Until this morning, I was not aware of a single word about Amelia Earhart’s death in Japanese captivity on Saipan in any U.S. newspaper commemorating the 75th anniversary of her disappearance. Instead, all we hear is TIGHAR and Nikumaroro, ad nauseum till death do we part.
But an enterprising member of the Amelia Earhart Society’s online forum, Australian Ian Mann, sent the group a link to an op-ed that headlined the opinion page of GreecePost.com, an online version of the Canandaigua, N.Y.-based Messenger Media, with 16 publications that reach 400,000 consumers in the surburban Rochester, west-central New York area.
“What really happened to Amelia Earhart?” Joel Freedman asked, and proceed to briefly summarize Fred Goerner’s major conclusions in this 1966 bestselling classic, The Search for Amelia Earhart. “What about the evidence Earhart and Noonan deliberately veered off course to scrutinize Japanese military installations, and that they were captured and killed by the Japanese?” Freedman wrote. “When Americans liberated the small island of Saipan in 1944, the island’s natives gave accounts of two white pilots, a male and a female, who were beaten, executed and buried on Saipan.”
Freedman then asked the logical question that anyone with a basic knowledge of investigations into the Earhart case, scant few anymore, often ponder: “So why does the U.S. government give the royal runaround to those who have sought further validation of all this? If Earhart had volunteered to secretly scrutinize Japanese military installations at a time we weren’t at war with Japan, she surely was advised America couldn’t aid her if she was captured. Could it be after the war, rather than acknowledge our government asked the world’s most famous and admired aviatrix to engage in espionage, it was decided not to reveal Earhart’s fate?”
In his conclusion, Freedman quoted a salient passage from Goerner’s final pages in Search that I had overlooked in Truth at Last: “What is going to be done to clear the record completely, to remove all the aspects of doubt and suspicion and bewilderment from a heroic story that the public has a right to know in full so that two human beings may be properly honored for their courage and their contribution?” Indeed.
Here for the first time, albeit in a suburban New York community newspaper, was evidence that at least one man was seriously contemplating Amelia Earhart’s fate on the diamond anniversary of the iconic flier’s loss, instead of being lulled into semiconsciousness while watching the latest news of the 10th TIGHAR trip to Nikumaroro, where Ric Gillespie and his pack of bloodhounds will doubtless seize upon some new artifact (piece of garbage) that Gillespie will claim could have been owned by Earhart or Fred Noonan.