Noted Earhart book review removed from Internet

In the entire history of reviews of the handful of books that present aspects of the truth in the Earhart disappearance, only two are memorable.  The first was the Sept. 161966 Time magazine unbylined attack against Fred Goerner’s The Search for Amelia Earhart, titled “Sinister Conspiracy?and still available online, though you have to subscribe to the source to see it now.  My commentary about Time’s hit piece, “The Search for Amelia Earhart”: Setting the stage for 50 years of media deceit,” was posted June 21, 2016; you can read it by clicking here.  Goerner, a KCBS radio personality in San Francisco, was the only real newsman to ever seriously investigate the Earhart case.  

The only other significant review of an Earhart disappearance work was Jeffrey Hart’s examination of Vincent V. Loomis’ Amelia Earhart: The Final Story, which appeared in William F. Buckley’s National Review in the Oct. 18, 1985 issue, but is no longer available online.

Hart wasn’t an Earhart researcher, and his belief about the reason Earhart reached Mili is the same pure speculation that Loomis advanced.  But Hart was a well-known establishment pundit, critic and columnist, and wrote for National Review for more than three decades, where he was senior editor.  He wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan while he was governor of California, and for Richard Nixon.  Now 88, Jeffrey Hart is professor emeritus of English at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire.  No one of similar stature has ever written a review of an Earhart disappearance book.

I’ll have a bit more to say, but here is Jeffrey Hart’s review of Amelia Earhart:  The Final Story, originally titled “The Rest of the Story.”   Boldface is mine throughout.

AS A BOY I was thrilled with horror when Amelia Earhart disappeared somewhere out over the Pacific during the summer of 1937.  She had been the first woman to fly the Atlantic, and now she and her navigator were trying to circle the globe at the equator.  She rather disliked being called “Lady Lindy” by the press, because she wanted her own independent identity, but the odd thing was that she looked a little like Lindbergh: thin, with short hair and a wide grin, somehow quintessentially American.

Vincent V. Loomis’ 1985 book is among the most important ever written about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and solidly established her presence, along with Fred Noonan, in the Marshall Islands soon after their July 2, 1937 disappearance.

On her last flight she and her navigator Fred Noonan, flew an advanced-model twin-engine aluminum Electra specially designed for the trip.  It was known to the press as the “Flying Laboratory.”  On July 2, 1937, all contact with the plane was lost, and searches by U.S. ships and planes failed to turn up any trace of Miss Earhart, Noonan, or the plane.  As far as anyone at the time knew, they had simply disappeared into that vast blueness, like Hart Crane off the Orizzaba.

It turns out that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were the first casualties of the coming Pacific war with the Japanese.  Vincent Loomis, a former USAF pilot with extensive Pacific experience, became fascinated with the Earhart mystery and made it his business to solve it, which he had done. lt is a remarkable, enormously romantic, and heartbreaking story.  Loomis went to the Pacific, traveled around the relevant islands, and found natives who had seen the plane crash and had seen Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. He interviewed the surviving Japanese who were involved, and he photographed the hitherto unknown Japanese military and diplomatic documents.  The mystery is a mystery no longer.

For all her frame and accomplishments, Amelia Earhart was an innocent flying out over the Pacific.  She and Noonan were also incompetent navigators and did not know how to work their state-of-the-art equipment.  They were thus more than a hundred miles off course flying right into the middle of the secret war plans of the Japanese empire* when they ran out of fuel and had to ditch the Electra.  (Editor’s note: Amelia never claimed to be a navigator at all, but Noonan was recognized as among the best in the world at the time of the final flight.)

By 1937 the Japanese had long since concluded that war with the United States for control of the western Pacific was inevitable.  They were hatching plans with Hitler to divide up the British, French, and Dutch possessions that would be vulnerable as a result of the coming European war.  The projected Japanese empire, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, would have its large mainland anchor in a China the Japanese were attempting to conquer, and The Pacific islands would be the first line of defense against the U.S. Navy. The Japanese knew that the United States was unlikely to tolerate their geopolitical plans and would be decidedly hostile to any monopolistic co-prosperity sphere run from Tokyo.

The Japanese had acquired control of the key Pacific islands at the end of World War I under a League of Nations mandate.  In violation of international law, they were pouring military resources into them.  All Japanese military personnel worked in civilian clothes.  Newly paved airstrips were marked as “farms” on the maps.  Foreign visitors were absolutely excluded.  If the local natives obeyed the Japanese rules they were treated fairly, and the Japanese even married some of them.  An infraction, however, could mean instant death.

Jeffrey Hart, undated, from Hart’s  Wikipedia page.

On July 2, 1937, bewildered and lost, Amelia Earhart crash-landed in the middle of all this, putting the Electra down and running into an atoll near Mili Mili a principal military position in the Japanese Marshall Island chain.  The Japanese took her and Noonan prisoner and tried to figure out what to do with them.  They could hardly release them, not knowing what they had seen.  Perhaps the American fliers could blow the whistle on the whole secret operation.  They might even be spies.  Actually, they had seen nothing.

The two Americans were shipped to Japanese military headquarters on Saipan and jailed.  The conditions were miserable, but not unusual for that time and place.  The jail was not set up to serve food to the prisoners, mostly natives, whose meals were brought to them by relatives.  But the jailers did provide the two Americans with soup, fish, and so forth, though of very poor quality, and with medical treatment.  When an exasperated Fred Noonan threw a foul bowl of soup at a Japanese jailer, he was forced to dig his own grave and was immediately beheaded.  Japanese culture was not especially permissive in 1937.

After a while, Miss Earhart was allowed a limited amount of freedom and made friends with native families, some of whom Loomis interviewed.  She was permitted visits to these friends, and her diet and spirits improved.  In mid-1938, however, life in the tropics proved too much for her and she came down with a severe case of dysentery, weakened rapidly, and died there on Saipan.  She does not seem to have grasped the significance of what she had stumbled upon and witnessed; ironically enough, she was a philosophical pacifist.  The Japanese military asked the natives to provide a wreath for her, and she was buried with Noonan.

Vincent V. Loomis at Mili, 1979. In four trips to the Marshall Islands, Loomis collected considerable witness testimony indicating the fliers’ presence there. His 1985 book, Amelia Earhart: The Final Story, is among the most important of the Earhart disappearance books, in that it established the presence of Amelia and Fred Noonan at Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands following their disappearance on July 2, 1937. (Courtesy Clayton Loomis.)

One curious footnote to the story is that the present Japanese government, democratic and pro-Western as it supposedly is, has been covering the whole thing up.  Today’s Tokyo will not admit, in the face of absurdly obvious proof, that the imperial government was violating the terms of its mandate by militarizing the islands, claiming that everything the islands, claiming that everything going on had to do with “culture” and fishing — no one here but us Japanese Margaret Meads and a few fishing boats.  Nor will today’s Tokyo admit that the imperial government lied fifty years ago when it covered up the Amelia Earhart matter.  Of course no U.S. Navy search vessels were allowed anywhere near the Marshall Islands.  The Japanese claimed that they themselves were doing all the necessary searching.  Loomis shows that the “search ships” were in Tokyo Bay at the time. It is odd that the present government cannot admit to the demonstrable facts; it must represent some sort of face-saving.  But Tokyo has run out of luck on this one.  Vincent Loomis has the documents, the testimony of the Pacific islanders, local Catholic nuns, Japanese medics and seamen.

It is all very poignant.  One sees that the Japanese military among whom Amelia Earhart lived for about a year could not begin to comprehend her, this woman pilot, this . . . American.  But the evidence is that the Japanese who knew her, if from a very great cultural distance, nevertheless bemusedly admired her.  (End of Hart review.)

Hart wrote an accurate, unbiased review of The Final Story, but neither the U.S. government or anyone else in the media got his memo that “the mystery is a mystery no longer.”  Not only did they disagree, and still do, but Hart’s review has been expunged from the Internet, where the hard copy I have is taken from Encyclopedia.com in 2007.  I don’t know when the review was removed, but there’s no doubt about why it’s gone, and I’m not going to repeat here how sacred cows get even better with age. 

Within the past year, plugging the name Amelia Earhart into the Amazon.com search engine has resulted in over 1,500 results for books; recently, for some unknown reason, that number has fallen to “over 1,000” in the same category.  Nevertheless, many books have been penned about our ageless American heroine, but of these thousand or so, only about 10 actually present aspects of the truth about the Earhart case.  The rest, 99.9 percent, are biographies, novels, children’s books (the biggest sellers) and assorted fantasies — all except the good biographies only muddle the picture and further obscure the truth.

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

The indisputable fact that this phenomenon exists tells us something is very wrong with the media’s relationship to the Earhart story.  For the most recent example of media propaganda and malfeasance, we need only turn to our trusted Fox News and its June 27 non-news piece, Amelia Earhart signed document discovered in attic box.”  Moreover, Fox News has never allowed my name or the title of Truth at Last to stand in the comments section of any of its Earhart stories, to my knowledge.

As I wrote at the top of this post, Fred Goerner was the only newsman to ever publicly advocate for the Saipan-Marshall Islands truth in the Earhart disappearance.  When you consider the few important books written about the so-called “Earhart mystery,” consider also the authors of these works.  Obscure non-journalists such as Thomas E. Devine, Vincent V. Loomis, Oliver Knaggs, Joe Davidson and T.C. “Buddy” Brennan produced the important tomes about the Earhart matter.  Paul Briand Jr., who authored the seminal work of the genre, Daughter of the Sky, in 1960, was an English professor at the Air Force Academy.  Bill Prymak, an engineer by trade, was not an author, but his assemblage of Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters is as important as any but a few of the books, though the newsletters are unavailable to the public.

Why hasn’t any newsperson, author or journalist except Fred Goerner ever investigated the Earhart story?  The question is rhetorical, of course, as the few who read this blog know, but its answer reveals the real problem. 

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52 responses

  1. Mike,

    Vincent Loomis was a con man. I took him and his “group” to Mili in 1979 on 3 chartered boats, mine, Wally Milne’s and another. The weather turned very very rough with a passing real tropical storm, and we nearly lost my boat, a 45 foot ketch. Vincent’s film team capsized in the surf in the surf at Mili Mili, losing virtually all of his camera equipment. he re-shot his book photos at the end of the beach at Majuro. I was in the procession that met the “queen” who allegedly married the “commander” of Mili at the time of AE capture…BUT, there was no “commander” at Mili in 1937, there was a 6 man observation post at Tokewa islet, about 5 islets from where she force landed. The Japanese Diet didn’t even FUND the Mili base until 1939, didn’t start until 1941, and opened in spring 1942. The Queen (and I know her family here today) was a walking story-teller, just wanted the fame and attention, and probably ended up with a Captain Uegama (sp is truly unknown) in 1943, and it is presumed he was lost in the war but fathered 2 kids.

    All this info is readable facts in assorted military publications of the time, and the local stories are all from my research living here for the last 40 years! I WAS THERE WITH LOOMIS IN 1979! All Loomis did was copy Goerner and add 5 pages of his own words, where he has AE landing DOWNWIND. So when you base your observations on LOOMIS work, well I was there buddy, I know the truth, and you can’t dare publish it on YOUR site, for fear of destroying a Mentor and his ruse. I also searched on land and UW at the 5th island, and found zip, but nevertheless, from all the local stories, I do believe she force landed at the 5th island, was treated nicely until Jaluit, then your version of the Saipan story may well be her correct ending. I have always said “follow the ring”, and if you don’t know what I mean, well you have wasted all these years and blogs for nothing…

    Very sincerely, happy to respond with references to everything, Matt Holly. Majuro, Marshall Islands

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    1. Thanks for this most provocative information, Matt. Sounds like you have some serious problems with Loomis! I don’t “base my observations” on Loomis work, but have reported about his book and his work as it is presented. Sorry, but Loomis did far more than “copy Goerner and add five pages of his own,” as you write. His work in Tokyo that uncovered the Japanese lies about the location of Kamoi, as well as Kushu, at the critical time of the Earhart search (see p. 149 Truth at Last 2nd Ed.) is an important contribution to Earhart research that has stood the test of time.

      Based on the knowledge and experience you claim in your message, you should write your own book on all this. I will be among the first to buy it!

      Mike

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      1. Being a SCUBA Instructor and historian in the Marshall Islands for the last 39 years has given me some unique AE insight. And most of the AE researchers have been wonderful people personally and most have done amazing research. I have taken a half dozen AE adventurers to Marshalls sites over the years, and been to hundreds of others, primarily looking for USA MIA remains. I found John W. Starmann in his P-39Q wreckage at Mili in 1995, and he is now proudly at Arlington. I am one of the founding Board members of History Flight, and the V-Chairman of our RMI National Museum. I have made over 5000 SCUBA dives, most in the Marshalls. BUT, the big but, the sad truth is NO ONE has a “beyond the shadow of a doubt” piece of evidence that all the parties in this grand mystery can agree solves the story. And many many researchers, with vast portfolios, tend to step on the simple truths to show off THEIR body of work and claims.

        Loomis never spoke to the family of the Queen (actually only 1 of 5 royal families on Mili) to determine she was a well know liar and storyteller. Loomis never discovered the Japanese Diet never even funded the Mili airbase until 1939. Nor that only 6 Japanese were present in 1937. Even with all of that bad background work, and yes, I have spoken to and done interviews for Gillespie and Dick Spink and assorted other fun believers, I still believe she did force land at the 5th island east of Tokewa in Mili atoll, and was treated NICELY until she ran into the war Japanese Machine developing at Jaluit, forever sealing her fate.

        And as a final note, I was the one who found the coffee table book with the “AE and Fred” photo used in recent History Channel story. It was located in the Japanese Diet Digital Library. Unfortunately for me, at 10pm local time here that night, I could not get an answer from CNN to PURCHASE the story for like $10k and donate to our local Alele Museum ( we need money), and 6 hours later, the Japanese blogger also found the site and published the work, scoping my fun story.

        Please allow me to add a new story to your site, because also in this coffee table book there is another photo that shows warships in Jaluit lagoon in 1936, 2 of these, with the caption translating to something like “these are our warships protecting the southern borders of our empire”. In 1936 their Mandate prohibited this, and this story is an important by-product of the theory concept that AE may have seen something military at Jaluit that as we all believe sealed her fate. Let me know. The mystery continues. And yes, I could write a fun AE book too. EVERY visiting researcher/adventurer has their own secret to the story, so I now hold them all! LOL. Matt

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      2. Matt,

        Any legitimate stories or commentaries that are relevant to the Earhart case, especially those that shed any new light, are welcome here. I reserve the right as editor of this blog to decide how the story runs — either as a regular post or as an extended comment in this section. That decision depends on how well you write and present your story. We await your contribution.

        MC

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    2. Matt…I posed some questions for you in the body of this post. Would you mind answering? Thanks

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      1. Correction. I meant for Matt to address questions in my first post. Sorry

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      2. Dear Mike and Mike,
        I have never seen the inter questions laced in the body of my post you refer too, so I have no idea what to answer. I also have a policy of not going tit for tat on my opinions very long, so my comments on Loomis stand, and give me a few days to form a summary post about the Loomis adventure (and his book) so it makes sense. I also have a diving class in an hour, and need more time.
        Next. The island area and the AC debris. Here is how I did my methodology and search. In Majuro in 1944 a TBF lost power and force landed on the Oceanside reef of Majuro on the windy side, very similar to the conditions at the 5th island. (*Crew OK). Also nearby was a gap between islands. Over time, the AC was destroyed, leaving the engine on the reef, eventually rolled up into the island shoreline. All the bits and pieces of bakelite and rubber and hoses and SS and aluminum were ground up and laid into the bushes and tree growth at the waterline of the island as it sweep into the lagoon. In small pockets underwater and at the high water mark more bits and pieces were found. INSIDE the lagoon this debris spilled over, and all along the drop-off odd pieces were discovered. At 50 feet part of the tail fairly intact was found. At 110 feet the main body of the AC sans engine and tail was located. It took months to find all the goodies and they are still there. Thus a pretty good example of an UW archaeological debris field from start to finish.

        Presuming the bulk of her AC was taken away by the Japanese, maybe even the broken wingtip, very little debris remains to be found. The part Dick found, possible matching a part from the wheel, is very interesting, but again, for all the AE folks, it is not a 100% clue yet. I also walked around (in 2000-2001 era) the gap between the islands where here AC would most likely be floated out, and found nothing in the waterline growth, on shore, or in any UW pockets. No material in the sand. I also dove to 80 feet at this site, and could see into 100, and found nothing. Albeit I was now looking for the lost torpedo I mentioned, but an Electra would have caught my attention.
        Dick had many more eyes and hands, and more time. Metal detector? Well may have helped, but Mili has sooo much heavy metal (my term for material from exploded bombs and war junk) it may make an operator crazy. But this site should have been pretty clean. GPR to find the “silver canister”? Smile. As all AE folks know, this could be a never ending search until lady luck says OK!
        I still believe she force landed near this site, but so far we haven’t even found her name carved on a tree… the search continues…

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      3. Matt,

        Are you forgetting Oliver Knaggs, who returned to Mili in the early 1980s after his initial exposure to Loomis? The stuff he found was scientifically analyzed by a legitimate lab and found to be made of high quality steel that I think probably was the case Noonan buried.

        See my post of Aug. 12, 2014:
        “No hard evidence” in Earhart case? Knaggs’ find on Mili refutes skeptics’ claim (First of two parts),

        MC

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      4. A couple fast answers to questions…
        1. The Oliver Knaggs metal. If you have wandered around any islet in Mili you will find metal shards of all descriptions. EVERY ISLET in Mili atoll was occupied by Japanese soldiers during the WWII period of early 1943 to the end of the war. 5200 of them. Many were based at Mili, Mili, but after the loss of all sources of new supplies, the soldiers were split into groups of 6-20 and each group had an island, its trees and off-shore resources. Many Marshallese were attached to each “household”, and became basically slaves to these desperate men. My father -in-law was one of these, just a kid, but worked for an officer and had slightly better standing. He hid his personal coconut in a hole… Even so, Half of them starved to death before Sept 1945. When the men around Mili were seen at all, they were attacked, thus heavy metal everywhere. I am sure some of them dragged their metal products to this area too. So unless it had AE stamped in it, hard to accept this as a clue. And very simply, there may not be any clues left here, as from all oral descriptions the AC was taken away. The “silver canister” by the way is presumed to be holding her postcard/stamped envelop collection… or maybe some snapshots of Truk lagoon…
        2. The film crew equipment in 1979 was all analog stuff, 35mm cameras and 16mm motion picture type. Nothing digital or electronic at that time. I had a Nikonos and a Nikon, but sadly most of my slides from the era got soaking wet in a storm in Majuro in 1993 when my roof got blow off, wet, and all were heavily molded. I sent them all to California to dry weather at my folks home, and when I get to the USA in September, I guess its time to pull them out again…
        Matt

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    3. Additional questions for Matt…Who is the girl pictured behind Loomis in the photo? She still alive? Besides Matt, who were the other people that Matt escorted to Mili? Thanks.

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      1. Hi Mike, hard to get time to reply to EVERYTHING, so picking one topic at a time. I am 99% sure the girl in the photo is Colora Milne (married to Victor (Bwera) Milne. She is the daughter of Bilimon Amran, the medic on Jabor, Jaluit who spoke of seeing AE and treating Noonan on a ship at anchor at Jabor anchorage in July 1937. I believe this photo with Mr. Loomis was taken at Mili island, Mili atoll, in 1979, during the charter trip I was part of. The AC in the photo from what I can see was the remains of a IJN G3M “Nell”, very simply because the propeller is seemingly so much taller next to Mr. Loomis that one of a A6M “Zero”. This similar shaped AC was also claimed to be AE’s plane at times over the years. The cowling was sadly obscured by growth that would verify the exact location, as I know every AC on Mili island.

        Also, the day we made it to shore was the day the wind began from the west, making that area much cooler, and this exact site was about 300 yards into the jungle from the beach via a path down the open runway to the north, behind Wrye’s fathers house. BIG bomb craters surround the area. Also Mr. Loomis is NOT sweating buckets, which during normal sunny weather at that location would generate a BIG Sweat from any adventurer. With the wind and overcast, it was a cool day.

        Also, one should note Bilimon was a rare individual and one of the most trusted of voices of this AE mystery. Why? Because he was a half caste Japanese/Marshallese AND he was given the trust to become a MEDIC in the racist Japanese world of the 1930’s, EVEN MORE SO IN 1937, as Japan had changed all their rules after their withdrawal from the League of Nations. For the Japanese to give him the training and status of the Medic, he had to have both a powerful mother, respected father, a very very professional skillset, and with all of this the implied trust of the Japanese authorities. HE IS THE MOST RESPECTED informant of all the AE “witnesses” in the Marshall Islands. Where later informants to this story in the Marshall Islands may have not held first hand knowledge or embellished their story to make the listener smile, or just plain lied for the fame, Bilimon was a very serious yet simple man, and could not have invented this seed story. Too bad AE or Noonan didn’t give him a watch or ring or some physical memorabilia to seal his story in stone.

        I was told Mr. Loomis also went to the Captain Erdman P-39Q crash site located on the south side of the runway about 1500 yards to the SSW on this same day, but I never saw it until years later…and during this exploration I found the remains of the P-39Q of 2nd Lt. John W. Starmann, and then his remains, which I proudly helped gain burial at Arlington in 1995. Working on the next questions….

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      2. Matt,

        Thanks for the added details and insights about the Vincent V. Loomis photo and Bilimon Amaron. I think this kind of information is better than calling Loomis a “con man.” Your information about Bilimon largely mirrors the presentation in Truth at Last (pages 144-148 2nd Ed.) which leads me to think that you don’t have my book.

        MC

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    4. Matt Holly accuses Vincent Loomis of being a con man. Funny, many of us were having similar thoughts about him about this time last year. The way it came across in the MSM was that it appeared that Matt was working in collusion, to use a currently popular term for it, with that guy in Japan whose primary motive, obviously, was to discredit any notion that Amelia and Fred were ever in the custody of the Japanese military. Good that he cleared that up.

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    5. Matt– Is the “5th island” to which you refer the same one investigated for artifacts by Dick Spink & co.? The one where they found the Airwheel cover, other misc. bits which might have come from the Electra, Japanese rail equipment (looks similar to that used for ammo trolleys on large gun emplacements) and clear signs the trees had once been cut to clear a path for the Electra as consistent with eyewitness accounts?

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      1. Hello CDA! Yes, the 5th island is my reference to this island, given to me by the Chutaro family years ago, as it is 5 islands east of Tokewa (the Chutaros live there), where the Japanese were based in 1937. They were the only Japanese on Mili at the time, these 6 men composing a observation (vessel traffic in and out of Mili) and weather post. These men may have actually worked for the South Seas Government, and not the military directly. The main commonly used boat channel into Mili goes past this location, and it also has a small notch of a harbor against the trade-winds. These men were the ones who would have had first “official” contact with AE when her AC forced landed. And I am sure they would have treated her nicely…

        The 5th island reef plain on the Oceanside of the island (only narrow limited sand on the lagoonside) is also nicely aligned for a typical into-the-wind landing. I have also walked this reef, and this location has a maximum tidal range of about 4feet10inches. The reef is not all smooth, and only the center pathway about 1/3 from the shoreline and 1/3 from the breakers would have allowed the safest landing zone, and even so, the reef may have destroyed the tires and gear. It has been calculated from a 9am landing on this location on that July date there would have been some water on the reef, which may have been a good deal. And yes, I believe this happened.

        What Dick Spink found? Well I also searched the reef for a day in 2000, including looking for any item in-grown into the natural shoreline and eroded areas and found nothing. I crawled through the sand between the nearby island into the lagoon and found nothing. I spent a day UW lagoonside looking for a alleged US Torpedo, and found nothing. Whatever Dick has found, as with all AE artifacts, boy they need the scrutiny of perfection, and that folks, is why this blog and others exist and elicit such powerful responses. Yet I would also agree the aircraft was entirely removed (and I have my exact manner how it was removed, as that is my business) and other than items knocked off it’s wheels/gear and/or the alleged damaged missing wingtip OR anything they may have buried, nothing should have remained to be found. With this said, the wheel part Dick claims is interesting.

        As far as the Japanese wheels and axles, they are all from the small gauge RR the Japanese created on Mili (and all the other islands with bases, even Majuro in Rita) to haul mined sand, carry bombs, etc, and I have told Dick so…on a couple occasions. Marshallese use them today for small craft anchors, and they are everywhere in every outer island. As far as the trees, please… being cleared, LOL, give me a break, cause 1, why would you float an AC through the trees when your on the reef and have a straight shot to the lagoon and your vessel with a crane, and 2. in like 1949 (1959? I forgot the exact date) Mili had a typhoon pass nearby that cleared/knocked down/damaged all the growth in this area (which erased the Pandanus trees on the shoreline AE buried the Silver Canister under according to one AE Explorer), and 3. I have 40 foot tall coconut trees in my yard I planted in 1988.

        I am still looking for the torpedo, hard to make up a “shinny torpedo”, just like it is hard to make up a female aviator landing in your backyard in 1937. The quest continues.

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      2. I’m still struggling to understand why Matt calls Loomis a con man? Give us some facts to support the accusation, Matt. Since Loomis is not around to respond to this accusation, Matt needs to fess up.

        As for the so-called evidence Spink has found, the experts in metal cannot conclusively determine it was from the AE plane, so we are left with more speculation. Because of shifting tides and storms, these parts could have washed up from other places. The wing was reported to be damaged upon impact, so are there remnants to be found just outside and around the 5th island? What might be there awaiting a deeper dive team?

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  2. William H. Trail | Reply

    It’s not just material pertaining to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan’s disappearance. There seems to be a disturbing overall trend toward censorship and a diminished respect for the First Amendment in our society as too many younger Americans, academia, the media, and so-called cultural elites openly embrace and promote radical political philosophies that are anathema to freedom and individual liberty. And those of us who stand for the Earhart on Saipan truth and openly give voice to it are derided as “The Lone Gunmen” (X-Files spinoff) conspiracy theorists, or gently ignored as if we were Uncle Elwood with his giant invisible pal, “Harvey.” At least we haven’t reached the point in this country, yet, where people who have fallen from official grace are “airbrushed” out of photos, a la the old Soviet Union.

    All best,

    William

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  3. Whoa! Very interesting take by Matt Holly with his direct observations and first person experience. The Loomis book seemed to be one of the best, but Matt has put serious doubt on it. What else can Matt tell us about other “researchers” who have traveled through the Marshalls in the last 20 years, looking for clues? People like Bill Primak, Joe Gervais, Dick Spink, etc.? We’re these people con men as well?

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    1. There are 2 sides to every story, let’s not forget that.

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  4. On one of the last newsletters, a book by Donald Wilson was mentioned. I am happy to report that I purchased the book on Amazon and am currently reading it. The book is excellent and mentions many of the witnesses that are found in your book, Mike!

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  5. William H. Trail | Reply

    Has anyone actually seen the report issued by Parker Aerospace of their analysis of the aluminum items recovered by Dick Spink on Mili Atoll? I sure haven’t. And a recent search of Parker-Hannifin Aerospace’s news releases going back to 2014 on their website showed nothing AE related.

    All best,

    William

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    1. William,

      Nothing in the report conclusively ties the material to the Earhart plane, according to Dick Spink, who at least can be relied upon not to exaggerate, inflate or attribute false conclusions to it, as we have seen for so long and so often from the vermin who trade in lies about their alleged “findings,” which are then trumpeted around the world for consumption by the ignorant.
      MC

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      1. William H. Trail

        Mike,

        Thanks much. It’s a shame that report didn’t get a wider dissemination. No matter, it’s ‘interesting’ but not critical. That is to say, the inconclusive findings neither add to nor detract from the Saipan Truth. What counts in all of this is that we know, based on credible eyewitness testimony, what happened to AE and FN as well as the Electra. That’s the ‘bottom line’ and nothing can change it. The rest of it is relatively small details to be vetted out to tidy up the final report.

        All best,

        William

        Like

  6. To Mike Bennett –

    Mike great comments you posted. You mentioned shifting tides and storms could have moved some of these pieces around. Although heavier metals aren’t going too far and although most of the pieces Dick Spink found were lighter, the heavier ones would have stayed put. Corrosion will cover some pieces underwater, iron & lead more so. I do a little amateur metal detecting, from time to time and have found *BRASS, COPPER, SILVER, etc. What has surprised me the most is *BRASS. I have found 150 year old pieces of brass & copper, and although it’s covered over in grime, not a sign of rust on it…

    I know Dick has thoroughly searched this island & area, but if I were him, I would continue looking.

    All the Best,
    Doug Mills

    Like

  7. I take objections to Matt Holly’s characterization of Vincent Loomis as being a “Con Man. Far from it, Loomis never embellished his findings. Unlike Goerner, Loomis never believed Earhart was on a spy mission. I agree completely with Mike Campbell. Loomis’s contribution to Earhart research has stood the test of time. Loomis took four trips to the Marshall Islands. To the best of my knowledge Matt supplied one of the boats on Loomis’s first excursion to the Marshalls.

    It’s common knowledge that Loomis lost some of his video equipment while landing at Mili Mili. That was a very easy thing to do. Even on the lagoon side, the waves tossing up on the beach can be six feet high. So what if Loomis shot that picture of himself at Majuro. Production companies do that all the time. It has nothing to do with his credibility. Now, if there was an important piece of evidence in the picture of Loomis, and it was supposed to have been taken at Mili – that’s a different story. For what’s it worth, Loomis never claimed any planes found at Mili Mili were Earhart’s Electra. Why throw in that insinuation when it wasn’t necessary.

    Matt’s characterization of Queen Bosket’s common law marriage to “Takinami the Japanese commanding officer and South Seas Trading Company representative on Mili before the war,” is also unfair.” Matt is correct, there was no airbase at Mili, Mili in 1937 but there was indeed a six man Navy meteorological team observation station five miles up the chain of islands and to the north of Mili Mili. (Source Senshi Sosho – Chubu Taiheiyo Rikugun Sakuken Page 432-438.

    There is a Marshallese diver named Tom, (I can’t recall his last name but Matt knows him) who in between smoking a cigarette every couple of minutes makes a living diving for tropical aquarium fish and selling them to the Japanese. Tom and I were discussing this meteorological station and he told me the concrete foundation for the small radio tower still exists on that island. I thought about going to look for it, but decided taking a small skiff down the lagoon in very choppy waters wasn’t worth an all day trip.

    The readers to this forum must understand that Mili Atoll is large. The lagoon is over 25 miles long and in some locations 15 miles wide. It’s about nine miles from the small Japanese metrological station to where we believe Earhart’s Electra landed. That’s a long way. In my opinion, if there were Japanese at the station, they didn’t see Earhart approach or know she had landed unless someone told them. I’ll be bet the local Marshallese living at Mili Atoll didn’t immediately run over there and tell them either.

    Takinami might have come later into the Queens’s life. But does it matter? I often argue how difficult it is to get dates right when you are looking back 40 years. Consider a place without calendars, radio, or current news except what happens to come over the coconut telegraph. The Queen’s common law marriage is irrelevant. Then again if the Queen is correct, Takinami might have been the South Seas Trading Company’s local representative for buying copra from the natives. That was pretty common. Perhaps Loomis got it right.

    Now, did the Queen see the plane? I don’t know. But having twice visited the location described by Jororo and Lijon up close, I agree with the Queens’ assessment. Earhart’s plane came down on the ocean side’s coral reef. The Queen didn’t speak English. Maybe there was a failure to communicate with Loomis. Three years later, the Queen told Buddy Brennan and Mike Harris through another interpreter a similar account. Speaking to Brennan, she said she “heard the story from other people.” Matt’s characterization of Queen Bosket can hardly be characterized as being a walking story teller.”

    Matt says “all this info is readable facts in assorted military publications of the time.” I have spent a considerable amount of time looking for publications of which Matt speaks, but haven’t found any. I would hope that being a “historian,” Matt would share the titles and specific archival locations where I may view these publications. In all my years of research at NARA, I have yet to locate the specific publications for which he speaks.

    Matt emphasizes Loomis said Earhart landed “”Downwind.” I have scoured Loomis’s book and I can’t find any passages where he mentions Earhart landed downwind. While on my two trips to this tiny island, and standing on the north beach, we had several lengthy discussions about wind direction. While we talked and pointed, the wind seemed to switch direction every few minutes. At that moment on mid-morning, in early July 1937, it is difficult to say what direction the wind was blowing. Suffice to say, Earhart knew she might only get one shot to land before her props quit. FYI, the fish trap Lijon and Jororo spoke of is still there – visible on Google Earth.

    Matt might have scoured this island but unless you have metal detectors and ground penetrating radar, the search would be useless. All of the pertinent artifacts we found were buried. I spent two days walking over the reef at low tide looking for artifacts and anything else that could help me formulate an opinion of Earhart’s landing. I do know this: after a few years, any metal on the coral reef would look like it was welded to the coral. Unless it was found within a couple of years, it would be more recognizable as coral. If there was a hit by a metal detector, and we had a few, the object would be a couple of feet below surface or more. A backhoe or excavator with a large jackhammer pounding away in between the tides would be needed to find the hit. That is a nearly impossible task unless you want to spend a couple of millions dollars just for that type search.

    Matt has scoffed at the idea that the Earhart Electra was being pushed or pulled through the jungle from the north beach. He is mistaken. We never said that. It actually was being pushed or pulled along the west beach. I have found Navy Intel photos from early 1942 of this island those nearby. From those photographs, it’s clear: the island has grown substantially on the west side. Several of the locals with us pointed out where the beach would have been in 1937. It’s now dry land 75 to 100 feet from the present beach. You can clearly see remnants of the old beach. All of the artifacts we discovered were along this now dry alley way.

    Matt seems to discount the three large metal axels we found. He shouldn’t. Yes, the axels were part of a cart system on rails utilized at several of the major ports or airfields in the Marshall Islands. We found a few of them still with the attached cargo boxes on Mili Mili, Jaluit, and I am told at Maloelop. I disagree with Matt’s assumption they are being used by present day Marshallese fisherman as an anchor. The Marshallese would never use a 100 pound 40 inch wide dual wheel axel as an anchor for a 15 foot skiff or aluminum boat. There were no there axels on any of the nearby islands including Barre. Barre has a sizeable population. Wouldn’t you think the axels would be where the fisherman lived?

    For your information, on Dick Spink’s first visit he was diving in the lagoon in front of this little island. He swept his hand across a steel rail buried in the sand in 20 feet of water. Dick said as he brushed some of the tailings away, he could see that it was a small gauge steel rail once used for a rail line. We tried to locate this rail on our later trips but couldn’t find it. Dick doesn’t lie. The rail probably fell off the barge in July 1937.

    Here’s what I believe happened: With the help of some 40 young Marshallese men, (Prymak witness statement) the Japanese loaded the Electra on some sort of cradle on the north side of the island. The Electra was then pulled along over rails that were laid down, pulled up, and then replaced again while the Electra began its trip to the south side of the island along the west beach. This is about a 300 foot journey (No trees Matt). When the Electra reached the south side of the island, it was placed on the small barge which had one end lowered to accommodate the Electra. You can clearly see the coral heads that were pulled to each side to make a miniature canal so the barge could get close to the beach. You can clearly see the coral outcroppings that were pulled aside on Google Earth.

    Concerning the metal analysis mentioned elsewhere in this message thread. All of the pieces we found at Mili Atoll were analyzed by Parker Aerospace’s lab and to a lesser extent by Alcoa. Pieces examined were: 1) various aircraft cover plates, 2) an 18 inch long trim piece, 3) two steel coupling bolts, and 4) the infamous dust cover. We also supplied the labs trim pieces off of two Japanese World War II aircraft, a Lockheed Electra Model 10 Electra, and a piece of aluminum from a 1946 Piper Cub.

    The results were inconclusive. The plates and trim were determined to be almost 100 percent pure aluminum. They did not vary much from the Japanese samples by much simply because of the purity needed for plate malleability. Secondly, the plates could have been after market, since it is very common for plates to have been installed for a variety of reasons after the plane left the factory. Alcoa told us the only way to make a positive analysis would be to locate the specific “Alcoa Cookbook” from that foundry for those specific poured batches. Alcoa had several foundries. Unfortunately, Alcoa said those cook books no longer exist. Since the aluminum used in Lockheed Electra production was purchased at different times and mixed with other inventory, it would be difficult to conclusively say the pieces found at Mili Atoll came from a Lockheed 10 Electra.

    As far as Matt’s conclusion the Mandates were not being fortified in 1937, there is no question the Japanese were paranoid of westerners traveling to the Mandates. I have collected many Japanese documents from this period addressing this paranoia. As Matt probably knows, the Japanese were suspicious of Carl Heine, other missionaries, shipwrecked crewmen, lost sailors, and anyone else that tried to enter the Mandates. No matter what her real intentions, Amelia Earhart would have been thought of as a spy.

    Loomis did a credible job. I see nothing that he wrote that can be discredited. Although Oliver Knaggs did not get along with Loomis, he never discredited any of Loomis’s findings. Knaggs should know. He accompanied Loomis on that first trip to the Marshall Islands.
    Quickly written by:
    Les Kinney

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And quite well written too, Les. You provide an impressive litany of numerous and coherent details in your narrative, which only a boots on the ground researcher could possibly present. Thanks for your most insightful comments.
      Mike

      Liked by 1 person

    2. William H. Trail | Reply

      Les,

      Thanks for the additional info regarding Parker Aerospace/Alcoa’s analysis of the items recovered on Mili Atoll. Much appreciated!

      All best,

      William

      Like

    3. Les leaves us with important information and insights. I too take offense to the con man accusation. I wonder what happened to the fallen camera gear out of the boat, and who was there to save it?

      Was it film-based or all electronic, Matt? Who were the other members with Loomis, and where are they now? Someone must know where the camera gear is. Matt was there as a witness so when it was time to head back, there must be an accounting of all gear, including camera. So who now has possession of the gear?

      It would be nice of Les to show the intel photos of the Mili islands in early 42 or earlier.

      Like

    4. Mr Kenny, what a FANTASTIC reply/post. I think you gave a great example of my previous post of “there are 2 sides to every story.” I really enjoyed reading your entire post. I kept hoping it would keep going on & on so I could read more. I am not particularly great at internet functions, so I couldn’t figure out how to private message you via this blog & don’t have any contact info for you. Anyway, once again, absolutely GRRAT response, so informative & well written.

      Like

      1. Gene, I will send Les your email address. I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t then share his address with you, but it’s up to him in this case, for personal privacy reasons.
        Mike

        Like

      2. Thank you Mike

        Like

    5. Les– This is the first I’ve read about bolts being recovered. Is there a pic of the bolts anywhere on the web?

      Like

  8. In my previous post I said the Navy meteorological station was nine miles and in another paragraph five miles from Earhart’s landing site. Looking at Google Earth, the station appears to be nine miles away. Sorry for the error.

    Like

  9. Thanks Les for the detailed and “fast” reply. I know your love of history makes you want to type forever, but yes, we still have to eat.
    I will regress into my comments about Loomis in an all encompassing letter, but not now.

    1. My bit of curiosity is now raised with your comments from Thomas Larring (the smoking diver, smile, yes he smokes too much!) Thomas is a good friend, has worked for me on UW tasks and not a bullshit guy. You refer to the weather station being 9 miles away (this would be the Nalu islet site), where the Chutaros have always said the Japanese were based upon Tokewa, about 4 miles to the site. This is a BIG gap of water and across the main channel. It would have been VERY HARD for the Japanese to get to the 5th island site in a days time, and yes, they surely would not have seen an AC land. So I am off to see Thomas and ask him about the history of the Nalu islet as he knows it, and ponder from what you say you have found from your research about where the Observation team was based. Details.
    And Thomas was there when the artifacts were “found”. He also has his own thoughts.

    2. The commanders of Mili, there were two, the first one arrived in 1941 and departed in early 1942, the second departed when he killed himself in a Majuro USN prison in September 1945 after the war crimes he committed were detailed. Somewhere there is a muster roll for EVERY Japanese that survived the war and departed Mili, and we have looked for these names and not found them. With that said, very simply, the Queen repeated the stories she had been told, many many Marshallese have told me the same about her tale tales, and laugh when she is mentioned. It is a Marshallese custom to please the listener. Some love to show off, and to the others, this simply act of having others listen to their story is the only respect they get in this simple lifestyle. And her reputation as a storyteller is also well known to the living family today, but they even admit they have no idea where this “grandfather” of theirs came from or went he went to. And I have always gotten a feeling of un-easiness when asking the family about her, as in Marshallese custom, her big mouth and flamboyant manner was NOT following the leadership traits expected of a “Queen”. So I am working on it. And by the way, she had a sister, who became the next Queen, and this sister never spoke of this story…

    3. Knowing Japanese custom, and their social attitudes in 1937, and the probable flavor of the poor 6 guys they stuck on the Mili observation post, do you think, if they found a Caucasian man and woman on a beach with a crashed non-military aircraft in civilian clothes, injured, they would have slapped one of them? They didn’t even slap the 6 US Navy men lost from their TBD’s in Jaluit in Feb 1942. They were afraid to even approach them, they sent the Marshallese in to ask them surrender. And the war was on and they killed nearly 100 people at Jabor during that raid. The slap comment was surely added latter to embellish a story after seeing the horrors of the Japanese during WWII. I bet they had a nice dinner while they tried to figure out what to do.

    Now with that said when they showed up at Jaluit, and SAW things, well, their fate was sealed.

    More…

    Like

    1. Hi Matt. You have given us some very intriguing information and personal insight. Thank you. Do you still refer to Loomis as a con man? I’m still wondering why.

      As an experience diver myself, I am thinking of a trip to the Marshalls, this October. It has been many years since diving there. The Marshalls are not exactly the most sought-after place to dive I get that. Thanks, Mike.

      Like

  10. Mike Bennett –

    When you get out there in October and dive, metal detect as Les mentioned, with artifacts being buried a foot or two down and coral covered. I’m sure the Japanese dropped a thing or two there. Les was SO *GREAT and sent me a piece of coral and a Japanese shell casing. I used my dremel and sanded off the encrusted shell casing. To my surprise, it was SHINY BRASS. The smallest things can be accidentally dropped, discarded, and left behind, in a hurried operation; as the Japanese performed with moving the Electra.

    Doug

    Like

    1. Thank you Doug. I am reasonable certain that there are items to be found. The biggest problem will be the cost and scope of such a search. Like you, I believe the Japanese (and/or others) dropped (intentionally or accidentally) items of great interest. Some good people, like MC, might think I am crazy. Maybe I am…lol.

      Consider the huge waste of OPM (other people’s money) by Gillespie. If I had a fraction of the money he wasted, I would likely find more relevant items. Perhaps a GoFundMe account would be in order?

      As a technical diver with over 30 years diving experience, I think this type of search is long overdue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. William H. Trail

        Doug is absolutely right. You never know what you’ll find unless you look. And no, Mike, you’re not crazy. I only wish I could tag along on the trip.

        All best,

        William

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a great thread, more “logs on the fire”.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mike –
    I really *HOPE you find something, that will enhance the artifacts Dick & Les have already unearthed. I would speak with both *Les & *Dick with all the knowledge they posses about Barre Island. If I was out there with a metal detector, I would be combing the area where the Electra touched in or across with it’s wheels. Second I would be combing the area where the Japanese lifted or raised the plane. I’m sure these spots are covered over in water. Where Dick located a railing, would be *promising. The entire island needs to be *carefully and *meticulously studied with a fine tooth comb. There more there, it just needs to be found.
    Happy & excited for you.
    Doug

    Like

  13. In rereading the Loomis book, I come to the conclusion there is way more than a few pages added to the work of Goerner. Loomis doesn’t mention any of the support people, like Matt Holly by name and I often wondered why. He does mention his wife, Georgie. Just who were his photographers and assistants? Loomis mentions interviewing Kurt Pinho, a Portuguese native who had settled in the Islands. There was mention in the book of a Mili resident, Anibar Eini, “who as a boy had been a witness to the crash. After the Japanese picked up the aircraft, Anibar dived to a wing that had broken off. Apparently it stayed in the water all these years.” I am under no illusion the broken wing or remnants are still there.

    One of the most enlightening parts of the book is the 42 page Search Chapter 5. Loomis is no con man from what I read. Loomis mentions many Marshallese with whom he traveled around with as key eye witnesses. He spent a small fortune in trying to get the truth and it is sad his voluminous data is lost or destroyed.

    This book remains my favorite AE books of the 80s. I’m hoping to meet anyone with whom Loomis traveled together in the making of his book, and that includes Matt Holly.

    Like

    1. Looks like I need to write a book!

      Great comments by everyone, even those that disagree.

      Mike has forced me to re-read every AE book I own and review all the notes I have from all the groups over the years. It only makes me wish I had talked to more of the “witnesses” when they were alive, especially Dr. John Imman. Of ALL the second /third hand witnesses ever quoted, boy I would have listened to him the most intently. His life story is a book. He was saved by the USN between Mili and Majuro, and after an interesting intro period with them, he began doing translations and interpretations of islander/Japanese data from 1944-45. His claim of personally witnessing the crash site of 2ndLt JW Starmann was absolutely verified when I discovered his remains in the debris field of his P-39Q at Mili. I miss his memories!

      So back to homework folks. More to come.

      Like

      1. I’m not so sure that another book is needed unless you have some material that has never been seen before and is authentic. Mike Campbell’s book is the most thorough and well written to date. Just how anyone could improve on his book, is questionable.

        But hey, if you have original Japanese photos showing the Electra being towed on the Koshu from Mili to Jaluit to Kwajalein to Truk to Saipan, and then off loaded, then you would have material worthy of publication. Or perhaps you have some other similar bombshell material?

        For most AE enthusiasts, more old stories from “eyewitness” years ago is not that compelling. Memory fades away. We already have some very good books filled with eyewitness testimony. At this point, the best thing to do is get the testimony of people who were with the Trail Blazers like Loomis, before they pass away. A story of the storytelling might be interesting.

        Loomis mentions several people in his book and I myself would like to know what happened to them. Like Tom Gurney, Jr., mentioned in the Forward. Larry Webb in the Introduction. Robert D. Loomis, the Random House editor. Mike Marcon, master storyteller and author. Jeffrey L. Ethell, co-author with Loomis. If alive, perhaps these folks have a story to tell about Loomis that might have general interest.

        Like

      2. Matt…perhaps you meant John Iaman, one of several medics trained in Guam after the war and was assigned to the Marshalls. In January 1946 a fleet hospital was converted into a military government facility and training center. The early crop of health aides and nurses that the school turned out was Iaman, Ruth Harris, Berlin Jano, Masao Kumangai, and Eliwel Pretrick, among others. Spelling is important.

        Like

      3. No Mike, Matt didn’t misspell Dr. John Inman’s name, though your John Iaman sounds like an interesting character. See the top of p. 141 of TAL 2nd Ed. for brief discussion of Dr. John Inman, who was interviewed by Loomis, Knaggs and Goerner.
        MC

        Like

      4. First off, Matt spelled it as Imman…not Inman. Second, my references show a spelling of Iaman and if you google that spelling with the tag of Guam or Fiji, you might see some photos. Dr. John Iaman worked with Dr. Arobati Hicking in the Marshalls and I am fairly certain were trained at the Central Medical and Dental School in Fiji in the 50s. I found some old Trust Territory doctor meeting stuff with these two names listed as I spelled them. You know Mike, I am usually right when it comes to things medical…lol. Loomis never gave Dr. John’s last name and I wondered why.

        Like

      5. Sorry Mike! I see the correct spelling is IMAN, at least according to Goerner’s notes. Are you saying Goerner got the spelling wrong and Iaman is the proper spelling? Loomis, p. 87, said Dr. John was a retired businessman who also practiced medicine and owned a number of stores near the airport. Are you saying this is the same person as Dr. John Iaman? It seems quite possible doesn’t it?
        MC

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      6. Yes, likely all three spellings refer to same person. The odds of two “Dr. Johns” in the Marshalls are 1 in a million. Wonder why little is found on this Dr. John?

        Like

      7. Could very well be so. But he wasn’t really much a witness anyway, when you get right down to it.
        MC

        Like

      8. From the Micronesian Reporter, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands…

        “Latest announcement by High Commissioner D.H. Nuker is that Dr. John Iaman promoted to District Director of Public Health for the Marshall Islands and succeeds Dr. Arobati Hicking. Dr Iaman was born at Tarawa, Gilberts and received his medical education at Guam-US Navy Medical School and served as Medical Officer of the Ebeye Hospital for two years.”

        Well now we have a bit more info. So did this Dr. John become a businessman as well as a medical practioner? Sure seems like the same guy. I doubt Dr. John was a first witness to the crashing of AE. Buy hey, maybe he was. Where is he now?

        Like

      9. He must be the same Dr. John that the three researchers interviewed, but he never claimed he saw the fliers, and I’ve seen no date anywhere ascribed to the incident when he saw the plane “going down about 200 feet offshore,” according to Loomis.
        MC

        Like

  14. Great thread! SO much information! Thanks to everyone for contributing.

    Like

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