Conclusion of 1993 AES Symposium review

Today we conclude our review of the 1993 Amelia Earhart Symposium, held at The Flying Lady restaurant in Morgan Hill, Calif., organized by AES founder and President Bill Prymak and attended by nearly all the leading researchers and authors of the Earhart disappearance. 

Names in bold capitals and other caps emphasis Prymak’s; all other bold emphasis mine.

A.E.S. SYMPOSIUM AUGUST 27-29th, 1993

LIST OF PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS

IRV PERCH:  You can’t describe this guy as a character; there’s’ simply too much depth, warmth and charisma behind this man . . . his welcoming speech will be well remembered for the story of his 150 pair of white overalls  . . .  What a character!”  Hey! . . . I did say it!  He IS a character!

BILL PRYMAK Introducing principal speakers, special guests such as Bill and Nandine Southern, Bill being Neta Snook’s son; Irene & John Bolam, and a host of others.  Pat Ward of the 99s a very special attendee; helped Bill immeasurably thru the early days of AES.

Bill Prymak, a veteran pilot with more than 6,500 hours in private aircraft since 1960, studied the Earhart-Itasca messages for years before presenting his conclusions in his December 1993 Amelia Earhart Society Newsletter analysis, titled “Radio Logs – Earhart/ITASCA.”  He also conceived, organized and executed to near perfection the 1993 AES Earhart Symposium at The Flying Lady in Morgan Hill, Calif., an event that he modestly labeled a “measured success.” 

DON WILSONAuthor of upcoming book Amelia Earhart: Lost Legend, has done a superb job of putting together an anthology of all the eye witnesses in the South Pacific associated with events immediately after July 2, 1937.

COL. ROLLIN REINECK Describing his untiring efforts to initiate Congressional legislation to release State Dept. files that are still precluded from public scrutiny.  His handouts to all attendees to be forwarded as detailed on the handout are vital to our cause: every attendee is urged to act on it!  It only takes five minutes: Let’s do it NOW!

JOE GERVAIS1960, first AE investigation.  Went to Saipan several times to interview native witnesses, first trip 1961.  Visited Japan, Howland Island, Lae, Truk, Marshall Islands all in search of information leading to a solution. Joe supplied all research data for Joe Klaas’ book Amelia Earhart Lives (1970), which was nominated for COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PULITZER PRIZE in 1971 [and later pulled from all bookstores after Irene Bolam sued the publisher for defamation].  Joe to this day still keeps up a torrid pace on his quest for the truth.  One of the true icons in Earhart research.

JOE KLAASAuthor of Amelia Earhart Lives (see above) . . . book now a rare classic fetching upwards of $125/copy.  Felt Howard Hughes put substantial heat on himself and Gervais after their book suggested that possibly Japanese obtained Zero Fighter blueprints from Hughes.  Hughes had great respect for the two Joes, who jointly earned approximately 30 combat medals between them.  They were told by Hughes’ henchmen; “If it were not for their combat records, they would have been squashed like bugs.”  A very strange story indeed.

Joe Gervais, the father of the Earhart-as-Bolam theory, and Joe Klaas, his right-hand man and author of Amelia Earhart Lives, in a typical news photo from 1970, when Amelia Earhart Lives was creating an international sensation.

ELGEN LONGPut forth his theory that AE simply ran out of fuel and ditched approx. 40-75 miles NW of Howland Island.  Mr. Long was heatedly contested on his position by several researchers, but, as is with AES policy, all sides are given time to plea their case.

ED MELVIN:  A close associate of Art Kennedy, who was her chief engine mechanic prior to her last flight, and Ed thinks AE was approached by one of the military services to survey, not spy, on Japanese installations in the Pacific.  Gave detailed insight on the personal life and accomplishments of Kennedy.

PAUL RAFFORDGave a detailed lecture on the radio analysis of the final flight . . . brought up serious questions re: events at Miami, where she spent one week, touching on issues as removing the 250 ft. reel-in antenna, how she blatantly refused a Pan American radio crystal that would give better coverage over the vast Pacific, how a ADF loop was installed on a “new” airplane, and the strange conduct by Amelia re: radio transmissions during her final hours.  Technically, a superb presentation.

ANN PELLEGRENO telling of her appearance at the 1976 99/Zonta meeting at which a shorterIrene Bolam was to speak.  (I wish the SYMPOSIUM could have made more time for Ann to tell of her fascinating trip around the world in an Electra 10, replicating the Amelia Earhart flight thirty years later–ED.)  Ann was our helpful GOFER GAL!

BUDDY BRENNAN who has done much research in the Pacific, and is author of the book Eyewitness to the Execution: The Odyssey of Amelia Earhart (1988), tells of his interview with BILAMON AMARON, who treated in 1937 at Jaluit the wounds of two American flyers, one a woman, and who saw a twin-engine silver airplane, Japanese, on the fantail of the Japanese ship.

T.C. “Buddy” Brennan, author of Witness to the Execution: The Odyssey of Amelia Earhart (Renaissance House, 1988), circa mid-1980s.

GENE TISSOT related how his dad was her mechanic on the VEGA and went to Hawaii with her to prep the plane for its historic flight to Oakland.  “Amelia was an average pilot,” states his dad.

ELLIS BAILEY told how during the Saipan invasion in WWII remains of two flyers, purportedly downed before the war, were secretly transported away from the Island of Saipan.

JO ANN RIDLEY:  Co-author of the fascinating book High Times, Keeping ‘Em Flying, recounting interesting tidbits from her book regarding Art Kennedy and his close relationship with Amelia. Jo Ann did for AES all the grunt work of putting together a superb detailed record of the entire SYMPOSIUM . . . available upon request.

ALBERT BRESNIK: set up a magnificent display of photos he personally took of Amelia.  Albert was the only person at the SYMPOSIUM who had personal contact with Amelia Earhart, and his talk sharing with us his private time with Amelia was very moving.

NOTICE! Albert has shown the AES a proof of the group photo taken at the SYMPOSIUM: it’s a great memento, and it’s a MUST for everybody who attended: Send $10.00 for each mounted copy (8½ x 11) to:

ALBERT BRESNIK
16843 Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, CA. 90272
Telephone 310 454-1825

Albert L. Bresnik, well known as “Amelia Earhart’s photographer,” passed away at age 79 on Oct. 3, 1993, shortly after his appearance at the AES Symposium.  Photo courtesy Bill Prymak,

JERRY STEIGMANNOur most provocative speaker of the entire SYMPOSIUM.  Jerry is an ex-NYPD forensic specialist who has carried on his research on the AE mystery for over 40 years, and his dogged investigations have led him to some startling conclusions:

1.  Amelia Earhart was a “double agent” working simultaneously for the Marine Corps, ONI, plus the Japanese JOHOKYOKU.

2.  Since the early 1920s, AE had been in contact with Admiral YAMAMOTO and the Japanese naval Intelligence.

3.  The staggering revelationsgleaned from Japanese Intelligence, services survivors, and former members of the Japanese Imperial Household guards, who are now dispersed, to the far flung corners of the globe, have avoided news media in an effort to thwart any uncover the of the mystery of “Mata Hari of the Pacific Skies.”

4.  Amelia Earhart was the real reason that Gen. MacArthur declined to prosecute Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal, and why he covered up the many atrocities committed by the Japanese Army Medical Corps in the Pacific.

5.  MacArthur feared that Hirohito would disclose to the world the role that Amelia Earhart played in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Mr. Steigmann claims to have documentation to all of the above statements, and will in short time present it in book form to the American Public.  Good luck!  (End of A COMPENDIUM ON THE SYMPOSIUM.)

Jerome Steigmann may have been the most provocativespeaker at the three-day symposium, as Prymak euphemistically described Steigmann’s disturbed exploration into Earhart fantasy, but he was far from the most credible, nor was the nearly incoherent spillage of Ellis Bailey, who joined Steigmann in capturing top honors in the Earhart lunatic fringe category.  Steigmann never produced the book he promised, nor any evidence to support his outrageous claims, and passed away in Phoenix, Ariz., in May 2003 at age 77.   

Bailey, who died in 2004, also didn’t author a book, but his serial letter-writing adventures qualified him to join Steigmann, James A. Donahue, Robert Myers and others among the disreputable ranks of Fred Goerner’s “totally irresponsible weirdo fringe” in the annals of Earhart lore.

For much more on Ellis Bailey’s extensive Earhart fantasies, please see my Aug. 17, 2017 post, From forgotten files of the Earhart lunatic fringe: The incredible tale of Ellis Bailey and USS Vega.”

6 responses

  1. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Spooks do not confide their secrets to shopkeeper’s. Bailey’s account is totally BUSTED.

    All best,

    William

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting reading about Jerry Stiegmann’s theories, I don’t recall reading about that. I can only imagine the raised eyebrows (and grins) in the audience as he spoke. Also not surprising Elgen Long was “heatedly contested” on his position.

    Albert Bresnik was interviewed at EAA Airventure in 1992 by Midwest Flyer magazine; he mentioned AE referred to him as her “little brother”, and also stated he had planned to accompany her and Harry Manning on the flight before the Hawaii accident (?).

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    1. Bresnik had a vivid imagination.

      Like

  3. The Yamamoto connection fits into the truth is stranger than fiction category.

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  4. Amelia conceivably might have met Yamamoto when he was a Japanese naval attache in Washington, D.C. in the late Twenties.

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    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      CDA and Ken,

      Isoroku Yamamoto was at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts studying Economics from 1919 to 1921. It’s extremely unlikely that he would have met Amelia Earhart during this time period as she was on the West Coast receiving flight instruction from Neeta Snook.

      From 1926 to 1928 Yamamoto was a Naval Attache assigned to the Imperial Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC. AE was a social worker in Boston and flying out of an airfield in Quincy. She would be the first woman to fly (as a passenger) the Atlantic in June 1928. Again, although not impossible, it’s nonetheless extremely unlikely that AE’s and Yamamoto’s paths would cross for any reason.

      So far, I’ve not read any account by or about Amelia Earhart or Isoroku Yamamoto in which one mentions any meeting or encounter with the other.

      As for the late Mr. Stiegmann’s contention that AE may have been a “double agent” in the employ of the Office of Naval Intelligence and Imperial Japan, that is, at least to me, ludicrous. He may have been an outstanding police forensics specialist, but he clearly had no concept whatsoever of just what a double agent operation entails. To say the least, they are dangerous, very demanding, complex, time-consuming, and difficult to execute. Nor does Stiegmann understand the type of person suitable to engage in clandestine activity for two separate and hostile intelligence/security services at the same time. Seriously, from all we know of AE, does she seem like the sort of person ONI would recruit for such an endeavor? I think not. Ask her to deviate from her flight plan, fly to a certain latitude and longitude and ditch because “It’s a job only you can do for the Navy” (to use a line from “Flight for Freedom”)? Sure. But ask AE to operate as a double agent? No, absolutely not. It’s ridiculous.

      All best,

      William

      Like

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