This unique black-and-white drawing appeared in the February 1999 edition of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, and raises more questions than it answers. First of all, I find no reference to the idea that Earhart ever flew her Electra down Fifth Avenue at such an absurd, dangerously low altitude, or any other altitude, for that matter.
Next, AES founder, president and newsletters editor Bill Prymak gives us no hint where he found this drawing, or who the artist was. It appeared at some date after Feb. 11, 1937, when Amelia announced her intention to complete a world flight at New York City, Barclay Hotel, and before her near-disastrous March 20, 1937 aborted takeoff at the Navy’s Luke Field on Hawaii’s Ford Island, based on the inset paragraph, which is small and very hard to read. Its author, one Mrs. Gladys Boulanger, is also something of a mystery, Here’s what she wrote:
That publicity hound bastard George Putnam. the husband, put Amelia up to buzzing around Fifth Avenue at the noon hour as promotion for her upcoming round-the-world flight. Amelia was no natural flier, you know. Did it all on willpower and guts. Anyhow, she plowed down Fifth Avenue one day in early fall, just after we put the ermine stoles on the new mannequins with the marcelled hair. Flew that big Lockheed like a matron aiming a Packard through a garage door. Just south of 42nd Street, she dropped a wing. Damn near decapitated Fortitude, one of the lions at the New York Public Library!
— Gladys Boulanger (Mrs.)
Better Turbans, Saks on Fifth
Mrs. Boulanger, who clearly doesn’t like George P. Putnam, seems to provide a hint about her occupation when she follows her name with “Better Turbans, Saks on Fifth,” apparently a reference to the famed department store and a specialty section therein, which even now sells a wide array of turbans and where she may have worked Other than this, the provenance of this artwork is a mystery to me, as is Mrs. Boulanger.
Bill Prymak likely wrote the interrogatory underneath the sketch, “Didn’t George Push Her Flying a Lil’ Bit??” We don’t know this for sure, but Bill was known to sometimes follow emphatic questions with two question marks, and of course he was the editor.
If anyone can shed further light on this most unusual and interesting artistic flashback, please let us know.
The below document is likely a U.S. Navy intercept of a July 5, 1937 message sent by someone in the Japanese government in Tokyo with the code name”OIMATSU,” possibly someone in the Imperial Japanese Navy, to the Japanese Naval Attache, Washington (Captain Kengo Nakamura Kobayashi, see comments for more) concerning the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. (Boldface and italic emphasis mine throughout.)
Researcher Tony Gochar, of Guam (see pages 263-264 Truth at Last), sent me this declassified dispatch in November 2020 after he received it from a source in Washington. Others may be aware of this message, but it was the first time I’ve seen it, and it appears to be significant, a document that Vincent V. Loomis, whose mid-’80s Tokyo research revealed Japan’s lies about its search for Earhart in the Marshall Islands, would have showcased in his 1985 book, Amelia Earhart: The Final Story.
Note that the date is just three days after Earhart, Fred Noonan and Electra NR 16020 went missing. Our copy isn’t easy to read, so here’s the message:
We are in receipt of intelligence reports to the effect that the U.S. Navy is launching a large scale search for the lost Miss Earhart. Since it is believed that she went down in the vicinity of the Marshall Islands area, the Government of the South Sea Islands has ordered all ships (lookouts?) and communication facilities to cooperate in the discovering of her. We (several words crossed out) have communicated our desires to assist in this search, through our Ambassador in Washington, to the U.S. Government.
This offer was made not only as an expression of good will, but for the purpose of preventing the United States’ merchant and fighting vessels which are searching for Miss Earhart, from coming too close to the Marshall Islands. (End message.)
Hand printed below the above is “*Chief of Bureau of Military Affairs, Navy Department.” When this message was declassified is unknown, as is Tony Gochar’s source.
“The document begins by saying they (IJN) ‘are in receipt of intelligence reports,’ ” Gochar wrote in a Nov. 9, 2020 email. “My opinion is that these intelligence reports are from Japanese radio intelligence and DF (Direction Finding) stations in the Pacific area. The second sentence seems crystal clear: ‘Since it is believed that she went down in the vicinity of the Marshall Islands area.’ How did they know this on July 5, 1937? Their intelligence reports would have provided this detail.”
Naysayers who reject the truth will find it extremely difficult to find an interpretation for this message that keeps the fliers and the Electra out of the Marshall Islands and Japanese captivity. Based on 84 years of government-media lies and denial, we know that this virtual smoking gun will never be acknowledged by any mainstream media organization — or any other kind, for that matter.
Few will hear about this, but that doesn’t stop us from continuing to speak the truth to those willing to hear and accept it.
We continue with the conclusion of Paul Rafford Jr.’s “Amelia Earhart – Some Unanswered Questions About Her Radio Communication and Direction Finding” This analysis appeared in the September 1993 issue of the AES Newsletters. Boldface emphasis mine throughout; underline emphasis in original AES Newsletters version.
“Amelia Earhart – Some Unanswered Questions About Her Radio Communication and Direction Finding” (Part II of two.)
by Paul Rafford Jr.
June 22, 1993
Why was the Howland direction finder never able to get bearings on Earhart?
The reasons here are several fold. Primarily, it was because Earhart never stayed on the air long enough for an operator to take a bearing. But, even if she had stayed on longer, the combination of her low transmitting power with the inadequacy of the jerry-rigged aircraft DF on Howland, would have limited its range to less than 50 miles. In other words, on a clear day she could have seen the island before the island could have taken a bearing on her.
The questions that arise out of this fiasco are:
1) Why did whoever organized the project of setting up the direction finder on Howland not know of its extreme limitation?
2) Why did Earhart, supposedly a consultant to the government on airborne direction finders, never stay on the air more than seven or eight seconds?
Why did Earhart ask for 7500 kHz [kilohertz] in order to take bearings on the Itasca, considering it could not be used with her direction finder?
Supposedly, “7500” came about through Earhart’s ignorance of the two different designations for radio channels. It has been theorized that she confused 750.0 meters with 7500 kHz. Of course, 750.0 meters is 400 kHz, a bona fide beacon frequency, while 7500 kHz is 40 meters.
It would appear that not only did she get meters and kilocycles mixed up but she overlooked the decimal point.
Bob Lieson, a former co-worker of mine had done a stint on Howland Island as radio operator shortly after Earhart’s disappearance. I asked him if the Itasca might have used 7500 kHz for any other purpose than to send dashes for Earhart. “Oh yes,” he replied, “We used 40 meters for contact with the Coast Guard cutters when they were standing off shore.”
This brings up two questions:
1) Could it have been that Earhart was not confusing meters and kilocycles but knew ahead of time that 7500 kHz was the Itasca’s link with Howland so would be available on call?
2) Why would Noonan, both a navigator and radio operator, let Earhart make the potentially fatal mistake of trying to take bearings on 7500?
Why did Earhart not seize on the one occasion where she heard the Itasca and knew it was hearing her, to try and establish communication with the crew?
This is the most incredible part of the Earhart saga. At 1928 GMT she announced, “Go ahead on 7500 kilocycles.” Then, at 1933 GMT she announced, “We received your signal but unable to get a minimum.” Supposedly, she is hopelessly lost and about to run out of gas. Now, after searching for Howland for over an hour, for the first time she is hearing the Itasca and knows the ship is hearing her. Does she breathe a giant sigh of relief because she has finally made contact with the crew? Of course they are using code but Noonan is a radio operator and can copy code while replying to the ship by voice on 3105 kHz.
No! Instead of desperately trying to keep in contact, Earhart is not heard from for over forty minutes. When she returns to the air it is only to make one brief, last transmission. She declares she is flying north and south on a line of position 157-337 and will switch to 6210. The Itasca never hears her again.
The Mysterious Post-Flight Radio Transmissions
What was the source or sources of the mysterious signals heard on Earhart’s frequencies that began just hours after her disappearance and lasted for several days?
During the hours and days immediately following Earhart’s disappearance, various listeners around the Pacific heard mysterious signals on her frequencies.
Ten hours after the Itasca last heard her, the crew of the HMS Achilles intercepted an exchange of signals between a radiotelephone station and a radiotelegraph station on 3105 khz. The telephone station requested, “Give us a few dashes if you get us.” The telegraph station replied with several long dashes. The telephone station then announced, “KHAQQ, KHAQQ.” (Earhart’s call letters).
Believing they were hearing the plane safely down somewhere, the Achilles sent the U.S. Navy a message to that effect. However, in its reply, the Navy denied this possibility.
Two hours later, Nauru Island heard the highly distorted voice of a woman calling on 6210 khz. They reported that, although they could not understand the words, the voice sounded similar to Earhart’s when she had passed by the island the night before. However, this time there was “– no hum of engines in the background.”
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Karl Pierson and a group of his radio engineering colleagues set up a listening watch on Earhart’s frequencies. During the early morning hours of July 3rd, they heard SOS calls on 6210 kHz both voice and telegraph. Of particular interest was the fact that the voice was a woman’s. However, neither call included enough information to identify the plane’s position or status.
The Pan Am stations at Wake, Midway and Honolulu managed to pick up a number of weak, unstable radio signals on Earhart’s frequencies and take a few bearings. But, the stations never identified themselves or transmitted any useful information.
Despite his failure to get bearings earlier, the Howland operator got a bearing on a fairly strong station shortly after midnight on July 5th. It indicated the transmitter was either north northwest or south southeast of Howland. But, again there was no identification or useful information from the station.
The question that arises here is, were the distress calls heard by Karl Pierson and his group authentic? If they were, why did the calls not include more information? If they were not, who would have sent them and why?