The Obfuscated Reality Of Amelia Earhart's 1937 World Flight Outcome

Monsignor James Francis Kelley & NASA Astronaut Wally Schirra Discuss Earhart

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Amelia Earhart: Controversial 'Leaked' U.S. State Department Information
Why The Public Never Knew What Happened To Amelia
The 1982 'Red Herring' Woodbridge New Jersey News Tribune Series
The History of Amelia Earhart Mystery 'Investigative Research'
Detours Taken In Pursuit Of Answers; The Real Joe Gervais
Amelia Earhart Press Notice Samples
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Protecting Earhart's Investigation Results
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...
Photo Evidence Of Amelia's Plane In The Marshall Islands
Hiding The Truth With Photo Forgeries
Why The Truth About Amelia Earhart Was Dismissed
To The White House: An Open Letter About Amelia Earhart
Forensic Analysis Support: Seeking Privacy, Amelia Options 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
Amelia Earhart: True or False
Three Women Used The Same 'Irene' Identity, One Was FKA 'Amelia Earhart'

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


Monsignor James Francis Kelley
President of Seton Hall College from 1936 to 1949; held Doctorates in Philosophy and Psychology

Cover of Monsignor James Francis Kelley's autobiograpphy

"It's hard for most people to comprehend, by the 1960s she barely recognized herself for who she used to be." 1987, Monsignor James Francis Kelley describing his late close friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam [FKA 'Earhart'] to Rockford, Illinois TV reporter, Dean Magley. 

Monsignor James Francis Kelley [1902-1996] was a long time President of Seton Hall College in New Jersey. He was given much credit for turning the school into a University in 1949. Father Kelley had many famous friends in government, politics, and show business, and he was a highly regarded figure in the Catholic Church, to include his having hosted Pope Paul VI as an overnight house guest in 1965, when the Pontiff became the first ever to visit the United States.
In 1987, Monsignor Kelley began breaking his silence to select investigators about his late close friend, Mrs. Irene Bolam [the Gervais-Irene] who died in 1982. He confirmed his friend, Mrs. Bolam was previously known as 'Amelia Earhart,' after disclosing that it was true Amelia had survived her disappearance under Japan's stewardship, and opting for future privacy she quietly returned from Japan with a different name at the end of World War Two. Monsignor Kelley further described how he was the person who had been 'assigned to receive her' when she came back to the United States, how he helped with the process of her physical and mental health rehabilitation, and he had been instrumental with her transformation into, 'Irene Craigmile.'  

From a 10/18/82 New Jersey News Tribune article:
Msgr. Kelley later verified his late friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam used to be, 'Amelia Earhart'

Photo of Msgr. Kelley from his autobiography.
Past Seton Hall President, Msgr. James F. Kelley knew both Lindbergh and Earhart.

Admiral Nimitz and Senator Al Hawkes...
...receiving honorary Seton Hall degrees from Monsignor Kelley;

The Gervais-Irene [FKA 'Earhart'] and Monsignor Kelley at dinner in the 1970s.

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

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

Below: Excerpt from retired USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck's 1991 taped interview with Monsignor James Francis Kelley. Reineck tracked down the elderly Monsignor after learning information from two of the Monsignor's good friends, Helen Barber and Donald DeKoster [see following text.]

Reineck: If you have things of hers [Earhart's] I would like to see them. Are you aware that she was Irene Bolam? Kelley: What? Reineck: Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam? Kelley: That's right, yes.

Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976
Monsignor Kelley's sister, Gertrude Kelley Hession (left) with the Gervais-Irene Bolam

Gervais-Irene [FKA 'Earhart'] in Yugoslavia-1976
...superimposed with classic Amelia photo...
...displays the congruence.

Monsignor James Francis Kelley & the Gervais-Irene Bolam

Monsignor Kelley's beautiful St. Croix, US Virgin Islands home.
Kelley's beautiful Rumson, NJ home. Gervais-Irene [FKA 'Earhart'] was a familiar guest at both homes

NOTE: In 1991, retired Air Force Major, Joe Gervais and retired Air Force Colonel, Rollin Reineck held a press conference in Hawaii to provide some recent updates pertaining to their ongoing investigation of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, to foremost include their belief that she had 'quietly survived' World War Two. Colonel Reineck soon after received a letter from a Mrs. Helen Barber, that described something her seasonal neighbor, Monsignor James Francis Kelley had shared with she and her husband a decade earlier. She referred Colonel Reineck to another couple she knew, Mr. and Mrs. Donald DeKoster of Detroit Michigan, (Mr. DeKoster was an auto industry executive) to additionally verify the information she had been made aware of. Both the Barbers and the DeKosters were fairly affluent and both owned winter homes in the Virgin Islands on St. Croix, near Monsignor Kelley's home there. The following statement was excerpted from the letter sent to Colonel Reineck by Mrs. Helen Barber of Wayne, Pennsylvania shortly after the press conference took place:

“Dear Colonel Reineck,

My husband and I read about your news conference in Hawaii. We are impressed by the integrity of your investigation into the Earhart matter and we simply had to contact you with a related experience we have kept to ourselves for many years. We have a home in the Virgin Islands where we spend winters and one of our neighbors down there is Monsignor James Francis Kelley. Monsignor Kelley owns a beautiful home on top of a hill on the island of St. Croix where our winter home is also located. In 1981 during a luncheon with him, he related to us how he was commissioned at the end of the war to help bring Amelia Earhart back from Japan. He said he was chosen to serve as her psychiatric priest. He also told me something about missing documents he had to get that she needed in order to help with her Identity change. The Monsignor told us that he received her as she was being subjected to an identity change. He told us that she stayed with him at his New Jersey home and I believe sometimes his St. Croix winter home while he helped with her emotional, spiritual, and psychiatric needs.” 

Above passage reprinted from a letter Helen Barber sent to Rollin Reineck in 1991. Reineck recorded different phone conversations he had with Mrs. Barber and Mr. Donald Dekoster, who both believed with certainty what Monsignor Kelley had told them. 

"Amelia Earhart survived and she eventually returned to the United States. There's no doubt about it anymore." USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck (Ret.), who met and spoke with Monsignor Kelley, from an interview with the National Geographic Channel, 2006.

Monsignor Kelley Was Awarded For His War Time Servitude
Note the 'Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.' and 'J. Edgar Hoover' References 
Beyond his Seton Hall accomplishments and the 1946 bust statue of his likeness commissioned by the Smithsonian, Monsignor Kelley received many awards and commendations. One 'citation and medal' he received on July 11, 1941 was awarded to him by none other than U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. As previously mentioned, in 1938, Morgenthau, who oversaw FDR's Secret Service division, had refused to make public information withheld by the White House pertaining to Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. It is no coincidence the stated reason for the 1941 award given to Kelley by Morgenthau was: "For three years of Patriotic Service with integrity and diligence for the Treasury Department of the United States of America," where simple math shows three years prior to 1941 was 1938, the same year Henry P. Morgenthau, Jr. refused to release the White House final report on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
Two other post-WWII awards the Monsignor received were relevant as well: "June 18, 1946 - received citation from the War Department through Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Force, Carl Spatz [who Jackie Cochran spent time with on Guam just prior to her entering Japan after VJ Day] and Secretary of the War, Robert P. Patterson," and a "November 20, 1946 citation from J. Edgar Hoover for assistance rendered during the war years to the Internal Security of the Nation through the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States Department of Justice." It's interesting to note here, how the Arthur Gibson classified State Department file leaked in 1972 labeled, "Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems" bore the date of Sept. 7, 1946.... a date between the two dates listed above; June 18, 1946 and November 20, 1946. 1946 also marked the first year the former Amelia Earhart publicly emerged in the United States reidentified as, 'Irene Craigmile.'

Monsignor Kelley with N.J. Gov. Byrne and his wife
...and baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and his wife, and Sandy Palmer.

Monsignor Kelley & Pope Paul VI at the Vatican,
during a 1960s visit. Janey Blaylock is also in the photo.
Monsignor Kelley shown in a family picture...
...his sister, Gertrude in white on his left.

Msgr. Kelley's sister Gertrude & the Gervais-Irene
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976.

1944, Monsignor Kelley awards F.B.I. Director....
...J. Edgar Hoover Seton Hall's LLD with Archbishop Thomas Walsh.

"J. Edgar Hoover's fingerprints were all over Amelia Earhart's continued survival and her later name-change to Irene." Joe Gervais

Note: From 1970 on, to include after the Gervais-Irene died in July of 1982, people continued to question her past. Directly below, reprinted from above is Msgr. Kelley's telling quote that left the curious teetering on the brink of accepting historical reality:

Msgr. Kelley's reporter refusal...
...he later admitted his friend (the 'Gervais-Irene') used to be known as Amelia Earhart

Kelley's sister Gertrude & the Gervais-Irene
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976.

The truthful nature of Monsignor Kelley's later admission that confirmed his long time friend, the Gervais-Irene was previously known as Amelia Earhart, became clearer after the Forensic Analysis discovered the Gervais-Irene appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s...  


The Gervais-Irene
Superimposed with Amelia Earhart photo begins...
Monsignor James Francis Kelley, 1946...
...with the Smithsonian Institution's commissioned bronz bust of his likeness.

...then after it was forensically ascertained that three different women had been attributed to the same 'Irene' identity, with the Gervais-Irene, who Kelley knew well, matching Amelia head-to-toe and character trait wise, Monsignor Kelley's past admission was naturally verified.

The Gervais-Irene...
...superimposed with Amelia Earhart.

With New Jersey Governor, Brenden Byrne...
...Monsignor Kelley being awarded a Doctorate of Law Degree

Msgr. Kelley with friends, Jackie Gleason and Ted Hussing
Monsignor Kelley with his friend, Ed Sullivan.

Kelley with Jack Warner of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Msgr. Kelley was also well acquainted with Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable.

Kelley with Betty Ford and Marge Montana

REINECK: I understand you were President of Seton Hall.

KELLEY: Yes, I was President of Seton Hall for many years.

REINECK: If I were to come back and talk to you would I be able to see some of the things you have of Amelia Earhart's?

KELLEY: Absolutely. Surely.

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

KELLEY: Yes, I was involved with that.

REINECK: Could you give me your address?

KELLEY: [Msgr. Kelley provides his Rumson, New Jersey address.]

REINECK: I'm going to try to come back to talk to you.

KELLEY: All Right.

REINECK: Thank you for your help.

KELLEY: What city are you in?

REINECK: Honolulu, Hawaii

KELLEY: Oh my gosh, and you're going to come over here?

REINECK: Yes sir. If you have things of hers [Earhart's] I would like to see them. Are you aware that she was Irene Bolam?


REINECK: Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam?

KELLEY: That's right, yes.

NASA Astronaut, Wally Schirra Discusses Earhart
From the 1970s on, a variety of accounts surfaced describing Amelia Earhart's post-WWII continued existence in the U.S. under an assumed identity. One of them came from NASA Astronaut, Wally Schirra.

Below: Astornaut Wally Schirra
He told reporter, Dean Magley he 'met' the 'former' Amelia Earhart at NASA in the 1970s.

In 1988, Astronaut Wally Schirra described to Rockville, Illinois TV news reporter, Dean Magley, that he had met the woman previously known as Amelia Earhart at NASA's cape Kennedy in the 1970s. Dean Magley actually filmed a brief interview with Wally Schirra, where the famous astronaut mentioned "reliable people" had disclosed such a truth to him. The now-late Dean Magley had extensively interviewed Monsignor Kelley as well, and as a result of his separately conducted interviews with both men and other knowledgeable individuals he had engaged about it, Dean Magley was fully convinced that the Gervais-Irene Bolam had previously been known as 'Amelia Earhart.' Mr. Magley was equally convinced such a truth was something the public was left unaware of by intention. Below, note the Gervais-Irene's survived sister in law's 1993 comment about her late sister-in-law having known "astronauts."

Joe Gervais Research Award event, Las Vegas, 2000
Top row L-R: Tod Swindell, Mrs. & Mr John Bolam, lower, Joe Klaas & Joe Gervais

The following excerpts came from a 1993 story written about the Gervais-Irene Bolam by Mrs. John Bolam, her survived sister in-law shown in the above photo:
"She was intelligent, articulate, and had a commanding presence. She knew a lot of important people including many high-ranking military officers, astronauts and flyers."
"Guy and Irene knew people all around the world, some of which were well known figures in high places."
"She appeared to be completely familiar with any subject we might bring up about flying in the old days, such as types of planes, instruments, early airports, etcetera."
"After Guy died, she still continued to manage the Radio Luxembourg accounts while trekking around the world."
"She thoroughly enjoyed life, people, events, theater, travel, new heights. She was the epitome of a "'Classy Lady.'" 
"Irene told us she was a member of the 99s and the Zonta's, but others say her name does not appear in the records of either organization. Why then would they ask her to speak at their national and international meetings?"
[Note: According to the Woodbridge Tribune, from the late 1940s on as 'Irene Craigmile,' the Gervais-Irene was listed in the Long Island chapter of ZONTA members, and due to her ability to speak several languages she had served as ZONTA's 'International Relations Chairman' just as Amelia's close English friend, Nina Brodrick Price previously had. However, there is no record of Irene Craigmile or Bolam ever having been a member of the 99s.]
[Note: Colonel Reineck referenced the Gervais-Irene Bolam having been awarded a medal of appreciation by NASA.]
[Note: The Gervais-Irene Bolam took over as  corporate President of Radio Luxembourg following Guy's 1970 passing.]  
[Note: Monsignor Kelley, one of Robert F. Kennedy's former attorneys, Benedict Ginsburg, Arizona Senator, Barry Goldwater, and Lady Mary Stewart of Scotland were some of the important friends the Gervais-Irene, FKA 'Earhart' had in her later-life years, as was Jean MacArthur, the survived widow of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. (See photo and story below.)]

A New Columbia University Graduate
1961, retired Gen. Douglas MacArthur, his wife, Jean & their son Arthur

The Gervais-Irene Bolam [FKA 'Earhart'] and Jean MacArthur were good friends throughout the 1960s and 70s. They would occasionally meet for lunch at the Waldorf Astoria where Jean resided for many years. [Jean MacArthur died in 2000 at the age of 101.]
In the 1960s, Arthur MacArthur IV, the only child of General Douglas and Jean MacArthur, disappeared. Where did he go? After his famous father died in 1964, Arthur, a graduate of Columbia University with an English degree, changed his name to 'David Jordan' to conceal his identity. He had been raised in the international spotlight. Born in Manila in 1938, his toddler image once adorned the cover of Life Magazine. After the end of WWII he and his mother spent much time in Tokyo while his father oversaw the rebuilding of Japan with Emperor Hirohito. Growing up full time overseas, when he turned thirteen years old he still had never been to the United States.
There is no doubt General MacArthur was aware of Amelia's continued survival in Japan's custody during the war years, and had helped spirit her non--publicized return to the United States. It is certain as well, he and his wife, Jean knew Amelia had changed her name to 'Irene' in order to live out the rest of her years as a non-public person. Their son, Arthur MacArthur IV had a similar yen. Named for his Civil War hero great grandfather, he had experienced the first 26 years of his life as the heir apparent to his father's legacy. His parents were never shy about vocalizing their desire for Arthur to embark on a military career. Except Arthur didn't want that. He'd had enough of 'war.' As a child it was all he knew, plus he always felt a different calling and no longer wished to be subjugated by his prominent heritage. He had a keen interest in music, literature, arts and the theatre. William Manchester, author of “American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur" said Arthur was "a fugitive from his father’s relentless love.” [courtesy] Today at the age of 78, David Jordan, FKA ''Arthur MacArthur IV" lives in relative obscurity in Greenwich Village, NY. Here, once again we're reminded of Monsignor Kelley's comment about his friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam: "After all she'd been through, she didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore." Jackie Cochran's quote about Amelia is also telling, "God, how the world hounded that woman." There's also a quote by Lou Foudray of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, "I believe she came back, but she wanted her privacy."
Clearly as well, with all he'd been through, seeking privacy after his father died, upon deciding he didn't want to be Arthur MacArthur IV anymore, the recent Columbia graduate thus changed his name to, 'David Jordan.'

Next: Reineck's Taped Interveiw with Monsignor Kelley's Sister, Gertrude Kelley Hession

Msgr. Kelley & his sister, Gertrude Kelley Hession
Circa, late 1970s

Msgr. Kelley's sister Gertrude & the Gervais-Irene
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976.

On 11/2/91 the now late Colonel Rollin C. Reineck recorded his 'Monsignor Kelley' follow-up conversation with the Monsignor's Sister, Gertrude Kelley Hession. The following is the complete transcription of said conversation, with Col. Reineck's own introduction and a few 'explanatory notes' added by Beyond 37':
"The following is a transcript of a taped telephone conversation I (Col. Reineck) had with Gertrude Hession on 2 November 1991.  Gertrude was the younger sister of Monsignor James Francis Kelley. The call took place after I met with the Monsignor in 1991. A few of the words spoken by Gertrude were hard to understand, otherwise I believe I have interpreted all words correctly:"

ROLLIN C. REINECK:  We had it on good authority from other people that the Monsignor did take care of Amelia Earhart when she came back to the U. S. and I wanted to confirm that with you.

GERTRUDE KELLEY HESSION:  Now that I couldn't confirm.  Why I say that is that I was not in the area at that time. My husband had been transferred with the parent company.  I wasn't living in the area so I don't know what really happened.  I can say -- he may have.  He does many things that we don't know of.  As far as that is concerned I couldn't say yes.

ROLLIN:  I see.  You don't know whether he did or not.  Is that what you're telling me?

GERTRUDE:  I don't know.

ROLLIN:  I talked to someone in St. Croix who knew Monsignor Kelley.  His name is DeKoster.  Do you know him?

GERTRUDE:  Are they from New Jersey?

ROLLIN:  No, they have a home in St Croix. (U.S. Virgin Islands)

GERTRUDE: No.  I don't know them.  I know the De Kosters from New Jersey.

ROLLIN:  They may have a home there too. Anyway they have a house right near the Monsignor’s house in St. Croix.
[Note: The DeKosters were quite wealthy, Donald DeKoster, a long time good friend of Monsignor Kelley’s was a prosperous Detroit auto industry executive.]

GERTRUDE:  I don't think I've met them.

ROLLIN:  They told me that at one time you and Amelia Earhart were to come to visit, but that one of you got sick and couldn't make it.

GERTRUDE:  Well now, I'll tell you. I have visited there with Irene Bolam. And, you know who Irene Bolam is?

ROLLIN:   Right, yes.

GERTRUDE:  Yes, are you acquainted with the name?

ROLLIN:   Yes of course.

GERTRUDE:  Now, Irene and I had visited out at St. Croix.  Irene Bolam and I took several trips together.  But actually, I did not know Irene as a child - as a young person - to be able to give you a good background. I know of her family, The doctor O'Crowley and her aunt, but actually, I didn't know too much about her.  I met her when her husband died, Bolam was ill with appendicitis.  That was when I really knew her intimately. She never discussed much about Amelia Earhart. I don't know if..., that she ever denied it out-rightly to me – you know – that she had no real connection there. But, oh, I had my doubts many times.  She had a yacht in Red Bank. As did the Erwins. I don't know if you know them.  They had a yacht up there in Red Bank.  Irene had her boat there and we used to go out on it.  She would always discuss planes coming over. Pulling down maps, pinpointing all these different areas.  It made you wonder you know.  But I don't know how helpful I can be to you.  I wish I could be more.

ROLLIN:   You said something a second ago. You said she never denied being Amelia Earhart.

GERTRUDE:  Oh, not in my company.

ROLLIN:  Did she ever affirm it at all.

GERTRUDE:  She. Oh, the only time I recall her making a denial was at the time of her death.  There was a memorial service.  There was a memorial service for her down where she lived you know.  She had a party for all of her friends.  She had pre-arranged this affair. And, it was a memorial party. And, some of those people down around Rossmoor could give you a much better explanation about her.  She did have a folder made up, pre-advance.

ROLLIN:  I have a copy.

GERTRUDE:  Oh, then you know where she says  "If you believe this."

ROLLIN:  Do  you know Diana Dawes?

GERTRUDE:  Oh yes, she was one of her closest friends I would say.

ROLLIN:  When we were back visiting the Monsignor, (Gertrude’s Brother) we visited Diana the next day.

GERTRUDE:  Oh Yes, She [Diana Dawes] was about one of her closest friends I would say.  More intimate than I.  Although, we took all those wonderful trips together.  She used to get very upset with people coming up and wanting her to admit – you know – that she was Amelia Earhart.

[Note: Ms. Dawes was left many of Irene’s personal belongings after Irene died in 1982, to include the photographs used in the study and reprinted in this website. (Before she passed away Ms. Dawes further entrusted Irene's photos to pilot-author, Ann Holtgren Pellegreno who provided the ones used in the study.) Note as well, the 'pre-advance' folder Irene made for her 1982 Memorial Dinner featured the ‘other’ Irene Bolam on its cover, a person Joe Gervais never met before. Diana Dawes, a former New Jersey radio show host believed the Irene Craigmile Bolam  (the Gervais-Irene) she became 'good friends' with had formerly been known as Amelia Earhart.] 

ROLLIN:  What was your personal opinion.


ROLLIN:  Your personal opinion was that she was or was not?

GERTRUDE:  You know when they were writing the book, Amelia Earhart Lives.  That was a very trying time for her.  I can recall people coming up.  There was a judge. I can't remember his name. [Judge Edward Kennedy.]  Anyway he was helping her control those people.  I think one was Gervais and the other one.

ROLLIN:  Klaas,  Joe Gervais and Joe Klaas.

GERTRUDE:  Right. Oh you know, that was very disturbing and the judge was handling it.  She sued. I sat in on some of the depositions with her.  I think she --- didn't she win that suit?

ROLLIN:  No. She sued Mc Graw Hill, Joe Klaas and Joe Gervais for two million dollars.  She kept asking for a postponement.  Finally, [Gervais] agreed to pay her the two million dollars if she would come to court and give her fingerprints in front of the judge.

GERTRUDE:  Oh no, that's something she would never do.

ROLLIN:  No. She wouldn't do that, so she dropped the suit [against Gervais and Klaas] after that.

GERTRUDE:  I think we lost touch about then, but I know that things were very trying for her. (NOTE: This is a contradicting statement made by Gertrude. The lawsuit ended in early 1976, and it was known how at least until 1979 Gertrude continued to occasionally see and even travel at times with Irene.)

ROLLIN:  Why wouldn't she give her fingerprints?

GERTRUDE:  Why?  She didn't want people to prove she was or wasn't - apparently. And even her own son does not have her fingerprints.

ROLLIN:  I'm not sure that is her son.

GERTRUDE:  Irene was married three times.

ROLLIN:  I have her marriage certificate and it says that when she married Bolam,  it was her second marriage.

GERTRUDE:  Oh really.

ROLLIN:   I asked you a minute ago, do you think she was or was not Amelia Earhart.

GERTRUDE:  I was very dubious, because there were so many times she would slip, you know with comments and make you feel, you know, and yet, I never really wanted to probe. I felt she could tell me if she wanted to tell me. It was that type of friendship. But there were many times when it was difficult not to go after her and say 'come on, sit down and tell me.' But, we just never quite did. She had a friend by the name of Mary (Eubank) who would have known her as a class mate at the academy of the Boswell Sisters and St. Dominic's academy. She was sent there by her grand parents. She would have known her as a high school person. To me she was the closest one. Then she had two aunts who lived up around the shore line. [The O’Crowley Sisters Edna Madaline O’Crowley Horsford and Attorney Irene Mary Rutherford O’Crowley.]  (Attorney Irene) O'Crowley was one. They were two sisters. It was always a very sensitive thing with Irene (Craigmile Bolam.) She would get very disturbed about it when people would come up to her in front of her son you know, at the Flyers Group, Wings Club, or something like that, she would get very upset.

ROLLIN:  When I was talking to another lady, her name was Helen Barber, who also knew the Monsignor in St. Croix.  She told me that when Amelia Earhart came back and the Monsignor was giving her spiritual and psychological care as well, he tried to get her to keep her name, but she didn't want to – according to the story – because she said she was embarrassed for what she had done.

[Note: Col. Reineck may have been reading more into the story that wasn’t necessarily there. According to Donald DeKoster, Monsignor Kelley mentioned how Irene decided she 'didn’t want to be the famous Amelia Earhart any more,' alluding to her strong desire to continue living her life after the WWII years as a private person in the U. S., as opposed to a highly famous ‘public’ person. Her post-war confidence, the respect she commanded from others, her continued love for Japan, the orient, and the United States…, as well as her overall positive attitude never suggested she was embarrassed about her past, although she may have found it to hard to explain something she inadvertently become involved with during the war years due to inordinate circumstances.]

GERTRUDE:  Oh really, I don't know, I've never heard that.  But my brother got to know her quite well.  After all, she would have confessed to him, ah, especially when she was ill at the hospital.  We went to visit her on numerous occasions, and that was a very secret deal too.  When she was in the hospital, she had this oriental doctor and his name was kept quiet always as to her relationship with people and what not.  And that's when she died at that hospital.  I do know my brother visited her because I took him there several times as he was her confessor. What she told him, I don't know. I don't know how you could get it from him.  I wish you well with this.

ROLLIN: Let me give you my name and address; etc.

GERTRUDE:  I gather from what you said that you thought she may have been Amelia Earhart.


GERTRUDE:  Yes, there were times, yes, I must admit that. If I had been really curious.  But, I think I valued our friendship more.

ROLLIN:  That's what Diana Dawes said.  She said that although she was almost positive, she never asked because it would have upset her and she would lose her friendship. ….I won't take up any more of your time. Thank you very much. You've been a real help. Thank you Gertrude.

(They sign off.)

Note: It is fairly certain Mary Eubank and the original Irene Craigmile were friends, and Mary Eubank was likely introduced to the original Irene’s famous family friend, Amelia Earhart at some point. Accordingly, in 1949, the same year records show Viola Gentry and Jackie Cochran corresponding with each other, Jackie Cochran’s own stowed records index indicates at least one letter exchange between Jackie and one 'Mary Eubank.'
Beyond 37' holds copies of all audio tape recordings of conversations that took place between Colonel Reineck and Monsignor Kelley, Reineck and DeKoster, Reineck and Mrs. Helen Barber of Wayne, Pennsylvania (who as mentioned also knew Monsignor Kelley well and was told many things by Kelley about his past relationship with Irene Craigmle Bolam,) and between Colonel Reineck and Gertrude Kelley Hession. Beyond 37' also holds a copy of Dean Magley's filmed interview with the now late NASA Astronaut, Wally Schirra.
Note: Amelia Earhart co-founded the 99s Women's Flying Organization in 1929 and was its first President. Amelia had also joined the Boston chapter of the Zonta's in 1928, but after moving to New York in 1931 she mostly participated, when she could, in Zonta functions held there. Today, Zonta still annually presents its prestigeous Amelia Earhart Scholarship award to aspiring female college students.
The original Irene Craigmile appeared to have no more than twenty-odd hours of solo flying time in 1933, and that's all she ever had according to record, before she eloped to marry Al Heller that same August.

Monsignor Kelley lived near and was acquainted with the original Irene Craigmile's prominent O'Crowley family of Newark, New Jersey that featured Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley and his sister, Attorney Irene Mary Rutherford O'Crowley, the original Irene's Uncle and Aunt. Monsignor Kelley also knew Charles Lindbergh when Lindbergh lived in Hopewell, New Jersey, and he knew Amelia Earhart as well, who he mentioned had 'changed her name to Irene in the interest of her future privacy.'
One of the Gervais-Irene's close later-life friends, a Princeton radio show host by the name of Diana Dawes described her own understanding of how the hushed demise of the original Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile enabled the former Amelia Earhart to acquire her identity during the World War Two era. No vast conspiracy, it is fairly certain General Douglas MacArthur, J. Edgar Hoover, the O'Crowley family, Amelia, and Monsignor Kelley had been key figures involved with making such a thing happen. Especially when one considers the timing of Henry P. Morgenthau's award to Kelley for his "Three Years of Patriotic Service to his Country" and the way it coincided with Amelia's good ZONTA friend, Attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley's 1939 to 1941 handling of the annulment of her niece's marriage to Al Heller..., thus enabling the name to return from 'Heller' to 'Craigmile.' 

Other Curiosities
"Peter Busatti (a well known LPGA promoter who knew the Gervais-Irene well) said he accompanied Mrs. Bolam to the Wings Club in New York City on one occasion. He said a full length portrait of Amelia Earhart hangs in the room dedicated in her honor. "'It was a dead ringer for Irene,'" he said. "'Sometimes I thought she was, sometimes I thought she wasn't.'" "'I told her she looked like Amelia Earhart and she said, 'No, I don't look like her.'" Busatti said. At a Wings Club event in Washington, Busatti mentioned all the admirals and generals seemed to know her." From a 1982 Woodbridge New Jersey News Tribune article.

"After her death, [Irene-Amelia's] rumors resurfaced that she was in fact Amelia Earhart, the famous aviatrix who disappeared on a flight between Lae New Guinea and Howland Island in the south Pacific on July 2, 1937. Mrs. Bolam's son, Clarence (Larry) Heller then requested Mrs. Bolam's fingerprints from the medical school [Rutgers University, College of Medicine and Dentistry] to settle the Amelia Earhart question. The request was deinied. Heller's wife, Joan, said her husband, Mrs. Bolam's only child, sent a registered letter to the medical school  requesting the fingerprints, but the request was denied. She said medical school officials told her that Mrs. Bolam's body had been disguised in some manner so that only one or two people in the school knew which was her body. She said she spoke to Norma Davenport, attorney for the school, and was told that an agreement that Mrs. Bolam signed with the school precluded the release of her fingerprints. "'We're not entitled to them,'" Mrs. Heller said she was told. "'They won't tell me anything except that her identity has been switched." She further said Mrs. Davenport refused to give her a copy of the agreement between the school and Mrs. Bolam or to tell her what the agreement specified." From a 1982 Woodbridge New Jersey News Tribune article.

Monsignor Kelley's 1996 Obituary:

Msgr. James Kelley, 94, a President of Seton Hall

Published: September 14, 1996

Msgr. James F. Kelley, who became president of Seton Hall College at age 33 and guided its transformation from a tiny liberal arts college to a large university, died on Tuesday at the Medical Center of Ocean County in Brick, N.J. He was 94.

Monsignor Kelley was pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood, N.J., after leaving Seton Hall. He served the Ridgewood parish until retiring 20 years ago and moving to Rumson.

He was named president of Seton Hall on July 9, 1936, becoming the youngest college president in the United States. Eighteen days later, he turned 34.

The college in South Orange, N.J., then had two departments, liberals arts and sciences, and about 300 students. When he completed his presidency in 1949, after opening the doors to thousands of returning veterans, it had 11 undergraduate departments, 2 graduate divisions and more than 13,000 students. It now has about 9,500 students.

''He turned it into a university,'' Msgr. Walter Jarvis, who is 92 and taught at Seton Hall for 29 years, said yesterday, ''and his door was always open.'' Hall gained university status in 1950, a year after Monsignor Kelley stepped down.

''Monsignor Kelley has left a valuable legacy to generations of Seton Hall University students,'' said Msgr. Robert Sheeran, Seton Hall's current president.

In the first year of his presidency, Father Kelley ordered the creation of a division for female students, offering classes in late afternoons and evenings and on weekends. Before long, women were admitted as full-time students.

While Monsignor Kelley was president, Seton Hall's Walsh Gymnasium was built and the campus radio station, WSOU, was founded.

Born in Kearny, N.J., Monsignor Kelley attended Seton Hall Preparatory School and graduated from the college in 1924. He studied at the American College in Belgium from 1924 until 1928, when he was ordained in Louvain, Belgium. He received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Louvain in 1935.

On April 20, 1941, he was named a monsignor by Pope Pius XII, whom he had taught English in Belgium.

From 1947 to 1949, he was president of the New Jersey Association of Colleges and Universities. From 1951 to 1968, he was chaplain for the Ridgewood police and fire departments and the Ridgewood Knights of Columbus.

From 1960 to 1968, Monsignor Kelley was a member of the Ridgewood Juvenile Delinquency Committee. He was vice president of the Bergen County Narcotics and Drug Abuse Council from 1966 to 1967 and president from 1967 to 1968. He was also president of the Association of Bergen County Priests from 1966 to 1968.

WWII hero & retired USAF Major Joe Gervais...
GRV056.JPG 1983 on his way to Howland Island. Amelia never made there in 1937.

"Monsignor Kelley was very lucid when he described Earhart's survival to those he did. Some people will try to tell you that he was lying, senile, or just plain crazy, but that wasn't true at all. You will also hear important sounding people tell you the Irene-Amelia equation isn't true. Well, it is true." 2001 quote from retired USAF Major Joe Gervais (1924-2005).

Amelia with Boxer, Primo Carnera, 1932
On her way back after her solo Atlantic flight; she'd seen Carnera fight in France.

Click here to e-mail Protecting Earhart/ E-mail address:

Protecting Earhart came into existence in 1996 and launched in 2007. Its comprehensive Forensic Analysis and Forensic Comparison Study 1.) Proved more than one person used the same 'Irene' identity. 2.) Displayed the head-to-toe and character-traits congruence the Gervais-Irene shared with Amelia Earhart. 3.) Proved the Gervais-Irene appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s, ultimately concluding against the grain fo convention, said two individuals marked the same human being.
Protecting Earhart's forensic analysis began in 1997 and was first copyrighted in 2002. Author-creator, 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 ultimately copyrighted in 2014. For publishing and subsidiary film rights availability, phone 323-317-0886 or send an e-mail inquiry to the above provided address.
Protecting Earhart is dedicated to the tireless efforts of 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 and handwritten letters in 2002, paved the way for the overall forensic comparison study to eventually reach its reality based conclusion. Thanks as well to former CIA operative, Bazzell Baz, who breathed some additional life into the Earhart truth seeking endeavor when it was first getting underway 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 Amelia Earhart's name-changed survival to authenticity, after enduring their own long term investigations of the evidence that supported it. Colonel Reineck's book Amelia Earhart Survived was published in 2004 and was greatly inspired by Tod Swindell's 'Protecting Earhart' forensic analysis. Portions of the study appeared in Colonel Reineck's book, though it is more extensively displayed in Protecting Earhart, Beyond 37', and are the intellectual properties of Aether Pictures & Press, LLC.

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