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.


Marshallese government confirms date of the docks in photo as 1936

Marshallese government debunks the debunkers.

Turns out the "book copyrighted in 1935" could not be a book copyrighted in 1935, because the docks in Jaluit did not exist until 1936.  This advanced copy of the Marshallese press release puts that claim to rest. (See the amended press release below.)

If the photograph is from 1936, the argument 
"It was printed in a 1935 book" is moot.

"The Republic of the Marshall Islands is following your investigation of the Amelia Earhart mystery with great interest. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, confirms that the photograph found in the US National Archives is the dock at Jabor on Jaluit Atoll.

Jabor Dock was built in 1936. The events of this period are still recalled by our eldest citizens.  The claim that Jabor dock was already built in 1935 does not match the historical record. Therefore, it would not have been possible for any photos to have been taken of the Jabor dock in 1935.  The dock simply did not exist. The elders who confirmed that Amelia and her navigator were brought to Jabor are of the highest standing and reputation in our community.

The ministry hopes this helps the record straight."

Gee. How did #CNN, #NewYorkTimes, the #WashingtonPost #TheGuardian and #NationalGeographic get the story wrong?

It's simple.

The people selling the idea that Earhart's plane landed in the Gilbert Islands are behind the PR machine that insists, argues, that their version of events is correct, must be correct.

So when a blogger (who I'm told contributes to the Tighar website) comes forth with the argument "I never believed she was arrested by the Japanese. The History Channel folks should have done their homework, it took me ten minutes to find the photograph of the docks in a book published in 1935."  Headlines went around the world "Japanese blogger finds proof the photograph is not real."  

They should have started with his first sentence.  

If you "never believe" something that means you're not basing it on evidence.  If over 200 people claim the same thing, then it's no longer a matter of theory or belief - it can only be a matter of sorting out the facts.  "I always wondered" or "I thought it was strange" gives us different insight. But when he stated that he never believed any other story, then he's just not looking at the evidence.

Plus well, there's some problems with his account.

First of all, "the book" cited was not "published in 1935."  It's a portfolio of photographs that are tied together with string. Not a book by any stretch of the imagination - books are bound, printed and published. Not this photo album.

The "book" is a photo portfolio. A photo album.

 None of the photographs in this portfolio are dated.  

Page from the photo album.

There are no dates in the book, other than a stamp at the back of the book by someone who put it into this library.  

Librarian did the stamp. Not a copyright office.

Not a published book, a photo album - and the librarian obviously made a mistake with the date, because there was no dock in Jaluit harbor in 1935.  

Full stop. No dock.

No dock in the photos of Jaluit in the 1930's, but definitely a dock by those who were there in 1937 (see below) and those who stood on the dock in 1937.  The Marshallese confirm the dock didn't exist in 1935. It was built in 1936.  

So CNN should have said "a photo album that bears an imprint of a librarian's stamp that says 1935."  But clearly, if the dock wasn't built until 1936 - the stamp was wrong.  

I was just as curious as the next person - what book was this from?  Well, I was shocked that it wasn't a book - that no photo was dated, and that somehow that detail was overlooked.

The photo is just one of many pieces of evidence that she was on that particular dock.  Eyewitnesses, both European and native, claim to have seen her on that ship parked in the harbor.  There are documents that show the administration knew she had been arrested, and was in custody (but they could not reveal they'd broken the Japanese code). (These documents have been examined by professionals, who confirm their existence, and will be part of Les Kinney's book, (and/or a sequel to the History show)  An expert has described them in detail to me; they are "verifiable" and come via Kinney's deep research and security clearance.)  When they're revealed, I'll be certain to post them here.

There are many fingers that point to the same conclusion.

But let's ask a more cogent question.  

What was the photograph doing in a classified file in the National Archives in a file of the Office of Naval Intelligence?

Once we answer this question, it becomes clear why the photograph was valuable to US Intelligence prior to World War II. 

Take a look at these photographs (from the net) of the harbor at Jabor.  In 1905 it had a wooden dock.  The Germans had agreements to run these islands (and turned the Marianas over to Spain, who turned over Saipan to Japan in 1914.) These photographs are from their records of these docks.

Titled "Jaluit in the 1930's."
Wooden dock  Jaluit 1905
"Germania - Jaluit 1905"

Skip forward to the 1930's.  The League of Nations "allowed" Japan to mandate the Marshall islands (run the government, build schools, etc) in return for their promise that they would not "fortify the islands" for war.  The Japanese were so secretive about these islands (and their fortifications) that two British citizens were beheaded for spying, and numerous other people were arrested, their boats sunk or confiscated by the Japanese for observing their fortifications. They were fortifying them for war.

Exact same photo of the dock.
Why is it valuable? Because it's a dock.

Which leads to how this photograph got into the ONI file. Because it's evidence of the dock that they built in 1936.  Obviously whomever put it in the file didn't care about the people on the dock - just interested in the dock itself.

So who else was on this same dock in July of 1937?

Well, there's the explorer Eric De Bisschop who sailed through the Marshalls in July 1937 (the 2nd) and he was arrested near Mili for doing so. His ship was searched, and he writes about it in his book about his Thor Heyerdahl adventures in a simply built boat.  

Letter where De Bisschop (well known explorer) is asked about seeing Earhart on Jaluit. 

Transcribed: "In connection with the above" (see the transcript of the letter printed below) M. Hoppenot showed the writer the following statement made by M. Eric De Bisschop, a former French naval officer..."  after mentioning he'd sailed past Mila (sic) atoll, the Japanese turned hostile and searched his boat. "He was arrested, suspected of espionage, and given a severe and thorough questioning for several hours... (his ship the "Fou Po" was) searched from bow to stern.")

"At Jaluit he had seen shells for 3-inch guns... the Japanese have dredged the harbor and entrance channels... much larger and freer from obstructions then are shown on current charts." The charts are being held confidentially, not for "sale or distribution."

He noticed "an airplane ramp.." an "airplane hangar... a concreted dock... radio transmitter..." He said "as to Mila (sic) dredging and building was going on... It is held so confidential that even Japanese merchant ships are not allowed to visit there... coal, 3" shells, dynamite... are brought to Jaluit.. (then) by small navy transport" to Mila (sic) atoll.

(Part of the page torn away) "the story about Miss Earhart and other people kept... (n)er... is concerned, M. de Bisschop that while possible,... (torn). He said  that it was much easier to find someon(e)... ned then to keep them prisoners.  He had heard from... (torn) 'efore his visit one such white skin man who had visited Jaluit... (torn) day but with indications that he had been struck over... (torn) e natives declared that this man was rumored to have been (torn).

(Logic tells us that Mr. De Bisschop said he had not seen her but that it was possible she had been there, that it was easier to arrest people than to "keep prisoners."  And then he recounted a story of a man who had been beaten and possibly killed for being a spy.)

In Eric de Bisschop's own words from his book: THE VOYAGE OF THE "KAIMILOA" Published in 1940 (from an actual "book")

"And the last place of call of the Fou Po, at Jaluit, yonder, in the Marshalls. Ah! the ugly faces of that
Japanese Governor and of those policemen, with their little daggers at their sides. . . . Spies ! We? What a joke! Some note-books showing positions, a few survey notes on the north coast of Australia ... that's not spying ! 

Kept prisoners for a fortnight, watched closely all the same ... the natives threatened with imprisonment if they approached our craft; and that searching of the Fou Po whilst we were being questioned ashore; just think, a wireless transmitter, an electric sounding apparatus must be hidden somewhere. 

Maybe I had thrown everything overboard before landing, but they'll find the traces all right ... everywhere, anywhere . . . under the planking, amid the provision tins... the fools!

And our departure? only just managed it, luckier than that American, a year ago, than that Englishman, six months ago ! . . . disappeared, both of them . . . poof! dissolved into thin air, for the greater glory of the Mikado's Empire.” (page 5)

"... the port of Jaluit (under Japanese mandate) is the port of entry for Nauru Island, which is under the control of New Zealand. I would not advise even my greatest enemy to go to Jaluit in the Marshall Archipelago and ask there for a permit to call in at Nauru. He would be received by a nasty Japanese Governor, with a shaved skull, then kept a prisoner, and accused by him of espionage, and perhaps would not have the luck to slip through his fingers as we did on the Fou Po. (page 211)

The Fou Po which he sailed around the world.

De Bisschop arriving in Cannes in 1939
aboard the Fou Po when he was debriefed.
DeBisschop and his traveling companion Joseph Tatiobouet
Mentioning he'd sailed near Mili in July 1937 ("Mila" in the letter)
he was arrested and searched. He reported this and the fury
of the Japanese authorities in his book of the voyage.

De Bisschop's account was taken by French authorities, who were following up on another letter, a much more controversial one, where the author claims to have seen Earhart and "her mechanic" on the same dock at Jaluit in July 1937.

The French obviously thought it was worth exploring, as De Bisschop was quoted in their letter interrogating him if he'd seen Amelia Earhart (He had not.) 

And to those who claim that the other part of the letter - which is written by a man whose boat was taken by the Japanese, where he claims he was close enough to Amelia to get a lock of her hair - it's the detail of calling Fred Noonan "her mechanic" that sticks out. If you're going to create a fake scenario - why get that key detail wrong? (Fred was not her mechanic, although he may have looked like one.)

The letter in the same DeBisschop file that claims a message was found
by someone who saw Amelia incarcerated on Jaluit in 1937 around the same time.

The message reads: "January 7th, 1939. Report of Amelia Earhart as Prisoner of the Marshall Islands." 

"Mr. Happenot, the chief of the French Foreign office, allowed the writer to read some papers found in a bottle washed ashore near Bordeaux. This communication... will be delivered to the American embassy here." He then describes a fellow walking on the beach along the Atlantic "On 30th October (1938), a Mr. Barret, aged 37" found a bottle that was half pint sized, with wax on over the top.  There was a sample of chestnut brown hair inside, with a note that said "May God guide this bottle, I confine my life and friends to it." 

Then in French, here in English;  "Have been prisoner at Jaliut (Marshalls) by the Japanese in a prison at Jaliut. In the prison there I have seen: Amelia Earhart (aviatrix) and in another cell her mechanic (a man), as well as several other European prisoners held on charges of alleged spying of the gigantic fortifications erected on the atoll." (A key detail, as they were forbidden by the League of Nations to build fortifications for war, in their being allowed to mandate the islands. The photo above is of a fortified docks - as in ready for war.) 

"Earhart and her companion were picked up by Japanese hydroplane and will serve as hostages, say Japanese.  I was a prisoner because I disembarked on Mila (sic) Atoll.  My yacht 'VEVEO' sunk, crew (3 Maoris) killed, my yacht (85 tons, sailing ship) was equipped with radio." (Another detail - she was transported from Jaluit to Saipan in a seaplane, as has been reported elsewhere)."

On the other side of the note he continues: "Having been kept a long time at Jaluit as prisoner, I was forcibly enrolled as stokehold hand, (coal shovel) simply fed, on board 'Nippon Noa?' (his question mark) (Here’s the Nippon Maru built in 1930) bound for Europe.  Will try to escape when ship near to coast.  Carry this message to Gendarmerie immediately in order so that we can be freed. " 

"This message is to be thrown overboard probably near Santander (Spain), and should arrive in Brittany or at the latest, October, 1938. (Wow. He had that correct.) This is message No. 6. To have a good chance of freeing Miss Earhart and her companion, as well as other prisoners, police should arrive incognito at Jaluit I shall be with (name indecipherable in text above, in book it's "Jo....eut") (this french sailor was traveling with a companion Joseph Tatibouet) and if I succeed in escaping.... because if the Japanese are asked to free the prisoners they will say that they have none are detained at Jaluit. One must be tricky."

"The hair (enclosed in the bottle - where did he get that? from her? a brush? or asked her for it?) is Miss Earhart's and will prove the veracity of this story and that I have seen Amelia Earhart (-) supposedly dead. This bottle will serve as a float for a second bottle containing some objects of Miss Earhart. (!!!)"    

"I am writing on my knees because I have only a little paper,  some left over when police took finger prints." (Finger prints? On Jaluit?) Bottom of the page reveals: Letter was stamped at the bottom with initials V. B. 2.” 

But beyond that - the details of this letter confirm a number of details that are in the photo, and in the eyewitness reports above and to the side of this post. 

The point is - if you're going to "fake a letter" in Oct. of 1938, throw it overboard near the Brittany coast - where's it's delivered to French intelligence and US Embassy in 1939 - how do you get so many facts correct? 

As noted, no one was allowed near Jaluit. It's not the kind of place you'd make up a story about (Hawaii, Howland, anything but Jaluit).  He gets the "Europeans in custody" correct. He gets the "spying for fortifications" correct. He gets the fortifications reference correct. He gets the Earhart transported in a hydroplane correct. 

Basically, his letter reveals a knowledge of the fortifications and details and events that no other human could report. But he's reporting the same details as de Bisschop (a French Navy war hero.)

You can't have it both ways.  If the letter gives correct details about what's going on in Jaluit when no one was allowed there, and it's corroborated by a complete stranger - who denies seeing Amelia on the docks (further corroborating the story, because if he did, it would mean they were colluding) but confirms everything else in the letter, then it's not a huge leap to realize the letter is in fact, real.  

Combined with other reports of those who saw her on the boat (Bilimon Amaron (who saw AE and Fred), former Congressman Oscar De Brum (who saw the plane, he was taken to the docks in July 1937 by his father who said "They've arrested an American spy and she's on the boat, and that's her plane.")  ((This report is in the eyewitness footage above "Eyewitnesses on Saipan."))

Four individuals - two western, two islanders, who say the same things about the same person in the same dock in 1937.  Which confirm what's in the photograph.

Maybe before reporting whatever the latest "debunking" detail that comes via the PR machine that National Geographic has bought into, or the debunking machine that comes straight from those who have an investment in debunking - take a deep breath.

How about doing a little legwork, do the research, follow the links, take a good hard look at the evidence - and report it for what it is.  "It appears, based on these reports that are consistent, that Earhart survived the landing, and combines with other details, that she was arrested by the Japanese, detained, and incarcerated on Saipan.  Her plane was reportedly found by US Forces in 1944, and her body was partially recovered in 1945."  

Those are what the eyewitness reports actually say. The photo is one piece of evidence in a mountain of it. Journalism 101. (And yes, I have a Masters of Professional Writing from USC, took many Journalism courses while graduating Magna Cum Laude from Boston University.  Yes, I've written and/or directed eight theatrical features, and I do have a series of "best selling" books at Amazon (the "Flipside" series.)  

I've been researching this story since 1986, and it has not changed since I began to explore what eyewitnesses have said.  Details yes, but the overall thrust of what they've said is consistent. 

I worked on "Amelia" and the Diane Keaton film - both using my extensive research of over 30 hours of archived footage and 5000 photographs. But because I've never been interested in being swallowed up by the Earhart research juggernaut, I've kept my research to myself (but published in "Hacking the Afterlife") but in this case, I'm contributing to this story not for profit - but for the sake of Amelia's story.  

She deserves to be treated no less than any other American hero - as someone whose life mattered, and how she died matters as well.

So, to recap:

1. The "1935 book" is not a book or from 1935. It's a photo album with a librarian's stamp of 1935.

2. The photo accurately depicts Jabor docks post 1936. The docks were not built until 1936.

3. The Koshu is listed in the photo from the portfolio of pictures, so that photographer inadvertently proved that it was the Koshu in Jaluit by adding that caption when he put the photograph in his collection. (Can't have it both ways. He called it the Koshu. Clearly towing a 38 foot long plane (the precise dimensions of the Electra)

4. The photo shows the Japanese barge that carried the Electra from Mili to Jaluit - and there's an interview with the US Navy vet who met the man responsible for putting the Electra on that barge. (Andrew Bryce reported the story to me on camera, is in the footage above "other eyewitnesses.")

5. Bilimon Amaron says that he went aboard the Japanese ship and met both Earhart and Noonan. His reputation is defended by his business partner in the same footage.

6. In the letter from the Frenchman arrested as a spy, he claims she was taken away by seaplane which is corroborated in Fred Goerner's reports from eyewitnesses on Saipan.  (Ms. Blanco Akiyama, also interviewed on the History Channel show and in the eyewitness footage above, makes that same claim, as she saw her and Fred come ashore on the seaplane dock in Garapan, Saipan.)

7. I've been on Saipan, where I recently filmed 15 new eyewitnesses who claim either they saw Amelia in her cell, on the island, or in custody, people who've never spoken on camera before, people who are sick of being ridiculed by theorists. Either they directly saw her, had relatives who saw her, or had some story about her that was corroborated by other eyewitnesses.

8. US Marines who found her plane and Saipan, found her briefcase, who guarded the plane, who drove down from Mt. Tapachou to view the plane, who were nearby and confirmed the same dialog spoken outside the hangar, etc, etc, etc. Who watched as US forces took the plane onto the runway and destroyed it. Who decoded the secret messages regarding finding her plane, flying her plane and destroying it.  

9. Oliver Knaggs went to Mili and interviewed numerous eyewitnesses who saw her plane come down.  I interviewed the cameraman who shot that footage, and he confirmed everything Knaggs wrote in his book.

10. At some point - you just have to say "enough already."  On behalf of those Marines who entrusted me with telling their story - Robert Wallack and Earskin Nabors, veterans Tom Devine and Andrew Bryce and Douglas Bryce - all honest Americans who fought in the war, and don't deserve to have their story swept under a rug either.  Enough already. Stop acting like they didn't see what they saw, or they were deluded, crazy, or any of the other "conflicting reports" nonsense. Nothing conflicting about them at all if you actually listen.

There's more information on this page if you read the posts below or watch the footage to the side.

But no, the dock wasn't built prior to 1936, ergo the argument "it's from a book in 1935" is inaccurate.


July 18th, 2017 the Government of the Marshall Islands issued a new press release regarding the recent History Channel program, (I'm told its an amended press release, but does not negate the above information about the date of the docks.)  

It is clearly a message of support for Les Kinney and those islanders interviewed who saw Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in Jaluit.  There is nothing in this letter that contradicts the original claim that the docks were built in 1936. Either they were - or they weren't. Evidence indicated above shows that they were. 

By the way - I will not post vitriolic replies to any posts. If you've spent the past 31 years investigating this story as I have done, seen footage, seen the documents, verified the details, interviewed the experts - if you've been hired, paid or spent time as a serious investigator (As I was paid by 20th Century Fox to work on "Amelia" and other films) I'm happy to discuss research. If you have a question about my research, I'm happy to answer it.  

I've been doing this for a long time, I'm also familiar with the vitriolic opinions and theories that her story engenders. 

Frankly, I'm not interested in theories or belief or replying to angry pilgrims.  Amelia Earhart landed on Mili, she was arrested, incarcerated and died on Saipan. Sorry if those details upset people. 

Frankly, it's beyond my comprehension to understand why anyone would be upset about it. If it wasn't true, then there's no point to argue with me about it. I've been in the military library in Tokyo, I've looked at the records of every prison camp the Japanese ran from 1936 to 1945. I've seen every volume of records.  

There is only one volume missing out of the 19 I've examined.  It is the records of the prison at Garapan, the site of the Naval Headquarters during the War. 

The reason that volume is not in the official records, (according to the head librarian who told my translator) is because "all prison records went to the US after the war. These are the volumes that were returned to us. So if Garapan is missing, it never returned."

I've been to Saipan. I've been to Ms. Akiyama's home and interviewed her. I've spoken to 15 new eyewitnesses who had never been interviewed before. People who either saw her, had a relative who talked about her, took care of her, got a ring from her, washed her clothes, cleaned her jacket, changed her sheets.  People who saw her plane in Aslito airfield before it was found by US Marines. Countless eyewitnesses, who saw her come down in Mili, saw her in Jaluit, saw her in Saipan.  Not a few. Not contradictory. All saying THE SAME STORY.

I highly recommend looking at the above footage, or the footage to the side of this post. You'll see excerpts of over 30 hours of raw footage of people telling their stories. Family members, and actual eyewitnesses who saw her alive on Saipan. US Marines who found her briefcase and plane.  The story isn't complex, but it is fascinating.

I find it amusing how this upsets people who are convinced that their theory, belief, philosophy is accurate.  

I'm not sure what human quality that is - that despite 200 eyewitnesses who claim they saw her, who saw her plane land on Mili, who saw her transported to Jaluit, saw her aboard a Japanese ship, saw her transported to Saipan, saw her on Saipan, took care of her, buried her when she died - US Marines who found her briefcase and plane - are convinced beyond any shadow of rational doubt that their theory - which may or may not include a stamp on a photo album, includes no eyewitnesses, no physical evidence whatsoever - and yet, they're furious! Upset! Vitriolic! over the idea that they might be adhering to a belief, a philosophy, a theory that is not based on any evidence.  

Not sure what this human quality might be - but having worked on this story for over 30 years, I've seen my share of them, and generally try to avoid them. I've met zealots from both sides of the coin - "she was beheaded!" "she was shot!" "she was tortured!" to "she crashed in the sea!" "She wound up in China!" "She returned to New Jersey!" It's fabulous that people are so eager to attach emotions to their beliefs. But I'm not posting opinions or beliefs or theories. These are eyewitness accounts that can and have been corroborated.

All I can surmise is that there's something deeply powerful or religious about her - something that's beyond rationale thought - or something of a spiritual nature that makes people treat her, treat her story, as if she's some kind of wax figure in a museum. 

I wish that the research showed different results. I wish that the Marshalls agreed that the docks in Jaluit were built in 1935.  I wish that she had come down in the Gilberts and not the Marshalls. I wish that the US revealed they knew she was on Saipan and negotiated for her.  I wish that the US didn't decide to cover up what happened to her.  I could have stopped researching her story back in 1986 when Diane Keaton made a film based on my script, but left out the eyewitness parts.  I wouldn't be here posting anything about this story.  

After all, it's not about how Amelia died - who cares? - it's about how she lived.  Created the equal rights amendment. Single handed did incredible feats of daring. Was a terrific author, poet, explorer. She loved and was loved.  

No one cares about where her body is - least of all her - but it is important to stay true to what really happened to her.  Because she had courage to live through that experience - courage to take whatever slings and arrows that came her way and continued to remain the sweet-hearted soul she always was.

She deserves to be honored for the hero that she is and remains to be.  Just not in the fantasies of some who believe she "screwed up" at the end of her life and "missed her target."  She did not. Just not here to argue opinions, am offering just a small sampling of the vast research already done. 

Stay tuned.


  1. Awesome! Like any authentic investigator of facts, you remove the hyperbole and conjecture surrounding the mystery of what happened to Amelia. Exceptionally done and detailed, it resolves a lot of questions. Still remaining, and possibly covered but missed by me, is why was the government covering up the truth? They destroyed her airplane, personal effects, and any records of her capture for a reason. The obvious reason is to support the so-called "official" story that she sank to the bottom of the ocean. What were/are they attempting to hide? We now know what happened to her. Now we want to know why the truth has been so viciously discarded. It's more than merely that they didn't want the public to know she was captured. If that was it, they'd simply acknowledge that this wasn't discovered until after her death. The fact that they detroyed her plane and personal effects after her death demonstrates a desire to coverup what she was doing when captured. Was she using the around the world flight as a ruse to spy in some manner or capacity? Was there evidence of this espionage effort in her effects? The other item, of which I'm unclear, is whether they had to repair her aircraft to make it flight worthy? Who did the repairs? Why were the repairs ever done? Why did her captors repair her plane? Or why did the U.S. repair her plane? What was the extent of the damage at the time of her capture? That's odd to repair a plane that was to be destroyed. Thus I believe her captors repaired the plane. But for what reason? And where? How? But the reason for the coverup remains the important story to be told. At least we can now take solace in knowing what happened to Amelia Earhart. For that, I sincerely thank you!

    1. "So why did they cover it up?" First we have the question "Did they know she was captured?" I've heard from someone I trust there exists documentation that shows the US decoded a Japanese message they had arrested her. It seems reasonable FDR (or whomever saw the decoded message) deemed that info sacrosanct, as it would let them broken their codes (as is part of the public record, as far back as 1936.) The Enigma codes were broken, and Churchill let Brits die so the Germans wouldn't know they'd broken it. But by the time they found her plane June 19th, 1944, we can only look at the time frame involved. Marine Nabers, who decoded the message from CinqPaq ("I remember it as if it was yesterday" he told me on camera) said that his CO (Louis Wallace) did not seem surprised by the message. Nabers claims he and Wallace went to the plane, Nabers was ordered to "not let anyone in." (this detail was confirmed by Tom Devine, who saw Nabers deny entry to some "navy brass" who "wanted to see Earhart's plane.) Devine did not know Nabers after the war - I happened to interview both of them, and heard one fellow quote the other. The plane sat in that hangar "for a couple of weeks" before Nabers decoded a message they were going to "fly her plane" Numerous people saw the plane fly around the south end of the island, Tom Devine printed their eyewitness accounts. Then Nabers decoded the message "we are going to destroy her plane" - "around 3 weeks after the last message." So - roughly - 5 weeks after it was found. (Other people saw it, including eyewitness Doug Bryce, who I interviewed about it at his home in Colorado.) They all saw it in the same hangar. So it took roughly 5 weeks for someone in DC to make the decision to destroy it. (burn it and push it off the runway). By the way, the CIA handbook is the same - I spoke to a field agent who did the same with “covert” planes that needed to be "lost." “We used the same methods from WWII” (This was in Nicaragua). If it was a massive cover up with planning involved - why wait five weeks? Why fly it? Devine claimed he was harassed by people after he told others he'd seen the Electra- it was his letter in 1945 that prompted an investigation by the State dept, led by MacArthur to see if she had been in Jaluit in 1937 (the meeting has no notes, but the list of people brought to the meeting includes the captain of the Koshu.) So - MacArthur may or may not have found out the truth - obviously he wasn't aware of any plan prior to the meeting. But ultimately - someone made the decision that if she wasn't alive, there was no point in "ruining her reputation." Which in 1944, if you were a spy - then you were a coward, a cheat, a liar, someone doing something underhanded. I think this is what the Secty of Transportation meant (I think it was him) who took a phone call regarding Earhart (at Eleanor's request) where his secretary recorded his side of the conversation; "Oh, that's what happened to her? Well if that gets out, it will ruin her reputation." From our perspective it's "Oh, she was a spy like Julia Child? Cool. How thrilling!" But in 1937 it was considered an "act of war" and in 1944, people whose name were associated as "spies" were treated poorly by history. It may have been a cover up at the highest levels not for military reasons, but to "protect her legacy." At least that's my theory. (And I differentiate "my theory" as opposed to "eyewitness reports" which I use instead of theorizing in general.) But thanks for asking.

  2. As your kind words state, the exact manner/cause of her death is immaterial. Even finding her remains is unimportant except for closure. The discovery of the reason for the apparent smearing of her legacy is pertinent. As you state, Amelia was a bonafide hero. She's a giant who's shoulders we all stand upon today. She deserves to be respected and honored. Thus uncovering the reason for the dishonest coverup of her fate deserves being told. The truth will set her free to be appreciated, admired, and emulated. One question remains, why did our government coverup the truth about what happened to Amelia Earhart?

  3. Wow! My upmost appreciation for your thorough feedback. Are you thus inclined to believe she was actively involved in espionage at the time of her disappearance? Is there information to that effect? If she was acting as a spy for the United States, then what happened to her by the Japanese, and later the Americans, makes sense. Taking aggressive actions to coverup a covert mission is protocol, even after the war. It is basic tradecraft. Acknowledging her true intent would be destructive since it would impede, if not completely prevent, peaceful civilian missions in hostile areas. Inert overt operations would be so suspect that they'd be unsuccessful in achieving their honest objectives. My remaining question is about her final flight. Was she actually where she intended to be? Was she actually attempting to fly over Japanese occupied territories? Finally, why did they fly her plane before destroying it? The risk of exposure is substantially increased by such an activity. Why did the U.S. fly her plane following its discovery? It's interesting! Hopefully there's records that have been preserved and will be declassified some day soon. It'd save a lot of money for those who are still searching for answers. I'll assume that recovery of any identifiable piece of her plane is highly unlikely, if not impossible. Thanks again for your tremendous work. It's absolutely awesome!

  4. Yes. The Marshalls govt did not rescind, retract or deny their first press release pointing out the docks were not built until 1936. They did release an official press release later that clarified their support for the testimony of Marshallese people but that statement in no way alters the fact the dock was not built until 1936. As a journalist I will continue to keep both posted as they both reflect the same truth.

  5. After seeing the story of that photo of Amelia and Fred on the dock at Jaluit a couple months ago, I got curious and wound up watching your Amelia on Saipan video, it is obviously a genuine accounting of people's real recollections. So much so that, even though my interest in the story had been casual, it genuinely makes me really angry that others (TIGHAR -what a joke) continue to press their super sleuthing mystery solving skills. Here you have hundreds of eye witnesses giving their first hand accounts... and yet the clowns of TIGHAR have bottle caps and baseless stories of old bones. Terrible. And I had the same reaction to the "1935 photograph - case closed!" headlines. Seriously?! Geezus, how lazy have reporters become?!?!

    Thank you for telling the real story and properly giving these islanders and marines the respect they deserve. As far Amelia and Fred... they are American HEROES who deserve to be recognized and honored as such.

    I do have one request, though... can you restore the video that was in YouTube backing August? I don't know what happened to it but I would love to watch it again (in fact I watched it several times before it disappeared). I love it for its content as well as, believe it or not, the videography. I guess it has the same kind of feel as an old song played on vinyl. Don't ask me why, but I love it!

    Joe Tore




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.