Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

Letter from a retired Pilot

September 1, 2000

Commander Donaldson,

Thanks for the additional 5 Flt. 800 Bumper Stickers
that arrived today, with your note.

Even though I was forced to retire from _____ by the FAA
Age 60 Rule in  '99, I'm still flying, now in corporate jets.

Here's a personal encounter that you might be interested in, 
regarding 800.:

While staying at a hotel on an Executive Jet layover last 
spring, I was referred to a Manager to discuss a minor problem 
that I had with my room.

When the Manager found out in the course of discussion that 
I was a retired TWA Captain, she told me that it was she  who 
was at the south Long Is. shore outdoor patio party,  and who 
had taken the photos of the party facing to the south, and had 
accidentally captured our 800 tragedy in the background.

When she did her "civic duty" and called the authorities to show
them the photos, she said that two carloads of FBI Agents came 
to her home, and verbally terrorized and intimidated her for appx. 2 
hours.  They then made her sign a full release, turning the photos 
and negatives over to the FBI, and promising never, ever, to try to 
recover them.

When I told her that I had contacts whom I was sure could
help her retrieve the photos under the Freedom of Information 
Act, she was STILL so terrified and visibly upset enough by what 
ever the FBI Agents had told her almost 3 years before, that she 
said that she would not want me to make any effort to help her to
get them back.  I gave her my card and home phone #, in case 
she changed her mind, but she has not contacted me.

This, plus what an FBI Agent/husband of a TWA Flt. Attendant
at an 800 Memorial at TWA's JFK Hanger 12 said, "If the truth were 
known by the public about what 'really' happened, there would be 
such an undermining of confidence in U.S. air travel, that no one 
would want to fly", has convinced me personally that there is, most 
certainly, a cover-up by our authorities of what really happened to 
TWA 800.

I knew, personally, most of the 2 full 747 crews who were on
800 - both pilots and Cabin Teams.  I do not think that they will
ever fully 'rest in peace' until the truth is known, and I cannot thank
you enough for your efforts to uncover that truth.

I hope we both live long enough to hear it, and I think we will.
It's not a matter of "if" --- it's just a matter of "when".

Happy Labor Day Weekend to you and yours, 

Name withheld,

Home - Last Updated: 
 © 2000 William S. Donaldson III.  All rights reserved