Tag Archives: Robert Ballard

85th Anniversary of Last Flight arrives quietly

On July 2, 1937, 85 years ago today, Amelia Earhart and her intrepid navigator Fred Noonan rolled down the unpaved runway at Lae, New Guinea at 10 a.m. in Amelia’s twin-engine Lockheed Electra 10E, NR 16020, officially headed for Howland Island, a tiny speck 2,556 miles to the east-northeast, about 1,900 miles southwest of Honolulu and 200 miles east of the International Dateline.  They would be crossing two time zones and the International Dateline, flying into yesterday, so to speak, scheduled to arrive July 2 at Howland several hours before the time they departed Lae on the same date. 

Perhaps the last photo taken before the flyers’ July 2 takeoff from Lae, New Guinea. Mr. F.C. Jacobs of the New Guinea Gold Mining Company stands between Amelia and Fred. Note that Fred looks chipper and ready to go, not hung over from a night of drinking, as has been alleged.

At 0844 Howland time, 20 hours, 14 minutes after departing Lae, Earhart sent her infamous last message: “WE ARE ON THE LINE 157-337, WILL REPEAT THIS MESSAGE, WILL REPEAT THIS MESSAGE ON 6210 KCS. WAIT LISTENING ON 6210 KCS.”  After about a minute’s pause, she added, “WE ARE RUNNING ON LINE NORTH AND SOUTH.”  The message was received on 3105 at signal strength 5 of 5.  “She was so loud that I ran up to the bridge expecting to see her coming in for a landing,” Itasca Chief Radioman Leo Bellarts told Elgen Long in 1973.

As we all know, the fliers were never heard from again — officially, that is.  Instead of reaching their intended South Pacific landfall en route to a world aviation record, Earhart and Noonan allegedly vanished into legend, myth and haunting immortality — a special status reserved for rare sacred cows that continues to this day, thanks to the deceitful machinations of a government-media establishment determined to deny the truth about the fliers’ wretched deaths at the hands of the pre-war Japanese on Saipan from a world that’s long since moved on to more trendy “mysteries.” 

This July the media atmosphere is substantially thinner than in past years; for some reason we’re not being subjected to another big media disinformation campaign, which has been nearly always the case.  Among the most memorable of recent deception operations, of course, was the July 2017 History Channel travesty, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” which premiered July 9, 2017 on History, better known as the History Channel.

Robert Ballard’s search for Amelia Earhart off Nikumaroro was far less successful than his triumphant Titanic endeavor.  (Courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica.)

We’ve also seen the ballyhooed summer 2019 Robert Ballard-National Geographic search, yet another transparent pretense meant to distract the public and get the surprisingly attention-starved Ballard another payday and more publicity.  After the search, one would have been hard pressed to find any news announcing its failure, as is always the case with these Earhart boondoggles. 

Also as always, I ensured that readers here were informed, doing so with my Aug. 27, 2019 post, Ballard’s Earhart search fails; anyone surprised?

The obvious question was why someone with Ballard’s impressive resume and fame would be so willing to join the long list of fraudsters selling the putrid can of worms that the “search for Amelia Earhart” became long ago. 

The Ballard hoopla was reminiscent of the clatter attached to the similarly hyped 2017 Nauticos search for the Earhart plane in the waters off Howland Island.  Here’s how I began my March 27, 2017 post on that time waster:

One of the better-known definitions of insanity has been attributed to Albert Einstein, who described it as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  I wonder how many times it would take Nauticos, or the rest of clueless crashed-and-sankers to search the Pacific floor without finding the Earhart Electra before they admitted they might be wrong about what happened to Amelia and her plane.  Based on past performances, the answer is, sadly, Never.

Guinea Airways employee Alan Board is credited with this photo of the Electra just before leaving the ground on its takeoff from Lae, New Guinea on the morning of July 2, 1937.  This is the last known photo of the Earhart Electra.

. . . What is really going on here, one might ask.  Can these otherwise well-educated, highly skilled men be so stupid as to actually believe their own press releases about the Electra lying on the bottom of the ocean?  Not likely.  As I wrote in Truth at Last (page 304 Second Edition), Is it coincidence that the majority of Nauticos’ lucrative contracts accrue from the largess of the Navy, whose original Earhart search report remains the official, if rarely stated position of the U.S. government?  Here we see yet another establishment effort to maintain and perpetuate the myth that Earhart and Noonan ‘landed on the sea to the northwest of Howland Island’ on July 2, 1937.”

No discussion about Amelia Earhart and media treatment of her disappearance is complete without mentioning The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (which has never recovered an aircraft, historic or otherwise, to my knowledge), better known as TIGHAR, and its executive director Ric Gillespie.

TIGHAR has been fairly inert for the past few years, possibly because even a corrupt, compliant media deeply in the tank for the big scam might have its limits.  In TIGHAR’s case, for more than 30 years our corporate media has pushed a credulous, gullible public to buy the most ridiculous assortment of dredged-up garbage imaginable as “evidence” that Earhart and Noonan landed on the central Pacific island of Nikumaroro, formerly Gardner Island, and died there of starvation within a relatively short time, despite abundant food and water sources. 

The most perilous leg of Amelia Earhart’s world-flight attempt was the 2,556-mile stretch from Lae, New Guinea to tiny Howland Island, a daunting journey over the vast Central Pacific that had never been attempted.  Note distances from Howland to Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and from Lae to Saipan, key locations in the Earhart saga. (Courtesy Linda D. Pendleton.)   

This is not the time to get into details about the countless TIGHAR forays to Nikumaroro or re-examine the garage full of so-called evidencethat Gillespie and his minions have dragged back to continue their Earhart investigations.”  Here’s how I began my brief view of the TIGHAR phenomenon in a subsection titled “The Nikumaroro Hypothesis: Recycled Snake Oil” in Chapter 15: The Establishment’s Contempt for the Truth in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last:

No one in the history of Earhart investigations has made so much from so little as Ric Gillespie. Since the bleak day in March 1992 when Gillespie baldly announced to a worldwide CNN audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that the Earhart mystery is solved, he’s been universally hailed as the world’s leading expert on the Earhart disappearance.  The real mystery is why, after eleven fruitless excursions to Nikumaroro, the media continue to treat Gillespie as if he’s the sole repository of knowledge in the Earhart matter?  How has he gained such worldwide acclaim without producing a scintilla of evidence to support a fourth-hand theory rejected decades ago by researchers whose financial well-being didn’t depend on raising small fortunes for their next trip to Nikumaroro?

And here’s the closing paragraphs of the same subsection:

. . . The TIGHAR website contains an impressive collection of research, but for all its bells and whistles, not one of its documents offers the slightest trace of evidence that ties Amelia Earhart to Nikumaroro—and not one legitimate eyewitness is presented, because none exist.  Ironically, [Fred] Hooven’s 1982 research paper, “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight, also known as the “Hooven Report,” was added to TIGHAR’s archives in November 2002.  “Last Flight strongly supported the Saipan truth, ridiculed by Gillespie as a festival of folklore, but otherwise a subject assiduously avoided by the TIGHAR chief.

Contrary to his arrogant dismissal of the fliers’ Saipan demise as conspiratorial claptrap, the most ridiculous folk story to infect the Earhart search is that the erroneous ideas promoted by Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR have any relationship to the truth.  But TIGHAR’s unending Nikumaroro searches have managed to reveal one undeniable fact: Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan, and NR 16020 were never there.

I wrote above that the Earhart media atmosphere isthinnerthis year, but it’s not completely empty, null and void, either.  On Sunday, June 26, longtime reader and photographer Phil Broda sent me a vile, studiously deceitful piece of Earhart disinformation from the left-leaning The Daily Beast, titled,The Amelia Earhart Kimono That Spikes a Racist Legend,by one Laurie Gwen Shapiro, who we learn is also writing an Earhart biography, one I will surely never read. 

There’s no point in responding directly to Shapiro or The Daily Beast, as nothing would change, and they might even get a sick sense of satisfaction, that is, if they know anything at all about what honest researchers — few as we are — are doing these days.  This despicable screed, among the most dishonest and twisted I’ve seen, shamelessly slings the old leftist standby, racism, as a weapon at the truth of the fliers’ Saipan deaths and the researchers who discovered it, actually naming and flatly dismissing the seminal work of Paul Briand Jr. and Fred Goerner, while extolling the serial lies of the crashed-and-sank poster boy Elgen Long.  This perverse descent into an especially evil historical revisionism starkly illustrates the cold reality that the U.S. establishment continues to hate and deny the truth in the Earhart matter, perhaps now more than ever.   

I will not quote from or reproduce anything from this contemptable hit piece, but if you want to see for yourself the depths to which some will descend to advance Earhart propaganda and mendacity, you can click on the link above, and tell me where I’m wrong.  A warning: After a few free looks, The Daily Beast will shut you out and try to force you into subscribing before you can view this atrocity again. 

As I told Calvin Pitts when I sent him The Daily Beast story, “It’s not much, but it’s not nothing either.”  It’s just enough to remind us, on this the 85th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s last flight, that the enemies of the truth are always out there, plotting and scheming ways to take advantage of the great lady’s name for their own selfish, nefarious purposes.  

NatGeo’s “Expedition Amelia”: Dead on Arrival

With the Oct. 20 airing of the over-hyped and unnecessary National Geographic Channel’s two-hour special, “Expedition Amelia,” another Earhart media disinformation operation comes to a welcome close.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

The latest in a long line of bogus Earhart searches was born this past summer, with National Geographic’s July 23 announcement, Robert Ballard found the Titanic. Can he find Amelia Earhart’s airplane?subheaded, “Ocean explorer Robert Ballard will lead a major expedition to the remote Pacific in hopes of discovering the famed aviator’s fate.”

“It appears that after 13 fruitless trips to Nikumaroro by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR),” I wrote in my July 31 post, NatGeo, Ballard in new phony Earhart ‘search’,” the powers that be have finally decided to turn this tar baby over to someone who can bring real gravitas to the longstanding Earhart myths and lies.  Ric Gillespie is out, Robert Ballard is in, and we can all now rest assured that the ‘Earhart Mystery’ will be solved in short order.”

Robert Ballard, undated, from his Wikipedia page.

“Now Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is planning to search for signs of the missing aviators,” NatGeo’s On August 7, he’ll depart from Samoa for Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island that’s part of the Micronesian nation of Kiribati.  The expedition will be filmed by National Geographic for a two-hour documentary airing October 20.

Countless mainstream media outlets covered the story, so disturbingly familiar to those of us who have followed this absurd soap opera since it began in the late 1980s with TIGHAR’s initial outrageous claims.  The only difference was that a famous ocean explorer would be doing the honors, rather than the long-discredited Ric Gillespie.  I  wondered only why someone like Ballard would participate in such a transparent, dishonest charade, and what he thought he could gain.  I’m still wondering.

When I checked a month later, nothing could be found about Ballard’s ballyhooed foray to Earhartland.  As is always the case with these Nikumaroro debacles, one has to look hard to find any news about the latest failure.  Finally, on  Aug. 26, National Geographic was forced to come clean and admit that Ballard had come up empty, though its headline was as dishonest and misleading as its editors thought they could get away with. 

‘Tantalizing clue’ marks end of Amelia Earhart expedition,” NatGeo whispered, loath to admit the truth.  While the location of the aviator’s plane remains elusive, an artifact — discovered after 80 years may spark new avenues of inquiry, their subhead cunningly added.

In like a lion, out like a lamb,I wrote in my Aug. 27 post, Ballard’s Earhart search fails; anyone surprised?Thus ends yet another Nikumaroro-Amelia Earhart boondoggle.  This time the perp was the famed Robert Ballard, who discovered the Titanic, but the result was the same as always, as predictable as death and taxes.  Nothing related to Earhart was found, but an old lie was resurrected to keep the scam viable for future paydays.”  For the rest of that post, please click here.

Next, in the run-up to the airing of “Expedition Amelia,” the New York Times,  America’s bastion of truth, was the only mainstream media outlet to bite the bullet and tell everyone they should watch the Oct. 20 NatGeo two-hour special.  In the Times story, The Amelia Earhart Mystery Stays Down in the Deep,” Julie Cohn wrote, “Robert Ballard’s expedition to a remote island in the South Pacific found no evidence of the vanished aviator’s plane, but the explorer and his crew haven’t given up.”  Of course not, especially when there’s more money to be made and ignorant sheeple to “educate” about the great Amelia Earhart “mystery.”

Aboard the research vessel Nautilus, the remotely operated robotic explorer  vehicle Hercules is launched in an operation similar to the one off Nikumaroro, where Robert Ballard and his crew searched in vain for any trace of Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E, which lies buried in rubble under Saipan International Airport.  Photo Courtesy Ocean Exploration Trust/Nautilus Live.

We’ve all seen these Central Pacific-Nikumaroro travelogues before, and whether it’s Ric Gillespie or the great Robert Ballard chit-chatting with his crew about Amelia with a huge tropical sunset in the background, I can’t watch any more of these canned spectacles produced only for money, ratings and confusion.  On the other hand, since we’ve covered the Ballard-NatGeo charade from the start, I suppose it’s pro forma to do a review of the thrilling climax to the current deceit.  I asked longtime readers David Atchason and William Trail if they would be interested in writing reviews of “Expedition Amelia,” and they’ve kindly agreed to do so. 

Longtime Truth at Last supporter David Atchason, 77, of Bartlett, New Hampshire is a retired truck driver and trucking company owner, now an accomplished old geezer mountain climber in the New Hampshire White Mountains and all over the world.”  David is a self-described connoisseur of conspiracy theories and promulgator of baseless and fevered speculations,and has agreed to share his thoughts on “Expedition Amelia.”

“BREAKING NEWS:  There is nothing new under the sun”
by David Atchason

I have to give credit to my late ex-wife for keeping me young at heart and my blood pressure elevated.  That’s my fountain of youth. 

I spent yesterday in anticipation of the Ballard program, checking the channel listings and my watch, waiting to start my assignment.  This was to be my first writing assignment in about 57 years.  Sure enough, at about  8:04, I noticed I was tuned to the wrong channel.  I quickly tuned in to Ballard just in time to hear him declare, “There are several theories of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, the Japanese capture, or the theory that she returned to the USA and lived as a New Jersey housewife, but now we have to turn our attention to the only two realistic theories.  She either crashed and sank or else wound up on Nikumaroro.

Wow! It was like getting hit by a spitball in the back of my head.  All in one fell swoop he discredited all sane theories and made sure to include the Irene Bolam theory, which even the most obtuse follower of the mystery would know was wacko.  I knew then I was in for a long two-hour viewing chore.

Now here comes Gillespie to spin his yarns.  He was looking good, I have to say, as he should at his big moment as the voice of reason, so to speak.  He explained how the radio messages from AE picked up at the Pan Am stations when triangulated pointed to Nikumaroro.  I had never heard this stated as a certainty before, but he said it was certain.  In fact, at the end of the program, Ballard indicated that you just can’t dispute that the messages came from Nikumaroro. 

A lot of the program was spent gushing praise for Amelia and her relevance to empowering the women of today — in a very politically correct manner, of course.  They obviously needed something to fill up the time, as there was nothing new in the program.  Bevington’sLoch Ness Monsterpicture had the plane’s landing gear superimposed on the object in the water it to show that  that had to be the wheel.   At some point it was shown that all the Fiji records had been sent to Tarawa and there was a large collection of bones stored at Tarawa.  As there might be; certainly thousands of soldiers were killed there in 1943.  It was never clear whether the bones came from Fiji, but one of the skulls was said to be a woman’s, and when they had the DNA tested the results were inconclusive, as the DNA was “degraded,” whatever that was supposed to mean. 

David Atchason pauses during one of his regular hikes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

There was time spent on the new digs looking for bone fragments starring the ever popular Tom King, but nothing was found.  The metal aluminum flap was presented by Ric, the freckle cream jar, it just made me want to reach out to Ric to remind him of the shoe heel, the sextant box and a few other items.  It was like opening my old toy box after many years, kind of gave me a case of emotional nostalgia.

The underwater search, narrated by Ballard, might as well have been stock footage of any random underwater scene.  They found a piece or two of rubbish which didn’t belong to her plane.  He did say that he found the pieces from the [British freighter HMS] Norwich City shipwreck stopped at 1,300 feet, which meant her plane’s pieces would have to be above that level, so he didn’t search any farther down.  He finished by declaring that the radio signals clearly showed her plane had been there; you couldn’t dispute that, so he says.  Then he was off to Howland. 

By then my eyes were closing as I awaited the theme song to play, and Ballard listed a couple other possibilities without declaring them unrealistic at all.  One of them was, “Did she go on a spy mission and get captured by the Japanese”?  Maybe I am hallucinating, but that made me think: Yes, they do know.  Ballard knows, NatGeo knows, and it was like a big hint to those few of us who can think: “Yes, guys and girls, we know and you know the truth and we are not dumb.  But we have to do this program because Big Brother says so, and we are getting well paid for it and we all have to make a living same as you.  WE don’t believe any of this either.”  There you go.  (End of David Atchason review.)

William Trail is a retired U.S. Army Reserve major, federal civil servant and private pilot.  He’s a longtime reader of this blog and is among the best informed of those I consider to befriends of the truth.” 

“NatGeo Comes Up Empty”
by William Trail

All in all, National Geographic’s “Expedition Amelia” presented no new or conclusive evidence of any kind.  Japanese capture was fleetingly mentioned and immediately dismissed.  Despite finding nothing, Robert Ballard maintained that the radio evidence is compelling. . . . You can’t take that off the table.  In the end, it’s still the same old, tired, disappointing story.

Never a friend of the truth when it comes to the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, National Geographic has now enlisted world renowned oceanographer and NatGeo Explorer-at-Large, Robert Ballard Ph.D., who is most famous for locating the long lost wreck of RMS Titanic in 1985, to assist in driving this thing into the mind of the world.  Joining Dr. Ballard on the research vessel M/V Nautilus for the trip to Nikumaroro are archaeologist and National Geographic Fellow Dr. Fredrik T. Hiebert; executive director, Florida Institute for Forensic Anthropology and Applied Science; Erin H. Kimmerle, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida Department of Anthropology; and former TIGHAR archaeologist-in-residence and historical novelist Thomas F. King Ph.D.  Not on the actual expedition to Nikumaroro but appearing and commenting in “Expedition Amelia” are Ms. Candice Fleming, author of Amelia Lost; Tracey Jean Boisseau, Ph.D., associate professor of women’s studies at Purdue University; and last but not least Ric Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

In the documentary, the  July 2, 1937 disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan is referred to as a renowned mysteryand the greatest mystery of the 20th Century.”  I beg to differThere is no “mystery” — only a seeming unwillingness to acknowledge the truth, which is supported by a tsunami of painstakingly documented credible evidence and eyewitness testimony.  The truth, which is to say, Japanese Capture and Death on Saipan was stated by no less than Fleet Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, as well as Marine Generals Alexander Archer Vandegrift and Graves Blanchard Erskine.

The late Fred Hooven, noted engineer, inventor and creator of the McKean-Gardner Island (Nikumaroro) landing theory, was adamant that some of the post-loss transmissions originated from Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E.  He may have been right about that, but he later realized that Amelia never landed anywhere near Nikumaroro and abandoned his theory, which TIGHAR later commandeered to great effect for its own purposes.

However, Ballard comments,There are all sorts of theories,” and I like the Nikumaroro theory.”  The Nikumaroro theory, by the way, originated in a 1982 paper, “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight” by the late inventor and Earhart researcher Fred Hooven.   Also known asThe Hooven Report,” it is based upon the post-loss radio transmissions attributed to Earhart and was originally named the “McKean-Gardner Island landing theory” by Hooven, who later abandoned this theory.  Hooven is not mentioned once in the program, nor is he given credit for his abandoned theory, long taken up by TIGHAR as if it were the Holy Grail.

The two-hour documentary, which was narrated by Emmy and Academy Award winning actress Allison Janney, was basically a series of revolving segments.  That is to say, Ballard mapping and searching the underwater terrain around Nikumaroro for the Electra, which AE presumably landed on the island and which was subsequently washed out by the tides to sink in the depths just offshore; King and Hiebert digging on the island itself;  Kimmerle and Hiebert searching for the 13 Bones among the collections of Te Umwanibong Museum and Cultural Center, Tarawa, Republic of Kirabati; and historical and Earhart biographical commentary by Ms. Fleming and Boisseau.

Also providing commentary, including showing off his so-called artifacts — a zipper pull from a jacket, an ointment pot (presumably from Dr. Berry’s Freckle Cream), a woman’s compact with traces of rouge make-up, and the (infamous) aluminum skin patch — is Gillespie, who admits that there is no provable link to Earhart.

Among the bones and bone fragments from the Te Umwanibong Museum and Cultural Center is part of a human skull, which  Kimmerle examines.  Skeptical of Dr. David Hoodless’ findings,  Kimmerle’s research included computer-aided 3-D imaging of the partial skull, which was inconclusive.  The results of DNA testing were not available for inclusion in the documentary.

Ballard and the M/V Nautilus made five passes around Nikumaroro, visually searching, surveying and mapping the underwater terrain.  Nothing related to Earhart, and certainly no part of the Electra, was found.  However, a crewmember’s ball cap that was lost overboard was recovered.  Likewise, despite cadaver dogs alerting on the Ren tree dig site, King and his archaeological team found nothing.  (King has been digging on Nikumaroro since 1989.)

The story of the recent enhancement of the Bevington Photo (the object believed to be a main gear leg from the Electra sticking up out of the water near the wreck of the S.S. Norwich City on the northwest corner of the island), which allegedly prompted the call to Ballard and served as the genesis for “Expedition Amelia,” was presented briefly, but with a whole lot less detail than was previously reported.

Although there is some debate on the subject, the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” is generally attributed to Albert Einstein.  In reviewing German author Max Nordau’s 1895 book, Degeneration, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote, “I have read Max Nordau’s “Degeneration” at your request — two hundred and sixty thousand mortal words, saying the same thing over and over again.  That, as you know, is the way to drive a thing into the mind of the world.”  Indeed.

The same could be said of the whole so-called Nikumaroro theory, expeditions, writings, documentaries, press conferences, etc.  An insane attempt to drive a thing (Nikumaroro) into the mind of the world.  Now, The National Geographic Society has inflicted yet another mental assault on the susceptible, flogging the tired, worn out Nikumaroro theory on the world with this, their latest film documentary, “Expedition Amelia.”  (End William Trail review.)

Sincere thanks to David Atchason and William Trail for taking the time to share their unique perspectives, which are well taken and most appreciated.

A view of Nikumaroro that Amelia Earhart never enjoyed, but that never ceases to fascinate those who would exploit the current trendy Earhart “theory” for all they can.  How much longer will this fraud last?

The only questions now are when the next iteration of this unending, ridiculous campaign will ensue, and if Robert Ballard, National Geographic and the Nautilus, or Ric Gillespie, TIGHAR and whatever they can scrape up will be the next designated agents of propaganda, agitprop and lies.

Incredibly, Ballard is leaving the door open to a possible return to the endlessly picked over garbage dump of Nikumaroro, as Cohn explained:

For years, many Earhart historians have been skeptical of the Nikumaroro theory.  And Dr. Ballard, Ms. [Allison] Fundis [Nautilus chief operating officer] and their team’s return to the island will now depend on whether the archaeologists from the National Geographic Society came up with evidence that Earhart’s body was there.

“[E]vidence that Earhart’s body was there”? And just what kind of “evidence” would this be, and where would it come from, as if we don’t know.  Will it resemble the flotsam that Dr. Richard Jantz, director emeritus of the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee, has already foisted on us?  You might recall Jantz, who, without ever seeing the bones discovered in 1940 on Nikumaroro, declared that Earhart’s bones were “more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99 [percent] of individuals in a large reference sample.”  Jantz, a TIGHAR associate, knew better than the senior medical officer on Suva, who actually examined them and said they were part of a skeleton of elderly male of Polynesian race, bones having been probably in sheltered position for upwards of 20 years possibly much longer, and Dr. D.W. Hoodless, who pronounced the bones as coming from a male individual “not less than 45 and more probably older.“  For more, see Les Kinney joins “The Truth at Last” conversation, Shreds TIGHAR’s latest false Earhart claims.” 

In 2021, the Nautilus will be in the South Pacific fulfilling a contract to map underwater American territories,” Cohn wrote in her Oct. 14 story.  “That will bring the ship to the area around Howland Island, Earhart’s intended destination for refueling before her plane disappeared. Dr. Ballard and Ms. Fundis plan to make time to explore the alternate theory favored by some skeptics of the Nikumaroro hypothesis: that Earhart crashed at sea closer to Howland.” 

      The research vessel E/V Nautilus.

“Alternate theory“?  It is inconceivable that such an advanced, highly educated and accomplished individual as Robert Ballard is not fully aware of the mountains of evidence that attest to the truth about Amelia Earhart’s landing at Mili Atoll in the Marshalls, her subsequent pickup by the Japanese and her eventual wretched death on Saipan, along with Fred Noonan, of course.  He has to know that absolutely no evidence exists to support either of the two leading “theories“ that our establishment media constantly force feeds the public.

So with Ballard’s abject rejection of the Marshalls-Saipan truth, which has been lying in plain sight for well over 60 years, the great ocean explorer has placed himself firmly on the wrong side of the Earhart matter, and in my opinion, has lost all credibility.  Henceforth anything he utters publicly should be questioned by everyone with any knowledge of the truth.

This entire Robert Ballard-National Geographic travesty is a blatant insult to our intelligence and a brutal slap in the face to everyone that has trusted them to act with honesty, integrity and professionalism in their endeavors.  Both should henceforth be avoided, and we can justifiably ask what else National Geographic has been lying to us about.  I’ll grant you that the NatGeo’s ancient Egypt exploration and Drain the Ocean programs are interesting, but these are few compared to the endless glorification of the drug world, prisons everywhere and criminals of all stripes that now comprise so much of NatGeo’s programming, which regularly descends into the Pit to get ratings from viewers of similar proclivities.  

Tony Gochar, a researcher who lives on Guam and whose contributions to Truth at Last (see pages 263, 264) were timely, valuable and much appreciated, had his own unique experience with National Geographic:

I had an unpleasant personal involvement with National Geographic.  I was on a diplomatic assignment to the U.S. Embassy in Manila from 1986 until 1991.  In 1987 a journalist discovered a tribe, Tasaday, allegedly living out of contact with the modern world in the southern Philippines for over 500 years.  Totally bogus.  NatGeo got involved and the truth was left in the ditch. 

My local contacts instantly recognized the language the tribe was speaking as Manobo, which is the language of some tribes in the area.  Did the truth overcome the excitement of a “lost tribe”? No, NatGeo published the story with never a retraction.  [Former Philippines President Ferdinand] Marcos left in April, 1986, and I arrived in August.  The politics were in turmoil.  The Minister in charge of tribal relations was [Manuel MandaCadwallader] Elizalde, a Marcos holdover.  Elizalde took about $20 million and escaped to the States.  His relationship with NatGeo was based on money.  How much they got from him is not known.  No amount of complaints from the Embassy would sway the story.  They continue to be shameless purveyors of trash.

Tony gets no argument here, and I can’t say that I look forward to National Geographic’s next Earhart production, or anything else they do where the topic is fraught with political, cultural or religious overtones.  My first thought will always be that NatGeo is on the wrong side of anything sensitive or controversial.  Who could blame me after this?

Ballard’s Earhart search fails; anyone surprised?

In like a lion, out like a lamb.  Thus ends yet another Nikumaroro-Amelia Earhart boondoggle.  This time the perp was the famed Robert Ballard, who discovered the Titanic, but the result was the same as always, as predictable as death and taxes.  Nothing related to Earhart or Fred Noonan was found, but an old lie was resurrected to keep the scam viable for future paydays(Boldface and italic emphasis mine throughout.)

As is always the case with these bogus Nikumaroro searches, you had to actually do a search to find any news about the latest failure.  Yesterday (Aug. 26) I awoke early enough to beat the news sent to my inbox by the first of a few intrepid readers.  “‘Tantalizing clue’ marks end of Amelia Earhart expedition,” National Geographic magazine whispered.  While the location of the aviator’s plane remains elusive, an artifact re-discovered after 80 years may spark new avenues of inquiry, NatGeo’s subhead cunningly adds. 

In like a lion, out like a lamb.  As of post time for this story, not a single media organization besides NatGeo, which initiated this current round of deceit — a bandwagon that most of mainstream media immediately and gleefully jumped aboard — has informed its readers that they have once again been had.  This too, is so redundantly typical of these media vermin.

Image result for “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” — Soren Kierkegaard

The tantalizing clue in the headline is no such thing, but another lame pretext based on already debunked evidence— the alleged bones found on Nikumaroro in 1940 that were analyzed by the only real medical professionals to have ever examined them, and found to be those of a male individual.

The bones were eventually shipped to the High Commissioner’s Office in Suva, Les Kinney wrote in a March 19, 2018 post on this blog, Les Kinney joins ‘The Truth at Last’ conversation, Shreds TIGHAR’s latest false Earhart claims.”

“An initial report was completed by the Acting Senior Medical Officer,” Kinney continued.  “The medical examiner concluded ‘they are part of a skeleton of elderly male of Polynesian race, bones having been probably in sheltered position for upwards of 20 years possibly much longer.’:

The bones were then brought to the Central Medical School and examined by Dr. D. W. Hoodless.  Hoodless took careful measurements of the bones and skull.  He noted the remains only included one half of the pelvic bone.  Hoodless obviously took into consideration the pelvic bone is symmetrical and said that in his professional opinion, the bones were that of a skeleton of total height of 5 feet 5 and ½ inches approximately.“  Hoodless went on to write “it may be definitely stated that the skeleton is that of a [MALE.]“  Hoodless emphasis.  Hoodless added, “he was not less than 45 and more probably older.”

The good news, if we can call it that, is that Ballard himself is not making any false claims to stir the pot, as TIGHAR always does, and is likely finished with this farce, as NatGeo’s designated hack Rachel Hartigan Shea reports, though she doesn’t quote him directly:

Ballard doesn’t plan on returning to Nikumaroro unless the land team finds definitive evidence that Earhart and Noonan perished there.  Yet he already knows where he’d search if he did go back to the island: Beaches further south where it’s flat enough to land and the underwater topography is much smoother—perfect for sonar, he says.

Robert Ballard’s search for Amelia Earhart on Nikumaroro was far less successful than his triumphant Titanic discovery.  (Courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica.)

Is Ballard embarrassed about his involvement with the Nikumaroro fraud, that he would be roped into this ongoing hoax, or was he in on the fix from the start, knowing the truth but going along to get along, make some extra green and please the establishment by distracting the sheeple for another news cycle?  It certainly doesn’t help his sterling résumé to have this failure attached to it.  Can Ballard actually be so uninformed about the history of Earhart research that the work of Fred Goerner, Vincent V. Loomis, Thomas E. Devine, Bill Prymak and others is completely unknown to him?  Is that possible? 

My guess is there’s no way Ballard can be that ignorant, and though we may never know for sure, Hartigan Shea might offer a clue.  [H]e doesn’t consider the search to be over, she wrote.  Indeed, after this expedition, Nautilus is heading to Howland and Baker islands to map the waters off of these U.S. Territories for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Perhaps something will be discovered off the shore of the island where Earhart intended to land.

Sure it will, and pigs will fly at farms and county fairs nationwide at the precise moment that happensTo read the rest of NatGeo’s Aug. 26 claptrap, please click here.

 

SUMMARY OF LATEST EARHART DISINFORMATION OPERATION

This time it started, media-wise at least, with the National Geographic’s July 23, 2019 story Robert Ballard found the Titanic. Can he find Amelia Earhart’s airplane?subheaded, Ocean explorer Robert Ballard will lead a major expedition to the remote Pacific in hopes of discovering the famed aviator’s fate.”

With the same breathless tones that accompanied countless stories that preceded TIGHAR’s Nikumaroro money-wasters over the past 30 years, National Geographic’s “Now Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is planning to search for signs of the missing aviators.  On August 7, he’ll depart from Samoa for Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island that’s part of the Micronesian nation of Kiribati.  The expedition will be filmed by National Geographic for a two-hour documentary airing October 20.”

Unsurprisingly, Ballard’s make-believe search for Amelia Earhart has mirrored the 13 (officially) visits by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) to Nikumaroro since 1989 in many ways.  These fiascoes always start with some new fabrication, some slightly different excuse to waste all the money they’ve somehow managed to glom from sources that are never really clear, to take the hype as far as they can.

Not to be outdone, Smithsonian magazine, home of the anachronistic crashed-and-sank, official government-line apologists, responded with a July 31 tantrum, Why the Much-Publicized Mission to Find Amelia Earhart’s Plane Is Likely to Come Up Empty,subheaded, “The explorer who discovered the ‘Titanic’ is searching for the lost aviator.  A Smithsonian curator doesn’t think he’ll find it.”

On Aug, 12, sometime after Ballard and Nautilus had arrived at Nikumaroro, National Geographic led it off with Hartigan Shea’s Inside Robert Ballard’s search for Amelia Earhart’s airplane.”  Within the piece, in a 1:35 embedded video preview of “Expedition Amelia,” a two-hour NatGeo special set to air Oct. 20, Ballard puts his foot in it, telling us with supreme arrogance, “It’s not the Loch Ness Monster.  It’s not Bigfoot.  That airplane exists, which means I’m gonna find it.”  Really?

A view of Nikumaroro Atoll that Amelia Earhart never enjoyed, but that never ceases to fascinate and attract those who would exploit the trendy Earhart “theory” for all they can get, and those who believe whatever the establishment propaganda machine tells them.

The left-wing Bible New York Times soon followed that same day, with Finding Amelia Earhart’s Plane Seemed Impossible. Then Came a Startling Clue”; and the always-deceitful where Earhart is concerned Fox News chipped in with Amelia Earhart mystery: The man who discovered the Titanic is searching for the doomed aviator’s plane.”  The rest of the usual media suspects fell right in behind the leaders, like the good little monkeys they are

Just over a week later, reality had set in — on and off Nikumaroro.  NatGeo’s Aug. 20 story, Coconut crabs may hold clue to Amelia Earhart fate,subheaded, “Does the secret of the famed aviator’s disappearance lie in the underground haunts of the world’s largest land invertebrate?” simply reeked of desperation.  To this observer, to mention the crabs with five days still left on Ballard’s search schedule seemed like a tell that signaled defeat, even before the final results were in.  

This wasn’t the first time we’ve heard about how coconut crabs on Nikumaroro were going to lead TIGHAR to the Holy Grail — the bones of Amelia Earhart.  Our reliable friends from Smithsonian Magazine did a story on Dec. 26, 2013, Coconut Crabs Eat Everything from Kittens to, Maybe, Amelia Earhart,” which declaimed, According to one theory, Earhart did not drown in the Pacific but instead crashed on the remote Nikumaroro atoll, where she was eaten by coconut crabs: 

In 1940, researchers discovered a fraction of a skeleton on the island that matched the description of Amelia Earhart.  Now, even more interesting clues are arising that seem to substantiate the idea that this is where she met her demise.  The most compelling hypothesis currently under consideration is that coconut crabs overwhelmed her where she lay.

Researchers carried out an experiment to validate whether the coconut crabs had a part in her demise.  Back in 2007, they used a small pig carcass to assess what the coconut crabs might have done.  The bones were removed very quickly and scattered, according to Patricia Thrasher, TIGHAR’s president.

A coconut crab attacks a plastic trash can, which, ironically, is the perfect metaphor for the idea that Amelia Earhart was attacked and eaten by these creatures on Nikumaroro in 1937.

This ludicrous meme has redounded throughout our agitprop media ever since, thrown up against the wall to see how well it might stick when nothing else was available.  When it comes to Earhart, anything except the truth has always been fair game, to keep the masses watching the shiny object.

In an Aug. 22 blog comment, I  wrote, “I’ve read this absurd story, and if this is all they have, they might be preparing to announce the truth for a change, that nothing related to Earhart was found by Ballard and company.” 

But I added: I could be 180 degrees wrong.  Maybe they’re preparing us for a brand-new grandiose claim by first softening up their readers with this garbage, published as if no one knows anything at all about the history of Earhart research. . . . NatGeo treats its readers as if they’re hopeless morons, and sadly, in many cases they are right.  But this deal with the crabs, like last year with the dogs, is pushing the ridiculous far beyond credulity.”

It didn’t take long for NatGeo to post the next installment of its 2019 Earhart Reality Show, as Hartigan Shea’s Aug. 23 report, Amelia Earhart search crew shares personal theories on her disappearance,” brought a sliver of clarity to this spectacle:

Back on the Nautilus, Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is searching the waters off Nikumaroro for the Electra’s remains.  But that doesn’t stop him from speculating in his off hours about where else she might have landed.  Could she have touched down on the windward side of the island or possibly on another island altogether?  Based on how much gas she had left, he wondered, “What other islands were reachable and uninhabited and haven’t been searched?”  He crunched the numbers and the answer is very few.

Barre, or Burrh Island, the boxed area in this satellite photo of Mili Atoll, where Amelia Earhart crash-landed on July 2, 1937, as readers of this blog know so well.  Of course, National Geographic never uttered the words Mili Atoll or Saipan in its Aug. 26 disinformation piece announcing Robert Ballard’s failure to find any trace of Amelia Earhart’s Electra on Nikumaroro Atoll.

The answer is simple, unless you have an agenda to spew propaganda in support of the official government lie.  It’s available in several books, including Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, wherein all due credit is given to researcher and author Vincent V. Loomis and his 1985 book, Amelia Earhart: The Final Story, the definitive Earhart-Marshall Islands-landing work.

Multiple witnesses saw Earhart’s Electra crash-land near Barre Island, in the northwest quadrant of Mili, and she and Noonan were later seen at Jaluit, where Japanese hospital corpsman Bilimon Amaron treated Noonan for a gash on his knee while crewmen stood by and addressed Earhart as “Meel-ya, Meel-ya.”

But that and a mountain of evidence too massive to mention here aren’t good enough for NatGeo’s Ms. Hartigan Shea, who finishes her Aug. 23 entry with this insipid paragraph:

The search for Amelia Earhart is an endless puzzle, and a challenge that Ballard relishes.  So do the other members of the expedition, who have puzzled over how long Earhart could have survived on the island, what she ate, whether the coconut crabs consumed her, if her plane could have floated intact over the reef, whether rescuers tried hard enough to find her and, most poignantly, how the ardent feminist and pacifist might have changed the world if she had lived.  We may never know the answers to some of these questions but the speculation will continue as long as the mystery remains unsolved.

Never hint at the Marshall Islands-Saipan truth — that’s the ticket for these artists of disinformation, these cockroaches of deceit.  Will someone please cue the violins?  A high school freshman could write a better close than this clichéd, transparent trash In its laughable screed, NatGeo is not only lying to its readers, but it’s reached new lows in its contemptible hypocrisy. 

To wit: This crew of National Geographic propagandists pretends to know nothing about the National Geographic Channel’s Amelia Earhart special in late 2006, which was the debut of its short-lived Undercover History seriesIn that program, several aspects of the truth were presented, including Marine Pvt. Robert E. Wallack’s discovery of Amelia’s briefcase in a blown Japanese safe on Saipan in summer 1944, and Bilimon Amaron’s encounter with the fliers on a Japanese ship at Jaluit.  Just the slightest trace of that program can now be found on an Internet search, an IMDb entry that’s been swept clean of any meaningful information.  Care to guess why? 

People and organizations cover their tracks because they don’t want you to know something important that will expose their scheme, and this is just another example of big-media duplicity in the Earhart story.  For new readers who may believe that theAmelia Earhart Mystery actually exists, please see July 2, 2018: 81 years of lies in the Earhart case.”

Refusing to accept what is true, Hartigan Shea closes her Aug. 26 article with a final mendacity, informing us that “An expedition land team led by National Geographic Society archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert may have found fragments of the skull in the Te Umwanibong Museum and Cultural Centre in Tarawa, Kiribati. . . . This, too, is a fitting end to an Earhart expedition.  Just when it seems to be over, a tantalizing clue appears to lure the searchers onward.”

Calvin Pitts in 1981, with The Spirit of Winnie Mae and the thermos Amelia Earhart carried with her on her solo Atlantic Crossing in 1932.  The thermos was on loan from Jimmie Mattern, Wiley Post’s competitor who flew The Century of Progress Vega in an attempt to beat Wiley in the 1933 solo round-the-world race, but Mattern crashed in Siberia.  Calvin brought Amelia’s thermos along with him on his own successful world flight in 1981. 

Referencing NatGeo’s description of a fitting ending to what was in many respects a successful expedition, Calvin Pitts, who retraced Wiley Post’s solo 1933 world flight in 1981 and is an honored, regular contributor to this blog, wrote:  “I was stunned in disbelief that grown men could participate in such a national hoax, without embarrassmentPlease join me in a moment of levity.  They were looking for an Electra, the remains of which are buried in Saipan.  They FOUND NOTHING,  but they had the gall to say with a straight face, “THIS WAS A SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITION” — translated, ‘At least, we didn’t have a major malfunction of our equipment.’  Childishness on display.

Or far worse, I would add. 

As for the photo taken by British colonial officer Eric Bevington in October 1937 of the British freighter SS Norwich City, in the right background, and an indistinct speck on the far left side of the frame, which is presented in the Aug. 26 NatGeo story as TIGHAR’s idea ofcompelling evidencethatresembles the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra, Calvin also had a few choice words.

“Wrong,” Calvin wrote.  It looks more like the horn of a unicorn.  They have just discovered the first remains of an extinct animal in the annals of history.  Imagine grown men, professionals no less, acting like children in a sandbox.  It’s worse than laughable.  It is pathetic.  And to think that NatGeo would spend money on this long-known hoax.  Will the real Gillespie please stand up, take a bow, and go home.  Stop polluting a serious story with BS, please.  You’ve had your sick moment in the sun.  Now tend to your sunburn and leave the Earhart history to the sane and the serious.”

There you have it, dear reader.  There will be no end to the Earhart-on-Nikumaroro travesty, despite the fact that if anything in this world is known to be certain, it’s that neither Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan nor the Electra were ever anywhere near Nikumaroro.  Now, in addition to Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR, the great Bob Ballard has performed this public service for us, as if it were actually necessary.

Who was it that said, “You can’t get blood out of a stone”?

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