Castro, AEMMI donate Earhart books to HPO

Readers of this blog are familiar with the efforts of Marie S. Castro and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. (AEMMI) to establish a permanent memorial to Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan, as well as the less-than-encouraging progress they’ve made since the formation of the AEMMI in September 2017.  Although the Marianas Variety and Saipan TV have supported the AEMMI movement with several stories about Marie and her wealth of Earhart-related experience, the vast majority of the citizens of Saipan remain overwhelmingly opposed to the Earhart Memorial Monument.

Marie Castro, replete with her fashionable “Amelia Earhart Died on Saipan” T-shirt, recites the litany of great Earhart disappearance books that will be available to all on Saipan via the CNMI HPO.

What appears to be a small step forward occurred on Feb. 9, when Marie and several members of the AEMMI gathered at the offices of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI) Historic Preservation Office at Saipan’s Springs Plaza in Gualo Rai to make a charitable donation of several extremely important books that present many aspects of the truth in the Amelia Earhart saga so that local readers can learn the truth for themselves.

Saipan TV’s Ashley McDowell was on hand to chronicle the brief event for local viewers, and interviewed Marie about the AEMMI’s donation to the CNMI Historic Preservation Office of the seven best books ever written (in my opinion) that present various aspects of the truth about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. 

“This is valuable material that is going into the archives of the Historic Preservation [Office], and this is for anybody who would like to know more about the story on Saipan in 1937,” Marie told McDowell.

Marie then formally read the names and authors of the seven books that will be available in the HPO archives, and presented the AEMMI official HPO resolution to HPO Director Rita Chong.  Most are Earhart disappearance classics familiar to anyone with even a casual interest in the Earhart story.

AEMMI Vice President Frances Sablan (standing at left) and other members of the AEMMI and CNMI Historic Preservation Office gather at the CNMI Historic Preservation Office Feb. 9.

Chronologically, these books are Paul Briand Jr.’s Daughter of the Sky (1960), Fred Goerner’s The Search for Amelia Earhart (1966); Vincent V. Loomis’ Amelia Earhart: The Final Story (1985); Thomas E. Devine’s Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident (1987);  Marie S. Castro’s Without a Penny in My Pocket (2013); Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last (2nd Ed. 2016), by Mike Campbell; and Marie Castro: My Life and Amelia Earhart’s Saipan Legacy (2019) by Mike Campbell with Marie S.C. Castro. 

“Castro says she hopes these books will give insight to anyone questioning Earhart’s story in 1937 on Saipan,” McDowell said.  To watch the Saipan TV video, please click here and go to 13:45.

Better late than never, the Marianas Variety followed with a story and photo by Bryan Manabat on Feb. 16, Amelia Earhart books donated to Historic Preservation Office.”  

Marie Castro, right, presents the AEMMI resolution, which states in part, “WHEREAS, these are valuable documented history accounts as told by our elders and these seven books are intended to be used as reference today and for generations to come,” to HPO Director Rita Chong.

Manabat’s story presented some powerful quotes from Marie,, including these:

Castro believes that there is “undeniable evidence that Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were on Saipan. Earhart’s plane was seen in a Japanese hangar at the Aslito Airfield on Saipan and a Marine, Robert E. Wallack, discovered Earhart’s briefcase in a blown safe on Saipan shortly after the island was declared secure on July 9, 1944.”

Castro pointed out, “Three high-ranking military officials — Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, Gen. Graves B. Erskine and Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the Pacific commander-in-chief during WWII and the last of the Navy’s 5-star admirals — came to the same conclusion that Amelia Earhart had been on Saipan.”

“So we have the responsibility to keep and honor this part of our history, as recorded in these books,” Castro said.

From the Marianas Variety: “Local author Marie Castro, second left, with Sen. Edith DeLeon Guerrero, Rep. Leila Staffler, Historic Preservation Officer Rita Chong and Rep. Denita Yangetmai.”

Soon another opportunity for Marie and the AEMMI to bring their Earhart Memorial Monument proposal to public attention looms.  The 5th Marianas History Conference, co-organized by the University of Guam, Northern Marianas College, Northern Marianas Humanities Council, Humanities Guåhan, Guampedia, and Guam Preservation Trust, will be held virtually [via Zoom] from Feb. 19-26, 2021 and will feature on-site venues in the CNMI and Guam for select, conference-related events and presentations.  

Marie will present her Earhart story to the conference on Feb. 26.  Please stay tuned.

3 responses

  1. Mike- here’s hoping some eyes will finally be opened and the tribute to these two people will finally cone to fruition..long overdue.

    Like

  2. Mike, I like the T-shirts some of the folks were wearing in that video . . . Are they available for sale, and if so, do you have a link for that?

    Like

    1. Phil,

      Thanks for checking in. I WISH many more liked the shirt, but we’re talking about Saipan, where about 99 percent of the people hate the very idea of the Earhart Memorial Monument. The T-shirt was Marie’s idea, of course, and it was a one-time, very limited run. I’ll tell Marie about your interest, however, and let you know what she says.

      All Best,
      Mike

      Like

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