Monthly Archives: June, 2019

E.H. Dimity’s “Grounds for Earhart Search,” Part II

Today we conclude the two-part analysis of E.H. “Elmer” Dimity, of “Round The World Flight” cover fame, who had an opinion on just about everything related to Amelia’s last flight, including the enigmatic post-flight messages,as you will soon see.  Thanks again to the late, great researcher Bill Prymak for preserving this historical treasure from the ever-receding days of 1939.

“Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart” (Part II of Two)
by E.H. Dimity, August 1939

At 3:15 in the morning after her takeoff Miss Earhart broadcast “cloudy weather,” and again, an hour later, she told the Itasca that it was “overcast,” and asked the cutter to signal her on the hour and half hour.

More than an hour later, at 4:42 a.m., the Earhart plane indicated for the first time that it might be off course, and made its first futile plea for aid in learning its position.  The plane asked, Want bearings on 3105 KC on the hour.  Will whistle into the microphone.

Half an hour passed, and Miss Earhart again said, Please take a bearing on us and report in half will make noise into the microphone.  About 100 miles out. Miss Earhart apparently thought she was 100 miles from Howland Island.

The Itasca could not give her any bearing, because its direction finder could not work on her wavelength.

An hour later, at 7:42 a.m., Miss Earhart said, We must be on you but cannot see you. Gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.”

Coast Guard Chief Radioman Leo Bellarts led the radio team aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Itasca  during the final flight of Amelia Earhart.

This was a little more than 15 hours after the takeoff.  The ship carried 1,150 gallons of gas, enough for about 17 hours in the air under normal conditions. * Perhaps the plane had encountered heavier weather earlier, or in just bucking the headwinds had used more gas than anticipated.  At any rate, Miss Earhart must have flown about 1,300 miles from the point of her first known position, when she first said her gas was running low.

* AES calculates 24-25 hours.

This distance, with perfect navigation, should have taken her to Howland Island, and that without doubt is the reason she said, “We must be on you.”  If the plane had hit its mark, why could she not see the island or the Itasca, with a clear sky and unlimited visibility?  Even a smoke screen laid down by the cutter to help guide her evidently escaped her view. It is impossible that she was where she thought she was . . . near Howland.

Although Miss Earhart reported at 11:13 a.m. that she had fuel left for another half hour in the air, the contact was poor and no land fall position was heard.

Fifteen minutes later she said, We are circling, but cannot see island. Cannot hear you, and asked for aid in getting her bearings. This plea she repeated five minutes later.

It will be recalled that at 11:12 Miss Earhart said she had only a half-hour’s fuel left, but an hour later, at 12:13 she called the Itasca to report, “We are in line of position 157 dash 337.  Will repeat this message on 6210 KC. We are running north and south.”

Unfortunately, the position she gave had no meaning for those on the cutter or elsewhere, because it failed to give the all-important reference point for computing her bearing. What the figures meant, and why they were incomplete, can only be guessed.

An important point that should be noted is that the plane direction finder evidently was not working as well as it should for she could not cut in on the agreed frequencies.  Another fact that is perhaps of significance is that when Miss Earhart reported half-hour fuel — the Itasca estimated that she should have about four hours fuel supply.  It is probable that she barely had gas enough to reach Howland, although she thought she was there at 11:20 a.m. when she circled trying to pick up land.

The 12:13 message was the last heard from the plane in the air.  It was next heard shortly before 11 p.m. of the same day, in Los Angeles, long after the plane must have been down.

The reader will note that nearly 11 hours elapsed between the time the plane, still in the air, was last heard by the Itasca, and its signals were again heard in Los Angeles. There are factors involved which probably explain this lapse.

First is the fact that radio short waves go up, at an angle, until they reach what is called the heavyside layer of ionized air, in the stratosphere, then bounce back to earth, many miles from the point where they originated.  There may be a dead spot in between, where the signals may not be heard.  This is called “skip distance,” in radio circles, and it accounts for the fact that a close-in receiver may not hear signals which are received clearly a thousand miles or more away.

Nellie Donohoe, Oakland Postmaster, with Amelia Earhart and E. H. Dimity with the special postal envelopes stamped for Earhart’s world flight, ca. March 1937. (George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers.)

Broadcasting from land, the Earhart plane might not have been received by the Itasca, in the vicinity, while the messages were picked up thousands of miles away.  This effect ofskip distancedid occur, as will be shown later, and the Itasca had to rely on distant receivers to get any messages from the plane when it was down.

Another factor is that it is useless in Los Angeles to try to tune in during the daytime on signals west or southwest of the Hawaiian Islands.  Signals from this part of the world can only be heard at certain times.

When they learned that the Earhart plane was overdue, Lockheed Aircraft telephoned Walter McMenamy, her radio contact man who had picked up her signals before when others could not get them. and asked that he listen.  That night, McMenamy and Karl Pierson, radio manufacturer and nationally known radio wave expert, began a vigil which lasted nearly a week, and which was rewarded by reception of signals which McMenamy positively identified as being from Earhart’s plane.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on July 5, McMenamy and Pierson picked up a weak signal on Miss Earhart’s frequency, 6210 kc, but it was not strong enough to be understood.  On another set in the room. tuned to 3105 kc, the listeners shortly thereafter heard two distinctly different signals, one from the Itasca and the other from the plane.  Evidently the Itasca could not hear the plane, but two different stations definitely were transmitting on that wave length at that time.

Two hours later, at 1 a.m., McMenamy and Pierson heard the code signals “SOS-SOS-SOS KHAQQ” (the Earhart plane’s call letters), on one of her frequencies, and McMenamy positively states that he could identify the signals as from the plane, although they were poorly sent.

Radio short-wave listeners learn to detect from the sound of a transmitter the approximate location of its source.  This characteristic sound is called the carrier.  The swell and fade of the carrier is as familiar as a voice to the operator.

Being well acquainted with the characteristic noise of Miss Earhart’s transmitter, which he helped install McMenamy can state with authority that the signals heard on her wavelength came from her plane.

The first SOS was repeated over and over again for five minutes, followed by steady transmission which was unreadable because of fading bursts of static, and poor sending.  Three radio operators were present when these signals were heard, and they were able to distinguish the following cryptic numbers: 173 . . . 1 . . . 8,which were of no assistance to the searchers.

The Coast Guard Cutter Itasca was anchored off Howland Island on July 2, 1937 to help Amelia Earhart find the island and land safely at the airstrip that had been prepared there for her Lockheed Electra 10E.

Again at 6 a.m. on July 3, 17 hours after her disappearance, a steady carrier was picked up on one of Miss Earhart’s wavelengths, and was heard intermittently for 20 minutes, but the signals were too weak to be understood.  Within ten minutes another carrier was heard, much stronger and with a woman’s voice which McMenamy did identify as that of Miss Earhart, saying, “KHAQQ CALLING SOS.”  During the three minutes in which this continued, McMenamy heard the words “SOUTHWEST HOWLAND,” and the operators reported also hearing the definite sound of an airplane motor running, through the speech.  It is possible that the right motor of the plane was turning in order that the batteries would not run down completely.

These calls were sufficiently loud to be heard on the loudspeaker, and by coincidence at this time Mr. Pete Pringle,  managing news editor of station KNX, called McMenamy by telephone to check on reports.  Mr. Pringle heard, over the telephone, the woman’s voice through the loudspeaker, and when he went on the air over his station half an hour later he told his audience that he could confirm the reports that Miss Earhart’s voice was heard requesting help.  He had heard it himself.

At 8:43 a.m. the carrier heard on her other frequency, 3105 kc, became strong enough to distinguish a man’s voice and the letters KHAQQ, only once.

The same morning, that of July 3, the British ship HMS Achilles reported the following message: At 11:33 a.m. we heard an unknown station make a report as follows: Please give us a few dashes if you get us. This was heard on 3105 kc (Miss Earhart’s frequency).  The station then repeated ‘KHAQQ’ twice, then disappeared.  Nothing more was heard from it.”  This was the Earhart frequency and her call letters  . . .  heard by a British ship in the Pacific many hours after she undoubtedly was down somewhere.

Nothing further was heard until the following day, July 4, two days after the plane disappeared.  Then station KGMB in Honolulu heard the message she was to send three long dashes if on land, and four long dashes if on water.  It was not known to the station that she could not broadcast from water.

In the response to the broadcast, long dashes and a strong carrier on the Earhart 3105 frequency was reported.  At about this same time, the government monitor,which is Uncle Sam’s listening post for air communication in San Francisco, reported heating a strong carrier on the other Earhart frequency, and this was heard on three receivers with directional beam antennas which indicated a position west of the Pacific Coast.

HMS Achilles was a Leander-class light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy in the Second World War, the second of five in the class. Originally constructed by the Royal Navy, she was loaned to New Zealand in 1936 before formally joining the new Royal New Zealand Navy in 1941.

The monitorstation reported shortly before midnight hearing the cutter Itasca calling the Earhart plane, asking the plane to answer.  Shortly after, a carrier was heard on the Earhart frequency, and this was repeated at approximately 15 to 20 minutes each hour until 8:05 the following morning.

During this time, and at 4:30 a.m. July 5, McMenamy, Pierson, and other operators they had called in, picked up the Earhart signals once more, the first they had received in two days.  They reported first hearing the Itasca ask the Earhart plane to send four long dashes and then give a bearing. Almost immediately and on the plane frequency, the operators heard three long dashes.  Fifteen minutes later the Itasca repeated its request, and again the answer came back with THREE long dashes, ending with a decided sputtering or tippling.

It will be recalled that the Honolulu station KGMB had asked the plane to send THREE long dashes if on land, FOUR if on water.  It appears possible that Earhart and Noonan sent THREE dashes in answer to the Itasca call to prove they were on land, perhaps in desperation after nearly three days without sighting any searchers.

The sputtering or tippling, heard at the end of the Earhart message is interpreted by McMenamy as meaning that the batteries of the plane were nearly exhausted.  When, five minutes later, the Itasca again asked the plane to give four dashes, no answer was heard.

At 5:17 this same morning, July 5, the San Franciscomonitorstation heard the cutter calling KHAQQ, the Earhart call sign, requesting the dashes and shortly afterward a carrier and a man’s voice was heard on the Earhart frequency.  The voice was indistinguishable but for one word: ONE. This word was distinguished at the end of a transmission two minutes in length.  The Press Wireless also reported hearing signals, which could not be identified, on the Earhart frequency at 5:15 a.m.

Howland Island, likewise, reported hearing KHAQQ that morning, at 10:45 a.m., the portion of the message that was heard indicating a bearing of 281, with no reference point and therefore of no help.

Pan American Airways also, on this morning, reported hearing the plane signal, with a radio bearing at 144 degrees Wake Island.

The next reported radio reception was by Louis Messier, a cooperating operator in Los Angeles, the following morning, July 6, at 3:30 a.m. — a weak, unidentified code signal, sent very slowly on the Earhart plane frequency, and ending with a pronounced “ripple.”  This message was logged as follows: 17  mo . . u . . 4 . . southwest . . 1 . . 53 . . rel . . 13 . . ja . . so . . not . . nx . . equen . . 170 . . sou . . sec . . will . . son . . most . . new . . sou . .

While no one understands this jargon, it is important because it might have been Miss Earhart trying to give her position, even though it was quite probable she did not know where she was.

The next morning, July 6, McMenamy and Pierson heard their last sounds from the Earhart frequency, a rippling carrier at 1:13 a.m.  This same effect was reported heard from 8:17 to 10:37 a.m. the same day, by amateur stations in Honolulu.

This was the official flight plan, 2,556 statute miles from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island. The 337-157 line of position, or sun line, passed through the Phoenix Islands, near Gardner Island, now known as Nikumaroro, and the popular theory, though completely false, is in part attributable to this phenomena.  (Taken from Earhart’s Flight Into Yesterday: The Facts Without the Fiction.)

These details of the radio reports are given because they prove beyond a doubt that the Earhart plane broadcast during four or five days after it was down.  The signals were heard in various parts of the western hemisphere by several stations. When saying that one operator might have imagined the signals, it could be possible, but it is too much to believe that all did, including government and ship operators.

The layman might ask if it is not possible that the signals were a cruel hoax by some criminally insane operator.  This possibility is ruled out definitely by the fact that there was no other transmitter in that part of the world which could have sent the signals.

Conclusive proof then exists that the Earhart plane landed safely, or at least that its occupants and its radio apparatus were unharmed, somewhere on land in the South Pacific.  If on an island, where and why were they not found?

It has been pointed out before that there are hundreds of islands in the area where the plane might have come down.  The two principal groups near Howland Island are the Gilbert and Phoenix groups.  The cutters Itasca and Swan spent not quite two days searching the Gilbert group, they reported.  But the group contains 16 islands, shown on the map, and perhaps others, strewn along a distance of more than 400 miles.  How could cutters, traveling at about 12 knots an hour, adequately search all the islands of this group, 800 miles up and down their length, in two days?  They could steam about the length of the islands and back, in that time, without stopping

An unproductive search by air was also made, under circumstances which rendered a complete investigation impossible, of the Phoenix group, 500 miles south and east of Howland, and about 300 miles long by 180 miles wide and containing 10 charted islands in its 65,000 square miles.

The Ellice Islands, about 600 miles southwest of Howland, were not searched at all nor were hundreds of other islands in the vicinity, and back over the course to Lae.  It was also reported that inhabitants were interviewed, on the two or three islands of the Gilbert group where humans live, and they reported no knowledge of the plane.  This, again, is no proof.  Who has seen or heard an airplane for more than 20 or 30 miles?  Many islands in the group are hundreds of miles from the nearest humans.

This story and the below map appeared in the now defunct Chicago Daily Tribune on July 3, 1937.

There are two schools of thought about the disappearance of the Earhart plane.  Each cannot be right.  One is that the plane was lost at sea.  The other is represented by this memorandum.  As to the first, is it not perfectly natural that even those closest and among the most dear to the missing flyers, with the evidence of the Navy search of the sea close to Howland Island, would prefer to think that the flight had come to an end — to avoid the life-long torture of a question in their minds? The facts as related have been to intrude such a question.  No comfort, then, could come from the facts, and the mind would seek to shut them out, in favor of the peace that comes from resignation.

In an effort to reconstruct what might have happened, let us review the possibilities.  We know that the Earhart plane was lost. The navigation had gone wrong.  It is likely, even, that it was hundreds of miles from the sea area near Howland which the Navy searched, and from the Gilbert group.

With little gas left and after circling the area beneath them. what would experienced fliers do?  No doubt they had passed many islands on the course behind them. Any pilot, under the circumstances, probably would have gone back to one of them and landed, relying on their radio and on searching parties for rescue.

THAT RESCUE NEVER CAME BECAUSE NO ADEQUATE SEARCH HAS EVER BEEN MADE.

Compiled from notes and copied in August 1939.
Recopied from original February 2, 1948.  (End of “Grounds for Earhart Search.”)

The study of the alleged Earhart post-loss messages is one fraught with endless speculation and individual interpretation, even by the real radio experts who have written and pronounced publicly on the topic.  I have no expertise in this area, and so have no problem presenting others work as clearly and objectively as I can.  The statements and opinions are those of E.H. Dimity,  are presented for your consideration, education and entertainment, and are not necessarily shared by the editor.  

For much more on the alleged Earhart post-loss messages, please see: Earhart’s “post-loss messages”: Real or fantasy?”; Experts weigh in on Earhart’s “post-loss” messages“; Did Nina Paxton hear Amelia’s calls for help? “Absolutely,” says longtime researcher Les Kinney “; and Amelia Earhart’s alleged “Land in sight” message remains a curiosity, if not a mystery.”

Editor’s Note: June 29 UPDATE: Calvin Pitts has kindly informed me that he’s found several factual errors in Mr. Dimity’s treatise, errors in time and fact that got by Bill Prymak initially in 1997 and that I failed to pick up in my editing before presenting this piece to you.  I suggested to Calvin that he write a brief post, nothing too extensive or exhausting, to set the record straight.  Thanks for your patience as we seek to make straight what Mr. Dimity has oddly bent.

 

Advertisements

“Truth at Last” returns to “Spingola Speaks”

On June 22, I rejoined veteran talk-show host Deanna Spingola on her Republic Broadcasting Network program, Spingola Speaks.”  To listen to the podcast, please click here.

  Deanna Spingola

Deanna is the author of six books, including The Ruling Elite Trilogy and Screening Sandy Hook: Causes and Consequences, and she brings a wealth of knowledge, talent and experience to her shows.  She was among the first in the “alternative” media — i.e., the scant few independent, honest, responsible and courageous journalists who dot the earth here and there but are becoming closer to extinction with every passing day — to support Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last when the first edition was published in 2012.  Since then, she’s invited me on several times. 

Thanks for supporting Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.

Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart: E.H. Dimity’s 1939 argument for new search, Part I

The author of today’s disputation, E.H. “Elmer” Dimity, was a parachute manufacturer during the late 1930s who knew Amelia and established an Amelia Earhart Foundation following her disappearance in hopes of organizing a new search.  Though not a well-known figure in Earhart lore, Dimity owned the only autographed souvenir envelope, or stamped flight cover, known to have survived Earhart’s 1937 round-the-world flight, because it actually didn’t accompany her in her Electra.

The Sept. 13, 1991 New York Times, Auctions Section, page 00015, in a brief titled Airmail, explains:

On March 17, 1937, when Earhart left Oakland, Calif., on her first attempt to circle the globe, the envelope was in one of the mail packages aboard her plane.  The plane’s landing gear gave way in Honolulu, and when the plane was sent back to Oakland for repairs, the mail was returned with it. Before Earhart left again on May 21, the damaged mail packages were re-wrapped under the direction of the Post Office.  It was then, Elmer Dimity reported later, that he removed the envelope as part of a joke he planned to play when Earhart returned.  He said he had hoped to meet her with the envelope in hand, saying the mail had arrived before she did.

Mr. Dimity sold the envelope in the 1960’s on behalf of the Amelia Earhart Foundation to a dealer,said Scott R. Trepel, a Christie’s consultant, who organized the auction house’s sale.  The collector who bought the envelope from that dealer is the unidentified seller of the Earhart memento, which is to be sold with an affidavit from Mr. Dimity. Christie’s estimates that the envelope will bring $20,000 to $30,000.

Close-up view of Amelia Earhart receiving the last package of flight covers from Nellie G. Donohoe, Oakland Postmaster.  At left is Paul Mantz, Earhart’s co-pilot as far as Honolulu. Behind Mrs. Donohoe is E. H. Dimity, ca. March 17, 1937.

In perhaps the best Earhart biography, The Sound of Wings (1989), author Mary Lovell discusses Dimity and his ineffective foundation briefly, but for now we turn our attention to his 1939 paper, “Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart,” which appeared in the August 1994 issue of Bill Prymak’s Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters.

“Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart” (Part I of Two)
by E.H. Dimity, August 1939

Walter McMenamy was thoroughly familiar with Miss Earhart’s voice.  He knew it perfectly, could detect it when others heard but a jumble of sound. This was proven during earlier flights.  His familiarity with the Earhart voice began in January 1935, when Miss Earhart made her solo flight to the mainland.  During this flight, McMenamy was the only radio receiver in constant touch with her ship, working with station KFI in Los Angeles which was broadcasting to her plane. His work on this flight brought warm and written recognition from both the station and Miss Earhart.  His set, built for experimentation in a laboratory, was the only one which reported her position through this flight, bringing in the signals when the equipment of the station itself could not do so.

The hope that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Capt. [sic] Fred Noonan may be found alive on some tiny island in the South Pacific is a thrilling hope, one that awakens sentiment in the American public who knew her as the heroine of the skies, and particularly strikes a sentimental chord in those who knew her before her disappearance.

There would be sadness in the thought, too, for she has been given up, long since. The hope would appear to be vain, born of wistful thinking.  But there are cold, indisputable facts which have never been made public, and which must demonstrate to anyone of open mind that no sufficient search was ever made for Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan, and that either they are now alive on land in the lonely, untraveled nowhere of their disappearance, or have died since, praying that they would be found.

It is the purpose of this brief memorandum to state these facts, in their order and without elaboration, and to let them argue the case for a new search.

The “Round-the-World Flight” cover made famous by Amelia Earhart.  All the originals save one disappeared with the Earhart plane on July 2, 1937.  (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections.)

Before offering the evidence, however, it might be well to list those who believe that either Miss Earhart may be found alive, or that evidence to solve the mystery may be found, and that a new search should be made as soon as possible.

This group includes the following:

Amelia Earhart’s mother,  who has made an intimate study of the data and believes steadfastly that her daughter will be found.

Clarence A. Williams, pilot and navigator who charted Miss Earhart’s course around the world.

Paul Mantz, Miss Earhart’s flying instructor and friend, who accompanied her on her flight to Honolulu.

Margot DeCarie, Amelia Earhart’s secretary.

E.H. Dimity,  longtime friend of Miss Earhart, who took care of many details for her in planning her flights, and who once refused to let her pilot his plane because she was just learning to fly then.  Mr. Dimity established, and is the President of the Amelia Earhart Foundation [now defunct], in Oakland, Calif.

Walter McMenamy, radio expert who was in constant touch with her by air on her solo flight from Honolulu to the mainland, and who probably saved her life by quick thinking on that occasion, when she was flying off her course.  McMenamy also helped guide by radio the first Clipper ship flight to Honolulu.  He charted Miss Earhart’s radio course around the world, and heard her last signals.  [Editor’s note:  Pure speculation. See my April 30, 2014 post,Earhart’s ‘post-loss messages’: Real or fantasy?]

West Coast amateur radio operators Walter McMenamy (left) and Carl Pierson, circa 1937, claimed they heard radio signals sent by Amelia Earhart, including two SOS calls followed by Earhart’s KHAQQ call letters.

The reader, perhaps surprised at the suggestion that there may be good reasons for believing Miss Earhart still alive, no doubt will have many questions in his mind, which this memorandum will seek to answer.  Some of these questions are:

1.  Didn’t Navy and Coast Guard search the area where she might have gone down, completely and fruitlessly?

2.  If she landed on an island, how could Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan be alive now, without food or water?

3.  If they are still alive, why have they not been heard from?

The first important fact to be recorded was known to only a few at the time of Miss Earhart’s flight and disappearance, has never been made generally know to the public, and is of tremendous importance.  This fact is that Miss Earhart’s plane and radio equipment were such that the plane could broadcast only from the air or while on land.  The plane could not have broadcast from water. This is proven not only by the testimony of those who helped in the flight preparations, but by the Lockheed factory which made the plane, and by the radio experts who installed the equipment.  The radio transmitter had to be powered by the motor generator, which would be submerged and inactive in the water.

The importance of this fact is, briefly, that it can be proven beyond doubt that the Earhart plane DID broadcast radio signals many hours after it had to be down somewhere, and the plane must have been on land.

The third fact is that radio signals were received from the Earhart plane days after it had landed.  These signals were heard in various parts of the world, by several radio operators, including ships at sea, government stations, and her radio contact man, Walter McMenamy.  Proof of this is in official records and affidavits.  These signals, and the time they were heard, will be described later.

These facts can and will be proven, and they lead directly to the conclusion that the Earhart plane landed in a place not searched, and must be still there with its occupants alive or dead.  Their last radio signal had a decided ripple or sputter, which any radio expert recognizes immediately as evidence that the power was failing.

Immediately two questions arise.  First, what chance could they have for survival on a tiny, deserted island, with little food and no water? History provides an answer.  There are many cases on record where persons shipwrecked, stranded, and believed lost were found years later, alive, in this same area where the Earhart plane landed.  One party, without food, lived on fish, shellfish, and bird’s eggs, and captured rainwater for drinking.  A monotonous diet, but they survived and were rescued from an island which appeared to be incapable of sustaining life.

The second question is: If they were safe, why have they not been picked up, or heard from?  There is a single answer to this.  Their course took them over a sea area strewn with hundreds of islands, which had never been seen from the air, and parts of which have never been visited by civilized man.  Hundreds of miles from the steamer lanes, thousands from communication.  Many of the islands, on their course have never been charted, and appear on no map.

Amelia with Bendix Corporation representative Cyril Remmlein, and the now-infamous direction finding loop that may or may not have failed her during the final flight.  (Photo courtesy Albert Bresnik, taken from Earhart’s Flight Into Yesterday, by Laurance Safford, Robert Payne and Cameron Warren.)

What could anyone do but wait, and pray for rescue?

To complete the story, let’s review the events of the disappearance and search point by point.

Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan had an excellent aircraft, a Lockheed Electra, powered with two 550-horsepower motors and equipped with the latest instruments devised.  They cruised at an average speed of 150 mph.  At no time during the flight, even when their gas supply was running low and they were lost, did they report any trouble of any kind, with the motor or otherwise.  No wreckage of the plane has ever been sighted or found, no evidence of an explosion or a sudden crash into the sea caused by faulty motors.

The two left Miami, Florida, on their flight around the world June 1, 1937.  The first leg of the trip to South America was completed without difficulty.  On their flight 1,900 miles across the South Atlantic to Africa, it was reported that the plane’s radio did not function properly, but the span was successfully accomplished.  The trip then took them across Africa and to India.  In the Bay of  Bengal, the plane encountered a monsoon which forced it close to the water, but their objective was won, and the fliers safely reached Lae, British New Guinea.

At Lae they drew breath for the most difficult leg of the trip, one never before attempted.  This was a 2,570- [exactly 2,556] mile flight from Lae to Howland Island, a distance greater than from Los Angeles to New York, over a lonely, poorly charted sea.  The navigation must be perfect, for they were aiming at a pinpoint in the ocean, tiny Howland Island less than two miles square and 20 feet above sea level at its highest point.  Their aim, at such a distance, must be flawless.

Few navigators would stake their lives, as Capt. Noonan did, on such a gamble.

Navigators say that even with the gentle prevailing winds that were blowing at the time, a drift of ten degrees off course in such a distance might easily occur, even with the most expert navigation.

If the plane did drift, from its last know bearing, it might have come down somewhere in a triangle stretching nearly 1,500 miles long and about 500 miles wide at its base.  This fateful triangle includes nearly a million square miles and hundreds of unexplored islands, and only a small part of it has ever been searched for the missing pair.

Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan took off from Lae on the morning of July 1, Pacific Standard Time [10 a.m., July 2, Lae Time].  The first 500 miles of their flight took them over sea and islands fairly well known, where they could take bearings without difficulty. Shortly after 5 p.m., they reported they were 725 miles out, and directly on course.  Although regular broadcasts were heard from the plane hours later, this was the last position definitely reported, and our triangle starts from the 800-mile mark, for these reasons.

Radio room of USCG Cutter Tahoe, sister ship to Itasca, circa 1937.  Three radio logs were maintained during the flight, at positions 1 and 2 in the Itasca radio room, and one on Howland Island, where the Navy’s high-frequency direction finder had been set up.  Aboard Itasca, Chief Radioman Leo G. Bellarts supervised Gilbert E. Thompson, Thomas J. O’Hare and William L. Galten, all third-class radiomen, (meaning they were qualified and “rated” to perform their jobs).  Many years later, Galten told Paul Rafford Jr., a former Pan Am Radio flight officer, “That woman never intended to land on Howland Island!”

The last 1,000 miles of the flight were the most difficult.  There were no landmarks to aid in navigation, and the slightest drift off course could take them miles from their destination.

Stationed at Howland Island to aid the flight was the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, to keep in radio contact with the ship and to advise on weather.  Miss Earhart’s radio could transmit on two wave lengths, 3105 kilocycles and 6210 kilocycles.  There was only one thing wrong with the arrangements, and this mistake may be the cause, perhaps, for the disaster.

Although the Itasca had a radio direction finder which would show the course of signals it received, and thus make it possible to give bearings to a lost plane, the direction finder could not work on the Earhart wavelengths.

Miss Earhart, in the last desperate hours of her flight, asked the Itasca again and again to give her a report on her position.  Evidently she did not know the Itasca was not equipped with a direction finder which could aid her.

An ironic comment can be made here of the flight preparations at Lae.  During the earlier part of her trip, Miss Earhart’s plane was equipped with a trailing antenna.”  This wire trailing under the plane made it possible for the plane to broadcast on the regular ship wavelength of 500 meters (kc).  With the trailing antennae, she could have transmitted signals on that wavelength, and the Itasca direction finder, tuned to this frequency, could have reported her position in the air.  But, for mysterious reasons, Miss Earhart left the trailing antennae at Lae [most say Miami].  Then she canceled, irrevocably, her chance to learn from the Itasca or other ships where she was, lost in the skies seeking tiny Howland Island.  The Itasca direction finder could not help her

(End of Part I)

 

Martin’s long-awaited “Assassination of Forrestal”: Definitive work on first SecDef’s 1949 murder

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with David Martin (DCDave.com), the award-winning writer and retired federal economist who reviewed both editions of Truth at LastHillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up,in August 2012, and  Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishmentin May 2016.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

In summer 2017, Martin helped clear up the confused mess surrounding the media’s relationship to the bogus claims in the History Channel’s presentation of the 1930s-era Office of Naval Intelligence photo of the dock at Jaluit, in which Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were mistakenly identified, writing three pieces focusing on Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” the History Channel’s odious July 9, 2017 Earhart specialPress Touts Dubious Earhart Photo,” Earhart Photo Story Apparently Debunked,” and “ ‘Earhart Photo’ Debunker Debunked?  

David Martin at the grave of James V. Forrestal at Arlington, Va.  No one has done more to prove that Forrestal was murdered by still unknown killers on May 22, 1949. (Photo courtesy David Martin.)

In March 2018, Martin teamed with Hugh Turley to publish their groundbreaking book on the 1968 death of famed Catholic monk and mystic Thomas Merton, whose sudden demise in a Thailand hotel has been unanimously accepted as accidental electrocution by an electric fanThe Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation claims that a careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false, and leaves no doubt that Merton was murdered, likely by an element of the U.S. deep state — another cover-up, another sacred cow exposed, another important book to which the establishment media will never direct the public.

Now, at last, Martin has turned his lengthy, six-part 2003 disquisition, Who Killed James Forrestal?into his long-awaited The Assassination of James Forrestal, published on May 21, just one day short of the 70th anniversary of Forrestal’s murder. 

Forrestal’s shocking death in the early morning of May 22, 1949 at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland was particularly disturbing to Thomas E. Devine, the late author of the 1987 classic, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, who was certain that Forrestal was on Saipan in July 1944 when Amelia Earhart’s Electra was burned and later buried along with hundreds of tons of other war refuse below Aslito Airfield, which is now Saipan International Airport.

Whether the Navy Secretary was actually on Saipan or not in July 1944 — and we’re virtually certain he was not physically there, as I discuss at length in Truth at Last (pages 72-75) — Forrestal was very close to the top of the chain of command that ordered and executed the burning beyond recognition of the Earhart Electra on Saipan. 

Whether the first secretary of defense’s death was connected to his involvement in the Earhart case remains unknown, but his passing was a crushing blow to Devine’s hope that the truth would eventually be revealed. However James Forrestal met his death,Devine wrote, he took with him what he knew about Amelia Earhart’s plane, which he examined and ordered burned on Saipan in July 1944.

Navy hospital officials were quick to label Forrestal’s death a suicide, but “many question the theory that Forrestal entered a sixteenth-floor diet pantry, tied one end of his bathrobe sash to a radiator, looped the other end around his neck, and stepped out the pantry window,” Devine wroteNeither do skeptics believe that Forrestal deliberately leaped from the sixteenth-floor window to the third-floor bridge which connected the two wings of the hospital.  The skeptics are convinced that Forrestal was murdered.

David Martin’s The Assassination of James Forrestal, published in May 2019, should be must reading for anyone interested in the history of this nation.

Devine was unaware of The Death of James Forrestal, a virtually unknown 1966 book by Cornell Simpson (a pseudonym) that presented a compelling case for Forrestal’s murder and was entirely ignored by the American media, and before Martin’s Who Killed James Forrestal? in 2003, the only previous work of any significance to shine light on Forrestal’s murder. 

Forced to resign by President Harry Truman in March 1949 after less than two years in office as the nation’s first secretary of defense, Forrestal was soon taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital to undergo treatment for operational fatigue, at the recommendation of noted psychiatrist Dr. William C. Menninger.  Ten days after his admission, Captain B.W. Hogan, the hospital’s commandant, reported that Forrestal wasunderweight, had low blood pressure, a secondary anemia and a neuromuscular weakness characteristically found in cases of exhaustion . . . [but] the only psychiatric symptoms present are those associated with a state of excessive fatigue.”  Forrestal’s condition, Hogan said, wasdirectly the result of excessive work during the war and post-war years.

Forrestal was held for seven weeks as a virtual prisoner in his sixteenth-floor room in the hospital’s tower.  He was allowed visits only from his wife, two sons, Truman, and Louis Johnson, his successor as defense secretary.   His attending physician, Dr. (Captain) George N. Raines, prohibited Forrestal from seeing four people he specifically wanted to see: his brother Henry; two priests, Monsignor Maurice S. Sheehy and Father Paul McNally, S.J.; and a friend whose name has never been disclosed. Sheehy, a former Navy chaplain and close friend, made seven trips to the hospital from nearby Catholic University in Washington, and each time was barred without explanation from seeing Forrestal.His blood is on the hands of those who kept me from seeing him, Sheehy wrote in the American Mercury after Forrestal’s death.

Henry Forrestal was finally allowed to see James after threatening to go public about his brother’s confinement and virtual isolation.  At the hospital, Henry said James was acting and talking as sanely and intelligently as any man I’ve ever known.”  Johnson also found Forrestal was like his old self and in good healthduring an April 27 visit.  When Raines admitted that James was “fundamentally all right,” Henry made train reservations for Washington and notified Raines that he intended to take James out of the hospital May 22 to complete his convalescence in the country, “where he would not be cooped up in a room with nothing to do and nobody to talk to,” according to Simpson.  But at approximately 1:50 a.m. that very morning, James Forrestal was found dead.

At his Beacon, New York home, Henry told Simpson that James “positively did not kill himself.  He said his brother was the last person in the world who would have committed suicide. . . . James was having a good time planning the things he would do following his discharge.  Henry Forrestal recalled that Truman and Johnson agreed that his brother was in fine shape and that the hospital officials admitted that the patient would have been released soon. Monsignor Sheehy also seriously suspected that Forrestal had been murdered.

The Death of James Forrestal presented a compelling case for the murder of the staunch anti-Communist, likely at the hands of Soviet operatives and spies within Washington’s heavily infiltrated establishment, including the Truman White House.  This outrageous treatment of the Forrestal case meshed perfectly into the standard Washington practice of concealing from the public Communist-connected scandals,Simpson — whoever he was, and Martin has a very good idea — wrote.

Martin disagrees with Simpson’s verdict as to the killers’ identities and motivations, but I won’t spoil that aspect of The Assassination of James Forrestal by naming his most likely villains in this review.  He draws from the Willcutts Report, likely made public and declassified in 2004 as a result of his third Freedom of Information Act request;  key witness Edward Prise, the Navy hospital corpsman who was the last to admit seeing Forrestal alive; and many other sources to convincingly demonstrate the absurdity of the idea that Forrestal would throw himself out of a 16th floor window at Bethesda Naval Hospital to a death he most certainly did not desire.

No soothsayer is required to foresee that The Assassination of James Forrestal, because of its very nature as the slayer of yet another establishment sacred cow, will be ignored or dismissed by our esteemed national opinion molding apparatus (NOMA, a term Martin has coined, which he says is comprised to “various degrees by the GAME: government, academia, media, and entertainment”) in the coming months and years.  Only the extent of the media blackout of this book, already under way, has yet to be determined.

Bethesda Naval Hospital, photo date unknown, but probably taken before Forrestal’s untimely death there in May 1949.  Note the old cars under and to the left of the tree at left.

 The Assassination of James Forrestal begins with a poignant note of praise from Phillip F. Nelson, the eminent author of LBJ, the Mastermind of the JFK Assassination; LBJ, from Mastermind to “The Colossus”; Remember the Liberty; and Who Really Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.?

David Martin’s book The Assassination of James Forrestal focuses on the historic truths related to the systemic harassment and consequent death of James Forrestal in May, 1949, at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.  It is a long-overdue, hugely important, work of revisionist history.  The timeworn myths intended to support his “suicide” – which had originally been planted by such muckraking columnists as Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell, then repeated by the authors of several biographies of Forrestal – have been systematically deconstructed by Martin (a.k.a. “DCDave”).

This profoundly important book describes in detail one of the earliest plots of the Deep State as it was constituted post-WWII: The plot to remove all impediments to the creation and successful launch of the nation of Israel, through silencing the most influential and prescient voice cautioning his country, and the world, about the long and possibly endless tail of retaliations, recriminations and retributions that lay ahead.  The history of that land, still resonating with the repercussions he predicted, proves James V. Forrestal’s legendary wisdom.

To read Philip Nelson’s review of The Assassination of James Forrestal from his blog, LBJ: Master of Deceit, please click here.

The findings of the still unknown Willcutts Report were presented in a brief summary released Oct. 11, 1949, stating Forrestal had died from his fall from the sixteenth story.  Nothing was said about what could have caused it, except to make it clear that the Navy was in no way responsible.  Suicide was not cited as a cause of death despite the original press reports and propaganda perpetuating the idea that the first secretary of defense killed himself, nor did the Willcutts Report, comprising hundreds of pages of witness interviews, conclude that Forrestal committed suicide.   

In Chapter 1 of The Assassination of James Forrestal, “The Case for Assassination,” Martin discusses the shortcomings of the well-known 1992, 587-page Forrestal biography, Driven Patriot, the Life and Times of James Forrestal, by Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley.  In concluding his “Secret Investigative Report” subsection, Martin tells us:

The willingness of the authorities to withstand the thoroughly justified charge of cover-up by not releasing the results of their investigation, including the transcripts of witness testimony, speaks volumes, as does the extraordinarily deceptive description of the case by the likes of such establishment figures as Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley.  Their account is replete with deceptions, but there is none greater than this withholding of the information that all the key witness testimony has been kept secret, along with the results of the investigation itself, and that the investigation did not conclude that Forrestal committed suicide.

. . . By leaving out the vital information that the official record of the case has been suppressed, Hoopes and Brinkley, cobbling together an account based on a hodgepodge of dubious sources, leave the reader with the impression that we know more about what happened than we really do.

James Vincent Forrestal, secretary of the Navy from May 1944 to September 1947, was mistakenly identified by Thomas E. Devine as the “the man in the white shirt,” who directed the destruction of Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E at Aslito Airfield on Saipan in July 1944.   Although he wasn’t present when the Electra was burned, Forrestal was in the chain of command that executed the destruct order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his suspicious death in March 1949 may have been directly related to his involvement in the Earhart case. (National Archives.)

“From their Wikipedia pages we learn that Hoopes, a former Under Secretary of the Air Force, among many government positions he held, was a member of the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale University and that Brinkley, who is a commentator on CNN, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Martin writes in a Chapter 1 footnote.  “He was also the protégé of popular historian, Stephen E. Ambrose.  As establishment historians, Hoopes and Brinkley’s credentials are impeccable.”  Indeed, Hoopes, who died in 2004, and Brinkley, who continues to occasionally haunt cable news, were and are highly respected creatures of the establishment, and it is precisely therein that the problem lies.

Ironically — or coincidentally — I had my own experience with Hoopes, and it was anything but pleasant.  Early in my Earhart education, in September 1992, I wrote to Hoopes. a former undersecretary of defense under Forrestal from 1948 to 1949, and then an international affairs executive at the University of Maryland, College Park.  I described Thomas Devine’s work and asked Hoopes for his thoughts, naively figuring he must have known something, based on his close relationship to Forrestal.  Hoopes feigned interest initially, but lost the first information package I sent, and after receiving another, he flatly and rudely rejected Devine’s account, telling me our “correspondence should end” and suggesting legal action should I use anything he wrote to me without his permission.  Nine years later, Hoopes ignored my request for permission to quote from his letter in the 2002 book I wrote with Devine, With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia Earhart.  A real sweetheart and a class act, was Mr. Hoopes.  

There’s far more in The Assassination of James Forrestal that will convince the reader that the universally accepted story that James V. Forrestal committed suicide is a blatant falsehood, thanks to David Martin’s singular perseverance in finding the truth.  Martin, who has a doctorate degree and is a historian of the first rank, is also a gifted poet whose singular epigraphs flavor the beginning of each of his chapters and lend added depth to his already captivating narrative.

For example, here’s the one from Chapter 1, “The Case for Assassination”:

Not for Human Consumption?

The water from the well of truth
Is to most folks undrinkable.
That is because of their distaste
For things they find unthinkable

Or another, from Chapter 13, “Historians Unmoved”:

Timorous Eunuchs

In the universities
You’ll find our finest minds.
The problem isn’t with their brains
Oh no, it’s with their spines.

The Assassination of James Forrestal is a 335-page masterpiece to which our feckless, corrupt media will not be directing the masses, a historical tour de force that only the scant few of our wise and enlightened will discover and enjoy.  It’s a steal at an inexpensive price that I strongly encourage all who care about our nation’s history to purchase and read. 

Part II of “1001 Heroes” interview available June 5

Jon Hagadorn, host of “1001 Heroes, Legends, Histories and Mysteries” recently asked me to appear on his program, and we did two parts of about 90 minutes each.  Jon did his homework before we produced the programs, and we discuss the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument movement on Saipan, which I haven’t had a chance to do recently.

Part I aired Sunday night, June 2., and Part II is available as of Wednesday, June 5.  To listen, please click here and scrawl down to “EARHART: THE FINAL TRUTH.”

Hosted by Jon Hagadorn, these fast-paced, compelling audio shows have set a new standard for history storytelling, often placing the listener at a crucial moment in history from the outset, and always managing to deliver on tense human drama based upon accurate and painstaking research.

%d bloggers like this: