Other pilots in the air reported seeing a bright light near the jumbo jet before it exploded.
In the days following the disaster, many industry executivesprivately concluded that TWA 800 had been shot down.
The New York Post, in its story of September 22, 1996, reported,
Law-enforcement sources said the hardest evidence gathered so far overwhelmingly suggests a surface-to-air missile...
The FBI interviewed 154 "credible" witnesses -- including scientists, schoolteachers, Army personnel and business executives -- who described seeing a missile heading through the sky just before TWA 800 exploded.
"Some of these people are extremely, extremely credible," a top federal official said.
FBI technicians mapped the various paths -- points in the sky where the witnesses said they saw the rising "flare-like" object -- and determined that the "triangulated" convergence point was virtually where the jumbo jet initially exploded.
The New York Times, on July 19th, 1996, reported,
" [ Witnesses reported ] a "streak of light" hitting the plane just before it blew up."
And perhaps most tellingly, from the Associated Press, on September 23, 1996,"...a source...said on condition of anonymity... ``There's metal bent in, metal bent out. Metal you can't tell. I see a hole going in and a hole going out..."
Taken from http://whatreallyhap...ASH/TWA/twa.php
Donaldson disputed the CWT fuel/air vapor explosion scenario, stating that "In the history of aviation, there has never been an in-flight explosion in any Boeing airliner of a Jet-A Kerosene fuel vapor/air mixture in any tank, caused by mechanical failure." Eyewitness, debris field, metallurgical, and victim injury evidence were all cited by Donaldson proof of the missile-attack scenario. Donaldson acknowledged James Sander's theory of an accidental shootdown, and did not rule out U.S. Navy involvement; however, he viewed circumstantial evidence of a terrorist attack "more compelling." 
Much of the report dealt with Donaldson's assertions of a conspired cover-up by the FBI and NTSB, in co-operation with the Justice Department. Donaldson believed that the Clinton Administration wanted to hide the actual cause of the crash for political reasons, specifically the upcoming presidential elections. Donaldson concluded his report with the request that Congress should hold Congressional hearings into the crash and/or request that the Justice Department appoint an Independent Counsel to investigate (neither of which happened).
Donaldson received support and funding from the advocacy group Accuracy in Media, who promoted his views. He died in 2001; the ARAP website is still active.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia....native_theories
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