With the recent publication of E.H. “Elmer” Dimity’s 1939 analysis of Amelia Earhart’s last flight, I’ve been gently reminded that, as an editor, I could have done a far better job of reviewing Dimity’s article. I’ve never been particularly drawn to the Itasca flight logs and have never claimed any expertise about them, as for me, they provide more confusion than clarity, but I can still proofread and compare times and statements attributed to them.
This I failed to do, in large part because I assumed that Bill Prymak, the editor of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, had done this already, before presenting Dimity’s work, or that Prymak would have made some kind of a disclaimer to accompany it. He did neither, and my own disclaimer following Part II, in light of Calvin Pitts’ stunning findings, should have been far more emphatic. I broke a journalism rule — never assume anything — that I’ve always done my best to obey, until now.
Regular readers of this blog are familiar with Calvin, best known for his 1981 world flight, when he and two co-pilots commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Wiley Post-Harold Gatty World Flight in 1931. The 1981 flight was sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Air & Space Museum to honor the Oklahoma aviator Post. Calvin has already graced us with his impressive five-part analysis of Amelia Earhart’s last flight. To review this extremely erudite work, please click here for Part I, from Aug. 18, 2018.
Our focus today is a striking example of a difficult exercise in attention to detail, and an object lesson in the old axiom, “Never assume anything.” We appreciate Calvin taking the time to set the record straight. With his learned disputation below, in addition to his previous contributions, Calvin has established himself as the reigning expert on the Itasca-Earhart flight logs, if not her entire final flight, at least in my opinion. Without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Calvin, who has many important things to tell us:
First, I want to thank Mike Campbell for his passion and dedication to The Amelia Story. SHE — and history — have had no better friend.
I also appreciate Mike’s ability to dig up “forgotten” history. As a lover of history’s great moments, I am always fascinated by the experiences of others. Also, as one who has made a 1981 RTW flight in a single-engine plane, passing over some of AE’s ’37 flight paths from — India – Singapore – Indonesia – Australia – New Guinea – Solomon Islands, Tarawa and within a few miles of Howland — I was drawn to this story, and to this blog’s record of it.
Recently, I was fascinated by the publishing of Dimity’s 1937-1939 insights into the details of AE’s flight. However, upon reading it, I spotted some errors. Ironically, I was at that very time re-studying the Itasca Logs as I re-lived some of the details and emotions of the most famous leg of any flight. I had the Itasca details in front of me as I read.
Because it is easy to unconsciously rewrite and revise the historical record, I felt an unwelcomed desire to share some errors which were in Dimity’s interesting account. I shared my thoughts privately with Mike, and he, in turn, asked me to make them public. I’ve had a long aviation career, and have no desire to add to it. At 85, I’m retired in a log house on a small river with more nature-sights than anyone could deserve. I’ve no yearning for controversy. But Mike asked, so here are some observations. If you spot errors in my response, please make them known. Only one set of words are sacred, but these at hand do not qualify.
Calvin Pitts’ analysis of:
“Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart” (First of two parts)
by E.H. “Elmer” Dimity, August 1939
(Editor’s note: To make it easier to understand and track the narrative, Dimity’s words will be in red, Calvin Pitts’ in black, with boldface emphasis mine throughout.)
At 3:15 [a.m.] in the morning after her takeoff Miss Earhart broadcast “cloudy weather,” and again, an hour later, she told the Itasca that it was “overcast,” and asked the cutter to signal her on the hour and half hour.
I am sitting here reading Dimity’s Part II of the “Grounds for Earhart’s Search” with a copy of the Itasca LOGS on the screen in front of me. My challenges to Dimity’s reproduction of the Itasca Earhart flight logs are based, not upon prejudice, but upon the actual records compiled and copied from those 1937 Logs.
At 3:15 a.m. Howland time, times recorded by the crew of the Itasca, there is no such record of “cloudy weather.”
From position 2/Page 2: At 3:15 am, Chief Radioman Leo Bellarts records: “3:15-3:18, Nothing heard from Earhart.”
Position 1/Page 1: At 3:14 am, Thomas J. O’Hare, Radioman 3rd class records: “Tuned to 3105 for Earhart,” with no additional comment. Seven minutes later at 3:21 am, he records: “Earhart not heard.”
Position 2/Page 2: However, at 3:45 a.m., not 4:15 a.m., Bellarts records: “Earhart heard on the phone: WILL LISTEN ON THE HOUR AND HALF ON 3105.”
Position 1/Page 1: At the same time, 3:45 a.m., O’Hare records: “Heard Earhart plane on 3105.” That was it. No reference to “overcast,” and no request for a signal.
However, in his book, Earhart’s Flight Into Yesterday (2003), Laurance Safford copies Bellarts’ statement, except that he adds the word “Overcast.” The word “overcast” is not in the Itasca log at that time.
Position 2/page 2: According to the log’s record, it was not until 4:53 a.m., more than 1.5 hours later, that the phrase “PARTLY CLOUDY” appears.
Earlier, at 2:45 a.m., Safford quotes a statement by author Don Dwiggins about 30 years later: “Heard Earhart plane on 3105, but unreadable through static . . . however, Bellarts caught “Cloudy and Overcast.”
Yet, Bellarts, who was guarding Position 2/Page 2 made no such statement on his report. The statement, “unreadable through static” was recorded by Bellarts at 2:45, but that was it.
Bellarts was also the one who recorded, an hour later at 3:45: “Will listen on the hour and the half on 3105.” These issues are very minor to most readers. But to those at the time, where minutes count for survival, the devil was in the details.
Also, there is the historical and professional matter of credibility. If one is not accurate, within reasonable expectations, of quoting their sources correctly, then the loss of credibility results in the loss of confidence by their readers.
More than an hour later, at 4:42 a.m., the Earhart plane indicated for the first time that it might be off course, and made its first futile plea for aid in learning its position. The plane asked, “Want beatings (sic) on 3105 KC on the hour. Will whistle into the microphone.”
At 4:42 a.m., which is a very precise time, there is nothing recorded at any station. But we can bracket an answer. Bellarts records the following at 4:30 a.m.: “Broadcast weather by Morse code.” His next entry, at 4:42 a.m., is an empty line.
At 4:53 a.m., Bellarts states, “Heard Earhart [say] ‘Partly Cloudy.‘ ”
Also, Position 1/Page 2 of this record states: “4:40 a.m. – Do you hear Earhart on 3105? . . . Yes, but can’t make her out.” Five minutes later at 4:45 a.m. (with no 4:42 notation at this position): “Tuned to Earhart, Hearing nothing.” There is no recorded statement here from her about being off-course or whistling.
Half an hour passed (5:12 a.m.), and Miss Earhart again said, “Please take a beating on us and report in half hour will make noise into the microphone. About 100 miles out.” Miss Earhart apparently thought she was 100 miles from Howland Island.
5:12 a.m.? At neither position is there a posting at 5:12. At 5:15, one says, “Earhart not heard.” And the other, at 5:13 says, “Tuned to 3105 for Earhart signals. Nothing yet.”
The above “about 100 miles out” message was sent at 6:45 am, about 1.5 hours later.
The Itasca could not give her any bearing, because its direction finder could not work on her wavelength. An hour later, at 7:42 a.m., Miss Earhart said, “We must be on you but cannot see you. Gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.”
Strangely, even amazingly, sandwiched between numerous bogus times, 7:42 am IS correct.
This was a little more than 15 hours after the takeoff.
Would you believe that, more than 19 hours after takeoff, this call was made? Here, there are four unaccounted-for hours in Dimity’s record-keeping.
The ship carried 1,150 gallons (sic) of gas, enough for about 17 hours in the air under normal conditions.*
Would you believe “more than 24 hours” of flight time, a seven-plus hour discrepancy?
* AES calculates 24-25 hours. — (Whoever AES is, this is more realistic and accurate. Editor’s note: AES is The Amelia Earhart Society, almost certainly Bill Prymak’s estimate.)
Perhaps the plane had encountered heavier weather earlier, or in just bucking the headbands had used more gas than anticipated. At any rate, Miss Earhart must have flown about 1,300 miles from the point of her first known position, when she first said her gas was running low.
An interesting question: When was her first known position? And measured by what evidence? 1,300 statute miles from the transmission at 7:42 a.m./1912 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT and z, for Zulu, are the same) would put her about halfway between Nukumanu Atoll and Nauru. If Nukumanu was her first or last known position at 5:18 p.m. Lae/0718 GMT/ 7:48 p.m. (Howland, the previous day), then that is roughly 1,600 statute miles, not 1,300.
This distance, with perfect navigation, should have taken her to Howland Island, and that without doubt is the reason she said, “We must be on you.” If the plane had hit its mark, why could she not see the island or the Itasca (Having such a flight under my belt, I could offer several reasons) with a clear sky and unlimited visibility? Even a smoke screen laid down by the cutter to help guide her evidently escaped her view. It is impossible that she was where she thought she was — near Howland.
Although Miss Earhart reported at 11:13 a.m. that she had fuel left for another half hour in the air, the contact was poor and no landfall position was heard.
At 11:13 a.m., the Navy ships and Itasca had been searching the ocean for some two hours or more. The “last known” message from Earhart was at 8:43 a.m./2013z when she said, “We are on the line 157/337.” The message “fuel for another half hour” was made at 7:40 a.m./1910z, some 3.5 hours before Dimity’s “11:13 a.m.” time.
This particular time discrepancy possibly could be corrected by adjusting it to a new time zone in Hawaii, but that would destroy the other record-keeping. At no place in this Itasca log saga were they talking in terms of U.S.A. times. The Itasca crews were recording Howland local time. If someone has proof otherwise, it should be provided, and it will alter the story.
Fifteen minutes later (11:28 a.m.) she said, “We are circling, but cannot see island. Cannot hear you,” and asked for aid in getting her bearings. This plea she repeated five minutes later (11:33 a.m.).
This “circling” reference was made at 7:58 a.m., some 3.5 hours earlier. However, something which is often missed is the fact that the word “CIRCLING” is in doubt even within the footnotes of this log itself. It is listed as “an unknown item.” It was a word they did not hear clearly. It could have been, “We are listening.” No one knows.
It will be recalled that at 11:12 a.m., Miss Earhart said she had only a half-hour’s fuel left, but an hour later, at 12:13 p.m., she called the Itasca to report, “We are in line of position 157 dash 337. Will repeat this message on 6210 KC. We are running north and south.”
This “line 157/337” radio call, NOT a “line of position” call, was made, as already stated, at “8:43 a.m./2013z” and NOT at “12:13.” Somehow Dimity has a discrepancy here of some 3.5 hours from the Itasca logs.
The “157/337 line of position” is not only NOT what she said, but it is inaccurate for any researcher who understands basic navigation. The LOP of 157/337 existed only as long as the sun’s azimuth remained 67 degrees.
As the sun rose above the horizon, its azimuth changed 1+02 hours after sunrise (6:15 a.m. Howland time on July 2, 1937.) That meant that at 7:17 am, there was no longer a 67 degree azimuth by which to determine a “157/337” line of position (LOP). It simply no longer existed. It lasted only an hour-plus. After that, she could only fly a heading of 157 or 337 degrees.
(Editor’s Note: As a non-aviation type, I’m lost when Calvin starts using terms such as azimuth. For others like myself and for what it’s worth, Wikipedia (image above) defines azimuth as an angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system. The vector from an observer (origin) to a point of interest is projected perpendicularly onto a reference plane; the angle between the projected vector and a reference vector on the reference plane is called the azimuth. Calvin will provide clarity in Part II.
(End Part I)
In a recent email, Marie Castro informed me that the 75th anniversary ceremonies for the Battle of Saipan, which liberated the native Chamorros from decades of Japanese oppression, would be attended by a single American veteran of the Saipan invasion. (Boldface mine throughout.)
In a July 4 story in Saipan’s Marianas Variety, Junhan B. Todiño wrote that “Saipan David M. Mayor Apatang announced that as part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian, the Liberation Day Committee named Burke Waldron, a 95-year-old World War II veteran, as the honorary grand marshal.” On July 5, in Todiño’s follow-up story, “A great turnout and an emotional presentation,” Todiño wrote:
Another highlight of this year’s celebration was the presence of Burke Waldron, a 95-year-old World War II veteran who was selected as the honorary grand marshal. He served in the Naval Ground Force of the Pacific and was part of the invasions of Makin Islands in Kiribati and Saipan. He retired in 1946 as a petty officer, second class.
A few months earlier, on April 24, Marianas Variety writer Lori Lyn C. Lirio announced Waldron’s plans to attend the 75th anniversary festivities and offered readers a bit more about Waldron’s personal history:
Burke Waldron, a World War II veteran who will be 95 in May, will participate in the island’s annual Liberation Day celebration [July 4].
Waldron served in the Naval Ground Force of the Pacific and was part of the invasions of Makin islands in Kiribati and Saipan. He retired in 1946 as a petty officer, 2nd class. . . . Waldron said his unit’s job on Saipan “was to handle visual communications from the Island Commander to ships standing by for instructions for the troops’ needs of various supports such as personnel, armament, fuel, equipment etc.”
He said they “used flashing light (Morse code) and semaphore method to transmit encoded messages. At first we had temporary facilities but soon the Navy Seabees rebuilt the light house . . . for our base of operation. We served in this capacity till the end of 1945 when I was shipped stateside and honorably discharged.”
He added, “Over the years I have said to myself ‘it would be a great experience to return to Saipan and maybe meet some of the survivors or their descendants.’ By means of this GoFundMe Campaign I may be able to do just that for otherwise it would not be possible. . . . I would be most grateful for your help to reach the goal of my new campaign for my trip back to Saipan after 74 years.”
To read the complete story, see “WWII veteran to join Liberation Day celebration.”
“I met Mr. Waldron at our meeting the other day at the Mayor’s office,“ Marie wrote in a July 3 email. “I just mentioned that it was an honor to meet him. I was 11 years old hiding in the cave when the Americans were bombing into the Island. Thanks, America for liberating us in 1944.”
Upon seeing Marie Castro’s email, I immediately recalled my friend Jim Golden, who in 2009 at age 83 was one of just five veterans who attended ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Saipan. In my March 2, 2015 post, “Jim Golden’s legacy of honor in the Earhart saga,” I wrote:
In mid-June 2009, Golden was, incredibly, one of only five American veterans of the Battle of Saipan who returned to the island for ceremonies commemorating its 65th anniversary — events completely overlooked by an American media focused solely on the June 6 D-Day observances in Normandy, France.
At a campfire held for the ex-servicemen on June 18, Golden and the others shared their Saipan memories with local officials, historians, and students. Golden, who didn’t bother to keep any record of the attendees’ names, challenged the skeptics’ claims that no documentation exists to support Earhart’s prewar presence on Saipan, citing Goerner’s work, the native eyewitnesses on Saipan and the Marshalls, and his own experience with Marine Intelligence on Kwajalein in early 1944. His moving speech brought a standing ovation from most in attendance. I found it so very moving and appropriate that, more than anyone, Golden was the face and voice of the forgotten Saipan veteran 65 years after the key U.S. victory of the Pacific war.
To read much more about this great American, who was once the head of security for Howard Hughes, a secret service agent assigned to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, headed the detail assigned to Vice President Richard M. Nixon, and worked closely with Fred Goerner in search of the top-secret Earhart files, among other distinctions, please click here.
To the few who pay attention to such things, the media’s treatment of these monumental World War II events continues to remind us of the wicked and brutally biased politics that influence everything that we see, hear and read daily, and most emphatically attends the media’s mendacious treatment of all World War II events. Every summer, everything is Normandy and D-Day, everywhere you look. Nowhere do you see any mention of Saipan; if you didn’t know better around this time of year, you’d think the Pacific War never happened.
Thus Normandy and D-Day are just about all that most Americans know about World War II, thanks to films like Saving Private Ryan, the many other war movies that preceeded it and the endless vilification of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Please don’t misunderstand, I know that Hitler was evil incarnate, and his Nazis demonic, but we don’t need to be reminded of it every minute of every day on our cable TV news and movies. They were all sent to their just rewards long ago.
And not to take anything away from the brave Americans, Canadians, Brits and other Allies who fought and died in the largest amphibious operation in history, but it’s a little-known fact that more Americans died on Saipan during the June 15-July 9, 1944 battle to take the island from the Japanese than died taking the beaches at Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.
Do you doubt it? Here’s Wikipedia’s Battle of Saipan entry: “For the Americans, the victory was the most costly to date in the Pacific War: Out of 71,000 who landed, 2,949 were killed and 10,464 wounded.” Compare that to the Normandy landings, about which Wikipedia tells us, “Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year” — neglecting to specify the number of American dead.
But the Warfare History Network tells us that the “First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.”
Nowhere in our mainstream “Drive-By” media, as the faux conservative windbag Rush Limbaugh likes to call it, do we ever see or hear any mention of this fact about the bloodbath that was Saipan and all the other tropical island death pits in the Pacific War, which by comparison overwhelmed U.S. European casualties. Limbaugh himself has never dared reveal the truth about Japan’s war crimes, let alone whisper about Amelia Earhart, nor have any of the other well-known talk show hosts who so falsely sell themselves as truth tellers.
Attendant to this phenomenon is the U.S. establishment’s longstanding policy of suppressing the record of Japan’s wartime atrocities, which Australian historian and author Gavan Daws, who spent ten years interviewing hundreds of survivors of Japanese POW camps, capturing their stories in Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific (1994), certainly did not.
In Prisoners of the Japanese, Daws recited a gruesome litany of torment and death that continues to shock all but the most fanatic of Japan’s remaining wartime apologists. In opening his grim narrative, Daws tried to capture the vast scope of Japan’s savagery against its imprisoned enemies:
They sacrificed prisoners in medical experiments. They watched them die by the tens of thousands from diseases of malnutrition like beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy, and from epidemic tropical diseases: malaria, dysentery, tropical ulcers, cholera. Those who survived could only look ahead to being worked to death. If the war had lasted another year, there would not have been a POW left alive.
The cold statistics reflect the desperate plight of POWs in Japanese captivity. Thirty-four percent of Americans, 33 percent of Australians, and 32 percent of British POWs in the Pacific theater died in Japanese hands, while the Allied death rate in Nazi POW camps was just 4 percent. “The undeniable, incontrovertibly documented record of brutality, disease, and death in the POW camps,” Daws wrote, “plus what happened in the civilian internment camps for white men, women, and children, and the massacres and atrocities perpetrated on native Asian people in occupied territory—all this shows the national tribe of Japan at its worst as a power in the world. That worst was humanly dreadful, a terrible chapter in the world’s twentieth-century book of the dead.”
Following the surrender of Bataan in April 1942, about 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers were force-marched, without food or water, for seventy-five of the one hundred miles from the Bataan Peninsula north to Camp O’Donnell in central Luzon. The infamous Bataan death march was the worst single atrocity against American POWs in history. Starving men were beheaded or bayoneted at such a rate that one dead body was left every fifteen yards for a hundred miles, “every death a Japanese atrocity,” Daws wrote.
For more of the appalling, grisly history that Daws dug up and exposed in Prisoners of the Japanese, see the section titled “Japan’s War Crimes,” pages 286-289 in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.
How do we account for the media’s aversion to Saipan and the complete panoply of Japanese wartime atrocities, including the Rape of Nanking (December 13, 1937 to January 1938), where yet unknown hundreds of thousands of Chinese men, woman and children were butchered by the Japanese military? Why are these monstrous war crimes always glossed over or forgotten by our “esteemed media gatekeepers”?
One major factor, of course, is the liberal establishment’s collective guilt over the two atom bombs President Harry Truman delivered to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 that saved up to a million Americans — and incalculable Japanese civilian lives that would have been lost in defense of their homeland — and helped put a much quicker and merciful end to the war for all concerned, a guilt that our media amplifies at every turn.
But quite another reason lies at the root of our World War II-Japan problem, an infinitely more subtle, virtually unknown factor, which remains as real and tangible as the countless deaths the Japanese war machine inflicted. Appearing in July 1968 before a Republican subcommittee chaired by Kentucky Governor Louie Broady Nunn, Fred Goerner spelled out the problems in the Earhart case in a brief, four-page presentation he called “Crisis in Credibility—Truth in Government.”
“[W]hen the full truth regarding Earhart and Noonan is known,” Goerner told the lawmakers in his conclusion, “a new view of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the years before Pearl Harbor will emerge. Should that be classified because cause of ‘national security’? I believe not.” (For more on Goerner’s Miami appeal, see pages 273-276 in Truth at Last.) Goerner’s impassioned plea is another lost chapter in the Earhart saga, suppressed from the moment it happened, never to be acknowledged by the American press.
Thus the protection of FDR’s already shaky legacy — in addition, of course, to protecting our good friends and allies, the Japanese — is still the overweening motivation and raison d’être for everything our deceitful media does and does not do regarding Amelia Earhart — including its policies in dealing with the Pacific War. Make no mistake: the insidious influence of FDR’s abandonment of Earhart and Noonan on Saipan continues to reverberate in our time, like the ripples of a large stone thrown into a tranquil pond. Imagine, for example, the impossibility of rewriting or destroying 82 years of history books.
In a July 4 email to me (July 5 on Saipan), Marie Castro recalled an occasion in 2015 when she was moved by the spirit of freedom so exemplified by some of our finest World War II heroes:
Thanks for acknowledging Burke Waldron. I consider those Marines heroes who fought in the invasion of Saipan. Burke Waldron indeed maintains the spirit of valor and courage I believe till he dies.
In 2015, five WWII veterans perhaps for the last time wanted to revisit Saipan, Tinian and Japan. They were invited including myself to join a group of college students from Ozarks, Missouri who were studying WWII in the Pacific. A 92-year-old vet in a wheelchair who was on Tinian and helped with the launching of the atomic bomb was in the group, bless his heart.
When we got to Guam, we heard the news that Typhoon Soudelor [July 29-Aug. 13, hitting Saipan directly on Aug. 2] was heading directly to Saipan. All the flights to Saipan and Tinian were cancelled. You could imagine the disappointment of the group especially for the 92 year old vet.
That evening, after dinner we sat for an entertainment in the hotel. Feeling so bad about the Typhoon news, I asked the 92 year old, Sir, What is your favorite song. He looked at me saying, “How Great Thou Art.”
I went up to the entertainer and requested the song in honor of the vet. The entertainer asked me to join her sing the song “How Great Thou Art.” I forgot about myself and my shyness, just to console the veteran, so I joined in.
I feel like part of the family of WWII Vets. I was affected so much by the war and considering the sacrifices of those marines, I forget myself to console them.
Another anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s last flight is upon us, this one the 82nd, and once again we have nothing but lies and silence from our media.
Instead of absolutely nothing, I awoke to an email from a faithful reader informing me of the latest propaganda broadside from our reliably dishonest establishment, this one from National Geographic. Predictably titled, “Missing: The Unsolved Mystery of Amelia Earhart’s last flight,” it’s exactly what we’ve come to expect, more absurd genuflecting to TIGHAR’s falsehoods and delusions. Here’s the two sentences that National Geographic spared for the truth:
Some believe that Earhart and Noonan, flew north, toward the Marshall Islands, where they crashed and were captured by Japan, who controlled that area. Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen Earhart in a prison camp on Saipan, but physical evidence supporting their testimony is scarce.
Prison camp? Where did this never-before-heard red herring come from, if not from the mendacious minds of the National Geographic writer or editors? They also made sure to include another loser, the infamous, thoroughly discredited ONI photo from the July 2017 History Channel disinformation operation, apparently to ensure that their clueless readers remain as ignorant and misinformed as they did before they began reading the article. It’s pathetic and worse than nothing. Better silence and dead air than more of the same old lies after 82 years.
Only on Saipan and in the Marianas Variety can we find any semblance of truth and hope in the Earhart case. On July 1, the local newspaper published “Committee to commemorate anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance” by reporter Junhan B. Todiño, who has consistently supported the good cause. Todiño’s story begins:
THE Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee will meet on Tuesday to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the famous aviator’s disappearance while attempting to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe.
Committee president Marie S. C. Castro said members and friends of the memorial monument committee will meet at Fiesta Resort & Spa.
She said they are hoping that their friends on the U.S. mainland could join their meeting “at least in spirit as we honor the memory of the two great aviators,” referring to Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.
Mike Campbell, author of “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last,” told Castro in an email: “I truly believe Amelia and Fred know and appreciate the love and respect you’ve given them throughout your life and especially in these past few years.”
He added, “Whether or not we succeed in our goal of erecting a memorial monument to Amelia and Fred on Saipan — and if we are not, it won’t be because you have not done everything in your power.”
To read the rest of the story, please click here.
Of course the comments at the bottom of the story, as always, reflect the “militantly ignorant” status of most of the benighted population of Saipan. “Ambrose Bennett came to me before we all departed and encourage me not to bother by the negative comments,” Marie wrote me in a July 1 email.
On July 2, Marie told me, “Mike, I plan to dedicate the month of July to put piece by piece of the AE story if possible two or three times a week what happened here on Saipan in 1937. This is one way of educating the locals.”
Hope springs eternal, even in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart: E.H. Dimity’s 1939 argument for new search, Part I
The author of today’s disputation, E.H. “Elmer” Dimity, was a parachute manufacturer during the late 1930s who knew Amelia and established an Amelia Earhart Foundation following her disappearance in hopes of organizing a new search. Though not a well-known figure in Earhart lore, Dimity owned the only autographed souvenir envelope, or stamped flight cover, known to have survived Earhart’s 1937 round-the-world flight, because it actually didn’t accompany her in her Electra.
The Sept. 13, 1991 New York Times, Auctions Section, page 00015, in a brief titled “Airmail,” explains:
On March 17, 1937, when Earhart left Oakland, Calif., on her first attempt to circle the globe, the envelope was in one of the mail packages aboard her plane. The plane’s landing gear gave way in Honolulu, and when the plane was sent back to Oakland for repairs, the mail was returned with it. Before Earhart left again on May 21, the damaged mail packages were re-wrapped under the direction of the Post Office. It was then, Elmer Dimity reported later, that he removed the envelope as part of a joke he planned to play when Earhart returned. He said he had hoped to meet her with the envelope in hand, saying the mail had arrived before she did.
“Mr. Dimity sold the envelope in the 1960’s on behalf of the Amelia Earhart Foundation to a dealer,” said Scott R. Trepel, a Christie’s consultant, who organized the auction house’s sale. The collector who bought the envelope from that dealer is the unidentified seller of the Earhart memento, which is to be sold with an affidavit from Mr. Dimity. Christie’s estimates that the envelope will bring $20,000 to $30,000.
In perhaps the best Earhart biography, The Sound of Wings (1989), author Mary Lovell discusses Dimity and his ineffective foundation briefly, but for now we turn our attention to his 1939 paper, “Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart,” which appeared in the August 1994 issue of Bill Prymak’s Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters.
“Grounds for a Possible Search for Amelia Earhart” (Part I of Two)
by E.H. Dimity, August 1939
Walter McMenamy was thoroughly familiar with Miss Earhart’s voice. He knew it perfectly, could detect it when others heard but a jumble of sound. This was proven during earlier flights. His familiarity with the Earhart voice began in January 1935, when Miss Earhart made her solo flight to the mainland. During this flight, McMenamy was the only radio receiver in constant touch with her ship, working with station KFI in Los Angeles which was broadcasting to her plane. His work on this flight brought warm and written recognition from both the station and Miss Earhart. His set, built for experimentation in a laboratory, was the only one which reported her position through this flight, bringing in the signals when the equipment of the station itself could not do so.
The hope that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Capt. [sic] Fred Noonan may be found alive on some tiny island in the South Pacific is a thrilling hope, one that awakens sentiment in the American public who knew her as the heroine of the skies, and particularly strikes a sentimental chord in those who knew her before her disappearance.
There would be sadness in the thought, too, for she has been given up, long since. The hope would appear to be vain, born of wistful thinking. But there are cold, indisputable facts which have never been made public, and which must demonstrate to anyone of open mind that no sufficient search was ever made for Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan, and that either they are now alive on land in the lonely, untraveled nowhere of their disappearance, or have died since, praying that they would be found.
It is the purpose of this brief memorandum to state these facts, in their order and without elaboration, and to let them argue the case for a new search.
Before offering the evidence, however, it might be well to list those who believe that either Miss Earhart may be found alive, or that evidence to solve the mystery may be found, and that a new search should be made as soon as possible.
This group includes the following:
Amelia Earhart’s mother, who has made an intimate study of the data and believes steadfastly that her daughter will be found.
Clarence A. Williams, pilot and navigator who charted Miss Earhart’s course around the world.
Paul Mantz, Miss Earhart’s flying instructor and friend, who accompanied her on her flight to Honolulu.
Margot DeCarie, Amelia Earhart’s secretary.
E.H. Dimity, longtime friend of Miss Earhart, who took care of many details for her in planning her flights, and who once refused to let her pilot his plane because she was just learning to fly then. Mr. Dimity established, and is the President of the Amelia Earhart Foundation [now defunct], in Oakland, Calif.
Walter McMenamy, radio expert who was in constant touch with her by air on her solo flight from Honolulu to the mainland, and who probably saved her life by quick thinking on that occasion, when she was flying off her course. McMenamy also helped guide by radio the first Clipper ship flight to Honolulu. He charted Miss Earhart’s radio course around the world, and heard her last signals. [Editor’s note: Pure speculation. See my April 30, 2014 post, “Earhart’s ‘post-loss messages’: Real or fantasy?”]
The reader, perhaps surprised at the suggestion that there may be good reasons for believing Miss Earhart still alive, no doubt will have many questions in his mind, which this memorandum will seek to answer. Some of these questions are:
1. Didn’t Navy and Coast Guard search the area where she might have gone down, completely and fruitlessly?
2. If she landed on an island, how could Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan be alive now, without food or water?
3. If they are still alive, why have they not been heard from?
The first important fact to be recorded was known to only a few at the time of Miss Earhart’s flight and disappearance, has never been made generally know to the public, and is of tremendous importance. This fact is that Miss Earhart’s plane and radio equipment were such that the plane could broadcast only from the air or while on land. The plane could not have broadcast from water. This is proven not only by the testimony of those who helped in the flight preparations, but by the Lockheed factory which made the plane, and by the radio experts who installed the equipment. The radio transmitter had to be powered by the motor generator, which would be submerged and inactive in the water.
The importance of this fact is, briefly, that it can be proven beyond doubt that the Earhart plane DID broadcast radio signals many hours after it had to be down somewhere, and the plane must have been on land.
The third fact is that radio signals were received from the Earhart plane days after it had landed. These signals were heard in various parts of the world, by several radio operators, including ships at sea, government stations, and her radio contact man, Walter McMenamy. Proof of this is in official records and affidavits. These signals, and the time they were heard, will be described later.
These facts can and will be proven, and they lead directly to the conclusion that the Earhart plane landed in a place not searched, and must be still there with its occupants alive or dead. Their last radio signal had a decided ripple or sputter, which any radio expert recognizes immediately as evidence that the power was failing.
Immediately two questions arise. First, what chance could they have for survival on a tiny, deserted island, with little food and no water? History provides an answer. There are many cases on record where persons shipwrecked, stranded, and believed lost were found years later, alive, in this same area where the Earhart plane landed. One party, without food, lived on fish, shellfish, and bird’s eggs, and captured rainwater for drinking. A monotonous diet, but they survived and were rescued from an island which appeared to be incapable of sustaining life.
The second question is: If they were safe, why have they not been picked up, or heard from? There is a single answer to this. Their course took them over a sea area strewn with hundreds of islands, which had never been seen from the air, and parts of which have never been visited by civilized man. Hundreds of miles from the steamer lanes, thousands from communication. Many of the islands, on their course have never been charted, and appear on no map.
What could anyone do but wait, and pray for rescue?
To complete the story, let’s review the events of the disappearance and search point by point.
Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan had an excellent aircraft, a Lockheed Electra, powered with two 550-horsepower motors and equipped with the latest instruments devised. They cruised at an average speed of 150 mph. At no time during the flight, even when their gas supply was running low and they were lost, did they report any trouble of any kind, with the motor or otherwise. No wreckage of the plane has ever been sighted or found, no evidence of an explosion or a sudden crash into the sea caused by faulty motors.
The two left Miami, Florida, on their flight around the world June 1, 1937. The first leg of the trip to South America was completed without difficulty. On their flight 1,900 miles across the South Atlantic to Africa, it was reported that the plane’s radio did not function properly, but the span was successfully accomplished. The trip then took them across Africa and to India. In the Bay of Bengal, the plane encountered a monsoon which forced it close to the water, but their objective was won, and the fliers safely reached Lae, British New Guinea.
At Lae they drew breath for the most difficult leg of the trip, one never before attempted. This was a 2,570- [exactly 2,556] mile flight from Lae to Howland Island, a distance greater than from Los Angeles to New York, over a lonely, poorly charted sea. The navigation must be perfect, for they were aiming at a pinpoint in the ocean, tiny Howland Island less than two miles square and 20 feet above sea level at its highest point. Their aim, at such a distance, must be flawless.
Few navigators would stake their lives, as Capt. Noonan did, on such a gamble.
Navigators say that even with the gentle prevailing winds that were blowing at the time, a drift of ten degrees off course in such a distance might easily occur, even with the most expert navigation.
If the plane did drift, from its last know bearing, it might have come down somewhere in a triangle stretching nearly 1,500 miles long and about 500 miles wide at its base. This fateful triangle includes nearly a million square miles and hundreds of unexplored islands, and only a small part of it has ever been searched for the missing pair.
Miss Earhart and Capt. Noonan took off from Lae on the morning of July 1, Pacific Standard Time [10 a.m., July 2, Lae Time]. The first 500 miles of their flight took them over sea and islands fairly well known, where they could take bearings without difficulty. Shortly after 5 p.m., they reported they were 725 miles out, and directly on course. Although regular broadcasts were heard from the plane hours later, this was the last position definitely reported, and our triangle starts from the 800-mile mark, for these reasons.
The last 1,000 miles of the flight were the most difficult. There were no landmarks to aid in navigation, and the slightest drift off course could take them miles from their destination.
Stationed at Howland Island to aid the flight was the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, to keep in radio contact with the ship and to advise on weather. Miss Earhart’s radio could transmit on two wave lengths, 3105 kilocycles and 6210 kilocycles. There was only one thing wrong with the arrangements, and this mistake may be the cause, perhaps, for the disaster.
Although the Itasca had a radio direction finder which would show the course of signals it received, and thus make it possible to give bearings to a lost plane, the direction finder could not work on the Earhart wavelengths.
Miss Earhart, in the last desperate hours of her flight, asked the Itasca again and again to give her a report on her position. Evidently she did not know the Itasca was not equipped with a direction finder which could aid her.
An ironic comment can be made here of the flight preparations at Lae. During the earlier part of her trip, Miss Earhart’s plane was equipped with a “trailing antenna.” This wire trailing under the plane made it possible for the plane to broadcast on the regular ship wavelength of 500 meters (kc). With the trailing antennae, she could have transmitted signals on that wavelength, and the Itasca direction finder, tuned to this frequency, could have reported her position in the air. But, for mysterious reasons, Miss Earhart left the trailing antennae at Lae [most say Miami]. Then she canceled, irrevocably, her chance to learn from the Itasca or other ships where she was, lost in the skies seeking tiny Howland Island. The Itasca direction finder could not help her.
(End of Part I)
Regular readers of this blog are familiar with David Martin (DCDave.com), the award-winning writer and retired federal economist who reviewed both editions of Truth at Last, “Hillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up,” in August 2012, and “Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishment” in May 2016. (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)
In summer 2017, Martin helped clear up the confused mess surrounding the media’s relationship to the bogus claims in the History Channel’s presentation of the 1930s-era Office of Naval Intelligence photo of the dock at Jaluit, in which Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were mistakenly identified, writing three pieces focusing on “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” the History Channel’s odious July 9, 2017 Earhart special — “Press Touts Dubious Earhart Photo,” “Earhart Photo Story Apparently Debunked,” and “ ‘Earhart Photo’ Debunker Debunked?”
In March 2018, Martin teamed with Hugh Turley to publish their groundbreaking book on the 1968 death of famed Catholic monk and mystic Thomas Merton, whose sudden demise in a Thailand hotel has been unanimously accepted as accidental electrocution by an electric fan. The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation claims that a “careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false,” and leaves no doubt that Merton was murdered, likely by an element of the U.S. deep state — another cover-up, another sacred cow exposed, another important book to which the establishment media will never direct the public.
Now, at last, Martin has turned his lengthy, six-part 2003 disquisition, “Who Killed James Forrestal?” into his long-awaited The Assassination of James Forrestal, published on May 21, just one day short of the 70th anniversary of Forrestal’s murder.
Forrestal’s shocking death in the early morning of May 22, 1949 at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland was particularly disturbing to Thomas E. Devine, the late author of the 1987 classic, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, who was certain that Forrestal was on Saipan in July 1944 when Amelia Earhart’s Electra was burned and later buried along with hundreds of tons of other war refuse below Aslito Airfield, which is now Saipan International Airport.
Whether the Navy Secretary was actually on Saipan or not in July 1944 — and we’re virtually certain he was not physically there, as I discuss at length in Truth at Last (pages 72-75) — Forrestal was very close to the top of the chain of command that ordered and executed the burning beyond recognition of the Earhart Electra on Saipan.
Whether the first secretary of defense’s death was connected to his involvement in the Earhart case remains unknown, but his passing was a crushing blow to Devine’s hope that the truth would eventually be revealed. “However James Forrestal met his death,” Devine wrote, “he took with him what he knew about Amelia Earhart’s plane, which he examined and ordered burned on Saipan in July 1944.”
Navy hospital officials were quick to label Forrestal’s death a suicide, but “many question the theory that Forrestal entered a sixteenth-floor diet pantry, tied one end of his bathrobe sash to a radiator, looped the other end around his neck, and stepped out the pantry window,” Devine wrote. “Neither do skeptics believe that Forrestal deliberately leaped from the sixteenth-floor window to the third-floor bridge which connected the two wings of the hospital. The skeptics are convinced that Forrestal was murdered.”
Devine was unaware of The Death of James Forrestal, a virtually unknown 1966 book by Cornell Simpson (a pseudonym) that presented a compelling case for Forrestal’s murder and was entirely ignored by the American media, and before Martin’s “Who Killed James Forrestal?” in 2003, the only previous work of any significance to shine light on Forrestal’s murder.
Forced to resign by President Harry Truman in March 1949 after less than two years in office as the nation’s first secretary of defense, Forrestal was soon taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital to undergo treatment for operational fatigue, at the recommendation of noted psychiatrist Dr. William C. Menninger. Ten days after his admission, Captain B.W. Hogan, the hospital’s commandant, reported that Forrestal was “underweight, had low blood pressure, a secondary anemia and a neuromuscular weakness characteristically found in cases of exhaustion . . . [but] the only psychiatric symptoms present are those associated with a state of excessive fatigue.” Forrestal’s condition, Hogan said, was “directly the result of excessive work during the war and post-war years.”
Forrestal was held for seven weeks as a virtual prisoner in his sixteenth-floor room in the hospital’s tower. He was allowed visits only from his wife, two sons, Truman, and Louis Johnson, his successor as defense secretary. His attending physician, Dr. (Captain) George N. Raines, prohibited Forrestal from seeing four people he specifically wanted to see: his brother Henry; two priests, Monsignor Maurice S. Sheehy and Father Paul McNally, S.J.; and a friend whose name has never been disclosed. Sheehy, a former Navy chaplain and close friend, made seven trips to the hospital from nearby Catholic University in Washington, and each time was barred without explanation from seeing Forrestal. “His blood is on the hands of those who kept me from seeing him,” Sheehy wrote in the American Mercury after Forrestal’s death.
Henry Forrestal was finally allowed to see James after threatening to go public about his brother’s confinement and virtual isolation. At the hospital, Henry said James was “acting and talking as sanely and intelligently as any man I’ve ever known.” Johnson also found Forrestal “was like his old self and in good health” during an April 27 visit. When Raines admitted that James was “fundamentally all right,” Henry made train reservations for Washington and notified Raines that he intended to take James out of the hospital May 22 to complete his convalescence in the country, “where he would not be cooped up in a room with nothing to do and nobody to talk to,” according to Simpson. But at approximately 1:50 a.m. that very morning, James Forrestal was found dead.
At his Beacon, New York home, Henry told Simpson that James “positively did not kill himself. He said his brother was the last person in the world who would have committed suicide. . . . James was having a good time planning the things he would do following his discharge. Henry Forrestal recalled that Truman and Johnson agreed that his brother was in fine shape and that the hospital officials admitted that the patient would have been released soon.” Monsignor Sheehy also “seriously suspected that Forrestal had been murdered.”
The Death of James Forrestal presented a compelling case for the murder of the staunch anti-Communist, likely at the hands of Soviet operatives and spies within Washington’s heavily infiltrated establishment, including the Truman White House. “This outrageous treatment of the Forrestal case meshed perfectly into the standard Washington practice of concealing from the public Communist-connected scandals,” Simpson — whoever he was, and Martin has a very good idea — wrote.
Martin disagrees with Simpson’s verdict as to the killers’ identities and motivations, but I won’t spoil that aspect of The Assassination of James Forrestal by naming his most likely villains in this review. He draws from the Willcutts Report, likely made public and declassified in 2004 as a result of his third Freedom of Information Act request; key witness Edward Prise, the Navy hospital corpsman who was the last to admit seeing Forrestal alive; and many other sources to convincingly demonstrate the absurdity of the idea that Forrestal would throw himself out of a 16th floor window at Bethesda Naval Hospital to a death he most certainly did not desire.
No soothsayer is required to foresee that The Assassination of James Forrestal, because of its very nature as the slayer of yet another establishment sacred cow, will be ignored or dismissed by our esteemed national opinion molding apparatus (NOMA, a term Martin has coined, which he says is comprised to “various degrees by the GAME: government, academia, media, and entertainment”) in the coming months and years. Only the extent of the media blackout of this book, already under way, has yet to be determined.
The Assassination of James Forrestal begins with a poignant note of praise from Phillip F. Nelson, the eminent author of LBJ, the Mastermind of the JFK Assassination; LBJ, from Mastermind to “The Colossus”; Remember the Liberty; and Who Really Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.?
David Martin’s book The Assassination of James Forrestal focuses on the historic truths related to the systemic harassment and consequent death of James Forrestal in May, 1949, at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. It is a long-overdue, hugely important, work of “revisionist history.” The timeworn myths intended to support his “suicide” – which had originally been planted by such muckraking columnists as Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell, then repeated by the authors of several biographies of Forrestal – have been systematically deconstructed by Martin (a.k.a. “DCDave”).
This profoundly important book describes in detail one of the earliest plots of the “Deep State” as it was constituted post-WWII: The plot to remove all impediments to the creation and successful launch of the nation of Israel, through silencing the most influential and prescient voice cautioning his country, and the world, about the long and possibly endless tail of retaliations, recriminations and retributions that lay ahead. The history of that land, still resonating with the repercussions he predicted, proves James V. Forrestal’s legendary wisdom.
The findings of the still unknown Willcutts Report were presented in a brief summary released Oct. 11, 1949, stating Forrestal had died from his fall from the sixteenth story. Nothing was said about what could have caused it, except to make it clear that the Navy was in no way responsible. Suicide was not cited as a cause of death despite the original press reports and propaganda perpetuating the idea that the first secretary of defense killed himself, nor did the Willcutts Report, comprising hundreds of pages of witness interviews, conclude that Forrestal committed suicide.
In Chapter 1 of The Assassination of James Forrestal, “The Case for Assassination,” Martin discusses the shortcomings of the well-known 1992, 587-page Forrestal biography, Driven Patriot, the Life and Times of James Forrestal, by Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley. In concluding his “Secret Investigative Report” subsection, Martin tells us:
The willingness of the authorities to withstand the thoroughly justified charge of cover-up by not releasing the results of their investigation, including the transcripts of witness testimony, speaks volumes, as does the extraordinarily deceptive description of the case by the likes of such establishment figures as Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley. Their account is replete with deceptions, but there is none greater than this withholding of the information that all the key witness testimony has been kept secret, along with the results of the investigation itself, and that the investigation did not conclude that Forrestal committed suicide.
. . . By leaving out the vital information that the official record of the case has been suppressed, Hoopes and Brinkley, cobbling together an account based on a hodgepodge of dubious sources, leave the reader with the impression that we know more about what happened than we really do.
“From their Wikipedia pages we learn that Hoopes, a former Under Secretary of the Air Force, among many government positions he held, was a member of the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale University and that Brinkley, who is a commentator on CNN, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations,” Martin writes in a Chapter 1 footnote. “He was also the protégé of popular historian, Stephen E. Ambrose. As establishment historians, Hoopes and Brinkley’s credentials are impeccable.” Indeed, Hoopes, who died in 2004, and Brinkley, who continues to occasionally haunt cable news, were and are highly respected creatures of the establishment, and it is precisely therein that the problem lies.
Ironically — or coincidentally — I had my own experience with Hoopes, and it was anything but pleasant. Early in my Earhart education, in September 1992, I wrote to Hoopes. a former undersecretary of defense under Forrestal from 1948 to 1949, and then an international affairs executive at the University of Maryland, College Park. I described Thomas Devine’s work and asked Hoopes for his thoughts, naively figuring he must have known something, based on his close relationship to Forrestal. Hoopes feigned interest initially, but lost the first information package I sent, and after receiving another, he flatly and rudely rejected Devine’s account, telling me our “correspondence should end” and suggesting legal action should I use anything he wrote to me without his permission. Nine years later, Hoopes ignored my request for permission to quote from his letter in the 2002 book I wrote with Devine, With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia Earhart. A real sweetheart and a class act, was Mr. Hoopes.
There’s far more in The Assassination of James Forrestal that will convince the reader that the universally accepted story that James V. Forrestal committed suicide is a blatant falsehood, thanks to David Martin’s singular perseverance in finding the truth. Martin, who has a doctorate degree and is a historian of the first rank, is also a gifted poet whose singular epigraphs flavor the beginning of each of his chapters and lend added depth to his already captivating narrative.
For example, here’s the one from Chapter 1, “The Case for Assassination”:
Not for Human Consumption?
The water from the well of truth
Is to most folks undrinkable.
That is because of their distaste
For things they find unthinkable
Or another, from Chapter 13, “Historians Unmoved”:
In the universities
You’ll find our finest minds.
The problem isn’t with their brains
Oh no, it’s with their spines.
The Assassination of James Forrestal is a 335-page masterpiece to which our feckless, corrupt media will not be directing the masses, a historical tour de force that only the scant few of our wise and enlightened will discover and enjoy. It’s a steal at an inexpensive price that I strongly encourage all who care about our nation’s history to purchase and read.