Please forgive the delayed news, but I’ve only recently learned that Elgen M. Long, the famed aviator best known as the public face of the false “crashed-and-sank” theory in the Amelia Earhart disappearance, died in Reno, Nevada, on Jan. 26, 2022, at age 94.
For more than 50 years, Long’s alleged “research” into the last leg of Earhart’s flight produced countless unsuccessful attempts to determine where her Lockheed Electra crashed, and he became the poster boy for the 1937 Navy-Coast Guard verdict that the Earhart plane “crashed on the sea about 120 miles northwest of Howland Island.”
Long’s 1999 book, Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved, co-authored with his wife, Marie K. Long, is quite possibly the most misnamed tome in American history, rivaled only by Amelia Earhart Lives, by Joe Klaas, the infamous 1970 fish wrapper that introduced New Jersey housewife Irene Bolam as Amelia Earhart and forever tainted legitimate Earhart researchers with the dreaded “conspiracy theorist” label.
Long gained worldwide acclaim in 1971 when he flew solo around the world over both the North and South Poles setting 15 world records and firsts, becoming the first to cross Antarctica alone via the South Pole. He was awarded the Federation Aeronautique International Gold Air Medal as the world’s outstanding sports pilot, the Institute of Navigation Superior Achievement Award for outstanding performance as a practicing navigator, and the Airline Pilots Association Award for Outstanding Airmanship.
Not content with these legitimate laurels, Long gained his greatest notoriety as the chief apologist for the U.S. government-media complex’s incessant propaganda efforts in the so-called “Earhart mystery,” directing the uninformed, gullible public away from the truth of her tragic death on Saipan. Whether he actually believed the nonsense he spouted is unknown to this writer, but in practice it made no difference. Through his powerful public podium and slavish media allies, Long spearheaded the feds’ efforts to convince millions to believe their lies in the Earhart case.
Soon after The Mystery Solved was published, Earhart researcher Rollin Reineck issued a scathing critique of its major claims, which are all aimed at putting the Electra in the Pacific before it could reach Howland Island. Long opened his case with Earhart’s first intelligible message to Lae, at 2:18 p.m. local time, when she reported, “HEIGHT 7000 FEET SPEED 140 KNOTS,” which Long says meant that “they were already experiencing stronger headwinds than anticipated. The increased winds had made them recalculate their optimum speed.”
Reineck described Long’s interpretation of the message as “totally wrong,” a mistake that is “the foundation of the Long theory. . . . Long knows, as all pilots know, that when you give a position, you report the speed you are making over the ground, or GROUND SPEED, not TRUE AIR SPEED. . . . It is more than obvious,” Reineck wrote, “that Earhart is talking about GROUND SPEED when she says 140 KNOTS, not TRUE AIR SPEED as Long would like you to believe. . . . Long, by changing certain facts, using poor information and bad assumptions would have the reader believe that Earhart ran out of gas some 20 hours and 32 minutes after she left Lae, New Guinea.”
Worse than Long’s inability to accurately calculate fuel consumption and mileage capabilities for the Electra in The Mystery Solved, however, was his abject failure to acknowledge the gigantic elephant in the room that defined and dominated true Earhart research long before The Mystery Solved was published — the mountain of eyewitness accounts and other evidence that placed the doomed fliers in the Marshall Islands and Saipan, where they died miserable, lonely deaths, ignored and slandered by the feckless Franklin D. Roosevelt and his minions.
Not a single sentence mentioning this overwhelming evidence can be found in The Mystery Solved. By completely ignoring the definitive work of Paul Briand Jr., Fred Goerner, Thomas E. Devine, Vincent V. Loomis, Donald Kothera and others, Long loudly and irrevocably proclaimed himself as an enemy of the truth in the Earhart case, as well as the primary mouthpiece in the Deep State’s ongoing Earhart disinformation program. His success in committing such literary malpractice was ensured by a mainstream media devoted to perpetuating all manner of lies and deceptions as it protected and nurtured the Sacred Cow that is the truth in the Earhart disappearance.
If Long had wanted to leave behind a respectable, untainted legacy, he should have avoided Earhart altogether. Besides his aviation feats, he had other worthwhile entries on his résumé. From Wikipedia, we learn:
While working as a commercial-flight navigator for Alaska Airlines in January 1949, Long received a telegram from company headquarters issuing instructions to make for a British Royal Air Force base in Aden, a port city in Yemen. There, his crew took part in a daring rescue mission Operation Magic Carpet that would come to be known as On Eagle’s Wings’ — a reference to Exodus 19:4 — that airlifted tens of thousands of Yemenite Jews facing persecution and death out of Yemen and into Israel.
Using one aircraft with seats removed to maximize space, Long and his crew completed seven days of non-stop transport from Aden to Tel Aviv. They rested for one day, and then they made five more runs, clocking 12 trips in total. “On Eagle’s Wings,” also known as “Operation Magic Carpet,” saved 49,000 Yemenite Jews.
As it is, for those with any knowledge of legitimate Earhart research, Elgen Long’s name became synonymous with “sellout” decades ago. Not only was Long a sellout of the first magnitude, he was almost certainly a government agent of disinformation — if he wasn’t, he performed that function free of charge.
Long can no longer recant his treachery in the Earhart matter. Those of a similar odious ilk — people like Ric Gillespie, Robert Ballard, David Jourdan, Susan Butler and all the rest who hate the truth in the Earhart disappearance — still have time to renounce their errors and get on the right side of history. But does anyone expect that to happen?
Narrated by , the Truth at Last Audible Audiobook was released on Jan. 12, 2021. In our current iPhone-addled culture, Truth at Last continues to be blacked out by the entire media, including so-called conservative and alternative media. Moreover, with an increasingly illiterate populace adverse to reading anything more complex than their latest text messages, Amazon’s Audible Audiobook, with its uncompromising presentation of the truth, can reach many who would otherwise never hear a whisper of the truth about one of our establishment’s most protected sacred cows.
Along with Amazon’s publication of the Truth at LastAudible Audiobook, we were pleasantly surprised that it’s been the #1 New Release in Aviation History and Aviation & Nautical Biographies for several days since its Jan. 12 debut.
Perhaps you know someone who doesn’t like reading books but has expressed interest in the Earhart disappearance, falsely called “The Earhart Mystery” by virtually the entire world. They’ve seen more than one of the galaxy of phony Earhart documentaries and specials that pretend to have a new slant on the “Greatest Aviation Mystery of the 20th Century,” but offered more of the same old crashed-and-sank and Nikumaroro lies. Or maybe your friend or relative enjoys listening as they drive, or being read to sleep. What could be a better gift, to that special someone or even to yourself?
Any way you choose to support Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last and this blog is greatly appreciated.
Today we present the alleged last words of Fred Goerner, as recorded for posterity by his wife of 26 years, Merla Zellerbach. I don’t put much stock in this document, as it has little relationship to Goerner’s many outstanding contributions to Earhart research. Ravaged by cancer in 1994 at age 69, he had made several less-than-wise judgments along his long Earhart search; the most significant are discussed at length in Truth at Last. On that front, I won’t digress any further here. (Boldface emphases mine throughout; caps emphasis Goerner’s.)
However, in light of recent comments by Les Kinney, who has voiced what some of us have long suspected but were reluctant to state openly — that Goerner so hated to give other Earhart researchers credit for their important work that he would reject his own findings to undermine them — this transcript may reflect just how deeply Goerner had assimilated his seemingly dishonest rejection of the fact of Amelia Earhart’s Mili Atoll landing. This was a truth he himself initially revealed to the world in his 1966 book The Search for Amelia Earhart, and is a piece of Goerner’s legacy that will doubtless remain controversial.
Among Earhart researchers, Ron Reuther knew Fred Goerner as well as anyone. Reuther had a copy of the audiotape of Goerner’s last words, which I don’t have, though I do have the transcript. “Goerner abandoned the thought that AE/FN came down near Mili,” Reuther wrote in 2001. “He recorded on the day of his death in 1994 on an audiotape that he believed they (AE/FN) came down on one of 5 small reefs SE of Howland. On the same tape he also said he still believed they were picked up by the Japanese and taken to Saipan. It would seem to me that if that were the case the Japanese ship would have gone to Saipan via the Marshalls and I have never seen any document from Fred that disputes that.” (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)
Merla Zellerbach, an author and columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle from 1962 to 1995, who passed away in December 2014, recalled Reuther fondly. “I remember Ron Reuther very well and was so sorry to learn of his death,” Zellerbach wrote in a 2007 e-mail. “He was a lovely man, and a tremendous help to me in cataloging Fred’s papers before we sent them off to the Nimitz Library.”
“Even at his passing at 69 in 1994, the Earhart disappearance remained uppermost in Fred’s mind,” Zellerbach told me. At his side until the end, she forwarded a text copy of his last words:
Sept. 13, 1994 — This will be my last recording, what I know and feel at this point, having worked on this subject for the Columbia Broadcasting System and as a private citizen.
There have been many books written after mine was written in 1966, alleging that the Earhart plane went down in the Marshall Islands. But I no longer believe it. I had the opportunity of visiting the Marshalls after the book was published . . . talking to Eric Sussman who came to the conclusion, as did I, that the story was muddled.
I no longer believe that Earhart was on a secret overflight mission for the US military in 1937 . . . mostly because the U.S. Navy didn’t have the money to spend on such a mission at that time, and it would have been too volatile, too highly dangerous.
I do believe, however, that Earhart did collect what is known as “white intelligence” for the military, meaning that she simply observed things during the course of her flight. It was valuable to the military. After extensive research, I came to the conclusion that the plane, containing AE and her navigator Fred Noonan, landed on one of five small reefs which lie between Howland Island and the Northern Phoenix Islands. These reefs have never been fully investigated, and I believe there’s a possibility the plane’s still there.
I do not believe in any way the recent ideas of a man named Gillespie and an outfit named “Tiger” [sic] that the plane landed in the Northern Phoenix Islands in a place called Nikumororo. This idea was originally advanced by my friend Fred Hooven. I tried to convince Fred that that island had been so occupied by so many people that there was no possibility of the plane having landed there. He finally agreed.
However the original information was sold to the public as a possibility and a great deal of money was spent to no avail to try to find the plane on Nikumororo.
There’s a lot of information to indicate that Earhart and Noonan may have been picked up by a Japanese vessel and taken into Japanese territory. There’s also the possibility that Earhart and Noonan survived the war and were rescued by US [sic] forces. Some believe Earhart was killed in an accident after she was rescued from the Japanese. Some think she returned to the US after the war. I do NOT in any way align myself with these people!
A good researcher will finally seek out and discover the truth. Admiral Nimitz urged me to continue. He had a deep, deep interest in the Earhart affair. I hope the Nimitz Museum will continue the investigation.
I wouldn’t have continued the investigation without his urging me to do so. One night I went to have dinner with him in Quarters No. 1 on Yerba Buena Island. He was writing a letter and he told me he was writing to the mother of one of the boys who disappeared with the sinking of the Indianapolis at the end of the war.
She hoped he had reached some island and somehow survived and the Admiral had to tell her that specially trained people had visited every known island in the Pacific after the war and he believed there was no chance her son was alive. He was such a sensitive, warm man.
There are a lot of kooks and crazies who come up with a new theory every day, but a final answer will be found — and the answers are somewhere in the records at Crane, Indiana. (End of recording.)
“An hour later, Fred passed away,” Zellerbach wrote.
Reuther believed Goerner’s change was due more to his longtime association and friendship with Hooven than anything Sussman told him, and that Hooven would have convinced Goerner to return to the Mili scenario if not for his death in 1985. “I should have also mentioned that Fred Hooven, after making original conclusions that Earhart came down SE of Howland, thus influencing Goerner to concur, later recalculated and changed his conclusions and determined that AE/FN came down close to Mili,” Reuther wrote. “I strongly believe Goerner would have reassessed his position and very likely would have agreed with Hooven’s final conclusion — near Mili.”
Bill Prymak agreed that Hooven later converted to Goerner’s original Mili landing scenario, and though I’ve seen nothing in black and white from Hooven, I have no reason to doubt it. A few weeks before his sudden passing in October 2007, Reuther told me he would locate and send written confirmation of Hooven’s belief in Earhart’s Mili Atoll landing. It wasn’t to be.
Reuther and Prymak were great researchers and forthright, honest men, but Goerner’s change was a vastly different matter from Hooven’s, and we have nothing to suggest that he was ever mulling a return to the original Mili scenario he described so well in the closing pages of Search.
For much more on Goerner’s change of position about where he believed Earhart landed on July 2, 1937, please see Truth at Last, pages 170-175.
It’s late July again, when thousands of the uninformed flock to Atchison, Kansas for the annual Amelia Earhart Festival, where the “Great Aviation Mystery” is renewed and celebrated. The only questions the sheeple ask are whether Amelia’s Electra 10E crashed and sank off Howland Island or landed on Nikumaroro, where she starved to death, along with navigator Fred Noonan, on an atoll teeming with natural food and water sources.
I sometimes imagine that some of the benighted at these Atchison shindigs actually hope that, just maybe, she’s still flying around out there in the timeless ether, searching endlessly for a way back to 1937 America — an eternal, romantic enigma without solution. That may be an exaggeration, but it’s no stretch to say that wherever PC and groupthink predominate, as in Atchison, the hated truth is assiduously avoided, and can be found only in the darkest corners, where vile conspiracy theorists speak in hushed tones about the despised “Japanese Capture Theory” that so intimidates all but the boldest Earhart truth seekers.
Once again we’ve reached another Earhart birthday, this one Amelia’s 122nd. It’s hard to say how long America’s First Lady of Flight might have lived had her remarkable life not been so cruelly stolen from her by a wretched combination of circumstances that have yet to be fully understood, but I can’t imagine Amelia would still be with us at 122, though she would have given it her best shot, you can be sure.
Amelia came from hardy genes indeed, if her mother and sister were any indications. Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, of West Medford, Massachusetts, two-and-a-half-years younger than Amelia, died in her sleep on March 2, 1998 at the age of 98. Amy Otis Earhart, Amelia’s mother, was born in 1869 and died in 1962 at 93.
As is usually the case when Amelia’s birthday rolls around, the only Earhart-related news in America is about plans for more TV productions, more deceitful documentaries and specials by the true conspiracy theorists, who have only one goal in mind, besides ratings and dollars, of course, and that is to keep the same kind of gullible people who yearly flock to Atchison clueless about the truth. I will spare you the boring and meaningless details, which will be known and forgotten soon enough.
Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897 to Amy Otis and Edwin Stanton Earhart. Edwin, an itinerant lawyer and faithful husband, was also “a drunkard,” according to biographer Mary Lovell (The Sound of Wings, 1989), but Amelia’s childhood was nonetheless nearly idyllic.
Alfred Otis, Amy’s father, was a wealthy judge, and it was hard on the banks of the Missouri River in the home of Judge Otis and her grandmother, Amelia Josephine Harres, that Amelia came into the world.
Growing up in nearby Kansas City, Kansas, Amelia’s adventurous persona manifested early. Amelia (“Meelie”), and Muriel, or “Pidge” were close, “lived in reasonable comfort, unaware of any financial constraints” and were secure and happy despite occasional problems resulting from their father’s uneven professional life.
As we see in the early pages of another fine biography, Amelia, My Courageous Sister (1987), by Muriel Earhart Morrissey and Carol L. Osborne, Amelia was a consummate tomboy. At 7 she rode an elephant at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and was fascinated by the small cars that sped around an aerial track, though her mother said it was too dangerous for little girls to ride them. Soon after the family returned home, Amelia enlisted her uncle Carl Otis to help her, Muriel and the boy next door build a makeshift roller coaster in their back yard, with its starting point at the top of the tool shed, eight-feet high.
When all the sawing and nailing of boards and tracks was complete, Amelia stuffed herself into a wooden crate for the first ride. “As it careened down the track,” Muriel recalled, “we heard the sound of splintering wood. The car and Amelia departed the track when the car hit the trestle. Both tumbled onto the ground. Amelia jumped up, her eyes alight, ignoring a torn dress and bruised lip. ‘Oh, Pidge’ she exclaimed, ‘it’s just like flying!’ ”
Amelia wasn’t moved when she saw her first airplane at the 1907 Iowa State Fair, in Des Moines, recalling it as “a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting.” At 9, Edwin presented her with a .22 rifle “so she could clear the barn of rats,” much to the consternation of her well-to-do grandparents. “Don’t worry, Mother Otis,” Edwin told her grandmother. “This is really a very small rifle.” Describing their beloved father many years later, Muriel called him “loving, generous, impractical.”
For more on Amelia’s happy youth and the events that to her fateful meeting with Neta Snook, her first flight instructor, please see Chapter I, “Birth of a Legend,” pages 5-19 in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.
Back to the present, and a final observation. I find it greatly ironic that for the past two years the only significant news in the Earhart case has come from Saipan, where Amelia and Fred Noonan suffered and died so ignominiously. Here, as well, is our last living link to Amelia, 86-year-old Marie S. Castro, president of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee, who daily wages a losing battle in her campaign to erect a memorial monument to the doomed fliers. If not for this blog and the two Saipan newspapers, not a soul in the United States would know about Marie and her quest to properly honor and commemorate the hapless duo at the site of their murders. For this sorry state of affairs we can thank our corrupt media, of course, which continues to dutifully cover up the truth in the Earhart saga, like the mindless, heartless little soldiers they are.
The uninformed, incurious and ultra-propagandized Saipan populace is either strongly against the Earhart Memorial Monument (see top right of this page for the architect’s model) or hopelessly indifferent. The former faction includes most of Saipan’s politicians, who can also be relied upon to bend to the popular wind, currently blowing stiffly in the wrong direction. Marie often finds herself surrounded by smiling faces who assure her of their support, but those who sincerely care are far too few, and as things look now and for the foreseeable future, it will require divine intervention before we ever see the Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, and will gladly admit it if the sentiment on Saipan ever turns in Amelia’s favor.
I’ve written plenty about Marie Castro’s work and will continue to do so. Although the Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune have supported the AEMMI movement to varying degrees, fundraising from the United States has been very disappointing, and from Saipan it’s been far worse. Please see the Media Page of this blog for links to the newspaper stories; and for a complete list of all the posts I’ve done here since the institution of the AEMMI, please click here.
In any event, Happy Birthday, Amelia!
Deanna is the author of six books, including The Ruling Elite Trilogy and Screening Sandy Hook: Causes and Consequences, and she brings a wealth of knowledge, talent and experience to her shows. She was among the first in the “alternative” media — i.e., the scant few independent, honest, responsible and courageous journalists who dot the earth here and there but are becoming closer to extinction with every passing day — to support Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last when the first edition was published in 2012. Since then, she’s invited me on several times.
Thanks to Deanna and to all who support Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.