In my Oct. 31, 2020 post, we saw the July 1998 letter from former Lockheed specialist David Kenyon to Amelia Earhart Society President Bill Prymak. In his letter, Kenyon suggests that the Earhart Electra was not outfitted with the spy cameras, souped-up engines or other special features that would have enabled it to operate at a faster, more efficient level while conducting a secret, covert mission, one that nonetheless wasn’t good enough to prevent her landing at Mili Atoll, where she was soon grabbed up by the Japanese military and taken to Saipan.
Today we open the pages of the July 5, 1995 issue of the The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., for another story about David Kenyon that reveals he might have been the last person to own a piece of Amelia’s original Electra 10E. I’ve taken the original story, as it was seen in The Register-Guard, and presented it below, for added realism.
As Kenyon told reporter Paul Neville of The Register-Guard in 1995, he believed the TIGHAR-Nikumaroro theory, which would continue to be the establishment media’s favorite Earhart canard for the next 25 years, to be “bunk.” He cited Almon Gray’s radio analysis that indicated the fliers landed in the “southeastern part of the Marshall Islands” as compelling, and said he was also “intrigued by reports from natives of the Marshall Islands who say they saw a man and woman matching the description of Earhart and her navigator [Fred Noonan] being escorted by Japanese troops and a plane resembling the Electra being moved on a Japanese navy barge.”
David H. Kenyon passed away in January 2011 at age 92.
Thanks to Saipan veteran Thomas E. Devine and his 1987 classic, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, we know that Earhart’s Electra 10E, NR 16020, has been resting under somewhere under the Saipan International Airport since it was bulldozed into rubble by American forces in 1944 after being burned beyond recognition shortly after the island was secured. It will never be recovered.
Thus Register-Guard writer Paul Neville’s 1995 suggestion that the metal fragment removed by Dave Kenyon from the Burbank Lockheed factory in 1937 is the last known piece of the Earhart Electra “known to exist” may be true, albeit with reservations.
Following publication of Eyewitness, 26 veterans of the Saipan campaign contacted Devine to share their own eyewitness experiences that revealed and supported the presence of the Earhart bird, as well as the presence and deaths of Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan.