Recent find on Mili Atoll called “Concrete proof”: Chances artifacts not from Earhart Electra “remote”

Two small airplane parts discovered on Mili Atoll by Australian surfing legend Martin Daly and Earhart researcher Dick Spink, an aluminum boat kit manufacturer and high school teacher in Bow, Washington, should go a long way toward answering whether Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan landed on Mili Atoll after they went missing on July 2, 1937.  Please note that I wrote, should go a long way, because the sad reality is that nothing at all will likely change, thanks to a media determined to ignore and suppress the truth. (Boldface and italic emphasis mine throughout.)

If the headline of this story appears familiar, it should. Readers have been inundated with similar claims for the past 25 years, lies that trumpet the bogus discoveriesof Ric Gillespie and his International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) in thousands of national and international media organizations, until it became no more than a ridiculous charade long ago.

But when a credible, legitimate find is made by a different group in a different location, one that supports the truth in the Earhart disappearance and doesn’t fit our media’s agenda, nobody will go anywhere near the story, with the exception of one solitary newspaper, the Kansas City Star.  No, dear reader, not FOX News, not Rush, not Savage, not Levin, not Drudge — none of our trusted media gatekeepers, conservative or liberal, have ever wanted anything to do with the facts in the Earhart case.  Will that change now?  This observer has serious doubts.

The circular metal dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly found by DIck Spinks' friend Martin Daly on Mili Atoll recently. “It is a dust cover off one of these Goodyear wheels,” aircraft analyst Jim Hayton said. “Since I had the other two wheels, I’m very familiar with this dust cover. I know exactly what it is."

The circular metal dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly found by Martin Daly of Dick Spink’s search group on one of  Mili Atoll’s Endriken Islands, where Amelia Earhart is believed to have landed her Lockheed Electra 10E, according to eyewitnesses accounts that are accepted as fact by the Marshallese people.  “It is a dust cover off one of these Goodyear wheels,” aircraft analyst Jim Hayton said.  “Since I had the other two [same] wheels, I’m very familiar with this dust cover.  I know exactly what it is.”

The parts, a small aluminum cover plate for an auxiliary power unit (APU) and a circular dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly have been tied to the Earhart Electra in ways that should prove quite compelling to any objective analyst.  The evidence, if it’s eventually fully authenticated, would confirm Earhart’s Mili Atoll landing scenario first introduced in Fred Goerner’s 1966 classic, The Search for Amelia Earhart, corroborated by many Marshallese witnesses over the years and presented by researchers and authors such as Vincent V. Loomis, Oliver Knaggs, T.C. Buddy”  Brennan and Bill Prymak, and which  Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last discusses at length.

In a Nov. 23 story,Scrap metal from Marshall Islands supports Amelia Earhart theory, group says,” the Kansas City Star and reporter Brian Burns part with the longstanding, nationwide media agenda and present information that runs counter to the worthless “Nikumaroro hypothesis” made infamous by Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR.  The story announces the discovery of hard evidence that puts Earhart, Noonan and the Electra down on the reef off Barre Island, beyond what appears to be any reasonable doubt.

“… the chances of having another Lockheed on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands other than Amelia Earhart’s is pretty remote. So it’s pretty doggone concrete proof that there was a Lockheed 10 that landed there on that part of the island.” — Jim Hayton   

Since 2011, Spink has made four trips to the Mili Atoll area around Barre Island, pictured in Loomis’ 1985 book, Amelia Earhart: the Final Story, as the general area where Amelia crash-landed her Electra on July 2, 1937 after failing to arrive at Howland Island, more than 800 miles to the south-southeast.  Working with his friend Martin Daly and up to 30 native Marshallese armed with metal detectors on each of the three Endriken (Marshallese for little) Islands, about a mile east of Barre Island, Spink’s group recovered what appear to be pieces of the legendary lost Electra.  In fact, Spink said Daly personally found both the APU cover plate and the circular metal dust cover in the same area during two different searches.

The aluminum cover plate for an auxiliary power unit (APU) found on one of the tiny Endriken Islands at Mili Atoll during the first week of April 2012 by Martin Daly of the group led by Earhart researcher Dick Spink. Though further testing will be done to confirm the type of aluminum in the plate, it appears probable that it came from Amelia Earhart's Electra 10E. (A photo of the other artifact found by Spink's group, a donut-shaped dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly, was not available at press time.)

The aluminum cover plate for an auxiliary power unit (APU) found on one of the tiny Endriken Islands at Mili Atoll during the first week of April 2012 by Martin Daly of the group led by Earhart researcher Dick Spink. Though further testing will be done to confirm the type of aluminum in the plate, it appears probable that it came from Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E.

To me, this is the Holy Grail, said Jim Hayton, who’s been rebuilding and repairing old airplanes since he was a teen and owns North Sound Aviation in Sedro Wooley, Washington.  Hayton said the dust cover was part of the Goodyear Airwheel assembly from the left-side landing gear on Earhart’s Electra.  The Airwheel assembly included a “soft” tire manufactured especially for landing on rough terrain.

In a Nov. 24 interview, Spink who not only told the Kansas City Star that he “hasn’t made a penny on this,” the day before, told me that he’s spent $50,000 of his own money on his Earhart investigations.  He said that after studying old tidal records for the area, he’s virtually “certain that Amelia made a wheels-down landing” on a rough, Endriken Island beach, very near the water.”  This contrasts slightly with the account of Jororo that was related to Loomis by Ralph Middle (see p. 140 Truth at Last) that concerned the fliers entering a yellow boat which grew after landing on the reef near Barre Island, about 200 feet offshore,but certainly does not nullify his claims.

“It is a dust cover off one of these Goodyear wheels,” Hayton said in a videotaped analysis.  “Since I had the other two wheels, I’m very familiar with this dust cover.  I know exactly what it is.  That’s why I was so excited when Dick brought this for me to look at because there’s so few airplanes in the world back in the 30s that had these type of wheels on them, and the chances of having another Lockheed on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands other than Amelia Earhart’s is pretty remote.  So it’s pretty doggone concrete proof that there was a Lockheed 10 that landed there at that particular part of the island.”

Hayton has worked with the FAA and NTSB, and even testified before Congress.  His bona fides are beyond reproach, and although further analysis of the artifacts undoubtedly needs to be done, this observer has little doubt that Hayton’s verdict will stand up to any scrutiny that the skeptics will throw at it.

Dick Spink stands on the rocky beach near Barre Island where he believes Amelia Earhart landed her Electra 10E on July 2, 1937. Spinks' compelling discoveries on Mili's Endriken Islands have been met with abject silence by a media that refuses to face the truth in the Earhart disappearance.

Dick Spink stands on the rocky beach near Barre Island where he believes Amelia Earhart landed her Electra 10E on July 2, 1937. Spinks’ compelling discoveries on Mili’s Endriken Islands have been met with abject silence by a media that refuses to face the truth in the Earhart disappearance.

As for the plate, Hayton said, This plate appears to be a cover for an APU (auxiliary power unit) plug. . . . After the crash at Honolulu, this area was extensively damaged on her airplane and so they moved the APU plug as they rebuilt the airplane to a little bit safer location, so that’s why it ended up being tainted red instead of silver as it originally was.  I think that this red APU plug cover is the first evidence we have that she did indeed land [at Mili].  There are lots of eyewitness reports and I think she landed at Mili Atoll and then was captured by the Japanese.”

A satellite view of Mili Atoll from space, with Barre Island to the north, where Amelia Earhart landed on July 2, 1937.

A satellite view of Mili Atoll, with Barre Island (note slight markings “Barre” and “here”) to the north-northwest, where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan landed on July 2, 1937.

“Red on the leading edges of the wings and the tail was the color scheme of Earhart’s Electra,” Spink added.  The red paint on the APU plate gives us a lead in establishing the fact that the electrical cover at Mili Atoll came from Earhart’s airplane.  There were no known Lockheeds with red electrical covers except Amelia Earhart’s L-10.  And to add more fuel to the fire, how many airplanes crashed at the Endriken Islands adjacent to Barre Island at Mili Atoll?  The Marshallese people will tell you there was only one. It was Amelia Earhart’s airplane.

“There’s no evidence of any U.S. or Japanese aircraft being shot down or disabled in that part of Mili Atoll,” Les Kinney, a researcher and former government investigator told Burns.  “So where would this have come from?  In all likelihood, it came off Earhart’s plane.”

I asked Kinney to elaborate on his statement to the Star, because if it can absolutely determined that no other aircraft came down in the area where Spink found the artifacts, pure deduction can tell us that the parts came from the Earhart plane.

There were 26 U.S. aircraft down over Mili Atoll (that does not mean all from gunfire), Kinney told me in an email.  There were 11 documented Japanese planes shot down over Mili Atoll.  Most Japanese planes were destroyed or damaged on the ground at Mili Island. . . . Natives, according to Spink, said there were no plane wrecks in that area [near Barre Island]. Knaggs reports a woman [the guide Dominick’s wife] who said she recalled a wreck in that area of the atoll.  However, Knaggs specifically looked for a plane wreck on the islands adjacent to Barre and said there were none (from the book as I recall).  Any remnants of wrecks would still be there.

So, I think it would be very difficult to find from archival records exactly where each plane was specifically lost over Mili, Kinney continued.  “It would be better if Spink analyzed the aluminum by comparing it to aluminum used by Lockheed from planes built during that time.  If they were from the same production runs, it would be easy to say the aluminum found on Mili matched the production runs of known planes built by Lockheed during that same period.  Spink also needs to make a 3D copy of that wheel hub,  then look for a Model 10 with the same Goodyear wheels and see if they are an exact match.

Thus, for the for first time since 1981, when South African author and investigator Oliver Knaggs found the remains of a tin case buried on one of these small Endriken Islands (actually islets) by Fred Noonan soon after he and Amelia’s rough landing, in which Noonan injured his knee and head, we have solid evidence that confirms the Mili Atoll landing of the lost American fliers.

In informing the public about Spink’s findings on Mili, the Kansas City Star has been virtually alone in doing a job that all would do in a better world, so for that the newspaper should be commended.  Otherwise the piece is quite underwhelming.  The story’s lead sentence, “One person’s scrap is another person’s Holy Grail,” reflects the abjectly relativistic attitude that has permeated the Earhart case throughout its history, and which makes this story so maddening for those of us who’ve studied the Earhart case so long, and who are so convinced of the truth of their Mili landing. 

Burns presented Spink and Hayton’s findings and analysis, but he then dragged in Gillespie and Long for their obligatory misleading statements, to provide what he believes is the requisite balance in his story.  But the uninformed reader, instead of being enlightened, now has threetheories to contemplate instead of two.  Many decades of successful government and media propaganda have thus achieved their desired effect: It’s simply an accepted truism, part of our cultural inheritance, that the disappearance of Amelia Earhart is an irresolvable mystery.

Off Barre Island during a recent expedition to Mili Atoll, Dick Spink takes a break from his search of the Endriken Islands for artifacts from the Earhart Electra for some recreational scuba diving.

On this third trip to Mili Atoll, aboard the “XXXX” (named for the Australian beer) on the lagoon side of the Endriken Islands, where Dick Spink believed the Japanese loaded the Earhart Electra on a barge before transferring it to another ship en route to Saipan, Spink takes a break.

Here the real problem is on vivid display: Even the rare media outlet that’s willing to be fair in its coverage of the Earhart disappearance and present evidence to the public for the first time, such as this one in the Star, suffers from this preordained misconception.  All stories must be shoehorned into the false template that all theories in the Earhart “mystery” are equal, and as a result, the public remains confused and ignorant.

After reading the Star story, an astute observer told me,I was not impressed by the article.  Really did not say anything . . . encourage further reading, etc.  Pointless.”  And as I told Burns in an email, All theories are not equal, and there’s only one truth.”  Actually, I should have written, “All theories are equally worthless; there can only be one truth, one reality, and it’s the Mili-to-Saipan scenario.”  Sadly, this story from the Kansas City Star will not make a ripple in the nation’s perception of the Earhart case, and two days after its publication, not a single newspaper has picked up the story, a state of affairs that recalls the media blackout that accompanied the publication of Truth at Last two years ago and which continues unabated.

I’m also fully aware that by publishing this post, even on a relatively obscure blog like this one, I might be consideredtoo extreme in my views to be considered for comments on future Earhart stories by the Star, and other media organizations as well.  If that’s the case, so be it.  To quote the great Barry Goldwater: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”  Simply insert truthfor liberty above, and you have perfectly described the situation in the Earhart matter.

If we lived in a just world, Dick Spink’s discoveries would soon put Ric Gillespie out of the Earhart business forever, his nearly three decades of damage to the truth in the Earhart case finally, mercifully ended once and for all.  But the history of this entire phenomenon has never been about “solving the Earhart mystery,” as our nation of  incurious, apathetic lemmings has been led to believe for so long – not at all.

The Earhart disappearance has always been about politics – the politics of deceit and the politics of protecting the reputation of a dishonest, feckless president. Nothing found at Mili is going to change that, but that won’t stop those of us who care from continuing to tell the true story of Amelia Earhart’s sad fate.


Researcher Les Kinney's Google earth photo showing approximate location of the artifacts and where the natives in July 1937 said they saw the aircraft ditch near one of the Endriken Islands within a short distance of Barre Island, where Vincent V. Loomis wrote that the Electra landed. . Dick Spink and Kinney agree that based upon the early native accounts, the plane must have been dragged and pulled using the carts from north to south down the western interior side of the island.

Researcher Les Kinney’s Google Earth photo showing approximate location of the artifacts and where the natives in July 1937 said they saw the aircraft ditch near one of the Endriken Islands within a short distance of Barre Island, near the area where Vincent V. Loomis, author of Amelia Earhart: The Final Story was told that the Electra landed.  Dick Spink and Kinney agree that based upon the early native accounts, the plane must have been dragged and pulled using the carts from north to south down the western interior side of the island, where the two small parts were found by Martin Daly of Spink’s search group. (Updated Dec. 24, 2014.)


60 responses

  1. 1. If you wish to advance your case, ignore TIGHAR and Gillespie. His :”patch” hypothesis is weak – very weak. He is using his standard tactic of talking down opposing theories. He’s already vilified Elgen Long. He stoops to dirty tactics when he gets defensive. In 2014, he has become his own worst enemy- he will not secure any major sponsors in the upcoming year.

    2. You need to post perfectly clear photos of the recovered items. Preferably both sides. Their measurements as well. Allow the interested public to view perfectly clear photos. And post original Lockheed photos of them as well.

    3. They ( the objects ) need to be professionally analyzed by a third party. Preferably more than one. And definitely by Lockheed as well. These objects should be professionally compared to
    blueprints for the 10E, which are available on line. Then, either the FAA or NTSB should study and analyze them as well. You need the “best of the best” to certify them as authentic.

    4. Provide objective updates. No emotion. Perhaps you should matrix what you need to accomplish to certify authenticity, post it on this site, and allow interested Earhart.followers to track the progress.

    5. I trust you are collaborating closely with Dick Spink. His discoveries support your theory, and will advance your views on how she disappeared, and the underlying reasons .

    6. Have you ever researched the Morganthau papers ?


  2. The evidence mounts. And, yet, denial is a remarkably diligent opponent of both logic and truth. Add to that pure avarice and a liberal dash of poor reasoning skills. The recent wealth of comments and references here have been most stimulating and even encouraging. This newest revelation supports your claims, Mike, as well as those of researchers you carefully reference in your book. I will be surprised to see any comment from Gillespie or any of the “crashed at sea” theorists. Apparently they are less interested in facts and far more titillated by conjecture, supposition, and myth. And in saving face …..


    1. Thanks as always, Wolfy. I have never doubted the Mili landing of AE, and this latest evidence is exciting. But Dick Spink now must take it upon himself to get these artifacts tested and evaluated by many more than Jim Hayton. Only with big time credible analysis and verification by Lockheed and others will this claim ever be taken seriously, if then. As for the media, they will be the last to acknowledge any facts in the Earhart case.


  3. The Lockheed Electra left it’s mark on Mili Atoll. THANK YOU Dick Spink for your remarkable research, unearthed artifacts, and respect for Amelia Earhart. You’ve embarked on a great journey and led us to the *TRUTH.


  4. The red paint on the cover plate should be compared to the paint found on an original piece of Earhart’s Electra described in this 1995 news story;

    “Piece of damaged stabilizer may be the only part of Earhart’s plane known to exist.”,1151403


  5. Jennings W. Bunn, Jr. | Reply

    As one who believes that Amelia & Fred were taken to Saipan by the Japanese, so adequately presented by Fred Goerner, this new “evidence from Mili Atoll” is most interesting. Please, please have this cover plate and any other items recovered be professionally analyzed. I also truly believe the burial location is on Tinian, three miles off Saipan. However, that, too, remains a mystery.


  6. I wish we could get a full account from Spinks, that would clarify this story. I have many questions. Why would the cover plate of an APU be half painted anyway? What would that have to do with paint on the stabilizer? I have a hard time reading that newspaper article on my tablet my computer is being repaired. That fellow that had the piece would be 95 now so he is probably no longer with us. Right?

    As for the plane landing on the reef, now we are back to Gillespie’s scenario except on a different Island. Suppose they landed at low tide on dry land then the tide comes in but only about a 2 foot tide on that atoll, right? Maybe they get out the yellow life raft to get to shore later as Jororo says. So they have a rough landing and one landing gear collapses conveniently the left one.

    Fred is injured when the gear collapses and the plane stops suddenly. The left wing hits the ground and is bent upwards although I think the postage stamp shows the right one? Now, as Gillespie would say they can run the right engine for power and send out radio messages. Or, the batteries escape unscathed fully charged and they can send quite a few messages. My college physics courses from 50 years ago showed me that they could power their radio for like an hour or more and could send brief messages for days.

    I differ with Safford on that point. It would be nice if somebody else could check that and tell me I am dead wrong or not. I think Safford assumed for whatever reason that they landed in the water. Maybe not. So if they landed on the reef on the ocean side and damaged the plane there might be many pieces that the Japanese left behind especially if their salvage operation took place at high tide. But proving they came specifically from AE’s plane would be very hard. Maybe you could show it’s identical to parts used on planes of that era. But if there is a government grab of all the artifacts that would lend more credibility to “The Truth at Last”.


  7. Great article Mike,I posted this on a TIGHAR Youtube video(comments section) since they have banned me from their Facebook page.I would love for this story to blow TIGHAR out of the water once and for all.


  8. David A., you ask,

    “What would [the paint on the cover plate] have to do with paint on the stabilizer?”

    The answer is in the blog post above;

    “…Red on the leading edges of the wings and the tail was the color scheme of Earhart’s Electra,” Spink added. “The red paint on the APU plate gives us a lead in establishing the fact that the electrical cover at Mili Atoll came from Earhart’s airplane.”

    You are correct about the man from Oregon who saved the 8″ x 14″ piece [with paint] from Earhart’s stabilizer. He passed away in 2011. I would guess his family still has the piece today. As far as I know, there is only one other genuine piece of Earhart’s Electra in existence; the small piece [unpainted?] that was the subject of a PBS ‘History Detectives’ TV program;


  9. Grace McGuire and her Lockheed 10 E on the West Coast could certainly shed some definitive light on whether these are Lockheed 10E components or not.

    And remember- you mist discount ( eliminate ) the Lockheed Hudson and the Lockheed Ventura – common aircraft used in abundance in the Pacific during World War II

    Finally, and perhaps by chance – did all three types of aircraft share common parts ?

    The various parties cannot simply claim success without extensive analysis of these parts by the best of the best experts- the ones who are second to none.

    Don’t claim Victory until unbiased experts do it for you. And it seems Mr. Spinks is just sitting on initiating real forensic testing.


  10. Vernon Prescott – you must be blind. These pieces are from Amelia’s Earhart’s Lockheed Electra. It’s more than evident to see these pieces came off the plane when it splashed down on Mili Atoll. You mentioned these other two planes – Lockheed Hudson & Ventura used during WW2. The war came after this *event and those planes were not at Mili Atoll. Jim Hayton is a historical Lockheed airplane expert and has already confirmed these pieces as genuine. *Success has been claimed and sorry you’ve missed out.


  11. You folks might know that at least one nearly complete B-25 wreck lies within the reef line that makes up Mili atoll not to mention countless Japanese wrecks that had no primer. You might want to watch the Global Trekker video hosted by Zay Harding who shot some nice footage of the wrecks in the lagoon.
    Like the U.S. seaplane wreck parts found on Gardener they can be confused by folks who want to see the resemblance to Lockheed 10E parts. Pump the brakes and go look on Saipan in the ravine of broken dreams…’nuf said.


    1. “‘Nuf said,” Mr. Pawlowsli? Hardly. Our research so far indicates that there were no wrecks in the area of Barre Island or the Endrikens prior to or during World War II. If you can show otherwise, come back with the information. Meanwhile, you should learn that Mili Atoll encompasses a huge area with many islands and islets over hundreds of square miles. This isn’t Gillespie and his conmen at work, but honest, sincere researchers. I would say, “Nice try,” but I know you from prior encounters.


  12. I have been doing some research as respects the APU panel. No where can I find documentation that Amelia’s Lockheed 10E had one ( an APU port). If you could pass this along to Mr. Spink, it would be helpful if he posted photos of where it ( the port) was prior to the Hawaii crash, and where it was relocated to, on her Electra.

    Now, I’m reasonably sure that both Japanese and American warplanes had APU’s by 1941 and beyond. Wars accelerate technological advances.

    So, you can see that this throws doubt on the authenticity of the object, as respects Amelia. Mr James Hayton would, in all probability, be able to shed light on this subject, if you can get him to respond. And does the object, in his professional opinion, look like it was removed, or torn off the aircraft?

    Note to Mr. Mills on a previous post: “Never rush to judgement.” And to eliminate every other aircraft, one should compare that part to the known aircraft which overflew, fought aloft, were damaged, or possibly downed in that location or within a few miles of it. It it exactly matches a 10E Electra, then it’s authentic. Natives have been known to pick up aircraft scraps, use them, transport them to other locations, and at some point, discard them for something better. Read Dirk D.R. Spenemann’s websites.


    1. Vernon,
      Dick Spink and other researchers are working on the problems with the artifacts and getting them analyzed, but it’s not an easy task. Many obstacles must be overcome, and I’m nearly certain it will make no difference. Even in a best-case scenario, wherein the dust cover plate is positively shown to have come from an L10, do you really think anyone in the media will put out that information, with possible exception of the KC Star and a few friendly radio people? The information that nails the arrival of Amelia Earhart’s plane at Barre Island will be even more enthusiastically suppressed than all the rest of the eyewitness accounts and other evidence have already been. It’s all there for you to see, they simply hate the truth.


  13. The dust cover was discovered / recovered in 2011, am I correct? If so, I would think three years would have allowed ample time to have the dust covered analyzed by Lockheed as to authenticity. Characteristics of the artifact, ie: diameter, number of drilled holes, material match, any manufacturer markings, etc. would probably be confirmed in short order. A second or third independent review would confirm or refute it’s authenticity..I have yet to find, anywhere, documentation that the Model 10E Electra had an APU port, which concerns me. A photo of the port on her aircraft would be extremely important at this point in time. Certifies it’s presence.

    If one or both objects are determined by independent review/analysis to be from Earhart’s aircraft, then I would recommend a joint news conference with Mr. Spink, Purdue ( they bought the airplane, after all ) Lockheed ( if they elect to attend ) and other advocates of the Saipan scenario. The media would certainly pick it up, and it would defuse Tighar’s hype regarding their piece of scrap aluminum. In fact, I would simply ignore Tighar at this point, and advance the case for these objects and their association with Amelia’s last flight. The media is compelled to report, if the objects are authentic.


  14. In my opinion, Spink is going to need some serious analysis of his flawed hypothesis that these items come from Earhart’s Electra.

    External power port on Earhart’s L-10 was on the lower left side of the port engine , and apparently did not have a cover.

    And, in photos of her Electra during the world flight, it would appear that there were no dust covers on her aircraft’s airwheels.

    Finally, Earhart’s Electra was painted International Orange, not red. A Japanese aircraft was much more likely to have red.

    An Amelia’s plane – no dust covers, no APU cover, no red. Seems a stretch to try to connect these items to Earhart.

    See the photos on the TIGHAR Forum thread that show the external power port and the lack of dust covers on the air wheels found here:,1602.30.html

    This is basic research that Spink should have done before going public, but TIGHAR has now done for him (and you).

    Good luck riding this horse, but I don’t think it will fly.


  15. Is there a color photo of Earhart’s Electra ? Was International Orange around in 1936/37?

    Was it the same color as the Pan American Clippers ?

    In photos of her airplane, I see no port on the left side of the Port engine . Where exactly ? And would an electrical port be left uncovered ( ie: no cover at all?? ) to pick up dust, grime, mud from wet or extremely dry airfields ? Doesn’t make sense.

    Reading Tighar, I don’t think they’ve solved much of anything regarding these Mili Atoll items. Opinions – Suppositions- no facts. The Tighar aluminum scrap is an excellent example. It has the same qualities noted above. And the one remaining rivet is the wrong type.


  16. AvArchResearcher says: ” External power port on Earhart’s L-10 was on the lower left side of the port engine , and apparently did not have a cover.”

    Les’s Response: The Lockheed 10 did not have an external power port, and Jim Hayton is aware of that fact. Jim says and I have confirmed, it’s quite common to have numerous plates installed for a variety of repair reasons on aircraft. Jim seems to think, (and I agree) the plate was installed during the Lockheed repair after the Honolulu crash. It was during that time that new trim paint was also added to the Electra.

    AvArchResearcher says: “Earhart’s Electra was painted International Orange, not red. A Japanese aircraft was much more likely to have red.”

    Les’s Response: I have carefully examined the plate. The plate is definitely not red – not pure orange but sort of an orange red.

    AvArchResearcher says: “And, in photos of her Electra during the world flight, it would appear that there were no dust covers on her aircraft’s airwheels”

    Les’s Response: Are you serious! First, do you even know where the dust cover is attached to the Goodyear Air Wheel? It is not on the outside of the wheel. The dust cover is attached or embedded might be a better term on the inside wheel assembly. I defy you to show me any picture of a dust cover that could be seen from a picture of Earhart’s plane. Secondly, the Luke Field Inventory of Earhart’s plane clearly indicate in item 62 the following: 62 1 Ea. Cover Plates for wheels.

    AvArchResearcher says, “See the photos on the TIGHAR Forum thread that show the external power port and the lack of dust covers on the air wheels found here:,1602.30.html

    Les’s Response: I have looked at all of TIGHAR’s photos and many more not on TIGHAR’s website. None are useful to this discussion. It would have been ill advised for Earhart’s mechanics not to have attached the dust covers – part of the Goodyear Air Wheel Assembly. Dirt grime, and dust from unimproved airstrips would have made that unadvisable. Again, let me repeat myself, the Luke Field Inventory states the Earhart’s plane was equipped with dust covers.

    AvArchResearcher says, “This is basic research that Spink should have done before going public, but TIGHAR has now done for him (and you).”

    Les’s Response: You mean the same kind of research that validated the turtle knuckle, “the shoe,” the freckle cream, and now a piece of aluminum TIGHAR refuses to admit was manufactured in the 1940’s?

    Regarding the other civilized comments: There were no other known aircraft (Japanese or American shot down near Barre Island. The B25 mentioned was shot down a mile offshore in front of Japanese headquarters on Mili Island. There are no known documented aircraft wrecks on Barre or the nearby adjoining islands. From my research I found that 11 Japanese and 26 US aircraft were shot down around Mili Atoll. None near the Spink find.

    Regardless, there is no doubt the Spink evidence needs to be analyzed and confirmed. Tomorrow, I will write more about the evidence; what has been done, and what needs to be done.

    Les Kinney


    1. Les – I welcome more of your insights! Let’s keep ‘untangling’ the NOT’s. You continue to keep ALL arguments honest ones.


  17. You need only read Tighar’s Posts today to develop a feel as to their definition of “research”. Ric Gillespie simply dominates the dialogue, if you can call it such. Far too many web surfers and his members think he is actually a researcher. Not likely. He has an agenda, makes somewhere in the vicinity of $160K a year, begs for funds, travels the world on research junkets paid by members, and accomplishes – nothing. I’m still looking for the list of all the historic aircraft TIGHAR has recovered in their nearly 30 years of fleecing innocent ( or stupid) people. And occasionally he has a new magic trick. Earlier this year it was the New Zealand Aviation Expedition photos from 1937. “NOT!” Now it’s the “patch” – reborn as authentic as they move the size, stringers and rivets around to “make it fit”. True aviation researchers ignore the man. Simple as that. But he’s in bed with Discovery, Inc.

    Now, Mr. Kinney has conducted some real research regarding downed aircraft. A total of 26 US aircraft were downed. That may throw some doubt on the validity of the objects “IF” ( a big “IF” ) one or more were Lockheed Hudson’s or Ventura’s, and they had identical dust covers. As I stated in earlier posts, the natives made great use of salvaged scrap, and were known to carry pieces as utensils from atoll to atoll. Source: Spennemann, Dirk D.R.

    So, analysis would have to be very very thorough to confirm the source of the objects. Truth be known, it will probably strengthen the case for authenticity if NO Hudson’s or Ventura’s were downed, for whatever reason. There is a wrecked Lockheed on Canton I believe. Wonder if it has dust covers installed. Remote, yet possible.

    Now: Would Dust Covers have been noted on the original Lockheed Construction Order ? If so, could that Order be at NARA, Lockheed, the Putnam Papers, or Pursue ?, Remember, Purdue bought the aircraft for Amelia.
    Or would they be on the Rebuild Bill after Luke Field? Either, or, or both. Proof may lie in further research.

    PS: Mr. Kinney: Ignore the Naysayers and Kool-Aid Drinkers. Keep the interested parties updated here, on this site


  18. Mr. Kinney:
    The 10E actually did have an APU under the left (port) engine. I had seen a photo of it somewhere on the tarmac with the cable plugged into the Port. Does a 10E manual indicate same?

    However, based on where it is, there is no red-orange paint to match ( It’s an unpainted / natural aluminum area ). So this part, if it is 10E-related, had to have come from another area of the aircraft.


  19. There is a port where you described but it is recessed and did not have a cover plate.


  20. Les Kenney says “The Lockheed 10 did not have an external power port, and Jim Hayton is aware of that fact.”

    You were so authoritative in your statement, I almost believed you.

    No external power port? Really? If that is true, please tell me what’s going on in this photo
    Lockheed, Model 10E, Electra

    When you offer “facts” that turn out to be completely wrong, it doesn’t do much to support the credibility of the rest of your statements.

    Regarding the plate, it certainly looks redder to me, especially where the paint is thicker, but I suppose one might consider there to be some orange in there. Where is the technical analysis of the color / paint? Any further analysis other than the conclusion that it is the non-existent cover plate to the “non-existent” external power port?

    Sure, could be a cover plate to some other inspection hole on the Electra, but the onus is on Spink and you to show that there was one that was attached with only two screws in the area of Earhart’s aircraft that was painted with color. Most inspection ports I’ve seen on the exterior of aircraft are attached with more than just two screws. Just exactly where did it come from? Show me a photo.

    My impression of the photos that show the inside hub is that it looks like the dust covers are there prior to the wreck in Hawaii, but not re-installed after. Just my opinion looking at photos during the second attempt as what it looks like is the hub, bolts and all, without any kind of cover. Those are pretty substantial bolts that hold the air wheel together, yet there are not equivalent holes in the Spink artifact. I don’t see that it matches. One more question, how do you get the dust cover, and only the dust cover, off the airwheel hub that has a tire on it, and the landing gear fork around it? Not so easy without sophisticated tools if you think about it.

    Again, convince me that the artifact is an airwheel dust cover, and that it is appropriate for the L-10, and that they are visible in the photos of AE’s aircraft after she left Miami.

    What someone “would have” or “should have” done, doesn’t substitute for what actually happened. If AE and Noonan did everything as they should have, they would have arrived at Howland. Clearly something, and probably lots of things, weren’t done as you think they should have.

    “There were no other known aircraft ….” This statement implies that there is one known aircraft found, which I think is a long way from being proven, particularly with some 37 crashed aircraft in and around Mili Atoll. That’s a lot of wreckage source material, and as pointed out by Mr. Prescott, stuff moves around.

    As for TIGHAR, I never said they did everything right, only that they pretty quickly poked some serious holes in the story that these items Spink removed from Mili are “Concrete Proof” of anything.

    You guys jump all over TIGHAR for trying to match up the artifacts they’ve found with their theory, but it seems to me that you are doing exactly the same thing with the items recovered in Mili. It is incumbent upon both groups to prove their point by providing exert analysis.


  21. Av:

    It’s very obvious you’re a Tighar member. It seems everyone else is wrong. And in a hostile manner. Typical Tighar “shout down” tactics. No open minds. Stifiled speech and expression. Finances may be why analysis is taking time. Didn’t Gillespie “Beg Funds” for the trip to New Zealand for those1937 Aviation Expedition photos? That resulted in no return on the contributions. Perhaps, just perhaps Spink and Company have to seek out facilities that will conduct analysis at minimal expense. Hell, Gillespie does it. Look at the MIT trip.
    By the by: those Tighar artifacts are the flotsam and jetsam that typically wind up on Pacific Atolls. And Gardner had 27 or 28 years of human occupation, a shipwreck, and the Coast Guard for a few years to boot. so on the next expedition, more will turn up.And the one after that. Ever notice that the familiar cliche’ that Tighar uses is “consistent with” ? Everything found to date has been “consistent with”- humans. Not Amelia.

    Finally, you don’t need to be convinced. You’ve made a pre-determination. I’m sure you feel that piece of ALCLAD that Ric’s wife turned up is the window patch. Here’s a thought. Do some serious research ( not Tighar “research”). No way it came from an airplane manufactured in 1936 and repaired in 1937. Write, call or email ALCOA. That’s research. Visit NARA for a week. That’s research. Call, write or visit Purdue U. That’s research.

    Perhaps neither of these parts came from a 10E. But I’m not about to accept the verdict of a Tighar jury. I’m content to let the research play out. I can wait. There were many aircraft out there in WWII. Many aircraft losses. That makes the research all the more difficult and time consuming.


    Now, Mr. Kinney:

    Grace McGuire in San Diego has a 10E, duplicated in every respect to Amelia’s. An exact replica, and I believe the only one. I would suggest that these two parts be looked at very carefully with respect to her Aircraft if she will permit Mr. Spink and company to do so. The former EPU Panel does look like some type of access panel. The reddish color may indicate it came from a wing. Just a hunch, the red being the initial reason to look there.

    The 10E manual /blueprints, construction paperwork etc. may help as well.

    I would also check to see if Lockheed Hudson’s, Ventura’s, Lodestar’s had identical dust covers, as respects dimensions, drill / mounting holes, etc.

    And finally, I would suggest that someone at Lockheed closely examine both pieces.

    We’ll see what develops. Good luck !


    1. Well said, Vernon. Indeed it will take time to do all that’s possible to analyze these artifacts properly. Even then, when and if it can be said they must have come from the Earhart plane, just WHO besides the KC Star will rush to write the story? Few if anyone, that’s who. It’s the recurrent them with the Earhart story — those with the truth need not apply. Gillespie has been treated with kid gloves by a fawning media for decades simply because he presents falsehood. Those few who dare present the Marshalls and Saipan truth are ignored or vilified as “conspiracy theorists” ad nauseam.


    2. I’m sorry Mr. Vernon but as an outsider new to this forum it’s actually your posts that come off as hostile with no small amount of venom for Gillespie & Tighar. I spent some time reading their posts as you suggested and what I see is that they sometimes do get overly excited about a particular piece of evidence found, thinking it might represent the “smoking gun”. But in most cases in the end it is THEIR continued work that ultimately dismisses the item as not having come from AE. They use the term “consistent with” to say that an item is still in the running as possible evidence, but as soon as they determine the item is “not consistent with” it is declared invalid. I’m not sure how that could be done better.

      In my professional circles quite frankly whenever someone is unable to present an argument respectfully without being reduced to calling people names we disregard their views altogether. I would really value your opinions more about evidence presented in this forum and why we should or should not give the item any merit.


  22. If Grace McGuire allows it, and that access panel ( my term ) is, indeed from a 10E and not one of the other Lockheed products – that’s evidence.

    If Lockheed states that the Dust Cover in question is unique to the 10E ONLY”, and no other airplane they manufactured during wartime – that’s evidence. All other types of aircraft that overflew Mili must be eliminated as well. No exceptions. No shortcuts.
    If any other object or objects turn up on subsequent trips to the Marshalls, ( and Mili Atoll in particular ), they should subjected to expert testing as well. And if authentic and unique to a 10E, then that’s evidence as well.

    The evidence is then compelling and overwhelming, not speculative like Tighar. At that point, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, various Cable channels, etc. will be happy to jump in and write and speak at length about this theory. You open the door on publicity slowly. All news outlets generally jump on the story afterwards.


    1. You’re dreaming, Vernon. Any evidence that leads to the truth will be ignored by all big media, with no exceptions. Have you read Truth at Last? Don’t tell me that dozens of eyewitness accounts are not “evidence.” Don’t tell me that the word of three U.S. flag officers, now four with a recent revelation, are not “evidence.” If it were TIGHAR’s witnesses, you can bet they would be acknowledged as such and all would be aware of their stories, and the case would have been called “closed” long ago. You’re a smart guy, Vernon, you just don’t understand this story as well you could. I suggest you read the last chapter of Truth at Last, “The Establishment’s Contempt for the Truth” and get back to me.


  23. The reality of it all is that Spink must secure the services of the foremost experts in this type of analysis, to prove, without doubt, that these two components came from a Lockheed Electra 10E and no other aircraft whatsoever.

    That will trump the statements of Flag Officers, who are no longer alive to elaborate on their initial statements. In the absence of written statements from these Officers, this becomes second hand information, so people will view it differently, and with skepticism. It’s human nature.

    The same for all other eyewitnesses. Living and dead.The proof is in the authenticity of the two parts.

    The time delay since 2011 also leads the average reader to believe that the parts have not been conclusively proven to have come from Amelia’s airplane. A natural human suspicion and nothing more. Three years have passed. Personally, I think experts in the Aviation field would dive on the mission of proving or disproving their authenticity. Makes the average interested reader want to ask “Why the delay?”.

    They ( the objects ) become the physical evidence of her landing in the Marshalls, and hence her transfer to Saipan. Cause and effect. And, if they are authentic, the easiest thing to do would be to go to the foreign press ( Great Britain, Australia, etc. ) and the U.S. ones would be quick to pick up the story. In the meantime, forget the US government and it’s various agencies, the American media, and any other entity you feel hinders your case. There are ALWAYS ways to get around obstacles. In the end, the truth becomes too big to ignore.


    1. Vernon,
      Without giving anything away, I would say your suggestion about getting foreign media on board with the story is good, if and when it can unambiguously be shown that the parts came from the Earhart Electra, and will be the best way to proceed. Even then, however, I don’t believe the media rats in our country will change their policy of deceit in the Earhart case, at least in our lifetimes. I would have to see it to believe it, after what I’ve learned the hard way over 26 years with this story.


  24. AvArchResearcher, we are here for one reason – to seek the truth. I believe we are finally getting close to resolving the Earhart mystery. I hope you take the time to read this entire essay. It answers your questions and gives me the opportunity to update the readers of Mike’s blog on the latest findings in the Marshalls.

    AvArchResearcher says: “Les Kenney says “The Lockheed 10 did not have an external power port, and Jim Hayton is aware of that fact. … When you offer “facts” that turn out to be completely wrong, it doesn’t do much to support the credibility of the rest of your statements.”

    Les’s Response: Please see my post prior to the message you have just written. I said in response to Mr. Prescott: “There is a port where you described but it is recessed and did not have a cover plate.”

    In my original post, I neglected to finish the sentence. It was one in the morning when I wrote that response. I apologize for that. With that said, you ‘cherry picked’ a grammatical error when you knew from the rest of the paragraph the intent I meant to convey – and that was the plate could have came from elsewhere on the plane as a result of a later repair. I agree with you, there is no question the Earhart Electra had a power plug that was recessed and it did not have a cover plate.

    In answer to your other comments: the cover plate found by Mr. Spink is missing most of its paint but there are small areas that clearly show a brighter reddish/orange hue. This plate was lying on the ground in the elements for over 75 years. I am not sure if this particular pigment darkens or lightens with age. Hopefully, with some forthcoming lab tests, we will have an answer. At this point we have no idea where on the plane the plate might have originated; obviously it had to have come from a location where the Electra was painted.

    It was mentioned in an earlier comment that it would be a good idea to locate the piece of aluminum coming off of the Earhart plane owned by a collector now known to be deceased. Serendipitously, that piece of aluminum (which has some of Earhart’s paint scheme) is now owned by a collector living within an hour of Mr. Spink. The owner is what I would call a belligerent witness. At this time, we have not been able to analyze the piece and compare it to the paint from the plate found by Mr. Spink. In time it will happen. Because the plate found off of Barre Island might have been a repair part, and not part of the original Lockheed construction, there is a good chance the paint might not match anyway. Regardless, when we get a sample from the known Earhart piece owned by the current collector, we plan on analyzing the plate and paint from both pieces using spectrographic and metal analysis.

    As to the plate having two screws, it is a small plate, and only requires two screws. Mr. Hayton and I have discussed this issue. Jim has been repairing aircraft for forty years and I trust his answers. Jim reasons it was a repair versus a plate from original design simply because it had two screws. There was no reason to drill more holes for this plate. Adding two more drill holes to the plate would probably cause undue stress to the plate. If we find a photo from Earhart’s Electra that shows a like plate that is painted, I will be the first to show you, Mr. AvArchResearcher. Maybe you can look as well. The readers of this blog can also assist by looking for photos along the Earhart Electra’s painted trim areas for this plate. There are many locations on the web besides Purdue’s archival holdings that have pictures of Earhart’s plane – who knows, we might just get lucky.

    Mr. AvArchResearcher, please point out the pictures of the inside hub Of Earhart’s Electra that clearly shows the dust cover irrespective of time the photo was taken. I have not seen them. Why don’t you accept the facts? Prior to the Honolulu crash, the plane had dust covers. We know this because they are listed in the Luke Field Inventory. Dust covers are a necessary part of the Goodyear Air wheel assembly. These early brake mechanisms need them to help reduce grime, dirt, dust, and other foreign particles from damaging the brake system. Many Electra’s did not have the Goodyear Air wheels installed because the planes were going to be used on concrete and asphalt runways which were becoming more the norm at that time. Earhart’s plane, for good reason, and a few others sold by Lockheed, landed primarily on unimproved dirt and gravel runways. They needed the Goodyear Air wheel.

    The Lockheed Model 10 used by the gold mining company operating out of Lae, New Guinea is a good example. So, please explain to me how Earhart, Lockheed, Putnam, Mantz, her mechanic Bo McNeely, all would have agreed the Goodyear Air wheel assembly wouldn’t be needed for the Electra’s forthcoming world flight?

    I believe the dust cover snaps into place just like a hub cap. (On the inside hub) The dust cover has a rim which snaps over the adjoining part. As to how the dust cover became loose and tore off from the assembly without tearing apart is an excellent question. There is only one answer. The inside forked landing gear assembly would have had to become disengaged or break allowing the dust cover to become free without being torn apart.

    Mr. Hayton and I have discussed your question. The likely and plausible scenario was during the landing on the coral beach, the stress exhibited on the wheels and landing gear caused at least one of the inside forks to break free from the Goodyear Air wheel. Take a look at the rocky coral beach in this blog article and you will quickly realize this would have been the likely answer – even with the Electra’s balloon tires.

    There is no question the part is a dust cover – whether it came from Earhart’s Electra will be answered soon. Mr. Spink’s dust cover is going to be re-created using 3D copying technology. There will be a re-created CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawing made by unbiased vendors. This prototype without the bumps and bruises will be of the exact dimensions of the recovered part. The dust cover is going to be compared with Goodyear Air wheel dustcovers from the known aircraft that still exist that have the Goodyear Air wheel assembly. Several exist, one being at the New England Air Museum. It is believed Earhart’s Electra’s Goodyear Air wheel configuration were of the dimensions 36-15-6.

    Goodyear made six sizes of air wheels. Only two could have been used on Earhart’s plane: 36-15-6 or the smaller 30-15-6. Goodyear Air wheels were also sparingly used on Lockheed Model 12’s. There is some indication a few were used on the Lockheed 14. If the Goodyear Air wheel was used on the Lockheed 14, they would have been the 36-15-6 air wheels. Regardless of these two sizes, both Air wheels would have used the same dust cover. There are reports the Goodyear Air Wheels was used on a few early Beech 18’s. That means there is a remote chance the military version of the Beech 18, the C-45, might have had Goodyear Air wheels. A few Lockheed 14 light bombers (Hudson) were also built.

    Since the larger Lockheed 14 could have used a Goodyear Air wheel, (although at the time I am writing this article I have not found any record of their use) it must be made known the Japanese built 240 Lockheed 14’s under license by the Tachikawa and Kawasaki Manufacturing Companies. It is not known if these Japanese built aircraft utilized a copy of the Goodyear Air wheel. Again, that is where the readers of this blog could help. Research of the Japanese version of the Lockheed 14 would be helpful. Pictures of these Japanese aircraft with wheels down will quickly determine if the distinctive Goodyear Air wheel design was incorporated into Japanese production.

    Mr. AvArchResearcher says” “There were no other known aircraft.
    This statement implies that there is one known aircraft found, which I think is a long way from being proven, particularly with some 37 crashed aircraft in and around Mili Atoll. That’s a lot of wreckage source material, and as pointed out by Mr. Prescott, stuff moves around.”

    Mr. AvArchResearcher, what separates your thin hypothesis of Earhart landing at Gardner Island and those who believe she landed near Barre Island and was captured by the Japanese is beyond immense. TIGHAR has not documented a single witness to the Earhart mystery coming out of Gardner Island.

    Marshall Island researchers have interviewed and produced three native eyewitnesses to Earhart landing near Barre Island, Mili Atoll. A witness reported that in July 1937, 40 Marshallese were conscripted to assist the Japanese in pulling the Earhart plane off the beach and onto a barge. A witness saw a barge arriving at Jaluit in the summer of 1937 with a plane on the deck. A witness medically treated a white man and woman on the back of a ship docked at Jaluit during the summer of 1937. That ship held a plane in a sling with a broken wing on her stern.

    Anecdotal secondary evidence is voluminous. This does not include the dozens of eyewitnesses interviewed on Saipan, the comments of Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War II, Marines on Saipan, and the head of Naval Civil Affairs during the Marshall Island campaign, who wrote that Marine intelligence interviewed the Marshallese regarding the presence of Earhart in the Marshall Islands. (I have that letter)

    Mr. AvArchResearcher, you are right, there is no question the issue of contamination exists. Many planes were lost over Mili Atoll. As I mentioned previously, none were down near the surrounding Barre Islands. Yet, as you rightly state, aircraft debris could wash ashore from downed aircraft. That is why it’s paramount to determine if aircraft used in the Pacific by the US military and the Japanese had a Goodyear Air wheel. I am confident they didn’t. Even if they did, I fully intend to determine if any were lost and where they were lost. As to the Japanese version of the Lockheed 14, there is only the remotest of chance these aircraft used a copy of the Goodyear Air Wheel. This particular Japanese version of the Lockheed was primarily used for air transport. Nevertheless, we will search out this information. It must be remembered, the vast majority of Japanese aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Mili Island. US kills have been documented. I doubt any of them were the Japanese version of the Lockheed 14.

    I am a retired senior federal agent manager who has spent years researching this mystery. I have spent weeks at the various national archives around the country looking for mistakes made by those hiding the truth. I have scrutinized the vast Pan Am’s holding at the University of Miami, the Nimitz Museum, and have collected about 10,000 documents. I have interviewed a ton of old men, now all dead, with stories that substantiate the Marshall Island connection. I have found documents overlooked by the Marines that tell of Earhart’s personal effects found on the Marshall Islands and turned over to Marine Regimental Intelligence. I have documents of decoded Japanese messages telling their Naval Attaché that Japanese intelligence has determined the Earhart’s plane went down near the Marshall Islands, and they (Japanese) have no intentions of allowing the US to search for Earhart in the Marshalls.

    Mike Campbell is to be commended for pursuing the truth. His book, The Truth at Last, is an honest, well documented account of the Earhart tragedy. Thanks Mike for continuing to search for the truth.


    1. Les,
      Thanks so much for your excellent summary of the status of the artifacts found on Mili Atoll by Martin Daly of Dick Spink’s search group. I can’t imagine there’s much more to be said at this time, and clearly it’s going to take considerable time to get the best scientific and professional analysis available. I have every confidence that you and Dick will do all you can to make it happen. Keep up your great work.

      Mike C.


    2. Les – would you happen to have a copy of exactly what the fraudster Walter McMenamy claimed he heard Amelia Earhart say? I’m creating a database using a technique similar to SCAN (Scientific Content ANalysis) so that information from an unknown source might be mapped to a known individual. So far I have only found stories about the event but not the actual wording. Thanks and great work on your summary, very informative.


      1. Robert:
        Somewhere, I have all the various newspaper articles that quote McMenamy. If you recall he heard Earhart more than once. I am going to have to look for them. It’s going to take awhile, I have been caught up in a lot of outside contract work lately – and money has been trumping my research efforts.

        Side note of interest – did you know McMenamy collaborated with the writer who wrote the original story which turned into the 1943 film “Flight to Freedom?”

        Some years ago, Ric Gillespie wrote on the TIGHAR web site that he (or someone with TIGHAR) interviewed McMenamy and McMenamy admitted all of the radio messages he claimed that he heard from Earhart were a hoax. I have no idea if TIGHAR documented this interview and put it down on paper.


        PS. I certainly could use your database – the stuff I have is overwhelming. Sometimes a simple recall search for one piece of information might take me hours to find.


  25. Mr. Kinney,
    Thank you for the brilliant analysis & unquestionable intelligence of these two parts and their placement on the aircraft. Once the aluminum is tested and comparisons matched as genuine, those who have continued to disbelieve, will finally see the efforts of those who have stood by the truth for so long. I commend Mr. Kinney’s wisdom & research in all arena’s of Amelia Earhart & his graciousness to share & enlighten those of us. Mike Campbell’s brilliant & remarkable work as a journalist, author & defender of the *TRUTH. He has shared his passion, wisdom and respect for Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan for all to see. Thank you gentlemen for your unwavering commitment to this great cause.


  26. Continuing to see “concrete proof” of AE’s demise on Mili Atol, as much as I wish this to be true, I truly have doubts. Having lived in the Pacific for over 13 years, Guam, I experienced 12 typhoons, five in one season. Witnessing the destructive forces of the “Super Typhoons”, and the aftermath, leaves a niggling feeling. After 77 years of storms, surely some of the debris from the many aircraft that were shot down over or near Mili Atol would have managed to wash ashore. I do hope that further chemical analysis, and research, will indeed prove these scattered aircraft parts can be definitively linked to AE’s Electra.


  27. Jennings Bunn –
    If this were the case, Barre Island & Mili Atoll should have washed away decades ago or the islands themselves. I can see empty beer cans, beach balls and litter being tossed around; but submerged pieces of metal nestled inbetween rocks are not going anywhere.
    Light weight objects, such as pennies, fall to the ground along beach shores all the time and found decades later in the same spot. I’ve yet to find coins accidentally dropped on Canadian shores winding up on U.S. Michigan’s.


    1. Doug and Jennings,

      The two artifacts were not found on the beach. I have sent a Google earth photo to Mike which shows the approximate location of the artifacts and where the natives in July 1937 said they saw the aircraft ditch. Maybe Mike can insert this photo into this posting. Dick Spink says (and I agree) based upon the early native accounts, the plane must have been dragged and pulled using the carts from north to south down the western interior side of the island. Dick said that the western side of the island showed new growth not nearly as old as the rest of the island. In 1937, this western strip might have looked more like a field.

      That hypothesis makes sense since the beach was strewn with large boulders and coral which would have made the aircraft pull to the lagoon side almost impossible by the wheeled carts, (see the pic of Dick Spink near the beginning of this post to get an idea what it would have been like to attempt to drag the plane around the island via the beach) It also would validate why the two artifacts were found where they were. The two pieces simply fell of the damaged plane during the dragging operation.

      If the two pieces found by Dick Spink had been floating on the surface of the water at the same time a storm came up, no doubt they could have been pushed inland. However, I tend to agree with Doug; plane debris would have sunk within hours from the time it broke up unless the plane crashed on or adjacent to the beach inside the protected reef. Therefore, unless the debris from a later wreck was washed ashore from storm action within hours of a crash, the two pieces shouldn’t be on the island. There are no other reported crashes of aircraft inside the reef anywhere near this small island.

      One more thing, there is visual evidence coral was tossed aside to create an underwater 20 foot wide path on the south side or the lagoon side of the island beach. This would have been necessary for the barge to get close to the beach. (The barge would not have been able to access the north beach where the plane landed because of the reef.)

      Zoom in and take a close up look at this small island on Google Earth. Look at the south beach directly in the middle of the island. You can clearly see a trough created in the water perpendicular to the beach, sort of a path as the coral must have been tossed aside to accommodate the barge. Note also, two of the four wheeled carts were found where you would have suspected they should be once the job was finished – at the beach in front of the trough.

      Now, check around on Google earth at the surrounding islands. You will not see anything similar. It seems to me this path was man made.




      1. Reviewing the historical imagery, a building in apparent in the tree line opposite this so called path, more then likely for the occupants or workers to beach there skiffs in my opinion.


      2. I have been a follower of all the “new finds” and “concrete proof”, but yet have seen nothing to substantiate that A & F ever got to Gardner Island, nor to Mili Atol. For those who really want to know where they are, they are buried on Tinian! Now, chew on that for a while. Having lived in Missouri, I, too, need to be shown.


  28. Thanks Les for the picture of the island & the tack pins marking where the pieces were found. The Electra puzzle is coming together and unified in it’s removal off Mili Atoll/Endriken Islands. Pieces of a large, damaged aircraft being moved along a railed track would be bound to fall off; leaving some type of debris trail as the one we see here. Great examination of elements which equal Earhart’s presence on Mili /Endriken Islands.


  29. Mr. Kinney:
    Are there photos of the two surviving carts ? Who found them? Where are they now? Photos of them would be compelling to the theory.


  30. Yes there are photos of them. Richard Spink found the carts on the same island he found the two airplane artifacts. I will be seeing Spink on Wednesday. When I get the pics, I’ll have Mike post them in this blog.



  31. Mr. Kinney:
    Great ! By chance, are there ground photos as well, of the route used, from the reef to the lagoon, that was employed to get the Electra to the barge?


  32. I am not sure but it is an excellent question. I think it vital to trace the path of the aircraft to the point where it was loaded on the barge. Every yard of that route needs to be scoured for clues.

    I will see what photos Spink has of this area tomorrow.



  33. I have sent photos to Mike for posting.



  34. Carol Dow of Plano, Texas pretty much has the case rapped up in my opinion and I am an Intel Research Officer from the US Army. Doc. Davidson got the cremated remains, and Vince Loomis found the tin box remains and now this. Carolhas a new DVD out on this subject. Check it out. Thanks, Bob Bennett in Lima, Ohio.


    1. Carol Dow has the case “rapped” up? Maybe so, but you have some incorrect information here, pretty much everything you’ve written is wrong. Joe Davidson wrote “Amelia Earhart Returns from Saipan,” in 1969 and did two more editions of the same book, with improved editing. But the remains were given in 1968 to Raymond Baby, an anthropologist from Ohio State, by Don Kothera, John Gacek and Marty Fiorillo, otherwise known as The Cleveland Group.

      Vincent V. Loomis did NOT find the remains of the tin case, but his associate on one of his trips to Mili, Oliver Knaggs, author of “Amelia Earhart: her final flight,” returned to the Endriken Islands on Mili Atoll in 1981 with a metal detector and found the remains of the case, which were tested by a metallurgical firm in South Africa and found to be “consistent with a fine, clean, low carbon steel” (see pages 144-145 of “Truth at Last”). So YOU check it out, Mr. Bennett. We take our details seriously here, unlike some others we know who play it all fast and loose, and who you appear to have been unduly impressed by.


  35. With Mr. Spink and company in the Marshalls at the present time, it would be great to get a periodic update ( hopefully “progress” or “new discoveries”. Does he have a Facebook page or something similar? Or any plans to immediately announce new discoveries or evidence?

    Also, how long will they be in the Marshalls? I wish them the best of luck and success !


    1. No Facebook page. If they find something important, you can be sure Parker Aerospace, through Yahoo! News initially, will inform the public. Otherwise when I get a promised updated from Les Kinney around Jan. 30, I will pass it along. If this search results in nothing of significance found, which frankly is what I expect, I’m not going to turn that into a story on this blog, but will inform those of you who are interested via email. Dick Spink and Les will return Jan. 30, at least that’s the plan.


  36. Well, its been about 2 months since this story came out, and so far as I can tell, nobody has been able to locate an inspection plate in the painted area of the Earhart Electra, and nobody has been able to locate a photo of Earhart’s aircraft with “dust covers”.

    In addition, the “dust cover” has a diameter that matches the smaller end of the Air Wheel, which is the outside of the hub. see this photo

    where they’ve placed the dust cover on the smaller end of the air wheel assembly.

    Problem is that if the “dust cover” is part of the braking assembly, it should be on the interior of the hub, which has a much larger diameter than the exterior of the hub. Just looking at the photo, you can tell that the “dust cover” could not be part of the brake assembly, there is some 2 inches difference in diameter.

    The dust covers mentioned in the Luke Field report are mixed in with a bunch of other spare parts, and I believe they are parts related to the brake mechanism which was contained in the interior hub of the Air Wheel. They seem to be interior parts of the brake as well, not hub caps.

    Mr Kinney said “I believe the dust cover snaps into place just like a hub cap. (On the inside hub) The dust cover has a rim which snaps over the adjoining part.”

    Clearly you are wrong, as seen in the photo of the artifact placed against the Air Wheel hub, the artifact collected does not fit the inside hub that contained the braking mechanism.

    Further, there are multiple photos showing the exterior hub – the only one that the artifact would fit – as not having any kind of dust cover or hub cap. see the photo I previously posted, or any of the photos in the Purdue collection such as this one:

    I commend the gentlemen for going back and exploring further, but so far they haven’t managed to show that either of the objects they previously collected are related to Earhart’s Lockheed 10E, or any Lockheed for that matter.

    Where’s the beef? There ain’t no meat on those artifacts.



  37. To get a better idea of the Airwheel and its structure, see

    And the Airwheel braking mechanism, see

    On this last graphic, note the inclusion of the “dust shield” as part of the brake mechanism parts that is internal to the mechanism inside the hub (large end).

    Neither of these graphics shows any kind of external hub cap as has been speculated in this blog, and so far I’ve not seen anyone produce a photo of Earhart’s Electra with any kind of dust cover on either end of the hub.

    At this point, without some sort of additional confirmation, I’d say these are a long way from being proven, and that titles such as at the head of this blog are not only unsupportable but irresponsible. Just to remind everyone, the title of this blog says:

    Recent find on Mili Atoll called “Concrete proof”: Chances artifacts not from Earhart Electra “remote”

    I think not. You only undermine your own credibility.


    1. Look, Mr. AvArchResearcher, who can’t even tell us your real name when you send us your questionable findings, attempting to discredit anything that points away from the TIGHAR lies, who told you that you’re also an editor?

      After years of blind adherence and devotion to TIGHAR’s countless false claims of “absolute proof” and “solving the mystery” through so many pieces of worthless garbage scraped up on Nikumaroro, you have the nerve to call my headline “irresponsible”? Sure I could go back and change it to reflect some of the possibly mitigating factors that have come into play since the story was published, but I don’t have to do this, because even you can see that I NEVER claimed these artifacts are smoking guns, and I made sure to put quotation marks around the key words. I’m still not wrong, though I will admit I was not as skeptical of some of the more extreme statements made by a so-called expert as I should have been. But no false claims were made here.

      Les Kinney will be back soon from Mili to address your comments, as he is the technical expert. I look forward to his comments, which I’m confident will show that your interpretation of the graphics you reference is more than a bit slanted.


  38. One more thought for the day.

    Looking at the brake diagram where you will see

    Retaining Nut Lock Spring

    If I din’t know what the official Goodyear name for that part was, I’d call it a snap ring, wouldn’t you?

    Now go back to the Luke Field Inventory. The next item on the Luke Field inventory after the “cover plates” is

    1 Ea. Snap Ring

    My guess is the Luke Field inventory is recording spare parts for for the brake system. There is no way they would have separated a cover plate from the wheels to be recorded individually without disassembling the wheel. Did they do that? I doubt it, their job was to inventory the items, and ship it back to Lockheed.


  39. Well, Mr. EarhartTRUTH, you think my findings are questionable yet all I’ve done is try to substantiate what you and the Mili crash folks are claiming as “concrete proof”. I find the proof lacking so far.

    In a classic maneuver, you attack TIGHAR’s work as some sort of justification for the TRUTH of your own. This discussion isn’t about TIGHAR, it is about you and Spink / Kenney’s work claim that these parts are from Earhart’s Electra. “Concrete Proof”

    It isn’t relevant if I’m a TIGHAR member or not. I’ve never said TIGHAR and their ideas were correct or perfect, only that some on their forum seemed to have done some quick research that quite pointedly showed that a) the supposed external power port didn’t have a cover plate, and b) there evidently are not any external hub caps or dust covers on Earhart’s Electra.

    Your experts had 3 years to do their own research and apparently couldn’t come to the same conclusion that folks on the TIGHAR forum were able to determine in a matter of days.

    The lack of thorough analysis, and the all too easy route of attacking TIGHAR instead of spending your time analyzing and defending the proposal that the artifacts come from an Electra, any Electra, cast doubt on your / Spink / Kenney’s credibility.

    I’ve formed my opinions by looking at the photos available, and what I can find about the structure and function of the Airwheel. So far, the Spinks / Kenney / Mili proponents have failed to show anything that is in favor of their ideas that these artifacts come from Earhart’s aircraft, other than the fact that they are made of aluminum, have a diameter similar to the outside hub, and might have paint of the right color.

    The diameter is wrong for the inside hub that has been proposed, no one can show that the part is consistent with an Airwheel, the cover plate location has yet to be found on an Electra, and the paint doesn’t really match. Again, where is the story here?

    It isn’t my finding that are questionable. What is questionable is that there is anything to substantiate the claims made about these artifacts.

    If I were from Missouri, I’d be asking a simple question, Show Me… I

    I’m open to it, but so far no one has.


  40. What did the expert analysis reveal? I don’t see the photos of the Endriken Islands as promised by the Kinney team. Are they somewhere else?


  41. Did anyone see the PBS show: “History Detectives” Season 7, Episode 6? It was uncovered that the person in this episode was in procession of actual pieces of Amelia Earhart’s Electra from the crash in Oahu, prior to her around the world flight.

    Can the metals in these parts be compared to those found on Mili Atoll?


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