This webpage examines the eyewitness accounts and other evidence that shows Amelia and Fred were arrested and taken to Saipan. There were over 200 individuals who claimed they saw her, this site examines who they were, and what they heard or saw. It includes details of evidence the Electra was found on Saipan, interviews with people who saw her and the Electra before and after they were taken to Saipan. Interviews with over two dozen Saipanese who claim they saw her there and over a dozen US Marines who claim they found the Electra, her passport, briefcase and other details.


An unusual talent on our team...

Captain Cooper, Dave Dougherty and Mike Harris
Owner of Pacific Marine Enterprises, Dave Dougherty gave us a tour of a lighthouse.

Captain Paul Cooper is a veteran Southwest airlines pilot.  He's from Texas and also happens to be an expert dowser.  For those unfamiliar with the practice, according to wikipedia, dowsing is a form of searching for water, gemstones, buried metal or ore as well as gravesites.  According to the wiki entry; "There is no accepted scientific rationale behind dowsing, and there is no scientific evidence that it is effective." 

Paul firing up the Ground Penetrating Radar
Well, that may very well be the case.  However, we have some visual evidence that it actually might be.

In our search for evidence that Earhart might have been on Saipan, we have allowed a select group of dowsers who live in the states to give us coordinates that they think might be of value in our research.  Mike Harris and I are avowed skeptics of anything outside of the norm of research - but at the same time open to any new research that can help us in our quest.  In light of that, we accepted these solicited sites from a number of people who live on the East Coast who don't know each other, but gave us coordinates that we might examine in our research.
Mike Harris walking the grid for the GPR site

Today was one of those days where we had an extra hour in between interviews to check out one of those sites.

On the way to Ray's home
First the interview; we spoke with Ray Guerrero, whose father was a policeman during the period prior to the war and also a policeman for the Japanese during the war.  He was also helpful to the Americans after the war, helping them seek out remaining Japanese soldiers, and translating for them.  Ray has four sons who are serving in the military currently, we saw pictures of them in his living room.

Ray has never been interviewed about his father's experience during WWII.  He knows that Fred Goerner tried to speak to his father, but he declined speaking to him.  Ray says that his father clearly stated to him that he had nothing to say on the Earhart matter, and further "If she was on the island he would have known it."  We also interviewed a couple of islanders who claim they heard Ray's father say that he did see her - but for whatever reason, his father said emphatically that he did not.

Tony at the archives in Northern Marianas College

We spoke to a number of other islanders who had parents who said the opposite - that they saw a "european woman" being escorted "with a tall thin man" in 1937, and we interviewed some folks who say that they saw Earhart in her cell, but have not spoken about it on camera for fear of some kind of retribution.  We also have spoken to an islander who heard a story about a Japanese tourist who came here in 1994 - said that he had been stationed in Saipan during the war, and further that he had been one of the guards who was at the Japanese jail.  He told a story that included Amelia Earhart's presence there - and we are currently researching that veracity.

Now back to the dowsing story.  Captain Cooper took out his dowsing instruments at one of our sites.  He walked through this bumpy parking lot and when the two metal rods crossed each other, he made a mark.  He then proceeded to dowse the same location from three other corners, and each time the rods crossed each other at that particular mark.  Then he asked for Mike Harris to bring out the sheet where we had recorded the coordinates of the particular spot in this parking lot - done by dowsers who live on the east coast of the US.
Here's a partial view of the GPS - wind blew over the page

He then put down a GPS onto the site and read the coordinates.  They were an exact match (there was a 3 second difference, but for all intents and purposes an exact match.)  Now - we don't know what is under this particular site - it could be water, could be metal - could be anything.  But we do know BEYOND A SHADOW OF DOUBT, that his dowsing the area was the exact same coordinates that had been done by dowsers who had looked at photographs of the area, and marked them for us via google earth.
The old Japanese cell

We are not claiming anything is underneath this area.  But as someone who has spent a good deal of time looking for things, Mike Harris and I were both in awe of the accuracy of Paul's reading.

So - we are leaving no stone unturned as they say, and we are utilizing all the tools in our kit, and all the arrows in our quiver in order to seek out items that will indicate Earhart or her Electra's presence here.  We are also continuing to interview families and their members - and tomorrow will speak with a historian who has two accounts for us to hear.

Ground Penetrating Radar

Stay tuned.


  1. Here's an interesting post I had on my site: "There's something to be said for Rich's unwavering religious faith, but in the event some reader is interested in an alternative view of the Saipan stories, let me refer you to, pp 131-201. And for a sobersided summary of what TIGHAR's actually done and found on Nikumaroro, see my article, "Amelia Earhart on Nikumaroro: a Summary of the Evidence," in Pacific Studies, December 2012 (not yet available online).
    Tom King, Senior Archaeologist, TIGHAR

    My reply is posted below - I think it's amusing Mr. King would consider reporting eyewitness accounts as "religious faith" - not sure which one he's denigrating -- or adding "there's something to be said" for it... which I find a turn of phrase that doesn't mean what it sounds like: "There's something to be said for this person's eyewitness account in court, which is given with religious fervor..." "We report, you decide" doesn't qualify as research; either way eyewitness reports are not opinion. I humbly suggest examining the eyewitness reports or not - but to characterize our considering them worthy of follow up as some form of religious fervor; priceless.

  2. We respect the science behind Tighar's research; just not the logic of it. I've been working on the eyewitness accounts for 30 years, Mike Harris for 40. What Mr. King's report is missing is fairly fundamental - its incorrect to say Thomas Devine was the first GI to claim to see Earhart's Electra parked on Aslito airfield. He may have been the first person to report it (and pretty adamantly; reporting to his congressman, calling the media and everyone he could find to do so after the war - not exactly someone out to make a buck from his account). Devine has details in his account that appear to be factually incorrect, but that doesn't make his entire testimony incorrect. For example, in the official govt record on the reply to Devine's accusations, they claim because he inaccurately identified a fisherman's hut at Susupe, his entire account was suspect. (Special agent Patton's report from 1960) I find this kind of reverse reasoning silly, and not worth examining. It's not that Devine saw the plane on Aslito airfield - it's that six other GI's saw the plane. Devine corroborated a number of details that the other GI's claimed. So that makes his testimony worth examining. The first people to see the plane at Aslito were Marines on June 19, 1944. I know that detail because the wire operator who decoded the message did so for Col. Lewis Wallace on that date. As he said to me during his interview in Tupelo Mississippi "I remember it as if it was yesterday." Combined with numerous other corroborated details he gives, I found his testimony, Douglas Bryce's testimony, Andrew Bryce's testimony, Robert Wallack's testimony and many others (as recounted in the second of Devine's book (with M. Campbell) where he solicited accounts from GI's who'd been there) credible and verifiable. I'm here on Saipan interviewing people in their 80's who recall these events. Some are Chomorro. Some are American veterans. And I've just found a Japanese man who claims he was here when she was executed. I'm tracking down his details as we speak. So we are left with - why ignore the eyewitness accounts? It's not just Devine. So far we have 12 GI's who claim they saw her Electra here. Are they all liars? Are they all besmirching their uniform by making up this fantastic detail that her plane was here? To me it borders on the ridiculous that people would not follow up on these reports. The only logical conclusion that I can get from people not following up on the over 200 eyewitness reports (from Georner, the priest's extensive interviews with Matilde Arriola and others, Don Wilson's many people, Oliver Knagg's filmed interviews in Mili, Jaluit, Mike Harris's interviews (always incorrectly ascribed to TC Brennan, who was just accompanying Mike) - the only possible reason people have not followed up on these is "egocentric americanism" - if a person doesn't speak English then their account must be suspect. At least I hope that's the reason and not some more nefarious conspiracy to obfuscate the facts. I choose not to follow that path, as my experience working with people in the defense dept, homeland security and CIA - (during my research for the film "Salt") is they love to solve a mystery as much as the next fellow. I wish the folks at Tighar the best - I'm here on Saipan (EarhartOnSaipan) with a small crew with determination and a desire to know the truth. We didn't come here with any preconceived idea about WHY she wound up in Saipan. We came because we wanted to follow the evidence. We are following up on good reporting done by Fred Goerner, by Oliver Knaggs. We have numerous eye witness accounts that have never been published as to her presence here on the island, we have numerous eye witness accounts by US soldiers who saw her plane, or came across other evidence she was here, we are currently looking at sites that have never been examined before. And we'll let you know what we find. Thanks.




Eyewitness Accounts: Published


Pg 40. “Glancing out on the runway ramp.. an area not the main part of Aslito Field, but an extended arm of the airstrip at the southwest corner… Near an embankment was (AE’s plane). (LATER) .. a muffled explosion at Aslito Field erupted into a large flash fire… I crouched and crawled toward the airfield. When I could see what was burning, I was aghast! The twin engine plane was engulfed in flames! I could not see anyone by the light of the fire… in July 1944.”


Goerner gathers dozens of eyewitnesses to Earhart’s incarceration and second hand info about her execution.


Amelia reveals she did not know Morse code (and neither did Fred Noonan)



South African journalist gathers numerous eyewitnesses at Mili, Majuro and Jaluit. There is footage of these interviews, but it exists somewhere in Miami – still trying to locate the negative.


Elgen shows how the original plan devised by radio man Harry Manning was adhered to by the Coast Guard Itasca – they didn’t know Manning got off the plane in Hawaii and wasn’t on the electra. So 90% of all their communication was in Morse code – something neither AE or FN knew.


PG 32. Robert Sosbe, 1st battalion 20th Marines, 4th marine division) Sosbe said he saw the Electra before and during its destruction) “on or about D+5 after our infantry had captured Alsito, the night before, then were driven off, only to capture it again, our Co was called up to fill a gap between our infantry and the 27th Army infantry. The trucks carrying us stopped off the opposite side of the runway from the hangars and tower about 3 to 5 hundred yds. This two engine airplane was pulled from the hangar to off the runway where it was engulfed in flames from one end to the other. I can still remember exactly the way it burned, how the frame and ribs because it was visible. It was about half dark. It burned approximately 15-30 minutes.”

Same page: a letter from Earskine Nabers: “I am seeking Marines who were placed on duty at Aslito to guard a padlocked hangar containing AE’s plane. The hangar was not one of those located along the runway. It was located near what may have been a Japanese administration building, and an unfinished hangar at the tarmac, in the southwest corner of the airfield.

The follow up letter (pg 33)

…”we had to get Col. Clarence R Wallace to sign all the messages that came through the message center.) Hq 8th moved back to bivouac area. I was dropped off at the Hangar for guard duty at the main road that went by west side of hangar. The road that went out to hangar, I was placed on the right side, just as it left the main road….

Pg 34 The best I can recall the plane was pulled on the field by a jeep.. the plane was facing north after the plane was parked and jeep moved. A plane came over real low and on the next pass he strafed the plane and it went up in a huge fireball. (We were sitting on the west side of the airfield about one hundred yards from the plane. We were on higher ground. As far as I remember, the (men) that pulled the plane on the field and us guys from H & S 8th were the only ones there.”

Pg 36 Marine Capt Earl Ford of Fallbrook, CA, artillery master sgt with 2nd Marines. Interview 6-7-88 by Paul Cook. “The aircraft was about 100 yards (from me) maybe less. We all saw it. No way we could miss it. A civilian twin engine. No way it was military. American aircraft in civil registration… some officers were saying it was Amelia’s… it had only two windows on the side, back here.”

Arthur Nash, Air Corps Corps, P47 group on Aslito. Claims he saw the plane on July 4, 1944 (book says 1945, must be a misprint based on following) pg 40:

“After landing on Isley.. at 2:30 pm, Japanese soldiers were running around the airstrip, one killed himself in the cockpit of a P47D with a grenade…” I slept fairly well (in the hangar) and (in the morning) wandered over to a large hole in the hangar wall facing the other hangar. The hangar floor and the area between the hangars was littered with debris, displace with siding from the hangars, maybe 65 yards apart, but close enough to get a good look at a familiar aircraft outside the other hangar. My eyesight was acute and what I saw was Amelia Earhart’s airplane!... the next morning I went over to see it but it was gone.”

Jerrell Chatham, 1st platoon, I company, 3rd regiment, 2nd marine deivions: “I was driving trucks .. on Saipan… when we went ashore I saw the hangar where Amelia Earhart’s plane was stored, I also saw the plane in the air. They told us not to go close to the airplane hangar and we did not…”

Pg 44: Howard Ferris, US Marines: “Sent to Saipan for guard dutey… an old hangar structure at end of a runway. This hangar was not large,.. small trees in front of big doors.. (then he recounts the same Marine argument that Devine and Nabers recount – where some Navy brass attempted to get in, but a Marine (Nabers) refused them entry.)” Howard was not present at the fire, but one of his buddies was. The buddy said a truck arrived with many gas cans and the guards saturated the entire hangar.. and it burned totally.

Pg 50 Robert Sowash, 23rd regiment 4th Marines Division: “I saw a plane in a building that was not a military plane.. I remember other Marines saying it was the same as Earhart’s. Later the place was cordoned off..”

Pete Leblanc, 121st Naval CB’s, 4th Marine division: “some of our guys were sneaking over towards the airfield to try and see (AE’s plane). We heard there were guards there. Then it was burned up later.”


Over 200 eyewitnesses as gathered by all the different authors with the various reports of her landing on Mili, being brought to Jaluit and incarcerated in Garapan prison.