IFF rejects Calvin Pitts’ appeal, refuses to engage

Today we return to the unpleasant subject of the International Forest of Friendship (IFF) and its recent request to unsubscribe from this blog and reject the honest work that’s done here on behalf of an extremely worthy cause.  Now it’s not only this blog that they have no respect for, it’s the iconic aviator Calvin Pitts who they’ve decided is also unworthy of their merest acknowledgement. (* See update at bottom.)

The IFF organization in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart’s birthplace in the Heartland of America, prides itself as aliving, growing memorial to the world history of aviation and aerospace. On the IFF’s idyllic landscape you can find a life-size statue of Amelia Earhart and The Amelia Earhart Earthworks, among other family-friendly attractions.  

Calvin Pitts in 1981, with The Spirit of Winnie Mae and the thermos Amelia Earhart carried with her on her solo Atlantic Crossing in 1932. The thermos was on loan from Jimmie Mattern, Wiley Post’s competitor who flew The Century of Progress Vega in an attempt to beat Wiley in the 1933 solo round-the-world race, but Mattern crashed in Siberia.  Calvin brought Amelia’s thermos along with him on his own successful world flight in 1981.

Most regular readers are familiar with my post of Nov. 21, 2021, Forest of Friendship rejects Earhart truth, which described my response to the IFF’s terse unsubscriberequest after years of receiving this blog, albeit without comment.  I’ve linked it above so that anyone can understand the basics of this odious situation.  Calvin responded to this post that same day, and he wrote in closing his comment:

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.

To see Calvin’s entire comment, please click here or go to comments of Nov. 21, 2021.

Of course Calvin followed through on his pledge to contact the IFF and find out for himself why they feel this blog is beneath their attention.  But such is the IFF leadership’s aversion to the light of public knowledge that we couldn’t find the name of the IFF’s president or any of its officials, so Calvin addressed his letter to the IFF office manager, asking that she kindly pass up the chain to the appropriate parties, hoping to reach the still nameless IFF president.

Here is his letter of Dec. 7, 2021 in its original format.  You can click on each page for a larger view.  

No one has replied to Calvin’s kind letter, exceptional on so many levels, and by this late date it’s safe to assume that the IFF has no plans to do so.  We can only imagine the level of arrogance and contempt required to ignore such a sincere, good-faith appeal to the better angels of the still-unnamed IFF president and others of the IFF leadership.  Whoever they are, they should be ashamed of their abject failure to fulfill even the lowest, most basic public call to civility and transparency, and the entire IFF is now culpable for this feckless affront and insult to Calvin Pitts.  It is also a glaring example of the establishment’s thorough hatred for the Marshalls-Saipan Truth in the Earhart disappearance, and its refusal to even consider it. 

The envelope of a March 1994 letter from Fay Gillis Wells to Captain Calvin Pitts, who shared a 20-year friendship and correspondence with Wells, who played a key role in Wiley Post’s 1933 round-the-world flight by setting up fuel stops across Siberia.  “Her stories to me about Post were another lasting treasure,” Pitts wrote in his letter to the still unnamed IFF president. 

What more can one say about the IFF at this point?  Their abject silence screams volumes about these creatures, who have gone out of their way to sink to a level that’s beneath even the contempt with which they regard us. 

I asked Calvin, who has recently suffered medical problems that he’s asked me not to mention and remains undaunted, if he’d like to make a closing statement to complete this dreary post.  Ever the Christian gentleman, Calvin replied thusly:


In times like this, when we encounter those who out of fear, misplaced loyalties and willful ignorance refuse to do the right thing, the best we can do is try to forgive them and move on.  We can also try to pray that someday the light will come on in their dim minds, and they might consider joining those of us who can honor the legacy of Amelia Earhart and revere and honor the truth in the same breath — something they’ve proven themselves incapable of at this time.

Fortunately, due to the professional research, the tedious work, and a love for truth as displayed in Mike Campbell’s stellar book, THE TRUTH AT LAST, coupled with other gifted researchers, writers, and eyewitnesses, we were introduced to some of the private, unpublished knowledge of men like Adm. Chester Nimitz Jr., Gen.  Alexander Vandegrift, Gen. Graves Erskine, Gen. Tommy Watson, and a host of eyewitnesses who told their stories.  Because of men and women like that, we know the end of the Earhart story, and are able to lay to rest the amazing life of a beautiful woman who has earned her rest.


What more is there to say?

* Jan. 25 UPDATE: Longtime reader Tom Williams has informed me that he’s found an overview of the International Forest of Friendship as of 12/2019, which lists its major officers as follows:

Linton Wells II, Chairman

Leonard Buddenbohm, Vice Chairman

Shannon Osborne, Treasurer

Cheryl K. Smith, Secretary 

Researcher Tony Gochar also contributed information to this update.  Tom Williams informs us that Linton Wells II is the son of the great Fay Gillis Wells, who Calvin Pitts praised so glowingly in his brief tribute above.  Here’s Fay Gillis Wells 2002 obituary.


6 responses

  1. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    The International Forest of Friends (IFF) apparent snub of the gracious and eloquent letter of such a fine, old school gentleman, not to mention aviation icon as Captain Pitts is more than just rude. It is indicative of gross ignorance, a lack of class, and rather indifferent breeding. Unfortunately, it is far from unique behavior given today’s societal norms.

    All best,


    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a difference between 1981 and 1937!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The IFF may be failing financially and there is no longer anyone to respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hard to Believe, but this is the “Woke Age”!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Calvin –

    The President of this (IFF) isn’t worth the mention……………..let alone the government established, FAIRY TALE they embrace. The *TRUTH only RoCkS their boat, upsets their members and spoils the unblemished news, of Amelia’s disappearance over the Pacific.
    They don’t want to learn the ugly truth and have to explain this to family & friends. The thought of Amelia being tortured, suffering miserably and executed is a NiGhtMaRe in HELL. Just the thought of Fred Noonan digging his own grave, then beheaded and kicked into a hole in the ground, would SHOCK, DISGUST and make everyone sick to their stomachs. They could NEVER be told, let alone shared with others, without losing more members & money $$$$$$$$$$.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. William H. Trail | Reply


      “We have evidence that the thing is all over, sure. Terrible. It would be awful to make it public.”
      — Stephen B. Gibbons, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
      The Morgenthau Transcript
      13 May 1938

      All best,


      Liked by 2 people

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