“Kwaj” newsletter presents new Earhart witnesses

In November 2006, Amelia Earhart Society member David Bowman told the online Yahoo! Earhart Group about a story he wrote for the Walpole, New Hampshire-based Mysteries Magazine, “The Psychic World of Amelia Earhart.”  In 2005, Bowman self-published Legerdemain: Deceit, Misdirection and Political Sleight of Hand in the Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, which would be published by Saga Books of Canada in 2007.  Informative and entertaining, Legerdemain includes several strange and obscure Earhart tales, demonstrating the extent to which the Earhart disappearance has been stigmatized by fantasists since its earliest days.

In researching “The Psychic World of Amelia Earhart,” Bowman made a fascinating discovery.  The Jan. 7, 2003 edition of The Kwajalein Hourglass, the weekly newsletter at the U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll, ran an article titled, “Did Amelia Earhart land on Kwajalein Atoll?” by Eugene “Gene” C. Sims, who was stationed there as a GI in 1945 and returned to work as a civilian from 1964 to ’71, and from 1983 to ’86.

Eugene “Gene” C. Sims, of Coos Bay, Ore., a veteran of three tours at the U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. Sims wrote a story for the Kwajalein Hourglass in January 2003 that updated Jane Toma’s remarkable 1993 article about previously unknown Marshallese eyewitnesses to the presence of Amelia Earhart on Kwajalein shortly after her disappearance on July 2, 1937.

Sims recalled his youth in Oakland, Calif., during the 1930s and how he grew to idolize Earhart after seeing her at the local airport.  When Fred Goerner’s book was published in 1966, Sims was working on Kwajalein, and was soon inspired to pursue his own Earhart investigation. I was surprised to hear them speak so openly about the white-skinned lady and man that came to Kwajalein in 1937, Sims wrote.  An unidentified Marshallese man told Sims that as a 12-year-old in 1937, “a large Japanese ship came into the harbor” and he saw “a white lady and man on the deck,” a rare sight in those times.  Sims wrote that because Goerner had been denied access to Kwajalein in the early 1960s, Goerner was never to learn [the] concrete proof that Amelia was on Kwajalein and Roi-Namur in 1937.  Sims continued:

Much of this proof was based on the testimony of a Jaluit woman named Mera Phillip.  She had been the cook and interpreter for an American lady captured by the Japanese and held prisoner on Roi in 1937.  The Mera Phillip story was further confirmed in 1993 by statements from John Tobeke, a Marshallese working on Roi.

Tobeke stated that when he was about 6 years old and living on Roi, he saw a white woman twice over a period of three months.  In addition to the testimony he gave to Neal Proctor, an instructor from the University of Maryland who was visiting Kwajalein, Tobeke was shown pictures of three different white women.  He successfully identified the picture of Amelia as the woman he had seen while a child on Roi in 1937.

Neither Mera Phillip nor John Tobeke had ever been mentioned in Earhart literature before they appeared in the pages of The Kwajalein Hourglass, where Jane Toma first reported the following accounts of Tobeke and Philip in 1993.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

By Jane Toma

It’s one of the great mysteries of the century.  What happened to Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan in the summer of 1937 when they disappeared in the Central Pacific?  Island folklore suggests Earhart was on Roi at one time.  (Bold emphasis mine throughout.)

Speculation about their disappearance has been the subject of countless articles, books and documentaries.  Some suggest that Earhart’s reputation as an exceptional pilot was due more to the efforts of her publicist husband George P. Putnam than her prowess as a pilot.  She simply ran out of fuel, they say, and crashed into the ocean.

Others implicate her as a spy in the Japanese mandated islands.  They argue that she and Noonan were captured and executed.

Some theories, which have gained national attention recently, place the duo in the Marshall Islands and suggest the following scenario: The twin-engine Lockheed Electra Earhart was flying, went down off Mili, where she and Noonan were captured.  The two were sent to Jaluit, Kwajalein and eventually to Saipan. where they were held prisoner and finally executed.

Stories about Earhart being in the Marshalls are not new to old timers on Roi, who have heard about an American man and woman, believed to be Noonan and Earhart, who were there before the war.

Kwajalein resident and World War II history buff Tom Rogers points to the structure some believe was Amelia Earhart’s prison on Roi, held prisoner and finally executed.  Some suggest that Earhart died from dysentery on Saipan.

Listed on historical guide

The Roi-Namur Kwajalein Atoll Historical Guide prepared by KREMS states underSite of Japanese Main Aircraft Hangar: “Under a pile of debris in one corner of this hangar, a Naval Intelligence commander came across a blue leatherette map case embossed in gold leaf with the letters A.E. The map case was empty, but it is believed to have belonged to Amelia Earhart.”

John Tobeke, a Johnson Controls World Services employee, recalls seeing an American woman twice when he was a child living on Roi.

It was about 1937, he says. and he was about 6 years old.  Tobeke says that a woman from Jaluit named Mera Phillip cooked and interpreted for the American lady.  Phillip had attended missionary school on Kusaie (now called Kosrae) and knew English.

She told some of the Marshallese people that the lady said she was captured by the Japanese and was on Mill and Jaluit before she came to Roi.  The Japanese wanted to know why she came and she told them she lost fuel. The lady told Mera that she was with a man, but they had been separated.  The American woman also confided to Mera that she thought she would be going to Saipan.

Tobeke adds that the woman lived on Roi for about three months, but the Japanese never talked about her.  They were very secretive and suspicious of the Marshallese people, he explains.

John Tobeke indicates Amelia Earhart as the person he saw in 1937 on Roi to University of Maryland instructor Neal Proctor.

University of Maryland instructor Neal Proctor visited Mili last summer to pursue some of the stories he had read about Earhart being there.  He heard several accounts about her from Marshallese residents on Mill.  Proctor also talked to Tobeke on Roi­ Namur and finds his recollections credible.

“John described her as a tall woman with short blonde hair, like mine, dressed in a Japanese uni­ form. He also picked her out of a photograph of three women.” Procter explains.

Grave on Saipan

Johnson Controls technical writer Bill Johnson says stories about Earhart being on Saipan were common when he lived there from 1963 until 1967.  When I lived on Saipan, a friend of mine, who was a retired Navy chief and married to a Saipanese woman, took me to a place in the jungle and said,Bill, that’s where Amelia Earhart is buried. ”

Johnson Controls World Service technical writer Bill Johnson says Amelia’s auntie wouldn’t talk about her.

I also knew Amelia’s aunt Kathryn Earhart. On one occasion, when I had lunch with her in Hawaii.  I asked her about the stories of Saipan, but she refused to talk, saying,the Navy closed the books on that years ago.’ ”

Kwajalein resident Margaret Smith heard stories about the famed aviatrix both on Saipan and in the Marshalls, where she worked and attended school.

There was a lot of talk about Earhart being held in jail and executed there,” Smith says.  “The media people came several times to investigate those stories.

In 1979, Smith was surprised to hear about Earhart on Jaluit.  “I was teaching social studies on Jaluit and talked to Lee Komiej, a Marshallese policeman during the Japanese administration, Smith  says. I wanted to know more about the different administrations (German, Japanese and American) and when the war started.

“Komiej said the first indication something was happening was when a woman was picked up on Mili.  Komiej said he overheard the Japanese talking about her and they suspected she was a spy.”  Smith said the Marshallese were also suspicious and thought it was very strange that a woman would be a pilot and wear trousers.  She added that the woman was light with short hair. “Komiej heard she had been picked up on Mili, and taken to Jaluit, which was the administrative center of the Marshall Islands during German and Japanese times.  She left Jaluit and went to Kwajalein.  The last Komiej heard was that she went to Saipan.”

Kwajalein resident Margaret Smith recalled stories about Amelia Earhart on Saipan and in the Marshalls.

The Marshall Islands Journal reported recently that an American news team was on Majuro working on an Earhart story which is scheduled to broadcast early in 1994.  Maybe it will shed some new light on the 53-year-old mystery.  (End of Kwajalein Hourglass article.)

John Tobeke’s statement to Neal Proctor that Mera Phillip told him that the “woman [Amelia Earhart] lived on Roi for about three monthscould not have been true, based on the vast witness testimony that has Earhart and Fred Noonan arriving on Saipan during the summer of 1937.  Tobeke was a child at the time Mera shared her very personal information with him, and he could easily have confused three months with three weeks, or even less.  Recall that Josephine Blanco Akiyama reported seeing the American lady flier, Amelia Earhart, at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan sometime in the summer of 1937.   She was never more specific than that regarding the date of her initial sighting. 

Tobeke’s story is another that links to former Marine W.B. Jackson’s account as told to Fred Goerner about three Marines who discovered a suitcase with women’s clothing and an engraved diary in a room they described as “fitted up for a woman” on Roi-Namur in February 1944.  Was this the same room where Mera Phillip served the captured American flier her non-Japanese meals?

The foregoing has become an increasingly rare phenomenon in recent years — real journalism in the Earhart case, without the lies and political agendas meant only to confuse and misdirect — and found, most surprisingly, in a U.S. government-affiliated newspaper.  Obviously nobody at the Kwajalein Hourglass thought it was necessary to get these stories approved by their superiors in Washington before they published them in the small newsletter that serves the local U.S. Army community on Kwajalein.

If media organizations such as the former History Channel, now known simply as History, Fox News, CNN, the Associated Press and the rest of the lying establishment shills were serious about informing the world about the facts in the Earhart disappearance, instead of pushing fake news about phony photos and ridiculous myths about giant crabs eating the lost fliers, we might have more stories like the gems Jane Toma and Eugene Sims gifted to us.  Unfortunately, articles that reveal previously unknown eyewitnesses in the Marshall Islands are extremely rare, so don’t expect to see more like this anytime soon.

50 responses

  1. Just goes to prove that when little pieces of information like this come out after all these years, they are based on facts, not made up stories. The dots are connecting there is no doubt.


  2. Great addition to your blog, Mike. Do you know anything about the broadcast mentioned (“scheduled to broadcast early in 1994”) in the 1993 article? And, the map brief found in the debris pile – do you think this is the one “discovered” in a safe by the military personnel? The article says a “Naval intelligence officer” found it – guess we know where that went. Happy Thanksgiving, Mike, and the same to all your fans here at the Earhart blog! Stay safe!


    1. Thanks LBR, I see you’re shuffling ID’s this week. I won’t tell! Re your question, nothing comes to mind regarding a 1994 production about anything found on Kwajalein. It may have been suppressed.

      Re your reference to Jane Toma’s statement, “Under a pile of debris in one corner of this hangar, a Naval Intelligence commander came across a blue leatherette map case embossed in gold leaf with the letters A.E. The map case was empty, but it is believed to have belonged to Amelia Earhart,” NO, this was not the diary found on Saipan by Robert E. Wallack sometime in the summer of 1944, which is well chronicled in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last and in this blog. This “leatherette map case… with AE embossed in gold leaf” is discussed in the Aug. 28, 2015 post, Burris’ account among many to put Earhart on Kwaj, please see https://earharttruth.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/burris-account-among-many-to-put-earhart-on-kwaj.


      Liked by 2 people

  3. Just one more verification that Earhart and Noonan landed on Mili Atoll and were taken captive by the Japanese. Stunning how many witnesses have been uncovered and how much corroboration from those eyewitnesses, who could not know each other in order to validate their testimony.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike,

    As an example of those “stories of giant crabs” you mentioned at the end of your latest blog post, I’ve included this URL to a regurgitated story I found recently in the New York Post.


    All best,



  5. Mike shares another *nugget of TRUTH to his readers and this time; a woman from Jaluit who cooked for Amelia. As we can clearly see, Amelia wasn’t stranded on Nikumororo fighting off KILLER crabs, dying of thirst nor cracking coconuts; as Ric Gillespie would have everyone believe.
    Not ABC, NBC or CBS has enough integrity to point these *TRUTHS out , to the American public. I mean, isn’t this what they PRIDE themselves on? The TRUTH, the FACTS, in the field reporting, like nobody else can! HELLO ??? Where are they ? ? ?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. diane in northern wis | Reply

    Thank you for this excellent update Mike. So interesting! So many credible witnesses have come forward, and yet some people prefer to believe the 3-foot crabs story???

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, Mike – if I had even a quarter for every email and Facebook post I have had from friends and acquaintances since that STUPID crabs-ate-Amelia headline came out – I could fund a summer expedition for you to the Marshalls, etc.!!!!!!! First class! GRrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BTW I would say that this is one issue you and Ric may agree on . . but, alas, in a recent posting at TIGHAR he is touting a skype conference call between himself and the “biologist” referenced in the article supporting the “crabs-ate-her!” theory.

    Oh – wait a minute – it’s the holidays – people are imbibing more than usual. Yeah! That’s it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If permitted, I’d like to regress to Mike’s last blog, on the Kennedy Assassination repression of the truth. Mike made a comment to the effect that Lee Harvey Oswald’s
    killing shot was the most amazing rifle shot in all of history. That idea bumped around in my head for a few weeks until I came to this conclusion: Oswald’s fatal shot came from behind Kennedy, went over his head by about one foot, then about 40 feet later, came to a full stop, mid-air. Then it spun around, 180 degrees, and headed back towards Kennedy,
    while accelerating back to full bullet speed, and then hit Kennedy in the head, which flew radically back towards the rear of the car as we all saw in the Zapruder Film. Good call, Mike, a “U – turn” shot, probably the only one ever done in all of history. Rob Ellos

    Liked by 2 people

  9. For those who want facts about the JFK assassination, read Bonar Menninger’s book “Mortal Error.” Within minutes of the arrival of JFK’s limo at Parkland Hospital, a Secret Service agent was photographed removing blood spatter from the limo with a bucket and sponge. No law enforcement officer ever removes blood evidence from a crime scene. But in this case the Secret Service was attempting cover up a tragic accident. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQLx02Sv9DI

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Eyewitness accounts are good except in this case, someone’s recollection has to be wrong.
    Mike, as you wrote recently, another account has a white man and woman arriving at
    Kwajelain by plane.
    So, Earhart and Noonan arrived at Kwaj by plane or by the Koshu. Which is it?
    I say by seaplane.

    Les Kinney

    Liked by 2 people

    1. None of the witnesses presented in the Toma or Sims’ stories said Earhart was taken to Kwajalein by ship. In Sims’ 2003 story for The Kwajalein Hourglass, he indirectly quotes an unidentified Marshallese “friend” telling Sims, date unknown, that he recalled “a large Japanese ship came into the harbor and he saw a white lady and man on the deck,” Sims wrote. “Now, a white woman was a real rarity in that part of the world in 1937, so the event made a lasting impression on the young boy’s mind.”

      If this unnamed witness actually saw Amelia Earhart aboard that Japanese ship, it does not mean that the ship had picked her up at Jaluit and was only just arriving at Kwajalein. Several other possible scenarios could explain the fliers’ presence aboard the ship.

      See pages 150-151 of Truth at Last for an account that supports the idea that the filers arrived in the Kwajalein area via seaplane. It seems most probable and logical.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. NR16020 would have been been slung from the aft derrick of Koshu when it arrived at Roi-Namur. One would expect anyone who had seen that would have thought it at least as remarkable as two white people on deck.


  11. I had a little trouble myself figuring out if she came by boat or plane to Roi-Namur, it just isn’t clear, But CDA reminded me of an issue that I asked about before on this blog. That is, why is the ship Koshu in the famous picture a different ship than the one on the stamp with the plane on the deck? It certainly looks that way to me. Les Kinney says that is the KOshu in Jaluit Harbor. I believe there were several Koshus or Koshu Marus, maybe there was 2 at the same time in 1937 which might explain the confusion or at least my confusion. I understand that this is a very minor point in the greater story but I was hoping somebody could answer this.


    1. David,

      I’ve seen no evidence that more than one Japanese survey ship named Koshu existed at the time of the Earhart disappearance. The claim that the ship in the controversial photo is the Koshu seems just about the only legitimate assertion in the whole Jaluit-ONI photo controversy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. David–
      The artist for the Marshall Islands postage stamps apparently used the WWI period photo of the German-built ship which later became the IJN survey ship Koshu as the model for the stamp art. That’s why there are detail differences in the ship configuration compared to the Jabor Harbor photo. Since the stamp art was based on eyewitness accounts there was understandably some artistic license involved. The other Japanese ship which has been confused with the survey ship Koshu is the Koshu Maru which entered service in 1937 and later became one of the infamous Japanese “hell ships” during WWII.


      1. You are correct; however, I have found no evidence the visual art work for the stamp was based upon eye witness accounts. It more than likely came from a photograph or a previously completed watercolor of the Koshu. The ship was originally launched from a German shipyard in 1905. I have been told the artist for the stamp is still alive. The idea for the stamp came from the accounts told in Vincent Loomis’s book. There were at least three Japanese ships named “Koshu and possibly more.


      2. When Bilimon Amaron stated that he saw the aircraft on the afterdeck of Koshu at Jabor he might not have seen that it was actually suspended from the derrick and lashed to the main deck on the port side.

        Sounds like contacting the artist is an avenue for investigation.


  12. Those giant crabs on Nikumaroro were really after Amelia’s freckle cream, they even broke the jar to get at it. That clears up a lot of mysteries.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I agree with Mike & Les’s observations that Amelia & Fred came to Kwajalein by seaplane and the Stamp, Artist’s rendition of the Koshu, is off. We can also see, the Artist forgot to color in the red trim of the wings, front edges and left out the RDF /radio direction finder.


  14. I was surprised that anyone here addressed the point I was trying to make about the possibility of more than one Koshu. Why I am making an issue of this I’m not too sure. Maybe to show how clever I am just to make these distinctions or maybe to call into question some of the scenarios that are accepted by us fans of MC. When the TV program was aired I did some research on my computer which anyone can easily do. I found that the Koshu was built in 1909 in Japan under a different name at launch and 2 years later was named the Koshu.

    From the pictures I saw, that is the Koshu on the stamp. Later I learned that there was another Koshu which was a German ship originally sent to Japan for war reparations. That would be the Koshu shown in the famous picture on the TV program. I think I learned that both were sunk before the end of the war. The two Koshus in my view are definitely two different ships they don’t look alike at all to my untrained eye. So it calls into question the validity of the stamp issue scenes if the artist used the wrong Koshu, what else is wrong with the scenes he portrays? Or possibly it calls into question the accuracy of the identification of the ship in the Jaluit harbor as the Koshu. I don’t know the details of Les Kinney’s conclusion that the ship is the Koshu. Or either Koshu. However all this quibbling by me doesn’t call into question the general conclusion that she landed in the Marshalls and was captured by the Japanese.

    On another subject, last night Google treated me on my phone to a story that claimed Mannie? Sablan had an uncle who was a guard at a JAp prison on Saipan who saw in “the mid 30s” a white man and woman brought into the prison with great commotion. Then the story goes they were killed a few days later. Also in the story was someone who claimed that a girl in Kentucky or maybe they meant Florida who heard Amelia’s distress call on her short wave radio. It was very odd to see these stories on the same Google feed that also presents the “eaten by giant crabs” hypothesis. The story seems to conclude that Earhart’s capture was covered up by the authorities, but the author asks, “Why?” The same as I ask whenever I think about this story.

    More and more I learn details about WW2 that suggest motives by wealthy Americans and Europeans to install Hitler, to maneuver Japan into war which even Japanese did not think they would win, so was the Earhart flight just another provocation? Or part of an elaborate plot? I doubt very much that her flight was merely a publicity stunt by a popular dame, there was much more to it than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The ship in the Jaluit picture was scuttled in a Chinese harbor. It was later raised by the Japanese, refitted, and renamed the Koshu. ONI identifies it as the Koshu.
    Please remember these ships often went through various refittings. It would have not been unusual for a new boom, or mast, or something else to have been added or removed over the years while the ship was in service.

    Les Kinney

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Last night I reluctantly did a Google search to revisit the references to the 1909 Koshu and perhaps to see something about the WW1 German reparations ship that supposedly became the survey ship that picked up Amelia and Fred. I was hoping to clarify my previous posts about 2 Koshus. After the TV special both Mike and I apparently found the same references online about the 1909 built Koshu which had fotos and lots of info.

    To my surprise any mention of the Koshu does not exist online. Not on Google, not on Bing, nowhere. It has obviously been removed. There are a few pictures of the Koshu same as the stamp. I don’t remember where it was said that the rescue ship was a German ship. It’s hard to tell if the famous picture is the same as the stamp picture. I don’t know in what context the ONI identified it as the Koshu, did Les just ask them? But the fact that online references to Koshu have apparently all been removed indicates to me some kind of chicanery. Does Japanese government have the power to request or order Google and Bing to take all this info away? What’s going on?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David,
      I did a search using “Japanese survey ship Koshu” on google and found plenty of results. Try it and see what you get.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. David –

    There are lots of mistakes in the stamp drawings/artwork. There are no windows on the side of the plane’s body, two to be precise. The navigation nose window is all wrong. The rendering of the Koshu may be off a bit also.

    I was very observant to your remarks of there being two Koshu’s. I just don’t know enough about this ship? Les tells us the ship was scuttled and later raised. (*very interesting).

    As I am learning more, the Japanese were very secretive, cruel, inhumane and tortured for the slightest offensives. No different than North Korea’s WaRpEd mindset of today, as we all can see. I now understand, why so many of these witnesses to Amelia & Fred’s capture stayed quiet, for as long as they did; played dumb and refused to talk.

    Thanks to Mike’s websight, more of these questions are now being answered.

    Thanks you guys, for all your input & observations.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doug,

      My fingers are getting sore from typing to find more info, which I readily found right after the History Channel program. On Yahoo I did find this: The Daiun Maru was built in 1911 by Kawasaki as a cargo vessel and was renamed Koshu Maru when it was sold in 1913 to Osaka Merchant Ship Co. This is almost certainly the ship on the stamp they look exactly the same. I maintain the ship in the Kinney foto is not the same ship and it is supposedly the refitted German reparation ship which it was said to be all along. It is possible the ship in the picture was named only “Koshu” The Koshu in the picture may not have been capable of hoisting an Electra on her deck so therefore it is towing it on a barge. Was it Bilimon Amaron who saw a plane hoisted onto the deck of a ship? What was he seeing, maybe a seaplane hoisted up and not necessarily the Electra? All I am trying to do is point out a discrepancy I think I have found. A distinction which means nothing, really. The Koshu Maru was sunk March 21, 1945 and possibly was used as a cargo ship the whole war maybe nowhere near the Marshalls.

      So AE most certainly did visit Kodak in Rochester and most certainly did have the latest aerial cameras on board. When she was forced down at Mili Atoll A & F most likely tried to bury the Truk fotos in the sand, but somehow they were found out. It took the Japs a few days to learn of these fotos but when they did, their triumphant rescue of the flyers took on a whole new meaning. The famous dock photo was probably taken when they were celebrities not prisoners and were free to wander around Jaluit and sit on the new dock for a picture.

      I still believe the reason the second flight reversed direction was to make the TRuk flyover possible and they took off from Lae to make this plausible. It would have made much more sense to use the Rabaul airport as it was 400 miles or so closer to Howland. My amateur research and discussion with David Billings lead me to believe they could have used Rabaul. Of course this is all speculation but it does propose a scenario which if I am right would contradict the portrayal of USA as the innocent victim of sneaky Japanese aggression. No wonder it is hushed up.



  18. David –

    Great detective work on the Daiun Maru 1911 and Les’s ship a refitted German reparation.

    I do think Bilimon Amaron saw the Electra. I wonder if Amelia & Fred did indeed bury some photo’s & a camera?

    The Dock photo? I think whoever took this photo, was more interested in the *SHIP and not the people, whoever they are or were? If there are any photos of Amelia & Fred on the Marshall Islands, Jaluit or Kwajalein; we know our government, will never allow anyone to see.



    1. Doug,

      I was rereading the Jim Golden post from a few months ago and he clearly claimed that AE was on a reconnaissance mission as if it was general knowledge to knowledgeable people. He thought she was possibly forced down. Maybe her plan was to overfly Truk and The Marshalls and get away with it and even still land at Howland or maybe she was to ditch the plane and get rescued. Whatever the plan was, it was clear she avoided giving away her position by talking too much. I don’t think she planned to crash in the Marshalls because obviously she had those spy cameras and getting rid of the film and equipment would be problematic big time. I still believe there were two Koshus and there was some confusion which one was rescuing AE. I think it was the repatriated German ship which probably the one that appears in the photo.

      The cargo ship Koshu was probably in Japan at the time as Ric Gillespie has claimed. I wish Les Kinney would elaborate on identifying the ship and how the Navy conformed his identification. So what did the US Navy actually say about the picture? Does the ONI have any opinion? I don’t happen to think that the picture was a setup in order to shoot down the Japanese Capture theory. I think it was unexpected that someone in JApan would claim he found the picture in an old book, Obviously the Japanese government had to come up with something to discredit the picture and they did. But now on Google stories about some Amaron’s uncle being a guard at the prison where she was taken have appeared and are not shot down. So the picture just remains “controversial” to anyone taking an interest in the AE story.


      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dave

    I still feel, whoever took this Jaluit dock photo was more interested in a broader sense of things. The individual must have been standing, near the cemented edge, of this walk out platform. If I was photographing a *famous person, I certainly would be closer to them and not so far away. What I’m not sold on, is the individual who’s back is to the camera/photographer. The sleeve lengths are all the same on these men, as are the white shirts they are wearing. I’ve yet to see Fred Noonan dressed out in white. Amelia & Fred had a little more style & color than these individuals in this photograph.
    This photographer seems more interested in the [ cluster of ships & boats ] as a whole.

    We all can surmise that Amelia & Fred were asked to gather information, for intelligence purposes. The Japanese figured that out immediately and began their humiliating & torturous practice upon them. FDR was not about to let the cat out of this bag, embarrass himself and confess to the Japanese, his wrong doings. He devised a way, to mislead the American Public, into believing Amelia & Fred were simply lost at sea. Does our government owe us, an explanation for this charade? YES I would hope, the present day descendants of FDR, would set the record straight.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doug don’t forget the possibility that they knew what was going on with Amelia and Fred because they had cracked the Japanese code but then they had to feign complete ignorance of her situation to make sure the Japanese didn’t suspect the US has broken their code. That was always one of the possibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. For those who have never seen the 1990 Unsolved Mysteries TV program that featured the search for Amelia Earhart, and interviewed Fred Goerner, Tom Devine, Robert E. Wallach and Buddy Brennan. It is currently available on YouTube. You have to search under “Saipan Amelia Earhart” and it will come up….. It is well worth watching!


  21. Gene C- thanks or the tip on the Unsolved Mysteries special- I missed it the first time but will check it out.


  22. Doug Mills says: ” I’ve yet to see Fred Noonan dressed out in white. Amelia & Fred had a little more style & color than these individuals in this photograph.”

    Doug, your point is well taken. There is a photo of Noonan during the world flight wearing light colored pants. There is a photo of Earhart during the world flight wearing a light colored mid sleeve shirt or/blouse. According to the Koshu logs, the ship was indeed at Jaluit from the evening of July 12 to July 19, 1937. According to the logs it was sent to Jaluit on a “special mission.”

    Les Kinney


  23. I am enjoying these comments so much! This is a wonderful blog & site! Thanks Mike! Ok, I know I’ll get clobbered for saying this, but it would not surprise me to find out the picture is authentic. It’s already been proven it was NOT copyrighted 1935, but was taken AFTER that date. Why CANT it be authentic? I guess if I knew that, I could let it go, & say “ok, it’s fake” or “that’s not AE & FN.”
    I just haven’t seen or heard proof that is ISNT real; not so far that is.
    I hope it gets proven to be REAL! Then maybe ppl will BELIEVE the truth which is so clearly outlined in Mike’s book!
    Oh yes, one more thing. There was a guy on some YouTube vid saying he knows the location of the “pit” the Electra was shoved into & can maybe identify it with some kind of scan/x-Ray…… I hope so. I hope so badly the truth comes to light.


    1. Gene,
      Nobody is saying the photo isn’t real, only that the fliers are not in it. Even if they were in it, which is impossible to prove, our eyes tell us otherwise. Your enthusiasm is appreciated, but in this case is misplaced. The fact that the media, across the board, has rejected the photo as depicting the flyers, tells us all we need to know about the entire History Channel disinformation operation, as I have been trying to explain. Some get it, some don’t, but that’s their purpose — to confuse and mislead the public.


  24. Then again, Mike you have never clearly answered my question which I previously posed to you. Who ae those two Caucasians in this picture taken at Jaluit? And, why would they be there while the Koshu is anchored behind them? And why would the picture end up in ONI files? Try not to dance around the question in your response.

    By the way, the Marshallese woman in the right center of the picture has been positively identified by a granddaughter, and several other elders in the Marshall Islands, as being the common law wife of the doctor at Jaluit. Quite a coincidence don’t you think? Especially when you consider Bilimon Amaron account.


    1. Nobody’s dancing but you, Les, and you’re doing a Mongolian jig trying to convince the uninformed and gullible that you have something of value, when all you have is a load of BS that even our corrupt and dishonest media can’t make fly. You never directly posed the question to me, but I’ve answered it every possible way I can already, in my many posts about this entire tawdry mess that you, the History Channel and others have created.

      We can’t possibly know who these Caucasians are, or even if the person sitting on the dock is Caucasian, though he/she may well be, but even the gender of this person on the dock is not clear. Yet you want us to buy the snake oil you’re selling, that it’s Amelia Earhart.

      So what if the Koshu is in the harbor? The Koshu was in Jaluit Harbor more than once, I think even you would have agree to that.

      So what if you found the photo in ONI files? They were UNCLASSIFIED files, or you wouldn’t have found it to begin with. And it could be there for just about any reason under the sun. Are you going to tell us that UNCLASSIFIED ONI files contain only top-secret, Earhart-related information and photos? You also have never indicated when the photo was taken because there’s no way to know definitively. You make many assumptions yet the people you claim to be Earhart and Noonan cannot possibly be identified based on their facial characterizes by anyone except a bought-and-paid for “expert” put on by the History Channel for the very purpose of discrediting the entire production.

      “The doctor at Jaluit”? So what? What does this “doctor” or his wife have to do with anything in the Earhart case? He wasn’t called out to the Koshu, Bilimon was called out to aid Noonan. None of your argument holds a drop of water, yet it appears you actually believe what you write and say. You’ll never regain the credibility you’ve lost — with me at least — with false assumptions and nonsensical arguments. I suggest you find a new photo, one that actually depicts Amelia Earhart.



  25. This back and forth between Les and Mike is getting comical. Until and unless there are more photos with dates and proof of who took them, this part of the puzzle will not be resolved. I would think that Les, with all his expert NARA search skills, could have come up with more than one ONI photo. Are you holding back Les?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. So, two Caucasians on the dock at Jaluit before the war with the Koshu in the background doesn’t strike you as unusual? How many Caucasians in western garb would have been at Jaluit before the war?
    For your information, Bilimon was accompanied by a Japanese doctor. Or have you forgotten that? The ONI picture is clearly labeled “Jaluit”. I suppose you are going to say, ONI deliberately mis-described the picture. And of course, the fact the Koshu was Jaluit from July 12 -19, 1937 means nothing to you.
    Nice try, Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No Les, you’ve tried this before, and you failed that time as well. At some point before the war it was common for westerners to be seen at Jaluit and elsewhere in the Marshalls, as commerce was carried on there before the Japanese made it more difficult. I don’t know exactly when that happened and it matters not, because you don’t know when the photo was taken, or if you do, it doesn’t fit your narrative so you’re withholding that information. I also completely reject your statement that in 1937 the Heine family were the only westerners on Jaluit. Such a statement requires serious proof, and I haven’t seen any from you or anyone else. Even if it were true, it’s irrelevant as well, because, again, you can’t prove when the photo was taken!

      We know that Koshu was at Jaluit during the July 1937 timeframe because of the work done by Vincent V. Loomis and later, Fukiko Aoki, who both saw the Koshu logs and attested to their contents, about the only honest thing Aoki did in her so-called Earhart research. Why do you say it means nothing to me? It’s on p. 150 of Truth at Last.

      Your dates about Koshu‘s whereabouts from July 12-19, 1937 appear to be wrong. On page 150 of Truth at Last, Loomis states that Koshu arrived at Jaluit on July 13, and “the next day the ship steamed out of Jaluit for Mili Mili, where it picked up both the Electra and its crew.” Therefore Koshu was not at Jaluit from July 12-19.

      Moreover, a former crewmember of the Kamoi, Jyuichi Hirabayshi, who served aboard Kamoi from early 1936 through July 10, 1937, furnished Loomis with logs of the Kamoi during that period. He also told Loomis that he “remembered the Kamoi having two ship’s doctors, while the Koshu had none.” Thus Loomis concluded that it “was clear why Bilimon . . . had been called aboard to treat Noonan.” Cite your source that says Bilimon was accompanied by a doctor, because I don’t recall ever seeing that stated anywhere before. I could have missed it, but even if I did, what does that prove about the photo and the claim that Earhart and Noonan are in it?

      According to Loomis (I do not have the logs of the Koshu, do you?), Koshu departed Jaluit on July 19, but he could not determine exactly when Koshu returned from Mili to Jaluit, estimating it was after several days. This is all minutiae relative to the question of whether the fliers are in the photo, which should not be in question at all, and certainly is not to me.

      We know the photo is labeled “Jaluit.” Who has denied that?

      Again, you seek to convince the unwary and gullible that because the fliers should have been in the photo, based on several of your false statements and assumptions, that they are in the photo. And again, I point out the absurdity in your arguments. Photographic evidence is acceptable when it is probative and veridical in itself, i.e. easily identifiable to the layman, NOT when someone with an agenda says it is something that he wants it to be, oh so badly.

      Some ask me why I’ve been so vocal against something that seems to support what I’ve worked so hard over all these years to help establish, i.e. Earhart and Noonan were at Mili, then Jaluit, were taken to Kwajalein and later to Saipan. Far too many don’t understand my reply, that you can’t advance the truth with a lie. It’s quite as simple as that.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Regarding Bilimon’s reference to the doctor at Jaluit, I did forget that detail, mainly because it’s so insignificant to the issue at hand, and the doctor plays no real role at all in Bilimon’s account, except that he mentions his presence in passing. But you’re now connecting said doctor to the woman on the dock in the photo who you now say is the common law wife of this doctor. This is interesting, but it changes nothing else about the photo at all. You’re again trying to draw indirect connections to Earhart because the figure in the photo cannot be identified as anyone, and could be absolutely anyone at all.


  27. “At some point before the war it was common for westerners to be seen at Jaluit and elsewhere in the Marshalls, as commerce was carried on there before the Japanese made it more difficult.” Which is it, Mike, you’re dancing.

    Yes I do have the Koshu logs – Loomis never did and Aoki later said the Koshu never was at Jaluit. She is wrong.

    What does the Kamoi have to do with anything? It wasn’t at Jaluit during this time frame.

    Bilimon said that when he saw the two white people, it was new to him. He hadn’t seen westerners before. (Obviously he had seen Heine many times)

    The doctor is significant as it relates to the picture. Salome was the common law wife of Dr. Isao Ishoda. Don’t you find it curious why she would be on the dock?


    1. Why do you keep insisting that I’m “dancing,” Les? You are the one making the ridiculous claims and dancing like a blind man in need of guide dog, and you continue to make no sense in your replies.

      Loomis went to Japan and reported that he saw the logs of the Kamoi and Koshu, see pages 149-150 of Truth at Last. How can you then say he never had the logs? The Kamoi was the subject of Japanese lies about her movements, and Loomis discovered those lies and reported them in his book, just as he reported the movements of Koshu.

      How and why does the “common law wife” of the doctor at Jaluit figure in this photo at all? Are you trying to tell us that the doctor told her to come there to see Amelia Earhart, the famed American flyer, who was sitting on the dock? If so, why is she then ignoring the figure who you say is Amelia on the dock? Can you get any murkier in these absurd statements? Is this what happens when someone becomes married to a falsehood, and refuses to let it go?

      Your insistence on defying common sense is becoming your albatross. I don’t care how many History Channel programs endorse this photo; it will never be accepted by sane and honest people as depicting Amelia Earhart or Fred Noonan.

      I know you won’t stop shooting, but you have nothing in your quiver.



    2. C campaign is being bungled. Will history channel do another show on this? | Reply

      If that is the Japanese doctors wife in the picture with the Koshu in the background then it demonstrates almost conclusively that the picture is not from a Palau book of 1935. That the Japanese debunker is a phony. Why doesn’t the Guardian newspaper publish this latest info? Are they being told not to? Send like this whole disinformation


      1. They were trying to say it was copyrighted BEFORE Amelia E. & Fred N. were missing. It has been CONCLUSIVELY proven it was NOT copyrighted in 1935. In fact, the date stamp is JUST THAT, a “stamp” done with one of those rubber stamps where u can turn the dial to whatever date you want/need/wish. As I have already commented, I would just LOVE IT, if it were to turn out CONCLUSIVELY to be AE/FN (I can’t imagine HOW that could ever be, unless as time marches on, there comes some sort of technology that makes that possible), but I COMPLETELY understand Mike’s point that we don’t need to start making assumptions & promoting something as being concrete proof, unless we can PROVE it’s in fact, “concrete” b/c IF we do that, & later it’s proven to be incorrect, that undermines all the efforts of REAL proof other researchers have worked so hard to find.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. C campaign is being bungled. Will history channel do another show on this?

        Just some speculation as I sit at airport gate waiting for my flight. I believe once they flew over Truk Keith no problem they got the go-ahead to do the Marshalls. The US knew the aircraft carrier was not there (the Akagi?) And there would be only seaplanes which could do nothing to her plane. But unfortunately there were some fighter planes there. They forced her down. She was caught red handed. They had a short time to send out radio messages. In them was code words she had been caught. The US also listened to the Japanese messages. It was of utmost importance the Japs didn’t know we had their code. So her messages were dismissed as false and a great big fake search was mounted to convince the Japs we knew nothing.

        In the meantime the Japs had to investigate her plane find the film’s and develop them, perhaps AE had a way to ruin them but the Japs caught on eventually. At first they were only under suspicion and we’re not closely guarded. So they were free to visit Jaluit and AE gave her brownie camera to someone to photograph them. This was the camera that was supposedly found on Saipan and now lost or do I have that story wrong? That’s where the ONI got the foto on the dock. Does Less have any idea when the foto got in the national archives? Must have been in 1944. So I have just wrapped up the whole mystery for you.


      3. Quite a plot for a new Earhart fantasy to add to the hundreds of others that nobody buys. Do you always sit on a dock and turn your back on friends, or anyone else, who come to snap a photo to memorialize their visit, and who then take it so out of focus that it’s blurred beyond recognition? BTW it’s “photo,” not “foto,” unless of course you care little about accuracy in details, which your scenario so amply demonstrates.



  28. I have a few thoughts about the ONI a.k.a. Travelogue Jaluit photo I would like to proffer:

    1. The “woman” sitting or crouching on the dock nearest the water does not look all that “white” to me. [I call her “Supposed Amelia”. (SA)] In fact I would not hazard a guess as to her gender, especially THESE DAYS with all the hoopla over pronouns, public bathroom access, birth certificate non-binary categories for gender, etc. I personally know people that look much the same who are GUYS.

    2. Mike, was Fred Noonan well tanned? He was an outdoors man – I can imagine he was tanned. My own grandfather was part Cherokee and looked like the “Indians” in John Wayne movies (really dark brown), but he was considered “white”, even in TX, growing up after the 1920s. “Supposed Fred Noonan’s” [SFN] arm in that photo looks AWFULLY dark to me. So if one would say he is just “tan”, how do we tell the difference in this [NOT] excellent, sharp photo between “just tan” and “native”? ALL of them might be natives!!

    3. Les said in his comment to you above: “So, two Caucasians on the dock at Jaluit before the war with the Koshu in the background doesn’t strike you as unusual? How many Caucasians in western garb would have been at Jaluit before the war?”

    When did (1) short-sleeved light-colored shirts and (2) trousers become “Western garb?” Obviously EVERYONE has on TROUSERS, no matter the color, unless they have on a SKIRT!!!!! The central person in the photo with a headband has on TROUSERS and a light-colored shirt!!

    There are FIVE (5) people on the dock in that Jaluit photo wearing light-colored shirts and trousers!! The only strictly “native” looking people are the two far right (very dark man w/T pulled up and sweaty arms, woman in dress) and – maybe – Headband. The guy in far background is in shadow, as is SFN and the guy between them, and Shorty looks Japanese to me – and they are NOT dark skinned. SA is same color – could be Japanese. In grayscale photos, Japanese and white complexions are very similar tonally. Could be Navajo or Cherokee. Could be Ukrainian. Only her posture suggests AE, and that is based on cherry picking one known photo of her in a swimsuit!! That person in the Jaluit photo might be a GUY!! Distance from waist to neckline is about the same as that of Headband!

    4. Les asks why is this photo in an ONI file? Maybe ONI “assumed” it MIGHT be AE & FN, just like people are “assuming” it now. ONI would be covering all bases, keeping tabs on possible slips on their big secret . . .

    5. I think this entire “issue” – this photo and all the hype and speculation and debate – all of it – deserves a new Name: “The Jesus On A Piece Of Toast” syndrome. As I read these debates over this photo – a very poor photo with questionable provenance – I get the mental image of someone constructing the Brooklyn Bridge with those cheapie flat, thin toothpicks. Any minute it could fall apart. What a waste of time . . .


  29. For anyone interested, check out the marshallislandsjournal.com for a story by Matt Holly, the “local historian” published on July 13, 2017. To find it, type “Jaluit photo” in the Search box. What’s most interesting to me is the Facebook exchange Matt had with this Rieko Hayakawa. Matt wanted to make money on the photo, but before he could take the first payment, the photo was all over the Internet. Sorry, Matt.


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