Nov. 23: Amelia Earhart and Bill Prymak make news

The long-awaited Broomfield (Colo.) Enterprise story on Bill Prymak appeared in the twice-weekly newspaper’s online edition Nov.  21.  The piece, written by the paper’s only full-time news reporter, Megan Quinn, wasn’t bad, considering how little time these too-busy wage slaves at the small papers actually devote to their feature stories these days.

“For the past 27 years, Broomfield resident Bill Prymak has studied Earhart’s final journey as the head of the Amelia Earhart Society, a group of researchers and history buffs who share theories and information across the globe,” Quinn wrote.  “At the height of his research in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Prymak traveled four times to the Marshall Islands, where he interviewed potential eyewitnesses who said they saw a plane crash in 1937.”

Quinn went on to describe Bill’s encounter with Joro, one of the elders on Mili Atoll’s Enajet Island, circa 1989, which is presented at length in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last“Prymak said Joro described a ‘lady pilot’ crash-landing on the inner coral reefs of Barre Island,” she wrote. “In an interview with Prymak, Joro said the Japanese, who occupied the area at the time, ordered ‘all able-bodied men to assemble in the village of Port Rhin at Tokow Channel, next to Barre Island.’ The Japanese threatened to behead any islanders who talked about the mission, Joro told Prymak.”

Quinn took a few liberties when she referenced me in the story, even taking a sentence from the introduction to Truth at Last and making it sound as if she had interviewed me. But she did plug the book, writing, “Prymak’s research is featured in Mike Campbell’s new book, ‘Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.’  Campbell’s book makes the case for Earhart’s demise at the hands of the Japanese military.”

Quinn’s story was immediately picked up by the Boulder Daily Camera, the Craig (Colo.) Daily Press, and amazingly, the Denver ABC affiliate, Channel 7, which put the story on their website. Sadly, all this coverage of Bill’s story had no effect on sales of the book. It was as if nobody read past the first few paragraphs of the story.  All in all, I was happy to see Bill get some well-deserved ink, but extremely disappointed that the fairly dominent mention of Truth at Last in the story simply did not translate into any sales at all.

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