Could Earhart be interred in her birthplace’s cellar?

We continue our brief inquiry into possible resting places for our heroine, Amelia Earhart, and the great Fred Noonan, her overlooked and misunderstood navigator.  In my last post,Amelia Earhart held in Saipan’s Garapan Prison: Was she also buried somewhere nearby?we saw more witness testimony that strongly suggested Amelia was buried on Saipan, just as so many others have told us.  Boldface emphasis is mine throughout.

Today we take a brief look at an Earhart burial theory suggested by a few of the more fanciful types who’ve speculated on this mystery, although its exact origin isn’t clear.  To introduce this bizarre idea, we present a letter from one of the most speculative and imaginative of all notable Earhart researchers and authors, retired Air Force Col. Rollin C. Reineck, who needs no introduction to regular readers of this blog.  Reineck’s letter to the director of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, Louise Foudray, and her response, which follows after my brief comments, were published in the February 1999 issue of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters.

Louise Foudray, former director of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, circa 2004.  Photo courtesy Alex Mandel.


Rollin C. Reineck
1127 Lauloa St.
Kailua, HI 96734

24 October 1998

Louise Foudray
Amelia Earhart Museum
Atchison, Kansas 66002

The other day I received the enclosed letter from a researcher.

I find it interesting in two respects.  First, it indicates that Goerner had some inside information that Earhart was killed on Saipan and that her remains were returned so the United States.

Secondly it eliminates the Arlington National Cemetery as possible place where AE could have been buried had her remains been returned to the U.S.

When I read the letter, specifically that part of the 6th para. “I can’t be specific, but why don’t you look in the most obvious place.”  I immediately thought of her home in Atchison, Kansas, as the most obvious place.

(Editor’s note:  Here Reineck was referring to an Oct. 9, 1998 letter from Ross Game to Bob Ross, which was presented in our Dec. 20, 2019 post, Game letter suggests possible Earhart burial site In the letter’s sixth paragraph, Game wrote, “Just before the CIA assistance [he and Goerner were receiving] was cut off I pleaded with our contact to tell me where the Earhart remains had been placed after being brought from Saipan.  The reply:  “I can’t be specific, but why don’t you look in the most obvious place.’ ”  Game and Goerner’s subsequent investigations of Arlington National Cemetery came up empty.)

When you get a minute, I would appreciate your comments.

Aloha, Rollin C. Reineck

Reading Game’s account of the cryptic response from the unidentified CIA man about how he might find Amelia Earhart’s gravesite brought to mind a long litany of negative responses from officials that Donald Kothera’s wife, Florence, received during her brief fact-finding foray in Washington. D.C., as chronicled near the conclusion of Joe Davidson’s highly underrated 1969 book,  Amelia Earhart Returned from Saipan.  

“I do not remember going on any grave digging detail,” former Marine Capt. Tracy Griswold had told Kothera, John Gacek and Davidson at his home in Erie, Penn., in answer to their queries about his role in the 1944 Saipan grave-digging incident as recalled by Everett Henson Jr. and Billy Burks.  Before Kothera and friends left, Griswold, not content with leaving them flat, asked whether they had “checked with the National Morgue?  You might be surprised what you would find there.”  We continue, quoting directly from Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last:

Rather than ignore Griswold’s devious suggestion, Kothera sent his wife, Florence, to Washington to “check with the National Morgue.”  Florence soon learned that no such entity exists, but a phone call to the ever-helpful Griswold redirected her to the National Archives, as if the answers might be found there.  Three days later, her bureaucratic goose chase had taken her not only to the National Archives, but to the Naval History Office, Japanese Embassy, U.S. State Department, Chief of Naval Intelligence, and Navy Annex as well.  Along the way, she told several officials how she felt about their inability to produce any answers about Earhart, Griswold, or the remains he had removed from Saipan.  Florence Kothera learned a hard lesson from her frustrating Washington experience: Nobody in the U.S. government has ever offered anything helpful about the fate of Amelia Earhart.                    

This is the portion of the basement of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum with the mounds that some have speculated house the bodies of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.  Photo courtesy Suzanne Bower, July 2012, and taken from the 2015 book, The Amelia Earhart Saga: Plausible Suppositions, by Barry Bower.

Rudely, Louise Foudray did not respond directly to Reineck’s sincere letter, but wrote a brief note more than three months later to Bill Prymak, whom she presumed would publish it in his Amelia Earhart Society Newsletter, and he promptly did.  

Jan. 28, 1999

Dear Bill,

I have not responded to [the above from] Col. Reineck, so will do so via the newsletter.

We have joked for years about the 2 large cement mounds in the basement of the birthplace.  One for Amelia Earhart, one for Fred.  If she requested they be “entombed” together, it’s ideal.  According to certain sources, this may be true.

[Researcher] Art Parchen observed thesemounds recently and said he didn’t think so.

When the new fiction book comes out, maybe we’ll know.  The lady researching for the book says, “’You are going to be surprised!

These are exciting times!  I can just “feel” an answer coming — can you?

Bless you all and “Happy Hunting”
              Louise Foudray

I don’t know to which Earhart fiction book Foudray was referring, but considering the numerous tomes of varying uselessness published since 1999, it couldn’t have been terribly compelling.  The very idea of producing more Earhart fiction is a insult to Amelia and her legacy, which had already been muddled, nearly beyond redemption, by decades of disinformation and fiction.

That’s about it, I have only the basics on this one.  The source of the birthplace basement theory remains a mystery, at least to me.  Others may be out there besides Alex Mandel, who has personally visited there several times and rejects the Earhart-Noonan interment idea, who might have their own stories or insights.  Special thanks to Alex for his assistance with the photos.

12 responses

  1. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Burying Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan’s returned remains in the basement of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum is absurd as it flies in the face of all the secrecy that has accompanied their disappearance in 1937. The same goes for any “secret” internment at Arlington National Cemetery. There would have been far too great of a chance that at some future date the secret would be discovered, leaving the U.S. Government open to some very embarrassing questions. No, the recovered remains of AE and FN would have been disposed of permanently, and in such a manner as to preclude discovery and recovery.

    If I had to speculate, I’d say that AE and FN’s remains were consigned to the deep in a short, but dignified ceremony conducted on the deck of a surfaced submarine. The skipper and minimum number of personnel on deck probably did not even know who they were burying. The event may not even have been entered into the log, but simply forwarded to higher headquarters in a cryptic message indicating that the task was completed at date, time, and coordinates. Simple and secret.

    All best,



  2. Hasn’t Tighar searched the basement with the bone-sniffing dog detail (sorry, my tongue became wedged in my cheek)?


  3. Intriguing Mike- yet another element of mystery added to this story. Along with a couple of different burial sites on Saipan-reports that she was cremated due to fear of the spread of dysentery. It would seem they dug up someone on Saipan and shipped the remains out- but whose remains and where did they end up?


  4. And one more thing- thanks for the overlooked and misunderstood comment concerning Fred Noonan- so often brushed aside when discussing their disappearance We forget, he was on that flight as well and met the same fate- even harsher if he was beheaded as many claim.


  5. David Atchason | Reply

    It does look as though Amelia was selected at some point to run some kind of mission for the U.S. government. Either she was the only one of a handful of plausible aviators at the time who would do it, or they just picked her and groomed her career from the beginning. I have a suspicion that she could be a bold and daring pilot but her skills at flying and navigating were nowhere near someone like Lindbergh or Wiley Post. In fact, I think she could be erratic and prone to poor judgment in tough situations. I believe she managed to crash several (5?) planes in her career while I don’t hear Lindbergh crashed even one.

    Assuming she landed on Mili atoll which I agree with she sure was a long way from Howland which makes no sense at all if she was really trying to find Howland. It does seem likely from Morganthau’s comments and FDR’s displeasure that she really did screw up or was trying some stunt on her own. They were probably sorry they picked her. She probably “knew too much” so it was easiest just to let her disappear and die on Saipan than to negotiate with Japan and bring her home where she might be shooting her mouth off. After all, Japan was our “evil empire” adversary and we were as always pure as the driven snow.

    Even though I was/am sort of a JFK assassination/ 9/11 attack buff I would say reading the TTAL and corresponding with Mike opened my eyes wide to the never ending deception practiced by our/their governments and in a way I’m sorry I went down this path at times. I am cynical about everything that appears in the MSM but not cynical enough as it appears to be 90% propaganda these days, where in past decades it was only 85%.

    I now put my opinions on FB at times but if they are not “correct” they get deleted. I have not been notified by FB to “cease and desist” as one of my conspiracy theory pals has been, but when I think I am “hitting the nail on the head” with one of my clever analyses and I get deleted, then I have the satisfaction of knowing I am probably getting close to the truth. It is a bit of a burden to be as perceptive as I am (sarc.) but I will carry on. I can’t share my insights with many folks as it just irritates what friends I have if I let them know they are sadly misled. They don’t understand that the more outrageous our “Deep State’s” actions are the more likely the official propaganda will be believed. I seem to have worn out my slash / key today so I now go to work repairing it.
    All Best,


    Liked by 1 person

  6. No word about the bones T.I.G.H.A.R. found on their last junket?


    1. CDA,

      Which one was this, please give date you’re referencing? I lost track of their BS Niku visits, but nothing has ever been found that links to AE, Noonan or the Electra, contrary to the media’s constant bloviation.



    2. It was last year. Looking for a link to the story.


  7. *Interesting piece Mike. I don’t see Amelia being entombed in this house’s basement. It’s too goolish & absurd for me to believe. Not only did the government but the entire family, keep everyone in the dark, all this time.

    I don’t see her mother Amy, wanting her daughter’s remains stashed in the national morgue or buried in Arlington, simply out of the question. Amelia must be buried, in the family’s cemetery plot or a section of it, beside her father. If there was no room there, maybe she was interred in a separate, but unmarked spot near by? All the researchers who have looked for her in these wrong locations, need to focus around the family’s plot. Amelia was not left buried or creamated on Saipan. You would have thought, after Amelia died, the Japanese Military would have had at least the decency to notify the U.S. Embassy of her death?

    Sure we have the story of Griswald, Burks & Henson digging detail, but who did they really unearth? Fred? or other deceased American captives? Until a *executive order from the top is passed, to at least reveal *Amelia’s resting place, we will continue to scratch our heads & roll our eyes, over this masquerade that has been perpetrated for the last 80 some years.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reading, Writing, Rhythm & Blues | Reply

    Maybe the official Japanese military didn’t even knew of her existence. Identifying the official in charge of that remote area would be a step.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another pathetic non-story to keep the masses confused and distracted, as if anyone out there cares about Amelia Earhart to begin with. The media has been the enemy of the truth for 80 years in the Earhart story, and now it’s become the full-blown Enemy of the People in all important stories. I don’t need to explain this to any thinking person.


      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: