On July 2, 1937, 85 years ago today, Amelia Earhart and her intrepid navigator Fred Noonan rolled down the unpaved runway at Lae, New Guinea at 10 a.m. in Amelia’s twin-engine Lockheed Electra 10E, NR 16020, officially headed for Howland Island, a tiny speck 2,556 miles to the east-northeast, about 1,900 miles southwest of Honolulu and 200 miles east of the International Dateline. They would be crossing two time zones and the International Dateline, flying into yesterday, so to speak, scheduled to arrive July 2 at Howland several hours before the time they departed Lae on the same date.
At 0844 Howland time, 20 hours, 14 minutes after departing Lae, Earhart sent her infamous last message: “WE ARE ON THE LINE 157-337, WILL REPEAT THIS MESSAGE, WILL REPEAT THIS MESSAGE ON 6210 KCS. WAIT LISTENING ON 6210 KCS.” After about a minute’s pause, she added, “WE ARE RUNNING ON LINE NORTH AND SOUTH.” The message was received on 3105 at signal strength 5 of 5. “She was so loud that I ran up to the bridge expecting to see her coming in for a landing,” Itasca Chief Radioman Leo Bellarts told Elgen Long in 1973.
As we all know, the fliers were never heard from again — officially, that is. Instead of reaching their intended South Pacific landfall en route to a world aviation record, Earhart and Noonan allegedly “vanished” into legend, myth and haunting immortality — a special status reserved for rare sacred cows that continues to this day, thanks to the deceitful machinations of a government-media establishment determined to deny the truth about the fliers’ wretched deaths at the hands of the pre-war Japanese on Saipan from a world that’s long since moved on to more trendy “mysteries.”
This July the media atmosphere is substantially thinner than in past years; for some reason we’re not being subjected to another big media disinformation campaign, which has been nearly always the case. Among the most memorable of recent deception operations, of course, was the July 2017 History Channel travesty, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” which premiered July 9, 2017 on History, better known as the History Channel.
We’ve also seen the ballyhooed summer 2019 Robert Ballard-National Geographic search, yet another transparent pretense meant to distract the public and get the surprisingly attention-starved Ballard another payday and more publicity. After the search, one would have been hard pressed to find any news announcing its failure, as is always the case with these Earhart boondoggles.
Also as always, I ensured that readers here were informed, doing so with my Aug. 27, 2019 post, Ballard’s Earhart search fails; anyone surprised?
The obvious question was why someone with Ballard’s impressive resume and fame would be so willing to join the long list of fraudsters selling the putrid can of worms that the “search for Amelia Earhart” became long ago.
The Ballard hoopla was reminiscent of the clatter attached to the similarly hyped 2017 Nauticos search for the Earhart plane in the waters off Howland Island. Here’s how I began my March 27, 2017 post on that time waster:
One of the better-known definitions of insanity has been attributed to Albert Einstein, who described it as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I wonder how many times it would take Nauticos, or the rest of clueless crashed-and-sankers to search the Pacific floor without finding the Earhart Electra before they admitted they might be wrong about what happened to Amelia and her plane. Based on past performances, the answer is, sadly, “Never.”
. . . What is really going on here, one might ask. Can these otherwise well-educated, highly skilled men be so stupid as to actually believe their own press releases about the Electra lying on the bottom of the ocean? Not likely. As I wrote in Truth at Last (page 304 Second Edition), “Is it coincidence that the majority of Nauticos’ lucrative contracts accrue from the largess of the Navy, whose original Earhart search report remains the official, if rarely stated position of the U.S. government? Here we see yet another establishment effort to maintain and perpetuate the myth that Earhart and Noonan ‘landed on the sea to the northwest of Howland Island’ on July 2, 1937.”
No discussion about Amelia Earhart and media treatment of her disappearance is complete without mentioning The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (which has never recovered an aircraft, historic or otherwise, to my knowledge), better known as TIGHAR, and its executive director Ric Gillespie.
TIGHAR has been fairly inert for the past few years, possibly because even a corrupt, compliant media deeply in the tank for the big scam might have its limits. In TIGHAR’s case, for more than 30 years our corporate media has pushed a credulous, gullible public to buy the most ridiculous assortment of dredged-up garbage imaginable as “evidence” that Earhart and Noonan landed on the central Pacific island of Nikumaroro, formerly Gardner Island, and died there of starvation within a relatively short time, despite abundant food and water sources.
This is not the time to get into details about the countless TIGHAR forays to Nikumaroro or re-examine the garage full of so-called “evidence” that Gillespie and his minions have dragged back to continue their Earhart “investigations.” Here’s how I began my brief view of the TIGHAR phenomenon in a subsection titled “The Nikumaroro Hypothesis: Recycled Snake Oil” in Chapter 15: The Establishment’s Contempt for the Truth in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last:
No one in the history of Earhart investigations has made so much from so little as Ric Gillespie. Since the bleak day in March 1992 when Gillespie baldly announced to a worldwide CNN audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that the “Earhart mystery is solved,” he’s been universally hailed as the world’s leading expert on the Earhart disappearance. The real mystery is why, after eleven fruitless excursions to Nikumaroro, the media continue to treat Gillespie as if he’s the sole repository of knowledge in the Earhart matter? How has he gained such worldwide acclaim without producing a scintilla of evidence to support a fourth-hand theory rejected decades ago by researchers whose financial well-being didn’t depend on raising small fortunes for their next trip to Nikumaroro?
And here’s the closing paragraphs of the same subsection:
. . . The TIGHAR website contains an impressive collection of research, but for all its bells and whistles, not one of its documents offers the slightest trace of evidence that ties Amelia Earhart to Nikumaroro—and not one legitimate eyewitness is presented, because none exist. Ironically, [Fred] Hooven’s 1982 research paper, “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight,” also known as the “Hooven Report,” was added to TIGHAR’s archives in November 2002. “Last Flight” strongly supported the Saipan truth, ridiculed by Gillespie as a “festival of folklore,” but otherwise a subject assiduously avoided by the TIGHAR chief.
Contrary to his arrogant dismissal of the fliers’ Saipan demise as conspiratorial claptrap, the most ridiculous folk story to infect the Earhart search is that the erroneous ideas promoted by Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR have any relationship to the truth. But TIGHAR’s unending Nikumaroro searches have managed to reveal one undeniable fact: Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan, and NR 16020 were never there.
I wrote above that the Earhart media atmosphere is “thinner” this year, but it’s not completely empty, null and void, either. On Sunday, June 26, longtime reader and photographer Phil Broda sent me a vile, studiously deceitful piece of Earhart disinformation from the left-leaning The Daily Beast, titled, “The Amelia Earhart Kimono That Spikes a Racist Legend,” by one Laurie Gwen Shapiro, who we learn is also writing an Earhart biography, one I will surely never read.
There’s no point in responding directly to Shapiro or The Daily Beast, as nothing would change, and they might even get a sick sense of satisfaction, that is, if they know anything at all about what honest researchers — few as we are — are doing these days. This despicable screed, among the most dishonest and twisted I’ve seen, shamelessly slings the old leftist standby, racism, as a weapon at the truth of the fliers’ Saipan deaths and the researchers who discovered it, actually naming and flatly dismissing the seminal work of Paul Briand Jr. and Fred Goerner, while extolling the serial lies of the crashed-and-sank poster boy Elgen Long. This perverse descent into an especially evil historical revisionism starkly illustrates the cold reality that the U.S. establishment continues to hate and deny the truth in the Earhart matter, perhaps now more than ever.
I will not quote from or reproduce anything from this contemptable hit piece, but if you want to see for yourself the depths to which some will descend to advance Earhart propaganda and mendacity, you can click on the link above, and tell me where I’m wrong. A warning: After a few free looks, The Daily Beast will shut you out and try to force you into subscribing before you can view this atrocity again.
As I told Calvin Pitts when I sent him The Daily Beast story, “It’s not much, but it’s not nothing either.” It’s just enough to remind us, on this the 85th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s last flight, that the enemies of the truth are always out there, plotting and scheming ways to take advantage of the great lady’s name for their own selfish, nefarious purposes.