Tag Archives: Saipan

Revisiting Joaquina Cabrera, Earhart eyewitness

In our most recent post, we met Matidle F. Arriola, later known as Mrs. Matilde Shoda San Nicholas, a native Saipanese eyewitness who shared her fascinating personal encounter with Marie S.C. Castro on at least two occasions, and whose later interviews by researchers Joe Gervais, Robert Dinger and Fred Goerner are presented on pages 102-103 of Truth at Last.  Needless to say, Matilde is among the most important of the Saipan eyewitnesses, her story well known to Earhart enthusiasts. 

Closely associated with Matilde’s reports are those of Joaquina M. Cabrera, because both eyewitnesses encountered Amelia Earhart in or in close proximity to Saipan’s Kobayashi Royokan Hotel, where other Chamorros also saw her in the months following her July 2 disappearance.

Joaquina, who was born on October 4, 1911 and died July 22, 2004 according to recent information from Marie Castro, told researcher Joe Gervais in 1960 that she worked in the hotel in 1937 and ’38, and that each day she had to take a list of the people staying at the hotel to the island governor’s office.  “One day when I was doing this I saw two Americans in the back of a three-wheeled vehicle,” she said.  Their hands were bound behind them, and they were blindfolded. One of them was an American woman.”  Cabrera said a photo of Earhart and Noonan that Gervais displayed “look like the same people I saw, and they are dressed the same way,” adding that she saw the Americans only once, and didn’t know what happened to them.

Undated photo of Earhart eyewitness Mrs. Joaquina Cabrera, who passed away in 2004 at 92.  (Courtesy Marie Castro.)

Contrast this with her account to Goerner in 1962, when he wrote in The Search for Amelia Earhart, “Mrs. Joaquina M. Cabrera brought us closer to the woman held at the Kobayashi Royokan [Hotel] than any other witness.”  At the Cabrera home in Chalan Kanoa, Goerner and several others including Fathers Arnold Bendowske and Sylvan Conover, and Ross Game, editor of the Napa (California) Register and longtime Goerner confidant “crowded into the front room . . . and listened to her halting recital.”  Cabrera said nothing about delivering daily lists of people staying at the hotel, describing her job as that of a laundress for the Japanese guests and prisoners kept there:

One day when I came to work, they were there . . . a white lady and man. The police never left them. The lady wore a man’s clothes when she first came.  I was given her clothes to clean. I remember pants and a jacket. It was leather or heavy cloth, so I did not wash it.

I rubbed it clean.  The man I saw only once.  I did not wash his clothes.  His head was hurt and covered with a bandage, and he sometimes needed help to move.  The police took him to another place and he did not come back. The lady was thin and very tired.

Every day more Japanese came to talk with her.  She never smiled to them but did to me.  She did not speak our language, but I know she thanked me.  She was a sweet, gentle lady.  I think the police sometimes hurt her.  She had bruises and one time her arm was hurt. . . . Then, one day . . . police said she was dead of disease.

Joaquina said the woman was kept at the hotel for “many months. Perhaps a year.”  She heard the man had also died, though she didn’t know the cause of his demise, and she thought the woman was buried in the cemetery near Garapan, long since reclaimed by the jungle.  Though Joaquina offered two different stories, both may have been true.  Her testimony to Goerner seems more credible, however, considering the presence of the priests and the rich details in her recollection, than the brief, rather stiff account she rendered Gervais.  Joaquina passed away in July 2004 at 92.

Without a penny in my Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After World War II, Marie Castro’s moving 2013 autobiography.  In a 2014 review for the Saipan Tribune,  William Stewart wrote, “Today’s youth would be well-advised to learn from the experiences of the author and her family and friends, of the heartbreak and suffering the people of Saipan endured and the faith they all exhibited to overcome such adversity. . . . She is an inspiration for all who aspire to make a contribution by helping others through education and good deeds.”

Along with Marie’s recollections of Matilde F. Arriola, she also wrote briefly of Joaquina Cabrera in Without a Penny:

In 1937 Joaquina M. Cabrera, a young woman, worked in the laundry at the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel.  Joaquina was our neighbor and a relative.  One day a number of years later, Joaquina, accompanying her mother  on a regular visit to our house, mentioned a leather jacket that had turned up in the laundry to be washed.  Suddenly she remembered seeing the lady pilot wearing the jacket.  Joaquina handled the leather jacket with care.  In Saipan’s warm climate Amelia wouldn’t be wearing it.  So what happened to her jacket?  No one ever knew!

The puzzle that remains unsolved regarding the location of Amelia Earhart’s final resting place should focus on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands.  I believe that — based upon the fact that during her exile as a political detainee of the invaders, Saipan is the island where she was known to have last lived — by taking advantage of today’s sophisticated technology, it should be possible to finally uncover the place of her mysterious burial, unknown to the world for the past 75 years.

Is it possible that after all these years the solution of one of the most vexing mysteries of the last century will finally be solved?  We can only wait and see. 

Once again, I ask everyone who cares about the truth to donate whatever you can to the planned Amelia Earhart Memorial on Saipan (see March 16 story, Saipan architect unveils planned Earhart Memorial.”  Please make your tax-deductible check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  

The monument’s success is 100 percent dependent on private donations, and everyone who gives will receive a letter of appreciation, like the one below, from the Earhart Memorial Monument Committee. Thank you.

Anyone who contributes to the Earhart Saipan Memorial Monument will receive a letter similar to this one from Marie Castro, the vice president of the memorial committee.  It is destined to become a collector’s item, and I’ve already framed it.

Advertisements

Marie Castro: Iron link to Saipan’s forgotten history

Since the Feb. 7 publication of Junhan B. Todiño’s Marianas Variety story, Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan,” much has been written about the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee’s plans to build a memorial to Amelia at the Saipan International Airport.

Most of the vocal opposition to the monument is coming from the younger people of Saipan, many of whom have lost contact with their past, and have been subjected to historical revisionism and U.S. establishment propaganda on a grand scale about the facts surrounding Amelia Earhart’s presence on the island in the pre-war years.

Marie S.C. Castro, 84, is not among Saipan’s historically challenged, however.  In fact, some of the most compelling evidence attesting to the presence and deaths of Earhart and Noonan on Saipan can be found in her fine 2013 autobiography,  Without a Penny in My Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After WWII.

Marie S.C. Castro, vice president of the Saipan Earhart Memorial Monument Committee, holds a copy of her moving autobiography, Without a Penny in My Pocket as she as speaks on Feb. 6 to Saipan Rotarians about the personal accounts she’s heard about Amelia Earhart’s detention on Saipan. (Photo by Junghan B. Todiño, for Marianas Variety.)

Recently Marie kindly sent me a copy of Without a Penny, and I read it eagerly.  Marie isn’t a trained journalist or professional writer, but this deficit seems to enhance rather than detract from the impact of this moving account of her life. It’s written with great love and deep feeling for those you’ve met along the way of your amazing life,” I wrote to Marie. “Thank you so much for sending it; it’s truly a precious chronicle of yours and Saipan’s history.”

Despite enduring hardships under the tyrannical rule of the Japanese during the years leading to the June 1944 U.S. invasion of Saipan and the liberation of its Chamorro residents, nowhere in Without a Penny will you find the slightest a hint of the self-pitying, blame-casting or victim-status seeking rhetoric that has become so common in today’s “social media,” “snowflake” culture.

The Chamorros had no rights, our peaceful way of life on our island was gone under the Japanese,Marie wrote in a recent email.  We were under constant fear of anything.  The Japanese civilians knew what went on, we the locals knew nothing about it.  The Japanese considered us third class citizens.  They took over the land, cultivated it for their own good.  We had no authority whatsoever. . . . When you walk on the street, look straight forward, do not turn sideways, or else you would become a suspect.  Mike, even after the war, people were hesitant to say anything.  Thanks to the Americans we became again like human beings.  We are at peace now.”

One of the most poignant passages in Without a Penny is Marie’s description of her family’s terrifying ordeal during the American shelling and bombing of Saipan, which resulted in many unfortunate and unintended civilian casualties, as well as traumatic memories for the survivors.

After we were liberated by the American Marines in 1944 . . . we were so thankful to the Americans,” Marie wrote in an email.  “I was 11 years old then and I thought someday I will do something on my own to thank the Americans.” 

She was a professed Catholic nun for 17 years, from 1954 until her resignation in 1971. It was the time when I really examined what was I meant to be in this world,Marie wrote.  I wanted to do more.  I prayed hard to God to lead me in my decision.  I believed it was the right thing to do.  I resigned from religious life.  I will commit my life in education to thank the American Marines  in 1944.”  

She remained in Kansas City, teaching in the public schools, retired in 1989 and became involved in other community service organizations, finally returning to Saipan in October 2016.  Considering the 50 years in Kansas City,Marie wrote, I felt that I have given a productive life for 50 years.  Now I am involved with a challenging undertaking with the Amelia Earhart project, to erect an AE Memorial Monument.”

These and other notable chapters of a life well lived can be found in Without a Penny.  Right now, Marie is fully engaged in the effort to erect the Earhart Memorial Monument; indications are that it could be a long and bitter struggle, and not a penny will come from the local or federal government, which has a vested interest in the memorial project’s failure.

Marie, the vice president of the memorial committee and the driving force behind the initiative to build the monument, told Saipan Rotarians about her interview in 1983 with Matilde F. Arriola who, Castro said, met Earhart when she being held on Saipan following her disappearance in early July 1937.  According to Matilde, Earhart died of dysentery.  “There is strong evidence that Earhart was here on Saipan,” Marie said.

Since I came back home, Marie wrote in a Feb. 18 email,I had an urge [to do] something dating back to 1937 . . .  Amelia Earhart’s fate. On Feb. 2/ 2017, I approached Congressman Barcinas about my idea of building a Memorial Monument for Amelia Earhart here on Saipan to celebrate her 80th year.  All our elders who witnessed the American woman pilot’s presence here on Saipan are long gone; however, in 1983 I interviewed a local woman [Matilde F. Arriola] who had personal contacts with Amelia Earhart in 1937, who was living next door from the political detainee hotel called the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel. [Mrs. Matilde Shoda San Nicholas (the former Matilde Fausto Ariola), see pages 102-103 of Truth at Last.]  I want to pursue the Monument for Amelia Earhart and finalize the biggest lingering unsolved mystery of the 20th Century. . . . What is holding us now is funding. We need $200 thousand for the project.

If Marie is correct that all the Saipan elders who were eyewitnesses to Earhart’s presence are gone, and no evidence contradicts this, Marie’s personal connection to Matilde F. Arriola and other eyewitnesses, including Joaquina M. Cabrera, who washed Amelia’s laundry and whose account was also made famous by Fred Goerner in his 1966 bestseller The Search For Amelia Earhart (see pages 101-102 TAL), she is the strongest link to Saipan’s pre-war heritage now living, a role she deeply embraces.

Matilde and her family had personal contacts with the American woman pilot,” Marie wrote in a recent email.  The mother knew English and spoke with AE, Matilde, Consolacion her sister and Mariono her brother, they all communicated with Amelia [Editor’s note: None spoke English, according to interviews with Fred Goerner and others.] Matilde was 24 years [old] in 1937. The political detainee was next door from her house. Matilde was a student at the Sisters of the Mercedarian school in Garapan at the time.

The  passages from Marie’s book about her encounters with Matilde Arriola are too important to paraphrase, so I reproduce them here:

Evidently Amelia Earhart was found by the Japanese after she crashed somewhere within or near what may have been the Japanese Mandated Micronesian Islands [Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands], and was subsequently taken to Saipan, which also lay within the Mandated area.

The story of the famous American pilot was secretly known by a few men and women who were conscripted by the Japanese and worked for the Japanese government.  However, they had no knowledge of the lady pilot’s plight.  On a beautiful morning in the late ’50’s my Aunt, Sister Remedios, and I came upon our friend Matilde F. Ariola, who was working in her yard in Chalan Kanoa.  Our conversation immediately turned to the subject of Amelia Earhart’s fate.  Taking us into her confidence, Matilde related a story of having met a stranger who lived next door at the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel.

On a subsequent meeting, Matilde continued, the slender American woman, who wore a short hair style, gave Matilde’s younger sister Consolacion a ring with a while stone, set in a crown mounting.  Unfortunately Consolacion was wounded during the war and fell very ill.  Before she died of her wounds she gave the ring to Matilde who wore it until after the war.  The ring with a white stone remained in her possession during and after the war and was eventually given to her niece Trinidad.  Sometime later Trinidad had a stroke.  I had an opportunity to visit her and mentioned the ring her Aunt Matilde had given her.   Suddenly, she appeared cheerful and in good spirits as she described the ring.  However, the ring did not fit well on her finger and she sadly admitted that she had lost it somewhere around the house.

Time passes quickly and it was during one of my yearly visits to Saipan in 1983 that I once again had the opportunity to visit with my good friend Matilde.  The occasion was a friendly gathering in Garapan, attended by many old friends.  In a private conversation with Matilde we rehashed the subject once again: The lady pilot who remains still undiscovered.  During our conversation Matilde told me that she had received from Amelia Earhart a small diary in early days [sic] titled “Aviator” that contained many, many numbers, no explanations were offered.

Matilde kept the little diary until it was accidentally lost during the war.  Sadly, no trace of the diary was ever found by Matilde.  It wasn’t until after the war, upon seeing a picture of Amelia Earhart, that she was identified by Matilde as the stranger who had given her the diary.

Undated photo of a young Marie S.C. Castro, which appears on the back cover of her autobiography, Without a Penny in My Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After World War II.

After having heard the story of Matilde and the item she received from the woman pilot during the Japanese occupation, the Chamorro law enforcement officers whom I knew did not divulge any information they had at the time for fear of enemy reprisals.  Even after the liberation of Saipan, those individuals who possibly knew what happened to Amelia Earhart in Saipan refused to speak.

The residents in Saipan who had previously seen thelady pilot,” all described her as having worn a man’s outfit and short hair style.  Women who had seen the lady pilot, after having been shown photos of several women including Amelia Earhart, correctly identified Amelia Earhart.  Upon their identification the question was, would Amelia Earhart’s disappearance still remain a mystery? (End of section from Without a Penny.)

During the Japanese period, there was no running water,” Marie wrote in a recent email. The toilet was outside. When Amelia needed the facility she had to go outside to use the restroom. She would stop by Matilde’s house and would peep in to see if someone was around to talk to. One day Matilde gave Amelia a cooked breadfruit, Amelia took it and tasted it. At another time while Matilde was doing her geography homework  Amelia helped Matilde on her homework. Amelia took the pencil from Matilde’s hand and wrote something however Matilde did not understand what AE wrote, Matilde didn’t know English at the time. She conversed using signs. Consolacion received a ring from AE.  Mariono spoke to AE.

“One day Matilde noticed that the lady was ill, pale and used the facility too often that day,” Marie went on.  “That was the last day she saw her.  The next day the care taker came to Matilde’s house and asked for black material.  Matilde’s father, Tun Felipe, was a tailor.  Matilde’s father asked the caretaker why she needed black material she said, ‘Kookoo died, the American pilot.’ She continued, ‘amoeba.’  She didn’t know the lady’s name and called her ‘Kookoo.’ Amelia died of dysentery disease.”  Matilde died in 1996, at age 83.

Opponents of the Earhart Memorial Monument label accounts like Matilde’s and dozens of others from eyewitnesses and others with knowledge as “anecdotal,” proving nothing.  But when one considers these, and then adds those of U.S. flag officers such as Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the Navy’s most revered wartime leader in the Pacific; Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, commandant of the Marine Corps during World War II;  and Gen. Graves  Erskine, a brigadier general on Saipan during the 1944 invasion and second in command of the entire land operation, all attesting to the presence and death of Earhart and Noonan on Saipan, these accounts begin to add up to far more than mere anecdotes.  As Marie told the Rotarians in early February, There is strong evidence that Earhart was here on Saipan.”  You decide, but please do so only after you know more about the real facts about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, facts that can be found everywhere you look on this blog.

A shorter, gentler version of this story appeared in the March 28 edition of Marianas Variety under the headline, Marie Castro: An iron link to Saipan’s forgotten past.”  As I said in the opening of this post, massive opposition to the proposed Earhart memorial is endemic on Saipan, and nowhere is it worse than in the brainwashed and propagandized Facebook crowd, where this story garnered a total of just four Likes.”  I could consider this a badge of honor, but I’d much prefer that more were in favor of building this long-overdue monument to Earhart at the place of her death.  Far too many on Saipan are dead against it.

Ed Williams, 67, a retired Merchant Marine (Military Sealift Command) radio electronics officer who’s lived and worked in many capacities on Saipan since 2004, recently painted a grim picture of the situation on the ground there.  “Marie is such a sweet soul,” Williams wrote in a March 21 email.  “But not many locals are interested in anything but beer and betel nut.  I would say 1 percent of the locals are on the same page as Marie.”  Williams, whose father was an Army medic who served on Guam, Saipan and Tinian, where he saw Enola Gay land and actually guarded the B-29 Superfortress bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan, is doing all he can on Saipan to educate the locals about Earhart’s tragic end there, but he’s a distinct minority. 

Williams’ appraisal sadly mirrors that of former Navy civilian archeologist Jennings Bunn, who spent 14 years on Guam and several months on Saipan during the Typhoon Soudelor in 2015. From what I saw in Saipan, it is over run by Chinese and Koreans, and the local folks aren’t real interested inHaole  [defined here as a white person who is not a native Chamorro] history,” Bunn wrote in a recent email.  My experience on Guam was that the local Chamorro knows very little about their own history, and few really care.” 

Please consider making a donation to the planned Amelia Earhart Memorial on Saipan (see March 16 story for more).  You can make your tax-deductible check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  The monument’s success is 100 percent dependent on private donations, and everyone who gives will receive a letter of appreciation from the Earhart Memorial Committee, suitable from framing.  Thank you.

David Martin calls out media Earhart propagandists

David Martin’s (DCDave.com) work is well-known to regular readers of this blog The award-winning writer and retired federal economist reviewed both editions of The Truth at LastHillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up, in August 2012, and Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishment in May 2016.

Last summer, Martin helped clarify the confused mess surrounding the media’s relationship to the bogus claims that attached to the History Channel’s presentation of the 1930s-era Office of Naval Intelligence photo of the dock at Jaluit, in which Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were mistakenly identified, writing three pieces focusing on the History Channel’s odious July 5 Earhart special, Press Touts Dubious Earhart Photo,” “Earhart Photo Story Apparently Debunked,” and ’Earhart Photo’ Debunker Debunked?  On July 13 on this blog, I wrote, As usual, Dave Martin sees the truth in Earhart story,” followed by Martin’s analysis continues to bolster Earhart truth on Aug. 4.

Earlier this month, Martin teamed with Hugh Turley to publish their groundbreaking book on the 1968 death of the famed Catholic monk and mystic Thomas Mertonwhose sudden demise in a Thailand hotel has been unanimously accepted as accidental electrocution by an electric fan.  The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation, claims that a “careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false,” and leaves no doubt that Merton was murdered, likely by an element of the U.S. deep state — another cover-up, another sacred cow exposed, another important book to which the establishment media will never direct the public. 

Today we present Martin’s commentary on the recent attempt by our trusted media to resurrect TIGHAR’s snake oil that recently made such distracting noise in all corners of our corrupt media establishment.  An edited version of this piece was also published in the March 19 edition of the Marianas Variety.  All boldface and shading is the editor’s.

World traveler David Martin, best known on this blog as the most perceptive news analyst extant, pauses at a recent visit to the Parthenon. (Courtesy David Martin.)

“Propaganda Press Flailing over Amelia Earhart”
By David Martin

Here we go again. In what looks for all the world like desperation on the part of our national opinion molding apparatus, they’ve revived the story that some bones and parts of a skull found in 1940 on the small remote island of Nikumaroro (Gardner Island) belonged to the famous aviator, Amelia Earhart, who was lost in the Pacific, along with navigator Fred Noonan, on a trip around the world in 1937.  Those bones had been examined long ago and it was determined that they belonged to a male who was shorter than Earhart and have long since been lost, but now, would you believe, through the miracle of modern computer techniques, a single professor emeritus “expert” is telling us that those lost bones were almost certainly Amelia Earhart’s.  On top of that, this new “discovery” got saturation coverage right across the permitted political spectrum from Fox News to National Public Radio.

Just on the face of it, you might think that this was some kind of experiment to test the limits of the gullibility of the American public.  Anyone with an ounce of gumption can see that what the guy is telling us is preposterous.  What’s really happening is that the official story that Earhart and Noonan simply got lost and, running out of gas, either plunged into the ocean or got marooned on that island where they crash landed, is finally completely falling apart—thanks in large measure to the dogged work of Mike Campbell, author of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last—and they’re now pulling out all the stops in a last-gasp effort to salvage it.  The major precipitating event for this new story was likely the announcement coming out of Saipan, located very near to the U.S. territory of Guam, that plans are afoot to erect a monument there to Earhart, because that is where she died as a captive of the Japanese.

The biggest problem with that for the establishment protectors of the giant falsehood about Earhart’s demise is that the monument planners see the Earhart monument, to be located near their international airport, as a tourist attraction for the island.  It would be sort of like the tourist attraction of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, with the big exception being that the Earhart monument would be based upon historical fact while the Anne Frank story is, from the best evidence, historical fiction.  Imagine how effective such a monument would be for bypassing the establishment opinion molders over the long haul.

Starting on the left of the permitted political spectrum among the floggers of the incredible new story, we find National Public Radio.  If you didn’t know before how thoroughly dishonest that news operation is, please notice that they make reference to the recent History Channel special [aired July 5, 2017] that featured a photograph that purported to show Earhart and Noonan on a dock on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands and link that to its supposed debunking by a Japanese blogger.  What they don’t do is to make any mention of the subsequent debunking of the “debunker” by the Marshall Islands authorities, which is the subject of my article, ’Earhart Photo’ Debunker Debunked?” NPR, like the rest of the mainstream press, dummied up about that:

One example of the dummying up is particularly poignant to me since it has some connection to my own formal education.  Back in March, my alma mater Davidson College (which also happens to be the alma mater of the late Clinton White House counsel, Vince Foster) offered a free online two-week course on the subject of fake news.  One of their contributing “experts” was National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Camila Domonoske, also a Davidson graduate.  Here we can watch one of her contributions to the course, explaining why the “fake news” term has almost lost all meaning.

National Public Radio’s Camila Domnske, an expert on “fake news,” but not a supporter of the truth in the Earhart disappearance.  Like thousands of her mainstream media counterparts, Domnske serves the Washington establishment, and never utters a word of the truth about the Earhart case, faithfully protecting the sacred cow, wittingly or unwittingly. 

She makes some good points, but I think we can agree, though, that if the Marshall Islands officials are correct, the widely disseminated report that the key photograph in the History Channel Earhart presentation had to have been made in 1935 or before is not true.  That is to say, what was widely reported as news has turned out to be, in fact, fake news.

As it happens, the reporter who put out this fake news for NPR online very quickly in the wake of the story from The Guardian was young Camila Domonoske, herself.   I can find no indication online that NPR or The Guardian or any other news organ has retracted its Japanese-debunker story or has clarified it in any way in light of the latest Marshall Islands revelations, so we may now accuse them all of trading in fake news on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

The Washington Post with its big Earhart story also made reference to the History Channel special and its supposed subsequent debunking, without mentioning the further revelations from the Marshall Islands.  It should be clear at this point that the whole History Channel hullabaloo was a set-up and that they already had their “debunking” information in hand, or they would have never run the story about the photograph in the first place.

To read the rest of Martin’s piece on TIGHAR’s latest blather, please click here.

Early reports from Saipan are not encouraging regarding donations for the Earhart Memorial Monument.   Please send any amount, large or small, to help support this important initiative.  If you care about the truth, your help is desperately needed to make this dream a reality.  I can’t address each one of you by name, but I always respond to every legitimate email you send.  Without your help, the memorial’s failure is inevitable.  Please make your check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  All donors will receive a letter of appreciation from the Saipan Earhart Memorial Committee.  Thank you.

Saipan architect unveils planned Earhart Memorial

This blog is becoming — at least temporarily — a running account of events surrounding the proposed Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan.  You will recall my March 2 post that announced the recent development  on Saipan, Finally, some good Earhart news from Saipan, linking to the story “Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan,” that appeared in the Feb. 7 Marianas Variety (“Micronesia’s Leading Newspaper Since 1972″).

On Feb. 14, Marianas Variety published my opinion piece, heartily approving of this welcome and unexpected news, Amelia Earhart’s Saipan fate,” expressing my profound approval of the long-overdue decision to honor the First Lady of Flight at the location of her tragic and untimely death sometime after her disappearance in early July 1937.

This memorial’s design looks fantastic, in my opinion, especially considering the $200,000 estimated price tag for its completion.  Of course its size is vital, and the plan architect Herman Cabrera has unveiled indicates the diameter as 30 feet, quite impressive, with the statue height projected as 12 feet, and the base at 4 feet, 6 inches.   

Artist’s rendition of the proposed Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan, sent by local Saipan architect Ramon Cabrera following the Feb. 7 Marianas Variety story that announced this amazing development for the first time.

“It is my belief that  every human being born has the right to be given the honor and recognition on his/her death, wherever or whatever circumstances death presents,” Marie S. Castro, vice president of the Earhart Memorial Monument committee, told me in a March 2 email.  “Saipan and the U.S. supporters join in this effort for a noble cause in honoring the famous first American woman pilot who ended her life on Saipan.”

On March 7, TIGHAR’s Tom King stuck the first blow for the obstructionists, penning another of his typical missives, appealing to the uninformed biases of the indoctrinated masses on Saipan.  King’s sanctimonious piece, Regarding Amelia Earhart’s monument on Saipan, was well received by the ignorant Facebook crowd, attracting well over 400 “Likes” to date; compare this to the paltry three that my own piece,  Amelia Earhart’s Saipan fate, garnered on Feb. 7. 

If the Facebook reaction to King is any indication of the way the winds are blowing on Saipan, the prospects for the successful completion of the monument could be quite bleak.  But I prefer to believe that those whose support is vital — the elders and over-60 generation of Saipan — are not in the habit of clicking “Like” in order to join the mindless horde, if they’re even reading these articles online at all. 

I responded to King’s dreck as you might expect, not with a moronic, herd-following “Like,” but with this comment, also posted on March 7:

Dr. King’s sophistry is well known among those in the small Earhart research community, and his unending, noxious advocacy for the phony Nikumaroro “hypothesis” is often cited as a prime example of the definition of insanity.  Not a single artifact in countless trips over 30 years that’s been dug up from the Nikumaroro garbage dumps has been forensically linked to Amelia Earhart or Fred Noonan, despite the constant drum beat of our corrupt media establishment telling us to buy this snake oil — and many of the ignorant and gullible have indeed bought it, much to their chagrin once they realized the Nikumaroro bill of goods is rotten at its core.

In fact there are actually no real “theories” in the Earhart disappearance, as the word is defined. We have the truth — supported by several dozens of witnesses and documents — that Amelia Earhart crash-landed in the Marshalls, was taken to Saipan by the Japanese, and died there, as did Noonan, at some unknown date before the American invasion in June 1944.  And we have lies, like Nikumaroro, that have been glorified and raised to the status of “theories” by an establishment desperate to protect the checkered legacy of our president at the time of Earhart’s death, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

As I constantly stress in “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last,” and on my blog, www.Eaharttruth.com, the truth in the Earhart case has been a sacred cow in Washington since the earliest days of the search for Amelia.  The time is long overdue for the truth to be recognized and accepted, and for the parasites who have made their livings by peddling lies about Amelia’s sad fate to go away and find more honest ways to earn livings.

Likewise, there is no real Earhart “mystery.”  Some in the U.S. government are well aware of what happened to the fliers, and the physical evidence that would reveal the truth lies in the deepest recesses of our national security apparatus, known to a scant few custodians of this precious evidence.  I explain all this in my book and in my blog, and won’t go on at length here.

Undated photo of Marie S. Castro, now 84, the primary mover behind the recently approved initiative to build a monument to Amelia Earhart at the Saipan International Airport. 

I closed by announcing my invitation by Marie Castro and other Earhart Memorial committee members, including President Donald C. Barcinas, Secretary Frances M. Sablan,  Herman Cabrera (architect), Carlos A. Shoda, Evelyna A. Shoda and Ambrose Bennett, to join them as the committee’s U.S. representative, a great honor I will forever cherish.  “People like Dr. King and others who hate the truth,” I wrote, “are naturally dead set against the memorial’s success, and his letter is likely only the beginning of what could be a protracted, bitter battle to make the Earhart Memorial Monument a tangible reality.”

Marie Castro agrees.  “I read what came out on the Marianas Variety this morning,” she wrote on March 6.  “How many professionals with Ph.D.s  could come out with all sorts of theories to prove the truth?  There is only one truth.  Let’s help one another to prove what’s right, and the truth will finally prevail.”  From Marie’s pen to God’s ears.

Better news arrived the next day.  “Mike, I have no idea the magnitude of this project [and] where it is heading to,” Marie wrote in a March 8 email.  “Yesterday, we had a power point presentation on Amelia E. with the Marianas Visitors Authority. They seemed receptive to our idea of the monument. Our committee was encouraged by their responses. You and I together, with my wonderful team hopefully will someday unravel the mind of the unbelievers.”

On March 13, a shortened version of Les Kinney’s March 9 TIGHAR rebuttal on this blog was published in the Marianas Variety.  Titled Earhart bones’ just another of TIGHAR’s many false claims,” Kinney’s informed dissection of TIGHAR’s phony bones scheme was as badly received by the clueless Saipan Facebook mob as my own piece was on Feb. 7, at last glimpse drawing just two “Likes”!  The great Ralph Waldo Emerson had something memorable to say about such groupthink phenomena:  “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  See the comments section for some interesting banter between Tom King, who knows that the successful completion of the Earhart Memorial threatens TIGHAR’s cash cow, Kinney, myself and a few other interested parties.

Also on March 13, the snail-slow U.S. Postal Service finally delivered my check and a copy of The Truth at Last to Marie’s Saipan mailbox.  “I took it to church,” she wrote me, “I found the President [Donald Barcinas] there.  Our cousin Bishop Tomas A. Camacho, our first Chamorro Bishop passed away.  I told the President, ‘It is the right place to open our first checks from the U.S. The Good Lord will be with us on this project, our Mission of Truth.’  Thank you.”

In closing, again I ask for your generous donations in any amount to the Earhart Memorial on Saipan — an eminently worthy cause that deserves far more support than it’s getting.  So few care about the truth, and every one of you is needed to make this dream a reality.  I can’t address each one of you by name, but I always respond to every legitimate email you send.  Without your help, the memorial’s failure is inevitable.  Please make your check payable to: Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc., and send to AEMMI, c/o Marie S. Castro, P.O. Box 500213, Saipan MP 96950.  Thank you.

Finally, some good Earhart news from Saipan

On Feb. 8 an alert reader, Ken McGhee, informed me about an amazing story he’d seen on the website of the Marianas Variety (Micronesia’s Leading Newspaper Since 1972) titled “Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan.”  The headline captures the essence of this most unexpected and welcome news, and I’ve reproduced the story, which appeared on Feb. 7, as closely as possible below, or you can view the original article by clicking here.  All shading and boldface emphasis is mine throughout.

“Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan”

07 Feb 2018
By Junhan B. Todiño – junhan@mvariety.com – Variety News Staff

AN Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument will be constructed near the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

The monument committee, which was formed in Sept. 2017, is led by Rep. Donald Barcinas (Republican, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature) who is now seeking funds for the project. “We need at least $200,000 for the project,” he told the Rotary Club of Saipan during a meeting on Tuesday.

He said the project will further enhance Saipan as a Pacific tourist destination.

Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and was one of the most famous Americans of her day. In July 1937, she and navigator Fred Noonan were trying to circumnavigate the world aboard a Lockheed Model 10 Electra, a twin-engine, all-metal monoplane, when they disappeared somewhere in the South Pacific.

Local architect Herman Cabrera shows Rotarians an artist’s rendition of the proposed monument for Amelia Earhart. (Photo by Junhan B. Todiño for Marianas Variety.)

At the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting at Giovanni’s Restaurant on Tuesday, memorial committee member Herman Cabrera, a local architect, said the monument will be an 18-foot bronze statue of Earhart.

In an interview, Barcinas said they will reach out to the Legislature, the governor’s office and organizations such as the Rotary Club for funding assistance.

He said they have also met with the Marianas Visitors Authority to discuss the committee’s plan.

Memorial committee secretary Frances Sablan said she joined the group after learning about the many “theories” that try to explain Earhart’s disappearance.

Marie Soledad C. Castro, who mentioned Earhart’s disappearance in her 2014 memoirs titled “Without a Penny in My Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After WWII,” said the monument will announce to the world that Earhart was on Saipan in 1937.  Castro was 4 years old at the time.

She told Rotarians about her interview in 1983 with Matilde Arriola who, Castro said, met Earhart when the aviator was detained by the Japanese authorities on island.  According to Arriola, Castro said, Earhart died of dysentery.  The body was cremated, Castro added, quoting a Japanese agriculture instructor who married a Saipan resident.  “There was no Japanese cemetery at that time,” Castro said.

Marie Soledad C. Castro holds a copy of her memoirs as she as speaks to Rotarians about the stories she has heard about Amelia Earhart’s detention on Saipan. (Photo by Junghan B. Todiño, for Marianas Variety.)

“There is strong evidence that Earhart was here on Saipan,” she added. (End of Marianas Variety story.)

Indeed there is, Marie, and most sincere thanks for having the fortitude to stand up and tell your Saipan countrymen about some of this mountain of evidence that attests to Amelia’s presence and lonely, miserable death on Saipan, abandoned by a president whose checkered legacy continues to require the protection of a cowardly, dishonest media to protect it from falling into historic disrepute.  As the elderly population of Saipan dwindles with each day, the island’s cultural heritage continues to degrade, and without some new injection of the true history of the island into the community, Saipan will be no different than anywhere else, completely ignorant of the Earhart truth.  The proposed Earhart monument is exactly what is needed.

The day after I was informed of the Feb. 7 Marianas Variety story, I wrote this letter to the editor, which was published Feb. 14:

“OPINION: Amelia Earhart’s Saipan fate”

        14 Feb 2018
        By Mike Campbell

JUNHAN B. Todiño’s Feb. 7 story, “Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan” is the best news this Earhart author and researcher has heard in many years.

I heartily congratulate the monument committee, led by Rep. Donald Barcinas, for their wisdom and fortitude in coming to their decision to memorialize this great American on the island where she met her untimely death at the hands of the pre-war Japanese who so mercilessly tyrannized the Saipan people.

The truth about the wretched deaths of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, has long been a sacred cow in the U.S. government establishment and it’s media allies, and practically since the earliest days of Earhart’s July 1937 disappearance, virtually everything disseminated about Earhart’s fate has been aimed at disinforming and misleading not only the American public, but the entire civilized world.

First it was the “Crashed-and-Sank” lie, an echo of the original Navy-Coast Guard 1937 report; then, after that canard became too ridiculous to swallow, a more recent but still long-debunked idea, that the fliers landed on Nikumaroro Atoll, in the Phoenix Chain, was pushed down our throats without surcease.  Ignoring the massive body of available evidence supporting the fliers’ presence and deaths on Saipan, big media and history books tell us the fate of Amelia Earhart remains as much a mystery now as in the desperate days of the Navy’s futile search for the lost Electra.  Nothing could be further from the truth; although numerous unanswered questions about the final flight remain, the common belief that the “Amelia Earhart Mystery” is an irresolvable enigma is known to be utter nonsense by those familiar with the facts.

Contrary to the Navy’s conclusion that Earhart’s Electra “most probably” crashed and sank within 120 miles of Howland Island, or the Nikumaroro myth that Earhart and Noonan found Nikumaroro and soon starved to death on an island where plentiful food sources and drinkable water were available, the lost fliers crash-landed at Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, were picked up by the Japanese and taken to Saipan, where they suffered wretched, lonely deaths, falsely accused as spies by their barbaric captors.  The elder population of Saipan is well aware of this fact, but the insidious influence of decades of American media propaganda have taken its toll, and the truth is not to be found among most of Saipan’s younger people.

Saipan International Airport, also known as Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, is the site of the planned Amelia Earhart Memorial, although its exact location has not been announced.  Following the Japanese attack against the United States in 1941, the field was named Aslito Field.  The airfield was liberated by the U.S. Army 27th Infantry Division on June 18, 1944 during the Battle of Saipan, and later named Isley Field.  Saipan International Airport commenced operations on July 25, 1976, taking over from the nearby Kobler Field.  According to Thomas E. Devine, author of the 1987 book Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, Amelia Earhart’s Electra 10E was bulldozed with tons of other war rubble and buried in a deep pit under Aslito Field after it was burned beyond recognition by American forces soon after its discovery in a hangar at Aslito Field.

The establishment of the new memorial should bring renewed attention to Earhart’s Saipan fate to a degree not seen since Fred Goerner’s early 1960s Saipan investigations focused the light of truth on the Earhart case, and produced the great 1966 bestseller “The Search for Amelia Earhart,” a book that galvanized significant numbers of Americans to demand the truth about Amelia’s demise — a demand that fell on the deaf ears of a Congress and president who stonewalled all attempts to break through to the Earhart truth.

The U.S. government has long possessed the answers in the Earhart disappearance, but obstinately persists in its longstanding intransigence, insisting all the files in the case have been released, and dictating the terms of the debate at every turn.  The solution to the so-called “Earhart Mystery” will never be found at the bottom of the Pacific or on a picked-over island in the Phoenix Group, myths the media regularly depicts as the only possible answers.  The “hard evidence” that can bring final closure to the Earhart case has been locked away for nearly seventy years in the deepest recesses of our national security apparatus, its precise location known to a scant few caretakers of the priceless evidence — if it exists now at all.

It’s darkly ironic that Earhart’s Electra 10E, NR 16020, was buried with tons of other war refuse under the Aslito Airfield (now the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport) after it was burned beyond recognition in July 1944 by American forces during the invasion of Saipan, according to former Army sergeant and Saipan veteran Thomas E. Devine, author of the 1987 book, “Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident,” and others who witnessed the plane’s destruction.  Since nobody apparently knows exactly where the plane was bulldozed into rubble, we likely will never know how close the Earhart memorial will be to the true burial place of Amelia Earhart’s plane.

Thanks to the selfless efforts of Rep. Donald Barcinas and his committee, those of us who cherish the memory of Amelia Earhart and long for Goerner’s “Justice of Truth” regarding her tragic disappearance have renewed hope that we might live to see the only real and acceptable solution to the Earhart case — full U.S. government disclosure of the Saipan truth.

Mike Campbell is the author of “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.” For more information, go to http://www.EarhartTruth.com.

Donald Barcinas and his committee apparently have indeed “Got it done,” and if all goes well, soon an 18-foot statue of Amelia Earhart will grace a special area of the Saipan International Airport.

Marianas Variety editor Zaldy Dandan was especially helpful, publishing my letter as an opinion piece, giving it better visibility, linking to the Truth at Last blog and displaying a huge photo of the cover of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, which encouraged his readers to procure it.  Unfortunately, no discernible increase in book sales or page visits to this blog ensued, confirming the relative paucity of interest on in the Earhart disappearance on Saipan.

Jennings Bunn, a former civilian Navy archeologist who spent 14 years on Guam, as well as several months on Saipan during the power outage caused by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015,  agrees.  “From what I saw in Saipan, it is over run by Chinese and Koreans, and the local folks aren’t real interested in ‘Haole’  [defined here as a white person who is not a native Chamorro]  history,” Bunn told me in a recent email.  “My experience on Guam was that the local Chamorro knows very little about their own history, and few really care.  That’s why people like R’lene Steffy [columnist at The Guam Daily Post] are so appreciated by those who do care about their own history.  I did many class presentation to school kids, and told them they should be ashamed to have a Haole tell them their history.  That’s the same situation on Saipan, Rota, Tinian, etc.”

But a few good souls still care, and on Feb. 18 I received a surprising email from one of them, Marie S. Castro, 84, one of the principal movers in the Saipan initiative to build the Earhart memorial.  “I read your most appreciated article about Amelia Earhart from the Marianas Variety on 2/14/2018,” Marie wrote, going on to say she lived in Kansas City, Mo., for 50 years, teaching in the Kansas City Public School System for 25 years before her retirement in October 2016 and her return home to Saipan.  In 2014 Marie published her personal memoir, WITHOUT A PENNY IN MY POCKET: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After World War II and in 2015 she was one of nine authors who attended the annual Amelia Earhart festival at Atchison, Kansas.

Outside the dorm and dining court that bear her name at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind., a symbol of one of Purdue’s most famous icons has a permanent home on campus. This bronze statue of Amelia Earhart stands eight feet tall and holds an airplane propeller. The statue is a duplicate of one made by California artist Ernest Shelton in 1969. Earhart worked at Purdue from 1935 to 1937 as a counselor for women and as an adviser to the Department of Aeronautics.  Will the new Earhart Memorial at Saipan International Airport resemble this one? 

“Since I came back home,” Marie continued, “I had an urge [to do] something dating back to 1937 . . .  Amelia Earhart’s fate. On Feb. 2/ 2017, I approached Congressman Barcinas about my idea of building a Memorial Monument for Amelia Earhart here on Saipan to celebrate her 80th year.  All our elders who witnessed the American woman pilot’s presence here on Saipan are long gone, however, in 1983 I interviewed a local woman who had personal contacts with Amelia Earhart in 1937, who was living next door from the political detainee hotel called the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel. [Mrs. Matilde Shoda San Nicholas (the former Matilde Fausto Ariola), see pages 102-103 of Truth at Last.]  I want to pursue the Monument for Amelia Earhart and finalize the biggest lingering unsolved mystery of the 20th Century. . . . What is holding us now is funding. We need $200 thousand for the project.  We greatly appreciate any assistance you could give us for this project.”

After thanking Marie for her work on Saipan, I gently corrected her about her misuse of the word “mystery” in connection to the Earhart disappearance, and pledged my sincere support for this worthy and long-overdue development.  Of course I will happily send her a check, but even better, I’ll ask readers of this blog to support the memorial in any ways they can.

“Wow, Mike you gave me more push to pursue this project no matter how rough the road might be,” Marie wrote in her Feb. 19 reply.  “I will stand firm on my ground of the truth.  According to the local woman she observed one day that the American woman pilot was not feeling well.  She used the toilet very often that day and that was the last day Matilde saw the woman. She died of dysentery the next day. . . . Thanks again for your support.  We need every assistance we could get.  I am confident that with you together we will erect the Memorial Monument as a testimony to the whole world that this famous first American woman pilot definitely ended her life on the island of Saipan.”

I’ve never asked for money on this blog, and you’ll never see distracting ads or pop-ups when you come here.  But the proposed Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan is the most worthy cause we’ve seen in decades, and its successful completion would be a very large step toward realizing our ultimate goal — complete U.S. government disclosure of the truth. 

Please make your checks payable to:

Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument, Inc.

and send to:

AEMMI
c/o Marie S. Castro
P. O. Box 500213
Saipan MP  96950

Marie also has sent an artist’s rendition of the proposed Earhart Memorial Monument, and it looks great, far more elegant and stylish than I would have expected for $200,000.  I will be unveiling it here soon. Please check back often. 

%d bloggers like this: