Nice article about Doug Westfall's book on AE

Here's a nice article about Douglas Westfall's book that focuses on AE's final journey.

Article link here:

New Amelia Earhart footage surfaces
Albert Bresnik/AFP

New Amelia Earhart footage surfaces

When Amelia Earhart took off from southern California in 1937 on her ill-fated around-the-globe flight, a photographer documented the journey’s start. But the world was unaware, until this week, that a home movie was also made as she prepared for her expedition.
A publisher has released a grainy but well-preserved 3.5-minute film, which it says depicts the legendary aviatrix climbing aboard her plane the day before she departed on a trip that led to her disappearance over the Pacific six weeks later.

The clip does little to solve one of aviation’s enduring riddles in which Earhart, 39, and navigator Fred Noonan, 44, vanished as they were flying from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island on July 2, 1937, near the end of her quest to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by plane.

But it provides new images of the pilot, shortly before a disappearance that has entranced aviators and historians for decades. The film is believed to have been shot by John Bresnik, who tagged along with his brother Albert Bresnik, Earhart’s official photographer, to the Burbank airfield, where Earhart inspected her Lockheed 10 Electra.

Author and historian Douglas Westfall of The Paragon Agency, which is publishing the film clip Amelia Earhart’s Last Photo Shoot along with a book of the same name, said he was approached a decade ago by John Bresnik’s son, who revealed he had a potentially historic 16mm film that his father had kept in his office for half a century.

When the elder Bresnik died, the son kept the film untouched for 20 years, until Westfall coaxed him to let him make a digital copy.
“It’s a remarkable piece of history and it shows Amelia playing to the camera, playing to the audience and enjoying herself before she leaves,” said Westfall, about the soundless, black-and-white footage that shows Earhart posing for the camera in a stylish trousers-and-sweater outfit. “Looking at her – I mean, how many of those are you going to get in a lifetime?” Purchasers of the book will receive a downloadable copy of the film clip.

The photographs from the May 20, 1937 shoot, perhaps most notably the one of a smiling Earhart leaning against the tail of her Lockheed, have been seen by millions. But history is “blessed” to have a moving-picture account of the day as well, Westfall said.
Bresnik’s son eventually gave the film to Westfall, who said talks are under way for the film to be kept at an archive or museum.
Earhart’s trip continues to fascinate...

Here's Douglas Westfall's website and links for the book of these rare photos:


Typhoon on Saipan

Thoughts and prayers to all our friends on Saipan.  Hope everyone is safe and Saipan gets back on her feet as soon as possible.

'State Of Disaster' Declared After Typhoon Soudelor Slams Saipan

"Waking up the next day and seeing all the damage was heartbreaking."

Saipan endured severe damage after Typhoon Soudelor passed through the island late Sunday night with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour and gusts of up to 120 miles per hour.
Soudelor, which hours earlier had been upgraded from a tropical storm to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, made a direct hit on Saipan, destroying buildings, downing trees and power lines and flooding the island's power plant, according to Pacific News Center.
After conditions subsided Monday morning, Ralph Torres, acting governor for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, declared "a state of disaster and significant emergency" for Saipan, the largest island of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Most of Saipan is currently without water and power, according to local news stations. Officialsdo not know when it will be restored.
Brad Ruszala, a spokesman for the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, told a radio show in Guam that "a huge amount of our infrastructure is just gone."
"All these power poles snapped in half [have] fallen into buildings crossing over the road. We've also had some damage to our power plants," said Ruszala. "We haven't been able to assess that completely yet... but right now we're not gonna have power for some time.”
The U.S. Coast Guard also confirmed that 500 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled into the port of Saipan and that thousands of gallons of gasoline had leaked from a storage tank. The USCG Sector Guam is in Saipan to coordinate and assist with response efforts.
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.