The establishment’s latest fusillade against the truth in the Earhart disappearance appeared in the Discovery News online news site on Oct. 11, and was soon picked up by other outlets including FOX News. Ironically filed under the heading “U.S. History,” the story, headlined “Amelia Earhart Plane Search to Resume Next Year,” was an update to the May 29 story, “Amelia Earhart’s Plane Revealed in Sonar,” by Discovery News senior correspondent Rossella Lorenzi, which I discussed in my June 2 post.
Lorenzi, whose enthusiastic shilling for Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR dates back to at least 2009, has penned a wide assortment of propaganda pieces for TIGHAR and become perhaps its leading apologist. Among her recent stories in support of this farcical Earhart search are such gems as “Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found,” “Amelia Earhart’s Plane? New Sonar Imagery Raises Hopes,” and “Pieces of Amelia Earhart’s plane located?”
In her Oct. 11 story, the TIGHAR mouthpiece breathlessly announced, “The search for Amelia Earhart’s long-lost aircraft will resume next year in the waters off Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati where the legendary pilot may have died as a castaway. . . . Called Niku VIII, the new expedition is expected to cost as much as $3 million. It will rely on two Hawaiian Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) manned submersibles, Pisces IV and Pisces V, each carrying a pilot and two TIGHAR observers.” The effort is planned to span 30 days, beginning in mid-August 2014, Lorenzi added.
Will someone please tell me, after 10 fruitless trips to Nikumaroro and millions of wasted dollars, just precisely WHO in their ever-loving right minds is going to fork over $3 million so that Gillespie can return to Nikumaroro for yet another monumental waste of time and treasure? Is anyone out there really stupid and well heeled enough to invest in this ridiculous project? Did I hear someone whisper, “U.S. government”?
Is Rossella Lorenzi really unaware of the massive and overwhelming evidence that’s been collected since Fred Goerner’s first trip to Saipan in June 1960, and presented in such books as Goerner’s The Search for Amelia Earhart; Vincent V. Loomis’ Amelia Earhart: The Final Story; Thomas E. Devine’s Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident; and Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last? We can’t really know, since she never mentions Saipan as even a remotely possible solution to the apparently irresolvable Earhart conundrum.
I couldn’t take it anymore, and decided to write to this woman, whose name is becoming a familiar piece of TIGHAR’s ongoing Earhart charade, to see if she might respond to a small dose of common sense. Here is my email missive of Oct. 14:
I just saw your Oct. 14 Discovery News piece promoting TIGHAR’s next installment in their longstanding disinformation campaign in the Amelia Earhart matter. How many times does Gillespie have to return to Nikumororo and find nothing before you will decide to stop writing about this ridiculous charade, or is there no limit to your propaganda efforts? Your constant advocacy of TIGHAR either betrays your total lack of knowledge or your utter dishonesty, in either event the result is the same — your readers are badly misinformed and misled.
If you are truly interested in the truth about the Earhart case, I encourage you to go to my website below and begin your real education, but first read this piece, which continues its run on Veterans News Now as one of its most popular stories ever:
Rossella, there is no excuse for such mendacity in our media, and someday all of us will answer for every false utterance of our lives. The truth about what happened to Amelia on Saipan is obvious to all but the agenda driven and the ignorant, which unfortunately outnumber those of us who can actually read. You have made yourself part of what appears to be a permanent problem in the Earhart search, and I hope you’re satisfied that thanks to you and others of your ilk, the truth about Amelia’s fate is now considered to be an irresolvable historical puzzle. That way people like Gillespie can continue their phony searches and make a nice living along the way. Truth be damned.
Predictably, Lorenzi didn’t reply. A few days later, after a friend and Earhart enthusiast in Pennsylvania also wrote to her to take a small shot, and incorrectly stated that she worked for FOX News, Lorenzi corrected him and told him she didn’t take his or my attacks personally, copying me on her reply. Of course I couldn’t miss this opportunity to add another log to the fire, which I did Oct. 18:
I never thought you worked for FOX, and my email to you was not meant as a personal attack, but to inform you about the truth in the Earhart case. This truth, easily found and discerned in many books including Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, isn’t a matter of opinion, but has been the subject of a massive government disinformation effort practically since the day she was lost.
Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR, whether or not they actually believe the third-hand, long-debunked ideas they propagate with the help of a compliant media, have been the government-media establishment’s selected agents of disinformation since 1989, when they first began to make their false claims, claims that were accepted as “reasonable” by the majority of a gullible, uninformed American public.
You must know this, but if you don’t, I ask that you do some homework and READ the information provided to you in the link I sent, and by reading my book as well, which is attached gratis in PDF format that can be easily downloaded into a kindle. The overwhelming evidence that places Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in the Marshalls and Saipan cannot simply be rejected out of hand as simple “folklore” as Gillespie has so nonchalantly suggested. For all reasonable people I’ve met, the big picture truth in the Earhart disappearance isn’t even debatable.
Now that she has a PDF copy of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, Rossella has no more excuses, and cannot say she didn’t know any better in her reportage of the Earhart case. The use of lawyerly wriggle words designed to impart an image of objectivity in news stories doesn’t excuse the blatant, incredibly slanted approach to TIGHAR’s 25-year Earhart fundraising campaign taken by Lorenzi and many other so-called journalists in the establishment media. I await Rossella’s response, but not with bated breath.
Once in a blue moon I encounter an individual who, upon learning the truth about Amelia Earhart’s fate after spending a lifetime in the dark, becomes extremely interested, to the point where he takes tangible actions that reveal the depth of his enthusiasm for his — or her — newfound interest. I recall my own reaction upon reading my first Earhart book in 1988, the infamous 1970 tome, Amelia Earhart Lives, by the still-living Joe Klaas in collaboration with the late Joe Gervais, and how I was instantly fascinated, hooked beyond hope by Klaas’ web of intrigue, most of it quite fanciful and bogus. After all, this was the book that introduced Irene Bolam, the New Jersey housewife, as Amelia Earhart, and became a sensation for a brief time, until Bolam sued publisher McGraw-Hill for defamation and the book was pulled from the shelves after seven weeks — but it was all new and fascinating beyond words to this uninformed civilian Navy writer.
Soon I wrote to Thomas E. Devine, author of Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, in West Haven, Conn., after reading his amazing book. Surprised and inspired when I received Devine’s somewhat critical yet encouraging response, I began more than 14 years of correspondence and collaboration with the solitary, embattled Saipan veteran, a collaboration that eventually resulted in With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia Earhart (2002). In February 1990, at the conclusion of my first visit to Devine, he signed my copy of Eyewitness, ”Mike Campbell, an enthusiast,” and I suppose that summed it up, at least as the old man saw it.
In mid-July of the past summer, a fellow named Bill Xam, 55, of Saline, Mich., placed an ad on www.RadioGuestList.com, seeking guests for his talk show with an unlikely moniker, “Surrounded by Idiots” (www.ussamichigan.com) on the Internet’s Freedom Talk Radio network. Despite the strange program title, I sent him my standard radio query, the one that’s been ignored by many hundreds of radio talk show hosts and program directors, but this was one of my few mailings that actually bore fruit.
“This is one of the subjects that I believe virtually everyone is interested in – it’s one of the greatest mysteries of the modern age,” Xam replied. “I am very interested in having you on the show. Personally, I am more comfortable mentally with the image of them surviving on a small atoll and dying there rather than as prisoners. But whereever the evidence leads we must go.” At that time, I didn’t disabuse Xam of his mistaken belief that “virtually everyone” is interested in the Earhart “mystery.”
Just a few months later, he now understands how few really do care, and how little the Earhart disappearance means to anyone under 50. Those who can remember sitting by their radios as children, listening for news of the lost “aviatrix,” are leaving us in increasing numbers every day, so barring some unexpected sea change, the future is not promising for a massive revival of interest in the Earhart case, a sad fact reflected in the increasingly dismal sales figures for Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.
Like the handful of radio hosts who plan to have me on, Xam said he would read my book before we engaged on the air; unlike the vast majority, he actually did read it. After he finished, he wanted to talk about it, and we had a lengthy phone conversation. On Sept. 21, Xam published a nice little YouTube promo for our Sept. 25 show.
Next, Bill composed an impressive set of notes for our upcoming interview, and he published these on his site as well. Both the promo and the notes reflected a level of focus, interest and enthusiasm I had never seen in any radio host.
Although on rare occasion I had done an interview for two hours, I had sworn this practice off, as I felt it gave away too much of the book and was counterproductive. But because Bill had done so much work in preparation for the show, I made an exception at his request, and we flew through two hours on the evening of Sept. 25. In addition to the audio feed, Bill did a YouTube visual presentation as we proceeded, displaying photos and other visuals for interested viewers. Following are both the YouTube and MP3 links to our extended chat:
For the few who might have an interest in learning the truth about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and who have stumbled upon this blog, this is your lucky day. Click on the links above, learn and enjoy, courtesy of Bill Xam, a newly commissioned officer in the Earhart Truth Brigade.