Amelia Earhart Compared To Irene Craigmile: There Was More To This Than People Realized

Home Page: Amelia Earhart
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1982 Irene Craigmile Newspaper FRAUD Discovered by Tod Swindell
About The 'Real' Irene Craigmile, Amelia Earhart's 1930s "Pal"
Tod Swindell: One Filmmaker's Amazing Amelia Earhart Journey
Amelia Earhart: A True Story
Forensically Comparing Amelia Earhart To Irene Craigmile Bolam
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The Universal Truth About Amelia Earhart
Books Published On Amelia Earhart Research And Investigations
Controversial Information: Decades Of Compiled Forensic Data

©2014 Protecting Earhart  ©2007-2017  
©1997-2017 Amelia Earhart Compared To Irene Craigmile Forensic Analysis
  Coming This Fall: The End Of A Two Decades Long Documentary Film Journey
By Tod Swindell


Recalling just some of the many different 'looks' Amelia Earhart was known for...










It is easy to see Amelia Earhart did have a variety of great looks. One might say as both a pilot and a celebrity, Amelia rocked!
Below is another celebrity who became famous in 1970 when she made national headlines. Her name was Irene Craigmile Bolam... and she rocked too!  


Accordingly, Irene Craigmile Bolam, shown here in 1977, was a former pilot and a long ago friend of Amelia Earhart's, although many people who knew her--or knew of her--found that a bit curious. Keep going to see why they felt that way.
Below is a 1978 photo reprinted from a newspaper showing the same Irene above going for a hot-air balloon ride.


As Irene Craigmile Bolam ascends in her balloon with famous LPGA golfer, Kathy Whitworth, let's briefly recall her story:
After World War Two the Irene in the balloon basket emerged in the northeastern United States from out of nowhere known as 'Irene Craigmile.' She appeared nowhere in the U.S. as 'Irene' prior to the end of the war, yet another person known as 'Irene Craigmile' who knew Amelia Earhart before the war clearly did exist then.
According to a long-term, recently completed forensic research study done by filmmaker Tod Swindell, while it is true that in the 1930s there was a pilot by the name of Irene Craigmile who was acquainted with Amelia Earhart [note the 1932 newspaper group photo below featuring both Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile within it] the Irene in the balloon basket was not she. This proved problematic where history claimed they were one in the same.



Above, note Irene Craigmile's name listed under the photo between Edith Foltz and Viola Gentry. Amelia Earhart is seated on the auto running board wearing the white V-neck blouse.

Few ever heard of Irene Craigmile at the time the above 'Akron Beacon Journal' photo was taken. This is because the year before, her husband, Charles James Craigmile suddenly died and coming out of her bereavement, the newly widowed, Irene Craigmile decided to take up flying as a hobby. She had just started taking pilot lessons when the above photo was taken in September of 1932, although she would not become a licensed pilot until late May of 1933.
Below is another '1930' dated photo from an old newspaper featuring the same Irene Craigmile in the Akron Beacon Journal photo. In this one she is shown between her husband, Charles James Craigmile, and her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. The contrast was heightened to better display her facial features. The Swindell study also concluded that a clear photo record of Irene Craigmile showing her prior to the 1940s was non-extant; no clear school photos could be found, no clear wedding photos, no clear family pictures.


In the 1920s and 1930s, the above Irene Craigmile's life story was far from idyllic, and sadly, by the early World War Two years she had completely faded from view. To this day no one knows what became of her. What research done by filmmaker, Tod Swindell plainly revealed, though, was the way the Irene Craigmile who emerged from out of nowhere after World War Two, shown below in a comparison that used a 1976 photo of her taken in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, revealed her to look a lot like an older version of Amelia Earhart:



Make no mistake, the Irene in the balloon basket, who history identified as Amelia's 1930s 'pal' Irene Craigmile, was not the original Irene Craigmile. Let's call her the new Irene Craigmile.
After the new Irene Craigmile emerged in the U.S. during the post-war era she was always held in high esteem by her peers. This especially increased in 1958, the year she married Guy Bolam of England, a successful executive with Radio Luxembourg in Europe. She mostly went by 'Irene Bolam' after that (as shown in the balloon news photo caption) while she helped her husband, Guy attend to the daily running of his well known radio station throughout the 1960s. During the decade of the 1960s Irene and Guy incessantly traveled the world together as well, and after Guy died in 1970, Irene took over as president of the Radio Luxembourg division he used to run.
[Note: Before she faded from view the original Irene Craigmile had never demonstrated any career ambitions.]
After the new Irene Craigmile's death was recorded in 1982, once again she made headlines, even though the attention and fame that sometimes came her way from 1970 on was not something she had wanted. [Note: The 'balloon photo' was reprinted from a two-week long series of newspaper articles about her.]
In the 1960s and 1970s the new Irene Craigmile also knew a variety of famous people to include well known pilots, astronauts, politicians (for example, Senator Barry Goldwater was a friend of hers) celebrities, notable military figures, some college presidents, and a few athletes to include several professional lady golfers she met through her good friend in LPGA promoter, Peter Busatti. She was also a member of the prestigious 'Wings Club' in New York and the Early Birds of Aviation. Not to leave out she was a later life friend of Amelia Earhart's sister and only sibling, Muriel Earhart Morrissey.
So the reason the new Irene Craigmile (Bolam) also rocked... is due to the results of a long-term comparison analysis orchestrated by filmmaker, Tod Swindell that was completed in 2017. This amazing analysis evidenced the new Irene to have been a head-to-toe carbon copy of Amelia Earhart, the famous pilot who went missing in 1937 and was never found. Below are two of  the many samples displayed in Tod Swindell's head to toe physical and character traits comparison study:  


Irene Craigmile Bolam proudly displaying her pilot wings in her 1977 formal photo portrait sitting. On the right she is superimposed with photos of Amelia Earhart.



So it is next to incredible as evidenced in the comparison study, how it is now known that the Irene above emerged from out of nowhere eight years after her 'old friend' Amelia disappeared... looking just like a slightly older version of Amelia, and as well... how she looked nothing like the original Irene Craigmile who Amelia used to know. Below is the earliest known photo of the new post-war Irene Craigmile taken in 1946. (Further down you will learn more about the original Irene Craigmile.)


After World War Two, the Irene Craigmile above appeared from out of nowhere and began working in the banking industry in the vicinity of Amelia Earhart's former Long Island, New York stomping grounds. One may not instantly think the 1946 Irene resembles Amelia so much, but look further down at another sample from the Swindell study that displays her image aligning perfectly with Amelia's image. (A variety of comparison samples from the study are displayed throughout this website.)

If at first glance the look of the 1946 Irene Craigmile doesn't remind one of the way pop-culture left Amelia Earhart's image etched in the common mindset, recall the title of Shirley Dobson Gilroy's 1985 book, Amelia: Pilot In Pearls. Then take a look directly below at the picture of Amelia Earhart standing next to her 1930s flight trainer, former Hollywood stunt-pilot, Paul Mantz. After that, see what happens under the photo when Amelia's same facial image is superimposed with the 1946 image of Irene Craigmile to witness the return of the pilot in pearls:



Yes, it does appear to defy logic where Amelia's 1930s pilot friend, Irene Craigmile was able to significantly transform her appearance... to a point where by 1946 she looked to be a slightly older version of her old pal, Amelia Earhart. Amazing. Note the perfect alignment of the neck from the shoulders up, where the pearls and earing so naturally fall into place, how the eyes align so well, etc. In fact, as it turned out, after Tod Swindell's Irene-Amelia comparison analysis was completed; head to toe heights, faces, shoulders, arms, hands, feet, even tear duct to tear duct the post World War Two Irene Craigmile proved herself to be a perfect match to Amelia Earhart. If only Amelia could have known about this. She probably would have gotten a kick out of it if she hadn't gone missing in 1937.
And about the 'gone missing' part: Recall that Amelia Earhart did not just 'up and disappear' in 1937 as described over the years far too often. Rather, in legal terms she became 'a missing person.'
How does one solve a missing person case?
One either finds the missing person, or one finds the body of the missing person.
In this case, according to the Swindell study results, clearly Amelia's body was 'found,' by Joseph A. Gervais USAF (Ret.) in 1965, albeit reidentified as, 'Irene.'There is virtually no doubt about this anymore.
Here is another comparison of the post World War Two Irene Craigmile to Amelia Earhart:







It is important to reemphasize while the study confirmed Amelia Earhart did know an Irene Craigmile in the 1930s, the new, post-war Irene Craigmile (Bolam) compared to Amelia above was not the original Irene Craigmile. In fact, the study fully proved the new Irene was identitifed nowhere in the United States as 'Irene' prior to the end of World War Two.
 At this point anyone might justifiably ask, 'what is going on here?' Let's just say the aforementioned, recently completed 'long term forensic comparison analysis' conducted by filmmaker, Tod Swindell has managed to rejuvenate the all-but forgotten, prematurely dismissed, and mind boggling controversy that decades ago concerned the woman known as 'Irene Craigmile Bolam.' Recall the controversy about her was never resolved, rather, history itself quietly managed to sweep it under some thick rug in the basement of the Smithsonian Institution.
Now that rug has been lifted by the the Swindell study. Keep going to learn more about what-all was found underneath it.


On the far left is filmmaker, Tod Swindell with legendary Amelia Earhart historian and disappearance investigator, retired U.S. Air Force Major Joseph A. Gervais, (1924-2005). [Photo taken in 2002 during their ten-year collaboration.]

Where it flew under the 'recognized historical truths' radar, most people do not realize that since the 1970s four nationally published books, the most recent one in 2016, reinforced how Joseph A. Gervais was correct when in 1970 he asserted he had solved Amelia Earhart's old 'missing person' case. People failed to regard it because his 'solving' of it by way of finding Amelia's living, albeit renamed body was never recognized and accepted due to a lack of forensic evidence support.  
Filmmaker, Tod Swindell realized this after he met Joseph A. Gervais, and it led him to dedicate years of his own effort to determine if the 1970 claim Gervais made and always stood by was correct. In time his contribution came in the form of adding both logistical and visual forensic evidence support to the truth Joe Gervais tried to make public decades before without it.
The two most recent published books cited Tod Swindell's forensic research and comparison analysis as the first to support the never disproved assertion Joseph A. Gervais made in 1970, that stated Amelia Earhart continued to live-on after she was declared 'missing' in 1937. One additionally credited the Swindell study for reinforcing the other part of the Gervais' assertion as well, where he averred that following the conflagration of World War Two, Amelia Earhart quietly reemerged in the United States known as 'Irene Craigmile' under a Federal Witness Protection Program.
As it turned out, the Swindell study learned and revealed how the former Amelia Earhart's 'protection program' worked. Briefly, where there had been a real 'Irene Craigmile' who Amelia was acquainted with in the 1930s, Amelia ended up replacing her. It was a bit complicated though because the original Irene Craigmile had a son in 1934 who ended up being raised by a surrogate mother figure. This person was quite younger than both the original Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart. No one knows where she came from either, but in the end there were a total of three different women attributed to the same 'Irene' identity, and after World War Two one of them was the former Amelia Earhart. Thanks to the Swindell study, the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after she went missing is now that simple to comprehend if one allows it to be. (Some notable stalwarts still advise people not to believe this, but they're wrong. It's now known to be true and it's only a matter of time before the public latches on to it.)
Below are the three Irene Craigmiles the Swindell study was first to discover and reveal: 



Amelia's old 'pal,' the original Irene Craigmile in the early 1930s.



Irene Craigmile had a son in 1934. In the Swindell study her son verified this woman to have been his mother as she looked in the "early 1940s." The study concluded she was not his biological mother. Rather, she was his surrogate mother.



The post-World War Two Irene Craigmile in 1946. She was identified nowhere as Irene Craigmile before the end of the war. The Smithsonian and Amelia's family have long refused to recognize her as the former Amelia Earhart. By now, though, it has grown to be obvious she did used to be known as Amelia Earhart. Many people, to include Amelia's sister, Muriel, who did know her only sibling as 'Irene' in her later life years were quick to dismiss or turn a blind eye to the truth of it ever since 1970, the year Joseph A. Gervais first went public with his realization of it.


U.S.  Navy Rear Admiral, Ernest Eugene (Gene) Tissot Jr.

"I have carefully studied your presentation. Your conclusion that there were plural Irene Craigmile's has completely convinced me that this is indeed the case. You have also convinced me that one of them used to be Amelia Earhart. Incredible. You have quite an impressive package there. Keep charging - Gene."  From a note sent by retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, Ernest Eugene (Gene) Tissot Jr. to Tod Swindell. Tissot's father, Ernie Tissot was a friend of Amelia Earhart's who served as her head plane mechanic during her 1935 Hawaii to Oakland flight. Rear Admiral Tissot was an original key recipient of the study.


"Special recognition goes to Tod Swindell, who undertook an extensive, in-depth forensic analysis of Irene Craigmile Bolam and Amelia Earhart to show the world they were one in the same person." USAF Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck, reprinted from his book, Amelia Earhart Survived.

It is easy to see today, how in 1970, with Joseph A. Gervais having no hard proof to offer beyond a single photograph he took of Irene Craigmile Bolam in 1965 and his own personal calculation of who she used to be, why official U.S. historians refused to support his claim before outright dismissing it. Especially where most people felt the photograph he took of her did not look like Amelia Earhart.
Three decades would pass before the Swindell study became the first to forensically compare the 1965 Irene Craigmile Bolam photo Joseph A. Gervais took to a similar postured photo of Amelia Earhart by superimposing them. For a person who appeared nowhere identified as Irene prior to the World War Two era, the result was pretty compelling:


Above, Amelia Earhart in 1937, the year she went missing.


The two right and left photos superimposed.


Above, 1965 Joseph A. Gervais photo of Irene Craigmile Bolam.

It is no surprise how the U.S. justice department that was correctly pegged by Joseph A. Gervais as having been intrinsically involved with keeping Amelia's ongoing private survival as 'Irene' quiet, never officially responded to his claim.
Along with these all-but forgotten facts, there never was an official U.S. investigation that looked into Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance, that actually was an 'open missing person case' until Amelia was legally declared 'dead in absentia' in 1939.
The only forceful response came from the former Amelia Earhart herself, who in 1970 harshly negated the Joseph A. Gervais claim. Why? Let's just say she was caught off guard and had no intention of ever being known as Amelia Earhart again. To her, that was impossible to even think about thirty-one years after the person she used to be was legally declared dead.
Siding with her viewpoint, in considering if she had admitted who she used to be back then, imagine the explanations that would have been expected of her after doing so: Where did you go when you went missing? What were you doing during the war years? Who were you hanging out with then? Why did you change your name? Does your sister, Muriel (still very much alive at the time) know you survived? Etc., etc.
Yes, it would have been unfathomably problematic if in 1970, the former Amelia Earhart, against her will, was suddenly forced to admit who she used to be. Thankfully she was not forced to do such a thing. Instead she made it clear back then, and it remains very clear today how after she became known as 'Irene' in order to live a non-public life in the United States from the post World War Two era on, she was fully determined to go to live the remainder of her days with that name only attributed to her person. She even hired a high powered Washington DC attorney to denounce the Gervais assertion.  

In 1970, Irene Craigmile Bolam, AKA "the former Amelia Earhart" held a major press conference to 'necessarily' reject the Gervais assertion that caught her off guard, that suggested she was really the still living 'Amelia Earhart.' She followed it up with a defamation lawsuit that dragged on for five years.


Above, the former Amelia Earhart flanked by her formal self at her 1970 self-held press conference.


Amelia Earhart, 1935
"God, the world hounded that woman after she became famous." A quote from famous pilot, Jackie Cochran recalling her friend, Amelia Earhart. Jackie also mentioned that during the year Amelia was prepping for her world flight she was "closer to Amelia than anyone else, even her husband, George Putnam." Jackie's husband, Floyd Odlum helped finance Amelia's 1937 world flight effort.


November, 1970, the former Amelia Earhart, AKA Irene Craigmile (Bolam) was ready to take on the press in order to preserve her dignity and the legacy of who she used to be.


"I am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart." Irene Craigmile (Bolam) was convincing when she stated this at her press conference in response to the assertion made by former Air Force Captain, Joseph A. Gervais, found in the book, Amelia Earhart Lives shown above in the foreground. Although her present-tense denial was accepted then, decades later a thorough analysis of her background revealed she appeared nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s, because she indeed had been previously known as, Amelia Earhart.


Above, four years after she held her press conference, her defamation lawsuit against Amelia Earhart Lives publisher, McGraw-Hill, and separately against Joseph A. Gervais and the book's author, Joe Klaas, was still "up in the air" as seen in this 1974 headline. Why? Because Joseph A. Gervais was still asserting that Irene Craigmile (Bolam) might be the former Amelia Earhart living under a different, post World War Two 'assumed' identity. (A blow-up of the 1965 photo Gervais took of her is shown in the far lower right of the article.) Note: Irene's defamation lawsuit only cited factual errors the book contained about her post World War Two life that she felt were damaging to her reputation; as mentioned she did not sue Gervais and Klaas for asserting she used to be known as Amelia Earhart. When her lawsuit ended by way of a summary judgment in 1975, she paid Gervais and Klaas ten dollars in consideration and the two men paid her the same amount. Why? She ultimately refused to submit her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity. It is true however, McGraw-Hill was ordered to pay her $60,000 for the 'damaging' factual errata the book contained about her post World War Two life. She had originally sued for $1.5 million dollars.)  

But that was half a century ago.

One will not find a more accurate account of her defamation lawsuit by reading history books or doing conventional internet searches, than the Swindell study found and revealed.

 Today, anyone can witness for his or herself the logistical and visual elements displayed in the Swindell study and they will soon realize that by now it has grown to be obvious that Joseph A. Gervais was absolutely correct in 1970--when he asserted Amelia Earhart quietly survived her so-called 'disappearance' and went on to acquire the identity of 'Irene Craigmile' during the World War Two era. Amelia's own sister, Muriel was sure to cover it:



A few months after Irene Craigmile Bolam's death was recorded in 1982, Amelia's sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey's picture appeared in a news article series (left) about her recently departed friend, Irene, who was actually her name-changed sister, Amelia Earhart. Muriel was quoted in the series a few times, always fiercely protecting the withheld truth about her sister's post disappearance life as 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' to include the way she did it here. Where she mentions how Irene did not get "any fraction" of what she deserved for "the invasion of privacy and all that," she's referring to the 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives that implicated Irene to be the former Amelia Earhart--and the five-year defamation law suit that followed where Irene was awarded a paltry sum compared to what she had sought--after she refused to provide her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity. Muriel's 'Zonta' mention is telling as well. Her sister, Amelia had been a famous Zonta member from 1928 on, until she went missing in 1937. The original Irene Craigmile was never a Zonta member at all. After Amelia became Irene she rejoined the Zontas in the late 1940s. For awhile in the 1950s, she served as its International Relations Chairperson thanks to her multi-lingual talent. Recall as Amelia she was known for her ability to speak several foreign languages fluently. Muriel died in 1998, one year after Tod Swindell's Irene-Amelia comparison analysis commenced.

Again, what Joseph A. Gervais did not realize at the time he asserted the truth he recognized, was come hell or high water the former Amelia Earhart had been predestined to live the last half of her life known as someone else.
She did just that, and so, on July 7 in 1982, the death of Irene (Craigmile) Bolam was recorded, the former Amelia Earhart's last recognized legal name after her 1958 marriage to Guy Bolam of England.
Thanks to the Swindell study this truth about Amelia Earhart is now visibly obvious, even where some less-informed individuals still prefer to contend it is not.
Here, the most commonly recognized fact still remains, the one that states Amelia Earhart disappeared without a trace in 1937, and after efforts to locate her failed she was legally declared 'dead' in January of 1939. Except this fact is now bound to be adjusted for posterity with an asterisk(*). It would be inappropriate not to.
Or put it this way: It is understandable how the reality of Amelia Earhart living-on and changing her name to 'Irene' was never supposed to segue into existing in the realm of publicly recognized information, let alone have it become something that was easy to recognize. Yet because of the Swindell study, the truth Joseph A. Gervais delivered about Amelia Earhart all those years ago now is easily recognizable. So anymore, anyone on earth who truly cares about knowing what happened to Amelia Earhart after she failed to complete her 1937 world flight is left to come to terms with it. For to reject the now observable truth about the physical being outcome of Amelia Earhart's outdated missing person case, that managed to segue into existing as an obvious reality, is to not deal with reality itself when it comes to what became of Amelia Earhart after she went missing.
Therefore in a forensic sense, the new Amelia Earhart paradigm is this: After Amelia Earhart was reported missing in 1937, unknown to the general public she continued to live-on and eventually changed her name to 'Irene' before resuming her life in the United States. Then after living that way close to four more decades, her death was ultimately recorded in 1982. 
Absolutely, this is all we truly know. The tonnage of who, what, when, where, how and why answers still remain to be learned, and so much will require some long-held silences to be broken.

It's good to know, though, we finally have a new starting point for answering them:



Above: A twenty year study (1997-2017) Protecting Earhart's MSS & Forensic Analysis by Tod Swindell, individual copyright registration #'s:  TXu 1-915-926; 2014, TXu 2-061-539; 2017 (415 total pages; 110 pages feature the logistical and visual elements of the forensic comparison analysis.)


Above, Irene Craigmile Bolam in Jamaica in 1976.
Coming in the fall of 2019, the long awaited documentary...
Protecting Earhart
The Hidden Legacy Of Legendary Pilot, Amelia Earhart 
A film by Tod Swindell



USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais (Ret.) accepting his lifetime achievement award from the Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers, February 5, 2000.


February 5, 2000; top row left to right: Ronald Reuther, Tod Swindell, Mr. & Mrs. John Bolam (the former Amelia Earhart's in-laws); bottom row, left to right: Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, Joe Klaas, Joseph A. Gervais

If you do not know the answer to the above question it is because ever since the 1970s, the 'Earhart investigation achievements' of Joseph A. Gervais have been purposefully ignored and/or outright obfuscated. This has been a two-fold doing. Over the years Amelia Earhart cottage industries such as Tighar, Nauticos, and Chasing Earhart have been pushing different Earhart mystery solving schemes on the public by way of promoting them through media outlets. These groups and a few others figured out ways to capitalize on the Earhart mystery in money-making ways. They did so knowing their efforts would be conveniently aided by official historians associated with the United States government whose directive to remain silent about Amelia Earhart's disappearance has existed ever since the event occurred.
It also needs to be understood where others attempted to darken what he did, the withheld truth Joseph A. Gervais discovered about Amelia Earhart was not the result of a vast conspiracy. It was a unique, private reality created and maintained by the U.S. justice department at its highest level. It is clear today, very few people were 'in on it.' 
Where learning the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after July 2, 1937 became an important quest for so many over the years, here is what you never knew about Joseph A. Gervais, the individual who all-but single handedly instigated the mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance to reach the fever pitch that it did in the 1960s, that to this day has yet to subside.
How The Gervais 'Earhart Trail' Began...
Way back in 1959, while on active duty as an Air Force Captain, Joseph A. Gervais started a small movement he dubbed "Operation Earhart" with his partner and fellow Air Force Captain, Bob Dinger. Both men were decorated pilots then serving in the Pacific region where Amelia Earhart went missing in 1937.
While piloting C-130s on ferrying assignments to different islands, Captain Gervais kept hearing strange accounts of Amelia's post-loss survival there after she was reported 'missing.' So much inspired him to start his 'Operation Earhart' movement.
In short order, after interviewing many individuals and getting 'too close to the fire of truth' (as Admiral Chester Nimitz put it) pertaining to what actually happened to Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan; Captains Gervais and Dinger were summoned to appear before a panel of senior Air Force officers at the U.S. Fuchu Air Base in Japan on July 5, 1960. Seventy-two sworn affidavits from local eyewitnesses were confiscated from them on that day, all of them attesting that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan did not become 'lost at sea' when they failed to complete their world flight journey. Rather, the eyewitnesses commonly recalled how the two actually made it to Japan's Pacific Mandate Islands where they were rescued by Japan's Imperial Navy. Most all indicated the information of their rescue was not made public by Japan at the time due to rising pre-war tensions, and how oppression and censorship kept the Mandate's fear-driven populations from openly discussing it. But that was twenty years earlier. To Gervais and Dinger they now felt free to talk about it.
When it came to what happened to the flying duo after they were rescued, a good portion of the interviewees further mentioned they 'heard' the two were executed by Japan. The senior officers' final report on the matter, though, was sure to point out that none of the interviewees had actually witnessed the duo's purported executions.
Undaunted, thanks to many follow-up years of investigative realities achieved by Joseph A. Gervais, it grew to be certain that after Earhart and Noonan were rescued their rumored executions never happened.
Today, while what became of Fred Noonan remains somewhat unclear, it is possible he ended up living a full life working for U.S. Naval intelligence. On the other hand, thanks to Joseph A. Gervais' 1965 discovery and the new forensic evidence that supports it, in the case of Amelia Earhart anymore it is 100% certain that she managed to live on after she was reported missing, and she eventually assumed the identity of a person she once knew in the 1930s, that of a fledgling pilot whose name was, 'Irene Craigmile.'
People who refuse to believe or accept this reality, that has now been completely solidified by the Twenty First Century investigative forensic research and comparison study conducted by Tod Swindell, have not looked into the matter deep enough to know any better. 

An Expressed Opinion About Investigative Research On The 1937 Disappearance Of Amelia Earhart:
"Foudray calls the investigative research of Gervais and Swindell, ""Just the tip of the Iceberg."" ""All the evidence all put together, I feel like she [Amelia Earhart] did survive. I think she survived and came back to the United States, but that she wanted her privacy."" Lou Foudray of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas discusses the Joseph A. Gervais & Tod Swindell investigation that looked into the life of 'Irene Craigmile.' Lou is quoted here from separate recent year interviews conducted by Lara Moritz of KMBC TV, Kansas City and by The Topeka Kansas Capital-Journal's, Jan Biles.


Above, a 2016 photograph of the newly retired, Lou Foudray. Lou, quoted above, is an Earhart historian and former conservator of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum. She is standing on the porch of the home where Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897. 

The Protecting Earhart Story
Stemming from a 1996 WGAw registered screenplay called "The Lost Electra" by filmmaker, Tod Swindell, the name change to 'Protecting Earhart' became official in 2004 with the WGAw registration of his 286 page MSS, Protecting Earhart: The Beautiful Alter Ego and Silent Legacy of History's Most Famous Flying Heroine. This work was revised and fully copyrighted in 2014. Tod's 1997-2017 conducted 'Irene Craigmile to Amelia Earhart' forensic comparison analysis was added to the Protecting Earhart MSS in 2017, and the two IPs were fully copyrighted together as one intellectual property that same year. During his Irene-Amelia journey, Tod shot much film footage and is now poised for the release of his 'Protecting Earhart' documentary in the fall of 2019.
'Protecting Earhart' is not simply a euphemism for a Federal Witness Protection program. It is most dedicated to protecting the heroic legacy of Amelia Earhart as it raises public awareness about her full, life-long existence to a level never before achieved.

A few more great Amelia Earhart looks:

How The Swindell Study Figured It Out...
To Tod Swindell, initially in 2006 and then for re-verification purposes in 2014, according to the 1934 born son of the fledgling pilot who Amelia Earhart knew in the 1930s by the name of Irene Craigmile, he identified the woman below to have been his 'late mother' in both younger ("early 1940s") and older ("1970s") forms. According to record, his mother died in 1982. At the time his mother's death was recorded she was known as 'Irene Bolam,' for also according to record, in 1958 his mother remarried an Englishman by the name of 'Guy Bolam.'
The Swindell study superimposed the younger and older images of Irene Craigmile that her son identified to determine if they indeed were one in the same person. The results showed the two photos did represent the same person in younger and older forms.  


Irene Craigmile in the "early 1940s"


Irene Craigmile Bolam in the "1970s"


The two photos superimposed

Below, on October 29, 1982, a lavish memorial dinner was held to honor the life of Irene Craigmile Bolam whose death of cancer was recorded earlier that year on July 7. Her son provided the picture used on the memorial dinner program cover. The dinner was sponsored by the New Jersey News Tribune newspaper. The publisher of that paper then, John Burk, and been a good friend of Irene Craigmile Bolam's. The following is a photo-copy of the program cover.  


Below, seventeen years earlier, in the summer of 1965, Joseph A. Gervais took this photograph of Irene Craigmile Bolam and her English husband, Guy Bolam. Underneath it is a full color enlargement from the original negative. 



Above: Irene Craigmile Bolam in 1965
If you have not noticed it already, a key discovery from the Swindell study, observable here below, was how it evidenced more than one woman attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' identity. The one below on the right was the Irene Craigmile Bolam who Joseph A. Gervais met and photographed in 1965, shown in younger and older forms. The study showed she was identified nowhere as Irene prior to the end of World War Two. The 1946 dated picture of her is the earliest known post-war photograph of the former Amelia Earhart.


Above, Irene Craigmile in the early 1940s.


Above, Irene Craigmile Bolam in the 1970s.


Above, Irene Craigmile in 1946.


Above, Irene Craigmile Bolam in 1965.

The 35MM color photograph Joe Gervais took of Irene Craigmile Bolam on August 8, 1965 is the only photograph he would ever take of her. Yet today, it is justifiably likened to the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination taken in Dallas two years earlier, simply because, thanks to the undeniable results delivered by the Swindell study beginning with the sample below, it revealed the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after she went missing in 1937: 



Above left, Amelia Earhart. Above right, Amelia Earhart and the 1965 Joseph A. Gervais photo of Irene Craigmile Bolam superimposed with each other. Below, repeated from earlier, the 1946 Irene Craigmile morphs into her former self, Amelia Earhart.


Beyond the above displayed congruences the Swindell study revealed, as mentioned was its discovery of how the Irene Craigmile Bolam identified by her 1934 born son was an entirely different person than the Irene Craigmile Bolam Joseph A. Gervais met and photographed in 1965, even though according to history they were supposed to be one in the same human being. This was a major breakthrough.
How Joseph A. Gervais came to meet Irene Craigmile Bolam and her husband, Guy in the first place is also an interesting story:
One of Amelia Earhart's better pilot friends from the 1930s, Viola Gentry, invited Gervais and his wife, Thelma and their two sons, all expenses paid, to fly from their home in Las Vegas, Nevada to Long Island, New York if he would agree to lecture to a group of senior pilots from the golden age of aviation. Viola was part of a club called 'The Early Birds of Aviation' and she mentioned to Joseph Gervais that they were all very interested in hearing about his ongoing investigation of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. Joseph Gervais agreed and he and his family flew to New York early that August, courtesy of The Early Birds of Aviation. Close to three hundred people attended the group's annual luncheon on that August 8 day, and one of them, who Viola Gentry introduced to Joseph A. Gervais, was Irene Craigmile Bolam in attendance with her English husband, Guy Bolam. 
Joseph A. Gervais was shaken by the haunting recognition he felt when he observed Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam the day he met her. She also told him she used to know Amelia Earhart fairly well and had often flown with her. Before they parted ways, he asked her if he could call on her sometime to discuss Amelia Earhart with him. She agreed to allow it, and handed him an old business card with her pre-wed name of 'Irene Craigmile' printed on it. His follow up attempts to try and meet with her never materialized though, because Mrs. Bolam kept cancelling at the last minute, or simply failed to show up at their scheduled meeting place and time.
Joseph Gervais did learn there was an Irene Craigmile who was a pilot for a brief time in the 1930s, but he became perplexed by his inablity to find a clear photo of her image showing her prior to the end of World War Two.
The conclusion of Tod Swindell's long term comparison study and research analysis states that the woman who held the 1970 press conference, her denial notwithstanding, actually did represent Amelia Earhart's found and identified in a cumulative forensic manner, 'body evidence.'
From the Swindell study, below is another sample of Amelia Earhart's image superimposed with the post-World War Two Irene Craigmile Bolam's image. No Irene-Amelia comparisons of this nature had ever been done before. Many more are displayed in the 'physical and character traits' comparative analysis featured in the forthcoming documentary, Protecting Earhart.


Above, from the Swindell study, the post-World War Two Irene Craigmile is far left, Amelia Earhart is far right, and the two superimposed are in the center.
In 1965, Joseph A. Gervais met Irene Craigmile at a gathering of elder pilots in New York and felt he recognized her.
In 2017, filmmakerTod Swindell concluded his comparative study of Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile and is currently in post-production finishing his documentary about it. The study discovered and revealed that the Irene Craigmile Bolam featured in the above photos was not only congruent to Amelia Earhart, but she appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the end of World War Two. In other words, she was not the original Irene Craigmile. (You can read about the original Irene Craigmile further down.)
Anyone can now research this and learn it for his or herself along with other revelations the study ascertained about Irene Craigmile, who added the surname of 'Bolam' in 1958 when she married Guy Bolam of England, a successful executive with Radio Luxembourg in Europe.
Back to Joseph A. Gervais: After meeting her in 1965 and thoroughly looking into her past, by 1970, Joseph A. Gervais, who studied the 1937 disappearance of Amelia Earhart as much as anyone in the Twentieth Century, determined without the aid of a comparison study that the Irene Craigmile above could only have been the former Amelia Earhart living with a different name applied to her person. This was three decades before Tod Swindell's, 'Irene-Amelia comparison study' and his more, 'comprehensive investigative research' of Irene Craigmile's past commenced.
Knowledge of the Swindell study results caused a variety of Amelia Earhart enthusiasts and several U.S. aviation historians who recalled Joseph A. Gervais and the controversial headlines his findings led Irene Craigmile to make in the 1970s, to reconsider their former determinations about who she really was.
Some novice Earhart researchers, such as Beyond The Grave series author, W.C. Jameson, who in his 2016 book agreed with the conclusion the Swindell study drew but for self-serving reasons tried to discredit it, (apparently so he could stake his own claim to the Amelia became Irene story) as well as Chasing Earhart's Chris Williamson, who burst onto the Earhart mystery scene from out of nowhere in 2017. Upstarts such as these sought their own avenues to receiving some kind of 'final answer' credit simply by reviewing portions of the massive twenty year Swindell study results that have existed on-line for a dozen years.
Tod Swindell's extensive website has received millions of hits worldwide since 2007, so it is of no surprise Mr. Jameson steered clear of mentioning it in his book, thus making his exploitive ripoff attempt so noticeable. Same with Chris Williamson. He basically built his entire platform by digesting the voluminous contents of Shame on both of you guys. Go create something yourself instead of copying other people.


Tod Swindell
Amelia Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'

Hello, and welcome to
Throughout this website you will occasionally see my comments interspersed where I felt further insight or explaining might be needed. As you comb through the information presented here, try to hang in there. Since I first launched in 2007, it has grown to include twenty-seven original links featuring hundreds of pages of Amelia Earhart related research material. While only a third of the page links are listed on this 'Home Page' anymore, perhaps they will inspire you to look for the others. Of course, I am also excited to announce the near completion of my two-decades long documentary film project scheduled to be released this fall.
By the way, about the differing, 'maybe Amelia's plane has been found' rumors that seem to pop up every year in news releases: Insurmountable odds dictate Amelia Earhart's plane will never be seen again. In defying these odds, if her plane ever is located or produced, it is certain the place it happens will not be anywhere near to where Amelia came down with it. This is because we now know the truth, that Amelia lived-on and therefore recalled the last place she saw her plane, and it wasn't underwater.
Protecting Earhart does not advocate plane hunting. It deals with truths only; some new ones, some forgotten ones. For example, consider a 1962 comment made by newly retired U.S. Navy Commander, John Pillsbury. In describing the fairly common Navy brass viewpoint back then about Amelia Earhart's disappearance to CBS radio's Fred Goerner, who was investigating it at the time, Pillsbury encouraged him not to give up. He also added Admiral Chester Nimitz' opinion about Goerner's hunt to learn the true circumstances of Earhart's loss as well:
"You're on to something that will stagger your imagination." 
Think about that; two high-ranking U.S. Navy figureheads intimating how the true circumstances of Amelia's 1937 disappearance amounted to some kind of 'imagination staggering' reality the public never knew. No surprise, when Fred Goerner's controversial book about Amelia's disappearance was published in 1966, it sat atop the New York Times best-seller list for twelve straight weeks. Sadly, few seem to remember it today.


Wait a second, I read Fred Goerner's 1966 book cover to cover and remember it very well. Especially the part that refers to USAF captains, Joseph A. Gervais and Bob Dinger and their July of 1960 experience after being summoned to the U.S. air base in Fuchu, Japan by a panel of senior Air Force officers.  The following appears in the Goerner book about that: "The Air Force refused to divulge the complete story told by Captain Gervais..." and "Nevertheless most of the interview with the two captains was kept secret and the Air Force clamped a security classification on the claims of Gervais and Dinger."  
Hey, you may want to tighten your chinstraps if you want to keep flying with Amelia and me in our plane dubbed, 'The Paradigm Shift' that re-navigates the so-called "mystery" of her disappearance. For as already shown, our journey includes what truly became of her after 1937. To be sure, it is blatantly clear the universal charge of Amelia herself is finally ready for this flight that is intent on delivering to all of you... the truth
Very Truly Yours,
Tod Swindell


Tod Swindell
Amelia Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'

Some friendly advice to doubters of the comparison results: To recognize and accept things for what they truly are, sometimes we have to inconveniently roll up our mental sleeves in order to realize that they are not something else. With Amelia Earhart, reality and truth go hand in hand anymore. Any politician or major news media mogul with guts can pick up on this and run with it now. The problem is, today 'guts' are lacking. No matter, recognizing, accepting, even embracing what became of Amelia after she went missing in 1937, is a good way to experience how to overcome ambiguity in favor of reality and truth. It's even enlightening. In an attempt to explain why this has not already been done, one might recall the old Orwellian-like Third Reich Goebbels' adage: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." In this case the big enough lie was, "Amelia Earhart disappeared without a trace and she was never seen again." This was repeated so often that people eventually came to believe it, even though it was never true. TS



©1999-2019 long term documentary production, "Protecting Earhart: The Hidden Legacy Of Legendary Pilot, Amelia Earhart" written, produced, and directed by Tod Swindell  


Tod Swindell filming part of his Protecting Earhart documentary in 2002 with cameraman, Doug Peters. From 1999 to 2010 production took place in California, Kansas, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington DC. Production halted while the Irene-Amelia comparison analysis continued so it could ultimately be included. The 'physical and character traits' comparison analysis was completed and copyrighted in 2017. 'Protecting Earhart' is currently on target for festival submissions in the fall of 2019.  


A frame from Tod's two hour long filmed interview with his late friend and collaborator, Major Joseph A. Gervais, USAF (Ret.) It was the last 'broadcast quality' filmed interview he gave. From 1970 on, all the way to his dying day in 2005, he never stopped averring the truth he discovered, knew, and boldly went public with that stated Amelia Earhart lived well beyond the World War Two era after assuming the name of Irene Craigmile, a name that originally belonged to a fledgling pilot Amelia was acquainted with in the 1930s. It turned out he was right. More than one Twentieth Century woman had been attributed to the same Irene Craigmile identity and the former Amelia Earhart became one of them during the World War Two era. Those who harshly criticized Joseph A. Gervais were far less informed than he was and therefore too quick to rush to judgment.


A frame from Tod's interview with Joe Klaas. Joe, a former WWII POW in Germany for over two years, authored the 1970 controversial book, Amelia Earhart Lives that was chiefly inspired by the decade long investigation of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance conducted by Joseph A. Gervais. Klaas's book boldy included Gervais' 1965 discovery of, and the photo Gervais took of the former Amelia Earhart living as Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam. The former Amelia Earhart sued Klaas and Gervais for libel, (not for implicating her for who she used to be, as was widely assumed) and the book was withdrawn. Tod considers his Gervais and Klaas interviews to have been great achievements, even where many people have a hard time understanding why.    

Just who was Irene Craigmile? For starters, in the 1930s she was a budding pilot who was acquainted with Amelia Earhart:

Above is a September of 1932 Akron, Ohio newspaper photo featuring Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile with other woman pilots. Amelia, wearing a white V-neck collar is seated on the auto running board; Irene Craigmile, who was not yet a licensed pilot then, is listed in the second row, second in from right, between pilots Viola Gentry and Edith Foltz.


Above is part of an August 1, 1967 letter written by one Elmo Pickerill, the secretary of a club known as 'The Early Birds of Aviation' that Irene Craigmile and Viola Gentry belonged to then. Mr. Pickerill confirms here for Joseph A. Gervais, how Irene Craigmile, who he knew, had been a "pal" of Amelia Earhart and Viola Gentry in the 1930s.

The curious thing about Irene Craigmile is that her image changed dramatically over time, to a point where in her later life years many people wondered if she was not the original Irene Craigmile anymore. The wondering began in 1970, after a World War Two veteran by the name of Joseph A. Gervais, who had earlier met Irene Craigmile at a gathering of retired pilots and then researched her background, publicly asserted his belief that she was not the original Irene Craigmile. Rather, Joseph A. Gervais offered that she was a woman who was previously known as, 'Amelia Earhart.'
Joseph A. Gervais? Here was a retired Air Force major who while serving in the Pacific region Amelia Earhart went missing--in heard various accounts of her non-reported rescue there. Later, the recognition he sensed in 1965 followed by his background check on the woman he met then, left him offering that Amelia Earhart had somehow quietly survived her 1937 disappearance and later took-on her old friend, Irene Craigmile's identity. 
As off the wall as this idea sounded, recall when Amelia Earhart went 'missing' in her plane in 1937 she was declared "dead in absentia" after U.S. search efforts failed to locate her. 
In 1970, Irene Craigmile, a respected and admired person by her peers that featured well known pilots, astronauts, and other important individuals to include Amelia Earhart's sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey and Senator Barry Goldwater, rejected the suggestion Joseph A. Gervais offered that said she was possibly the somehow survived and still living, Amelia Earhart.
The press and people in general didn't think she resembled what Amelia would have looked like then or how she would have reacted had she actually been the real Amelia Earhart, so they took her word for it. Nevertheless, her past did prove hard to cleanly define causing debates over who she really was, or used to be, to continue on well into the next century.

On the right is Irene Craigmile (surname 'Bolam' added in 1958 by marriage) appearing at the November 1970 press conference she held at the Time-Life Building in New York to refute the suggestion that she was really Amelia Earhart. For a person nobody heard of before, it was interesting how she attended the conference alone and handled the press like a pro. To challenge a sentence that referred to her as a "mystery woman" contained in the newly published book, Amelia Earhart Lives (shown in the foreground of the photo to the right) she sternly told those in attendance, "I am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart!" After her brief deriding of the book's contents she fielded no questions and stormed out of the room.


"I am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart!" A follow-up Time magazine article suggested she wasn't 'Irene' either. 

A Sisterly Bond...

Let's take a deeper look at the 1970 press conference held by Irene Craigmile, AKA "the former Amelia Earhart" and her subsequent defamation lawsuit:


Above, Irene at her press conference flanked by images of her former self.


Amelia Earhart, 1935
"God, the world hounded that woman after she became famous." A quote from famous pilot, Jackie Cochran recalling her friend, Amelia Earhart. Jackie also mentioned that during the year Amelia was prepping for her world flight she was "closer to Amelia than anyone else, even her husband, George Putnam." Jackie's husband, Floyd Odlum helped finance Amelia's 1937 world flight effort.


November, 1970, the former Amelia Earhart, AKA Irene Craigmile (Bolam) was ready to take on the press in order to preserve her dignity and the legacy of who she used to be.


"I am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart." Irene Craigmile (Bolam) was convincing when she stated this at her press conference in response to the assertion made by former Air Force Captain, Joseph A. Gervais, found in the book, Amelia Earhart Lives shown above in the foreground. Although her present-tense denial was accepted then, decades later a thorough analysis of her background revealed she appeared nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s, because she indeed had been previously known as, Amelia Earhart.


Above, four years after she held her press conference, her defamation lawsuit against Amelia Earhart Lives publisher, McGraw-Hill, and separately against Joseph A. Gervais and the book's author, Joe Klaas, was still "up in the air" as seen in this 1974 headline. Why? Because Joseph A. Gervais was still asserting that Irene Craigmile (Bolam) might be the former Amelia Earhart living under a different, post World War Two 'assumed' identity. (A blow-up of the 1965 photo Gervais took of her is shown in the far lower right of the article.) Note: Irene's defamation lawsuit only cited factual errors the book contained about her post World War Two life that she felt were damaging to her reputation; as mentioned she did not sue Gervais and Klaas for asserting she used to be known as Amelia Earhart. When her lawsuit ended by way of a summary judgment in 1975, she paid Gervais and Klaas ten dollars in consideration and the two men paid her the same amount. Why? She ultimately refused to submit her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity. It is true however, McGraw-Hill was ordered to pay her $60,000 for the 'damaging' factual errata the book contained about her post World War Two life. (She had originally sued for $1.5 million dollars.) One will not find this more accurate account of her defamation lawsuit by reading history books or doing conventional internet searches. 


Tod Swindell
Amelia Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'

In 1996, the year Amelia Earhart investigative author, Randall Brink [Lost Star, W.W. Norton, 1994] arranged for my introduction to Joseph A. Gervais, I was floored by how absolutely certain Joseph A. Gervais still was that the Irene Craigmile (Bolam) he met and photographed in 1965 used to be known as 'Amelia Earhart.' During our second meeting I asked Joe if anyone had ever forensically compared his 'Irene' to Amelia Earhart. I was surprised to hear him reply, "no, not that I am aware." He added how he'd heard of some "little things" that had been done but to the best of his knowledge no one had ever done a serious comparison. That's when I first decided one should be done. The following year, in 1997, after hearing from a forensic specialist about the technique of superimposing photos to match face prints, my journey began, fifteen years after Irene Craigmile Bolam's death was recorded and she was purportedly, "cremated and burried in a common, unmarked grave," according to Rutgers University, where she had donated her body to science. Below is the very first superimposed Irene-Amelia sample  I did that year at a Kinko's using two photos I copied directly from the 1970 Klaas/Gervais book, Amelia Earhart Lives. TS


Irene Craigmile (Bolam) 1965


Amelia Earhart, 1933


Irene-Amelia superimposed

In 1997, intent on comparing Irene Craigmile's physical likeness and character traits to Amelia Earhart's, Tod Swindell's forensic research analysis, the first one ever to be done, initially commenced. (Why no one endeavored to do such a thing before is puzzling.) After enduring the painstaking process of finding and collecting rare photographs of the enigmatic Irene Craigmile taken all over the world in the 1960s and 1970s, (she travelled incessantly the last decades of her life) the Associated Press first reported on the progress of the Swindell study in 2002. In 2004, with permission granted from Tod Swindell, USAF Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck (Ret.) published elements from the Swindell study in his book, Amelia Earhart Survived. Few people paid much attention to them. Two years after that, in 2006, Tod Swindell displayed a few samples from his study on national television for the first time amid attempts being made to discredit the nature of what he was doing. Once again few people noticed the reality of what they displayed through the discrediting smoke screens that popped up.
Finally, two decades after it commenced, in 2017 Tod Swindell completed and copyrighted his analysis along with the conclusion he drew from it. The results were astounding to say the least, not to leave out incontestable as well where it delivered the long-unrealized 'forensic truth' pertaining to what became of Amelia Earhart after July 2, 1937. At this point, people who refuse to believe and accept this truth are not dealing with reality when it comes to the intermingled life stories of Amelia Earhart and her 1930s friend, Irene Craigmile.



Part of the analysis: Amelia Earhart's 1930s pilot friend, Irene Craigmile shown in Japan in 1963, reprinted from an old newspaper photo. 


To those of you aware of the Irene-Amelia controversy that settled on believing this person was the original Irene Craigmile, the Swindell Study delivered incontestable advancements... 


...concerning the unresolved since 1970, highly debated topic of Irene Craigmile's life-long existence--that will cause you to feel otherwise.


Amelia Earhart, age 30, after her famous 'Friendship' flight.


1946 photo of the Irene Craigmile who held the 1970 press conference.


Amelia Earhart, age 17


The Irene-Amelia TRUTH Poem By Tod Swindell

Head to toe, shoulder to shoulder, older to younger, younger to older, they proved to be a perfect match to unravel a plan that once did hatch.

Irene used to be Amelia or Amelia became Irene, we can turn a blind eye and keep looking for her plane, but anymore that's just a pipe-dream.

To keep donating money to false Earhart causes, we're showing how dumb we can be! For the truth now stares back at us all; Amelia did not sink in the sea



Above, Amelia getting a pineapple carving lesson from legendary Hawaiian surfer and five time Olympic gold medalist, Duke Kahanamoku. She wears the same outfit in the comparison below.


Above: Irene & Amelia


February 5, 2000; top row left to right: Ronald Reuther, Tod Swindell, Mr. & Mrs. John Bolam; bottom row, left to right: Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, Joe Klaas, Joseph A. Gervais

"The Forensic studies are very convincing. She was not an ordinary housewife as she claimed. She was influential, knew many well placed people and was well traveled." Quoted from Associated Press article by Ron Staton, the post-World War Two Irene Craigmile's brother in law, John Bolam refers to his late sister-in-law while commenting on his review of the initial results of Tod Swindell's Forensic Analysis. The now late John Bolam always suspected--but ulitmately came to believe his late sister in law used to be known as 'Amelia Earhart' after reviewing the study results. John Bolam was the survived brother of Irene's English husband, Guy Bolam. 


Above, once again it's hard to see her as Amelia here, yet John Bolam took this photo of his sister in law, Irene Craigmile Bolam after she visted Cape Canaveral in 1965. In a 1985 filmed interview conducted by Merril Dean Magley with Wally Schirra, the former astronaut, Schirra verified that he once met the former Amelia Earhart at Cape Canaveral in the 1960s. When Dean Magley asked Schirra how he knew the women he met used to be Amelia Earhart(?) Schirra replied that "people he considered reliable" had confided in him about it. John Bolam mentioned he noticed an "Apollo program medal adornment" his sister in-law, Irene wore during one of her visits to Merritt Island, Florida where he lived, adding when he asked her about it she replied 'some people at NASA' had 'given it' to her, but she did not explain why. 



Tod Swindell
Amelia Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'

"Regarding the above 2002 AP article lead-in, it's funny and telling as well how printed news sometimes works. The point being, I never told Ron Staton of the Associated Press that I believed Amelia, ""survived a crash landing in the Marshall Islands, was captured by the Japanese and secretly repatriated, living as a New Jersey housewife."" Those were his words, not mine. All I did tell him was I believed Amelia somehow survived after she went missing and in time changed her name to Irene Craigmile." Tod Swindell

Below: An example from the handwriting portion of the study that features a 1967 sample of Irene Craigmile's cursive handwriting compared to Amelia Earhart's own cursive, "Amelia M Earhart" High School signature. Notice Irene's odd use of non-denial 'denial' language within her reply letter here to Joseph A. Gervais, who wrote to inquire if she was really Amelia two years after the two met each other. That is when Joe Gervais first began to suspect that she was the former Amelia Earhart, who had somehow 'survived and assumed a new identity' after she went missing in 1937. In her present-tense rebuttal she refers him to two long time friends of hers by writing, "...because they each knew us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile."   



The full physical beings and character traits comparison analysis exposed new realities both startling and amazing, even to official U.S. historians who have yet to publicly comment about them. The most telling part was the discovery of more than one Twentieth Century woman having been attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile' identity.

Considering the original, Irene Craigmile...

"Among the more miss-conveyed accounts of the Twentieth Century was the true background of Amelia Earhart's long-ago pilot friend, Irene Craigmile. Especially where it concerned her later-life uncanny resemblance to Amelia. Before the comparison study was embarked on most people had determined there was nothing to the Irene-Amelia story. Ultimately, and hands down, the results of the study proved there was a lot to it." Tod Swindell


Below is a condensed version of the original Irene Craigmile's life story:


The original Irene Craigmile, 1932-1933
A Brief Biography OF The Original Irene Craigmile... By Tod Swindell [Reprinted from his MSS, Protecting Earhart, ©2017]

The original Irene Craigmile's short life was a story lined with difficult circumstances. Her birth name was Irene Madeline O'Crowley. Seven years younger than Amelia Earhart, she was an only child whose mother died when she was twelve. Her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley soon remarried another woman who apparently felt uncomfortable with continuing to help raise his daughter, after she had already been sent to live with her paternal grandmother and aunt in Newark, New Jersey.
After high school, the original Irene briefly attended Columbia University but did not continue pursuing a higher education for herself. She also twice became pregnant out of wedlock, the first time at age twenty-one and the second time at age twenty-eight, and she delivered sons both times that she never had the opportunity to raise or know beyond their childhoods.
The original Irene's first husband, Charles James Craigmile, tragically died in 1931, less than three years after the two were wed. A year later, Amelia, who was a good Zonta organization friend of the original Irene Craigmile's aunt, and Amelia's well-known pilot friend, Viola Gentry, helped introduce the original Irene to the world of piloting airplanes. This took a hard turn as well, leading to the second of the original Irene Craigmile's two unwed pregnancies due to an affair she had with her last flight instructor, Al Heller. The original Irene realized she was carrying Al's child at the same time she earned her pilot's license in late May of 1933. She and Al eloped to marry that August to legitimize their child and the original Irene barely flew again after that. The couple's marriage soon disintegrated, though, and it is evident by 1937 any civil communication between the original Irene and Al ceased when Al relocated alone to Buffalo, New York. The annulment of their marriage and an ugly child visitation and custody rights battle commenced soon after that as well. Amelia's Zonta friend, attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley who was the original Irene Craigmile's aunt, guided the annulment process.
The original Irene Craigmile never had a professional career but she was employed for awhile as a 'floor walker' at Macy's in the 1930s, that was basically a low pay shelf-straightening and light 'store security' position. For awhile Amelia had a boutique in the same Macy's where she sold her self-designed clothes and she may have been instrumental in getting the original Irene Craigmile hired there.
The true fate of the original Irene Craigmile remains unknown in the public arena. What is decipherable, is by the time she hit her late thirties she no longer appeared in plain view, and in due time clear photo records of her person were all-but expunged as well. One also does not find the later-life Irene Craigmile's image that aligned with Amelia Earhart's image anywhere in the pre-World War Two years photographic record of Irene Craigmile's person. In 1982, a news article series that appeared in the New Jersey Tribune after Irene's death was reported amid renewed speculation that she was the former Amelia Earhart, featured a conglomeration of photos from prior to the World War Two era in it that combined unclear images of the original Irene Craigmile with images of the surrogate mother figure of her 1934 born son, Larry Heller. It also featured some poorly executed photo forgeries to cloud the historic photographic trail of Irene Craigmile. The 'red-herring' yellow journalism effort was intent on leaving all curious souls who observed the photos completely unaware that they were actually looking at photo images of three different human beings that combined them into one life-long person. The three different people were the original Irene Craigmile, the surrogate mother Irene Craigmile, and the former Amelia Earhart Irene Craigmile. 
Back to the progeny of the original Irene Craigmile:
The original Irene's first born son, that she delivered out of wedlock in 1926 two years before she married Charles Craigmile, was adopted and raised by her paternal uncle, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley, and his wife, her aunt Violet. The boy's given name was Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley Jr. He died in 2014. Her other 1934 born son whose father was Al Heller, ended up being raised by a surrogate mother figure and was placed in a boarding school during the war years. He lives today known as Clarence Alvin 'Larry' Heller, and identifies a different 'Irene' to have been his mother than the 'Irene' who matched Amelia Earhart after the mid-1940s. 
After World War Two ended, Amelia Earhart, who had gone missing in 1937 and was declared "dead in absentia" in 1939 (even though she did not actually die) assumed the left over identity of her one time 1930s 'pal,' the original Irene Craigmile, for herself to use for the remainder of her days.
In other words, the person who was known as Amelia Earhart was to remain 'legally dead' forever after said declaration was made in 1939, even though her body lived on until 1982 known as 'Irene.'
Both of the original Irene's natural born sons were aware of the assertion of it, but appeared unaware that their biological mother's identity truly was additionally attributed to the former Amelia Earhart after the war years. It actually remains uncertain if the original Irene Craigmile's first born son, Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley Jr., was ever made aware that the original Irene Craigmile was his true biological mother. In 2003, his daughter, New Jersey newspaper journailist, Peggy O'Crowley, mentioned that her father's biological O'Crowley birthright had always existed as a "family bone of contention." In other words his own progeny was left uncertain when it came to the question of their father's biological lineage.
Larry Heller, the 1934 born son of the original Irene Craigmile and Al Heller, was always put-off by people who questioned if Amelia Earhart was his mother. He was justified to feel that way since the woman he recognized as his mother from his childhood on until her death was recorded in 1982, was an entirely different Irene Craigmile than the one whose post-World War Two image and character traits forensically aligned with Amelia Earhart's.
The final conclusion about the past connective tissue that existed between the original Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart is this:
Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after she went 'missing' in 1937, and her eventual assuming of the original Irene Cragmile's identity, that for the last half of her life she shared with Larry Heller's surrogate mother figure, now exists as the obvious known-truth about what became of Amelia Earhart, and it is a shame the world public continues to be misled about it. 

Below: Thanks to the Swindell study it is now known that Amelia Earhart's 1930s friend, Irene Craigmile looked nothing like Amelia prior to the World War Two years, yet all-but inexplicabley, during the post-war years she suddenly looked just like her long-gone friend, Amelia Earhart.


Reprinted from an old newspaper, above is a 1930 photo of the original Irene Craigmile shown standing between her husband, Charles James Craigmile and her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. Below is a higher contrast enlargement.



This is Irene (nee O'Crowley) Craigmile, "in the early 1940s," according to her 1934 born son. The Swindell study concluded she was not the original Irene Craigmile, rather, she was the 2nd Irene Craigmile. To date her true identity remains unknown. Whomever this most attractive and younger looking Irene Craigmile was, she did serve as a surrogate mother figure for the original Irene Craigmile's son.  [Note: In 1984 an elderly O'Crowley family friend, Lucy McDannel referred to an "Irene Jr. born around 1924" who was part of the O'Crowley family. Lucy recalled her to have been "16 or 17" in 1940. Ms. McDannel also confirmed Amelia Earhart had been a good friend of Irene Craigmile's aunt, who was a prominent attorney and a Zonta figurehead. (Amelia had belonged to the Zonta's.) In any case, according to O'Crowley family records, the "Irene Jr." Lucy referred to appeared to have slipped through a crack in their family tree. TS*] There is a brief bio on the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile highlighted in blue further down.


According to official history, this is the same Irene Craigmile as the one on the left and the one in the 1930 photo up above. She is shown here in the 1965 35MM color photograph taken by Joseph A. Gervais. Except it is now known official history is incorrect, for the 1930 Irene, the early 1940s Irene on the left, and this Irene were not the same human beings. This is the 3rd Irene Craigmile and she appeared nowhere identified that way prior to the end of World War Two. Why? Take a look: 



Above: From the Swindell study, Amelia Earhart is on the left and Amelia Earhart and the 1965 Irene Craigmile superimposed are on the right. The congruence displayed here is no coincidence. Rather, it represents the long-hidden reality of what became of Amelia Earhart after she went missing in 1937. 


Tod Swindell
Amelia Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'

*Amelia Earhart historian, Lou Foudray not only believed Amelia quietly returned to the U.S. after she went missing in 1937, but having already heard 'unwed mother' rumors linked to Amelia's pre-fame years, she seriously considered my postulation that Amelia possibly gave birth to a 'family secret' child in 1924 (a little girl) four years before she became famous, then deftly managed to conceal its upbringing. (Such a thing wasn't so uncommon then where unwed parental 'reputation saving measures' were sometimes exercised. Recall Loretta Young and Clark Gable had baby girl in the 1930s no one knew about until the 1960s, and Charles Lindbergh had three children in Germany no one knew about until 2004.) My study concurred with other research that marked 1924 as a major transition year for Amelia, her mother, and her sister. That year Amelia suddenly stopped flying and all three relocated from California to the east coast--Amelia and her mother separately by way of a long automobile journey. Where Amelia's parents' divorce became the common given reason for this abrupt change, the move did seem a bit unexpected. As one of Amelia's extended family members put it, " was as if the Earhart's fell off the face of the earth then." I refer to 1924 as Amelia's 'lost' year. TS

"Nothing is as invisible as the obvious." Richard Farson


Tod Swindell

Below is my take on the so-called, "mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance" and how accredited U.S. historians and Amelia's family evolved to regard it. 

To all hopeful Amelia Earhart mystery-solvers out there, the time has come to seriously address the uncovering of a Witness Protection Program that was arranged for Amelia Earhart during the World War Two era. This needs to be done so the public can be endorsed to embrace the now obvious reality of it. It is time to cease other mystery solving charades, especially those where people are asked to donate money to finance false plane hunt expeditions by groups such as Tighar, or to its cohort group, Chasing Earhart that persuades people to consider some rather unrealistic ideas when it comes to what happened to Amelia Earhart. This includes the ridiculous notion that suggested Amelia's bones were found on a deserted island almost eight decades ago; bones that were originally identified as a male Chamorro's and were discarded soon after they were examined.
In contrast to their varying suggestions and the brow-beating fulminations of others, the did Amelia became Irene(?) controversy that I came to know so well in the past twenty years remained in an unresolved state for almost half-a-century before my different angle forensic research and visual comparisons revealed what they did.
The realistic conveyance of what is now such an easy to recognize truth about Amelia Earhart, that shows there was more than one Twentieth Century woman attributed to the same Irene Craigmile identity and how in her later life years, Amelia Earhart became one of them, needs to be authoritatively acknowledged at this point by the Smithsonian Institution, prominent historical researchers, global academia, and Amelia Earhart's family, lest what has evolved by now to further exist as a kind of historical joke being played on the American public when it comes to the topic of Amelia Earhart's true fate, be permitted to continue by same. Tod Swindell, 2019 


Where this important, non-recognized historical truth is so obvious anymore... Dr. David J. Skorton, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Blanche Wiesen Cook, Collegiate Historians, and Amy Kleppner... your country needs you. The time has at long-last arrived to properly welcome Amelia Earhart home not only for the great person she was known to have been, but too, for the enlightened person she went on to become.


Dr. David J. Skorton; Executive Secretary & overseer of the Smithsonian Institution


Blanche Wiesen Cook; biographer-American history professor


Doris Kearns Goodwin; American historian-biographer


Amy Kleppner; philosopher, writer, teacher, adventurer, niece of Amelia Earhart.


Below, the prominent looking, wings adorned woman in the center was not the 'original' Irene Craigmile, but she was attributed to that same name and identity in her later life years and claimed herself to have been a good past-friend of Amelia Earhart. Anymore it is clear, she actually used to be Amelia Earhart.

Superimposed Photographic Exactitude:
More superimposed comparisons appear below the following images and descriptions.

"All the admirals and generals seemed to know her." LPGA  promoter, Peter Bussatti in 1982, comments about his 1970s good friend, Irene Craigmile Bolam who had recently died. Along with many others, Mr. Bussatti had openly wondered if she used to be known as, 'Amelia Earhart.' This photo was used in the comparison below it. 


Above: Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam and Peter Busatti in the 1970s.
Below: Another sample from the comprehensive, 'Irene-Amelia forensic comparison analysis.' 


Above: The new Irene Craigmile (Bolam), far left; as Amelia Earhart, far right; superimposed, center.

"Peter Busatti said he accompanied Mrs. Bolam to the Wings Club in New York City on one occasion. He said a full length portrait of Amelia Earhart hangs in the room dedicated in her honor. ""It was a dead ringer for Irene,"" he said. ""Sometimes I thought she was [the former Amelia Earhart], sometimes I thought she wasn't. Once when I asked her directly she replied, "When I die you'll find out."" At a Wings Club event in Washington, Busatti mentioned that all the admirals and generals seemed to know her." Excerpted from a 1982 Woodbridge New Jersey News Tribune article.


Tod Swindell

"The original Irene Craigmile barely flew at all during her oft-troubled 1930s years. Compared to her friend, Amelia, she was a veritable nobody back then as well. It would have been unrealistic for her to later become a member of the affluent New York Wings Club, let alone be distinguished like royalty there among her peers. Yet, important people who knew the post-World War Two Irene Craigmile as the former Amelia Earhart, and indeed the were some who did, were always respectful to recognize her that way." Tod Swindell

In Her Own Words...
Excerpted from Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam's 1967, non denial-denial she mailed in response to a query letter about her true past from retired USAF Major, Joseph A. Gervais:
"I can offer in evidence two people whom you may call for verification of this fact, because they each knew us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile."
"It has always been my feeling the Amelia Earhart has not passed away completely, so long as there is one person alive who still remembers her."
Note her odd reference to "the Amelia Earhart" as if she likened her previous name to a ship that had sunk long ago. See more detail about this below.  

"...because they each knew us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile."



From the document examination portion of the forensic study, here is part of the same statement shown above issued by the new Irene Craigmile (Bolam), displayed here in her own cursive handwriting. Amelia's own high school, 'Amelia M. Earhart' cursive signature is inserted under it for comparison. (Amelia's middle name was 'Mary.') She referenced two life-long friends of hers; early pilots, Viola Gentry and Elmo Pickerill, who, according to her own words, also knew her as, "Amelia Earhart."
She mailed her handwritten reply to retired USAF Major, Joseph A. Gervais, who had met her face to face two years earlier. The confounded Major Gervais, who felt he recignized her for who she used to be at the time they met each other at a gathering of well known pilots from the past, had written her to politely ask if she used to be known as Amelia Earhart(?)
This comparison alignment is relatively new information. The overall study features a more thorough handwriting comparison analysis. 

On Preventing the Discovery of Truth:
"The discovery of truth is prevented most effectively by preconcieved opinion and prejudice." Arthur Schopenhauer

The next panel below displays 1920s and 1930s photo images of Amelia Earhart:

Below: Gertrude Kelley Hession and the post mid-1940s Irene in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, 1976.




Above, Monsignor James Francis Kelley, shown in the photo to the right with the post mid-1940s Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, refused to publicly comment about his "close friend's" possible "dual identity" after she died in 1982.  


Monsignor James Francis Kelley and the post mid-1940s Irene in the late 1970s. Monsignor Kelley was the brother of Gertrude Kelley Hession, who is featured in the above Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia photo with Irene. Monsignor Kelley was the president of Seton Hall College from 1936 to 1949, and held doctorates in psychology and philosophy. In a 1991 taped interview with USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, he confirmed that as World War Two ended he received Amelia back from Japan and helped her to become 'Irene Craigmile.' Earlier (in 1987) he mentioned to Rockville, Illinois TV reporter, Merrill Dean Magley, "After all she'd been through she didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore."

"He did speak of knowing Amelia Earhart but I never met her in his company." A comment from Monsignor Thomas Ivory of West Orange, New Jersey, a past friend of Monsignor Kelley's who presided over his 1996 funeral. 

A Head-to-Toe Example
Below, Amelia Earhart with pilot friends, Elinor Smith (middle) and Viola Gentry (right) in 1932, right after Amelia returned to the U.S. following her solo Atlantic crossing. Viola knew both Amelia and the original Irene Craigmile in the 1930s, and Viola knew Amelia after the war when she was known as 'Irene.' 


The following comparison features the post mid-1940s Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam on a bridge in Paris in 1965 as compared to her former Amelia self in 1932 in a head to toe match. She had put some weight on to her former Amelia frame, but people often do that as they get older.








Below, a 1965 photo of Viola Gentry and Guy Bolam, the post mid-1940s Irene Craigmile Bolam's British husband who she wed in 1958. The photo was taken in East Hampton of Long Island, New York.


"She was intelligent, articulate, and had a commanding presence. She knew a lot of important people including many high-ranking military officers, astronauts and flyers." "She was the epitome of a classy lady." 1997 quotes from an article about Irene by her survived sister-in-law who believed the subject of her concern had been previously known as, "Amelia Earhart."


Astronaut Wally Schirra
In the late 1970s, one of the original seven NASA astronauts, Wally Schirra, disclosed to Rockville, Illinois TV reporter, Merrill Dean Magley that he had "met" the woman who used to be known as Amelia Earhart at Cape Canveral in the 1960s. Several years later, when Magley encountered Schirra again he requested a filmed interview. Schirra agreed to be interviewed on film by Magley and during the interview, Magley asked the former astronaut how he knew the woman he met in the 1960s used to be Amelia Earhart(?) to which Schirra replied, "reliable people" he knew had confided to him who she used to be. The woman in question was one 'Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam.' As it turned out, and as you will see here, there was more than one Twentieth Century woman attributed to this very-same 'Irene' identity.

Previewing The Monsignor Kelley-Amelia Earhart Connection
Below: Monsignor James Francis Kelley (1902-1996)


Colonel Reineck: "Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam?" Father Kelley: "That's right, yes." USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck (Ret.) asks former Seton Hall College president, Monsignor James Francis Kelley, who replies about his late close friend, Mrs. Irene Bolam. [Excerpted from a 1991 tape recorded conversation between the two.]
A decade earlier, after Mrs. Bolam's passing took place in 1982, Monsignor Kelley had responded to questions from the press about the ongoing suspicion of her 'past dual identity' in the following manner: 


Monsignor James Francis Kelley introduces LPGA golfer, Janey Blalock to Pope Paul VI


Monsignor Kelley with then New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne and his wife, Jean; Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn and his wife, Luisa; and the LPGA's, Sandra Palmer


Monsignor Kelley with First Lady Betty Ford and Marge Montana

The former Amelia Earhart, Jamaica, 1976

Monsignor James Francis Kelley and the former Amelia Earhart, 1980

Above left is the former Amelia Earhart in Jamaica, 1976. Above right, the former Amelia Earhart with her later-life close friend, Monsignor James Francis Kelley of Rumson, New Jersey. Monsignor Kelley came from a wealthy background and owned properties in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Jamaica. As 'Irene' the former Amelia Earhart was known to visit him at both places, especially the Monsignor's beautiful home in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 
Monsignor Kelley was the President of Seton Hall College from 1936 to 1949 and was largely credited for its 1950 conversion into a major university. In 1979, for the first time on record, Monsignor Kelley described to his good friend, Donald Dekoster, an auto industry executive, that he had helped with Amelia's quiet return to the U.S. after VJ Day and he had been "instrumental" with her name change to 'Irene.' He added that he had served as her "psychiatric priest" as well. [Monsignor Kelley held doctoral degrees Psychology and Philosophy.] The former Amelia Earhart was initially known as 'Irene Craigmile' after the war until she married Guy Bolam of England in 1958, who oversaw the operation of Radio Luxembourg. Guy died in 1970, at which time the former Amelia Earhart took over Guy's former position with Radio Luxembourg.    




Above: In 1987, the aforementioned, Diana Dawes, a former Princeton, New Jersey radio show host who was one of Irene Bolam's better friends in the 1970s, recalled some revealing anecdotes about her late friend as newspapers around the country marked the 50th anniversary of Amelia Earhart's storied 'disappearance.' Ms. Dawes mentioned how on a high shelf in Irene Bolam's closet she noticed a uniform collection of "large leather bound ledger-books with the letters 'AE' embossed on their spines." Notice in the above excerpt about the "christening dress," the former Amelia Earhart slips and refers to her long gone friend, the original Irene Craigmile, in a past-tense way.


Another excerpt from a 1987 newspaper article that quoted Diana Dawes. No one seemed to pay much attention to the fact that almost twenty years after Joseph A. Gervais first shared his belief that Mrs. Bolam was the former Amelia Earhart on a national news level, the controversy over who she really was still existed because his assertion about her past identity had never been disproved. Instead, by then United States 'official historians' had learned to embrace the practice of adroitly avoiding the controversy.



"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

George Orwell

Zapruder and Gervais: Film Gamma Doesn't Lie


Former clothing manufacturer, Abraham Zapruder


Former USAF Captain, Joseph A. Gervais

Two years after Abraham Zapruder filmed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas; a confounded Joseph A. Gervais, while visiting the Hamptons of Long Island, New York where he was to deliver a lecture about his research on Amelia Earhart's disappearance, in an 'impromptu' way boldly pointed his camera to take another history making photograph. Here's how it happened:
Directly below is an enlarged image of Mrs. Irene Bolam, FKA 'Amelia Earhart' as she appeared in the photograph Joseph A. Gervais took of her in 1965. Originally, and for years afterward the vast majority of people who observed her image here felt she did not resemble what an older, 'survived' Amelia Earhart would have looked like. No matter, for along with Mrs. Bolam's previous self-admitted 'past association' with Amelia Earhart that left the more intuitive scratching their heads about her for decades, the new-millennium, comprehensive forensic analysis that did not commence until over thirty-years after the picture was taken, became its undoing. The article underneath the photograph details how it came to exist, and why any further it is so historically important. 

Photo credit: Joseph A. Gervais, August 8, 1965

 About The Origin Of The Above Photograph
From the Protecting Earhart Chronicles by Tod Swindell
In 1965, a former U.S. Air Force Captain who had flown missions in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam met the woman in the above photograph, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, at a gathering of respected pilots from the early days of aviation. The former air force captain's name was Joseph A. Gervais. He was an excellent pilot who logged close to 20,000 hours of flying time during his military career. He was a family man as well, known for his solid reputation and good character.
Joseph A. Gervais took the above 35MM photograph of Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam when he met her on August 8, 1965. He had been researching the facts of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance for the previous five years when he was invited to the retired aviators' annual luncheon in New York by one of Amelia Earhart's 1930s flying friends, Viola Gentry.
Viola Gentry had heard about his Amelia Earhart research quest and asked Joseph A. Gervais to come and lecture to her club, "The Early Birds of Aviation" about his findings. The 'Early Birds' even paid the air-fare and lodging expenses for Joseph A. Gervais and his wife and children to make the trip from their home in Nevada. Viola Gentry was not expecting her friend, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam to attend the luncheon that day, but she did, accompanied by her British husband, Guy Bolam. After Viola Gentry introduced Joseph A. Gervais to Guy Bolam and Irene Craigmile Bolam at Joseph A. Gervais' request, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam acknowledged to him that she used to "know" Amelia Earhart and that she had "often flown with her" in the 1930s.
Joseph A. Gervais found Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam curious. He found it odd he never heard of her before since he new of most all noted pilots from the past, and he also felt she looked hauntingly similar to the way Amelia Earhart might have looked as an older person. As well, he noticed two small items she wore at the bottom of the 'V' on her blouse that looked to be military decorations to him; an Oak Leaf cluster signifying the rank of a Air Force Major affixed next to a square-enameled DFC indicator pin. ['DFC' for 'Distinguished Flying Cross.'] Joseph A. Gervais knew Amelia Earhart had been decorated with both awards before, and where he had retired from the Air Force as a Major himself, the 'piddle oak leaf cluster' was most recognizable to him. He also noticed a certain air of importance Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam commanded among the other club members in attendance.
So taken by Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam toward the end of their conversation, Joseph A. Gervais asked if she would be willing to meet with him again so she could recall her experiences with Amelia Earhart to him. The somewhat reluctant Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam agreed, then hand-wrote her phone number on a business card with the name of "Irene Craigmile" printed on it, the name she was known by before she married Englishman, Guy Bolam in 1958.
Wielding his camera at the event, before they parted ways, Joseph A. Gervais asked the Bolams if he could take their photograph (full frame shown in black-and-white below) causing Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam to turn toward her husband to see how he felt about the impromptu request. Joseph A. Gervais took the picture just after she turned back to politely decline, and in the photo one can observe Guy Bolam as he finished responding to her that he, "didn't think it was a good idea" the moment Joseph A. Gervais clicked his shutter, after which Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam politely said to him, "I wish you hadn't done that."
Following the luncheon, during which Joseph A. Gervais' wife, Thelma was seated next to Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, Joseph A. Gervais lectured about his 'Amelia Earhart disappearance research' to the Early Birds crowd of about 150 people, except for that part of the event, Mr. and Mrs. Bolam elected not to stay.
(continued below)


Above: The August 8, 1965 photo of Guy Bolam and Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam taken by Joseph A. Gervais as it appeared in the 1970 controversial book, Amelia Earhart Lives.


Above: Amelia's 1930s pilot friend, Viola Gentry with Guy Bolam on August 9, 1965, the day after Joseph A. Gervais met and took his photo of Guy Bolam and Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam. This photo was taken by Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, FKA 'Amelia Earhart.' [Photo courtesy of Diana Dawes.]


Above left to right: Amelia Earhart, Elinor Smith, and Viola Gentry from the New York City Mid-Week Pictorial in 1932. The photo was taken upon Amelia's return to the U.S. after her successful Atlantic Ocean solo-flight crossing, a fete that left her the first woman to achieve what Charles Lindbergh became the first person to do in 1927. Elinor Smith and Viola Gentry were two of Amelia's good pilot friends and fellow charter 99s' members.

Remaining perplexed about her after he returned to his home in Nevada, Joseph A. Gervais began looking into Mrs. Bolam's past. He also scheduled a few times to meet with her again, and she agreed to, but each time she failed to show at the designated time and place. Inevitably, Joseph A. Gervais never personally encountered Mrs. Bolam again after that 1965 day.
Five years after they met, Joe felt he had discerned enough lacking and otherwise contradictory information about Mrs. Bolam to assert that his hunch was correct, where she could only be the 'somehow survived' Amelia Earhart sporting a new identity.
Many people called Joseph A. Gervais 'crazy' after a 1970 book publicized his belief, and Mrs. Bolam herself sued him, albeit unsuccessfully on a personal level, with the final resolve being ten dollars of consideration exchanged by both parties. It is true that the book's publisher, McGraw-Hill was ordered to pay Mrs. Bolam a high five figure sum, but it had nothing to do with its book implicating her as the former Amelia Earhart. Instead, Mrs. Bolam's attorney cited the book, that was published without Mrs. Bolam's participation or authorization, unjustifiably suggested his client was a "bigamist" and "a traitor to her country."  
After the five-year lawsuit ended, that had included the odd stipulation, "no questions about Mrs. Bolam's existence from prior to 1937 were to be asked," as the years continued to pass the controversy over who Mrs. Bolam really was or used to be refused to go away, and Joe's assertion that she was formerly known as 'Amelia Earhart' proved impossible to over-challenge as well. Follow up investigators tried, but they couldn't do it. So much left Joseph A. Gervais spending the rest of his life until he died in 2005, maintaining that he was correct about the woman he met and photographed in 1965 having been previously known as Amelia Earhart, adding at the same time it was clearly something the general public was 'never supposed to know.' A year after Joe's passing, when the early forensic study results became known in Earhart research circles, the National Geographic Channel surfaced to downplay the controversy over who Mrs. Bolam really was without offering a hard conclusion.
Ultimately, Protecting Earhart's study revealed how this same 'Mrs. Irene Bolam' that Joseph A. Gervais photographed in 1965, seventeen years before she died in 1982, did forensically match Amelia Earhart, and that she was identified nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s, leaving the additional deductive reasoning to enable a basic forensic conclusion.



Above: Amelia's old friend, Irene Craigmile as she looked in the "early 1940s" according to the estimate offered by Irene Craigmile's 1934 born son, who instantly recognized her as his mother. In a forensic sense it is uncertain where she originated from or who she truly was. Researcher, Tod Swindell, was first to publicly suggest, and still does consider it is at least 'possible' she was Amelia Earhart's own illegitimate daughter born to her after a 1924 concealed pregnancy, with Amelia's L.A. plane mechanic friend, Lloyd Royer, possibly having existed as her non-recognized father. It is certain she was not the original Irene Craigmile, nor was she the Irene Craigmile who was AKA the former Amelia Earhart after World War Two. She WAS someone though, who, evidently, was primarily reared by the original Irene Craigmile's prominent O'Crowley family of Newark, New Jersey. (A past friend of the O'Crowley's recalled a teenage girl who lived with the O'Crowleys in the 1930s, estimating her age to have been "about 16 or 17 in 1940.") Tod Swindell considers the above photograph may have actually been a college-years photo portrait taken in the early to mid-1940s. As he once commented about the above photo, " just doesn't come close to looking like any of the 1930s' photos of Irene Craigmile, who was supposed to have been the same person. The quality is superior and she looks to be about a generation younger. Not to leave out, this particular photograph came the former Amelia Earhart's personal photos collection."

What does the Smithsonian Institution say about this?


Dr. Tom Crouch


Dorothy Cochrane

The reality of Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence as a renamed person marks yet another, "Inconvenient Truth"

Since it is an inconvenient learned historical truth the Smithsonian Institution would rather not have to contend with, Dr. Tom Crouch and Dorothy Cochrane of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum continue to decry its validity to the national press circuit. Anymore, however, with the amount of information that has been learned and made public about it to date [and this is a consistent problem for individuals who are employed by wards of the U.S. government] unless they are myopic to a significant degree when it comes to the importance of recognizing when a government cover-up has run its course, Dr. Crouch and Ms. Cochrane surely do realize by now how they are amiss with their tradition of reticent influence toward the now easy to see and comprehend, Amelia went on to become known as Irene reality.


Alethephobia: "Fear of Truth"

When it comes to the Irene-Amelia truth, ever since the controversy over Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam surfaced in the 1970s, historical dictum influences have adroitly avoided it. Senators, Congressmen, government supported institutions, news media moguls, even Amelia's extended family members have always optioned to quickly dismiss it out of hand over seriously addressing it. This is mainly due to the 'official silence' devoted to the topic of Amelia's disappearance from the governments' of the United States and Japan dating back to the World War Two era. In the new millennium, however, thanks to the undeniable results of a comprehensive forensic research and comparison analysis, the truth grew to be recognizable to what is now an obvious state, and understanding, accepting, and embracing any truth once it becomes identifiable, especially if it's an important historical truth, is always best in the long run.

Keeping relative discoveries from the past in perspective, in the case of Charles Lindbergh's "Careu Kent" alias, he used that name for decades while leading a separate life without the public knowing until it was verified in 2004, thirty-years after he died.


Click on the photo below to go to The True Story Of Amelia Earhart By Tod Swindell.

Image credit: Sir Charles Cary



About Tod Swindell
Born in Yonkers, New York in 1958, Tod Swindell was raised in Southern California and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A Cinema Arts graduate of the University of Arizona, his interest in Amelia Earhart's disappearance escalated in the early 1990s when he was researching stories for the CBS television series, 'Miracles and Other Wonders' hosted by Darren McGavin. The show's premise was later spun into, 'Encounters of the Unexplained' hosted by Jerry Orbach, that featured some of Tod's original research in an episode devoted to Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. A veteran of the motion picture industry, beyond specializing in the research and development of film properties, Tod also works as a free-lance journalist with published articles on the subjects of sports and pop-culture. His major film production work began with Universal's Desperado westerns for NBC, Executive Produced by Walter and Andrew Mirisch. For several years he made MOW's around the country for Desperado Films, Inc., eventually serving as its corporate President while also heading its story rights acquisition division. His producer credits include The Woman in the Moon, The Legend of the Phantom Rider, Ghost Rock, and Spin. His credits on numerous other productions include Geronimo, Major League, Six Days and Seven Nights, and Tin Cup. His past television series work includes The Young Riders, Legend, The Game, and The Magnificent Seven. Tod holds the registered copryrights on his Amelia Earhart intellectual properties that eclusively features his self-conceived, 'multi-layered' Irene-Amelia forensic comparison analysis. He also owns the Grizzly Adams trademarked brand that is partnered with the Vital Ground Foundation. He is the son of Texas Literary Hall of Fame member, Larry Swindell, and former Equity Theater actress, the late Eleanor Eby. His grandfather, the late Earl Eby was co-head of Lux Video Theater in the 1950s. Tod is married to his Aether Pictures, LLC production partner, Julie Magnuson Swindell. The two split time between their homes in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. 

After the comparison study displayed their haunting post-war congruence, an incorrect 'doppelgängers' label was applied to the two former pilot friends, Amelia Earhart & Irene Craigmile. It was shown to be a false lable when the study showed they looked nothing at all alike before the 1940s.






Again, 1963, the former Amelia as 'Irene' in Japan reprinted in a newspaper. 


Those who contend she was the original Irene and not the former Amelia Earhart... 


...have not thoroughly studied the fascinating Irene-Amelia story.


Post mid-1940s Irene + Amelia




Post mid-1940s Irene + Amelia




Post mid-1940s Irene + Amelia




1976 in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia

In 2017, Protecting Earhart's, Tod Swindell finalized and copyrighted his long term Irene Craigmile Bolam Versus Amelia Earhart forensic research and human comparison study. His study results enabled him to claim the forensic solving of Amelia Earhart's eight decades old missing person case in his name and in the names of his long-time collaborators, Randall Brink, Joseph A. Gervais (posthumously), Rollin C. Reineck (posthumously), and Joe Klaas (posthumously).
To contact Tod Swindell directly about his two decades long 'Irene-Amelia journey' send an e-mail query to or call 323-317-0886. 

In 2017, Protecting Earhart's, Tod Swindell finalized and copyrighted his long term Irene Craigmile Bolam Versus Amelia Earhart forensic research and human comparison study. His study results enabled him to claim the forensic solving of Amelia Earhart's eight decades old missing person case in his name and in the names of his long-time collaborators, Randall Brink, Joseph A. Gervais (posthumously), Rollin C. Reineck (posthumously), and Joe Klaas (posthumously).
To contact Tod Swindell directly about his multi-tiered Amelia Earhart IP objectives, including rights to his feature film, "The Lost Electra," his Earhart animation project, and various literary IP's, not to leave out his two-decades long 'Irene-Amelia journey,' send an e-mail query to or phone his voice-mail at 323-317-0886. Viable reach outs will be put in touch with his Entertainment Attorney. Thank You.

Click here to e-mail Protecting Earhart/ E-mail address: advertises nothing but the truth about Amellia Earhart. It has existed as a World Wide Web internet website since 2007. Although periodically shouted down by naysayers, it has never been overchallenged. It features researcher, Tod Swindell's first ever embarked on, "Comprehensive Forensic Analysis and Forensic Comparison Study" that, 1.) Proved more than one person used the same 'Irene' identity. 2.) Displayed the head-to-toe physical and character-traits congruence the Joseph A. Gervais 1965 recognized "Irene Bolam" shared with Amelia Earhart. 3.) Proved the Joseph A. Gervais 1965 recognized "Irene Craigmile Bolam" appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s, ultimately concluding against the grain fo conventional knowledge, that she and Amelia Earhart marked the same physical human being in younger and older forms going by different names.
Tod Swindell's forensic analysis endeavor was initiated in 1997. It first received national notice in 2002 while it was in progress. His original titled manuscript, Protecting Earhart: The Beautiful Alter Ego and Silent Legacy of History's Most Famous Flying Heroine has been housed and registered at the Writers Guild of America West since 2004, #1033972, and was ultimately copyrighted after several revisions and updates in 2014, # TXu 1-915-926. It was again copyrighted in 2017 with additional combined elements from the forensic study newly inserted, # TXu 2-061-539. For subsidiary-rights inquiries call 323-317-0886 is dedicated to the past tireless efforts of the late USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais [1924-2005] and the late USAF Col. Rollin C. Reineck [1920-2007], two World War Two heroes who began expounding on the 'Amelia became Irene' truth decades ago. A major thank you goes to Tod Swindell's chief collaborative partner, Lost Star author, Randall Brink, who worked directly with Joseph Gervais for well over a decade before introducing Tod Swindell to him in 1996. A thanks also goes out to pilot-author, Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, who supplied additional 'Irene' photo data and handwritten letters for the study, along with much similar data Joseph Gervais and Rollin Reineck forwarded Tod's way after it was transferred from a 1970s good friend of Mrs. Bolam's, the late Diana Dawes. All of these elements combined enabled the study to reach its reality based conclusion. Thanks as well to former CIA operative, Bazzell Baz, who provided some keen insight to this Earhart truth seeking endeavor when it was first getting underway in Santa Monica, CA in the mid-1990s.
Joseph A. Gervais, who is still considered by many to have been the most knowledgeable Amelia Earhart investigative researcher ever to pursue the truth, first asserted the Irene-Amelia reality in 1965. The controversial 1970 McGraw-Hill book by Joe Klaas, Amelia Earhart Lives delved into the enormous amount of Joe Gervais' investigative research and displayed the first nationally published photo of Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, AKA the Gervais-Irene, FKA 'Amelia Earhart.'
From Tod Swindell: "Regardless of the fallout caused by Amelia Earhart Lives after 1970, my good friends, Major Gervais and Colonel Reineck spent the remaining decades of their lives working to better advance the reality of Amelia Earhart's name-changed survival to authenticity, after enduring their own long term evaluations of the existing evidence that supported it. Their efforts, but especially the decades old, never wavering "Amelia became Irene" assertion made by Joseph A. Gervais, inspired me to orchestrate the forensic analysis that ultimately proved their long held beliefs correct. Colonel Reineck's book, Amelia Earhart Survived that was published in late 2003, and was driven by my 'newly embarked on' forensic comparison study. Portions of my study appeared in his book, although a more extensively display of my material is seen here in Colonel Reineck's book was also the first to credit my study for "proving" how one of the Twentieth Century women who used the same 'Irene' identity had been previously known as Amelia Earhart."
Protecting Earhart, Beyond 37', and are the intellectual properties of Aether Pictures, LLC.

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