In like a lion, out like a lamb. Thus ends yet another Nikumaroro-Amelia Earhart boondoggle. This time the perp was the famed Robert Ballard, who discovered the Titanic, but the result was the same as always, as predictable as death and taxes. Nothing related to Earhart or Fred Noonan was found, but an old lie was resurrected to keep the scam viable for future paydays. (Boldface and italic emphasis mine throughout.)
As is always the case with these bogus Nikumaroro searches, you had to actually do a search to find any news about the latest failure. Yesterday (Aug. 26) I awoke early enough to beat the news sent to my inbox by the first of a few intrepid readers. “‘Tantalizing clue’ marks end of Amelia Earhart expedition,” National Geographic magazine whispered. “While the location of the aviator’s plane remains elusive, an artifact re-discovered after 80 years may spark new avenues of inquiry,” NatGeo’s subhead cunningly adds.
In like a lion, out like a lamb. As of post time for this story, not a single media organization besides NatGeo, which initiated this current round of deceit — a bandwagon that most of mainstream media immediately and gleefully jumped aboard — has informed its readers that they have once again been had. This too, is so redundantly typical of these media vermin.
The “tantalizing clue” in the headline is no such thing, but another lame pretext based on already debunked “evidence” — the alleged bones found on Nikumaroro in 1940 that were analyzed by the only real medical professionals to have ever examined them, and found to be those of a male individual.
“The bones were eventually shipped to the High Commissioner’s Office in Suva,” Les Kinney wrote in a March 19, 2018 post on this blog, “Les Kinney joins ‘The Truth at Last’ conversation, Shreds TIGHAR’s latest false Earhart claims.”
“An initial report was completed by the Acting Senior Medical Officer,” Kinney continued. “The medical examiner concluded ‘they are part of a skeleton of elderly male of Polynesian race, bones having been probably in sheltered position for upwards of 20 years possibly much longer.’:
The bones were then brought to the Central Medical School and examined by Dr. D. W. Hoodless. Hoodless took careful measurements of the bones and skull. He noted the remains only included one half of the pelvic bone. Hoodless obviously took into consideration the pelvic bone is symmetrical and said that in his professional opinion, the bones were that of a skeleton of “total height of 5 feet 5 and ½ inches approximately.“ Hoodless went on to write “it may be definitely stated that the skeleton is that of a [MALE.]“ Hoodless emphasis. Hoodless added, “he was not less than 45 and more probably older.”
The good news, if we can call it that, is that Ballard himself is not making any false claims to stir the pot, as TIGHAR always does, and is likely finished with this farce, as NatGeo’s designated hack Rachel Hartigan Shea reports, though she doesn’t quote him directly:
Ballard doesn’t plan on returning to Nikumaroro unless the land team finds definitive evidence that Earhart and Noonan perished there. Yet he already knows where he’d search if he did go back to the island: Beaches further south where it’s flat enough to land and the underwater topography is much smoother—perfect for sonar, he says.
Is Ballard embarrassed about his involvement with the Nikumaroro fraud, that he would be roped into this ongoing hoax, or was he in on the fix from the start, knowing the truth but going along to get along, make some extra green and please the establishment by distracting the sheeple for another news cycle? It certainly doesn’t help his sterling résumé to have this failure attached to it. Can Ballard actually be so uninformed about the history of Earhart research that the work of Fred Goerner, Vincent V. Loomis, Thomas E. Devine, Bill Prymak and others is completely unknown to him? Is that possible?
My guess is there’s no way Ballard can be that ignorant, and though we may never know for sure, Hartigan Shea might offer a clue. “[H]e doesn’t consider the search to be over,” she wrote. “Indeed, after this expedition, Nautilus is heading to Howland and Baker islands to map the waters off of these U.S. Territories for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Perhaps something will be discovered off the shore of the island where Earhart intended to land.”
Sure it will, and pigs will fly at farms and county fairs nationwide at the precise moment that happens. To read the rest of NatGeo’s Aug. 26 claptrap, please click here.
SUMMARY OF LATEST EARHART DISINFORMATION OPERATION
This time it started, media-wise at least, with the National Geographic’s July 23, 2019 story: “Robert Ballard found the Titanic. Can he find Amelia Earhart’s airplane?” subheaded, “Ocean explorer Robert Ballard will lead a major expedition to the remote Pacific in hopes of discovering the famed aviator’s fate.”
With the same breathless tones that accompanied countless stories that preceded TIGHAR’s Nikumaroro money-wasters over the past 30 years, National Geographic’s “Now Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is planning to search for signs of the missing aviators. On August 7, he’ll depart from Samoa for Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island that’s part of the Micronesian nation of Kiribati. The expedition will be filmed by National Geographic for a two-hour documentary airing October 20.”
Unsurprisingly, Ballard’s make-believe search for Amelia Earhart has mirrored the 13 (officially) visits by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) to Nikumaroro since 1989 in many ways. These fiascoes always start with some new fabrication, some slightly different excuse to waste all the money they’ve somehow managed to glom from sources that are never really clear, to take the hype as far as they can.
Not to be outdone, Smithsonian magazine, home of the anachronistic crashed-and-sank, official government-line apologists, responded with a July 31 tantrum, “Why the Much-Publicized Mission to Find Amelia Earhart’s Plane Is Likely to Come Up Empty,” subheaded, “The explorer who discovered the ‘Titanic’ is searching for the lost aviator. A Smithsonian curator doesn’t think he’ll find it.”
On Aug, 12, sometime after Ballard and Nautilus had arrived at Nikumaroro, National Geographic led it off with Hartigan Shea’s “Inside Robert Ballard’s search for Amelia Earhart’s airplane.” Within the piece, in a 1:35 embedded video preview of “Expedition Amelia,” a two-hour NatGeo special set to air Oct. 20, Ballard puts his foot in it, telling us with supreme arrogance, “It’s not the Loch Ness Monster. It’s not Bigfoot. That airplane exists, which means I’m gonna find it.” Really?
The left-wing Bible New York Times soon followed that same day, with “Finding Amelia Earhart’s Plane Seemed Impossible. Then Came a Startling Clue”; and the always-deceitful where Earhart is concerned Fox News chipped in with “Amelia Earhart mystery: The man who discovered the Titanic is searching for the doomed aviator’s plane.” The rest of the usual media suspects fell right in behind the leaders, like the good little monkeys they are.
Just over a week later, reality had set in — on and off Nikumaroro. NatGeo’s Aug. 20 story, “Coconut crabs may hold clue to Amelia Earhart fate,” subheaded, “Does the secret of the famed aviator’s disappearance lie in the underground haunts of the world’s largest land invertebrate?” simply reeked of desperation. To this observer, to mention the crabs with five days still left on Ballard’s search schedule seemed like a tell that signaled defeat, even before the final results were in.
This wasn’t the first time we’ve heard about how coconut crabs on Nikumaroro were going to lead TIGHAR to the Holy Grail — the bones of Amelia Earhart. Our reliable friends from Smithsonian Magazine did a story on Dec. 26, 2013, “Coconut Crabs Eat Everything from Kittens to, Maybe, Amelia Earhart,” which declaimed, “According to one theory, Earhart did not drown in the Pacific but instead crashed on the remote Nikumaroro atoll, where she was eaten by coconut crabs”:
In 1940, researchers discovered a fraction of a skeleton on the island that matched the description of Amelia Earhart. Now, even more interesting clues are arising that seem to substantiate the idea that this is where she met her demise. The most compelling hypothesis currently under consideration is that coconut crabs overwhelmed her where she lay.
Researchers carried out an experiment to validate whether the coconut crabs had a part in her demise. Back in 2007, they used a small pig carcass to assess what the coconut crabs might have done. The bones were removed very quickly and scattered, according to Patricia Thrasher, TIGHAR’s president.
This ludicrous meme has redounded throughout our agitprop media ever since, thrown up against the wall to see how well it might stick when nothing else was available. When it comes to Earhart, anything except the truth has always been fair game, to keep the masses watching the shiny object.
In an Aug. 22 blog comment, I wrote, “I’ve read this absurd story, and if this is all they have, they might be preparing to announce the truth for a change, that nothing related to Earhart was found by Ballard and company.”
But I added: “I could be 180 degrees wrong. Maybe they’re preparing us for a brand-new grandiose claim by first softening up their readers with this garbage, published as if no one knows anything at all about the history of Earhart research. . . . NatGeo treats its readers as if they’re hopeless morons, and sadly, in many cases they are right. But this deal with the crabs, like last year with the dogs, is pushing the ridiculous far beyond credulity.”
It didn’t take long for NatGeo to post the next installment of its 2019 Earhart Reality Show, as Hartigan Shea’s Aug. 23 report, “Amelia Earhart search crew shares personal theories on her disappearance,” brought a sliver of clarity to this spectacle:
Back on the Nautilus, Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is searching the waters off Nikumaroro for the Electra’s remains. But that doesn’t stop him from speculating in his off hours about where else she might have landed. Could she have touched down on the windward side of the island or possibly on another island altogether? Based on how much gas she had left, he wondered, “What other islands were reachable and uninhabited and haven’t been searched?” He crunched the numbers and the answer is very few.
The answer is simple, unless you have an agenda to spew propaganda in support of the official government lie. It’s available in several books, including Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, wherein all due credit is given to researcher and author Vincent V. Loomis and his 1985 book, Amelia Earhart: The Final Story, the definitive Earhart-Marshall Islands-landing work.
Multiple witnesses saw Earhart’s Electra crash-land near Barre Island, in the northwest quadrant of Mili, and she and Noonan were later seen at Jaluit, where Japanese hospital corpsman Bilimon Amaron treated Noonan for a gash on his knee while crewmen stood by and addressed Earhart as “Meel-ya, Meel-ya.”
But that and a mountain of evidence too massive to mention here aren’t good enough for NatGeo’s Ms. Hartigan Shea, who finishes her Aug. 23 entry with this insipid paragraph:
The search for Amelia Earhart is an endless puzzle, and a challenge that Ballard relishes. So do the other members of the expedition, who have puzzled over how long Earhart could have survived on the island, what she ate, whether the coconut crabs consumed her, if her plane could have floated intact over the reef, whether rescuers tried hard enough to find her and, most poignantly, how the ardent feminist and pacifist might have changed the world if she had lived. We may never know the answers to some of these questions but the speculation will continue as long as the mystery remains unsolved.
Never hint at the Marshall Islands-Saipan truth — that’s the ticket for these artists of disinformation, these cockroaches of deceit. Will someone please cue the violins? A high school freshman could write a better close than this clichéd, transparent trash. In its laughable screed, NatGeo is not only lying to its readers, but it’s reached new lows in its contemptible hypocrisy.
To wit: This crew of National Geographic propagandists pretends to know nothing about the National Geographic Channel’s Amelia Earhart special in late 2006, which was the debut of its short-lived Undercover History series. In that program, several aspects of the truth were presented, including Marine Pvt. Robert E. Wallack’s discovery of Amelia’s briefcase in a blown Japanese safe on Saipan in summer 1944, and Bilimon Amaron’s encounter with the fliers on a Japanese ship at Jaluit. Just the slightest trace of that program can now be found on an Internet search, an IMDb entry that’s been swept clean of any meaningful information. Care to guess why?
People and organizations cover their tracks because they don’t want you to know something important that will expose their scheme, and this is just another example of big-media duplicity in the Earhart story. For new readers who may believe that the “Amelia Earhart Mystery” actually exists, please see “July 2, 2018: 81 years of lies in the Earhart case.”
Refusing to accept what is true, Hartigan Shea closes her Aug. 26 article with a final mendacity, informing us that “An expedition land team led by National Geographic Society archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert may have found fragments of the skull in the Te Umwanibong Museum and Cultural Centre in Tarawa, Kiribati. . . . This, too, is a fitting end to an Earhart expedition. Just when it seems to be over, a tantalizing clue appears to lure the searchers onward.”
Referencing NatGeo’s description of a “fitting ending to what was in many respects a successful expedition,” Calvin Pitts, who retraced Wiley Post’s solo 1933 world flight in 1981 and is an honored, regular contributor to this blog, wrote: “I was stunned in disbelief that grown men could participate in such a national hoax, without embarrassment. Please join me in a moment of levity. They were looking for an Electra, the remains of which are buried in Saipan. They FOUND NOTHING, but they had the gall to say with a straight face, “THIS WAS A SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITION” — translated, ‘At least, we didn’t have a major malfunction of our equipment.’ Childishness on display.”
Or far worse, I would add.
As for the photo taken by British colonial officer Eric Bevington in October 1937 of the British freighter SS Norwich City, in the right background, and an indistinct speck on the far left side of the frame, which is presented in the Aug. 26 NatGeo story as TIGHAR’s idea of “compelling evidence” that “resembles the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra,” Calvin also had a few choice words.
“Wrong,” Calvin wrote. “It looks more like the horn of a unicorn. They have just discovered the first remains of an extinct animal in the annals of history. Imagine grown men, professionals no less, acting like children in a sandbox. It’s worse than laughable. It is pathetic. And to think that NatGeo would spend money on this long-known hoax. Will the real Gillespie please stand up, take a bow, and go home. Stop polluting a serious story with BS, please. You’ve had your sick moment in the sun. Now tend to your sunburn and leave the Earhart history to the sane and the serious.”
There you have it, dear reader. There will be no end to the Earhart-on-Nikumaroro travesty, despite the fact that if anything in this world is known to be certain, it’s that neither Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan nor the Electra were ever anywhere near Nikumaroro. Now, in addition to Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR, the great Bob Ballard has performed this public service for us, as if it were actually necessary.
Who was it that said, “You can’t get blood out of a stone”?