"The most thorough review and examination of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance and missing person case ever conducted."
About Tod Swindell And His
Amelia Earhart Investigative Research And Forensic Analysis Journey:
Writer, Filmmaker, Amelia Earhart
Historian & Investigative Journalist
Born in Yonkers, New York in 1958, Tod Swindell
was raised in Southern California and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A Cinema Arts graduate of the University of Arizona, his
curiosity toward Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance took form in the early 1990s while 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 Tod's original research in an episode devoted to the
Earhart mystery. His interest in the subject further escalated in 1996, the year he came to know Lost Star author,
Randall Brink, who introduced him to renowned Amelia Earhart world-flight investigator, Joseph A. Gervais, ultimately leaving
him to embark on his own, 'Earhart truth-seeking journey'.
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.
(See more about his career and interests toward the bottom of this section.)
My Earhart Journey Began,
Where It Ended Up...
After embarking on a career in the film industry,
in the 1980s and 1990s I found myself on location a lot. In-between shows I researched and developed motion
picture properties for a satellite Universal company (Desperado Films, Inc.) and my interest in what really happened
to Amelia Earhart took hold after a film property caught my attention. The property was a screenplay titled, "Amelia
Earhart: The Final Chapter" by well accredited WGA screenwriter, David O'Malley, and after reading it I began studying
up on past Amelia Earhart disappearance investigators, the four most significant ones in the order that I personally came
to know; Mike Harris, Randall Brink, Joseph A. Gervais, and Rollin C. Reineck.
Further down are some images from a long-term documentary film
journey I also ended up embarking on -- dedicated to correctly profiling the interrelated life stories of Amelia Earhart --
and a highly enigmatic woman who was reluctantly dragged into the limelight in 1970, Mrs. Irene O'Crowley
main work, an MSS titled, Protecting Earhart, went through a number of revisions before the final version was copyrighted
in 2017, after I inserted a one-hundred page section that featured key forensic comparison elements my endeavor generated
dating back to the early 2000's. [Of note, no one
had forensically compared Amelia to Irene before.] Beyond the samples from the complete analysis that appear in Irene-Amelia.com,
the MMS itself has yet to be formally published with the exception of private editions of my own pressing.
Prefacing what the overall,
Amelia Earhart & Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam effort entailed; in the 1930s, when the original Irene O'Crowley
Craigmile was a budding pilot, she and Amelia Earhart knew each other. For sure this was true, except, according to the two
most formidable World War Two veteran researchers I came to know, Gervais and Reineck, it was the original Irene
O'Crowley Craigmile who entirely went missing those decades ago, not Amelia Earhart... entirely...
as history had promoted since 1937.
late Joseph A. Gervais, who was the original 'Amelia became Irene' discoverer -- and who from 1965 to 2005
had been most knowledgeable of anyone about it, explained how the catch was the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's
left-over identity ended up being given to Amelia Earhart for her later-life use so the former world famous
pilot could further live away from the public eye. He included how unknown to the public, Amelia's new name and identity
acquisition most likely took place during the late World War Two era with highly instrumental, albeit surreptitious
help from the indomitable, J. Edgar Hoover himself -- who along with U.S. military intelligence had learned that Amelia
Earhart quietly managed to survive her so-called disappearance, and that while doing so she had
at times been subjected to precarious circumstances. [Thus her later life friend and confidant, Monsignor James Francis Kelley's
comment: "After all she'd been through she did not want to be the famous Amelia Earhart anymore."]
Gervais and Reineck both averred that such a truth was discovered in the mid-1960s,
and it was revealed in 1970, but it failed to gain a foothold in the annals of official history after it was strongly
rejected by the former Amelia Earhart herself -- and an omniscient constituency of individuals
whom supported her. The two were also clear to point out at the same time, that Amelia's post-war alias ploy was more a product of a tight
inner circle than of a vast conspiracy.
of the omnipresent limitation to the people who were clued-in on the truth -- and the official silence always observed by
the U.S. and Japan about it, the story of Amelia's post-loss survival that left her known as 'Irene' evolved
to be regarded as a 'hoax' by the general public. (In the meantime, however, it remained clear ever
since that after the debate surfaced over who the post-war only 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile' really was,
or used to be, it never reached a hard conclusion... until the more recent forensic analysis results
displayed the obvious reality of it.)
After assessing their level of seriousness combined with the good nature of their characters (Gervais and Reineck had served in
the Air Force during World War Two; one retired as a Major; the other as a Colonel) and then
conducting an initial assessment of the common conclusion they drew that was backed by decades of their own honestly conducted
investigative research, I guess I wanted to determine if such a thing about Amelia Earhart that they
claimed to be certain of... actually was true.
I recall asking myself, "How, after decades gone by has this not yet
been officially settled?"
Either way I felt that answering the, 'did Amelia became known as Irene' question
once and for all provided an automatic hook for a documentary. I'll add though, making one proved far more challenging than
I originally anticipated. Why? For starters, let's just say Amelia's family, the original Irene's family, the Zonta's
and the 99's, (prominent organizations Amelia had belonged to) college history professors, and people at the Smithsonian Institution
either laughed or all-but signaled me to, 'hit the road, Jack!' when I asked them to weigh-in
on what I was doing.
to say... I kept going anyway, and in the end the truth of Amelia's post-loss existence as Irene shone through.
Above: "She was not the original Irene O'Crowley
Craigmile. Anymore it is obvious she used to be known as Amelia Earhart. A post-World War Two pact made between the
governments of the United States and Japan, that still exists today, has long prevented the general public from embracing
the truth about Amelia's ongoing existence as 'Irene' in the United States after the war." Tod Swindell
digitally combined with her future
self; the post-war Irene.
What Twenty-Plus Years Of
Tod Swindell's Amelia Earhart Investigative Research Quest Managed To Deliver:
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. Dave 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.)
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: Then head of the Oakland Western Aerospace Museum, Ronald Reuther; Amelia Earhart historian-journalist,
Tod Swindell; Mr. & Mrs. John Bolam, the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam's survived in-laws, who both recognized
their later life sister-in-law as the 'former' Amelia Earhart. Bottom row, left to right: 1967 Amelia Earhart World Flight
duplicator, Ann Holtgren Pellegreno; Amelia Earhart Lives author, Joe Klaas; and renowned Amelia Earhart disappearance
investigator being honored that day, Joseph A. Gervais.
Filming Protecting Earhart in 2002 with cameraman,
Doug Peters. From 1999 on, production has continuously taken place in California, Kansas, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington DC.
I shelved it at times as I continued on with the forensic analysis so I could ultimately include it. I finished the forensic
analysis in 2017, and have been back to completing Protecting Earhart since then. A light at the end of the tunnel
can be seen.
A frame from my near two hour long filmed interview
with my late friend and chief 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 identity
of Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, a name that originallly belonged to a budding pilot Amelia was acquainted with in the 1930s.
It turned out he was right. The forensic analysis concluded more than one Twentieth Century woman was attributed to the same
Irene O'Crowley Craigmile identity -- and after World War Two the former Amelia Earhart was one of them. As it turned
out, anyone who ever doubted Joseph A. Gervais there was too quick to judge.
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 the photo Gervais took of the former Amelia Earhart living as Mrs.
Irene Craigmile Bolam. The former Amelia Earhart sued he and Gervais for libel, (but 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
awesome expose' achievements... even where others have a hard time understanding why.
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
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, (atop 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 and only the second person 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 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. For after July 2, 1937, although she
couldn't be seen anymore, many people continued to believe she was still alive and out there... somewhere. Tod
Pilot 'Grace McGuire' took this 2017 photo of me being
interviewed for her documentary in front of her rare Lockheed Electra 'Model 10' edition, the best existing replica of the
Lockheed Electra 10E Amelia Earhart owned, flew, and went missing in with Fred Noonan. 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." (As mentioned, Muriel Earhart Morrissey, knew
her sister, Amelia, as 'Irene' in her later life years.) Into the 2000s, Grace had been planning a world flight adventure
in 'Muriel' with Larry Heller, the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's 1934 born son, slated to serve as her flight
navigator. The flight never materialized but for awhile it appeared to come 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
|PHOTO COURTESY OF ROLLIN C. REINECK
A Theory of
Above is a 1985 photo of Amelia Earhart's sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey,
with Lockheed Electra restorer and pilot, Grace McGuire. Colonel Rollin C. Reineck took this photo while the two were together
in Hawaii commemorating the 50th anniversary of Amelia's solo Hawaii-to-Oakland flight.
People have often remarked about Grace McGuire's strong resemblance to Amelia. It's no coincidence
in my book, just as Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's sudden post-World War Two resemblance to Amelia
Earhart was no coincidence either.
As terrific a person Grace McGuire is, she too is somewhat of
an enigma. She was raised by adoptive parents in Scotland before she relocated to the U.S. in the 1960s while in her teens.
She has also mentioned that she is 'related' to Amelia Earhart, without specifying the way she is related. I suggested to
her that she may be Amelia's secret granddaughter; she negated that, although I had brought it up in reference to a never
confirmed rumor of Amelia having experienced a family-secret pregnancy in 1924. If such a rumor were
true, Grace would fit the bill age-wise as Amelia's granddaughter. There was also some connective tissue:
Grace was a known friend of Amelia's sister, Muriel, before Muriel's passing took place in 1998, plus she knew Monsignor James
Francis Kelley, who helped Amelia become 'Irene' after the war; she affirmed she had 'acquainted' Irene O'Crowley Craigmile,
(the post-war only) and she has long been a friend of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's son, Larry
Heller. That's quite a weave of separate interrelated elements.
While the 'secret granddaughter'
notion may seem far-fetched to some, beyond the, "I'm related to Amelia Earhart" mention of Grace's,
there is actually no public record to back it up. So... one has to start somewhere with that information.
screen story, "Amelia's Blessings" that Rollin C. Reineck expounded on in the last chapter of his book, Amelia
Earhart Survived, is a historical novella that covers Amelia's missing year (biographically) of 1924. It suggests that
Amelia possibly concealed a pregnancy and gave birth to Lloyd Royer's child in Canada, (Lloyd Royer was a plane mechanic friend
and business partner of Amelia's who did propose to her before she left California with her mother in 1924, headed
for the east coast by way of Canada) and how eventually, her still concealed child was taken in to be raised by the
O'Crowley family of Newark, New Jersey, after Amelia suddenly became famous in 1928.
Is it pure insanity to
even suggest such an idea? As mentioned, Grace herself says it isn't true. Yet another part of my Study did solidly determine
that the person in the photograph directly below, who was positively identified to me by the original Irene O'Crowley
Craigmile's 1934 born son as, "my mother, around 1940", was not the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, nor
was she the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, AKA the former
It is a less-focused-on part of my study results
that says no one knows who the person in the photograph below really was or where she came from. In 1984, an elder
O'Crowley family friend described a young 'live-in helper girl' of the O'Crowley's who was about "16
or 17" in 1940, as she recalled. Where no evidence of such a 'live-in helper girl' exists within the
O'Crowley family archives, it could make sense where the person below was she. Not to leave out, this very same photograph,
and more of the same girl was part of the former Amelia Earhart's own photo collection bestowed
upon her later life friend, Diana Dawes:
|PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DIANA DAWES COLLECTION
At his attorney's office in Manhattan and in writing as well, the
person above was identified to me by the 1934 born son of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile as,
"my mother, around 1940". The analysis results left it certain she was not his biological mother, and she certainly
was never known as 'Amelia Earhart' either.
Evidently, after the original Irene's son was imprinted with her at a young age, the person above went on
to serve as his surrogate mother. The above photo was more likely taken in the mid-1940s. Based on her dress
and formal pose, it is possibly a college graduation photo from when she was twenty-one or twenty-two.
(Leaving her birth year estimate to have been, 'around 1924' as conveyed by O'Crowley family friend, Lucy McDannel in 1984,
who recalled their 'live-in helper-girl' as "16 or 17 in 1940.) To this day no one knows who this person really was or
where she came from. My postulatation that she may have been the non-recognized biological daughter of Amelia
Earhart and Lloyd Royer is only that, a 'postulation' or 'educated guess' based on an, 'if this, then that' supposition. Again,
my logic included an awareness of how this photo (and others of the same girl) came from the former Amelia Earhart's
own collection bestowed upon her later life friend, Diana Dawes. Diana died in 1998, just a few months after Amelia's sister,
Muriel, died. Diana Dawes, by the way, (see news article clip below) firmly believed her later life friend, the post-World
War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, did used to be known as, "Amelia Earhart". Tod
The above excerpt was part of a 1987 newspaper article.
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,
Kansas. Lou lived there for many years and was one of several 'Earhart-learned' individuals who spoke of
Amelia's rumored 'family secret' pregnancy from her pre-fame years.
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. I'm convinced you have solved the mystery." Author-historian,
Colonel Rollin C. Reineck,
USAF (Ret.) in response to Tod Swindell's Amelia Earhart
investigative forensic research and comparison analysis.
Senator Hiram Bingham
& Amelia Earhart
Distinguished and proud with her
trademark wings and pearls.
Irene-Amelia in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia in 1976.
Note the signature flower-pendant she often wore.
I guess I've always demonstrated a strong penchant for comparing U.S. history's relationship to U.S. pop-culture.
is how I was drawn into the real Amelia Earhart story--and to the realy story of Grizzly Adams. Both of these
iconic Americans ended up with the most ambiguous biographical profiles ever--thanks to limitations (or plain laziness) exhibited
by teachers of American history. Earhart and Adams were similar in peculiar ways as well: Both Earhart and Adams had deep
American patriot roots; both were extremely intelligent; both exhibited reckless amounts of courage in their chosen professions;
and both harbored profound psyches that left them unmatched as loners and wanderlust drifters during their individual ten
year periods of fame and adventure. I'll leave it there for now.
Had he lived, John
"Grizzly" Adams would have been 85 the year Amelia Earhart was born. It's a shame history never recognized him correctly.
I've known and understood the
beaten down truth about Grizzly Adams for many years now as a result of my own research. I've also known the beaten down truth
of Amelia Earhart for many years because of one person, Joe Gervais, AND my own research that verified he was correct when
he identified the body of Amelia Earhart when she was living in the 1960s known as, 'Mrs. Irene Bolam.'
I miss Joe. He was slowly being recalled again when he died in 2005. Then once again history lost sight of him. And
that's a shame because he was among the few original truth serum delivering 'Amelia Earhart' individuals on
the planet. (I suppose I took his place in a way.) 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 debate 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
Achievement' award in 2000. Above, Joe
myself during a filming break in 2002.
The post-World War Two only
Irene O'Crowley Craigmile
East Hampton of L.I. New York, in 1965. [Gervais photo.]
She was appeared nowhere as 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile' before
the end of World War Two because she used to be Amelia Earhart.
The world public, however, was never supposed to know about
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
O'Crowley. Below they're enhanced a little.
|CHARLES AND IRENE O'CROWLEY CRAIGMILE
|1930 NEWSPRINT PHOTO
My forensic comparison study led to an epiphany that said
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 the forensic reality is history's new smelling
salts of truth... about Amelia Earhart
It's also a 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,
"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, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam told a newspaper reporter the same thing,
"I've always been the same person." That was a true statement she made, although she definitely did change
her name during the course of her lifetime.
People sometimes change their names for different reasons. Stefani Germanotta did it for a professional
stage-name reason. So
did Alecia Moore. Cassius Clay and Lew Alcindor did it as homages to their religious beliefs. Amelia Earhart? She did it
for her own deep rooted personal reasons--and out of respect for the three countries she ended up being unwaveringly devoted to during the course
of her lifetime; the United States, England, and Japan.
If you feel I'm stretching things here, I'm not.
Try to visualize, if you can, that the reason the 'name-changed' reality of Amelia Earhart was kept
out of the public eye was more practically based and easier to explain than people realized.
According to the conviction displayed by the former Amelia Earhart herself
when she was known as 'Irene' during the last half of her life, and the post-World War Two viewpoints maintained by the United States, England, and Japan as well, it is fairly
certain their common vantage point came from a post-war agreement averring no one from the world public was ever supposed to know that Amelia
Earhart lived-on after
she went missing--and
in time changed her name.
It appears clear enough by now (to myself and others) that Amelia did such a thing by way of a multi-nations endorsed, and conjointly agreed upon
Federal Witness Protection Program [FWPP] carefully arranged by the U.S. justice department. Such an arrangement was most
likely spurred ahead by General Douglas MacArthur, the famous 'War in the Pacific' army heroe who veritably 'took over' Japan
after World War Two--and
within a few years turned it into a functioning democracy with help from its still reigning, Emperor Hirohito. Soon after
he relocated to Japan to do such a thing, it stands to reason Amelia's FWPP would have solidified under his guise in tandem
with that of J. Edgar Hoover and the federal U.S. government.
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 uncovering of it when it made national-news
headlines in the U.S. in 1970.
It is equally true as well, the executive branch of the U.S. federal government has
never officially investigated the 1937 disappearance and subsequent missing person case of Amelia Earhart. If it
ever offered an opinion about it at all, it was always in an off-hand, non-commiting way. Tod Swindell
Hey, I'm just
a regular guy who got into filmmaking because I believed in the power of motion picture story telling!
Tod Swindell's 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.
Of his other endeavors, one of Tod's companies houses the Grizzly
Adams' trademarked brand that is a business partner of the Vital Ground Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting
grizzly bear and other wildlife habitat in the northwest portion of the American continent. His new children's book, Grizzly
Adams and the Bridge to the Meadow (shown further down) is available in retail outlets and through Amazon, Barnes and
Noble, and Kindle. A portion of the book's proceeds goes to Vital Ground.
Tod likens the life of the real Grizzly Adams to that of Amelia Earhart,
calling them "two famously misunderstood figures from American history."
The son 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.
Tod is married to his 'Aether Pictures' partner, Julie Magnuson Swindell. The two split their time between Los
Angeles and the Pacific Northwest.
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.
Adventuring the Napali Coast.
Above, 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. (It was common for American
towns back then, especially in Texas, to have their own semi-pro baseball clubs.) 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.
Below, my new children's book sends
proceeds to the Vital Ground Foundation. It is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, on Kindle and in select retail
outlets. Check it out! Thanks, T.