About Tod Swindell
Yonkers, New York in 1958, Tod Swindell was raised in Southern California and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A Cinema Arts graduate
of the University of Arizona, his interest in Amelia Earhart's disappearance escalated in the early 1990s when he was researching
stories for the CBS television series, 'Miracles and Other Wonders' hosted by Darren McGavin. The premise of the show was
later spun into, 'Encounters of the Unexplained' hosted by Jerry Orbach, that featured some of Tod's original research in
an episode it devoted to Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance.
A veteran of the motion picture industry, beyond specializing in the research and development
of film properties, Tod is also a free-lance journalist with published articles on the subjects of sports and pop-culture.
His major film production work began with Universal's 'Desperado' westerns for NBC, Executive Produced by Walter and Andrew
Mirisch. For several years he made MOW's around the country for Desperado Films, Inc., eventually serving as its president
while heading its story rights acquisition division. His producer credits include The Woman in the Moon, The
Legend of the Phantom Rider, Ghost Rock, Spin, and Secret Agent Dingledorf. Over the years he has been
credited on numerous other film productions with Geronimo, Major League, Six Days and Seven Nights,
and Tin Cup listed among them. His past television series work includes The Young Riders, Legend,
The Game, and The Magnificent Seven. Tod holds the registered copyrights on a variety of Amelia Earhart
intellectual properties including Protecting Earhart, that exclusively features his self-conceived and orchestrated,
Irene-Amelia forensic comparison analysis, the first comprehensive study of its kind ever embarked on.
Tod also owns the Grizzly Adams trademarked brand that is partnered
with the Vital Ground Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting grizzly bear and other wildlife habitat in the northwest
of Texas Literary Hall of Fame member, Larry Swindell, and former Equity Theater actress, the late Eleanor Eby, Tod's maternal
grandfather, the late Earl Eby, was co-head of Lux Video Theater in the 1950s. He is married to his Aether Pictures, LLC production
partner, Julie Magnuson Swindell. The two split time between Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest.
Writer, Filmmaker, Amelia Earhart Historian
I began working on movies as a film-runner, a position that doesn't
exist today, or at least, not the way it used to. Some of the older AD's I worked with told me how they needed to know flag
signals before two way radios became common on motion picture sets. The first cel phone I ever saw was on a western movie
set; there was only one and it was connected to something about half the size of a cinder block and weighed just as much.
A producer was in charge of it; no one else could use it unless it was an emergency.
Below are some photos I collected over the years, including a slew from different
film projects I was part of. Beneath them is a preview of the documentary film journey I embarked on in 1999, one dedicated
to correctly profiling the interrelated life stories of Amelia Earhart and the highly enigmatic woman from the 1960s
and 1970s known as, 'Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam.' I'm glad to announce this marathon endeavor of mine is finally nearing
my Earhart documentary will entail, in the 1930s, when the original Irene Craigmile was a fledgling pilot, she and Amelia
Earhart were acquainted with each other. For sure this was true, except, according to some formidable World War Two veteran
investigative researchers I came to know over the years, (who are no longer with us) it was the original Irene
Craigmile who ended up missing those decades ago, not Amelia Earhart. They explained the catch was the original
Irene Craigmile's name ended up being given to Amelia Earhart for her later life use so the former world-famous pilot
could further live a private life away from the public eye. They included how unknown to the public, Amelia's new-name
acquisition took place during the late World War Two era--after she quietly survived her so-called 'disappearance.'
They further mentioned that
such a truth was actually discovered and revealed in the late 1960s, but it failed to gain a foothold in the annals of official
history after it was so strongly opposed by the indomitable former Amelia Earhart herself--and her strong,
supportive constituency. Because of this, the story of Amelia's post-loss survival subsequently became viewed as a 'hoax-like'
suggestion, even though the debate over it was never actually settled.
After gauging the reliability of their common assessment--both investigative
researchers served in World War Two and were retired USAF; one a Major the other a Colonel--I guess I wanted to determine
if such a thing was actually true. I recall asking myself, "How, after decades gone by, has this not yet been settled?"
Either way I felt the highly curious Irene-Amelia story provided an automatic hook for a documentary. I'll add though,
getting it done to my satisfaction proved far more challenging than I originally anticipated. Why? For starters, let's just
say Amelia's family, college history professors, and people at the Smithsonian Institution all-but told me to, 'hit the
road, Jack!,' when I asked them to weigh in on what I was doing.
Needless to say, I kept going anyway.
On a barge off the Napali Coast.
Playing for the Beachwood Canyon Bucs in L.A., 2014.
Baseball is a long-time passion that runs in the family. In Texas, my paternal grandfather, Reece Swindell was a catcher who
caught Dizzy Dean and Satchel Paige in the early 1930s. His catching for Satchel Paige was a fluke; Paige was barnstorming
through Texas with his team when his catcher broke his hand in a bar fight the night before Reece's team was to play his,
so Reece ended up catching both his own team's pitcher and Satchel Paige the entire game. Reece's brother, Fred,
played center field; his other brother, Ray, played second base for their north Texas semi-pro club. Reece caught Dean when
his north Texas team scrimmaged the Houston Buffs in 1931. Dean pitched for the Swindell brothers' team to even the contest
against the Buffs.
days, late 1970s
With friend, Raz in Willits, California, 2009, once
home to Seabiscuit.
With Richard Farnsworth on Desperado: The Outlaw
Wars in Mescal, Arizona, 1989
On Posse in 1993
Trying to direct some buffalo near Flagstaff, AZ for
Legend, 1995 (they didn't listen very well)
Above, in front of our Air Force loaned
C-130 on Vestige of Honor filmed in Thailand and North Carolina, 1991
Calling D camera's roll on the Dehavilland Beaver for
Six Days and Seven Nights filmed in Hawaii.
With Saginaw Grant on The Legend of the Phantom
Rider, Cochise Stronghold, 1999
With the new 'Kitt Car' on Knightrider 2000, San Antonio
Shooting with the Piper Cub for Spin on the
Sopori near the Mexico border, 2004
Next: A Look at Twenty-Plus Years Of Tod Swindell's
Amelia Earhart Investigative Research Quest and Documentary Film Journey....
Below: Graphic artist, David Harlan designed this illustration
to be included in the promotional material for my Protecting Earhart book and documentary. Notice the ocean waves vectoring
toward the 'Carmen Sandiego' looking Amelia on both sides and her inverted-image plane that is shown flying away
from Howland Island. David did a good job there. (Btw,
Amelia actually took the veil-faced photo of herself while looking into a mirror before she became famous. An AE selfie...
gotta love it.)
February 5, 2000: Above, top row left to right: Ronald
Reuther, Tod Swindell, Mr. & Mrs. John Bolam (Irene's survived in-laws); bottom row, left to right: Ann Holtgren Pellegreno,
Joe Klaas, Joseph A. Gervais
Above is a portion of a larger group photo taken at
the Joseph A. Gervais Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers 'Lifetime Achievement Award' ceremony held on February
5, 2000. Top row left to right: Ronald Reuther, myself, Mr. & Mrs. John Bolam (Irene Craigmile Bolam's survived in-laws
who both recognized her as the 'former' Amelia Earhart); bottom row, left to right: Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, Joe Klaas, Joseph
Filming part of my Protecting Earhart documentary
in 2002 with Doug Peters. From 1999 to 2010 production took place in California, Kansas, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington DC.
I shelved it for awhile as I continued on with the forensic comparison analysis so I could ultimately include it. I finished
and copyrighted the forensic analysis in 2017, and am now back to editing Protecting Earhart. It is soon to be completed.
A frame from my near two hour long filmed interview
with my late friend and collaborator, Major Joseph A. Gervais, USAF (Ret.) It was the last 'broadcast quality' filmed
interview he gave. From 1970 on, all the way to his dying day in 2005, he never stopped averring the truth he discovered,
knew, and boldly went public with that stated Amelia Earhart lived well beyond the World War Two era after assuming the name
of Irene Craigmile, a name that originallly belonged to a fledgling pilot Amelia was acquainted with in the 1930s. It turned
out he was right. More than one Twentieth Century woman was attributed to the same Irene Craigmile identity and after World
War Two the former Amelia Earhart was one of them... and anyone who ever doubted Joseph A. Gervais there... was wrong.
A frame from my interview with Joe Klaas. Joe, a former WWII
POW in Germany for over two years, authored the 1970 controversial book, Amelia Earhart Lives that was chiefly inspired
by the decade long investigation of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance conducted by Joseph A. Gervais. Klaas's book boldy
included Joe Gervais' 1965 discovery of, and even a photo Gervais took of the former Amelia Earhart living as Mrs.
Irene Craigmile Bolam. The former Amelia Earhart sued he and Gervais for libel, (not for implicating her for who she used
to be, as was widely assumed) and the book was withdrawn. I consider my interviews of both Gervais and Klaas to have been
great achievements... even where others have a hard time understanding why.
Pilot-Author, Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, who in 1967
duplicated the world flight journey of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, (successfully...) gifted me this great photo she took
over the left engine cowling of her Lockheed Electra as she zoomed by Howland Island that year. Howland was the target Amelia
and Fred failed to locate thirty-years prior to 1937, just before they went missing. Somehow I ended up working on two film
projects that featured man and woman flying duos in peril in their airplanes; 'Six Days and Seven Nights' and 'Spin.' It's
interesting how few ever noticed another Earhart-Noonan cinematic homage, where at the end of the classic motion picture,
Casablanca, a man and woman climb aboard a Lockheed Electra that takes off and disappears into a dense fog. Tod Swndell
Pilot 'Grace McGuire' took this 2017 photo of me being
interviewed for her documentary in front of her rare Lockheed Electra 'Model 10' edition. This is the best existing replica
of the Lockheed Electra 10E Amelia Earhart owned, flew, and went missing in with she and Fred Noonan on board. Grace worked
hard for years restoring this beautiful aircraft. She recently transferred ownership of it to the Atchison, Kansas Chamber
of Commerce that is now raising funds to build a Museum-Hangar for it at its municipal airport. Atchison of course, was Amelia's
birthplace and original hometown. Grace McGuire was friends with Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Amelia's sister, and as a
tribute to their shared namesakes, Grace named her Lockheed "Muriel." Grace was born in Scotland and raised there
by adoptive parents into her early teen years before she moved to the U.S. She lived in Rumson, New Jersey then, and in the
1960s sometimes helped tend the grounds at Monsignor James Francis Kelley's nearby estate, where she would occasionally see
Irene Craigmile Bolam come and go through its rear entrance. Into the 2000s, Grace had planned a world flight adventure in
'Muriel' with Larry Heller, the original Irene Craigmile's 1934 born son, to serve as her flight navigator. The flight
never materialized but for awhile it came close to doing so. Grace also once visited and even slept on Howland Island in a
tent! She is a very special person. I'm not the only one sporting that opinion of her. Tod Swindell
Above is Amelia
Earhart's sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey and Grace McGuire together in Hawaii in 1985, commemorating the 50th anniversary
of Amelia's Hawaii to Oakland flight. People often remark about Grace McGuire's strong resemblance to Amelia. It's no coincidence
in my book, just as Irene Craigmile's sudden post-World War Two resemblance to Amelia Earhart was no coincidence
either. Tod Swindell
Above, Victor Laszlo and Ilsa Lund are aboard this Lockheed Electra
that takes off into a dense fog at the end of the movie, 'Casablanca.' Once they get through the fog their weather report
is, "ceiling unlimited." This timeless-classic movie, (way up on my personal list of all time favorites) directed
by Michael Curtiz, premiered five years after Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan went missing in Amelia's Electra.
Two side-note metaphors: In Amelia's day, Lockheed named its airplanes after
stars in the sky. In 1932, the plane Amelia flew solo across the Atlantic in--that left her the first woman to do such a thing--was
a Lockheed "Vega" named for the brightest star in the Lyra constellation. Amelia did become her own bright star
after accomplishing that feat. "Electra," on the other hand, the name of the plane she flew when she went missing,
is a star in the Pleiades 'seven sisters' constellation. The sister-star named 'Electra' is referred to as the "weeping
sister" because her illumination is not as bright as her other sisters. Electra is also referred
to as the "lost star" since it is hard to see her, but you know she's there. This is how my good friend,
Randall Brink, came up with the title for his classic, 1994 best-selling Amelia Earhart investigative book, Lost Star:
The Search For Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart truly did become a lost star akin to Electra of the Pleiades, since
after July 2, 1937, although she couldn't be seen anymore, many people continued to believe the lost star of Amelia
Earhart was still alive and out there... somewhere. Tod Swindell
calls the investigative research of Gervais and Swindell, ""Just the tip of the Iceberg.""
"All the evidence all put together, I feel like she [Amelia]
did survive. I think she survived and came back to the United States, but that she wanted her privacy."
Lou Foudray, former proprietor of
the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas, quoted from interviews conducted by Lara
Moritz of KMBC TV, Kansas City, and by The Topeka Kansas Capital-Journal's, Jan Biles.
Above, a 2016 photograph of Lou Foudray, Earhart historian and former
caretaker of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum on the front porch of the home where Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison,
One Filmmaker's Amazing Amelia Earhart Journey....
A personal message from Tod Swindell, orchestrator
of the first ever, Amelia Earhart & Irene Craigmile Bolam 'Forensic Research Study and Human Comparison Analysis.'
Swindell in 2014
Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'
describing myself I'd say I'm an artist who has always believed in the motion picture medium as the most powerful tool available--when
it comes to delivering profound insights and thought provoking themes to worldwide audiences.
I come by this persuasion honestly; my father is a noted motion picture historian.
My passion for filmmaking as a narrative art form initially materialized in 1982. That year I
wrote, produced, and directed my first black and white 16MM film. I rented an Arri BL and a Nagra for two days to do it after
being tutored on how to use both. I was twenty-four years old at the time and the twenty-minute reel I made was a comedy called,
"A Wrench In The Works," and of course making it was harder than I thought it would be.
I shot my less-than epic saga on an egg farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania with some friends. Its
premise was as basic as it was funny; the egg grading machine goes haywire after a wrench falls into it and mayhem ensues.
Admittedly, I crossed the line a few times while making it, not to mention my small cast and crew ensemble was grossly underpaid
and the clean-up wasn't so great to contend with. But it was a fun experience for all.
In subsequent years I shot a few more short films and ever since then my professional career
revolved around working in the motion picture industry--mostly as a research and development specialist--although as you've
seen I also worked on a multitude of on-location film assignments while occasionally serving as a freelance journalist in
well, I guess I've always demonstrated a strong penchant for analyzing U.S. history's relationship with its ever evolving
pop-culture arena. This is how I was drawn into the Amelia Earhart story.
It is 2019 now.
Twenty three years ago, in 1996, while shopping a well researched WGA screenplay about Amelia Earhart's disappearance written by David O'Malley,
a film industry colleague of mine, I was recommended to go meet with a distinguished World War Two veteran,
a retired USAF Major by the name of Joseph A. Gervais, who lived in the outskirts
of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Joe Gervais and I did meet and we became
good friends and collaborators from that point on, until his passing took place in 2005, and let me tell you, he was one
utterly amazing, savant-like, Amelia Earhart historian. I can personally attest he was incomparable in that regard.
I miss Joe. History has mostly lost
sight of him as well, and that's a shame because he was the last truth serum delivering 'Amelia Earhart expert' on
the planet. (Well, I suppose I'm still here.) Or put it this way: Here's a guy, Joe Gervais, who in 1970 all but single-handedly
caused the so-called, 'mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance' to reach a fever-pitch of consternation thanks to his simple
assertion of a hard-truth he came to recognize and understand... about Amelia Earhart.
On the left is USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais (Ret.)
accepting his Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers 'Lifetime Achievement' award in 2000. The 2002 photo above features Joe
and myself taking a break from filming.
not surprising that few people recall Joe Gervais anymore. After all, Amelia Earhart's incomplete life story grew to be somewhat
of a taboo subject matter since the 1970s, something caused by Joe himself. Today, people who take the time to look
into the 1937 disappearance of the famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, are more in step with my personal rejuvenation of Joe's mind-bending
contribution to Amelia Earhart investigative research studies; a contribution that in time grew to be viewed as 'infamous'
in contrast to Joe's intuitive brilliance that spawned it.
Because of this general consensus, most people find it hard to understand my viewpoint when
it comes to the story of Amelia Earhart's officially unresolved (according to history) but in recent years, solved
in a cumulative forensic way, 'missing person' case.
Sounds crazy, no? Yet it's true. When Amelia Earhart
purportedly disappeared in 1937, in legal terms she actually became a 'missing person.' I noticed people had lost
sight of that in the giant mystery cloud hanging over the unknown circumstances of what happened to her.
Joseph A. Gervais? In
1965, he encountered the woman who used to be known as Amelia Earhart and he spent the remainder of his days making
sure people did not forget he had done so--even to the endless stream of combatants he faced that abetted official history--when
it came to all-but burying the important discovery he made.
Regardless, nowadays a person would be hard pressed
to find anyone at the Smithsonian Institution, at the National Geographic Society, or on Capitol Hill who will freely volunteer
an opinion that states they are certain Joseph A. Gervais was incorrect to have claimed what he did way back then, and samplings
of the study results I made public in recent years are the reason for that.
Many of you are now asking: "How is it that Amelia
Earhart's missing person case is being referred to as "solved" anymore and people in general are still unaware of
I'll cut to the chase: It took almost fifty years for it to ultimately happen after initial efforts
to do so began in the summer of 1965, but for all intents and purposes, Amelia Earhart's missing person case ultimately
was conclusively resolved, or solved over the course of the past decade--even though said truth still remains to
be officially endorsed to the public. And there are a lot of reasons for that. (Incidentally, the same long-time 'lack
of official endorsement' occurred with Charles Lindbergh's 'Careu Kent' alias that he used for decades, until it was ultimately
confirmed in 2004, thirty years after he died.)
Let me further explain, and I'll cut to the chase again: Since the 1980s,
Amelia Earhart cottage industries and private sleuths have been feeding news media outlets a wide variety of hypothetical
solutions within their individual attempts to explain what really happened to Amelia Earhart--that had absolutely nothing
to do with the truth. In the meantime, however, the purveyors of these off-base ideas had also long been conjointly dismissing
the missing person aspect of Amelia Earhart out of hand, that in turn managed to obfuscate the important final forensic
strides that ultimately solved it.
Myself? Beyond Colonel Reineck's above words about my accomplishment, I never personally claimed to have 'solved
the mystery' of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. Yet I did claim, and still do claim by virtue of having examined
it closely since the 1990s, to have helped solved the missing person case of Amelia Earhart after my study ended up
clearly displaying how in 1965, retired USAF Major, Joseph A. Gervais did recognize the 'body evidence' of
Amelia Earhart re-identified as "Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam."
I'm always sure to add that no one knows for certain
what Amelia was doing or where she was from the time she went missing in 1937 to the time she resurfaced in
the United States known as "Irene," although I do profess to know: To solve a missing person case one must
find the missing person, or one must find and produce the body evidence of the missing person, and how CONCRETELY,
in 1970, Joseph A. Gervais absolutely did produce the body evidence of Amelia Earhart for all the world to see. He did so
when a clear, 35MM color photograph he took in 1965 of Amelia's living, renamed body appeared in the 1970 nationally
published book, Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas. No, in 1965 the former Amelia Earhart wasn't expecting it and she
did not give Major Gervais permission to take the photograph when he asked her if he could, but he snapped his camera shutter
anyway right as she turned to him to politely say, "no thank you" to his request. After she realized he took the
picture anyway she quietly said to him, "I wish you hadn't done that." But he did do it. In the full frame version
(below) of the photo that appeared in the book, you can see the former Amelia Earhart's English husband who she wed in 1958,
Guy Bolam, finishing advising her that he, "didn't think it was a good idea" in response to Joe Gervais' request
to photograph them.
I'll recommend that you not pay attention to the rest of the book Amelia Earhart Lives
for now in favor of concentrating instead on the 1965 Joe Gervais taken photograph of the woman that appears in it.
Do this as if you're watching the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and observing the stark reality its film gamma
conveys. In other words, concentrate very hard on the Gervais photograph only, and think as deeply as you can about it, while
accepting the known fact that the woman featured in it appears nowhere identified as "Irene" prior to the end of
World War Two.
Directly below is an enlargement of the 1965 Gervais photograph next to the way it originally
appeared in the book, along with a few of my many Irene-Amelia comparison samples--that display only part of the overall head-to-toe
body congruence the other comparisons revealed:
Irene Craigmile, 1965
Irene Craigmile, 1977
Here above we have the same person shown in younger and older
forms. There is no room for arguing this point anymore. Younger to older character traits also aligned. No, one is no longer
able to say that the person identified as 'Irene Craigmile' in the above photographs is Amelia's 1930s pilot friend who
was the ORIGINAL Irene Craigmile. If a person even tries to say that, my Study results will politely shut he or she down.
For reality conveys how the Study did not devote twenty-years to unearthing some kind of bizarre doppelganger equation.
The TRUTH is, Amelia Earhart had a friend in the 1930s who was a budding
pilot by the name of Irene Craigmile, and she looked nothing like the Irene Craigmile displayed in the above photographs...
even though 'official' history says the Irene Craigmile displayed above was the original Irene Craigmile. Today anyone
can see... it is 'official history' that is and always was incorrect there.
Above is an old newsprint photo of the original Irene
Craigmile shown in 1930 with her then-husband, Charles Craigmile, who died the following year, and her father, Richard Joseph
The overall comparison study led to an epiphany that stated
Joe Gervais was entirely correct to have adhered to the truth he knew all the way to his dying day in 2005, and that anyone
who ever doubted him or outright insisted he was wrong--was incorrect to have done so. This goes for our nation's
top college history professors, national news media moguls and lobbyists, and the many individuals who have occupied our
government's highest halls from the 1970s on. Yes, it is hard to believe, but this is history's new smelling salts of truth...
about Amelia Earhart
This is also the new reality check Americans are further left to contend
with, because when they look at the photos above most still have a hard time believing their eyes when they transmit the
reality to their minds--that they are looking at older versions of Amelia Earhart's body re-identified
as 'Irene Craigmile.' Yet the reason they do still doubt it is easy to understand: Ever since 1937, it was instilled in American
pop culture that Amelia Earhart vanished without a trace and she was never seen again.
living as Irene the former Amelia Earhart had put on a little weight according to the 1965 Joe Gervais taken photo, but people
often do that in their later life years, and by 1970 she had trimmed down significantly. For example,
here's how she looked when she appeared unaccompanied at the press conference she held in November of 1970 to defy the suggestion
that she was Amelia Earhart. Joe Gervais said it best: "She handled the press like the old pro she was that day."
And once again, he was correct:
Amelia in 1935. "Get me outta here!"
At her 1970 press
Flanked by her former self images.
The book, Amelia Earhart Lives in the foreground. "I
am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart!" (But she did used to be known as Amelia Earhart. Absolutely,
Hey, think about your own life and the way it was photographically
recorded from the time you were born, then think about this: What is clearly evident by virtue of what the comparison study
I orchestrated revealed, is that the woman identified as Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam in the 1965 Gervais photograph (and
at her press conference) appears nowhere in photographs identified as "Irene" prior to the World War Two years,
and, the study also displays how physically and character trait wise, the same woman matched Amelia Earhart's entire being
still arguing or outright fighting against the proof I delivered that edifies these realizations (you know who you are...)
or people looking for reasons to doubt it all are in denial and cannot be helped, unless they help themselves by looking
at the old Amelia Earhart missing person case differently than they have done before.
As well, while what
became of Amelia's long ago acquaintance, the original Irene Craigmile, still remains unknown, she is the actual person
who ended up missing forever those years ago. By virtue of the study results, this is evident now too.
Simply put, Joseph
A. Gervais was absolutely correct all those years ago when he unequivocally stated that Amelia somehow managed to live on
after she went missing in 1937, and her entire earthly being was later attributed to her old friend, Irene Craigmile's
left over identity for herself to use for the remainder of her days. As mentioned he kept repeating this truth he knew
to others from 1970 on, to include throughout Irene's five-year defamation law suit against him, and all the way to his
dying day in 2005. [Note:
Irene did not sue Joe Gervais nor publisher McGraw-Hill for implicating her as the former Amelia Earhart. She sued them
for some inaccurate statements in the book, Amelia Earhart Lives that she felt were damaging to her character. After
she refused to submit her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity, she settled with Gervais and author, Joe Klaas for
ten dollars consideration she paid to them and they each paid to her. She originally sued publisher McGraw-Hill for $1.5 million
but ended up only being rewarded $60k for its failure to better vet the information it allowed to be printed about her. For
example, in the book, Joe Klaas referred to her husband, Guy Bolam, (who died earlier in 1970) as her "alleged husband,"
and she was able to produce her 1958
marriage license as proof they had been legally married.]
Even though the book,
Amelia Earhart Lives turned into somewhat of a train-wreck, it's author, Joe Klaas, was a brilliant writer who knew
how to lure people into the 'I found her' claim made by Joe Gervais. Hindsight, however, tells us that his book delved too
much into trying to explain howAmelia ended up where she did and what she was doing while she was missing, where it ought
to have worked on better identifying her renamed body that Joe Gervais clearly photographed in 1965. But no one is to blame
for that. The former Amelia Earhart proved far too strong and resourceful in her defiance against the book.
I am proud to have known
Joe Klaas, who was a past World War Two prisoner of war held by Germany for twenty-five months. I am also very proud to
have known Joseph A. Gervais. He was a war hero who flew combat missions in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam before the
Air Force honorably retired him as a Major in 1963. He was also a respected family man known for his good character.
Oh yeah, by the way,
it is easier for people to accept this now identifiable reality about Amelia Earhart if they don't automatically reject
it just because they are encouraged by others to do so. Rather, people ought to think for themselves about the information
displayed in Irene-Amelia.com, and perhaps wonder in some kind of ethereal way, (as blatantly obvious as the 'Amelia
became Irene' truth is now) if the universe of Amelia herself has worked its way back in order to be recognized for
the full life-long person she ended up being.
If you have a hard time believing that... then take it from one who
knows; living as 'Irene' in her later life years, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, the former Amelia Earhart clearly
emulated the great individual human being she was known to be, until she died in 1982. In contrast to this, my in-depth
research on the original Irene Craigmile illustrates that it would have been all-but impossible for her person to posture
herself in such a 'proud Amelia image way' had she lived a full life.
In 1998, as the former Amelia
Earhart's later-life sister in law described her to be, "She had a commanding presence," and "She was the
epitome of a classy lady." As well, John Bolam, her survived brother in law, was well settled on his own determination
that she could only have been the former Amelia Earhart years before he died in 2008.
I'll add to that; the Irene Craigmile Bolam shown directly below in 1977, most definitely had been, previously known
as, "Amelia Earhart."
Irene, FKA 'Amelia Earhart.' With her "commanding
presence," she was "the epitome of a classy lady."
four books that played key parts in Tod Swindell's Earhart research history. Fred Goerner's 1966 groundbreaking classic, The
Search For Amelia Earhart was originally inspired by the Earhart investigative work being done by USAF Captain, Joseph
A. Gervais in the early 1960s. 1970's Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas featured the original postulation of Joseph
A. Gervais, (who had retired from the Air Force as a Major in 1963) where Gervais asserted his belief in Amelia's non-recognized
ongoing existence in the U.S. with the name of 'Irene Craigmile Bolam,' something he would never stop asserting to his dying
day. Tod Swindell and Joe Gervais met and became friends in 1996 and were collaborators from that point on as well, until
Joe's passing took place in 2005. Randall Brink's 1994 book, Lost Star caught Tod's eye where Brink commented on the
ongoing controversy over Irene Craigmile Bolam, who had died in 1982, as a "tantalizing persistent account" when
it came to various explanations offered about Amelia's true fate. Brink, a good friend of Tod's and a Pacific Northwest neighbor
of his as well, originally introduced him to Gervais. In turn, retired USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck soon came to know Tod
through Joe Gervais. Colonel Reineck was first to elaborate on Tod's in-progress forensic study when his book, Amelia Earhart
Survived was published in 2004. In it, Tod permitted the Colonel to
reproduce portions of his study, to include the initial human separation part that proved there was more than one woman historically
identified as the same, 'Irene Craigmile Bolam.' The book below, Legerdemain by David Bowman that was published in
2006, featured one of Tod's study overlays on its cover and credited his Irene-Amelia comparison analysis as the first one
"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
From the time I was born I've always been the same person.
Toward the end of her defamation lawsuit that took place from 1971 through 1975, Irene Craigmile Bolam told a newspaper reporter
the same thing, "I've always been the same person." That was a true statement, but Mrs. Bolam definitely
did change her name during the course of her lifetime. There is virtually no doubt about that anymore.
People sometimes change their names for different reasons. Stefani Germanotta
did it for professional stage-name reasons. So did Alecia Moore. Cassius Clay and Lew Alcindor did it as homages to their
religious beliefs. Amelia Earhart? She did it for some deep rooted personal reasons, and out of respect for the three countries
she grew to become unwaveringly devoted to during the course of her lifetime; the United States, England, and Japan.
Some people might think I'm stretching things a bit or I'm outright crazy
to voice such an opinion.
Try to accept, if you can, that the reason the 'name-changed' truth about
Amelia Earhart was never endorsed to the public is perhaps simpler to explain than was ever realized. For according to the
conviction displayed by the former Amelia Earhart herself when she was known as 'Irene' during the last half of her life,
in tandem with the post World War Two executive government levels of the United States, England, and Japan... no one from
the world public was ever supposed to know that Amelia Earhart lived-on after she went missing, and then later changed her
anyway, it appears clear enough that Amelia did such a thing by way of a multi-nations endorsed, and conjointly agreed upon
Federal Witness Protection Program carefully arranged by the U.S. justice department--spurred by the omniscient recommendation
of General Douglas MacArthur, and excuted under the guise of J. Edgar Hoover.
Still not sold? Then consider this: No executive government branch from any of the three above
mentioned countries has ever come close to offering an opinion about the 'Amelia became Irene' suggestion, even though it
is certain all knew about the postulation of it surfacing in a public way when it made national headlines in 1970. According
to an acquaintance of President Richard Nixon at the time, when he was asked in the Oval Office about Amelia Earhart after
the story about her possible continued survival began making national headlines, Nixon wryly replied, "We don't discuss
Earhart around here." It is equally true as well, to date the executive branch of the U.S. government has never
officially commented on the 1937 disappearance and subsequent missing person case... of Amelia Earhart. If it ever
offered an opinion at all is was in an off-hand manner.
years ago I wrote the following review article about Susan Butler's new Amelia Earhart biography, East to the Dawn.
Her book was timed to commemorate Amelia's 100th birthday and the 60th anniversay of her disappearance. Note the last three
sentences of the article. The time has arrived." Tod Swindell