. Later that month, a huge

truck bomb was deployed against the US Air Force barracks

complex at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Three weeks later,

TWA Flight 800 was shot down only hours after an explicit

warning of an attack was received in London and Washington that

taunted the President.


5. The White House, the CIA and the FBI were aware of the

threat and they knew preventing that attack was their primary



6. We can show the Administration anticipated incorrectly that, if

the missiles were used, they would be targeted against Olympic air

traffic landing or taking off in the Atlanta area.


7. We can provide testimony that immediately after Flight 800 was

shot down, Mr. Clinton called an FBI command post supporting

the Olympics and informed them Flight 800 was downed with

shoulder-fired missiles.


8. The White House, the CIA and the FBI political leadership have

waged an unrelenting disinformation campaign from the onset.

This has ranged from the White House spokesman stating,

"Anyone in government that says this was a missile only has half a

brain", and to the CIA cartoon that libeled hundreds of



Witnesses or "Untouchables"?


1. The day after Flight 800 was shot down, the Justice

Department, helped by 1,000 FBI agents, began the process of

converting hundreds of witnesses into the first American

"untouchable cast". The political leadership of the NTSB aborted

its mission in one surrender of its responsibilities after another.

When the Justice Department illegally ordered the NTSB crash

investigators to have no contact with witnesses or their statements,

and the NTSB complied, the investigation was over, the cover-up

and Misprision of Felony Homicide had begun.


2. At the NTSB Public Hearing in December of 1997, the word

"witnesses" was not even mentioned. Before and since, they have

been ridiculed, slandered and liabled in official videotapes and

statements made by government spokesmen.


3. On March 15, 1999 the derailment of the Spirit of New Orleans

after she hit a steel truck at a railroad crossing in Bourbonnaise IL,

prompted a media wide call for witnesses by NTSB officials. It

seems a witness was needed to prove the truck had driven around

the safety gate. Apparently, investigations are much simpler and

witnesses more creditable for the NTSB when there is no White

House interest.


4. We have access to 107 witnesses on 4 aircraft, 19 boats, and 31

locations ashore. They were located in a 360 circle around the

missile engagement. Their live testimony alone will prove the

aircraft was shot down. This is why the Justice Department has

kept air crash investigators away from witnesses for 2 1/2 years

and also one reason they are conducting a malicious show-trial

prosecution of author and outside investigator James Sanders and

his wife. It's hard to interview witnesses from a Federal prison.

The FBI failed to identify and interview 17 of these people.

Among these 17 are witnesses on a boat who may have seen the

escaping shooter.


Justice Department suppression of Missile Evidence


1. It appears, aggressive FBI missile-team field agents eventually

solved the problem as to the cause of the crash, but had no support

in the FBI leadership. In fact, the FBI leadership seems to have

deliberately withheld vital information from their own agents.


2. George Gabrial, the senior FBI Agent on Long Island and

personal friend of Mr. Kalstrom, was a close witness on his boat.

We can provide witnesses who overheard him say he believed

what he observed was a missile. FBI missile-team members did not

know he was a witness until we informed them.


3. The FBI has videotape that was shown to military experts of a

missile shot from off the coast of Long Island that failed to engage

a target. This first attempt was nearly coincidental to the Khobar

Towers attack 3 weeks before Flight 800ís loss.


4. By late September, 1996, FBI missile-team members had

established informal liaison with military missile guidance experts.

By that time the FBI knew witnesses at sea on all sides were

pointing to a missile launch a few miles southeast of Flight 800's

explosion point. What they observed fit the profile of a

MANPADS missile engagement.


5. In December 1996, FBI missile team members told military

experts that two separate commercial fishermen dredged up and

threw back a MANPADS first stage, the missile ejector-motor can.

The ejector motor, about the size of a Coke can, fires in the tube,

ejecting the missile, then drops in the water when the missile 2nd

stage booster ignites.


6. The fishing vessel Alpha Omega recovered one of these motor

cans in early October, 1996, while trawling for scallops about 2

nautical miles from Flight 800's explosion point. The crewman, not

realizing the importance of his find, noted the two distinctive

ignition wires attached to the can before he threw it overboard.


7. Despite overwhelming forensic evidence of a weapon impact in

the number 2 main tank of the left wing and witness testimony of a

missile attack, the Administration would not fund military missile

experts or allow the FBI to trawl for missile parts until after the

November 1996 elections.


8. The Alpha Omega was one of five trawlers contracted by the

Navy Supervisor of Salvage for trawler operations. When FBI

agents finally came aboard in November 1996 to begin trawling

and brought pictures of three objects they were looking for, it was

that point the crewman told them they were too late, he had

already found and discarded an ejector can!


9. Responding to the previous findings, Special Agents Bongardt

and Otto took a live ejector motor can from a Stinger missile

aboard all the trawlers under contract, showing it to captain and



10. Interrogated for hours, the Alpha Omega crewman insisted the

can he found had the same features, ignition wires, etc. but was

somehow different.


11. That interrogation should have prompted the FBI leadership to

suspect they may have been dealing with the longer-range Chinese

Vanguard or Russian SA16/18 missiles.


12. It is clear from the Supervisor of Salvage's operational trawling

maps depicting "missile firing zones" and the FBI Trawling

Operations Manual in our possession, that the Justice Department's

intent was to find and hide from "other Interested Parties", missile

ejector cans, missile battery cooling units and the last Flight 800

Scavenge Pump the NTSB was trying to blame as a source of a



13. The $5 million trawling operation was funded by NTSB,

contracted to civilian scallop boats through the Navy Supervisor of

Salvage from 4 November 1996 until it was suddenly terminated

on 30 April 1997, yet the trawlers were manned 24 hours a day by

teams of FBI agents. Up until 30 April 1997 the scallop boat

captains had been told the operation would continue indefinitely

for months or even years. FBI agents got the word via cell phone

to shut down the operations. On two of the boats, when the

captains refused to stop until the Navy contractor on board told

them to, the agents threatened force to make the captains shut

down. The first agent backed down when the captain told him he

would go anywhere at gunpoint, but the agent could expect to be

charged with piracy on the high seas when they got ashore. The

second agent backed down when the captain informed him that he

was armed also and he was the captain and they weren't going



14. The FBI's trawling plan was flawed in the following ways.


a. The missile firing zones depicted on the charts were 1.75 NM

and 2.7 NM radius circles. These distances are accurate for two

types of MANPADS but the Chinese Vanguard exceeds those



b. They used the last transponder response from the aircraft as the

aircraft explosion point. The aircraft was travelling east over 2,900

feet between each transponder response. A two-second error

would move the trawling off by 1/4 mile.


c. They failed to notice, until December 1996, a recorded surface

radar contact only 2.9 NM from Flight 800 when it exploded!


d. They failed to identify that boat!


e. They failed to adjust the trawling lines to cover that boat's

surface track while it was in range of TWA Flight 800.


15. The FBI told military experts they had a witness who perfectly

described a MANPADS engagement terminating in an impact on

Flight 800ís left wing root. It includes boost; sustainer-motor burn

and total missile fly-out time typical of the US Stinger and its



16. Military thermal imaging of B747-100ís provided to the FBI

by China Lake Naval Air Weapons Facility, indicate a MANPADS

missile fired from a low forward quarter would guide toward the

three air pack exhaust ports, directly under the center wing tank

and not, as publicly stated for the engine nacelles. See attached

Thermal Imaging.


17. Military computer modeling of the TWA 800 engagement,

using Stinger data, shows the missileís velocity would degrade to

400 meters per second as it climbed through 13,700 ft. This would

cause the circular error probability (CEP) to expand to 20 ft. or

more, allowing an impact almost anywhere on the aircraft.


18. Stinger guidance technology provides a last instant steer-

forward command to avoid a miss by flying through an engine

exhaust plume. Such a command would explain a missile, fired

from in front, steering for the air pack exhausts under the center

wing, impacting forward on the left wing root leading edge.


19. The Stinger, for example, has a two-pound warhead with three

fusing options, contact, penetration and time-out.


20. Using stinger missile fly-out data provided to the FBI by

military experts, the combined velocity of missile body and aircraft

at impact would be 1950 ft/sec.


21. If the cockpit voice recorder hasn't been tampered with, an

audio laboratory should be able to discern this velocity through its

analysis of recorded frequencies. This may be why the NTSB has

refused to allow the Cockpit Voice Recorder group to convene

and study the data generated from the Bruntingthorpe tests done in



22. E = Ĺ MV2 would predict kinetic energy available at impact

of over 1.2 million foot pounds.


23. The kinetic energy from a missile body entering the number

two main, ĺ full of fuel, at mach 1.8 would cause the tank to burst

from hydraulic overpressurization.


24. Fused for penetration, the two-pound high explosive warhead,

bursting in the fuel could impart an additional 200-PSI spike of

hydraulic ram overpressure.


25. Jet fuel is over 700 times the density of air. A MANPADS

missile warheadís fragments would be stopped in a few feet of

fuel, negating high velocity fragment damage to aircraft

components. Mr. Kalstromís public statements repeatedly used the

lack of high velocity fragment damage as an excuse to ignore

witnesses and shutdown the investigation.


26. The Navy China Lake missile impact "Quick Look Engineering

Study" identified 4 criteria for expected damage if a shoulder fired

missile hit a 747-100 inboard main fuel tank. All four are caused

by hydraulic over pressurization of fuel tanks. All four are in

evidence on the left wing. None of these criteria have ever been

seen in previous air crashes.


27. The China Lake reportís first two recommendations were to

detonate shoulder-fired missile warheads in fuel tanks to determine

if the fragments would be trapped and to do live firing of these

missiles at inboard main tanks to compare to left wing damage on

Flight 800.


28. Mr. Kalstrom ignored all seven recommendations; cherry

picked statements out of the China Lake report and used them out

of context in the media to argue the aircraft was not shot down.


29. When Mr. Kalstrom was faced with having to take action on

the China Lake report he chose to shut down the investigation.


30. At the time the FBI investigation was prematurely shut down

in November of 1997, the FBI had failed to identify a fast moving

boat captured on radar only 2.9 nautical miles from Flight 800

when it exploded. Mr. Schirilo, who replaced Mr. Kalstrom,

admitted that fact in a letter to Congressman Traficant.


31. After his retirement, Mr. Kalstrom was taped stating the boat

captured on radar was really a helicopter. Considering the radar

target was non-transponder and was tracked on the surface at

speed below 36 knots for 35 minutes prior to disappearing over the

horizon, even FBI agents have acknowledged Mr. Kalstromís

excuse is nonsense.


32. Witnesses afloat and ashore observed a six second missile burn

(Stinger rocket burn is 6 Ĺ seconds) coming from the near vicinity

of the unidentified boat.


33. Senior Justice Department officials need to be compelled to

answer under oath why testing essential to determine if Flight 800

was brought down by a shoulder fired missile was not funded and

why they ignored the forensic evidence, military experts, witnesses

and their own FBI field agents.


The search for the Black Boxes


1. Discovery of the plight of the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit

Voice Recorder and their two Ducane pingers, after water entry,

may be the key to unlocking the cover-up. We can show a Grand

Jury how Mr. Clinton personally involved himself.


2. The NTSB is extremely sensitive to the subject of Black Boxes.

They opened the boxes without any investigators from the

Interested Parties present. They refused to allow TWA's

investigator to listen to the voice recorder more than once.


3. The Voice Recorder has a "sound like damaged tape" precisely

seven seconds prior to its end. Seven seconds prior to missile

impact would be coincidental to MANPADS booster ignition. A

visually bright event that could be seen by the First Officer.


4. Dr. Loeb has refused to release Addendum number two to the

Flight Data Recorder Analysis that was written to rebut our

interpretation of the last data line. The NTSB even refuses to let

the Voice Recorder Analysis group reconvene!


5. The Administration's explanation of the circumstances under

which the USS Grasp" divers found the Digital Flight Data

Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder is highly questionable.


6. According to divers we interviewed and the Navy Supervisor of

Salvage Report, Navy divers from the USS Grasp found the

recorders during Dive #2 and Dive #3 on the evening of 23 July

1996. The Administration maintains these same divers found them

more than 24 hours later at 2330 hours on 24 July 1996. East

coast TV news coverage ends at 23:30.


7. The most probable motive for this deception was to ensure

investigators, who are Parties to the Investigation, were not

witnesses when NTSB/FBI officials were alleged to have first

opened the boxes in Washington during the early morning hours of

25 July 1996.


8. The boxes should have been found in the aircraft tail cone

section, or within its debris. Instead, divers from the Grasp found

each box 30 feet apart on a hard sand bottom, devoid of any

attached debris and neither Ducane Pinger was operating. They

appeared just as they would if dropped overboard from a boat!


9. Somehow both Ducane Systems fixed themselves while in FBI

custody. They were found to be fault-free in laboratory test days



10. The small cylindrical Ducane Pingers are mounted on the

narrow front face of each oblong rectangular box. They are

protected from damage because they are bolted firmly to the inside

angle of a short piece of angle iron. Because of their shape, the

probability of either free falling box landing on the bottom with the

pinger stuck in the sand, would be akin to a free falling domino

landing on it's end and remaining standing in that position.


11. The only way Ducane Pingers can be silenced under water

without evidence of damage is by partly unscrewing the battery



12. The probability of both undamaged Ducane Pingers failing

simultaneously in a shallow open ocean environment, on top of a

hard sand bottom, approaches that of a spontaneous aviation

kerosene explosion in an ignition-free Boeing 747-100 fuel tank.


13. We consider the fact the NTSB has remained mute about

these alleged Ducane failures is Prima Facie evidence of either

abject incompetence on the part of the NTSB who should have

opened an inquiry into the cause, or proof of a cover-up of NTSB



14. Weeks Marine, Inc. was verbally contracted by both the Coast

Guard and FAA officials the night of the crash to position for

salvage operations. They were on site the next morning with the

best salvage equipment available in the Atlantic. It was superior to

Navy assets, but Weeks Marine was stood down by the NTSB. It

would be five more days before Navy divers would be on scene to

recover recorders, bodies, etc! Why the forced wait?


15. Holding Weeks Marine, Inc. to standby while ordering Navy

assets to respond from far away points deliberately condemned

victims trapped in bottom wreckage to five additional days of

ravage by natural elements. This grossly compounded the grief of

the families and put at risk the ability of medical examiners to

identify all remains. The White House was responsible for this



16. Circumstantial evidence indicates the Administration, knowing

the aircraft to be shot down, may have ordered a covert recovery,

laboratory examination and reinsertion of the recorders to ensure

the aircrew did not describe the attack on audio tape. Scuba divers

could have recovered the recorders on the afternoon of 18 July

and dropped them back overboard after 10 am 22 July, before the

USS Grasp and Navy divers were on scene. During that period of

time NOAA research vessel Rude and the motor vessel Pirouette

were simultaneously sent 5 miles off the main debris field on a

"wild goose chase" by the NTSB. Both ships had been mapping

that field with side scan sonar!


17. Properly done, a scuba team equipped with a Ducane locator

amplifier tube, held over the side, could position a small boat

directly over active Pingers, dive and recover the boxes in a single

effort. Active pingers can be detected by divers300 yards away.


18. We have a witness that has passed a polygraph test and has

provided a sworn affidavit that a member of the NTSB leadership

told him the recorders were found and examined by 20 July. The

Coast Guard told both TWA maintenance and Congressman

Forbes that the recorders were found on 18 July. The next day, 19

July, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was told the

aircraft was shot down by terrorists. Senators Hatch and D'Amato

made public statements to the same effect.


19. White House, NTSB and Justice Department officials need to

be compelled to explain these events and their actions under oath.

We also have other individuals who have asked to remain

anonymous who should be questioned under oath.


20. Despite a steep learning curve and the best efforts of some if

its most aggressive field agents, FBI leadership has demonstrated

itself to be functionally illiterate in the critical areas of; military

weapons and tactics, radar interpretation and air crash

investigation. The fact the White House failed to immediately

assign appropriate elements of the Department of Defense as lead

investigators in the missile inquiry is inculpatory.


21. Gentlemen, we have the "FBI Trawler Operations Manual"

and Operations Order as well as other documents left behind

aboard a contract boat by FBI agents. If found, the Justice

Department intended to hide from your companies; the last fuel

scavenge pump, a missile ejector can and the missile battery

cooling unit!


TWA Flight 800 was the 27th civil aircraft shot down worldwide

by shoulder fired missiles. The Administrationís actions have

greatly increased the danger of a recurrence, not only because of

the deception of this case but because administration policy

deliberately fails to link any terrorist act to the government of the

Sponsor State. This provides political cover for the

Administration's lack of action and sanctuary to deadly enemies.

I will point out the coincidence of the Clinton Administration's pro

Arab, anti Israeli policy shift and the arrival on our shores of a

creditable anti-aircraft threat under the control of rogue states. In

1994, the Maryland State Police found a fully armed French

MANPADS missile, the Mistral, ready to fire on its tripod, directly

under a heavily used air corridor near Westminster Maryland.

Our research also found U.S. Stinger technology transferred to

China in the early 90ís enabling them to produce the Vanguard, a

quality shoulder fired Chinese missile. It was deployed first in

1996. If past history is an indicator, the China / Iran weapons

transfer link bodes ill for future air commerce.


In a worse case scenario, absent a respected American

Commander-in-Chief, Iranís Supreme Council, or other rogue

state, could successfully shutdown or disrupt major traffic hubs

worldwide by activating surrogate cells armed with Vanguard. If

they can shoot down one, why not a half dozen on a single day?

Gentlemen, the time to act is now, regardless of any arrangements

you may or may not have had to accept. Once the American

people understand the truth, your corporations will be indemnified

against any further political extortion from this administration.

We would ask, in the interest of long term air safety, that you take

an aggressive and public pro-active stance. Challenge the

Administration; educate the media and the electorate. Severance

from a politicized and fraudulent Federal investigation is no

penalty and maintenance of the status quo is certainly no prize.



William S. Donaldson

expose cover-up line

Ian Goddard's Study of the TWA 800 Disaster

TWA Flight 800 - More Information That You Were Never Told

"Crash Test Dummies" - Well-Placed Critics Say The Feds Badly Botched Their Flight 800 Inquiry.

Articles Provided by Commander Donaldson - USN/RET

TWA 800 Case Files
FBI: "No Criminal Evidence Behind TWA 800 Crash" November 18, 1997

Pierre Salinger interviewed on CNN - November 9, 1996

U.S.Navy TWA Investigation Page

CNN - March 13, 1997 - Salinger: "Two Russian satellites active above the scene of the disaster produced videotapes showing a missile hitting the TWA aircraft"

CNN - Rumor vs. fact: the Internet's role in TWA crash probe

NTSB - TWA 800 Public Hearing - December 1997

THE TWA 800 CIA SIMULATION: Is it possible or believable?

Other "SUPPRESSED", "HIDDEN", "DENIED", "COVERED-UP" information!

Back to top