For 2020, The Long Subdued Reality of Amelia Earhart Is Now Plain To See

Home Page: Amelia Earhart
Past Attempts To Solve Earhart Compared To Reality
About Tod Swindell
Past 'Important' Amelia Earhart Disappearance Investigations
About The Irene-Amelia Forensic Analysis Results
The Reality of Amelia Earhart Versus 'Freedom of the Press'
The Amelia Earhart We Barely Knew...
What President Roosevelt Knew, What The FBI Knew, & Amelia's Sister On Her friend, 'Irene'
The Truthful Words Of Monsignor James Francis Kelley About Amelia Earhart
About The 'Original' Irene Craigmile
The Universal Truth About Amelia Earhart
'Amelia Earhart Mystery' Media Darlings Avoid The Truth
Comparing Amelia Earhart To Irene Craigmile Bolam
Amelia Earhart: A True Story
Yellow Journalism Tried To Hide The Truth In 1982
Reality Check: The 'Missing Person Case' Of Amelia Earhart
Reviewing The History of ''


2020 Amelia Earhart Vision

This website was launched in 2007, amid an in-progress 'forensic research study' being conducted by an investigative journalist. It profiles the first-ever objective analysis of Amelia Earhart's 1937 'disappearance' and 'missing person case' to compare two women pilots from the 1930s; Amelia Earhart and Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.

Over the past two decades the now completed study grew to be recognized as the most comprehensive evaluation of Amelia Earhart's failed world-flight attempt to date. It is also the first to offer a bona fide forensic answer to what became of Amelia.




Above & combined with Amelia Earhart below:
The post-World War Two only, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.




Above & enhanced below:
The original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile. This once
aspiring pilot was acquainted with Amelia Earhart.
Here she is shown with her first husband in 1930, a
civil engineer named, 'Charles James Craigmile.'


Below: The original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile
is shown in 1934 with her son. History has it that
after Charles Craigmile died, she married Guy
Bolam of England in 1958. History is inaccurate
here. This Irene O'Crowley Craigmile was never
married to Guy Bolam, although she once knew
the person who was, shown on the left, who used
her same identity after World War Two.


From Charles J. Craigmile's obituary

To understand the significance of the new millennium forensic study--and the images above--it is essential to revisit a controversial story that made national news some fifty-years ago:



Above: A newspaper photo shows the post-World War Two
only, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam in November of 1970. 

Most people who heard about this story chalked it up as a hoax.
It wasn't a hoax. Before the surname of 'Bolam' was added to it in 1958, the name of 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile' had been attributed to a 1930s' pilot who had flown with Amelia Earhart. Except by the time World War Two began, the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile no longer appeared in plain view. The study displays this reality in no uncertain terms.
It was through her aunt, a prominent attorney by the name of Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, that the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile and Amelia became acquainted with each other. (Amelia had earlier befriended the original Irene's attorney-aunt through the Zonta organization.)
The story about the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's identity being reapplied to the former Amelia Earhart, began to take form in the mid-1960s. It was based on a well researched study when it surfaced in 1970--before it swiftly went away from the public mindset--something initially propelled by the instant denial from the woman in question, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, shown in the above-right news photo.
Presently, if anyone has a hard time believing, accepting, or recognizing that the person shown refuting the claim in the above news photo was the former Amelia Earhart--keep going. You soon will recognize it. The analysis results left it obvious.
To account for why she refused to admit her past identity, after avoiding direct interaction with the investigator who first realized--and then became intent on outing her for who she used to be--the former Amelia Earhart chose to lay-low and prepare a press conference to be held after the book inspired by the investigator's research, Amelia Earhart Lives, by Joe Klaas, was published. True to her objective, as soon as it was released into the marketplace, during the short but forceful press conference she held at the famous Time-Life Building in New York City, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam sternly denounced the book's contents, most specifically where it included the implication that she was the survived Amelia Earhart living under an assumed identity. Then after fielding no questions, she marched out of the room.
She was angry, and upset for a long time afterward. Who could blame her? No one knew what she went through before she became known as Irene and she was not about to start explaining it to anybody. Conversely, had she admitted her true past then, such an explanation and more would have been demanded of her.


By virtue of the Twenty-First Century forensic analysis results, the first Irene-Amelia comparison study on record, any further it is undeniable that the person refuting her past in the above photo was previously known as, 'Amelia Earhart'.


Above left, Amelia; above right, she is
combined with her later life self as, 'Irene'.


Amelia as Irene at her
1970 press conference.
She had no other choice but
to deny her famous past.



Senator Hiram Bingham
& Amelia Earhart


Above: Distinguished and proud with her
trademark wings and pearls is the post-World
War Two only, 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile'.
(Surname 'Bolam' added in 1958.) She was
identified nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the end
of World War Two. During the post-war era
she emerged from out of the blue working at
a bank in Mineola, New York, close to the
Long Island airfield where she chartered the
99's women's flying organization seventeen
years earlier. Anymore it is obvious, she was
not the original, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.
Rather, she was the former Amelia Earhart.



Shirley Dobson Gilroy's classic 1985, "artistic tribute
to Amelia Earhart" book, Amelia / Pilot In Pearls


It may seem hard to decipher and it proved hard to explain as well, but today, people who do not recognize the obvious human plurality discovered about Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, and how Amelia Earhart played into it by becoming further known as, 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile' after World War Two, have either been misinformed or are in denial when it comes to the true, life-long physical history of Amelia Earhart's person.
Was her name change the result of a well orchestrated, Federal Witness Protection Program? More than likely, yes. A link to former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover's involvement with Amelia's well-cloaked existence in the United States from the mid-1940s on until he died in 1972, is noticeable. His World War Two FBI file on Amelia Earhart featured several accounts of her ongoing existence during the war. This, when coupled with his late war-time and post-war years alliance with Monsignor James Francis Kelley, offers some insight.

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


Above: Monsignor James Francis Kelley and Archbishop Thomas Walsh award FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover with an LLD degree in 1944. A few months after World War Two ended, J. Edgar Hoover awarded Monsignor Kelley a commendation for assistance he had rendered to the Department of Justice.


Rockville, Illinois TV news reporter, Merrill 'Dean' Magley, and his wife, Carol, visited and spoke at length with Monsignor James Francis Kelley in 1987, at the Monsignor's Rumson, New Jersey home. After doing so, both were convinced the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam used to be known as, 'Amelia Earhart.'

"After all she had been through, she didn't want to be the famous Amelia Earhart anymore." Monsignor James Francis Kelley as spoken to reporter Merrill Dean Magley in 1987.



Above left: A 1982 newspaper article quotes Monsignor James Francis Kelley (1902-1996) in reference to his later life close friend, the post-World War Two only, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, AKA the former Amelia Earhart, who he is pictured with on the right in 1978. During the last decade of his life, Father Kelley admitted to select individuals that he had helped with Amelia's return to the U.S. and he was instrumental with the process of her assuming the left over identity of Irene O'Crowley Craigmile. He also mentioned he served as a post-war 'spiritual guide' for her.
A past president of Seton Hall College who came to know many famous people during the course of his lifetime, Father Kelley held PhD's in philosophy and psychology. Yet from the time he disclosed what he did about Amelia, dissenters and non-believers tried to claim later life senility caused him to 'make up' what he did about his long time friend, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile. (The post-war only.)
People who knew him well, however, spoke of how Father Kelley was 'lucid' when he described what he did to them about Amelia Earhart's hidden post-loss survival and subsequent identity change.


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

From above, the 'sports figures' and LPGA connection to Monsignor Kelley is worth recalling here. Father Kelley had been a friend of LPGA promoter, Peter Busatti, and he introduced Irene to Mr. Bussatti and famous lady golfers as well. (See the 'hot air balloon' and 'Busatti' photos directly below.) Amelia's last residence before she went missing backed up to a golf course fairway in Toluca Lake of North Hollywood, California. As well, when she was known as 'Irene' in the 1970s, her New Jersey home backed up to a golf course fairway that belonged to the Forsgate Country Club that she was known to frequent, and where LPGA tournaments sometimes took place.  


Balloon Rides Anyone?


The above 'hot air balloon' newspaper photo taken in 1980, features the post-World War Two only, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, accompanied by famous golfer, Kathy Whitworth. Especially in the 1970s, after taking over as a division head for Radio Luxembourg, when she was simply known as 'Irene' to friends and associates of hers, by then the former Amelia Earhart had grown to be respected and admired by important people not only in the United States--but globally as well. Those who were aware of who she used to be, of course, never spoke much about her.


 "All the admirals and generals
seemed to know her."
LPGA promoter, Peter Bussatti, in 1982, comments above about his friend, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam. Mr. Busatti was well liked by famous LPGA golfers, including Nancy Lopez, and as noted, Sandra Palmer, Janey Blalock, and Kathy Whitworth. His death from cancer in 1988 when he was only 57, was considered a great loss to the LPGA community.
Below: The post-war only Irene with
LPGA promoter, Peter Busatti in 1975



Above left, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile; Above center, the post-war only Irene & Amelia superimposed; Above right, a profile photo of Amelia Earhart.

"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, sometimes I thought she wasn't. Once when I asked her directly she replied, "When I die you'll find out,"" Busatti said. At a Wings Club event in Washington, Busatti mentioned how, ""All the admirals and generals seemed to know her."" Excerpted from a 1982 New Jersey News Tribune article where when interviewed, Mr. Busatti openly commented about his suspicion that his 1970s' & 80s' friend, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, used to be known as, "Amelia Earhart."


Tod Swindell


"After her husband, Charles Craigmile, tragically died in 1931, the newly-widowed original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile (above) began learning to be a pilot in October of 1932. She earned her license in May of 1933, but realized she was pregnant out of wedlock right after doing so. She hardly flew again after that, having experienced a 'shotgun marriage' that quickly failed and was annulled after she gave birth to her son in 1934, and she did not renew her pilot's license after 1936. Compared to Amelia and Viola Gentry, who were both acquainted with her, she was barely heard of as a pilot back then either. She was never a 99's member like they were and 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. Contrarily, the people who knew the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile as the former Amelia Earhart, and indeed there were some who did, were always mindful and respectful of who she used to be. Recall as well, until it made national news in 1970, hardly a soul had ever heard of the name, 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile' before, as was the intention." Tod Swindell

After the war, J. Edgar Hoover awarded a commendation medal to Monsignor James Francis Kelley for his service to his country. Father Kelley's 1987 published memoirs mentioned the award but did not provide details for why he received it.
The answer ended up being revealed by Kelley himself. During a recorded interview conducted in 1991, Father Kelley mentioned to Earhart investigator, Rollin C. Reineck, that he had written a chapter in his memoirs about his post-war experiences with Amelia Earhart and her becoming known as 'Irene' for the remainder of her days, except he added it had been omitted from the final version. The explanation found in his book under its cover image below, likely explains why the decision was made to leave it out, and why any mention of Amelia or his later life close friendship with her when she was known as Irene was left out as well: 


In his 1987 published memoirs, Monsignor James Francis Kelley included the following passage in his "My Reasons For Writing This Book" chapter that begins on page 10:

"My reason for not wanting anyone else to do my story was that I knew many of my files contained some very personal and intimate stories about many people, prominent nationally and internationally. I felt that to allow someone else to have access to these documents could result in the publication of data about people who could not defend themselves."


Below, taken from a September 17, 1991 tape-recorded interview with Monsignor Kelley conducted by former Air Force Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck:

COL. REINECK: We believe Jackie Cochran was sent to Japan to help bring Amelia home. Are you aware of that?

MSGR. KELLEY: Yes, I was involved with that.
COL. REINECK: If you have things of hers [Earhart's] I would like to see them. You are aware that she was Irene Bolam?

COL. REINECK: Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam?
MSGR. KELLEY: That's right, yes.
[Further below, note another war-time commendation Monsignor Kelley received from Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.]


Looking Back: Then and Now 
Since 1970, and still to this day, the Smithsonian Institution has continued to field the question of whether or not Amelia Earhart quietly survived her 1937 disappearance and eventually changed her name. While it has always managed to fend off the curious with negative sounding replies, it is worth noting the Smithsonian never examined the claim itself, nor was the claim ever disproved.
This is because the controversy over Amelia's ongoing existence with a different name managed to avoid being forensically evaluated back then and therefore was never falsified. Rather, the public was conditioned to believe it was a false claim by news media sources, Amelia Earhart's family, and the family of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.
Hindsight shows it is hard to blame the Smithsonian for never taking the lead here. As a ward of the U.S. federal government it is obliged to honor 'governmental protocol' where certain controversial subject matters are concerned. Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance was one of them. As Dr. Tom Crouch of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum once put it, "We do not favor any particular Earhart mystery solving theory." If one looks at the past track record of the Smithsonian's expressed viewpoints toward it, this is easy to discern.  


Beyond the restriction placed on the Smithsonian that has long prevented it from independently investigating the claim of Amelia Earhart's post-loss existence with a different name, in the interim it was ascertained that the U.S. federal government had covered-up an unreported 'different version' of Amelia Earhart's 1937 world flight ending by way of its executive branch.
Note: "What that woman [Earhart], happened to her the last few minutes, I hope I've just got to never make it public."
These were the words of FDR right hand man, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr., concerning something else that took place during Amelia Earhart's world flight ending and outcome the White House withheld from the public. Other revealing quotes appeared adjacent to it in a 1938 dated, official White House transcript that surfaced four decades after Amelia Earhart's famous world flight took place.


Above: Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. (left) and President Franklin Roosevelt (right) were aware of a different version of Amelia Earhart's world flight ending they never made public.


The above excerpt came from the aforementioned 'official White House transcript' dated May 13, 1938, nine months after Amelia Earhart went missing. Amelia was still considered a 'missing person' at the time. The top paragraph features the end of a conversation between Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt's secretary, Malvina Scheider. Miss Scheider had contacted Mr. Morgenthau about a letter sent to him by the First Lady expressing the interest of individuals who were convinced Amelia survived her world flight outcome in Japan's mandate islands--and they felt another search and rescue attempt on Amelia's behalf was in order.
There were eight people present at a White House meeting Morgenthau was holding at the time the above conversation took place, that was recorded by Dictaphone. After his conversation with Miss Scheider ended, Morgenthau, who was FDR's Secretary of the Treasury and a long time personal friend and confidant, turned to his Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Stephen Gibbons, to help him qualify to the others why the White House believed further searching for Amelia Earhart was pointless. Gibbons' "We have evidence that the thing is all over, sure, terrible, it would be awful to make it public" response closed the door on further hope that Amelia Earhart might still be found to those in attendance that day--even though whatever 'evidence' the White House had, it was not Amelia Earhart's body.
The main scuttlebutt had been that the 'last few minutes of Earhart's flight' Morgenthau referred to concerned a relay suggesting Earhart and Noonan were intercepted and fired upon as they entered Japan's Marshall Islands air space. The hushed White House understanding was the two had perished that way, even though there was no absolute certainty such a thing was true.
In any case, based on her conversation with Morgenthau, below was Malvina Scheider's reply she forwarded to the First Lady:


Below, Malvina "Tommy" Scheider on the left and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on the right in 1936. Malvina Scheider's duties were many; she was a close friend, personal advisor, gatekeeper, press secretary, and image protector for Mrs. Roosevelt. She made her mark in the White House as the first, 'First Lady' staffer whose role was not limited to that of a social secretary.  


A note from Tod Swindell: The original response Malvina Scheider forwarded to Eleanor Roosevelt included words that suggested Amelia's reputation would be 'ruined' if the White House disclosed all it knew to the public about what happened during the time of her disappearance. [Morgenthau had mentioned this in front of the eight people in attendance when his May 13, 1938 conversation with Malvina Scheider took place.] In the above version I took the liberty to omit those words. It was my feeling it was added fodder, or 'negative flavoring' that was included by Morgenthau to Malvina that he knew would better persuade the First Lady to demur--should more inquiries about Amelia Earhart's disappearance come her way. And it worked. Mrs. Roosevelt immediately adapted the policy. My feeling remains, though, nothing Amelia did then could or would have 'ruined' her reputation. Just the same, for the record here is the full version:



A curious side note that relates to the same year of 1938, the subsequent time period of 1938 to 1941, and Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.; in his 1987 published memoirs on page 367, Monsignor James Francis Kelley wrote of his having received the following: "July 11, 1941, received a citation and medal from the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, for 'three years of patriotic service with integrity and dilligence for the Treasury Department of the United States of America.'" Again, Father Kelley's memoirs failed to explain what he was doing for the treasury department those three years that led to his citation award. Today it is hard to overlook the fact, given what is now known about his post-war involvement with the former Amelia Earhart, that from 1938 to 1945, Father Kelley ended up being held in high esteem by both Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover, two top players from the executive branch and department of justice housed by the U.S. federal government. 

Cut To The 1960s
The same high-government-level attitude toward Amelia Earhart's loss remained in place decades later. For instance, in 1966, when CBS radio journalist, Fred Goerner, disclosed U.S. Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz' admission of how it was "known and documented in Washington" that "Earhart and Noonan went down in the Marshall Islands and were picked up by Japan", coupled with retired U.S. Navy Commander, John Pillsbury's 1962 comment to Goerner where he intimated what really happened to Earhart and Noonan would, "stagger the imagination", the federal government's executive branch and its Federal Bureau of Investigation, (the FBI) remained ominously silent.


Above, CBS radio journalist, Fred Goerner's 1966 groundbreaking book about Amelia Earhart's disappearance that virtually exposed an ongoing cover-up in Washington, was a top-ten New York Times "best seller" for several weeks after it was published. As detailed and revealing as it was, however, the U.S. federal government offered no opinion about its contents.
Cut To The 1970s
Four years later, in 1970, after the claim of Amelia Earhart's ongoing survival with a different name surfaced, when he was asked about it President Nixon dryly replied, "We don't discuss that subject around here." [That 'subject' being 'Earhart' and  'around here' being 'the White House'.]
Below: President Richard Nixon in 1970


Where President Nixon's legacy associates his name with the Watergate scandal, it is worth recalling he served as Vice President under the famous World War Two General-turned-President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, from 1953 to 1961. It can be said, eight years after World War Two ended when Eisenhower took office, he stood to inherit an unresolved issue or two left behind by the Truman and FDR administrations. No doubt one of them was the pre-World War Two debacle of Earhart's loss--and the ongoing war-time controversy over what actually happened to her--that featured a tightly-sealed lid.
Richard Nixon may not have known what was in that 'sealed' Earhart container, but he certainly knew not to touch it. It was no surprise then, how as rumblings about Earhart continued to grow into the mid-1970s, to be repeated in quiet circles on Capitol Hill, the case of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance grew to casually be referred to as, "FDR's Watergate."


In a 1999 interview with Bill Prymak, the founding president of the Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers, he referenced an AES newsletter that described the war-time account of one James Golden, (shown above) that surfaced in 1978. Golden had served in the Pacific during World War Two and later ended up working for the U.S. justice department.
James Golden had learned of Amelia Earhart's and her navigator, Fred Noonan's post-loss survival under Japan's stewardship after they were picked up in the Marshall Islands--and were first taken to Jaluit--then on to Maloelap--and then on to Kwajalein there. He did not know what became of them after that, (he suspected they died while in Japan's custody) but his information came from a classified report he described--that was assembled after the U.S. occupied the Marshall Islands in 1944, then sent by a Marine division to U.S. Naval Intelligence. Golden felt that FDR, who was known for his proclivity for secrecy, would surely have been made aware of it, and there is little doubt he was correct.
James Golden later cited how back in May of 1938, when Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. was forwarded the query letter by Eleanor Roosevelt that asked if the idea of conducting more searches for Amelia Earhart was possible for the White House to consider, the request was denied based on this and other information the White House had--that led it to determine more search efforts were not practical at the time.
Recall in 1938, the advent of the Sino-Japanese War--a war the U.S. was newly (and secretly) supporting China's fight against Japan with its Flying Tigers effort, left FDR's hands tied when it came to further challenging Japan about Earhart. As well, beyond FDR appearing to firmly adhere to isolationism, the U.S. military was not yet ready for war and therefore not about to provoke Japan.
According to Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.'s response to Malvina Scheider, neither he nor the president had disclosed the post-loss Earhart information they shared to the First Lady prior to her May of 1938 query. As noted, he did however, mention to her that he was willing to discuss the matter with Mrs. Roosevelt later if she wanted to hear the, "not very nice story" the White House claimed to know about what really happened to her friend, Amelia, after she was declared missing. [This is all documented and part of the public record of Amelia Earhart's world flight ending.]


Above, friends Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart. Below,
the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's
1965 photographed image superimposed with Amelia's above.


Continued from above: To rebuff any future suspicion within its own inner circle, via Morgenthau and Gibbons, the White House claimed it held 'evidence' that 'it was all over' as far as any further hope in finding Amelia Earhart was concerned. Yet, that simply wasn't true. The executive branch only held intelligence reports it was calling 'evidence.'
In the meantime, any suggestion that the duo might still be alive in Japan's custody was all-but eliminated within the executive branch constituency at that time, even though it is a sure bet FDR himself still considered it in the realm of possibilities, if he didn't outright know such a thing.
Here, consider the following archived sentence from J. Edgar Hoover's World War Two FBI file on Amelia Earhart. Within it, a U.S. soldier recovering at Walter Reed Hospital who had escaped from being held as a Japanese POW, relayed to an FBI agent how in 1944, while being held captive and having heard that Amelia Earhart remained in Japan's custody, he was told the following by a Japanese officer who he had asked about Amelia: "Don't worry about her well being, she is perfectly alright." (See the file excerpt directly below and more details about J. Edgar Hoover's interest further down.) This was just one among several accounts the FBI collected that described Amelia Earhart's ongoing war-time existence under Japan's stewardship, and it is at least probable that not only J. Edgar Hoover, who personally commandeered the Earhart file, but FDR as well was privy to them. Note the standard 'blackout' of the soldier's name and the FBI agent's name:


History revealed that FDR kept some of his inner circle at arm's length from what he actually knew much of the time. With the Earhart case it was best, he felt, and surely Morgenthau agreed with him, to impress upon most executive branch constituents that the dark inner knowledge [or White House theory, really...] of Amelia Earhart's demise was to remain hidden from the public. The translation of this left the public to assume Earhart and Noonan simply missed Howland Island and ended up perishing in the vast Pacific Ocean.
That worked for awhile, and Earhart and Noonan were both declared 'dead in absentia' by the time 1939 arrived. Except after the Pearl Harbor attack, from different sources, soldiers stationed in the Pacific began hearing that Earhart and Noonan had survived a Marshall Islands ditching and ended up in Japan's custody or stewardship in one way or another. Then after the war ended, many individuals from the region Earhart went missing in came forward with first or second hand accounts. [Note: FDR died a few months before the war ended leaving him to take what he knew to his grave.] The accounts commonly stated that Earhart and Noonan, even if they had been fired upon, did manage to ditch their plane on a reef in the lower Marshalls where days later, as the Marco Polo Bridge incident occurred that triggered the start of the Sino-Japanese War, the two were picked-up by Japan's Imperial Navy.
This version of Amelia Earhart's world flight ending continues to be repeated in the Marshall Islands by its general population and government officials today.  
Below left is a 1987 '50th anniversary' commemorative stamp issued by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, depicting Earhart and Noonan's July of 1937 rescue by Japan's Imperial Navy and the recovery of Amelia's Lockheed Electra. Below right is a 2002 Associate Press clipping featuring the expressed opinion of Alfred Capelle, the U.N. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands.           



"Numerous investigations foundered on official silence in Washington and Tokyo, leaving the true fate of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan an everlasting mystery." 1982, aviation historians, Marylin Bender and Selig Altschul on the 1937 disappearance and subsequent missing person case of Amelia Earhart, quoted from their book, The Chosen Instrument.


My friend, Randall Brink, wrote the classic 1994 Amelia Earhart investigative book, Lost Star: The Search For Amelia Earhart. It became an international best seller. Connie Chung profiled it in a special CBS news segment. I first came to know Randall in 1996, when I tracked him down to interview him about his past collaboration with renowned Earhart investigator, Joseph A. Gervais. Randall had included the following sentence in the wrap-up of his book, and I wanted to know more about it:

"One tantalizingly persistent account has Amelia supposedly returning to the U.S. and assuming a new identity."

A "tantalizingly persistent account." Right away one notices while the 'Amelia lived-on and changed her name to Irene' controversy was quickly dismissed in 1970, it never actually went away according to Randall Brink, Joseph A. Gervais, and several other noteworthy Amelia Earhart scholars.

Famous crime novelist, Max Allan Collins, (of 'Road to Perdition' fame) had his well researched 'Earhart historical novel', Flying Blind, published in 1998. Within it, Collins referred to Randall Brink's, Lost Star as "the most convincing, coherent, and credible inquiry." This automatically included the new post-war allies of the United States and Japan quietly ending up being joined at the hip in what became the ongoing, 'Earhart disappearance cover-up'. Collins had included a segment in his book about the suggestion of Amelia Earhart quietly living-on and changing her name to Irene and was perplexed by the possibility of it being true. This late 1990s time period was when I commenced with orchestrating a forensic analysis in order to determine the reality of it all. From an article by Amelia Earhart investigative journalist, Tod Swindell  



Back to the Smithsonian and the assertion that Amelia managed to live-on and in time changed her name: Absolutely, as an underling of the U.S. federal government, the Smithsonian would never look into the, 'did Amelia live-on and become known as Irene' question on its own without being endorsed by the government to do so. Instead, it has always been left to adhere to the practice of discounting the assertion or avoiding it all together. This is still its modus operandi today, even though by now the truth of Amelia's post-war existence as 'Irene Craigmile' has grown to be painfully obvious. Anyone who sincerely delves into the dated 'Amelia lived and became known as Irene' conveyance soon realizes this:


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





Above: Lonnie G. Bunch III, the new head of the Smithsonian Institution who took over for Dr. David J. Skorton in 2019, will need to appeal to his own truthful conscience after assessing the now-obvious forensic reality of what became of Amelia Earhart.


About truth:
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer

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

In the meantime all of those other stories, believe it or not [the, 'she crashed on a New Britain mountain; she was eaten by giant crabs on Nikumaroro; she was executed for spying; she flew-on until she crashed into the ocean; she died of dysentery on Saipan...'] yes, all of those other stories are nothing but tabloid trash anymore--and they always were, really--sad to say for anyone who invested money or personal interest in them.
Or put it this way: It is time for people to stop investing in them or to at all pay attention to them anymore.
Below: At this point, these 'cottage industry' Earhart clubs and others ought to quit misleading people with their differing suggestions for the outcome of Amelia Earhart's 1937 world flight attempt--that have nothing to do with the truth. It is also time for people to stop supporting their off-base ideas.


It is time for the activities of Tighar, Nauticos, Chasing Earhart and other clubs and individuals that capitalize on the so-called, 'Earhart mystery' to stop asking people to donate their hard earned money to their misleading efforts.

Back To: 'Amelia Became Irene'
As noted, the 'Amelia became Irene' assertion first surfaced in November of 1970. What too few recall is that several months later it turned into a lawsuit that lasted five-years and reached the New York Supreme Court before ending with a curious, inconclusive summary judgment that is elaborated on further down. 
To understand how this all played out back then, the following newspaper article appeared on Amelia Earhart's 77th birthday, July 24, 1974, three years into the odd lawsuit its headline referred to as, "Still Up in the Air" at that time. Easy to read excerpts from the article appear after the 'Preview' of how the lawsuit began: 


Enlarged below is the first paragraph;
find other enlarged excerpts further down.
Automatically, it should be hard for one to
figure why the legal system had yet to finalize
the true identity of the individual in question:


How The Lawsuit Began
The 'Still Up in the Air' issue at hand in 1974, incredibly enough, was the question of whether or not Amelia Earhart survived her 1937 disappearance in a stealth manner and went on to assume the identity of Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, who was very much alive at the time--and shown the lower right portion of the "Still Up in the Air" article identified as Irene Bolam. ('Bolam' became the post-war only, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's added surname after her 1958 marriage to Guy Bolam.) It is worth noting that Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam was never forensically compared to Amelia Earhart, nor was Digital Face Recognition technology available prior to the Twenty-First Century analysis taking place.


Before getting into Digital Face Recognition and other 'forensic studies' that had not been applied to the Irene-Amelia case before, a close examination of the 1974, "Still Up in the Air" newspaper article helps to enlighten. The article was updating a defamation lawsuit that had challenged some of the contents from the controversial 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas, shown here:


To individually evaluate some key points the 1974 "Still Up in the Air" article presented, here they are separated out. It is important to comprehend what each one conveyed.   

Again starting with the first paragraph:


Think about that. After four years the legal process still couldn't figure out if the person in question, Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile Bolam, was or wasn't the former Amelia Earhart(?)

Sure it could have. Easily... if it wanted to.


 The article doesn't include that she did not sue McGraw-Hill and the authors for asserting she was the 'former' Amelia Earhart. She sued for defamation by way of contending the book, Amelia Earhart Lives, featured content she felt was damaging to her character image. [See the next excerpt.] 


The above 'complaints' basically amounted to some libelous ways she felt the book, Amelia Earhart Lives, referred to her person.  


To further elaborate on the above, Gervais, (Joseph A. Gervais, a retired USAF Major) had been invited by one of Amelia Earhart's 1930s pilot friends, the well-known Viola Gentry, to come and lecture about his ongoing investigation of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. Viola arranged to travel Joe Gervais and his wife and two children across the country to New York from their home in Nevada, covering their flight and lodging expenses in the process. The club he was to lecture to was The Early Birds of Aviation that was holding its annual summer luncheon. It was there,  after he noticed Mrs. Irene Bolam and her British husband, Guy Bolam, and their impressive entrance to the event along with Viola's surprised reaction to their attending that day--and feeling a slight 'chill' (as he described it), that Joe Gervais asked Viola Gentry to introduce him to the couple. In conversation, feeling Mrs. Bolam resembled Amelia Earhart in a haunting way, he asked her if she had known Amelia? She replied "yes" that she "had known Amelia well" and she had "often flown with her." Having never heard of Mrs. Irene Bolam before and hopelessly intrigued by her, he could not resist asking if he could take her picture(?) She turned to her husband, Guy, to see how he felt about it, and as he finished saying he 'didn't think it was a good idea', she turned back to Joe Gervais to politely decline his request... just as Joe clicked his camera shutter. So he ended up taking her picture anyway. [His gut-feeling initiative later proved to have marked a 'Zapruder-like' moment.] After Gervais took the picture she quietly uttered, "I wish you hadn't done that." Below is the very photo taken by Joseph A. Gervais on that day, the way it was presented in the book, Amelia Earhart Lives, five years later:  




Note: Investigative journalist, Tod Swindell, came to know Joseph A. Gervais in 1996. He had heard Gervais still maintained his belief that the Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam he met and photographed in 1965, used to be known as Amelia Earhart. As well, he learned from him that a forensic analysis designed to compare her person to Amelia Earhart's person had never been done before--so he began consulting with forensic experts to learn how to orchestrate one. Where plenty of material on Amelia Earhart existed in the public realm to enable a comparison study, it took him years to acquire enough material on Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam to enable a comprehensive evaluation. The past of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile had been thoroughly obfuscated by 1965, and her extended family proved evasive when cooperation was sought from them. In time, though, the results of the study he orchestrated were nothing short of astounding as evidenced by the volumes of irrefutable data and comparison samples it produced.


Tod Swindell and Joseph A. Gervais in 2002



The analysis revealed this Irene Craigmile-
Bolam was identified nowhere as 'Irene' prior
to the conclusion of World War Two.

According to record, there was an Irene Craigmile who did briefly know Amelia Earhart in the 1930s. Said Irene Craigmile, a young widow then, earned her pilot's license in May of 1933. At the time she did, however, she realized she had become pregnant out of wedlock and barely flew again after that. Her license then lapsed in 1937, and it was never renewed after that. The 'Mrs. Bolam' identified in the above photograph, reprinted from the picture Joe Gervais took of her in 1965, as it turned out [and as you will see] was not the original Irene Craigmile. Rather, she undeniably was the former Amelia Earhart after all, who had assumed the left-over identity of Irene Craigmile. By way of Digital Face Recognition [see the sample below and more comparisons further down] and other forensic evaluations conducted in the complete analysis, there is virtually no doubt about this anymore... no matter how strongly some individuals--to foremost include Amelia Earhart's and the original Irene Craigmile's extended family members, individuals at the Smithsonian Institution, or wikipedia for that matter as well--continue to try and persuade the general public not to pay attention to it.





Below: The original Irene Craigmile is shown with her husband in 1930. Note: Amelia Earhart had first known the original Irene Craigmile's aunt, a prominent attorney by the name of Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, who she met through the Zonta organization. She learned of how her attorney friend, Irene, had raised her niece, the original Irene Craigmile, from age twelve on, and so much led to Amelia being introduced to the original Irene Craigmile. 


Again above & at right enhanced: The original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile
is pictured next to her husband, Charles James Craigmile, in 1930.


Note how the 1974 "Still Up in the Air" article never referenced who Irene Craigmile was before her "earlier marriage" took place.
The original Irene Craigmile's birth name was Irene Madeleine O'Crowley. ('Madeline' was an alternate spelling noticed for her middle name; her birth certificate was never located.) She had been an only child who was twelve when her mother died. She was nicknamed 'Beatrice' ('Bee' for short) after her attorney aunt, Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, took her in to further raise her in 1916. Below is a December 20, 1928 newspaper announcement describing her marriage to her first husband, Charles James Craigmile: 


Dr. Clarence O'Crowley, a respected Urologist, was attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley's brother. Sadly, less than three years after Charles and Irene's wedding took place at Dr. O'Crowley's home, Charles James Craigmile, who was fifteen-years older than his wife, died of a sudden illness leaving the original Irene Craigmile widowed at age twenty-seven. Below is a newspaper notice of Charles James Craigmile's passing dated September 23, 1931. The original Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, his survived wife, is listed toward the end of the article in the right hand column. Since the couple was not married until December of 1928, they had actually been together less than three years when Charles died as opposed to the "five years" mentioned in the article:




Charles James Craigmile indeed was survived by his wife, Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile. Except she was not the person who went on to marry Guy Bolam of England in 1958. That person was the former Amelia Earhart, who was given the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's identity to use after World War Two and for the remainder of her days.


The Lawsuit Outcome

When the defamation lawsuit finally concluded with a summary judgment handed down in January of 1976, Mrs. Irene Craigmile-Bolam, [AKA the former Amelia Earhart] was not awarded $1.5 million dollars. Instead, the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company was ordered to pay her $60 thousand dollars for the damaging, non-provable conjecture about her it allowed to appear in the book Amelia Earhart Lives. When it came to Joseph A. Gervais and Joe Klaas, though, they held their ground and insisted Mrs. Craigmile-Bolam provide some kind of positive identification measure, such as fingerprints, to once and for all prove she was not the former Amelia Earhart. She refused to do so, and thus was ordered to exchange $10 dollars of consideration with Gervais and Klaas.

Although it was barely noticed at the time, this is how her defamation case against retired USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais and Joe Klaas ended.


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. Note: Jackie Cochran was the first woman to enter Japan immediately after VJ Day and was later ascertained to have been involved with Amelia's non-publicized return to the U.S.


November, 1970, the former Amelia Earhart, AKA Irene O'Crowley 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." the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam was convincing when she stated this at her press conference in response to the assertion that she was the former Amelia Earhart made by retired Air Force Major, Joseph A. Gervais, found in the book, Amelia Earhart Lives, shown above in the foreground. Although her denials were accepted then, decades later, Tod Swindell's thorough analysis of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's background combined with his human comparison study revealed that she appeared nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the conclusion of World War Two, enabling the conclusion of a reality long unrecognized: The post-war only Irene most definitely had been previously known as, Amelia Earhart.


Amelia Earhart


Amelia and her future 'Irene' self combined


Left and Right, where one has trouble recognizing the former Amelia Earhart in either of these two '1965 & 1970' photos, this is understandable. Except the same person is in both photos and she did used to be known as Amelia Earhart. The image of any particular individual may sometimes be hard to recognize as one in the same depending on expression, pose, lighting, and in this case of course, an age difference that would include style changes in both hair and clothing. There's also Amelia herself during the 1930s. For example, take a look at the two photos of her below taken about a year apart from each other: 



Photographs of Amelia Earhart are plenty but they are not always consistently recognizable. In this example, when one compares the 1937 photo of her on the left to the 1936 photo of her on the right, it's hard to see the same person, even though the photos were taken only a year apart from each other. The photo on the left is used again in the 'Another Perspective' section a little further down.



Below: The 'Height' Debate
The original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's height was listed as 5'4". Amelia was about 5'7" and often wore heels that left her looking taller, as much as 5'9" or so. Where it was said the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile was too short compared to Amelia Earhart, once again the suggestion was void of a comparison study. Here below, a head-to-toe comparison using a photo of the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam taken in 1964 on a bridge in Paris, France, reveals the height congruence:


Amelia Earhart, Elinor Smith, Viola Gentry






Below, what did Amelia Earhart's only sibling, her younger sister, Muriel, think about the sudden 1970 claim that stated Amelia quietly survived her disappearance and changed her name to Irene? As it turned out, Muriel knew her sister, Amelia, as 'Irene' in her later life years and became a key instrument in helping to prevent the exposure of it to her dying day in 1998:   



Above: Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Amelia's sister and only sibling, was familiarly known as "Muriel." She is shown above a few years prior to her marriage to Albert Morrissey. (Muriel was nicknamed "Pidge"as she grew up; Amelia's nickname was "Millie.")
In the 1980s, of the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, Amelia's sister, Muriel, was quoted in a newspaper to have made these remarks about the still ongoing controversy over who her later life friend, Irene, really was, or used to be: "Of course I know Irene. She is a sister Zonta." "There is practically no physical resemblance."
Muriel protected the truth of her sister's later-life existence as 'Irene' by consistently denouncing it. The siblings kept their later-life Zonta Club friendship out of the spotlight as well, although they were seen at times at the same gatherings. The study results contradicted Muriel's, "no physical resemblance" opinion she offered after she was asked to comment on the suggestion that her later life Zonta friend, Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, was actually her survived sister, Amelia, living under an assumed identity.
Comparing the above photos of Muriel and the post-war only Irene, one can also see the familial resemblance.
Muriel never publicly disclosed the truth about her sister before she died in 1998, at the age of 98.
To this day it remains uncertain when her sister, the former Amelia Earhart, died, AKA, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam. Although her death was reported in 1982, at that time it was the surrogate mother of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's 1934 born son who actually died; yet another, entirely different person who while raising the boy from his early childhood on, was also attributed to his mother's identity. (See below.).
Note: In 2006, and again in writing in 2014, the 1934 born son of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, positively identified the person below as his "mother" the way she looked, "around 1940." She was not the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, nor was she the former Amelia Earhart, who went by that name after World War Two.  


The New Earhart Reality
People familiar with the 'Irene-Amelia' controversy from the 1970s, likely recall hearing about Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, the 1930s' pilot who in 1965, averred she used to 'know' and had 'often flown' with Amelia Earhart.
The results of the 'Digital Face Recognition' comparison study have determined there was more than one person attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile' identity. Definitively, combined with ID placements made by the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's extended family (foremost her 1934 born son) as part of the study, DFR verified this reality.
The analysis also verified that one of the Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the end of World War Two. As well, and significantly, according to the study results the one that only appeared as 'Irene Craigmile' after World War Two exhibited a complete human congruence to Amelia Earhart, the famous pilot who went 'missing' in 1937. To claim that the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile and Amelia Earhart were veritable clones at this point would be nothing short of ridiculous. Below is another good reason why. 
According to the photographic record of her person, here are a few pictures showing Irene O'Crowley Craigmile at different stages of her life prior to the World War Two era:




Where the above photo images seem to significantly vary from one another, they should. The analysis discovered that prior to World War Two, photographs of Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's person were scarce, of low quality, and inconsistent when it came to being able to recognize the same person in each one of them.
Otherwise, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's photo images were precisely consistent from the post-World War Two era on, all the way to the 1980s. Not to omit, the analysis results evidenced the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's congruence to Amelia Earhart, to any further exist on an obvious to observe level. Once again, take a look:  


Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam
and Guy Bolam in Japan, 1963.


Amelia Earhart, age 30 

 Repeated from above, telling examples featuring Amelia Earhart
compared to her post-World War Two self as 'Irene Craigmile':


Senator Hiram Bingham
& Amelia Earhart


Distinguished and proud with her
trademark wings and pearls.






Above, the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile visiting
Long Island, New York, in 1965. [Joseph A. Gervais photo.]
She was identified nowhere as 'Irene Craigmile' prior to
World War Two because she used to be Amelia Earhart. The
world public, however, was never supposed to know about it.

Here again below, the Digital Face Recognition grid
shows Amelia Earhart's face template transformed
into the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile-
Bolam's face template from the 1965 Gervais photo:

AMELIA, 1937




A sample from the 'Character Traits' section of the analysis.

Below, a 1967 handwritten line from the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile-Bolam, describes two pilot friends she knew in the 1930s when she was known as 'Amelia Earhart' whom she knew again in her later-life years whe she was known as 'Irene Craigmile' and after 1958 as 'Irene Bolam'. The line is cryptically phrased but displayed how she recognized herself to be a different person after the war years.

The pilots she referred to were Viola Gentry and Elmo Pickerill. Both had known her as 'Amelia' in the 1930s, then again as 'Irene' in her later years.


Below is Amelia's own 'Amelia M Earhart' signature
the way it appeared on a form she filled out in high school.
The likeness of both handwriting styles was not a coincidence
because they were written by the same individual. 


Note: As an adult, Amelia's handwriting varied significantly depending on who she was writing to or the circumstances she was dealing with. It could be neat and formal or rushed and loopy. As Irene her handwriting style was the same of course, although she was more consistently 'neat.'

Below, from the Character Traits comparison study, some of the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile's cursive letters are shown on the left, and some cursive letter samples from when she was known as Amelia Earhart are shown on the right:







Note: The above comparisons are part of the extensive Document Examination portion of the analysis. 

Intro to the Comparison Analysis
The few samples above are part of a large scale 'head-to-toe physical' and 'character traits' Irene Craigmile to Amelia Earhart forensic comparison study achieved during the past two decades. The complete study determined an overall congruence existed between the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart, to the point of exhibiting one in the same human being who went by different names in different eras.
Most who remember the controversial 'Amelia became Irene' assertion making national news in 1970, had dismissed it at some point. When the Twentieth Century came to a close, however, the debate over who Irene Craigmile really was, or used to be, had not gone away, and the comparison analysis was called for when it was realized the 'Amelia Earhart became known as Irene Craigmile' assertion was never  forensically settled. As well, there was no record of a human comparison analysis having been done before.
A current lack of awareness about this is mostly attributed to the combined posturing of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society. From the beginning, both made no effort to prove the controversial 'Amelia became Irene' assertion true or false after it surfaced. Instead, they automatically refused to endorse it, let alone take it seriously. Hindsight shows them favoring a viewpoint suggesting it was absurd to even consider the idea of Amelia Earhart somehow surviving her 1937 disappearance and assuming a different identity. (A shared viewpoint that never changed much.) 
The 'pro' argument included Amelia Earhart changing her name during the World War Two era not only for the sake of her future privacy, but in the interest of post-World War Two era 'geopolitical politeness' as well, so countries recently at war with each other (in the former Amelia Earhart's case, Japan and the United States) might better segue into their new, friendlier and more supportive relationships.
The 'New Millennium' research analysis thoroughly reviewed the key findings of formidable 'Earhart disappearance investigators' from years gone by. It was also the first one to orchestrate and then feature a comprehensive, Irene Craigmile as compared to Amelia Earhart forensic display.


Joseph A. Gervais (above) was a
distinguished USAF pilot who served
in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam before
retiring as a Major. After investigating
Amelia Earhart's disappearance for a
number of years, in 1965, he realized
the truth about Amelia's survival and her
name change to 'Irene' after meeting her.
Except when he tried to go public with it
in a 1970 book, he was reviled for doing
so. No matter, to his dying day in 2005, he
never disavowed that the Irene Craigmile
he met and photographed in 1965 was not
the original Irene Craigmile. Instead, he
always insisted that she had previously
been known as Amelia Earhart.


Again, above is the 1965 Joseph A. Gervais photo of
Englishman, Guy Bolam, and his American wife by
their 1958 marriage, the post-war only Irene Craigmile,
the way it appeared in the 1970 controversial book by
Joe Klaas, Amelia Earhart Lives.


The unprecedented, 'Amelia Earhart compared to Irene Craigmile' analysis was conceived and orchestrated by independent researcher, Tod Swindell. Not only was his the first comprehensive, Amelia versus Irene analysis on record, it was the first to use Digital Face Recognition technology combined with physical and character trait comparisons. He decided a comparison study was needed after he met Joe Gervais in 1996. He was impressed by Joe's honesty and the veracity he demonstrated in his ascertainment of Amelia Earhart having survived the World War Two era and changing her name to Irene Craigmile--and then learning as well from him--that a forensic comparison analysis to prove his point had never been done.  

The final results of The Swindell Study clearly revealed how the post-World War Two only 'Irene Craigmile' most definitely had been, previously known as Amelia Earhart.

Amelia, Amelia as Irene,
and the 'Overview Effect'
By Tod Swindell
© 2020
As the Twentieth Century came to a close it was realized a thirty-year old assertion stating a woman known as 'Irene Craigmile' after the World War Two era used to be known as 'Amelia Earhart' had never been disproved.
Now, all evidence indicates the post-World War Two only 'Irene Craigmile' actually was the former Amelia Earhart.
When the Irene-Amelia controversy first surfaced in 1970, it was swiftly shouted-down by the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile and the extended families of both Amelia Earhart and the original Irene Craigmile. The post-war only Irene also sued the people who called her out against her will. Then, after exhibiting her strong defiance--and handling the national news media like a pro--even though she never offered any real proof showing she was not the former Amelia Earhart, the press left her alone from that point on.
This is not to imply she enjoyed the process of refusing to acknowledge her famous past. Rather, she had grown accustomed to her 'private life' existence by 1970, and she merely wished to keep it that way. As well, her later-life close acquaintances, (including her sister, Muriel) whom were aware of who she used to be, fully supported her. In her mind and theirs, the Amelia Earhart who history recalled had ceased-to-be decades ago. It would have been all-but impossible for the post-war only Irene to claim such a mantle again in 1970, or anytime after that... for as long as she continued to live.
It is clear the former Amelia Earhart treasured her reborn existence as a non-public figure who was able to fit-into and function in everyday society. Make no mistake, though, she was still an extremely proud individual--and she had every right to be. She had recognized, during her famous career as a pilot, her own Overview Effect, a term introduced to describe a phenomena experienced by astronauts. The Overview Effect is a cognitive shift of awareness that occurs when looking down at the earth from above. "National boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect earth's fragile ecosystem becomes both obvious and imperative." Reading Amelia's final book, Last Flight, that she wrote and sent pages home during the course of her 1937 world flight circumnavigation, profoundly illuminates her forward thinking in said manner. We are also reminded here that Amelia was a pacifist.
She could be a tough customer, though, both as Irene and when she used to be Amelia.
As Amelia, she feared no one in the 1930s, including President Roosevelt, and to control-tower operators she was known to sometimes 'swear like a sailor' over her two-way radio during landing approaches if she sensed any degree of incompetence. 
Twenty seven years ago, in a 1993 'Amelia Earhart Society of Reseachers' newsletter article, the post-war only Irene's later-life sister-in-law, who had married Guy Bolam's brother, John Bolam, (who long suspected his sister-in-law was the former Amelia Earhart but dared not bring it up in her presence) described her in the following manner:
"People liked her immensely, and would proudly introduce her to others. She was intelligent, articulate (except for occassional salty and sometimes acerbic language), and had a commanding presence. She knew a lot of important people, including many high ranking military officers, astronauts, and flyers." "After Guy died in 1970 [the post war-only Irene's British husband by their 1958 marriage, Guy Bolam] she continued to manage the Radio Luxembourg accounts while trekking around the world." "Her Christmas cards told of the places she had been that year, or the ones she intended to visit next. She thoroughly enjoyed life, people, events, theater, travel, new heights. She was the epitome of a "Classy Lady". Yet we believe that foremost they [Guy and the post-war only Irene] were friends and protectors of each other, and perhaps the keepers of each others' secrets."


Astronaut Wally Schirra
In 1988, original seven astronaut, Wally Schirra, described to Rockville, Illinois TV news reporter, Dean Magley, that he had "met" the woman previously known as Amelia Earhart at NASA's cape Kennedy in the 1970s. Dean Magley actually filmed a brief interview with Wally Schirra, where the famous astronaut mentioned "reliable people" he knew had clued him in about Amelia Earhart living with a different name in her later life years. The now-late Dean Magley had extensively interviewed Monsignor James Francis Kelley in 1987 as well, who also disclosed to him that his later life close friend, Irene, used to be known as Amelia Earhart. As a result of his separately conducted interviews with both men, along with several other knowledgeable individuals he engaged about it, Dean Magley became fully convinced that the post-war only Irene Craigmile had previously been known as 'Amelia Earhart.' He was equally convinced, though, that such a truth was something the public remained in the dark about by intention.

Both as Amelia and later as Irene, her superior intellect was noticeable in many ways. She (as Amelia and as Irene) spoke several languages, and though not particularly religious she once described her conceptualization of 'God' as, "not an abstraction, but a vitalizing, universal force, eternally present, and at all times available."
During her later life as Irene, she was also devoted to the writings of Carl Jung, the famous philosopher who was known to divide life into segments, i.e. from age one to age twenty; from age twenty to age forty; from age forty to age sixty... etc. Recall Amelia went 'missing' just three weeks shy of her 40th birthday, and thus began the next life-segment of her existence on earth at that time. 
In short, this was one extraordinary person who lived a long, meaningful, very full and diversified life.


Above left, the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile, AKA "the former Amelia Earhart" in 1964 at a Zonta gathering. Above right, she is superimposed with her former 'Amelia' self.

As it turned out, the original Irene Craigmile, who looked entirely different than Amelia Earhart, no longer appeared during the onset of World War Two. Anyone who takes the time to seriously research her life story will realize this.

Here, the conclusion delivered by the analysis left it crystal clear: There was more than one Twentieth Century person attributed to the same Irene Craigmile identity and the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile matched Amelia Earhart in every haunting detail.

In other words, the comparison analysis results on their own revealed the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after she was declared 'missing' in 1937. Said truth being, the obscured demise of the original Irene Craigmile left her identity available for Amelia's post war era use.

Beyond that, there is still much 'filling in the blanks' left to be done, although the forensic research portion of the analysis managed to better illuminate many of those voids as well.



The post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile was not the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile. Since 1970, however, when she was correctly implicated to have been the former Amelia Earhart, her denials left people believing her enough to where further suspicion toward who she really was, or used to be, was deemed unnecessary. This is why no one felt conducting a human comparison study was necessary then.
Except the controversy over who she really was never went away. In the meantime, the U.S. federal government offered no opinion about it. Yet as decades continued to pass and the later comparison results only grew clearer, it arrived at a point where to keep denying the obvious truth of Amelia Earhart living on and becoming known as 'Irene' ...was to remain in denial about it.

~Another Perspective~
Amelia Earhart's famous career as a pilot spanned a period of nine years; from the time of her Friendship flight when she was thirty-years old until she went missing when she was just shy of turning forty. The amount of different looks thousands of cameras captured of her during that time period is pretty amazing. In the below comparison showing her at opposite ends of her famous career, once again it is difficult to recognize the same person:


Amelia before she went missing,
just shy of her fortieth birthday.


Amelia at the beginning of her fame
years as a pilot, age thirty-one.


Can an individual change over time physically, emotionally, spiritually, and ego-wise to a point where they become difficult to recognize after a long period of absence? Consider the following quote from Twentieth-Century philosopher, Uell Stanley Anderson:

"If we think of ourselves as bodies, our changing self becomes apparent. It is nearly impossible even for families to recognize a loved one after thirty years of absence, so greatly has the self altered. And a little reflection upon the changing quality of consciousness is sure to give us some insight into the numberless selves our surface minds and egos have become since first appearing in the world." Uell Stanley Andersen (1917-1986)

Here as well, consider the 1987 words of Monsignor James Francis Kelley, the former President of Seton Hall College who many considered to have been the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam's closest later-life friend. Father Kelley, who held PhDs in philosophy and psychology, acknowledged helping with Amelia's post-war identity change and reckoned her to some close acquaintances of his as 'the former Amelia Earhart.' He described to reporter Dean Magley and to his friend, Donald DeKoster, "After all she'd been through she didn't want to be the world famous Amelia Earhart anymore."

The point being, the public did not know 'all Amelia had been through' and how it changed her to a place where she no longer wished to be the world famous celebrity she once was.


Greta Garbo
Another prime example of an individual who no longer wanted to be recognized as a 'world famous' person.
"I never said, ""I want to be alone."" What I did say was, ""I want to be left alone."" The words of Greta Garbo.  [Note: At age 36 in 1941, Greta Garbo chose to abandon her superstar motion picture career in Hollywood. She never returned to it, opting to live in relative obscurity for the remainder of her days.] 



Above left: Greta Garbo at the height of her fame in the mid-1930s. Above right: By the 1960s, nary a soul recognized her anymore when she resided in New York City's upper east side--and she preferred it that way.


From early adulthood on, as the decades pass while people age their styles change with the times and their faces grow to look care worn in the process. For what it's worth, Amelia Earhart managed to age pretty well into her later life years as 'Irene', as did Greta Garbo. Yet if you went thirty years without seeing either of the individuals in the above and below photos, would you recognize them for the celebrities they used to be? Not likely. 



Tod Swindell

"Amelia Earhart was almost forty years old when she went missing in 1937, and while continuing on with her quiet 'post-fame years' existence, by changing her name she outdid Greta Garbo in her quest to further live a non-public life. As the former Amelia Earhart grew to old age she continued to write poetry and to study philosophy, most particularly the writings of Carl Jung.
Clearly, it is time for the world public to finally know the full value of Amelia Earhart's complete life story. Nobody is without faults, but Amelia truly was an amazing individual human being in both her younger and older life forms."

"The forensic studies are very convincing. She was not an ordinary housewife. She was influential, knew many well placed people and was well traveled." From an Associated Press article, John Bolam, Irene Craigmile Bolam's survived brother in law, refers to The Swindell Study's in-progress analysis of Amelia Earhart's disappearance and 'missing person' case. After reviewing the preliminary study results, John Bolam further reckoned his past sister-in-law as the former Amelia Earhart. He first met her in the 1960s, after she had married his brother, Guy, in 1958. 


While some important sounding individuals still try to convince the public otherwise, even though they have always been quick to dismiss it out of hand, technically the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society managed to remain 'neutral' toward the 'Amelia became known as Irene' story. The Smithsonian and Nat Geo have been aware of the Irene-Amelia controversy for many years, and it is interesting to note, neither has ever conducted their own investigation that looked into it, nor have they ever offered a factual conclusive statement about it. 

More On The Original Irene (O'Crowley) Craigmile 
The original Irene Craigmile was a real person from the past who did not resemble her 1930s acquaintance, Amelia Earhart.
When the original Irene Craigmile began learning to be a pilot in late 1932, with introductions offered to flying by Amelia Earhart and one of Amelia's well known pilot friends, Viola Gentry, she was fortunate to have such great pilots helping her. Viola especially took the original Irene Craigmile under her wing and became her friend and mentor. Yet, the fun of it was halted within a year, after the original Irene became pregnant and stopped flying. In August of 1933 she eloped to wed her child to be's father, Alvin Heller, and in early March of 1934 she gave birth to their son, Clarence Alvin "Larry" Heller.
Below is a photo (purportedly) of the original Irene Craigmile holding her 1934 born son.
As it turned out, the original Irene Craigmile's demise was obscured in order to give the still-living, Amelia Earhart, her identity to use after World War Two. As course had it, the general public was persuaded by the former Amelia Earhart herself after she was outed against her will in 1970, to believe she was the one and only, Irene Craigmile.
She wasn't.
By way of the new millennium study, Amelia's name-change to 'Irene' became an easy to recognize truth within the conveyance of what ultimately became of Amelia Earhart after she went missing in 1937.


Here is a brief time-line of the original Irene Craigmile's 1930s existence that left her identity available for Amelia Earhart's later-life use:
1.)  In 1931, the original Irene Craigmile's first husband, Charles Craigmile, died from a sudden illness.
2.)  A year later, in 1932, the original Irene Craigmile began taking flying lessons with guidance offered by Amelia Earhart and Viola Gentry.
3.)  In 1933, the original Irene Craigmile became pregnant out of wedlock.
4.)  Purportedly, the photo above shows the original Irene Craigmile holding her March of 1934 born son. She had eloped to 'shotgun' marry the boy's father, one Al Heller, who had served as one of her flying instructors, but their marriage was subsequently annulled after it was learned Al Heller was still legally married to another woman who he also had children with.
5.)  By 1937, Al Heller had relocated alone to the distant city of Buffalo, New York. Estrangement and a legal 'visiting rights' battle began between he and the original Irene over their 'son' at that time.
6.) After enduring her mid-late 1930s' struggles, that may or may not have led to battles with alcohol and depression, (Al Heller indicated so much in his legal complaints about her) we may never know why exactly, but by the time World War Two began the original Irene Craigmile had slipped into oblivion.
7.) In 1993, a later life friend of the original Irene Craigmile's family, Diana Dawes, spoke of the original Irene Craigmile's death occurring and being 'covered over' in order to enable Amelia Earhart to further use her identity. (As mentioned, Amelia had known the original Irene Craigmile's prominent aunt through the Zonta organization. Years later, Diana Dawes grew to know the original Irene Craigmile's son.) The original Irene's 1934 born son was still young enough to be imprinted with a 'surrogate' mother figure at the time, whom he recognized as his 'natural mother' ever since. (His surrogate mother was neither the original Irene Craigmile nor the former Amelia Earhart.) As well, at his young age during the World War Two years, the original Irene's son was placed in a boarding school he graduated from in 1947.
8.)  With the post-war 'former' Amelia Earhart helping to endorse the process, Clarence Alvin 'Larry' Heller, the 1934 born son of the original Irene Craigmile, grew up to become a pilot for Pan Am Airways. His father, Al Heller, ended up becoming a senior vice president of the Miami Aviation Association. Note: Miami was a major Pan Am hub for many years and of course, Fred Noonan, Amelia's world flight navigator, had been one of Pan Am's chief navigators for its overseas Flying Clipper service before he left to navigate for Amelia. (The old rumor that Fred Noonan was fired from Pan Am for drunkeness and Amelia threw him a bone was not true. In his day, Fred Noonan was among the best air-over-ocean navigators in the world. He was selected and was 'asked' to participate in Amelia's world flight.)


Above, top row third from left, Fred Noonan is pictured in this 1935 Pan Am China Clipper crew & specs fold-out next to the famous Clipper Capitan, Edwin C. Musick, center. These formidable aviators were basically viewed in their day on a heroic level similar to the way astronauts would be decades later. Of note, Captain Musick was among the most famous pilots of his era. He had piloted planes continuously from 1911 on, logging over a million air-over-ocean miles until his Samoan Clipper tragically went down near Pago Pago in 1938, killing he and its six crew members in the process.

Fred Noonan? Beyond serving as a great Pan Am navigator, he was also a pilot who sometimes spelled Amelia at the controls during their 1937 world flight. It is ludicrous to even consider the idea of him turning into an irresponsible drunk during the course of such a carefully monitored journey. The ruse of it was invented though, to try and place the blame for the duo's failure to spot Howland Island on his shoulders. As it turned out, Howland had been misscharted by a naval cartographer.

Fred Noonan was serving as the head navigator aboard the China Clipper, shown below left, as it flew over the under-construction Golden Gate Bridge in 1935 during its famous inaugural flight. Two years later, in 1937, he was on board Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra as it flew over the nearly completed Golden Gate Bridge at the onset of Amelia's first world flight attempt, below right. 


Back To Irene (O'Crowley) Craigmile
"It is true how in the mid-1930s, for a brief period of time the original Irene Craigmile was a fledgling pilot who was acquainted with Amelia Earhart. What remained unrealized was the way her personal struggles, followed by her premature demise, became intertwined with Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after she was declared 'missing' in 1937. This observable reality that finally managed to surface in recent years, is the most important historical discovery about Amelia Earhart's disappearance and missing person case ever made." Tod Swindell
Below is a 1932 Akron, Ohio newspaper photo showing Amelia Earhart outlined in white and the original Irene Craigmile outlined in black. In the enlargement one can see how the original Irene Craigmile's image is completely unreadable. At the time this photo was taken, the original Irene Craigmile was not yet a pilot and had yet to begin taking flying lessons. [Learn more about the original Irene Craigmile's life story further down.]



The 1937 disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan was ranked by the Associated Press as one of the top ten news stories of the Twentieth Century. In the United States, no definitive answer to what became of the two was ever given. Overseas, however, in the region they went missing, a consistent account has always existed pertaining to what actually happened to them, one perpetually avoided by official United States historians.

The complete analysis supplemented its human comparison findings with new avenues of investigative research, all of which had a game changing effect on the decades old, never resolved, 'Amelia Earhart compared to Irene Craigmile' debate. It expanded on many testimonials gathered from overseas and from U.S. soldiers who served in the Pacific theater during World War Two, to include the words of U.S. Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz, all of whom relayed their common assessment (in Nimitz' case, 'awareness') of Amelia's ongoing survival in Japan's care after her disappearance.

Below, barely a week after "Victory over Japan Day" in 1945, a United Press article suggested a glimmer of hope existed where a final answer to what happened to Amelia Earhart might be forthcoming. Underneath it, Robert Gorlaski's 1981 WWII Chronicles book featured an Amelia Earhart box describing the general consensus of different things people believed when it came to what happened to Amelia, without offering a solid answer. Notice in both 1945 UP article and the Gorlaski book, a Marshall Islands 'mention' was included. As well, noticed under the box about Amelia Earhart, the description of the Marco Polo Bridge incident taking place just five days (July 7-8) after Earhart and Noonan went missing, that by July 11 was turning into a full scale invasion and conflict. It was during that brief time period that Amelia and Fred Noonan were 'picked up' by Japan's Naval authority.   




Here, let's take a look at more of the Amelia Earhart disappearance and missing person case information the Study either uncovered or shed a better light on:


Above: Former long-time FBI Director, the
indomitable, J. Edgar Hoover, (1895-1972). See
samples from his WWII Earhart file further down.

Directly below, from 1970 to 2016, four nationally published books expounded on the reality of Amelia Earhart continuing to live-on and changing her name to 'Irene Craigmile' after she was reported 'missing' in 1937. However, after the controversy over what really became of Amelia began to surface in the 1960s, the United States 'free press' was persuaded by a politburo-like influence traceable to then FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, not to deeply investigate her world flight outcome, or to at all express a certain opinion about it.
Hard to believe but true, this is how the 'mystery of Amelia Earhart' was reborn in a modern sense, and why the American public has never seen its own national news media seriously investigate the 1960s discovery of Amelia's ongoing existence as a renamed person. At the same time, none of the following books were ever legally over-challenged where they concluded Amelia lived-on to become known as Irene Craigmile. [Notice they didn't get supportive press coverage either.] Here they are:


The 1970 Joe Klaas book inspired by the investigative research of Joseph A. Gervais, cited Amelia Earhart survived and became known as "Irene Craigmile." Joseph A. Gervais, who always stood by his discovery of Amelia living as 'Irene Craigmile' after the war, collaborated with Tod Swindell's forensic study during last decade of his life, (1996 to 2005).


This 1985 book by Robert Myers and Barbara Wiley, also cited that Amelia Earhart survived and became known as "Irene Craigmile."


This 2004 book by USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck (Ret.), was first to credit The Swindell Study's discovery of plural Irene Craigmile's, while also agreeing that one of them was the 'former' Amelia Earhart after World War Two.  


In tribute to the three previous book authors, after looking into it himself, author W.C. Jameson's 2016 effort as well averred Amelia Earhart lived to become known as 'Irene Craigmile.' His book also acknowledged the pending completion of Tod Swindell's twenty-year forensic study.  

Samples from the World War Two FBI file on Amelia Earhart:


As noted, the 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives was primarily focused on the decade-long investigative research of Joseph A. Gervais. Above is a personal response to Gervais from an inquiry he sent to J. Edgar Hoover in early 1969 asking for any information the FBI might have on Amelia Earhart. Hoover's response was typical, although after he died in 1972, the World War Two FBI file on Amelia Earhart, that he had personally controlled, was at least partially released after the FOIA of 1980. Several documents stressing Amelia's ongoing existence during the war under Japan's stewardship were contained in the file, as were responses and inquiries from Hoover about them. Names and specifics were carefully blacked out on each one. One December of 1944 document (displayed on the right) pulled from the file told of of recovering soldier's conveyance of an awareness he had gained of Amelia Earhart still being stewarded by Japan at that time. 


The soldier referenced above, (his name blacked out) who was recovering at Walter Reed Hosptal in Washington DC in late 1944, was interviewed by an FBI agent at the bequest of J. Edgar Hoover. To the FBI agent, he described his awareness of Amelia Earhart's war time existence in Japan's charge based on information he learned during a pre-war time experience he had while stationed in the Phillipines and his later internments in Japan POW camps. This is just one of several documents from the WWII FBI Earhart file that featured different U.S. soldier accounts describing Amelia's ongoing survival. J. Edgar Hoover personally followed up on each one, but was careful to not make any of them public. 


Above again is the excerpt from the top-right document. Below is J. Edgar Hoover's personal response to the document; one he forwarded to the War Department's Assistant Chief of Staff on January 19, 1945, courtesy of Brigadier General, Carter C. Clarke. He was careful not to openly project an inordinate level of confidence in the soldier's testimony, as was his m.o. for all war-time conveyances of Amelia's ongoing existence in Japan's care.


Again, the documents above mark just a sampling from among several located in the FBI's World War Two file on Amelia Earhart, that conveyed Amelia's continued existence under Japan's stewardship during the war years.



Tod Swindell


"She was not an ordinary housewife." John Bolam, 2002.

Alethephobia: Fear of truth; fear of discovery; fear of possible bad news.
In devaluing the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after 1937, jesting that she became "a New Jersey housewife" hampered people's ability to take it seriously. Even though her post-World War Two existence was far from that of a common housewife, in 1970, this distraction was originally instilled by the former Amelia Earhart herself--leaving the national press circuit to repeat it ever since. Take a look:


"Five years into my Study, regarding the above Associated Press article lead-in, it's ridiculous how printed news sometimes works. The point being, I never told Ron Staton that I believed Amelia Earhart, ""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. While I've always respected the plausibility of Japan's quiet, temporary stewardship of Amelia Earhart after she went missing, when Ron Staton asked me what I thought happened to Amelia, all I told him was I believed she survived and in due time changed her name to 'Irene Craigmile.' I never called her 'a New Jersey housewife,' nor did we discuss how Amelia might have ended up in Japan's care or how she made it back to the United States. In fact, I barely spoke to him. Not to leave out, the person Amelia became in her later-life years was no ordinary housewife. For instance, in the 1970s she was President of the Advertising Division for Radio Luxembourg--that sported the most powerful broadcasting tower in Europe. Yet, one has to give her credit there. She was always very smart and wasn't about to relinquish the private life existence she had fought hard to earn for herself after World War Two. People forget that she she never came forward to volunteer who she used to be. Rather, she was called out in 1970, and that really angered her. Who could blame her?" Tod Swindell


Above: Amelia Earhart


Again: The original Irene Craigmile
between her husband and father in 1930

The Swindell Study results allowed important, non-recognized truths about Amelia Earhart's eighty-year old missing person case to finally surface with clarity.

The main one concerned Amelia's past acquaintance, Irene Craigmile, whose obscured demise ended up playing a crucial part in Amelia's full life story.

Essentially, this website profiles a long-term investigative journalism effort. It features the key results of a twenty-year concerted analysis embarked on in 1997, that was aimed at objectively looking into the odd 1937 disappearance and subsequent 'missing person case' of Amelia Earhart more thoroughly than anything prior to it. It was also the first to deeply examine the life-story of the original Irene Craigmile, who Amelia Earhart was acquainted with in the 1930s.

The Study concluded that the original Irene Craigmile died before World War Two began, in tandem with the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile having been a different human being who matched Amelia Earhart to a "T" ...because that was who she used to be.

 Ultimately, the Study forensically proved something initially discovered and revealed fifty-years ago; that Amelia Earhart survived her disappearance and became the 'new' Irene Craigmile after World War Two.





The post-war only Irene Craigmile was not forensically compared to Amelia Earhart until after 1997, the year Tod Swindell embarked on his study of Irene Craigmile's life and her past friendship with Amelia Earhart. Above, superimposed photos using Amelia's image shown next to Eleanor Rooselvelt (left) displays an inarguable face template congruence. 

Above left, Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart. Above right, the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart superimposed.


Senator Hiram Bingham
& Amelia Earhart


Amelia & the post-war only Irene



The post-World War Two only
Irene Craigmile in 1977. Notice her
proud stature, air of self importance,
and prominently displayed pilot wings.
She was identified nowhere as Irene
Craigmile prior to the end of the war,
because she had previously been
known as, Amelia Earhart. 


How The Irene-Amelia
Controversy Began
In 1965, Joseph A. Gervais, a retired air force major, had been deeply examining the facts of Amelia Earhart's disappearance for some time when he met the post-war only, Irene Craigmile. He photographed her because he was startled by her look, sensing that he recognized her as the survived Amelia Earhart going by a different name.
Their meeting took place at a New York gathering of pilots from the golden age of aviation, some of whom were friends of Amelia's before she went missing. Beyond her strong resemblance to Amelia, Joe Gervais also noticed the respect she commanded among her peers and the "natural air of self-importance" she carried a bit curious.
After conversing with she and her British husband, Guy Bolam, he couldn't help asking if she used to know Amelia Earhart? She replied "yes," that she used to be a pilot who "knew" Amelia Earhart and she had "often flown with her." He found her reply odd because he knew a lot about Amelia Earhart and other pilots from Amelia's era, but he had never heard of an 'Irene Craigmile' before.
Still wondering about her afterward, Joseph A. Gervais did a thorough background check on Irene Craigmile. In doing so he discovered there was an Irene Craigmile who briefly held a pilot's license in the 1930s. As well, though, he discovered that the one he met in 1965, most definitely was not the original Irene Craigmile.





Tod Swindell

"It is normal for people to believe that Amelia Earhart likely died in July of 1937. After all, since the early World War Two era the general public was conditioned by history itself to accept that Amelia 'disappeared without a trace' then, and she was never seen again.
Except, that never actually happened.
Even though history says Amelia Earhart was 'never seen again' after she took off from Lae, New Guinea on July 1, 1937, and she was declared "dead in absentia" in 1939, through a reveal that has been gestating for some time we now know that Amelia Earhart did not die back then. Instead, reality states she quietly lived-on after she was declared 'missing' in 1937, and in time she assumed the left over identity of Irene Craigmile, a past acquaintance of hers. This is the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after she was reported 'missing' on July 2, 1937." Tod Swindell

Investigative Journalism


Investigative Journalism is a chronicled investigation of a high-profile, unsettled topic of interest. 

Its subject might concern a major unsolved crime, political corruption, corporate wrongdoing, or an unresolved issue of historical importance.

Investigative journalists may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. In their pursuits they use original, systematic research angles dedicated to unearthing withheld or secretly stowed information in order to tip the scale of justice in the right direction. 

Investigative journalism most often relies on the heavy use of public record searches and sleuthing.

The objective of investigative journalism is to deliver correct accountability by overchallenging an incorrect, 'a priori' formed opinion.

/a priori/ adjective 1. relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge which proceeds from theoretical deduction rather than from observation and experience.


The historical basis for the 'a priori' established opinion of what happened to Amelia Earhart:

On the morning of July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart, while airborne in her plane, sent a clear radio message stating her line of position, '157-337,' adding she was "running north and south" ostensibly along that line. At the time she was looking for Howland Island, that she never did find. According to the official record of her missing person case, these were the final known words that Amelia Earhart spoke, and she was neither seen nor heard from again.

Even though this version of what happened to Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, has been disputed ever since the event of their loss occurred; and even though it was later verified that President Franklin Roosevelt's administration withheld certain details it knew about Amelia's final flight ending, including how Amelia ultimately decided to "head north" after not finding Howland, so much made it clear the White House was aware of a different outcome for the duo other than its, "they disappeared without a trace" influence, the official record of Amelia Earhart's and Fred Noonan's loss never changed.

Amelia's last officially recorded radio message of 'we're on a line of 157-337, we're running north and south' sent on the morning of July 2, 1937 as she tried to locate Howland, was the only final detail of her last flight the American public was given, and it came directly from FDR's White House a full year after the event of Amelia's loss occurred, and only after it was requested by Eleanor Roosevelt. [True story.]

With such limited information to go on, by the time World War Two began public opinion could only assume that at some point after she stated her 157-337 line of position, Amelia crashed into the Pacific Ocean at unknown coordinates--and she and Noonan died that way.

In the 1960s, though, people started to figure out that such a thing didn't really happen to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. By then many post-war testimonials had surfaced from the region the duo went missing in, corroborating how they were quietly rescued by Japan in the lower Marshall Islands and remained sequestered there, at least for awhile. 

After Japan rescued Earhart and Noonan, 'official silence' about it left the unknown details of their ongoing survival to become lined with a variety of unsubstantiated postulations.

That is until 1965, when Joseph A. Gervais met the former Amelia Earhart face to face.

Questions? Comments? E-mail


Amelia and Amelia as 'Irene' in 1970

Truth Versus Fiction
A word of caution to historians and Amelia Earhart devotees: Since it first surfaced in 1970, the enduring Irene-Amelia controversy has been consistently talked-down ever since, although it was never officially debunked. This is important to understand while reading the following briefs concerning two of its most vocal opponents:
Dr. Alex Mandel


Ukrainian Amelia Earhart fan, Dr. Alex Mandel

In 2008, a 'Dr. Alex Mandel' of Ukraine posted an 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' Wikipedia page that claimed the 'Amelia became Irene' conveyance was proved false by a detective hired by the National Geographic Society.
According to the National Geographic Society, that never happened.
Here's the story:
In 2006, the National Geographic Channel aired a special about Amelia Earhart. Within it, a forensic detective by the name of Kevin Richlin was given a small sampling of information about the dated Irene-Amelia controversy. It featured no background history of the case at all, so naturally, detective Richlin, who was relatively uniformed about it, voiced skepticism toward the idea of Amelia living to become known as Irene Craigmile. What Dr. Mandel's Wikipedia page does not convey, however, is how within the program itself, detective Richlin remarked that the producers of the show did not supply him with enough data to enable him to form a favorable conclusive opinion about the 'Amelia became Irene' assertion.
Both Dr. Mandel and his slanted Wikipedia page, that he has closely monitored and controlled for a dozen years now, are part of a nondescript effort intent on swaying the public away from embracing the reality of Amelia Earhart's post-World War Two existence with a different name applied to her person.


TIGHAR's Richard Gillespie

Since the 1990s, the American public has been media-bombarded by a far-out Earhart claim. It stated that some left behind junk items and a few bone fragments found on the once colonized, Nikumaroro Island, came from Amelia's last flight. The bones were originally described as "those of a male chamorro of the region" when they were measured and examined in the 1940s, before they were discarded.
None of the debris found on the island were part of Amelia's last flight. It is clear the debris had belonged to the forty-plus people who had attempted to colonize it before abandoning the effort. The 'less-informed about Earhart' public remained intrigued though, and amazingly, a recent claim of Tighar's surfaced in the news stating the lost bone fragments from Nikumaroro were believed located again and will be 'tested' to see if they belonged to Amelia Earhart. 
Here it is also important to know:
The Nikumaroro, 'desert island bones' story was never reality based.
Via numerous accounts that included eyewitness testimonials and declassified government files, for decades investigators have known that Amelia never came close to Nikumaroro. This does not discount the fact that for a long time the 'Nikumaroro invention' has functioned well as a money making endeavor for the people who have long been promoting it through a club known as, 'Tighar.'

and reality go hand in hand.


She was no 'ordinary housewife.' She wasn't the original Irene Craigmile either, though that was her name after World War Two. Prior to the end of World War Two she was identified nowhere as, Irene Craigmile. This is because she had previously been known as, Amelia Earhart.
While this truth has existed in the public realm since 1970, the vast majority of people still have a hard time believing it. The reason? To this day Amelia's survived relatives and the Smithsonian Institution have yet to publicly endorse it, even though by now. . . it has grown to be obvious.

The 1997-2017 Swindell Study examined Amelia Earhart's disappearance in a different way than previous efforts. It featured a thorough forensic analysis that included the use of 'Digital Face Recognition.'


The analysis was conducted to help resolve the unsettled controversy over whether or not Amelia Earhart continued to live-on after she went missing in 1937, with a different name applied to her person. When the Study was finished its facial, head-to-toe physical, and character trait comparison results revealed the long subdued reality... of the post-World War Two life of the former Amelia Earhart.
A documentary about it is in the making.


USAF Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck in 1944 

"Your work relating to Amelia Earhart and Irene O'Crowley Craigmile is absolutely outstanding. There is no other way to describe it." Author-historian, Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, USAF (Ret.) in response to Tod Swindell's Amelia Earhart investigative forensic research and comparison analysis.


About The Swindell Study
The twenty-year Swindell Study [1997-2017; copyright registrations: TXu 1-915-926 & TXu 2-061-539] is an Investigative Research Evaluation and a Human Comparison Analysis orchestrated and compiled by Tod Swindell, an independent researcher who developed a great interest in the facts attributed to Amelia Earhart's disappearance and missing person case. The complete Study consists of over ten-thousand pages and features rare documents, analytical text, photographs, comparisons, maps, charts, and past-obscured but again revisited investigative research findings. The condensed MSS features 415 total pages; 110 of which contain logistical and visual elements drawn from the 'Amelia to Irene' Comparison Analysis. The Study elaborates on--and plainly exhibits Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after World War Two with the re-purposed name of, 'Irene Craigmile.' (Surname of 'Bolam' added later.) It also examined the post-war reasoning that left the general public out of the loop of Amelia's ongoing existence with a different name. Simply put, Amelia Earhart was declared 'dead in absentia' in 1939, and the intention after the war, as co-endorsed by the former Amelia Earhart herself, was for it to always remain that way. The complete Study is available for review on a selective basis. Questions or comments? Click on:

The Amelia Earhart We never Knew
In 1923, the year she turned twenty-six years old and five years before she became famous, Amelia Earhart took the following photograph of herself by pointing a Kodak Brownie camera into a mirror. She had enrolled in a photography course at USC and likely developed the picture herself.


In 1928, through the women's Zonta organization Amelia joined after she became famous, she befriended a prominent lawyer by the name of Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, who soon after introduced Amelia to her newly married niece, Irene Craigmile:



Above left is from the same old newpaper photo showing Charles and Irene Craigmile in 1930. The couple was married in late 1928, at the Newark, New Jersey home of Irene's paternal uncle and aunt, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley and his wife, Violet. (To the right, Irene's image is contrast enhanced.)
Charles Craigmile, a Civil Engineer from Rantoul, Illinois, was fourteen years older than Irene. Sadly, Charles first--and later, Irene as well--died before World War Two began.
Below is an article about Amelia Earhart's 1930s Zonta friend, the original Irene Craigmile's lawyer aunt, Irene Rutherford O'Crowley:


This 1928 newspaper article features a story about the original Irene Craigmile's attorney aunt, Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, who practiced law in New York and New Jersey. In 1928, she and Amelia Earhart became friends through the Zonta organization. By the 1930s, they were two of its better known members along with Nina Broderick Price, of England, who they both knew as well. Attorney Irene served as an adviser for Amelia when it came to contract matters for her branded merchandise, that included her well-known 'Amelia Earhart luggage' line. Nina Broderick Price helped on the publicity end as well.
By design--or it would appear that way--these two prominent Zonta women who knew Amelia well are never mentioned in any Amelia Earhart biographies.
Attorney Irene raised her niece, the original Irene Craigmile, from age twelve on. The original Irene Craigmile had been the only child of attorney Irene's older brother, Richard Joseph O'Crowley, and his wife, Bessie, who died while their daughter was that age.
Dubbed 'Beatrice' while further growing up with her aunt, that also led to her being pet-named "Bee" in her mother's memory, after her marriage to Charles Craigmile she went back to calling herself 'Irene' even though "Bee" remained her pet family name. Of note, the original Irene Craigmile's 1928 wedding announcement listed her as, "Beatrice O'Crowley to wed Charles Craigmile."
The 1930 Census listed "Charles and Irene Craigmile" living in Pequannock, New Jersey. Charles was listed as 'head of house' and Irene as 'keeps house.' Charles died in September of the following year. 

The original Irene Craigmile's later hidden demise went on to become an integral part of Amelia Earhart's life story in a profoundly unique way:  



The post-war only
Irene Craigmile in 1963 



Without knowing any better, it would otherwise appear that as she grew older, Irene Craigmile started looking a lot like Amelia Earhart, who had "vanished without a trace" in 1937. Yet that was not the case. The original Irene Craigmile never looked like Amelia Earhart.



According to public record, above once again, was the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, purportedly shown at age ten on the left, age fourteen and age nineteen. The origin of all photos that display the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile prior to the World War Two years is questionable, including of course, these two.

In 1965, a retired air force major by the name of Joseph A. Gervais, was the first person to discover that Amelia Earhart quietly survived her 1937 disappearance and eventually assumed the left-over identity value of Irene Craigmile, a 1930s acquaintance of Amelia's.






Above: February 5, 2000, retired USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais, accepts the Amelia Earhart Society's 'Historical Achievement Award' for his unparalleled investigative research and final analysis of Amelia Earhart's failed world flight attempt--that left her described as, 'a missing person.' The Amelia Earhart Society's founding President, Bill Prymak, referred to Joe Gervais as, "A World War Two flying hero widely recognized as the world's leading authority regarding the subject of Amelia Earhart's disappearance." Joseph A. Gervais died in 2005, having never disavowed that in her later life years, the still living Amelia Earhart used the name of her past 1930s' acquaintance, Irene Craigmile, whose death record was obscured to enable it.
One might ask: Why is it that people in general have never heard of Joseph A. Gervais?
The best answer was given by Joe Gervais himself: "No one was was ever supposed to know that Amelia survived and changed her name, so my 1960s investigation that concluded she did was swept under the rug of official history." 


The 1966 book, The Search For Amelia Earhart by CBS Radio journalist, Fred Goerner, was on the New York Times best-seller list for seven straight weeks. That did not impress J. Edgar Hoover or the federal U.S. government. Neither issued an official comment about it.

"You're onto something that will stagger your imagination."
The above 1962 quote was recorded by CBS Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner. It was spoken by retired United States Navy Commander, John Pillsbury, and concerned the truth about what actually happened when Amelia Earhart went missing in 1937. Fred Goerner had recently embarked on an investigation to learn what really happened to Amelia, and beyond the quote above, Commander Pillsbury offered him words of encouragement to 'keep going' in a knowing manner. Pillsbury was speaking on behalf of himself and Admiral Chester Nimitz at the time, without disclosing information the two high ranking, World War Two officers had learned about the real ending of Amelia Earhart's world flight through Naval intelligence channels.
Admiral Nimitz had been put in charge of the Marshall Islands after the U.S. occupied it in 1944, and in the 1960s, he actually collaborated with Fred Goerner. Nimitz outright admited to Goerner that Earhart and Noonan, "went down in the Marshall Islands and were picked up by the Japanese" and how said information had been, "known and documented in Washington" during the World War Two era. 
Fred Goerner had joined in on researching Amelia's true fate after learning about the "Operation Earhart" investigation of Joseph A. Gervais that he also wrote about in his book. He solidly agreed with the early 1960s work of Gervais, that stated Amelia survived in Japan's care after she was declared 'missing' in 1937, but he could not precisely pinpoint where she eventually ended up after she was rescued by Japan. Unaware of Gervais' 1965 meeting with Irene Craigmile Bolam, when he published his book in 1966, Goerner concluded it by offering how Amelia 'possibly died' of an illness after living overseas for awhile, and based on other hearsay, he felt Amelia's flight navigator, Fred Noonan, 'possibly died' during a struggle with Japanese military personnel.
Just like Joseph A. Gervais, though, by the 1990s Goerner's investigative research and his best-selling 1966 book, The Search For Amelia Earhart that featured his interviews with Nimitz, Pillsbury, and other military personnel were barely recalled anymore. This is because Fred Goerner's work as well ended up being, "swept under the rug of official history" for having come too close to the fire of truth about Amelia Earhart's so-called, '1937 disappearance.'


Tod Swindell


"In 1996, when I first met renowned Amelia Earhart 'world flight' investigator, Joseph A. Gervais, I was amazed to find out from him that a thorough forensic study that compared the person of Irene Craigmile Bolam to Amelia Earhart had never been done before. So I learned how to orchestrate one from experts and began my journey to get it done.

It seemed logical enough; the unsettled controversy over the enigmatic Irene's past was three decades old by then and Joe Gervais was still insisting she was the former Amelia Earhart; an insistence he would maintain to his dying day in 2005. 

Joseph A. Gervais initially began investigating Amelia's odd disappearance circumstances in 1959. He later asserted how in 1965, when he met Irene Craigmile Bolam at a gathering of well known pilots in New York, he felt he recognized her right away and subsequently learned she was not the original Irene Craigmile.

He soon enough realized as well, that what he discovered was something the general public was never supposed to know. This is the reason the former Amelia Earhart refuted the 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives, that was driven by the discovery Joe Gervais made about her--yet was published without her cooperation.

Her strong rejection of the book is also why it was swiftly removed from the marketplace. It is interesting to note here, though, in the face of accusations while she was living as Irene, she never proved she was not the former Amelia Earhart at any time and no one else did either.

Today the Irene-Amelia controversy is five-decades old and while the incredible discovery Joe Gervais made those years ago is now an obvious reality to observe, the obfuscation that diverts it continues." Tod Swindell


Below: The best selling 1970 book Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas exposed the truth about Amelia Earhart's ongoing post-war existence as, 'Irene Craigmile Bolam.' It was published without her cooperation, though, and swiftly removed from the stores after she lawyer'd-up to denounce it. She had been living her life privately as 'Irene' since the mid-1940s, and wasn't about to go back to being the famous Amelia Earhart again for her own good reasons, that importantly included the preference of the U.S. federal government.

The book made national news after it was released, causing the former Amelia Earhart to hold a press conference where she lashed out at its contents before offering with finality, "I am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart!" She left the conference having fielded no questions.  



"Nothing is as invisible as the obvious." Richard Farson
Why keep avoiding what has grown to become the obvious truth about Amelia Earhart? 


Jean M. Case, Chairman of the
Board of National Geographic


Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary
of the Smithsonian Institution

To Jean M. Case, Lonnie G. Bunch III, Amy Kleppner, Grace McGuire, Larry Heller, Dr. Tom Crouch, Dorothy Cochrane, Dr. Kurt Campbell, and Robert Ballard:
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
that is all ye know on earth,
and all ye need to know.

About truth:
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer

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

For those unfamiliar with the original depth of controversy that surrounded Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance:

"If anyone ever finds Amelia Earhart's plane underwater anywhere or at any other location--rest assured it was not Amelia Earhart who put it there." Earhart historian, USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck (Ret.), 2006.

"For over twenty years now, this fellow Richard Gillespie and his Tighar club have been promoting a completely wacked out 'desert island' story about what happened to Amelia Earhart, and as crazy as it is, people not familiar enough with the facts take him seriously. He (Gillespie) makes over $100k a year shoving false truths about Amelia's world flight outcome down the throats of the the American public." 2009, Bill Prymak, President of the Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers.




Digital Face Recognition combined with a full head-to-toe and character traits comparison study revealed the subdued reality of Amelia Earhart. That is, there was only one truth pertaining to what became of the legendary aviator--and it had everything to do with a 1930s' acquaintance of Amelia's; a once fledgling pilot by the name of Irene Craigmile:




Above left, again in 1930, the original Irene Craigmile is shown between her husband, Charles, and her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. Center, her visage is contrast enhanced. Right, in 1933, two years after Charles Craigmile died, the original Irene Craigmile is shown in front of a plane she took flying lessons in--until she realized she was pregnant out of wedlock right at the time she earned her pilot's license--in late May of that same year. (See more about this further down.)
Although clear images of the original Irene Craigmile are hard to come by today, as was the intention, it's still easy enough to see she did not much resemble Amelia Earhart after examining the various photos taken of her before World War Two that the Study managed to locate.
By scrolling down and observing the many other comparisons displayed here, and learning how the equation to protect Amelia's future privacy was carefully assembled, one soon comes to terms with how the original Irene Craigmile, juxtaposed to the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile, were entirely different people. This is true, even though history has it that they were one in the same human being. 


In 1932, Amelia Earhart, (shown above) became the first female pilot to solo a plane across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and only the second person to do it since Charles Lindbergh. In the following years, along with her new friend, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia was listed among the most famous women in the world, a status she maintained until she was declared 'missing' in 1937. 


Above, Digital Face Recognition revealed Amelia Earhart and the post-war only, Irene Craigmile (Bolam) to be in perfect alignment. It is worth emphasizing here, the Irene in this comparison was identified nowhere as 'Irene' before the end of World War Two.


Amelia and Amelia as Irene in 1964


Amelia Earhart, age 39 in 1937. She was declared 'missing' three weeks shy of her 40th birthday. 


Again above, Digital Face Recognition matched Amelia Earhart's 1937 image (left) to a 1965 photo (below) of the post-World War Two only, 'Irene Craigmile.' The 1965 photo appeared in a controversial book about Amelia Earhart that was quickly vilified by the former Amelia Earhart herself before it was withdrawn by its publisher, McGraw-Hill.



Amelia and Amelia as Irene


Amelia, age 31


Amelia as Irene, 1977

As initiated by the Study results, Digital Face Recognition went on to confirm face template congruences between all 1930s Amelia Earhart photos that were compared to photos of the post-World War Two only, Mrs. Irene Craigmile (Bolam.) The 'post-war only' Irene photo used in the above comparison was taken in the mid-1970s. Note her familiar wings, pearls, and broad white collar.



Amelia Earhart



With Amelia's and the post-war only Irene's head-to-toe physical beings and character traits, The Swindell Study realized a complete match.




The post-World War Two only, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam



Above, the former Amelia Earhart in Jamaica in 1976, living as 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam'. 

"I had a career as a pilot once, Major, but I gave all that up years ago." 1965 quote from the post-World War Two Mrs. Irene Craigmile (Bolam), FKA 'Amelia Earhart' as spoken to Major Joseph A. Gervais, USAF (Ret.) Above photo taken in Jamaica in 1976. (Courtesy of the Diana Dawes collection.)


Amelia Earhart


Amelia and Amelia as Irene, 1970



Amelia as Irene at her
1970 press conference;
She had no other choice
but to deny her past.

"In 1970, after the post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile was outed as the former Amelia Earhart, her future years would have been significantly compromised had she publicly acknowledged such a thing. So much explaining, to include on a certain international level, would have been demanded by the public. This is why going forward after 1970, hindsight reveals she was smart to steadfastly deny her true past anytime someone tried to pin her down about it." Tod Swindell 

Amelia Earhart became 'a missing person' in 1937, and though she was declared 'dead in absentia' in 1939, she had continued to live-on and in time assumed the left over identity of Irene Craigmile, a past 1930s acqua