Rollin Reineck’s July 3, 1998 letter to ABC News: Calls “48 Hours” promoting TIGHAR “pure trash”

We continue our excursion into the world of the late Earhart researcher Rollin Reineck, who made his share of noise during his days as a member of Bill Prymak’s elite corps of theorists and truth-tellers in the Amelia Earhart Society.

This letter appeared in the July 1998 edition of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, and gives us a taste of the reception that Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR’s ideas received from serious researchers who didn’t buy everything TIGHAR and the American media were shoveling down the throats of a gullible public about the fate of Amelia Earhart.  I’ve screened the original article and present it here.  By left clicking on each item, you can enlarge it for easy reading.

Rollin C. Reineck, circa 1945, served as a B-29 navigator in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War II, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Bronze Star.  A true patriot in every sense of the word, Reineck passed away in 2007, but left some very controversial writings about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart Society President Bill Prymak’s brief comment in the editor’s note above is a small sample of the insightful, low-key statements that Prymak was known for during the 1990s when TIGHAR was all the rage in the “search” for Amelia.

You might recall a few of TIGHAR’s vapid claims our esteemed media dragged up to present to the nation, always in ridiculous, self-aggrandizing proclamations issuing in never-ending torrents from the yaps of Gillespie and his minions: 

WE DID IT!

THE CONCLUSION IS INESCAPABLE: THIS IS A PIECE OF AMELIA EARHART’S AIRPLANE!

THERE IS ONLY ONE POSSIBLE CONCLUSION: WE FOUND A PIECE OF AMELIA EARHART’S AIRPLANE!

 THERE IS NO CONFLICTING EVIDENCE: THE CASE IS CLOSED.

And so forth, ad nauseum.  For now, we’ll conclude our brief visit with AES icons Rollin Reineck and Bill Prymak, as well as their favorite media darling TIGHAR chief Ric Gillespie, but there’s plenty more where that came from.   

12 responses

  1. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    In the 37 years since it’s founding in 1985 (the year Dr. Ballard found RMS Titanic) has The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) actually found, much less recovered any aircraft, historic or otherwise? How about even a genuine piece of one?

    All best,

    William

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    1. I’m surprised you would ask that question, William. The answer is absolutely not! But don’t ask any TIGHAR members, as I’m sure some still cling to the countless illusions, delusions and deceptions that kept TIGHAR in the news for over 30 years. They’ve been quiet lately, but who knows what they’re dreaming up?

      Gillespie’s 2006 book, Finding Amelia, among the most misnamed tomes in Earhart history, was actually a good account of the Navy and Coast Guard search in 1937, and contained only a few pages promoting the cash cow Nikumaroro. In addition to Nikumaroro and the many false claims associated with it, the TIGHAR website offers much solid, valuable information unrelated to it, which adds to the legitimate veneer of the TIGHAR enterprise.

      Mike

      Liked by 1 person

      1. William H. Trail

        Mike,

        My question was purely rhetorical, and very tongue-in-cheek.

        All best,

        William

        Like

      2. Mike, you are certainly correct about the Tighar site containing solid information; unfortunately their interpretation of the facts is another story.

        Like

      3. William H. Trail

        Mike and Tom,

        Indeed. Good solid information, but faulty and some might even go so far as to say “twisted” interpretation, with some really bad cartography thrown in for good measure!

        Submitted as an example for your consideration at the link provided below is TIGHAR’s “Earhart’s Around the World Flight Route” which includes a color graphic, Mercator projection map depicting AE and FN’s completed, planned, and speculated (Howland to Gardner, now Nikumororo) route of flight. There is just one little problem with this otherwise very nice map, and that is that it does not depict the Marshall Islands. They are simply not there like they never existed. The Marianas Islands aren’t there either. What a glaring and especially telling omission.

        https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/MapsandPhotos/maps/worldflight.html

        All best,

        William

        Like

  2. Thank goodness there was someone to “throw out the trash” that THIGAR was spouting..what are they up to now? Maybe they will find evidence that Earhart and Noonan were actually captured by BIgFoot on Nikumaroro and have been held captive all these years

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know Amelia & Fred carried aluminum shear cutters on their voyage?

    Ric Gillespie’s shenanigans on Gardner Island, as LaUgHaBLe to say the least. This is a guy who lives in a bubble, refuses to open his mind towards anything but REALITY. How anyone, except the naive & gullible, can look at this man and literally take him SERIOUS, is so far b e y o n d me.

    We must give Rollin Reineck *credit, in his attempt to expose this FRAUD/Gillespie for what he was then and for what he is now. A perpetrator of mischief and that we knew it all the time.

    Doug

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  4. I said this about Gillespie years ago, I even phoned him and told him he was a fraud, he then hung up on me and blocked all calls. But I’ll admit he has made money and enjoyed the good life

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Many people will go along with any story that is popular in the media, but some look deeper. I can see that Mike and also Prymak are in the latter category.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Interesting 12 December 2016 Atlas Obscura article about Richard Gillespie and the genesis of TIGHAR. It also mentions “pugilistic” Mike Campbell and the due diligence of research and meticulous documentation of TTAL.

    https://www.altlasobscura.com/articles/the-obsessed-feuding-searchers-still-looking-for-amelia-earhart

    All best,

    William

    Like

  7. A mental heath specialist couldn’t help Ric Gillespie. He’s so far gone and will never return to REALITY, let alone The *TRUTH at Last! These types of people can only be regarded as block headed, stupid, stubborn and self centered. The established media will continue to promote his jargon, because it fits nicely into its conventional format. Amelia Earhart must remain lost, continuing the search for her. Pieces & parts of her plane found here or there. Pygmies carried her off to some remote island or forest, never to be seen again. Mysterious sightings of her, over the years, in the most unusual places. Until people WAKE -UP and LEARN the *TRUTH, the media will continue promoting this RUBBISH!

    Doug

    Like

  8. situationunlimited | Reply

    I know well the efficiency of Ric’s archaeology skills. I downloaded a report his group wrote on some excavation of aircraft maintenance hangars from sometime around 1916 or so, I think. One aspect of this was the discovery of mysterious items with white powder, graphite rods and rotten paper. There was a total failure to recognise what were dry cell packs that had been thrown out. These batteries were used mounted in blocks and wrapped with brown waxed paper. Those packs were something used to provide electrical potential. I was totally gobsmacked by this total lack of knowledge. I must wander off muttering to myself and never go back to wasting time on the rubbish produced by Tighar.

    Like

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