Born from a Kickstarter campaign, veteran explorer Mike Harris Sr. and filmmaker Rich Martini have joined forces to examine the evidence that Amelia Earhart was on Saipan after she disappeared. They've been joined by a team of professionals from across the spectrum and are backed by a number of individuals with a desire to know the truth.
Stay tuned for more information...

Sunday

Our Expedition Team


D. Michael (Mike) Harris; Mr. Harris is a professional explorer and film-maker and has been at it his entire life. On his first expedition in 1971 he took a group of divers to the Marshall Islands and dove on warships that were sunk by atom-bomb testing. His film “Deadly Fathoms” featured Rod Serling and won a Silver Medal at the Atlanta International Film Festival. Mike also made epic trips to search for Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat in Turkey, his film “Expedition to Noah’s Ark” featured Hollywood star Joseph Cotton. Mike also produced a film in Mexico “Pancho Villa’s Treasure” which featured another film and television star Cesar Romero. Then Mike was the first to lead expeditions to search for the Titanic in the North Atlantic. His film “Search for the Titanic” featured legendary actor Orson Welles, as his on-camera host and narrator. Mike is a member of The Explorer’s Club in New York and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Rich Martini; Mr. Martini is a journalist and award winning documentary filmmaker who has been researching the Earhart saga for 25 years. He’s written and/or directed eight theatrical feature films and was hired to help provide research and background for the feature film “Amelia” starring Hillary Swank. His documentary film “Earhart’s Electra” is based on eyewitness reports of what happened to Amelia Earhart’s plane. When U.S. Marines invaded Saipan in 1944, they not only defeated the Japanese, they also say they found Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra.  

Joseph Pio Asterita; Mr. Asterita brings the team a variety of valuable experiences in aviation and corporate project management. His project management experience spans 23 years; he has managed and coordinated multimillion-dollar telecommunication projects for the multinational companies IBM and Siemens. He specialized in coordinating multiple technical disciplines creating a harmonious workplace and successful projects. A commercial pilot with 2500 flight hours along with his military experience in aircraft structural maintenance will aid in identifying the discovered Electra parts. He has a BS in Organizational Management and holds the nationally certified Project Management Professional title.

Captain Paul H Cooper; Mr. Cooper brings multi-faceted skills and experience to the project and will perform duties as on-site coordinator. 36 year employee for Southwest Airlines; 17-years experience as an Airline Captain, 6-years experience as a Loadmaster on a C130 in the USAF Reserves, U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner, Heavy Equipment Operator and Logger, Truck driver Class A CDL, Certified MAUI Diver, 16-year Member of the Timber Framers Guild, Served as Past Master of Huffman Masonic Lodge, Founded and Implemented Local Woodworking Program for Troubled Youth (C.O.L.T.S.) Gifted with the ability to persevere through adverse circumstances.

Anthony J. Asterita; Mr. Asterita has 30 years experience in project management and systems development for both the United States Air Force and the commercial sector. He has been successful in developing master plans, organizing teams, and orchestrating development efforts to complete aeronautical and electronics projects successfully, within cost schedule. Several of his projects have resulted in systems, subsystems and components presently in use with the Department of Defense. He has extensive operational experience having flown high performance aircraft. Mr. Asterita has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering and an MS in Systems Management.

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Eyewitness Accounts: Published

EYEWITNESS: THE AMELIA EARHART INCIDENT BY THOMAS E DEVINE WITH RICHARD M DALEY

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.”

THE SEARCH FOR AMELIA EARHART BY FRED GOERNER

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

AMELIA EARHART: LAST FLIGHT

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

AMELIA EARHART:HER LAST FLIGHT

By OLIVER KNAGSS

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.

AMELIA EARHART: THE MYSTERY SOLVED By ELGEN M LONG AND MARIE K LONG

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.

“WITH OUR OWN EYES – EYEWTINESSES TO THE FINAL DAYS OF AMELIA EARHART” MIKE CAMPBELL WITH THOMAS E DEVINE

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.”

AMELIA EARHART: LOST LEGEND - DONALD MOYER WILSON

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.