September 10, 1998

TO: Mike Rivero [Independent Researcher]

FROM: James Sanders

SUBJECT: A senior NTSB official, in a legally taped conversation, made some rather startling admissions, related to the red residue [see pp. 3-4]. Included is a sampling of statements, now demonstrably false, issued by those in power.

Synopsis of Government statements over the last 17 months, alleging that Sanders' residue was glue:

March 7, 1997. Press Enterprise [CA] reporter David Hendrix interviewed Kallstrom for an article that would appear March 10, 1997.

Kallstrom: "There is a red residue trail. It has no connection to a missile. I'm not going to get into it. There is a logical explanation but I'm not going to get into it."

March 11, 1997, NTSB officials Bernie Loeb and Jim Hall testify before Congress:

Bernie Loeb: "One thing I can say categorically is there is no such thing as a red residue trail in that airplane." "We took seven samples yesterday…. If need be, we will do testing in outside laboratories just to make certain that they are, in fact, consistent with the manufacturers' descriptions of those products. Adhesive is the only substance that we know of that is reddish or orange in that airplane."

March 11, 1997, Newsday

"One day after investigators said a red substance found on seats from TWA Flight 800 was glue, not solid fuel from a missile, National Transportation Safety Officials yesterday told Congress they have no lab test results showing what the material is.

But a senior law enforcement source said the FBI had conducted 'preliminary tests' several months ago that determined the material was an adhesive used to make the seats, which was reconfirmed in a later test."

March 20, 1997, Press Enterprise article about officials from four Government agencies giving the congressional Aviation Subcommittee a closed door briefing on Flight 800.

"The officials also insisted that the red residue found on some of the downed jet's seats is an adhesive, and not possible evidence of missile fuel. 'There were three manufacturers of seats in the airplane,' (Jim) Coon (aide to Congressman Duncan Hunter) explained. 'All the seats made by one of the manufacturers had that residue, which glues the seat cushion to the metal frame of the chair.'"

March 20, 1997, AP

"Sanders claimed that material from a seat from the plane showed evidence of missile fuel, but investigators have said the chemical was glue."

November 18, 1997, CNN coverage of Jim Kallstrom's last press conference.

Kallstrom: "The seat cushion residue, reported in the Riverside, California press, of the red residue that someone said was rocket fuel. The truth is the material is contact adhesive. We know that for a fact. We know the manufactured formula, which is patented, and we know without a doubt - without any doubt whatsoever - that it's the adhesive that holds the back of the seats together. It's not rocket fuel. It's not residue of a rocket, never was, never will be."

December 5, 1997, AP

"James Kallstrom, FBI chief in New York, called Sanders' assertions outrageous, saying that FBI analysis confirmed by an independent lab found the red substance, which was found on many pieces of the wreckage, was glue used to hold the fabric to the seats. Kallstrom said the FBI also confirmed its findings with the glue's manufacturer, which holds a patent on it."

December 5, 1997, FBI/"Justice" Department press release.

"According to the criminal complaint, despite the laboratory test results, JAMES SANDERS misrepresented those results in media reports for which he was a source.

"Mr. Kallstrom stated, 'This criminal investigation is far from over. These defendants are charged with not only committing a serious crime, they have also increased the pain already inflicted on the victims' families. This investigation will continue in an effort to identify any other individuals who may have played a role in this scheme [not underlined in press release].'"

December 5, 1997, NBC Nightly News.

"One of TWA's most senior pilots, a TWA flight attendant, and her husband, have all been charged in the theft of wreckage from the hangar. An alleged scheme to promote the idea that the plane had been shot down by a missile….

"Sanders said his proof was from the plane's seats-fabric, stained red. He sent it to a lab and claimed it was residue from a missile. The government says that is nonsense, that the red was ordinary glue….

"Tonight, the FBI says it's investigation isn't finished, says still more may have been involved in what it calls a plot to rewrite the history of TWA 800."

August 20, 1998, Newsday.

"A Virginia man charged with stealing a sample of materials from TWA Flight 800 that he claimed had the components of rocket fuel-and who fostered the theory that the jet was downed by a government missile-said a chemist who analyzed the material for the government is now on his side.

"But federal officials say James Sanders, who was arrested in December on charges of stealing material that contained a red residue, is misrepresenting the chemist….

'The government's repeated efforts to discredit Mr. Sanders' conclusions about the source of the red residue by insisting that the source of that residue has definitely been determined to be adhesive are based on misrepresentation of the results of the laboratory analysis, " said Sanders attorneys, Jeffrey Schlanger and Jeremy Gutman in court papers attached to the affidavit.

"But Merritt Birky, of the National Transportation Safety Board, which farmed out the analysis of the red residue to NASA, said yesterday it is Sanders and his attorneys who are misrepresenting the tests.

"What Bassett found is that the residue had a chemical structure very similar to glues used in the airline industry, not rocket fuel, Birky said yesterday. Birky also said older glues were reddish and newer glues contained different dyes."


NASA chemist, Charles W. Bassett, signed and notarized an affidavit that was filed by Sanders attorneys with the federal court, Uniondale, Long Island, NY.

"The tests performed by me at NASA-KSC [Kennedy Space Center] on samples Dr. Merritt Birky said were from rows 17, 19, 24, and 27 of the Flight 800 cabin interior did not address the issue of the origin of any reddish-orange residue. The tests I performed for the NTSB cannot answer such a question.

"The tests conducted by me at NASA-KSC did not identify specific elements, by quantity, within the reddish-orange residue of the sample submitted to them by Mr. Sanders."


Excerpts from a July 27, 1998, taped conversation between NTSB official Merritt Birky and Tom Stalcup, a Florida State University graduate student. Birky was in charge of the Fire & Explosion team at the Calverton Hangar. Birky's Fire & Explosion report was distributed to the press on December 9, 1997, at the Baltimore hearings. Page nine of the report alleges that Sanders' red residue is consistent with glue, per NASA chemist Charles Bassett's tests. When the report was distributed, the NTSB proclaimed this to be independent testing which debunked Sanders' theory. This, of course, can only be true if Sanders' residue, or residue tested and found to be elementally consistent with Sanders' residue, was used by the NASA chemist.

Page 10.

Stalcup:…. And I think it would have been good if you did an elemental analysis, not to prove whether it was adhesive or not, but to prove if it was the same stuff. To make sure that you and Sanders had the same stuff. Therefore, when you say the residue is adhesive, you mean it is the same residue that Sanders is talking about.

Birky: No. Because you see the problem is before we even got that far,

Stalcup: Uh huh.

Birky: We knew that 3M had already changed their formula.

Stalcup: Okay.

Birky: They had represented that to us when we tried to get some reference samples. Well that's old material. We haven't the foggiest notion what that formulation is, nor do we have any of the old formulation, we don't know what was used at that time on those seats. So in trying to prove that we have the same samples as Sanders, I'm not sure it gets us very far. Supposing you come out differently?

Stalcup: Right, right.

Birky: Then what are you going to say? Well, you're not going to put the thing to bed….

Page 6.

Stalcup: So you're saying you could have gotten different samples than James Sanders?

Birky: Absolutely. I don't know if we had identical samples. I don't know, I don't know what James Sanders used. I never saw those samples….

Birky: So, the question is, do we have the same sample?

Stalcup: Yeah, that's exactly my question.

Birky: Well, I don't know….

Page 7

Birky: So, when you start saying well we're in disagreement, yah we're in disagreement, but nobody has, has done an experiment to see what samples that Sanders has. And that's all tied up in litigation.


The Government, with all its resources, could have presented a series of scientific tests to comprehensively answer The question. Instead, they have elected to allege that my residue is 3M 1357 HP adhesive. Elemental tests at Florida State University and Coffey Lab, Portland Oregon, conclusively eliminate 3M 1357 HP adhesive as the source of Sanders' reddish-orange residue. Government actions constitute evidence. Its' election to misrepresent my residue as glue rather than conduct comprehensive testing, is strong circumstantial evidence that the Government feared the answer.

Merritt Birky's transcript confirms that the Government both feared the answer comprehensive testing would provide, and was not prepared to face the public consequences of an honest answer. So a felonious misrepresentation was established as policy. Included in the policy was another felonious sub-policy: to maliciously misrepresent the facts and vilify James and Elizabeth Sanders in order to create an atmosphere in which they could be arrested and simultaneously silenced.

Federal laws that appear to have been violated by Government officials dealing with the reddish-orange residue issue and the vilification of the Sanders:

  1. USC, Title 18, Section 1001. Statements or entries generally

Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

  1. USC, Title 18, Section 241. Conspiracy against rights

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having exercised the same…. They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both….

  1. USC, Title 18, Section 1623. False declarations before grand jury or court

  1. Whoever under oath (or in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code) in any proceeding before or ancillary to any court or grand jury of the United States knowingly makes any false material declaration or makes or uses any other information, including any book, paper, document, record, recording, or other material, knowing the same to contain any false material declaration, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

  1. USC, Title 18, Section 1622. Subornation of perjury

Whoever procures another to commit any perjury is guilty of subordination of perjury, and shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

  1. Conspiracy----title, section and definition.

  1. Obstruction of justice---title, section number and definition.

  1. Impeding an investigation-title, section number and definition.

  1. USC, Title 18, Section 1503

Any "corrupt . . . endeavor . . . to influence . . . any grand juror….

  1. False statement to Congress

The Press and the Courts, Rutgers University, October 17, 1979, by William J. Brennan, Jr.

I believe now, as I have always believed, that, insofar as the First Amendment shields the wellsprings of our democracy, it also provides protection for the press in the exercise of these functions, for, as I said in an opinion for the Court many years ago: the guarantees of the First Amendment 'are not for the benefit of the press so much as for the benefit of all of us. A broadly defined freedom of the press assures the maintenance of our political system and an open society.' [Time v Hill]…. The press is not only shielded when it speaks out, but when it performs all the myriad of tasks necessary for it to gather and disseminate the news….

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