History’s “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence”: Underhanded attack on the Marshalls-Saipan truth

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”                                                                                                          — George Orwell

If I wanted to produce a TV documentary that pretends to provide evidence in support of the truth as we know it — Amelia Earhart’s Marshall Islands landing and death on Saipan — while at the same time cunningly undermining this evidence by predicating its entire existence on sensational claims about a photo that are soon entirely discredited, I couldn’t do better than Morningstar Entertainment’s “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” which premiered July 9 on History, formerly and better known as the History Channel.

Here’s History’s promotion of the program on its website: The disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937 is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.  Now, 80 years later, former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry investigates new, astonishing evidence behind the disappearance of America’s first female aviator in History’s two-hour special ‘Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.’”

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  That’s the idea – to hook the unwary into watching this snake oil.  But for those who truly understand the Earhart story, such as your humble correspondent, History and Morningstar Entertainment, which produced this program, practically gave their whole game away when they announced that the Earhart disappearance is “one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.”  This is a verifiable lie.  As I constantly stress, this great American travesty, this great myth of the Earhart “mystery,” simply doesn’t exist.  It’s nothing more than a cultural construct that’s been sold for 80 years to an unwitting, inattentive public.  The fact that it’s believed by nearly everyone doesn’t change the truth.

An amazing portrait of our heroine at the tender age of 10.  Is it my imagination, or does she seem to be peering into timelessness, as if she can actually see the amazing adventures that are in store for her — and us?  Who can fathom it?

In the deepest recesses of the U.S. national security apparatus, where the physical evidence of Earhart and Fred Noonan’s presence and death on Saipan is kept under the strongest lock and key, there’s no Earhart mystery.  More importantly, there’s no Earhart mystery in the minds of anyone involved in the Morningstar production, or anyone else who knows how to find and read one of the few books that present the truth, especially but certainly not exclusively Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.

Look around the Net and you can find plenty of expertswho will tell you why you should believe them about the claims that have been made.  For the few who might ask what I thought, I never imagined there was even the remotest possibility that the man claimed as Fred Noonan was he, or that Amelia Earhart was this strange person sitting on the dock.  Amelia was never known to have thick black hair, not in any of hundreds of photos I’ve ever seen.

The claims about the ship were also shaky, as I saw no plane on a barge behind the ship, and what looks to be a wake of white water and a blurry object that might be a small barge, or even a small boat.  A huge metallic mass on its stern could be an airplane, any airplane, as Koshu was known to pick up wrecked planes at sea.  The whole drill seems like some kind of bizarre Rorschach test, with any two observers extremely unlikely to agree on what they’re viewing.  This is not how one establishes the presence of Amelia Earhart in this or any photo, or what should be the predicate for a History Channel program that purports to be presenting “astonishing new evidence” in the Earhart case.

On Tuesday, July 11, comes this report from The Guardian online that claims the photograph has been found in a Japanese travel book.  The image was part of a Japanese-language travelogue about the South Seas that was published almost two years before Earhart disappeared, The Guardian reported. Page 113 states the book was published in Japanese-held Palau on 10 October 1935.”  Does it get any worse than this?  If the report is true, whatever the photo claims that began with NBC’s Wednesday, July 5 promotion barrage, are now entirely destroyed, discredited and defunct. 

Perhaps most illustrative of the insanity that has prevailed in the current Earhart flap is this photo comparison that was so prevalent throughout big media last week.  Amelia never had heavy black hair, as this “person” does.  Now comes word from The Guardian that the ONI photo, from which the one on the left was excised, was found to have been in a 1935 travel magazine.

I agree 100 percent with your take [on the photo], longtime Earhart researcher and former Office of Naval Intelligence agent Ron Bright told me in a July 5 email.  “I saw the photo about a year ago, up close, etc., by Kinney, and told him I could not ID AE sitting on the dock, nor ID the plane on a raft on the stern as the Electra.  No guards, no official presence etc., on the dock.  Undated, and photographer unknown.

“Now if you agree with Bilimon Amaron that he treated two Americans, a man and woman, on the deck of the Koshu, a few days after 2 July 37, for minor wounds, the facts don’t fit,” Bright continued. “Amaron was very clear to two researchers that the Koshu left shortly for Jaluit with a plane on the stern, with a broken wing, and that the two, probably AE/FN DID NOT LEAVE THE SHIP FOR A SECOND, while in port and before sailing away.  It is [in] Les’s eyes that the girl (?) sitting there with rather heavy head of hair, with a white shirt (AE left Lae in a checked shirt) was AE.  I don’t buy it.  Compare hair at Lae with the rather heavy thick hair on the person sitting on the dock.  No date, no cigar!”  Of course, with the discovery of the Japanese travelogue, this is all academic now, but I thought it might interest some.

Longtime Earhart  researcher Ron Bright, of Bremerton, Wash., said of the claims made about the Jaluit ONI photo, “I don’t buy it. . . No date, no cigar!”

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this photo failed utterly and completely, even before The Guardian report laid waste to this fraud forever.  Does anyone except Les Kinney actually think that Earhart and Noonan are in this photo?  Does Kinney still believe it?

I wish the ONI photo actually did portray Earhart and Noonan, because our very worthy cause for the truth would have taken a giant step forward at the moment millions saw it on national television.  In itself, that would be extremely gratifying to me, regardless of who got the credit.  But I’m also convinced that if the photo is the game changer Kinney and Morningstar claim, it would have never have seen air, and would have been completely suppressed.

The brilliant news analyst David Martin (DCDave.com), who’s written two fine reviews of The Truth at Last, may see the essence of the current situation better than anyone.  Last week Martin weighed in two days after NBC News broke the news about the photo, kicking off four days of promotions for the Sunday premier.  Initially Martin shared my pessimism about a documentary predicated on such a shaky foundation as the ONI Jaluit photo, as his July 7 post, Press Touts Dubious Earhart Photo, reflected. 

“The special was conspicuously designed not to be taken seriously,” Martin told me.  “I thought it had a certain supermarket tabloid quality to it, and I think Wikipedia’s response will be the standard one and was probably already in the can before the program aired.  Notice Wikipedia’s use of #6 in the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression,Impugn motives.’  They’re just doing it to make money, like that Campbell guy with his book.  To be sure their motives were not pure, but in a different way.”

“This is just too good!” Martin wrote in a July 11 email after learning of The Guardian’s findings about the now-infamous ONI photo.  “The whole thing was surely a set-up.  It’s really amazing the lengths to which they go to keep the lid on the Earhart storyNotice that The Guardian is following the script to the letter, pretending that debunking the photo debunks the notion that Earhart was captured by the Japanese.  Now watch the rest of the MSM line up to sing from the same choir book.  It’s all really quite shameful, all in the service of protecting FDR’s reputation.”

David Martin at the grave of James V. Forrestal at Arlington, Va.  No one has done more to prove that Forrestal was murdered by unknown killers on May 22, 1949. See DCDave.com for an adventure in the true history of many of this nation’s sacred cows.  (Photo courtesy David Martin.)

Martin continued that theme in another July 11 email. The vultures are sweeping in more quickly than I thought they would,Martin wrote.  This is turning out to be a textbook example of #4 in the  Seventeen Techniques for Truth SuppressionThe Guardian quite shamelessly leaves its readers with the impression that debunking this photo — whose phoniness you correctly called — debunks the very notion that Earhart was captured by the Japanese.

For Dave Martin’s reviews on both editions of  The Truth at Last, as well as a summary of that evidence and the press (and Wikipedia) treatment of it, see Hillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up, Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishment,” and Wikipedia’s Greatest Misses.”

“The Lost Evidence,” formatted in what has become an annoying Reality TV investigative team of poseurs we see virtually everywhere these days, did deliver slightly more than I expected.  The most important of all the Saipan eyewitnesses, Josephine Blanco Akiyama, 91, and still mentally sharp, told her story to Shawn Henry at her San Mateo home.  But to my pleasant surprise, and for the first time on any mainstream TV program, important eyewitnesses other than Josephine were shown, albeit briefly.  We saw Bilimon Amaron on film from the mid-1980s, telling T.C. Buddy Brennan of his experience aboard Koshu, treating Noonan while Amelia stood by.  In a 1989 interview with Bill Prymak, Amaron said some of the Japanese crewman called the woman, “Meelya, Meelya.”

From the film archives of Don Kothera, which are now in the possession of Les Kinney, we saw Saipan’s Joaquina Cabrera, who washed Amelia’s clothes, and was said to have been moved by Amelia’s “kind eyes,” according to local historian Genevieve Cabrera; and Anna Magofna, who as 7-year-old watched as a tall white man was beheaded while a white woman stood by, and then ran in terror before she could learn what happened next.  Lotan Jack, another Marshallese witness interviewed by Buddy Brennan, was also briefly seen on film.  David Sablan, among the last of the old guard on Saipan, told his interviewer,I believe firmly that Amelia Earhart was on Saipan.”  These witnesses are magnificent and revealing figures whose convincing accounts, if known and accepted by enough concerned Americans, could be the key to the deepest locks in Washington, the ones with the top-secret Earhart files.

General Alexander A. Vandegrift, eighteenth commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, confirmed Amelia Earhart’s death on Saipan in an August 1971 letter to Fred Goerner.  Vandegrift wrote that he learned from Marine General Tommy Watson, who commanded the 2nd Marine Division during the assault on Saipan and died in 1966, that “Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan.”  (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

General Alexander A. Vandegrift’s 1971 letter to Fred Goerner, in  which the Medal of Honor winner told Goerner that “Miss Earhart met her death in that area [Saipan] because that has been substantiated,” another blockbuster revelation that has never seen American airwaves, was introduced for the first time. On top of this, the 1960 Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) Report was briefly mentioned, another first, to my knowledge.  Vandegrift’s letter truly prompted me to wonder if Morningstar and History were actually serious about trying to advance the truth, unlike all other network Earhart documentaries in recent memory, which are little more than slick infomercials for TIGHAR and Nauticos’ fund-raising activities.  But too many red flags signaled that “The Lost Files” was just an advanced form of media disinformation, dressed up and pretending to be a sincere presentation of new evidence.

“I, too, was surprised at how far they went in revealing the truth,” Martin wrote in a July 10 email.  “It was way too slick to be the product of incompetence, and we know what that leaves us with, which practically radiated from the screen.  The proof of the pudding will be in the reaction of the opinion-molding community.  What we will see, for the most part, will be a combination of #1 and #14 in the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression.  The contrast between the buildup and the reaction will be striking.  Most will simply ignore it and proceed as though the program never aired.  Those few who might write about it will devote most of their attention to debunking the photo.  No one in the MSM or the academic community will ruminate about what it all means.  ‘Nothing to see here.  Move along.’ ”

Laurel Blyth Tague, Ph.D., a friend and former radio talk show host I’ve known for several years since doing two long interviews on her program, is now well versed in the media’s Earhart disinformation program.  But even she has been surprised by the way this soap opera has played out.  “I am most struck by the determined refusal [by media] to go DEEPER into any existent supporting evidence by all these people,” Blyth Tague wrote in a July 8 email.  “What I mean by ‘surprised’ is that there is no excuse for that perspective, that it almost jumps out as intentional and hostile.  They are tipping their hand.”  Indeed they were, but as always, these rats in the media are also good little soldiers and carry out their orders without questions or qualms.  The real question is how much of the public will actually see this sleazy charade for what it is?

For me, the worst aspect of “The Lost Evidence” was the abject refusal of the principles to acknowledge the work of so many fine researchers and authors who made this program possible.  It’s as if these people discovered the story just the other day, when some local natives told them about it.  They never mentioned the most important Earhart disappearance book ever written, Fred Goerner’s The Search for Amelia Earhartand insisted on calling Goerner, a journalist,not the great researcher and author he was.  Other notable Earhart researchers and authors fared even worse, and none of them, not Vincent V. Loomis, Thomas E. Devine, Oliver Knaggs, T.C. “Buddy” Brennan or Bill Prymak were ever even mentioned.  Donald Kothera had to be cited once or twice, because some of the film shown came from Kothera’s archives, which he left to Kinney upon his death.

Otherwise, History’s pretentious-beyond-words investigative teamtook all the credit for about 60 years of research by several devoted, honorable men who risked life, limb and reputation in pursuit of the truth.  This practice is absolutely beneath contempt, and is the most shameful breach of ethical and moral standards I’ve yet had the extreme displeasure of viewing on the small screen.  For someone like myself, who’s spent 30 years on this story and never lied about any aspect of it to anyone, not once, watching these thieves and pirates prattling and posing throughout this program was painful indeed.

The only bestseller ever penned on the Earhart disappearance, Search sold over 400,000 copies and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for six months.  In September 1966, Time magazine’s scathing review, titled “Sinister Conspiracy,” set the original tone for what has become several generations of media aversion to the truth about Amelia’s death on Saipan.  The producers of Morningstar couldn’t see fit to mention Goerner’s book at any time during their July 9 History Channel special, or even call him an author, but simply called him “journalist Fred Goerner.”  This self-aggrandizing credit grabbing cast a pall over the entire production.

I can’t say with certainty whether Kinney actually believed what he said in “The Lost Evidence,” or whether he knew the truth.  Kinney has said more than once that he’s spent thousands of hours at government archives over many years in search of the smoking gun in the Earhart case.  Based on countless conversations I had with him for several years after he initially contacted me in 2012, it’s easy to believe Kinney convinced himself that he saw things and people that weren’t there.  Though it’s a stretch, it’s remotely possible this Earhart-addled soul actually believed his own imagination, but I seriously doubt it.  But to those around him, who enabled and facilitated this absurdity presented on this program as legitimate, we shouldn’t think for a millisecond that they were sincere.  Are we to believe they’re all delusional or incompetent, including the former FBI official Shawn Henry and Morningstar chief Gary Tarpinian?


Conclusion:  A Pure Propaganda Operation

In my opinion, “The Lost Evidence” exhibits many of the hallmarks of a classic disinformation operation.  “The Lost Evidence” is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a masterpiece of deceit, cleverly designed to discredit the long-established facts that reveal the truth about Earhart and Fred Noonan’s landing at Mili Atoll and deaths on Saipan at the hands of the prewar Japanese.

It’s a variant of a technique known as “Fake Opposition,” or more commonly, “Controlled Opposition,” and traces its ancestry to Vladimir Lenin, who said, The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.  The controlled opposition, in this case, would be anything that purports to contradict the officially approved theories about the Earhart case, which do not need re-stating here.  Also known as Psychological Operationsor PSYOPS, this practice is ubiquitous in our media.  The onslaught of activity from the leaders of our fake news brigade that preceded the July 9 airing is all we need to tell us that a massive propaganda operation was under way, and remains so.

I’ve had enough experience with media and their aversion to the truth about Amelia Earhart to know that nobody who runs production companies in Hollywood could be this incompetent.  Many will disagree with my analysis, and say it’s good that the Marshalls, Saipan and Earhart are being presented together in any way at all on History, considering the media blackout that has predominated up till now.  But this reasoning is shortsighted, and is rooted in the fact that most Americans want to be entertained, not educated, especially when they watch TV.  “The Lost Evidence” undoubtedly fulfilled the entertainment requirement for most, but it is not the work of people who are serious about advancing the truth; on the contrary, they are dead set on discrediting the truth.

If Morningstar and History wanted to make the case for the Marshalls-Saipan truth, this was not the way to do it.  Kinney’s ridiculous ONI photo that has now been re-dated by two years earlier in a Japanese travel guide, the empty hole on Saipan, Spink’s unlinked artifacts, all these fail miserably to corroborate the truth as we know it; all are little more than objects of interest and speculation.  Nothing is proven in any of these investigations, and plenty of ammunition is handed to the enemies of the truth.  The interviews of Josephine Blanco Akiyama, Bilimon Amaron, David Sablan, and footage of Joaquina Cabrera mean nothing when the predicate of the program is destroyed a few days after it airs.  Who in the mainstream is showing any interest in the Marshalls-Saipan truth?  Not a soul; all are jumping on to denounce all of it because the photo claim no longer holds water.  The entire program has now been tainted and will quickly be forgotten“The Lost Evidence” is simply and transparently the work of people who want to undermine the truth as we know it.         

I like Dick Spink and consider him an honest man and a friend, and I don’t believe he’s culpable for the ugliness and stink that so characterize “The Lost Evidence.”  But Spink and Les Kinney, with their three minutes (down considerably from Andy Warhol’s original 15) are yet oblivious to the cold fact that they have been duped and made unwitting pawns in the establishment’s ongoing Earhart disinformation efforts, Kinney far more than Spink, who is little more than an innocent bystander.

Kinney, whose dreams of fame and glory, of being hailed as the “man who solved the Earhart mystery,” has lost all credibility and is witnessing a far different reality, as his fantasy dissolves into smoke before his very eyes.  After all, how can one solve a mystery that doesn’t exist?  Kinney has only himself to blame, because he lit the fuse that ignited this monster.  On many occasions I tried to tell him about the media and its overwhelming hatred of the truth, that if he were ever to find a legitimate smoking gun, they would never allow it to stand.  He never listened, thinking he knew better.

Just before the publication of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last in June 2012, Sunbury Press Publisher Larry Knorr asked me what my goal was for the book.  My answer was simple: I wanted to change the conversation about the Earhart disappearance, to make the Marshalls-Saipan truth at least an acceptable possibility again, instead of the forbidden territory where only conspiracy nuts dared to tread.  In the big picture, “The Lost Evidence” has done nothing except incite a brief argument about the credibility of a photo.  Meanwhile, something unintended may have happened, because more readers are coming to this blog and to Amelia Earhart: The Truth at LastThe silver lining is real, though it will not last very long.

“Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” is only the latest in the growing list of tawdry Reality TV rip-offs, serial disinformation classics such as “Hunting Hitler,” “Mystery of Oak Island,” “JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald” and other phony productions conceived in the worst tradition of Barnum and Bailey and designed to sow only confusion, ignorance, money and ratings.  It’s all so predictable, depressing and most of all, EVIL.  Nothing but darkness and lies have plagued the Earhart case since its earliest days, and  if the American public ever learned about its own history, few would watch these time-killers, the ratings would plunge and less of these abominations would be produced.

When this nasty little episode fades away, the whole cast of odious characters will soon be forgotten, relegated to the void that is the just reward for those who serially abuse the truth with a disregard and contempt that hasn’t been equaled in recent memory.  Their Sacred Cow has been protected once again through the most deceitful of methods, but  Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last will remain standing, stronger than ever.

36 responses

  1. Come on, Mike. You say that “Amelia was never known to have thick black hair.” Um, it’s a black and white photograph. You say that the guy doesn’t look like Fred Noonan. Uh, yeah, he actually looks a lot like Fred Noonan. And the person sitting on the dock looks a lot like Amelia Earhart. They are also both Caucasian, not Japanese. Les Kinney made the point in the History Channel special that other than a few old missionaries, the Japanese banned Westerners from the Marshalls. You say that you don’t see a plane being towed on a barge behind the Koshu. I clearly see what appears to be a plane with a broken wing being towed on a barge behind the Koshu. And it is the Koshu.

    So, now comes along this Japanese “blogger” claiming that the photo was from a “travel book” from 1935. Right. First of all, how many Caucasians were traveling to the Marshalls in 1935 for leisure or business? None, the Japanese banned them. Were Japanese travelling to the Marshalls for vacation in the 1930’s? I highly doubt it. The Marshalls were in a state of military build-up. Doesn’t it sound a bit strange to you Mike for there to be a “Japanese Travel Book” featuring pictures of Jaluit in the 1930’s when neither Japanese or Westerners were travelling there? Now, here’s the kicker: how did a top-secret ONI photograph happen to appear in the “Japanese Travel Book?” Somebody is lying and I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t the ONI. The more logical conclusion is that this Japanese “blogger” is Japanese intelligence and is continuing the cover-story that has been in place since Amelia disappeared, a cover story that became mutual between Japan and the United States following WWII.

    I read your book, Mike, and it is excellent. But the History Channel special did a great job and their analysis was convincing and it supports the theory put forth in your book. I can’t understand why you continue to deny the obvious in this Jaluit photo. Maybe its the fact that Shawn Henry worked for Lord Ovommit’s FBI that has you resistant to his work. But I think he did solid analysis, regardless of his political affiliations. This Japanese “travel book” development is entirely predictable: it was only a matter of time before the denials and cover-up continued.


  2. Brent Theophilus | Reply

    Is it possible that the picture of a woman on the dock is too far away and the lighting not proper to show plaid on the blouse, and the hair looks darker for the same reason? The truth at last was great reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let’s just cut to the bottom line here. The topic for this show – “Evidence” – says it all, you don’t even have to watch any of it to get their point.

    They promote a fuzzy, old photo at the onstart of every program segment following a commercial break (I imagine it dog eared, maybe with a crease or two from being shoved between heavier items stacked on a dusty shelf – but wait – what we have to examine is actually a photocopy of that, or an electronic format, JPG, BMP, etc.). This reminds me of radio commercials where they say a 10-digit phone number no less than 8 times right at the end, in a certain cadence and even singsong tone, so that it is burned into your memory. In other words, “remember this image – here is the evidence, the proof, the whole point and that which you must remember.”

    So, my point here is “evidence”. Would this photo be admissible as “evidence” in a trial, proving that Earhart and Noonan were on a dock in Jaluit, on a certain date at a certain time, with the Koshu visible just behind them with the Electra strapped to a barge towed behind it? Can you just hear OJ’s Dream Team hacking away at this photo as “evidence” of the pair’s presence at a specific time in Jaluit? Testimony from other expert photo analysts: what proves the seated figure is a female; where is the bandage on his head; how do you contend these are Causasians given the image quality and bright sun shine directly into everyone’s sweaty, squinting, possibly oily-in-the-tropics faces; where is the proof of date and time; why do you claim everyone to the left in the image is staring at the 2 figures on the dock; if the pair was captured by the Japanese military (whom I recall as rather less than informal), where are the military guards? Then they have their experts demonstrate alternative semi-transparent overlays of face and bodies of other individuals throughout history, superimposed on both figures, “proving” that THEY were actually in that photo instead of Earhart and Noonan. (What fun! Just imagine!)

    “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

    No one, at least in the TV show itself, ever points out that this one photo is only one item submitted as evidence of the pair’s survival. Would you ever allow your attorneys to go to trial with only one item of evidence? An item with this quality and degree of conclusiveness?

    But they included eyewitness testimonies. First, if you watch enough TV cop shows, you know that witness testimony is largely discounted as less than reliable, especially given the passage of time beyond the event witnessed. Add to that the age of these witnesses. I’m not saying they are not telling exactly the truth in detail as they saw it in real time. However, thinking about it from the perspective of The Dream Team, how reliable is the accuracy of elderly memories as to details? Timing? (As a well educated friend of mine said after seeing this show, “people that old are apt to say they remember all kinds of things.”) if we already have their FRESH memories legitimately collected and on record from Goerner’s (and others’) research over 50 years ago, why trot them out in front of the camera on this show – to represent their reliability? At this point in time in their lives? Does this enhance their reliability, or not? And the other point – did they get paid to appear and tell their . . . “stories” . . . on camera? Does that enhance their reliability, or not?

    What The Dream Team will not ask is whether there is any other evidence – especially solid, documented, time stamped, reliable proof – to support the CLAIM – which, by the way is NOT that this photo is supposed to PROVE Earhart and Noonan survived any kind of landing on July 2, 1937, whether they ever were seen in Jaluit, on a dock or anywhere else, after that date. The Dream Team must only demonstrate that there remains “reasonable doubt” that this image proves the pair was captured on film, alive, on a dock in Jaluit after that date.

    “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

    To recap: the point of the show is that this one photo is of Earhart and Noonan in Jaluit on a dock with the Koshu in the background, towing the Electra behind it on a barge. Thus, Earhart and Noonan did not crash and die on 7-2-1937.

    Insufficient proof. Claim DENIED.

    THAT is the ENTIRE point: the “fact” remains that the pair may have indeed crashed and died on that date.

    BTW if you watch through to the bitter end of the presentation through the credits, at the very end, they list in the “Special Thanks” section, near the bottom left of the screen, the name “Mike Campbell”, followed by the title of his book, Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last.

    Ironic, no? Listing Mike and his research, his book, as support for their presentation? Sort of implies his view is at least along similar lines as theirs? And the appearance of Dick Spink and Les Kinney, along with their obvious commitment to support their own theories that the pair did land on Mili Atoll, never crashed and died – almost looks as if the producers intend to use all the actual evidence available related to the pair and the 7-2-1937 event to support their own claim – which I highlighted just above. So at least one implication is that Mike, Dick, Les, and all their combined research and evidence, also support that claim?

    And the claim was proven to be unsupportable.

    As for me, the show was performance art, something I don’t personally appreciate. I am a researcher, by training and temperament. This show was a roadside distraction along the rugged, steep, circuitous route towards yanking down that curtain of conspiracy shrouding the truth behind the miserable, contemptible demise of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan with full knowledge of the “powers that be” (FDR?) at the time.

    As it was before the show aired and remains now, the truth is out there and still needs to be pushed out into the bright daylight.

    I strongly recommend interested readers click on the link provided in the more recent Guardian article (cited by Mike in his posting here). Not for the article, but for the link to the online archive of the Japanese travelogue published prior to 1937. The photo in question is on page 99 of 117. Top right corner of that screen, if you do not already see at least some English translation, there is a dropdown box enabling a partial English view. I have two requests: if anyone can obtain a translation of the Japanese in the beginning of that book and near the very end, anything that might confirm publication date, the details about the photo itself (accessible on the left of the screen on p. 99), etc., please do so and inform us with more details about that book; and – just a niggling thought in the back of my overly cautious mind – could that entire “archived” book, as a collection of photos and Japanese annotations, have been created more recently, with this photo planted in it? I’m just sayin’ . . . I have watched a lot of the crime and spy genres. It’s not impossible. Even so, the photo itself is not proof for the claim.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’ve missed the point of the show. It was NOT the photo as the chief evidence. It was all the other docs and evidence with the photo as a prop or jumping off point. I rewatched it and I really see their point now! They threw a curve ball with the photo sensation and spent more minutes on the other evidence that Mike outlines than on the photo! Brillant, I say! Get it?


      1. See my response below. The fact that the new information is useful to you is good. It doesn’t change the purpose of the program in the big picture.


      2. wolfspecter13

        With respect, I do not at all think I missed the point of the show. The fact that they began every segment returning from commercial break with a restatement of what this picture [supposedly, in their dreams] represents and why all the rest of us ought to care strongly indicates that they saw that photo as the main point of 120 minutes of our time. If they wanted to present “other docs and evidence”, they certainly cherry picked a tiny morsel of all that is available, just based on Mike’s research included in his books. They basically wasted 10-15 minutes showing the witnesses from the Marshalls and Saipan – seeing them now and hearing them “recall” anything was minimally helpful to the case. If you go back with a stopwatch in hand and log the number of minutes they spend directly or indirectly showing and discussing that one photo vs. all other topics, you will see it clearly.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Can anyone explain why the History TV piece never mentioned Robert Wallack and his story of the briefcase that may have belonged to Amelia? You would think that this supports their theory. ?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Robert, your guess is as good as anyone’s. How any of the evidence in Mike’s book – with references in the bibliography- could be ignored still amazes me. I agree with you!


  5. Hi Mike I saw the picture Jaluit in the Guardian newspaper here in England a few days ago and they have followed up today with Blogger Puts Paid to Earhart Picture Claim by Justin McCurry Tokyo and Jamiles Lartey New York. The writers point to the debunking of the photo ‘Koto Yamano, military history blogger’ who found the same photo in the in the Japan’s national library.

    Koto Yamano is quoted as saying “I have never believed that Earhart was captured by the the Japanese military, so I decided to find out myself.”

    That’s a pretty mighty jump isn’t it to dismiss the evidence of Devine and Goerner?

    Since Plainsongs brilliant album In Search of Amelia Earhart I have been fascinated as many of us are by the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. I was unaware of your work until few days ago had read the Tihgar postings and kept an open mind.

    I found Truth At Last website and have subsequently ordered both your book and Eye Witness by Devine. It would seem to me without reading yours and Devine’s work that they represent a powerful case.

    Having watched a history programme here on Pearl Harbour about the American code breakers and the shambles of sharing information went all the way to the President. That programme suggested to me that the last thing the American’s would want was to blow their cover that they could read Japanese code as tensions increased before the Second World War.

    Somewhere I think there will be absolute proof that you, Fred Goerner and Devine are on the right track. What I don’t understand is why the American’s would want to keep those files if there any classified.

    As Sherlock Holmes once said something like “if you eliminate anything that may have happened, what you are left with is the truth.”

    Good luck I am looking forward to reading the books.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Can’t find anything new. Not a professional researcher. But the photo is labeled Showa 10 = 1935. Weren’t two Brits executed that year in the Marshall for allegedly spying?


  6. Mike for another *BRILLIANT BLOG/article, which keeps us on the straight & narrow path of the *TRUTH. Many were FOOLED by this photo and questioned


  7. Mike THANKS for another *BRILLIANT BLOG/article which keeps us on the straight & narrow path of the *TRUTH. Many were FOOLED by this photo and questioned Mike’s validity. This is what happens, when inexperience overshadows professional research.
    Let’s not jump to conclusions again and pay closer attention to a PRO!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike is right about the photo. The issue to me is that this generation has an unfounded disdain for eyewitness accounts, even by military heroes who had no dog in fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mr. Campbell, I finally found a decent digital copy of that dock photo shortly after the show aired. When zoomed in, the aircraft in question is clearly a single tailed craft and not in any way a split-tail like the Electra. I’m not sure if History was working with an inferior copy of the photograph, but the digital version I found is not ambiguous in any way. Personally, I think they probably had a decent copy, but ran with the story which was simply to get eyeballs on the show. On the internet, it’s called, clickbait. History knew they could profit from the mystery by launching a coordinated media blitz the week before airing the show. Clearly, it worked, but has now backfired on them because the photograph was so quickly debunked. Still, anyone with half a brain and access to any level of critical thinking could find a decent digital copy of the photograph and see the aircraft wasn’t an Electra.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on B'Man's Revolt and commented:
    Mike Campbell tears apart the Amelia Earhart propaganda piece recently aired on TV. If you want to understand this mystery, follow Mike’s blog and read his book.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Please see my reaction to the latest developments at http://dcdave.com/article5/170713.htm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect that the History show was timed so that it would run on the heels of the TIGHAR expedition that just finished up and returned home. I am in contact with someone that was on the expedition with the dogs, archeologists and Nat Geo folks.


      1. And they found…????? nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. TIGHAR??? Ric Gillespie’s WHOPPERS – talking eggs & singing bones? Ric has spun some YARNS over the years. A frog jumping contest on Nikumororo might generate some more $$$$$$$ and curiosity. Could somebody send Ric a cigar box, to hold his toad.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really like dogs (he had 4 Border Collies there – bet they hated the weather). I might like toads, if I had one – I like them when I see them out in the yard. Dave – you’re a PIP!!!! 🙂


  14. Elsewhere In this blog is the following quote:
    “REIMERS: Emidj was a very secret place, and even my local people had little access to this area. I was one of the few Marshallese allowed in because I delivered construction materials regularly. Jabor docks were built in 1936, and the seaplane ramps and docks for the naval base at Emidj were started about the same time…”

    The Web Site http://www.earhartonsaipan.com has posted a press release (supposedly from the RMI-Ministry of Foreign Affairs) stating the same – the dock in the photo was not built until 1936.

    So is it possible that this photo has NOT been debunked as claimed by the MSM?

    Just asking!?


    1. Well Fly (I will take the liberty of addressing you as such, considering the alternative) it seems the Japanese travelogue claim that the photo was contained in a 1935 edition is also bogus! I wanted to keep the Marshallese statement out of this blog for a while until the smoke settles, but since you ask, I’ll answer. The apparent fact that the Jabor, Jaluit dock was built in 1936 instead of 1935 changes nothing in the big picture. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan are still not in the photo, regardless. When I saw the photo last year after an enterprising reader drove to NARA from somewhere in Pennsylvania and located this turkey of a photo for himself and sent it to me, I smelled a big, stinking RAT. I’m no “forensic expert” like the frauds on the History Channel program, with their 97.9 percent probability BS, but I can walk down a hallway without bumping into the wall. I knew immediately that this photo was trouble, and low and behold, “with the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” (Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 1)

      The lesson here should be to listen to your own inner voice, and not the phony news shills in the media. You’ll do much better by keeping your eye on the ball. I cannot locate the Marshallese letter online, and still don’t know its original provenance. They don’t have much of a website, so who got it up here first, and why can’t anyone access it? That’s what I’d like to know.


  15. Reading an interesting book at the moment. The Rag Tag Fleet by Ian W Shaw (Hachette). It begins with the story of a few rich young adventurers who sail around the Pacific and their meeting with President Roosevelt on 20 November 1939 – at 11:30 to be precise. At that meeting, the boys were asked to “keep an eye out” for Japanese movements in the East Indies. It’s along story, but adds weight to the suggestion that Roosevelt was not beneath asking civilians to do some covert missions for the State Department in the immediate pre-war period.


  16. […] over his belief about the identity of the figure sitting on the dock in the Jaluit-ONI photo of History Channel infamy, as far as I can discern, we agree on virtually everything else of […]


  17. In any crime there has to be a motive. I am curious as to why there would be a continuing and vast conspiracy to hide the truth? If the truth of Churchill and Coventry could be divulged decades ago, then why not about AE? It would seem that the same calculus would apply as who would blame FDR for not revealing that we had been reading the Japs mail? Certainly given all the horrors of the war with Japan, how would this revelation have changed any ones opinion of the Japs? If anything, it would have just added to the existent sentiment to bomb the Japs back to the stone age.

    Looking at all of the other History channel specials and series that allege a found truth, their show would seem rooted in a common motive of ratings and greed rather than vast conspiracy. While it might have been the case in the 1960’s that news organizations would suppress a truth for some vague national security interest it seems much less likely today.


    1. Who do you suggest should step forward to officially spill the beans about this 81-year-old sacred cow? And where will the hard-copy proof be to back up his/her claims? See Truth at Last for the answers.


      1. You must be a big fan of the current deep state conspiracy theories. So there was a coverup in 1937? There was a coverup in 1945/6? And now there was a coverup in 2017 with the History Channel special? If the aircraft was destroyed in1946 and “they” destroyed USNI records from the 1930’s period, then why would there need to be an ongoing effort by the “establishment” to cover up something that 99%+ of the population has no memory of today? If the records of FDR’s alleged involvement had been purged, then why not announce that AEs plane was found in 1945 and that the Japanese killed her? It could have been written off as a case of bad navigation like AE landings in Ireland and Wales. Compared to all of the other Jap atrocities it would have barely registered as a blip to Americans? Even if you found bones today and DNA confirmed them as AEs it would simply be shrugged off as another atrocity committed by the Japs under Tojo. Good heavens, our government and people for the most part do not even care about a Saudi journalist butchered by a totalitarian regime in the present.


      2. You refuse to read the facts and engage in baseless speculation because the Earhart travesty does not fit your worldview. You have nothing to offer except your own uneducated doubts. You have not read Truth at Last, that is quite obvious, and so you bring nothing to this discussion but your own ignorance. You can’t even get your dates right and you completely mischaracterize what I wrote about the July 2017 History Channel Earhart special. Don’t come back unless and until you do some serious reading.


    2. Blake- As far as the MSM is concerned, sometimes it’s what they DON’T say that is troubling. Shortly after the HC airing, a Japanese blogger claimed the photo was taken in 1935 and the story was spewed out everywhere by the media; shortly after that, the Marshall Islands issued a release claiming the dock in the photo was not built until 1936, debunking the Japanese blogger’s statement. You may have heard about that if you have been on this site in the past; if not you probably don’t know about it as the media did not say word one about it. Silence speaks volumes.


  18. Last night, by chance, I noticed the History Channel was re-airing “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” (originally aired 7/9/18) so I watched. This was a revised/edited version with a total run time (including commercials) of 1 hr 47 min; it soon became evident where the other 13 minutes went, because there was no mention whatsoever about the infamous Jaluit “dock photo”.

    If you were new to the Earhart story and watched the program you would have learned: AE and FN went down on Mili Atoll in the Marshalls; they (and the Electra) were picked up by the Japanese and eventually taken to Saipan; they were imprisoned in Garapan where they both died (Amelia likely from dysentary) and were buried (and the remains dug up/removed by Henson and Burkes); the US Government was aware of the capture but did nothing for fear of exposing the breaking of Japanese codes; and the Government has been covering up the whole thing for over 80 years. The last sentence of the program calls Amelia and Fred the first casualties of World War Two.

    I don’t know if another shoe will drop in the next few days, but as the program stood last night it appears the Marshalls/Saipan truth was supported, as was the recent Travel Channel program.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom,

      Thanks so much for this big news. I didn’t even know it was on last night until my blog views began shooting up far beyond normal and cause me to suspect something was going on in the media. The first place I checked was the History Channel schedule and lo and behold the reason was staring me in the face. Views are up this morning as well, but not book sales as they were in July 2017.

      I don’t know who made the decision to cut the ONI photo segment. Maybe Les Kinney can tell us, but whoever did it, it was the right thing to do. Now that the photo and the phony claims about it are gone, the program makes a clear-cut case for the Truth, without the tremendous ambiguity and fishy smell that attended the first version of the program. It’s very good news for all of us who care about this matter, and a very long time coming. We can also hope that it leads to more developments, perhaps more support for the Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan, which has gone begging for a year in the face of near-unanimous resistance at the site of Amelia and Fred’s tragic deaths.


      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello all. I’m trying to find the edited version. Not listed on HC website and not in YouTube. Anyone have a good link? The producers were supposed to “investigate” the photo, so what’s their explanation? What does Les have to say now, after 2 years??


      1. Mike,

        All I know is that I was told that the History Channel deleted the entire ONI photo segment in a re-aired version of the program
        . This, in my opinion, completely changed the nature of the program in that it presented only valid, legit examples of Earhart witnesses and eyewitnesses, although these in themselves were presented in ways that could have been much improved. Still, to take out the big lie about the fliers in the photo was a great improvement, although nobody else in the media paid any attention at all to it, since support for the Marshalls-Saipan truth is not their agenda.

        Les has not changed his position, to my knowledge, and anything further should come from him. He knows he’s always welcome here.



      2. Mike/Mike

        I haven’t been able to locate it either; I checked the HC website shortly after it aired with no luck; I subscribed to History Vault and couldn’t find it there either. I emailed HC and specifically asked if Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence was available anywhere and they sent some generic reply about programming in general. I was hoping Les Kinney was going to comment after Mike mentioned him in his reply Feb 10th.



      3. I found the original on the RMI Historic Preservation Office Facebook page. I shared it to my page to watch it again. If anyone finds a link to the modified version, please post. I hate when the originals (or their mods) get deleted. I would love to hear from Les.


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