A former naval officer says the Clinton administration has evidence to prove TWA Flight 800 was downed by a missile and is doing all it can to cover it up.
More than 100 eyewitnesses interviewed by the FBI all describe seeing a missile, says retired Navy Cmdr. William S. Donaldson III, a former military crash investigator, trained flight controller and expert investigator. Portions of the missile have been recovered, but have been secreted away, he says. An operations manual for the search for missile parts was issued by the FBI, and an official government report was unable to rule out a missile and called for further investigation — something that has not been done, according to Donaldson and other confirming sources.
For the past two years Donaldson has headed up a private investigation of the controversial crash. He is now convinced a missile brought down TWA Flight 800 causing the death of 230 people on July 17, 1996.
Donaldson claims the federal government has done everything in its power to cover up what really happened to Flight 800. The cover-up, he charges, has included prosecution of a journalist who was investigating flight debris evidence and was convicted on federal charges, as well as manipulating the official investigation to obtain the desired results rather than seek the truth.
During his two years of private investigation, Cmdr. Donaldson and a group of retired aviation specialists have interviewed over 100 witnesses who saw what they claim was a missile rise from the water and hit TWA Flight 800. Those witnesses were also interviewed by the FBI.
The witnesses were located in a full circle around the crash site on four aircraft, 19 boats, and 31 locations on shore. Many of the witnesses have expertise which would enable them to distinguish a missile from a burning aircraft.
The reports by these witnesses has been discredited by the government by claiming they did not understand that what they saw was the burning aircraft, not a missile, and by stating that after being confronted with the facts they no longer believe they saw a missile.
“Their live testimony alone will prove the aircraft was shot down,” Donaldson told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview. “This is why the Justice Department has kept air crash investigators away from witnesses for two and a half years.”
Donaldson believes he has obtained enough evidence to present to a grand jury and bring about indictments for “a cover-up of the felony murder of 230 innocent people.”
The FBI confirmed that it used as many as 1,000 agents in the process of interviewing witnesses. The methods of interviewing and detailing what those witnesses told them were lacking, according to Donaldson.
The FBI investigators should have made recordings or even videotapes of the interviews with the witnesses. They also failed to ask technical questions which would have enabled them to perform a triangulation and identify where the missiles was launched. Donaldson complained that the FBI simply wrote a few notes about each interview.
“That means the agent goes back to his office, depending how aviation wise he is, and scribbles down a 302 form, which is a summary of the interview. He keeps the notes and puts it in a folder with the 302 form. The 302 form then becomes the judgment, which has been filtered by a non-aviation smart investigator,” Donaldson explained.
The FBI did not use any special equipment to take bearing lines from each witness location. They also did not ask questions related to speed of what witnesses saw going up and hitting the airplane. Witnesses were also not asked how many seconds it took from the apparent launch to the time of contact with the airplane.
He said he blames the lack of proper questions by the FBI on “lack of skill as an investigator.” He said he did not believe the agents were purposely trying to cover anything up. In fact, he said some of the agents were genuinely excited about what they were being told. That enthusiasm soon died. They were told to investigate only the evidence which supported the government claim of a center wing tank explosion, not a missile, according to FBI agents who cooperated with Donaldson’s investigation.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration research ship Rude (pronounced “Rudy”) was able to reach the crash site of TWA Flight 800 the morning after the crash. The very high-tech vessel is equipped with side sonar.
“Finally when Capt. Debeau got the last transponder position the aircraft had actually transmitted from, and got the course and the speed, he plugged into his computers and got a ballistic solution to where the airplane went,” explained Donaldson.
He reported that Capt. Debeau was contacted by the National Transportation Safety Board and was asked to pick up surface debris. This was unusual because the ship was the best equipped of all units on the scene to look for items below the water, not recover floating items which could be more easily picked up by larger vessels which were better equipped to do that.
“There were six other Coast Guard Cutters that were bigger ships on scene and didn’t have that vital gear on board that the Rude did,” said Cmdr. Donaldson. “You start screwing around with something on the surface when you’re a sub-sea observer — it’s a waste of your mission. The NTSB gives him a surface job and that screws up his looking for the debris on the bottom. Eventually he passed it off to a cutter.”
Within just 10 hours of searching the bottom for debris, the Rude provided detailed maps to the NTSB which showed the exact location of the under water debris fields. Despite having such vital information so quickly, orders from the White House prevented any recover effort for almost a week.
Official Coast Guard logs indicate that a call was placed to Weeks Marine, Inc. with a verbal agreement for that company to begin salvage recovery immediately. That contact was made shortly after the crash. Weeks Marine had the largest salvage vessel on the East Coast just a short distance away in transit.
The large ship was equipped for just this type of operation with large cranes, 50 tethered divers, and plenty of deck space for the debris. The FAA also placed a call to Weeks Marine just after the crash. They were ready to go to work by the time the Rude had completed their maps of the location of the debris.
“What I’m telling you is, by the 19th in the morning, with divers on board they could have started extracting major sub-sea debris. Putting it on deck on the Weeks Marine barge,” explained Donaldson.
A call from the White House changed all that. Rather than begin salvage of debris and bodies just a day and a half after the crash, recovery was delayed until the 23rd when Navy equipment arrived from Norfolk, Va., Donaldson says.
While FBI and NTSB investigators were telling the press and families of crash victims that they were working as fast as possible, they were really purposely slowing down that process, according to Donaldson. He claims that evidence was damaged and lost because of the delay.
Initial media reports of witnesses seeing a missile were immediately discredited by the FBI. The press willingly accepted the FBI explanation that the witnesses saw the burning plane, not a missile. Donaldson blames the media for being so willing to accept government reports without checking on the validity of those reports. He also says the government has been operating an organized plan to discredit anyone who does not agree with its explanation of the crash.
Donaldson has requested the results of government tests on critical parts of the debris from the crash. His requests have met with significant resistance and refusal to cooperate.
“The left-side body wall is a critical piece of hardware on the aircraft,” he explained to WorldNetDaily. “It no longer exists. It’s the common wall in the tank system between the center wing tank and the number two main, which is the first tank out on the left wing. That wall was blown in to the center tank at extremely high energy.
“Now the first thing they should have done, as soon as they had enough pieces that they could identify them coming from that side of the tank is make a determination as to which way that wall failed. Did it fail going out, or did it fail going in to the center wing tank number one? To lock it down, you send it for electron microscope work.
“What that will tell you is the stress line in the metal. They know the outer layers. They know the failure numbers on it. You can determine the rate that it failed, in other words did it, was it a shock, or was it a stretching failure? All of that is left in the edge metal.”
An NTSB lawyer responded to Donaldson’s request for info and admitted the proper tests were not done and will not be done on the section of the plane in question, and said the exam was done with a jeweler’s eye piece.
“If they move on to the final report and they don’t have an edge analysis on that side body wall then you can use that thing for toilet paper. It’s not going to be worth a d—. I told him three of four more anomalies but I was wasting my time — he’s a lawyer,” said Donaldson in frustration.
He now has pictures of the evidence. He says the government explanation does not stand up to the evidence and the reports issued by their own scientists who examined that evidence.
“In forensic evidence you have this huge shock damage to the left wing that blew out hundreds of square feet of side body wall and turned them into BBs. I mean, I’m not kidding you. Little pieces always mean high energy. Big pieces, or bulge pieces, mean a much lower energy state. It’s simple. But they won’t even talk about it. That’s what’s so frustrating,” he explained.
Donaldson has obtained copies of government documents which clearly indicate that the FBI conducted an intensive search of the ocean floor to specifically locate and find pieces of a missile. He has also found a witness who found one of those vital pieces.
Calls by WorldNetDaily requesting comments from the FAA, FBI, and NTSB public affairs officers have not been returned. TWA spokesman Jim Brown said, “Therefore, there is nothing to exonerate us for because there’s nothing we’ve been accused of.”