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...

EYEWITNESS REPORTS

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Tuesday

The Search continues....

Now that we're back Stateside, sifting through our copious notes and footage, a few tidbits have come to light.
Veteran Andrew Bryce met a Stevedore in Majuro who put the plane on the Kyoshu
Bilimon Amaron, the native of Jaluit who went aboard a Japanese ship to tend to Earhart's wounds - went on to become business partners with Jerry Kramer, the President of PII construction in Majuro, who has been doing business in that part of the world since 1961. He vouches for Amaron's veracity, and how he came to hear the many stories about Earhart's incarceration on Saipan and her subsequent execution there.

The ship that Bilimon Amaron went aboard to see Earhart and Noonan
Our interview with Major Rick Spooner, USMC retired, gives us a few tidbits as well.  He was there when Marines found a photo album in a military home on Saipan, and how his fellow Marines described it as a book filled with photos of Earhart and Noonan and other "white people."  He believes the book came from the Electra.  He also observed that the book was taken by Wallace Green, USMC, who turned it over to military intelligence.  This is a major revelation, as when Green became Commandant of the Marine Corps in the 1960's, and was asked about any information about Earhart being on Saipan, he was adamant that he knew nothing about her presence there.

Doug Bryce was stationed on Saipan, saw the Electra on Aslito 
Another piece of history - Spooner says that his troop of "about 100" had "returned to civilization" at Tanapag Harbor, where the Seaplane base was, and where all the materiel for the war effort was being loaded and offloaded.  He said the Marines had their C rations, and later that night said to him "Did you see the Electra?"  Major Spooner did not see it - but they described seeing it to him, amidst other airplane parts and pieces. They were adamant that it was Earhart's Electra.

Nabers guarded the Electra for 24 hours, then watched it burn
These Marines with Major Spooner saw the plane, or pieces of it at Tanapag Harbor, where they heard the airplane parts were destined to be "buried at sea" - If this occurred when Major Spooner says, in July of 44, that would have been just prior to the plane being buried.  It's possible that even after it was burned at Aslito field (witnessed by numerous soldiers, as reported here), it survived that torching (enough to be recognizable to battle weary troops) and was then deep sixed off the harbor.


Found Earhart's briefcase in a safe near the church
In the footage we have from the public talk at American Memorial Park, David Sablan mentions a phone call he had received the day previously from a Mr. Guerrero, who told him the story of when the Army Corps of Engineers was dredging Saipan Harbor (during the controversial dredging near the Sugar Dock as reported in the Saipan Tribune) one of the men, a "Mr. Mayer" claims that he pulled up from the harbor a wing of the Electra.

Oscar remembered his father saying they'd captured an
"American female pilot" and brought her to Jaluit in 1937
We are currently trying to locate Mr. Mayer - and appreciate any leads that anyone might have to do so.

He either served in Guam with the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1990's, and ultimately would have been under the Pacific Command in Hawaii.  The dredging began in the 1994 and continued for 6 years until the year 2000. His name may have been Mayer, or perhaps Meyer, or even Myers.

But one wonders what happened to the piece of an airplane he pulled up.  Where did it go?

Lotan Jack remembered a claim they'd shot her down.

All along this journey, we have stood by our maxim; if one person claims that they saw something, we look for a second person who may have seen or heard the same information.  That's how we have learned that the Electra came down at Mili, was taken to Jaluit, eventually to Saipan.  That Amelia and Fred were incarcerated, and Fred executed early on.  How Amelia was in a prison for up to 7 years, how more than one Chomorro saw her in prison, saw her transported on the back of a truck with two other downed US Pilots, and saw her, or heard of her execution.

Manny Muna tells the story of Jesus Salas, who was incarcerated between AE and Fred Noonan
And how the Electra was found at Aslito airfield, and was burned there by US Forces.  But now we are hearing for the first time that it may have then made a trip to the seaplane base near Tanapag harbor, Ponte Mucho, and may have been pushed into the ocean there.

Ms. Blas tells the story of seeing AE executed
We will continue to hunt for the truth no matter where it takes us.

Aslito when it was liberated in June 1944
Tanapag Harbor, where the plane may have ended up

  Thanks for staying tuned....

2 comments:

  1. Years ago my grandmother, a native of Guam and a business woman on the island, was captured and tortured by the Japanese during their occupation of the island. While under their captivity, one of her captors told her that Amelia Earhart was executed (decapitated) on the Island of Saipan. For years I wondered why people were still looking for her everyplace but Saipan it seemed. I was happy to read this account, which substantiates what my grandmother had said for years.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting Connie. I appreciate your post. I find it strange, odd, that people who've heard eyewitness accounts from islanders don't take them into account. I call that "reporting racism" because those who did the looking ignored what people were actually saying. It's possible that your grandmother got that right, it's possible that Earhart was executed, there are two accounts of US pilots being executed on Saipan in the spring of 44 (one was shot, the other beheaded.) There's an account of Fred Noonan being shot or beheaded. And we have an account of Amelia being shot, beheaded or dying of dysentery. So it's likely one of those three. What we don't have is an account of Earhart dying anywhere else but Saipan. So the manner of her death is not as important as is the fact that she died because she was an American, was held captive because she was considered a spy, and ultimately paid a price for that. It's not entirely clear why she was considered a spy - other than her saying she was - but I've come to believe that the Japanese considered Fred the spy and AE a pawn. I've got circumstantial evidence that points to that conclusion, but as to how that came about is pure conjecture. I'll leave it to another generation of reporting to discover why that might be the case, or not.

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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.