Tag Archives: Mike Campbell

A timeline of key events in the disappearance and search for Amelia Earhart, second of two parts

We continue with our list of significant developments that have shaped and defined the modern search for Amelia Earhart through the years.  As I wrote in the opening of this timeline, this is but one man’s opinion, and I make no sweeping claims as to its comprehensiveness.  As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome and will be considered for inclusion.

November 1966: Retired Marine Gen. Graves B. Erskine, deputy commander of V Amphibious Corps during the Saipan invasion, visits the radio studios of KCBS in San Francisco for an interview with Fred Goerner. While waiting to go on the air, Erskine tells Jules Dundes, CBS West Coast vice president, and Dave McElhatton, a KCBS newsman, “It was established that Earhart was on Saipan. You’ll have to dig the rest out for yourselves.”

June 1967: The ONI Report is declassified and transferred from the Naval Investigative Service (formerly the ONI) to the U.S. Naval History Division. From the day of its declassification, this document has been Exhibit Number One on the evidence list that reveals the presence and deaths of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan.  Moreover, the ONI Report  offers a clear glimpse into the actual workings of the U.S. government’s longstanding practice of denial and deceit in the Earhart disappearance. Despite the mendacity, half-truths and misdirection that flavor its pages, the ONI Report remains the only official government statement ever released that indicates its knowledge of Earhart and Noonan’s presence on Saipan. Thus far, it is the closest thing we have to a smoking gun in the Earhart search.

General Graves Erskine was advanced to four-star rank upon his retirement in 1953.

Gen. Graves B. Erskine, deputy commander of V Amphibious Corps during the 1944 Saipan invasion, was advanced to four-star rank upon his retirement in 1953.  Erskine is well known among Earhart observers for his 1966 statement to two of Fred Goerner’s associates at the KCBS radio studios in San Francisco: “It was established that Earhart was on Saipan. You’ll have to dig out the rest for yourselves.”

November 1967 to April 1968: Donald Kothera and his so-called “Cleveland Group” visit Saipan twice in search of evidence supporting Earhart and Noonan’s presence and death there. Kothera’s interview of native Anna Diaz Magofna, who claimed to have seen the beheading of a tall white man as a 7-year-old on Saipan in 1937, is among the most compelling of the Saipan witnesses’ accounts. Kothera excavated a site that some believe is the same one Griswold, Henson and Burks exhumed in 1944.

1969: Amelia Earhart Returns from Saipan (First Edition) by Joe Davidson, is published by Davidson Publishing Co., Canton, Ohio. Davidson’s book chronicles Don Kothera and the Cleveland Group’s activities in 1967-1968 on Saipan and their return to the states. The book, though often overlooked and poorly written, contains a wealth of important eyewitness material.

1970: Amelia Earhart Lives: A Trip Through Intrigue to Find America’s First Lady of Mystery, by Joe Klaas, is published by McGraw-Hill (New York).  This is the notorious book that introduced the disastrous Amelia Earhart-as-Irene Bolam myth to the world.  Irene Bolam, a New Jersey housewife mistaken for Amelia Earhart in 1965 by the delusional Joe Gervais, sued McGraw-Hill for defamation. A settlement was reached and the book was pulled from the shelves after seven weeks, but not before great damage was inflicted on all legitimate Earhart research

Nov. 12, 1970: Japanese citizen Michiko Sugita tells the Japan Times that military police shot Amelia Earhart as a spy on Saipan in 1937. Sugita was 11 years old in 1937, and her father, Mikio Suzuki, was a civilian police chief at Garapan, Saipan’s capital. She learned about the execution of the American woman from military police at a party given by her father.

Mikio Suzuki, the district chief of police, poses with his family on Saipan circa 1938. Mikio’s daughter, Michiko, is standing to his immediate left, and was about 12 years old in this photo. Michiko became Mrs. Michiko Sugita, and remains the lone Japanese national to come forward with the truth about Amelia Earhart’s death on Saipan. (Courtesy Thomas E. Devine.)

Mikio Suzuki, the district chief of police, poses with his family on Saipan circa 1938. Mikio’s daughter, Michiko, is standing to his immediate left, and was about 12 years old in this photo. Michiko became Mrs. Michiko Sugita, and remains the lone Japanese national to come forward with the truth about Amelia Earhart’s death on Saipan. (Courtesy Thomas E. Devine.)

Aug. 10, 1971: In a letter to Fred Goerner, Retired Marine Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, the 18th commandant of the Marine Corps, writes: “General Tommy Watson, who commanded the 2nd Marine Division during the assault on Saipan and stayed on that island after the fall of Okinawa, on one of my seven visits of inspection of his division told me that it had been substantiated that Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan.” 

 1978 to 1982: Former Air Force pilot Vincent V. Loomis made four trips to the Marshall Islands, two to Saipan and one to Tokyo in search of witnesses and Earhart-related evidence. Loomis interviews witnesses to the Electra’s crash-landing in the waters off Barre Island, and is generally credited with solidifying the Marshall Islands landing scenario.

September 1979: South African Oliver Knaggs is hired by a film producer to join Loomis in the Marshalls and chronicle his search. In Knaggs’ 1983 book, Amelia Earhart: Her last flight, Knaggs recounts his 1979 and ’81 investigations in the Marshalls and Saipan. Her last flight corroborates much of the witness testimony gathered by Goerner and Loomis, and is the first published book to present the eyewitness account of Bilimon Amaron, who tended to Fred Noonan’s knee wound at Jaluit in July 1937.

June 1982:  After years of studying data from the Pan Am intercepts and other alleged radio receptions, famed inventor Fred Hooven presents his paper, Amelia Earhart’s Last Flightat the Amelia Earhart Symposium at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum.  This was the genesis of the false “Nikumaroro Hypothesis,” which has so dominated public discussion since The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery’s (TIGHAR) first trip there in 1989. Later, Hooven reportedly changed his mind and fully embraced the Marshall Islands landing scenario, made famous by Vincent V. Loomis in his 1985 book, Amelia Earhart: The Final Story after Fred Goerner laid its foundation in The Search for Amelia Earhart.

1983: Amelia Earhart: Her last flight, is published by a South African firm.  A collector’s item, Knaggs’ book is worth the price for researchers interested in learning more about details of Vincent V. Loomis’ work in the Marshalls, and offers new evidence never revealed elsewhere.

Oliver Knaggs, author of Amelia Earhart: Her final flight, at Garapan Prison, Saipan, circa 1981.

Oliver Knaggs, author of Amelia Earhart: Her final flight, at Garapan Prison, Saipan, circa 1981.

June 1985: Amelia Earhart: The Final Story, by Vincent V. Loomis and Jeffrey Ethell, is published by Random House, a huge mainstream outfit, and recounts the aforementioned investigations by Vincent V. Loomis.  The book’s most glowing review came from Jeffrey Hart, writing in William F. Buckley’s National Review. After gushing that Loomis “interviewed the surviving Japanese who were involved and he photographed the hitherto unknown Japanese military and diplomatic documents,” Hart writes, “The mystery is a mystery no longer.” Neither the U.S. government or the entire establishment media got Hart’s memo.

April 1, 1987: Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, by Thomas E. Devine, is published by Renaissance House Publishers (Frederick, Colo.). Eyewitness is Devine’s first-person account of his Earhart-related experiences in the summer of 1944, which included his personal inspection of Electra NR 16020, Earhart’s plane discovered at Aslito Field and his return to Saipan in 1963 with Fred Goerner, when he located the gravesite of a white man and woman who had “come from the sky” before the war, according to an unidentified Okinawan’s account to him in 1945.

July 1988: Witness to the Execution: The Odyssey of Amelia Earhart, by T.C. “Buddy” Brennan is published by the same Renaissance House that released Eyewitness a year earlier. During three trips to the Marshalls and Saipan in the early 1980s, Houston real-estate executive Buddy Brennan interviews several Marshallese and Saipan natives with knowledge of the presence and deaths of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan. One alleged eyewitness. Mrs. Nievas Cabrera Blas, claims to have seen a white woman shot and buried near her home just prior to the American invasion in 1944. Brennan’s excavation produces a rag that he claims is the blindfold worn by Amelia Earhart, an impossible-to-prove theory.

March 16, 1992: at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Ric Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, announces that the Amelia Earhart mystery “is solved.” The “evidence” Gillespie presents includes a battered piece of aluminum, a weathered size 9 shoe sole labeled “Cat’s Paw Rubber Co., USA,” a small brass eyelet and another unlabeled heel the group found on Nikumaroro during TIGHAR’s highly publicized second trip there in October 1991. These items, elaborately displayed and labeled in a glass case, all came from Earhart or her Electra, according to Gillespie. All this material is later thoroughly and scientifically debunked, and nothing that Gillespie and TIGHAR have brought back from Nikumaroro in 11 trips has ever been forensically linked to the fliers.

1993 to present: Australian aircraft engineer David Billings, working in Papua New Guinea, has an interest in locating World War aircraft wrecks there. In 1993 he reads of the possibility that Earhart’s Electra aircraft might have been seen by some Australian army soldiers while on patrol in the jungle on New Britain Island in 1945.  After contacting the actual veterans, he learns that they have a “patrol map” from their wartime patrol, during which they saw the aircraft wreck. In 1994, one of the veterans, Donald Angwin, preparing the map for Billings to view, finds some writing on the map which came into view after Angwin removed some old tape on the border. 

Billings finds a reference written as “600 H/P S3H1 C/N1055” which together form identifiers for Earhart’s  Electra aircraft by identifying the horsepower rating of the engines, the Pratt & Whitney designation for the engines she used and, last of all, the actual Electra aircraft serial number, expressed as a Construction Number: “1055.”

A recent photo of David Billings at his home in Nambour, Australia. (Courtesy David Billings.)

David Billings at his home in Nambour, Australia, who is still hopeful he can locate the wreck of the plane found in Papua New Guinea that he believes is the Earhart Electra. (Courtesy David Billings.)

These letter and number codes matches Amelia Earhart’s Electra NR 16020.  The letters and numbers given as a reference on the map border are believed to be the same “string of letters and numbers” seen by the patrol warrant officer on a small metal tag that  he removed from the engine mount tubing of one engine at the crash site.  This written evidence and the description of the wreckage given by the veterans gives rise to the New Britain theory, the theory that Earhart had carried out her contingency plan to return to the Gilbert Islands.  The theory posits that on finding the Gilberts, Earhart took stock of her fuel remaining and then attempted to make Rabaul on New Britain.  According to Billings, Amelia’s choice was simple: crash-land on the Gilberts or continue on with the possibility of safe landing or the same crash-landing later in the day.  The wreck seen in 1945 is some 45 miles from Rabaul. (Courtesy of David Billings.) We will have much more on the New Britain theory in a forthcoming post.

Sept. 13, 1994: Fred Goerner dies at age 69 in San Francisco.

June 13, 1996: Vincent V. Loomis dies at age 75 in Pensacola, Fla.

May 2001: The infamous “Weishien Telegram” a speed letter sent from the liberated Japanese internment camp at Weishien, China, on Aug. 28, 1945, once believed to have been sent from Amelia Earhart to George Putnam, is proven to have originated with Turkish author and world traveler Ahmad Kamal by researcher Ron Bright. Putnam had agreed to look after Kamal’s aging mother when Kamal left for China, thus the “Love to Mother” close that, misunderstood as coming from Amelia, created sensational speculation. Bright’s findings are initially published in the May 2001 edition of TIGHAR Tracks newsletter.

Sept. 1, 2002: With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia Earhart, by Mike Campbell with Thomas E. Devine, is published by a small Ohio company. With Our Own Eyes presents the eyewitness accounts of the 26 former GIs who served during the Saipan Invasion, and came forward to advise Thomas Devine of their own experiences on Saipan that indicated the presence and death of Amelia and Fred on the Japanese-controlled island in the prewar years.

Sept. 16, 2003: Thomas E. Devine dies at age 88 in West Haven, Conn.

April 2005: Legerdemain: Deceit, Misdirection and Political Sleight of Hand in the Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by David K. Bowman is published by AuthorHouse. Legerdemain is notable in that it brings together, for the first time, many of the strangest and most obscure Earhart tales, clearly demonstrating the extent to which the Earhart case has been stigmatized by fantasists since its earliest days. Legerdemain is republished in June 2007 by Saga Books of Canada, and in e-book format by Vaga Books in March 2014.

2011 to January 2015: Dick Spink, of Bow, Washington, travels five times to Mili Atoll’s Barre Island area, where many believe Earhart crash-landed her plane on July 2, 1937. Working with Australian Martin Daly and groups of locals armed with metal detectors on the tiny Endriken (Marshallese for “little”) Islands, about a mile east of Barre, the group’s discoveries included a small aluminum plate and a circular metal dust cover from a landing-gear airwheel assembly that appeared to be consistent with an Electra 10E. According to Spink, Daly found both the plate and the circular metal dust cover in the same area during different searches. The artifacts have no serial numbers, thus they cannot be attached solely to the Earhart Electra.

Dick Spink stands on the rocky beach near Barre Island where he believes Amelia Earhart landed her Electra 10E on July 2, 1937. Spinks' compelling discoveries on Mili's Endriken Islands have been met with abject silence by a media that refuses to face the truth in the Earhart disappearance.

Dick Spink stands on the rocky beach near Barre Island where he believes Amelia Earhart landed her Electra 10E on July 2, 1937.  Spink’s compelling discoveries on Mili’s Endriken Islands have been met with abject silence by a corrupt, politicized media that refuses to face the facts about the Earhart disappearance. 

Summer 2012: TIGHAR’s Ric Gillespie meets and is photographed with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  prior to embarking on trip number 10 to Nikumaroro. Discerning observers know this photo is compelling evidence that the U.S. government continues to be actively engaged in the business of disinformation in the Earhart case, and at this point was dropping all pretense that the “official” Navy-Coast Guard 1937 verdict has any validity whatsoever.

June 2012: Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, by Mike Campbell, is published by Sunbury Press (Mechanicsburg, Penn.). Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last presents many new findings, eyewitness accounts and analysis, and never-before-published revelations from many unimpeachable sources including famed U.S. generals and iconic newsman and Earhart researcher Fred Goerner’s files that reveal the truth about her death on Saipan, as well as the sacred cow status of this matter within the American establishment. The book is blacked out by the mainstream media.

April 2013: The Earhart Enigma: Retracing Amelia’s Last Flight, by Dave Horner, is published by Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, La. The Earhart Enigma presents another comprehensive and compelling case for the Marshalls-Saipan scenarios in a different literary style than Truth at Last, and is an important addition to the small but growing collection of works that present aspects of the truth about Amelia’s tragic loss.

March 2016: Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, Second Edition, is published by Sunbury Press. The new edition adds two chapters, a new foreword, rarely seen photos, and the most recent discoveries and analysis to the mountain of overwhelming witness testimony and documentation presented in the first edition.

Sunbury Press releases Second Edition of “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last”

The long-awaited Second Edition of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last is now available at Amazon.com and Sunbury Press.

The new book, a large 7″ by 10″ paperback offering 370 pages at the same low retail price of $19.95, adds two chapters, a new foreword, several new subsections, the most recent discoveries, rare photos and a near-total rewrite to the mountain of overwhelming witness testimony and documentation presented in the first edition of Truth at Last.  

The result is the most compelling, comprehensive presentation of the indisputable facts that reveal the stark truth about the Marshall Islands and Saipan presence and deaths of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan – a tragic story that American’s ruling class still doesn’t want the public to know, for reasons revealed in the Second Edition of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last. The Kindle version of the Second Edition is not yet ready; readers will be advised immediately when it becomes available.

Nearly everything the American public has seen, read and heard in the media for nearly 80 years about the so-called Amelia Earhart mystery is intentionally false or inadvertently misleading. The widely accepted myth that the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan during their ill-fated world-flight attempt in July 1937 is among the greatest aviation mysteries of the 20th century is an abject lie, the result of decades of government propaganda that continues unabated to this day.

The second edition of Truth

The Second Edition of  Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, a much improved and far more comprehensive version of the original, is now available at Amazon.com.

Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last dismantles and debunks the popular theories that Amelia Earhart’s Electra crashed and sank off Howland Island on July 2, 1937, or landed at Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro, where the suddenly helpless fliers died of starvation on an island teeming with food sources.

 The Truth at Last presents many remarkable and enlightening new findings, eyewitness accounts, and never published revelations from unimpeachable sources including three famed U.S. flag officers and iconic newsman and Earhart researcher Fred Goerner’s files that reveal the truth about Amelia’s death on Saipan, as well as the sacred cow status of this matter within the U.S.

 The Truth at Last answers the big questions about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, leaves no doubt about what happened to the doomed fliers, and is destined to take its rightful place as the definitive Earhart work.

 The Truth at Last  is far more than just a book that’s been completely blacked out by the mainstream media; it is the most visible and tangible symbol of a most worthy cause — the full and unconditional release of the truth in the Earhart disappearance by the U.S. government. Once again our “trusted” the media will blatantly ignore this book, because the truth is the last thing they want you to know.  

Until that day arrives, the struggle to achieve Fred Goerner’s “justice of truth” for Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan and their tattered legacies continues. And unlike any of the countless causes you might encounter in today’s mega-media marketplace, this cause is untainted and unconnected to any known political, religious or cultural organization or agenda.

Your support for the Earhart Truth is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Irene Bolam and the Decline of the Amelia Earhart Society: Part II of IV

(Editor’s note: Some of the more perspicacious readers of this blog know that the very same day Part I of  Irene Bolam and the Decline of the Amelia Earhart Society was published, Dec. 29, 2015,  the UK’s Daily Mail, followed by Fox News ran stories promoting a new book that, unbelievably, attempts to re-resurrect the absurd Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart lie, as if this is something new and important that the world needs to know about! “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous,” is a statement attributed to Albert Einstein, and I suppose it’s more poignant than simply saying, “There are no such things as coincidences.”  Could anyone be so clueless as to write a book in 2015 based on 50-year-old, discredited garbage, unless this is the latest government disinformation effort in the Earhart case, mixing the Marshalls-Saipan truth with the Bolam falsehood in order to discredit all three elements?

The Daily Mail will not allow anyone to post a comment that names this blog, my book, Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last or even my name, and with one recently reported exception, Fox News has been equally exclusionary, so determined are they to keep readers ignorant about the truth, and this has been going on for many years. This should tell even the minimally observant where the truth can actually be found, and it’s nowhere near the “fair and balanced” place on your cable TV news lineup. With that said, I present Part II of Irene Bolam and the Decline of the Amelia Earhart Society for your information and entertainment.)

What is the hardest task in the world? To think.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those of us concerned about the damage that might accrue as a result of the National Geographic Channel’s revival of the Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart canard didn’t wait long to see our fears realized. Less than a month after the Earhart special’s first airing, a glance at the Internet site Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that’s not always credible, revealed the first ripple in the new wave of media attention that the National Geographic Channel had instigated. In late December 2006, the Wikipedia entry for Amelia Mary Earhart featured a new subhead, “Planned disappearance and paranormal explanations,” wherein Wikipedia informed readers:

In November 2006, the National Geographic Channel aired … the theory that Earhart survived the incident near Howland Island, moved to New Jersey, changed her name, remarried, and became a person named Irene Craigmile Bolam and lived the remainder of her life in relative peace and quiet (a book published in 1970 called  Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas detailed this theory). Bolam denied being Earhart and filed a lawsuit requesting $1.5 million in damages. One source stated that five years later, the book’s authors offered to settle for the requested amount if Bolam would agree to provide her fingerprints to establish her identity in front of the judge. Bolam declined and later dropped the suit. This source also stated that Bolam died in 1982, was cremated, and that her death certificate listed her parents as “unknown.”

By now a collector's item, this is the back of the booklet Rollin Reineck sent to those who bought Amelia Earhart Survived to so that they might be kept current on the latest insanity ton the Irene Bolam

By now a collector’s item, this is the back of the booklet Rollin Reineck sent to the few, including this observer, who bought Amelia Earhart Survived,  several months after publication of the book. By then it was clear that Reineck had become thoroughly unhinged over this ridiculous idea.

Note that unlike National Geographic, which exposed the photo overlays purporting to prove that Bolam and Earhart were the same person, advanced by Reineck and his associate, Tod Swindell, as bogus junk, Wikipedia simply repeated the original theory without mentioning that it had been thoroughly discredited many times. Ukrainian researcher Alex Mandel, Ph.D., contacted the owner of Wikipedia’s Earhart page in December 2006, and urgently needed counterbalance was soon added to the Bolam material. By February 2007, much to Wikipedia’s credit, the entire Bolam entry was rewritten in a shorter, more concise form under a new subhead, “Assuming another identity.” The false claim that Bolam dropped her suit over the fingerprint issue was deleted, as was as the dubious statement about her “unknown parents” on her death certificate. In Wikipedia’s new version, its conclusion was emphatic, succinct and most importantly, accurate:

Bolam’s personal life history was thoroughly documented by researchers, eliminating any possibility she was Earhart. Kevin Richlin, a professional criminal forensic expert hired by National Geographic, studied photographs of both women and cited many measurable facial differences between Earhart and Bolam.

Beginning in late 2002 and continuing until about mid-2006, the growing Bolamite wing of the AES, by far its most vocal subgroup, became increasingly more emboldened in its asseverations against those who dared offer solid research findings that questioned their dogmas.  In early 2005, Reineck’s literary misadventure reached its final frontier, culminating in the publication of “The Last Chapter, also known as “Chapter 13, a small booklet produced as a supplement to Amelia Earhart Survived, an update, as it were, of the latest “innovations” in Bolamite thinking. 

In “The Last Chapter,” Reineck levels the most outrageous allegation yet conjured against Earhart – that she secretly gave birth in 1924 at the age of 27 to a girl he identifies as “Irene Jr.,” whom, he says, was adopted by Irene Bolam’s aunt, attorney Irene Mary O’Crowley, and O’Crowley’s mother, Sara Rutherford O’Crowley, who “became the little girls [sic] childhood Nanny” in Sara’s Newark, New Jersey home

Are you following this? As evidence for this incredible claim, Reineck cites a 1984 letter from family friend Lucy McDaniels, 83 at the time, to Diana Dawes, a close friend of Irene Bolam, recalling that in 1928 she “saw a baby in a crib” at Sara’s apartment. According to McDaniels, Irene Senior, i.e., Irene Mary O’Crowley, told her the baby was the child of her deceased sister, at which point Reineck interjects an author’s note informing us that Irene Senior did not have a deceased sister. “Of course I don’t know who the baby in the crib grew up to become,” McDaniels wrote, according to Reineck.  As if to lend credence to this bizarre fantasy, Reineck presents an inscrutable diagram on the booklet’s next-to-last page, purporting to illustrate the family tree into which Earhart’s imaginary child was adopted. Needless to say, the person “Irene Jr.” never existed.

In mid-December 1982, the Woodbridge (N.J.) News Tribune published a series of investigative stories by Lois DiTomasso, News Tribune managing editor, that fully exposed the obvious truth about the Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart myth. Irene Bolam herself died of cancer earlier that year, in December 1982.

In mid-December 1982, the Woodbridge (N.J.) News Tribune published a series of investigative stories by Lois DiTommaso, News Tribune managing editor and other staff members, that fully exposed the obvious truth about the Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart lie. Irene Bolam died of cancer earlier that year, in July 1982.

In the booklet’s opening pages, Reineck credits the “investigative efforts” of Tod Swindell for this latest revelation, which isn’t the only new discovery he unveiled for befuddled readers. Inside “The Last Chapter” Reineck inserted a four-by-five slip of paper, titled “Preface,” in which he advises, “For ease of understanding ‘The Last Chapter’ (13),” there were “three Irene Craigmiles, two of them became Irene Craigmile Bolam.” The third Irene Bolam, Reineck wrote, was “the face on the 1982 [Irene Bolam] Memorial Dinner cover. . . . We can only speculate who she really was.” In fact, Reineck’s third Irene Bolam is none other than the first and only such woman, photographed at a younger age.

The torturous logic through which Reineck declaims the existence of two Irene Bolams, the first of whom vanished without a trace to be “replaced” by Amelia Earhart, is already far beyond our ken. But in “The Last Chapter,” Reineck asks us to take complete leave of our senses and accept three such discrete persons. Further exploration of the preposterous Bolamite delusions advanced in this absurd addendum would be pointless.

Sad indeed was the state of affairs within the AES in the years following the release of Amelia Earhart Survived. If the Bolamites weren’t busy launching vitriolic attacks and accusations of “intolerance” against non-believers, they were ignoring the most recent submissions in the ever-growing mountain of evidence laying waste to their claims. I experienced my own rude introduction to this “collegial” group in late 2002, when, before publication of With Our Own Eyes, I sent the forum its most important chapter, “More GIs Step Forward,” which presented the never-before-published accounts of two-dozen Saipan veterans that revealed the presence and deaths of Earhart and Noonan there prior to the 1944 invasion.

The wall of silence that greeted this important new evidence told me all I needed to know about the AES and its so-called search for the truth.” It was then that I realized any findings associated with Devine’s eyewitness account would be roundly rejected by this agenda-driven group, which, with few exceptions, is populated by non-contributing pretenders and aging cynics unwilling or incapable of adding anything of substance to their decades-hardened biases. During the 14 years since I freely shared the new chapter of eyewitnesses in an open spirit of cooperation, that opinion has been borne out in spades.

"Pat O'Brien, Wiliard Reineck (father of) and Maj. Rollin Reineck at Columbia Pictures Studios soon after WWII. Willard was an Assistant Director on over four dozen films; Rollin was 25 here."

On the last page of “The Last Chapter” booklet, Rollin Reineck brings out this treasure in an apparent attempt to lend credibility to his Irene Bolam fantasies. The cutline reads, “Pat O’Brien, Willard Reineck (father of) and Maj. Rollin Reineck at Columbia Pictures Studios soon after WWII. Willard was an Assistant Director on over four dozen films; Rollin was 25 here.”

Soon after Reineck’s posting of his Chapter 13 on the AES forum in late February 2005, Alex Mandel wrote a rebuttal of the latest despicable allegations laid at Earhart’s feet. Mandel called it, Amelia Earhart’s Survival and Repatriation: Myth or Reality? and it later became known as The Atchison Report, the most comprehensive deconstruction of the IB theory extant.  Mandel’s paper, nine single-spaced pages of unassailable logic, was met with abject silence on the forum, a certain indication of its efficacy. From the first rumblings of the IB theory’s baneful resuscitation in early 2002, to its unfortunate materialization in Survived, Mandel, trained in rigorous scientific logic, untiringly and enthusiastically deconstructed the steady stream of irrational Bolamite claims.  More than anyone in the AES, Mandel did the hard things necessary to keep the IB myth in its proper perspective, inspiring others, who, while not in sympathy with the Bolamite faith, lacked the will or resources to confront it directly.

In addition to the The Atchison ReportMandel’s other contributions to Earhart research include  “Amelia Earhart: Unusual Celebrity,” a meticulous day-by-day timeline of Earhart’s activities from mid-1928 through May 1937, which Mandel composed in 2006 by drawing upon his near-encyclopedic knowledge of Earhart biographical literature; and his 2004 essay, “Amelia Earhart: The Mystery of the Queen of the Air: Dispelling the Myths.” Throughout the protracted conflict fueled by the Bolamite ascension, Mandel, who speaks and writes English as a third language, continued to tread the ethical high ground he has held since joining the AES in 2002, always respecting his ideological opponents despite constant provocations and frequent insults. He also retained a wry sense of humor, as this message to Reineck suggests:

You wrote, “Some researchers believe that Amelia entered the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston sometime in late July and gave birth to a daughter which she subsequently turned over to Denison House for foster care.” Dear Rollin, generally – please why are you using at all this unclear and a bit foggy formula. “Some researchers believe” – as it is pretty well known that it is Tod Swindell’s theory, that Tod presented to the Forum several times? About the theory itself – sorry, but am forced to repeat that it is purely artificial invention, created specially for to “support” in some way the IB theory. Please see above for argumentation.

  … Mainly, as I can see, this theory is supported now rather by the ‘power of faith’ of the people who are reluctant to abandon this belief, against many already presented arguments conclusively showing that it is baseless.

At Amelia Earhart Airport, Atchison, Kansas, in July 2004, Alex Mandel, Ph.D., stands near the 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E piloted by Linda Finch during her “World Flight ’97,” in which she successfully retraced Earhart’s ill-fated final flight. A leading light in the Earhart community since 2002, Mandel’s significant contributions to Earhart research include The Atchison Report “The Atchison Report,” a complete debunking of the Amelia Earhart-as-Irene Bolam myth; “Amelia Earhart: Unusual Celebrity,” a virtual day-by-day timeline of Earhart’s activities from mid-1928 through May 1937; and “Amelia Earhart: The Mystery of the Queen of the Air: Dispelling the Myths.” (Photo courtesy of Michele Cervone.)

At Amelia Earhart Airport, Atchison, Kansas, in July 2004, Alex Mandel, Ph.D., stands near the 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E piloted by Linda Finch during her “World Flight ’97,” in which she successfully retraced Earhart’s ill-fated final flight. A leading light in the Earhart community since 2002, Mandel’s significant contributions to Earhart research include The Atchison Report, a complete debunking of the Amelia Earhart-as-Irene Bolam myth; “Amelia Earhart: Unusual Celebrity,” a virtual day-by-day timeline of Earhart’s activities from mid-1928 through May 1937; and “Amelia Earhart: The Mystery of the Queen of the Air: Dispelling the Myths.” (Photo courtesy of Michele Cervone.)

Mandel’s thorough dismantling of Chapter 13″ was ignored by IB partisans on the forum, nor could a single expression of agreement or support be heard, which also wasn’t surprising. For the most part, I had been observing the spectacle silently, in near-helpless wonderment at the return of this long-slain monster from the pit of obsolescence, while privately praising and encouraging Mandel in his yeoman efforts. But Mandel’s devastating critique and the stony silence that greeted it inspired me to go on the record on his behalf in this March 3, 2005 message:

Rollin, Alex and Forum members,

The silence on the forum following the introduction of Rollin’s Chapter 13″ and Alex’s lengthy rebuttal is deafening. With so much material to discuss, I wonder why this could be? Is the polarizing nature of this issue such that some are compelled to hesitate in expressing their thoughts because they may offend one or the other parties, who have staked out such dichotomous positions?  We’ve all been watching this circus for several years – most, like me, mainly from the sidelines – as the AE as IB idea rose from the ashes to dominate the forum.   Nature abhors a vacuum, so I’ll jump in now since no one else will.

In contrast to the tiny, parochial and extremely politicized atmosphere of the AES forum where the IB/AE theory has been resurrected and enjoys a thriving existence, acceptance in the “real world,” which after all is the goal of the Bolamites (to use a clever AES researcher’s term), has not proceeded apace. Indeed, another deafening silence has intruded itself into our awareness – that of the media and the reading public in the year following publication of Amelia Earhart Survived.  (Full disclosure time: The book I co-authored with Mr. Thomas E. Devine, With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia Earhart, hasn’t made too much noise or sold many copies either, but it has received several excellent reviews and is the partial basis for Rich Martini’s movie in the works – “EARHART.”)

The abject failure of Amelia Earhart Survived to impress or move anyone in the literary marketplace is compelling evidence of the academic and intellectual bankruptcy of its propositions. Although the ideas it presents have been consistently and convincingly debunked within our closed society by Alex Mandel and Ron Bright, their dedicated and protracted efforts weren’t necessary to condemn this book to obscurity in the real world, where it failed miserably due to its own lack of any redeeming merit.

There is no light in the IB theory, which to those who love and can discern truth, is an extremely revealing attribute that identifies and marks it as blatantly false in virtually all its claims.  Dark and ugly in its vile allegations against a defenseless Amelia Earhart, the IB theory, if its proponents had their way, would forever stain and besmirch the Earhart legacy to the point that her name would become a national embarrassment and an international joke.  If the Bolamites are to be believed, AE is guilty of so many amoral and treacherous acts that her infamy would rank her among the most sociopathic personalities of the 20th century.  Are we to believe this is what the “best evidence available” has to tell us? Please. (To Fred Goerner and Thomas E. Devine, not to mention AE herself: Don’t bother to roll over in your graves. It will never get that bad.)

Longtime researcher Ron Bright, of Bremerton, Wash.,

Longtime Earhart researcher and retired Office of Naval Intelligence agent Ron Bright, of Bremerton, Wash., along with the late attorney Patrick Gaston, of Overland Park, Kansas, located the 1971 defamation lawsuit filed by Irene Bolam against McGraw-Hill, publishers of Joe Klaas’ Amelia Earhart Lives, requesting $1,500,000 in actual and punitive damages.

The absurd and ridiculous speculation they engage in – which has been granted currency by many within the forum – defies credulity. Ironically, despite the grave serial depravity the book falsely accuses AE of engaging in, Amelia Earhart Survived was doomed from the start by its own sheer weightlessness.  Like its creators and adherents, who grasp at every wispy straw to support their delusions but refuse to recognize, admit or correct even their most obvious, egregious errors as they build their house of cards, “AE Survived” is an utterly unserious book, a parody of academic inquiry, laughable in its pretentiousness and pathetic in its presentation. 

Alex Mandel’s comprehensive and erudite rebuttal of Rollin’s “Chapter 13” is a clear reflection of his ongoing passion, attention to detail and unselfish willingness to do the hard things necessary to produce true research and oversight based on established biographical and historical facts, irrespective of the outcome.  Alex is also a serious, highly respected academician with a Ph.D. in physics (a rigorous science with little or no tolerance for speculation), an author of several Russian books about the U.S. Navy, and a longtime Earhart devotee and bibliophile with no horse in this race. His ideological opponents will downplay and deprecate his achievements while extolling their own, but along with Ron Bright, Alex has been a beacon of reason and light who performs an invaluable service for all in the AES forum who are solely interested in searching for and discovering the truth about the fate of AE. The success of that search, by necessity, also means the abandonment of falsehoods, regardless of who is perpetrating them – or how long they may have been engaged in such counterproductive pursuits.

Of course this letter, like Mandel’s extensive trashing of the latest IB cant, also fell on deaf ears. Soon the relentless Bolamite gibberish resumed, utterly impervious to reason. Any random scan of message traffic on the forum during virtually any period between late 2002 through 2005 would likely reveal a sampling of the anti-intellectual, invective-laden discourse that was common fare in the AES during the height of the Bolamite incursion. Since the group site is accessible only to AES members, it’s not possible for most readers to see these shabby missives; however, though apparently no longer available, in early 2007 three pages of the most refined sophistry yet spun in support of the Bolamite movement was available to the public on John Stossel’s Message Boards at ABCNews.com, under the heading, “New controversial material sparks more Earhart interest.”

The “controversial material,” of course, was the IB theory, and its main expositor was Reineck’s associate and technical advisor, Tod Swindell. On June 14, 2005, Swindell posted a message regarding the Joe Gervais Memorial Dinner that several AES members, including Prymak, were planning for Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on June 25.  Swindell ridiculed the event, and called it a “mock lionizing tribute” to Gervais, because some of those in attendance, notably Prymak, did not embrace the IB theory, despite the fact that it was solely Gervais’ creation and Prymak was a close friend of Gervais. 

For Prymak, Swindell’s characterization of the memorial dinner for his longtime amigo was reportedly the last straw, though five full months would elapse before he sent his official notice of resignation to the AES forum. In his letter, Prymak called Swindell’s remark “truly shameful and disgraceful,” and reminded Reineck and the Bolamites that the Amelia Earhart Society name was his creation and remained his property.

In my next post, we’ll continue our Irene Bolam retrospective and delve more deeply into the rotten core of this absurd canard, and pile plenty more facts on the growing heap of evidence that leaves no doubt as to its falsehood.  I’ll also present some of the most humorous missives ever penned about the Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart fantasy. Be sure to tune in!

Son Bill tells Robert Wallack’s amazing story

The late Robert E. Wallack was the best known of all the former GIs who came forward to share their eyewitness experiences relative to the presence and death of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan  on Saipan after the 1987 publication of Thomas E. Devine’s Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident.

I first met the amiable Wallack on the phone in 1992, as he took me back to Saipan in July 1944, when Fate intervened to change his life forever. The former Marine’s story of discovering Amelia Earhart’s briefcase, dry and in perfect condition in a blown Japanese safe, has been the most-often told of all the Saipan veterans, including Devine’s.

We became friends, and over the years Wallack generously sent me all manner of fascinating memorabilia, including copies of his honorable discharge papers, maps of Saipan, battle photos taken during the invasion, letters from other GIs with their own stories to tell, videotapes of his TV appearances, and news articles. But most Americans still haven’t heard his incredible account, and his story needs to be heard by everyone. 

The below article appeared in the August 2002 issue of Neighborhood News, a monthly publication of the Communications Division of the Nuclear Energy Institute, a nuclear industry lobbying group in the United States, where Bill Wallack, Robert’s son, was employed as a writer from 2001 to 2005.

“Earhart’s Fate on Saipan Continues to Haunt My Dad,”
By Bill Wallack   

My father never talked much about his experiences during World War II in the South Pacific, even when prodded by one of his six children. Whatever these horrific memories are, they were never discussed with my mother, either. One only has to sit through “Saving Private Ryan” to assume his tour of duty must have been hell on Earth.

Robert Wallack recounts his remarkable experience on Saipan in 1944 as he reviews a map of the island for an with at his dining room table in Woodbridge, Conn., in 1990 shortly before his appearance on Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack. (Photo courtesy Michael O'Brien.)

Robert Wallack recounts his remarkable experience on Saipan in 1944 as he reviews a map of the island for an with at his dining room table in Woodbridge, Conn., in 1990 shortly before his appearance on Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack. (Photo courtesy Michael O’Brien.)

However, there is one story we all heard repeatedly from an early age and vowed never to forget. He and a group of fellow members of C company, 29th Marines, entered what appeared to be a Japanese municipal building on Saipan while souvenir hunting. They found in the rubble a safe that they blew open.

“We thought we’d be Japanese millionaires,” my dad said

He took a leather attaché case from inside the safe. The contents were maps, passports and visas, permits and reports concerning Amelia Earhart’s flight around the world. Dad believes they offer clues about the truth of what happened to her – a truth he believes some may not have wanted the world ever to know.

Certainly, every teenager right out of high school who entered the war was familiar with the many amazing accomplishments of the world-renowned aviatrix, not the least of which was her being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1928.

The Marines on Saipan knew of Earhart’s headline-making exploits. She disappeared after leaving New Guinea on the last leg of a world-spanning flight-another first for a female pilot-in 1937. There was a Pacific-wide search for Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan — with Japanese ships participating.

My dad had just turned 18 when he came ashore on Saipan as a machine gunner in the second assault wave on the island. Still, he immediately knew the importance of the official-looking contents of the case and wanted to keep the materials.

”But my Marine buddies insisted that it may be important and should be turned in,” he told us. “I went down to the beach, where I encountered a naval officer, and told him of my discovery. He gave me a receipt for the material and stated that it would be returned to me if it were not important. I have never seen the material since.“

No, these are not two homeless refugees from the third world, seeking asylum in the United States. This is a rare photo of Robert E. Wallack at Marine boot camp, at Parris Island, South Carolina, in May 1943, more than a year before he hit the beach at Saipan. Wallack's partner is Bill Maoz. (Photo courtesy Robert E. Wallack.)

No, these are not two homeless refugees from the third world, seeking asylum in the United States. This is a rare photo of Robert E. Wallack at Marine boot camp, at Parris Island, South Carolina, in May 1943, more than a year before he hit the beach at Saipan. Wallack’s partner is Bill Maoz. (Photo courtesy Robert E. Wallack.)

My dad knew the briefcase and the papers might involve U S national interests. He wrote to my grandmother and told her to watch for a story on Amelia Earhart to appear. None appeared.

The “senior-looking” officer wore no insignia of rank, in order to lessen his target value for any enemy snipers. But the officer had “scrambled eggs,” the gilded leaves of authority, on his cap visor. He signed with his service identification number, not his name.

Additionally, while on the island of Saipan, my dad was told of a white man and a white woman who were on the island before the war, and he recalled someone’s telling him something about a graveyard.

“The case did not appear as if it had ever been immersed in water and the contents were not blurred at all,” he said. “Therefore, these items could not have been obtained from a plane that had been reported down at sea, some seven years prior to this event “

My Dad came upon the Earhart case while scouting around during recovery after having his hand wounded by mortar shrapnel on Saipan. When he got the receipt from the naval officer, he kept it in a waterproof belt along with a rosary and other personal items.

TWO PURPLE HEARTS LATER

Nine months after discovering the Earhart case, he and other surviving Marines from Saipan were shipped to Guadalcanal to prepare for the climactic Pacific fight on Okinawa. That battle began on April 1, 1945, and my dad fought until he took a bullet in the upper leg in late May. His bloody clothes and the belt containing his personal items and the receipt were cut from his body before he was rushed to a hospital ship offshore.

Here's another great photo that Robert E. Wallack sent. Labeled "Invasion of Saipan" on the back, it reads, "PFC Robert E. Wallack "C" Company 1st Battalion 29th Marines; The Second Wave in (Green Beach-3) 2nd Division 1/29 1430-D-Day." (Courtesy Robert E. Wallack.)

Here’s another great photo that Robert E. Wallack sent. Labeled “Invasion of Saipan” on the back, it reads, “PFC Robert E. Wallack “C” Company 1st Battalion 29th Marines; The Second Wave in (Green Beach-3) 2nd Division 1/29 1430-D-Day.” (Courtesy Robert E. Wallack.)

The only proof there ever was an Amelia Earhart briefcase [found on Saipan] was lost 350 miles from Japan.

Over the past 58 years, my dad has told a number of people this story A crew from a program hosted by Connie Chung [CBS’s Eye to Eye with Connie Chung, 1994] came by our house in Woodbridge, Conn. He also was flown to California for a [1990] segment on “Unsolved Mysteries.

He’s told his tale to the press, historians, The History Channel and others. He has spoken at airports on behalf of women’s groups who continue to tout the achievements of Amelia Earhart.

More recently, in June [2002], he was invited to Annapolis [Md.], where he made a two-hour tape for the Oral History Unit of the Marine Corps Historical Center and was interviewed by fellow Marine and historian, Lt. Col. Gary Solis.

Getting his story into the Marine Corps archives meant a lot to him after almost six decades. He is now in his seventies. “I’m happy because it records my plain and accurate account of what happened and what I touched and saw,” he said.

He also gets excited when he hears from fellow Marines. Like when he sent me a copy of a letter to the editor of the Cincinnati Post-Journal from September 1999 that read: “l don’t believe Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan disappeared around Howland Island. Why?

“Because I believe more in the honor and integrity of a fellow combat Marine on Okinawa than l would any bureaucrat in Washington, where, for some, lying and deceit are a matter of convenience. The United States knew about the build-up by the Japanese in the Pacific. Earhart could have been on a mission. In the Stygian bowels of the Pentagon is the truth “

My dad is realistic He knew the officer he turned the Earhart belongings over to was also fighting a war. He might have died or gone down with the Earhart papers, he said. He does believe, however, that Earhart might have had an official mission. He believes the native islanders and the researchers who claim that a white woman and a man were jailed, shot and buried in a Saipan cemetery.

In the back yard of his lovely home in Woodbridge, Conn., in June 2001, the gregarious, always accommodating Wallack, recalls another of his 1944 Saipan adventures to an interested observer.

In the back yard of his lovely home in Woodbridge, Conn., in June 2001, the gregarious, always accommodating Wallack, recalls another of his 1944 Saipan adventures to an interested observer.

“The Japanese were expanding bases all over the Pacific in 1937,” he said. If she came down in the ocean, the Japanese naval fleet had work ships and barges that could easily retrieve the plane and its pilots.

My dad says time is running out on people who can support that theory. On Saipan today, the islanders have turned much of their heritage over to the Japanese casino industry.

Sure, I know my dad is part of another U.S “conspiracy theory,” but why shouldn’t I believe him? After all, he’s not just a Marine. He’s my dad. (End of Bill Wallack’s article.)

In November 2006, the Amity Observer, a small Connecticut newspaper, featured Wallack in a huge front page spread with a four-column color photo, holding a vintage July 1937 copy of the Chicago Herald-Examiner with “Hear Amelia’s Faint Calls” splashed across the top. In the story, Wallack added a grisly detail to his original statement about his approach to the Saipan beach, when his unit came ashore near the sugar mill at Charon Kanoa.

“I’m glad I wasn’t in the first wave,” he told the Observer. “The 270 guys in the first wave were floating in the water and lying on the beach when we landed.”

I last saw Robert Wallack on the day after Christmas 2002. He passed away in July 2008 at eighty-three, but he will always be remembered by all who care about the truth in the Earhart disappearance.

Daily Mail sets new “standard” in Earhart reporting

Now that we’ve spent a few weeks at Garapan Prison in search of disembodied spirits, discarnate entities and other manifestations of the paranormal, it’s time we get back to the business of the disappearance and search for Amelia Earhart.

Some readers might be aware of the recent series of three stories, replete with huge photo layouts, published in the well-known United Kingdom tabloid, the Daily Mail presenting the Mili Atoll-Endriken Islands discoveries that Dick Spink, of Bow, Washington and his associates have made during several searches of the remote location over the past four years. 

I published the first of three pieces focusing on Spink’s finds here on Nov. 25, 2014, on the heels of the Oct. 31 Kansas City Star story, Has the key to Amelia Earhart’s disappearance in the Pacific been found in Kansas?”  For those who might have missed those postings, they’re linked here,Recent find on Mili Atoll called “Concrete proof”, here,  “Update to ‘Recent find on Mili’ story and here, New Mili search uncovers more potential evidence.

Now that you’re up to speed on my support for Spink’s work on this blog, I’ll continue with my comments about what would normally be a positive development, i.e., a major publication offering aspects of the Earhart truth to a massive audience — unheard of in U.S. media– but the way the Daily Mail has presented these stories is too disturbing for me take much satisfaction.

These artifacts were found on the Endriken Islands at Mili Atoll by Dick Spink and his search groups in recent years.  Spink says the long piece of metal on the left side is the most likely to have come from an Electra 10E.  Asked where these pieces could have come from if not the Earhart Electra, Spink said, “The only other explanation could be that they were pieces of aluminum that could have been possibly torn off of something like fishing gear or something else that floated up on the island. I guess I really don’t know where the pieces came from if they weren’t from her [Earhart’s] aircraft.” Testing of the artifacts is ongoing.  (Courtesy Dick Spink.)

These artifacts were found on the Endriken Islands at Mili Atoll by Dick Spink and his search groups in recent years. Spink says the long piece of metal on the left side is the most likely to have come from an Electra 10E. Asked where these pieces could have come from if not the Earhart Electra, Spink said, “The only other explanation could be that they were pieces of aluminum that could have been possibly torn off of something like fishing gear or something else that floated up on the island. I guess I really don’t know where the pieces came from if they weren’t from her [Earhart’s] aircraft.” Testing of the artifacts is ongoing. (Courtesy Dick Spink.)

If you haven’t seen the Daily Mail stories yet, here they are for your review, linked by date of publication in the Daily Mail, or MailOnline as they like to call themselves: May 29June 26 and July 9.

If you’ve read any or all of these very similar pieces, you may have noticed 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! 

For those not inclined to click on the linked above, here’s a flavor of what I’m referring to, from the June 26 Daily Mail article, headlined, “EXCLUSIVE: Are these bits of metal proof that Amelia Earhart died after being captured by the Japanese on remote Pacific atoll – and the U.S. government KNEW but covered it up?”

Compelling new evidence found among the jagged coral of a tiny North Pacific island could be the key to finally unraveling the mystery of exactly what happened to U.S. aviator Amelia Earhart after she disappeared almost 80 years ago.

The corroding pieces of metal, discovered on the Mili atoll in the Marshall Islands, are currently being analysed [sic] to find out if they are the wheel well trim and dust cover from Amelia’s Lockheed Electra plane, which disappeared over the Pacific in 1937, while she and her navigator Fred Noonan were attempting to fly around the globe.

The two men behind the find believe that they are in possession of another piece of tantalizing [sic] evidence that they claim proves she and her companion were captured by the Japanese and died while in their hands. 

The circular metal dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly found by DIck Spinks' friend Martin Daly on Mili Atoll recently. “It is a dust cover off one of these Goodyear wheels,” aircraft analyst Jim Hayton said. “Since I had the other two wheels, I’m very familiar with this dust cover. I know exactly what it is."

The circular metal dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly found by Dick Spinks’ friend Martin Daly on Mili Atoll recently. “It is a dust cover off one of these Goodyear wheels,” aircraft analyst Jim Hayton said. “Since I had the other two wheels, I’m very familiar with this dust cover. I know exactly what it is.”

Naturally I don’t appreciate this bunch ignoring Truth at Last, would you? But this isn’t a case of a personal problem between the Daily Mail and myself or Sunbury Press, the book’s publisher. The Daily Mail editors also failed to name Oliver Knaggs’ 1983 book, Amelia Earhart: Her final flight and Vincent V. Loomis’ Amelia Earhart: The Final Story (1985), works that presented the major Marshalls eyewitness, Bilimon Amaron and several others to the world for the first time.   

That’s just for starters. The MailOnline also refused to acknowledge the vital contributions of other researchers and authors who fought and bled to dig out the truth in this story, failing to mention — while at the same time pulling much information critical to their stories The Search for Amelia Earhart by Fred Goerner, the 1966 bestseller and the most important of all Earhart disappearance books, and Thomas Devine’s 1987 classic, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident

Others have also made significant contributions to the Mili Atoll landing scenario, including the late Bill Prymak, who located and interviewed several new witnesses for the first time during his three trips to the Marshalls, many years before the recent finds. Their accounts are chronicled in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last. Are you seeing a pattern yet?

The point is that if you read the Daily Mail stories, it’s as if no investigations have ever been done at Mili before Spink and his search groups showed up there a few years ago. Hyperbole is one thing, outright deceit by omission is quite another.  This is not to take anything away from Dick Spink’s potentially blockbuster discoveries, which in themselves are the best news in years for the truth in the Earhart case.

To ensure its clueless readers don’t get the impression that they came up with these stories out of thin air, however, the Daily Mail editors quoted two obscure witnesses, one an American who claims he was a good friend of Bilimon Amaron but otherwise has no ties to the story. The clear and quite dishonest implication is that these witnesses are sharing revelations about the Earhart disappearance that the world is hearing for the first time.

Amram’s friend Charles Domnick, 73, told MailOnline: ‘He told me he saw both of them on the Japanese vessel and spoke to Noonan. They were both sitting on the deck. He had no doubt about that.’

 Domnick said he went to Amram’s warehouse in the late 1960s, where his friend swore that he had accompanied a Japanese doctor to the Koshu Maru to look after an injured American.

. . . Jerry Kramer, a U.S. businessman who has lived on Majuro since the 1960s, told MailOnline he had been a good friend of Amram and could ‘absolutely confirm the story that he told about helping to treat the navigator and seeing Amelia Earhart.’

A satellite view of Mili Atoll from space, with Barre Island to the north, where Amelia Earhart landed on July 2, 1937.

A satellite view of Mili Atoll from space, with Barre Island to the north, where Amelia Earhart landed on July 2, 1937.

The Daily Mail’s motivation for employing such a shabby editorial policy is obvious: They don’t want readers going anywhere else for their Earhart information, and if they want to learn more they’ll just have to wait for the next Daily Mail story, unless, of course they decide to do some online research of their own, a highly unlikely but not unheard-of practice among today’s mostly incurious masses.  

Dick Spink assured me that he urged Karen Earnshaw, named as the writer of at least two of the  stories, that she include a reference to Truth at Last, so clearly it was the Daily Mail editors who butchered these stories for their own selfish, shortsighted reasons.  

Who do they think they’re serving by shortchanging their readership in such a tawdry way? How many readers in the UK actually care about the Earhart story anyway? Very few, I would guess, so what is their anglewhy is the Daily Mail suddenly so “keen,” as they say in England, on the Earhart story? And why can’t they tell it correctly, instead of twisting themselves into literary pretzels in their ridiculous attempt to claim “exclusive rights” to a story that was told over 50 years ago by real journalists?

I sent cordial emails to Karen Earnshaw and Richard Shears, named as a co-author in two of the stories, to ask if they could explain why the Daily Mail has taken such an interest in the Earhart case, when nobody else in the media has changed their total blackout policy regarding any stories that present the Marshalls and Saipan pieces of the Earhart saga.

Neither Earnshaw, who lives in the Marshall Islands, nor Shears replied to my query, which typifies the rudeness, arrogance and lack of professionalism all too often found today in people who call themselves journalists, and which especially flavors the media’s attitude toward the Earhart story, apparently even when it’s offering pieces of the truth. We constantly hear about how the media has no standards anymore, and this is just another example. 

The Daily Mail obviously fashions itself a credible publication, so it has a responsibility to be honest with its readers, to cite its sources and to provide accurate background information in its stories. None of these basic requirements can be found in the recent Daily Mail Earhart-at-Mili Atoll series.

If the Daily Mail were a student taking journalism 101 at the local community college, these stories would have been returned with a big, fat “F” in large red ink, with a few choice comments from a slightly miffed professor to the moron who wasn’t listening to a damn thing he said. 

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