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...

Tuesday

Mike Harris on Mili with Pix of his team

Here's the same report, but with photographs of Mike and the team, including Les Kinney, federal investigator with 27 years of AE research, Jim Hayton, forensic aviation expert who has testified before Congress and the NTSB, Dick Spink, school teacher extraordinaire who found the original pieces of the Electra, folks from Parker Aerospace, Jared Abrahams survey expert, Jerry Kramer former business partner of the Marshall's native who treated Earhart aboard a Japanese ship after recovering her plane, and Jerry's son...  not in that order...



American group looks for Amelia Earhart clues on remote Marshalls’ atoll

MAJURO — A group that claims it discovered parts from Amelia Earhart’s plane on a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands last year returned this weekend to search for additional clues they hope will shed light on a mystery that has baffled the world since the famous pilot was lost in 1937.
The whereabouts of Earhart’s twin-engine Lockheed Electra that was lost during a trans-Pacific flight nearly 80 years ago has never been discovered. A group known as Amelia Research, Inc. led visits to Mili Atoll last year that discovered a small aluminum cover plate and a circular metal dust cover from a landing-gear wheel assembly that experts say is from Earhart’s plane.
But The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery or TIGHAR has a competing theory, saying it has found proof that Earhart went down at Nikumaroro Atoll in the central Pacific nation of Kiribati that neighbors the Marshall Islands. TIGHAR leader Ric Gillespie plans to take another team to Nikumaroro — about 400 miles southeast of Howland Island — later this year.
Others also discount the find in the Marshall Islands, saying Earhart’s plane didn’t have enough fuel to get there. But two aircraft experts recently said the plane parts found on Mili Atoll are from Earhart’s plane. Mili was a Japanese military base in the build up to World War II, one of half a dozen throughout the Marshall Islands.
Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak, center, receiving a gift from Amelia Research Inc. team leader Mike Harris, met with the search group that is on remote Mili Atoll for a week to search for more clues about the disappearance of Earhart’s plane.  Marshall Islands president’s office photo
MARSHALL ISLANDS PRESIDENT CHRISTOPHER LOEAK, CENTER, RECEIVING A GIFT FROM AMELIA RESEARCH INC. TEAM LEADER MIKE HARRIS, MET WITH THE SEARCH GROUP THAT IS ON REMOTE MILI ATOLL FOR A WEEK TO SEARCH FOR MORE CLUES ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EARHART’S PLANE. MARSHALL ISLANDS PRESIDENT’S OFFICE PHOTO

Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak also believes Earhart’s plane crash-landed in Mili. “Generations of Marshallese people have known since 1937 that the famous fliers didn’t just disappear in the ocean, as history would want us to believe,” Loeak said in a statement issued after meeting the Earhart search group Friday. Marshall Islanders know that the plane landed “on a small atoll in the Marshall Islands and (Earhart and Noonan) survived.”
Loeak invited the team to visit Mili and has assigned government Historic Preservation Office staff to assist the investigation.
Cleveland, Ohio-based Parker Aerospace is sponsoring the latest Earhart search foray to Mili Atoll. The group left Sunday morning for Mili and expects to be there for about a week.
“We brought more sophisticated equipment to find other parts (of Earhart’s plane),” said Jon Jeffery, director of Technology and Business Development at Parker Aerospace. He hopes they will discover a part with a serial number or others that will offer conclusive evidence it was Earhart’s aircraft that landed in Mili.
Members of the Amelia Earhart search team board a speed boat to transport them to a larger vessel for an overnight voyage from Majuro to Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands this past weekend.  Photo by Hilary Hosia
MEMBERS OF THE AMELIA EARHART SEARCH TEAM BOARD A SPEED BOAT TO TRANSPORT THEM TO A LARGER VESSEL FOR AN OVERNIGHT VOYAGE FROM MAJURO TO MILI ATOLL IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS THIS PAST WEEKEND. PHOTO BY HILARY HOSIA

A new wrinkle in the search for Earhart evidence in the Marshall Islands involves nearby Jaluit Atoll, the headquarters for Japan’s administration of the Marshall Islands from World War I to the end of World War II.
“There is an underground hospital built by the Japanese on Jaluit,” Jeffery said. Elder Marshall Islands say they saw Earhart’s plane go down on a small island in Mili Atoll, and others report seeing her in Jaluit. “Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were in this hospital after they crashed,” he said. “There might be some evidence there.”
Jeffery said his brother James is friends with people in the group searching Mili Atoll for clues to Earhart’s disappearance and last year approached Jeffery about his company sponsoring the latest visit.
“My CEO approved the money to sponsor the visit,” he said.


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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.