Mike Wire - Eyewitness

April 3, 2006


In a few months we will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic crash of TWA Flight 800.  After an extensive investigation, the FBI and NTSB wrote off the cause as "mechanical failure" but failed to pinpoint the cause of the mysterious spark or be able to recreate it in a laboratory environment.  The investigation was highly unusual and the tactics of the FBI, CIA and NTSB have created an environment of suspicion and distrust in the government's motives and conclusion.  Throughout all of this, they have ignored and tried to discredit more than 100 eyewitnesses who saw a streak, or fireworks rise from the surface and impact Flight 800.


It is sad to say that if the CIA and NTSB spent half as much time trying to understand what the eyewitnesses saw, as they did trying to discredit the eyewitnesses, this case would have been solved 9 years ago.  But alas, they did not seem interested in the truth.  The case of eyewitness Mike Wire is a perfect example of this bias.  I recently re-interviewed Mike and he was gracious enough to go back to Long Island from his home in Pennsylvania to take a photograph of his view and annotate it with lines that represent what he saw.  It is unlike anything the CIA described in their now-discredited video that featured a distorted version of Mike Wire's testimony.

Mike Wire, witness 571, standing on the Westhampton Bridge, "was looking south-southwest toward the beach. At approximately 8:30 pm he saw a white light that was traveling skyward from the ground at approximately a 40 degree angle. He described the white light as a light that sparkled and thought it was some type of fireworks. Wire stated the white light "zigzagged" as it traveled upward and at the apex of its travel, the white light "arched over" and disappeared from view. He estimated the white light was in view for approximately 15 seconds and its speed was consistent with the speed that normal fireworks might travel. He advised the white light first came into view just above the roof top of the fourth house west of the public parking area on Dune Road. He stated the white light traveled outward from the beach in a south-southeasterly direction. He stated two or three seconds after the white light disappeared, he saw an orange light that appeared to be a fireball in the sky approximately one-half mile away. He was unable to estimate the height or elevation of this fireball due to its distance from him. The fireball descended at approximately a 30 degree angle and left a fire trail burning behind it. According to Wire, the fireball disappeared behind the second house to the west of the public parking area located at Beach Lane and Dune Road.

The FBI took his report seriously.  They interviewed over 750 other eyewitnesses.  From those interviews the FBI Missile Team selected 12 for closer analysis.  Most were like Wire's in that they saw a streak originate at or near the surface and intersect with Flight 800, causing a massive explosion.  From these interviews, the FBI triangulated two locations from which they suspected shoulder-launched missiles had been fired at Flight 800. The FBI and Suffolk County Police documented this work in a letter to their superiors.1  Unfortunately, the FBI higher-ups, James Kalstrom in particular, keep telling the investigating agents that they needed a "smoking gun".  "Bring me some physical evidence".  This launched the FBI dredging operation that lasted 6 months in which the FBI had 2 agents on each boat doing the dredging with special instructions 2 to confiscate any man-made objects found and to call a special number if they found specific shoulder-launched missile parts.  It is not known if these parts were ever found, but the dredging was cancelled abruptly prior to the FBI suspending its investigation in November 1997.   The case is still officially "pending", which means that the FBI will not release any material or information about their investigation, even now, nearly 10 years later.

Next, the CIA got into the act.  It is not clear how or why the CIA was brought into the investigation, but they were tasked with discrediting the eyewitnesses.  They created a video 3 animation that purportedly showed Flight 800 "in various stages of crippled flight".  The animation showed Flight 800 exploding from some still unknown internal spark, losing the nose and climbing 3-4,000 ft. before exploding in a massive fireball and plunging into the ocean.  There are many problems with the physics of their "zoom climb" explanation, but the focus of this report is their use of Mike Wire's testimony.

Mike Wire, witness 571, was used extensively by the CIA in developing their "zoom climb" theory.  They speculated, and the national media bought it, that what witnesses saw as a "firework" or a "streak of light" was in reality Flight 800 climbing 3,000 feet and trailing burning fuel.  Notwithstanding the fact that a 747 would not, under any circumstance, be confused with fireworks, the CIA completely distorted Mike Wire's statement.  They never interviewed him, yet they produced a video describing what he saw using these houses as reference points.  Needless to say, when Mike Wire saw the video he proclaimed: "That's nothing like what I saw". 4

After our recent interview, Mike Wire went to the location and took a digital photo, on which he then drew black lines indicating the route of the smoke trail he saw and the path of the burning debris falling to the ocean.  I then edited the picture to show more of what he described to me.  After several iterations, we developed the edited photo shown on the left.

Using Google Earth, I then plotted Mike Wire's position on the bridge, the exact location of Flight 800 according to the Islip radar and then overlaid his drawing on the perspective in Google Earth.  This has resulted in an extraordinary match up between his recollection and where the events took place according to the Islip radar.

As you look at this graphic, Flight 800 is traveling from right to left at a 13, 700 ft. The vertical lines show the altitude of Flight 800.  These positions were plotted from the Islip radar.  The white smoke trail he saw originated at one of the FBI identified "shooter locations", spots where they believed a shoulder-fired missile was launched.  It appears to have impacted Flight 800 at the very moment that FAA lost their transponder signal.  From that point on, the primary radar shows Flight 800's location, but not its altitude.  Mike Wire stated that the smoke trail ended for a few seconds and then there was a "growing fireball that just got bigger and bigger".  Out of that fireball fell the crippled aircraft, dropping like rock.  It is my belief that the nose section separated from the fuselage at 20:31:21, approximately 2 radar sweeps after the initial missile impact.  The result of the nose coming off would necessarily result in the disintegration of the aircraft due to the extreme weight imbalance.  The resulting fireball is what most people saw.  It broke into two streams as the nose section landed much closer to Kennedy Airport that the main aircraft body.  Mike Wire said he heard 4 explosions, long after the objects he described hit the ground.  The first explosion was the loudest and the concussion shook the bridge he was standing on.  Additional smaller explosions occurred as the aircraft continued to break apart and more fuel was added to the fireball.

The CIA's video completely distorts Mike Wire's testimony and tries to make you believe that the streak he saw was the "aircraft in various stages of crippled flight".  These pictures show that this is complete bunk.  Flight 800 was already at 13, 700 feet, well above the rooflines of the building Mike was looking at and high in the sky.  A climb of 3,000 additional feet would be imperceptible, only 20% higher than its original position, and hardly look like a zigzagging streak with a smoke trail that originated behind one of the beachfront houses.  Furthermore, if Flight 800 did manage to climb 3,000 ft., it would take between 2 to 3 minutes to do so, yet the Islip radar only shows it in the air for 37 seconds after the initial transponder was lost.  If the aircraft climbed 3,000 additional feet, the radar would have shown it to be airborne much much longer.  It did not.  Therefore, the CIA explanation that the eyewitnesses only saw the burning 747 is false.  The only conclusion that can be drawn from this and other similar eyewitness accounts is that they saw something that was supersonic.  As Cdr Donaldson stated in one of his last interviews, "it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when something goes that high, that fast, it has to be supersonic.  Any high school kid could figure it out, its just trigonometry ." 5

In the next few weeks I will present several additional eyewitness interviews with a similar analysis using Google Earth to precisely pinpoint their observations.


Bob Donaldson



1.  Letter from FBI Missile Team & Suffolk County Police

2.  Instructions to FBI Agents on Trawlers.

3.  CIA Video Animation of Flight 800

4.  Interview with Mike Wire

5.  Interview with Cdr Donaldson, August 2000

If you would like to link to the Flight 800 Google Earth Project, follow the instructions below.  After you install Google Earth on your computer, these instructions will install a link the the twa800.com database that is continually updated with new information.

Here is the link for Google Earth:
After you install Google Earth:
To view the Flight 800 project, do the following:
1. Open Google Earth.
2. On the top menu bar, click on "ADD".
3. Then click on "Network Link".
4. Add a Name in the Name Field.  Any Name such as Flight 800.  This creates a folder with this name.

5. add the following link in the "Location" box: 


This should open a network link to the Flight 800 data.
Click the triangle beside the link to expand the data.
Double Click any link to "fly" to that location.

Clicking on and off the check boxes will display or hide that information.

This is a working tool that we are using to precisely locate the events according to their radar coordinates, the witness locations and their sightlines of the tragedy.




  Evidence of a Missile

  Flight 800 Database

Flight 800

Poll Results

>1000 Respondents

  Missile-------- 80%


  Bomb --------  4%


  Fuel Tank --- 14%

Support This Website with a Donation:
Copyright © 1998- 2013 Robert E. Donaldson - All rights reserved
Search Query