Did She Just Simply Fly Away Into History?
Everyone enjoys a good mystery at times, none more so than those concerning missing aircraft. At the time of writing, the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 aircraft has yet to be located, most sadly.
Another odd air event took place in 1972 when a Cessna 320 en route to Alaska disappeared and was never found. What made that flight so interesting to many was that one of the passengers on board was the distinguished American House Majority Leader Mr. Hale Boggs. Even more notably, this gentleman was also a member of the controversial Warren Report Commission quickly appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to examine how and why President Kennedy died (or was murdered, as some suggest, on orders sent from Johnson himself to a designated team). Hale Boggs always disagreed with the single bullet explanation given in the conclusion of the commission's published report, where he said unreservedly, "I had strong doubts about it." In fact, his widow always stated that, "He wished he had never been on it and wished he had never signed it." Ah, that Warren Report, as controversial today into its dubious conclusions and findings concerning JFK, as it was 50 years ago! I remember it well.
Incidentally, Hale Boggs also later dangerously crossed political swords with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, a reckless thing to do at any time. Later, it was claimed by his political opponents on the "Hill" that he had an alcohol and abuse problem which strongly affected his judgments, an always popular tactic used by many enemies of the truth even today.
What about the lost "Norseman" two-seater aircraft that Major Glenn Miller was supposedly a passenger in? The case has never been satisfactorily explained. Did Major Miller drown in the English Channel that cold December in 1944. Or did he die mysteriously of a knife injury in the Pigalle district of Paris? His body would later be sent home for burial in the family plot. Incidentally, his wife Helen would later become a born-again Christian and is now buried next to her husband.
And did a custom-built Condor aircraft fly Adolph Hitler via Spain to safety in South America in 1945? I'm beginning to suspect that there just might be some truth to it, with the late unlamented "Fuhrer" dying there in the 1962/1963. Who knows?
And what of "wonderful Amy" (as Miss Earhart was cheekily named by the popular print press of the day)? Was she indeed the first flying feminist destined to fly all the way to the top, only to come crashing down rather like the doomed Icarus?
Amelia was born in 1897. Her father, it is claimed, had a "drink problem." (I learned this was also the case with Ronald Reagan's father when I researched him for my previous article.) Drink is a terrible thing, yet today it is so glamorised in the media, isn't it?
Early studio portraits of the young Amelia capture her with a half-smile, gazing over the photographer’s shoulder. Perhaps she imagines a Gipsy Moth solo airplane circling in the sky, a dream she will one day sample and enjoy. She even, it is claimed, enjoyed mechanics and all the workings of aircraft.
I wonder if, as a young girl, she clambered out of her bedroom widow and stood on the roof, trying to orient herself and become familiar with heights and space. Well, you have to start somewhere, don't you?
Later, she would become a celebrity, before that useless group of people became fashionable. She was also seen associating with screen and stage stars of that day, and sipping Earl Grey tea with President Harding. And it seems "she and G.P. (her husband) attended Franklin Roosevelt's presidential inauguration as Eleanor's guests. Later they lunched and stayed overnight at the (haunted) White House." After Amelia's strange disappearance, Eleanor Roosevelt would later insist on a more detailed sea search of the areas where her plane was last heard from, but nothing of significance washed up or was found.
Miss Earhart certainly was a pacesetter for women striving in their own aspirations to enter into a male-dominated industry, that being aviation, of course.
There had been other female pilots. Indeed, her own instructor had carved a modest name for herself in the business. Yet Amelia would eventually go on to outshine them all at the age of only 24.
Regarding her fame and fortune in flying solo across the Atlantic in 1932 and other aero successes, none can or would deny her proud place in today's female archives.
Yet it was in 1937 that the seeds of suspicion started and, I suggest, some explanation is needed as to what had actually happened to Miss Earhart and those events require a more careful and exhaustive look to see if the truth finally emerges.
Of course, for conspiracy theories to flourish they have to be planted in fertile ground or prepared in a compost mix of fact or fiction. None more so than the secret government "X files" of deception and doubt, where these theories of what happened to Miss Earhart will soon flower into a full conspiracy and grow bigger as the years pass by.
Proposed theory #1:
In 1937, Amelia files a normal flight plan from Oakland, California, with trusted former Pan American aerial navigator Mr. Fred Noonan. They are then prepared to circumvent the globe. The trusted "Electra" plane had been re-built and brought to the state of par excellence after her unfortunate crash landing in Hawaii, but that was now all in the past.
It was to be an ambitious, daring and dangerous journey that the two would undertake, and they almost achieved their goal when aircraft faults forced an emergency landing en route to Howland Island after a fraught 12-hour flight. Her aircraft would not, however, touch down on the Howland Beach but would stall and land on a deserted island in the beautiful Pacific Ocean named Nikumaroro (then a part of the British Crown Colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands), where they sadly perished from lack of food and water and other deprivations, or so it is claimed.
The island was apparently inhabited by millions of live hungry crabs of all sizes (horrible!) who quickly finished off the rotting bodies of Amelia and Fred. Because of her importance, the Roosevelt administration finally launched a massive sea and air search for the golden aviator covering over 2,000 miles, can you believe? And at a cost of over a million dollars! Wow. One interesting footnote to this theory is that in 1940 an anonymous serving British colonial officer recovered some partial skeletal remains on the island, then later removed them to take the broken bones back for personal identification. Unfortunately, these bones have now been misplaced.
So, were these Amelia's and Fred's final remains on that faraway beach? Or just another lost and forgotten castaway who had desperately managed to reach the inlet half-drowned, then sadly to perish slowly in that crab-infested island? Well, the world jury seems to be out on this proposal regarding the disappearance of Earhart and Noonan.
Proposed theory #2:
The pair had flown from Oakland, California, on May 20, 1937, and after eight stopovers, somehow flew into a turbulent trough of air that led to an unexpected forced touchdown on Howland Island. Now, at this point, what the author W.C. Jameson claims in his book is that the plane had apparently been fitted out by military engineers with sophisticated spy cameras to track and record Japanese military installations and shipping movements on those Pacific islands. If true, then both plane and crew were now in danger from the Japanese military command. At the time, spying usually ended in execution by rope or bullet, or sometimes by beheading.
The official response by the Roosevelt government that Amelia and her navigator somehow perished alone and forgotten on the island is "fraught with problems and errors, and remains suspect...this conclusion was arrived at in spite of the fact that not a single shred of evidence exists to support it," claims author W.C. Jameson after his important research. He could well be right.
So, it seems, before a passing Japanese navy ship spotted and rescued the pair, Amelia somehow buried a box in the sand which contained, it seems, damning evidence against them. Maybe sensitive colour film stock of Japanese military installations?
From there, they were escorted with their downed plane for questioning. By now, she must have been way out of her emotional depth in trying to understand what was happening to her and her trusted navigator Fred Noonan. Once interrogated and arrested as suspected spies, matters seemed to be going from bad to worse for Amelia, but it seems after stopping off at Jallowit, then Roynamoor Island base and finally Saipan, the end of the road had come to a halt for these two pilots, and there was no going back. I wonder how prepared they were for this.
There is some evidence seen today in some of the overgrown prison cells on the island where the initials "A.E." are carved into a cell wall, maybe they're hers. One scenario put forward for investigation is that the pair was eventually taken out and executed by the Japanese secret police, then hastily buried.
One person who, after his research, claims this is what happened is her fourth cousin Wally Earhart. According to this relative, "They did not die as claimed by the government and the navy when their plane plunged into the pacific. They died while in Japanese captivity on the Island of Saipan." He later claimed that Noonan was beheaded by a Japanese soldier, probably using a scimitar. Earhart apparently died soon after from dysentery and other ailments (would she have otherwise met the same fate as Noonan, I wonder?). So, it is difficult to be certain of how the two captives did indeed perish, but perish they did, and I suggest on that Japanese occupied island. Then abandoned, alone and forsaken by the government that sent them on that perilous and fraught mission, leaving them to a fate of execution. They would never see family or home again.
I also suggest they were to be used as political bargaining chips by the Japanese, but the Americans had, by then, cracked the Japanese shipping codes (as would later happen with Enigma at Bletchley Park). This was, of course, unknown to the enemy, but the Americans could not and would not let this vital information fall into enemy hands. In other words, the American government would never send in the long-awaited Marines to free this pitiful pair caught up in the crossfire of pre-war politics.
They would both wait for an immediate rescue that would never happen. It must have been agony for them, and I do wonder if they perhaps attempted to pray. Did they know how to? Or did they leave it all to "fate"? So very tragic indeed! Sadly, before her death or murder in Paris in 1997, the late Lady Diana confessed to Mother Teresa, of all people, that she herself did not know how to pray. This elderly woman wished to teach the young princess how to pray, it seems. And, I do wonder, has anybody ever taught Diana's own sons how to communicate with God?
Did you know that 150,000 people die every day, most of them unsaved and never having repented for their sins and crimes against God and man? Yet the Lord Jesus Christ will pardon all who seek Him through true repentance in their hearts, of course, and receive His incredible offer of eternal salvation.
So, dear reader: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found" (Isaiah 55:6).
DO NOT DELAY, WE SAY!
I must now digress somewhat at this point of the article. It seems that some years ago in Norfolk, England, an old and long-closed railway station was being demolished. One of the locked storage rooms revealed a large expense trunk of Moroccan leather with brass corners and latches, thick calf-leather straps for support and fitted with a heavy brass lock. It was also festooned with some of the most famed hotels in the world in Venice, Rome, Geneva, Monaco, Bombay and Singapore (Raffles, of course). The trunk was indeed well travelled, it seems, but what made it of interest to me was an old faded print label affixed to the side that read: "Unclaimed baggage awaiting collection from the owner or his appointed agent." And judging from its condition, it must have been stored and forgotten for over forty years. When it was eventually prised open by the police and the lock fell away, the body of a young Eurasian woman, apparently still perfectly preserved, was inside.
She was wearing expensive haute couture clothing with French labelling, and lingering in the sealed case was the rich aroma of Chanel No. 5, still pungent after all the years. She lay in foetal position with a tightly bound red silk scarf indented around her swan-like neck. Also found was a green emerald silver brooch that, when opened, revealed a small miniature sketch of the papal crossed keys of the Vatican and a masonic symbol, perhaps of the hooded eye of Osiris. The jewel was clutched tightly in her manicured left hand, but unusually, there were no wedding or signet rings on either hand. What did it all mean and who was this expensively clad, but unknown woman? The police were never able to identify her. She was later buried quietly in an unmarked grave at an old country church near the demolished station under high-spreading elm trees. There would be no family or friends at the open graveside, and today, no memorial headstone records where she is buried. It's almost as if she had never existed. I suggest that the wording on the faded label on that leather trunk would have been applicable to Earhart and Noonan because, sadly, they were rather like two pieces of unwanted and unclaimed baggage. Perhaps there was no one who would step forward to rescue these lost and desperate aviators from the fate that most certainly awaited them. No owner or designated agents would claim responsibility for them.
One of the present-day admirers of Miss Earhart is Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton. If she is voted in as the next president of the United States of America (something she may achieve politically unless, of course, God intervenes – her present health seems to be her most vulnerable weakness –), perhaps she will then reveal to a waiting world what really happened to America's most famous aviator in 1937.
Certainly Earhart's family and others deserve a feasible and more importantly, truthful explanation. I would, of course, like to know myself, but I won't hold my breath.
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27).
Amelia Earhart, Elmer Long & Marie K. Long
Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, Les Kinney & Dick Spink
Amelia Earhart: Beyond the Grave, W.C. Jameson
30th March 2016
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