Finding Amelia Earhart’s Plane Seemed Impossible. Then Came a Startling Clue. Robert Ballard has found the Titanic and other famous shipwrecks. This month his crew started trying to solve one of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries.
Here's my instant reply:
"Hilarious. Demonstrably false. I'm sorry but Bob B has drunk this brand of koolaid.
Just a matter of time before another face plant in the sand.
(Seven other missions to the same island. Anyone ever think for a second... hey, maybe I've got the wrong island? No? Okay, that should be obvious.)
I've posted photos of the actual brake plate at EarhartOnSaipan.com found by Dick Spink on Mili Atoll verified by a former NTSB investigator who says on camera "beyond a shadow of doubt" it came from the Electra.
(Here are some more details at EarhartMovie)
This will continue through October when they will "find" "evidence" on Nikumaroro where she never was. (I got this tip from Elgen Long who said he's seen their evidence, but is convinced someone will "plant it" for them.) I don't know why he's convinced they would (perhaps it was that "fraud" court case in Minnesota) but it's not my desire to sling mud.
Newsflash: She died in a prison on Saipan where US Marines found the plane July 19th 1944, dug up her grave but only found an arm. Sorry. Mystery solved."
Here's what the evidence shows. And by evidence I actually mean "evidence" instead of theory, conjecture or randomized thinking.
|Mike Harris intrepid explorer who |
worked with Bob B previously - hiring him
for an earlier Titanic search.
1. She had Fairchild Aerial Reconassaince cameras aboard the Electra. That was reported a number of books, I interviewed the son of the man who installed them. His dad became a policeman after the war. "If my dad said he installed them; he did."
|First cell - eyewitness was in cell between her and Fred|
2. Her plan was to "turn left to land in the Gilberts" as revealed by Les Kinney in his research and reported on the History channel program. She did that, but landed elsewhere.
|One of her two cells. This was the first.|
3. But she was already "250 NW of Howland" when she did so. Why? Many reasons, including Paul Mantz claiming she did that often (original test flight, she reported she'd done it in Dakkar as well - she passed Fred a note - "Why are we 250 NW of our target?") Same reason Mantz cited. She did it at least two times, and this might have been the same reason.
|His father saw her come ashore, detailed the|
same information another eyewitness said.
|Saw her on the back of a truck when he was 12.|
5. Other islanders saw her come down - in a South African journalist's book from the 1980's he interviewed the Queen of Mili who corroborated the two fishermen's stories. She brought the plane down - an amazing feat of landing the Eletra on a coral reef, only losing the brake assembly on one side.
|The old Garapan prison.|
6. Les Kinney, Dick Spink, and Mike Harris interviewed islanders who said that "40 Marshallese" were ordered by the Japanese to drag her plane across the atoll to the inlet where a barge could pick it up. I have satellite photos that clearly show the drag marks. Les, Dick and Mike recovered one of the rail cars left behind that assisted in that transport.
|Saw her on the back of a Japanese truck in May 44|
7. Dick Spink recovered a number of pieces in his travels, later more piece recovered by Les and Mike as well. The pieces recovered include a brake assembly part. (cited in these pages.) That piece only fits her model of Electra - it was different later, and only two Electras were in existence with that brake part. That was demonstrated on camera by a former NTSB investigator Jim Hayton in Seattle.
|Did some excavation during this trip.|
8. There are other parts that could only come from the Electra. (found later, displayed on the History Channel show, which I participated in, but then bowed out of).
|His mother treated her wounds in Saipan hospital|
9. People on ham radios heard her distress calls - included below this post is research from former federal investigator Les Kinney who researched a ham radio operator who wrote down verbatim what Amelia said, including identifying the island she had landed on and describing it (Mili Atoll.)
|Former US Marine Major Rick Spooner said he heard others found a|
book of photos of Amelia on Saipan and his fellow Marines claimed
they saw the Electra at Aslito.
On to the eyewitnesses:
10. I filmed Andrew Bryce navy vet tell me that during WWII while stationed on nearby Majuro the stevedore working with him told him how he was one of those who dragged the Electra onto a Japanese barge and took it to a ship. (cited below).
11. That ship was the Kyoshu. The plane was tied up and transported to Jaluit where a number of people saw it. Including Bilimon Amaron, a local doctor's assistant who treated Amelia and Fred's wounds. He saw the plane, and heard the Japanese call her "Ameera." He said she spoke to him, but he didn't understand her. I interviewed Bilimon's lifetime business partner (an irishman from Boston) who said "Bilimon was one of the most honest people I know. We all knew his story - and if he said it happened, it did." Les Kinney has dug up the ship's records - it was in Saipan in July of 1937 and later went to Saipan.
12. Other people saw her on Jaluit - including a frenchman whose ship was confiscated and he was put aboard a ship as a stevedore, and dropped a note in a bottle that was recovered on a French shore and examined by US, British Intelligence prior to WWII that claimed he saw AE. (Public records)
13. A Marshallese congressman reports (on camera below) his father took him down to the docks in Jaluit and showed him the plane, the ship, and told him an American female pilot was aboard - who was a spy.
14. Other islanders on Jaluit heard they had captured a spy. Amelia herself is quoted as saying "Imagine, me being a spy" - that's public record. Apparently the Japanese thought so as well.
|Fred Goerner interviewed the two GIS who dug|
up her body, and the inital woman from Saipan who saw
her come ashore.
15. Eyewitnesses saw her brought up the seaplane dock in Garapan, Saipan. I've had two eyewitnesses on camera who saw her - one who was with her brother at 16, the other was a Congressman whose father told him that he refused to bow his head as ordered and saw her and Fred come ashore. (The Electra was taken by ship to Saipan, and AE and FN by seaplane).
|This is the same women, who reiterated what she|
saw and it matches what the other eyewitness saw.
16. She was first sent to hospital. I have an interview with the son of a nurse who took care of her and Fred, and swore her son to secrecy - any kind of talk about the Japanese affairs could result in death. Fred was executed (beheaded) reportedly for "insulting a Japanese officer" but perhaps more likely they thought he was the spy with his military background. (Probably thought he was the actual pilot as well.)
|Devine said he overheard Nabers talk about the Electra,|
and later saw the Electra destroyed.
Note: Japan considered Saipan "japanese territory" the same way the US considers Hawaii "US territory." They lost 30K men defending it, it was the home of their naval HQ, they knew if the Americans took it they could refuel on their way to bombing Tokyo, etc. Leading up to the war, a number of people were beheaded as "spies" (a British couple), because the Japanese were fortifying the docks for war - something expressly forbidden by the League of Nations in their "mandated islands" agreement. Many stories of people losing boats or their lives if they got too close to an island like Jaluit (which was rebuilding its docks.)
|Doug Bryce saw the Electra in a hangar, same|
hangar others claimed to see it.
The infamous "photo" from the Jaluit docks that was found by Les Kinney in ONI files (that was erroneously identified as from a "book" - it was from a loose collection of photographs in a string tied binder - where the librarian has told Les that many authors added photos later. The photo is undated, although the portfolio is dated. Either way, the Marshallese govt issued a notice that those docks in the photograph were not built until 1936.)
|Brother Andrew Bryce met the stevedore who|
moved the Electra to a Japanese barge to a ship. Learned his
brother had seen the Electra after the war at a family picnic.
17. We have new eyewitnesses who saw her incarcerated on Saipan, including two islanders, one on camera, and one who told his son about seeing her in the Garapan prison.
18. Don't look for the records for Garapan prison; they don't appear to exist. (If they did, they'd tell the tale). In a visit to the Japanese Military Library in Tokyo, I was told that even though they have 19 volumes of detailed records of every prison they maintained from Manchuria to Guam, with prisoner lists and details of everyone taken prisoner from 1935-1944, there is only one set of records that is missing; the records from the prison on Saipan. The reason, I was told by the head librarian, is because "all of these files went to the US after the war, and these are the ones they returned to Japan..." Got that? The records somehow disappeared between coming to the US and going back to the military library in Tokyo.
|Found her briefcase, passport, kept them for|
two weeks. Interviewed by Connie Chung and others.
19. However, eyewitnesses saw her in prison, saw her on the back of a truck on Saipan. I have footage of two men in their 80's who were at grade school when a truck stopped for 30 minutes and they could see her - dressed in khakis, blind folded, guarded by Japanese soldiers. As one man put it "It was the first caucasian woman I'd ever seen - dressed like a man and her hands tied behind her. It's not something you forget." She was being transported up the coast road prior to the American invasion when this occurred. (May of 1944). Two other Americans were aboard that truck - also guarded. (Fred had already been executed for being THE spy.) Those two American pilots were both executed - military history - one was shot, the other beheaded - and they were dug up to see if their bodies had been tortured for a war crime tribunal (they were not).
|The actual brake plate from the Electra found by|
Dick Spink on Mili atoll among other pieces.
20. Amelia died in prison of dysentery (Multiple accounts). She was buried in a spot apparently next to Fred. However, the other two pilots were also buried; hence the discrepancies of islanders pointing to different graves in 1945 (Tom Devine, Robert Wallack had two different cemeteries with islanders saying that an "American pilot" was buried inside). There were three American pilots - two men and a woman.
|Manual from identical Electra, showing the dust shield found.|
21. Her body was moved to another burial site. I know this for a fact, because when the GI's sent to dig her up, they only found an "arm and a partial ribcage" (UPI, Chicago Tribune, 1977).
|These mini rail cars can be found on Saipan, used for|
transport of sugar cane. There is no cane on Mili atoll, yet
these are still there; used for some reason to transport the Electra.
22. US forces landed in June of 44. Robert Wallack, US Marine says (on camera and in multiple news reports) that he blew open a safe and found her briefcase and passport - kept them for two weeks before being convinced to turn them over. He told me on camera who he turned it over to.
|Jim Hayton, former NTSB investigator demonstrating on camera|
how the dust shield fit over the Electra's brake assembly. He owns
a brake assembly from the exact model. (The later models were larger.)
23. US Marines found the Electra July 19th, 1944 in Aslito airfield. I know that's the date because Julious Nabers claimed he decoded the message the day they found it (which was the day they liberated the airfield.) Nabers saw the briefcase as it was brought to his CO. (He repeated verbatim how Wallack describes it). Nabers was ordered by his CO to go with him to see the plane, subsequently his CO (whose uniform is in a glass case at Quantico) ordered Nabers to "guard the plane" for 24 hours.
|Dick Spink, Jim Hayton, me, Mike Harris|
in Dick Spink's living room looking at pieces of history.
24. While guarding the plane, a GI (Tom Devine) saw Nabers refuse entry to some brass who said "We know you have Amelia Earhart's airplane, we want to see it." Nabers said "orders is orders." Tom Devine didn't know who that soldier was, but I interviewed Nabers at his home in Tupelo Mississippi. When I heard him say those words "I told those Navy guys that "Orders is orders" I recognized them as what Devine told me he had heard (a few months earlier, and just prior to his passing.)
|Lives on Saipan, came in because his flight instructor|
had served in WWII with a Japanese man who claimed
to have been a guard in Garapan and had guarded Amelia.
25. I interviewed Doug Bryce on camera saying that he and some GI's took a jeep from Mt Tapachou down to the airfield to see the Electra. They all knew what it was - the most famous plane on the planet (and had been missing for only 7 years at that time). He said he could clearly see the plane, it's markings, guarded by soldiers some 30 feet away. His description of the hangar matches the hangar that others have pointed to as being where they saw the plane.
26. Both Nabers and Devine on camera describe the day (two or three weeks later) when the plane was towed to the center of the airfield and destroyed. That flaming wreckage was seen by a number of soldiers who reported that in Tom Devine's book on the topic, as well as on camera where they both described the same events. Of seeing it covered in petrol, then destroyed by a P38. (Why? I don't know, and frankly don't care.)
|Briefcase matches both Robert Wallack and Julious Nabers descriptions.|
27. I've been to the airfield and know where those planes where "shoved off the runway" by Seabees. I'm told by the former NTSB investigator that it's a matter of "ground pentrating radar" to find whatever is left of the plane.
28. Finally, I've done enough research to feel that I know where her body was moved to. If asked, I'm happy to take a crew and film that excavation.
I interviewed 15 new eyewitnesses to what happened to Amelia. Some of them were veterans of the battle to take Saipan, all of them are now gone. However, their camera footage still exists.
|Oliver Knaggs, South African reporter, interviewed numerous|
Marshallese who saw her land the Electra.
So there you have it.
If you search through these posts, you'll find the same details. No need to dive under water. No need to keep posting "the clue that leads to the clue" stories (unless there's some monetary motivation to keep claiming "we're almost there!")
A photograph of a brake part in a pool of water is not the same as an NTSB investigator actually demonstrating on camera how the brake plate found on Mili actually fits the exact replica of the brake assembly he happens to own. The brake assembly that was unique to her plane. No - not a photograph - but a live, living, real piece of her plane.
Someone asked me "what's the disconnect?" "Why don't they look where she was instead of where she wasn't?" "Why doesn't National Geographic want the truth?" To which I replied:
"It is crazy... in light of me spending two hours on the phone with Nat Geo reporters laying it out piece by piece. I spoke to the editor of National Geographic magazine and she directed me to speak to her two reporters. Some of that information made it into an online piece.
By why the disconnect? No clue. Could be money. (Here is a doc I made prior to getting the 15 new eyewitnesses.)
The people sponsoring this latest have done 7 other expeditions to the same isle, all money raised is spent on these 7 trips (and charges of fraud from one investor in Minnesota).
When we were on Saipan interviewing eyewitnesses, these same guys put in a front page article in the Saipan paper claiming we were creating "false memories" in these islanders for money. I did an interview with the same paper the following day replying that it takes a special kind of racism to claim natives from these islands were making up what they saw.
Over 200 people saw her after she landed the plane on Mili and saw her taken and incarcerated on Saipan. There are zero eyewitnesses on any other island. If locals were inventing the story why not also elsewhere? Guam? Or Nikumaroro?
If people deny that eyewitnesses saw what they saw, who corroborate what others saw, there's only one reason i can think of why they wouldn't be believed.
Either way I know where her plane is buried, know where her body was moved to (pretty good idea) and am thrilled she's back in the news.
Sorry to report that it appears the US govt sent her to her death (mistakes made but as a result of) and has never admitted it.
Truth sets everyone free.