Morgenthau papers could reveal Earhart truth

Today we return to the matter of the “one-way” phone conversation between Henry Morgenthau Jr., U.S. treasury secretary and confidante of President Franklin D. Roosevelt,, and Malvina Thompson “Tommy” Scheider,  Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt’s secretary, on the morning of May 13, 1938.  Via Dictaphone, we have long had Morgenthau’s side of this conversation, which is interesting indeed.  The document first appeared in the 1987 book Amelia: My Courageous Sister, by Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Amelia’s sister, and researcher Carol L. Osborne. 

The late Col. Rollin Reineck’s distinguished Air Force career spanned 30 years, and his work is well known to readers of this blog.  The mercurial Reineck served with great distinction as a B-29 navigator flying from Saipan in action against mainland Japan.  In his Earhart work, Reineck was at times brilliant, at others less than coherent (see my Dec. 29, 2015 series of posts, starting with Irene Bolam and the Decline of the Amelia Earhart Society: Part I of IV).

During a patch of clarity, Reineck wrote at length about the Morgenthau incident in a piece titled “Amelia Earhart and the Morgenthau Connection,” which appeared in the January 1997  edition issue of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters.  “Today, it ranks as one of the most compelling pieces of circumstantial evidence we have in our search for the truth about the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart,” Reineck wrote.  The memo is unclassified and was probably overlooked when they screened the Morgenthau files that were to be made public and put in the Hyde Park Library. To date, it is the only document concerning Earhart in his archival material. . . . [T]here was one person, more than anyone else, who probably knew the answer as to what happened on the fateful day in early July, 1937.  That one person was Henry Morgenthau Jr., the secretary of the treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.” 

My own take on the Morgenthau phone conversation, Amelia Earhart and the Morgenthau Connection: What did FDR’s treasury secretary really know?appeared on this blog on March 31, 2015.  The below letter from Joe Gervais was presented by Bill Prymak in the October 1999 edition of the Amelia Earhart Society NewslettersBoldface, italic and caps emphasis both mine and in original AES Newsletter article.

Henry Morgenthau Jr., FDR’s treasury secretary and confidante, is captured in a familiar pose in this undated photo taken about the time of his conversation with Malvina Thompson “Tommy” Scheider.  We can safely assume that Morgenthau knew everything that FDR knew about the fate of Amelia Earhart.

EDITOR’S [Prymak] NOTE: The following reveals that secret papers relating to the Earhart mystery, are still cached in the basement of the US TREASURY DEPARTMENT, labelled ‘TOP SECRET’ after 62 years!  Why can’t the papers be released?  Do we need to send Harrison Ford or Rambo to retrieve these papers’?  Are these papers being denied because they could damage US-Japanese relations?  Far Fetched?  Read and judge for yourself.

Dear Bill,

Reference the below page of Senator [Daniel] Akaka’s report of March 1991.  Gervais, [Randall] Brink, [John] Luttrell, [Dean] Magley, [Rollin] Reineck, Senator [Daniel] Inouye, and Senator Akaka have all been denied access to those 12 boxes.  This cover-up by the executive branch of government is similar to the [President Dwight D.] Eisenhower/Gary Powers affair.  This is a case of international magnitude between the U.S. and Japan.  We have received no help from our ambassadors to Japan, such as [Edwin] Reischouer, [Douglas] McArthur [II], [Michael J.] Mansfield, [Walter F.] Mondale, etc.  Why not put this on the Internet?

Joe [Gervais]

[Below is from Sen. Daniel Akaka’s (D-Hawaii) March 1991 report]

Senator Henry Morgenthau Jr.:

I’ve been given a verbal report.  If we’re going to release this it’s just going to smear the whole reputation of Amelia Earhart. . . . and if we ever release the report of the ITASCA on Amelia Earhart, any reputation she has is gone. . . . and I know now Amelia Earhart disregarded all orders. . . . What happened to her the last few minutes.  I hope I’ve just got to never make it public . . . I mean what happened.  It isn’t a very nice story. . . . And, we have the report of all those wireless messages and everything else.

After reading the referenced memo of Secretary Morgenthau and comparing it with what we know today about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, I can certainly understand Col. Reineck’s assertion that there is a great deal more Amelia Earhart material in Secretary Morgenthau’s files or in the Treasury Department that has not been released and is still being withheld from the public.

In this regard, I also understand why Col, Reineck believes it is strange that of all the Henry Morgenthau, Jr. papers in the F.D.R. library at Hyde Park, only this one — albeit very significant, makes any reference to Amelia Earhart.  Col. Reineck wonders whether this material was somehow accidentally overlooked when the Secretary’s papers were screened for public release by the government.

Col. Reineck advised me that other researchers who are colleagues of his, namely, Mr. Merrill D. Magley and Mr. John F. Luttrell, have tried through the normal Freedom of Information Actchannels to obtain additional information  from your department without success.  This is true, Col. Reineck informed me, even though they had pin-pointed box containers T-33A and T-33B in the basement of the Treasury Department behind a locked metal wire cage as the Henry Morgenthau, Jr. files for 1937 and 1938.  One of your personnel, Ms. Karen Cameron, described the material as relating to Amelia Earhart, but denied access on the basis of its being classified “TOP SECRET.”  (End of Akaka report.)

Eleanor Roosevelt, Malvina Thompson “Tommy” Scheider and Edith Helm, Washington, D.C. 1941.

As I said in my March 31, 2015 presentation, plenty of room exists for different interpretations of Morgenthau’s statements as recorded on the Dictaphone.  Without having Mrs. Scheider’s side of it, we can never know for sure exactly what these two were really saying.

I have no doubts about two points relative to it, however.  First, despite the treasury secretary’s thrice-repeated concern about the “reputation of Amelia Earhart” and how he wanted to protect it, I am convinced that Morgenthau cared only about the reputation of his boss, FDR, and how public knowledge of the truth in the Earhart matter would affect FDR’s political future. 

Secondly, by May 1938 if not much earlier, Morgenthau was fully aware of Earhart’s captivity on Saipan and her probable if not certain death in Japanese hands.  Based on Morgenthau’s comments to Scheider, many of which make little or no sense without Scheider’s replies, it’s difficult to believe that she was among the few who had been brought into the small circle of those who knew the unhappy truth, which would have been so deadly to FDR and his administration’s future.

Perhaps the most important question arising from the Morgenthau-Scheider phone conversation is this: What did Morgenthau mean when he said, “Amelia Earhart absolutely disregarded all orders”?  Whose orders?  To do what?  And how did she disregard them?  Some have attempted to explain Morgenthau’s reference to Earhart’s disregard for orders as her failure to follow the planned radio schedule and protocols between her and Itasca, but if that was the case, why all the secrecy on Morgenthau’s part?

And what are we to make of Morgenthau’s reference to “all those wireless messages”?  Is he referring to some or all of the alleged “post-loss” radio messages that some believe came from Earhart in her downed Electra?  Or others that remain undiscovered in top-secret files?

For more, see Amelia Earhart and the Morgenthau Connection: What did FDR’s treasury secretary really know?” 

 

58 responses

  1. Stanley Krippner | Reply

    That memo by Morgenthau is close to a smoking gun.

    Like

  2. So tantalizing!

    Thanks again for all the updates Mike, hope you are keeping well and healthy during this Covid 19 crisis.

    Also wanted to share that as you know I am probably one of the ‘youngest’ fans of your work – but my wife is due our first child late August this year and we have found it is a girl – and can confirm Amelia is a top ranked possible name. I will want her to know the truth, as does my wider family. TAL has been read and passed around all extended family during the lock down and opened eyes of even hardened family critics.

    Jesse from NZ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear from you, Jesse, and best wishes to your wife and your first child. I appreciate your kind wishes, but none of us who are healthy are in any danger from this Covid-scam. You might have missed the news down there in New Zealand, but it’s all a massive power grab by the globalists, and only the already very sick and old are casualties. I don’t like to stray from my single-minded purpose of exposing and promoting the Earhart truth, but will make a brief exception here, because this fraud is affecting all of us. You can find much in a search of the few sites that aren’t afraid to tell the truth, but here’s a succinct description of what’s been going on with Covid, from a website that refuses to have anything to do with my work.

      https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/gary-d-barnett/the-coronavirus-response-the-ultimate-goal-is-control-of-all-humanity/
      The Coronavirus Response: The Ultimate Goal is Control of All Humanity

      All Best,
      Mike

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      1. David Atchason

        I wasn’t going to bring up the Scamdemic issue, but now that you have, I will say I have been having fun on Facebook with it. I have a friend who has been giving speeches on FB rebutting the hysteria and she has been hacked this morning so that it appears she has posted a “joke” in very poor taste this morning. I knew right away it wasn’t her. I messaged her and she confirmed as much. FB has also threatened her with removal if she posts any more “false” allegations, so she posted that she is no longer going to comment on Scamdemic subject. It is so obvious that it confirms the virus is a planned “psy opps” I guess is the right term. I told her that FB is an arm of the CIA, the whole shebang is basically a surveillance system with cute kitten videos.

        When I first read “1984” 60 years ago I thought that such a world would never happen, but it’s here! Big Brother is watching. Yet when I tell my fellow hikers such news they defend the hysteria with a comment like “You’re so heartless, don’t you care about all the poor dying people?” I just make myself unpopular with most of them. Not all, some think the same as me. A few are just basket cases with worry. I’m afraid this is just the cartoons before the feature film and it will be a horror show. I think you characterized some event as “American History furniture” maybe referring to 9/11. Now this Plandemic will soon be just that, a starting point for any discussion about thistory which nobody would even dream of questioning.

        I’m glad I’m old enough to have learned how to think positive and to dispel (for the most part) negative thoughts. I’m so glad we have Bill and Melinda Gates now guiding us through this turbulent time. (sarc). I knew from Day 1 that this was a hoax. I better conclude or this will not get posted for being “roo long.”
        All Best,

        Dave

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  3. Dave Kapsiak | Reply

    It is maddening by that statement that she disregarded all orders-what orders? And,what did happen to her in the last few minutes? Insane that this has been covered up this long. Why? Mistakes were made and those involved long dead.

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  4. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    My belief is that Treasury Secretary Morgenthau’s extemporaneous “…she disregarded all orders…” comment refers to nothing less than Amelia Earhart taking the decision to land on Mili (very likely over the strenuous objections of Fred Noonan) rather than ditch in the ocean as she was instructed to do. If I am correct, Secretary Morgenthau’s 13 May 1938 telephonic conversation with Malvina Scheider constitutes nothing less than a stunning and damning admission of U.S. Government complicity.

    All best,

    William

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  5. The (half) conversation certainly creates more questions than answers. If “Tommy” was not in the loop, I think the conversation would have been much shorter; and HMJr was giving her way too much information if she didn’t know the truth. And what about Eleanor Roosevelt, did she know? HMJr implies that she doesn’t at near the end of the conversation when he says “Well, still if she wants it, I’ll tell her. I mean what happened. It isn’t a very nice story”. If ER didn’t know the story, there’s no way HMJr was going to tell her without talking to FDR first.

    And what is the “evidence” Stephen B Gibbons was referring to with his statement?

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  6. I think Amelia was tired, weary and having trouble zeroing in on Howland Island. It’s more than obvious, why she put down in the Marshall Islands, due to Fred Noonan’s knowledge & experience with the radio frequency there. There was no way, she would deliberately ditch her plane in the sea. Of course she was WARNED about landing in the Mandated, Japanese territory. Of course Naval Intelligence & FDR were upset with her landing, but had they been in her shoes, they would have made the same decision. FDR was putting Amelia in the hot seat, with the oil/fuel embargo or suspension of trade with Japan. Not a wise decision on his part, to send her into harms way. This was a HUGE EMBARRASSMENT of FDR’s and he wanted the lid sealed tight and tight it stayed.

    Doug

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  7. David Atchason | Reply

    Greetings & Happy Mother’s Day,

    I had to spend some time this weekend brushing up on WW2 history. I found a big error in my previous thinking. I will now make some assumptions. It is possible AE originally started out her flight as a money making stunt. When she smashed her plane in Hawaii, FDR, already fronting her a stopover landing field at Howland came up with an idea. Why not pay for the rest of her endeavour in return she would do a favor? Since Putnam had trouble raising the dough to continue, AE accepted. In for a penny, in for a pound. To me, there is only one compelling reason for her to reverse course and do the flight the hard way, the backward way, that is an overflight of Truk.

    Previously I was puzzled, I didn’t think there was any Japanese buildup of military equipment on Truk or the Marshalls at that time. So why would she need to fly over either place? There was nothing to see. Today it dawned on me why she needed latest aerial cameras. FDR had no MAPS. The military made plans in 1937. The war was planned for years. They knew the Japanese would be forced to use Truk as a base as the war progressed. Then the Japs would be bottled up in Truk lagoon like sitting ducks. Much worse than the Pearl Harbor debacle which was after all, a trap, really like sacraficing a pawn to capture the Queen.

    Now, I don’t think their film of Truk ever got to the U.S. military. But their Truk plan worked like a charm. In Operation Hailstone, Truk was pulverized and Japan was crushed. The U.S. had won right there. So the overflight of Truk went perfectly. The Japs were caught off guard. It went so well, that AE and Fred decided they could fly over the Marshalls successfully. THat was where they defied orders. No Marshalls overflight, because the Marshalls were not strategic. But they did. At least the southern area. But something went wrong and they were forced down, shot down, who knows? She wasn’t supposed to be there.

    Now the story gets a little conventional. It’s possible, no probable, that she was on her radio to the Itasca after she ditched on Mili. She did say where she was and her radio calls were dismissed as hoaxes because they indicated she was stranded on Mili. The US Navy did nothing. Of course the Itasca’s radio logs were altered. It took the Japs a few days to ascertain by her films that she was spying, even though at first they took her word for it that she was merely lost. The U.S. coud not tip its hand, that they knew the Japanese code, and it was far from ready for the planned war with Japan. So the Navy did not get their Truk map, but the plan went ahead anyway. Maybe the embarrassment is that the USA had the whole war planned years in advance when the country was isolationist. Yes, Amelia survived the war and returned home to work with Wally Schirra at Cape Canaveral. She might have visited Muriel in West Medford. So the house was being watched even when Devine came to visit.

    All Best,

    Dave

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    1. Dave,

      Your latest foray into creative speculation was going well until you blew it with your wacky closing sentences: “Yes, Amelia survived the war and returned home to work with Wally Schirra at Cape Canaveral. She might have visited Muriel in West Medford. So the house was being watched even when Devine came to visit.”

      Come on, Man!

      Mike

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woody Rogers asked me to post this, as the WordPress program was not cooperating with him:

        I have an article somewhere that says that in 1991, all documents in the possession of the Treasury Department were transferred to the National Archives Top Secret Files Room, including Morganthau’s diaries prior to 1/38. Several years ago, I found his diaries from 1/38 forward on the State of Alaska Archives website, apparently they’ve been removed sice 2014, the last time I accessed them. Woody

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      2. William H. Trail

        Mike,

        Did Woody make significant discoveries in Secretary Morgenthau’s diaries? Did he make copies of any pertinent documents?

        All best.

        William

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      3. Apparently not, William. He references the State of Alaska Archives, where his diaries from January 1938 were available until 2014. As for the ones we’re looking for, they might be in the National Archives Top Secret Files Room, but who has the clearance to check?

        Mike

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      4. His diaries are available online:

        http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/collections/franklin/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=535&q=&rootcontentid=188897#id188897

        The conversation is on (pdf) pages 174-175 in Series 1 Volume 124/Part 2:

        Click to access md0164.pdf

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      5. Tom,

        Amazing! I never bothered to do a search, and here are his diaries, from the critical times as well. All in PDF format, ready to read. I trust that anything we might be interested in has been cleaned, but will be taking a look.

        Thanks so much.
        Mike

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      6. Mike,

        Yes, worth taking a look…..there are THOUSANDS of pages in there; I would assume they have been thoroughly researched, but who knows? There may be another diamond in the rough.

        Tom

        Like

      7. William H. Trail

        Tom,

        You are The MAN!

        All best,

        William

        Like

  8. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Stephen B. Gibbons was an interesting fellow.

    https://www.loc.gov/item/2016881701/

    All best,

    William

    Like

    1. David Atchason | Reply

      William,

      I can’t readily find anything about Stephen Gibbons and I can’t read that NYT article. Is it possible he has any bearing on the AE around the world flight? Does his suicide have any meaning for us TTAL folks? Is it related to Forrestal’s suicide? In other words is it just a coincidence that two men who both were associated with the AE flight committed “suicide?”

      All Best,

      Dave

      Like

      1. Dave,

        Forrestal was murdered. Have you forgotten that? I have no idea whether the Gibbons death is related, but Tom Williams sent the link to thousands of pages of Morgenthau’s diaries. Have at it, and good luck.

        Mike

        Like

      2. David Atchason

        Mike,

        What I was getting at (I should have been more explicit) is that both men “committed suicide” out the window. I have read a long account of Forrestal’s death (maybe not Martin’s) but I agree he was murdered. I am trying to decide if I want to read Morganthau’s diary. I suspect everything he wrote was sanitized for posterity. It would be fascinating to see if he mentions Amelia’s flight at all.

        Dave

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      3. I hear you, Dave. I would bet there’s nothing anywhere in his papers about Earhart, outside of his Dictaphone conversation with Malvina Thompson “Tommy” Scheider that we know about. I would put odds at 99-1, conservatively.

        MIke

        Liked by 1 person

      4. William H. Trail

        David,

        The New York Times article is just a brief report of Gibbons falling to his death from the fifth floor window of his apartment on 24 May 1958, and his friends speculation that it was an accident. That’s it in a nut shell. Was it a suicide, was it an accident, was he murdered? Who knows? I’d like to see the police report, but even that might not say much.

        The Library of Congress link contains a 31 October 1935 photo of Gibbons with Eugene Vidal, William Miller, and Juan T. Trippe, President of Pan American Airways (PAA) among others. In 1935 PAA had been busy building the air route to China, to include construction of facilities on Midway and Wake. The inaugural flight of PAA’s M-130 Martin Transport (flying boat), “China Clipper” would leave Alameda, California on 22 November 1935. Yes, Fred Noonan was the navigator. Needless to say, the Japanese were not happy.

        All best,

        William

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  9. David Atchason | Reply

    William,
    I wanted to to read that NYT story, but I’m not subscribed to the Times. I imagine I can access the story somewhere else, but that “suicide” angle has me intrigued. Probably the Clintons pushed him out that window.

    Anyway, my story yesterday does have that flaw which is: If they really chose to fly over part of the Marshalls, what happened she ditched her plane at Mili? For some reason, despite the claim of that Japanese airman, the “shot sown” hypothesis is always strongly discouraged (or “shot down”) on this forum. From what little I know, I don’t find it implausible. I don’t think the Japs were using radar at that time, but I learned yesterday that with the early Japanese radar it wasn’t useful close to the ground and therefore, you could easily “Fly under the radar.”

    Another thought is that throughout her flight she was in radio contact with some arm of the FDR administration. That is, Morgenthau may have been constantly updated or even in direct contact with AE. Maybe the Itasca log is not so much doctored, but maybe the voice of AE that the radio room heard was just a recording that was played from Howland I. that would account for the oddity that she never responded directly to comments from the Itasca. Speaking of Howland, maybe Calvin is entirely correct that it was never intended for AE to land there, it was just a facade to fool the Japs. Baker would have been a better choice as it was used for B-24s during the war. I don’t know of any reason Baker couldn’t have been fixed up for AE.

    Then there is the question, suppose she did land at Howland? Was there 1100 gallons of gas and other supplies staged there for her? I’m not sure I ever read if there was. Probably there was or else it would look odd to those Scouts stationed there. Did anyone notice? So many discrepancies in the story. I don’t think in those days there were so many whistle blowers like today, people trusted the press and of course it was “national Security” there was a war on that most people believed in and supported at least after Pearl Harbor so most people would think it was patriotic to keep their mouth shut.

    Speaking of security, today another article about the astronauts landing on the moon only to be met by and confronted by little green men or perhaps large green men and whole cities and structures there and being told to buzz off and not return. In my take of the moon landings what I say is that the videos or films that we are shown on TV look like they are faked. What if the films really are fake because they could not show the astronauts landing in reality where they are confronted by aliens who kick them out. Always a possibility in my mind.

    So what about Amelia? It never made sense to me that the Japs would keep her capture a secret for long. It would seem much more likely to me that secret negotiations went on she and Fred were allowed to come home after all it was 1937, way before sanctions and embargoes, the Japs did not suspect at that time that FDR was going to lure them into war, they were actually (The JAps) somewhat well behaved and reasonable in those days like with the “Panay” incident. I hope this post redeems me from the speculation in my last post about Amelia and Wally Schirra. I don’t know what came over me.

    All Best,
    Dave

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      David,

      Believe me, I am not subscribed to the New York Times, either.

      I do not believe AE’s mission brief was to overfly the Marshalls or any other Japanese territory such as Truk. I do believe that AE and FN were only supposed to fly close enough to the Marshall Islands to get the Japanese “spun up” and generating much back-and-forth coded message traffic with Tokyo about a known subject: AE. AE and FN were to ditch in the ocean, where the U.S. Navy could easily rescue them. AE and FN were not shot down. I fervently believe AE “disregarded all orders” by taking it upon herself to land on Mili Atoll rather than chance ditching in the ocean as she was supposed to do. When AE did that, she placed herself and FN out of reach of any rescue. She sealed their fates.

      Of course, the Japanese held Amelia and Fred and didn’t say anything. They were waiting for us to get desperate and say something, but that would have given away the operation. AE and FN were sacrificed. Once the Japanese got AE and FN, we wouldn’t have gotten them back, no matter what.

      Avgas for the Electra was on Howland. It had been there since March when the runway construction was finished. Calvin is quite correct that AE and FN never intended to actually land on Howland. Landing on Howland to refuel for the leg to Hawaii was simply part of the cover story. In actuality, Howland was the “Initial Point,” or IP — the final known navigational fix before the run to the target, and FN nailed it.

      Make no mistake, the moon landings were unquestionably for real. If it were not so, someone would have blown the whistle by now. Something like what you suggest — the possibility that the moon landings were faked — is just too big to keep secret for long. There were way too many people involved. Were the landings faked, someone would have come forward and blown the whistle by now.

      Just so you know, I’m very excited and looking forward to America’s return to space with the first manned launch of the Space X Crew Dragon vehicle from Launch Complex 39 at the Cape scheduled for 27 May. I will celebrate with a big glass of Tang.

      If you have not done so, please read “The Rape of Nanking” by Iris Chang. The Japanese were far from “well behaved.” The attack on the gunboat, U.S.S. Panay in December 1937 by the Japanese was a either the result of anti-American zeal on the part of the Japanese aviators caught up in the moment, or it was a deliberate, calculated act of aggression — most likely done as a test to gauge the Roosevelt Administration’s reaction.

      Wally Schirra was well known for pranks and jokes. He loved a “gotcha.” Dean Magley gave Schirra an opening with the Earhart question. Schirra took full advantage of it. Please read his biography, “Schirra’s Space.”

      David, you need no “redemption.”

      All best,

      William

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  10. Dave you can’t be serious? There are numerous reasons why the Japanese kept Amelia & Fred.
    First we cut off gas & oil to Japan, for invading China and this occurred before Amelia’s flight, not after. The Japanese are ticked off at the United States at the moment.
    Second Amelia doesn’t have permission, from the Japanese to land in the Marshall Islands.
    Third Amelia & Fred are send north to Saipan for questioning? WHY? The Japanese want to know why they are in their territory? No Americans are allowed in this region.

    Dave think about it? We just took away something the Japanese desperately needed; now they are going to take away our *BELOVED Amelia Earhart. Did you know, that FDR also asked Lindbergh, to do some aerial surveillance, over Germany before the war?

    Doug

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  11. I remember reading a long long time ago an aviation magazine article (can’t remember name of magazine) that discussed Earhart’s last messages to the Itasca and that the released version of the Itasca’s log had a 40 minute gap preceding her last known message that was sanitized or altered by Morganthau to cover up what really happened to Earhart during those final moments. The article also referenced Morganthau’s 1938 telephone conversation with Eleanor Roosevelt’s secretary.

    His statements are also an enigma. For example, “she absolutely disobeyed all orders…” Was this in reference to disobeying [U.S. Navy’s] orders NOT TO FLY TOWARD THE MARSHALL ISLANDS in the event she couldn’t find Howland Island? Or was it reference to Captain Thompson’s orders to Earhart regarding communication protocol with the Itasca? It has been commented that her radio transmissions were casual and haphazard.

    “What happened to her in the last few minutes….It isn’t a very nice story…” Was Morganthau privy to U.S. Navy monitoring of Japanese communication and his statement reflects that awareness of Earhart’s landing in the Marshall Islands and demise on Saipan at the hands of the Japanese?

    And finally Morganthau’s statement about the log and Thompson’s report would “smear Amelia Earhart’s reputation…” I recall reading somewhere that the log and report wasn’t fully declassified until 1985 and when released the report painted Earhart as “incompetent, negligent and frantic pilot” in sharp contrast to Earhart’s reputation as a “brave and courageous flyer, hero to millions.”

    The Morganthau 1938 transcript is the most intriguing if not obscure footnote in Earhart’s ill-fated 1937 around-the-world flight saga and and reveals the government’s involvement in the flight. Has there been any book written that focuses exclusively on the transcript and investigates what he really knew about Earhart’s final flight and ultimate demise?

    Regarding FDR: FDR is a devious manipulator and has been on record as stating that “he never lets his right hand know what his left hand is doing.” So IF Earhart was given orders by the U.S. Navy a “look-see” mission to fly near the Japanese-held islands, FDR could easily disavow knowledge of such orders.

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    1. Well said, Halwick. I do recall reading the quote you sited about FDR, that “he never lets his right hand know what his left hand is doing.” I think it was in Roosevelt’s Road to Russia (George Crocker, 1959). No book has ever been devoted to the Morgenthau Dictaphone conversation, at least to my knowledge.

      Mike

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  12. David Atchason | Reply

    Douglas,
    I have now twice looked up FDR’s oil cutoff to Japan and it says it was in 1941. Also, the Panay incident occurred in Dec 1937 I believe, when the Japs were still trying to be nice (sometimes) to USA. Have I got this totally wrong? So, what puzzles me is that even if the Japs were convinced she was spying, why not negotiate with the U.S.? It appears they would have nothing whatever to gain by keeping her capture a secret.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if FDR threw her under the bus and maybe that is why the story is so embarrassing to his memory. He certainly didn’t seem to like her, going by his remarks when he learned her plane had been discovered. He didn’t seem to care much for his wife, either, (Am I wrong?) and ER and AE were good buddies as I understand it. Maybe ER was opposed to his war plans.

    Another thought occurred to me concerning the Morgenthau diaries in PDF. I’m definitely not a techie, but isn’t it possible to look up KEYWORDS in PDF? That is, couldn’t you look for “Earhart” or “Noonan”?

    I suppose I could tackle this myself, but it would require a learning curve for me.
    All Best,

    Dave

    Like

    1. Dave,

      You can certainly do keyword searches on PDF. I do it constantly.

      Mike

      Like

    2. While reading through this post (again) I noticed Reineck stated (regarding the “memo”) “To date, it is the only document concerning Earhart in his archival material”.

      Like

  13. David Atchason | Reply

    Mike,

    Are you going to do a keyword search on the Motganthau diaries? The prospect of reading maybe hundreds of pages is daunting me even in the correct time frame.

    Here’s an old article that sums up my views of the conflict of WW2 with the Japs. For what it’s worth. I happen to think the JAps did not know what to make of AE’s landing in the Marshalls. FDR probably did not explain to her what his devious intentions were.

    https://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=1930

    All best
    Dave

    Like

    1. Dave,

      I’ve already done a search on the PDF that covered critical time period in 1937, before and after. Many pages, no result. As for all the other PDFs, have not done that yet and you are quite welcome to do so. I have other work that’s more pressing.

      Will check your link later.
      Thanks.

      Mike

      Like

  14. Dave –

    The article from a magazine, I read at the time, stated fuels being cut off *1937. I did not read 1941 in this piece.

    The Japanese military hated Americans.

    Doug

    Like

  15. David Atchason | Reply

    Doug,
    I found the 1941 date for oil cutoff by looking it up on Google. I too, thought it was earlier so 1941 surprised me. I wouldn’t doubt the Japanese military at that time hated Americans, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that was unreasonable on their part. It seems clear that te Japs committed atrocities at Nanking, I haven’t ever really focused on learning about that story.

    I did read lately that the Americans weren’t very nice in subjugating the Phillipines, thousands of Filipenos killed in that operation. Again, I haven’t ever focused on that story so there may be opposite opinions on that. I think the incident of the Norwegian? shipwreck in early 1937 shows that the JAps could be reasonable at that time and probably would have/could have been very reasonable in the case of AE had they thought that she was genuinely lost.

    The alleged newspaper reports in Tokyo showed that, initially the Japs thought it called for a humanitarian celebration as they had rescued her. They didn’t think there was anything wrong with her landing on Mili. so why would she be instructed not to? If she decided for whatever reason to land there, she could easily have dumped any incriminating films or cameras in the ocean before landing. Unless maybe she was threatened by some armed Jap seaplanes or some other surprising circumstance. I will send this off now so it doesn’t get too long, I’ll write another chapter of wild speculations very soon.
    All Best,

    Dave

    Like

  16. David Atchason | Reply

    It is somewhat difficult for me to follow these comments and I find myself sometimes discovering some very interesting info months later in these blogs that I somehow missed. But reading through this chain I am uncertain where the Dictaphone records came from. It seems to say Muriel Morrissey in her book first wrote about this. But where did she get it? It is not in the diaries, right? Are the records in Box 37 and 38 separate from his diaries? Did the Dictaphone conversation come from the FDR library? So he was telling “Tommy” something that would be related to Eleanor? Was Eleanor “out of the loop” and needed to be fed a story to get her to stop being so nosy? Was what he was saying complete fiction for Eleanor’s benefit and AE had in reality been strictly following her orders? I don’t put much stock in whatever he was saying, I believe trying to figure out AE’s actions based on Henry’s Dictaphone’s words are a waste of thought effort. I think they are meant to be misleading.

    Was Amelia a good pilot? Or was she erratic and clumsy? I don’t know, she was probably better than I am I’m not a pilot so I hesitate to critique. But get this: In 1933 Wiley Post with one good eye, flew around the world solo in less than 8 days. That makes AE look like a piker. I don’t know who financed him, but obviously he was an outstanding pilot. So was Lindbergh. Maybe Amelia was doing stupid things on her flight. Maybe the erratic radio conversations were her fault because she was very ill prepared.Maybe she crashed in Hawaii because she was a poor pilot. Maybe she couldn’t navigate her way out of a paper bag. Maybe she was an accident waiting to happen, Maybe Noonan went on such a hummer in New Guinea that he was unfit that day even though Amelia had postponed for a day to let him clear up, didn’t she?

    I have maintained all along that they couldn’t have been lost. Now, looking at Post’s accomplishment it makes me wonder.

    All Best,
    Dave

    Like

    1. Click to access md0164.pdf

      The Dictaphone conversation is indeed in Morgenthau’s Diary, Volume 124, May 9-May 15, 1938. See above link. It starts on page 412.

      Mike

      Like

    2. William H. Trail | Reply

      David,

      Regarding Fred Noonan’s sobriety prior to take off from Lae, New Guinea on 2 July 1937, please see TTAL, 2nd Ed., page 28. From all I’ve read, I’m inclined to believe that FN was fully functional and fit-for-duty. Also, given the long 2,556 over water stretch to tiny, flyspeck Howland Island, it doesn’t make sense to me that Amelia would have departed Lae if Fred was in any way impaired and not up to doing his job to the very best of his considerable ability. Their lives depended on his being fully rested, clearheaded, and able to navigate flawlessly.

      All best,

      William

      Like

  17. David Atchason | Reply

    Before somebody points out Wileys route was far shorter than Amelia’s I will do it. So what was the big deal about AMelia flying “at the equator?” No big deal at all except that she would be flying very close to the Mandates if she chose. AS I have read she could have flown closer to a 0 degree route if she wanted to, but she didn’t do that in a few places for no known reason. Does this mean that her somewhat peculiar idea of flying at the equator was not her original idea at all? Maybe the whole shebang was thought up for her and she bought into it. The crash at Hawaii was simply her incompetence?

    Like

  18. David Atchason | Reply

    I see the Dictaphone conversation now. I wonder how Muriel or her researcher found it ? In other words, his diaries must have been always available somewhere. But what would possess Muriel to read through hundreds of pages not knowing there was anything to find? She didn’t do it online, I don’t think.

    Like

    1. Carol Osborne, a convicted crashed-and-sanker and former member of the Amelia Earhart Society, all but defunct now, must have found it. Muriel was not a researcher. Les Kinney might have more on that. I don’t know Osborne, and never had a desire to approach her. Her biography of Amelia, however, with Muriel’s inside help, of course, is one of the best out there, IMO.

      Mike

      Like

  19. Dave –

    I don’t think Amelia would toss film or camera out the plane’s window, before they landed in the Marshalls, Mili Atoll, Barre Island. We know they buried something near shore, under a Kanal tree. Maybe this was the *film, which was in a tin, metal container/box, unearthed in 1979 and the film deteriorated over time inside?

    Something unnerved the Japanese over Amelia & Fred’s presence there. Whether they were becoming upset/mad with this Japanese pilot, who flew them north to Saipan. They had a rough landing and why? Something triggered the Japanese, military soldiers on Saipan to turn against her & Fred. What *trust there was in the Marshalls, changed by the time they arrived in Saipan.

    The Japanese Military isn’t happy with the circumstances, wants to talk with Amelia & Fred, what are they doing in this forbidden area/territory of theirs? They surely aren’t about to let them leave, with the knowledge that they/Japanese are building up these islands, with armaments to use against the U.S. Surely this would give away their secrets. We know the questioning? ill treatment and torture make matters worse. I think there are more details, in her & Fred’s confinement, that so many of us are still asking why?

    Doug

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      Doug,

      How many times have we all heard something once on a TV, or radio news broadcast, and then never hear of it again?

      All best,

      William

      Like

  20. David & William –

    I don’t believe for a second, they asked Amelia & Fred to ditch the Electria in the Pacific. There were plenty of islands out there for them set down on. She wasn’t suppose to set down in the Marshall’s. So what happened? I go back to Amelia’s cross Atlantic flight and how these trade winds carried her further north and she lands in Ireland? Wait she’s suppose to be in France. I see the same pattern here, with her being off course again by the forces of winds.

    So lets say she can’t zero in on Holland? or Baker? or these other islands she can land on. Her radio reception isn’t working, their *fuel is low, they have to do something and soon. Fred tells her, we are headed to the Marshall’s, whether *Intelligence likes it or not. So down they go and onto Barre Island. They both are exhausted, Fred’s been injured, more irritated and in pain. They start to argue over matters with the radio, come to the realization, there is nobody there to help at the moment.

    They have some documents or items, they don’t want the Japanese to know about. They must hide these things, before someone shows up. Help arrives and now they have to convince the Marshall Islanders & Japanese why they are there. They may have assumed, the Japanese would immediately informed the U.S.; but the Japanese are more *CURIOUS now and want to examine this plane and it’s pilots first. Amelia & Fred’s patience are tested, tempers flare, tensions mount between these Americans & the Japanese. FDR does little to help, turns his back on them and are left at the mercy, of the strong arm of the Japanese Military and it’s gorilla mindset.

    Doug

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      Doug,

      In a letter to the Civil Aviation Board, dated 28 August 1937, James A. Collopy, District Superintendent for Civil Aviation, Salamaua, Territory of New Guinea wrote, “Mr. Noonan told me that he was not a bit anxious about the flight to Howland Island and was quite confident that he would have little difficulty locating it.”

      Let’s put aside for a moment the idea that AE and FN started out from Lae, New Guinea on a covert mission for the U.S. Government that, for whatever reason, involved deliberately ending up near the Japanese-controlled Marshalls. For the sake of argument, lets just say that they had no hidden agenda and well and truly meant to land and refuel on Howland Island and continue on the published flight plan to Hawaii. So, how then did they still find themselves on Barre Island, Mili Atoll in the Japanese Mandated Marshall Islands — a “denied area” on 2 July 1937? Was it due to being blown off course by the wind?

      Provided below is a link to noted Earhart researcher, David Billings lengthy and very detailed analysis of the winds and other meteorological data for AE’s Lae to Howland leg. The winds and weather as described in Billings’ analysis, combined with Fred Noonan’s renown skill as a navigator, do not support (at least in my opinion) a navigational error of the proportion necessary to put them on Barre (or anywhere else) when the intended destination was not only Howland, but the contingency plan in case they were unable to locate Howland or Baker was to fly to the much closer and friendlier British-controlled Gilberts. Do I believe that Fred Noonan was infallible as a navigator? No, certainly not. However, I do not believe AE and FN landed on Mili as a result of a mistake or mistakes in Noonan’s navigation, either.

      I doubt that Fred Noonan would ever have suggested flying to the Marshalls with the intent to land. Noonan went to sea in 1910 at age 17, and by 1937 at age 44 was a well-traveled, savvy, experienced, man-of-the-world. I’m sure he had no illusions about just exactly what their fate would be if he and Amelia landed on any of the Mandated Islands and fell into Japanese hands.

      https://earhartsearchpng.com/earhart-lockheed-electra-search-project-6/

      All best,

      William

      Like

  21. David Atchason | Reply

    Here is something you can do, which I did do a couple years ago. It was quite a bit of work. First, figure out what time she landed on Barre Island. I don’t think Jororo was looking at his watch if he had one, but I came up with a time of about 11 AM. Then compare that to her radio messages and what time they were. Of course adjust for the time difference between the two areas. Also you can compute roughly what time she should have arrived at Mili if she overflew Truk.

    What I came up with is that as her last messages were received at 0843 she was actually landing at Mili at that time. So were her last messages just recordings? She couldn’t have been splashing down at Mili and making messages that she was 100 miles out or whatever could she? Probably not. Nobody on the blog checked it and confirmed it at that time, and I don’t know if I could find my posts at that time. It’s much work and a lot of assumptions but somebody else should try it.

    All Best, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  22. William –

    I understand your hypothesis, on the matter that Fred was a very skilled navigator. He was skilled enough to know where the Marshall Islands were and went there. Obviously they didn’t land in the designated area they were suppose to. Obviously their radio or what they had for an antenna wasn’t working. Obviously they were low on fuel and decide to take a risk and land there……………..No other obvious reason that I can think of. Sorry to disagree with your hypothesis.

    Doug

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      Doug,

      The main thing is that we are in 100% agreement on the essential truths that AE brought the Electra down on Barre Island, Mili Atoll, that she and FN were taken into Japanese custody, and were transported to Saipan where they suffered greatly, and died badly. That is what’s important. The rest of it is sifting clues to put the how and the why together piece by piece. As for my hypothesis, future declassifications, disclosures, and discoveries will tell.

      All best,

      William

      Like

  23. William –

    We know the government/*Intelligence will never declassify this material. Thanks to people like *Mike Campbell, *Fred Goener, *Thomas Devine, *Bill Prymak, *Les Kinney, *Dick Spink and so many others, who have taken the leap of *faith, to provide us with the *FACTS.

    Without them, the veil of secrecy would still hang over Amelia Earhart. We can only hope, more answers will come to light, whether in documents, artifacts, old photographs or unforeseen material in the days ahead. The collaboration of research, in the last 5 years on this great websight, has proven the *TRUTH and that is a place Amelia Earhart will always be.

    Doug

    Like

  24. Hi Mike,

    I’m getting out of bed long enough to let you know I’m still alive, at 86, after several operations, not the least of which was the amputation of 2 toes in order to keep from losing the entire foot. My physical set-backs have consumed my energy. What was a passion a year ago now seems like a dream.

    But upon reading the attached comments, the old desire surfaced to make a comment of my own. One thing I noticed now, and often before, was the monolithic use of terms like “Japanese.”

    For an analogy, imagine a historian 50 years from now writing about “Americans.” Which American? A Democrat-American, a Republican-American, a Conservative-American? For me to consider that I would be grouped with Socialistic-Americans who support Rioter’s Rights would be enough to bring me back from the dead.

    What’s my point? “Japanese?” Which part of Japan’s culture does one mean? During the early to mid ‘30’s, there were news articles which pictured AE, not only having social meals with Japanese, but of the “Japanese” cultural population looking to her as an idol.

    By contrast, the military establishment then , in my estimation, would have been akin to our CIA-Intelligence culture under Obama in our time. I am a loyal American, BUT I hate with a passion the “America” of Brennan, Clapper, Comey & Co. Those lying creeps stand for everything I oppose. And yet, history would label us both “Americans.”

    We need to use more care in our discussions about what “Japanese” War Lords would do to Amelia vs. how the secular, cultural population in Japan might have reacted. This distinction has many nuances when evaluating the dynamics between Jap Warriors and FDR’s Disinformation Machine …VS… the population of Japan in 1937 and the run-of-the-mill American culture of that same time.

    I say that to say this — we need these thoughtful discussions on your Blog by brilliant readers. But care must be used to first define our terms. Otherwise, useless tangents and wasted words result.

    I would like to specifically respond to comments on this thread of the Blog, but I’m out of energy. Back to bed for some rest.

    Mike, what you have done for the Amelia Story is nothing short of historic. Wish I could keep up with you, but time has become an enemy. Before getting so sick, I did a thorough analysis of the misguided HOOVEN REPORT. It was a guiding light for the Gillespsie TIGHAR Hoax, but it was so flawed that an honest researcher should have been able to see its errors. But that’s another subject.

    Keep up the good work. And remember, your admirer still admires you.
    Calvin Pitts, captain-retired

    Like

    1. Good to hear from you Calvin; your thoughtful points are well taken. Occasionally you will find me qualifying my use of the the word “Japanese” with the word “pre-war” and following it with “military” as I do try to keep the distinctions in mind. Often I don’t do that, and just assume the reader will understand. But “assuming” often makes an ass out of u.

      All Best to you and Wanda, you’re both in my prayers.

      Mike

      Like

    2. Calvin,

      Forgot to thank you for your extremely generous words in my last; please forgive me. We’re honored to have someone of your great achievements, highest principles and integrity among us, doing all you can for this worthy cause.

      God Bless you and Wanda!
      Mike

      Like

  25. Morgenthau Diaries …

    I don’t know if this is worthy/important (and apologies if this has been found/discussed previously):

    Gibbons: “The thing about the Earhart log – did you see it in the
    Times yesterday? I asked Waesche this morning where it came from and he
    said he had no idea.”

    Volume 125, May 9-May 15, 1938 View Online (Part 1)

    Pages 32-33 of the PDF.

    Click to access md0165.pdf

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      Kevin,

      Thanks much for the link. The Waesche referenced is RADM Russell R. Waesche, USCG. He was promoted to full Admiral in 1942. From Thurmont, Maryland, and a graduate of Purdue University, Waesche was the longest serving Commandant of the Coast Guard (1936-1945) and the first to be promoted to flag rank. There is a cutter named for him today.

      All best,

      William

      Like

  26. David Atchason | Reply

    William,
    I see way back amongst the comments where you state your possible scenario for AE landing in the water but didn’t. Somehow I missed this post until now. Your case is that flying close enough or over the Marshalls would stir up the Japs. This means that they followed her and knew exactly where she was. Did the Japs then comminicate in the Marshalls in code? Anyway, they know just where she is so why not launch a plane or two and follow her? Until she ditches in the ocean? It seems very risky for her to do that.

    There would be Jap ships nearby but where are the American ship(s)? Of course just why did she land on Mili? I can think of no plausible reason. We still have not solved that mystery. Maybe Irving Johnson was waiting for her (lol) but that’s not out of the question altogether.

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      David,

      No, my contention is that AE was only supposed to fly close enough to the Japanese Mandated Marshall Islands to get the Japanese “spun up” and generating much back-and-forth coded radio-telegraphy message traffic with Tokyo about a known subject: AE. Her flight in close proximity to the Japanese Mandates would also give U.S. intelligence an opportunity to assess the state of Japanese DF capabilities, and gauge their reaction to an approaching aircraft. Both of which are vital intelligence requirements that would become very important in the not too distant future. AE was then to ditch the Electra in the ocean where she and FN could be picked up by our Navy. The headline should have read, “Earhart and Noonan Rescued by Navy After Ditching.” AE was no doubt plainly, clearly, and repeatedly directed prior to taking off from Miami to begin the R-T-W flight that, under absolutely no circumstance was she to enter Japanese airspace over the Marshalls, or to land on any one of the Marshall Islands for any reason. Of course, we know that AE and FN did, indeed, indisputably land on Barre Island, Mili Atoll. This, I believe, is the crux of the “…she disregarded all orders…” part of “The Morgenthau Transcript.”

      Yes, you are correct. Ditching an aircraft in the ocean is a risky endeavor, but it is not impossible. A very plausible reason for landing on Mili is that, suffering the ill effects of physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, and maybe some mild dysentery as a result of the long flight, AE may have had serious second thoughts about actually ditching in the ocean. Pacifist and gentle, good soul that she was, AE may have reasoned (wrongly) that everyone, including the Japanese, were basically good and that there was really little danger in actually landing on one of the Marshall Islands. She probably didn’t believe that the Japanese would not return, let alone murder, her and Fred. If there were any harsh words between AE and FN, this would have been the time and the topic. On top of being probably the greatest aerial navigator in the world at that time, Fred Noonan was a man-of-the-world and savvy guy. He would have been under absolutely no illusion as to exactly what would happen if he and Amelia fell into Japanese hands.

      A submerged U.S. sub might have gotten in close enough for the skipper to see the Electra on the beach at Mili through a periscope, but not Irving Johnson in a sailboat because the Japanese Mandated Marshall Islands were a tightly controlled “denied area.”

      As to the disposition of any Japanese and/or U.S. vessels that may, or may not, have been anywhere in the vicinity of the Marshall Islands on Friday, 2 July 1937, well, I think that would be an excellent research project for someone to take on.

      All best, my friend.

      William

      Like

  27. William, thank you for the information about RADM Russell R. Waesche, USCG.

    I found two more references to Amelia in the diaries.

    An early entry (he writes “Mollinsons”, but, and I could be wrong, I think it may be “Mollisons”, Jim and wife Amy Johnson):

    “July 30, 1933”

    “Today, Sunday, Elinor and I went to Hyde Park to have lunch with the Roosevelts. The Mollinsons and Amelia Earhart and Putnam and a French woman, who were over for a World Conference, were over for lunch.”

    Volume 00, Farm Credit Diary, April 27-November 16, 1933

    Page 56 of the PDF.

    Click to access md00.pdf

    Another discussion regarding the request for information:

    “July 1, 1938”

    Gaston: “That letter that came to us through Mrs. Roosevelt – that man Paul Mantz who was connected with Amelia Earhart is asking for information that we can very properly give him.”

    H. M.Jr: “All right, for God’s sake give it to him.”

    Volume 133, July 1-July 11, 1938 (Part 1)

    Page 32 of the PDF.

    Click to access md0177.pdf

    Like

    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      Kevin,

      On 22 July 1933, Jim Mollison and Amy Johnson-Mollison flew a special-built de Havilland DH-84 Dragon (twin-engine, biplane) named, “Seafarer” equipped with additional fuel tanks and specially strengthened landing gear non-stop from Pendine Sands, South Wales, west across the Atlantic intending to land at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York.

      Floyd Bennett Field was to be the start point for Jim Mollison’s attempt at a non-stop world distance record by flying from New York to Baghdad. Arriving in darkness and low on fuel in the vicinity of Bridgeport, Connecticut after 39 hours in the air, they attempted to land at Bridgeport Municipal Airport (now Sikorsky Memorial) in Stratford. They made a botched off airport landing that ended with a badly damaged Dragon in a drainage ditch.

      The Mollisons were thrown from the aircraft on impact, but received only minor injuries. What was left of the damaged Dragon was picked apart by souvenir hunters, although the engines and fuel tanks were salvaged to be used in a second Dragon named, “Seafarer II.” While recuperating from their injuries, the Mollison’s were toasted and feted by New York high society, and even accorded a ticker tape parade down Wall Street. Given their celebrity reception by New York’s elite it’s not surprising that they would also be guests of the Roosevelts for lunch at Hyde Park where they’d meet Amelia Earhart and George Putnam from nearby Rye, New York, as well as the Roosevelt’s Hyde Park neighbor, Henry Morgenthau, Jr.

      The above is based on information found at several Wikipedia pages.

      All best,

      William

      Like

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