Eyewitnesses who claim they saw Amelia Earhart on Saipan

This is an edited clip of the footage that Mike Harris and I shot while on Saipan. 

 Included are new eyewitnesses who claim they or their relatives saw Amelia Earhart after she disappeared in 1937. There's more info and details below but this clip dovetails with the recent reports of finding pieces of her plane on Mili Atoll. Dick Spink and Les Kinney (Dick found the new pieces on Mili, Les is an investigator with nearly 30 years of investigative experience) are on their way to Saipan to survey where her body was found by US Forces. We wish them the best of luck.

 People may not like what these folks are saying - that Amelia was arrested and incarcerated in prison, that she was buried on Saipan, her body recovered, her plane and briefcase found, her plane was destroyed and buried by US forces - but important to remember these are eyewitness accounts. From US Marines, US war veterans, and people on Saipan who are amused by people who show up without any knowledge of the island.

 Saipan was claimed by Germany, sold to Spain, then became Japanese, and was part of Japan territory until 1944. (It was then run by the CIA until 1963, and is now US territory, so when you land at the airport it says "Welcome to the US." No different than Puerto Rico. So when her plane was picked up from Mili Atoll by the Japanese in 1937, according to these reports, it was taken to Japanese territory, where their Naval Headquarters was located. (Much the way Pearl Harbor was considered US territory, even though it was yet to be a state in 1941.)

 According to these eyewitness reports, Amelia was incarcerated on Japanese territory, in a Japanese cell by the Japanese authorities. Her briefcase was found by US Marine Robert Wallack, her plane was found on Aslito airfield by US Marines in June of 44, and US Marine E. Julious Nabers under command of Lewis Wallace, decoded the messages that it had been found and was ordered to guard it. He says he guarded the plane on Aslito for 24 hours then decoded messages the military was going to fly it, and eventually destroy it. Other veterans (in this footage) saw it, and eventually watched as it was destroyed under orders from the Navy Dept. The plane was buried on the runway, which is now an international airfield. However, we have information as to where that location is, and have gotten the permits to survey the airfield. We plan on returning to do just that.

 I've been involved in this search since 1988, Mike Harris has been involved since the early 80's, and Les Kinney since around that time as well.  On behalf of Dick Spink, forensic aviation expert Jim Hayton, Les Kinney and Mike Harris (and the others who have contributed and participated) -  I'd say we all have one goal in common - to reveal whatever the truth may be about what happened to her.  We may not all appear in the various news articles regarding the latest "find" or "discovery" but we've all contributed to these revelations in our own personal way. Some of us have more "shoe leather in the game" than others, but at the end of the day it's not about who we are; it's about who she was.

Stay tuned for more details.

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.