Did Earhart tell Walker about her “real mission”?

Today we further explore the strong possibility that Amelia Earhart was not trying to find and land on Howland Island on July 2, 1937, but instead was engaged in an entirely different mission.

The below letter appeared in the July 1995 and July 1998 issues of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, but was initially published in the Jan-Feb issue of Shipmate, the official alumni magazine of the U.S. Naval Academy, accessible only to members.  I don’t have the November ’86 Shipmate article referenced by R.B. Greenwood, a 1943 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, naval aviator and cousin of Mark Walker, who was lost in the 1938 Hawaii Clipper disappearance and whose fascinating conversation with Amelia Earhart is the main subject of this post.  Bold emphasis mine unless indicated otherwise.  Following is the AES presentation:

Letter in Shipmate Jan-Feb 1987 magazine, by R.B. Greenwood ’43, referring to an article in Nov. ’86 Shipmate “The Search for Amelia Earhart,” by Capt. William B. Short, Jr., USN (Ret).  (Bold in original.)

Caption from Charles N. Hill’s Fix on the Rising Sun: “Mark Anderson (“Tex”) Walker, 1938. Snapshot by Ralph Harvey; photo courtesy of The Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas, from front page story, ‘Last goodbye,’ by senior staff writer Lois Lueke, published April 16, 1992.”

This article presents a most interesting account of one aspect of the Earhart story, the search.  It also brings to light a common situation where the participants in a naval operation may not be privy to intelligence information concerning their activities.  Apparently Capt. Short and his shipmates were not aware of the true circumstances of Amelia Earhart’s daring flight and the more likely position of her disappearance.

In the referred article, Capt. Short’s 5 July 1937 letter vents emotion about this publicity stunt and its effect on public confidence. 

In the summer of 1938 my first cousin, Mark Walker, was visiting the family in Texas.  We had a long discussion about his life in the Navy — flying off [the carrier] Saratoga in the early thirties, his employments in aerial photography, experiences as a Pan Am pilot in Sikorsky flying boats in Central and S. America, his current life as a China Clipper first officer, and test flights in the new Boeing Yankee Clipper which he was to captain on the Atlantic route.  He was home because the test seaplane had suffered sabotage, and the schedule of test flights had to be delayed.

Walker was convinced that Japanese agents were responsible for the damage to his Boeing Clipper, and the subjects were raised about possible sabotage by Japan to one of the Martin China ClippersHe also talked about Earhart’s disappearance.  He was convinced that she had been forced down by the Japanese.  And, his opinion was much more than guesswork. 

Early in 1937, Mark had been assigned to work with Amelia Earhart and her navigator Noonan on their Pacific area phase.  He at once urged his friend Earhart not to risk the emphasis that Pan Am placed on flight safety by such a foolhardypublicity stunt.”  He told her that her equipment was barely adequate.

Her reply was direct.  She had not proposed the flight.  Someone high in the government had personally asked her to undertake the mission.  Her navigator was an accomplished aerial photographer.  The flight was to be laid out with two routes.  One was to be publicized.  The other was to be directed over intelligence objectives in the islands controlled by Japan.  Positions on the published route could be translated to positions on the actual route.  (Bold and underline emphasis in AES Newsletter presentations.)

As a side note, Mark Walker described how he and fellow Pan Am pilots had discussed how easy it would be for a saboteur to sneak aboard a China Clipper and with no more than a pistol, commandeer the flight and direct it to another destination.  The clippers had all of the latest Navy instrumentation and communications equipment which he felt the Japanese wanted.

About a month after Iris visit home, Mark substituted for an ailing pilot as first officer in Philippine [sic] Clipper on a flight leg from Guam to Manila.  The Clipper disappeared at the nearest point to a Japanese controlled island.  Their position was known because their radio transmission stopped abruptly after reporting fair weather and their precise location.  Contact could not be reestablished-although radio conditions were good.  Walker’s prophetic conjecture had apparently come true.  The cargo on that particular flight was Chinese gold bullion and a few high Chinese officials, including, I believe, the defense minister.

In the years that followed, several visits were made to Mark Walker’s father by Naval Intelligence officers.  However, his father would never reveal the purpose of these visits because he had agreed to secrecy.

As regards the Earhart search, the Navy obviously knew more about the flight than was communicated to the search force participants.  Perhaps the misguided search was a planned public diversion to reinforce the image of the United States as a peaceful, non-spying nation.  This attitude apparently still covers other unpublicized intelligence probes into the Mandated Islands that were conducted in the pre-war period. (End of Greenwood letter.)

Paul Rafford Jr., the last of the plank owners of the Amelia Earhart Society to leave us, was impressed enough by Greenwood’s letter that he wrote about it in his 2006 book, Amelia Earhart’s Radio:

Yet Mark Walker, a Naval Reserve Officer, heard something different from Earhart.  I heard about Mark from his cousin, Bob Greenwood, a Naval Intelligence Officer.  Bob wrote to me about Mark and what he had heard.

Mark Walker was Pan Am copilot flying out of Oakland.  He pointed out to Earhart the dangers of the world flight, when the Electra was so minimally equipped to take on the task.  Mark claimed Earhart stated: “This flight isn’t my idea, someone high up in the government asked me to do it.”

“Earhart’s crack-up in Honolulu is a classic example of how minor events can change world history, Rafford wrote.  “Had she not lost control and ground looped during takeoff, Earhart would have left navigator Fred Noonan at Howland and radio operator Captain Harry Manning in Australia.  Then, she would have proceeded around the world alone. 

“Fate decreed otherwise.”

For much more on Rafford and others’ theories about Earhart’s March 1937 Hawaii ground loop and subsequent reversal of her flight plan, please see my Nov. 2, 2018 post, Did Earhart crash on purpose in Hawaii takeoff?

Charles N. Hill, author of Fix on the Rising Sun (2000), an often speculative tome that focused on the 1938 Hawaii Clipper disappearance and Hill’s strident ideas about what happened, had more than most to say about Earhart’s alleged words to Mark Walker.  Hill is best known for his conviction that theHawaii Clipper did not simply ‘disappear:’ ” as he writes in his book’s opening pages, “she was hi-jacked [sic] to Truk Atoll by radical officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy.  Her fifteen crew and passengers were murdered and entombed within a slab of wet concrete on Dublon Island, at Truk Atoll, and quite inexplicably, the United States Government continues to keep this secret for the Japanese government — and from the American People [sic] — as it has, since 1938.”  (Italics in original.)

Prior to his five-page discussion of Mark Walker, first officer on the lost Hawaii Clipper, Hill presents the same 1987 R.B. Greenwood letter to Shipmate that twice graced the pages of the AES Newsletters.  

An extensive discussion of the details of Walker’s reported encounter with Earhart, which follows, has been provided because it is especially unique,Hill wrote.  “Many researchers have either indicated, or attempted to prove, that the last flight of Amelia Earhart was, in fact, a covert intelligence operation undertaken in the interest of America’s national security.  Walker’s story is one of the few, if not the only, account (albeit hearsay), in which she is alleged to have admitted to be preparing for an intelligence flight over the Japanese Mandates.” 

Hill then reintroduces the entire money paragraph in Greenwood’s letter, the one underlined and bolded above, and then launches into a parenthetical discussion, the more salient portions of which follow.  For consistency, let’s begin with the final short sentences that Greenwood wrote in this paragraph, followed by Hill’s discussion:

Greenwood: The flight was to be laid out with two routes.  One was to be publicized.  The other was to be directed over intelligence objectives in the islands controlled by Japan.  Positions on the published route could be translated to positions on the actual route.

Hill:  [This was not only technically possible, but also consistent with anomalies in Earhart’s flight from New Guinea.  As to the technical possibilities, the published routes specified a ground speed of 150 mph, yet Earhart’s own notes, written during the March 17, 1937, flight to Hawaii (and available to researchers at Purdue University), indicated a speed of 180 mph Boy oh boy . . . but, as she later noted, they had    . . . throttled down to 120 indicated airspeed so as not to arrive in darkness.  Moreover, the text of Last Flight, largely ghost-written by publisher George P. Putnam, her husband, noted that actually, we were going about as slowly as possible.  We throttled back the engines and most of the way our craft was under wraps. 

. . . Later, during Earhart’s second (and final) world flight attempt, the New York Times reported her speed, from San Juan, Puerto Rico down to Carripito, Venezuela, as being nearly 190 mph (true air speed, that is, for a ground speed, against headwinds well above 30 mph, of just over her desired 150 mph average).  The NYT also cited a top air speed of 250 mph [italics in original], which makes it apparent that, whatever her ultimate plans may have been, Earhart could have appeared to make a flight from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island, at 150 mph ground speed, but while actually detouring to Truk, in the Japanese Mandates, in the same time — but at higher air- and ground-speeds, which, for the most part were, understandably, kept “under wraps.”

This graphic appeared in the September 1966 issue of True magazine’s condensation of Fred Goerner’s recently published The Search for Amelia Earhart, with this cutline: “Double line shows Earhart’s announced course to Howland Island.  Author believes she flew first to Truk instead to study secret Japanese base, then got lost and landed in Mili Atoll.  Captured by the Japanese, she was taken along dotted line to other bases. Ship below Howland is U.S. Coast Guard’s Itasca, Earhart’s assigned contact.

What Earhart told Walker regarding this spy flight, while clearly serving toput him in his placefor his criticism, was, technically, quite feasible.  And, if Walker’s comments were abrasive, as Captain Greenwood has indicated that they may have been, then her directreply, while constituting a serious breach of security, can easily be seen as an understandable, if careless, rejoinder.  The omission of a book credit for Walker would be consistent, as well, with several reports of Earhart’s unforgiving temperament.

Most important, there is a “ring of truth” to the detail regarding a translation, or tie-in, of reported positions, to actual positions, along a secret route.  In 1985, the author found that Earhart had the speed and fuel to fly to Truk, en route to Howland, but could not include Mili Atoll and still reach Howland with the fuel and time available.  The tactic served the hi-jackers [sic] of Hawaii Clipper far better than it served the Earhart spy-flight planners.] (Italics Hill’s.)

. . . Captain Greenwood’s letter and subsequent reflections on his conversation with Mark Walker, while providing valid speculation regarding Earhart’s last flight, also confirms, not only that PAA flight officers were aware of the possibility of a hi-jack attempt, but that at least one of them believed that a Clipper hijacking might well be successful.

We won’t get any further involved in the Hawaii Clipper disappearance now, but I thought some of Hill’s speculations might be interesting to many readers of this blog, especially the most imaginative, and so offer them for your consideration.  

The foregoing and much more in this blog and Truth at Last leave me convinced that responsible researchers cannot disregard the real possibility that Amelia Earhart overflew Truk Atoll on the way to her Mili Atoll forced landing.  

The total distance from Lae to Truk to Howland Island is 3,250 statute miles, compared with 2,556 statute miles when flying direct from Lae, well within the Electra’s normal range of 4,000 miles, even without modified engines.  For further discussion of a possible Truk overflight, please see my Jan. 2, 2019 post,Art Kennedy’s sensational Earhart claims persist: Was Amelia on mission to overfly Truk?”


20 responses

  1. There is so much of Greenwood’s account that is flawed, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

    Les Kinney


    1. Well, please try, Les. Readers want to know!


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article, Mike! Stay safe with the storm coming!


  3. If true, then all the more reason that these two people should be acknowledged for their service to their country. It certainly sounds feasible, as reports state that there were times during pre-flight planning that Putnam and Amelia’s mother were asked to leave the room with what were most likely agents of the government attending.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow!!….great article, Mike……wonder what Capt. Pitts would say?


  5. There is so much information here, I don’t know where to begin, either. First, why not cite the author of the True magazine article or condensation as it is called. Since the map also appears in “Lost Star”, Randall Brink’s book, I bet it is Randall Brink’s work. I may be mistaken, I do not own a copy of Goerner’s book, maybe it is taken from his book, although I wouldn’t think so.

    So, as I contended a few weeks ago, the whole shebang from day one, was Amelia working for the US government. Not a publicity stunt dreamed up by Putnam. Just a thought, if Walker thought her plane was not the right type for her flight, maybe he was referring to Wiley Post’s use of the Lockheed “Vega” for his round the world flights in 1933. I’m not totally sure, but when Harold Gatty accompanied Post they did use the Vega? Meaning it was a two seater? So didn’t Amelia already own a Vega? Why use the passenger plane the L10? Makes NO sense to me. Maybe it was because the L10 could be outfitted to have far longer range than the Vega which would come in handy for spying. As for her actually flying much faster speed than the public was led to believe she could well…….

    When she crashed in Hawaii, (still puzzling) does anyone really think they patched up her old plane as cheap as they could? Give me a break. Lockheed supplied her with at least a prototype L12 and with advanced engines could fly even faster than the L10 which could fly faster than the public was led to believe. Just read about (as Brink maintains) her flight times in Africa which a couple legs were much faster than her old L10 could do. This info in itself if true shows she was flying a different plane. Yet everybody ignores that. Maybe the plane was especially outfitted to have a much higher Gross Weight rating to allow for the heavier fuel load. I do like the term used in TIGHAR’s site for the Lae takeoff, “desperately overloaded” that’s what I was trying to say to William Trail. Maybe not so much though, if it’s a different plane.

    I will stipulate that I accept the Mili Atoll landing. Why she would make a long detour to go there I don’t know. I have not found that there was anything of great interest there at the time, but the Japs were doing SOMETHING there, it wasn’t merely an isolated atoll where the natives fished for a living, I don’t think. I do believe she was shot down or forced down on Mili, either by armed seaplanes or planes from an aircraft carrier that hung around there as the crew of the freighter wrecked there earlier in the year saw. With her extended range it is inconceivable that she ran out of gas there. So there would obviously be no distress call about that even though she was “low on gas” supposedly.

    Did they take her plane to Saipan or Taroa? Probably they did take her plane with the broken wing if only for propaganda purposes if not to examine the latest engines and cameras. Yes the Japs had an old L10 but they could learn things from her new improved equipment. I won’t go into her role here of speculation she was taken to Japan to become a or the Tokyo Rose, although why the natives of Saipan called her “Tokyo Rosa” just does not follow from what we now know. Enough for now.


    Liked by 3 people

  6. For all the research you’ve provided here, this whole scenario of the China Clippers opens a new direction. If the Japanese were able to make a Clipper disappear, why wouldn’t they be able to do that to Amelia’s ship? And, Amelia and Fred. I’m convinced that she was given a different route to fly, but why the secrecy still. Should be available to the public after all these years. Japan needs to acknowledge their role!

    Thanks Mike for all you’ve done to uncover Amelia’s and Fred’s journey and how it really ended. Our grandson is based at Jacksonville NAS, Navy Pilot!

    I’m still reading your posts…..Toodie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear from you, Toodie, I hope you tell your grandson about the book and blog. He’s among the best of the best, Navy pilots! You can be justifiably proud!

      All Best to you and your family!


  7. David Atchason | Reply

    Just because nobody is stopping me from doing it, I’d like to offer solution to other mysteries. It was always a puzzle to me why AE didn’t use the airfield at Rabaul for her take-off for Howland when it is closer. Perhaps the field was unusable at the time because of the volcano, but maybe not. But one thing for sure, Lae was much closer to Truk if that’s where she was really going. And most likely she was. Still, overflying the mandates strikes me as most audacious and perilous. You wouldn’t get me to do that.

    I’m not sure about that little route map from True magazine/Brink. Maybe that’s what she was SUPPOSED to do, in order to largely avoid the Marshalls . In other words, hit and run from Truk, back over the ocean and maybe then head toward Mili. Instead, she kept right on going, filming the Marshalls and she was just about out of the Marshalls area, only had Knox to cover after Mili and she would have been home free. Maybe the plan was simply to view Truk then head for Howland. Perhaps there was nothing important about Mili, it just happened to be where the Japs caught up to her. The Japs caught her, and Morgenthau was angry. I don’t think her flight was supposed to be a provocation. But then again, there is the suspicion in the back of my mind that FDR didn’t really like her and cared little what happened to her. But that’s another story.

    So on to next mystery. I have posted here, that to me, it made absolutely no sense that the Japs kept quiet about holding AE and just had her stick around on Godforsaken Saipan until she died . What would be the sense of doing that with their highest value prisoner? Well, they didn’t. They shipped her to Tokyo. So, was she Tokyo Rose? Or one of them? Were the Saipanese aware she was shipped to Tokyo to do the broadcasts, that it was the lady who was briefly held on Saipan? Mind you, they were interviewed AFTER the war was over. THat was when they called her “Tokyo Rose.” They weren’t calling her that when she was on Saipan, she was the “spy lady.” I don’t recall if Mike covered this angle. Like JAckie Cochran’s trip to Tokyo, soon after the surrender. Or Putnam going to Chine to listen in on the broadcasts so he could declare “hHat’s not my wife.” Just asking.

    All Best,

    Liked by 2 people

  8. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    No Chinese defense minister on the Hawaii Clipper flight, just Choy Wah Sun — aka “Watson” Choy, 38, a Chinese-American restaurateur from Jersey City, NJ — carrying three million dollars in U.S. Gold Certificates. I don’t believe it was, as some assert, a “ransom” to be paid to the Japanese for the safe return of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. More likely, it was destined for Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang Government in Japanese-besieged China.

    According to author Charles N. Hill in “Fix On The Rising Sun” (page 65), three million dollars in pre-WWII-era U.S. Gold Certificates was recovered from a bank vault in Garapan, Saipan by CWO W.T. Horne, USMC in 1944. The gold certificates, as well as the other interesting contents of the vault, were subsequently turned in to a Marine Intelligence unit commanded by a colonel. Could it have been another three million dollars in U.S. Gold Certificates than what Choy Wah Sun was carrying? Possibly, but I don’t believe in “coincidences.” At least, not coincidences like this.

    All best,



    1. Charles Hill’s assertion of three million discovered at Saipan is “legend.” The source is questionable. Although obviously a bright guy, Hill had some serious failings when it came to Earhart research. Unfortunately, he also had a working relationship with Joe Gervais and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I’m not sure the three million bucks originated with Hill or Gervais. Nevertheless, the tale was born. I would love for it to be true – but probably it wasn’t.

      The Hawaii Clipper disappearance, married to the Earhart and Noonan’s disappearance, could be a stand alone blog.

      Les Kinney


      1. William H. Trail


        Thank you, sir. I was unaware that Charles N. Hill had a working relationship with Joe Gervais. I did find Hill’s interpretation of the navigational aspects of the “alleged” Hawaii Clipper hijacking to be overly complicated. It violates Carl von Clausewitz’s 9th Principle of War — Simplicity.

        I did a search for CWO W.T. Horne, USMC at marines.togetherweserved.com and got nothing that was an exact match. The closest was a CWO4 Edward A. Horney, USMC of Wilmington, DE. CWO4 Horney (1925-2019) who served from 1943 to 1974 and is buried in Wilmington, DE. Yes, I would very much like for Hill’s story about the finding of the three million dollars in pre-WWII U.S. Gold Certificates on Saipan to be true as well as it would constitute some pretty damning evidence for direct Japanese involvement.

        As far as a nexus between the Hawaii Clipper disappearance and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, my belief is that the only connection is the involvement of Imperial Japan in both events.

        All best,



    2. Gervais and Hill put out so much garbage, it’s hard to tell what was good research and misinformation. When something is repeated over so much it tends to become accepted as fact. Greenwood’s story fits in nicely with Hill’s and Gervais’s wild speculation.

      Hill relied on Gervais for much of his book, yet dances around without ever saying that. During the mid to late 1980’s they traded letters and occasionally spoke on the phone. Neither Hill nor Gervais published source material to verify their accusations. Gervais, later in life, said very little about his experience on Truk and his 1963 discussions with the two young natives. Gervais’ early research is good. We have some of his source letters to back that up. He later must have become frustrated and goes off on these crazy theories that have no basis in fact. Hill was originally an Earhart researcher writing letters from his home in Ohio. Somehow, his research morphed into the Hawaii Clipper’s disappearance. “W.T. Horne’s” discovery of money found in a safe on Saipan is told in Hill’s book with quotes. Yet, I can’t find Horne being discussed by Gervais or anyone else to further identify him.

      You would think a find of “ten million dollars” and an additional find of “three million dollars in gold backed certificates from a blown safe on Saipan would have made it into the various summaries of the Saipan invasion written by the Navy, Army, and Marine Corps. It didn’t. Hill’s story is quite similar to Robert Wallack’s account which I find credible. It’s possible, Hill massaged Wallack’s account. There is no question the various journalists assigned to the Saipan invasion would have heard of it. Minor stories, like the discovery of the Japanese officer’s photo album with pictures of Earhart made the news. Finding thirteen million bucks in U.S. currency would have been big news. That’s 192 million in today’s dollars.

      I can only imagine the currency would have been in 100-dollar bills. There would be no way a Chinese bank or a similar financial institution would have accepted bills any larger and no insurgency group could have used them for barter. Since gold certificate backed currency was withdrawn from circulation in 1933, the three million in gold certificates “allegedly” carried by wah Sun would have had to have been converted by the U.S. government after being deposited in a U.S. member bank.

      This raises several questions:
      Ten million dollars in 100-dollar bills weigh about 220 pounds and takes up a lot of space in a safe. Add an additional three million dollars in dollar backed gold certificates in 10 to 100 dollar notes, (almost all were in these denominations at their end use) and you overwhelm anything but the largest safe.

      Why would the Japanese keep ten million dollars to be used for the possible occupation of Hawaii as Hill asserts? Wouldn’t it better if it were in Japan versus Saipan which is nowhere near an invasion route to Hawaii? More absurd is Hill’s assertion the Japanese would use American money to pay for services in Honolulu after they invaded it.

      Choi wah Sun “allegedly” carried three million in gold certificates heading to China. He owned three restaurants in the New York New Jersey area and the certificates were to be given to Chiang Kai Shek in China’s fight against the Japanese. Choi wah Sun had never been to China before this trip. Rumors in the papers started almost immediately that he was carrying a large amount of money. I am not sure this is true. Why? Shek was receiving assistance from the U.S. already, wouldn’t it have been easier to send this money by wire, a U.S. courier, or letter of credit to be deposited in a bank in Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Manila? What would Shek do with gold certificates? Well, the answer is they would have to be returned to the United States for redemption. This makes zero sense.

      Let’s say Choi Wah Sun indeed carried a large suitcase full of dollar backed gold certificates with him. (and the suitcase would have to be very large). Would he have carried that suitcase into a small Guam lodging hotel for the night? Very awkward indeed.
      Pan Am had a habit (documented) of having two crew members stay aboard the plane on overnight stops. How would a Japanese hijacker or two sneak aboard in Guam?

      When the Hawaii Clipper and Walker disappeared in late July 1938, R. B. Greenwood was about 15. Where did he get this story? Walker did attend Stanford and graduated in 1931. From 1931 to 1935 he was on active duty as a Naval Reserve Ensign and was discharged from the Navy at Coronado. He did attend flight training at Pensacola. When he was hired by Pan American Airways, he was 23 years old. He started his Pan Am training in Miami and flew as second officer and eventually first officer aboard smaller aircraft on the Miami – Rio run. In 1937, he was still in the Miami district according to statements from another pilot who knew Walker.

      With the completion of the last of the three Sikorsky M-130 Clippers, Pan American transferred some personnel to Alameda to crew them. Noonan had arrived in late March 1935 along with Captain Musick and the rest of the first crew. I believe Mark Walker arrived along with Horace Brock and a few other pilots in late summer of 1937. Walker is not listed among the three crews at Alameda in early March 1937.

      I don’t see how Mark Walker would have known Amelia Earhart. Earhart journeyed to Oakland for her first world attempt in early March 1937. Noonan is first mentioned on March 11, 1937. Noonan had left Pan American sometimes in January 1937. Although Noonan trained pilots and navigators in aerial navigation class work, it appears Walker was hired after Noonan left Miami. Earhart arrived back in Miami on her second world attempt in late May 1937. There is a possibility Walker was still in the Miami division flying as a young first officer on smaller Pan Am plane at the time. Earhart’s Lockheed Electra was several miles away from Pan Am’s seaplane base. How could Walker, if he was in Miami, a young inexperienced pilot, get to know Earhart while she was busy with flight preparation several miles way?

      When Walker was transferred to Alameda, he took an apartment in Berkeley. Greenwood says: “He was home because the test seaplane had suffered sabotage, and the schedule of test flights had to be delayed.” He goes on to say, “Walker was convinced that Japanese agents were responsible for the damage to his Boeing Clipper, and the subjects were raised about possible sabotage by Japan to one of the Martin China Clippers. He also talked about Earhart’s disappearance. He was convinced that she had been forced down by the Japanese. And, his opinion was much more than guesswork.”

      “Well, the first Boeing Clippers did not go into service until February 1939, seven months after Walker and his crew mates had disappeared. Much of Greenwood’s comments seem preposterous. His speculation the Japanese were interested in “navy instrumentation aboard the Hawaii Clipper is nonsense. None of the equipment was Navy designed.

      The Hawaii Clipper’s disappearance is the classic mystery. At the time, there was speculation of sabotage. No one discussed a hi-jacking, although it can’t entirely be ruled out.

      Les Kinney

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Les, for your enlightening insights. I wish I had checked with you before proceeding with this post. We’re working on a follow-up as well, with someone who was on Dublon in 2014. By the time we’re finished, we’ll all know much more about the Hawaii Clipper than we ever dreamt.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Its an important topic and needs to be discussed. I look forward to your next installment.

        Les Kinney

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Very good. Very close. Thanks


  10. Reading, Writing, Rhythm & Blues | Reply

    Excellent article, Mike. Yes. Provoke more info. It’s unraveling.


  11. First off, the Hawaii Clipper disappeared, the Philippine Clipper exploded in mid air with the loss of all life on it’s way to Samoa. Hawaii Clipper, Martin M-130, Philipine Clipper, Sikorsky S-42. Earhart met with Eastman Kodak engineers for 3 hours on October 6th, 1936, to inspect specialty photographic equipment designed just for her Electra. That amount of time sounds like finished equipment and a basic class on it’s operation to me. I’m sure Mark Walker said Pan Am Clipper and not China Clipper, because they all had different names.

    While I’m at it, lost Clipper.com has a lot of incorrect claims in it’s trailer about the need for the Hawaii Clipper engines from it to power the Zero. Absolute codswallop. In January of 1938 , the Japanese national airlines had taken delivery of their first PBY-1, with 2 more delivered in 1938. They had 10% more horespower than the older Martin M-130 engines. They also started buying DC-3s in 1935, along with a rogues gallery of other aircraft. I’ve discussing this with Hans Weisman, the Dakota Hunter. If you open a page about the Hawaii Clipper disappearance, I ‘d love to share my research and rebuttals to their claims.


    1. Thanks Woody, we appreciate hearing from you, as you always have something substantive and interesting. I must ask you, however, about the loudest thing you say, when you write that “Earhart met with Eastman Kodak engineers for 3 hours on October 6th, 1936, to inspect specialty photographic equipment designed just for her Electra.”

      This alleged meeting between Earhart and Eastman Kodak engineers borders on an extraordinary claim, and we all know what extraordinary claims require — real, substantial, credible evidence that stands up to scrutiny. Please, Sir, your source for this claim?



    2. Woody,

      An informed reader has cleared up this little conundrum for us. Will withhold his name until I get clearance, but apparently this information is not what you are making it out to be, i.e. evidence of plans by AE for secret mission with cameras. Here’s what the informed party has sent:

      Re Woody’s latest post.
      Yes, Amelia did stop in Rochester on October 7, 1936 while motoring to Michigan as part of her lecture tour. Yes, she did meet with Kodak officials and spent three hours at the Kodak plant looking at photographic equipment that could be used in her “flying laboratory.” She showed interest in a new camera especially designed for her.

      However, this was not secret, it was in the newspapers and there is no likelihood of any spy connotations associated with it. Earhart and Putnam were always looking out for new sponsors I see nothing sinister in her visit.

      By the way, after her meeting in Rochester, she drove straight through to Lansing Michigan and spoke that evening.


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: