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. Excellent and credible reporting. But then you go on to say that “the media” is protecting FDR’s legacy, without any attempt to contact Fox News, which is anything but protective of FDR. Let’s go with Churchill here: Never give up.


    1. John,
      You have no idea how FOX News is in the pocket of the Washington establishment and carries their water just like any other network. Don’t believe that “fair and balanced” crap; FOX has been as much a part of the problem as anyone else. I’ve contacted FOX and hundreds of others and been ignored. A friend just sent in a strong comment supporting the truth to FOX, and they refused to put it up on their site. This is what you get from FOX: The same aversion to the truth as the rest of them.

      Please help spread the word.


      1. Wow, I stand totally corrected. Between this, the errant missile that hit TWA 800, and everything Edward Snowdon, coverups can be very effective.


    2. I must admit I am fuming. I went on this morning and posted a comment – in may naive effort to educate anyone reading the comments on the TIGHAR charade they are endorsing.

      THEY REMOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!

      I shun Glenn Beck’s websites for similarly removing posts in the past that they found “inconvenient” – a word I believe Beck uses ironically in a book title of his.

      I share here with you all what FOX News decided was unsuitable for inclusion on their website. John Kane, draw your own opinion about Fox ….
      For those of you who hate to be duped – as I hate to be duped – I have this information:
      and the title of a book well worth reading:
      Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last by Mike Campbell, available at and most book stores.
      There is over 70 years of solid evidence – REAL evidence, like eyewitness testimony, photos, excavated artifacts, etc. – that show Earhart and Noonan landed at Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, not a crash landing, inflated a yellow life raft, and made it to shore. They were observed by islanders and Japanese military personnel. They were picked up by a Japanese fisher and taken to Jaluit, then Kwajalein, and finally to Saipan. The Electra was also strapped to a Japanese ship and hauled to Saipan, where it was secreted in a remote hangar at the southwest end of the island, waiting to be discovered in July 1944 by US marines. Both died there. The Electra was also observed – by islanders and Japanese military personnel – hoisted and strapped onto a large seagoing vessel and hauled to Saipan, where it sat in a nondescript, unused hangar at the end of a tiny airstrip throughout the war. It (the plane) was discovered by US military personnel in Saipan on July 6, 1944, where more than a few witnessed the Electra being flown around that airstrip in touch and goes.
      Treat yourself to an early holiday or Christmas gift and buy this book. The author has been interviewed in more than a couple online radio shows which are preserved online and can be found using your favorite search engine.
      As HarrybobandPhil says – the true story of Earhart, Noonan, and the Electra is WAY more fascinating than all the theories about “where she crashed” (forget about if she crashed!). Once you realize she was safe and captured by the Japanese military, That is when the really BIG questions begin to manifest. The secondary takeaway from the book is the inescapable sequitur of **why** have the facts and evidence for this resolution been denied, covered up, derided, passed over, and discounted by traditional historians and the US government (which is certainly in possession of at least some of the tangible evidence) for nearly eight decades now? Who was and is still involved? To what end?
      Here is another instance of Hidden History and all around we can see those who continue to fling “clean fill” on top of it.


      1. Sorry it took so long for me to post your comment, Wolfie. Even my own blog pushed your comment to spam and I just now found it!
        You’re preaching to the choir on my site, but had FOX done anything else I would have been shocked. AS I told John Kane (I have an uncle by that name, BTW, who couldn’t care less about all this), FOX is as bad as the rest of the liberal media; they just pretend to be different. It’s all bread and circuses now, and real news that deal with important truths is to be assiduously blacked out. It’s all for our own good, don’t you know?


  2. Bravo, Mike! I encourage interested readers to go through the item on TIGHARS’ website, in its entirety (be forewarned – prominently displayed at the top of the home page on his website is a caveat: “slow to load” – “be patient” because his poor web design cannot accommodate a format for images that are small and efficient?). These description of the translocation of this fingerprint-studded flotsam from the fuselage to the back of the bottom of the plane and now to the window patch is precious.

    As a “researcher” and “scientist”, the 1st reaction I had was his claim that the rivet marks are “fingerprints” and, therefore, unique markers for Earhart’s Electra. I find that hard to believe, unless there is more evidence in addition to rivet marks to describe an artifact. E.G., if the artifact were hexagonal with unique, unequal angles at all 6 corners, AND there were rivet marks that correspond to holes in a separate artifact with EXACTLY the same UNIQUE hexagonal shape rotated in exactly the right angle to make the holes and rivet marks match … then I would be interested.

    What he shows in his slow-to-load photos is a pretty badly beaten up sheet of metal with chunks missing around the edges. Then he constructs where the infrastructure in the fuselage would have [to have] been revised, covering up the window, to enable the rivets to match up. Even to the point of skewing one of the supports and then calling attention to that skewness, as if it is proof in and of itself that this MUST be the patch on the Electra. THAT Electra. HER ELECTRA. All this in an age where the American public is riveted (no pun intended) by TV shows & movies targeting forensics procedures. And the overly longwinded discussion of the standards and stringers and circumferentials. I suppose that was an attempt at inducing a light trance to make the message seep into consciousness more readily than reasoning would require.

    I bet he manages to find DNA next year in the submerged fuselage, after milking $367K from an innocuous public with nothing better to do than surf the net and participate in his gang-funded cause célèbre.


    1. You’re right on the money, Wolfie, as always. He’s already tried the DNA angle, but of course the DNA wouldn’t cooperate with him. Gillespie will be back soon, as I said, Bet on it.


  3. The basic truth is that the NR 16020 Lockheed Electra was definitely unable to reach Gardner-Nikumaroro from the Howland region where the crew estimated to be , and where their radio signals were at the upper stength limit . The TIGHAR hypothesis about Nikumaroro was and is a hoax from the beginning , consisting of concoction upon concoction .


  4. Many thanks Mike for exposing this latest deception from Tighar.

    The comment below was recently posted on UK’s Key Publishing ‘Historic Aviation’ forum, by writer Andy Saunders. The statement from the Alcoa Aluminum Co. is interesting to say the very least.
    “Amelia Earhart Plane Fragment Identified”
    Reply #33

    “To re-iterate, and in case it is helpful:

    The “AD” letters seen on the supposed part of the Amelia aircraft form part of the word “ALCLAD” etched on the aluminum. This “ALCLAD” stencil was only used in the 1940s, and does not match any known examples from the 1930s. Numerous photographs show that Alclad in the 1930s was stenciled with “ALC” and not “ALCLAD”.

    This information has been verified by the Alcoa company, who have stated: “Categorically, this portion of airframe cannot have originated with the Earhart airplane but is from a post-1943 constructed craft”

    It must thus be assumed that TIGHAR are of the belief that this component from the Earhart aircraft had inexplicably been marked with a post-dated stencil.”


    1. Flyfan,
      You’re new to this blog, aren’t you? Welcome aboard, and many thanks for this additional information from Alcoa. This will never see the light of day in our corrupt media, which has been totally in the tank for Gillespie for over 25 years. Please tell your friends about this blog and this book.
      The truth can get out only in this way.


  5. Mike I just posted this new link on the TIGHAR Facebook page in response to another post,We’ll see how long it lasts before they take it down.I have been trolling them the last two weeks since this so called new evidence surfaced,they deleted one of my posts but the link to your webpage that I put up in response to a post is still up after two weeks.Maybe someone will get a clue and check it out.


    1. Thanks Jesse, very much appreciated. Eventually the Truth must prevail. But it’s coming so slowly that I fear I won’t be here when it finally triumphs. Till then I do the best I can. I cannot believe that the story about Gary LaPook’s contribution will stand long on the TIGHAR page.


  6. Yes, I’m a newbie here. It’s nice to find an antidote to Tighar’s

    I understand your pessimism, but I still hope we will see confirmation of A. Saunder’s statement from the Alcoa Co.


  7. The TIGHAR organization symbol should be a paper tiger, you know, it looks real and threatening from a distance and when you get up close you see a pale poor excuse for the real thing, in this case the truth.


  8. Personally I believe TIGHARs theory. I have yet to see more and/or better circumstantial evidence. If you guys think it’s a sham then so be it and give money to a competing person/group who you think is right. I’ll donate to TIGHAR and come June of 2015 Gillespie will be proven right or not. I don’t get all the anger and personal attacks when it’s not your money. Where exactly did Alcoa (and not some dude on the interwebs) categorically say it could not be from the period? Seems to me everybody has a financial stake in their pet theory which drives this vitriol.


    1. You couldn’t be more mistaken, Rene szabo (is this your real name, with the small “z”?) and you reveal your profound ignorance in your statements. Why don’t you read my book before you tell readers here that you “have yet to see more and/or better circumstantial evidence.” If that is the case, you haven’t read anything except the propaganda that Gillespie’s media toadies put out for him. But in the end, they won’t be able to save him, because the truth will always come out, sooner or later. In this case, it’s way past due. And as for your statement about “everyone” having a financial stake, again, you are completely wrong. All who know me can attest I’ve never made a dime, never demanded hundreds of thousands, even millions, for my “non-profit” work, never made squat for my years of devotion to this case, despite writing two books, both of which have been blacklisted. Wake up, Renee. You have been taken for a ride by TIGHAR, along with the rest of the country.


  9. Rene –
    I’m sorry to burst your Nikumaroro bubble, but give it up, your wasting your time & money with Gillespie……………………………………..Read the *TRUTH & *FACTS in Mike Campbell’s book – Amelia Earhart / The *Truth at Last. It’s an education into our government’s cover ups, lies, and disinformation upon the American Public about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. We have FDR to thank for this one…………………………………..Sadly Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan were taken prisoners by the Japanese, executed & died on Saipan.
    SHAME on JAPAN, SHAME on FDR and SHAME on our Government & Media’s commitment to keep everyone in the dark.
    Thank You – Mike Campbell for this GREAT BOOK – GOD BLESS YOU.


  10. Good Lord you guys see conspiracies in everything. Szabo is my wife’s last name and the punctuation (small s) was a typo not the z (Hungarian). Yes, l’ve read your book, Westfalls and Longs among others. Just my opinion based on what I have read brother. And until someone proves the others wrong that’s what it is….opinion/hypothesis/other. Mr. Gillespie has been pretty successful at raising funds for his theory and it seems to me that’s what really irks people. If you have current research needs and can clearly articulate w/o personal attacks pls point me to the site and I will consider.
    – Doug


    1. I find it hard to believe that you’ve read Truth at Last. When you lump it in with Doug Westfall’s “The Hunt for Amelia Earhart,” basically a straight-news look at the Navy and Coast Guard’s 1937 search, and Elgen Long’s “Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved,” which is a transparently contrived polemic aimed at forcing Amelia down short of Howland and is the bible of the hopeless, without-a-clue crash-and-sankers, you tell me one of two things: Either you can’t read and might be dyslexic, or you’re simply one of the many haters out there. My book has nothing in common with the two you cite, they are like oil and water, yet you try to classify them together. Go away, Doug, we aren’t buying any more of your crap here.


  11. From Tighar’s IRS 990 Tax Forms which can be accessed at the National Center for Charitable Statistics by searching for: “THE INTERNATIONAL GROUP FOR HISTORIC AIRCRAFT RECOVERY TIGHAR”

    2013: Officer Compensation: $238,500
    2012: Officer Compensation: $186,336
    2011: Officer Compensation: $160,150
    2010: Officer Compensation: $117,254
    2009: Officer Compensation: $78,217


    1. Thanks Todd. Not a bad living, is it, for the “selfless” chief of the non-profit TIGHAR? Certainly beats the hell out of the pittance I make as a retired federal worker.


  12. Doug
    Obviously you cannot grasp the *TRUTH. You can’t be serious, Doug? I’m afraid to POP your Nikumaroro bubble again and as anyone who can clearly see, Amelia Earhart was NEVER there. How much more *PROOF do you need after reading Mike Campbell’s book – Amelia Earhart/The *Truth at Last. It’s all there – testimonies, witnesses, OVERWHELMING evidence of Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan’s deaths on *Saipan by the Japanese. Lets be *HONEST, Doug and face the FACTS.


  13. Todd –
    Ok, Mr Gillespie towards the ends of this 20 + yr journey has been somewhat successful financially ( You and I don’t know what they sacrificed early on). But, he has accumulated a lot of
    circumstantial evidence over the years which IMO accounts for the increase in pay by the board. Is the board biased? Are they blood sucking lackeys ? Who has the best circumstantial evidence? Of the other theories who is adamant we are right and everybody else is wrong vs. we have been wrong? You are on this site so obviously you believe in another theory (or hate TIGHAR) so make a choice and give your dollars. What kills me and probably Lapook is that you guys will scream about what a sham TIGHAR is but not back it up w/ donations. Why?


    1. Robert Lichtenberger | Reply

      Very apt questions, Renee, but I don’t see many answers.


  14. Guys – Do you feel so strongly about “the truth” that you contribute? I realize everybody has differences of opinion and I didn’t think l would change anyone’s opinion other than perhaps the casual surfer. But, if you think l’m an idiot and you know right but you are not supporting this other than lip service………..Give hard earned $$ and expect new results and if no return………


    1. At first I thought you were asking us to contribute to Gillespie, but after wading through your message again, I think what you’re saying is that people who come to the Truth at Last blog should contribute to it. What gives you the idea that I ever asked anyone for money? Are you so used to TIGHAR’s MO that you think others are the same? I ask NO ONE for money in connection to my Earhart work; occasionally I ask that those who support the truth should consider buying the book, period. So, Renee/Doug, or whoever you are, you’re done here, unless and until you start to make better sense.


  15. I’ve followed this,since the 1960’s with Fred Goerners book,all the way to today. ANYONE with a brain, after reading the evidence, that thinks Mr. Ric is right, needs to talk to “somebody.” The evidence is THERE,look at it! Mike Campbell’s books, not only back it up, but, show more current, due to technology. These people (hundreds?) aren’t liars, but I do know who’s full of BS, and his initials are RG! I was sick when I read about this new farce, but I’m glad, Mike, that you and the others got on it,so quick. Kudos to you all, and keep up the good work.


  16. Rene/Doug –
    Ric Gillespie has accumulated nothing from Nikumaroro that pertains to Amelia or the Lockheed Electra. Why do you attribute JUNK left on the island from other people & vacationers as circumstantial evidence? Your terribly mistaken and wrong as is Ric Gillespie.
    If you had any sense you would support the *TRUTH and advise people to buy Mike Campbell’s book – Amelia Earhart/ The Truth at Last published by Sunbury Press. It’s the BEST book I have ever read on Amelia Earhart.


    1. Robert Lichtenberger | Reply

      Everything that TIGHAR’s retrieved has some bearing upon and is a component of the Earhart puzzle. And, one doesn’t “vacation” on Gardner.


      1. Robert,
        The garbage from Gardner, none of which has any connection to Earhart or Noonan, is a “component of the Earhart puzzle” in about the same way that the Obama administration is a component of good government. Both are transparently fraudulent and are supported only by their incoherent, unthinking, fanatic bases. You and your ilk, unfortunately, will always be with us, like the pathetic, helpless disabled and uneducated poor. But what is your excuse?


      2. Robert Lichtenberger

        My ilk? The tenor of your response is really juvenile, and hardly on the level of someone who has much confidence in their own “truth.”


  17. Good grief. I thought this was a blog about the evidence and eyewitness testimony confirming Earhart’s & Noonan’s eventual execution by the Japanese military on Saipan, which is for all practical purposes not one of the best-kept secrets (what’s the secret?) but certainly one of the biggest disinformation campaigns ever perpetrated.

    Instead I am reading way too much about the philosophy behind donations? What does the amount of $$ donated to TIGHAR have to do with evidence? Haven’t you heard all the exposes in the last 10-15 years about where donations really go in many, many non-profits? Prowl through here sometime for details: BTW I can’t find any “transparency” or “accountability” information about TIGHAR. Hmmm… [Yes, I realize TIGHAR is not a “charity” – but there is no info in online searches related to its accountability; only a lot of excited anticipation.] So, if the amount of $$ I give an organization has a high,positive correlation with its integrity, efficacy, accuracy of claims ….. how come this theory fails when I consider the $$$$ I hand over to the IRS annually?

    Please. Don’t confuse frustration with vitriol. Some of us believe that The Truth should not have to be sold or promoted – all you have to do is state it and show the evidence. Apparently “the search for Amelia Earhart” has become an entertaining pastime alongside of ghost hunting, with gadgets, toys, fan clubs, overly dramatic reactions to imagined or manufactured signs and symbols, and celebrity “researchers ” (the quotes are intentional).

    Maybe TIGHAR is angling for a series on Destination America or the Discovery channel. Might be a good idea – if they could add a trance medium, a psychic, and someone who talks to dead people, we could finally end this debate.


  18. Last week on Fox News, Dana Perino, co-host of THE FIVE, said she would like to see the “Amelia Earhart mystery solved”…..this was in response to their group discussion involving Brad Meltzer’s new TV documentary on H-2 about unsolved mysteries and stolen/lost artifacts. Somebody should send her a Mike Campbell book…she might even read it, and this gutsy gal (former press secretary to George Bush) might even bring it up in one of their group discussions.


    1. Sandy,
      Thanks for your suggestion, I know you’re always trying to help. But things are far worse than you know. A supporter send a great write-up to the FOX comments section of the original Gillespie story on FOX and it was not allowed to stand.. FOX is as bad as the rest in carrying Gillespie’s water and suppressing the truth. I don’t waste my time with them anymore, as I’ve contacted FOX and everyone else in the past about this. Dana Perino might want to see the AE mystery solved, and she may not even know the FOX policy on it. But if she ever tried to open her mouth on FOX and talk about the truth, she would be cut off immediately and chastised severely. She has never impressed me as “gutsy” either, but seems like nothing more than an extension of the RNC.

      This chit-chat among the five clucking chickens on “The Five” is totally meaningless. But to anyone reading this, if you want to look up their email addresses, go ahead and try to send them some links to my blog and book. Perhaps one of them might grow a few and actually say something meaningful. But I won’t be holding my breath. But thanks for your suggestion, Sandy, at least you’re thinking about this, which is more than everyone else is doing.


  19. This National Geographic story suggests Gillespie’s sheet metal is nothing more than part of a PBY flying boat.


    1. Flyfan,
      I thought this was a different piece of aluminum, so well did the dishonest media hide the provenance of it, but apparently Gillespie is so sure that anything he offers up will be celebrated, that he threw it into the ring once again. Yes, in 1992, after analysis by some experts assembled by Elgen Long, they did determine it came from a PBY Catalina Flying Boat.


      1. The LA Times covered Long’s study in 1992;

        “A Theory That Won’t Fly? : East Coast experts say they solved the Amelia Earhart mystery. But a West Coast group thinks not.”

        Members of the War Bird Information Exchange also refuse to buy Gillespie’s latest bunk.

        “…what we need is a equal publicity campaign of righteous truthing to counter the gall of Gillespie. Anybody here an ad-man, a PR guy? We need you…”


      2. Indeed, my friend, indeed.


      3. Why so many words whereas every aeronautical engineer is able to compute on the back of one hand that the aircraft could not reach any other islands group than Howland-Baker , with the remaining fuel after having been close to the destination which is apparent from the radio signals heard getting stronger and stronger in the immediate Howland area / question mark .


      4. Why so many words, Hac? What makes you an expert on the Electra’s fuel consumption anyway? Our own Bill Prymak, God rest his soul, many years ago consulted closely with Art Kennedy and Lockheed to analyze just how much fuel Amelia might have had if she were in the Howland area at the time of her last messages, and they determined she had enough, from there, to fly to Mili Atoll in the Marshalls, over 800 miles from Howland. And that’s only IF Amelia were near Howland, and we still don’t know it for sure. You clearly are new to the Earhart problem, Hac, and have no clue what you’re talking about. Why not read Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, and get back to us when you finish.


  20. I put up excerpts of 1930’s navigation manuals, Noonan’s charts on prior legs of the flight, other charts and information about the disappearance. These are available on my website so that everybody has access to them so that they can make their own investigations and come to their own conclusions. I have also posted my own analyses there of these issues that others are free to accept or not. I invite everyone to access my website at:

    Gary LaPook


    1. Thanks Gary. Despite the fact that Gary is a convicted believer in the crash-and-sank theory, I would strongly recommend his site to those of you who know and understand navigation. His contributions to helping derail (hopefully) Gillespie’s latest falsehood earlier than any to date are greatly appreciated.


  21. Mike, on Reddit, Elgen Long’s grandson provides info and a photo of a 22v1 template aligned with rivet rows on a PBY wing.


  22. Hac van Asten –
    If you take a ruler/straight edge and lay it upon a flat world atlas map; you can clearly see, starting from New Guinea straight across to Hawaii lays – *Mili Atoll – Marshall Islands. Exactly where Amelia came down. There were too many gooney birds on Holland Island for a safe landing & take off.


  23. There is a good book for background on Japan. It is called Freedom Betrayed by Herbert Hoover. It is recently released. President Hoover wanted it released when he died in 1964. His family said wait 50 years after they saw it. He talks about a long line of provocations of Japan. Amelia’s flight may have been one of these provacations.


  24. 1. Renee szabo appears to be a Nom d’ Plume… For Gillespie to go from a comfortable salary to an extremely comfortable salary, and accomplish NOTHING, speaks well of American Capitalism.. Perhaps she is a closet member of TIGHAR……Perhaps, she is……………a future TIGHAR victim.

    2. Gillespie’s “early sacrifices” ???? It’s extremely difficult to get total strangers to believe nonsense and donate millions for fruitless expeditions based upon an impossible theory. He’s a Pitchman. He can sell snow to Eskimos.

    3. Mr. LaPook is right on the money. van Asten hits it on the nose as well. The Lockheed could not make it to Gardner (Nikumaroro). However, if it did ditch north or northeast of Howland, it certainly is possible that the Japanese picked up Earhart, Noonan, and the airplane.Soo,,,,,,
    – Crash and sank is valid.
    – Crash and captured is valid as well.


    1. Vernon,
      Always good to see a new contributor, and you were doing so well until you wrote, “Crashed and sank is valid.” You could not have read Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, and made that comment, unless you have a serious reading disorder, and nothing else in the rest of your message indicates that. I suggest you invest in the book so that you can understand that crash and sank is just another strain of snake oil. Unlike the others, this is a worthy cause, and the book is most aptly titled.
      Mike C.


    2. Any Japanese military , if having had something to do with the Earhart incident , would after the war have written a book on his memories , or at least he or she would have sought publicity on the subject . The chances for Japanese intervention of any kind are zero for theory and practice .


      1. Mr. van Asten,
        What are then saying? That because no one from the Japanese military stepped forward to admit Earhart, that she was never there? If this is your contention, you clearly haven’t read my book. First of all, nearly the entire Japanese garrison of 30,000 on Saipan was wiped out during the 1944 invasion. And of those who survived, if any told our intelligence assets about Amelia, do you really think it would have been made public with what we now know? But we DO have a Japanese witness to Amelia and Fred’s presence on Saipan.

        Japanese national Michiko Sugita was the 12-year-old daughter of the civilian chief of police on Saipan in 1937. In her correspondence with Tom Devine, of which I have copies, she related how the policemen and her father on Saipan all told her that it was unfortunate that they had to execute Amelia, because she was such a fine person. As for the military personnel you think should have come forward, how many of them do you think wer even alive to do that? Anyone trying to do such a thing would have faced grave consequences in Japan, and in fact Michiko herself was “disappeared” after a few years of correspondence with Devine. The Japanese, among nearly all peoples, are also well known for their rampant “groupthink” in politics and public life. Even had one tried to buck the system, as Michiko did, he would have been eliminated without fanfare. Again, I suggest you read Truth at Last before you make such grand pronouncements. There’s plenty there to digest.


      2. All true , I made however myself , the computations showing that the aircraft was not close to Saipan at the instant the radio communications signed off , whereas the aircraft could not reach any other land point than Howland/Baker with the remaining fuel . An open end is that the crew may have been transported to Saipan after having been rescued by the Japanese after landing the plane at sea in the Howland area . Equally in such event the miliary involved would not have kept silence since they would have argued that the US government actually committed espionage in the Pacific . Apart from this , a rescue after a fuel run-out emergency is for practice nearing to chance zero ; no Japanese traffic was at the time apparent in the Howland region , where the plane’s radio signals were S-5 strong up to the last message that was broken off . I have read several if not many stories about the Saipan theory ; none of them holds and there is no truth at last in the event an author so says .


  25. H.A.C.van Asten – your incorrect in thinking the Japanese would seek publicity over Amelia Earhart or their knowledge of her death. The Japanese would be the last to admit their atrocities. Their fear of American reprisals & scorn upon them. The American & Japanese relationship in such a delicate state after the war.

    One must also contemplate those same Japanese who participated in the imprisonment, torture, execution and death of Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan & others; were they killed during the U.S. invasion of Saipan in ’44 or did they escape? They would be hiding their identities and not bragging nor publishing books on the matter.

    Why do you think our own Media & government denies the knowledge of it? They are not about to discuss the ugly details & truth and further fracture this delicate alliance.


    1. What would an aircraft crew spy by flying over some Japan mandated islands , in the dark . Question mark .


    2. And , bij making so little from so much (- discussion) , you can compute on the back side of one hand that the aircraft , being in the Howland environment could not reach any other land point than Howland , or Baker alternatively . Aircraft’s computed endurance for July 2 was 20 hours fourteen minutes and at exactly that time point communications ended .


      1. Your comments are inane, van Asten, and add nothing to this discussion. These will be the last I approve until you begin to make sense. You seem to know just enough false trivia to think you have an opinion worth airing. I assure you that you do not, and you exhibit strong signs of a learning disability or reading dyslexia. I suggest you go away now and haunt someone else’s blog.


  26. earharttruth , it is indisputable that when the crew communicated to have fuel for 1/2 hour fuel on board , the actual stock was 49 US gallons , of which about 25 100 octnae fuel remained from the take off at Lae , and 24 gallons 87 octane avgas fuel was sufficient to finish the trip by arriving at the destination within half-an-hour . The concerning computations have been made by using current for then and now in the aero-industry operated methods , also resulting in an endurance of 20h14m (plus 10 seconds) for 2,852 st.miles . The time point at which radio communiactations got lost was 2014 GMT , take off was at 0000 GMT . At , ‘technical articles’ you find 3 articles plus addenda showing how the above mentioned calcualtions are made . If you are hunting for the truth as your sub-titling says , why do you suggest me to go away . Question mark .


    1. This, van Assten, ?, is a question mark. Do you think it’s cute to end your insane sentences with “question mark”>? Go away, that was your last shot here. I promise. Learn to read, learn to write and learn about the Earhart disappearance on your own time. Buy the book while you’re at it.


  27. An interesting point was buried in there. What do you see or photograph from an airplane at night, in 1937, over the Marshall Islands? Even with a full moon, do you pick up ships,wharves, gun emplacements,and troop barracks? Most likely, “no”. It would be dimly lit, if at all. And what stage was the moon in, and at what suspected altitude was the Electra at? Don’t think modern day illumination. Think 1937.

    They ( the Japanese ) really didn’t even start constructing fortifications until late 1940. And it really didn’t seem like war was imminent in 1937. Japan was deeply involved with the war in China. In fact, totally occupied by late 1937 with that war. And at the time, British and Dutch intelligence assets were actually superior to ours.

    Such a flight would involve immense risk if deliberately downed, downed due to fuel exhaustion, or by deliberation due to a flawed espionage plan. More to lose than to gain. And Fred Noonan would have to be in on it as an equal partner – a Newlywed, with the intention of starting his own Navigation School. I don’t envision Fred wanting any part of it. He has a rough life up to that point, and was looking to establish roots and normalcy.


    1. Perhaps the most popular of the possible “flyover locations” among researchers is Truk Atoll in the Carolines, which was called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific,” a major Japanese logistical base as well as the operating “home” base for the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Combined Fleet. Others have described it as the Japanese equivalent of our own Pearl Harbor. We needed to know far more than we did in 1937 about what the Japs were doing there, and it’s possible that FRD could have asked AE to have a look. Note, I say possible.

      They would have reached Truk under normal conditions at about 7 pm July 2, with plenty of light left. Their journey to Howland would have been lengthened to about 3,200 miles, however, and though doable, was stretching it. This may have been why they landed at Mili, as it was the best they could manage once they realized the Electra couldn’t reach Howland. Or alternatively, they may have planned the Mili landing all along, and it too would have taken place in the light, anywhere from 10 am to 2 pm roughly.


  28. Mike:
    I did some preliminary research ( all Internet ) on Truk Atoll. Fortifications didn’t start until late 1940 /41: A submarine and seaplane base only.
    There is / was no serious consideration of Truk as a tactical or strategic target in War Plan Orange – The American War Department’s plan for possible War against Japan.
    As late as 1942, the Japanese Commander of the Truk facilities termed his defenses “weak”.

    So much for Truk as a “Gibralter”

    Now, a flyover of Truk Lagoon by “anybody” in 1937.

    1. The Lagoon is huge, consisting of many Islets /Atolls.
    2. At what altitude do you fly over and take visual observations and / or photos ?
    3. Do you make one pass at each atoll ?
    4. Do you circle several times ?

    Now, in 1937, there was no fighter presence or land airfield, only a seaplane base. The “Rufe’ ( float Zero ) wasn’t around just yet.

    So, she gets away scot free. Would not the Japanese lodge a formal diplomatic protest as to the incursion into they’re air space? They would have absolutely nothing to lose. Nothing. They were aware of her World Flight attempt. They could simply have stated she illegally flew over Japanese Administered Islands with out permission and continued on a easterly course. And that would have been it. ” We witnessed the overflight. We witnessed her departure from our possessions, and when last seen, was heading east. ” A done deal. No suspicion. No innuendos.

    And we were aware that most of the Combined Fleet was in home waters or off the coast of China ( preparing the trip wire for the 7/7/37 invasion of China less than a week later. In fact, most pre-war photos of Japanese warships were taken off the coast of China. The waters were International, the ports Chinese, and open to most nations.

    So, why risk a Truk flyover ??? And there is absolutely no record of personal conversations with the Navy. I would think that after December 7th, and more over, after September 6th,1945.


    1. Vernon,
      I tend to seriously doubt your statement that “Fortifications didn’t start until late 1940 /41: A submarine and seaplane base only.
      There is/was no serious consideration of Truk as a tactical or strategic target in War Plan Orange – The American War Department’s plan for possible War against Japan. As late as 1942, the Japanese Commander of the Truk facilities termed his defenses ‘weak.’ So much for Truk as a Gibralter.'”

      This sounds as if it came straight from the Japanese PR manual during the war crimes trials, in which they also denied Nanking, didn’t they? I suppose War Plan Orange can be checked easily enough, and I’m hoping to hear from a researcher who’s better versed on where to go for information that rebuts your claims. Please stand by.


      1. Vernon,
        Where are you doing your “research” online?
        The following comes from the first of many sites that refer to Truck as the “Gibralar of the Pacific,” in an online search. It’s Wikipedia, not always the best reference and often wrong, but not in this case, I’m sure. It doesn’t say when the military buildup on Truk began, but there’s no way, common sense tells us, that it possibly could have started in late 1940. I await more from someone more learned than I to complete this rebuttal.
        Mike C.
        From Wikipedia, and corroborated by many sources online:
        “During World War II, Truk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan’s main base in the South Pacific theatre. Truk was a heavily fortified base for Japanese operations against Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, serving as the forward anchorage for the Japanese Imperial Fleet.

        “Truk Lagoon was considered the most formidable of all Japanese strongholds in the Pacific. On the various islands, the Japanese Civil Engineering Department and Naval Construction Department had built roads, trenches, bunkers and caves. Five airstrips, seaplane bases, a torpedo boat station, submarine repair shops, a communications center and a radar station were constructed during the war. Protecting these various facilities were coastal defense guns and mortar emplacements. The Japanese garrison consisted of 27,856 IJN men under the command of Vice Admiral Masami Kobayashi then Vice Admiral Chuichi Hara and 16,737 IJA men under the command of Major General Kanenobu Ishuin. Due to its heavy fortifications, both natural and manmade, the base at Truk was known to Allied forces as “the Gibraltar of the Pacific”.

        “A significant portion of the Japanese fleet was based at Truk, with its administrative center on Tonoas (south of Weno). At anchor in the lagoon were the Imperial Japanese Navy’s battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, tankers, cargo ships, tugboats, gunboats, minesweepers, landing craft, and submarines. Some have described Truk as Japan’s equivalent of the Americans’ Pearl Harbor.”


  29. In the portion of the Wiki article you printed , there is not one calender year cited. “During WWII” is about a generic statement as one can print for an on-line encyclopedia. I did not use Wikipedia. I quickly used one or two noted authors and US Armed Forces sources, which are readily available on-line. All Monographs on the war were authorized and approved by the government.

    Louis Morton: “War in the Pacific” is more specific. Even more specific than Morton is ” The US Army Air Forces in WWII – Combat Chronology, 1941-45, Office of Air Force History, 1973. Morton also contributed to the US Army Monograph ” Fall of the Philippines. He’s no Piker….

    When the Imperial Navy evacuated Truk as a fleet base in February 1944, it was due to American Air Power advancing across the Pacific. In fact 18 multiple aircraft missions over two weeks ( B-24’s) neutralized defenses after the fleet departed, exclusive of carrier air strikes. ( USSBS – primary source, as well as post war interrogations).

    Now, without going into minutia, it’s safe to say that “The Gibraltar of The Pacific” was a moniker, just like the Gibraltar of The East was for Singapore, and “The Rock” was for Corregidor. None were true Gibraltar’s. And there is absolutely no proof…no proof whatsoever, that any major, or even minor Imperial Fleet units were present in 1937, because the infrastructure was not there to support them. The buildup occurred in 1940-41.

    But ….. Back to Amelia…………….

    In 1937, Pearl Harbor was not the Pearl Harbor of 1941. The fleet was headquartered in San Diego. Pearl Harbor was an advance base, not Pacific Fleet Headquarters – not yet. . And Truk in 1937 was not the Truk of 1943-44.

    – Why send Fred and Amelia on a mission of this type ? Like I posted previously, how many sweeps over how many atolls comprising Truk do you make to secure information? They’re amateurs.
    – Do you circle directly overhead and take photos ( the obvious ), or maintain a reasonable distance and count ships that you can’t identify from a distance?
    – Are you trained to identify bunkers, underground fuel storage, types of wharves, anchorages, runway construction, revetments – none of which were present in 1937?

    Simply too many variables to unload on anyone. I can see her not locating Howland and heading for the Gilberts or Marshalls, but a spy mission over Truk. Very, very impractical and unlikely.

    Just my thoughts…..


    1. There’s no way that the Japanese weren’t actively building up Truk in 1937. Our government would have been interested in whatever was going on there, that’s all. Nobody here is saying that AE flat out overflew Truk, only that it’s a possibility to consider. Maybe you have a better idea about how they wound up at Mili Atoll near Barre Island? NOBODY has the answer out here, is the point.


  30. I agree. It’s a moot point in 2014. All academic. To me, a higher likelihood she missed Howland and doubled back. Navigation error followed by an impromptu Plan B to the Gilberts or Marshalls depending upon weather and remaining fuel.

    Well, technical analysis of those two artifacts may be the cure-all /catch-all. Any idea of when third party testing and analysis may be completed?


    1. Yes. Paul Rafford Jr. even drew up a map illustrating your “Plan B” in Loomis’ book (Large Print, p. 156) that he labeled “Earhart’s Desperate Turnaround,” only to later change his thinking to a far more complex “Earhart Radio Deception.” Paul never stopped thinking about this, apparently, and his ideas remain fascinating.

      As for the testing of the artifacts, I really can’t tell you. It’s up to Dick Spink and he’s not sure himself yet. Will keep you informed. I’ve recently been informed that another artifact connected to Amelia may be forthcoming, but this is only a possibility right now. In either event, even if the artifacts from the plane and the other are positively identified, I predict it will change almost nothing as far as the media is concerned. This is my constant refrain, but very few really understand it, and even fewer believe it.


  31. Vernon, whether Earhart and Noonan flew over Truk is pure conjecture. There is no evidence that she did.

    Now, whether Truk was fortified militarily in 1940, 41 or even 1942 for that matter, made no difference to Naval Intelligence in 1937. In 1937, ONI had no idea whether fortifications were ongoing at Truk or anywhere else for that matter in the Japanese Mandate Islands.

    There are countless ONI documents in the National Archives ( I have many of them) that discuss the need for intelligence gathering in the Central Pacific – meaning those areas controlled under the Japanese Mandates. To show the Navy’s desperation, I have an FOIA from ONI where they interviewed an old sailor in the early 1930’s that had happened upon Truk Atoll in his schooner They interviewed him in Chicago and picked his brain for what little information he could provide as to his memories of Truk.

    The Navy was so desperate for information they authorized three dangerous intelligence missions into the Japanese Mandated Islands in the 1920’s and as late as 1937. The bottom line was the US knew next to nothing what the Japanese were doing at Truk, the Marshalls, Ponape, Palau, and Saipan. There is no question, Truk was an unknown. Other than intelligence gathered by monitoring Japanese radio traffic, and analyzing data from traffic analysis, the US had no idea what the Japanese were doing at Truk.

    Your remarks that defenses at Truk were “weak” were known only after the war started. They certainly weren’t known in 1937. There is no question Truk was the central and main shipping and logistics center for the Japanese during World War Two. The US attack on February 16 and 17, 1944 will attest to that fact. The number of Japanese ships sank in and around that massive lagoon was staggering. (I believe 41). The term the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” was widely lipped. Are you saying it wasn’t used?

    But let’s go back to 1937. Would the Navy have suggested Earhart fly over Truk? Possibly, I certainly don’t discount it. it’s something FDR very well could have personally asked. Don’t you wonder why all the massive US Government financial and logistical support undertaken just to support this daredevil civilian’s flight during the middle of the Great Depression? As a side note during this same time, one of the papers I copied at the archives was a stern memo from the Chief of Naval Operations telling the ships not to use more than one torpedo during training exercises for lack of money.

    What would the Navy have requested Earhart to do? Probably nothing more than fly over the vast lagoon and see if there was any measurable shipping activity, maybe see if there was evidence of an airfield, and wharves as you suggested. In 1937, that would have been useful information.

    What’s intriguing are statements from three Naval officials – veiled references of a possible Earhart spy mission, not much you could argue in a court of law, but comments that nevertheless make you wonder: Earhart maintaining radio silence, Earhart coming into Howland from the Northwest, a remark from an Admiral who thought it unwise the US should get involved with her flight when it could lead to a confrontation with Japan.

    Earhart’s total disdain for radio procedures even a novice should have known has to be addressed as part of the spy argument. As it has been said many times before, if any one of us were lost and about to go in the drink, we are speaking into the mike with one hand and flying the plane with the other the entire last couple of hours. Earhart’s radio transmissions were rare and when they did occur, were in ridiculous shot bursts of 10 seconds or less. Why was that? could it be she didn’t want the Japanese to get a fix on her position?

    As the youngsters now say, ‘just asking.”

    By the way, there is proof the Japanese Fleet were in these waters in 1937. A 1937 Naval Intelligence report called “the South Sea Island Survey,” states exactly what you said had not occurred – presence of Japanese military warships.

    Les Kinney


  32. I’ll concede all points in order to apply salve and keep the dialogue civil and constructive. However,in my mind’s eye, as retired military, I cannot envision attempting a spy mission with an amateur. But:
    – Why no US Naval Picket ships in International waters to respond to a potential ditching?
    – Why no coordination with the British vis-a-vis the Gilberts as a location to ditch?
    – Would Earhart have flown that far around the globe, knowing that the Lae to Howland leg is not only the longest and most complex, but also potentially fatal should she deliberately stray off course and get caught in the act or captured?
    – And missing Howland for whatever reason means a hard landing on some atoll, a controlled water landing, or an emergency ditching in a place not of your choosing.

    It just seems the odds were too thin.

    Now, the veiled statements of military officials, Morganthau, and others always amaze me with their innuendos. Nimitz in particular. Five Star Admiral. Total Integrity. And no one thought to actively pursue his generic statement of her capture with an initial “We have to seriously talk.” followed by a sit down “Who, What, When, Why, Where, and How? ” I am simply amazed that the man with the answer is there, and no one pursues it.

    If you could somehow post that retired sailor’s debriefing, and the 1937 ONI South Seas Survey, that would be great. Puts everything in a grand perspective then.

    Any Japanese vessels in the immediate vicinity of Mili Atoll during that time frame? Any record of radio intercepts ?


  33. We also owe special thanks to Gary Lapook for exposing Gillespie’s elaborate but bogus story about the Dept. of State photo analysts signing off on the ridiculous “Nessie/Bevington Photo”


  34. Vernon, if you want to see these documents, I’d prefer that you email me through Mike. I will respond to you by email. I am writing a book on all this “stuff” and hate to give out exhibits that will eventually be in print.

    Regarding Nimitz, not many of us knew as a fleet admiral, he was ostensibly on active duty until he died. Therefore, other than his vague but understanding comments to Goerner, he couldn’t say more than he did – this Earhart matter had to have been still classified.



  35. Vernon & Les – always enjoy reading your comments. The questions I pose for both of you are as follows.

    1) Amelia’s disdain for radio and not wanting to use it. Doesn’t this simply explain why she wasn’t on that long or communicating with Itasca?
    2) Amateurs when it came to high level spying. They must have been briefed, asked to keep their eyes open & observe whatever they seen?
    3) Fuel or this 9% loss due to the strong headwinds. Isn’t the flight already in trouble and a cause for concern?

    It seems to me that Amelia is more concerned about fuel and less about spying. The rough landing on Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands appears more *accidental than deliberate.

    I see Amelia as being very tired after hours & hours of flying; than I do a woman who is chatty, alert, peering out windows, taking notes. If she had anything on her mind, it would be the amount of fuel left and calculating where to land.



    1. Doug:
      I’ll bounce around. And these are my opinions only….opinions.

      1. If you stay awake for 24 hours – just stay awake – at some point you start failing to function normally. Now, put yourself in a cramped seat, in a noisy airplane, possible gasoline fumes, constantly checking instruments, etc. Even “if” she was spelled by Noonan, an Aviator himself, it had to be grueling. And Lae to Howland was certainly no milk run. She had to be bone tired in my opinion. Hence a sloppy reef landing. How bad? Who knows?

      2. Radio: I don’t think Amelia was the type of person who wanted to be bothered by “details”. On the Lae to Howland flight, the frequencies and times were a mish-mash. She did not know Morse Code ( ie: keying the Mike – left the Key to save weight) . Did not stay on the air long enough for the Itaska to acquire a fix. At times, I wonder if Fred was 25 feet in the rear totally unaware of what was going on, or not going on in the cockpit. She should have been motor mouthing for 15 solid minutes once that “We must be on you….” message went out, so the Itaska could acquire a beariing. By anyone’s standards, she was a poor communicator in the last 90 minutes of flight. Even a final transmission of “Heading for the Gilberts” ( or the Marshalls) would have provided a more focused search area.

      3. Spying: Well, if she took a quick spy course and aerial photography training in a secret military hanger somewhere in the States, that was one hell of a final exam she encountered.. If there was a plan to spy, it failed miserably. The Japanese didn’t read the American script. It ended badly.

      4. Fuel: Absolutely had to be an issue the minute Fred said “Howland should be dead ahead !” and it wasn’t. Even with a reserve supply of fuel, it simply becomes your #1 focus. I’m not an Aviator, but think of the stress level if you’re on an Interstate somewhere out West,with a fuel gauge that read “E” ( think old technology ) and you pass a sign that says “Next Gas- 31 miles ). Pucker factor sets in.
      If there was a Plan B, it wasn’t a formal one in my view. probably cobbled together once they could not locate Howland.

      Remember- these are my opinions- nothing more.


      1. Vernon –
        Thanks for your *insightful opinions and I am in agreement.
        You would have thought, being previous warned to stay out of that area, why then land there? There were other islands in between Howland & Marshalls she could have chosen instead. Yes Fred Noonan knew the radio frequencies in the Marshall Islands and this is where they landed.

        Was Amelia so naive to think the Japanese would come to her rescue and not put herself into a twisted sheet?

        Did she feel this area might be in a zone where the U.S. Navy could still approach without danger?

        Something is unclear about this decision and the ramifications which transpired afterwards. Obviously this decision was made without the consent of those concerned or the concerned didn’t emphasize the seriousness to it.



  36. Les:
    Disregard. Don’t want to put you through a fire drill of sorts. I can also patiently wait for your book. Don’t take too long. I’m 70 years old….
    Nimitz: Yep ! All the 5 Stars were Active Duty for Life. But, why tease someone with that statement. Goerner should have asked: “Personally speaking, what specifics can you tell me?” Should have pushed it….
    Of course, Erskine, the USMC General basically stated the same thing and then went mum for life.

    I personally consider Gary LaPook “THE” foremost authority on celestial navigation. And his approach is understandable to the layman.


  37. Doug:
    Again, I’ll jump around with opinions.
    ( out of sequence of course !)

    The Japanese: If espionage was a part of her flight, then the Japanese were totally misjudged by the American government. They stated they helped with one ship. But was it a rescue mission or recovery /capture mission on their part ? And there were no disinterested third parties on the scene to bear witness. Perfect scenario for them. Only native witnesses.

    The U.S. Government: In denial. Or as they say today, Plausible Deniability. There was no second thought given to what happens if the Japanese have her and deny it? What do we do next? No real contingency plan.

    Amelia and Fred: I don’t think anyone told Amelia or Fred that….Opps ! You can possibly be taken and remain an indefinite prisoner, or even be executed. Maybe the US Government played it down, or maybe they gave her the facts and odds as they calculated them. We will never know if promises to come to her aid were made, or promises were made that went unfulfilled.

    Also, the Japanese public was enamored with Amelia. And I believe she spoke pretty good Japanese as well ( read that somewhere but unsure of the source) . So, maybe the guys in Washington thought she could charm her way out of a delicate situation. That didn’t work either.

    The Navy Search: It focused solely on where they thought she went down. I believe if she was in Japanese territory, and they knew with certainty at the time, they would have tested the Japanese by utilizing the 3 mile International Waters law of the sea. They didn’t. And again, if she was taking photos or ticking ships or shore facilities, they didn’t have a Plan B to get her back and acquire that information.

    In the great scheme of events of that year, Amelia was a later footnote. The Japanese invaded China in, I believe late July of ’37 and bombed and sank the USS Panay in December of that year on the Yangtze River in China. Bigger events overtook her loss. Rescue or repatriation became back burner.


  38. LIFE
    N16020 FAA FILE
    “Despite these setbacks TIGHAR has relentlessly backed its Island Theory for 25 years and in 2012 TIGHAR claimed that a photograph taken in 1937 of Nikumaroro showed an object sticking out of the water that was none other than one of the Electra’s landing gears. Not only that but Executive Director of TIGHAR Ric Gillespie claimed that independent experts from the US Department of State confirmed this. Gillespie stated in a TV press conference that the Department of State photo analyst said “there was no other explanation for it”, however, official Department of State documents, obtained through a lawsuit to enforce a Freedom of Information Act request, led to a very interesting discovery. Not only did the US Government experts NOT back up Gillespie’s claims that it was an Electra landing gear but they actually wrote that they “could not definitely say if it was or it was not an aircraft part”! Despite this fallacy the press conference aided TIGHAR in raising funds for a 2012 expedition to search the seabed in the vicinity of the object and came back with nothing. The object became known as “Nessie” which is ironic considering the Loch Ness Monster doesn’t exist either.”
    Huffington Post, November, 7, 2014

    Here is the link to the the document from the Department of State:


    1. Robert Lichtenberger | Reply

      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.”

      But it seems seems as if other parties may be may be attempting to make that sale . . .


  39. Mr. LaPook:

    What’s next from your standpoint?

    ( How can you expose him publicly without fear of retribution? )


    1. I can answer that one, Vernon. Gillespie is a PUBLIC figure, which makes criticism of him fair game. It’s very hard to prove defamation against pubic figures, especially when, like Gillespie, their own falsehoods precede them.


  40. Mike:
    What about from a Non-Profit standpoint ? If this isn’t a business (Tighar), then what is?

    I’m glad to read the research that Mr. LaPook put into Gillespie’s State Department “Non-Endorsement”. Just another Tighar lie.

    Mr. La Pook:

    What are your professional views ( or at least your initial opinion) on the objects found in the Marshalls ? I think we’re all sincerely interested .What needs to be done to verify them, or exclude them, as authentic


    1. Of course it’s a business, Vernon, that’s what non-profits actually are, but they’re dressed up to pretend otherwise. I used to think that non-profits were supposed to have some kind of goals that affected the “public good” in some way. The only public good that TIGHAR has served is Gillespie’s bottom line.


  41. I like many others seek resolution to the fate of the Electra and it’s crew. I don’t subscribe to any theory at the moment, however; see good research work in most groups presentations.
    The Saipan imprisonment theory seems viable in most points presented, along with eyewitness testimony. I wish the best to Mr Spink and company in his quest to bolster the Mili Atolll landing theory, however; as some, would say the proof is in the pudding.
    If he can give photographic evidence,( that some have been requesting), that shows that his dust cover artifact would fit the electra , it would be most telling. The Tighar forum site, shows strong evidence of no dust cover throughout the flight ,and it appears that there are only three mounting holes in the rim for the cover to attach, and the artifact Mr Spink found appears to have had four holes originally, it doesn’t seem to fit. Will Mr Spink or Mr Hayton soon provide photographic evidence to prove otherwise?


  42. A problem I have with Tighar’s artifact known as 2-2-V-1, being the patch in the location as described by them, is, along with the labeling seemingly disqualifying it due to dating evidence , but; in addition, the manner of construction.
    It is obviously a scab patch, not flush with skin, that said , it’s finished surface is the thickness of the added patch panel over the original skin. The original skin thickness was .0025 on the Electra in that added window location, if one were to scab it over and add stringers to the inner side , the prescribed method , I believe is to lay shims the thickness of the original skin onto the stringers,and in-between the panel added, to flush it up , so one could buck up the rivets solid, undone, there would be a void between panel and stringer , and would create a concave depression when bucking the rivets , damage to skin may be apparent at the ends of the rivet lines, as those last few rivits couldn’t be bucked solid. By their own research , the one surviving rivet , suggests that the artifact they hold was attached directly to a stringer the thickness of those found on electras, ,why the lack of shims???? If one were to attach another manner , one could notch out original skin to allow stringers to fit in flush with the back of the added panel , however , much more time consuming ,and less strength to hold that covering. It would seem one would have to weld the stringers onto the vertical supports on such an apperatus, outwards some .0025 inches as well ( work /time consuming).


  43. Mr. La Pook:

    What are your professional views ( or at least your initial opinion) on the objects found in the Marshalls ? I think we’re all sincerely interested .What needs to be done to verify them, or exclude them, as authentic

    Quite simply, Mike and I disagree. Mike credits stories told well after the events and I don’t. I look at the physics involved, not the stories.(And these are “stories” they are not “testimony” since they were not under oath and they were not cross-examined.) I am an airline transport pilot, I used celestial navigation while flying across the ocean, I am a radio operator (call sign, KA9 UHH) and I litigated airplane accident cases for 20 years. I bring all of this to this investigation.

    Simply, the airplane did not have the fuel to fly the 800 miles from the vicinity of Howland to Mili. That’s the end of the story. You can bring out a thousand “witnesses” to say a flying saucer landed in front of them and carried off someone but it still didn’t happen, it is impossible. Same thing with the flight to Mili.

    I posted this about TIGHAR but it is equally applicable here:


    The pieces you have found are also “consistent with” other aircraft. The only way the aluminum would not be “consistent with” Earhart’s Electra is if the pieces were stamped “MANUFACTURED IN 1938” or later. I have cross-examined many adverse expert witnesses who have tried to use that “consistent with” terminology to cover up the weaknesses in their theories, its SOP for many plaintiff’s experts.

    As for being “trumped” I don’t think you are there yet. When you find any piece that can be positively connected to NR16020 (and you haven’t yet) then you will have the trump card. Until then, I calls ’em as I sees ’em.

    As for a “tradition” of islanders seeing aircraft parts on the reef, I have been a lawyer for a long time and almost all of my cases involved airplane crashes. Based
    on my experience I have come to be distrustful of “eyewitness testimony.” Even if a witness is
    trying to be truthful it doesn’t t mean that they actually saw what they think they saw. I’ll give you
    an example. A number of my cases involved airplane crashes involving fires with the wreckage
    badly burned up. We would take the testimony of 3 or 4 and in one case 6 eyewitness who
    testified under oath “I looked up and I saw the airplane on fire, fire was coming out of the front
    of the plane!” If islanders’ “tradition” was sufficient then this testimony from so many eye witnesses would
    establish the fact that the plane was on fire while it was still up in the sky, case closed.

    Well, not so fast. When a plane catches fire after it impacts the ground, the fire and smoke goes
    upward, just like the fire in your fireplace. When a plane is on fire while in flight the smoke trails
    back and deposits soot on the tail of the plane, no soot on the tail, no in-flight fire. All these
    witnesses that testified under oath (not just a “tradition”) that they saw a plane on fire up in the air were wrong. They
    weren’t lying, they were just wrong. This is just a sample but when you take sworn testimony
    many times you start to realize that eyewitness testimony is not all that reliable. And these
    witnesses were testifying shortly after the accidents, not many years later. It is also quite common for witnesses to give you the answer you are looking for unless you are careful to ask the questions in such a way that the witnesses can’t guess what you are looking for.

    “Did you see aircraft wreckage on the reef?”

    “Oh, yes.”



  44. In conclusion; If someone installed that patch panel onto the stringers, minus the shimming material required to prevent the .0025 concave indention, as well as to employ the impossible bucking of the rivets up solid to those stringers near the end of the patch panel both fore and aft, that installer, in my opinion wouldn’t be worth a grain of salt. Close your eyes , and imagine the skin area, at the end of the rivet lines, now just where the patch skin overlaps the original…if the rivets are bucked up solid against the stringers in the center of the panel,…what does the skin area near the aft ,fore edge of the patch look like … it straight?


  45. Bullfrog:
    It appears that you’ve put a lot of time and research into your replies (above ). From an unscientific or technical standpoint, I’m presuming that one of two scenarios exist:
    a. It is definitely not from the Earhart Electra.
    b. It was not installed at all well, “if” it is genuine..

    Based on your analysis, if was it installed, was it with the window removed, or with the window in place??
    Also, structurally ( I realized her plane was not pressurized ), what does this do to the aerodynamics of the plane, if anything?

    I would also appreciate a reply /response from Mr Gary. LaPook regarding the “what if’s” on the piece of old aluminum. From my viewpoint, it appears to post date Earhart and her airplane.


  46. Vernon –

    Thanks for your comments. I read that in 1937 Japan invaded North China, jolting some Americans into an awareness of it’s military strength.
    Also on July 7, 1937 the Japanese opened fire on the town of Peking. Japan was already Hell bent on war and it’s territories to be avoided.

    I’m certain Amelia was aware of this and even more of the dangers involved. FDR not looking for war or conflict with the Japanese but curious to what they might be doing in the Pacific?

    After Amelia is discovered in Marshall’s, I believe FDR played dumb and was not about to divulge what we were up to. Now that Amelia was in Japanese captivity it became more a cat & mouse game at the diplomatic level. Time is wasted and Amelia slips away from our grasp.



    1. I saw a member of Earhart’s family making a speech at a recent family get-together . He said that Amelia was so dedicated to her world encircling flight that she would never have ventured to run her plan into danger for the sake of espionage action .


      1. Mr. Van Asten,
        I have serious doubts that you saw any such thing as you describe — “a recent [Earhart] family get-together.” Please provide more details, such as who attended this “get-together” and where did it happen? As far as I know, Amelia’s living relatives are few and far between, and have not been known to speak publicly about her disappearance in eons. Please enlighten us, Van Asten.


  47. Mike:
    I’m not a researcher by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe Putnam’s son ( Amelia’s step son ) strongly felt she crashed and sank. I believe he is deceased now. But read it somewhere on the Internet. Mr. Van Asten may be correct from the distant relative side, although I cannot be absolutely sure. Just a thought – nothing more. In the meantime, I’ll ( we) await his ( Van Asten’s) response /reply.

    What severely damages the Saipan theory at the present time is the delay in the analysis of the two parts which were discovered in 2011. Ric Gillespie is literally traveling the nation presently with that piece of scrap metal, tooting his horn and lecturing to anyone who will listen. These two Mille Atoll-Barre parts could “tag him out trying to steal Home” is they were promptly analyzed and determined to be authentic. The headlines would read: ” CONFIRMATION OF EARHART CAPTURE BY JAPANESE”.

    With the lapse of seventy plus years, the only evidence which will pin her landing /ditching / crash location will be physical. Beyond that, the public will always speculate. Physical evidence confirmation / certification would confirm all the USMC & native statements, Erskine’s, Nimitz’s, the native medic, and anyone who stated they saw Earhart and Noonan on Saipan. Then, and only then, there is absolute proof of a coverup. At that point, you don’t need bones, graves, other Lockheed parts, brief cases, etc. There would be no plausible reason how two parts from Amelia’s airplane wound up in the Marshall Islands, a 1937 Japanese Mandate, other than she ditched there.


  48. Vernon,
    I come from a line of mechanical engineers, craftsmen, and in part , my hobby/interests include the mystery surrounding Earhart’s disappearance, so I do spend a bit of quality time researching various disappearance theories. I believe Mr. Spink , is genuine in his belief that the artifact that he discovered could have come from an Electra, …granted not an L-14 or Japanese knockoff version as these craft only had a one yoke landing gear , and the cover he found suggests that it did come from a double yoke version, via the center hole in the cover plate. It is intriguing, I am on board with that artifact with the exception of the details I noted in an earlier post.
    I believe Mr. Gillespie, is genuine in his beliefs / hopes of discovery as well , however; would have to disagree that his artifact is the patch from the Electra , In addition to the lack of shimming to produce a straight skin line, …Regarding the fabrication of the artifact he holds, consider; all rivet lines are equally spaced, all rivet pitch is equally spaced, it appears to me it would be original manufacture due to those details, why would someone go through the trouble to fabricate a patch panel of this quality and then leave out one of the most relevant details that would complete the repair (shims) in a satisfactory manner? I believe the artifact may have come from native scavenging, or coast guard activity while stationed there.


  49. Bullfrog:
    I agree with everything you’re saying. But, the figurative you ( ie: Spink et al ) don’t simply discover two objects in the Marshall Islands which show great promise to being linked to Earhart’s airplane, followed by three years of relative silence. For example, is the Air and Space Museum even aware of these objects? They are certainly aware and publish Gillespie’s “daily news flashes” (sarcasm).
    Your observations on Tighar’s patch sell me on it’s non-authenticity. But on a confined, focused web site such as this, the general public interested in Earhart never sees the details-the science – which invalidates Gillespie’s object. That’s the shame of it all.
    Personally, I truly hope the objects from the Marshalls are tested, re-tested and certified as “Authentic Amelia”.


    1. Vernon,
      I must strongly disagree with your comment that “on a confined, focused web site such as this, the general public interested in Earhart never sees the details-the science – which invalidates Gillespie’s object.” What are you talking about? I devoted an entire, 3,000 word post to the Alcoa aluminum research information that Gary LaPook provided that “invalidated” Gillespie’s claim within two days of its mass-media proliferation. There’s no more “science” available than what Bullfrog provided about this same piece of scrap that goes back to 1990 or so, when Elgen Long got several experts to examine it and all declared it could have come from anything “except an Electra 10E.” That was covered extensively in my first book, With Our Own Eyes, and need not be revisited here. I write as a journalist, because that’s what I am, and frankly, although Bullfrog’s scientific analysis, below, is there for anyone to see and read, I will bet that few can deal with all the “shimmies” and other such working terms without their eyeballs glazing over. The vast majority of readers want to have the facts laid out to them in a way they can understand them, and that’s what I do.


  50. Mike:

    Mr. La Pook, who I consider a bonafide Expert on the Earhart mystery, second to none in my opinion, has the facts – the facts which throw the Gillespie “artifact” out the window as simply”debris”.
    His ( Mr. La Pook ) specific writings ( with his permission of course ) should be forwarded to any media outlet as an immediate rebuttal or counterpoint to Gillespie, each and every time Gillespie markets his theory. I would have no doubt whatsoever that they would publish that analysis of the object as well as Gillespie’s. That diffuses Gillespie. It would throw a huge element of doubt in the mind of most casual Earhart mystery followers. It provides the reader with a legitimate, alternate hypothesis.
    And technical terms can be simplified for the non-technical reader. A true interested individual will read it two or three times to understand. The casual or general reader will walk away knowing that Gillespie’s artifact has serious issues. And they will know the reasons why.
    My own view is that the Marshall Islands artifacts, along with the Saipan Theory would garner huge interest in the British and Australian press. Gillespie overseas is just a Reuters wire story picked up for filler. Same for British and Australian news on line. Provide some definitive counterpoint, segmentally, and it blasts Gillespie. Line up the LaPooks who say ” This is why it’s not authentic !” They’re out there. Irrespective of the various theories on Earhart’s disappearance, the Long’s, LaPook’s, Campbell’s can and should present a united front versus piecemeal rebuttals.
    And, never under-estimate the reader. There are many, many aviation enthusiasts, who, not understanding a technical term, will take the time to find out what it means and why it applies. Or- they will ask the question. Bullfrog has educated me via this method, as has LaPook. if you’re interested, you do your homework in order to understand.
    But, I’d like to refocus on the two Marshall Islands artifacts. The longer the public is not informed as to their authenticity, then it throws doubt on a Saipan scenario. Saipan and the theories associated with it fades from view. And the science of it all must be utilized. Unless someone turns up a skeleton ( which I doubt). This is my opinion only, and I’m no scientist.


    1. You still don’t get it, Vernon. LaPook’s information has been sent to hundreds of media outlets through my blog, and who knows what other avenues. The media refuses to disseminate LaPook’s information because it runs counter to their pro-TIGHAR, ant-truth agenda. This is nearly a universal aversion to the truth by all media, with few exceptions, and you are sorely mistaken if you continue to believe that the media are interested in the truth — in the Earhart case, which they’ve shown over 77 years, or in many other issues that affect our lives.

      Unfortunately as well, Gary and I are extremely devoted to our visions, and nothing he or anyone else could ever produce, short of the Electra itself on the floor of the Pacific somewhere off Howland Island or anywhere else, for that matter, would change that vision for me.


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