State Dept. 1960 message presages Japan AE denials

Fred Goerner’s first investigative visit to Saipan in June-July 1960 made serious noise in newspapers here and around the world, as the witnesses he interviewed revealed a completely different reality about what happened to Amelia Earhart than the official U.S. propaganda that had been perpetrated and accepted by the masses since 1937 

In July 1960, Goerner wrote in Chapter 15 of The Search for Amelia Earhart,U.S. Congressman J. Arthur Younger, of San Mateo, California, responded to the international headlines generated by the once-obscure newspaper in his district by asking the U.S. State Department to open all its Earhart files to the public, and to request an official statement from Japan.

Goerner continued:

In early August, the Japanese Foreign Office announced through the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo that it had completed an exhaustive investigation “which revealed no basis whatsoever for the rumor the Japanese had executed Amelia Earhart at Saipan.”  It added that all available Japanese records had been searched and all former officers and officials were reached during the investigation.  The report was transmitted to the State Department by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. . . . The State Department also denied it held any classified information on Earhart.

The message above (click for larger view), dated July 15, 1960 and sent to Secretary of State from a State Department official named only Macarthur and titled Embassy Telegram 121, was a prelude to the early August statement referenced by Goerner.  It came from the Japanese Foreign Office and dishonestly and flatly denied Japan’s involvement with the execution of Amelia Earhart.  I don’t have the August message in my files, but this one tells the same story just as convincingly.  

“FONOFF [foreign official] informed us today that preliminary search of Japanese files has uncovered no indications Amelia Earhart was executed by Japanese,” the message begins, all in upper case.  Please click on the image if it’s not easy to read clearly on your monitor.

Fred Goerner with witness Dr. Manuel Aldan on Saipan, June 1960.  Aldan was a dentist who worked on Japanese officers, who told him of the woman flier in custody on Saipan, who they called “Earharto.”  (Courtesy San Francisco Library Special Collections.)

“The Japanese response was what we expected in 1960,” Goerner wrote in Search. . . . “However, the Japanese even then were careful to state Amelia had not been ‘executed at Saipan in 1937.’  Other possibilities were not discussed.” 

This document appeared in the July 1995 edition of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters. In an editor’s note Bill Prymak added at the bottom, he wrote, Why would the U.S. Government still be chasing Amelia when they declared her down at sea in 1937?? [sic] Note July 15, 1960 date above.

6 responses

  1. I think Bill Prymak hit the nail on the head with his question concerning why the government was still pursuing the Earhart case when they had already told the world she had gone down? In essence, our own government was in coverup mode like the Japanese…no wonde this farce has gone on so long

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mike, the denial is so dubious in my view. I read what people are not saying such as when the football coach at Oklahoma said, I will not be the next coach at LSU, but then takes the job at USC! Here the Japanese said, “She was not executed in 1937.” Perhaps closer to when Saipan was attacked in 44 is the truth! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a more general question…what is your opinion of the History Channel photo of the Doc with people who appear to look like “Earharto” and Noonan? Not the show, but the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dion:

      Nothing has changed since July 2017. Below is the link to my commentary of July 12, below that are some salient passages from that and an earlier piece.

      “Earhart and Noonan are absolutely not in the photo, and it’s incredible that anyone could believe they are. Zoom in and you can see the upper half of a white man with black hair on the far left of the group on the dock. Kinney and an “expert” say it’s Noonan, but the features, the nose, the hairline are all wrong, and any intelligent analysis rules him out. The so-called experts are either incompetent or lying, and we all know that some paid experts will say anything. Nobody in the photo remotely resembles Earhart, inasmuch as anyone’s facial features can be determined at all.”

      “For the few who might ask what I thought, I never imagined there was even the remotest possibility that the man claimed as Fred Noonan was he, or that Amelia Earhart was this strange person sitting on the dock. Amelia was never known to have thick black hair, not in any of hundreds of photos I’ve ever seen.”

      “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this photo failed utterly and completely, even before The Guardian report laid waste to this fraud forever. Does anyone except Les Kinney actually think that Earhart and Noonan are in this photo? Does Kinney still believe it?”

      “I wish the ONI photo actually did portray Earhart and Noonan, because our very worthy cause for the truth would have taken a giant step forward at the moment millions saw it on national television. In itself, that would be extremely gratifying to me, regardless of who got the credit. But I’m also convinced that if the photo is the game changer Kinney and Morningstar claim, it would have never have seen air, and would have been completely suppressed.”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    I invite everyone’s attention to RADM Edwin T. Layton’s book, “And I Was There Pearl Harbor And Midway — Breaking The Secrets” (1985) Konecky & Konecky. On page 62, Layton [Assistant U.S. Naval Attache] states, “We had worked closely with Yamamoto’s [naval vice-minister] office during the July 1937 search for Amelia Earhart, a matter in which they cooperated politely, but only halfheartedly.”

    Why “halfheartedly?” Of course, we all know the answer to that. AE and FN were prisoners of the Imperial Japanese and their polite, halfhearted cooperation in the search was simply a matter of diplomatic necessity as we were not at war — yet.

    All best,


    Liked by 2 people

  5. These days whenever you challenge the “official” story on any thing, the first thing they do is shout conspiracy theory. My response to that is, I don’t need a theory to know when I’m being lied to. The first thing I did in 2017 after seeing the dockside photo, is ask Mike about it. He confirmed my suspicions about it.


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