LaPook destroys Gillespie’s latest false claim

In the opening sentence of my critique about Ric Gillespie and The International Group for Historic Recovery (TIGHAR) in the final chapter of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, I wrote the following: “Nobody in the history of Earhart investigations has made so much from so little as Ric Gillespie.”  With this new phony claim from the TIGHAR chief, Gillespie appears more determined than ever to prove the validity of that statement.

The 26-year assault against common sense, logic and worst of all, the truth, which has been the hallmark of Gillespie’s Earhart-Nikumaroro fundraising campaign since a USA Today headline screamed, “A piece for Earhart puzzle on Jan. 4, 1991, continued its seemingly unceasing refrain Oct. 28.  All of a sudden, we were knee deep into another super media-hype prelude to what Gillespie ostentatiously labels Niku VIII, but which is, more accurately, TIGHAR’s eleventh trip to the long-picked-over island of Nikumaroro, formerly Gardner, in the Central Pacific’s Phoenix Chain.

As a result, I’ve been derailed from my track of highlighting Paul Rafford Jr.’s estimable and controversial theories about Amelia Earhart’s last flight, and forced to confront the latest affront to the truth in the Earhart case by Gillespie, unarguably among the greatest obstacles to public enlightenment in the history of Earhart research, perhaps second only to the U.S. government itself, which has been actively suppressing the truth since 1937.

This new outrage, which Australian researcher David Billings warned me was coming, began with Discovery News’ mistitled story of Oct. 28,Amelia Earhart Plane Fragment Identifiedby way of Rossella Lorenzi’s mendacious pen.  “A fragment of Amelia Earhart’s lost aircraft has been identified to a high degree of certainty for the first time ever since her plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937,” Lorenzi’s story began.  “According to researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating the last, fateful flight taken by Earhart 77 years ago, the aluminum sheet is a patch of metal installed on the Electra during the aviator’s eight-day stay in Miami, which was the fourth stop on her attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

This is he piece of aluminum Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR found on Nikumaroro during their 1991 trip to the island. Why did they wait till 2014 to say it came from Amelia Earhart's lost Electra?

This is the piece of aluminum Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR found on Nikumaroro during their 1991 trip to the island. In 1991, this same piece was the subject of this claim by Gillespie, which was later debunked by several aircraft experts: “Exhaustive research has established that a section of aluminum aircraft skin found on Nikumaroro could only have come from Earhart’s aircraft.”

I need not repeat all the sordid details of the current iteration of this charade, or the disgusting phenomenon itself.  Gillespie’s money-grubbing Nikumaroro boondoggles are well known to readers of this blog as well as anyone else with even a passing interest in the Earhart case.  They also know his brainchild, TIGHAR, is the most inaptly named organization in modern aviation investigative history, and has never recovered and restored any aircraft, at least to this writer’s knowledge.  For those few visitors who may be new and need more information to clarify all this, please seeJune 2: Gillespie and TIGHAR — Again and Rossella Lorenzi, TIGHAR’s best friend” (Oct. 24, 2013).  

Last year Gillespie was reported to be seeking $3 million to finance the high-tech submersible search operations off Nikumaroro, of which an unknown percentage goes to Gillespie’s non-profit organization and finances the lifestyle to which he’s become accustomed.  But Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald reports that Gillespie’s new goal is a more modest $387,000 to take an underwater vessel to Nikumaroro to get a closer look at that anomaly.

(As an aside and something I shouldn’t have to say, neither I nor anyone else I respect who’s involved with Earhart research has ever been motivated by the remotest dreams of financial gain.  My love and devotion to the truth in the Earhart disappearance is well known to those who have read Truth at Last and frequent this site, which had been as popular as a toxic waste dump before we broke all-time page-visit records Oct. 30.  Clearly, many more discerning readers than usual, sick of reading Gillespie’s nonsense, went looking for an alternative – which, of course, would be the Marshall Islands, Saipan and the TRUTHI leave it to you, dear reader, to decide what you think motivates Ric Gillespie in his Earhart work.)

Lorenzi, along with the Miami Herald’s Garvin (see his Oct. 28 Piece of metal may offer clue to disappearance of Amelia Earhart’s plane for an example of just how truly bad the media adulation of Gillespie can get) has risen to threaten all time-supremacy of the media hacks who shill for Gillespie.  The AP’s Richard Pyle’s sendoff love letter to Gillespie in 2007 just before TIGHAR’s departure for NIKU V, “Search team hopes high tech will solve Amelia Earhart mystery” still ranks as the most oppressively biased of all the pro-TIGHAR propaganda in this writer’s memory.

But Lorenzi has been diligently practicing her agitprop, and she isn’t far behind Pyle.  Playing the faithful stenographer, deeper in her story she loyally reported the latest and most egregious Gillespie whopper, as she quoted him saying, “This is the first time an artifact found on Nikumaroro has been shown to have a direct link to Amelia Earhart” in touting his fourth-hand piece of old aluminum found in 1991 as the closest thing to aviation’s Holy Grail ever found.

Not yet content, Lorenzi gleefully rubbed salt in the wound by adding, In 10 archaeological expeditions to Nikumaroro, Gillespie and his team uncovered a number of artifacts which, combined with archival research, provide strong circumstantial evidence for a castaway presence.”  The unwashed are expected to assume that Lorenzi’s so-called “castaway presence” is Amelia Earhart, but she declined to mention that none of the assorted crap dragged out of the Nikumaroro ground has ever been linked to Amelia or Fred Noonan. Lorenzi also conveniently forgot to mention the U.S. Coast Guard LORAN Station, with real, living Americans, that was operating on the island from 1944 to 1946, or the hundreds of Gilbertese settlers who also lived there from the late 1930s to the early 1960s.  Details, details, details.

The shiny patch covering the spot where the aft window used to be, which is said to have appeared after repairs were made in Miami in late May-early June 1937, is the same sheet of aluminum that Ric Gillespie now claims he found on Nikumaroro in 1991.

The shiny patch covering the spot where the aft window used to be, which is said to have appeared after repairs were made in Miami in late May-early June 1937, is the same sheet of aluminum that Ric Gillespie now claims he found on Nikumaroro in 1991.

Once Lorenzi’s story hit the wires, nearly everyone in the mainstream horde broke their necks jumping on the TIGHAR bandwagon, among them ABC, NBC and CBS News, CNN, the Associated Press and on down the line to the major websites and newspapers in cities big and small.  Even Joseph Farah’s normally conservative World Net Daily joined the party, which became a full-court press of TIGHAR propaganda worthy of the finest Joseph Goebbels production.   I even heard it on news breaks between The Savage Nation on my local Jacksonville AM station.  Everyone was gleefully announcing that a piece of the Earhart plane had been found, thanks to Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR, and we could all sleep better that night.  For a while it was like the Second Coming, and I simply couldn’t take it.

But, as it turned out, these arrogant media types had stepped in it big time, proving yet again that investigative journalism has long been a dead art, replaced by political operatives who pretend to be journalists and have no hangups about ethics or honesty.  Almost as quickly as Gillespie’s claim had been circulated throughout the media biosphere, one man stepped forward to pour ice water all over the TIGHAR parade.

Gary LaPook, an experienced celestial navigator, attorney, former airline pilot and member of the Stratus Project and Amelia Earhart Society, recalled this piece of aluminum from bygone days, and knew it possessed a characteristic that unequivocally rules it out as coming from the Earhart Electra.  On Oct. 29, a day after Lorenzi’s proclamations were published, LaPook sent the below report to the AES online forum:

Aluminum used in manufacturing aircraft is known as “Alclad” and has specification “24 ST” and the aluminum sheets are marked. You can see on the surface of Ric’s piece of aluminum the “D” in the word “ALCLAD.”  All the photos of Earhart’s plane and, other planes from 1937, show that the aluminum is marked “24 ST” and is was not marked “ALCLAD.”  We know that the marking was changed by World War 2 but Ric claims that it is uncertain when the changeover was made and that some 1937 aluminum might have had the “ALCLAD” marking instead of the “24 ST” marking. Obviously, if Ric were to admit that this marking only happened after 1937 then his new fund raising piece is a scam.  When confronted with all the photos of Earhart’s plane under construction showing “24 ST” he explains it away by saying the “patch” was applied in Miami and that Miami had a different batch of aluminum with the new marking.

O.K. Since Ric is proffering this aluminum as evidence of Earhart’s plane being on Nikumaro then he has the burden of proof that it was made in 1937 and not in WW2.  He always tries to turn this around and demands that others disprove that it was 1937 aluminum but it is his piece of evidence so he has the burden of authenticating it.  If 1937 aluminum was marked “ALCLAD” then why hasn’t Ric been able to come up with even one photo of it from 1937 to substantiate his claim? 

LaPook sent a web link to a site that discussed aluminum markings from the 1930s:, as well the TIGHAR artifact that showed the “AD” of “ALCLAD,” adding that Gillespie even named the photo AD on skin.

“Before you send any money to TIGHAR ask Mr. Gillespie to produce a piece of 1937 aluminum bearing the markings “ALCLAD,” LaPook  wrote on TIGHAR’s Facebook Page.  “He claims that his “patch”  was installed on Earhart’s plane in 1937 but it clearly shows the “AD” in ALCLAD that wasn’t used until 1941. . . . Aluminum was not marked with the word “ALCLAD” until 1941 so the “AD” on Mr. Gillespie’s piece of aluminum disqualifies it as coming from Earhart’s plane.  It is Mr. Gillespie’s burden to prove that this marking was used in 1937 and he has never been able to find any such proof or to produce an authentic piece of 1937 aluminum with this marking on it.  Demand that he do so before you send him any of your money. LaPook said these posts were gone from the TIGHAR Facebook page the next morning.

LaPook told Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald and Bruce Burns of the Kansas City Star about this, and it forced Garvin to write another story, Investigators search for Amelia Earhart’s ghost in old Miami Herald Oct. 30, and its title did nothing to indicate the grave nature that message’s effect might have on Gillespie’s fund-raising efforts.  In his story, Garvin saved the most important fact – the money quote, so to speak, for the end of the story:

The most important evidence, however, is the linkage of Gillespie’s scrap to Earhart’s plane through study of the photo.  And it’s on that point that LaPook and other his other critics insist most adamantly he’s wrong. They says [sic] telltale evidence on Gillespie’s scrap of wreckage prove it wasn’t manufactured until several years after Earhart crashed. The scrap bears a visible stamp of an A and a letter D — probably part of the label 24ST Alclad, the type of aluminum its [sic] made from.

But, LaPook says, Alcoa Inc., the company that manufactured the aluminum, didn’t start stamping it with the 24ST Alclad designation until 1941. Before that, it used the abbreviation ALC. There are hundreds of photos of aluminum pieces stamped ALC, LaPook said. It’s just beyond doubt.

Ron Bright of the AES, a former TIGHAR member who knows Gillespie and keeps much closer tabs on developments at TIGHAR than this writer, shared some perspective on the origin of the object of this controversy, the rectangular piece of aluminum found on Nikumaroro in 1991.  This itself begs the question: Why did Gillespie wait 13 years to come out with his claims about the provenance of the aluminum sheet?

Gary LaPook, who laid out the facts to two major newspapers about the aluminum artifact that was the focus of TIGHAR's most recent false claim, perhaps sending Ric Gillespie back to the drawing board for yet another reason to return to Nilumaroro.

Gary LaPook, who laid out the facts to two major newspapers about the aluminum artifact that was the focus of TIGHAR’s most recent false claim, perhaps sending Ric Gillespie back to the drawing board for yet another reason to return to Nikumaroro.

“At this time in 1991, Ric claimed that the piece fit exactly the underbelly of the Electra that suffered the damage at the March 1937 ground loop,” Bright wrote in a Nov. 1 email.  “He said the airplane skin revealed that the type of aluminum, the thickness, and the size and style of the rivet ‘matched perfectly with an area on the underside of the Electra.’ The rivet pattern ‘was close,’ he wrote, and the repair at Burbank would account for the differences.  The manufacturer’s label on the artifact (D?) established that it was a grade of aluminum authorized only for repairs [see “News Alert” from TIGHAR, July 2007].

So in July 2007 this was the origin and analysis of the piece, Bright continued.  Then came along that pesky Miami patch that now he thinks fits the aluminum piece.  How it got on to Niku is another fascinating story.

Further confusing the matter, In TIGHAR Tracks of 2001, Bright wrote, he [Gillespie] indicated that the damage to the piece is consistent with being torn from the aircraft by powerful surf action. The piece has no finished edges and was literally blown out of a larger section of aluminum sheet from the inside out with such force the heads popped off the rivets. The artifact was found on the islands southwestern shore in the debris washed up by a violent storm.  You have to say that TIGHAR can spin the bottle many ways!

Woody Rogers, another AES member, was slightly more succinct in summarizing his views on the evolution of this particular piece of aluminum as it advanced through various stages of significance in TIGHAR’s collection of alleged Earhart artifacts.  “I have the photo series from 1991 showing the controversy about this piece of skin, including the retired Lockheed Engineer that said that piece didn’t come from anywhere on an Electra,” Rogers wrote in a Nov. 1 email.  “A few months later Ric moved the patch location to the rear of the bottom fuselage that had been extensively patched.  The engineer pointed out that the repair patches were drilled in the same location where the original holes in the stringers [a strip of wood or metal to which the skin of an aircraft is fastened] were drilled.

“Unfortunately,” Rogers continued, “I’m on the road in Pennsylvania and will be traveling for a few months so I don’t access to any of my research, so this is from memory.  So now we have three locations that this piece of aluminum supposedly can from.  IMO, it’s just another bottle of snake oil for public consumption so Ric can garner more donations to pay himself his outsized salary.  It’s beyond me why people financially support this guy.” 

There was another bit of good news for the home team during this latest episode of TIGHAR media mania.  The Kansas City Star contacted me and asked for my thoughts, a stunning surprise and the first time any establishment newspaper has asked my opinion since Donna McGuire, of the same Kansas City Star interviewed me over 11 years ago not long after With Our Own Eyes was published.  On Aug. 3, 2003 “Chasing Amelia,” McGuire’s six-page cover story for the Sunday Star Magazine discussed the ideas of the late Thomas E. Devine and David Billings, who believes Amelia turned around and landed in the jungle of New Britain, an island off the coast of Papua New, Guinea.

Brian Burns story, “Has the key to Amelia Earhart’s disappearance in the Pacific been found in Kansas? was a far more even treatment of Gillespie’s ideas than the pro-TIGHAR puffery the Miami Herald pushed on its helpless readers.  Besides presenting Gary LaPook’s information in a way that laymen could quickly  understand, Burns talked to Lou Foudray, curator of the Earhart Birthplace Museum, who was quite kind to Gillespie, and myself, who, after watching this spectacle for 26 years now, was in no mood for such political niceties.

I vented to Burns as long as he could stand it – about 10 minutes — and in his story he tried to be fair, considering that his assignment was to feature Gillespie.  “Others, like Florida researcher Mike Campbell, denounced the latest news as one more example of the wide-eyed treatment Gillespie routinely has received from a media establishment eager to play up his Earhart disappearance scenarios at the expense of others,” Burns wrote.  “Every time he goes over there, he grabs whatever he can find and then tries to link it up to Earhart,” said Campbell, author of ‘Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last.’”

Later in his story, Burns returned to this writer, and gave the truth a rare public airing:

Gillespie’s fundraising efforts, meanwhile, bother Campbell, who believes that Earhart and Noonan never landed on Nikumaroro but died in Japanese captivity on Saipan after first landing in the Marshall Islands. President Franklin Roosevelt, upon learning of their imprisonment, declined to intervene, he said.

“Today the media establishment is still protecting Roosevelt,” he said.  If stories spread of Roosevelt’s refusal to help Earhart, Campbell said, “his legacy would be ashes.”

Burns promised that the title of Truth at Last, as well as my FDR quote would be in his story when it reached his editor’s desk, and so it was.  He even called me the next day to make sure my quotes were accurate, a gesture of professional courtesy I had never experienced from a newspaper.  I was amazed that this unnamed editor, who I later learned was Donna McGuire, who had interviewed me for a story in 2003 following publication of With Our Own Eyeslet my indictment of FDR stand, and thanked Burns for his efforts.  Although its coverage of the Earhart situation was greatly welcomed, this was an anomaly, a one-off phenomena that tells us only that the Kansas City Star does not share the establishment’s aversion to the truth in the Earhart disappearance, and will treat the story unencumbered by political considerations.  The sad, inescapable truth is that this  policy, once taken for granted, is so rarely found in today’s ultra-politicized news rooms.

Will any in the media print retractions or apologize for their massive, irresponsible blunder?  Of course not.  They’ve never admitted error in their coverage of the Earhart story; it’s rare enough when they print a retraction about anything else.  Where Earhart is concerned, nothing is off limits and the truth remains a sacred cow and an orphan.  But word will get around about this, and perhaps they won’t be quite as fast to pull the trigger when Gillespie issues his next grand proclamation. How many times must a TIGHAR cry wolf before he’s ignored?  Who knows, but why should we think the limit has been reached now?

They’ll be back as soon as Gillespie comes up with another sellable (note I didn’t say “plausible”) reason to go back to his ocean-bound piggy bank, telling us all once again to pay attention, the answers to the “Earhart Mystery” are within reach, just over the horizon.  If the TIGHAR boss can just get the funds he needs, he’ll soon find aviation’s Holy Grail.

Despite the recent revelations that exposed Gillespie’s aluminum sheet as a pretender, don’t be surprised if he continues to push the same story despite all evidence to the contrary.  The rest of the media, based on their past complicity in their shameless promotion of Gillespie’s agenda, may well simply ignore the facts and continue to push falsehoods down the throats of an ignorant, basically unconcerned public. Failing that, who knows what he might next come up?  With Gillespie, it’s always something.


140 responses

  1. Mike:
    I believe Mr. La Pook long ago accepted that fact that the media is biased in favor of Gillespie. He ( G. La Pook ) seems to effectively state his case around that bias. From my viewpoint he has many plans, activities, thoughts and goals in motion. Certainly caught my attention and interest early on. I believe Gary La Pook has acquired that exposure to a high degree.

    In your situation, one key document blows open your case and theory to your advantage. The document would be the equivalent of Gillespie’s piece of scrap metal. Except for real ! Truth in the media disappeared long ago. There are only news cycles, circulation goals, and ratings.

    Now, that one key document can be in Nimitz’s Secretary’s papers ( if they exist ). They can be in a Saipan to Pearl, or Saipan to Guam message – buried in with a half dozen other topics that Nimitz’s staff saw daily. Same for MG Graves Erskine. It could also be a Caucasian female’s skull that may someday be unearthed on Saipan.

    Roosevelt is ancient history. I do not see the media acting in collusion to protect his many mistakes and errors in judgements. Most journalists and media staff would have to Wikipedia him just to determine his years in office. He’s 15 minutes in a typical High School curriculum, if that. The media looks for the quick hit- something that gets the public’s attention for maybe a day. Then they move on.

    The transcripts of the Morganthau telephone tapes are intriguing but not conclusive. Perhaps the ultimate truth rests in the Imperial Palace. Japan, since 1945, has faced up to the error of it’s Imperial ways, thrown free money in the form of Grants, Investments, free Infrastructure improvements, etc. in and at virtually every country they quickly conquered in WWII. If there were a record, they would have nothing to regret at this late date.

    Where does an Earhart capture and execution fit, when compared to Pearl Harbor, the Rape of Nanking,The Burmese Railway construction, The Bataan Death March, the Manila slaughter in 1945, etc. To the Japanese, it would just be one more “error in judgement” to “deeply regret”. The media certainly isn’t shielding Japan. Why would they? They still pursue and periodically report on the WWII “Comfort Women” issue. Countless authors have written about Japanese atrocities. I always felt Japanese documentation would be the key to whether she was captured or not. Truth occurs when documented facts and evidence exists. Then the truth cannot be denied. Other than that, it’s simply reporting the latest news of interest, nothing more.


    1. earharttruth : mr.G.Lapook is in the possession of the recordings in which an Earhart family member states that Amelia would not have ventured any espionage action due to her intention to finish a world encircling flight . Contact mr.Lapook on the subject , I am not authorized to forward the video reel . H


      1. I didn’t ask you for the video reel, I asked for some information that might support your statement. It’s not classified, Van Asten, and if it were anything “recent,” we would have heard about it. Whatever it is, it’s completely meaningless anyway.


      2. Mike, you have aparently forgotten that I posted about Professor Tonsing’s presentation on AES in 2010.
        oday I attended a talk given by Professor Ernst Tonsing at the California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks California. Alex had alerted us to this talk (thanks Alex.) Professor Tonsing is a cousin of Amelia’s but he was an infant when she disappeared. His great-grandmother was Amelia’s grandmother. His talk was very interesting with many family stories and photographs. Also present was the daughter of Mr. Foudray, he had worked on the plane at Lockheed. Amelia was a friend of Mr. Foudray and Amelia had taken her flying on several occasions when she was about fifteen years old. Also present was a relative of Amelia’s on her father’s side.

        Most of his talk was about family matters and he related a story that happened about 1951 when he was staying with his grandmother for the summer in Atchison. His grandmother and her sister, Amelia’s mother, and Muriel and cousin Lucy were having a discussion in the house. (You can see a picture of Lucy with Amelia on page 24 of Muriel’s book.)

        He went into the house and told the four women that he had just heard that someone had said that Amelia had been a spy. All four of the ladies emphatically said it wasn’t true and that she was NOT a spy. Cousin Lucy said “Look, I’ve been a friend of Amelia’s since childhood, we’ve been as close as …I would know her better than anyone else. She was not a spy, that would have gone against everything that she stood for. She so strongly wanted to prove that a woman could fly around the world fast, she would not compromise that vision for anything.” The other women agreed.

        I have attached three video files of this portion of his talk and I have also uploaded these to the “Tonsing” folder in the files section. I recorded this in sections to keep the file size manageable and there is only about one second missing between each section. They were still too large to send, the second section was 80 megabytes, so I reduced the sizes of the files by reducing the video quality. I have also attached a photo of Professor Tonsing with the daughter of Mr. Foudray.


        For those who are not members on AES you can see the videos of Professor Tonsing’s talk at :

        And see:


      3. Thanks for clearing this up, Gary, and for providing these fascinating video links. I suffer from the now-incurable disease of literalism, which in this case means taking written words at face value. So when Van Asten wrote, “I saw a member of Earhart’s family making a speech at a recent family get-together,” I had bit of problem with that, and rightly so. The get-together, as you say above, occurred in 1951. Secondly, I always avoid the word “spy” in my own personal references to Amelia’s final days. Even if she had been asked to overfly Truk and take some quick photos by FDR, I still wouldn’t use that word, as its connotations are too overwhelming to be accurate in her case.


  2. Robert Lichtenberger says:
    December 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    As is the case with virtually all other rebuttals on this site which are directed at TIGHAR, the evidence presented is never complete. The State Department senior analyst actually stated, “We feel what you have here may well be what you think it is — the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra.” “That this photo shows the landing gear . . . is somewhere between possible and probable.” And then, “You have a strong circumstantial case; you’re not trying to sell anybody a bill of goods.”

    Hmmm. Is that what the State Department analyst actually said or is that what Ric says he said? I don’t know the source for your statement but i know the source for my statement. On September 26, 2012 I filed a Freedom Of Information Act request with the Department of State to obtain any documents concerning the analysis of the Bevington photo. The law requires a response within 20 days. Even after many followup contacts, the Department of State continued to stonewall my request. So, finally, on February 20, 2014, after a year and a half of stonewalling, I paid the $400 filing fee and filed a law suit in Federal Court to force the release of those documents. I have received some documents from the DOS but none have any statement anywhere close to what you are claiming they said. The documents that I do have, internal, private, documents exchanged among DOS personnel that all show exactly the opposite, that the DOS analysts said they could NOT even determine if it was part of an airplane. My documents came with authentications from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    So, Robrt,I showed you mine, now show me what you got.

    Here is a link to the Federal Court complaint.

    Here are links to few of the documents from the Department of State:


    1. Robert Lichtenberger | Reply

      I see no other individual or organization aside from TIGHAR employing scientific methodology, only criticism and personal attack.


      1. What is very noticeable from your response is that you didn’t provide any documents to support your position which makes it abundantly clear that you have no such documentation. I provided authenticated Department of State documents that prove my point, you’ve got nothing that supports yours.



  3. Question to Anyone who may be knowledgeable in the Earhart saga:

    What was US Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew’s involvement in soliciting Japanese assistance in the search?


  4. Well, it seems Mr. Gillespie is not telling the truth.No one, in any level of science , has actually certified anything as 100% Amelia Earhart.

    I also notice on their website that more than a few members, including one “Right Hand Man” are questioning the authenticity of the object.

    Any thoughts Mr. La Pook? Is this going to die a slow death if sponsors cannot be drawn to it?


  5. Am I reading Tighar’s dialogue correctly today? Did the Executive Director throw in the towel on that piece of aluminum ????


    1. Can you supply an URL for what you are reading, Vernon? I am looking at the website and can’t find anything related to your comment here.

      However, I did find something which made the alarm on my goofy monitor go off:

      Basically an “image” of a gouge in the sea floor (?) with a cartoon image of a plane superimposed on it – implying that a plane (yes, I agree – a CARTOON plane) made the gouge. I am left wondering why the website manager did not just go ahead and complete this tableau by adding caricatures of Earhart and Noonan, waving at us from the cockpit.


      1. Wolf:
        The item I cited was on the Tighar Forum, under the Topic “2-2-V-1”. for the date I posted. It appears that even Gillespie is not completely convinced that the object is genuine.

        The Image Above on your Post.

        Now, “any” Tighar amateur member on that site will tell you, in strong terms, that the Electra actually ditched 600 plus feet down, but Earhart and Noonan, with their Momson Lungs, were able to climb up that underwater cliff, only to die in the vermin infested jungle of Nikumaroro of something or other, their bones scattered by coconut crabs. Hence the need for another expedition.


  6. Robert:
    Science ? Or scientific methodology ? Mr. LaPook’s posts indicate that the State Department did not endorse the inverted palm tree in the surf as Electra landing gear. So ?

    Every Tighar “artifact” to date has fallen short of authenticity, despite the extent of science they employ. Their revived “Patch” to the Electra window has even degenerated from “consistent with” to “maybe”.

    Look and read closely all of Mr. Gillespie’s comments to other theories. He is a master of criticism. His most recent personal attack ( late 2014) was on Elgin Long, regarding that “Patch”. His general membership is even more vicious. But, such are Forums.

    Now, many other Earhart Theorists and Researchers “do their thing” in more discreet ways. The Saipan Theorists have compelling testimonies on record and file, but no physical evidence as yet.
    Mr. Billings, with his East New Britain Theory, uses his aviation experience, a copy of a Patrol Map, an After Action / Debriefing Report, one first hand account, and his interpretation of an unannounced Earhart “Plan B” to support an Electra wreck deep in the jungle. Most of his expeditions have been self-funded, as there is little expressed interest in Earhart’s disappearance in Australia.

    Waite, Nauticos, Mr. LaPook all subscribe to varying crash and sank or ditched theories, which probably make the most sense, based on missing Howland Island altogether, with no real land mass in sight. The Crash /Ditch stew thickens with low fuel, really poor communications, possible less than perfect navigation and/or poor charts, weather as minor as cloud shadows on the water or major such as the poor weather to the Northwest.

    And finally, Mr. Gillespie, who feels she had enough fuel to fly to Gardner, land on a reef, and transmit for several days. Of course, why wouldn’t Noonan take a fix or two on that 157 /337 route? Why wouldn’t she “declare” her heading, speed, and destination ? It’s a “Land somewhere and hope for the best” scenario. If it happened, there was no Colonial Official in a white Panama suit to greet them on the reef.

    So, if we all live long enough, one of these theories will be found to be correct. The others will all slip into the category of seeking Montezuma’s gold. But to date, there has been no pure application of science on Tighar’s part.


    1. This insistence that all “theories” be considered equally is a bit tiresome for some of us. There is no evidence for crash and sank, it’s based on pure assumption. Likewise the Gardner-Niku theory, more assumption, plus the added garbage collected from an island inhabited by many over decades. Billings’ theory has more substance that the first two, but common sense and the overwhelming eyewitness accounts from the Marshalls and Saipan simply overwhelm it. It’s not complicated and it’s not rocket science, despite the constant attempts, even by otherwise logical, fair minded people to construe the obvious as a great mystery. Your ideas exemplify the results that 77 years of propaganda have created so well — everyone thinks they have to consider the Earhart disappearance a “great aviation mystery,” when in fact her death on Saipan is the only possible reality.


  7. Mike:
    Nope…. I don’t view Earhart’s loss as a great aviation mystery. It’s one of probably a dozen or more unsolved aviation mysteries of the 20’s and 30’s. Nothing great or greater about hers. Perhaps only her Aura in the public eye, and newspaper hype of that era. Nope. Most people today would confuse her with Lindy, and will probably tell you she crashed in the Atlantic. Half the public doesn’t know who Joe Biden is. That’s the dumbing down of America. Only books and explorers / adventurers and business ventures keep her in the public awareness. And via the Net for the most part, of course.

    Now, “Crashed and sank”, and “Crashed or Ditched”: I’m no scientist, not an aviator, or an educator. The fellows who support this theory seem to have fuel calculations, altitude, indicated and true air speeds, engine settings, etc. down to the gnat’s you know what. It seems they only differ on how far she may have been off course, if at all. Over the years, they have been methodically revising their search areas as operating funds permit. It’s not my money, so they’re free to do their own thing. And remember, the very first assumption on this one was the the Captain of the Itaska,

    FDR: If it was a coverup, it’s ancient history. No need to defend the guy and protect his reputation in 2015. For years it’s been academic knowledge that he and Marshall screwed up various war warnings and intell reports prior to Pearl Harbor. That cost 2300 dead. So why worry about two people in an Electra.. In fact, many books on FDR take him to the shed on misjudging Japanese intentions and the cause and effect actions he created. The Historians don’t gloss over that. They shred the guy with documentation which probably should have been burned to protect his rep.
    Earhart: Documents may have been destroyed, or kept classified, or whatever. But if they are inaccessible or no longer exist, then they remain speculation.

    Finally, Paul Mantz being denied information. Her “Advisor?” “Aviation Coach?” Read that somewhere and laughed. No FOIA’s back then. Any truth to that one?

    HAPPY NEW YEAR !! ( Forgot earlier ! )


    1. You’re simply wrong on all counts, Vernon. First of all, we are constantly being propagandized by the media, usually in concert with their Gillespie BS, about this, the “greatest aviation mystery of the 20th century.” NEVER can I remember anyone de-emphasizing it to a lower-level, as you suggest.

      Second, many other experts including Art Kennedy, Bill Prymak, Rollin Reineck and Lockheed’s fuel consumption charts and data strongly support a range for the Electra somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 miles, depending on headwinds and other factors. There’s a section In Truth at Last that deals with this. Elgen Long’s ran-out-of-gas numbers are grossly exaggerated and are based on more ASSUMPTIONS. Since not a single sliver was ever found, this theory itself crash and sank long ago.

      Third and most importantly, you fail to understand the relative importance of FDR’s betrayal of Amelia Earhart. Joseph Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic,” and so it is with Earhart and FDR, whose collaboration with Stalin at Yalta in 1945 resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of Eastern Europeans who were placed under Communism’s yoke, and for which Roosevelt has been vilified by many. But Roosevelt could never have survived public knowledge that he failed to help America’s No. 1 aviatrix of the Golden Age of Aviation, one of the most popular and beloved women in the world, not just America. You cannot downplay the immense historical significance of Amelia Earhart’s betrayal at the hands of FDR by insisting “that’s ancient history.” It doesn’t work that way. The rewriting of America’s history books is no small thing, and this would be necessary if the truth were ever to be officially admitted. The entire matter is as simple as this.


  8. Mike:
    Well, it’s good to be consistently wrong.

    Gillespie’s smart. He woos the press. If only one reporter shows up, it’s a Press Conference. He uses “intrigue” like a loaded gun. He works all his “artifacts” like multiple Bingo cards. He creates his own news when he has none. That is a fact. He controls the topic. And he makes every attempt to remain “Press friendly”.

    “Greatest Aviation Mystery” : Perhaps the most mysterious, as there are multiple theories out there. Most publicized? Why…of course ! Because of all those theories!!

    Fuel Exhaustion vs Additional Available Fuel: The jury’s still out on that one. Someone finds a DNA certified Amelia bone, or a corresponding Lockheed 10E component on Saipan, then you win. In say, three years, AOL has an underwater image of her flattened Lockheed at an 18,000 foot depth, then they ( the crash and sank crowd) win. Every theory up to this date is anecdotal. The last Poker hand has yet to be played.
    Have you ever discussed, personally, eyeball to eyeball, the fuel issue with Mr. Long, Mr Waite, or Mr. La Pook ? Actual records show she had 1100 gallons or thereabouts. Am I correct? Well, she did have headwinds. She did climb to and fly at 8000 feet, correct ? It’s fuel burn. They are aviators. They know about such issues.

    Roosevelt and his Legacy: I simply surrender to you on this one. Hell, the Kennedy boys were poking Marilyn and that came out, MLK was no Saint and had a Harem, and Dugout Doug was dethroned long ago as respects poor decision making. What makes FDR special? Why does he get a Hall Pass? Because of Amelia?
    Okay ! He betrayed Earhart. It gets proven conclusively. Without a doubt. What happens to his legacy? Re-write that paragraph as an Historian would. Objectively, not emotionally. A paragraph as would appear in a High School History Book ( if at all).
    As a favor, list the repercussions that resulted from his betrayal of Earhart in said statement. It would be worth the read.

    Personally, I feel it wouldn’t even make High School level history books. College level courses look upon the first half of 20th century as “Imperial Amerika”, so Roosevelt pulling a fast one on Amelia and throwing her under the bus would fit right in to the professorial agendas for that time period. Fits perfectly into the course curriculum. Hey ! revisionist history has been “in” for two decades or more. And, as any politician will tell you: Confront the press, antagonize the press, berate the press, show your disdain for the press, and you are no longer newsworthy and will be ignored.


    1. Vernon,
      You don’t seem to want to understand, only to naysay. Both Kennedys were hated by the establishment to the point that they were both murdered by that same establishment, and don’t give me Oswald and Sirhan, or you will be treading on thin ice here. MLK was also murdered by an establishment that hated him. FDR was and remains the god of the Democrat party. There’s a huge difference. Goerner explains it well in his book, as do I in Truth at Last. It all falls together and makes perfect sense to anyone willing to listen and learn. This is my last comment on this topic.


  9. Vernon –
    Have you read Thomas Devine’s 1987 book – *Eyewitness the Amelia Earhart Incident”? Tom was with the 244th Army Postal Unit on Saipan in ’44. He saw Amelia’s Lockheed Electra intact and also destroyed, as did several other servicemen and Marines.

    If you read Chapter 5, page 56: “Nine months later I revisited Aslito Field after it’s conversion to accommodate the B-29’s which were bombing Japan. The charred framework of Amelia Earhart’s plane was still there, but replacement troops arriving on Saipan thought it was an oddball Japanese model which had been destroyed during the invasion. Incoming GI’s stripped off bits of aluminum from the wreckage for souvenirs.”

    This should answer your question of the Lockheed Electra’s whereabouts and dispell any further ideas of the silver bird crashing into the ocean. I would advise all who continue scouring the ocean’s floor with camera’s and macheteing their way through jungles; stop wasting your time & everyone else’s money.



  10. Gary LaPook says:
    December 22, 2014 at 3:58 am
    Robert Lichtenberger says:
    December 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    As is the case with virtually all other rebuttals on this site which are directed at TIGHAR, the evidence presented is never complete. The State Department senior analyst actually stated, “We feel what you have here may well be what you think it is — the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra.” “That this photo shows the landing gear . . . is somewhere between possible and probable.” And then, “You have a strong circumstantial case; you’re not trying to sell anybody a bill of goods.”

    Hmmm. Is that what the State Department analyst actually said or is that what Ric says he said? I don’t know the source for your statement but i know the source for my statement. On September 26, 2012 I filed a Freedom Of Information Act request with the Department of State to obtain any documents concerning the analysis of the Bevington photo. The law requires a response within 20 days. Even after many followup contacts, the Department of State continued to stonewall my request. So, finally, on February 20, 2014, after a year and a half of stonewalling, I paid the $400 filing fee and filed a law suit in Federal Court to force the release of those documents. I have received some documents from the DOS but none have any statement anywhere close to what you are claiming they said. The documents that I do have, internal, private, documents exchanged among DOS personnel that all show exactly the opposite, that the DOS analysts said they could NOT even determine if it was part of an airplane. My documents came with authentications from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    So, Robrt,I showed you mine, now show me what you got.

    Here is a link to the Federal Court complaint.

    Here are links to few of the documents from the Department of State:


    Robert Lichtenberger says:
    January 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm
    I see no other individual or organization aside from TIGHAR employing scientific methodology, only criticism and personal attack.

    So, Robert you apparently believe that lying to people so that they will contribute to the non-profit organization that you set up so that you can pay yourself $238,000 is the “scientific method,” I think you missed something in school..



    1. Ric reminds me of the character played by George C. Scott in the movie “The Flim- Flam Man.”

      Plot summary[
      Mordecai C. Jones (Scott; a self-styled “M.B.S., C.S., D.D. — Master of Back-Stabbing, Cork-Screwing and Dirty-Dealing!”), is a drifting confidence trickster who makes his living defrauding people in the southern United States. One of his specialties is rigged punchboards.



  11. Mr. La Pook:
    I don’t believe you’ll ever get a straight answer. There are always people who take minced words like Gillespie employs, and accept them at face value.
    Robert basically has nothing in the form of a rebuttal. He’s only looked at one half of the issue – the tainted half. Therefore, “he believes”.

    The landing gear /palm tree issue is very old news at this late date. Common sense dictates that an anchored ship that close to the Norwich City wreck, “in the very same year”, would have had a dozen or more witnesses wondering what that object was. And what about minor glare off the metal components, “if” it was landing gear.

    To Doug:
    Do you think, in the 70 plus years since, at least one former serviceman would have stepped forward and stated “Here’s a piece of Earhart’s airplane I took from the wreck on Saipan? Would he /they have not told their children ( who would be in their 50’s thru 70’s by now- the children ) who have no vested interest in maintaining a “secret”? Not one child from dozens of former servicemen who seeks notoriety ? All devout, with no inkling of greed. to make a buck off Dad or Grand Dad ??? All subjected too”Death Bed Promises” to maintain the secret and family honor for posterity?
    Not likely.

    Now: The burned out, melted Electra. The hulk sitting on Aslito airfield. Do radial engines melt ? Research that one. And if by chance they do not, what became of them? One identifiable engine part becomes the clincher. All these years of sporadic searching on Saipan has yet to yield one extant Electra part. Yet, JPAC can find an engine at a crash site in most parts of the world, from WWII aircraft which were hit, went vertical from 15-20,000 feet, and smacked into terra firma. Everything except the engines, obliterated.
    So, we can’t find bones, graves, physical evidence of any nature whatsoever on Saipan. The ring Earhart surrendered. Clothing. Any metal object which stood a chance of surviving all these years.

    Spink and his colleagues have two parts- discovered three years ago. Analysis on them is vague. I fear initial results on them were not what was expected. The longer the wait- the weaker the theory / hypothesis.


    1. Vernon –
      Most of these service men are dead. I’m sure some of their friends & family found it hard to believe that their Uncle Joe was holding an actual piece of burnt aluminum from the Electra. From what they learned on the radio, the plane was lost at sea. When the general public is fed propaganda, like chocolate ice cream they only want more.

      The Lockheed Electra was burnt and later bulldozed into the ground on Saipan; just where FDR wanted it to stay and be forgotten. The U.S. Government knows exactly where the *Electra is buried. They are not about to divulge this to the general public and let all the cats out of the bag.

      This is what the general public doesn’t know or understand and why our media’s propaganda works so well to distract them from the truth. The murkier the underwater camera photos, the better for the public & even better for our media. More nonsense means more commercials and this equals more money.

      The bones and anything else belonging to Amelia were removed from Saipan in ’44 by U.S. Intelligence. It was probably safer for those who did see & touch to keep their mouths shut and avoid any further trouble.


  12. Doug:
    Well, if it is as you say, then there will never be closure. But I find it hard to believe that anyone would think Grand Dad was a crank pot. Especially if he gives you a piece of aircraft aluminum or doped fabric. Not exactly the kind of object you put in the basement next to the paint thinner. And how many helped themselves to pieces of the Electra ? One or two ? Dozens? A hundred or more?

    The “Public” may be stupid or regularly duped in a collective way by the government, the press, etc. Conversely, a family would be intensely intrigued by the very thought that what they’re holding may be authentic and a clue to a very old mystery. So, not one scrap “requisitioned” in 1944 has ever surfaced? Odd? Not one has ever been anonymously donated to the Smithsonian ? Or to another museum ? Think about these last two lines.

    Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” subject generated exceptionally keen interest in WWII Vets, generating Oral History Programs, presentations at schools, special events honoring them, long delayed or forgotten valor awards, and the WWII Memorial in DC. That is a fact. Multiple facts. And it began when most WWII Vets were in their 80’s. It continues to the present day.

    And many are still intensely outspoken. Many surviving Marines feel the seizure of Peleliu was a needless loss of life. Accomplished nothing. It was not strategic or critical to the success of the war in any sense of the word. They tell it like it is. Leckie did in book form, And the Corps honored him. So,in that context, what makes Earhart on Saipan really different?.

    When the first Veterans stepped forward, and the cat was out of the bag, there was nothing to stop dozens more from stepping forward. Perhaps hundreds.

    Never forget that the Media is a business. It exists to make a profit in a highly competitive, multi-tiered environment. People who ran the media in the 40’s through the 90’s are long gone. It is difficult to believe that the 24 hour news cycle that exists today was left a figurative written in blood note to never criticize FDR. Not ever.

    I respect your views, value your input, but the world and it’s accompanying values have changed. At least in my view. Nothing is sacred if money is to be made.


  13. Vernon –

    The general public will never see the Lockheed Electra burried underground on Saipan. Why give false hope to its existance on Nikumaroro where it never was? Because telling the *TRUTH would damage the credibility of FDR & his administration. If FDR was so concerned for Amelia, why didn’t he demand her release?

    Why didn’t he sent in a rescue mission? Why didn’t U.S. diplomats negotiate a pay off or some type of deal? These are the questions our Government will never answer like so many others. Japan will never admit to it’s ferocious cruelties, negligences and inhumanities. These are the secrets best kept quiet, for the repercussions would be far too damning. They see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.

    What’s that saying, don’t dig skeletons out of the closet. This is why our government avoids the Amelia Earhart matter like the plague.


    1. Vernon,
      I give you credit, you seem a wealth of knowledge, a breathing Wikipedia.I believe in the quest to solve any mystery one must take into account the report of any witness to the case. I respect those who shared their recollections with us before they passed,regarding what they thought they saw or heard regarding the earhart electra. However; with any mystery, I believe to arrive at a fair conclusion, comments from any and all witnesses to the event should be considered, whether written or spoken. Regarding the suggested fuel range, how can one omit the witness testimony of those aboard the Itaska, and most importantly the one providing first hand the situation as it was being played out….enter Amelia Earhart, what was her account of her fuel supply? In one report she stated she had one half hour of fuel left, another itaska radioman suggests that she reported she was low on fuel. I don’t understand how she would be able to arrive at this and seemingly report this as fact,if as others say, she could fly 3-4 thousand miles with a fully loaded craft?, Who is wrong here,? Earhart or lockheed or those who would grant her a fuel range well beyond 2,550 miles?


      1. Regarding the evidence presented by Tighar thus far regarding their fitment of artifact 2-2-V-1 to the patch area, several items worthy of note seem to be ignored. The artifact appears too large, it seems to lack the proper alclad labeling of the era, it seems to be the incorrect thickness ( one size up would be .030,) and it couldn’t be installed in the manner they suggest due to the extant rivet evidence.
        I look forward to more from Mr Spink,if he can give us a visual of his artifacts fitting where he states they do, it would be a huge plus.


  14. Doug:
    The General Public is flippant. They’d rather see the Electra in some diorama at a Museum that is convenient to get to, with free parking. The museum better have a Snack bar and clean Rest Rooms as well. And 80% of Americans would confuse Saipan with Saigon, which is no longer Saigon anyway. Even with Google Earth. That’s the real mentality of today’s American Society..

    Those guys from Guam, Wake, Hong Kong,,Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and Bataan who spent three and half years as POW’s certainly weren’t too quiet about Japanese atrocities. Not even in 2015, as their ranks dwindle to next to nothing. Certainly FDR LIED about the reinforcement of the Philippines using George Marshall as the conduit. That’s been public knowledge since the 1950’s. “Convoys are on the way”. “Reinforcements will arrive soon”. Check the Press releases. It’s there in black and white.

    And we know that FDR knew about the Final Solution and Concentration Death Camps as early as1943. Yet he did nothing about it, either Diplomatically or Militarily. The knowledge of that alone would be enough to hang him out to dry.

    Both of these examples are part of FDR’s “Legacy”. The Dark Side. Negativity. Failure. Deceit.

    The Earhart disappearance has degenerated into TV Specials, Blogs, and assorted comedic searches by one group in particular. The serious Investigators must raise capital over time for their take on her whereabouts.

    In closing, please provide examples of “damning repercussions” It seems the Japanese themselves have weathered the Nanking Massacre, wartime atrocities, and Comfort Women quite well. I envision nothing more than a statement that begins with ” We have not been completely truthful……” and ends with, “Please accept $10M U.S. as our way of atoning…”.

    As respects the U.S., it’s Government, it’s Official History- what “damning repercussions ?” What President was perfect, per your standard ? Specific examples of these repercussions would certainly help.


  15. Bullfrog:
    I’ll jump around here……..

    Gillespie’s artifact is not a part of Earhart’s Electra. Period ! At the present time he is manipulating anyone who will listen to him or read about the object, that ” it is”, or “may be” from Earhart’s airplane. That’s his forte’. He makes a ton of money doing this, as new yokels jump on board his organization each year believing him.


    Ask yourself ( figuratively speaking ): Would you fly away from any civilization or further away from any rescue effort, even with enough fuel?

    So…. you can see that I’m not a TIGHAR fan.

    Now, Mr. Spink’s Artifacts

    They were discovered and recovered in 2011. That’s a long, long time ago for these objects not to have been professionally analyzed, or compared to an Existing Electra 10E. This leads me to believe that there is an uncertainty about them. For example the number of dust cover drill holes for mounting versus Lockheed drawings and diagrams. That to me, if it was a match up, would be the clincher, if you professionally discounted those Japanese versions of the Lockheed, and Lockheed’s own Hudsons and Ventura bombers.

    Witness Statements

    They are good. Physical evidence is even better. For example, who transported the Electra from the reef to the barge? The Japanese? Or forced native labor? What does a 10E weigh? How many men do you need to dolly it ? And one wing was torn off, correct? A couple of hundred ( or even 50 for that matter ) would be young and strong in 1937 and some would possibly still alive in 2015. Certainly an event they would remember. Kind of like being a slave for Pharoah…….Burned in your mind. But no one has ever mentioned this event. Until now?

    The implied, two existing carts or dollies: Boy, posted photos of them would really lend credibility to the transport of the aircraft across Barre from North to South. And I would think many additional components would have been torn off in the transport of the aircraft, leaving a trail of debris along the route. I would suspect more than two pieces would have survived. Not a hundred or more, but perhaps a half dozen. The more the better. Hard evidence.

    I don’t think natives exaggerate. But unless it’s a first hand account, with a “Let me show you where and we will walk the route”, it becomes a second hand account. which over time can morph into folklore. Statements should be matched with locations by the originators of the statements. It’s more compelling then.

    An Aside

    The Republic of The Marshall Islands: They have a vested interest in this aspect of Earhart’s disappearance. They lay claim to the ditching site, the female aviator and an injured male receiving first aid on the beach, they’ve issued Commemorative Stamps, etc. You would think that they would be providing Mr. Spink with all the assets they have available to definitively solve the mystery. Why not? I don’t know. If the route from the reef to the barge is factual, I would be looking for 25 to 50 Marshallese to scour the route closely -even with metal detectors – and have a Professional Archeologist accompany Mr. Spink on the next trip.

    Officially, they appear to be totally indifferent.


  16. Vernon –

    Damning repercussions – let’s start with angry & outraged family members & loved ones, public protests denouncing politicians, petitions & lawsuits. This is any politician’s greatest fear.

    LBJ (scoundrel that he was) is a good example. Talk about the master of deceit and leaving the White House when it got too hot.
    There are more than enough examples in the political arena.

    Our government will never admit the ugly truth, FDR’s anger, the years of deceit & cover ups on the Amelia Earhart matter.

    77 years have passed and who & what natives or Japanese soldiers could still be alive that trollied the wrecked Electra across Barre’s shore & reef? If any are, they probably can’t remember???
    You need to add Alzheimer’s into that equation.

    From the time the Lockheed Electra was discovered on Saipan in ’44; our government has done everything in it’s power to keep it under raps. If there is anything to be learned about Amelia Earhart, it’s the lengths at which our government will go to suppress the truth.


    1. First of all I want to say how much I thoroughly enjoy all the erudite point-counterpoint on this site about this topic. All of you commenting are to be appreciated and encouraged to stick around! Every post is like a decoded message for me!

      I do not think of myself as a skeptic or cynic, despite what you may draw from my infrequent postings. I must say that I do not believe that ANYONE in politics, now or previously, gives a rodent’s fanny about “scandal”, perceived or otherwise. As Clinton so aptly proved, they gotta catch you first, and then they gotta decide whether/what they all want to do about it next. Which they generally do not. One or both.

      What is needed to understand and resolve this enigmatic void in the historical record is a substantial dose of compassion, responsibility, veracity, tenacity, objectivity, and – perhaps most importantly – the ability to appreciate our common history from a larger perspective. Finding “The Answer” to Amelia’s and Fred’s final endings has less to do with the reputation or bankroll or even allegiances of anyone living today but all the more to do with honoring the courage, sacrifice, and bravery of two individuals who represent many thousands of others in the same (and other!) generations who willingly strayed out onto a weary limb, walked into the hail of bullets, faced a known demon … and knew it was what must be done, and what s/he was in the “right” place at the right time to do.

      What is missing now, at least from my perspective, is a curative formula of common sense + compassion + responsibility + dependence upon actual facts + a fervent desire always for doing the right/correct thing. No one may ever be able to PROVE what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on that morning in July of 1937. Many sincerely claim to have witnessed aspects that point to a very sad tale. The proper story/screenplay has not yet been written portraying the “real story” of Earhart’s and Noonan’s mark on history and our culture.

      I truly wish and hope that some of the controversy and revelations evidenced on this blog eventually culminate in analyses that point heavily to one storyline.

      Mike, thank you so very much for providing this forum for open discussion and revelation.


  17. Doug:
    Who’s outraged family members ? Amelia’s ? Heck, Custer has descendants, and he’s gone from Boy Cavalier to incompetent Indian Fighter. I don’t see distant Earhart relations giving a hoot and a holler. They may either eat up the limelight, or hunker down and wish to be left alone.

    Politicians at all levels get denounced…probably…every hour on the hour, depending upon where you live and your time zone. So what’s new in this regard?? Some even have shoes thrown at them, while others have armed intruders actually enter the White House.

    Of course, I doubt Japanese would step forward. After all, we did a very effective job of booting them off the various islands we seized, taking very few prisoners in the process.


    Natives who may have labored dragging that Electra: Well, conversely, they’ve had 77 years to step forward and discuss this event. In detail, “Show me” style. It’s not about the next Spink Expedition finding one surviving soul who does remember, it’s about the 77 years of silence. In fact, start the clock on them in the mid-1960’s. Trim that time element down to 50 years. Still….silence.

    I guess one would need to know the source of the documentation of the movement of the Electra from the reef to the inlet/lagoon, for barge uploading.

    Finally: So the U.S. Government won’t admit to it. Then, a researcher works around that obstacle. Not the first time. Won’t be the last.

    In closing, I believe there may be a Statute of Limitations on this mystery. So lawsuits directly related to her loss would not be an issue. However, you can, as Mr. La Pook did, file a Lawsuit if NARA, the State Department, or any other Agency does not respond in a timely manner to your FOIA request for appropriate documents.
    I’m no expert in the Legal area. Mr. La Pook is.. If you felt lawsuits would erupt as a result, he is in a better position to respond.

    As far as Barre atoll is concerned, an archeological approach may add further evidence to this theory. Professionals-over a period of time adequate to resolve the issue.


  18. Vernon –

    I’m talking about others who have lost loved ones in conflicts, mishaps, fiasco’s within & outside the borders of the U.S. orchestrated by our very own government. You can’t tell me the general public wasn’t outraged with Kent State shootings? Vietnam War? Watergate?
    etc. etc. etc.

    I believe Dick Spink has been 100% honest & forthright with his findings on Barre Atoll. He’s to be commended for his hard work and taken serious by all. This man is not self seeking, nor self indulged nor a profiteer. GOD BLESS Richard Spink & his efforts to resolve the Earhart matter once & for all.

    Yes an archaeological approach would enrich the search area.
    As we all know, Rome wasn’t built in one day. These things take time, money, manpower and patience.



  19. Doug:
    All I ask is that you put it in perspective. Ask a college kid about the Kent State Incident and the year, what happened, and why? See what kind of answer you get. It would typify the old Jay Leno “Jaywalking” skit. Same for Vietnam. The outrage, the anger, the fire in the belly diminished long ago. You can purchase a “Made in Vietnam” shirt at Macy’s these days. Vietnam Vets tour the country. It’s one of the most capitalistic Communist countries in the world now. That – is Reality. We may have killed a million Vietnamese, but they like Americans now. Watergate: Much initial hoopla that fizzled out less than a year later. There are countless examples of red hot issues that disappeared over time. The public has a very short memory.

    Mr. Spink: He just may have a problem. The Kansas City Star ran an article in December 2014 which stated the APU part ( which was initially mis-identified ) had faint reddish-orange paint on one side, and traces of zinc chromate on the reverse side. I believe that zinc chromate as a rust inhibitor was not in use in 1937. All interior shots of Earhart’s Electra show natural aluminum finish. That, to me, “kind of” places the part as “maybe” WWII vintage. If anybody applied Zinc Chromate, it would be Lockheed and in their records. So, this needs further review.
    As respects the Dust Cover: No one has confirmed that it ONLY fits the Electra 10E. No one has stated that it’s been compared to Lockheed Husdons or Lockheed Venturas, many of which can be found in museums for readily available study and analysis, and that it definitely is not from those types. And to confirm authenticity, two, three, or four ( or more ) experts in the field should be invited to assess the authenticity and uniqueness as well.

    These two objects, if professionally analyzed by unbiased , unaffiliated professionals in the field would CONFIRM the Saipan theory. Forget Roosevelt, Morganthau, the Navy search, etc. They (the parts ) would conclusively prove her plane landed or ditched at Barre. Barre Atoll. Japanese territory in 1937. Not searched by the US or British /Australian navies. Restricted. Off limits. Right now, they are more important than any documents , notes, letters etc. incriminating Roosevelt or his Cabinet members. Prove the Electra came down at Mille and you confirm the conspiracy. That’s how important they are.
    For whatever reason, it appears Mr. Spink has not been focusing on confirming the first two discoveries in a timely manner. Much time has passed and the silence is deafening. These two parts, if and when confirmed, would be page one news on every newspaper in the world. Saipan would win. Nikumaroro would lose.


    Every word you wrote today……every word… is absolutely truthful. I would hope someone like Ric Gillespie would read it and feel shamed by his actions. Yours is the honorable approach. Beautifully captured.


    1. “These two parts, if and when confirmed, would be page one news on every newspaper in the world.” You were doing so well there, Vernon, until you got to this sentence. First of all, since these parts have no serial numbers, the best that could possibly be done would be to show with a very high degree of certainty, but not absolute, that they came from the Earhart Electra. Secondly, even if could be proven that they were from AE’s bird, the media would do all it could to ignore and suppress the truth, as they always have. If they were really interested in finding the truth, they would have shown some inclination toward closely examining at least some of the more outstanding GI and witness accounts that have come down to us through the years. Instead, they ignore and dismiss all of it as “folklore” and unreliable accounts from “natives who will say anything to please” those who ask.


  20. Vernon –

    Confirming the discoveries by experts will not make the front page news. The news will continue to be suppressed & controlled. Why isn’t Good Morning America over in Saipan speaking to Saipanese, Japanese & Marshall Islanders? It’s not going to happen.

    I have put into perspective the ramifications which result from bad government decisions & policies. You can’t simply dismiss these as water under the bridge. Those whom we vote & elect need to be held accountable living & dead. We the people deserve an honest & unabated history.



    1. AMEN, Doug – and I especially would like to see this protocol (held accountable) with severe and immediate repercussions in force, right now, today, this instant, applied to ALL current office holders. Especially a few I am thinking about right this moment ….


      1. Wolfspector13 – I *agree and applied to every single office holder and at every level. If we have to be held accountable & explain our actions, so should they & their constituents. No one is above the law.
        Thank You


  21. Doug / Mike: No obstacle is impenetrable. You go to Reuters.The Canadian Press. The Australian Press. The German Press. The British Press. You end run the American Press. Ignore them. Get one powerful, compelling story which ties into the Saipan Theory in one of the International papers. No one, absolutely no one, wants to be scooped. And foreign press- they love the tease approach- the three, four, five part series. And they would love you for allowing them the “Scoop”.
    I’m not a lawyer, aviator, expert in anything. “But”, the very minute Spink can confirm no other aircraft had those two parts except an Electra 10E, where does that take the Earhart saga ? The answer: Right where you want it to. The British and German press in particular dive on subject matter such as this. They eat it up. Placing it in another context, it’s like finding the correct market for your product.
    Then, let others decide government guilt. Officially, the government preaches “Crashed and Sank”. They would have to conduct some acute damage control. And I doubt it would be successful.


    1. Vernon,
      From what I’m hearing, it’s going to be extremely difficult if not impossible to narrow down the dust cover, forget the plate, as coming only from Electra 10. Les says Goodyear has thrown away the records needed to nail this down in any probative way. There will be no real “proof” forthcoming, as far as I know, unless something unforeseen falls from the heavens. Your idea about end-running the corrupt American press could work, but we’d need far more than we have right now.


  22. Mike:
    There are several Electras around, including a 10E (Amelia’s model ) in San Diego. Perhaps the dust cover can be compared and matched to that one, with permission of course.

    Les may want to research Lockheed archives, with respect to the various parts orders which, when assembled, comprised the Electra. I believe they still have them. There are many locations on line that illustrate them as well. May even have exact dimensions and specs. Must have. Or the various parts simply don’t fit. It may be a remote shot, but it’s a shot nonetheless. NARA as well. What’s to lose? A lot of homework lies ahead if he decides to pursue it further..

    The APU /EPU cover: That may be more difficult. I guess Lockheed would be the “Go To” guys again. If it’s a cover of sorts, they would know if anyone would.

    Be patient. My only advice. If Mr. Spink embarks again on a future thorough search, who knows what he may turn up. The key to it all is professional analysis and certification, not the “consistent with” Tighar technique. I have to presume that Mr. Spink is deep into Earhart research now, and is aware of what he needs as respects having facts and hard evidence fall into place.

    And I still think the foreign press would eat this up. Put the shoe on the other foot and snub the U.S. press.


  23. Mr. Spink may be aware of the Purdue Archives, However ; if unaware, he will see they offer a selection of photos that can be enlarged, so one can see much detail. If the small rectangle plate is believed to have been a part of the left wing ( leading edge) , he may want to access the archives to garner support for it’s fitment.


  24. To All:
    Let’s hope for some kind of Blockbuster update from the Marshalls before the month is out ! MORE EVIDENCE !


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