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-word “unsubscribe” message 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 Connection” from 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.
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 Lindbergh, Jeana Yeager, Rajiv Gandhi, the Wright Brothers, Sally Ride, Chuck Yeager, Beryl 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 Lasthas been among the top Earhart books on Amazon since its first edition was published in 2012. What do you have against the truth?
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.
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 “leadership” of 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 “mystery” to 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.