Forest of Friendship rejects Earhart truth

Until recently I’d never given the International Forest of Friendship (IFF) in Atchison, Kansas much thought, although I’ve long suspected that they’re no friends of the truth in the Earhart disappearance.  The fact that Fred Goerner was never inducted into a membership that numbers nearly 1,700 probably says something about what this collection of disparate types believes about the fate of Amelia Earhart.  A look at the list of IFF members brings one word immediately to my mind — establishment. 

Still, I didn’t expect to receive a one-wordunsubscribemessage on Nov. 2 in reply to my latest email notifying select recipients of the publication of my latest blog post, Amelia Earhart and the French Connectionfrom the office manager of the International Forest of Friendship, an addressee on my mailing list for several years.  Her name is unimportant, but her attitude and actions are, and appear to represent the thinking of many at the IFF. 

By way of introduction to the IFF, on its home page we find:


The Forest was established as a bicentennial project by the City of Atchison and The Ninety-Nines Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Each September, new honorees are inducted into the Forest with plaques embedded in the walkway that winds through trees representing all 50 states and over 35 countries.

At the International Forest of Friendship in Atchison. Kansas, Amelia Earhart surveys the landscape as a group of young admirers pay their respects and grace the camera.

On the Virtual Tour of the Forest video page, we have this:

A life-size bronze statue of Amelia Earhart gazes over the International Forest of Friendship, which is a living, growing memorial to those who have been involved in aviation and space exploration. . . . Each June, new honorees are inducted into the forest with plaques embedded in the walkway that winds through trees representing all 50 states and over 35 countries in which forest honorees reside.  Several special trees include the Moon Tree,which was grown from a seed taken to the moon aboard Apollo 14.  It is encircled by the Astronaut’s Memorial, which honors ten astronauts who lost their lives in space exploration.

From the IFF’s Wikipedia entry, we see: A trail through the forest contains granite plaques with the names of over 1,200 aviation notables, including Charles LindberghJeana YeagerRajiv Gandhi, the Wright BrothersSally RideChuck YeagerBeryl Markham, General Jimmy Doolittle, President George H. W. Bush, General Colin Powell, and Lt. Col. Eileen M. Collins, Capt. Lynn Rippelm.” 

Has even one of the above luminaries ever spoken on behalf of the facts in the Earhart matter, or even hinted at the age-old lie that has relegated the truth to sacred-cow status?  

Now that you’re familiar enough with the IFF to understand why I might not be pleased when one of its public representatives deigns to tell me she no longer wants to receive this blog, here is my response to her unsubscribe request:

Why?  Are you not interested in the truth about Amelia Earhart, or do you already know everything you need to know?  If anyone should care, it’s supposed to be you.  You should be the last ones to unsubscribe. 

My good friend and mentor Bill Prymak was inducted in 1994 into the IFF, and he approved of everything I wrote about this travesty.  My book Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last has been among the top Earhart books on Amazon since its first edition was published in 2012.  What do you have against the truth?

Joe Gervais (left) and Bill Prymak in an undated photo at The International Forest of Friendship in Atchison, Kansas.  The forest was started in 1976 by the city of Atchison and the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots.  Fay Gillis Wells is credited as founder and original co-chairman.  Prymak, a savvy networker who founded the Amelia Earhart Society in 1990, was inducted in 1994 and his good friend Gervais in 2005, but nearly every other author and researcher who has written on behalf of the Marshalls-Saipan truth has been ignored.

If you insist on unsubscribing, I would consider that to be newsworthy enough that I would have to inform our readers.  This is reminiscent of my experience with the Admiral Nimitz Library in Texas, which went over to the dark side several years ago when they took down the famous quotation from Nimitz to Fred Goerner and refused to stock Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last in their book shop.  Have you also sold out to our corrupt establishment?  Are you now full-fledged members of the Earhart disinformation bureau?

As always, I want to be fair and accurate about this matter.  Please provide your name and any statement you wish to make to justify your request to be unsubscribed from this blog.  Perhaps you can explain precisely why you are no longer interested in the truth about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.  Nobody else out here is doing this work any more.  They are all dead now, and I’m among their last voices.

Mike Campbell
Jacksonville, Fla.

My above message received no reply, so as a pro forma gesture, I sent the IFF operative this message on the morning of Nov. 3:

I didn’t initially see your name at the bottom of your unsubscribe response, but did so after sending you the below.  Although I’m nearly certain you did receive the message I sent you yesterday, I’m re-sending it to ensure you have it.  I’m now working on a blog post about your decision to reject this blog, and will publish it in about a week.

I assume you were speaking for Forest of Friendship leadership when you chose to cancel future receipt of this blog, but you might want to check with others to make sure.  Of course if I hear nothing more from you, which would be quite rude, I’ll proceed to publish my post about the IFF’s lack of concern about the Earhart matter.

This message also received no reply.  Talk about rude and cold!  To purposely ignore the two good-faith messages I sent the IFF requires a degree of hostility that I’ve rarely encountered in similar circumstances, and the office manager’s abject silence in the face of these appeals screams volumes about how she and her confreres feel about the truth.

I shouldn’t have been surprised by this development, however, given the IFF’s symbiotic relationship with the Ninety-Nines, which along with the City of Atchison established the IFF in 1976.  I’ve had a few unpleasant exchanges with the so-called leadershipof the Ninety-Nines, who almost exclusively parrot the phony establishment line in the Earhart matter and are no friends of the truth.  The rare exception was the Kansas Chapter, represented by Kay Alley, who invited me to Wichita, Kansas in 2014 to do a presentation that was well received and among the most memorable moments of my Earhart work. 

As always, the truth in the Earhart case is an orphan, despised and ignored whenever possible by virtually everyone who could do something to improve the status of this great 20th century lie, which has never been a mysteryto the Deep State — and inform others about this great American myth, this sacred cow that our establishment refuses to stop protecting.  

As far as the disappearance of Amelia Earhart is concerned, the Forest of Friendship has now shown that it’s joined the rest of the cowards and sellouts in the mainstream establishment, and is no friend of the truth, if it ever was. 

Nov. 23 Update: Apparently one or more members of the Greater Kansas City 99s, North Central Section, have taken exception to the contents of this blog and today sent their own “unsubscribe” request, which of course will be immediately honored.  I never go where I’m not wanted.  I wasn’t exaggerating when I described my past problems with the Ninety-Nines, co-founded by Amelia herself, who, as we can see, are choosing the dark but comforting lies of the establishment rather than the light of truth in ever greater numbers. 

9 responses

  1. Just the name of this organization sounds bogus..more nonsense..what can you say?


  2. As a good friend of FAY GILLIS WELLS before she died, I accepted an invitation to sponsor a tree with this organization. Fay Gillis was a very close friend of Wiley Post during his 1933 RTW flight, who helped set up fuel stops in Siberia for him. At the time, her father was a businessman in Russia which allowed her to get involved in that project.

    As a result of my RTW Commemorative Wiley Post 50th Anniversary flight in 1981, Fay and I became friends. We enjoyed a great meal together in Alexandria, VA, followed by several years of correspondence. I have one of her letters in front of me now.

    I will contact this organization, and see what kind of response I receive. In the name of Amelia, and also Fay who was an intimate friend of hers, and one of the very first 99s, this organization, who represents them, has been worse than rude. Fay was once one of their QUEEN-PINS, and would never have done something so unprofessional.

    In fact, the history books state that the original idea for this organization came from Fay. Knowing her, and then reading your report makes me think that she would be embarrassed by the reception you received.

    Personally knowing some of Amelia’s close associates, I have serious doubts that she would approve of anything so cheap. I knew Wiley’s wife and brother, and they would not have approved. I knew several of Amelia’s associates, and they were all professionals of class.

    Such rudeness is so unlike the Amelia-world I knew, that it is surprising. I will let you know the response I receive, if any. You and your historic Blog deserve better than this. People like Wiley, Amelia, Fay, and a host of others I associated with, were not only courteous, but people of class. On their behalf, I apologize. Will be in touch.

    Calvin (now 88)

    (I tried posting a picture of Fay Gillis here, but it would not accept it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calvin,

      Thanks so much for your kind message and deep concern. I’m always honored when you comment and post on this blog, and your presence brings a great deal of the same class you mention. You, more than anyone living today, can appreciate the meaning of such an unprofessional, rude snub by an organization that at one time stood for something real and meaningful.

      We look forward to seeing how the IFF people deal with one such as you, a great aviation icon and gentleman, when you express your real concern over their lack of civility. At this point in time, as our nation descends into third-world status at the hands of its corrupt leaders, nothing would surprise me.

      All Best,

      PS: Sorry, but the wordpress comment format won’t allow me or anyone to post photos here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Mike
    There is so much suppression & destruction of our American history in the present times and I thank you for standing up for the truth & refusing to bow to these deep state lunatics. It is all about standing up for what we history buffs know is right, We owe it to those that have passed & are not here, to tell the truth, & exposing those that try to keep sweeping it back under the rug. Again thanks Mike and keep the information coming.
    Best Regards Jack Craft President/CEO Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum


  4. Mike,

    The pleasure is mine.

    I have known many professionals during my long lifetime, and I consider you among the best. After reading your book, I became a believer, if not a disciple.

    As a history-buff, I was interested in Amelia before. But after being persuaded of the truth about her disappearance and death, my extensive reading and research convinced me that you and others had uncovered that truth.

    Truth, in any field, is my passion.

    As a result, my friendship with you was added to my personal history before it was too late. For that, I am grateful. Keep up the good work. My waning energy has slowed me down considerably. Even tomorrow is another trip to the hospital for a procedure. But I still hope to finish a project for you.

    The best for the best.



    1. Thanks so much Calvin, and thanks to Jack Craft of Endless Mountain War Museum for his previous comment. Though the readers of this blog are few in number, their professionalism and class are unmatched. I heard earlier from an older lady, a former Ninety-Nines officer, who shared the same sentiments you express. Thanks to you all, and best wishes to Calvin for a speedy and successful procedure tomorrow.

      All Best,


  5. Talking to the IFF about Earhart truth is like talking to a Communist leader about the wonders of faith in God. Doubt you will get any converts from this IFF crowd. Maybe you could get some interest at the Oshkosh event each summer in Wisconsin. Made up of aviation enthusiasts. A Lockheed Electra might fly in for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    I could be wrong, but in all of my reading, I don’t recall any of the individuals named in the post — Charles Lindbergh, Jeana Yeager, Rajiv Gandhi, et al. — ever having made any positive or supportive comment whatsoever regarding AE, FN, and Japanese capture.

    As to the International Forest of Friendship not giving Mike the common courtesy of a reply, it seems typical of the way people and organizations comport themselves these days. As this aging “Boomer” sees it, courtesy, dignity, respect, and etiquette have sadly become passe.

    All best,


    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I look at the gaunt physique shown in the statue of Earhart at the IFF place, I am reminded of my theory that she was buliimic, something, I’ve not seen confirmed by anyone yet. Her life was tragic in spite of this.


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