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 encounter that 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 we mark 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 even 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 (TIGHAR), 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.
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.
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, which I seriously doubt.
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. The inaugural version of Earhart Truth Presentations failed to pay for its rollout. I sent my query 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.
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.
I 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.
I suppose it’s about time I posted something here, if only to justify the existence of this blog, so far out on the fringe of obscurity, much like the object of its focus. Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last marked its first birthday on June 21, a few weeks before the arrival of the 76th anniversary of Amelia’s last flight, on July 2, 1937. Since nothing memorable happened on the “platinum” anniversary, when one might reasonably expect something of significance to occur, we shouldn’t be surprised when the 76th anniversary would pass quietly.
All wasn’t entirely calm on the media front, as Ric Gillespie of TIGHAR was promoting another of his bi-annual schemes to collect prodigious sums of money from the stupid for the ostensible purpose of returning to Nikumaroro and searching for Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan and their lost plane. Gillespie has done this 10 times already and found many curious “artifacts” among the island’s buried garbage that he’s brazenly attempted to connect to the lost flyers or the Electra, never successfully of course, because they were never on Nikumaroro.
No need to provide the details of Gillespie’s latest scheme here; it’s possibly the most absurd of all his ridiculous offerings to date, and would be hilarious if it wasn’t such an outrageous affront to all common sense and decency. Regardless, Gillespie need only utter his latest fantasy to Discovery News, which publishes his newest excuse to fundraise, and the monkeys and stenographers in the entire major media fall in line with their always-predictable press releases and breathless broadcasts, once again hyping a delusion as the Second Coming.
Many can attest to the fact that the American flyers never visited the atoll once known as Gardner Island, including Henry Maude and Eric Bevington of the British Colonial Service, who was there just 100 days after Earhart vanished. Ninety-odd days earlier, Lieutenant John Lambrecht and two other pilots from the USS Colorado, whose planes were launched by the battleship to search Gardner mere days after the flyers went missing, saw nothing amiss. The hundreds of Gilbertese settlers who lived there from 1940 until the early 1960s, as well as the dozens of U.S. Coast Guardsmen who manned the LORAN Station in 1944-’45, would say the same thing — no trace of the missing American pair was ever seen on the island.
Meanwhile the major media blackout of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, continues unceasingly. Good people such as Deanna Spignola, Michael Betteridge and Jessica Renshaw were willing to offer their support, stand up for the truth and have me on their radio shows and write about this on their blogs. Thanks to great support from Debbie Menon of Veterans News Now, my long commentary, “The truth in the Earhart ‘mystery’ is a sacred cow” reached No. 1 on that news site, with many thousands of reads (please see “Media” at www.EarhartTruth.com).
Otherwise, the entire lame-stream media vehemently opposes and ignores this book and its message; their longtime investment in perpetuating Gillespie’s falsehoods is obvious to any rational observer. If the publication of Truth at Last has proven anything, it’s that the Earhart cover-up is alive, well and more real today than ever. How else can one explain the media’s unbridled, never-ending enthusiasm for the so-called Nikumaroro “hypothesis,” which is nothing more than long-debunked, thirdhand, unmitigated crap, while completely ignoring Truth at Last and its uncompromising presentation of the overwhelming eyewitness, witness and documentary evidence that places Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan and their Electra 10E on Saipan in the weeks and months following their loss?
Want more evidence? Hollywood director Rich Martini and associates recently spent months on Saipan vainly digging at the old Aslito Airfield in search of Amelia’s Electra, as well as interviewing aging Chamorros in search of new eyewitnesses to the prewar presence and deaths of Earhart and Noonan. Naturally, Martini’s activities were big news on Saipan, and were covered extensively in the two newspapers there, Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune. But one could search forever without finding a single media organization in America – not one newspaper, radio or TV station, or even a single blog – that contained a whisper of Martini’s Saipan excursion. Enough said for now. I continue my efforts, for whatever that’s worth.
Two months have passed since I posted an entry on this virtually invisible blog, where only a scant few intrepid souls dare to tread. Just as I was beginning to wonder why we haven’t lately heard from Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR (which has also become an acronym for deceit and misdirection in the Earhart disappearance), they turn up in the headlines once again, like the bad pennies they are.
Apparently it took nearly a full year before Gillespie could conjure up a new reason to fleece the unwary and justify yet another trip back to godforsaken Nikumaroro Atoll, where he insists he can find Amelia Earhart’s Electra, if only he’s given enough OPM (other people’s money). How many times have we seen this despicable song and dance? I’ve lost count.
“Amelia Earhart’s Plane Revealed in Sonar?” Discovery News asks its uninformed readers to consider in its May 29 edition. “A grainy sonar image captured off an uninhabited tropical island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati might represent the remains of the Electra, the two-engine aircraft legendary aviator Amelia Earhart was piloting when she vanished on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator,” Discovery News reporter Rossella Lorenzi writes.
Released by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating Earhart’s last, fateful flight, the images show an “anomaly” resting at the depth of about 600 feet in the waters off Nikumaroro island, some 350 miles southeast of Earhart’s target destination, Howland Island.
. . . “We currently project that it will take nearly $3,000,000 to put together an expedition that can do what needs to be done. It’s a lot of money, but it’s a small price to pay for finding Amelia,” Gillespie said.
Loathe to miss another golden opportunity to keep its readers across the pond as stupid as possible, the UK’s Daily Mail echoed the Discovery News story two days later in its Mail Online edition, asking “Is this Amelia Earhart’s plane? Sonar image from uninhabited Pacific island could show remains of aviator’s aircraft Electra that disappeared in 1937.” The extensive high-tech photo and graphic layouts in both articles are hugely overdone, as if both publications are trying to force-feed Gillespie’s latest red herring to their readers. For anyone remotely informed about the Earhart matter, to label these stories and Gillespie’s claims utterly ridiculous is an exercise in abject understatement.
Pouring gasoline on a roaring fire of mendacity, Lorenzi reports that a “number of artifacts recovered by TIGHAR during 10 expeditions have suggested that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, made a forced landing on the island’s smooth, flat coral reef.” What Lorenzi fails to tell readers is that NONE of the artifacts Gillespie has dug up on the trampled-over island has ever been connected to Earhart or Noonan, that hundreds of U.S. Coast Guard LORAN Station personnel and Gilbertese settlers lived on Nikumaroro for over 20 years between 1940 and the early 1960s, and that the media’s continuing embrace of Gillespie’s third-hand, long-debunked theory is pure disinformation, meant to keep the public ignorant about the facts in the Earhart matter.
This time Gillespie wants $3 million to seek out the source of this “sonar” hit or whatever. It’s getting very difficult to read this crap anymore. With Gillespie, TIGHAR and their media accomplices, it’s just the same hag dressed up in different clothes. What it does show, beyond a doubt, is how alive and well the Earhart cover-up is, and how heavily invested the establishment is in keeping the masses in the dark about the truth.
No observers in their right minds would give Gillespie a dime after 10 trips to Nikumaroro and nothing to show for it, so why would an objective media, without an agenda, spend two lines in promoting Gillespie’s constant failures? Once again, Gillespie has proven Amelia Earhart was never on Nikumaroro, and once again, he’s going to be rewarded for it with a fat payday. Don’t ask me where I think the money to fund these unending Pacific cruises comes from.
The Mail Online article saved the worst for last, dismissing the truth in two sentences, which actually is more than most “news organizations” will spend. “A few theorists reckon that she Earhart was spying on Japan and had been captured and executed,” the unnamed Daily Mail reporter wrote. “This theory has been discounted by the American authorities and press.” Just WHY American authorities and the press have discounted this “theory,” of course, is not mentioned, nor is the location of Earhart and Noonan’s deaths — SAIPAN.
If you’re curious, and you’ve somehow stumbled upon this blog, I suggest that the truth about these and other questions about the so-called “Earhart Mystery” can be found in my book, Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.