Tag Archives: Saipan

Another gem from Bill Prymak’s AES Newsletters: “The Strange Story of Interview #23”

The late Bill Prymak’s abundant contributions to Earhart research, though ignored and unappreciated everywhere else in our know-nothing media, are gifts that keep on giving to readers of this blog and Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last Bill, the founder and former president of the Amelia Earhart Society, who passed away in July 2014 at 86, was the central hub and repository of the writings, reports, analyses and speculations of a wide variety of Earhart researchers. 

This material’s accuracy, also quite variable, must be carefully sifted to separate the wheat from the chaff, and was compiled in his two-volume Assemblage of Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, covering Prymak’s AES Newsletters from December 1989 to March 2000. 

The following treasure appeared in the January 1997 issue of the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters, and concerns a familiar face among the Saipan witnesses, Joaquina M. Cabrera, and a revealing interview she did with Joe Gervais, Capt. Jose Quintanilla, Guam chief of police; and Eddie Camacho, Guam chief of detectives, during their 1960 Guam interviews.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.) 

Bill Prymak with Bilimon Amaron, whose eyewitness account is widely considered to be the most important of the Marshall Islands witnesses, in the recreation room of his home in the Marshalls capital of Majuro, circa 1989.  As a Japanese hospital corpsman in 1937 Jaluit, Amaron’s ship-board treatment of an injured white man, surely Fred Noonan, accompanied by an American woman the crewmen called “Meel-ya,” is legendary among the Marshallese. (Courtesy Bill Prymak.)

“THE STRANGE STORY OF INTERVIEW #23”

When Joe Gervais and Joe Klaas presented their manuscript of Amelia Earhart Lives [1970] to McGraw-Hill, it was bulging with some 650 pages of research work.  Much good material had to be trimmed to meet the publisher’s mandate not to exceed 275 pages in final form, and it has always bugged Gervais that one of his most profound witnesses had a crucial part of her testimony stricken from the book by the editors.  Major Gervais recreates that scene for us, the way it should have been presented in the book:

At Chalan Kanoa, a village on Saipan, the investigators located Mrs. Joaquina M. Cabrera, fifty-one, who during 1937 and 1938 had been employed as a servant in the [Kobayashi Royakan] hotel.

l used to have to take a list of the persons staying in the hotel to the island governor’s office each day, Mrs. Cabrera remembered.  One day when I was doing this I saw two Americans in the back of a three-wheeled vehicle.  Their hands were bound behind them, and they were blindfolded. One of them was an American woman.”

Gervais showed her a photo of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. Are these the two you saw?

Undated photo of Earhart eyewitness Joaquina Cabrera.  She passed away in 2004 at age 92.

She squinted at the photograph.  “They look like the same people I saw, and they are dressed the same way.”

What happened to them?

“I only saw them once in the three-wheeled truck.  I don’t know what happened to them.”

The threesome, Capt. Jose Quintanilla, Guam Chief of Police; Eddie Camacho, Guam Chief of Detectives, and Capt. Gervais, were shocked when, after finishing the above interview, she suddenly came forward to Gervais and deliberately spat on the ground, in front of his feet.

Capt. Gervais regained his composure and asked Capt. Quintanilla

“Why is this woman so enraged at me?  I had never met her before?”

Unknown artist’s sketch of Joaquina Cabrera accompanying this story in the Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters January 1997 edition.

Capt. Quintanilla, in a quiet voice, asked Mrs. Cabrera to explain her actions, and after a lengthy exchange of words in Chamorro, Quintanilla turned to Gervais with an ashen face and slowly, deliberately told him what Mrs. Cabrera had said:

“You Americans are two-faced people!  What are you doing here in 1960 investigating what happened to Amelia Earhart 23 years ago when all the time you Americans knew she was here and none of you lifted a finger to help her?

“What kind of people are you?” (End Strange Story of Interview #23)

Amelia Earhart Lives author Joe Klaas, who passed away in February 2016 at 95, was a pilot and World War II hero, a POW and a talented writer with 12 books to his credit.  But sadly, Klaas fell victim to the insane delusion that Joe Gervais had birthed and spread to other witless sheep over the years, that New Jersey housewife Irene Bolam was actually Amelia Earhart returned from Saipan via the Japanese Imperial Palace in Tokyo, determined to live out her life in obscurity and isolation from her family — something Amelia was incapable of doing. 

It was a shame, because the eyewitness interviews conducted by Gervais, Robert Dinger and the detectives on Guam and Saipan in 1960, on the heels of Fred Goerner’s arrival on Saipan, were some of the most compelling ever done.  The above incident is another example of important witness testimony that most will never see.

If you’d like to get reacquainted with all the sordid details of the long-debunked, worm-eaten Earhart-as-Bolam myth, I did a four part series on this dark chapter of the Earhart saga, beginning with Irene Bolam and the Decline of the Amelia Earhart Society: Part I of IV,” on Dec. 29, 2015.

Fred Goerner also interviewed Joaquina at length in 1962, and later 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.”  See my April 17, 2018 post, Revisiting Joaquina Cabrera, Earhart eyewitness and pages 101-102 of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last for more on Goerner’s interview with Joaquina.

(Editor’s note:  “I was surprised to learn what Joaquina did after she was interviewed,” Marie Castro wrote from Saipan just after this post was published.  “But I can also understand Joaquina’s reaction to Gervais, it was out of frustration because of the way Amelia suffered as a detainee.  Joaquina noticed the bruises around Amelia’s arm and neck, so did Matilde.)

Advertisements

For Amelia Earhart, it’s Happy Birthday No. 122!

It’s late July again, when thousands of the uninformed flock to Atchison, Kansas for the annual Amelia Earhart Festival, where the “Great Aviation Mystery” is renewed and celebrated.  The only questions the sheeple ask are whether Amelia’s Electra 10E crashed and sank off Howland Island or landed on Nikumaroro, where she starved to death, along with navigator Fred Noonan, on an atoll teeming with natural food and water sources.  

I sometimes imagine that some of the benighted at these Atchison shindigs actually hope that, just maybe, she’s still flying around out there in the timeless ether, searching endlessly for a way back to 1937 America — an eternal, romantic enigma without solution.  That may be an exaggeration, but it’s no stretch to say that wherever PC and groupthink predominate, as in Atchison, the hated truth is assiduously avoided, and can be found only in the darkest corners, where vile conspiracy theorists speak in hushed tones about the despised “Japanese Capture Theory” that so intimidates all but the boldest Earhart truth seekers.   

Once again we’ve reached another Earhart birthday, this one Amelia’s 122nd.  It’s hard to say how long America’s First Lady of Flight might have lived had her remarkable life not been so cruelly stolen from her by a wretched combination of circumstances that have yet to be fully understood, but I can’t imagine Amelia would still be with us at 122, though she would have given it her best shot, you can be sure.

Amelia came from hardy genes indeed, if her mother and sister were any indications.  Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, of West Medford, Massachusetts, two-and-a-half-years younger than Amelia, died in her sleep on March 2, 1998 at the age of 98.  Amy Otis Earhart, Amelia’s mother, was born in 1869 and died in 1962 at 93.

As is usually the case when Amelia’s birthday rolls around, the only Earhart-related news in America is about plans for more TV productions, more deceitful documentaries and specials by the true conspiracy theorists, who have only one goal in mind, besides ratings and dollars, of course, and that is to keep the same kind of gullible people who yearly flock to Atchison clueless about the truth.  I will spare you the boring and meaningless details, which will be known and forgotten soon enough.

Amelia at 10.  Even as a child, she had the look of someone destined for greatness, or is it just my imagination?  In this photo, she seems to be gazing at events far away in time and space.  But could she ever have imagined the wretched accident of fate that ended her life on earth?  Who can fathom it?

Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897 to Amy Otis and Edwin Stanton Earhart.  Edwin, an itinerant lawyer and faithful husband, was alsoa drunkard, according to biographer Mary Lovell (The Sound of Wings, 1989), but Amelia’s childhood was nonetheless nearly idyllic. 

Alfred Otis, Amy’s father, was a wealthy judge, and it was hard on the banks of the Missouri River in the home of Judge Otis and her grandmother, Amelia Josephine Harres, that Amelia came into the world.

Growing up in nearby Kansas City, Kansas, Amelia’s adventurous persona manifested early.  Amelia (Meelie), and Muriel, or “Pidge” were close, lived in reasonable comfort, unaware of any financial constraints” and were secure and happy despite occasional problems resulting from their father’s uneven professional life.

As we see in the early pages of another fine biography, Amelia, My Courageous Sister (1987), by Muriel Earhart Morrissey and Carol L. Osborne, Amelia was a consummate tomboy.  At 7 she rode an elephant at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and was fascinated by the small cars that sped around an aerial track, though her mother said it was too dangerous for little girls to ride them.  Soon after the family returned home, Amelia enlisted her uncle Carl Otis to help her, Muriel and the boy next door build a makeshift roller coaster in their back yard, with its starting point at the top of the tool shed, eight-feet high.

When all the sawing and nailing of boards and tracks was complete, Amelia stuffed herself into a wooden crate for the first ride.As it careened down the track, Muriel recalled, we heard the sound of splintering wood.  The car and Amelia departed the track when the car hit the trestle.  Both tumbled onto the ground. Amelia jumped up, her eyes alight, ignoring a torn dress and bruised lip. ‘Oh, Pidge’ she exclaimed, ‘it’s just like flying!’ ”

Amelia wasn’t moved when she saw her first airplane at the 1907 Iowa State Fair, in Des Moines, recalling it as a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting.  At 9, Edwin presented her with a .22 rifle so she could clear the barn of rats, much to the consternation of her well-to-do grandparents.  “Don’t worry, Mother Otis,” Edwin told her grandmother.  “This is really a very small rifle.” Describing their beloved father many years later, Muriel called him “loving, generous, impractical.”

For more on Amelia’s happy youth and the events that to her fateful meeting with Neta Snook, her first flight instructor, please see Chapter I, “Birth of a Legend,” pages 5-19 in Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.

Back to the present, and a final observation.  I find it greatly ironic that for the past two years the only significant news in the Earhart case has come from Saipan, where Amelia and Fred Noonan suffered and died so ignominiously.  Here, as well, is our last living link to Amelia, 86-year-old Marie S. Castro, president of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee, who daily wages a losing battle in her campaign to erect a memorial monument to the doomed fliers.  If not for this blog and the two Saipan newspapers, not a soul in the United States would know about Marie and her quest to properly honor and commemorate the hapless duo at the site of their murders.  For this sorry state of affairs we can thank our corrupt media, of course, which continues to dutifully cover up the truth in the Earhart saga, like the mindless, heartless little soldiers they are.

The uninformed, incurious and ultra-propagandized Saipan populace is either strongly against the Earhart Memorial Monument (see top right of this page for the architect’s model) or hopelessly indifferent.  The former faction includes most of Saipan’s politicians, who can also be relied upon to bend to the popular wind, currently blowing stiffly in the wrong direction.  Marie often finds herself surrounded by smiling faces who assure her of their support, but those who sincerely care are far too few, and as things look now and for the foreseeable future, it will require divine intervention before we ever see the Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan.  I sincerely hope I’m wrong, and will gladly admit it if the sentiment on Saipan ever turns in Amelia’s favor.  

I’ve written plenty about Marie Castro’s work and will continue to do so.  Although the Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune have supported the AEMMI movement to varying degrees, fundraising from the United States has been very disappointing, and from Saipan it’s been far worse.  Please see the Media Page of this blog for links to the newspaper stories; and for a complete list of all the posts I’ve done here since the institution of the AEMMI, please click here.

In any event, Happy Birthday, Amelia!

AE’s last flight anniversary arrives without change

Another anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s last flight is upon us, this one the 82nd, and once again we have nothing but lies and silence from our media.

Instead of absolutely nothing, I awoke to an email from a faithful reader informing me of the latest propaganda broadside from our reliably dishonest establishment, this one from National Geographic.  Predictably titled, “Missing: The Unsolved Mystery of Amelia Earhart’s last flight,” it’s exactly what we’ve come to expect, more absurd genuflecting to TIGHAR’s falsehoods and delusions.  Here are the two sentences that National Geographic spared for the truth:

Some believe that Earhart and Noonan, flew north, toward the Marshall Islands, where they crashed and were captured by Japan, who controlled that area.  Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen Earhart in a prison camp on Saipan, but physical evidence supporting their testimony is scarce.

Prison camp? Where did this never-before-heard red herring come from, if not from the mendacious minds of the National Geographic writer or editors?  They also made sure to include another loser, the infamous, thoroughly discredited ONI photo from the July 2017 History Channel disinformation operation, apparently to ensure that their clueless readers remain as ignorant and misinformed as they did before they began reading the article. It’s pathetic and worse than nothing.  Better silence and dead air than more of the same old lies after 82 years.

Members and officers of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee gather at Saipan’s Fiesta Resort & Spa July 2.  From left, Allen K. Castro, technologist; Herman Cabrera, architect; Ambrose Bennett, member;  Ed Williams, member; Oscar Camacho, site planning;, Avelyna Yamagata, member; President Marie S. Castro; Carlos A. Shoda, member; Evelyna E. Shoda, secretary;  Vice President Frances M. Sablan.

Only on Saipan and in the Marianas Variety can we find any semblance of truth and hope in the Earhart caseOn July 1, the local newspaper published “Committee to commemorate anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance” by reporter Junhan B. Todiño, who has consistently supported the good cause.  Todiño’s story begins:

THE Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee will meet on Tuesday to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the famous aviator’s disappearance while attempting to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe.

Committee president Marie S. C. Castro said members and friends of the memorial monument committee will meet at Fiesta Resort & Spa.

She said they are hoping that their friends on the U.S. mainland could join their meeting at least in spirit as we honor the memory of the two great aviators, referring to Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.

Mike Campbell, author ofAmelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, told Castro in an email: “I truly believe Amelia and Fred know and appreciate the love and respect you’ve given them throughout your life and especially in these past few years.”

He added,Whether or not we succeed in our goal of erecting a memorial monument to Amelia and Fred on Saipan — and if we are not, it won’t be because you have not done everything in your power.

To read the rest of the story, please click here.

Of course the comments at the bottom of the story, as always, reflect the “militantly ignorant” status of most of the benighted population of Saipan.  “Ambrose Bennett came to me before we all departed and encourage me not to bother by the negative comments,” Marie wrote me in a July 1 email.

On July 2, Marie told me, “Mike, I plan to dedicate the month of July to put piece by piece of the AE story if possible two or three times a week what happened here on Saipan in 1937. This is one way of educating the locals.”

Hope springs eternal, even in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

 

 

Navy’s 1988 assignment to write newspaper feature, Devine’s letter spark 31-year Earhart journey

Occasionally I’m asked how my preoccupation — some might call it an “obsession” — with the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, now in its 31st year, began, sometimes in tones that victims of rare, terminal diseases might hear when questioned by the insensitive.  (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

In March 1987, I left active duty in San Diego after nine years working in radio and newspapers as an enlisted Navy journalist, confident that a good civilian job was just around the corner.  But the radio stations in the Southern California area weren’t impressed, and so I returned to my hometown Washington, D.C. area, where I found employment as the sports editor of a small Northern Virginia weekly newspaper.   

After a brief but intense stint with the paper, where the pay was low and the hours long, I was fortunate to find more lucrative and stable employment — though not in sports writing, my preference and strength —  and returned to the Navy as a civilian writer with the Navy Internal Relations Activity, in Rosslyn, Va., as assistant editor at Navy Editor Service (now defunct).  The NES was a monthly publication that was sent to all U.S. Navy and Marine Corps ships and shore stations for use in their local publications.  The stories focused on Navy and Marine news and policies, but occasionally I was asked to write about less mundane subjects.   

Thomas E. Devine, circa 1987, about the time that Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident was published and about four years before I met him in person and spent the day with him at his West Haven, Conn., home in early February 1991.

In late March 1988, just a few months after re-joining the Navy, so to speak, such an opportunity arose, when I was tasked to write a story about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart for the odd occasion of the upcoming 51st anniversary of her last flight.  Much later, the irony of a Navy civilian employee and former sailor writing about an event that was so intimately connected to the Navy in so many ways — both overt and covert — eventually struck me, but at the time my knowledge of the big picture in the Earhart travesty was nonexistent. 

To research the story, I read the only four books on the Earhart disappearance available at the Washington Navy Yard Library, now the Naval History & Heritage Command.  In order, these were Amelia Earhart Lives, by Joe Klaas, the 1970 sensation that burned brightly and briefly before Irene Bolam filed suit for defamation against the publisher of that scandalous tome; Amelia Earhart; The Myth and the Reality (1972) by Dick Strippel, a Navy apologist whose fish-wrapper simply restated the official Navy-Coast Guard crashed-and-sank finding, as it was already beginning to wear thin; Vincent V. Loomis’ Amelia Earhart: The Final Story (1985), the best collection and presentation of evidence for Earhart’s Mili Atoll landing ever; and Thomas E. Devine’s 1987 opus, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, the former Army postal sergeant’s eyewitness account of his amazing experience on 1944 Saipan.  There, Devine, along with at least a few dozen other GIs, witnessed the presence and destruction of Amelia Earhart’s Electra, a key event in one of the greatest cover-ups of the 20th century.

I was captivated from the very first pages of Amelia Earhart Lives, swept up in the Earhart saga for reasons I couldn’t even explain to myself.  And upon finishing Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, the only Earhart book ever written by an eyewitness, I found Devine’s address and sent him a copy of my story’s first draft, along with a letter expressing my interest and admiration for his book, not really expecting him to reply,

I don’t have a copy of my first letter to Devine, but when I received his April 7 reply, below, I was elated, despite the fact that he wasn’t exactly bubbling over with praise for my initial effort.  In retrospect, he was more tolerant and polite than I would have been, considering his long and contentious involvement with the Earhart story:

My April 12 response needs little introduction, but I assured Devine that I wason your team in all this, and that his letter had moved me to make some adjustments to my original draft.  Following are the first three paragraphs:

Devine replied right away, and in his April 16 response he informed me that Eyewitness “was published to disseminate my own eyewitness involvement in this matter, and to counteract much misinformation already published.”  After discussing a few of the problems he had with my story, including “misinformation” from Vincent V. Loomis and Fred Goerner’s books, he closed by writing,Mike, I do appreciate your interest in this very serious matter, and would be pleased to acquire the report when it is released.

Here’s the lead of the six-page story published in the May 1988 issue of Navy Editor Service, not available online:

The story presented the views of Klaas, Strippel, Devine and Loomis, was among the most popular I wrote during my two years at Navy Editor Service, and was published in countless Navy and Marine Corps newspapers and other publications.  My Earhart education was in its infancy in 1988, as my reference to the disappearance as a great mysteryattested.  But I had already become another victim of Earhart fever, thanks in part to Devine’s letter, which meant so much to me and helped to cement my resolve to learn as much as possible about this captivating story.

Thus began a 15-year correspondence that lasted until just a few months before Devine’s death in September 2003 at age 88, and which resulted in the 2002 book that we co-authored, With Our Own Eyes: Eyewitnesses to the Final Days of Amelia EarhartFollowing is the review I wrote for Eyewitness on Amazon.com in December 2012:

Thomas E. Devine’s “Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident” joined the ranks of Fred Goerner’s 1966 bestseller “The Search for Amelia Earhart,” Paul Briand Jr.’s “Daughter of the Sky” (1960) and Vincent V. Loomis’ “Amelia Earhart: The Final Story” (1985) as one of the most important works ever written on the Earhart disappearance the moment it was published in 1987 by a small Colorado publisher.  By 1987 the truth about Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan’s presence and deaths on Saipan was being blacked out in almost every corner of the mass media, and thus this book was largely suppressed and sold less than 4,000 copies; compare that to the over 400,000 that Goerner’s book sold in 1966, when the government and media establishment were caught unprepared to deal with the truth that Goerner discovered on Saipan.

As a result of Devine’s call for Saipan veterans to come forward to support his eyewitness experience on Saipan that established Earhart’s presence there, more than two-dozen former soldiers, Marines and sailors called and wrote to Devine, and their accounts are presented for the first time in the book I wrote in cooperation with Devine, “With Our Own Eyes,” published in 2002.

Thomas E. Devine’s 1987 classic, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident, changed my life in ways I never could have dreamed.

Ten years later, “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last” (2012) presents many stunning new findings, eyewitness accounts and analysis, and never-before-published revelations from unimpeachable sources including famed U.S. military generals and iconic San Francisco newsman Fred Goerner’s files that reveal the truth about Amelia Earhart’s death on Saipan, as well as the sacred-cow status of this matter within the U.S. government.  “Truth at Last” explodes the popular myths that Amelia Earhart’s Electra, NR 16020 crashed and sank in the waters off Howland Island on July 2, 1937, or landed on the reef of Nikumaroro Atoll, where the hapless fliers perished soon thereafter of thirst and/or starvation, which has become the most popular falsehood ever perpetuated about Earhart’s fate.

Without Devine’s book, this writer may never have become engaged in the more than 20 years of intense research that went into the production of “Truth at Last,” which presents the most comprehensive case ever for the Saipan destiny of Earhart and Noonan. Anyone remotely interested in the Earhart disappearance would be wise to purchase “Eyewitness” before supplies run out.  It is a book for the ages, firmly in the line of truth established by Briand and Goerner in the early 1960s.  (End Amazon review.)

My Amazon review of Eyewitness focused on the positive aspects of Devine’s book and its vital connection to the creation of Amelia Earhart: The Truth at LastIn itself, Devine’s Saipan experience as an eyewitness to the Earhart Electra’s presence and destruction was more than enough to recommend Eyewitness as an extremely important piece of the Earhart saga.

But Devine was never content with what he had learned “with his own eyes” on Saipan; instead, he claimed expertise in areas about which he knew nothing, and eventually I realized that the man I thought was the world’s leading Earhart expert had feet of clay. 

For example, despite the overwhelming evidence supporting the fliers’ Mili Atoll landing, Devine refused to  consider it, insisting that Amelia flew directly from Lae, New Guinea to Saipan, an unthinkable 90-degree error.  He attributed this to an imaginary injury on takeoff to Fred Noonan that left him unable to navigate or even communicate with Amelia from the earliest moments of the flight. 

To my knowledge, no researcher has ever joined Devine in this delusion, and his obstinate refusal to take off his blinders and see the Marshall Islands truth isolated and reduced him to a sad, solitary figure for which the Earhart research community — in itself a small, diverse group of eccentric characters who, for the most part, are no longer with us — had little use.  For more on Devine and his tunnel vision regarding Earhart’s Marshall Islands landing, please see Truth at Last pages 176-178.

Devine’s errors weren’t limited to his ideas about how the Electra reached Saipan.  His claim that James Vincent Forrestal, secretary of the Navy in 1944, was personally present on Saipan when the Earhart plane was destroyed in July 1944, has also been shown to be false.  Worse, Devine resorted to fabricating evidence to support this claim.  I won’t elaborate here on that unfortunate chapter of my relationship with him, but those interested can find all the unhappy details in Truth at Last, pages 210-215.

Devine’s failings were significant and self-imposed, but without his generosity and willingness to share his findings with me over the 15 years of our association — I wish I could say friendship — I would never have begun my own search for Amelia Earhart.  I’ll forever cherish Devine’s 714-page unpublished manuscript, “Bring Me Home,” which he gave me in June 2001, when it seemed he wouldn’t live another day.

I sometimes ask the audiences I address at my infrequent presentations, “Who has ever aspired to become an Earhart researcher?  Can you imagine your son or daughter telling you that they’ve decided to devote their lives to studying and solving the ‘Earhart mystery’?  You’d probably send them to a psychiatrist or some other mental health professional as soon as possible.”  At that, a few politely laugh, but most just look at me blankly. 

It’s lonely, frustrating work, but it’s real, and somebody has to do it.  I know Amelia and Fred appreciate it, wherever they are.

Committee elects Castro new AEMMI president, Declares 10 reasons for Saipan Earhart Monument

The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. Committee held a new election on Saipan March 28.  Marie S. Castro, the beating heart of the AEMMI, without whom the movement would not exist, was named the new president, with former Secretary Frances Sablan moving up to the vice president spot.  Manny Borja is the treasurer and Evelyna Shoda takes over as secretary.  Manuel F. Borja, Carlos Shoda, Oscar Camacho, Chailang Palacios, Bruce Bateman and Donald C. Barcinas, former president, round out the new board of directors.

Created in September 2017 as Marie’s inspired brainchild, the AEMMI has not been fondly embraced by the locals on Saipan.  Although the Marianas Variety has supported the grass-roots initiative with several stories about Marie and her wealth of Earhart-related experience that have been faithfully noted on this blog, it’s painfully clear that the vast majority of the citizens of Saipan are determined to oppose the monument.

The unpleasant evidence reflecting what one reader of this blog has dubbed the “militant ignorance” of the Saipan locals — which runs depressingly parallel to the thoroughly propagandized U.S. populace — is on display in the comments sections that follow each of the several stories run locally, the most recent of which, Amelia Earhart monument to help boost NMI tourism, says local author,” was published on May 13.  Only a small fraction of the architect’s initial $200,000 estimate for the monument has been raised.

Several AEMMI members pause on March 28, 2019.  Standing, left to right; Former President Donald Barcinas, Ambrose Bennett, new Vice President Frances Sablan, Treasurer Manny Borja, Technical Advisor Allen Castro, Carlos Shoda, Walt Goodridge. Front; Rosa Powers (known as Chailang), Marie Castro and Evelyna Shoda.

Undeterred, Marie, 86, refuses to surrender to the mindless crowd in her quest to achieve long-denied justice for Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.  She is becoming an iconic figure in the Saipan community, slowly and begrudgingly recognized for her courage and unflappable determination.  Marie’s latest initiative is the identification and elucidation of 10 reasons that the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument should be built on Saipan.

Forthwith are the reasons that Marie and the AEMMI have advanced, introduced by a personal note from Marie Castro herself.

Dear Friends in the United States and our People of Saipan,

It is our desire to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation in joining this significant, worthy cause to recognize and acknowledge the two great aviators, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.  When their plane came down in the Pacific in July 1937, they were brought to Saipan by the Japanese military.

We cannot continue to deny and ignore the great courage, the unimaginable sacrifice they endured under the Japanese regime for the cause of humanity.  Many reasons for building the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument are expressed loud and clear in the book Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last by Mike Campbell.  Here are some that immediately suggest themselves:


Marie S. Castro
President, AEMMI

1.  In 1937 Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan entered into the historical record of Saipan.  Whether the fact is recognized or not, the fliers became the first American casualties of World War II.  Amelia was not executed, but she contracted dysentery and was cremated.  According to witnesses,  Jose Sadao Tomokane attended the cremation of the American woman pilot.

2.  Saipan has an obligation to recognize and give every human being the honor and respect they deserve.  Although it was impossible to do such a thing under the Japanese regime, 82 years and counting is far too long for the two fliers who met their final days on Saipan soil to be honored.

3.  Many of our elders saw Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan in days, weeks and months following their arrival here in the summer of 1937, beginning with the well-known sighting by Josephine Blanco in summer 1937, which began the modern day search for Amelia Earhart.

4.  Amelia Earhart was a pioneer in the male-dominated aviation field. She was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and was also a best-selling author who wrote about her adventures as an aviator. Among her many accomplishments, she was instrumental in forming an organization of female pilots called the Ninety-Nines. While Amelia earned the respect and admiration of people all over the world, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Amelia’s statue will inspire the  daughters of the CNMI to embrace Amelia’s pioneering spirit and aspire towards fulfilling their utmost potential.

5.  Saipan would become widely recognized internationally and our island’s history and culture would attract worldwide attention.

6.  It is time for Saipan to take ownership of the Earhart-on-Saipan Truth and to spread that Truth not just in the region, but worldwide.  The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument would focus attention on the Earhart disappearance in ways never before imagined.

7.  We need to expand this idea to eventually encompass a museum, library and gift shop, as well as a research institute for worldwide Earhart researchers to come, do their work and discuss their findings.  The Earhart Monument again gets this process rolling by providing a single focal point to key interest on.

8.  With the proper infrastructure in place, visitors from all over the world with an interest in Amelia, her story and her “mysterious” end will come to Saipan, becoming a permanent income base for the CNMI economy.  They will want to see firsthand the sites mentioned in the literature.  They will buy souvenirs, paraphernalia and books commemorating their visit to Saipan, and this can add a profit center that provides funds for salaries, overhead and maintenance.

9.  The Memorial Monument will be the first tangible symbol of the Earhart-on-Saipan Truth.  It will become the “trademarked brand” of the Earhart saga, and the site will be instantly recognizable as the focus of Saipan’s Earhart tourism industry, with its products, attractions and services.  Over the years, the museum, shop, library and research institute can grow from the first step — the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument!

10.  Finally and most importantly, as international attention on Saipan and its vital historical importance as the location of the tragic deaths of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan continues to increase, the lies, myths and endless propaganda about theories and the “Earhart Mystery” will come to an end, and the Truth will be accepted and known by all.  The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument will be revered worldwide as the ultimate shrine to the heroic sacrifices of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.

The best known of all the original Earhart eyewitnesses, Josephine Blanco Akiyama, 92 (left), and Marie S.C. Castro answer questions at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Committee’s reception for Josephine at the Garapan Fiesta Resort and Spa Oct. 9, 2018.

To contribute to the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument on Saipan, 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 from the Earhart Memorial Committee.  Thank you.

 

%d bloggers like this: