Happy Birthday Amelia!

It was on this day in 1897, the world's most famous aviatrix was born.

Today a number of people have posted her quote:  

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace; the soul that knows it not knows no release."

We are still in the process of trying to help grant her that peace.

We've been discussing a return to Saipan to continue our search for her airplane. 

Just to recap:

We went to Saipan to see if anyone knew anything about her presence there after 1937.  We spoke to many people, some of whom we put on camera and asked them to tell us their story. Their stories were consistent, and the details that the people spoke of, about their own lives during WWII and before, could be verified.

We also spoke to US Marines who found her plane in 1944.  It was parked out on Aslito airfield.  We've collected a number of these eyewitness reports on camera, some in print.  We are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that these men are telling the truth.  They found Amelia Earhart's Electra parked in a hangar in June of 1944. They guarded it, they spoke about it, they even saw it fly.  And then they saw it destroyed by US Forces on the airfield a few weeks later.


We've yet to hear a definite reason why - at least one that more than one eyewitness can corroborate.  But since it only took us three weeks to get 17 NEW EYEWITNESSES to seeing Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on Saipan, we are confident we will find more.  Either the sons and daughters of those eyewitnesses, or god willing, the eyewitnesses themselves. See for yourself:

We've spoken to a few people about creating a permanent exhibit on Saipan after we find a piece of her plane.  We've been asked why we'd do something like that.  Because the story of Saipan and the history and the plane are intertwined, and the wreckage of the plane, and her burial - whether cremation, or burial - belong to Saipan, belong to this island that has given so much to so many countries for so many years.  Spain, Germany, Japan, and now the US have all laid claim to its land and spectacular views. 

 It's not Saipan's fault that it was overrun by these different countries - but it is up to Saipan as to what they want to do with its own history.  So we'd like to work with them to create something that's worthy of the people and history of this wonderful island as well as tell the true story of what happened after she disappeared from history books - after she was declared officially "lost at sea" - after she was declared legally dead by her husband, George Putnam, who came to Saipan during WWII when he was stationed in Tinian.  Perhaps he wanted to hear the stories for himself.

What would the exhibit be?  That has yet to be determined. It might just be what we found on our trip to Saipan and what we've learned from that trip. It might include the history of Saipan and all the occupying forces - it might include some of the stories we've gathered from eyewitnesses. It might be more than that - but first we'd have to find that piece of her plane that we are convinced exists on Saipan. Over 200 people claim they saw Amelia Earhart after she disappeared in 1937. New eyewitnesses place her on the island as late as 1944.  Doesn't the memory of Amelia Earhart deserve some honor for what she suffered possibly the last seven years of her life?

Buried in the dirt of the airfield? Perhaps. Buried at sea?  Less likely, but also possible.  We will leave no stone (not literally, any digging we do is supervised by the Historians and archeologists on Saipan) unturned in our search for her. As soon as we can confirm our return plans, to continue our search for a piece of the Electra, we'll announce it here. 

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.



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.