False Memory Premise

Interesting comments on investigator Les Kinney's Facebook page the other day:

Someone weighing in the "evidence of Earhart being on Saipan."  This person wrote:

"But do you have any non-mystical basis for saying that there is "no evidence" of AE on Nikumaroro?"

I think he might be referring to my research ("Hacking the Afterlife") where Amelia, or someone who knows as much about Amelia as I do - confirmed details via the use of three mediums, one who works with law enforcement agencies nationwide and missing person cases.

Let's just assume that's what he's referring to - if I may.  

I didn't ask "Amelia" any questions I didn't already know the answers to.  Using three different mediums, I asked the mediums the questions - I already knew the answers - and in each case, these mediums, who didn't know anything about Earhart's trip or what I'd discovered in my 30 years of research, including working on every major feature film about her as a consultant or researcher - said the thing I already knew.

Except in one case.  That was with Jennifer Shaffer, a medium who has worked with NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton, FBI agents and others on cases (out of public purview, but verifiable). In my filming her - I ask simple, direct questions. I asked what "happened to her body?" 

"Amelia" offered that the "two soldiers who dug her up only found an arm."  Jennifer could not have heard of this - because I had not. I was aware who the two GI's were - and their report about digging her up.  But that they "only found an arm?"

It took me six months to find the evidence of that claim - which was made in 1977, published by UPI in The Chicago Tribune.  Wasn't easy to find at that time. The "two GI's" who claimed to have been ordered to dig her up said "We only found an arm and a partial ribcage."  

The point of the story wasn't that "aha! I've found another detail!" it was to simply say that there was only person (no longer on the planet) who could have told Jennifer (and me) that detail (on camera.)

Not mystical.  Unless one considers UPI a mystical source.

But I digress.

My reply to this wag's comment was:

"One might consider...that there was a settlement on Nikumaroro in the 1920s. So there's going to be plenty of detritus to sort thru. (on that island.) 
What trip is this now.., the 7th or 8th to the island of Nikumaroro? So far found a man's shoe and turtle bones.

Meanwhile on camera, there are 15 new eyewitnesses who claim to have seen her on Saipan. (See some samples to the right of this post.)

People who fed her, washed her clothes, son whose mother treated her in the hospital, 2 gents who saw her in a truck on the same day guarded by Japanese soldiers, (that's 2 different fellas on the same day) ... then there's the US Marines (for those white folks who can't seem to bring themselves to believe accounts of indigenous people) who found her briefcase, passport, book of photos of her (from japanese home) found the electra, guarded it, flew it, watched it burn... dug up her body. 

Do you mean those fellas? You'd think if all these folks were making up a story, there'd be one similar made up story somewhere else, on some other island by some other lying US Marine or islander...maybe even a single one on Nikumaroro -- which is not deserted, never deserted by locals.. just not inhabited by "Europeans." 

To date not a single eyewitness to emerge from another island. Yet over 200 on Saipanese (via Fred Goerner, Les, Dick, Mike Harris and others) claim to have seen her. 

Funny how that detail seems mystical. It's mystical and mysterious why people aren't paying attention to eyewitnesses. You know.. people who saw her.
Father saw her come ashore. His story
matched another eyewitnesses word for word.
Saw her come ashore. Her story is identical to
the father of another eyewitness. 

To which our pal and long time researcher, former Federal investigator Les Kinney posted a reply:

"Tighar says all those witnesses, including the highest ranking military officers were all suffering from "False Memory Perception."

The initial poster replied:

Like a somewhat wise man once said, "trust but verify." I'd say that no court SHOULD allow convictions based SOLELY on eyewitness testimony, but eyewitness testimony should certainly be admissible in court with appropriate caveats. Like any other evidence. The problem with the AE-on-Saipan eyewitness evidence is that it's tainted seven ways from Sunday, and I, at least, am too stupid to figure out how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Currently serves in the US Military. His uncle saw
her in a prison cell when he was incarcerated next to her.

To which I replied:

"I love that one. "False memory perception." I call that "the racist filter." No other way to communicate it. Otherwise there would be cases of false memory perception on many islands. Or even one. Can't be that only one island's got this false memory disease. Unless they made it up.

And bless (this poster's) heart, but clearly he's never seen any of that footage of the US Marines talking about what they saw on Saipan. But then - they're US Marines, and they tend to not prevaricate, or use terms like "seven ways to Sunday" when it comes to their testimonials. In general - the US Marines tend to stick to what they saw. Islanders on the other hand - if you actually watched any of their interviews - do the same. 

I can tell you this - and I don't know the person who posted this comment, but I will share this for your edification - Saipanese are extremely reluctanct to speak or appear on camera. There's a reason for this - and those who claim they've got false memories are injecting their own prejudices onto them.
Was 12 when he and his brother saw her on the back of a truck.
His account matches another eyewitness for time of day and location.
Asked "how do you know who it was?" he said "I don't. But
when the first "european woman" you see (their word for caucasian) dressed as a man with her hands tied behind being guarded by Japanese soldiers... it's not something you forget."
Was 12 when he saw her on the back of a truck.
His story matched another eyewitnesses story word for word. If it's a
false memory - how can the details match 70 years after the fact and
the two eyewitnesses have never met?
Saipanese are extremely reluctant to speak on camera because they were part of Japan since 1914, they got along well with Japanese suger cane traders who brought wealth to their country. They don't paint those years with the same brush Americans or "europeans" do (that's the term they use for Caucasians.). 

So getting a Saipanese to speak on camera and say "I saw Amelia Earhart" is next to impossible. They might say "I saw a European woman who was dressed like a man who had her hands tied behind her back." But they will never ever say something that they saw without adding "I didn't know who this person was at the time, but I do now." They just won't do it. On or off camera.

His mother tended to AE's wounds and she swore
him to silence.  Until this interview.
I know - I spent 8 weeks filming interviews. I'm a professional filmmaker, have been at it for 30 years - I know when someone is "inventing a story" or corroborating one. But the Saipanese were the hardest to get to talk on camera about anything. Why? Well - it's in their culture. 

Lived next door to the prison. Her grandfather told her how
he witnessed the beheading of an American pilot (that was a man,
and he was shot down in April 44, later verified details.)

The Japanese (after the soldiers from Manchuria arrived) started chopping off heads of kids who didn't bow low enough. Up until 1939 they got along well with the Japanese who ran their schools... but once the Manchurian battled weary soldiers arrived - everything changed.

Works at the musuem, spoke of the Japanese Saipanese
relationship and documents from those years.
They treated Saipanese "like slaves." Took their property, homes, kicked them out and into caves and the jungle. Then the Americans came - they were told by the Japanses the US soldiers were cannibals who ate children. (Who could argue?) So when the US forces arrived, the Saipanese hid in caves. Until one soldier, who spoke Spanish called out to them.
He and his family were kicked out of their home, lived
in a cave. He helped gather the testimony for the shoot,
as the locals trusted him that I wasn't exploiting (or paying) anyone.
People claim the Saipanese committed suicide rather than be captured on the Banzai cliffs - I've been there, seen the footage from the GI's filming people jumping to their death. None of them are Saipanese. They aren't Buddhist. They didn't listen to the Fatwa from the Emperor about "having a better rebirth if they committed suicide." The people who jumped from the Banzai cliffs were all Japanese family members - some pushed - and their servants. Saipanese actually mention this if you dig deep enough "We weren't there because we're Catholics."

Prior to Japan taking over the island in 1914, it was German and then Spanish. Many of their epistles are in Spanish. This one GI - a US soldier spoke Spanish and they replied from their caves... so they weren't "torched in the caves" by flame throwers.
In the Marshalls - saw her plane in Jaluit.

In the Marshalls. Heard they'd captured a spy.
During the occupation by the US many stories were gathered... and then not spoken of. I interviewed a woman who was there, was interviewed by US forces,who told them she saw AE in 1937 - come ashore. Her story - note for note - was corroborated 70 years later by someone she never met, whose father described the exact same events. Word for word.

Marine spokesman who said troops told him they'd found
AE's photos in a commander's office on Saipan, was told
by fellow soldiers they saw her plane on Aslito.
Andrew Bryce, worked with a stevedore who corroborated the story
of putting the Electra on a barge to a Japanese ship.

Devine corroborated the story Nabers (below) told
of stopping Navy officers from coming in to see the Electra on Aslito.

Doug Bryce went with fellow GI's to Aslito,
saw the Electra in a hangar being guarded.
He told everyone after the war - was not believed by
anyone except his brother (above) who was told
by a stevedore he'd transported it.

Nabers decoded the messages, "We have found AE's plane at
Aslito field," "We are going to fly AE's plane" and "We are going to destroy AE's plane."
He guarded the plane for 24 hours (corroborated by an eyewitness who heard
him arguing about it) later went with a fellow Marine to watch them destroy
the plane (his account corroborated word for word by another eyewitness.)
If this was a False Memory? Why the details? Why the corroboration
of details?  Can't make something up if everyone else knows
the same details.

So you're flat out wrong about the "7 ways to Sunday comment." Saipan became a training base for the CIA (it's still there, deserted, as well as the satellite equipment.) Saipan is still used by "black ops" (I interviewed a number of islanders about them) and they've been told since the US arrived - "Don't talk to anyone upon penalty of death." Saipan has been used as toxic site for dumping US chemicals from the military for years. Empty drums from PCB's litter the island.
Remains of a US tracking station in the hills of Saipan.
It came up during an interview. This one Saipanese fellow agreed to speak on camera about what his family told him about seeing Earhart and he said "I don't care what they do to me, I just want the truth to be told." I asked him what he meant by that comment. He lowered his voice. "There are people here who don't want me to talk to you."

All surveys done with permission of Saipanese govt.
Be that as it may - I was able to get 15 new eyewitnesses in the following manner - I asked simply "What was your experience prior to the war? What happened when the US arrived?" Those stories were rich and full of details that I could corroborate - where they lived, what house they lived in, what happened. Then I'd ask "So did you ever hear about any US pilots being shot down or captured?" That's how I found out that two other pilots had been shot down by the Japanese prior to the US invasion or landing. 

If they knew a story about Earhart (mom washed her clothes, mom took care of her at the hospital, etc) they told me. I didn't tell them anything about what I already knew, or what Goerner knew.
Saipanese refer to the War as beginning in July of 1944. Because that's when it began for them.

Anyways, I could go on - but I recommend,just watch the interviews. Listen to people tell their story. Open up your mind. If you' were even remotely correct - that they were lying or prevaricating or "misremembering" then you'd have to explain where that didn't occur on ANY OTHER ISLAND (ever) or how US Marines could tell the exact same stories other islanders have told consistently Sorry.
Public forum in Saipan
Many new testimonials

I can tell you that when I arrived on Saipan, the US liason pulled me aside and said "I'm friends with the guys from Tighar, and I want you to know that what you're doing is nonsense." I said to him the same I'll say to you - "Well, let's see what people say." 

He listened, he attended a public talk we gave with what we found - and he heard from islanders that he knew his whole life, whom he trusted ... and after hearing them tell their story in this meeting (it's on YouTube on he said "I have to tell you - I was a skeptic. I didn't believe a word prior to this meeting. But I know these people. I know they are honest people. And if they said they saw her, saw her plane, heard and knew what happened to her - I've changed my mind."

US liason in Saipan who was a "total skeptic" until
hearing the public forum on the topic.

It's never too late to hear the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Great research, I was reading another blog on Saipan and the other appears to have an Electra prop that was discovered in a bunker on Alito Field. Have you seen this yet?

    "Why would an American WWII soldier cut off the serial number on this badly damaged Electra prop and put it in a Japanese air raid bunker which was secure within the fence of Isley Airfield, previously called AsLito Field in Saipan. It safely sat there for decades until everyone who knew anything about it was long gone. An employee of the modern airport was told to clean out that old Japanese air raid bunker. Instead of throwing this prop away he decided to take it home where it sat for more decades until it was given to me. To make the story more funny/strange, someone painted "B-29" on the other side of this prop. Obviously a B-29 prop is twice this size. Actually I have no idea if this prop is from an Electra but it makes a good story and the size does match the blueprints I have for the Electra."


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.