Here we go again....

Robert Ballard found the Titanic. Can he find Amelia Earhart’s airplane?

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard will lead a major expedition to the remote Pacific in hopes of discovering the famed aviator's fate.

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Robert Ballard will bring his proven undersea search strategy and high-tech research vessel, E/V Nautilus, to the hunt for Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared more than 80 years ago, on July 2, 1937, during the second to last leg of their around-the-world flight. After taking off from Lae, New Guinea, in Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E, the pair aimed for tiny Howland Island, just north of the Equator. But they couldn’t find it, and despite many attempts, no one has been able to find them.
Now Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is planning to search for signs of the missing aviators. On August 7, he'll depart from Samoa for Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island that’s part of the Micronesian nation of Kiribati. The expedition will be filmed by National Geographic for a two-hour documentary airing October 20.
The National Geographic Explorer at Large brings a state-of-the-art research vessel, the E/V Nautilus, and extensive underwater expertise to this historic search. In addition to locating the Titanic, Ballard discovered the remains of John F. Kennedy's World War II patrol boat in the Solomon Sea, the German battleship Bismarck in the Atlantic, and many ancient ships in the Black Sea, as well as hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos.
People have been looking for Earhart ever since she went missing. The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy scoured the area by ship and plane for two weeks. George Putnam, Earhart’s husband, enlisted civilian mariners to continue the hunt. Eventually the U.S. government declared that the plane had most likely crashed and sunk into the Pacific.

Apologies for sounding sarcastic.

But really? 

Bob Ballard is teaming up with Tighar to find the Electra... at the bottom of the sea? (I spent two hours with the editor of the National Geographic, as well as two reporters laying out the following details - at the time they told me that if "Someone came to them with a "new theory" they were directed to "run in the other direction as fast as they can." Not my quote - theirs.)

Let's break this down for a moment... and Bob, if you're reading this, congrats, I wish you the best of luck...

...but listen up.

Mike Harris, you may remember him; intrepid adventurer, filmmaker, hired Bob to be part of his own search for the Titanic.  At the time, Mike had great ideas about where it might be - and took Bob directly over the ship... but they did not see it at the time.

A still from Mike Harris' initial footage.

Mike had already done a number of trips to find it - ran out of them, but then Bob found a new sponsor, WENT BACK to the place Mike Harris had gone and found it.  (I'm not telling any stories "out of school" - Bob knows this to be accurate, and doesn't take away from his finding the Titanic.  That's how things happen.)

But Mike Harris knows where Amelia is located.  

I think Tighar has done a fantastic job of putting a website together of research. It's where I discovered in the diary of a ham radio operator, she had written on the first page "230 Miles NW" - which was the same number I found in "Last Flight" when she was "200 miles NW of Dakkar" and on a test run of the Electra was "200 miles NW of where she thought she was (according to Paul Mantz.)  We hear later on in Les Kinney's research with a different radio operator (in a previous post) that indeed, when she finally made it to safety - or so she thought - we was 400 miles off course to the NW (where Mili is from Nikumaroro).

Let's look at the record, shall we?  It's an extensive record, and everything I'm about to say is backed up by eyewitnesses.

I can tell you where the Electra is.  I've reported it consistently and repeatedly.  Here - Bob, my gift - this is a blueprint, and if you follow it and come to a different conclusion, happy to hear it.  But when  you get to the end, you're going to have to ask me where she's buried - because I know that as well.

Amelia turned from Howland for Plan B (as reported by Les Kinney) - which was to fly the Gilberts, the nearest landing strip (Nikumaroro).  Alas, she was already 250 Miles NW of where she thought she was - but the coming storm passing to the north of Howland helped blow her to Mili atoll.  

Where running on fumes, she landed the Electra.

Landed the Electra on a long airstrip (at low tide) of an atoll. A feat of great piloting.  An amazing feat from a great pilot.

Someone claimed they found this on the cell in Garapan. Tom Devine
claimed he saw it.  Whoever carved it did so for her birthday.

The brake assembly broke. Pieces of it were found by Dick Spink, a Seattle schoolteacher who brought those pieces to an NTSB investigator who ON CAMERA proves beyond a shadow of doubt that it came from her plane.  That footage exists Bob. I suggest you look at it.  The pieces were identified by an aviation expert (who has testified before Congress).

Two islanders were eyewitnesses.  Some of those eyewitnesses were interviewed in a book by a South African journalist (I have a copy) but he interviewed the Queen of Mili as well.  Two islanders saw her land the plane and reported it.
NTSB Investigator claims this piece found on Mili fits exactly with his own piece of an Electra
that exactly matches Amelia's.  As he put it "There were only two made that were in that part of the planet.  If this was found on Mili, it could only have come from her Electra."

Then Dick Spink and Les Kinney and Mike Harris returned to Mili.  They found more pieces of the Electra as well as an islander who reported that "40 Marshallese men" were ordered to move the plane to a Japanese barge. (the rail cars used to transport it are still there - the drag marks were visible from satellites until the island was swamped recently). 
Veteran Andrew Bryce was told by a stevedore he'd transported the Electra.

I interviewed a veteran Andrew Bryce, USN who worked alongside a stevedore in 1944 who claimed he was one of those islanders who "moved the Electra to the barge which took it to a Japanese ship."

The Kyoshu.  

Les Kinney (former Federal investigator) has tracked down the ship's records and found that it was docked in Jaluit, when Bilimon Amaron (who Mike Harris personally interviewed on camera) reported that he was sent aboard the ship to tend to Amelia and Fred's wounds.  A Marshallese congressman also saw the plane aboard the ship - where it had been transported.  The plane was then transported to Saipan.
Mike Harris shot this footage - a still from his interview with Bilimon Amaron, who tended to her wounds. We interviewed Bilimon's business partner of 40 years (from Boston). He says on camera
"We all knew the story. The man was above reproach.If he said he tended to her wounds, he did."

Amelia and Fred were taken by seaplane where they landed in Saipan.  I have filmed two eyewitnesses (one still alive) who saw her come ashore, the other was told the identical story by his father. Their stories line up.  She was interrogated - Fred was presumed to be the "real pilot" or the "real spy" - and was tortured and executed for being so.

She was put in a cell in Garapan prison.  I've been in her cell - it's the only one that's been stripped or white washed in the entire compound - but I have eyewitnesses on camera who saw her incarcerated there.
One of two cells she was incarcerated in.  This was the cell with her and Fred. After his execution she was moved to a different cell.  

She spent years in that cell. I have two Saipanese (who don't know each other) who both reported seeing her transported by Japanese truck just prior to the war.  The truck carrying her and two other US pilots (those are part of the record,one was shot,the other beheaded) who were with her. As the man says on camera "I was 12 but it's not something you see every day.  A white woman dressed as a man blindfolded and being guarded by soldiers." 

The truck parked in front of his school for 30 minutes - both he and his brother are still alive and can recall it specifically. Another man in another school told us the same story on camera. (Mike Harris took me to Saipan to find 15 new eyewitnesses.) We interviewed the son of the nurse who tended to her wounds, we interviewed a worker who saw her in prison as well as saw the Electra at Aslito field.

Wire Operator in Marine HQ decoded the message "We have found Amelia Earhart's airplane."
Not something he'd ever forget.  He also guarded the plane, saw the same briefcase.

Yes, the Electra was taken to Aslito. I've filmed over a dozen people who saw it there. Including a US Marine who decoded the messages that it was found - then was ordered by his CO (whose uniform hangs in a glass case at Quantico) who ordered him to guard the plane.  Another GI corroborated the conversation he told me on camera about people wanting to "see Earhart's plane" and how he stopped them with the threat of his pistol.  "Orders is orders" he said.

Doug Bryce saw the Electra with his own eyes (and was with other GI's.) It was
being guarded in a hangar on Saipan. (He was one of 6 on camera who saw it.)

I interviewed on camera a GI stationed on Saipan (Doug Bryce) who drove with some pals to see the plane.  He described the location of the hangar, which I was able to corroborate in my trip to Saipan.  In total, I have six people on camera who saw the plane - and 12 in print who watched it destroyed. I have on camera the man who found her briefcase and passport in a safe - carried it for two weeks and turned it over to naval intelligence.  I have the wire operator who was in the tent when the briefcase was brought in, who told the same story.
The briefcase that Robert Wallack turned over to Naval Intelligence
seen by Julious Nabers.
So you see - I know where the Electra is.  

You're not looking for it in the right place.  You can find it if you want - that would be great - but I not only know where it the wreckage of it is located, I know where her body was moved to.  What you may not be aware of is that the two GI's who "dug her up" (as reported by CBS newsman who wrote "Searching for Amelia" Fred Goerner in 1963) those two GIs "only found an arm and a partial ribcage."

Fred Goerner did the initial research. Fred told a colleague of mine
that he got a letter from  then Congressman Don Rumsfeld claiming
"everything he'd found was true."
Why is that?

Because she was moved.

If you want to know where she was moved to - I suggest getting in touch with me.  You can look all you want in the ocean, all you want on Nikumaroro (Elgen Long suggested that artifacts will be "planted there" to make it appear she has been found - I found that to be a bit beyond the pale, but it is his words verbatim, and told me what the object would be) but she was never there - Fred was never there - neither of them sank to the bottom of the ocean or were on a deserted island.  Sorry. 

What happened to them deserves to be told.  But it won't be if you begin by looking for them underwater. They were never there.

I applaud your desire to solve the "mystery." I applaud National Geographic for getting involved (even after I spent two hours explaining what the eyewitness evidence shows.)

But it ain't a mystery if you know where she's buried and where the Electra is currently located, is it?  Happy to share it with you mon ami.

Stay tuned.
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.