Tom Shoemaker in an e-mail to other interested researchers.

Here is a summary of what I saw and heard:

         Bill Donaldson seemed to serve two roles: master of ceremonies and

         Introductions were made at the beginning. Fred Mann was mentioned. Tom
 Stalcup, Graeme Sephton and David Neal of FIRO were there. Of course,
 Reed Irvine was up front. Admirals Mark Hill and Thomas Moorer were
 there. James Sanders was there. Eyewitnesses Ed Wagner and Bill
 Gallagher were also introduced.  Capt. Mundo was introduced. Kelly O'Meara
 was introduced at some point.

         Tom Stalcup led off, and made a very good presentation. He started by
 showing that the CIA/NTSB "headless climb" theory is not supported by
 the radar data in any way, and is, in fact, refuted by the radar data.
 Then he described his new radar data and his analysis of it.  I think it
 was very clear what he was saying. He had both transparency plots of his
 data and an animation to show the data over a span of time (I think it
 runs from about 15 minutes before the disaster to 15 minutes after the
 disaster) I think any FIRO member who saw the presentation would agree
 that Tom did a great job in sharing his information. Graeme spoke for a
 brief time and added some information about the radar data and how it
 was acquired.

         Bill Donaldson spoke next. He mentioned some of the topics we already
 have heard about, like the Cigarette boat story and the FBI Operations
 Manual found in one of the trawlers that was being used to look for
 Stinger parts. He spoke in some detail about the loss of the skin from
 the upper surfaces of the left wing of TWA Flight 800 and what that
 might mean, and also about the condition of the wrecked common portion
 of metal between the CWT and the nearest fuel tank on the left wing. He
 stated it means the wing tank exploded before the CWT.  He also went over
 the topic of the flammability of the fuel aboard TWA Flight 800.

         The things that interested me most about Bill's presentation was his
 description of the comments made by a pathologist named Dr. Shanahan. He
 said that one would assume that if the CWT exploded with the force
 claimed by officials, the condition of the bodies of passengers sitting
 atop the CWT would show evidence of burns, but they do not. Also, in
 refuting the "headless climb" scenario himself, Bill told an anecdote
 about the commander of the NOAA ship Rude, which was on the crash scene
 soon after the disaster. He said the radar information from TWA Flight
 800's known position and direction and speed were entered into a
 computer on the Rude, and extrapolated for a simple impact point. When
 the Rude went to that point, wreckage was immediately found: the point
 of the story being that the wreckage fell ballisticly rather than
 wound up in a different place because it climbed or soared before it

         Bill also said he has knowledge that the Capt. of the aircraft carrier
 John F. Kennedy told his crew that he had learned TWA Flight 800 had
 been hit by shoulder-fired missiles, and that they might be going into

         He also said he has knowledge that Pres. Clinton personally ordered a
 ship to the crash site at maximum speed in order to arrive and keep the
 divers from the N.Y. Police Department from getting there first.

         Eyewitness Ed Wagner told of being in a boat just inside the western
 jetty at Moriches Inlet, and seeing a white-silver flare rise into the
 sky. He seemed very confident he had seen the flare go up and not down.

         Eyewitness Bill Gallagher was aboard his trawler when the disaster took
 place.  He thinks he was 10-13 miles from the disaster scene. He also
 thought he saw a flare rising into the sky. Near the end of the flare's
 climb, the flare made a course change to a more vertical angle, and
 there was an white explosion. Then he saw two pieces of what was
 probably the aircraft separate and fall in different arcs (He said the
 two arcs looked "like the McDonald's sign"). From this, he expected
 parts that fell to be located in a certain arrangement. Later,
 descriptions of the actual debris field confirmed his inferences about
 how major parts of the wreckage which he thought he saw falling actually
 did fall.

         In the Q/A period, the point was made that neither witness Wagner nor
 Gallagher, both in boats, rushed to the disaster scene after they saw
 what they saw. (the point being that the reason they didn't rush to the
 scene may be the same for the "mystery boats" in the radar data). 

         Ed's explanation was that he didn't have a radio on his boat. He
 thought maybe there was some kind of a fishing tournament starting when
 he saw many boats leaving Moriches Inlet and heading out to sea.

          Bill's comment was that even if you saw what he saw, you would be
 thinking,  "What was THAT?" He said he did have a radio on his boat, and
 immediately after the fireball he heard people on the radio yelling
 about flares, etc. but it wasn't until a bulletin came on his on-board
 television 15 -20 minutes later that he understood what had happened.  He
 made the good point that more radar data should be analyzed to see what
 the "mystery boats" did more than 15-20 minutes after the disaster. 

         I thought the comments by Adms. Hill and Moorer were great. I think
 both were adamant that there is no way the Navy, in a planned and
 monitored exercise, could shoot down a civilian aircraft. Adm. Hill
 tried to make this additional point several times: but if there were
 special forces, CIA, etc. involved in covert training activities or
 missions, all bets are off: secrecy could be clapped down and
 maintained. Both seemed to strongly believe a missile hit TWA Flight
 800. Both seemed to say if the Navy was involved in the disaster, it was
 unlikely that any low-ranking seaman would come forward as a
 "whistle-blower" Their message was that bad things happen to military

         It was impossible to tell how many people were in attendance.  There were
 both friendly and hostile questions from the audience. A journalist
 named McKenna wanted to prove warning area W-105 wasn't activated until
 9 PM. James Sanders argued it was activated at 8 PM.

         Kelly O'Meara's article for "Insigh"t magazine on the new radar data
 Tom spoke about is already on the web at :

          I liked Tom's challenge to the press: if the press gets more of the
 radar data (like they should), he will analyze it and plot it for them. 

         The entire press conference lasted approximately 2 hours, 50 minutes. I
 do not intend this summary above to convey all the points made at the
 press conference. But for me, these were the main points. Apologies in
 advance if I misunderstood something at the conference and
 misrepresented it here...such errors are unintended.