Nimitz Museum’s disgraceful Earhart policy

Despite the June 2012 publication of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, with its extensive revelations of multiple examples of media malfeasance by so-called Earhart experts in its final chapter, “The Establishment’s Contempt for the Truth,” I’ve found that convincing more than a few discerning individuals of the U.S. establishment’s determination to continue its 76-plus year cover-up – some might say, “suppression” — of the truth in the Earhart disappearance, is extremely difficult.

Many I encounter believe my lack of progress with the mainstream media — which amounts to a virtual total blackout of this book – owes more to my lack of a polished approach than to any overt or covert policy of our media gatekeepers.  Twenty-six years on this story argue that they couldn’t be more mistaken.

Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. commander in chief Pacific Fleet during World War II, is spinning in his grave these days.

Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. commander in chief Pacific Fleet during World War II, is spinning in his grave these days.

A recent incident at the National Museum of the Pacific War, which houses the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg. Texas, provides a clear window into the way the establishment views the truth in the Earhart disappearance – with utter, abject contempt.  Regular readers of this blog may remember my Year in Review posting on Jan. 1, 2014, wherein I recalled my shock and dismay at the Admiral Nimitz Foundation Museum Store‘s outrageous rejection of Truth at Last nearly a year earlier.  I had much to learn when I confidently called the bookstore to request that my book, a direct descendant of Fred Goerner’s 1966 classic, The Search for Amelia Earhart, be reviewed for inclusion in the bookstore’s inventory.

A few minutes after I got off the phone with the store manager, I received an e-mail informing me that the book’s “subject matter is not part of our mission of WWII in the Pacific Theater at this museum.” My appeals to Laura Nelson, the museum’s executive assistant, and Joe Cavanaugh, the museum’s director, asking for reconsideration of the manager’s decision, were rudely ignored.  Maj.  Glenn MacDonald (U.S. Army, retired), editor-in-chief of the popular rank-and-file military-oriented site,, chronicled the Nimitz Museum travesty with this story, which was also blown off without comment by the Nimitz Museum’s enlightened leadership.

Now we have this latest incident, which only reinforces what I’ve known for so long.  A friend from Maryland, who prefers anonymity, recently visited the museum, which, in February 2014, unveiled a new, historic statue of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.  My friend, an Earhart researcher, hoped to ask the president and CEO of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, retired Marine Gen. Michael W. Hagee, why the museum’s bookstore refuses to carry Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.  He might have more realistically hoped that pigs might fly over the complex as he drove away completely disillusioned.

Hagee refused to meet with this man, an accomplished professional educator in his 70s, but sent an underling to briefly engage him.  In answer to his question, the low-level Nimitz employee told him that Nimitz’s immortal words to Goerner, “Now that you’re going to Washington, Fred, I want to tell you Earhart and her navigator did go down in the Marshalls and were picked up by the Japanese,” which once adorned a conspicuous archway in the museum, are now considered suspect because Fred Goerner was “probably lying” about what Nimitz told him. At that point, my friend didn’t bother to ask why Truth at Last was on the museum’s list of forbidden tomes.

This is the incredible pass we have come to, from those who claim to be keepers of the flame of freedom in our military-history shrines.  These despicable people demand reverence and honor from those who visit, but they dishonor the very namesake of their museum.  Can it get any worse than that? Thepan-institutional aversion to the truth that I describe in the final chapter of Truth at Last is alive and well, not only throughout the media, but even in our institutions that pretend to be defenders of Americans’ life and liberty.  Does anyone out there care anymore?

8 responses

  1. Why does this not surprise me? When many are so ready to believe TIGHAR, and donate big money to this “wild goose chase”, those same people scoff at Mike Campbell’s excellent book, “Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last”. For the Nimitz Museum refuses to carry this book certainly amazes me at their ignorance.
    Jennings Bunn


    1. Jennings,
      Thanks for your comment. Actually, this is not a case of ignorance, but of the devotion of the establishment to suppress the truth in the Eahart disappearance. They know damn well what happened, but the people who run the Nimitz Museum are chosen by, for and with establishment approval. They set their policies accordingly. What’s amazing is that Nimtz’s words to Goerner were once actually enshired there.


  2. Mike,
    Has the Vandegrift letter been published? I’d really like to read it. Although I believe the “Crashed & Sank” scenario is most likely, I am always interested in any evidence that places Earhart on Saipan.

    Somewhere you’ve written-

    “…no less an authority than the late General Alexander A. Vandegrift, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1947, told [Goerner] in a nearly completely unknown 1971 letter, “Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan.”


    1. Dave,
      The salient passages of the Vandegrift letter can be found in Truth at Last. I did not photocopy the letter and put it in the book, but I have a copy of it in my files. I am amazed that you reject the obvious and remain in the crash-and-sank camp. Incredible.


  3. Reading the entire letter may convert me. Can you post the text here?

    I should say that I do not reject the Saipan theory outright. I’m willing to look at any evidence in support of it.


    1. Dave,
      I’ll offer you a deal. I’ll post the money quote from Gen. A.A. Vandegrift’s letter here, and strongly suggest that you buy Truth at Last if you haven’t done so. If you find the book lacking, I will personally send you a refund. The following is taken directly from the book, p. 317:
      “General Tommy Watson, who commanded the 2nd
      Marine Division during the assault on Saipan and stayed
      on that island after the fall of Okinawa, on one of my seven
      visits of inspection of his division told me that it had been
      substantiated that Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan,”
      the handwritten letter states. “That is the total knowledge
      that I have of this incident. In writing to you, I did not
      realize that you wanted to quote my remarks about Miss
      Earhart and I would rather that you would not.”


  4. Thank you Mike. I just found the full letter on another site. Has any effort been put into finding out more about Gen. Tommy Watson’s report? Maybe he told this story to other people?

    [I will order a copy of your book and look forward to reading it.]

    720 El Dorado Lane
    Delray Beach, Florida
    10 August 1971
    Frederick Goerner
    25 Presidio Terrace
    San Francisco, Calif.

    Dear Mr. Goerner:

    Please pardon my delay answering your letter of June. I have been in the hospital and have not been too well since my return.
    In writing to you, I did not realize that you wanted to quote my remarks about Miss Earhart, and I would rather that you would not.
    General Tommy Watson who commanded the 2nd Marine Division during the assault on Saipan and stayed on that island after the fall of Okinawa, on one of my seven visits of inspection of his division told me that Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan. That is the total knowledge I have of this incident.

    Having known General Watson many years, I naturally accepted this information as being correct. General Watson, I am sorry to say, died some years ago and therefore cannot be contacted.
    I am sorry if my remarks mislead you but I cannot add anything more to this report
    Most sincerely,

    /s/ A.A. Vandergrift
    General USMC (Ret


    1. Thanks Dave. I look forward to your review of Truth at Last, and if you want, will post it here.


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