James and Elizabeth Sanders begin trial in Federal Court April 5, 1999 on charges stemming from Mr. Sanders acceptance of a worthless swatch of stained interior fabric recovered from TWA Flight 800. The senior TWA Check Pilot in New York who was also serving as an official crash investigator representing TWA gave it to him. The motive for this transfer of potential evidence to a published investigative journalist was to get a suspicious stain checked by an outside laboratory. The TWA representative had lost all faith in the integrity of the FBI / NTSB investigation into the loss of dozens of his close associates.
The Justice Department discovered the essential facts of the transfer but waited 7 months, until just before the NTSB Public Hearing, to arrest the Sanders and parade them before the media, handcuffed behind their back, on the way to their arraignment. The Sanders have now lost all of their savings, their home and are now bankrupt in their effort to defend themselves against this malicious Federal prosecution.
Ironically, the man who ordered the arrest and insulting treatment of the Sanders', James Kalstrom, past Deputy Director of the FBI, is guilty of exactly the same act. In his case, he gave away fabric from TWA's interior cabin (a stained American flag) to an outside civilian as a souvenir in a tawdry publicity stunt to further patronize the surviving family members.
Both cases involve a small piece of worthless fabric from the aircraft. Why are the Sanders' being persecuted for something so trivial? Was the purpose to intimidate the Government's critics? If not, why all the fuss over something the Government claims is worthless? Why is the media allowing the Government to persecute this Journalist? If the Government succeeds in this prosecution, the media's 1st Amendment protections will be severely diminished.
The Persecution of Sanders & the Red
Residue Analysis - Added 4-5-99
James Sanders Motion Showing Vindictive & Selective Prosecution - 32k - 11-8-98
Affidavit of Dr. Bassett showing "Red Residue" was not 3M Glue - 8k - Added 11-11-98
Red Residue Stripped from all seats by FBI - Evidence Missing - Added 3-19-99
Article on (link no longer available)Jim Sanders in the Virginia Pilot - Added 3-21-99
Articles on the Sanders trial by Richard Hirsch. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,
Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12. - Updated 4-15-99
Mike Hull's Sanders Web Site - Added 4-5-99
Sander Trial Transcripts online - Added 5-16-1999
The Hull Thread - Sanders Trial - Added 11-5-04
Other Media Reports - see Media Coverage Archives
Evidence of a Missile
Flight 800 Database
Bomb -------- 4%
Fuel Tank --- 14%