Revisiting Joaquina Cabrera, Earhart eyewitness

In our most recent post, we met Matidle F. Arriola, later known as Mrs. Matilde Shoda San Nicholas, a native Saipanese eyewitness who shared her fascinating personal encounter with Marie S.C. Castro on at least two occasions, and whose later interviews by researchers Joe Gervais, Robert Dinger and Fred Goerner are presented on pages 102-103 of Truth at Last.  Needless to say, Matilde is among the most important of the Saipan eyewitnesses, her story well known to Earhart enthusiasts. 

Closely associated with Matilde’s reports are those of Joaquina M. Cabrera, because both eyewitnesses encountered Amelia Earhart in or in close proximity to Saipan’s Kobayashi Royokan Hotel, where other Chamorros also saw her in the months following her July 2 disappearance.

Joaquina, who was born on October 4, 1911 and died July 22, 2004 according to recent information from Marie Castro, told researcher Joe Gervais in 1960 that she worked in the hotel in 1937 and ’38, and that each day she had to take a list of the people staying at the hotel to the island governor’s office.  “One day when I was doing this I saw two Americans in the back of a three-wheeled vehicle,” she said.  Their hands were bound behind them, and they were blindfolded. One of them was an American woman.”  Cabrera said a photo of Earhart and Noonan that Gervais displayed “look like the same people I saw, and they are dressed the same way,” adding that she saw the Americans only once, and didn’t know what happened to them.

Undated photo of Earhart eyewitness Mrs. Joaquina Cabrera, who passed away in 2004 at 92.  (Courtesy Marie Castro.)

Contrast this with her account to Goerner in 1962, when he wrote in The Search for Amelia Earhart, “Mrs. Joaquina M. Cabrera brought us closer to the woman held at the Kobayashi Royokan [Hotel] than any other witness.”  At the Cabrera home in Chalan Kanoa, Goerner and several others including Fathers Arnold Bendowske and Sylvan Conover, and Ross Game, editor of the Napa (California) Register and longtime Goerner confidant “crowded into the front room . . . and listened to her halting recital.”  Cabrera said nothing about delivering daily lists of people staying at the hotel, describing her job as that of a laundress for the Japanese guests and prisoners kept there:

One day when I came to work, they were there . . . a white lady and man. The police never left them. The lady wore a man’s clothes when she first came.  I was given her clothes to clean. I remember pants and a jacket. It was leather or heavy cloth, so I did not wash it.

I rubbed it clean.  The man I saw only once.  I did not wash his clothes.  His head was hurt and covered with a bandage, and he sometimes needed help to move.  The police took him to another place and he did not come back. The lady was thin and very tired.

Every day more Japanese came to talk with her.  She never smiled to them but did to me.  She did not speak our language, but I know she thanked me.  She was a sweet, gentle lady.  I think the police sometimes hurt her.  She had bruises and one time her arm was hurt. . . . Then, one day . . . police said she was dead of disease.

Joaquina said the woman was kept at the hotel for “many months. Perhaps a year.”  She heard the man had also died, though she didn’t know the cause of his demise, and she thought the woman was buried in the cemetery near Garapan, long since reclaimed by the jungle.  Though Joaquina offered two different stories, both may have been true.  Her testimony to Goerner seems more credible, however, considering the presence of the priests and the rich details in her recollection, than the brief, rather stiff account she rendered Gervais.  Joaquina passed away in July 2004 at 92.

Without a penny in my Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After World War II, Marie Castro’s moving 2013 autobiography.  In a 2014 review for the Saipan Tribune,  William Stewart wrote, “Today’s youth would be well-advised to learn from the experiences of the author and her family and friends, of the heartbreak and suffering the people of Saipan endured and the faith they all exhibited to overcome such adversity. . . . She is an inspiration for all who aspire to make a contribution by helping others through education and good deeds.”

Along with Marie’s recollections of Matilde F. Arriola, she also wrote briefly of Joaquina Cabrera in Without a Penny:

In 1937 Joaquina M. Cabrera, a young woman, worked in the laundry at the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel.  Joaquina was our neighbor and a relative.  One day a number of years later, Joaquina, accompanying her mother  on a regular visit to our house, mentioned a leather jacket that had turned up in the laundry to be washed.  Suddenly she remembered seeing the lady pilot wearing the jacket.  Joaquina handled the leather jacket with care.  In Saipan’s warm climate Amelia wouldn’t be wearing it.  So what happened to her jacket?  No one ever knew!

The puzzle that remains unsolved regarding the location of Amelia Earhart’s final resting place should focus on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands.  I believe that — based upon the fact that during her exile as a political detainee of the invaders, Saipan is the island where she was known to have last lived — by taking advantage of today’s sophisticated technology, it should be possible to finally uncover the place of her mysterious burial, unknown to the world for the past 75 years.

Is it possible that after all these years the solution of one of the most vexing mysteries of the last century will finally be solved?  We can only wait and see. 

Once again, I ask everyone who cares about the truth to donate whatever you can to the planned Amelia Earhart Memorial on Saipan (see March 16 story, Saipan architect unveils planned Earhart Memorial.”  Please make your tax-deductible check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  

The monument’s success is 100 percent dependent on private donations, and everyone who gives will receive a letter of appreciation, like the one below, from the Earhart Memorial Monument Committee. Thank you.

Anyone who contributes to the Earhart Saipan Memorial Monument will receive a letter similar to this one from Marie Castro, the vice president of the memorial committee.  It is destined to become a collector’s item, and I’ve already framed it.

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Marie Castro: Iron link to Saipan’s forgotten history

Since the Feb. 7 publication of Junhan B. Todiño’s Marianas Variety story, Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan,” much has been written about the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee’s plans to build a memorial to Amelia at the Saipan International Airport.

Most of the vocal opposition to the monument is coming from the younger people of Saipan, many of whom have lost contact with their past, and have been subjected to historical revisionism and U.S. establishment propaganda on a grand scale about the facts surrounding Amelia Earhart’s presence on the island in the pre-war years.

Marie S.C. Castro, 84, is not among Saipan’s historically challenged, however.  In fact, some of the most compelling evidence attesting to the presence and deaths of Earhart and Noonan on Saipan can be found in her fine 2013 autobiography,  Without a Penny in My Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After WWII.

Marie S.C. Castro, vice president of the Saipan Earhart Memorial Monument Committee, holds a copy of her moving autobiography, Without a Penny in My Pocket as she as speaks on Feb. 6 to Saipan Rotarians about the personal accounts she’s heard about Amelia Earhart’s detention on Saipan. (Photo by Junghan B. Todiño, for Marianas Variety.)

Recently Marie kindly sent me a copy of Without a Penny, and I read it eagerly.  Marie isn’t a trained journalist or professional writer, but this deficit seems to enhance rather than detract from the impact of this moving account of her life. It’s written with great love and deep feeling for those you’ve met along the way of your amazing life,” I wrote to Marie. “Thank you so much for sending it; it’s truly a precious chronicle of yours and Saipan’s history.”

Despite enduring hardships under the tyrannical rule of the Japanese during the years leading to the June 1944 U.S. invasion of Saipan and the liberation of its Chamorro residents, nowhere in Without a Penny will you find the slightest a hint of the self-pitying, blame-casting or victim-status seeking rhetoric that has become so common in today’s “social media,” “snowflake” culture.

The Chamorros had no rights, our peaceful way of life on our island was gone under the Japanese,Marie wrote in a recent email.  We were under constant fear of anything.  The Japanese civilians knew what went on, we the locals knew nothing about it.  The Japanese considered us third class citizens.  They took over the land, cultivated it for their own good.  We had no authority whatsoever. . . . When you walk on the street, look straight forward, do not turn sideways, or else you would become a suspect.  Mike, even after the war, people were hesitant to say anything.  Thanks to the Americans we became again like human beings.  We are at peace now.”

One of the most poignant passages in Without a Penny is Marie’s description of her family’s terrifying ordeal during the American shelling and bombing of Saipan, which resulted in many unfortunate and unintended civilian casualties, as well as traumatic memories for the survivors.

After we were liberated by the American Marines in 1944 . . . we were so thankful to the Americans,” Marie wrote in an email.  “I was 11 years old then and I thought someday I will do something on my own to thank the Americans.” 

She was a professed Catholic nun for 17 years, from 1954 until her resignation in 1971. It was the time when I really examined what was I meant to be in this world,Marie wrote.  I wanted to do more.  I prayed hard to God to lead me in my decision.  I believed it was the right thing to do.  I resigned from religious life.  I will commit my life in education to thank the American Marines  in 1944.”  

She remained in Kansas City, teaching in the public schools, retired in 1989 and became involved in other community service organizations, finally returning to Saipan in October 2016.  Considering the 50 years in Kansas City,Marie wrote, I felt that I have given a productive life for 50 years.  Now I am involved with a challenging undertaking with the Amelia Earhart project, to erect an AE Memorial Monument.”

These and other notable chapters of a life well lived can be found in Without a Penny.  Right now, Marie is fully engaged in the effort to erect the Earhart Memorial Monument; indications are that it could be a long and bitter struggle, and not a penny will come from the local or federal government, which has a vested interest in the memorial project’s failure.

Marie, the vice president of the memorial committee and the driving force behind the initiative to build the monument, told Saipan Rotarians about her interview in 1983 with Matilde F. Arriola who, Castro said, met Earhart when she being held on Saipan following her disappearance in early July 1937.  According to Matilde, Earhart died of dysentery.  “There is strong evidence that Earhart was here on Saipan,” Marie said.

Since I came back home, Marie wrote in a Feb. 18 email,I had an urge [to do] something dating back to 1937 . . .  Amelia Earhart’s fate. On Feb. 2/ 2017, I approached Congressman Barcinas about my idea of building a Memorial Monument for Amelia Earhart here on Saipan to celebrate her 80th year.  All our elders who witnessed the American woman pilot’s presence here on Saipan are long gone; however, in 1983 I interviewed a local woman [Matilde F. Arriola] who had personal contacts with Amelia Earhart in 1937, who was living next door from the political detainee hotel called the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel. [Mrs. Matilde Shoda San Nicholas (the former Matilde Fausto Ariola), see pages 102-103 of Truth at Last.]  I want to pursue the Monument for Amelia Earhart and finalize the biggest lingering unsolved mystery of the 20th Century. . . . What is holding us now is funding. We need $200 thousand for the project.

If Marie is correct that all the Saipan elders who were eyewitnesses to Earhart’s presence are gone, and no evidence contradicts this, Marie’s personal connection to Matilde F. Arriola and other eyewitnesses, including Joaquina M. Cabrera, who washed Amelia’s laundry and whose account was also made famous by Fred Goerner in his 1966 bestseller The Search For Amelia Earhart (see pages 101-102 TAL), she is the strongest link to Saipan’s pre-war heritage now living, a role she deeply embraces.

Matilde and her family had personal contacts with the American woman pilot,” Marie wrote in a recent email.  The mother knew English and spoke with AE, Matilde, Consolacion her sister and Mariono her brother, they all communicated with Amelia [Editor’s note: None spoke English, according to interviews with Fred Goerner and others.] Matilde was 24 years [old] in 1937. The political detainee was next door from her house. Matilde was a student at the Sisters of the Mercedarian school in Garapan at the time.

The  passages from Marie’s book about her encounters with Matilde Arriola are too important to paraphrase, so I reproduce them here:

Evidently Amelia Earhart was found by the Japanese after she crashed somewhere within or near what may have been the Japanese Mandated Micronesian Islands [Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands], and was subsequently taken to Saipan, which also lay within the Mandated area.

The story of the famous American pilot was secretly known by a few men and women who were conscripted by the Japanese and worked for the Japanese government.  However, they had no knowledge of the lady pilot’s plight.  On a beautiful morning in the late ’50’s my Aunt, Sister Remedios, and I came upon our friend Matilde F. Ariola, who was working in her yard in Chalan Kanoa.  Our conversation immediately turned to the subject of Amelia Earhart’s fate.  Taking us into her confidence, Matilde related a story of having met a stranger who lived next door at the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel.

On a subsequent meeting, Matilde continued, the slender American woman, who wore a short hair style, gave Matilde’s younger sister Consolacion a ring with a while stone, set in a crown mounting.  Unfortunately Consolacion was wounded during the war and fell very ill.  Before she died of her wounds she gave the ring to Matilde who wore it until after the war.  The ring with a white stone remained in her possession during and after the war and was eventually given to her niece Trinidad.  Sometime later Trinidad had a stroke.  I had an opportunity to visit her and mentioned the ring her Aunt Matilde had given her.   Suddenly, she appeared cheerful and in good spirits as she described the ring.  However, the ring did not fit well on her finger and she sadly admitted that she had lost it somewhere around the house.

Time passes quickly and it was during one of my yearly visits to Saipan in 1983 that I once again had the opportunity to visit with my good friend Matilde.  The occasion was a friendly gathering in Garapan, attended by many old friends.  In a private conversation with Matilde we rehashed the subject once again: The lady pilot who remains still undiscovered.  During our conversation Matilde told me that she had received from Amelia Earhart a small diary in early days [sic] titled “Aviator” that contained many, many numbers, no explanations were offered.

Matilde kept the little diary until it was accidentally lost during the war.  Sadly, no trace of the diary was ever found by Matilde.  It wasn’t until after the war, upon seeing a picture of Amelia Earhart, that she was identified by Matilde as the stranger who had given her the diary.

Undated photo of a young Marie S.C. Castro, which appears on the back cover of her autobiography, Without a Penny in My Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After World War II.

After having heard the story of Matilde and the item she received from the woman pilot during the Japanese occupation, the Chamorro law enforcement officers whom I knew did not divulge any information they had at the time for fear of enemy reprisals.  Even after the liberation of Saipan, those individuals who possibly knew what happened to Amelia Earhart in Saipan refused to speak.

The residents in Saipan who had previously seen thelady pilot,” all described her as having worn a man’s outfit and short hair style.  Women who had seen the lady pilot, after having been shown photos of several women including Amelia Earhart, correctly identified Amelia Earhart.  Upon their identification the question was, would Amelia Earhart’s disappearance still remain a mystery? (End of section from Without a Penny.)

During the Japanese period, there was no running water,” Marie wrote in a recent email. The toilet was outside. When Amelia needed the facility she had to go outside to use the restroom. She would stop by Matilde’s house and would peep in to see if someone was around to talk to. One day Matilde gave Amelia a cooked breadfruit, Amelia took it and tasted it. At another time while Matilde was doing her geography homework  Amelia helped Matilde on her homework. Amelia took the pencil from Matilde’s hand and wrote something however Matilde did not understand what AE wrote, Matilde didn’t know English at the time. She conversed using signs. Consolacion received a ring from AE.  Mariono spoke to AE.

“One day Matilde noticed that the lady was ill, pale and used the facility too often that day,” Marie went on.  “That was the last day she saw her.  The next day the care taker came to Matilde’s house and asked for black material.  Matilde’s father, Tun Felipe, was a tailor.  Matilde’s father asked the caretaker why she needed black material she said, ‘Kookoo died, the American pilot.’ She continued, ‘amoeba.’  She didn’t know the lady’s name and called her ‘Kookoo.’ Amelia died of dysentery disease.”  Matilde died in 1996, at age 83.

Opponents of the Earhart Memorial Monument label accounts like Matilde’s and dozens of others from eyewitnesses and others with knowledge as “anecdotal,” proving nothing.  But when one considers these, and then adds those of U.S. flag officers such as Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the Navy’s most revered wartime leader in the Pacific; Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, commandant of the Marine Corps during World War II;  and Gen. Graves  Erskine, a brigadier general on Saipan during the 1944 invasion and second in command of the entire land operation, all attesting to the presence and death of Earhart and Noonan on Saipan, these accounts begin to add up to far more than mere anecdotes.  As Marie told the Rotarians in early February, There is strong evidence that Earhart was here on Saipan.”  You decide, but please do so only after you know more about the real facts about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, facts that can be found everywhere you look on this blog.

A shorter, gentler version of this story appeared in the March 28 edition of Marianas Variety under the headline, Marie Castro: An iron link to Saipan’s forgotten past.”  As I said in the opening of this post, massive opposition to the proposed Earhart memorial is endemic on Saipan, and nowhere is it worse than in the brainwashed and propagandized Facebook crowd, where this story garnered a total of just four Likes.”  I could consider this a badge of honor, but I’d much prefer that more were in favor of building this long-overdue monument to Earhart at the place of her death.  Far too many on Saipan are dead against it.

Ed Williams, 67, a retired Merchant Marine (Military Sealift Command) radio electronics officer who’s lived and worked in many capacities on Saipan since 2004, recently painted a grim picture of the situation on the ground there.  “Marie is such a sweet soul,” Williams wrote in a March 21 email.  “But not many locals are interested in anything but beer and betel nut.  I would say 1 percent of the locals are on the same page as Marie.”  Williams, whose father was an Army medic who served on Guam, Saipan and Tinian, where he saw Enola Gay land and actually guarded the B-29 Superfortress bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan, is doing all he can on Saipan to educate the locals about Earhart’s tragic end there, but he’s a distinct minority. 

Williams’ appraisal sadly mirrors that of former Navy civilian archeologist Jennings Bunn, who spent 14 years on Guam and several months on Saipan during the Typhoon Soudelor in 2015. From what I saw in Saipan, it is over run by Chinese and Koreans, and the local folks aren’t real interested inHaole  [defined here as a white person who is not a native Chamorro] history,” Bunn wrote in a recent email.  My experience on Guam was that the local Chamorro knows very little about their own history, and few really care.” 

Please consider making a donation to the planned Amelia Earhart Memorial on Saipan (see March 16 story for more).  You can make your tax-deductible check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  The monument’s success is 100 percent dependent on private donations, and everyone who gives will receive a letter of appreciation from the Earhart Memorial Committee, suitable from framing.  Thank you.

David Martin calls out media Earhart propagandists

David Martin’s (DCDave.com) work is well-known to regular readers of this blog The award-winning writer and retired federal economist reviewed both editions of The Truth at LastHillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up, in August 2012, and Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishment in May 2016.

Last summer, Martin helped clarify the confused mess surrounding the media’s relationship to the bogus claims that attached to the History Channel’s presentation of the 1930s-era Office of Naval Intelligence photo of the dock at Jaluit, in which Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were mistakenly identified, writing three pieces focusing on the History Channel’s odious July 5 Earhart special, Press Touts Dubious Earhart Photo,” “Earhart Photo Story Apparently Debunked,” and ’Earhart Photo’ Debunker Debunked?  On July 13 on this blog, I wrote, As usual, Dave Martin sees the truth in Earhart story,” followed by Martin’s analysis continues to bolster Earhart truth on Aug. 4.

Earlier this month, Martin teamed with Hugh Turley to publish their groundbreaking book on the 1968 death of the famed Catholic monk and mystic Thomas Mertonwhose sudden demise in a Thailand hotel has been unanimously accepted as accidental electrocution by an electric fan.  The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation, claims that a “careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false,” and leaves no doubt that Merton was murdered, likely by an element of the U.S. deep state — another cover-up, another sacred cow exposed, another important book to which the establishment media will never direct the public. 

Today we present Martin’s commentary on the recent attempt by our trusted media to resurrect TIGHAR’s snake oil that recently made such distracting noise in all corners of our corrupt media establishment.  An edited version of this piece was also published in the March 19 edition of the Marianas Variety.  All boldface and shading is the editor’s.

World traveler David Martin, best known on this blog as the most perceptive news analyst extant, pauses at a recent visit to the Parthenon. (Courtesy David Martin.)

“Propaganda Press Flailing over Amelia Earhart”
By David Martin

Here we go again. In what looks for all the world like desperation on the part of our national opinion molding apparatus, they’ve revived the story that some bones and parts of a skull found in 1940 on the small remote island of Nikumaroro (Gardner Island) belonged to the famous aviator, Amelia Earhart, who was lost in the Pacific, along with navigator Fred Noonan, on a trip around the world in 1937.  Those bones had been examined long ago and it was determined that they belonged to a male who was shorter than Earhart and have long since been lost, but now, would you believe, through the miracle of modern computer techniques, a single professor emeritus “expert” is telling us that those lost bones were almost certainly Amelia Earhart’s.  On top of that, this new “discovery” got saturation coverage right across the permitted political spectrum from Fox News to National Public Radio.

Just on the face of it, you might think that this was some kind of experiment to test the limits of the gullibility of the American public.  Anyone with an ounce of gumption can see that what the guy is telling us is preposterous.  What’s really happening is that the official story that Earhart and Noonan simply got lost and, running out of gas, either plunged into the ocean or got marooned on that island where they crash landed, is finally completely falling apart—thanks in large measure to the dogged work of Mike Campbell, author of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last—and they’re now pulling out all the stops in a last-gasp effort to salvage it.  The major precipitating event for this new story was likely the announcement coming out of Saipan, located very near to the U.S. territory of Guam, that plans are afoot to erect a monument there to Earhart, because that is where she died as a captive of the Japanese.

The biggest problem with that for the establishment protectors of the giant falsehood about Earhart’s demise is that the monument planners see the Earhart monument, to be located near their international airport, as a tourist attraction for the island.  It would be sort of like the tourist attraction of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, with the big exception being that the Earhart monument would be based upon historical fact while the Anne Frank story is, from the best evidence, historical fiction.  Imagine how effective such a monument would be for bypassing the establishment opinion molders over the long haul.

Starting on the left of the permitted political spectrum among the floggers of the incredible new story, we find National Public Radio.  If you didn’t know before how thoroughly dishonest that news operation is, please notice that they make reference to the recent History Channel special [aired July 5, 2017] that featured a photograph that purported to show Earhart and Noonan on a dock on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands and link that to its supposed debunking by a Japanese blogger.  What they don’t do is to make any mention of the subsequent debunking of the “debunker” by the Marshall Islands authorities, which is the subject of my article, ’Earhart Photo’ Debunker Debunked?” NPR, like the rest of the mainstream press, dummied up about that:

One example of the dummying up is particularly poignant to me since it has some connection to my own formal education.  Back in March, my alma mater Davidson College (which also happens to be the alma mater of the late Clinton White House counsel, Vince Foster) offered a free online two-week course on the subject of fake news.  One of their contributing “experts” was National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Camila Domonoske, also a Davidson graduate.  Here we can watch one of her contributions to the course, explaining why the “fake news” term has almost lost all meaning.

National Public Radio’s Camila Domnske, an expert on “fake news,” but not a supporter of the truth in the Earhart disappearance.  Like thousands of her mainstream media counterparts, Domnske serves the Washington establishment, and never utters a word of the truth about the Earhart case, faithfully protecting the sacred cow, wittingly or unwittingly. 

She makes some good points, but I think we can agree, though, that if the Marshall Islands officials are correct, the widely disseminated report that the key photograph in the History Channel Earhart presentation had to have been made in 1935 or before is not true.  That is to say, what was widely reported as news has turned out to be, in fact, fake news.

As it happens, the reporter who put out this fake news for NPR online very quickly in the wake of the story from The Guardian was young Camila Domonoske, herself.   I can find no indication online that NPR or The Guardian or any other news organ has retracted its Japanese-debunker story or has clarified it in any way in light of the latest Marshall Islands revelations, so we may now accuse them all of trading in fake news on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

The Washington Post with its big Earhart story also made reference to the History Channel special and its supposed subsequent debunking, without mentioning the further revelations from the Marshall Islands.  It should be clear at this point that the whole History Channel hullabaloo was a set-up and that they already had their “debunking” information in hand, or they would have never run the story about the photograph in the first place.

To read the rest of Martin’s piece on TIGHAR’s latest blather, please click here.

Early reports from Saipan are not encouraging regarding donations for the Earhart Memorial Monument.   Please send any amount, large or small, to help support this important initiative.  If you care about the truth, your help is desperately needed to make this dream a reality.  I can’t address each one of you by name, but I always respond to every legitimate email you send.  Without your help, the memorial’s failure is inevitable.  Please make your check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  All donors will receive a letter of appreciation from the Saipan Earhart Memorial Committee.  Thank you.

Saipan architect unveils planned Earhart Memorial

This blog is becoming — at least temporarily — a running account of events surrounding the proposed Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan.  You will recall my March 2 post that announced the recent development  on Saipan, Finally, some good Earhart news from Saipan, linking to the story “Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan,” that appeared in the Feb. 7 Marianas Variety (“Micronesia’s Leading Newspaper Since 1972″).

On Feb. 14, Marianas Variety published my opinion piece, heartily approving of this welcome and unexpected news, Amelia Earhart’s Saipan fate,” expressing my profound approval of the long-overdue decision to honor the First Lady of Flight at the location of her tragic and untimely death sometime after her disappearance in early July 1937.

This memorial’s design looks fantastic, in my opinion, especially considering the $200,000 estimated price tag for its completion.  Of course its size is vital, and the plan architect Herman Cabrera has unveiled indicates the diameter as 30 feet, quite impressive, with the statue height projected as 12 feet, and the base at 4 feet, 6 inches.   

Artist’s rendition of the proposed Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan, sent by local Saipan architect Ramon Cabrera following the Feb. 7 Marianas Variety story that announced this amazing development for the first time.

“It is my belief that  every human being born has the right to be given the honor and recognition on his/her death, wherever or whatever circumstances death presents,” Marie S. Castro, vice president of the Earhart Memorial Monument committee, told me in a March 2 email.  “Saipan and the U.S. supporters join in this effort for a noble cause in honoring the famous first American woman pilot who ended her life on Saipan.”

On March 7, TIGHAR’s Tom King stuck the first blow for the obstructionists, penning another of his typical missives, appealing to the uninformed biases of the indoctrinated masses on Saipan.  King’s sanctimonious piece, Regarding Amelia Earhart’s monument on Saipan, was well received by the ignorant Facebook crowd, attracting well over 400 “Likes” to date; compare this to the paltry three that my own piece,  Amelia Earhart’s Saipan fate, garnered on Feb. 7. 

If the Facebook reaction to King is any indication of the way the winds are blowing on Saipan, the prospects for the successful completion of the monument could be quite bleak.  But I prefer to believe that those whose support is vital — the elders and over-60 generation of Saipan — are not in the habit of clicking “Like” in order to join the mindless horde, if they’re even reading these articles online at all. 

I responded to King’s dreck as you might expect, not with a moronic, herd-following “Like,” but with this comment, also posted on March 7:

Dr. King’s sophistry is well known among those in the small Earhart research community, and his unending, noxious advocacy for the phony Nikumaroro “hypothesis” is often cited as a prime example of the definition of insanity.  Not a single artifact in countless trips over 30 years that’s been dug up from the Nikumaroro garbage dumps has been forensically linked to Amelia Earhart or Fred Noonan, despite the constant drum beat of our corrupt media establishment telling us to buy this snake oil — and many of the ignorant and gullible have indeed bought it, much to their chagrin once they realized the Nikumaroro bill of goods is rotten at its core.

In fact there are actually no real “theories” in the Earhart disappearance, as the word is defined. We have the truth — supported by several dozens of witnesses and documents — that Amelia Earhart crash-landed in the Marshalls, was taken to Saipan by the Japanese, and died there, as did Noonan, at some unknown date before the American invasion in June 1944.  And we have lies, like Nikumaroro, that have been glorified and raised to the status of “theories” by an establishment desperate to protect the checkered legacy of our president at the time of Earhart’s death, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

As I constantly stress in “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last,” and on my blog, www.Eaharttruth.com, the truth in the Earhart case has been a sacred cow in Washington since the earliest days of the search for Amelia.  The time is long overdue for the truth to be recognized and accepted, and for the parasites who have made their livings by peddling lies about Amelia’s sad fate to go away and find more honest ways to earn livings.

Likewise, there is no real Earhart “mystery.”  Some in the U.S. government are well aware of what happened to the fliers, and the physical evidence that would reveal the truth lies in the deepest recesses of our national security apparatus, known to a scant few custodians of this precious evidence.  I explain all this in my book and in my blog, and won’t go on at length here.

Undated photo of Marie S. Castro, now 84, the primary mover behind the recently approved initiative to build a monument to Amelia Earhart at the Saipan International Airport. 

I closed by announcing my invitation by Marie Castro and other Earhart Memorial committee members, including President Donald C. Barcinas, Secretary Frances M. Sablan,  Herman Cabrera (architect), Carlos A. Shoda, Evelyna A. Shoda and Ambrose Bennett, to join them as the committee’s U.S. representative, a great honor I will forever cherish.  “People like Dr. King and others who hate the truth,” I wrote, “are naturally dead set against the memorial’s success, and his letter is likely only the beginning of what could be a protracted, bitter battle to make the Earhart Memorial Monument a tangible reality.”

Marie Castro agrees.  “I read what came out on the Marianas Variety this morning,” she wrote on March 6.  “How many professionals with Ph.D.s  could come out with all sorts of theories to prove the truth?  There is only one truth.  Let’s help one another to prove what’s right, and the truth will finally prevail.”  From Marie’s pen to God’s ears.

Better news arrived the next day.  “Mike, I have no idea the magnitude of this project [and] where it is heading to,” Marie wrote in a March 8 email.  “Yesterday, we had a power point presentation on Amelia E. with the Marianas Visitors Authority. They seemed receptive to our idea of the monument. Our committee was encouraged by their responses. You and I together, with my wonderful team hopefully will someday unravel the mind of the unbelievers.”

On March 13, a shortened version of Les Kinney’s March 9 TIGHAR rebuttal on this blog was published in the Marianas Variety.  Titled Earhart bones’ just another of TIGHAR’s many false claims,” Kinney’s informed dissection of TIGHAR’s phony bones scheme was as badly received by the clueless Saipan Facebook mob as my own piece was on Feb. 7, at last glimpse drawing just two “Likes”!  The great Ralph Waldo Emerson had something memorable to say about such groupthink phenomena:  “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  See the comments section for some interesting banter between Tom King, who knows that the successful completion of the Earhart Memorial threatens TIGHAR’s cash cow, Kinney, myself and a few other interested parties.

Also on March 13, the snail-slow U.S. Postal Service finally delivered my check and a copy of The Truth at Last to Marie’s Saipan mailbox.  “I took it to church,” she wrote me, “I found the President [Donald Barcinas] there.  Our cousin Bishop Tomas A. Camacho, our first Chamorro Bishop passed away.  I told the President, ‘It is the right place to open our first checks from the U.S. The Good Lord will be with us on this project, our Mission of Truth.’  Thank you.”

In closing, again I ask for your generous donations in any amount to the Earhart Memorial on Saipan — an eminently worthy cause that deserves far more support than it’s getting.  So few care about the truth, and every one of you is needed to make this dream a reality.  I can’t address each one of you by name, but I always respond to every legitimate email you send.  Without your help, the memorial’s failure is inevitable.  Please make your check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  Thank you.

Les Kinney joins “The Truth at Last” conversation, Shreds TIGHAR’s latest false Earhart claims

Most readers of this blog will recall last July’s imbroglio over the History Channel’s bogus claims about the ONI photo found at the NARA Archives by researcher Les Kinney several years ago.  If you don’t recall this or you’re here for the first time, here is my review of the History Channel’s July 9, 2017 abomination: History’s “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence”: Underhanded attack on the Marshalls-Saipan truth.

Clearly, Les Kinney and I have had serious disagreements — and not only about the photo — over important, sensitive issues in the Earhart case.  Thus I was a bit surprised this morning (March 9), to receive an email from Les, asking if I would post his essay addressing TIGHAR’s latest claim on this blog — sort of a “guest column,” so to speak. 

I’m sure Les hasn’t changed his position about the ONI photo, but in this case, I have no problem setting aside our differences and working together against the TIGHAR plague, which has done more damage to the truth in the Earhart case than anyone in the past 30 years.  The degree to which their outrageous and transparently false claims have dominated the corrupt and complaint mainstream media Earhart coverage cannot be overstated, and it’s been a constant irritant for all who pursue the Earhart saga without monetary consideration of any kind. 

More on my personal TIGHAR complaints later.  Now, for those few who aren’t up to speed on the latest mega-media TIGHAR blitz, on March 7, The Washington Post covered the story thusly: Bones discovered on an island are hers, a new analysis shows.”

Without further delay, here’s Les Kinney’s rebuttal of the latest TIGHAR crapola.  All boldface is mine except headlines and subheads.

TIGHAR PRESS RELEASE

New Evidence in the Amelia Earhart Mystery!

Bones Found in South Pacific Likely Amelia Earhart … “This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99% of individuals in a large reference sample.” — Richard L. Jantz, Ph.D.

Nikumaroro, or Gardner Island, is part of the Phoenix Islands, Kiribati, in the western Pacific Ocean. It is a remote, elongated, triangular coral atoll with profuse vegetation and a large central marine lagoon.  It’s approximately 4.7 miles long by 1.6 miles wide and has gained international notoriety as the “most probable” landing place of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.  No actual forensic evidence has ever been presented to support this false idea.

Hold on a minute!

For those of you not familiar with TIGHAR, the acronym stands for The International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery. Its executive director, a fellow named Ric Gillespie founded TIGHAR in 1985. It’s a non-profit organization funded by donors and sponsors. Gillespie has taken a salary to support the ideals of TIGHAR.  Those ideals, according to TIGHAR’s website is the promotion of responsible aviation archaeology and historic preservation.  Don’t let that fool you. TIGHAR devotes 99 percent of its substantial resources hoodwinking the public into believing Amelia Earhart landed at Nikumaroro, a three-mile sliver of land in the Phoenix Island(s) Group.  So that you don’t have to pull out a world atlas, Nikumaroro is close to the equator and smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

On March 8, FOX News, and a fair amount of other media outlets including USA Today splashed a tale taken from a TIGHAR press release.  “It is with 99 per cent certainty, bones found in 1940 on Nikumaroro are that of the famous missing aviator.”

Hogwash!

It all started in April of 1940 when bones, a skull, and bottle were found on Gardner Island (Nikumaroro) by some unknown native colonist.  Near the spot of this find was evidence of a camp site. Natives also found an old sextant box and a sole of a shoe – about an English size 10.  This same hand painted sextant box was described by experts as likely originating from the 1800’s.  It did not appear “under any circumstances have been for a sextant used in modern trans Pacific aviation.”  It was concluded that quite possibly this unknown castaway used the box to keep his possessions.

A little history of Gardner/Nikumaroro is in order, and for good reason.

There is limited information who visited Gardner Island from the 1700s to the early 1900s.  The island was first named in 1825.  So, at least we know of one ship that visited the island when John Quincy Adams was President of the United States.  No doubt the island had been visited many times in the 1800s simply because man’s curiosity gets the best of him.  There is also a possibility, though never confirmed, that Gardner Island had been temporarily settled in the 1890s and abandoned shortly thereafter.

The HMS Norwich City on the reef at Nikumaroro in January 1942, taken by a U.S. Air Force C-47 making a humanitarian airdrops of food to the British colony on Nikumaroro.  Eleven men were killed in 1929 when the freighter ran aground.  Four bodies were buried by survivors after washing ashore. Seven other men were missing and never found.

In November 1929, the British freighter HMS Norwich City departed Melbourne Australia bound for Vancouver, B.C. The 397-foot freighter ran aground on the reef at Gardner Island.  Eleven men were killed.  Four bodies were buried by survivors after washing ashore.  Seven other men were missing and never found.  The rusted and broken hulk of the Norwich City still rests on Nikumaroro’s beach.

In October 1937, a British survey team headed by Harry Maude and Eric Bevington, along with 18 Gilbertese men “thoroughly explored” Gardner Island for several days.

From November 30, 1938, and for the next several weeks, a 16-man New Zealand Survey team explored Gardner Island from an aviation viewpoint.

In December 1938, while the New Zealand team was still on Gardner, at least 80 colonists from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands under British sponsorship settled on the island.  At the time of their arrival, it was noted at least 200 coconut trees existed on the island.  The island also had an abundance of very large coconut crabs resembling King Crabs in size, a pesky rat population, sea turtles, and the inner reef and lagoon swarmed with fish.

On November 5, 1939, crew members from the USS Bushnell, a Navy Survey ship landed at Gardner Island.  The ship discharged 25 sailors and technicians.  The Bushnell crew was intent on constructing a tower on the island.  The Bushnell surveying team noted in its journal, the island was being occupied by 80 settlers. The Bushnell team stayed on the island for two days.

In June of 1944, the U.S. Coast Guard arrived on Gardner island and began construction of a Loran Station. The station was up and running on December 16, 1944 and manned by 25 Coast Guard personnel.  Because of changing technology and the end of the war, the station was deactivated on May 15, 1946. The “Coasties” co-existed with the Gilbertese settlers who finally gave up on the island in 1963.

Don’t you get the idea that lot of people trampled around Gardner for many years?  One Coastie remarked it was boring and all they did in their free time was explore.  Can you imagine the amount of trash on that island?

Henry Evans “Harry” Maude, a former British colonial administrator, head of the Social Development section of the South Pacific Commission, and Professor of Pacific History at the Australian National University.  Maude visited Nikumaroro in October 1937, just 100 days after the fliers disappeared, and saw no trace of Earhart, Noonan or the Electra during several days on the island.

How the Nikumaroro “Bones” got TIGHAR’s attention

In the late 1980s along comes Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR. During Gillespie’s second or third mission to Gardner, having heard a tale from a Coast Guardsman who served on the island in the 1940s, that early colonists buried Earhart’s bones, Ric and his crew began poking and digging around an area TIGHAR has coined the “Seven Site.”  They found human remains alright, but it was of an infant.

While they were figuring out their next move, one of TIGHAR’s explorers found the sole and heel of a shoe nearby.  It was about the size of a 9 or 10 and stamped on the bottom was the famous American trademark, “Cat’s Paw.”

Fast forward a few years.  One of TIGHAR’s Kiwi members was leafing through research material in the Kiribati National Archives in Tarawa.  He noticed a file talking about a skeleton and human remains discovered on Gardner Island in 1940. Gillespie’s team jumped on this information.

The Kiribati archive report documented the finding of Gerald Gallagher, Gardner Island’s colonial administrator. After Gallagher arrived on Gardner in 1940, he was told by native’s human bones had been found on the southeastern part of the island.  The natives also told Gallagher they found a human skull, but it was reburied. Gallagher’s working party searched the area, collected 13 bones and found the skull.  Nearby, they also found an old-fashioned sextant box, part of a sole, possibly from two shoes, and a bottle.  Gallagher’s examined the sole carefully and said it was about an English size 10.  Writing back to Fiji headquarters in Suva, Gallagher said there was a “very slight chance” the bones might be of Amelia Earhart, although to his untrained eye, the bones appeared to be “older than four years.”

Gallagher went on to tell his superiors the area was then searched for rings, money, and keys with no results. His message also explained he examined the skull.  The “dental condition appears to have been good,” he said, “but only five teeth remain.” Gallagher makes no mention of fillings.  He goes on to emphasize that in his opinion, “am quite certain they are not less than four years old and probably much older.”

The bones were eventually shipped to the High Commissioner’s Office in Suva.  An initial report was completed by the Acting Senior Medical Officer.  The medical examiner concluded “they are part of a skeleton of elderly male of Polynesian race, bones having been probably in sheltered position for upwards of 20 years possibly much longer.”

The bones were then brought to the Central Medical School and examined by Dr. D. W. Hoodless.  Hoodless took careful measurements of the bones and skull.  He noted the remains only included one half of the pelvic bone. Hoodless obviously took into consideration the pelvic bone is symmetrical and said that in his professional opinion, the bones were that of a skeleton of “total height of 5 feet 5 and ½ inches approximately.”  Hoodless went on to write “it may be definitely stated that the skeleton is that of a [MALE.”] Hoodless emphasis. Hoodless added, “he was not less than 45 and more probably older.

Gerald Gallagher, February 1937.  Gallagher was 24 years old training as a Cadet in the Fiji and Western Pacific Service.  He had already been assigned to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony and would sail for the Pacific in July. (Photo courtesy Gerard Gallagher.)

Dr. Hoodless again emphasized the bones were male and probably a male of undetermined cultural origins, possibly of mixed descent.  The skull had five teeth and Dr. Hoodless noted the right zygoma and malar bones broken off.

The bones, the bones, where are the bones?

TIGHAR has tried hard to find the bones but they haven’t been seen since 1941.  It hasn’t deterred Gillespie.  Early on, he called on one of his members, the late Dr. Karen Burns, an anthropologist to review the Hoodless findings. Burns had previously traveled to the South Pacific and Gardner courtesy of TIGHAR.

Dr. Burns analysis indicated the Nikumaroro bones could have indeed been Earhart.  But her findings are biased. After all, she was on TIGHAR’s Board of Directors.  It would be like Eli Lily telling the public their new drug was 100 percent effective based upon a study by a pharmacologist who happened to be on Lily’s Board of Directors.

It wasn’t long after Karen Burns issued her findings when an independent study of the Nikumaroro bones was completed by Cross and Wright (2015):  The “Nikumaroro Bones’ are not those of lost aviatrix Amelia Earhart,” stated Pamela J. Cross and Richard Wright. Published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, this new analysis is a welcome redress to the reputation of Dr. D.W. Hoodless (the medical official first responsible for the evaluation of the bones) and raises serious questions for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), an Amelia Earhart-focused nonprofit investigatory group and the top proponents of the ‘Gardner Island Theory.’ 

Not one to easily give up, Gillespie tried a different tack.  First though, TIGHAR needed to make the Hoodless calculations a little more palatable.  It’s well known that Earhart was at least 5 feet eight inches tall or taller.  Amelia’s pilot’s license says 5’ 8.”  Dozens of personal recollections and photographs describe and show a tall woman.  Amelia tended to fib.  Maybe she was even taller.  Compared to the known height of many of those she is photographed alongside – there is no doubt Amelia is tall – certainly taller than 5’7″.

Since TIGHAR needed to reduce the measurements necessary to obviate the discrepancies with Dr. Hoodless measurements, TIGHAR now says maybe Earhart was five-seven based upon a driver’s license they found from Massachusetts.  Even at five-seven, it’s a stretch the bones found on Gardner fit the computer analysis done by TIGHAR’s latest anthropologist.  It is difficult to explain how Dr. Jantz’s computer model concluded “with 99 percent certainty” the bones found on Nikumaroro are Amelia’s based upon measurements taken by Dr. Hoodless.

Can Dr. Jantz’s Nikumaroro bones analysis be considered plausible? Highly unlikely.

Dr. Jantz didn’t know all the facts.  First, he hadn’t any bones.  Second, his analysis makes no mention of the skull. To duplicate what he believes are the physical dimensions of Amelia Earhart, Dr. Jantz uses clothing held in the George P. Putnam Collection at Purdue University for comparison.  Noting the inseam length and waist measurement of a pair of trousers worn by Amelia and told to him by a Purdue staffer, Dr, Jantz makes the incredible assumption those measurements would suffice for his scientific analysis.

Dr. Jantz might not have known what TIGHAR had been told years ago.  Amelia Earhart had a painful operation called a Caldwell-Luc procedure done. On June 26, 1935, at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, Dr. Joseph Goldstein performed the surgery.  The operation was meant to alleviate a chronic sinus problem plaguing Amelia since 1918 when she was a young nursing assistant in Toronto, Ontario.  Goldstein’s procedure called for drilling a hole in the cavity of Amelia’s mouth going through the bone above the second molar to open the maxillary sinus. It was meant to be a new channel for sinus drainage. (ouch) If the procedure was done on both sides it was called a bi-lateral Caldwell-Luc. According to Muriel Morrissey, Amelia’s sister, Amelia had this procedure done previously on the opposite side. Following the operation in 1935, Amelia was quite sick for a week and in fact developed pleurisy before recovering.

An example of a Caldwell-Luc operation. Could anyone examining a skull fail to note this striking feature?

A forensic examination of a skull having a Caldwell-Luc procedure within the previous five to ten years would have been observed by a five-year-old. TIGHAR fails to explain how Dr. Hoodless, Gallagher, or the Chief Medical Officer failed to see a dime size hole extending from the jaw through the bone into the cranium.  TIGHAR argues maybe the procedure was not apparent because of the missing zygoma and malar bones.  However, the zygoma/malar bones are really one area of the cheek and would not interfere in a forensic analysis of this part of the skull.  One of TIGHAR team members, a medical doctor, admitted that it would be hard pressed for anyone not to have seen evidence of such a procedure.

Not long before her final flight, Amelia bragged to Muriel that she just had a $1000 worth of dental work done. In today’s dollars that’s about $18,900 bucks. I t seems the five teeth examined by Gallagher, the Chief Medical Examiner, and Dr. Hoodless would have shown evidence of some dental work – a filling at least.

Let’s review some of the known Nikumaroro facts.

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan failed to arrive at Howland Island on their flight from Lae New Guinea on July 2, 1937. TIGHAR believes post loss radio messages from the pair skipped off the ionosphere and originated from Nikumaroro. TIGHAR has tramped to Nikumaroro at least 12 times over the years scouring the island for the missing aviators.

Some of the apocryphal TIGHAR discoveries include: 1) a bone from Earhart’s fingers – which turned out to be from a turtle; 2) a small glass jar that TIGHAR says could have contained freckle cream, and since Earhart had freckles, the jar would be evidence that Earhart was on Nikumaroro.  Never mind the jar was mass-produced for years by a variety of manufacturers, not just for freckle cream; 3) the sole of a size 9 shoe even though it is well documented from two pairs of Amelia’s shoes that still exist that Amelia had small feet and wore a size six and a half; 4) a piece of aluminum shelving that TIGHAR insisted came from the Electra even though it has been determined to be a manufactured piece and standard equipment on WWII era Navy PBY Flying Boats; 5) a piece of aluminum sheathing found on Nikumaroro’s sandy beach by TIGHAR in 1991 that TIGHAR insists came from a metal patch installed over the rear window of Earhart’s Lockheed 10 Electra in Miami, disregarding the fact the aluminum is stamped with war years aluminum markings, and not withstanding how the aluminum piece remained in plain view on the beach after 55 years, while the plane is nowhere to be found; 6) a jackknife found near TIGHAR’s “Seven Site” might have come from Earhart’s plane because a jackknife was listed as being on the Electra’s inventory.  TIGHAR apparently is not aware that most men in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s would have never been without a jackknife in the wilderness.

The Coast Guard’s Loran Unit 92, Gardner Island circa 1944.  Do you suppose this crew might have left some garbage buried on the island during their year and a half stationed there?  And how could anyone from TIGHAR seriously tell us that the garbage they find in Nikumaroro, such as freckle cream jars, came from Amelia Earhart?

But why did they die?

TIGHAR theorizes Earhart and Noonan died very early during their stay on Nikumaroro.  Maybe as little as a week or two after they arrived. Certainly, before October 1937, when the first group of explorers arrived.  Could this have happened?   Quite unlikely.

Coconut water from at least 200 coconut palms was plentiful.  Each coconut can contain as much as six ounces of coconut water.  Fish teamed in the hulk of a freighter washed up on the beach and in the lagoon. Maude, one of the early scientists visiting the island in October 1937, later wrote that you could catch the fish with your hands. Turtles were easy prey and large coconut crabs scampering about everywhere are considered a delicacy by natives. Earhart and Noonan could have survived on Gardner Island indefinitely.

TIGHAR claims it’s possible Earhart and Noonan might not have had the “know how” or stamina to survive as castaways.  That argument seems impossible.  The will to survive is strong and Earhart and Noonan were no slouches. Noonan was worldly and had sailed around the world on nine windjammers.  Hardly the life of a wimp.  Earhart was athletic, had no hesitation to crawl under cars in need of repairs, shot rats in barns, played golf, tennis, rode horses, and earlier in life, played basketball.  In college, she explored the dark catacombs below Columbia and crawled several times to the precarious top of its library dome.  She had no fear.  More importantly, she was an accomplished swimmer.

Didn’t the U.S. Navy look for Earhart and Noonan at Gardner Island? They sure did.

A week after Earhart disappeared, three Vought O3U-3 Corsair float planes from the Battleship USS Colorado flew over Gardner Island for 30 minutes. They roared back and forth, and up and down the length of the island at a leisurely 80 mph. Lieutenant John Lambrecht, the team leader, said they flew at an altitude of 50 to 500 feet. Each plane carried a pilot and observer.  It would have been enough time for the six set of eyes to view the island close-up for at least four passes over the length of this small island.  TIGHAR says the “glare” probably prevented the crew from seeing Earhart and Noonan. Or, TIGHAR surmises, maybe Earhart and Noonan were deep in the jungle.

The battleship USS Colorado joined the search July 7, focusing her search on the Phoenix Islands, 350 miles southeast of Howland. On July 9, three Vought O3U-3 Corsair float planes were launched from the battleship’s three catapult rails to make an aerial inspection of three locations: McKean Island, Gardner Island (now the infamous Nikumaroro), and Carondelet Reef. Nothing unusual was seen during the flyovers of these islands; neither Amelia Earhart nor her Electra were ever on Nikumaroro, contrary to the incessant propaganda efforts by our establishment media.

Guess what, nowhere on the island is the center of the jungle more than 200 yards from the beach – plenty of time for the castaways to break out into the open.

Why would they be deep in the jungle anyway?  (End of Les Kinney commentary.)

Les Kinney’s comprehensive history of Gardner Island-Nikumaroro provides clear perspective on the credibility and veracity of the latest TIGHAR offerings.  Of course, there’s plenty that Les couldn’t get to, and that we can’t cover in one blog post.  Frankly, I purposely did not expend much space in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last discussing TIGHAR’s vapid disputations, preferring to cover other threads of far more substance.  I did write a section titled “The Nikumaroro Hypothesis: Recycled Snake Oil,” that dealt with some of the more salient matters, including the fact that the Nikumaroro hypothesis itself is a third-hand version of Fred Hooven’s original McKean-Gardner Island landing theory, presented by Goerner at the 1982 Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Amelia Earhart Symposium.  The theory was soon disavowed by Hooven, once he realized how ridiculous it actually was — and still is. (See pages 300-304 Truth at Last.)  Several revealing posts relating to TIGHAR can easily be found via a simple search of this blog.

Les Kinney’s foregoing presentation was far more civil, cordial and even-keeled than anything I write about these miscreants, but we each have our own style.  On March 9, the Pacific Regional News echoed the latest TIGHAR bombast with its own story, which appeared in the Marianas Variety, Saipan’s major paper and the site of the recent announcement about the planned Earhart Memorial Monument at the Saipan International Airport.  The story,  “Bones found on remote island may belong to Amelia Earhart, study says, is followed by comments, and because the Marianas Variety is a fair and unbiased publication, my comment was allowed to stand:

The claim that Amelia Earhart’s bones were found on Nikumaroro has been long discredited and exposed as fraudulent; this idea is nothing but more hype and fake news from TIGHAR and their media toadies across the mainstream media.  Further, this latest media blitz has surely been coordinated by those in Washington who do not want to see an Earhart memorial on Saipan, and such is their anger that they have activated more than the usual handful of media organizations to spread the latest TIGHAR manure across the land. The timing is too coincidental to be anything else.  This new installment of the “lost bones” lie is nothing more than a thinly veiled response to the recent announcement about the plans to build the Saipan Earhart Memorial Monument.

Weasel words like “could have,” “likely” and “99 percent probability” season the latest recycled TIGHAR trash, but at bottom, it’s nothing but smoke, mirrors and lies, as usual, from TIGHAR and those in the media who aid and abet their phony schemes.  I ask those who believe in real science — not discredited fantasies like “remote viewing” — to study the facts that Earhart researchers have complied for nearly 60 years, and you cannot come to any other conclusion than Amelia and Fred Noonan’s tragic and unnecessary deaths on Saipan.

Murderers are sent to their executions daily on the smallest fraction of the evidence presented in several books since Fred Goerner’s 1966 bestseller “The Search for Amelia Earhart” solidly established the presence and deaths of Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan following their loss in July 1937, and inspired thousands of Americans to demand action from Congress to reveal the truth, which was thoroughly ignored. The additional mountain of evidence I present in “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last” and in my blog, www.EarhartTruth.com to support the Marshalls and Saipan truth brings together Goerner’s work and that of several other fine researchers and leaves no other conclusion than Saipan. If TIGHAR had the tiniest molecule of this evidence to support their false claims, the Earhart “mystery,” would have been declared “solved” decades ago.

The major problem with the Earhart story is that the American public has been told unceasingly for 80 years that her disappearance is a “great aviation mystery,” to the point that this canard has become part of our cultural furniture, blindly accepted without question by nearly everyone.  In fact, the U.S. government knows exactly what happened to the fliers and simply refuses to admit it. I will not expand on this basic truth here, however, as anyone unafraid to learn the truth can easily find it. Although the truth about the Earhart disappearance is a sacred cow in Washington, it’s also an open secret, available to anyone who desires to find, learn and understand.  (End of Campbell comment.)

In a different situation I would end this post by saying, “We rest our case,” but the fact is that no case has been made by TIGHAR for any of its unceasingly empty and baseless claims.  So at this time, I’ll simply say, “Case closed.”  Until, of course, the next round of mass-media propaganda and lies descends on the unwary.

In closing, again I ask for your kind donations in any amount to the Earhart Memorial on Saipan — a eminently worthy cause that is long overdue.  Please make your check out to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  Thank you.

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