I’ll try to make this year in review as brief as possible, since my efforts to promote Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last are far outweighed by many more negative incidents and unhappy encounters, which, though permanently etched in my mind, need not distract or bore the few interested readers who might visit this blog.
Truth at Last was published by Larry Knorr’s Sunbury Press in June 2012, thus the past 12 months marked the first full year in the life of this book. Although we enjoyed a few bright moments, 2013 will be memorable almost solely for the nearly overwhelming number of rejections the book and its message received. I thought I’d learned all about rejection during the more than a year it took to find the right publisher, but that was merely an introductory course. 2013 has offered a high-octane dosage of rejection on a scale that dwarfs all previous experience, leaving me to ponder how much longer I can continue to pursue this worthy cause while being almost completely ignored.
This “pan-institutional aversion to the truth” described in the final chapter of Truth at Last is alive, well and worse that I imagined. Make no mistake, the powers that be at the network and corporate levels fully understand that honest discussion of the Earhart disappearance is off limits. No matter that after nearly 77 years of government-media propaganda, the idea that Amelia’s loss is an irresolvable mystery has been a familiar, universally accepted piece of our cultural landscape virtually since the day she failed to land on Howland Island. No slippage can be tolerated, so the insidious campaign of lies and disinformation continues in its incessant refrains, ensuring the ignorance and disinterest of media consumers nationwide, and maintaining the status quo.
The TIGHAR plague
No honest discussion of efforts to solve – or, more accurately, explain the Earhart disappearance — would be complete if it didn’t include Ric Gillespie and The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which has done more damage to the truth in the Earhart matter than anyone over the past 25 years or so. Before Gillespie we had Elgen Long and the even more ridiculous Navy-Coast Guard crash-and-sank verdict, which, for the most part, kept a gullible public stupid for the first five decades following Amelia’s loss. Thanks to these two paragons of deception, with their abject contempt for the truth, and a long list of lesser lights, as well as the enthusiastic help of the American media, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart remains among the most misunderstood and misreported events of the 20th century. I understand some may disagree, and freely admit this is my convicted opinion.
Every other year, well in advance of the next TIGHAR-Nikumaroro boondoggle, we get the endless press releases, TV news stories and documentaries trumpeting and exploring the latest follies announced by TIGHAR’s Ric Gillespie, a propaganda blitz now led by Discovery Channel and Discovery News (see Oct. 24 and July 11 posts). Other possibilities are rarely if ever mentioned; it’s as if Gillespie is the only man on earth who has any clue about what happened to the lost fliers. For 25 years now it’s been one phony claim after another; one might think that few are taken in anymore, yet the false headlines keep coming, telling us that the Earhart mystery might be solved soon if TIGHAR’s latest hunch pans out. If the search were for anything or anyone else except Amelia Earhart, this shopworn charade would have been ignored by the national media after TIGHAR’s first few jaunts failed to produce any credible evidence. But after a much-too-long 50-year run, the original crashed-and-sank lie became impossible to maintain by the late 1980s; lacking anything better to keep the public distracted from the unpleasant truth, the establishment holds its nose and keeps dishing out nausea-inducing portions of Nikumaroro gruel to a public that could hardly be more disinterested.
The media’s aversion to the truth
No overt or covert conspiracy compels most establishment types to run from the truth in the Earhart case; most of them are completely ignorant of the facts. Cynicism, disinterest, and even boredom motivate many of these jaded characters to avoid the subject, while others who express initial interest flee in fear from public discussion upon learning of the very unpleasant ends that Earhart and Fred Noonan met on Saipan. Others, informed by their habitual servitude to political correctness, instinctually understand that the subject of the fliers’ miserable deaths at the hands of the Japanese, now our good friends, is simply not a proper topic for cultured eyes and ears. The reasons are many, but they add up to a colossal societal resistance to the truth. If we lived in a world that encouraged truth seekers in the Earhart matter, I’m convinced Truth at Last would be a bestseller by now. Of course, without the 77-year government cover-up, no need would exist for Truth at Last to be written, nor any of the other fine books that present the truth in varying degrees of effectiveness.
I won’t name the numerous talk radio hosts, newspaper editors, bloggers and others who have scheduled me on their shows or promised their help in various ways and then bailed without warning, explanation or apology – as if they had suddenly learned that I had leprosy, with apologies to any lepers who might be reading this. It’s bad enough to be ignored by more than 95 percent of these media types when I send them my standard query, but for them to respond, schedule a date and then ignore me is truly unprofessional and inexcusable. This has become a standard treatment option when dealing with requests to air the truth in the Earhart case. Usually, of course, they simply delete my request, or if sent by snail mail, they trash it.
Just three days into 2013, the retail sales manager at the Admiral Nimitz Museum unwittingly set the tone for the coming year when she refused to stock the book that significantly expands upon Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s revelation to Fred Goerner in 1965, a year before Goerner’s bestseller The Search for Amelia Earhart was published. Search immortalized the famed admiral’s statement to the San Francisco radio newsman that Earhart “went down in the Marshalls and was picked up by the Japanese.” My letter to the museum directors appealing this decision was ignored; even the simple decency of a response was refused me. Maj. Glenn MacDonald (U.S. Army, retired), editor-in-chief of the popular rank-and-file military-oriented site, www.militarycorruption.com, is among our book’s greatest supporters. Glenn chronicled the Nimitz Museum travesty with this story, which was also ignored by the Nimitz Museum’s enlightened leadership.
In early March we had the Jim Bohannon debacle. Charles Heller, a Tucson, Ariz., radio host, had recommended me to Bohannon after having me on his own show. Bohannon’s late night show is syndicated to more than 350 stations nationwide, and I had high hopes that his program might provide a launching pad to the breakthrough this book badly needed. It wasn’t to be, as Bohannon had invited me only as a favor to Heller. He didn’t do a minute of show preparation, knew nothing of the Earhart matter and told me he didn’t receive the PDF of the book and other material I had twice sent to him. Bohannon spent the first half hour by reacting with hostility and disbelief to everything I said, catching me off balance and unprepared. I finally stood up to the bully, and Bohannon had little to say over the last 25 minutes or so. This sad episode, captured in a post by Jessica Renshaw on her Hidden in Jesus blog, served as a hard-learned lesson I will never forget: Never assume anyone is on your side going into a media interview unless you’re absolutely certain.
Earhart Truth Presentations: A rough start
During the second half of the year, inspired by the success of veteran Earhart presenter Rob Ellos, of Stillwater, Minn., I embarked on my own attempt to spread the word, dubbing my new enterprise “Earhart Truth Presentations.” Sounds impressive, and I even had 1,000 business cards made for distribution to interested parties, but most of these are still in my drawer at home, and the inaugural version of Earhart Truth Presentations failed to pay for its rollout. I sent this flyer or a close version to many hundreds of assisted living facilities and senior centers, as well as Kiwanis, Rotary, Moose and Elk Lodges and Daughters of the American Revolution chapters within a 90-minute drive of Jacksonville, with pathetic results. Apparently only phony searches on tramped-down islands in the central Pacific have any chance of making money in the Earhart information business.
After talking to the few groups I visited, it was obvious that it’s not the older people who aren’t interested, but the much younger activity directors who don’t care about the Earhart disappearance. The future of Earhart Truth Presentations is quite dim, with nothing at all scheduled for the New Year. As for Rob’s success in Stillwater and the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, maybe the baby boomers up there, the ones who run the senior facilities, are better educated and informed, and thus more inclined to invite him to their facilities. Who can say?
I also sent the flyer to all private and public high schools, and the response was exactly zero, which speaks volumes about the pathetic state of our secondary schools. It’s common knowledge that our public schools ceased to teach true American history decades ago, but I thought the private schools might have retained a semblance of traditional curricula. Sadly, none of them have any interest in anyone coming into their classrooms to set the record straight about Amelia Earhart, whom few of any have heard of anyway. You get the picture.
Perhaps the highlight for my year was a lengthy commentary I wrote to commemorate the July 2 anniversary of Amelia’s last flight, published by Veterans News Now, the same outfit that posted Dave Martin’s fine review of Truth at Last in August 2012, “Hillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up.” Titled “The truth in the Earhart ‘mystery’ is a sacred cow,’ and posted June 13 by editor Debbie Menon, the piece stayed atop the VNN top 50 for over two weeks and continues its run in VNN’s top 25 with over 11,300 reads as of Dec. 31. Joel Freedman, my friend from Canandaigua, New York, placed some guest columns in local newspapers, and Jessica Renshaw, whose Hidden in Jesus blog was among the first to discover Truth at Last, did what she could to help.
Did about 18 radio appearances with the relatively few independent radio types who were unafraid to step up and help, PC be damned. Many of these hosts failed to read anything I sent them, were completely unprepared to do a decent interview, and simply were filling time by having me on. But a few were outstanding professionals, did plenty of show prep, read the book and had great programs. The best of these were author and host Deanna Spingola, who had me on her show, “Spingola Speaks” on the Republic Broadcasting Network for a return engagement; and Bill Xam, host of the Internet program “Surrounded by Idiots,” which recently joined the Freedom Talk Radio/SETV network. Bill spent many hours preparing notes and special features for our two-hour discussion, which can be found on the EarhartTruth.com Media page.
Other radio people I should thank again for their help included Chuck Wilder, host of “Talkback with Chuck Wilder” on CRN; Michael Betteridge, general manager of WTHU 1450 AM “The Source,” Thurmont, Md., and nephew of noted Earhart researcher Paul Rafford, Jr.; Bill Hay, host of “I’m Speaking Plainly,” on local Jacksonville’s 600 AM “The Answer; and Dr. Stan Monteith, veteran host of Radio Liberty, heard in multiple cities including Cincinnati and Spokane, Wash., who has invited me back on Jan. 7 at 6 pm EST and Jan. 9 at 11 pm.
I also want to express a special thanks to my old friend Sonny Auld, who has been the webmaster of www.EarhartTruth.com since its inception. Without Sonny’s unselfish efforts, we’d be nowhere at all.
That’s about it. I continue to do whatever I can and hope that somehow the breakthrough that Truth at Last needs to come to the attention of the American public will eventuate. It can’t happen if we give up, and so I won’t. Amelia deserves far better than she’s received since her tragic loss, and so does the book that presents the truth about it without apology.
We certainly have no friend in Jim Bohannon. I learned a hard lesson when I appeared on his syndicated radio show March 8 at 11 p.m. EST, and will never again let my guard down going into an interview with someone I don’t know. The next time a host tries to intimidate me and disrespect my work, I will know exactly how to deal with him.
The discussion is about the book and the facts presented therein, NOT the uninformed host’s opinions. He hadn’t even bothered to so much as look at the PDF of the book that I sent him twice, a few weeks earlier, telling me, “I never got it.” He knew nothing of the Earhart matter, not even Fred Goerner’s name!
From the start he questioned everything I said, and I missed the opportunity to tell him that he was wrong about the Japs admitting to most of their wartime atrocities, and let him get by with the false assertion that since they admitted their atrocities, they would have admitted to AE. They’ve barely admitted the Comfort Women and have never fully come clean about such things as the Rape of Nanking and their biological warfare horrors. I feel badly about blowing that sequence.
All who have contacted me have been highly critical of JB, and say I behaved in a professional, “knowledgeable and authoritative” manner, among other positive comments. Bohannon may have thought I was a nut job to begin with, but that can only mean he had no regard for the man’s judgment who recommended me for his show, Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, in Tucson, Ariz., whose efforts I much appreciate and who gets no blame and only thanks here.
But in the end, I think Bohannon, jaded and cynical as he is at 69 after so many years of late night radio, knew he was wrong and I had won over most of those in the audience with two brain cells to rub together. Once we got more into the evidence of the case in the second half hour, I noticed he grudgingly showed a bit more respect for me.
Bill Prymak, the greatest living Earhart researcher, 85 and nearing a birthday in late March, told me today he was proud of me for the way I recovered in the second half of the program and stood up to Bohannon. That meant a lot to me. If I wasn’t so aware of his lofty status as one of the USA’s top 100 talkers and an elder statesman of radio, so to speak, I think I would have been able to stand up to him sooner. This is another encounter that proves age and experience don’t always guarantee wisdom. Live and learn. As it is, we sold a few books that wouldn’t have been sold had I not gone on the show, but nothing like I had hoped.
At this point I can see that the days of radio interviews about Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, and indeed, this blog, are severely numbered. Recently I completed contacting every talk radio station in the country, many hundreds that I refuse to count exactly, and I have been ignored by well over 99 percent of them. I can take a hint.
Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last turned 6 months old on Dec. 21, and despite some nice reviews from a few discerning critics, notably Glenn MacDonald of Military Corruption.com, Dave Martin of DCDave.com, and the considerable efforts of Joel Freedman, whose persistence paid off with the Oct. 24 spread in the Knoxville News Sentinel, our most visible coverage to date, sales have hit a brick wall and the book remains unknown to more than 99 percent of the American public. Virtually no one comes to this blog, so I wonder about my sanity in continuing to write new entries.
In my ongoing efforts to find a receptive audience, I contacted Charles Heller, a weekend talk show host with KVOI AM 1030, in Tucson, Ariz. Charles is the host of “Liberty Watch” and “America Armed & Free,” which air from noon to 2 p.m. MST on Sundays. On his website, http://www.libertywatchradio.com, Charles describes his show as “dedicated to the principle of eternal vigilance, based upon the free flow of information about government, technology, current events, and our steadfast Constitution, so that citizens can give informed consent, the bedrock of our Republic, and government remains the servant, not the master. Let us each honor the privilege it is to live in God’s great nation.”
Charles was immediately interested in Truth at Last, but warned me that I would have to work hard to change his views. On his show, he told listeners that every year or two he reads a book that changes his mind about something, and Truth at Last is one of these books. We had a good interchange on the air, and Charles summarized the interview on his archives page thusly:
Charles has pledged to do what he can to connect me with other talk show hosts, and says he specializes in helping people with worthy causes through his networking expertise. He has other idea about how to get the word out about the book, i.e. “market” it, and I certainly hope the hosts he has in mind will be half as supportive as Charles has been since he read Truth at Last.
As Charles Heller has demonstrated once again, true interest in the Earhart matter is an acquired taste and is not for everyone. But every once in a while, I meet and, through the power of Truth at Last, convert a new “Earhart enthusiast,” as Thomas E. Devine described me in signing his book upon the conclusion of our first meeting, in February 1990 at his West Haven, Connecticut home.