The Latent History Of Amelia Earhart's 1937 World Flight Outcome

Amelia Earhart: Controversial 'Leaked' U.S. State Department Information

Home Page: Amelia Earhart
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Separating Fact From Fiction About Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart AKA 'The New Irene Craigmile'...
The U.S. Military And State Department Grew More Aware During The World War Two Era...
To The White House: An Open Letter About Amelia Earhart
The Misguided 'Castaways' Claim
Forensic Comparisons: Naturally Revealing The Truth
The 1982 'Red Herring' Woodbridge New Jersey News Tribune Series
Hiding The Truth With Photo Forgeries
Amelia Earhart: Controversial 'Leaked' U.S. State Department Information
Why The Truth About Amelia Earhart Was Dismissed
Evidence Of Amelia's Plane In The Marshall Islands(?)
Forensic Analysis Support: Seeking Privacy, Amelia Optioned For A New Identity
Monsignor James Francis Kelley & Astronaut Wally Schirra Discuss Amelia Earhart
About Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile Heller Bolam; Did You Know?
A Less Recalled Look At Amelia Earhart's 1937 Disappearance
The History of Amelia Earhart Mystery 'Investigative Research'
Detours Taken In Pursuit Of Answers; The Real Joe Gervais
Amelia Earhart Press Notice Samples
Amelia Earhart: True or False
Three Women Used The Same 'Irene' Identity, One Was FKA 'Amelia Earhart'

This website previews the ten-year forensic analysis and MSS, Protecting Earhart scheduled for publication this year. [Protecting Earhart U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number: TXu 1-915-926]


Japan's twin engine 'Randy' cited by Arthur Gibson
In 1972 Mr. Gibson leaked 'still classified' information about Amelia from State Department files.

"There is a picture of her next to a twin engine 'Randy' that was never put into mass production." 1972, State Department archivist, Arthur Dewayne Gibson of Verdunville, West Virginia comments on a photograph of Amelia Earhart he found in a, "Earhart, Amelia: Special war Problems" labeled file he located.

About the following Arthur Gibson and Patricia Morton World War Two 'classified' information reveals that took place in 1972 and 1987:
In 1972, the first Earhart-truth leak occurred when a semi-retired State Department archivist by the name of Arthur Dewayne Gibson revealed contents of a file he located among State Department archives. The file was labeled "Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems." Gibson, of Verdunville, West Virginia, acknowledged he had perused the file in a restricted area. The information in the file indicated Amelia had been coerced into a role of somewhat complying with Japan as the great war approached. In 1984, twelve years after Mr. Gibson revealed what he had found, another State Department archivist, Patricia Morton happened on a World War Two era classified file labeled the same way [Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems] that had been declassified in 1980 via the FOIA. The file Ms. Morton found, that she first went public with in the L.A. Times in 1987 and soon after on a NBC television special hosted by Lindsay Wagner, inferred Amelia had been transferred to a Japan-run 'civilian internment camp' in China in 1945 by the end of the war. [See 1987 L.A. Times article below.] Eventually, in 1990 the State Department acknowledged the file containing the 'Civilian Internee' information Ms. Morton located indeed had 'concerned' Amelia Earhart, after Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii requested a formal explanation about it from then Secretary of State, James Baker III, whose office confirmed it in writing.
In the 1990 official State Department reply to Senator Inouye, it was explained:

"She [Ms. Morton] located certain previously declassified documents concerning Earhart in 1945 civilian prisoner of war files at the National Archives."

One need only ask: How could a 1945 civilian prisoner of war file have concerned someone who supposedly 'disappeared without a trace' in 1937 in hostile Japanese territory, and after not being found, was legally declared 'dead' in 1939?

Three years prior to the State Department's confirmation, the Los Angeles Times had reported:

"50 Years After Disappearance, Experts Puzzle Over Flyer's Fate"

June 28, 1987  PAUL DEAN  L.A. Times Staff Writer

A half-century after the landing or splashdown, more than two dozen books beyond the death or survival of the principals, maybe a million questions, theories, reports, rumors, investigations, lies and honest mistakes later . . . there is a fresh shred of evidence concerning the disappearance of record-forging aviator Amelia Earhart.

A veteran State Department employee says she has a copy of an unpublicized government telegram indicating that the famed flier was a prisoner of the Japanese until the end of World War II.

Patricia Morton, 52, a deputy examiner of foreign service applicants for the State Department in Washington and an Earhart hobbyist, said she found the telegram and related correspondence three years ago in an obscure National Archives file on World War II American POWs in Asia.

It implies that Earhart, who disappeared over the South Pacific on July 2, 1937, while attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world, was interned by the Japanese at Weihsien, China, at least until Aug. 24, 1945."


Below: Needless to say, Mr. Gibson's earlier disclosures shed a more controversial light on Amelia's post-loss existence during the World War Two era, before Ms. Morton's information indicated Amelia had survived the duration of World War Two in Japan's custody. In an end-around way, their combined disclosures and the 1990 State Department confirmation to Senator Inouye proved the State Department had withheld post-disappearance information about Amelia that it was aware of dating back to the World War Two era. This helped to explain why ever since the war, the U.S. and Japan have maintained vigils of 'official silence' when it came to their shared version of what actually happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.

Envelope and typed correspondence, Gibson-Gervais letter.

"Mrs. Putnam wishes the U. S. Government to henceforth consider her a National of the Nipponese Imperial Islands, and that section is dated August 19, 1939." Excerpted from above, in 1972, A.D. Gibson describes a section of the contents from a restricted U.S. State Department file. The reality of how Amelia Earhart Putnam was actually treated by Japan while she was under its stewardship has never been publicly disclosed, although it is certain she was not executed or left to die in prison. Monsignor James Francis Kelley later described how Amelia had "been through a lot" and she was "not well" when the war ended, adding she needed time to "recover and heal" after her non-publicized return to the United States, where she would be further known as, 'Irene Craigmile.' 

Below, handwrittem from Gibson to Gervais, 1972
Mr. Gibson cited his inability to 'talk freely' on the phone due to his relatives being present

Below: Excerpts from info forwarded to USAF Major Joe Gervais from State Department Archivist, Arthur DeWayne Gibson of Verdunville:
"Enclosed are two things I wish you would check. I only get a good possible. I took it to a police station in Charleston and further had two artists sketch each. (Another picture of her.) I believe you have access to more technical skill. If you think it is a good make will you phone me? I ask that you return it soon. After a short time, after I get it back you may use it. I must replace it. Oh yes the file date is September 7, 1946. Refers to wives of officers and top government officials (Japan.) It was closed hence to what it pertained I have no idea. Also it was the last of a strip of eight photos, was the only one American."
"I believe the FBI files of 5th column agents would help you here. These files are closed to me. I was only able to get a hint of their contents & as nothing seemed at the time to bear on what I was doing I never pressed the matter. I felt files would be a better avenue of search at this late date. Even commercial and religious files. I found in State Department files where '"Mrs. Putnam wishes the U. S. Government to henceforth consider her a National of the Nipponese Imperial Islands.'" It was only a two line sentence and seemed to have a relationship to the rest, (dated August 19, 1939.)" [NOTE: August of 1939 was still prior to Germany's invasion of Poland.]
The date of this letter was 4/5/72. Several phone call and letter exchanges between Joe Gervais and Arthur Dewayne Gibson took place. Mr. Gibson stressed his fear of reprisal should the State Department catch wind of the information he was sharing, to the point of not even speaking about it when his own family was in ear shot. Their exchanges eventually convinced Gervais to write to Japan's Immigration department in Tokyo. Note how Mr. Gibson mentioned Amelia participated in "Zero wind tunnel tests" with the file stating Amelia was in Japan in 1938 working with Jiro Horikoshi. [1938 was the year after Amelia went missing, and still a year prior to the official start of WWII.] Mr. Horikoshi was Japan's famous plane designer who Amelia, a known 'pacifist' had acquainted on Long Island when he visited the Garden City Curtis-Wright plane factory earlier in the 1930s. After Mr. Horikoshi returned to Japan he chiefly designed and developed the Japanese Zero. Arthur Gibson also included how the State Department 'Special War Problems' material described Amelia's ability to speak Japanese fluently, [Amelia spoke several languages] and how in July of 1939 she test flew a 'OO' deck fighter at Kayunmiyharu.  He included as well, how the file was labeled, "Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems." Courtesy: Protecting Earhart by Tod Swindell.

About The Same-Labeled File Located A Decade Later; Officially Confirmed
In 1984, State Department employee, Patricia Morton located a recently declassified file labeled, "Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems." In 1990 the U.S. Department of Legislative Matters, by way of Secretary of State, James Baker's office actually confirmed such a file existed after being queried about it by Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. Ms. Morton and her find would be featured on a 1994 NBC Amelia Earhart mystery TV Special hosted by Lindsay Wagner. The file Patricia Morton located included an unsigned telegram message to George Putnam from the Weihsien, China 'Japanese Internment Camp for Allied Civilians' that read, "Camp liberated; all well. volumes to tell. love to mother.(*)" Researchers Laurie McGlaughlin and Ron Bright suggested the telegram's author could have been one Ahmad Kamal who had sent it to George Putnam right after VJ Day. This may be true as Kamal was at Weihsien and he had known George Putnam and Amelia, to the point of his being recommended as an FBI undercover agent candidate by Putnam. By virtue of the file's label; "Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems," it conveyed Amelia had been a 'Special War Problem,' and the liberation telegram it contained had "concerned Amelia Earhart" according to the official State Department reply about it. So much coincided with a former OSS Lieutenant by the name of James "Jess" Hannon who had participated in the post VJ Day liberation of the Weihsien Internment Camp. Hannon described how at the end of the war a 'sickly' Amelia Earhart had been privately sequestered at Weihsien in special quarters, away from the other internees. He mentioned a British commanding officer there referred to Amelia as "the Yank Jane Doe," and she was under guard while being attended by a nurse.  Hannon described how she was on the 'first plane out' of Weihsien after VJ Day, after she was loaded on a litter. He later heard a rumor that the plane liberating Amelia from the camp had crashed, killing all on board. Later, after digesting the 1960s & 1970s investigative research of Joe Gervais, Hannon grew to believe Amelia made it back to the United States 'anonymously' and assumed the identity of 'Irene Craigmile.' He determined her liberation 'plane crash' story was a ruse meant for the circle of 'classified intelligence' individuals who had been privy to Amelia Earhart's continued war time survival. [In 1991 Hannon wrote a manuscript about his experience entitled 'Amelia Earhart Survived,' the same title Colonel Rollin C. Reineck would attribute to his own book years later.]
George Putnam did not receive the Weihsien telegram until three weeks after it was written. Lieutenant Hannon agreed the tone of the ten-word-limit, 'unsigned' telegram suggested that given her condition at the time, someone else had written the telegram to inform George Putnam that Amelia had made it out of Weihsien. [Ahmad Kamal was likely that someone.] The three week delay of Putnam receiving it remains unexplained, but when he did get it he immediately sent a reply requesting more information, although the file did not contain another reply back to him. It is curious for the publicity hound that he was, in public circles Putnam never mentioned this telegram exchange to anyone, nor did he ever write about it prior to his death in 1950. It no doubt was the case, as Amelia became Irene, the post war design was for George Putnam to learn of and accept the 'plane crash ruse' James Hannon described to not only  offer him final closure about Amelia, but Admiral Nimitz as well, along with and others aware of Amelia's war time survival on the classified level it existed. It is probable, as Lost Star author, Randall Brink suggested, that Jackie Cochran circumvented high military command censorship in Chung King, China by routing the telegram through Canada. Brink considered how George Putnam was never supposed to receive the Weihsien telegram as preferred by U.S. Military Intelligence. [See Randall Brink's 1994 W. W. Norton book Lost Star for more information on this.] From Protecting Earhart by Tod Swindell.
The Real Amelia
Amelia's intellect, privacy and thinking patterns? Consider these quotes relative to the above that appeared in a newspaper after Amelia's 1928 Friendship flight: "She never mentioned to me that she even contemplated flying across the ocean." "She speaks five languages fluently." "She is just the most unassuming and retiring, yet sweet and companionable young woman one could possibly wish to know." Pauline Coleman, co-worker of Amelia's,  6/22/28. Consider this quote as well: "She [Amelia] was a fairly demure person for public audiences, but around hangars and mechanics she could be pretty demanding and would treat them plenty rough at times, to include her swearing like a sailor at them." Amelia's 1930s friend and plane mechanic, Arthur Kennedy who wrote the book, Keepin' Em Flying. From Protecting Earhart by Tod Swindell
 Hanging Out 'Over There'

The following are more excerpts from the 1966 book, The Search for Amelia Earhart by Fred Goerner: "It was only two days later, though, [July 7, 1960] that the roof fell in on the captains. (Bob) Dinger and (Joe) Gervais had been summoned to Fuchu Air Base in Japan to appear before a panel of U.S. 5th Air Force senior officers and present their information regarding Amelia Earhart." [Note: Said 'information' pertained to seventy-two sworn affidavits of people once scattered among Japan's war time Imperial mandate islands, who recalled various aspects of Earhart's post July 2, 1937 existence there.] "The Air Force refused to divulge the complete story told by Captain Gervais..." "...most of the interview with the two captains was kept secret and the Air Force clamped a security classification on the claims of Gervais and Dinger." (Gervais later described how the 'seventy-two sworn affidavits' were actually confiscated by the Air Force panel who had grilled Captain Dinger and himself.) From Protecting Earhart by Tod Swindell, WGA registration & copyright, 2004/2014

The Smithsonian's Viewpoint
"We're not allowed to show favoritism to any Earhart mystery solving theories." 
Dr. Thomas Crouch, a long time Senior Curator of the Smithsonian Institute's Air and Space Museum  (The Smithsonian is a 'ward' of the U.S. government) represents another example of how historical dictum influences have always kept the Irene-Amelia conveyance well at arm's length. In a 2003 phone interview Dr. Crouch remarked, "We're not allowed to show favoritism to any Earhart mystery solving theories." Likewise, in 2006 the National Geographic Society's Noel Dockstater remarked, "No matter what, we can't say the mystery has been solved."


Below: WWII Declassified Shanghai Interment Camp


Above: In his 1972 letter to Gervais, Arthur Gibson referred to "Mrs. Putnam's" August 19, 1939 Nipponese [Japan] Naturalized citizen request found in the Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems file dated Sept. 7, 1946 [Post-war classified.] Recall Amelia originally took George Putnam's name after she married him in 1931, and she was even referred to that way by the press for awhile following her famous 1932  Atlantic solo crossing. Within a year though, she had returned to using her own surname of 'Earhart' even though her married name remained 'Putnam.' Amelia's full legal name at the time she went missing was, 'Amelia Mary Earhart Putnam.' After she returned to the U.S. Monsignor Kelley helped her complete the change of her identity to 'Irene Craigmile.' From 1939 to 1942 Amelia's ZONTA Sister and good friend, Attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley handled the annulment of her niece's marriage [her niece having been the original Irene Craigmile] to Al Heller, thus dropping the surname of 'Heller' and returning it to 'Irene Craigmile.' During that time the Non gervais-Irene [AKA 'Irene Jr.'], Gertrude Ferguson, and Mary Eubank all helped with the rearing of the original Irene's 1934 born son, Larry Heller. In 1992, one of the Gervais-Irene's later-life close friends, Princeton radio show host, Diana Dawes discussed her understanding of how the original Irene's hushed demise enabled Amelia to acquire her identity, leaving the idea that Amelia's name change to Irene Craigmile was already in motion before the end of the war to not be so far-fetched. It would otherwise be a mere coincidence as well, that the above WWII Shanghai Internment Camp list that featured over 775 detainees, singled out the only "Alien at Liberty" as "Putnam, Irene Mary C." with no nationality or birth date referenced. Recall, technically the United States only participated in the World War Two effort for a bit more than three-and-a-half years, while Amelia had been gone for a total of eight years. As Monsignor Kelley remarked, "After all she'd been through, she didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore." From Protecting Earhart by Tod Swindell.

A Considered Vantage Point
Amelia Earhart was a pacifist who abhorred the ideas of war, violence and prejudice. Her public persona exemplified that of a world humanitarian. She was deeply spiritual, an artistic thinker, she commanded a supreme intellectual quality and she spoke a variety of foreign languages. An excellent multi-record setting pilot, beyond her ability to command a variety of fixed wing aircraft she also demonstrated her flying prowess with the complex, if not cantakerous at times 'Autogiro' more than anyone else ever did. Apolitical, Amelia appreciated all human cultures worldwide. Never was she a war time favor-seeker, something still misconstrued by some individuals today. Amelia also avoided the unforgiving aspect of addressing the use of airplanes in wars, something famous pilots were subjected to do as World War Two approached. She also had a hard time with married life, limelight living, and staying in one place. These attributes accentuated her growing desire for privacy at the time of her storied 'disappearance.' "God how the world hounded that woman," her close friend, Jackie Cochran said about Amelia after she was gone. Recall too, Amelia had announced her 1937 world-flight would be her "last great flight." Bear all of this in mind while considering all of the controversial information  pertaining to her 1937 disappearance. 

A 1999 Note To Protecting Earhart's, Tod Swindell From USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais [1924-2005]
Dear Tod,
'Received the first draft of your manuscript and have carefully read it several times. Your writing breathes life into the fascinating story that has consumed my interest for more than forty years. Of course, as in the generally held opinion of the public, that A. E. simply crashed her plane and disappeared in the Pacific--a theory which seems to be promoted by our government--would not have held my interest these many years--if true.
I have never felt that the AE-FN disappearance solution was my proprietary property. Rather, I have been sharing my findings with those as deeply interested as I am, in the hope that the final information could be obtained by pressing the government to release documents that can resolve it all.
Hope your family is doing well. Thelma is fine. Thanks for your concern and well wishes.
Sincerely, Joe Gervais
Joe Gervais in 1983, on his way to Howland Island.
Amelia never made it there in 1937.

Below: A few examples from Protecting Earhart's forensic comparison analysis. ID placements made by the original Irene's son, Larry Heller forensically confirmed three different women had used the same 'Irene' identity.

The Gervais-Irene Craigmile Bolam
At Cocoa Beach, Florida in 1965
The transition begins...
...see her former Amelia image becoming apparent.
Her former Amelia image starts to take over...
...notice the face, chin, neck, shoulders, et al congruence.
Her former Amelia image now dominant.
Photo taken in 1935 during Amelia's pre Hawaii to Oakland flight sea voyage.

Below: Two examples from Protecting Earhart's handwriting anayisis:

Beyond 37' Gervais-Irene handwriting sample:
From a 1967 Irene letter to Gervais, with Amelia's high school senior "Amelia M Earhart" signature.

Gervais-Irene cursive letters compared to Amelia's
From Protecting Earhart's study; above left side: The Gevais-Irene; Above right, when she was Amelia

Gervais-Irene & her former Amelia self
Gervais-Irene, 1978 / Amelia, 1923
Gervais-Irene & her former Amelia self
Gervais-Irene, 1965 / Amelia, 1933
Gervais-Irene & her former Amelia self
Gervais-Irene, 1963 / Amelia, 1928
Gervais-Irene & her former Amelia self
Gervais-Irene, 1976 / Amelia, 1932
Gervais-Irene & her former Amelia self
Gervais-Irene, 1978 / Amelia, 1929

Below are the three different women who were attributed to the same 'Irene' identity:

The orginal Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, 1930...
...a mystery herself after the 1930s, she and Amelia had been friends through the O'Crowley family.
Irene Craigmile, late 1930s to early 1940s
The Non Gervais-Irene
Irene Craigmile, 1940s to 1982
The Gervais-Irene

Are the above photo and handwriting comparisons just a coincidence? After all, according to record in the 1930s Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart knew each other. Did they really look and write so much alike? Of course not. For it is now known the Gervais-Irene the original Irene Craigmile, even though U. S. 'official silence' left people thinking she was. Meanwhile for years, important sounding individuals have claimed it as 'almost certain' Amelia Earhart could not have survived her disappearance to eventually change her name. Yet where the Gervais-Irene did not surface in the public realm until the mid-1940s, anymore one can see how said 'contrarians' lacked true accuracy. It's that simple. But the hurdle of convincing the Smithsonian to address such a quandary provides an ominous challenge. The Smithsonian is a 'ward' of the United States Government that again, has always maintained 'official silence' on the Earhart disappearance case. Hence, the Smithsonian has a hard time addressing the Irene-Amelia topic without Uncle Sam's endorsement.

The Gervais-Irene Bolam proud with her wings, 1978
She appeared Nowhere Identified As 'Irene' Prior To The 1940s.
'Irene' photo in transition...
...aligned with her former Amelia self on the right.

Orville Wright & Amelia Earhart

Click here to e-mail and/or Beyond 37', or just e-mail was first launched in 2007. The comprehensive Forensic Analysis and Forensic Comparison Study it partially displays, 1.) Proved more than one person employed the same 'Irene' identity. 2.) Displayed the head-to-toe congruence the Gervais-Irene shared with Amelia Earhart. 3.) Proved the Gervais-Irene appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s.
The analysis initially began in 1997 and was beta copyrighted in 2002. Tod Swindell's original manuscript, Protecting Earhart: The Beautiful Alter Ego and Silent Legacy of History's Most Famous Flying Heroine has been housed and registered at the Writers Guild of America West since 2004, #1033972, and was copyrighted in 2014. For subsidiary rights information e-mail
This website is dedicated to the late USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais [1924-2005] and the late USAF Col. Rollin C. Reineck [1920-2007], two World War Two heroes who began expounding on the 'Amelia became Irene' truth decades ago. A special thanks also goes out to Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, whose enormous help with supplying never before made public 'Irene' photo data in 2002 paved the way for the forensic comparison study to finally reach its reality based conclusion. Thanks as well to Bazzell Baz, who helped to breathe new life into the Earhart truth seeking endeavor in the late 1990s.
Major Gervais, who was considered by many to have been the most knowledgeable Amelia Earhart investigative researcher ever to pursue the truth, first suspected the Irene-Amelia reality in 1965. The controversial 1970 McGraw-Hill book by Joe Klaas, Amelia Earhart Lives delved into the enormous amount of Joe Gervais' investigative research and displayed the first nationally published photo of Irene Bolam, AKA the Gervais-Irene, FKA 'Amelia Earhart.' Regardless of the fallout caused by Amelia Earhart Lives, Major Gervais and Colonel Reineck spent the last four decades of their lives working to advance the claim of Earhart's name-changed survival to authenticity after enduring their own long term investigative analysis of the evidence that supported it. Colonel Reineck's book Amelia Earhart Survived was published in late 2003 and was greatly inspired by Tod Swindell's Irene-Amelia forensic analysis. Portions of the study appeared in the Reineck book, that is more extensively displayed in Protecting Earhart, Beyond 37', and are owned and managed by Tod Swindell through Aether Pictures & Press, LLC.

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