Captain Paul Cooper has been diligently pursing all leads, sometimes with a magnatometer, sometimes with a GPR, and sometimes with intuition. (Helped by a shovel and some good luck).
|Talking to Connie about the ring - photo by Robert Rustin|
Meanwhile, Paul has been on site with the help and assistance of the photographer Robert Rustin, looking in the ruins of the family home to see if it can be located. It was lost during a typhoon, went under the floorboards... and perhaps is still there.
|Looking for the ring - photo by Robert Rustin|
At some point she was given this photograph - I'm not sure if it was taken by Francis, but if memory serves me correctly (and I think the story of the photograph can be found in "Last Flight" - Amelia's book about her last flight) she met with a local mission on the island, and a number of people came to meet the famed Aviatrix after she had dinner with them. I've been looking at photos of Amelia and her last flight for 30 years, and I have seen another foto of this same meeting - not sure if it was the same photographer, or if it was with someone else's camera - and I have to dig through the files to find out where it currently is being held.
|Lae with AE and Fred - photo courtesy Ann Pellegreno & Woody Peard|
But the story is that the woman on the far left of the photograph is holding a ring in her hand, and it's been reported that that was the ring that was given to Amelia before she left on her last flight.
|Holding what looks like a ring - Photo courtesy Ann Pellegreno & Woody Peard|
|Sam being interviewed by Alexie of the Marianas Variety & Saipan Tribune|
photo Robert Rustin
|Scott Russell from the NMI Humanities Council - photo Robert Rustin|
Sam had one request; could we help him drain the large water tank located in the middle of the jail in Garapan? This cistern contains water that hasn't been disturbed since 1944, when the jail was taken by US forces. Sam suspected there was a detention room under that cistern, a "hot box" for prisoners who were given extreme punishment. With all the permits involved with getting our first shovel into the ground, we thought it was unlikely we'd be able to fulfill that request. However, Captain Cooper insisted that he could and would do so, and here's some photos of that historic event.
|Draining the cistern at the jail - photo Robert Rustin|
|Tan Escolastica telling her story. Photo Chris Neltner|
|Pattie Canova - www.pattiecanova.com|
|Amelia and her Electra|
So - when we say that it could have been Amelia's ghost visiting Escolastica - we mean literally that whatever energy that is out there in the Universe that contains the engrams of memories that belong to the Aviatrix, it may very well have made a visit to this gentle older Chomorro, who is very religious, who has never claimed to have seen Amelia on Saipan, despite knowing many folks who have, and who isn't making this claim to satisfy any modicum of fame, fortune.. or to appear on this blog.
So. Take it for what you will. A dear elderly lady, who has been instrumental in helping the historians of the island, gave us a call and wanted to tell us about her encounter with Amelia's ghost. We will include a transcript of it when we get around to completing our book, film and exhibit; Earhart on Saipan.
Thanks for tuning in....