Castro, AEMMI celebrate Earhart’s 124th birthday

Another July 24 has arrived, and had she somehow lived to this dayAmelia Mary Earhart, born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897 to Amy Otis and Edwin Stanton Earhart, would be celebrating her 124 years old.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

Some certainly have lived this long, and much longer if Old Testament Biblical history is accurate.  But if Amelia had escaped the wretched fate the prewar Japanese military on Saipan cooked up for her, her lifespan would likely have been similar to her genetically endowed younger sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, affectionately known to Amelia as Pidge,who passed away at age 98 in March 1998.  Most importantly, Amelia lives on in the hearts of real, freedom-loving Americans, and so we celebrate another First Lady of Flight’s birthday.

Amelia, or “Meelie,” left, was two years and four months older than Muriel, known as “Pidge.” “We never played with dolls,” Muriel wrote, “but our favorite inanimate companions were our jointed wooden elephant and Amelia’s donkey. Ellie and Donk lived rigorous lives which no sawdust-filled, china-headed beauty could have survived. . . . We never slept until the two battered but faithful creatures were on guard at the foot of our beds.”

This season has been particularly lacking in any Earhart-related news, which is a good thing.  All the usual parasites seem to be taking a breather in 2021, and neither the Earhart leeches nor the media care about Amelia’s birthday, much less in the truth.  This leaves it with us, or most of it, anyway.  

In Atchison, Kansas, where the facts about the horrific fates of the doomed fliers are labeled lunatic fringe “conspiracy theory” when it’s considered at all, the tone-deaf  members of the “Amelia Earhart Committee” have again capitulated to the Covid lie that’s turned half the nation into cowering hysterics. 

The Atchison Globe announcement on March 10, 2021 that the AE Committee cancels Amelia Earhart Festival for 2021,” marks the second straight year the benighted citizens of Atchison have caved to the irrational terror created by the ghoul Tony Fauci and his CDC minions over a bug that 99.8 percent of the population survives easily, according to the CDC’s own inflated numbers.  “The safety and well-being of volunteers and all who would attend are the highest priority, according to a news release from chief surrender monkey Jacque Pregont, AE Festival Coordinator.  Once again, it’s the short end of the stick for Amelia, who, in this age of Covid-obsessed panic, gets no respect even in her own birthplace. 

To review the events and the state of the current zeitgeist for several recent Earhart birthdays, please see “July 24, 2012: Happy Birthday, Amelia; July 23, 2014, For Amelia Earhart, another unhappy birthday;” “July 24, 2017: Happy Birthday, Amelia;and my July 24, 2019 post,For Amelia Earhart, it’s Happy Birthday No. 122!”

Since 2017, the only decent, consistent news about Amelia Earhart has come from Saipan, where my friend Marie Castro, now 88, continues her apparently hopeless campaign to erect an Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument at the site of the great flier’s wretched demise.  I’ve written often and passionately about Marie’s selfless devotion to the truth, and we’re blessed that this unique woman has the fortitude to stand up and demand justice in a world where lies, greed and cowardice predominate.  

AEMMI Inc. President Marie Castro delivers the opening address at the CNMI Museum on Saipan to kick off July 24 events for Amelia Earhart’s 124th birthday celebration.

Today, Marie and her small, devoted group, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. (AEMMI), paid their respects to Amelia and Fred Noonan in a modest celebration at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Museum.  Following a public greeting by Manny F. Borja, Marie began addressing the attendees with the following prepared remarks:

“The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument”
by Marie Castro, President of the AEMMI Inc.

In 2019, we initiated Amelia’s 122nd birthday celebration for the first time on Saipan in the CNMI.

It has been four years since the inception of this project to build a Memorial Monument to commemorate the two heroes, Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.

I believe that any unusual, significant event that took place on land, either political or non-political, pleasant, or unpleasant should be recorded in the history of that place.  Or do we continue to sit and ignore such a significant event on Saipan in 1937?

Most of our people of Saipan do not know the story, perhaps a few have read stories written about Amelia’s plane that came down in the Pacific and disappeared and was believed to be a mystery.  But the disappearance and death of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan is not a mystery, the true evidence is found here on Saipan.  Our elders’ accounts of what they witnessed of the two fliers’ presence on Saipan were extremely significant and true accounts. Josephine Blanco Akiyama was the first Chamorro woman who saw Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan at Tanapag Harbor.

In 1960, Fred Goerner, a San Francisco radio newsman, visited Saipan four times and interviewed about 200 Chamorros about the two American fliers.  A few of the witnesses interviewed by Goerner and later by others were Manuel Aldan, Jesus Salas, Antonio Cepada, Carlos Palacios, Gregorio Camacho, Jesus Boyer and Francisco Tudela.  Except for Manuel Aldan who heard the name Earnhardt, all described the American woman as having short hair and wearing a man’s outfit. The closest contacts with Amelia Earhart, who I myself knew and interviewed, were Matilde F. Arriola, her sister Consolacion and Joaquina M. Cabrera who washed Amelia’s clothes. Jose Sadao Tomokane attended the cremation of Amelia Earhart.

Members of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. recently gathered at Shirley’s Restaurant in Garapan, Saipan, as they prepared for Amelia’s 124th Birthday Celebration.  (L to R) Allen K. Castro, Technician; Rosa P. Powers, member; Remedio R. Sablan, member; Frances M. Sablan, Vice President and temporary Secretary; Herman Cabrera, Architect; Marie S. Castro, President; Manuel F. Borja, Treasurer; Glenn Manglona, member.  Missing: Ed Williams, Ambrose and Lillian Bennett, John C. Reyes, Avelina Yamagata, Carlos and Evelyna Shoda, Cinthia Kaipat, Cynthia Pangelinan, Stanley Torres  Oscar Camacho, Rita Demapan, Ana S. Teregeyo.                         

We understand the reluctance and hesitations in our community about building a memorial monument to Amelia Earhart on Saipan; we know very well the doubts in peoples’ mind, and we respect everyone’s opinions and beliefs.  But the truth can’t be changed to suit people’s whims or political preferences.

Our culture is deeply rooted in religious ceremony caring for family relatives and individual who departed from us giving the final honor he or she deserves.

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan sadly met their tragic ends on Saipan, and the fliers have never been given any such honor as human beings.  Let us be the first to initiate this recognition as a human community to celebrate their end on July 24, 2021 at the CNMI Museum, celebrating the birthday of Amelia Earhart.

Thank you,

Marie S. C. Castro

Following Marie’s birthday address, the local Marianas High School Choral & Canon group performed the classic hymns “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.”  After Rev. Michael D. Linden, S.J.’s  invocation, he shared early memories of his father telling him about Amelia Earhart.

Next Marie and Mr. Borja treated the gathering to a dual-recitation of a poem, “To Amelia Earhart: The Woman That You Are,” recently composed by Marie, which they read in both English and Chamorro:


The woman that you are,
A role model for us
The path for the truth
By the bravery of your heart.

Always trail blazing,
Looking for adventure
Determined to accomplish,
The goal finally conquered.

Navigating your plane
On toward the Atlantic
Following on to the Pacific
A destination you found.

Unclear on the intent
Of your arrival location
Such unfortunate destination
With Fred Noonan, your beloved friend

You were taken by force,
By the Japanese soldiers
To the island of Saipan
Out of your free will

A deserving recognition
Patiently have waited,
Eight decades of uncertainty
An acknowledgement finally accomplished,

Facing a perilous journey
Unknown to your strength
Bravely endured to the end,
For the love of your country.

Marie Castro

Ed Williams and Marie Castro pause near the Amelia Earhart 124th Birthday cake during the celebration at Saipan’s CNMI Museum July 24.

More music followed, as the Marianas High School Chorale & Canon performed “I’ll be There” and group member Donato Santiago sang “You Raise Me Up.”

Finally, Marianas High School teacher Gina Aquilar led everyone in singing Happy Birthdayto guest of honor Amelia Earhart, whose life was so tragically cut short on Saipan so long ago, a prewar Japanese atrocity that the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge to this day.

Happy Birthday, Amelia, wherever you are!

Update: On July 26, Saipan’s newspaper Marianas Variety published a story about Marie Castro and the AEMMI’s July 24 event, “Group commemorates Amelia Earhart’s 124th birthday,by reporters Emmanuel T. Erediano and Bryan Manabat.  To read, please click here.

On July 26, Saipan TV did a report on the AEMMI’s July 24 Earhart celebration.  To watch, please click here and forward to 16:30.  

Earhart Society Newsletter’s mystery 1998 entry

The following entry, from the March 1998 edition of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, is notable, not only because it entirely lacks any source or byline information, something rarely seen in Bill Prymak’s well-accredited publication, but for what it purports to tell us.  Simply headlined “BITS & PIECES,” the three paragraphs present explosive revelations that, if true, explain much of what we’ve long suspected about our “trusted” Washington leadership.  Presented for your information and cogitation (boldface emphasis mine except where noted):


Several miles west of Washington, D.C., in the Maryland countryside, a large hill rises above the flat surrounding farmland.  Passing motorists who take the time to notice the anomaly think of it as merely a geological trick of nature.  Almost none know that it was secretly man-made from soil that was excavated for a command center and shelter for the capital city’s politicians and military leaders in World War II.

During the cold war, work never stopped, and the subterranean spread was enlarged into a vast storeroom for the nation’s records and artifacts dating back to the first pioneers who settled the eastern coastline in the 1600s.  The interior space is so expansive it is not measured in meters or acres but in square miles or kilometers.  To those few who are aware of its existence it is known as ASD (Archival Safekeeping Depository).

Paul Rafford Jr., in 2014 at age 95, was the elder statesman of Earhart researchers.  As a Pan Am radio flight officer from 1940 to 1946, Rafford was uniquely qualified as an expert in Earhart-era radio capabilities.  He joined the U.S. Manned Spaceflight Program in 1963, was a Pan Am project engineer in communications services at Patrick Air Force Base, and joined the team that put a man on the moon.  He retired from NASA in 1988 and died in 2016.

Thousands of secrets are buried away in the seemingly unending archival storage bins of the depository.  For some strange reason, known only to certain very few bureaucrats, entire sections of the depository hold classified material and objects that will never be revealed to the public.  The bones of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan and Japanese records of their execution on Saipan (boldface emphasis in original), the secret conspiracy files of both Kennedy assassinations, the intelligence of Soviet sabotage behind American space rocket and shuttle accidents and the retaliation at Chernobyl, staged films of the Apollo moon landing hoax, and much, much more . . . it was all filed and stored away, never to see the light of day.

The original source of the foregoing information is beyond me.  Hints and rumors of such an ultra-secret depository of establishment secrets outside Washington have occasionally passed by my attention, but I can’t put my finger on where or when.  Bill Prymak, as the AES Newsletters editor, approved of the inclusion of this cryptic piece, but for some reason he chose not to include any attribution.  So obscure is the subject of this small entry, the so-called Archival Safekeeping Depository, or ASD, that an Internet search on this term results in absolutely nothing of substance.  Does anyone have anything more on this Archival Safekeeping Depository hinted at by the March 1998 AES Newsletter?

Did Prymak agree that “staged films of the Apollo moon landing hoax” was an accurate characterization?  He never mentioned this to me, but I questioned Paul Rafford Jr. a few times about the popular conspiracy theorythat the 1969 moon landing was a phony, staged event. 

Rafford was vehement that the July 10, 1969 moon mission was real, as were the other six crewed missions to the moon that landed a total of 12 astronauts (all men) from 1969 to 1972 in a series of Apollo missions numbering up to Apollo 17.

Bill Prymak and Joe Gervais pause with the iconic Earhart eyewitness Bilimon Amaron at Amaron’s Majuro home in 1991.

Rafford began his aviation career with Pan American Airways as a flight radio officer in 1940, flying with Pan Am until 1946.  He worked with crew members who had flown with Fred Noonan, and talked with technicians who had worked on Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E.  After a promotion with Pan Am, he continued to fly as a technical consultant before transferring to the U.S. Manned Spaceflight Program in 1963.  During the early space shots he was a Pan Am project engineer in communications services at Patrick Air Force Base, and joined the team that put man on the moon.  He retired from NASA in 1988 and passed away at age 97 in 2016.

Other than a questionable mention of the NASA moon missions, what else can be gleaned from this strange entry in the AES Newsletters?

UPDATE, July 13: A longtime reader found a story titled Top 10 Secret United States Government Bunkers” on an obscure site called Listverse.

It’s possible that one or more of these secret bunkershouses the sacred cows that Bill Prymak’s AES Newsletter references, but perhaps not.  None of the listed sites are said to be located in Maryland, for one thing, and secondly, if a list of “Top 10” secret U.S. government bunkers can be published on the Net, they aren’t secret anymore, are they?


84th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight

July is Amelia Earhart’s month, for those of us who still honor the memory of this great American, and we don’t forget Fred Noonan, Amelia’s intrepid navigator whose sad destiny was inextricably bound to her own. 

July 2 is the 84th anniversary of Earhart and Noonan’s fateful takeoff from Lae, New Guinea in 1937, officially bound for Howland Island, 2,556 miles distant, a tiny speck in the Pacific, never flown before and the most difficult leg of their world-flight attempt.  What happened that compelled the fliers to land their Electra 10E off Barre Island at Mili Atoll, about 850 miles to the north-northwest, twenty-some hours later, remains the true mystery in the Earhart disappearance.  All else is smoke, mirrors and endless lies.

Guinea Airways employee Alan Board is credited with this photo of the Electra just before leaving the ground on its takeoff from Lae, New Guinea on the morning of July 2, 1937. This is the last known photo of the Earhart Electra.

No missing-persons case has ever been as misreported and misunderstood.  As I’ve said and written countless times, the widely accepted canard that the Earhart disappearance remains among the 20th century’s greatest mysteries is a vile, abject lie, the result of eight decades of government-media propaganda aimed at perpetuating public ignorance about the fliers’ wretched ends at the hands of the pre-war Japanese military on Saipan.  Considering the lengths to which the U.S. government has gone to obscure, cover-up and deny the truth, it appears this state of affairs will persist until the Last Day.  At that time, many will have much to answer for. 

To review some of the anniversary articles posted here in past Julys, please see my 77th anniversary post of June 24, 2014;July 2, ’17: 80 years of lies in the Earhart ‘Mystery’ ”; or last year’s story, July 2020: Earhart forgotten amid nation’s chaos.”

As for any Earhart news, this year is among the quietest in memory — virtually nothing is happening, at least to my knowledge.  A pair of pathetic cranks are claiming they’ve found the Earhart plane just off Nikumaroro and have even started a website with strange, inscrutable photos and nonsensical gibberish. 

View of group posed in front of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10-E Electra (NR 16020) at Lae, New Guinea, July 1937. Second and fourth from left are identified as Mr. and Mrs. Joubert (manager of Bulolo Gold Dredging and his wife), while Mrs. Chater (wife of the Manager of Guinea Airways) is seen third from left. Amelia Earhart can be seen third from right, and Fred Noonan is at far right.

No one in the mainstream media — or anywhere else — has paid a gnat’s worth of attention to the latest crap, and I won’t dignify this absurd, backhanded swipe at TIGHAR’s 30-plus years of propagandizing and fruitless searching off and on Nikumaroro by linking it here.  You certainly don’t need to know about it, but if you insist, you can search under “Road to Amelia Earhart” and you’ll find it unless it’s already been circular filed under “lies no one will believe.”  I only mention it because things are so currently comatose in Earhartland, and this latest is more proof that nature abhors a vacuum. 

The below cartoon from the Kansas City Star goes back to early 1994, but its misplaced humor perfectly captures the zeitgeist that’s always defined the Earhart matter.  Far from being one of history’s “most perplexing questions,” as an angel explains to a newly arrived soul, the truth about the loss of Amelia Earhart is well-known and one of the most precious sacred cows in the corrupt archives of the U.S. national security apparatus. 

On a rare positive note, Polish author and publisher Sławomir M. Kozak recently informed me about his forthcoming book, Requiem for Amelia Earhart, which will introduce the Polish people to the truth about the Earhart disappearance.  Requiem is scheduled for publication on Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of possibly America’s greatest betrayal, another sacred cow whose truth has eluded as many Americans as the Earhart cover-up, and another subject that the erudite Slawomir has studied closely.  His website is

On July 24, Marie Castro and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. (AEMMI) will get together on Saipan to celebrate Amelia’s 124th Birthday, and I’ll have photos and comments when that time rolls around.

Goerner’s ’68 appeal to House members, conclusion

We continue with the conclusion of Fred Goerner’s July 1968 presentation to a group of Republican House members, which was, inexplicably, chaired by Kentucky Governor Louie Broady Nunn.

During his four-page presentation, “Crisis in Credibility—Truth in Government,” Goerner succinctly laid out the facts that revealed the presence and deaths of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan that he’d found during his four investigative forays to Saipan during the early 1960s, a remarkable story that made The Search for Amelia Earhart a bestseller.  Goerner did his all he could to win the assembled Congressmen, most of whose names remain unknown, to the cause of securing justice for the doomed fliers.  It remains the closest thing to a fair hearing the truth in the Earhart disappearance has ever received by a U.S. government group of any kind. 

We continue with Fred Goerner’s transcript:

With a copy of that memorandum in hand, I polled the members of the Government information Subcommittee, and found shock and disbelief.  Not one of the Congressmen or any member of their staffs had communicated or even intimated such an attitude to the Navy Department.  The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld of Illinois and The Honorable John E. Moss of California, Chairman of the Committee, vowed to get an answer.

Donald Rumsfeld, now 88 and retired, served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under Gerald Ford, and again from January 2001 to December 2006 under George W. Bush.  He is both the youngest and the second-oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defense.  He also knew much about Fred Goerner’s work on the Earhart case, and was intimately involved with 9-11, another Big Lie and sacred cow in America’s history.  

Three months ago the matter reached a confrontation in the office of the Secretary of the Navy where apologies were issued to me and to the members of the Government Information Subcommittee and the offending memorandum was withdrawn from the file.  During the process two Navy officers accused each other of being the source of the wretched character assassination.

How and why such a spurious document reached the head of a file being declassified after thirty years for the edification of my fellow journalists still has not been explained.  I am now considering a legal suit to be filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco to determine that fact.

But what of the justice of truth for Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan.  At this moment two high-ranking former military officers and two highly-placed civilians (the names are in the hands of Congressman Rumsfeld) stand ready to reveal the truth if long-standing security restrictions which bind them can be removed.  In spite of this testimony, the Navy Department maintains there are NO restrictions; however, the Navy’s cognizant authority will not issue a letter to that effect to free the men.   Why such deception after thirty-one years?  What possibly about Earhart and Noonan could be that important?

The following quote is from a man who a dozen years ago served in one of the highest and most responsible positions in this country/is top intelligence gathering department: “It was well known within high ranking intelligence circles that Miss Earhart, at the time of her disappearances was under government instructions to fly over and observe suspected Japanese military developments in the islands of the Pacific.  There were some serious blunders made by the Navy in their attempt to provide Miss Earhart with proper guidance following the completion of her observations and the Navy was determined to conceal their participation and failure in this part of the operation.  The concealment of errors is congenital with the armed services and particularly so in connection with any covert type of operation such as this was.  The mission was not specifically for the United States Navy, but rather was ordered at the request of the highest echelons in the government.”

Fred Goerner, right, with the talk show host Art Linkletter, circa 1966, shortly before the establishment media, beginning with Time magazine, turned on Goerner and panned his findings, telling readers, in essence, “Move along, Sheeple, nothing to see here.”

In other words, when the full truth regarding Earhart and Noonan is known, a new view of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the years before Pearl Harbor will emerge.

Should that be classified because of national security?  I believe not.

I would like to ask you to make the obtaining of justice for Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan the business of the Republican Party this year, but I will not be that foolish.  I do ask, however, (The Scripps League of Newspapers joins me) that the Republican platform reflect a constructive concern for the American public’s right to know.

Listen to our youngsters cry, Tell it like it is.”  They have seen our hypocrisies and they want better from us.  There is a great yearning in our country for a clean, emancipating wind of truth.  And the political party that first fully realizes that fact will, in the vernacular, have it made!  Continually one hears today the question, “What has happened to patriotism in America?”

Trust, belief and confidence are at the heart of patriotism, and those American strengths have been severely shaken in recent years by literally hundreds of incidents of news manipulation, deception, double-talking and double-dealing by the executive branch of our government.  The spirit of patriotism must be restored in this country, but it cannot be rekindled by propaganda or simply by telling Americans they should be patriotic because it’s the thing to do.  It will only be regenerated when Americans are convinced their government is making every effort to truthfully inform them in every area of national concern and when they once again believe their national leaders are pursuing with dedication the principles of human behavior upon which the Constitution of The United States was created.

Foul! many will cry.  My God, what about secrets of state and national security.  If we have to tell everything we know, you might as well hand the country over to our enemies.

Nonsense,  is the answer to that.

Two men who knew plenty more than they ever revealed about the fate of Amelia Earhart: Secretary of the Interior Henry Mogenthau, Jr. (left) and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1934. Neither man ever revealed his knowledge nor was called to account for his role in the Earhart disappearance, her death on Saipan or the subsequent cover-up that continues to this day.

The protection of information vital to national security must be maintained.  What must be eliminated is the temptation to use “national security” as a cover to manipulate facts or hide information in the interest of vague political and diplomatic pragmatisms which are intended to protect individuals or organizations from the consequences of responsibility.

What can be done to diminish the gap and improve relations between government and the public?

Increase the purview and investigatory ability and authority of the Foreign Relations and Government  Information Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations of The House of Representatives.

Insure [sic] by legislation that control of that Committee always remains in the hands of the Minority,  so the ability to investigate cannot be frustrated by partisanship.  Plug the loopholes in the Freedom of Information law by establishing a board with a representation of security-cleared journalists who can determine what is and is not being served by the label, national security.

(These suggestions and many more are contained in a new book titled, CRISIS IN CREDIBILITY, written by Bruce Ladd, Jr., of Washington, D.C.  It should be read by every person who seeks public office.)

My appearance before this committee is a clear tribute to the degree of freedom we enjoy in America and I am grateful.  The best way we can protect that freedom is to make sure we are told the truth.  All of it.

Thank you.  (End of Goerner presentation.)

Goerner’s riveting presentation to the lawmakers produced nothing of significance; the sacred cow was sacrosanct, then and now.  None of his suggestions were ever acted upon and the serious allegations he made about the Navy’s key role in Earhart’s alleged secret mission remain unproven but quite possible.  

Goerner’s ’68 appeal to Republican House members

In July 1968, Fred Goerner appeared before a Republican platform subcommittee, chaired by Kentucky Governor Louie Broady Nunn, in a heretofore undisclosed Miami location.  Through his four-page presentation, “Crisis in Credibility—Truth in Government,” Goerner laid out the facts he had presented in The Search for Amelia Earhart, appealed to the members’ integrity and patriotism, and did his utmost to win them to the cause of securing justice for Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.  It remains the closest thing to a fair hearing the truth in the Earhart disappearance has ever received. 

Goerner traced the Navy’s history of denying it held classified Earhart files until late 1964, when the State Department’s disclosure of their existence forced the Navy to admit it possessed such information.  “What was ultimately shown to us [in 1967] answered none of the major questions and the Navy still maintained publicly that no files existed,” Goerner told the committee.  The ruse continued when the Navy, reacting to the popular outcry following publication of Search, claimed it had released all its Earhart files in 1967.  “I will not attempt to describe my disgust when I viewed the files,” Goerner said.  “Missing was information we had been shown. Included was information we had NOT been shown.  But in all cases it added up to nothing.”

Goerner’s presentation, “Crisis In Credibility — Truth In Government” appeared in the November 1998 issue of the Amelia Earhart Society NewslettersBold emphasis mine throughout; capitalization emphasis is Goerner’s.  This is the first of two parts.

Presentation: “Crisis In Credibility — Truth In Government”
By Mr, Frederick Goerner, San Francisco, California
1:50 P.M. EDST, Monday, July 29, 1968
National State and Local Relations Subcommittee of the Republican
Platform Committee, Miami, Florida

Louie Broady Nunn (1924-2004), Republican Governor of Kentucky from 1967-1971. The only Republican elected to the post between 1943 and 2003, Nunn had been endorsed by Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler and aided in his campaign by his friend, Ronald Reagan.  Nunn died in 2004 at age 79, and, to my knowledge, never went on the record about Goerner’s 1968 presentation in Miami, nor Amelia Earhart’s disappearance.

Governor Nunn:

Distinguished Members of the Committee:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I’m going to tell you a story in the next few minutes that is representative of one of the greatest dangers America faces today.  It represents a behavior, largely on the part of the executive branch of our government, which in recent years has reached such destructive proportions — it threatens to destroy the confidence of the American People in the integrity of our leaders, the wisdom of our goals, and the strength of our principles.

It is a behavior which engenders disenchantment, distrust and disgust.  It frustrates our journalists and turns trusting, loyal citizens into disillusioned skeptics.

This behavior is known by many names, but perhaps it is most familiar as the CREDIBILITY GAP . . .  the techniques by which news is managed, information is hidden and truth is perverted to disguise unsavory privilege and vested interest.

Many of my fellow journalists refer to this story as, The classic example.

You be the judge.

My involvement began in 1960 with my work as a newsman-broadcaster at KCBS Radio in San Francisco, but the event itself dates back more than thirty-one years.

On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart, America’s most famous woman flyer, together with her navigator, Captain Frederick Noonan, disappeared in their specially equipped twin-engine Lockheed Electra airliner during a flight from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.  In the month that followed, the U.S. Navy spent more than a million dollars on a search but to no apparent avail. Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan were listed as lost at sea.

There were rumors though that the flyers might have been captured by the Japanese, who had closed their mandated Pacific islands to outside inspection and who reportedly, were busy at work preparing those islands for war.  There were rumors, too, strongly denied by the U.S. Navy, that Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan had been on some sort of mission at the time of their disappearance.

In this undated photo from the mid-1960s, Fred Goerner holds forth from his perch at KCBS Radio, San Francisco, at the height of his glory as the author of The Search for Amelia Earhart.

During World War II, rumors persisted that evidence concerning Earhart and Noonan had been found by U.S. Military forces during the invasions of the Marshall Islands and later the Marianas.  Again denials by the U.S. Navy, and in 1946, after the end of World War II, U.S Navy spokesman said, There is no classified information in regard to Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan  and as far as the Navy is concerned, they are strictly a civilian affair.

So, seemingly, ended the matter.  Then, in 1960, fourteen years later, a native woman from the island of Saipan in the Marianas testified this country for the first time that an American man and woman, supposedly flyers, had been held by the Japanese on Saipan during 1937.

I was drawn into an investigation which has spanned more than eight years and occupied the time and talents of many fellow-workers and friends at KCBS Radio, The Scripps League of Newspapers, The Associated Press, and now the United States Congress.  From 1960 to 1964, four expeditions were made to the Mariana Islands and one to the Marshalls.  More than three-thousand natives of the islands were questioned along with hundreds of former servicemen here in the United States.  Testimony began to pile up.  An American man and woman had crash-landed an airplane in the Marshall Islands in 1937, and had been taken by the Japanese to Saipan.  The same information, according to a number of former U.S. servicemen, had been collected in 1944 and was well known to U.S. Intelligence.  Two former U.S. Marines [Everett Henson Jr. and Billy Burks, see Dec. 26, 2017 post, “KCBS 1966 release a rare treasure in Earhart saga.”] even testified they had assisted in the recovery of the remains of Earhart and Noonan from a shallow grave on Saipan in July of 1944.

Still, in 1964, the U,S. Navy Department repeatedly denied it possessed any classified files on the matter.  It was not until the U.S. State Department revealed late in 1964 the existence of restricted Navy files that an admission was privately made by the U.S. Navy, but what was ultimately shown to us answered none of the major questions and the Navy still maintained publicly that no files existed.

Maria Hortense Clark and Pvt. Everett Henson Jr., at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, on May 20, 1945, the day of their marriage.  Henson and Pvt. Billy Burks were ordered by Marine Capt. Tracy Griswold to excavate a gravesite several feet outside of the Liyang Cemetery on Saipan in late July or early August 1944.  This incident is chronicled in detail on pages 233-253 in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last (Photo courtesy Carla Henson.)

In 1966, with the hope an aroused public would help produce justice, I wrote the book titled  THE SEARCH FOR AMELIA EARHART, detailing the then six years of investigation.  Hundreds of interested Americans did write their congressmen and senators,  but it was not until June of 1967 that the U,S, Navy Department notified the nation’s press that after thirty years it was at last releasing the classified files on Amelia Earhart,

The files, however,said another Navy spokesman, only show that Earhart and Noonan were lost at sea and there was no involvement with the U.S. Navy.

I will not attempt to describe my disgust when I viewed the files.  Missing was information we [he and Ross Game] had been shown.  Included was material we had NOT been shown.  But in all cases it added up to nothing.

Near the top of the file, however, was a U.S. Navy internal memorandum which stated, “The Government Information Subcommittee of the House of Representatives is now convinced that Mr, Goerner is guilty of yellow journalism for alleging the Navy Department has withheld information on the Earhart matter.”  (End of Part I.)


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