Tim Burchett, the mayor of Knox County, Tenn. (both counties and cities have mayors in Tennessee) was listening during my Sept. 4 radio appearance with Phil Williams on WOKI. He contacted me and expressed his interest in the Earhart story, and I finally met him at his office in downtown Knoxville yesterday. We talked for about 40 minutes, and I brought him two copies of Truth at Last.
His father was in the Navy in World War II, he said, and he (Tim) had always been interested in the Earhart case. He asked many intelligent questions, but mainly listened as I explained the situation — both with the so-called Earhart “mystery” and the current media blackout of Truth at Last. Such is the pathetic level of interest in the now three-month old book that this blog registered only one visitor on Oct. 1. To say the book and this blog and web site are on life support and need serious help is severe understatement. Seriously: One visitor? Can you spell “hopeless”?
Perhaps it is, but the mayor has some ideas about how he can help this book and its worthy cause, and I hope to be reporting soon on those efforts and their results.
Thanks also to Carol Anderson of the Knoxville Welcome Wagon Club, who was also listening Sept. 4 and has asked me to speak to her group’s monthly meeting of about 50 women ages 50 to 70 during the first week of November — the day after the most important election we’ve seen in our lifetimes, in fact. I didn’t realize this when I accepted her invitation, but since she had to change a previously scheduled speaker to accommodate me, I’ll have to live with the possibility that I might be forced to address this group on the morning of a national tragedy. Let’s hope and pray that will not be the case.
Postscript: Added March 12, 2013:
I never heard from Mayor Tim again, and he ignored several emails I sent. He proved to be just another politician, full of false promises.
I hope the radio programs I’ve recently appeared on aren’t as unpopular or unknown as this blog appears to be, or I am truly spinning my wheels. On Aug. 5 I was on the Firebase Network Veterans Hour on the Stardust Radio Network with host Rick Townsend, and Deanna Spignola invited me on to talk to her for two hours Aug. 20 on her daily program, “Spignola Speaks,” on the Republic Broadcasting Network.
Both went as well as could be expected, having last done radio in the mid-1980s. It was good practice for my Sept. 4 date with Phil Williams of Knoxville’s WOKI 98.7 FM, likely the top afternoon-drive show here, and a real opportunity for a breakthrough. I never thought he would actually schedule me, but I finally got the official invite on Friday. Will be on Firebase again tomorrow night for an hour.
Joel Freedman is doing great work on behalf of Truth at Last. He placed a letter to the editor of The Banner Independent, of Booneville, Mississippi, in the same Prentiss County neighborhood as smaller Baldwyn, where Earskin Nabers lived most of his life, and where he died in 2006 at 82. Freedman’s letter ran at the top of the Opinion section on August 16.
After stating his belief that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan “were captured and tortured by the Japanese” and died on Saipan, Freedman wrote that he was “impressed by Campbell’s account of the importance of World War II Marine Corps veteran Erskine Nabers in finding the truth about Earhart. … “Campbell describes Nabers as ‘a soft-spoken, low-key individual, content in his quiet life of work and devotion to family in the obscurity of small-town Mississippi.’
“Campbell explains, ‘As a radio message code clerk in the communications center of the 8th Marine Regiment on Saipan in July 1944, Nabers decoded the top-secret message announcing the discovery of Amelia Earhart’s Electra in a hangar at Aslito Field. . . . “After his death,” Freedman continued, “I can almost imagine Nabers’ spirit was greeted by the spirits of Earhart and Noonan, who thanked him for his courage and honesty, on their behalf. When I read a good book, I often learn about people I wish I had met during their lifetime. Earskin Nabers is one of these people.”