Senator Inouye’s Earhart legislation would “declassify any records that have been classified”

We rejoin the saga of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye’s attempt to release the secret Earhart files by drafting Congressional legislation in 1993.  Longtime Earhart researcher and author Col. Rollin Reineck (U.S. Air Force, retired) was far from a single-minded devotee of the truth, as we’ve already seen in several posts, but we also must give the colonel his just due.  (Boldface and italics emphases mine throughout.)

If not for Reineck’s diligence, Inouye would never have become informed and motivated enough about the Earhart disappearance to actually step out from the establishment mob and risk his proverbial neck for the truth. 

I find it beyond ironic that Inouye was not just the only U.S. senator to ever actively advocate for total disclosure of the secret Earhart files, but that he was a Japanese-American citizen who narrowly escaped internment during World War II.  With 50 more like him, we might write “Case Closed” to the Earhart disappearance.

Inouye was one of only seven members of the U.S. Senate to be awarded the Medal of Honor;  five of those were cited for their valor during the Civil War.  Sen. Robert J. Kerry (D-Nebraska), whose actions came in Vietnam in 1969, shares the 20th century senatorial distinction with Inouye, whose story is an inspiring chronicle of selflessness, courage and devotion to duty and comrades.

Undated U.S. Army photo of Lt. Daniel Inouye, platoon leader in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, activated on Feb. 1, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Miss.  The team was composed of Japanese-American volunteers from the internment camps, Hawaii, states outside of the west coast exclusion zone, and Japanese-American soldiers who were already serving in the U.S. Army when the war broke out.

Born in Honolulu in 1924 to Japanese parents who had emigrated from the mainland, Inouye was surrounded by anti-Japanese sentiment during his childhood, graduating from high school in 1942, just after Pearl Harbor. 

Inouye immediately tried to enlist in the military, but was rejected with a draft classification 4C, which stood for enemy alien,unfit for duty, but after more than a year, the Army finally dropped its enlistment ban on Japanese-Americans.  He quickly enlisted and volunteered for the storied 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Japanese-American combat unit that fought in southern France and Germany.

Promoted to sergeant in his first year, and after a major battle in the Vosges Mountains of France in the fall of 1944, Inouye received a battlefield commission to second lieutenant.  During that offensive, he was hit by a German round right above his heart, but two silver dollars he had stacked in his shirt pocket stopped the bullet.  He carried those coins with him through the rest of the war, but the worst was far from over.

On April 21, 1945, Inouye was near San Terenzo, Italy, leading his platoon on an attack on a mountain ridge against enemy troops who were guarding an important road junction when they were ambushed by three close-range machine guns. During the attack, he was shot in the stomach, but Inouye was undeterred and  destroyed the first machine gun position by himself with grenades and gunfire.  He and his squad then attacked the second machine gun nest, successfully destroying it.  For the rest of the late Senator Daniel Inouye’s Medal of Honor story, please click here.

We come now to possibly the highest point of the 12 years Bill Prymak invested in producing the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletter (1989-2000) for his friends and fellow researchers.  As we can see below, Prymak’s February 1993 newsletter trumpets the news that his friend Rollin Reineck had persuaded Sen. Inouye to write legislation that would, if approved and enacted, end 56 years of government denial and deceit, as reflected by Inouye’s letter to Reineck, followed by the bill that he would soon introduce.

Army 2nd Lt. and future Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye (far left) smiles with Bob Dole (front right) at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Mich., sometime after World War II.  (Photo courtesy of Robert Dole Library.)

Prymak’s closing comment:  “The above, hopefully, will be the fruition of many years of hard, dedicated effort to break down the doors of the State Department, where the Colonel is certain that files on Amelia Earhart never seen before by the American people lay sequesteredEverybody owes him a debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts and perseverance in what we all hope will be a major breakthrough in the Earhart mystery.  GOOD SHOW, COLONEL.

Nothing more was ever heard of Inouye’s proposed bill, and the AES Newsletters are silent as wellThus has been the fate of all efforts aimed at breaking through the stone wall erected by the U.S. government and its agencies that protects the secrets of the Earhart disappearance from the public.  Even an important, highly placed U.S. senator’s actual proposed legislation was dead on arrival, with no chance of passage whatsoever.

Joe Gervais, left, and Rolling Reineck, circa mid-1990s, overlooking Honolulu, Hawaii.  Still esteemed by some as the greatest of Earhart researchers, Gervais can count among his contributions the vile and false Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart theory, which his friend Reineck unsuccessfully tried to reprise in his 2003 book, Amelia Earhart Survived.

Congress has yet to do anything approaching a real investigation of the Earhart disappearance.  When Fred Goerner’s bestseller, The Search for Amelia Earhart, rocked the nation in 1966, selling over 400,000 copies in an age when far more Americans actually read books, untold numbers of congressmen and senators from coast to coast were besieged by constituents demanding that they get to the bottom of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.  Nothing happened.

In an event that appears to have been completely suppressed from the public, in July 1968 Goerner appeared before a Republican platform subcommittee in Miami, chaired by Kentucky Governor Louie Broady Nunn. 

In his four-page presentation, “Crisis in Credibility — Truth in Government,” Goerner laid out the highlights of the mountain of facts that put the fliers on Saipan and appealed to the members’ integrity and patriotism, doing his utmost  to win them to the cause of securing justice for Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.  Nothing eventuated, of course.  I have the record of Goerner’s congressional encounter only because I briefly had access to his 900-plus files, housed at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas, which continues to ban Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last from its bookstore.

In 1997, Rollin Reineck took another shot at it — an extreme longshot, to be more accurate — and wrote an excellent letter to President  Bill Clinton in hopes of achieving a miraculous breakthrough in the Earhart case.  This time Reineck had no inside connection, and his missive probably never got past a GS-11 screener.  This has been the fate of all attempts to reveal the truth about the Earhart disappearance — among the most sacrosanct of the U.S. government’s sacred cows — to the American public.  And so it goes.

10 responses

  1. What can one say, but so frustrating, which Mike knows better than any of us reading his blog. That piece of legislation is probably buried along with other Earhart files, never to see the light of day. I cannot imagine anyone in the oval office brave or foolhardy enough to take this on. One would have assume a Washington outsider like Trump would be willing to tweak congressional noses, but evidently not. i guess if he had attempted this, he would have been warned off by the keepers of the secrets.


    1. Thanks Dave. Trump has been more than warned by the Deep State about plenty already. I don’t think he’s afraid of anybody, but that he just has not been told about the Earhart problem, what with everything else he’s had to deal with for the past three-plus years. I can’t imagine anyone near him ever telling him either.



  2. Greetings to All:

    It’s possible there may be some revelations about Amelia Earhart, as well as other topics heretofore shrouded in secrecy, after the November elections.

    All best,



  3. Stuart R Brownstein | Reply

    Mike: Does not get any more exciting than this ! Your Buddy, Stuart !


    1. Stuart R Brownstein | Reply

      Maybe, just maybe another senator or congressman will pick up where Senato Inouye left off and tried to get Amelia Earhart files declassified ! But the government cover-up is obviously still in effect ! Sad ! The true believers are always hopeful, for the truth that last !


  4. Dear Mike,
    I found this old documentary about Amelia Earhart that aired on the history channel years ago. It’s like everything was hidden in plane sight, but still try to push the same B.S. narrative.

    and I also found the unsolved mysteries episode too.


    1. QT:
      The History Channel link is from late 1990s, I believe, and is pure disinformation. It presents Buddy Brennan and his “blindfold in-a-hole-without-a-body” claim for starters. Next is Henri Kaiser Andre and his 1993 book Age of Heroes, which makes the claim that two lieutenants in the Japanese navy broke into Earhart’s radio frequency during the 1937 flight, and guided her into a trap on the island of Nonouti, where Japan had a base. Earhart and Noonan were killed and their bodies burned, to hide all traces. Keyzer-Andre said Earhart’s final words were, “Oh, mother.” Finally we have Ric Gillespie, about whom I need not say anything at this late date.

      The Unsolved Mysteries program is, I assume, from 1990 and presents Thomas E. Devine, Robert Wallack and Fred Goerner, appearing for the last time, to my knowledge. This was the first and only time Devine was ever featured in a nationally broadcast program.



  5. Sometimes it takes a very long time for truth to come out, Mike, as you have well documented. I was reading today of the story of AE’s counterpart, Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh had a secret double life as a polygamist with 3 German women, siring 7 children in the process. This was kept secret by him and remained so for 30 years after his death. It had no governmental impact, but a secret nonetheless. And yesterday, I was reading about the accident and sinking of the Republic ship in 1909. It took a man many years to find out that there was a lot of US govt gold on that ship. FDR kept the information secret and no investigation into the sinking ever took place.


  6. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    A check of the website shows that Senator Inoyue’s bill was introduced in the 103rd Congress on 21 January 1993. It was read twice, entered into the Senate Journal as S-146, and sent to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. There was no co-sponsor.

    An identical bill, HR. 2552, was introduced in the House of Representatives on 29 June 1993 by Representative Patsy T. Mink (D-HI). It was co-sponsored by Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-HI). HR. 2552 went to the Government Operations and House Administrative Committee on 1 July 1993 where it was further passed on to the Subcommittee on Information, Justice, Transportation and Agriculture.

    As nothing has happened since, it’s safe to say that both bills died in committee.

    All best,



    1. Excellent work, William. Thanks for taking the time to dig out the official details.



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