Earhart Society Newsletter’s mystery 1998 entry

The following entry, from the March 1998 edition of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, is notable, not only because it entirely lacks any source or byline information, something rarely seen in Bill Prymak’s well-accredited publication, but for what it purports to tell us.  Simply headlined “BITS & PIECES,” the three paragraphs present explosive revelations that, if true, explain much of what we’ve long suspected about our “trusted” Washington leadership.  Presented for your information and cogitation (boldface emphasis mine except where noted):


Several miles west of Washington, D.C., in the Maryland countryside, a large hill rises above the flat surrounding farmland.  Passing motorists who take the time to notice the anomaly think of it as merely a geological trick of nature.  Almost none know that it was secretly man-made from soil that was excavated for a command center and shelter for the capital city’s politicians and military leaders in World War II.

During the cold war, work never stopped, and the subterranean spread was enlarged into a vast storeroom for the nation’s records and artifacts dating back to the first pioneers who settled the eastern coastline in the 1600s.  The interior space is so expansive it is not measured in meters or acres but in square miles or kilometers.  To those few who are aware of its existence it is known as ASD (Archival Safekeeping Depository).

Paul Rafford Jr., in 2014 at age 95, was the elder statesman of Earhart researchers.  As a Pan Am radio flight officer from 1940 to 1946, Rafford was uniquely qualified as an expert in Earhart-era radio capabilities.  He joined the U.S. Manned Spaceflight Program in 1963, was a Pan Am project engineer in communications services at Patrick Air Force Base, and joined the team that put a man on the moon.  He retired from NASA in 1988 and died in 2016.

Thousands of secrets are buried away in the seemingly unending archival storage bins of the depository.  For some strange reason, known only to certain very few bureaucrats, entire sections of the depository hold classified material and objects that will never be revealed to the public.  The bones of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan and Japanese records of their execution on Saipan (boldface emphasis in original), the secret conspiracy files of both Kennedy assassinations, the intelligence of Soviet sabotage behind American space rocket and shuttle accidents and the retaliation at Chernobyl, staged films of the Apollo moon landing hoax, and much, much more . . . it was all filed and stored away, never to see the light of day.

The original source of the foregoing information is beyond me.  Hints and rumors of such an ultra-secret depository of establishment secrets outside Washington have occasionally passed by my attention, but I can’t put my finger on where or when.  Bill Prymak, as the AES Newsletters editor, approved of the inclusion of this cryptic piece, but for some reason he chose not to include any attribution.  So obscure is the subject of this small entry, the so-called Archival Safekeeping Depository, or ASD, that an Internet search on this term results in absolutely nothing of substance.  Does anyone have anything more on this Archival Safekeeping Depository hinted at by the March 1998 AES Newsletter?

Did Prymak agree that “staged films of the Apollo moon landing hoax” was an accurate characterization?  He never mentioned this to me, but I questioned Paul Rafford Jr. a few times about the popular conspiracy theorythat the 1969 moon landing was a phony, staged event. 

Rafford was vehement that the July 10, 1969 moon mission was real, as were the other six crewed missions to the moon that landed a total of 12 astronauts (all men) from 1969 to 1972 in a series of Apollo missions numbering up to Apollo 17.

Bill Prymak and Joe Gervais pause with the iconic Earhart eyewitness Bilimon Amaron at Amaron’s Majuro home in 1991.

Rafford began his aviation career with Pan American Airways as a flight radio officer in 1940, flying with Pan Am until 1946.  He worked with crew members who had flown with Fred Noonan, and talked with technicians who had worked on Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E.  After a promotion with Pan Am, he continued to fly as a technical consultant before transferring to the U.S. Manned Spaceflight Program in 1963.  During the early space shots he was a Pan Am project engineer in communications services at Patrick Air Force Base, and joined the team that put man on the moon.  He retired from NASA in 1988 and passed away at age 97 in 2016.

Other than a questionable mention of the NASA moon missions, what else can be gleaned from this strange entry in the AES Newsletters?

UPDATE, July 13: A longtime reader found a story titled Top 10 Secret United States Government Bunkers” on an obscure site called Listverse.

It’s possible that one or more of these secret bunkershouses the sacred cows that Bill Prymak’s AES Newsletter references, but perhaps not.  None of the listed sites are said to be located in Maryland, for one thing, and secondly, if a list of “Top 10” secret U.S. government bunkers can be published on the Net, they aren’t secret anymore, are they?

UPDATE, Oct. 26, 2021:  A reader named Jimmy White has informed me that he had seen the three paragraphs in question while reading Clive Cussler’s book Sahara.  The three paragraphs you list under Bits and Pieces are a direct quote from that book (see page 443). The book is copyrighted 1992. I hope this clears up at least a part of that mystery! 

We appreciate Jimmy White’s information, and though I do not have a copy of Sahara, I trust that these three paragraphs are contained therein, as Jimmy states.  I hope that Mr. Cussler will forgive me for the delayed attribution!

13 responses

  1. The 20 July 1969 Moon landing during the Apollo 11 mission was very carefully rehearsed and practiced. The flight procedures all had to be gone over many, many times, to become almost second nature – as anyone who has ever flown an aircraft knows.

    The only way to do this was through flight simulators, which would have included visual and sound recordings of training sessions for study and evaluation.

    The part of the mission which involved actually setting foot on the moon, delivering prepared remarks, planting the US flag, saluting it, moving around within the camera’s view, etc. would undoubtedly have been carefully scripted and rehearsed as well. The astronauts, Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were skilled pilots, but for this portion of the mission, they were also expected to be trained actors who could deliver their lines and hit their marks correctly while the entire world watched. Of course they practiced it all on earth and filmed it as well.

    That Armstrong’s famous line was scripted was obvious when he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He later always insisted that he said “for A man”, and that is what was put on the postage stamp. But everyone heard what he actually said.

    What if there were technical difficulties during their time on the Moon? Was there a backup plan to use a pre-recorded film? This is something which was/is almost always done for “live” broadcast TV shows. And this was the top live TV show of all time. It is a sure bet that such a back up film existed.

    Of course, the idea or assertion later, that the moon landing was a fake and all done in a movie studio, made it necessary to keep the pre moon landing studio filming a secret.


  2. What a bombshell this would be if proven true! The records of Earhart’s flight must be kept somewhere.. I guess, why not buried in some underground repository known to ver few? One wonders how many to this day in government are aware of their fate and the part that the US government played in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is it remotely possible that this was meant with a publication date of April 1 (fool’s day), since you note it was “the March edition”? So many things we would love to ask people who are no longer able to answer us . . . Kinda looks to me like a “joke” or a “tease” . . .


  4. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Being familiar with the area, there is only one terrain feature that fits the description of, “Several miles west of Washington, D.C., in the Maryland countryside, a large hill rises above the flat surrounding farmland. Passing motorists who take the time to notice the anomaly think of it as merely a geological trick of nature,” and that is Sugar Loaf Mountain which sits astride northern Montgomery and southern Frederick Counties in Maryland. I should mention that “several miles west of Washington, D.C., actually places you in Virginia — not Maryland. That said, measured from the Washington Monument on a Washington Sectional VFR Chart, the summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain is 32 sm away, Northwest by West on a course of 304 degrees True. Wikipedia simply states that Sugar Loaf Mountain is about 10 miles south of Frederick, Maryland. The nearest village is Barnesville, which is about a mile from the foot of the mountain. The summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain stands 1282ft above mean sea level (MSL) and 800 ft above ground level (AGL). The mountain is a prime habitat for Timber Rattlers (Crotalus horridus).

    I seriously doubt that there is any secret government facility such as an Archival Safekeeping Depository located at or near Sugar Loaf Mountain. If there were, the notorious Washington Post would have gleefully exposed it to our adversaries and the world by now as they did with the Cold War Continuity of Government (CoG) Facility located at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia back in 1992.

    All best,



    1. Don’t forget Mt. Weather.


  5. I doubt that we will ever get any concrete proof that they faked the Moon landings in 1969. I concluded several years ago that it was possible, but I wonder how much it matters to us today?


  6. William H. Trail | Reply


    I don’t believe the moon landing was faked. For one, there were just too many people involved to keep something that big, and that sensitive, a secret. Surely, by now — 52 years later — someone would, for whatever motivation, have disclosed the deception. Secondly, the proof of the moon landing is in the moon rocks themselves; they are unique to the Moon, not Earth. Those rocks were also were distributed all over the world for examination. If the moon rocks were actually earth rocks, that is to say, “terrestrial,” somebody would have discovered it and not only made it known to the world but would have been very happy to reveal the fraud. To my mind, faking the moon landings is just not feasible.

    All best,


    Liked by 2 people

    1. William,

      I agree with you about the moon landing; that being said, one of my favorite films is Capricorn One which was (in part) based on the moon landing hoax.

      It is interesting that Bill Prymak withheld the source of that “piece”.


      1. William H. Trail


        I haven’t seen it in awhile, but as I recall Capricorn One is a not a bad movie. The late, great Frank Tallman (business partner of Paul Mantz) flew the red Boeing-Stearman 75 in the aerial chase sequence. Like Mantz, Tallman would later die in a crash. And, despite being portrayed as the villain, NASA provided much technical advice to the making of the film!

        As to why Bill Prymak withheld the name of his source, to say nothing of the circumstances in which the information was disclosed to him, your guess is as good as mine. Knowing the circumstances and the relationship of the source to BP would give some much-needed context.

        All best,



  7. Great post that raises needed questions, Mike. Keep up the great work there.


  8. The moon landing wasn’t faked. I’m nearly 58 years old and have no memory of it. I would have been in 1st grade or 2nd grade in ’69 and don’t recall the teacher letting us watch TV in class. Maybe the older grades or kids got the opportunity, but we sure didn’t…………… Nixon was President, as I grew up in this conservative era & cuts made to school budgets. CHEAP is the best word to describe matters & those times. Of course Vietnam held top priority & expenses in those days. The school budgets were SO CHEAP, teachers use to tell us kids, if we didn’t bring a pencil to class, they wouldn’t provide us with one and would not be able to take the tests. CHEAP BUGGERS!

    YES I believe there is a vast, subterranean, underground depository and that it holds so many of these archival documents & historical materials & items. I mean this is the GOVERNMENT and like our own homes, don’t we have areas, where we store are own personal materials away in file cabinets, drawers, etc.. We have to put them somewhere and with all the space they take up.



  9. David Atchason | Reply

    As I read of the exploits of Branson and Bezos who are supposedly taking a rocket ship trip into space to the distance of 100 miles or thereabouts and that’s supposed to be news, I think, Wait! didn’t we go to the moon so many times it was like routine over 50 years ago? Is rocket science going backwards? They lost the records of the moon flights so all the science has to be rediscovered? I guess so. LOL.

    Are we supposed to believe that? Well, I don’t. I strongly suspect the moon landings were faked, at least the videos certainly look faked. You mean somebody would have come forward with the truth? If they did the MSM wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole and the whistleblower would most likely see fit to “commit suicide” with 5 bullets to the back of his head. I have no doubt the govt. could conceal anything they want to, having complete control over MSM.

    They can even come up with stories that defy the laws of physics such as the 9-11 tall tale and the majority of the sheeple will believe it, but that’s a controversy for another day and probably doesn’t belong here. Just put me down as skeptical of any official story put out by the government. Maybe the truth is stored in the Hall of Records underneath the Sphinx for all I know.



  10. David –

    You can’t be SERIOUS? Have you ever viewed, the Bill Anders Earthrise photo? If not, you must get out more and stop living in a CAVE………………..



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