Reineck’s 1997 letter to Bill Clinton one of many ignored by U.S. leaders through the years

When Fred Goerner’s bestseller, The Search for Amelia Earhart rocked the nation in 1966, selling over 400,000 copies in an age when many Americans actually read books, untold numbers of congressmen and senators from coast to coast were besieged by constituents demanding that they get to the bottom of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.  Nothing happened.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

In 1968, Goerner appeared in Miami before a Republican platform subcommittee chaired by Kentucky Governor Louie Broady Nunn.  Calling his presentation “Crisis in Credibility—Truth in Government,” a title that perfectly describes the appalling corruption that so pervades our current ruling class, Goerner appealed to the members’ integrity and patriotism, and did his utmost to win them to the cause of securing justice for Amelia and Fred Noonan.  Nothing happened then, either.

Fred Goerner at KCBS San Francisco, circa 1966. (Courtesy Merla Zellerbach.)

Fred Goerner at KCBS San Francisco, circa 1966. (Courtesy Merla Zellerbach.)

Occasionally someone suggests that I should write to the president, or that they’ve written to their congressmen, to demand action in the ongoing Earhart travesty.  I tell them it’s a waste of time, based on what we know and all that’s gone before, but I never try to actually discourage these vain appeals to our rulers.  Those who care enough about the truth to actually sit down and write a letter are to be respected and applauded for their diligence, despite the fact that all their letters will be ignored. 

In 1997, well-known Earhart researcher Rollin Reineck thought he’d take a shot at it, and he sent the below missive to President Bill Clinton in hopes of effecting a miraculous breakthrough in the Earhart case.  Reineck could have saved a stamp, but then we wouldn’t have this letter to serve as a fine example of the sort of good-faith appeals to our nation’s leaders that continue to be ignored.

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

8 June 1997

Subject: Public release of information relating to Amelia Earhart.

Dear Mr. President:

The second of July, this year, will mark the 60th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. This single episode remains the greatest unsolved air mystery of our time.

President William J. Clinton, circa 1997.

President William J. Clinton, circa 1997. After six decades of government suppression of the truth in the Earhart disappearance, can anyone imagine this president breaking the mold and revealing the facts about Amelia’s sad end on Saipan?

The issuance of your 17 April 1995 Executive Order (12958) declassifying all government documents that were 25 years old should have shed some light on this specific area of interest.  However, it has produced no results to this date.

From circumstantial evidence, most researchers feel they know the answer to this 60-year-old mystery, but they also feel that the HARD COPY OF FACTS are still sealed away in the files of the intelligence community in Washington, D.C.

Consequently, I am writing to ask you, as President of the United States, to issue another Executive Order.  This time directing that the various military and other intelligence agencies as well as the CIA immediately release — to the public — all materials in their files relating to the disappearance of Amelia Earhart so the world may finally know the truth.

Ms. Earhart was the heroine of her era.  She epitomized the ideals of women and American feminism, and is still an inspiration to all women today.  The cheers, accolades and outpouring of emotion received by another young lady who just completed emulating the Earhart around-the-world flight in the same type vintage airplane reaffirms the desire of the world to know the facts and the truth about the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

I, and others like me, have been trying to piece together exactly what happened on that fateful day of 2 July 1937.  Personally, I have spent over 26 years — a third of my life — searching for the truth about this great and courageous lady of the air.  From this research, I have concluded:

Without presenting supporting evidence of any kind, the United States Government has always taken the position that Miss Earhart died at sea after ditching her airplane (attachment I).  Yet, in direct contradiction, we researchers have evidence, including statements made by noted Americans, as well as others, who were in a position to know the facts and the truth about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.  For instance:

1. The late Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury for President Roosevelt, stated (attachment 2) in a telephone  conversation with Malvina Scheider, secretary for Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, “Amelia Earhart absolutely disregarded all orders.  We have evidence that the thing is all over.  And, if we ever release the report of the Itasca (Coast Guard vessel standing off Howland Island) on Amelia Earhart, any reputation she’s got is gone.”

2. Mr. Carl Heine, a missionary who had lived in the Marshall Islands for 48 years (executed by the Japanese during the war), reported seeing a letter in the Jaluit Post Office on 27 November 1937, addressed to Amelia Earhart.  The address read: Amelia Earhart, Marshall Islands, Ratak Group, Maloelap Island, South Pacific Ocean (Attachment 3).  Mr. Heine felt it interesting that someone would be writing to Amelia Earhart in the Marshall Islands, and that the return address on the envelope was the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, California.  It appears to be more than a coincidence that Ms. Earhart’s personal secretary lived at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at that time.

The late Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps during the World War II, told Fred Goerner in a 1971 letter that Amelia Earhart died on Saipan.

The late Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps during the World War II, told Fred Goerner in a 1971 letter that Amelia Earhart died on Saipan.

3. The late five-star Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Chief of Pacific Operations during WW II said, “She did go down in the Marshall Islands and was taken prisoner by the Japanese.”  This statement by Admiral Nimitz (attachment 4) can be seen today in the Earhart Room of the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.

4. General Alexander Vandegrift, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps during WW II, said (attachment 5), “It was substantiated that Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan.  This information was given to me by General Tommy Watson, who commanded the Second Division during the assault on Saipan.”

5. Graves P. Erskine, who commanded the 5th U.S. Marine Corps Division at Iwo Jima and was on the staff of Gen. Holland “Howlin’ Mad” Smith during the invasion of Saipan and served in intelligence capabilities, said (attachment 5), “We did learn that Earhart was on Saipan and that she died there.”

6. Mr. Robert Reimers, native of the Marshall Islands, was born in 1909, when the Germans occupied the Islands.  He has spent his life as an entrepreneur and is the genius behind the Robert Reimer Enterprises Inc. of the Marshall Islands.  In a recent interview Mr. Reimers stated among other things, “It was widely known throughout the Islands by both the Japanese and the Marshallese that a Japanese fishing boat found Amelia Earhart, her navigator and the airplane near Mili Atoll.  They were brought to Jabor where one of our people (Billamon Amoron [sic] attachment 6) treated them.  They were then taken to Kwajalein, and from there to Truk and then to Saipan. There was no mystery . . . everybody knew it.”

7. In addition, there have been numerous reports by our GIs in the Marshall Islands and on Saipan of seeing photographs and other memorabilia of Ms. Earhart in the Marshalls and on Saipan.  Each and every one of these reports states that the found material related to Earhart was turned over to Officers in the field never to be seen again.

Marine General Graves B. Erskine, deputy commander of the V Amphibious Corps at the Battle of Saipan. In late 1966, Erskine told Jules Dundes, CBS West Coast vice president, and Dave McElhatton, a KCBS radio newsman, "It was established that Earhart was on Saipan. You'll have to dig the rest out for yourselves."

Marine General Graves B. Erskine, deputy commander of the V Amphibious Corps at the Battle of Saipan. In late 1966, Erskine told Jules Dundes, CBS West Coast vice president, and Dave McElhatton, a KCBS radio newsman, “It was established that Earhart was on Saipan.  You’ll have to dig the rest out for yourselves.”

8. After the liberation of the Japanese Weihsien Internment Camp, China, messages (attachment 7) were dispatched, dated 21 August 1945 to the next of kin, or other interested parties of the internees.  One of those messages was addressed and delivered to G.P. Putnam, 10042 Valley Spring Lane, North Hollywood, California.  The message read, “CAMP LIBERATED, ALL WELL, VOLUMES TO TELL, LOVE TO MOTHER.” G.P. Putnam was Amelia’s husband and 10042 Spring Valley Lane, North Hollywood, California, was where they lived as man and wife before she departed on her around the world flight.  Although the message was unsigned, there is little doubt as to who wrote the message. G.P. Putnam responded to the message 10 days later.

(Editor’s note: Reineck’s claim was later proven to be absolutely false by Earhart researchers Ron Bright and Patrick Gaston.  The telegram was actually sent from the Weihsien Camp by a man named Ahmad Kamal, a close personal friend of George Putnam.  Amelia Earhart was never at Weihsien, but this idea survives among some inhabitants of the Earhart fringe.)

Although I have worked with both the State and Treasury Departments, as well as the National Archives, I have not been able to obtain information to reconcile these various viewpoints and happenings on what should be a matter of fact.

Which version concerning Earhart’s disappearance are we to believe?  Why can’t the people of the United States be told the truth about this event that took place almost 60 years ago?  How could the release of the true facts of this historical event possibly affect the security of this country today, or have any other significant consequences?  What will it take to set the record straight and get the truth about the fate of Amelia Earhart?

In May 1938, the Honorable Hattie W. Caraway, Senator, of your State of Arkansas, said on the floor of the U.S. Senate: “Amelia Earhart was a courageous woman who was one of the 12 most notable women of the past 100 years.”  Senator Caraway went on to say that: She was a woman who symbolized, to a remarkable degree, the courage, the pioneering spirit and the broad achievements of American womanhood(Attachment 8).

Senator Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway presides over the U.S. Senate in May 1932. Caraway, of Arkansas, was the first woman elected to serve a full term as a United States Senator.

Senator Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway presides over the U.S. Senate in May 1932.  Caraway, of Arkansas, was the first woman elected to serve a full term as a United States Senator.

What Senator Caraway said on the floor of the Senate in 1938 was true then and it is true today.  Amelia Earhart was indeed a very courageous woman who served her country well in time of need.  It is only fitting that the truth now be known and that her name be placed in the HALL OF FAME with other great Americans so that her countrymen and women of today and tomorrow are made aware of her noble deeds. Mr. President, you can make it happen by directing the immediate release to the public of all CIA, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard and other intelligence files relating to Ms. Amelia Earhart.

Your early response to this letter would be appreciated.


Rollin C. Reineck
Colonel USAF (Ret.)

Of course, Reineck received no response from Bill Clinton, not early nor at any other time.  Clinton likely never even saw Reineck’s letter, which was probably deposited into the nearest circular file by one of an army of lackeys paid exorbitant amounts of taxpayer dollars to screen White House mail and remove these little annoyances from the president.

This is the inevitable fate of any attempts by our good citizens to appeal to the better angels of those who keep our national secrets.  To begin with, these people have no better angels, as their spiritual protectors likely gave up on most of these lowlifes long ago.  Secondly, and most importantly, the Earhart case remains among Washington’s most precious sacred cows, a status that will almost certainly remain unchanged for decades to come.  Welcome to the Earhart saga.

8 responses

  1. Lets get the word out about Mike’s *NEW book – Amelia Earhart/The *TRUTH at Last/2nd Edition. Tell your family, friends & co-workers to read this *GREAT BOOK. We need to STAND UP for AMELIA and give her OUR SUPPORT. If Amelia had the COURAGE to fly around the world, can’t we display the COURAGE to tell the *TRUTH?
    Insist the MEDIA & OUR GOVERNMENT to!

    Doug Mills


  2. Amelia Earhart/Truth at Last/ 2nd Edition is a comprehensive look at what happened to Amelia Earhart on July 2, 1937. New revelations & answers explain her demise, captivity, imprisonment and torture by the Japanese Military. The Unites States Naval Intelligent apparatus & operations that simply abandoned her; and a President who made no effort to intervene on her behalf. This book clearly shows the depths at which U.S. Intelligence stooped, to protect itself at the cost of two Patriotic Americans. How long will it take before *JUSTICE is served for the sake of America’s 1st Aviatress? How long will the media endorse ploys, DiSiNfOrMaTioN, continued searching charades and finally *ADMIT to this 80 year old farce that’s been played upon the American public?

    Mike Campbell has s h a t t e r e d this DiSiNfOrMaTiOn campaign and presented all the facts, testimonies, evidence and most of all the *TRUTH. A Masterpiece of historical research complied in chapters, which take us from fiction to *facts and adventure to disaster. This is an Earhart book for all to read – MAGNIFICENT – SPECTACULAR – BRILLIANT – cannot put it down.

    Doug Mills

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike, you have been telling me now for years that no one with the ability to uncover hidden evidence is listening or willing to clear away this fog. I finally agree that this is not just your theory but a sad truth. I sent emails within the last year to several “celebrities” with some connection to federal government, (e.g., Dana Perino), recommending your original edition of Truth at Last, this blog, archived online radio interviews, etc. Not only no response, no indication these emails were ever read by anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Philip Van Zandt | Reply

    I’m almost positive that we’ll never see the truth from our failing government… I say that because personal investigations have placed doubt about allegiances of the just post-war era. Without getting into any great details, it seems some in American government felt a new approach to ‘secrets’ of WW II and before be ‘paraded in expose so hard to believe (then) that Americans would enjoy the glamorization so much, they’d dismiss the entire underpining causes… one clue they purposely left out was Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan, and this might have been the key to unlock & unite a series of events that should have better forecast Japan’s aims. Let me just ask a question to put this in perspective using the supposition that Earhart/Noonan were the key to a Japanese secret room (I am not referring to the Garapan, Saipan jail cells – though that’s where it probably began)… plans made in this secret room included stealthy purloining of US aircraft blue-prints & construction of the ZERO from such; Hijacking of a Pan-Am Clipper and murder of her crew & passengers to get the ZERO’s powerful engine; sinking a US 7th. Fleet Naval Patrol-vessel, and the careful planning & preparation of the Japanese fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor; thus if all this were traceable to one Japanese officer, who post-war became a Tokyo politician – WHY DID AMERICA’S MILITARY INVITE HIM TO LECTURE AT UNIVERSITIES ON THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK; use him as TECH ADVISER in the two later made movies “TORA, TORA, TORA” & “PEARL HARBOR” and then PRESENT him a MEDAL (the same highest honor given to Doolittle & Chennault)? To me, the most obvious reason was that in trying not to explain the bits & pieces of the Earhart & Noonan “Disappearnce” that were slowly being brought to light, our government decided to smother those in glorious color films, one of which failed badly (to history buffs) by adding the starring-characters to remake the Doolittle raider’s 30-SECONDS OVER TOKYO movie. Hollywood is more than complicit in all of this, as usual. If they ever make a truthful Earhart/Noonan, I’ll probably turn over in my grave.

    Phil Van Zandt

    Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 13:43:48 +0000 To:


  5. Alastair robertson | Reply

    Do you think that President Trump might take a different approach? Why not ask him now and see if he delivers post election?


    1. Alastair,

      You’re not the first to suggest this possibility, but I have no line to Donald Trump, direct or otherwise. Even if he should be elected, which I do hope happens, he will have plenty more on his plate than the Earhart story. Though he seems to be the perfect type to upset the apple cart re the alleged FDR secret order to keep the Earhart truth under wraps forever, others who have the files and other evidence in their care might not cooperate, even if he tries to help. It’s a nice dream for now, but I wouldn’t hold out any great expectations.



  6. The AE saga would be an excellent segment for cable TV channel AHC, which focuses on stories like this….I think the one hour show is called “What History Forgot”.


    1. Sure it would, Sandy, except that the AHC is a part of the same establishment that long ago relegated the Earhart story to sacred cow status. Anywhere you look, you can see the truth of this statement.

      Liked by 1 person

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