Jim Golden tells Tribune Earhart fate “covered up”

In a March 2, 2015 post titled Jim Golden’s legacy of honor in the Earhart saga,” I introduced the late Jim Golden, a close friend of Fred Goerner and, in the day, a near-legendary figure in Earhart research circles.  Golden remarkable career included eight years as a Secret Service agent in the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, two years as Howard Hughes’ chief of security in Las Vegas, and several years as a top U.S. Justice Department official, from where he tried to help Goerner search for the elusive top-secret Earhart files that President John F. Kennedy had allowed Goerner and California newspaperman Ross Game to view briefly in 1963, just before JFK’s assassination in Dallas.  

Among the Earhart-related information Golden shared with Goerner was the revelation that Earhart and Fred Noonan were brought to the islands of Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll by air from Jaluit Atoll by the Japanese in 1937, a fact he learned from Marine Intelligence officers during the American invasion of Kwajalein in January 1944.

The below story appeared in the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Tribune, on Oct. 4, 1977.  

“Prober says Amelia Earhart death covered up”
By Richard Williams, Tribune Sun Writer

A high-level Washington official claims the disappearance 40 years ago of famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart and the mystery shrouding the matter may have been President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s own Watergate.” 

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, James Golden, director of the Enforcement Division of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), said his years of study of the Earhart case led him to believe Roosevelt knew of her whereabouts and did nothing about it on purpose.

Golden, in Albuquerque to watch city police make arrests in connection with an LEAA-funded storefront operation Friday and Saturday, said all evidence points to Miss Earhart’s being held captive for a year and a half by the Japanese on the South Pacific Island of Saipan.

And the Japanese reportedly executed her copilot, Fred Noonan, by chopping off his head,Golden said.  Miss Earhart died the following day of dysentery, the Japanese said, even though she was seen by Saipan natives walking in a compound the day before.” 

Golden, who was a Marine intelligence officer when he landed with the fourth wave of Marines in the Marshall Islands in January 1944, said he personally read native accounts of Miss Earhart’s and Noonan’s presence in the islands.  [Ed. note: Golden was not an officer, but an enlisted Marine combat photographer assigned to independent duty with the intelligence section of the 4th Marine Division in 1944.)

Private First Class James O. Golden, circa 1944.
As a photographer assigned to independent duty in
Marine Intelligence on Kwajalein in January 1944,
Golden read a report by officers of the 24th Marine
Intelligence Unit about a native on Roi-Namur who
told them of two white people, a man and a woman, brought by Japanese airplane to Roi, the man with a white bandage on his head and the woman with short-cut hair wearing men’s pants.

Miss Earhart, a world-famous pilot, disappeared on July 2, 1937, on a flight from Lea, New Guinea, to Howland Island in the South Pacific.  Golden said the subsequent years of his interest in the case and talks with other intelligence officers closely involved with the islands during and after their capture from the Japanese have indicated that Miss Earhart may have been on a spying mission for the U.S. government.

Golden said he used to be an employee of Lockheed Aircraft, which built Miss Earhart’s plane and outfitted it for the flight on which she disappeared. [Ed. note: Golden told me that this was absolutely false.  He had never worked for Lockheed.]

I learned that the aircraft’s regular engines, capable of cruising at 160 miles an hour, were replaced with engines which gave the plane capability of cruising at 220 miles an hour,” Golden said.  [Ed. note: To my knowledge, we have no evidence to support this.]

He said that although Miss Earhart’s flight path was originally to avoid islands such as Saipan and Tinian, held by the Japanese since World War I, the greater flying speed could allow her to have made a photographic sweep over the heavily fortified area and still arrive at Howland in the same time it would have taken her to fly direct at the lower speed.

“What really bothers me about the whole thing is that if Miss Earhart was on such a mission and was a prisoner of the Japanese, as she seems to have been, why won’t the government acknowledge the facts and give her the hero’s treatment she deserves?” Golden said.

The reason, Golden has determined, is that Roosevelt hid the truth about Miss Earhart and Noonan, fearing public reaction to the death of a heroine and voter reaction at the polls.

Golden said he bases his feelings on his own knowledge of the affair and the subsequent revelations dug up by Fred Goerner, a freelance investigative reporter from San Francisco, in years of interviews.

As he related the actions of high-level military and government officers in the time around Miss Earhart’s disappearance, it sounded like a cloak-and-dagger story of the first magnitude.

Jim Golden’s no-nonsense comments about FDR’s role in the cover-up of the truth in the Earhart disappearance were the subject of this story in the Jan. 3, 1978 Midnight Globe.  Headlined “FDR’s Amelia Earhart ‘Watergate,’” the tabloid story was sloppy with the details, but got the basic story right, thanks to the straight-shooting, politically incorrect Jim Golden’s love for the truth.

Two Marines [Privates Everett Henson Jr. and Billy Burks] ordered to dig up the remains of two persons near a hotel in Garapan, a town on Saipan, there remains placed in yellow containers and sent back to the U.S.

A Marine general who personally pulled an airplane from a Japanese hangar on one of the islands and set it afire in the middle of the night after the island was captured from the Japanese.  An extensive file, of which Golden read a part, which contained Japanese accounts of the Earhart capture — a file which has floated through several government agencies and “gets thinner every year” and the whereabouts of which are unknown at the moment, Golden said.

And how about the fact that two of the men who donated $25,000 to Purdue University to fund Miss Earhart’s flight were members of Roosevelt’s National Security Council?” Golden asked.  And how about the fact that the last person to walk Miss Earhart to her plane before the flight was a Navy intelligence officer?

Golden said his information is that Miss Earhart over-flew Howland and was forced to crash-land on an uninhabited dot of land far from her target. “Apparently, the Japanese had homing devices better than ours, and they captured her and Noonan and the airplane before we could find her,” Golden said.

Golden said he personally read translated native accounts from the island of Roi-Namur in the Marshalls which said the natives recalled a woman dressed like a man with her short blond hair cut like a man’s and a man with a bandaged head being held prisoner there for a short time by the Japanese.

 The natives said the two were placed on a Japanese freighter and sent away later, apparently to Saipan, Golden recounted.

The natives said the Japanese referred to the two prisoners as ‘American flier-spies,'” Golden said.  Golden said he cannot understand why the government would continue to hide the facts behind the disappearances.  I just hope that someday justice is done, and the woman receives the honor due her for her service to her country, Golden said.  [End of Albuquerque Tribune story.]

Golden passed away suddenly at his home on March 7, 2011 at age 85, though he had encouraged me to hasten my efforts to publish the first edition of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last (2012), because he felt his time was coming soon.  As I wrote in closing Jim Golden’s legacy of honor in the Earhart saga, in 2015, We’ll never see the likes of Jim Golden again, and I hope someday we’ll meet in a much better place.

More on Jim Golden’s amazing life and contributions to the Earhart saga can be found in the pages of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last. 

26 responses

  1. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    James Golden was a remarkable man with a remarkable career. Given his revelations about the ultimate fate of AE and FN on Saipan, the testimony of Pacific Island people with no reason to lie or fabricate, the comments of Admiral Chester Nimitz, the account of Thomas E. Devine, and the stunning admission inadvertently provided through the Morgenthau Transcript, can there be any doubt?

    All best,

    William

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  2. How typical of the ever present errors in the newspaper report, a minor point in the long run, but typical..nothing has changed much over the years…fascinating that the government has in its possession actual Japanese accounts of their capture ..if they were revealed, case over..but, of course, they never will be. Would they be covered under the Freedom of Information Act? No..I guess not.

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  3. Apparently, the Japanese had homing devices better than ours, and they captured her and Noonan and the airplane before we could find her,” Golden said.

    This fits in with some recent disputed information I have learned. What if this really happened and the Japanese followed her out of Japanese Mandates territory into what was really regarded as British territory and captured her? Forget about Mili Atoll. I have read that the Japanese would never dare such an audacious stunt. But based on what? Maybe that is wrong and the Japanese found her before Americans did. They captured her, and what an embarrassment for FDR. There is a recent book out proposing this scenario which at first glance looks like a fantasy, that’s what I thought. I’m trying to retrieve the title so I can read it. Maybe not a fantasy.

    Then this is what would happen in my construct: The Japs pick her up on an inhabited island (in the book it’s one of the Gilberts) and soon the Americans learn about it. They still send out flights to search even though they know perfectly well where the plane is. They are now obliged to say we found nothing in the Gilberts. But why not throw out some misleading clues so that years later a perhaps agent of the government claims she landed on Nikumaroro? Right church, wrong pew. The ultimate aim of the State is to sow confusion. Then, years later, a cover story is hatched. It goes like this: She crash landed on Mili Atoll (always an unlikely scenario in my view) and is captured there. Then, the sightings on Saipan are real, but the sightings on Mili Atoll mainly depend on a couple of fishermen. (not real) Then yes, she is seen by the Bilimon Amaron (true) They do arrive at Jaluit on a boat. Then, yes, eventually to Saipan, and then, who knows?

    It follows that a scenario is fabricated. A plane just like hers is placed at Alioto Field maybe with the right NR 16020 (by a strange coincidence it is said to fly) Even though her actual crashed plane is not airworthy, of course. So the plane flies, is duly noted by Thomas Devine, who is nevertheless vague about the plane number, if I remember right. Then it is destroyed and that’s the end of her plane, so the story goes.

    Now, here’s where I risk Mike’s displeasure. What if her plane still exists, at least the wreckage? Wouldn’t seekers of the wreckage be strongly discouraged? I believe they would. It would still be embarrassing to the narrative, especially the Mili Atoll hypothesis. But if true, then we need not puzzle over why she landed at Mili. She didn’t. Most of the theories why she was there are tortured implausibilities in my view. Where her final flight actually took her, whether it was over Japanese territory or not, I can only guess. Maybe not. Yes, the idea that the wreckage still exists produces apoplexy in some circles. But I no longer rule it out. Mike, you have given me a toehold with the Golden story. Why not let it run?

    Sincerely,
    David

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    1. David,

      As I recall Tom Divine was crystal clear with his recollection of the N number on the airplane (I believe he wrote it down and put the note in his pants pocket, and then “lost” the pants). I do like your “risk Mike’s displeasure” statement; I believe you have walked that plank before!

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      1. David Atchason

        Tom,
        Not only have I “walked the plank” I’ve been keelhauled, too. Since I’ve “got my foot in the door” of TAL I’m going to lurch forward with my view of events. I have been ruminating about this subject all day and for a week before, I am getting insights frequently. One thing about her story as we know it, is that the truth is hidden in plain sight. I’ll come right out and say I always thought Tom Devine’s story suspect. I know we all lose our pants from time to time. I hate it when that happens. I don’t mean Devine is suspect, just the story, and he may have been telling the story as he saw it.

        I have now decided, yes, she was spying. I remember posting here a few months ago, that in my calculations, her given arrival time at Howland was way too late. I said, she had plenty of time for monkey business. i.e. flying over the mandates. Nobody picked up on this, because, well, it’s the truth in plain sight. The Navy and Coast Guard may well have not known exactly where she was. Then, she couldn’t find Howland. If you wonder why she didn’t make distress calls, well, she did. Frantic calls.

        Let me be clear, I believe the Itasca logs to be fabrications and for good reason. They had to be. Her calls were in the clear and whether or not Amelia was afraid of the Japanese hearing her, she had no choice. They heard, all right, and knew exactly where she was. They had been tracking her all along and they were pissed. Amelia announced she was heading to the Gilberts, not knowing exactly where. The CG and the boys on Howland were caught flat-footed. Their equipment was useless. No way did she head for Mili Atoll. She sighted one of the Gilbert Islands and landed as best she could, with wheels down. It was a good landing, in fairly shallow water. The plane had very little damage. No, the wing did not tear off. The only trouble was, of course, the Japs were there lickety-split. They grabbed her and Fred and vamoosed. Even though the island was inhabited, Amelia probably did not know which one it was. It’s hard to say if she sent messages after she was down. It wouldn’t have mattered much.

        So, the Navy found her plane in a day or three, saw she was gone, maybe she left a note, who knows, but THEY KNEW. What a colossal screw-up. One thing for sure, they weren’t going to say where her plane was, oh no, they would say they thoroughly searched the Gilberts and she definitely wasn’t there. The cover-up began then and continues to this day.

        Once again, I’m going to risk walking Mike’s plank. You might wonder what happened to her plane? It’s still there. How can this be? Somebody would have noticed by now, right? Yes, of course they noticed. The educated and the leaders of the island know. I gather that they are told to keep their mouths shut. Anyone that hints they want to find her plane on the island is actively discouraged, as I have lately found out. I’m not sure what would happen if I went there by myself and started looking around. I”m not going to try it.
        Sincerely,

        David

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      2. You’re dreaming again, David, and your dreams are quite fuzzy. Nowhere in the Pacific is sacrosanct in today’s day and age. What do you mean by saying, “It’s still there. How can this be? Somebody would have noticed by now, right? Yes, of course they noticed. The educated and the leaders of the island know. I gather that they are told to keep their mouths shut.”

        This statement is patently absurd and fails all common tests of logic. I need not say more than that, and you can stay in the boat despite your nonsense. I just got back from Church and am in a super-merciful mood. It’s Easter Season.

        Mike

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      3. David Atchason

        Tom,
        This isn’t a reply to your last comment right now, but here’s some info on the concept that the Japanese needed Amelia’s L10 to study the engineering. In other words, they tricked Amelia into crashing and then took the plane to Saipan to study it. I don’t think that was the case at all, and this article confirms that.

        https://spread.dailymotion.com/s/japanese-zero-fighter-plane?
        as=6dap23850112832990729&utm_source=fb&utm_content=23850112832760729&utm_campaign=6dap23850112832990729&utm_medium=z020940&fbclid=IwAR337yYWXeKt6jZMWaDF0spGPZcCuWBEaai59vVHmcvMgAaZ2S5WV8-ZIJI&bdk=0

        Of course the question in my mind has always been, why would the Japanese take the plane to Saipan to begin with? I can think of NO good reason at all. Can anybody else? If it were for propaganda purposes, to demonstrate that she was spying, wouldn’t it be better to leave it on the beach at Mili? Wouldn’t the Japanese really want to conceal the fact that they captured Amelia and Fred, and the first thing THEY would do is destroy the plane?

        Evidently Robert Ballard doesn’t believe the Saipan destruction scenario, and the story about Devine writing down the plane number on a scrap of paper and then he lost it or some one took it isn’t impossible, but to me, improbable. I’m sure Devine was a good man, but the story leaves me always scratching my head. The purpose might be to discourage others from looking for the plane, that’s all I can think of.

        Sincerely,
        David

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    2. Run with it all you wish, Dave, nobody’s stopping you. But your scenario is much more far-fetched and speculative than a Mili landing. Don’t forget Loomis’ witness Mrs. Clemens when you cite eyewitnesses either, and the common knowledge of the Marshallese that it happened.

      Sure her plane exists — under tons of wreckage under Aslito Field, now Saipan International Airport, somewhere therein, and it will never be found because it would be totally unrecognizable now.

      Mike

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    3. William H. Trail | Reply

      David,

      I don’t believe the Japanese would have been foolhardy enough to have risked a major international incident with both Great Britain and the United States by staging an incursion into sovereign British territory (the Gilbert Islands) to seize Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan and the Electra (U.S. citizens and their property), and then spirit them all off sight unseen to Saipan. Would the risk and effort to mount such an operation have been worth it?

      No, I firmly believe that AE and FN landed on Barre Island, Mili Atol and were picked up by the Japanese. Fishermen Jororo and Lijon saw them and the Electra. They didn’t lie. They didn’t fabricate. Jororo and Lijon saw what they saw. See pages 136 and 137 TTAL, 2nd Ed.

      I also believe that Dick Spink found the aluminum cover plate and dust cover that was part of the Goodyear Airwheel assembly from the Electra’s left-side main landing gear on Barre Island, Mili Atol. See the 2014 Kansas City Star article by Brian Burnes at the link provided.

      http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article4084144.html

      All best,

      William

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      1. William,

        I will elaborate. In 2012, when I was sparring with Ric on the TIGHAR forum about such things as whether her plane would float or not and I would get called a troll and threatened with him kicking me off, I had an inspiration. I decided from Betty Klenk’s (I think) questionable relation of her picking up Amelia’s distress call, I decided that what Amelia was saying on her call was ……..Nonouti. So I learned Google Earth,

        I looked, and lo & behold there was a plane in the water on SW coast of Nonouti. It was just right size and shape to be her plane. I thought I had found her plane! (I had). It was as if I got a message from Amelia, I was getting carried away. So I quickly posted my find on TIGHAR and while Ric made no comment, one or more participants agreed there sure was a plane there in the water but that it was most likely a crashed Air Kiribati plane. I was psyched, I went to New Zealand on a trip and was planning to detour to Kiribati on te way home. But it was very difficult and only one flight a week to Nonouti. So when I got home, I read Mike’s TAL and decided, oh it couldn’t be her plane. Somewhat later, I didn’t see the plane on Google Earth. I feared it had moved. Well, now I think yes, it did move and was starting to break up. So my post about the plane is probably still in the TIGHAR archives.

        Then a week ago I got the email from Mike enclosing his email from Alan who had taken much better pictures of the plane from Google Earth and claimed it was her plane. Mike asked me to agree that he was a nut case but I had to say, the guy is 100% right, I saw the plane myself in 2012. Now it is coming to apart. But it is still there. How would Alan know it was her plane amd how did he find it? Well, Alan does just this kind of work. Finding lost planes. He is for real. He said he found Boggs’ plane in Alaska and has photos he showed me. He said he contacted the family and they don’t care. He found her plane the same way I did. It just came to him to look, a message from the beyond so to speak. Looking at his blurry photos is extremely difficult, but I tried my best, and one day I was able to make out the letters and numbering on the rudder of her plane. The positioning matched up perfectly with pictures of her plane. I thought, this could not be faked. That’s when I knew absolutely it is her plane. Dust cover may have been found on Mili, that’s pretty thin and hardly a proof it’s from HER plane.

        When I told the tourist lady on Nonouti that I would like to go there and look for Amelia’s plane she cordially replied, Sorry, but my husband is a fisherman and he says there is no wreck on Nonouti. I think that’s a lie. I saw the wreck in 2012 and Alan can see it now. What it is, I think, is a subliminal message that a smart person would pick up on. I did. It means don’t some here looking for her plane. It does not mean, “Come on down, knock yourself out looking for her plane, we will help!” Gavin, the Australian outfitter who does trips to Nonouti has started putting me off, not eager it seems to have me as a customer searching for her plane. He says he has never seen a plane wreck there, but he hasn’t searched the area where it is supposed to be.

        Today, reading Golden’s quote, I saw the opening to expand on and relate my take on her unfortunate encounter on Nonouti. My story contains no contradictions, no perplexing mysteries. It is logical and eminently possible. I rest my case. I will put it to the test here.

        Sincerely,
        David.

        Like

      2. William H. Trail

        David,

        Alan did NOT find nor does he have photographs of the Pan Alaska Airways Cessna 310C (N1812H) that disappeared nearly 50 years ago en route from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska in marginal VFR weather on 16 October 1972 carrying Representative Hale Boggs (D-LA), Nicholas Begich (D-AK), Begich’s aide Russell Brown, and pilot Don Jonz. Don’t you believe it for a second. “The family doesn’t care?” That’s baloney! There were three other souls aboard that aircraft besides Representative Boggs. Surely one of the families would care. And, even if none of the families of the lost cared, if Alan had really found that aircraft it would be huge news — news you don’t sit on, and publicity you can’t purchase. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would be very interested in this, as would the U.S. Air Force’s Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS)/ Civil Air Patrol (CAP), Alaska state aviation authorities, et al. Think about it.

        All best,

        William

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      3. David Atchason

        William,

        I really never investigated Alan’s claims. Alan sent me the photos of Boggs’ plane, but they are fuzzy Google Earth photos and I just don’t have the motivation to check on them. Boggs’ plane must be somewhere, it didn’t just dematerialize, I wouldn’t think. Knowing our government is capable of disseminating misleading and false information to suit purposes of initiating wars, for one example, why not be skeptical of any suspicious claim it makes? Also why not be skeptical of Alan’s claims, too.

        I guess if I had the means, I would get Alan’s coordinates and go look in Alaska for myself. Looking for the plane wreck on Nonouti is not impossible, even for me, but so far I have not come up with a good plan. I need someone like Dick Spink who is familiar with the Marshalls only someone who is familiar with the Gilberts, so far I do not have such a person lined up. I would like to know what was that wreck I saw 10 years ago? The tourist agent is not telling me, I don’t know why. I thought I’d throw this in from Tom King, I know it serves the purposes of TIGHAR where he is the house historian, but he makes some good points against the Mili Atoll hypothesis. He isn’t actually saying she didn’t wind up on Saipan.

        https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/mandates.html

        Sincerely,
        David

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      4. New information found by William Trail indicates that Amelia’s plane isn’t the only one Alan Hiatt claims he has found. On May 1 William wrote, of Alan’s claim, “Alan did NOT find nor does he have photographs of the Pan Alaska Airways Cessna 310C (N1812H) that disappeared nearly 50 years ago en route from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska in marginal VFR weather on 16 October 1972 carrying Representative Hale Boggs (D-LA), Nicholas Begich (D-AK), Begich’s aide Russell Brown, and pilot Don Jonz.”

        Now we have the July 26, 1944, loss of a C54 Air Ambulance, tail #107470, which disappeared enroute to the United States from England. Twenty-six people on board perished.

        Please see the below stories about Hiatt finding this lost aircraft. This one has been brought to the attention of one Wade Burleson, an Enid, Oklahoma pastor who’s running for Congress in 2022.

        The Potential Discovery of Lt. Col. Leon “Bob” Vance’s Crashed Army Air Corp Air Ambulance
        https://www.wadeburleson.org/2021/11/the-potential-discovery-of-lt-col-leon.html

        And in the local Enid, OK paper:

        Vance’s missing plane possibly found, Enid pastor says | Local News | enidnews.com
        https://www.enidnews.com/news/local_news/vances-missing-plane-possibly-found-enid-pastor-says/article_b450611e-5164-11ec-88dd-a355a8fbdf1d.html

        From the story:

        “Alan Hiatt has a ministry of finding crashed planes using Google Earth to notify next of kin of those who were lost in plane crashes,” [Wade] Burleson said. (Italics mine.)

        Alan Hiatt has a ministry all right, and David can count himself among the flock, sitting up front in the first pew! I wonder how many other planes Hiatt has found for grieving families? William Trail has a Facebook page,
        https://www.facebook.com/OperationMike, that he says has google earth images, but this page offers even more confusion and nothing about Earhart is in it.

        About a month ago, Alan sent me several photos that he claimed were the Earhart Electra. None were coherent and nothing could be determined by looking at them, no matter how long one might gaze. Alan did not take kindly to my suggestion that he check himself into a local mental health facility, and I have not heard from him since. Obviously he’s found others far more receptive to his bizarre ideas.

        Can William and I be the only ones who detect a distinctly fishy odor emanating from Alan Hiatt’s multiple claims of major discoveries of wrecked planes, none of which have been noticed by anyone except an Enid, OK pastor, who himself appears to be a target of Alan’s ministry?

        Caveat Emptor!

        Like

      5. William H. Trail

        David,

        I re-read Dr. King’s paper at the link you courteously provided, and even he does not entirely rule out a landing on Mili Atoll. That is significant given that Dr. King has much invested in the Nikumororo theory. As for myself, AE and FN landing on Mili Atoll is a basic tenet of the faith if you will. It is an anchor in the quest for the truth regarding the disappearance of AE and FN. Anchors in this or any other subject are important because without them we drift aimlessly, subject the capricious, ever changing winds, tides, and currents of opinion and dubious evidence.

        All best,

        William

        Like

      6. David Atchason

        William,

        Saying the Japanese would never send a boat (or seaplane) to pick up Amelia and Fred is, to me, like saying they would never attack Pearl Harbor because they would precipitate a war they could not win. I don’t think it unlikely they would do something like that, maybe with a couple seaplanes they could easily be in & out before anybody on the Gilberts knew anything about it. I don’t think the Americans or British had much military presence there, anyway, at the time.

        Partly from the frantic protestations from the adherents of the Mili landing hypothesis, the reaction of the tourist bureau on Nonouti, from the indifference of Gavin, the Australian outfitter, and others with an interest in the AE story, each of these reactions convinces me that NR 16020 sits now on Nonouti and has been there since 1937. Many people know. It would be so easy to send a neutral group to go there and look, you would think there would be intense curiosity in the Earhart research community, but there is crickets. Why the Mili Atoll theory has so much attraction for the establishment researchers, I don’t know.

        There could have been more than one plane. Amelia and Fred could have been brought to Jaluit from Nonouti. I don’t doubt that she got there somehow. I also don’t oppose the idea she was brought to Japan, was repatriated after the war. If the establishment narrative is that she couldn’t possibly have landed on Nonouti when I am certain that she did, then any of the rest of the accepted theories could be wrong.

        Sincerely,
        David

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      7. William H. Trail

        David,

        If those blurry, indistinguishable Google Earth images really are AE’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special on Nonouti in the Gilbert Islands, why hasn’t anyone gone there, recovered the wreckage, and proclaimed it to the whole world? If there were even only the most infinitesimal shred — the merest hint of validity to this surely wouldn’t someone have put boots-on-the-ground and made a thorough investigation by now?

        Please see page 52 of TTAL, 2nd Ed.

        All best,

        William

        Like

      8. David,

        “I also don’t oppose the idea she was brought to Japan, was repatriated after the war”……Irene Bolam? Seriously?

        Like

  4. David Atchason | Reply

    William,

    Your question is exactly the same question I have. When I saw the plane on Google Earth 10 years ago, I thought surely the folks on Nonouti are familiar with that plane, they couldn’t miss it. I put it out of my mind for 10 years. But then the tourist lady said her husband was a fisherman and he says there there is no wreck on Nonouti, well that’s not the truth. Why would she say that? Maybe because they don’t want anybody looking around.
    She didn’t say we know that wreck is yadyada wrecked Air Kiribati plane. She didn’t say come have a look. I feel like she is hiding something. I also feel like if I went there I would get no help. Why don’t the other heavy hitters like Fred Goerner go there? Because he’s not with us anymore. Or the AES members either. Does anybody care enough anymore? This revelation by Alan is brand new. It is hard to believe. My feeling is that our deep government knows her plane is there, it’s in the hidden and secret AE files.

    The pictures Alan takes are just what you would expect them to look like from Google Earth. It is very difficult to make out that they show what Alan says. But they do. Why would Alan fake this? What would he get out of it? Nothing, I say. How will this be resolved? Que sera, sera.

    Sincerely,
    David

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    1. William H. Trail | Reply

      David,

      Apparently Alan isn’t the only one who has “found” AE’s Lockheed Electra 10E using Google Earth. Please see the link provided.

      https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1177955/amelia-earhart-plane-palmyra-island-found-ufo-hunter-finds-aircraft-google-maps

      By the way, “weird” and “UFO Hunter” in the URL should be a tip-off.

      All best,

      William

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      1. David Atchason

        William,
        This will be a busy summer for me, it just like whack-a-mole.

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  5. The first sentence of the 4th paragraph of the above article says: “And the Japanese reportedly executed her copilot, Fred Noonan, by chopping oil his head,” Golden said.

    What is meant by the phrase “..by chopping oil his head”? Is it a type error and what should it really say?

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    1. Walter,

      Thanks for your keen eye. Of course the word should be “off,” not oil. I can use all the proofreaders I can get. Please feel free to let me know whenever you see something that needs fixing.

      All Best,
      MIke

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  6. Now, I’m getting serious. I got out TAL from my basement den and brought it upstairs. It fell open to page 124.

    At 1030 AM Nauru hears her say: “Land in sight ahead.” Well, they should hear her, she is only a few miles away. Of course she is referring to Nonouti where she is about to attempt to land. It is curious to see that the Navy took this file away from Goerner before it was released lest he figure this out. Mind you, this is not the completely doctored Itasca log. She probably wouldn’t know the name of the island she was headed for right then, but the concept that right after she saw land she was, apparently without giving any in dication on the radio, now going to fly 600 miles NW to what??? The Marshalls??? I don’t think so.

    I have been trying to figure out where is the story is of Betty Klenck?? the Florida girl who, on her SW radio, heard Amelia fretting about “water coming in” Fred hurt, etc. I think this is where I got the clue thinking Amelia was saying “Nonouti” and I got out my Google Earth and discovered the plane there. I now recall, probably on TIGHAR forum Amelia was saying “New York New York!” something starting with “N” which Gillespie interpreted as “Norwich City” but I interpreted as “Nonouti.” Of course Norwich City was the name of the wrecked ship on Gardner I. and Ric liked this interpretation. So Amelia may well have figured out where she was.

    I have no idea how Amelia would transmit, unless she had some weak emergency radio. Landing in shallow water, as she did, would probably have ripped holes in the fuselage and possibly in her auxiliary gas tanks. While the Electra would certainly float under textbook conditions, it wouldn’t have taken much damage to sink her. I also don’t know, picturing Amelia sitting in her now flooding plane, (I’m doing remote viewing now) whether the option of getting into her little yellow life raft (if she had one) would have been feasible.

    I can picture heavy surf and large waves heading to shore which was miles away. In fact I can imagine the same conditions on Mili unless she landed in a lagoon. So Amelia and injured Fred would not have taken the life raft option. They would await rescue by the Japanese, who were headed their way lickety-split.

    I hope somebody can update me on that purported message (Generally ridiculed, but probably real) that the 14 yo? girl heard. I will stand by,
    Sincerely,
    David

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  7. This blog was the first time I heard about Earhart being taken to Kwajalein. I have a friend who spent 3 years there, but she never heard of it either.

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  8. The Japanese, in 1937, were certainly interested in the type of plane flown by Amelia Earhart, and they subsequently obtained and produced a large number of them for their military. But they really did not need to obtain her plane and reverse engineer it, because Lockheed was in the business of selling Electras to many different countries at the time.

    The Lockheed Martin Electra flown by Amelia and Fred carried the designation Model 10. Lockheed also produced a smaller, faster, version of the Model 10, in the form of the Model 12 Electra Junior. This version had a 23% reduction in its wing area but achieved a top speed of 225mph (195.5kts).

    By 1937, Lockheed would develop the Model 14 Super Electra. This was basically an enlarged Model 10 Electra. The Model 14 had an average speed of 206.1 mph (179kts). These planes were popular export models and one country that bought – and built many of them under contract to Lockheed was Japan.

    Of the Japanese Super Electras, 119 were built under license in Japan by the Tachikawa Aircraft Company. These were designated Tachikawa Type LO Transport Aircraft (recognition name Thelma). Another 121 planes would be built by Kawasaki Aircraft Company under the designation Kawasaki Type 1 cargo transporter. This aircraft’s fuselage was lengthened by 4 feet 7 inches to enable the fitting of larger cargo doors.

    By the start of World War II, Japan had a large number of planes which looked very much like Amelia’s in their inventory.

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    1. The IJN bought their own Lockheed-not- Lockheed-Martin L-10 about the same time as Amelia got hers. The IJN designation was Lockheed KXL1. It seems to have had no subsequently known public history so it’s likely to have been quickly dismantled and the pieces distributed to various technical organizations in Japan for examination.

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