Tag Archives: Garapan Prison

Recent Earhart stories aim to confuse and deceive

Ten days ago, an annoying, unserious story about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, Chamorro man shares Earhart theory that she was a prisoner on Saipan,” appeared in the Pacific Daily News, headquartered on Guam and now “part of the USA Today Network,” which only means its editorial policies will ape the corrupt U.S. establishment line more than ever.  This particular piece leaves no doubt about that.

As I will demonstrate by dissecting this disingenuous mix of misinformation and muddled rhetoric by Pacific Daily News reporter Jerick Sablan, this article was not produced with any intention of supporting or corroborating the facts in the Earhart case.  When the story is read by the uninformed, which is nearly everyone, only confusion will result, which is its goal. 

Garapan Prison 5

The smaller of the two Garapan prison cell blocks, often reserved for “special” prisoners and females, according to some reports, where several witnesses reported that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were held after their arrival on Saipan in July 1937. (Courtesy Tony Gochar.)

Soon after the story’s Nov. 25 publication, USA Today ran a dressed-up version with a slightly more cynical title, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were prisoners on Saipan and killed, according to uncle’s tale.”  I shouldn’t need to tell anyone of the negative connotations inherent in any account that’s described as a “tale” in a headline.  This is an immediate “tell” from USA Today that you don’t need to take this story seriously, because they certainly don’t.

The article follows a typical template for Earhart propaganda, created not to educate, but to confuse and deceive the ignorant into believing that the Earhart disappearance remains among the pantheon of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries, an eternal enigma that will never be solved.  Sadly, most fail to grasp the fact that this is the purpose of virtually every Earhart-disappearance story in the American media, and every other information organization in the modern world, for that matter.  Only here can you be confident you’re getting the truth, from someone who’s devoted 30 years to the Earhart saga, who recognizes this ubiquitous propaganda as well as the precious truth when he sees it.

In the Pacific Daily News story, Jerick Sablan writes that William “Bill” Sablan (relationship not clear) said his uncle, “Tun Akin Tuho, worked at the prison [Garapan] where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were taken prisoner in Saipan.”  What jumps out immediately is that Tun Akin Tuho has never been mentioned in any known Earhart literature before now.  Why not?

Why doesn’t Jerick make any reference to the many known and documented Saipan witnesses, so that Bill Sablan’s uncle might have a historical leg to stand on, so to speak?  He could have named people like Jesús Bacha Salas, who saw Amelia in Garapan prison for a few hours; Josépa Reyes Sablan, of Chalan Kanoa, who saw two white people taken into the military police headquarters in Garapan; Dr. Manual Aldan, the Saipanese dentist who was told by Japanese officers the name of the American woman flier in custody, “EARHARTO!”; José Rios Camacho, who saw the fliers shortly after their arrival at Saipan’s Tanapag Harbor; or any of the rest of Fred Goerner’s original 13 witnesses — and these are just those Goerner identified during the first of his four investigations on Saipan before The Search for Amelia Earhart was published in 1966. 

Father Sylvan Conover with eyewitness Jesús Bacha Salas, a Chamorro farmer who was held at Garapan Prison between 1937 and 1944 for fighting with a Japanese soldier. Fred Goerner reported that “sometime during 1937 a white woman was placed in the next cell [beside Salas], but kept there only a few hours. He saw the woman only once but gave a description of her that fitted those given by the other witnesses. The guards told him the woman was an American pilot the Japanese had captured.” (Photo by Fred Goerner, Courtesy Lance Goerner.)

Jerick does none of that, but grudgingly writes, “According to news files, in 1960 a CBS radio man, Fred Goerner, spoke with at least a dozen reliable witnesses from Saipan, who shared that before the war, two white people arrived on Saipan — described as ‘fliers’ or ‘spies’ — and they were held in the Japanese jail.”  Could a reporter assigned to write a story about the Earhart case really be this uninformed, especially one based in Guam, a stone’s throw away from Saipan, where the presence and death of Amelia Earhart in the pre-war years has become a part of the culture, an accepted historical fact among its elder Chamorros?

Fred Goerner was far more than a CBS radio man; he was the author of The Search for Amelia Earhart, the only bestseller in the history of Earhart disappearance literature, and is generally recognized among those without agendas as history’s greatest Earhart researcher, which Jerick also neglects to mention.  I’d ask Jerick why he gives such short shrift to Goerner, if I didn’t already know the answer. 

In fact, Goerner claimed he identified 39 eyewitnesses to Earhart’s presence on Saipan; all independently picked her photo out of a selection of about 10 similar-looking women.  But in acknowledging Goerner, if only in a minimal way, Jerick departs from the worst of the false Earhart paradigms, such as the hundreds, if not thousands of insufferable TIGHAR infomercials posing as news stories we’ve been subjected to for 30 years.  In these, any mention of Earhart in the Marshalls or Saipan is immediately branded “folklore” or “conspiracy theory,” shoved into the circular file and never mentioned again.

Jerick seems in a great hurry to direct readers to his main point, the July 9 abomination that the History Channel perpetrated on the public in a transparent attempt to discredit the truth.  “The History Channel shared the theory that the two were taken prisoner in a recent TV special called “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” Jerick tells us, signaling that his story is little more than a weak attempt to keep the History Channel’s lies about the phony ONI photo viable enough to qualify for a few more advertising dollars in reruns. 

The amorphous figure (left), we are told by History Channel and the fanatics who actually believe this drivel, is actually Amelia Earhart, right.  This ridiculous comparison is most illustrative of the insanity that has prevailed in the recent Earhart propaganda exercise, which some in the media and others refuse to let go.

“According to USA Today,” Jerick continues, bringing in the Pacific Daily News parent company without explanation, “the theory shared by History’s TV special says Earhart was captured and executed on Saipan by the Empire of Japan.  The U.S. government and military knew it (and even found and exhumed her body).  And both governments have been lying about it ever since.”

That’s it in a nutshell, but instead of recognizing or at least supporting the truth by respecting it as a likely scenario based on the huge amount of accumulated evidence, or something similar, Jerick reverts to the age-old establishment default position and defines the truth as a mere theory.  He then compounds this misnomer by attributing this theory to USA Today and the History Channel, as if they just discovered the Earhart story.  If the truth must be referenced as theory, why doesn’t he cite any of the host of investigations and books that have advanced this theory, in order that this theory might have more substance and relevance?  As always, even when an aspect of the truth is presented in the media, it comes wrapped in so much flotsam and jetsam that its effect becomes minimized and obscured, which is the goal from the jump.

Soon after learning about the July 5 NBC News promotion of the forthcoming History Channel special, as glaring an example of “fake news” as you will ever see, its premise predicated upon and completely tied to the false claims about the ONI photo, I was the first to denounce it the same day with this post: July 9 Earhart special to feature bogus photo claims.

After watching “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” I concluded that it possessed many of the hallmarks of a classic disinformation operation.  “’The Lost Evidence’ is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” I wrote, “a masterpiece of deceit, cleverly designed to discredit the long-established facts that reveal the truth about Earhart and Fred Noonan’s landing at Mili Atoll and deaths on Saipan at the hands of the prewar Japanese. . . . The onslaught of activity from the leaders of our fake news brigade that preceded the July 9 airing is all we need to tell us that a massive propaganda operation was under way, and remains so.”

For the entire review, posted July 12, please see  History’s ‘Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence’: Underhanded attack on the Marshalls-Saipan truth.

David Martin at the grave of James V. Forrestal, our first secretary of defense,  at Arlington, Va.  No one has done more to prove that Forrestal was murdered by unknown killers on May 22, 1949.  See DCDave.com for an extensive anthology of news commentary in the true history of many of this nation’s sacred cows. (Courtesy David Martin.)

I wasn’t alone in my assessment of the History Channel’s propaganda drillLongtime news analyst David Martin (www.DCDave.com), author of the definitive work in the James V. Forrestal murder case (“Who Killed James Forrestal?”), and countless other commentaries that the mainstream media despise and will never acknowledge, soon joined the fray.

“For three-quarters of a century America’s press and its court historians have studiously ignored the voluminous evidence that aviation adventurer Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured by the Japanese and did not just mysteriously crash into the Pacific Ocean on her round-the-world venture,” Martin wrote in his July 7 commentary, Press Touts Dubious Earhart Photo.  “Now, across the board, from NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN, to The Washington Post and the Associated Press, they all seem to have made a 180-degree turn based upon the supposed discovery of one very ambiguous photograph in the National Archives.  What, we have to wonder, is going on?

The New York Times, jumping the gun with its more skeptical approach, gives us a very big clue,” Martin went on.  “The headline says it all, ‘Did Amelia Earhart Survive? A Found Photo Offers a Theory, but No Proof.’ Already, The Times is beginning to cast doubt upon the significance, if not the authenticity, of this photograph.”  For the rest of Martin’s July 7 analysis, please click here.

Soon the shaky edifice built by the History Channel’s mendacity began to crumble, as the foundation of the entire production, the undated ONI photo of Jaluit Harbor, came under assault.  The British publication, The Guardian, reported that a Japanese blogger had found the exact same photo in what was described as “an old Japanese travel book” that was published in 1935 — two years before the ONI photo of History Channel infamy was said to have been snapped.

“See the sleight of hand?” Martin wrote in his July 13 commentary, Earhart photo story apparently debunked.  The debunking of this photo does nothing whatsoever to undermine the little bit of good evidence that the History Channel presented for the flyers having been captured by the Japanese, much less the cornucopia of evidence that Mike Campbell has assembled in his book Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.  That evidence remains as strong as it was before the program—with its big press build-up—ever aired.”  I posted my agreement, As usual, Dave Martin sees the truth in Earhart story,” later that same day. 

A rarely seen photo of Amelia Earhart after her landing at Calcutta, India, on June 17, 1937, during her doomed world flight.  The next day, Amelia and Fred Noonan departed Calcutta en route to Rangoon, Burma. After a fuel stop at Akyab, Burma, she and Fred Noonan continued on their way, but monsoon rains forced them to return to Akyab.

Indeed, Jerick Sablan writes that the “History TV special theory rests on an ambiguous photograph, said to have been taken in 1937, that might show Earhart and Noonan alive on a dock in the Marshall Islands.  At the time the islands were controlled by Japan.”  But History’s special theory had no staying power, because, According to USA Today,Jerick tells us,a Japanese military history blogger Kota Yamano undermined a new theory that Amelia Earhart survived a crash in the Pacific Ocean during her historic attempted around-the-world flight in 1937.”  New theory?

Jerick’s description of the ONI photo as “ambiguous” is a blatant euphemism, a weasel way of saying the photo is worthless, as anyone not affiliated with a politicized media organization can see.  It also developed  that this Kota Yamano blogger person doesn’t appear to exist except as a convenient prop, as neither he nor his blog shows up in any online search as discrete entities.  Regardless, the entire media herd happily jumped on the bandwagon immediately after The Guardian story broke, as if they were waiting for the green light to publish anything that would taint and discredit, simply by association, the hated Marshalls-Saipan scenario promoted by the “The Lost Evidence” in several segments it presented that were unrelated to the ONI photo.

If that weren’t enough, four days after The Guardian’s July 11 report  on the Japanese blogger’s alleged findings that seemingly debunked the History Channel’s claims, the Republic of the Marshall Islands issued a statement though its ministry of foreign affairs that appeared to “debunk the debunker.”  According to the Marshallese government, the Jabor Dock, which it confirmed was the location of the photo, was built in 1936, not 1935, as the mysterious blogger Kota Yamano asserted Further compounding the mess, the Marshallese statement did not specify when the photo was taken, which left the door open to the possibility that the American fliers could be in it, at least in the minds the extremely credulous and anyone associated with the History Channel.

The Marshallese release changed nothing about the ONI photo itself, which remains what it always has been, a reflection of Jaluit harbor and the Jabor Dock at some unspecified time, with the Koshu in the right background and a small group of unidentifiable people standing around  — nothing more, nothing less. What was notable about the Marshallese statement was that nobody in the media paid any attention to it, which tells those of us who can discern the obvious what we already knew — the media does not want the photo to represent the presence of Earhart and Noonan at Jaluitfor reasons that I’ve explained ad nauseam.

This is the undated ONI photo seen in the July 9, 2017 History Channel presentation, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Files,” upon which some in the media have recently attempted to re-focus our attention.  The ship in the right background is said to be the Japanese survey ship Koshu; neither Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan nor anyone else of note is remotely identifiable.

I didn’t learn about the Marshalls statement until a few weeks later, when an interested reader, having found it on Rich Martini’s website, sent it to me.  I posted my take on what had become little more than a tedious soap opera on July 28:  Marshalls release is latest twist in photo travesty,”

Getting back to Jerick Sablan’s Pacific Daily News story: If you had any doubts about the real reason it was written, his closing statement, or “telling point” as it was called at the military journalism school I attended in 1978, should clear up any misconceptions.  “The mystery surrounding her disappearance continues to keep her memory alive and remains one of history’s greatest mysteries,” Jerick is compelled to remind us, as if we might overlook his tawdry story’s raison d’être.  Question for Jerick: What is the point of presenting Bill Sablan’s uncle Tun Akin Tuho, who “worked at the prison where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were taken prisoner in Saipan,” if the fate of Amelia Earhart is going to remain such an irresolvable mystery? 

I wrote an email to Jerick, welcoming him to the Earhart story, telling him a bit about my own 30 years of study and work on the subject.  Just as the truth in the Earhart matter is NO mystery,” I wrote, “there are also no “THEORIES” about her fate. We have the truth that Earhart and Fred Noonan died on Saipan sometime after crash-landing at Mili Atoll on July 2, 1937, and we have two major LIES — that she crashed and sank, or the ridiculous Nikumaroro “hypothesis,” which have been promoted to the status of theories and perpetuated as such in order to protect the obvious truth that anyone can discover for themselves by reading Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last or the handful of books that preceded it and presented various aspects of the truth, including The Search for Amelia Earhart, Fred Goerner’s 1966 bestseller. . . . The U.S. government has known since 1937 exactly what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, and continues to go to great lengths though its media toadies to deny and obfuscate the truth, which is available to anyone who seeks it in the few places where it’s available, which sadly do not include the PDN or USA Today.”

Jerick did not reply to my message, so he’s clearly part of the problem, not the solution in the Earhart matter, as are virtually all of his media counterparts. 

The day after the Pacific Daily News-USA Today story hit the streets, the UK’s Daily Mail ran its own, fancied-up version, replete with several large, blown-up photos in UK tabloid style with three reporters’ bylines.  The Nov. 26 story, “Amelia Earhart ‘was executed by the Japanese’: New ‘witness’ account claims aviation pioneer was held in Saipan before being killed – and the US military collected her body and covered it up,” surpasses its progenitors, if only because it features a photo of the original Saipan eyewitness, Josephine Blanco Akiyama, and a passing reference to Fred Goerner’s work.

Josephine Blanco, far right, Saipan, circa 1946. It was Josephine’s childhood memory of seeing Amelia Earhart’s arrival at Tanapag Harbor as told to Dr. Casimir Sheft, left, when she worked for the Navy dentist on Saipan that ignited the true modern search for Amelia Earhart.  (Photo courtesy Josephine Blanco Akiyama.)

The Daily Mail is no stranger to the Earhart story.  Its recent coverage has not been as deceptive or negative in its approach to the truth as its overseas counterparts, and it seems more unconcerned with protecting the American establishment’s sacred cows.  In 2015 the Daily Mail published three pieces about Dick Spink’s Mili Atoll investigations, on May 29, June 26 and July 9.

Those are the positive aspects of the Daily Mail’s Earhart work, but this bunch suffers from some serious shortcomings too, and the rest of the story isn’t so pretty.  In my July 17, 2015 commentary, Daily Mail sets new ‘standard’ in Earhart reporting,” I pointed out the “glaring lack of references to any previous investigative work on the Earhart disappearance as related to Mili Atoll. To the low-information reader, it appears as if the Daily Mail discovered this story all by itself, and is presenting it to the world for the first time! . . .  [T]he way the Daily Mail has presented these stories is too disturbing for me take much satisfaction.”

In its  Nov. 26 story, the Daily Mail, continuing its policy of non-attribution, refused to ascribe Josephine’s original account to Goerner, Paul Briand Jr., and Linwood Day of the San Mateo Times, foremost among those in the early 1960s who brought Josephine’s account to the world, and implied, though did not outright state, that NBC News had just discovered her story:  “And in July, Josephine Blanco Akiyama, who grew up on Saipan but now lives in California, said she saw the pair as a child,” the Daily Mail reported. “ ‘I didn’t even know it’s a woman, I thought it’s a man, Akiyama told NBC’s Today that month.

In its favor, the Daily Mail quoted me for the first time ever, writing that “another recognized Earhart investigator, Mike Campbell, has lashed out at what he described as ‘bogus photo claims,’ ” but they wouldn’t call me a blogger or an author, or name Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, fearing they might lose a few readers who might actually leave their page and seek more details elsewhere.  At least the Daily Mail had the decency to spare us the “one of history’s greatest mysteries” closing line.  You can read the story and judge for yourself what the Daily Mail’s real agenda is by clicking here.

Much of media’s newly feigned interest in Amelia Earhart’s Marshalls and Saipan presence can be traced to the July 9 History Channel’s residual influence; after all, some legitimate witness accounts were presented, though none in any depth.  Some in the media are becoming more aware that the hated truth is being sought by more people than ever — though we’re decades away from any popular uprising that would force government disclosure, if it ever happens at all.   Thus these dishonest practitioners of deception are trying harder than ever to discredit the truth by planting phony stories and then undermining them, using two of Dave Martin’s Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression,Knock down straw men” and “Come half clean.”  They’re playing with fire.

(Editor’s note: Some readers may not agree with the views expressed in this commentary.  If so, you are invited to send your comments, as is everyone. The moderator reserves the right to decide whether incoherent or hostile messages will be posted.)

Advertisements

Did Amelia etch her name in prison cell food door?

Whenever the discussion turns to the subject of the possible existence of “hard evidence” of Amelia Earhart’s presence on Saipan or the Marshall Islands, the metal door from the Garapan prison (or jail) with the provocative etching that suggests Amelia Earhart herself was the author is often mentioned.

In With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia Earhart (2002), written with much help from Thomas E. Devine, we introduce a fascinating object that captured the imagination of Earhart fans, at least for a time. Since this potential evidence, if confirmed as legitimate, would have placed Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan, the public was never informed about it by our trusted media.

In May 1994, Deanna Mick, of Arlington, Kansas, contacted Devine about an artifact that had recently come into her possession. Deanna and her husband had established an air charter service at Saipan’s International Airport in 1978, flying the neighboring islands in a single-engine 180 Cessna.

When they decided to return to the United States several years later, a former employee and one of their best friends, Ramon San Nicholas, presented her with a small steel door, 7-by-8 inches and about a quarter-inch thick, with broken hinges on one side and a hasp on the other. On one side of the door is this inscription:

July 29 1937                                                                                                                                                                                                           A. Earhart

The 7-by 8-inch steel door through which food may have been passed to Amelia Earhart while she was held prisoner in Garapan Prison, Saipan, in 1937. Thomas E. Devine observed this door and various inscriptions on the prison wall during the American invasion of Saipan in 1944. The door was retrieved by a native islander on Saipan, and is now in the possession of Deanna Mick, a pilot who co-owned an inter-island charter service from Saipan. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Mick, circa 1994.)
The 7-by 8-inch steel door through which food may have been passed to Amelia Earhart while she was held prisoner in Garapan Prison, Saipan, in 1937. Thomas E. Devine observed this door and various inscriptions on the prison wall during the American invasion of Saipan in 1944. The door was retrieved by a native islander on Saipan, and is now in the possession of Deanna Mick, a pilot who co-owned an inter-island charter service from Saipan. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Mick, circa 1994.)

“Ramon said the door came from the Japanese prison on Saipan, and that it was used to pass food and other articles to and from the cell,” Mick wrote, and enclosed a photograph of the door. In a subsequent letter she told Devine that Ramon died in 1986, and that she had no idea when the door was taken from the jail.

Ramon felt Deanna should have the door, Mick recalled, since she was the only woman pilot to fly the Marianas since Amelia Earhart. Ramon said he received it from a cousin on Saipan, who was positive Earhart was in the Garapan jail during the time indicated on the door, and that the etching came from her own hand.

Devine wrote to Mick, asking permission to conduct tests to determine when this inscription was made on the door. After his second letter, Mick responded, saying she would like to certify that the door came from the Garapan jail on Saipan, but she was not interested in giving up the door at that time. She enclosed a sheet of paper with a pencil tracing of the door, telling Devine, “The hinges are broken off and if the other part of the broken hinges are still on the cell at Saipan, which they could very well be, it would certify its authenticity.”

Devine believed the inscription may be authentic, and offered to pay Mrs. Mick for temporary custody of it. He would then have tests made to establish the approximate date of the inscription. When the tests were completed, he would return the door. “If a forensic test establishes an approximate date coinciding with the year of the Earhart disappearance, and with Mrs. Mick’s permission, I shall then compare this small door with the opening in the bars of the jail cell I had entered in 1944,” Devine wrote.

Mick told Devine she was leery of writing to anyone on Saipan about the door or of taking it to Saipan herself. “I am afraid the information could fall into the wrong hands and the door possibly confiscated — or worse,” she wrote. “Simply put, I don’t know anybody on Saipan at this time I would trust. Especially not the government.”

This is the inside of the cell at Saipan's old Garapan prison that is said to have been occupied by Amelia Earhart. Former Marine and Saipan veteran Henry Duda took it during his visit to Saipan for the 50th anniversary of the historic 1944 Battle of Saipan. Note the larger square area at the bottom center of the barred window, which is where the food door was located.
The inside of the cell at Saipan’s old Garapan prison that is said to have been occupied by Amelia Earhart. Former Marine and Saipan veteran Henry Duda took it during his visit to Saipan for the 50th anniversary of the historic 1944 Battle of Saipan. Note the larger square area at the bottom center of the barred window, which is where the food door was located.

In an undated letter than appeared in the November 1997 edition of Bill Prymak’s Amelia Earhart Society Newsletter, Mick described the basic history of the door, much as she had with Devine. She also sent Prymak a tracing of the artifact, and urged him to “send the picture to your man on Saipan. I would be interested to know if there is even a possibility of a match on Garapan.”

In the same November 1997 AES Newsletter, Prymak reported that AES member Bill Stewart, who resided on Saipan, “was given exact dimensions of the pass door, and a personal visit by Stewart to the GARAPAN PRISON confirms the size; it fits perfectly!”

The  door and its inscription prompted Devine to recall other details of his visit to the Garapan jail in 1944, further increasing the probability of the door’s authenticity. “I must report this,” even though I may be called a storyteller, or my veracity may be impugned,” Devine wrote in his unpublished manuscript, “The Concealed Grave of Amelia Earhart,” circa spring 1995.

On many occasions I have glanced at the photo of the door submitted by Deanna Mick. It has stirred my memory, and I do recall a door of that type on the bars of the cell that I had entered. As I lifted myself from the depth of the jail-cell floor, and grasped the swinging iron gate, I observed a few dark numbers on the dark metal opening. I believe this may be a coincidence, therefore I am seeking through Deanna Mick the names, addresses and any information that may ascertain that this may have been retrieved from the same cell.

“If this can be verified,’ Devine continued, “I am willing to visit the cellblock on Saipan to certify the door hinge matches the opening of the cell. This would establish another certainty: that Amelia Earhart was imprisoned in a filthy unsanitary cell on the island of Saipan.”

The smaller of the two Garapan prison cellblocks, often reserved for “special” prisoners and females, according to some reports, where several witnesses reported that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were held after their arrival on Saipan in July 1937. (Courtesy Tony Gochar.)
The smaller of the two Garapan prison cellblocks, often reserved for “special” prisoners and females, according to some reports. Several witnesses reported that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were held in this building after their arrival on Saipan sometime in the summer of 1937. (Courtesy Tony Gochar.)

The food door evoked another revelation by Devine concerning his 1944 visit to the Garapan jail, another piece of the puzzle he kept to himself, hoping that someday he might testify before Congress in a investigation aimed at getting to the truth in the Earhart case.  Devine’s recollection continues:

Since Deanna Mick has brought forth her artifact, perhaps I should no longer withhold what I had observed in the first cell from where we had entered the prison block, while investigating the pungent odor in 1944.

In 1944, after having climbed up to the walkway of the cellblock with the pungent odor, I looked into the first cell and was very surprised at the depth of the cell, perhaps six feet down from the walkway. Facing directly into the cell, and about two feet from the dirt floor, were two letters on the wall.

They were not Japanese letters, but they were English letters, an F and an N. They were very bright red, which I thought may have been paint. But where would a prisoner get paint? Since this was a Japanese prison, the English letters seemed out of place. If the letters had been placed there by a serviceman, he would usually include his rank, except of course when it was designated that “Kilroy was here.”

Deanna Mick

      Deanna Mick

In 1944 I was fully aware of the presence of Amelia Earhart’s airplane on the island of Saipan, and assumed this incident was a top government matter and none of my business whatsoever. I never for a moment thought that Amelia Earhart had been a prisoner of the Japanese, and the name of her navigator had been relegated to secondary publication over a period of years. I never for a moment connected the letters “F N” to Fred Noonan, in 1944.

Since I did not go down into this cell, I am unaware of any additional lettering that may have been placed upon the wall below the iron grating, unseen by the Japanese guards. It is quite possible that the lettering may have been blood, sustained by an injury, or it may have been a finger rubbing against the wall to induce bleeding. Rain would produce a dripping effect, and over a period of time perhaps eliminate the letters. That is, if it were blood. At any rate, the letters appeared to be finger width, and about four inches high.

Of course the investigation that Devine dearly hoped would shine the spotlight on his extraordinary experiences on Saipan never happened, and is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes, or anyone’s lifetimes, for that matter, barring some kind of a miraculous intervention.  That’s the view from here, anyway.

As for the metal door, though it remains a unique curiosity, there’s no way to determine who actually did the etching, or even when it was done. “Whether Amelia did the etching or someone sympathetic to her plight,” Mick wrote to Prymak circa 1997, “I would have no way of knowing, nor do I think does anyone else.”

In a recent e-mail,  Mick said there’s “nothing new for me to add to the information you already have about the door. It is such a unique item though and keeps us asking, ‘What if?'”  

Eugene Sims and “Amelia Earhart’s Ghost,” Part 2

When I put together the previous post about Eugene Sims and his “ghost of Amelia Earhart” photo, I had no idea what I was stepping into, nor did Sims when he took the photo of the cell at the old Garapan prison on Saipan in 1973. While the figure Sims thought could have been Amelia’s ghost was apparently only a trick of the lighting within the cell, the rest of the photo has opened up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities, thanks to my friend Laurel Blyth Tague Ph.D.

After beholding what Laurel’s discerning eye had revealed, I was ready to title this post “Welcome to the Amelia Earhart Paranormal Society,” but then realized that might be a bit too far out on the “fringe,” where our critics like to keep us. Admittedly, this and the previous post are complete departures from our normal menu of serious discussion of the Earhart disappearance, but after more than 70 such posts since July 2012, I don’t think a brief journey into the paranormal will hurt the cause appreciably. 

Laurel is the New York State director, host and managing producer for E.P.I.C. Voyagers Radio on the Inception Radio Network. I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of appearing twice with Laurel on her two-hour E.P.I.C. Voyagers weekly show, and she was the best-prepared, most intelligent and considerate radio host I’ve ever met. She’s also a trained observer of phantoms, or phantasms, or however these faces that appear in photos of allegedly haunted places can be described.

Laurel Blyth Tague Ph.D., has indicated with red boxes and circles the locations of faces that can be seen in the Eugene SIms 1973 photo of Garapan prison. Laurel explains the the image Sims thought might have been Amelia's ghost as a mere trick of light, but these other phantoms are less easily explained. Considering that Garapan prison, with its history of ghastly tortures, murders and unimaginable pain, is the kind of place that is known throughout history as most likely to be haunted, these images are not surprising.
Laurel Blyth Tague, Ph.D., has indicated with red boxes and circles the locations of faces that can be seen in the Eugene Sims’ 1973 photo of Garapan prison. Laurel explains the image Sims thought might have been Amelia’s ghost as a mere trick of light. But what do we call these faces, and from where do they come? Considering that Garapan prison, with its history of torture, murders and unimaginable pain is the kind of place known throughout history as most likely to be haunted, these images are not surprising. “A” is top circle, “B” and “C” are center boxes, “D,” E,” and “F” are boxes at left, and “G” is circle at right. (Photo copyright Eugene Sims, all rights reserved.)

I’ve seen similar faces on a website or possibly a book, but can’t find them now.  I suggested to Laurel that these wraith-like faces are to photography what electronic voice phenomena, commonly known as EVP, are to audio recording. She agreed, and isolated the individual faces she found in the photos, writing a brief description of each. Most I can recognize, but some are beyond me. Forthwith is the great presentation Laurel put together; I hope you like it half as much as I do. 

Dr. Laurel Blyth Tague:

Definitely EVPs are the gold standard of paranormal research: recorded voices saying things that make sense relative to the location and its history that are not noticed or heard by people at the time these utterances are collected digitally or on cassette tape. Only after later analysis – very careful and concerted attention to the entire audio – are these utterances heard. The ones I have heard from researchers are startling, both in terms of clarity and topic.

My logic tells me that making a sound or noise or uttering words might require far less energy from “that other dimension” (for lack of a common expression) than moving anything in this 3D dimension. I see manifesting an image or a wispy, smoky haze as somewhere between these two ways to communicate in terms of difficulty.  

Head tilted downward, eyes also looking downward, eyelids mostly closed. Expression melancholy. Right side of nose in light, tip prominent by shadow beneath and to left. Lips slightly compressed, two lips visible.
Head tilted downward, eyes also looking downward, eyelids mostly closed. Expression melancholy. Right side of nose in light, tip prominent by shadow beneath and to left. Lips slightly compressed, two lips visible.

guess I should throw in the insertion of smells and thoughts (often reported), especially when a close relative or friend passes. These I would place a little easier on the scale of ghostly talent than even creating audio evidence. In fact, I think that these four types of evidence are collected on a scale of frequency in the same order: thoughts and smells, sounds and words, images and hazes, moving or relocated objects.

What we present here for your consideration is simply meant as food for thought, at the very least entertainment. When I read Mike’s most recent blog Eugene C. Sims and the “Ghost of Amelia Earhart”, I stared and stared at the photo and thought Sims must have been pointing to the highly lit feature in the middle of the central doorway, consisting of two parallel vertical lines and topped by what could be horizontal shoulders and a skull. I thought, no, this is just too easy – that has to be the way the light is shining into the cell through the jungle foliage. 

Head tilted up and to right slightly. Eyes open, left eye in shade. Nose prominent by light, nostrils shaded. Mouth in relaxed expression Chin beneath mouth, shadows on neck beneath chin. Dark fabric visible coming off left shoulder sets off neckline.
Head tilted up and to right slightly. Eyes open, left eye in shade. Nose prominent by light, nostrils shaded. Mouth in relaxed expression Chin beneath mouth, shadows on neck beneath chin. Dark fabric visible coming off left shoulder sets off neckline.

This tendency for humans to perceive scant visual stimuli and then attribute meaning to them has long been one very handy survival skill in our evolutionary toolkits. Granted, sometimes we may read too much into what we see. Nowadays the paranormal investigation community strongly warns fledgling researchers against matrixing. 

Surprisingly to me, Wikipedia actually has an interesting page dedicated to pareidolia, a less common term than matrixing, but with a more dignified and relevant etymology:  from the Greek para-, meaning, in this context, “something faulty or wrong” (for example, paraphasia: “disordered speech”) and eidolon (1828),“ a ghostly image or phantom.”

head tileted downward, eyes looking down, heavy eyelids. Nose prominent by light, face more shaded on left side. Right cheek accentuated by light. Both lips visible,slightly parted and slightly pursed Contour of face from cheek to chin visible on right side just to right of lower lip. Lighter feature below lips and chin suggests a left hand holding a cigarette, her expression suggesting she is getting a light from someone. Tip of cigarette visible near bottom center of image.
Head tilted downward, eyes looking down, heavy eyelids. Nose prominent by light, face more shaded on left side. Right cheek accentuated by light. Both lips visible,slightly parted and slightly pursed Contour of face from cheek to chin visible on right side just to right of lower lip. Lighter feature below lips and chin suggests a left hand holding a cigarette, her expression suggesting she is getting a light from someone. Tip of cigarette visible near bottom center of image.

Pareidolia is the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features.  Devotees of paranormal investigation have come to use the term matrixing to mean much the same when referring to the observation and interpretation of specifically visual information.

What is interesting to me is the implication inherent in this definition that whatever we think we are seeing is not really there: in other words, we are making it up by our interpretation, foisting upon the image qualities it does not truly have. There is almost the connotation that we are trying to fool others by stating what we see in the image, or at the very least we are demonstrating publicly that we are gullible fools.

Another option, putting both B and C together as a whole image. Below the face described in B, the image from C now suggests her upper torso, dark leather?] jacket open in font with lighter color shirt open at neck, or lighter color ascot or scarf tied at neck and tucked in. If Amelia ever smoked a pipe, it could explain the dark linear object protruding from her mouth. Many women did/do.
Another option, putting both B and C together as a whole image. Below the face described in B, the image from C now suggests her upper torso, dark [leather?] jacket open in font with lighter color shirt open at neck, or lighter color ascot or scarf tied at neck and tucked in. If Amelia ever smoked a pipe, it could explain the dark linear object protruding from her mouth. Many women did/do.

Well, I can think of examples of certain individuals involved in researching Earhart’s final demise who might well be described in this way.

So I saved the [Eugene C. Sims] image and opened it in a couple different apps I use to enlarge images and study them in greater detail. Immediately I saw that what appeared to be long, skeletal legs are indeed bamboo stalks or some other kind of flora, and that skull is just a big leaf. I laughed to myself, remembering one of my favorite Peanuts strips ever, where Linus, Lucy, and Charlie Brown are looking at clouds and telling each other what they resemble.

Notice the goggles above the face, on the front top of head; two brows, eyes in shadow beneath, slight smile; looking over right shoulder.
Notice the goggles above the face, on the front top of head; two brows, eyes in shadow beneath, slight smile; looking over right shoulder.

I thought, before I closed my app, I would poke around and look a bit, just to see if I noticed anything resembling a face or person, especially those of a female. I noticed three female faces almost within mere seconds and managed to find three more after really scouring over the image. I prepared little guidelines next to each extracted image I found, explaining what I saw, hoping to help someone else see what I did.

After emailing these to Mike and a couple other close friends (“open-minded” friends, I might add), one of them came back with a seventh woman’s face! What we present here are these extracted images with additional pointers to help with locating them in the larger image. 

Head tilted up and to right. Right eye looking upward slightly, brow above. Nose tip below, strong shadow beneath to upper left of mouth. Mouth below. two full lips visible, in a relaxed posture. Strong shin below lips.
Head tilted up and to right. Right eye looking upward slightly, brow above. Nose tip below, strong shadow beneath to upper left of mouth. Mouth below. two full lips visible, in a relaxed posture. Strong chin below lips.

At least some of these faces will stubbornly refuse to materialize for some of you. These details are best recognized at a certain resolution — too enlarged and it just looks like a gray mulch, too reduced and it looks like a more linear gray mulch. Viewers should play with zooming in and out by bits until the image pops out at them. The images here are at the best resolution for me. 

I am fiercely intellectually curious and open-minded but I would not say gullible. There are many things in this world that are not yet resolved or explained fully, because all the facts are not on the table and in many cases adequate technology or methodology are lacking.

One reader here asked why Amelia would haunt a location so completely imbued with agony and grief for her, to which another reader answered perhaps she is merely making her mark on this image at this blog, a place where we continue to question and dig and discuss until her true fate has been demonstrated and accepted by the public. This sounds to me like a plausible answer, and I hope each of you finds these images and comments at the very least thought-provoking and entertaining.

 

Head leaning to left. Face slender, eyes shut. Hair over right eye, covering it. Left nostril darkly shaded and prominent. Mouth looks open, agape, as if snoring in sleep. Right contour of chin visible and part of neck. Lighter feature below face in lower right portion of image could be arm, hand or something like a pillow on which the head is resting. Reminiscent of a death portrait.
Head leaning to left. Face slender, eyes shut. Hair over right eye, covering it. Left nostril darkly shaded and prominent. Mouth looks open, agape, as if snoring in sleep. Right contour of chin visible and part of neck. Lighter feature below face in lower right portion of image could be arm, hand or something like a pillow on which the head is resting. Reminiscent of a death portrait.

Every now and then I see a photo and – if I can assume it’s legitimate and not doctored – it is probably even more stunning to me. I never expect/demand that the image matches a pose from a photograph of the person.

This seems ridiculously pedantic and artificial to me – what of all the people who died before photography and were later seen as ghosts? How does a dead person select the exact photo s/he wants to use as the calling card in these instances? Not to mention, doesn’t it make more sense that a ghostly image in a photo that does match an old photo of that person, stands a better chance to have been technologically superimposed on the newer photo?

So it does not bother me that I do not see Amelia’s face, as in press photos, in these. The one with what I see to be goggles on her head is impressive to me.

(By the way, do any of you know of research funding streams to send a number of amateur ghost hunters researchers to Saipan to conduct research at this location? Just curious.) (End of Laurel Blyth Tague’s analysis; sincere thanks to Laurel for a great job.)

Profile of face looking toward left of image. Forehead, beneath that brow and skin area above eyelid. Eye is half open, looking straight ahead. Cheek prominent by light, compared to shadow alongside the nose. Nose is somewhat short but straight. Two lips and chin toward bottom half of image.
Profile of face looking toward left of image. Forehead, beneath that brow and skin area above eyelid. Eye is half open, looking straight ahead. Cheek prominent by light, compared to shadow alongside the nose. Nose is somewhat short but straight. Two lips and chin toward bottom half of image.

Laurel sent the images to a well-known paranormal “expert” for his opinion, and he told her that this phenomenon is known as simulacrum, meaning “something looks like something it isn’t. Sort of the same thing as figures in clouds, etc.” He didn’t seem impressed, but since I’m not a paranormal expert, I’m free to reject the idea that these images can  be attributed to pareidolia, matrixing or even this fancy simulacrum term, which I consider to be a dodge.

If we’re seeing something “that doesn’t exist,” why are we seeing the same things in these photos? I think B+C looks a lot like Amelia, for example. And why do these faces appear almost exclusively in photos of notoriously haunted locations?

I think these faces might be those of discarnate or disembodied  entities trapped between planes of existence, between heaven and earth, so to speak, who for whatever reason cannot move on into the light — or the darkness, if that’s their destiny. Or could these some kind of lower-level demonic entities, lingering in a location renowned for evil doings, seeking new hosts or victims to torment?

How do you explain this, readers? What do you think? Let us hear from you!

 

%d bloggers like this: