|Captain Cooper, Dave Dougherty and Mike Harris|
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|
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|
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|