William S. Donaldson, III - USN, Ret.
39175 Cobrumís Wharf Road
Avenue, Maryland 20609


May 6, 1999

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
U. S. House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Aviation

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Committee, based on the performance of the NTSB and the actions of the Justice Department while investigating the unexplained loss of TWA Flight 800, I no longer believe the NTSB is capable of fulfilling its aviation mission. It's abuse of power used to muzzle witnesses and Interested Parties simply to promote the Administrations agenda proves that it has become so politicized that the Board itself has become an Aviation hazard.

The solution would be to recast the Aviation duties of the NTSB as a completely independent body, like the Federal Reserve, staffed with aviation professionals from every military and civilian career field, overseen by a joint committee of congress.

At a minimum, the current leadership should be replaced and the portions of Title 49 and Title 18 that have been used by the Chairman to muzzle and abuse the Interested Parties must be reformed.

Under the current law, the NTSB leadership has basically mislead the American people since July 17, 1996. They did this through unfettered access to the media, unending pursuit of nonsense junk science theories without budgetary constraint, common sense or air crash investigation protocol. They have used aerodynamically impossible CIA cartoons, fraudulent videos of hydrogen filled fuel tanks exploding on television, and fear mongering appearances by Administration officials pitching a non-existent 747 flight hazard.

All of this goes unanswered by Parties already cautious and severely constrained because of the nature of their highly regulated industries. Their bottom line depends first on government bureaucracy's good will. The severity of current sanctions invites political abuse by barring far more competent independent investigations or even public statements by the Parties until after the NTSB Final Report. Silence by the parties is woefully misinterpreted by the media and the public and easily exploited by partisan politicians.

In this incident, 15 weeks before the 1996 election, where Mr. Clinton had motive to cover-up a successful missile attack, that he had clear forewarning of as early as October 11, 1994, the abuses are unprecedented.

An author of three books and his wife, James and Liz Sanders are now Felons, tried and convicted last month in federal court for receiving worthless passenger seat fabric. Captain Stacey, a no-nonsense TWA check pilot and Flight 800 crash investigator, gave them this material for outside laboratory analysis of a chemical stain. He admitted in court that he committed this heinous crime because he had lost all faith in the integrity of the NTSB and FBI and didn't believe that the act was illegal. All three will soon be sentenced.

As a past nuclear weapons delivery pilot and fleet nuclear war planner, it is bitterly disappointing to me that the same Justice Department that gave our trillion dollar special weapons technology to China because they didn't have the nerve to wire tap a spy before the 96 election, didn't blink when a federal judge found Jim Sanders suffered unconstitutional searches and seizures. Nor did the Justice Department mind the Neanderthal tactics of Special Agent Kinsley when he violated white collar crime protocols by dragging Mrs. Sanders, shackled behind the back, through a media circus on the way to arraignment after she and Jim had turned themselves in. Liz Sanders may weigh 100 lbs. After being manhandled the first time in her life by a Justice Department goon, Mrs. Sanders lost her job as a flight attendant training supervisor, lost her house fighting these charges and now faces the possibility of a ten year prison sentence. Her crime was a two-minute phone conversation with Captain Stacey that neither party understood to be illegal. This rabid behavior to GET Stacey and Sanders at any cost and make an example of them, with the arrest the week before NTSB's Public Hearing, was tailored for maximum intimidation and is in stark contrast to the Justice Department's indifference in the case of Chinese espionage that could eventually threaten every American. If this wasn't a partisan political witch-hunt, what is?

This didn't happen without the tacit approval of Chairman Hall. In fact, Mr. Hall wanted Linda Kuntz, another exceptionally talented and respected TWA crash investigator arrested after she pointed out NTSB employees were changing passenger seat location data to conform to NTSB's nonsense theory. Linda had presence of mind to use two NYPD officers to help her photograph her evidence. TWA attorneys sent Mr. Hall a letter citing these facts. He backed off, but was still able to force Ms. Kuntz out of the investigation.

While acting as Defense Consultant for Mr. Sanders, I asked him to take close-up photographs of the few parts remaining of the center wing tank, left side body wall. The trial Judge allowed him to take photographs at Calverton during the discovery phase of trial. Six weeks ago I viewed those pictures and determined the few military experts that the Administration allowed to see the crash debris were right. The number two main tank exploded at extremely high energy into the Center Wing Tank, not the other way around. I then called Mr. Wildey of the NTSB and left a voice mail message asking where to find the microscopic fracture face edge-analysis of these side wall parts. I was stunned to get a call back in 30 minutes from an NTSB attorney informing me it hadn't been done. He was agitated that I had seen those photos as were Justice Department attorneys who threatened Sanders attorney, an hour later, with motions to deny the defense access to its own discovery materials.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the analysis wasn't done because it would prove the loss of the aircraft was caused by a high explosive initiating event in the Number 2 main tank.

I informed that attorney that if NTSB's Final Report comes out without a verifiable fracture face analysis of that side wall edge metal and without doing the warhead detonations in the number two main tank and missile shots at that tank recommended by China Lake military analysts, he could expect me to file criminal malfeasance and misprision of felony homicide complaints with the New York State authorities.

Ladies and Gentlemen, every time NTSB officials have testified on television or before you about TWA800, they have lied or shaded the truth. I will close with physical evidence of one of Mr. Hall's bigger deceptions. At the same time his letter to the editor was published in the Wall Street Journal in April 1997 titled, "It wasn't a missile", he was paying for the covert recovery of the very missile parts he denied existed.

The Scallop boat, Alpha Omega found and discarded overboard the first stage of a shoulder fired missile in October of 1996 two miles from Flight 800's explosion point. This is near the spot where Islip radar recorded a boat traveling away from the exploding aircraft at 30 knots. Through questions submitted for us by this committee, we forced the FBI to admit that they failed to identify that boat.

When I ascertained that fact I was dealing with special agent Steve Bongart. He has since been ordered not to answer questions or have further contact.

As Mr. Hall's letter was being written, Special Agents Hanson, Petry, Bowen, Lane, Francis, Pica, Mauzey and Bokal were manning the scallop dredgers, Nordic Pride, Alpha Omega, Christian Alexia and Kathy Ann, scouring the ocean bottom for missile parts.

Here is the FBI Trawler Operations Manual; replete with diagrams of missile parts and an operational order with highlighted and underlined instructions describing how to hide these parts from crew and other Interested Parties. Boeing, TWA and the Congress of the United States are "other Interested Parties".

Here is the precision-trawling map used by these men, clearly indicating the primary purpose of the operation was specifically tailored to recover missile parts. 7/8 of the area dredged didn't have crash debris, but instead fell within the assumed range of a Stinger missile from the explosion point. The existence of this map is one of the several reasons Mr. Hall wouldn't let the Navy's Supervisor of Salvage, Captain McCord take questions from the Parties at the Public Hearing in Baltimore.

In addition to hard forensic evidence, I have access to 119 eyewitnesses on 18 boats, 4 aircraft and 31 locations ashore that surrounded the missile launch site. None of these witnesses were allowed to testify at Mr. Hall's hearing and instead the NTSB played a laughable depiction of a noseless 747 climbing 1,700 feet and implied that's what the witnesses saw streaking upward. Even if this aerodynamically impossible event could occur, it would hardly appear to be streaking like a flare or rocket as described by witnesses. The sad thing is that the media bought it because it was a slick video perfect for television.

I have been an outspoken critic of this investigation ever since Mr. Hall signaled to his subordinates that any answer was OK as long as "It wasn't a missile" in his Wall Street Journal article. If the NTSB and FBI are truly searching for the "Real Killers" in this tragedy, why is it that in over two years not one person from the NTSB or FBI has ever called and asked me a single question about my findings and witness interviews? The reason is, "The dog didn't bark", because they knew the answer already.

Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to hold special hearings into the loss of TWA Flight 800 and take the actions recommended to reform the NTSB into a non-partisan air safety advocate. That concludes my oral statement, I will need the evidence back and I urge you to read the remaining documents submitted and visit our Web Site at twa800.com.

Thank You,

Cmdr. William S. Donaldson, USN Ret.


  1. Curriculum Vitae - pdf file
  2. Letter to the CEOs of Boeing and TWA - pdf file, Text file.
  3. Response from Boeing - gif file
  4. Thermal Imaging photograph of 747 - gif file
  5. Wreckage Distribution Diagram - gif file
  6. Dredging Map showing Suspected Missile Launch Zone - gif file
  7. Radar Imaging from Islip Radar - gif file
  8. FBI Trawling Operations Manual - gif file
  9. Press Release related to the Sanders Trial- pdf file, Text file.

I have not received any Federal grants or contracts within the current fiscal year or any of the two previous years.