Note: This website and the forensic conclusion it presents
are the copyrighted intellectual properties of Amelia Earhart journalist-historian, Tod Swindell. [U.S. Copyright registration
#'s: TXu 1-915-926; 2014, TXu 2-061-539;
folly: lack of good sense; foolishness
Wikipedia is a 'public information supplied' forum. It is not a recognized source for 'official world history' record keeping.
'Irene Craigmile Bolam' page combined information about the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile with the former Amelia Earhart,
who, after World War Two used the original Irene's same identity in the United States. [See the article following this
one about the original, Irene Craigmile.]
page also incorrectly leads one to believe the National Geographic Society hired a forensic detective
by the name of Kevin Richlin who 'disproved' the 'Amelia became Irene' equation by "concluding the two were not the
same." Mr. Richlin never disproved the equation by concluding the two were not the
same, nor did he find "many measurable facial differences" as purported in the Wikipedia page, and Mr. Richlin will
tell you that himself. Note the "citation needed" added to the claim, relegating
such a third-party statement about Mr. Richlin as 'unsupported' by authenticated evidence. [The errant information
was submitted by Amelia Earhart enthusiast-fanatic, Dr. Alex Mandel.]
Here is Wikipedia's misleading sentence with its 'citation needed' edit: :
"Kevin Richlin was hired
by National Geographic to study photographs of Earhart and Bolam and cited many measurable facial differences
between them, concluding that the two people were not the same. "
The other sentence
below about W.C. Jameson's 2016 book also appears in the Wikipedia 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' page:
"In January 2016,
Amelia Earhart: Beyond the Grave by W. C. Jameson was published. The author promotes
the theory that Bolam and Earhart were one and the same, despite the above-mentioned facts and circumstances."[This
is the final sentence in Wikipedia's 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' page.]
Wikipedia featured this photograph of the 'Gervais-Irene' [FKA 'Amelia Earhart'] on its 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' page, and
omitted how the same Irene identity had been attributed to two other women:
This is the woman Joseph A. Gervais met-and-photographed in 1965 shown here in Detorit, MI 1976, "Mrs. Irene Craigmile
Bolam." [Wikipedia's supplied date is incorrect.] This Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, who was identified nowhere
that way prior to the mid-1940s, was FKA, 'Amelia Earhart.'
Below: Wikipedia's 'Irene Craigmile Bolam'
page supplements the consistent measures of obfuscation the Amelia-became-Irene reality has long been subjected to. 'Conspiracy'
and 'cover-up' were negative descriptions that inappropriately characterized certain aspects of Amelia Earhart's disappearance.
It is clear though, said descriptions were applied to the Irene-Amelia case over the years to steer the national news media
away from the 'recognizable forensic truth' about Amelia Earhart's name-changed survival. Its dissenters equally embraced
a quiet motto projected by official history's long held viewpoint: 'The mystery of Amelia Earhart exists because it's supposed
Below is the
Irene Craigmile Bolam page reprinted
from the on-line public encyclopedia, Wikipedia. To correct the mislead, Protecting Earhart's
response comments are inserted in red. Note: The Wikipedia article information was mostly supplied by
constituents of the Amelia Earhart Society, primarily Alex Mandel and Bill Prymak. [The photo below features the Gervais-Irene taken in Detroit, Michigan in 1976.]
|"Irene Craigmile Bolam"|
"Irene Craigmile Bolam c.1980"
Mandel and Gwen Gale of Wikipedia on Irene Craigmile Bolam:
"Born October 1, 1904 Newark, NJ"
"Died July 7, 1982, Bedford, New Jersey"
"Spouse(s) Guy Bolam, Charles Craigmile, Alvin Heller"
"Parents Richard J. O'Crowley and Bridget Doyle O'Crowley"
Mandel/Wikipedia: "Irene Craigmile Bolam (1 October 1904 – 7 July 1982) was a New York banker
and resident of Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey. In 1970, a book which was soon widely discredited set
forth an allegation she was Amelia Earhart. Bolam denied the claim, took legal action against the publisher and the book was
Protecting Earhart: The above is not accurate. No birth certificate was ever found and the true year of the original Irene's birth was disputed.
For example, the 1920 census listed the original Irene as "age 14." As well, the Gervais-Irene
never denied herself to have formerly been known as Amelia Earhart, and there is no mention in the article
of there having been three different women who were identified as one in the same 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile
Bolam.' The one who appears in the photo above was the mid-1940s to 1982 publicly identified Irene Craigmile Bolam, AKA the
Gervais-Irene, FKA 'Earhart.' She became 'Irene Bolam' after she married Englishman, Guy Bolam
in 1958, who was described by his brother to have been 'MI-6.' The book, Amelia Earhart Lives
referred to Guy Bolam as "her alleged husband" and thus it was cited for 'damaging' Irene's
reputation. This was among the two main reasons her attorney filed the suit against Gervais & Klaas and its publisher,
McGraw-Hill. [The other was her home ownership in New Jersey, where the book conveyed it to have belonged to Floyd Odlum,
the husband of famous pilot Jackie Cochran, of which the proof no longer existed after the book came out.] The 'Irene' shown
above in the color photo appears nowhere in photographs identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s. Two other women interchangeably
do though; the 'original' Irene Craigmile, and the 'early 1940s identified' Irene Craigmile, AKA the Non Gervais-Irene. Note: The lawsuit between the Gervais-Irene and Gervais & Klaas was settled with a ten-dollar consideration
paid by both sides after the Gervais-Irene refused to submit her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity. McGraw-Hill
was ordered to pay her a 'high five figures' sum for statements considered damaging to her reputation, not for implicating
her as the woman previously known as Amelia Earhart.
*Amelia Earhart Lives
"Amelia Earhart Lives"
Mandel/Wikipedia: "In 1965, Major Joseph Gervais had a chance
encounter with Bolam, believing she was Earhart. Using Gervais' research, author Joe Klaas documented this assertion in his
book Amelia Earhart Lives (1970). Bolam denied being Earhart, filed a $1.5 million lawsuit and submitted a lengthy
affidavit refuting the claim. The book's publisher McGraw-Hill pulled Klaas' book from the market shortly after it was released
and court records indicate they made an out of court settlement with her."
Protecting Earhart: It was not a "chance encounter."
In 1965 Amelia Earhart's long time close friend, famous pilot Viola Gentry invited Major Gervais and
paid for his entire family to fly across the country to New York so he could lecture about his investigation
results concerning Amelia's 1937 disappearance to a club of well
known retired pilots called, "The Early Birds of Aviation." After Viola pointed out an important looking couple to him, she introduced
Major Gervais to the couple, identifying them as Irene Bolam and her husband, Guy. Gervais saw how Mrs. Bolam was wearing
what looked to be a Distinguished Flying Cross indicator pin and an Oak Leaf Cluster signifying Air Force Major status. He
knew both items were decorations awarded in the past to Amelia Earhart. He also felt he recognized who Mrs. Irene Bolam used
to be right away.
The article offers no mention of how the 'lawsuit' dragged on
for five years, and avoids describing how it was finally settled with a ten dollar consideration paid by Gervais and Klaas
to Irene, and by Irene to Gervais and Klaas after she refused Joe Gervais' request to submit her fingerprints. By Mrs. Bolam
turning down Gervais' request for her fingerprints, she forfeited her right to what 'potentially' could have been a final
settlement awarded her upwards of a million dollars [estimate] to be paid by Gervais and Klaas over time. Nowhere in the 'affidavit'
does the Gervais-Irene actually deny herself to have been the woman previously known as Amelia Earhart, either. It is true
however, for publishing the book without enlisting her cooperation and for the libelous remarks damaging to her reputation,
McGraw-Hill was ordered to pay the Gervais-Irene $60,000.
Mandel/Wikipedia: "Bolam's personal life history has since been thoroughly documented, eliminating any
possibility she was Earhart."
Earhart: This is untrue. To the extent Irene's life could be documented, no less than three different human beings appeared
as one in the same 'Irene' in the linear recorded history of her life from the arly 1900s to 1982. So much is clearly ascertainable
via the life-long photographic record of Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile Heller Bolam. As well, no one ever "eliminated
the possibility" of the woman in the color photograph above having previously been known as 'Amelia
Earhart.' The opposite actually happened; Protecting Earhart's forensic analysis clearly displayed how she was previously
known as Amelia Earhart.
"Evidence presented in the affidavit included her 1937 private pilot's licence [sic] and marriage certificate. Her personal
life was also a matter of public record. Born Irene Madalaine O'Crowley, she married Charles Craigmile and on his death, married
Alvin Heller but was subsequently divorced from Heller c. 1939. She remarried to Guy Bolam in 1959. Although Irene Craigmile
Bolam was a pilot, her main career revolved around banking and finance in New York. Brother-in-law John Bolam said, ""She
was influential, knew many well-placed people and was well-traveled."" Many mutual friends such as racer Elinor
Smith also knew both Earhart and Bolam."
Again here, Alex Mandel's false claims are highly misleading. The Gervais-Irene rekindled and further maintained
some of her old friendships from her days as Amelia. Note: The public had
never heard of a pilot named 'Irene Craigmile' before 1970, when the Gervais-Irene was first implicated to have been the former
Amelia Earhart. As her later life close friend and confessor, Monsignor Kelley described it,
she [Amelia] did not wish to be a public person anymore. So much is the reason she opted
for a new identity during the years she was missing. She never volunteered, nor did she expect she would
ever be recognized, until she was recognized by retired Air Force Major, Joe Gervais in 1965. Among "many mutual friends"
to quote Alex Mandel, famous pilots Viola Gentry and Fay Gillis Wells knew both Amelia and her later-life Gervais-Irene self,
as did Amelia's sister, Muriel know her as Amelia and later as Irene. Attorney
Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, the original Irene Craigmile's aunt knew her by both names as well. These
individuals and select others remained in league in keeping it non-public knowledge.
2.) The 'original' Irene's 1937 renewed pilot's license was dated May 31, 1937 [the day before Amelia
left from Miami on her epic world flight.] Protecting Earhart previously obtained a copy of it from Joe Gervais. It
was never signed by anyone, let alone the original Irene Craigmile, as she had only flown as a licensed pilot for a very brief
time in mid-1933. As noted, the original Irene had a child in early 1934 and never flew again. According to Rollin Reineck
who researched the flying history of the original Irene Craigmile, as a licensed pilot she had a total of barely 'twenty'
solo flight hours documented by mid-1933, until she realized she was 'with child.' 1937's license was the last pilot's license
issued to her, and its only renwal since it was first awarded to the original Irene
3.) Aspects of everyone's personal life end up as
"a matter of public record." Since the original Irene was a 'real' person, of course there exists proof of it, to
most specifically include her 1934 born son, Larry Heller, who in 2006 & 2014 identified an entirely different person
than the Gervais-Irene to have been his mother. .
4.) The 'original'
Irene's middle name of "Madeline" was found on record in three different ways; as Madeline, Madalaine, and Madaline.
Yet "Madeline" is the O'Crowley family history spelling. [Note 'Edna Madeline O'Crowley,' one of the original Irene's
paternal aunts.] Notice the above clumsy language as well: "She married Charles Craigmile and on his death, married Alvin
Heller but was subsequently divorced from Heller c. 1939." Here's what actually happened: Charles Craigmile, the 'original'
Irene's first husband since 1927 who was fifteen years her senior, died suddenly of an appendicitis attack in 1931. A year
later in 1932, the 'original' Irene's friends, famous pilots Viola Gentry and Amelia Earhart introduced her to flying airplanes
by arranging lessons for her on Long Island, NY. In mid-1933, just after she received her pilot's license the 'original' Irene
became pregnant out of wedlock via her flight instructor Al Heller, and the two eloped and were married in August of 1933.
In early March of 1934 their son, Clarence 'Larry' Heller was born in Newark, NJ. By 1937 it was clear the shotgun marriage
of Al and Irene Heller was already faltering, and according to their annulment file, Al Heller left the original Irene and
their son, Larry after becoming fed-up with the original Irene's drinking and promiscuous behaviour. Al relocated to Buffalo
to work at the Curtis Wright factory there; an ugly child custody and visitation rights battle over little Larry Heller enused
thereafter and lasted the next three years. Note: In 1994 a 1970s and 1980s
friend of the Gervais-Irene, Diana Dawes mentioned in a taped statement how she understood someone had "died" and
that's how she [the former Amelia] was able to get her new name. In 1940 the legal 'annulment' [as opposed to a divorce] of
Al and the original Irene's marriage was finalized, primarily based on the fact that Al Heller had already been married before
and had never legally divorced from his previous wife, thus returning the name of "Irene Craigmile" to be legally
available for the former Amelia Earhart's use. It appears to have been sometime in the early 1940s when
the original Irene's death most likely occurred, a few years after her famous friend, Amelia was described to have "disappeared
without a trace" in 1937. After Amelia's return to the U.S. in the mid-1940s as 'the new' Irene
Craigmile, AKA the Gervais-Irene, FKA 'Earhart,' she became a Vice President at the People's National Bank in Rockville
Centre, Long Island, and soon after that she was given the same position in Great Neck on Long Island, NY beginning in the
mid-1940s. As Amelia she had loved Great Neck, having lived there with her friend Marion Stabler in late 1924 to early 1925.
Amelia and her sister Muriel called it 'their favorite Long Island beach haunt.' The Gervais-Irene left the banking trade
after she married Englishman, Guy Bolam on July 25, 1958 [opposed to "1959."] She had again become an active and
recognized Zonta member, hob-nobbed with her sister Muriel and other past flying friends at Zonta and
Wings Club Functions, and in the 1960s and 1970s she became a recognized corporate influence for Radio Luxembourg, even serving
as its President after Guy died in 1970. In the 1960s she and Guy often traveled internationally together, and they owned
a cabin cruiser boat called 'The Harpoon III' she used to race up and down the Long Island Sound, herself most always at the
helm. When she married Guy on July 25, 1958 [some referred to it as a marriage of convenience for both, although they did
appear as endeared to each other] the date marked one day after what would have been her 61st birthday as AE.
5.) The Gervais-Irene's survived brother-in-law, John Bolam's 2002 Associated
Press quote is completely transcibed this way: "We were inclined to think Irene probably was not Amelia. However, the
forensic studies are very convincing. She was not an ordinary housewife as she claimed. She was influential, knew many well
placed people, and was well traveled."
"In 2006, Criminal forensic expert Kevin Richlin was hired by National Geographic to study photographs of Earhart and
Bolam and cited many measurable facial differences between them, concluding that the two people were not the same. [citation
Protecting Earhart: This
is not true. Forensic detective Kevin Richlin never 'forensically concluded' the two were not one in the same. Richlin
did mention the producers of the show did not supply him with enough adequate photo data and/or other forensic data
to conduct a thorough analysis. He treated the small amount of data they gave him as if he thought it
was some kind of joke.
Note: Thus marks the end of the brief and
misleading Wikipedia biography page on Irene Craigmile Bolam.
Some notes and a Bibliography appear on the page. Although articles
and books are cited, they were shaped to favor Alex Mandel's anti 'Earhart survived and became Irene' campaign.
*Earhart comparison to Bolam (TIGHAR's 2004
unsuccessful debunk attempt)
*Bolam as Earhart
theory (Mandel rejection essay no longer linked)
Theory with Lawsuit Details (Associated Press, 2002)
is Amelia Earhart? Three Theories (National Geographic, 2003)
Bolam, Irene Craigmile
SHORT DESCRIPTION Banker, homemaker
DATE OF BIRTH October 1 1904
PLACE OF BIRTH Newark, New Jersey
DATE OF DEATH 7 July 1982
PLACE OF DEATH Bedford, New Jersey
End Wikipedia Page
Protecting Earhart: The "external link" above
labeled "Earhart Comparison to Bolam" is TIGHAR's [Richard Gillespie] whose theory claimed Earhart and Noonan perished
on the desert Island of Nikumororo hundreds of miles south of their destination of Howland Island. TIGHAR has received well
over a million dollars of private contributions since the 1980s, based on Ric Gillespie's assurance that he expected to find
Amelia Earhart's plane near Nikumaroro. After several failed expeditions, most chalked his ideas up to little more than a
'Gilligans Island' type of castaways story. TIGHAR never found anything on the island described as 'credible.' On the TIGHAR
website, Mr. Gillespie built the page shown on the above link to campaign against the resurfaced Amelia became Irene truth.
Any favoritism shown by the public to any other theory than TIGHAR's has always been met by Mr. Gillespie head on. Note further
down, after Dr. Walter Birkby's 2003 comments expressed favoritism towards the work of Protecting Earhart, Mr. Gillespie
flew himself to Dallas, Texas to confront Dr. Birkby one on one. Dr. Birkby initially stated how based on his preliminary
review, he found it "hard to disagree" with the claim of there having been more than one Irene Craigmile Bolam who
shared the same identity, and with the possibility of one of them having been the 'former' Amelia Earhart. Ric Gillespie noticed this of course, and twisted the Dr. Birkby's words to serve his own platitudes.
the most ardent of the anti Irene-Amelia campaigners, dominates the Irene Craigmile Bolam contribution pages for Wikipedia.
Across the top of the Wikipedia page one will notice the tabs "Article," "Discussion," "Edit This
Page," and "History." Especially in the "Discussion" and "History" links, both Mandel and
Wikipedia's moderator, Gwen Gale obsess over it, with Mandel going to extremes to try and plead his case of there having been
nothing controversial about the life of Irene Craigmile Bolam, or Amelia Earhart's. Take a look at his following misinformation
comments regarding Protecting Earhart's research contributions to the Irene-Amelia topic:
by Dr. Alex Mandel of the Ukraine:
the AP article (from "Atchison Globe online"), I found that it includes some factually incorrect
statements, that provides potential misinforming effects - "crediting" the fantastic anti-factual theory with undue
weight. The statement about the photographic overlays with ""pilot’s face and hands,
matching perfectly with those of Bolam"" is of unclear origin."
This is untrue. All portions; hands & face, heights, arm lengths, foot size, etc. all appeared in the book and video that
were shown and placed on display at the Oakland Aerospace Amelia Earhart Research Symposium attended by three hundred people,
covered by the Associated Press and CNN. Alex Mandel did not attend. [See journalist Rosalea Barker's Scoop
Stateside, "The People Versus the Executive Office" article about it.] So much was
also described in Rollin Reineck's 2003 published book, Amelia Earhart Survived.
"In a very best case it quotes and represents the personal opinions of a few overenthusiastic believers in his theory."
Protecting Earhart: Notice the words "few" and "overenthusiastic" as opposed to
"numerous" and "serious." As well, it was never anyone else's
"theory" beyond the initial assertion originated by Major Joe Gervais, later decribed as his 'theory.' After he met and photographed the Gervais-Irene in 1965 at a gathering of
famous retired pilots, Joe Gervais stated with 'certainty' he recognized her for who she used to be, and after diligently
researching her background for the next five years, he determined she had to have been no other person than the living, former
Amelia Earhart. Nobody was ever able to prove him incorrect, and he died in 2005 still adhering to bis belief. As
it turned out, he was correct.
Mandel: "The differences between Earhart and Bolam - both in bodial
and facial aspects - are numerous and quite obvious, some of them striking; and it was always noted by numerous observers
and researchers, both during the presentations of the theory and in all other cases when and where some discussion about this
topic ever happened."
Protecting Earhart: This is plain and simple BS, profligately
issued by a person wielding a false-truth campaign. [Is 'bodial' a word?]
Mandel: "The important and
principal fact is that there was no [sic] any positive forensic confirmation for the theory ever provided to the public and
scientific community for any professional check and proper verification."
Earhart: Forensic Anthropologists Dr. Birkby and Dr. Fenton did agree to separate the two different Irenes and
to throughly conduct a full body analysis of Irene-Amelia as compared to Amelia, but after Dr. Birkby was confronted by Rich
Gillespie of the Tighar organization and phoned by Bill Prymak of the AES, he became discouraged commenting "I don't
go for this kind of thing," causing both he and his partner to do a limited null hypothesis of the post war augmented
'Irene-Amelia's' face (similar to Richlins) when compared to Amelia's from the 1930s.
two 'forensic pathologists' mentioned in the article - Dr. Walter Birkby (Arizona) and Dr. Todd Fenton (Michigan) - actually
issued a negative verdict about the credibility of the theory, refusing to support it;"
Earhart: This is not true. And again they were 'Anthropologists' as opposed to "Pathologists," two very different
fields. Any so called 'negation' of theirs was based on the lack of Irene's past medical records being made available, that
would account for the deviated septum rhinoplasty the survived AE clearly
endured. Not to mention the cosmetic dentistry that reduced the gap between the former Amelia's two front teeth. These were
relatively easy alterations to explain and account for, but the missing documentation of proof left them unable to positively
confirm it academically.
Mandel: "...and in May 2005 Colonel Rollin Reineck - the author of the book supporting
this theory published in 2002..."
Protecting Earhart: Reineck's book Amelia Earhart
Survived was published in December 2003 and was not in stores until 2004.
about this the "community" of Earhart researchers (although not without understandable regrets)."
Protecting Earhart: Again, this is plain and simple BS. Solid proof exists where Rollin Reineck can
be seen in National Geographic's 2006 filmed 'Unsolved History' Amelia Earhart TV special, where Reineck
states "Earhart survived, there's no doubt about it." Colonel Reineck continued to support
and share his knowledge of the forensic truth about the Irene-Amelia conveyance and the accuracy of
the forensic study until he passed away in September of 2007.
"Then, as the article mentions, in 2006 Criminal forensic expert Kevin Richland was hired by National Geographic to study
photographs of Earhart and Bolam and cited many measurable facial differences between them."
Earhart: Spelled "Richlin," there weren't "many" differences he pointed out, there were only a few,
and they were the same 'medically explainable' ones Dr.'s Birkby and Fenton alluded to upon observation. (Not to leave out
how the effects of aging itself vary in all individuals; noses and ears will continue to grow, noses sag, facial fat from
the upper nose bridge will move southward, as generally does all facial fat causing facial 'sagging.' Detective Richlin, not
a medical expert, never touched on these things, nor on dental work or rhinoplasty possibilities.) No
doubt National Geographic engaged Kevin Richlin, (with encouragement from the Amelia Earhart Society's long time founding
President, Bill Prymak who worked with National Geographic on the special Mr. Richlin appeared in) to serve as a back pocket,
non-historically informed 'ringer.' Dr. Birkby on the other hand, cited what he called 'a possible non-accounted for
past trauma' that could have occurred at some point to cause the nose difference he observed, to include the possibility of
a past deviated septum rhinoplasty procedure having been performed to account for
Mandel: "It seems for me that all the above mentioned leaves the referred article without the
degree of seriousness, factual accuracy and credibility required for the "source" referred in encyclopedic article.
Not intended to insist on anything.. but, because of presented reasons, for me it would seem more reasonable to remove this
link... Kind Regards - Alex Mandel"
Protecting Earhart: Above marks the haphazard summation
of Dr. Alex Mandel by way of his distribution of misinformation. This is one sample of campaigns that
influence Wikipedia controllers, but ultimately entire internet viewers perception
|The original Irene Craigmile (Bolam) 1930.
|Amelia's friend with her husband and father, seen no more after the 1930s, ignored by Wikipedia.