Susan Butler’s July 11 Earhart propaganda piece: Used snake oil from a shill without credibility

Now the New York Times and longtime establishment shill and Earhart biographer Susan Butler have joined the growing herd of media vermin in denouncing the truth about Amelia Earhart’s presence in the Marshall Islands and death on Saipan.  This was the scenario a few briefly pretended to advocate while selling bogus photo claims made by the History Channel and promoted by NBC News on July 5, setting off several days of media buzz over a photo later found to have existed in a Japanese travelogue two years earlier.

In a July 11 Times Op-Ed piece, Searching for Amelia Earhart,” Butler, who continues to disgrace her avowed  profession, again proves she has learned nothing since the publication of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, in which I spend 12 pages (306-318) figuratively taking this woman to the woodshed and exposing the falsehoods and misrepresentations she advanced in her 1997 biography East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart.  Few have been more transparently dishonest in their published opposition to the truth than Butler, whose intransigence in this matter, though disturbing, isn’t surprising.  In fact, it’s what we’ve come to expect.

Susan Butler, a leading apologist for the provably false establishment line that Amelia Earhart was never on Saipan, or anywhere else, for that matter.  Will shameless government shills like Butler, who want to keep Amelia and Fred Noonan in the safe confines of romantic myth, flying into the eternal ether, ever cease their advocacy for the phony Earhart “mystery”?

Butler knows that anything she writes about Earhart in the ultra-liberal Times will be published without any opposing voices, and so she reverts back to the same ridiculous assertions she made in her book. This theory has popped up from time to time over the years, Butler wrote. The idea was originally proposed and investigated by Fred Goerner, a CBS radio journalist, who headed several expeditions to the island of Saipan in the 1960s to track down the truth.  He was sure Earhart and Noonan had been captured by the Japanese and taken to Saipan.  He uncovered no concrete evidence to support his theory but remained convinced that he was right.

“No concrete evidence”?  Murderers are convicted and sent to their deaths on the smallest fraction of the evidence Goerner collected in just his first visit to Saipan, in the summer of 1960.  Dr. Manual Aldan, who was a dentist on Saipan in 1937, told Goerner the Japanese officers he treated told him the name of the American woman flier in their custody was “Earharto!”  Many other local Chamorros identified Earhart and Noonan from photo lineups Goerner presented them, and of course we have the well-known account of Josephine Blanco Akiyama, most recently seen in a brief interview presented in the History Channel special, as Josephine, alive and well at 91 in San Mateo, Calif., cast her pearls to swine and agreed to talk to interviewers whose only purpose was to use her as a tool in their disinformation drill. 

Butler’s hatred of Goerner’s findings and his groundbreaking Saipan investigations screams loudly in every word she writes.  Just as the producers of the History Channel Earhart special refused to credit anyone for the few new witness accounts they presented, Butler refuses to name Fred Goerner as the author of the 1966 bestseller, The Search for Amelia Earhart, which established the presence and death of the fliers on Saipan, but now comprises only about 10 percent of the knowledge we have that puts them in the Marshalls and  Saipan.

On July 1, 1960, local residents picked up their copies of the San Mateo Times, to see this headline: “Exclusive: Amelia Earhart Mystery Is Solved,” in 100-point capital letters, with the story, “Famed Aviatrix Died on Saipan,” by Linwood Day, stunning the relatively few Americans who learned of itThat headline is as true today as it was in 1960.

Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, circa 1942, the last of the Navy’s 5-star admirals. In late March 1965, a week before his meeting with General Wallace M. Greene Jr. at Marine Corps Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Nimitz called Goerner in San Francisco. “Now that you’re going to Washington, Fred, I want to tell you Earhart and her navigator did go down in the Marshalls and were picked up by the Japanese,” Goerner claimed Nimitz told him. 

Retired Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz told Goerner in 1965, “Now that you’re going to Washington, Fred, I want to tell you Earhart and her navigator did go down in the Marshalls and were picked up by the Japanese.”  Two other U.S. flag officers, Marine Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, 18th commandant of the Marine Corps, and Marine Gen. Graves Erskine, who was second in command of the V Amphibious Corps during the invasion of Saipan in the summer of 1944, told Goerner and two associates that Amelia Earhart died on Saipan.

Twenty-six former GIs, veterans of the Saipan campaign, told Thomas E. Devine, author of Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident (1987) their eyewitness accounts that revealed the presence of Earhart’s plane, Lockheed Electra NR 16020, which disappeared on July 2, 1937, as well as their knowledge of the presence and deaths of Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan.  The list goes on, and I won’t re-write the chapters of The Truth at Last that overflow with the accounts that expose Butler’s pathetic establishment talking points as the stinking smoke of mendacity.  “No concrete evidence”?

Readers of this blog and The Truth at Last are familiar with the mountains of evidence that reveal the truth, while the so-called crashed-and-sank and Nikumaroro “theories” are actually glorified lies that lack even the most rudimentary basics required of scientific theories.  It’s simply amazing to behold how the American people have been sold such a bill of bad goods for so long.  I’m certain, as well, that if the Earhart Electra were actually located beneath the tarmac at Saipan International Airport, or the excavated skeletons of Earhart and Noonan were presented for DNA analysis that confirmed their identities, our establishment media would suppress that information as fully as possible. 

“The claim was again thoroughly investigated in 1981 by the journalist Fukiko Aoki, who concluded it was baseless,” Butler drones on in her Times editorialShe interviewed a crew member of the Koshu Maru, one of two Japanese ships in the area where Earhart is thought to have crashed.  The ship had received orders to search for the plane but found nothing.  Aoki also read the ship’s log, which made no mention of Earhart.

This is the best Butler can offer, which is nothing at all, but the truth-hating Times was glad to help, as always, when called to serve the cause of the leftist establishment agenda on any issue.  In The Truth at Last, I showed that all of Butler’s claims, with the exception of the fact that Aoki was on record as rejecting the idea that Earhart was on Saipan, were provably false.  I interviewed Aoki by phone at her New York home in 2007, and she herself denied words that Butler had put in her mouth about Goerner suggesting scenarios to Saipanese who were only too eager to tell him what he wanted to hear.  Here’s what I wrote in The Truth at Last, page 311:

In a September 2007 phone interview, Aoki, who visited Goerner at his home in San Francisco in late June 1982, denied writing that Goerner suggested possible scenarios to native witnesses, and said she thought Butler may have misrepresented or possibly misunderstood what she told the biographer in a 1997 interview.  I would never say that about him, she told me from her New York home.  That’s terrible.  I can’t criticize Fred like that; I respected him.  He was a really nice person and a good friend of mine.” Aoki said Goerner’s death in 1994 “was kind of devastating,” but she confirmed that Butler had accurately reported her conclusion in Searching For Amelia that in her opinion, Earhart was never on Saipan.

Undated photo of Japanese journalist Fukiko Aoki, who told Fred Goerner she wanted to help him in his Earhart investigations in the early 1980s. As it turned out, Aoki was anything but helpful, at least from Goerner’s point of view.

I contacted Butler by email to ask her about Aoki and her ideas about Saipan.  All of this is chronicled in detail in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.  The fact that this book had been blacked out by all major media until this past week, when the Washington Post finally broke through with the Amy Wang and Cleve R. Wootson Jr., July 11 story, A ‘bogus photo,’ decades of obsession and the endless debate over Amelia Earhart, could not possibly have prevented Butler from knowing about the 12-page section I devoted to her phony claims. Euphemistically titled, “An Earhart Biographer’s Serial Misstatements,” I would wager that these pages were more than anyone had ever written about her work, in any format, and it is inconceivable that Butler did not know what The Truth at Last revealed about her so-called “research.”  But it meant nothing to her, because facts mean nothing to these enemies of the truth, whether it’s the Earhart case or any other focus of their lies.

Here’s how I conclude the lengthy section in The Truth at Last  that exposes and dismantles Butler’s propaganda, line by line:

Susan Butler, an American author of a major Earhart biography, echoes the Japanese government’s policies of deceit and denial, not only in the Earhart case but in its verifiably false claims about Saipan’s military posture several years before Pearl Harbor.  While Fukiko Aoki’s motivation in advancing such nonsense is easily discerned, Butler’s is harder to fathom, yet is sadly typical of the American establishment’s hostility to the truth about Japan’s dark history.  Whether Butler’s endorsement of Aoki’s findings was rooted in a conscious decision to mislead, simple historical naiveté, or abject incompetence is uncertain, but all are unacceptable in a popular biography of Amelia Earhart, and the result is the same: Readers are badly misinformed.  We can justifiably ask whether Susan Butler would have been as casual in advancing her baseless claims against Goerner, who died five years before East to the Dawn was published, if he’d been around to defend himself.

We’ve seen an inordinate level of media activity during the past 10 days, virtually all of it devoted to a phony story about a bogus photo, followed by the subsequent debunking of the false claims made about the photo. When the false claims about the photo were exposed, as planned, anything of value in “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” was contaminated.  The goal of the whole exercise was solely to further discredit the hated truth about the fate of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.

Nothing will be followed-up by an establishment still protecting the checkered legacy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose refusal to help Amelia when she was in Japanese captivity, if officially revealed, would even now be a catastrophe for Democrats who still revere FDR as the New Deal Savior of America.  Sadly and as always, too many Americans simply don’t care enough about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart to even question the false talking points offered by Butler and others who are always eager to lead them astray. 

Will shameless government shills like Butler, who want to keep Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan stashed away in the safe confines of romantic myth, flying into the eternal ether, ever cease their absurd advocacy for false solutions to the phony Earhart “mystery”?  Not a chance, unless the U.S. government itself finally decides that the time for “full disclosure” in the Earhart case has finally come.  Don’t hold your breath.

14 responses

  1. The New York Times still insists that the riots and subsequent attack on the American consul were the result of an anti-Muslim video so is it any surprise they refuse to face the facts here as well? When the mainstream media controls the narrative, (or think they do) this is what you get. Unfortunately, too many low information Americans refuse to believe the press would lie to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Disservice to the truth and The New York Times go hand in hand, at least as far back as when their reporter Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for writing lies about the famine inflicted upon the Ukraine by the policies of Joseph Stalin. See “The New York Times and Joseph Stalin” at

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bunch of idiotic things to say (in her article) – can she not read? Or does she only read things with her byline on them?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. William H. Trail | Reply

    Good grief! Does anyone really take anything printed in the New York Times seriously anymore?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Who could take either one of them SERIOUSLY????? They deliberately ignore the FACTS and spew DiSiNfOrMaTiOn. They have no integrity nor conscious let alone souls. What a JOKE these two have become!


    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      With apologies to William Shakespeare, The ladies (Ms. Butler and the NYT) doth protest too much, methinks.



  6. Since her article appeared on the opin/ed page, it would be good if Mike submitted a rebuttal article, since he is the current leading expert authority on all things AE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandy,

      In a better world, I would do that. But there’s not a snowball’s chance that the N.Y. Times is going to publish anything I write. A friend in upstate New York has sent them a 150-word rebuttal letter to Susan Butler’s absurd claims, but I would be shocked if they publish it. All standard of fairness, objectivity and ethics in journalism have gone down the drain in recent years, especially at the Times, and it’s even worse in the Earhart case, which I think I’ve pretty much proven is a sacred cow to our establishment. Nobody wants to hear the truth.


  7. hi you may have already read this short piece from Syracuse newspaper a balanced view amongst the tripe .. …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Walter. Joel Freedman is a friend who does his best to support the truth.


    2. You’re a neighbor – Wyoming County! Great letter – any response yet?


  8. Stuart R Brownstein | Reply

    Mike: This is Stuart in Connecticut ! Happy Amelia Mary’s birthday, my brother ! Been reading everything I can, goes without saying ! Read you 2nd edition, awesome ! You are great and I admire you ! Reading the blogs, also ! Be well ! And I know I don’t have to tell you this but keep up the great work ! Good health and happiness to your wife and furry children!
    Very Warmly, Stuart


    1. Thanks Stuart, so good to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words, but I’m just a poor soul trying to do an impossible job down here, with very little help. Friends like you are hard to come by, so come by more often!

      Best to you and your family,


  9. For those who are interested, this Japanese “journalist” is married to the ultra liberal Pete Hamill, an ex N.Y. Post Editor. She has 2 Earhart books listed on Amazon, both in Japanese. I’m looking for a translation somewhere. She also writes for Shinchosha Forsight ( as Tomiko Aoki and has liberal slanting articles.

    After reading Mike’s sections on Aoki, I clearly see that she has no real desire to spread the truth to her Japanese readers. Like Butler, she is another shill journalist.

    If anyone has her book translations, I would love to see them. Merry Christmas to all!


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