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©2017 Amelia Earhart Compared To Irene Craigmile Forensic Analysis
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About The 'Real' Irene Craigmile, Amelia
Earhart's 1930s "Pal"
Irene Craigmile's name listed under the photo.
Above is a September of 1932 Akron, Ohio newspaper photo featuring
Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile with other woman pilots. Amelia, wearing a white V-neck collar is seated on the auto running
board; Irene Craigmile, who was not yet a licensed pilot then, is listed in the second row, second in from right, between
pilots Viola Gentry and Edith Foltz.
Above is part of an August 1, 1967 letter written by one Elmo Pickerill,
the secretary of a club known as 'The Early Birds of Aviation' that Irene Craigmile and Viola Gentry belonged to then. Mr.
Pickerill confirms here for Joseph A. Gervais, how Irene Craigmile, who he knew then, had been a "pal" of Amelia
Earhart and Viola Gentry in the 1930s.
Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'
This page is
considerate to the real Irene Craigmile, a once budding pilot in the 1930s who was acquainted with Amelia Earhart.
Joseph A. Gervais first became curious about who Irene Craigmile was in 1965, during his in-depth investigation that looked
into what went wrong with Amelia's last flight. His research on Irene Craigmile preceded mine but was not as extensive. When
Joe Gervais met the woman who handed him a business card identifying herself as "Irene Craigmile," it was on the
same day he noticed the great respect she commanded among other noteworthy pilots from the early days of aviation. Joe Gervais
felt that not only did she look very familiar to him, but he also wondered why he never heard of her before(?) As the story
about her played out after my comparison study began, it soon became evident there was more than one woman attributed to the
same Irene Craigmile identity. The real Irene Craigmile's birth name was 'Irene O'Crowley.' Born in 1904, she married Charles
Craigmile in the late 1920s and Amelia Earhart did come to know her as 'Irene Craigmile' in the 1930s, but today no one knows
what became of the real, original 'Irene Craigmile.' What the study revealed is by the time she hit her mid-late
thirties she was no longer in plain view. TS
"Your work relating to Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile is absolutely outstanding. There
is no other way to describe it." Amelia Earhart author-historian, Colonel Rollin C. Reineck,
USAF (Ret.) responding to the long-term, Amelia Earhart compared to Irene Craigmile forensic
research study conducted by Tod Swindell.
Considering the original, Irene Craigmile...
"Among the more miss-conveyed accounts
of the Twentieth Century was the true background of Amelia Earhart's long-ago pilot friend, Irene Craigmile. Especially where
it concerned her later-life uncanny resemblance to Amelia. Before the comparison study most people had determined
there was nothing to the Irene-Amelia story. Ultimately, and hands down, the results of the study proved there was a lot to
it." Tod Swindell, 2019
stories about Irene Craigmile and her past acquaintance, Amelia Earhart
have been tossed around for decades. The first 'public' one surfaced in 1970 as a controversial
news item--until Irene Craigmile herself, and most importantly a friend hers who happened to be Amelia's sister, Muriel Earhart
Morrissey, convinced people that any past connection she had to Amelia Earhart was of no significance. Muriel, who in her
later life years did know Irene Craigmile, was also quoted to say there was, "practically no physical resemblance"
that existed between Irene and her 1937 'gone-missing' sister, Amelia. Yet as anyone can see, the Irene-Amelia comparison
study I recently completed, the first one ever done, directly contradicted Muriel's words.
After the hubbub
of it all died down, as the years passed a tonnage of misinformation disseminated into the public mindset that shored up Irene's
and Muriel's commonly expressed viewpoint. Today, even Wikipedia's Irene Craigmile Bolam page (her surname of 'Bolam' was
added by a 1958 marriage) is misleading where it leaves people considering that the decades-old controversy over Irene Craigmile's
true past was 'settled' in recent years by a detective the National Geographic Society hired; something the National Geographic Society denies.
It is best to consider what is presented here about Irene Craigmile as if you're seeing, reading, and learning
about her for the first time, for much of it was not publicly known information until recent years. My overall research presents
the most updated, comprehensive, not to leave out 'accurate' version of Irene Craigmile's life story. REMEMBER, it is TRUE
that Irene Craigmile was a real person who was acquainted with Amelia Earhart in the 1930s. Her life was a struggle
at times compared to Amelia's, though, and she LOOKED NOTHING LIKE Amelia. Therefore, it defies logic where a woman sporting
the exact same 'Irene Craigmile' identity, who appeared from out of nowhere in the United Sates after World War Two ensconced
with a career in the New York banking industry, would several decades later end up proving herself, by virtue of the forensic
analysis I orchestrated, to have been a head-to-toe physical and character traits carbon copy... of Amelia Earhart.
Highlighted in blue directly below is a condensed version of the original
Irene Craigmile's life story. After you read it, think once again about what the true past connection she had with
Amelia Earhart's life was. Rest assured, it was a bit different than what Amelia's sister, Muriel, and Irene Craigmile herself
necessarily conveyed to people from the early 1970s on. Irene's death was recorded in 1982. Muriel died in 1998.
Thank you, TS
Below is a condensed version of the original Irene Craigmile's
The original Irene Craigmile, 1932-1933
A Brief Biography OF The Original Irene Craigmile... By
Tod Swindell [Reprinted from his MSS, Protecting Earhart, ©2017]
Irene Craigmile's short life was a story lined with difficult circumstances. Seven years younger than Amelia Earhart, she
was an only child whose mother died when she was twelve. Her father soon remarried another woman who apparently felt uncomfortable
with continuing to help raise his daughter, after she had already been sent to live with her paternal grandmother and aunt
in Newark, New Jersey.
After high school, the original Irene briefly attended
Columbia University but did not continue pursuing a higher education for herself. She also twice became pregnant out of wedlock,
the first time at age twenty-one and the second time at age twenty-eight, and she delivered sons both times that she never
had the opportunity to raise or know beyond their childhoods.
Irene's first husband, Charles James Craigmile, tragically died in 1931, less than three years after the two were wed. A year
later, Amelia, who was a good Zonta organization friend of the original Irene Craigmile's aunt, and Amelia's well-known pilot
friend, Viola Gentry, helped introduce the original Irene to the world of piloting airplanes. This took a hard turn as well,
leading to the second of the original Irene Craigmile's two unwed pregnancies due to an affair she had with her last flight
instructor, Al Heller. The original Irene realized she was carrying Al's child at the same time she earned her pilot's license
in late May of 1933. She and Al eloped to marry that August to legitimize their child and the original Irene barely flew again
after that. The couple's marriage soon disintegrated, though, and it is evident by 1937 any civil communication between the
original Irene and Al ceased when Al relocated alone to Buffalo, New York. The annulment of their marriage and an ugly child
visitation and custody rights battle commenced soon after that as well.
Irene Craigmile never had a professional career but she was employed for awhile as a 'floor walker' at Macy's in the 1930s,
that was basically a low pay shelf-straightening and light 'store security' position. For awhile Amelia had a boutique in
the same Macy's where she sold her self-designed clothes and she may have been instrumental in getting the original Irene
Craigmile hired there.
The true fate of the original Irene Craigmile remains unknown
in the public arena. What is decipherable, is by the time she hit her late thirties she no longer appeared in plain view,
and in due time clear photo records of her person were all-but expunged as well. One also does not find the later-life Irene
Craigmile's image that aligned with Amelia Earhart's image anywhere in the pre-World War Two years photographic record
of Irene Craigmile's person. In 1982, a news article series that appeared in the New Jersey Tribune after Irene's death was
reported amid renewed speculation that she was the former Amelia Earhart, featured a conglomeration of photos from prior to
the World War Two era that combined unclear images of the original Irene Craigmile, (whose birth surname was "O'Crowley")
with images of the surrogate mother figure of her 1934 born son, Larry Heller. It also featured some poorly executed photo
forgeries to cloud the historic photographic trail of Irene Craigmile. The 'red-herring' yellow journalism effort was intent
on leaving all curious souls who observed the photos completely unaware that they were actually looking at photo images
of three different human beings that combined them into one life-long person. The three different people were the original
Irene Craigmile, the surrogate mother Irene Craigmile, and the former Amelia Earhart Irene Craigmile.
Back to the
progeny of the original Irene Craigmile:
The original Irene's first born son, that she delivered
out of wedlock in 1926 two years before she married Charles Craigmile, was adopted and raised by her paternal uncle, Dr. Clarence
Rutherford O'Crowley, and his wife, her aunt Violet. The boy's given name was Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley Jr. He died in
2014. Her other 1934 born son whose father was Al Heller, ended up being raised by a surrogate mother figure and was placed
in a boarding school during the war years. He lives today known as Clarence Alvin 'Larry' Heller, and identifies a different
'Irene' to have been his mother than the 'Irene' who matched Amelia Earhart after the mid-1940s.
War Two ended, Amelia Earhart, who had gone missing in 1937 and was declared "dead in absentia" in 1939 (even though
she did not actually die) assumed the left over identity of her one time 1930s 'pal,' the original Irene Craigmile, for herself
to use for the remainder of her days.
In other words, the person who was known as Amelia
Earhart was to remain 'legally dead' forever after said declaration was made in 1939, even though her body lived on
until 1982 known as 'Irene.'
Both of the original Irene's natural born sons were aware of the assertion
of it, but appeared unaware that their biological mother's identity truly was additionally attributed to the former Amelia
Earhart after the war years. It actually remains uncertain if the original Irene Craigmile's first born son, Clarence
Rutherford O'Crowley Jr., was ever made aware that the original Irene Craigmile was his true biological mother. In 2003, his
daughter, New Jersey newspaper journailist, Peggy O'Crowley, mentioned that her father's biological O'Crowley birthright had
always existed as a "family bone of contention." In other words his own progeny was left uncertain when it came
to the question of their father's biological lineage.
Larry Heller, the 1934 born son of the original Irene Craigmile and Al Heller,
was always put-off by people who questioned if Amelia Earhart was his mother. He was justified to feel that way since the
woman he recognized as his mother from his childhood on until her death was recorded in 1982, was an entirely different Irene
Craigmile than the one whose post-World War Two image and character traits forensically aligned with Amelia Earhart's.
conclusion about the past connective tissue that existed between the original Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart is this:
Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after she went 'missing' in 1937, and
her eventual assuming of the original Irene Cragmile's identity, that for the last half of her life she shared with Larry
Heller's surrogate mother figure, now exists as the obvious known-truth about what became of Amelia
Earhart, and it is a shame the world public continues to be misled about it.
Amelia's "pal" Irene Craigmile, early 1930s
Irene Craigmile in the early 1940s, positively identified
by her 1934 born son.
In 1946, Irene Craigmile suddenly looked like this. Her son did
not recognize this photo of his "mother."
Irene Craigmile in 1934 with her son, Clarence "Larry" Heller
who was born in March of that year. Irene Craigmile became pregnant out of wedlock in 1933 and soon after married the child's
father to be, her former flight instructor, Al Heller. As mentioned their marriage soon failed and it was annulled after Al
Heller moved away in 1937, the same year Amelia Earhart went missing. Their son, Larry Heller, identified a different person
to have been his mother than the Irene Craigmile who proved herself to be a post World War Two physical and character traits
match... to Amelia Earhart.
Below left: One of three different Twentieth Century women
attributed to the same, 'Irene Craigmile' identity. On the right she is shown in alignment with an old photo of Amelia Earhart.
Some will continue to defy this new realization until
official history stops turning a blind eye to it, but above is a 1970s photo portrait of the
former Amelia Earhart identified as Irene Craigmile.
Researcher, Tod Swindell's recently concluded Irene-Amelia
forensic study determined that during the World War Two era, the ONLY plausible explanation for the pluralistic human
anomaly realized about Irene Craigmile was that after Amelia Earhart went missing in 1937, she continued to live-on without
the public knowing about it, and was later able to assume the left-over identity of a 1930s pilot friend of hers, Irene Craigmile.
Here, the following statement is correct: The Irene Craigmile in the above
1970s photo was identified nowhere as 'Irene' before the end of World War Two. So accounting for her recently discovered
human congruence to Amelia Earhart and her acknowledgment of having been Amelia's long-ago friend, where it could
have at all been true that she was not formerly known as Amelia Earhart, such an inexplicable human equation would
evidence itself to have been nothing short of a miracle. Except, this was no miracle.
In recent years it grew to be clearly identifiable that Amelia
Earhart managed to live-on after she went missing in 1937, and she later became known as Irene Craigmile.
After her 1958 marriage to
Englishman, Guy Bolam, she further became known as, 'Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam.'
While reality any further states that the person in the above
photo was previously known as Amelia Earhart, once again it is clear this was something the world public was never
supposed to know.
The former Amelia Earhart was taken by surprise in 1970 when she was publicly outed for who she
used to be in a national headlines making way, but she was essentially indomitable in her defiance against it for
what hindsight reveals were her own good 'private life' reasons and to be sure, some historically sound reasons as well.
Curiously, no one considered
doing a serious research analysis of Irene Craigmile's full life story back then, nor was her physical being, nor were her
character traits compared to Amelia Earhart's at the time. Three decades would pass before Tod Swindell decided it was time
to do both.
his lengthy study that left no stones unturned, its forensic conclusion, that was fully copyrighted in 2017, correctly stated
there was more than one woman historically attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile' identity, and the former Amelia Earhart,
most assuredly after the World War Two era in the United States, is easily identifiable as one of them within the completed
To those raising an eyebrow here, this is not "hokum" as Amelia Earhart's
niece, Amy Kleppner once described it to be. Amy's mother, Amelia's sister, Muriel, who died in 1998, was actually a later-life
friend of the new Irene Craigmile and always honored the secrecy of their true sisterly past, even to her
own daughter, Amy.
Notwithstanding Amy Kleppner's long
held desire for people to not pay attention to the Irene-Amelia story respectful to her mother's wishes, anymore it exists
as a recognizable forensic reality that her mother did know her sister as 'Irene' in her later-life years.
As well, notwithstanding the Smithsonian's ongoing laissez faire attitude toward it and the
many opposing Amelia Earhart mystery theorists who continue to choose not to believe it, the new Irene Craigmile
shown above was not just Amelia's later life 'look-alike.' (Disbelievers tried to convey so much after the study
results were first made public.) For after combining the additional research findings to this aged controversy, again for
the sake of repetition, it became clear she actually was the former Amelia Earhart, and the tale of the
tape now leaves us the wonderful gift of finally getting to recognize the full biographical story of this incredible
human being... who was basically known as 'Amelia' the first half of her life, and then as 'Irene' the last half of her life.
former Amelia Earhart's death was recorded in 1982, just a few weeks shy of what would have been her 85th birthday.
Of further note, to date the United States Department of Justice has never commented on the half-century old debate over the
dual identity assertion pertaining to, 'Irene Craigmile.'
Dating back to the time Amelia went missing and into the
World War Two era, suspicion always rang high when it came to what actually happened to her. By the time the war ended though,
the story of her loss had pretty much grown to be accepted for what it was.
That lasted until renewed suspicion toward what actually
happened to Amelia Earhart was greatly accelerated by some controversial information discovered in the 1960s. Said information
led a slew of investigative researchers to commonly agree that some kind of post World War Two agreement made between
the United States and Japan determined the ambiguous outcome of Amelia Earhart's ill-fated flight in 1937, was to
always remain ambiguous, and since Amelia Earhart had been legally declared 'dead in absentia' in January of 1939,
the person once recognized as Amelia Earhart would henceforth remain, legally dead.
Evidently, Amelia herself favored this final verdict and
there is no doubt she had her own good reasons for doing so.
the admirals and generals seemed to know her." LPGA promoter, Peter Bussatti in 1982, comments about his 1970s good friend, Irene Craigmile Bolam who had
recently died. Along with many others, Mr. Bussatti had openly wondered if she used to be known as, 'Amelia Earhart.' This
photo was used in the comparison below it.
Above: Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam and Peter
Busatti in the 1970s.
Below: Another sample from the comprehensive, 'Irene-Amelia forensic comparison analysis.'
Above: The new Irene Craigmile (Bolam), far
left; as Amelia Earhart, far right; superimposed, center.
"Peter Busatti said he accompanied Mrs. Bolam to the Wings Club in New
York City on one occasion. He said a full length portrait of Amelia Earhart hangs in the room dedicated
in her honor. ""It was a dead ringer for Irene,"" he said. ""Sometimes
I thought she was [the former Amelia Earhart], sometimes I thought she wasn't. Once when I asked her directly she replied,
"When I die you'll find out."" At a Wings Club event in Washington, Busatti mentioned
that all the admirals and generals seemed to know her." Excerpted from a 1982 Woodbridge New Jersey
News Tribune article.
"The original Irene
Craigmile barely flew at all during her oft-troubled 1930s years. Compared to her friend, Amelia, she was a veritable nobody
back then as well. It would have been unrealistic for her to later become a member of the affluent New York Wings Club, let
alone be distinguished like royalty there among her peers. Yet, important people who knew the post-World War Two Irene Craigmile
as the former Amelia Earhart, and indeed the were some who did, were always respectful to recognize her that way."
In Her Own Words...
Excerpted from Mrs. Irene Craigmile
Bolam's 1967, non denial-denial she mailed in response to a query letter about her true past from retired USAF Major,
Joseph A. Gervais:
"I can offer in evidence two people whom you may call for verification of this fact, because they each knew
us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile."
"It has always been my feeling the Amelia Earhart
has not passed away completely, so long as there is one person alive who still remembers her."
Note her odd reference
to "the Amelia Earhart" as if she likened her previous name to a ship that had sunk long ago. See more detail
about this below.
they each knew us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile."
From the document examination portion of
the forensic study, here is part of the same statement shown above issued by the new Irene Craigmile (Bolam), displayed
here in her own cursive handwriting. Amelia's own high school, 'Amelia M. Earhart' cursive signature is inserted under
it for comparison. (Amelia's middle name was 'Mary.') She referenced two life-long friends of hers; early
pilots, Viola Gentry and Elmo Pickerill, who, according to her own words, also knew her as, "Amelia Earhart."
She mailed her handwritten
reply to retired USAF Major, Joseph A. Gervais, who had met her face to face two years earlier. The confounded Major Gervais,
who felt he recignized her for who she used to be at the time they met each other at a gathering of well known pilots from
the past, had written her to politely ask if she used to be known as Amelia Earhart(?)
This comparison alignment is relatively new information.
The overall study features a more thorough handwriting comparison analysis.
Anymore, The Conclusion Is Obvious
Amelia Earhart's controversial disappearance in 1937 was
actually a missing person case that ended with Amelia being declared, 'dead in absentia' in January of 1939.
Anymore, however, the recognizable truth is Amelia Earhart did not actually die after she went missing. She continued
to live-on, she changed her name to 'Irene' during the World War Two era, and she resurfaced with an updated look in the United
States after the war and soon-after embarked on a new career in the banking industry. She did this in order to further live
privately, away from the public eye.
This isn't a new revelation by any means. A retired military hero discovered this to be true in the mid-1960s, thirty-years
after Amelia went missing. People just never believed him, and perhaps that was best, especially where the former Amelia Earhart
was still very much alive at the time.
In effect, however, the original Irene Craigmile's early-1940s demise was covered over to leave her name and identity
available for Amelia's use after the war years, and her son, who is pictured with his mother in the 1934 photo shown above
on this page, ended up being further raised by a surrogate mother figure who he came to recognize as his true mother. In the
end, as the study revealed, the forensic equation listed a total of three different women attributed to his mother's same
identity; his biological mother, his surrogate mother, and the former Amelia Earhart. (continued below...)
Above: Irene on August 8, 1965, in East Hampton
of Long Island, New York. Photo credit: Joseph A. Gervais, USAF (Ret.)
"Nothing is as invisible as the obvious." Richard
Irene Craigmile, 1965
Amelia Earhart pictured next to U.S.
Senator Hiram Bingham
the forensic reality of it all now staring back at everyone in no uncertain terms, the time has come to finally acknowledge
the plain truth about Amelia Earhart." Tod Swindell, 2019
(continued from above...) The former Amelia Earhart initially began her new,
post-war life in the city of Mineola of Long Island, New York. After a few years she moved to her old stomping grounds of
nearby Great Neck to serve as an assistant vice president at a bank there. [She had lived in Great Neck for several months
in 1924 & 1925 when she was known as Amelia, and of course she often flew out of the airfields on Long Island and started
the Ninety Nines there.] The former Amelia Earhart retired from banking in 1958 when she married Guy Bolam of England, a
successful executive with Radio Luxembourg in Europe. She became a constant world traveler after that.
Absolutely, juxtaposed to the U.S. justice department's
enduring silence about Amelia Earhart's fate after she went missing, the press and general public have been influenced by
imposing forces over the years, and especially since the study results became known, NOT
to pay attention to the 'Amelia became Irene' conveyance. Said 'forces' have traditionally included
some of Amelia's extended family members and individuals associated with the Smithsonian Institution. Just the same it is
true that Amelia lived-on after she went missing, and in time changed her name to, 'Irene.'
Below, the prominent looking,
wings adorned woman in the center was not the 'original' Irene Craigmile, but she was attributed to that same name
and identity in her later life years and claimed herself to have been a good past-friend of Amelia Earhart's. Anymore it is
clear, though, she actually used to be Amelia Earhart:
The 'new,' post World War Two,
This website and the forensic conclusion it presents are the copyrighted
intellectual properties of Amelia Earhart historian-journalist, Tod Swindell.
Earhart MSS & Forensic Analysis by Tod Swindell, individual copyright registration #'s: TXu 1-915-926; 2014,
TXu 2-061-539; 2017]
From 1996 on, Mr. Swindell endeavored
to thoroughly study the individual life stories of 1930s pilot friends, Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile. Beyond a certain
collection of knowledgeable individuals on the subject of his concern, other closely connected sources proved difficult for
him to willingly engage. No matter, the results of his long term 'forensic research' and 'human comparison study' are nothing
short of astounding. Some try to claim otherwise, but in doing so they exhibit a limited ability when it comes to recognizing
forensically learned truths.
What Tod Swindell
managed to accomplish in a singlehanded way over the course of two decades--against the strong grain of conventional reality--is
as amazing as it is undeniably real. Even so, many have a hard time believing what they see here with their own eyes.
As Tod says: "That's ok, after all it reveals a startling, inconvenient historical reality for people to have to come
to terms with."
Once Again, The 'Real' Irene
The same 1932 Akron, Ohio newspaper photo from above that features
Amelia Earhart and the original Irene Craigmile with other woman pilots. Again, Amelia, wearing a white V-neck collar is seated
on the auto running board; Irene Craigmile, who was not yet a licensed pilot then, is listed in the second row, second in
'Irene Craigmile' is listed between charter 99's members,
Viola Gentry and Edith Foltz. Irene Craigmile only flew briefly and never joined the 99's, the international organization
for women pilots formed by Amelia Earhart and other women pilots in 1929. Amelia was the 99's first president.
After Amelia Earhart married George Putnam in 1931,
for a while she went by the name of 'Amelia Earhart Putnam,' just as she is listed here between her fellow 99's charter member,
Dorothea Leh and future 'National Air and Space Museum Wall of Honor' honoree, Abbie Dill (Haddaway).
Below is the
full page 'September 1, 1932' version. Amelia Earhart is outlined in white and the original Irene Craigmile is outlined in
Above: An old newspaper article identified this person
as Amelia's 1930s pilot friend, Irene Craigmile in 1932. Accordingly, the photo would have been taken a year after her husband,
Charles James Craigmile, died from appendicitis.
"Truth is not a mystery -- its greatest secrets
are yours to know through simple honesty and surrender to what that honesty reveals." John de Ruiter