USA Today comic attacks Amelia Earhart Society
Although not flattering in its editorial opinion of Bill Prymak’s Amelia Earhart Society, this USA Today cartoon from May 1995 might represent the high point in national publicity for the obscure and selective AES, which counted less than 80 researchers, authors and other Earhart-obsessed individuals among its members at the height of its activities in the late 1980s to mid-1990s.
The piece was reproduced in the July 1995 issue of the AES Newsletter.
Since we’re on the subject, some might be interested in reading about the beginning of the once vibrant but now basically defunct AES, which was solely the brainchild of its founder and first president, Bill Prymak. Bringing together such a disparate group of humans as “Earhart researchers” was like herding cats, but Prymak was able to befriend and network with the many strange and weird characters that made up the original plank owners of the AES.
In the early pages of Volume I (of two) of Bill Prymak’s An Assemblage of Amelia Earhart Newsletters, following a list of all articles from the May 1991 issue through the final edition of June 2002, we find what might be described as AES’s “founding principles,” or even its constitution, for want of a better term.
Like Prymak himself, the brief, page-and-a-half statement was succinct and to the point, and was presented under two major headings: Statement of Purpose and Preliminary AES Charter Principles. Herewith, for your information and entertainment, is the original AES Constitution, so to speak. All boldface emphasis except headings is mine.
The summer of 1990 saw invitations extended to some of the world’s most respected and dedicated Amelia Earhart researchers to meet on a remote mountaintop in the White River National Forest near Aspen, Colorado. Many attended; those unable were there in spirit to support us.
Statement of Purpose
1. To officially announce the cessation of our participation from the Amelia Earhart Research Consortium (AERC).
2. To give birth to a new organization embracing principles and objectives dedicated to the collection, substantiation, collation, recording, and appropriate dissemination of all contributed materials relating to the Amelia Earhart disappearance July 2, 1937.
3. To name this new organization Amelia Earhart Society (AES).
4. To obtain the support of serious scholars and technical researchers of the verifiable events of the flight, correlated with the political, military, and world history of the era, as well as individuals who wish to engage in or gain knowledge of the Amelia Earhart phenomenon as a hobbyist.
Why the need for AES? The preponderance of evidence overwhelmingly suggests that something covert did occur prior to, during, and after the final flight. Literally hundreds of people — GIs, island natives, government employees, even the man on the street — all have their individual thread. The thread might be a personal experience, a photograph, a recounter by a buddy on the front lines, or a curious letter. These are threads which, individually, stand meaningless, unconfirmed, isolated, without support, and in desperate need of a collective union with other threads.
It is AES’s principal objective to weave these loose and isolated threads into a meaningful mosaic, bringing us ever closer to the final solution.
Preliminary AES Charter Principles
1. An Advisory Council will be formed, consisting of persons actively performing Amelia Earhart (AE) research, and willing to assimilate fragments of information into a more comprehensive and credible reference source.
2. The Advisory Council shall be responsible for distributing the quarterly newsletter and organizing semi-annual or annual AES conferences.
3. The Advisory Council will be the central recipient and depository for new and old AE data. Information received and stored shall be distributed only upon the concurrence of the contributing AES member.
4. There shall be no salary structure for the Advisory Council; operating costs, including telephone, mailings, and printing shall be covered by the AES membership contributions.
5. The Advisory Council shall move towards formatting and distributing an anthology of all contributed materials. Only responsible media exposure will be sought to encourage the sharing of fresh material from untapped sources, and to encourage new membership.
6. AES will avoid sensationalism and irresponsible reporting of frivolous theories.
The associate membership of the AES shall consist of those seriously interested in the Earhart enigma, possibly having a thread to contribute, but who are unable to actively take part in the chores and responsibilities borne by the Advisory Council. These associate members will assume a more passive role, but are expected to attend AES meetings, contribute to funding needs, and solicit other Earhart scholars and enthusiasts to join this new organization.
These associate members will be the heart and soul of AES, for somewhere out there, from the most unexpected source, may well be the crucial thread that will tie our mosaic together.
Every person receiving this letter has been selected as a candidate for the AES, and is urged to respond with comments, suggestions, and extent of anticipated participation. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION.
A Must Date: November 7, 1990 on prime time Unsolved Mysteries, Robert Stack will feature our Colonel Rollin Reineck on the Earhart Mystery. Colonel Reineck will have fascinating new data on AE, including his latest efforts towards the “final solution.” Other scheduled guests are:
• Tom Devine, author of Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident.
• Fred Goerner, author of Search for Amelia Earhart.
• Robert Wallack, finder of the leather attaché case on Saipan.
• Elgen Long, esteemed researcher on his special theory.
• T.C. “Buddy” Brennan, author of Witness to the Execution.
Get your VCR cranked! You won’t want to miss this vital piece of AE history.
We tried to get a commercial spot on the program expounding our new AES but $150,000 for the slot didn’t fit our budget this time–maybe next year.
Summation: AES has the potential to gather together the greatest group of Earhart researchers ever put together, and as one body we will solve the mystery.
Everyone is encouraged to contact us if they have even the slightest thread on the following:
• Lockheed’s involvement not publicly stated.
• U.S. Government’s involvement.
• Irene Bolam connection.
• Knowledge of other people’s experiences.
• Any documentation or identifiable photographic evidence applicable.
Please respond to:
Bill Prymak, Broomfield, Colo.