1.) The 'SPY' Rumor
2.) The 'She Was A Tokyo Rose' Rumor
3.) The 'She Lived In The Imperial Palace In Tokyo
Hirohito During The War' Rumor
4.) The 'She Taught Improved English
To Isoroku Yamamoto In Boston' Rumor
5.) The 'Howard
Hughes Traded His H-1 Racer Plans To Help Japan
Build Its Zero Fighter In Exchange For Earhart's Safety' Rumor
6.) The 'She Applied To Become A Naturalized Citizen Of Japan
In 1939' Rumor
7.) The 'Love to Mother' Telegram
8.) The 'She Was Abducted By Aliens' Rumor
9.) The 'She Became a Prostitute in Japan' Rumor
10.) The 'She
Was A Lesbian' Rumor
11.) The 'She Was Pregnant When She Left On Her Last Flight' Rumor
The 'She Became A New Jersey Housewife' Rumor
13.) The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter'
14.) The 'What Rumors Might Actually Be True' Rumor
she went missing a variety of odd rumors surfaced pertaining to Amelia Earhart's full life story. By considering the information
below, one will notice how the historical jury concerning Earhart's disappearance
has remained cautious when addressing the more curious aspects of Amelia's
personality and character, particularly many non-reported details of her pre-fame years until she turned thirty years old,
and of her 'daily life' fame years from age thirty-one to thirty-nine.
In the decades after she went missing, Amelia's
sister, Muriel along with a few devoted others steered
much of the following anecdotal soundbites about Amelia
away from the public eye. Today, various Earhart-image-protectors sporting differing theories do their best to keep
the mystery alive, while exhibiting how Amelia Earhart's true-fate
was destined to remain obfuscated as far as the public viewpoint was concerned. Here is an overdue attempt, if anything, to
examine the sordid lost-list of odd 'Earhart rumors.' Each is followed by a brief explanation. Take a look:
The 'SPY' Rumor
never fully substantiated, while doing their investigative research
Authors Fred Goerner, Joe Klaas, Randall Brink and a few others found some compelling documentation in Washington DC that
indicated something clandestine was going on between Amelia and US Government Intelligence during her world flight. It was
difficult to outright verify that Amelia Earhart was engaged in espionage, but there was plenty to indicate
if she hadn't spied during her globe circling flight, she might have been lined up to do it before she returned to the United
States. Randall Brink found the most reliable documented evidence, and testimony of how Lockheed was readying another specially
outfitted Electra for Amelia, among other tantalyzing bits of information.
Amelia was also later rumored to have served as a kind of 'double agent,' supposedly with an obscure link
to communist Russia. This notion appeared to have no foundation beyond being invented by one Jerome
Steigmann, who went out of his way to strongly deride the Joe Gervais 'Irene' discovery. The now late
Mr. Steigmann, who described himself as a self-employed private detective, was basically an Amelia Earhart Society shill who
among other things, tried to imply that former Seton Hall University President, Monsignor James Francis Kelley's friendship
with the Gervais-Irene was based on a secret 'forty-year love affair.' Odd then, that during the
last decade of his life the famous Monsignor would so openly refer to the Gervais-Irene
as the woman who 'used to be known as Amelia Earhart.'
The 'She Was
A Tokyo Rose' Rumor
First introduced by a variety of World War Two soldiers who had been
stationed in the Pacific theater, it does appear the Saipanese and Marshallese general populations began referring to Amelia
Earhart as 'Tokyo Rosa' not to long after she was reported missing. Additional propaganda later steered the soldiers to consider that an American woman's voice they were hearing give anti-American broadcasts over Japan's NHK radio
airwaves during World War Two was a survived Amelia Earhart's voice. It is true a Japanese-American
UCLA student named Iva Toguri (D'Aquino) found herself stuck in Japan during a visit when Pearl Harbor occurred, and she was
left no choice but to spend the duration of the war there. She admitted to doing broadcasts as 'Orphan Annie' during the war,
although in court she testified she was offered $2,000 to say she was 'the one and only Tokyo Rose' to the press right after
VJ Day, and she accepted such an offer not knowing she was incriminating herself. Amelia's last 'closest friend,' Jackie Cochran
was later featured in a newspaper photo taken in Japan during Iva Toguri's arrest. More curious than that, during Iva Toguri's
trial in San Francisco in 1949, Amelia Earhart's Mother, Amy Otis Earhart attended the proceedings on a daily basis. After
the trial she told the New York Times she was aware Amelia had survived and ended up under Japan's
auspice during the war. As a result of the Tokyo Rose trial, Iva Toguri was convicted. However,
as his last official act President Gerald Ford finally pardoned Iva Toguri D'Aquino.
She had always maintained her innocence, and felt 'Tokyo Rose' was more of a generic term. Others
maintained, the name referred to a prized 'American Rose' (Earhart) Japan coveted and used to its advantage during the war.
The 'She Lived In The Imperial Palace In Tokyo
Hirohito During The War' Rumor
Introduced in the form of a supposition via the 1970 book Amelia Earhart
Lives, the idea was implied that Amelia Earhart had taken up with Japan in order to receive favorable treatment and protection
from Emperor Hirohito during World War Two. It was further suggested the arrangement of her name change to Irene Craigmile
was achieved with Japan's omniscience. Where the latter may be true, it is doubtful Amelia Earhart ever lived in the Imperial
Palace. However, considering the circumstances, or as President Truman said about post war realities, "the history you'll
never know," it's possible she visited the Imperial Palace.
The 'She Taught Improved English
Yamamoto In Boston' Rumor
Joe Gervais researched this story and gave his information to his lawyers,
who turned it over to the New York State Supreme Court while he and McGraw-Hill were being sued. Gervais said he learned that
the Harvard educated Isoroku Yamamoto, (who would go on to help orchestrate the Pearl Harbor attack and become Japan's most
famous World War Two Admiral) was in Boston in 1925 at the same time Amelia was. Not only that, he claimed Yamamoto was actually
a student of Amelia Earhart's when she taught an 'Improved English' Harvard extension night course to foreign students. Later
attempts to substantiate his claim failed, although it is true Earhart did teach such a course and Yamamoto was a student
at Harvard before relocating to Washington in 1926 to serve as a Japanese diplomat. It was and is certain, both Yamamoto and
Hirohito were well aware of who Amelia Earhart was as she had become a loved hero in Japan during the 1930s, just like Babe
Ruth did. It's also certain, in July of 1937 neither Hirohito nor Yamamoto would have let any harm come to Amelia Earhart;
and if she requested private asylum from Japan, there's a fair chance they would have quietly welcomed such a thing for her,
being who she was.
Hughes Traded His H-1 Racer Plans To Help Japan
Build Its Zero Fighter In Exchange For Her Safety' Rumor
Introduced as a question in the
1970 book Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas, there never appeared to be certain truth to it. It was later revealed
how in 1935-36 Japan was in stride with the same style of aircraft Hughes was developing anyway. Of course it is likely Japan
did replicate aspects of the Hughes H-1 racer for its Zero as the planes were quite similar; but it seemed ludicrous to suggest
Hughes traded anything to Japan for Earhart's safe keeping. It is true though, friends Paul Mantz, Jackie Cochran and Amelia
Earhart all knew Howard Hughes. But then most anyone who was anybody in American aviation in the mid-1930s either knew, or
wanted to know Howard Hughes... and Amelia. On the other hand, and seemingly not including any Howard Hughes' involvement,
two years after Amelia Earhart Lives mentioned one of the Japanese Zero plane designers, Jiro Horikoshi, it was conveyed
via State Department files that Amelia had met Mr. Horikoshi at a Garden City, Long Island Curtis-Wright plant where he spent
time while he was in the United States studying aircraft design techniques.
The 'She Applied To Become A Naturalized Citizen Of Japan
In 1939' Rumor
According to information found in a secured State Department file confidently revealed to Joe Gervais in 1972 by
State Department archivist, Arthur Dewayne Gibson of Verdunville, West Virginia, a file labeled "Earhart, Amelia;
Special War Problems" described how Amelia had been with Mr. Jiro Horikoshi helping with "Zero wind tunnel
tests" in Japan in 1938. Needless to say, 1938 would mark a year after Amelia was declared missing.
Later in 1990, six years after another State Department employee by
the name of Patricia Morton (as seen on NBC) discovered a same-label declassified file labeled "Earhart, Amelia;
Special War Problems" containing documentation dated in August and September of 1945, the office of Secretary of
State James Baker did confirm in writing such a file existed, but only after Baker's office was pressed to do so by an official
request letter from Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. Still, nothing was mentioned about the file's contents or why such a
"Special War Problems" file on Amelia Earhart ever came to exist.
his earlier exchanges with Gervais, Arthur Gibson specified how a file he found indicated Amelia's August 19, 1939 request
for Nipponese naturalization in the Nipponese Imperial Islands, just prior to Germany's invasion of Poland. According to
Gibson, the file also contained a couple of photos of Amelia, to include at least one displaying her in front of a Japanese
'Randy' test plane. All of this may sound absurd on the surface, although do recall how Jackie Cochran, who was the first
American woman to enter Japan after World War Two, (Jackie asserted herself to have been "closer to Amelia than anyone
else" during the year-long period before Amelia left on her world flight in 1937) specified in her 1953 book The
Stars At Noon how she "found several files on Amelia Earhart" in Tokyo's Dai Ichi building after being granted
special access right after VJ Day. Those files, nor their contents never made it into the public realm.
The 'Love to Mother' Telegram Rumor
As mentioned, State Department Archives employee, Patricia Morton found a declassified
file labeled "Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems" archived at the State Department. In it Ms. Morton found
a pair of August and September of 1945 speedletter telegrams, one sent to Earhart's former husband George Putnam, the other,
Putnam's reply a few weeks later. The telegram to Putnam came from a Weihsien, China 'Japanese run'
civilian internment camp just after VJ Day. It had been forwarded through Chungking, China, U. S. military headquarters there
during WWII. It was suggested by Amelia Earhart's niece, Amy Kleppner that Jackie Cochran may have had something to do with
making sure the telegram made it out; and Randall Brink located information to side with such an opinion. Other enthusiasts
offered how the message was written and sent by one Ahmad Kammal, a fellow Putnam had known who had been interned at the Weihsien
camp. This may have been so, but thus far no one has explained the label on the file: "Earhart, Amelia; Special War
Problems" that again, in 1990 Secretary of State James Baker's office did confirm existed.
The 'consternation causing' telegram to Putnam read: "Camp liberated, all well, volumes to tell, love to mother."
As speedletter telegrams were limited to ten words, the sender's name was usually left out. Curious
as well, a former OSS Lieutenant by the name of James "Jess" Hannon who participated in the post VJ Day liberation
of the Weihsien camp, mentioned he had seen the survived Amelia Earhart sequestered there separately in private quarters and she was "not well" during the war's end. Hannon described his account
before the existence of the telegrams became public information. Hannon went on to write a manuscript about his experience
concerning Weihsien and Earhart called 'Amelia Earhart Survived.' (Different from the Rollin Reineck book of the same
name.) Opposing theorists have fought tooth and nail against the notion of the telegrams being at all relative to a survived
Amelia Earhart. Official silence prevailed over the matter, except in 1991 former Seton Hall University President, Monsignor
James Francis Kelley did admit during a taped interview that he had been part of Amelia's end-of-war liberation
process, and he was certain with his own words as well, in describing how the 'Irene' he was good friends with after the war
was the 'survived' former Ameia Earhart, and she was 'not well' when she returned to the U.S. and stayed with him for several
weeks at his Rumson, New Jersey home.
'She Was Abducted By Aliens' Rumor
Why not? The TV show Star Trek even put this idea into an episode it
presented. Was she abducted and brought back? Did her age not change like in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind? Say
what one will, some people do take this explanation seriously. Irene-Amelia.com stands by a
simpler conclusion based on forensic comparisons and the many historical accounts .
The 'She Became a Prostitute in Japan' Rumor
highly absurd rumor emanated from Word War Two soldiers. Some claimed that Amelia had been reduced to
selling herself in order to survive in Japan during the war years.
The 'She Was A Lesbian' Rumor
of her tomboy looks and her 'equal playing field for women' credo, it's easy to see how this rumor came to exist. Still, where
Amelia was linked romantically and intellectually to different men both before and after she became famous, (Lloyd Royer,
Sam Chapman, Carl Harper, George Putnam, Gene Vidal, Paul Mantz) never did any real information surface that left her to be
justifiably described as "a lesbian." Indeed, her personal privacy left it hard to really ascertain true information
about her sex life. From silence comes enigma, and from enigma rumors start; 'maybe
she was a lesbian,' or 'maybe she was a hermaphrodite.' Not so fast. Moreover she was just a woman pilot who liked the challenge
of trying to fly airplanes higher and farther than anyone else, and she managed to build a career around it.
The 'She Was Pregnant When She Left' Rumor
A rumor of Amelia Earhart being pregnant when she left on her world flight did surface, but it appeared to have been
based on hear-say from photographer Albert Bresnik. It is extremely unlikely Amelia Earhart was 'with child' before she left
on her world flight. No matter, famous writer, Max Allan Collins still incorporated the idea into his
1998 historical novel about Amelia, Flying Blind. Ironically, it does appear to have likely been
the case that Amelia had given birth to a child out of wedlock in 1924 and managed to
conceal it with help from her mother and sister at the time, and
then throughout her fame years from 1928 to 1937. The strong probability also appears, where
the other woman who had been identified as 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' so prominently in 1982, with photo forgeries concocted
to do so, in life was the non-recognized biological daughter of Amelia Earhart
and Lloyd Royer, quite possibly born in Canada when Amelia was there with her mother in 1924. We know
the Gervais-Irene knew her, and the 1934 born son of the original Irene Craigmile, Larry Heller
recognized her as his early childhoood mother. This would mean, by the time the other 'younger looking'
woman appeared identified as 'the late Irene Bolam' on the cover of Irene's memorial
dinner program (shown below) she was fifty-eight years old--about as old as the woman on
the program cover looked to be. The scrutinized by many, yet to be disproved and already accepted by some idea is: The woman below was known as "Irene Jr." while she was being
reared by the original Irene Craigmile's family, the O'Crowleys of Newark, New Jersey
who Amelia knew. After the original Irene no longer appeared, the woman below
helped with the raising of the original Irene's 1934 born son while still in her teens, before turning
such a duty over to the Gervais-Irene in the mid-1940s.
One might suggest it was 'all in the family.'
|1990s cartoon from the Detroit News:
|Satire of TIGHAR expedition to Nikumaroro; Elvis' pick, Amelia's hairpin, Ric Gillespie, etc.
'castaways' story of Earhart and Noonan's ending has evolved into an ongoing, inadverdent media joke.
Those who have seriously looked into the Earhart case understand such a thing." USAF Col. Rollin C. Reineck
(ret.) 2007, speaking about TIGHAR's decades old castaways story, that took true history and molded it into a romantic contrivance
for the less informed. In August of 2012 TIGHAR announced they 'might have' found Earhart's plane underwater near Nikamororo,
although nothing was there when they looked. It is worth noting, there has never been any 'accepted as credible' evidence
found suggesting Earhart and Noonan ended up anywhere near to Nikamororo.
The 'She Became A New Jersey Housewife' Rumor
the press in 1970, to answer the suspicion of her post-WWII changed identity,
Irene Craigmile Bolam (the Gervais-Irene) avowed, "I'm just a New Jersey
housewife." Except was she really 'just a New Jersey Housewife?' For she had been
married to British MI6 operative, Guy Bolam from 1958 until he died in 1970, and together they owned three homes in the
United States, including a house in New Jersey she called her 'main' residence. The
further reality of the Gervais-Irene described a very important and 'enigmatic'
person who very few people knew all that well. Among her attributes she was a
distinguished Wings Club member, a Bank Vice President, she knew NASA astronauts, she was an International Relations Chairman
for the Long Island Zonta chapter, she spoke Amelia's same variety of foreign
languages, she also traveled the world throughout the 1960s and 1970s, to include trips to Japan where
she maintained several friendships, and she took over as the Corporate President
of Radio Luxembourg in Europe in the 1970s after Guy Bolam died. Amelia ended
up as a New Jersey housewife? More-so, the Gervais-Irene was wealthy
and worldly, and yes... a veritable enigma. Or as her survived brother in law, John Bolam told the Associated Press in 2002,
"She was not an ordinary housewife as she claimed. She was influential, knew many well placed people and was well traveled."
Recall how 1970 was five years after Joe Gervais first believed he recognized
the Gervais-Irene for who she used to be. She
offered a present-tense denial ("I am not she") in reponse to the Gervais
assertion, although in a way that was true where her present
tense identity was 'Irene' and the fact remained that Amelia was declared
'legally dead' over thirty years prior to 1970. So her response to the then just released McGraw-Hill book, Amelia Earhart Lives
was nothing less than atypical. After she coyly threw in, "I'm just a New Jersey housewife," ever since, with
some help from the news media it became a standing joke, 'Amelia Earhart survived and became a New Jersey housewife.'
Kelley later mentioned about his long time friend, the Gervais-Irene how by the
1960s she "barely recognized herself for who she used to be," and after World War Two she
"didn't want to be Amelia anymore." Beyond Joe Gervais calling her out, she
never came forward to volunteer such information about herself, nor would she ever have. After Joe Gervais
tried to contact her after the two met in 1965, she was always sure to avoid him,
with the exception of a written response to a letter Gervais wrote to her displaying
handwriting that matched Amelia's. In such a letter she referred Joe Gervais to two friends of hers,
(who she had also known when she was Amelia) Viola Gentry and Elmo Pickerill. About Viola and Elmo she included the following
cryptic passage all but admitting to her dual identity, "...because they
each knew us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile."
Notice how Amelia's "Amelia M Earhart" signature
aligns with the Gervais-Irene's handwriting. (Excerpted from a1967 letter the Gervais-Irene wrote to Joe Gervais two
years after they met at an Early Birds of Aviation gathering in New York.)
The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter' Rumor
|'Irene Jr.' misidentified as Irene Bolam in 1982.
|Some believe she was AE's 1924 born 'love child' shown at age 58.
|1985, Amelia's sister Muriel Grace & Grace McGuire
|Both knew the Gervais-Irene; Grace planned a world flight with the original Irene's son Larry Heller
|Late 1936, while preparing for her world flight
|3rd Irene (Non-Gervais) & Clarence O'Crowley Jr.
|Shown together in 1958 at the wedding of Irene & Guy Bolam
|Same as above, older (Non Gervais-Irene)
|Lucy McDannel's described 'Irene Jr.'
|The Gervais-Irene, 1946
|Some 'changes' left her hard to recognize.
|Prior to adjustments...
|...AE was still there, just harder to recognize in the top photo.
|The Gervais-Irene transformed:
|Her old look and image changed during the World War Two years
Above: Does Grace McGuire look
familiar? She was born in Scotland in 1945, adopted and raised there too. The Gervais-Irene was known to travel to Scotland
were she had several friends in the 1960s and 70s, to include Lady Mary Stewart. After Grace reached adulthood she moved to
the U.S., to Rumson, NJ where Monisgnor James Francis Kelley lived. Some feel it's conjecture to offer the idea of Grace being
the biological daughter of the 3rd Irene, just as they feel it's conjecture to offer the idea of the 3rd Irene as the long-rumored,
1924 born out-of-wedlock daughter of Amelia Earhart and Lloyd Royer, four years before Amelia became famous at the age of
thirty on 1928. No matter, everybody knew each other somehow, that's for certain. Even Clarence O'Crowley Jr. was adopted
by the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's uncle, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley. It was true, the original Irene became
pregnant out of wedlock in 1926, before she married Civil Engineer, Charles Craigmile in 1927. It was not Charles Craigmile's
baby, and no one knows what became of the child, although in 2002 Peggy O'Crowley of the New Jersey Star Ledger (daughter
of Clarence O'Crowley Jr.) mentioned her father's O'Crowley birthright was always a family bone of contention. In 1933 the
original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile once again found herself pregnant out of wedlock. She eloped to marry the father, Al Heller.
Their son, Larry was born in March of 1934. There exists no photo evidence of the original Irene after 1934, although it is
clear anymore, both the Gervais-Irene and the 3rd Irene ended up using the original Irene's identity, and they shared with
the continued upbringing of Larry Heller. (His father, Al moved away soon after Larry was born.) Note: It was suggested by Beyond 37' that Clarence O'Crowley
Jr. marked the biological older half-brother of Larry Heller, with both having been born of the same mother, who was the original
Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.
The 'What Rumors Might Actually Be True' Rumor
that's the catch, isn't it? Because none of these 'rumors' were ever conclusively shown to be false, they could all be true!
(Of course, that's highly doubtful.)
Below: Did Amelia become a New
Jersey housewife? (Sounds funny, no?) Oddly enough, in recent years it was revealed that the 'Gervais-Irene' did not surface
in the United States until the mid-1940s after assuming the identity of 'Irene Craigmile,' with the prior 'original' Irene
Craigmile having been a past friend of Amelia's. Forensic comparisons displayed how three different women used the same 'Irene
Craigmile' identity, with the Gervais-Irene exhibiting a remarkable head to toe congruence to Amelia Earhart, who had supposedly
'vanished without a trace' while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. The explanation for how the "New Jersey housewife"
story began follows the next two panels under the index. Below are equal photo-overlay blends of Amelia Earhart and the Gervais-Irene:
|Amelia Earhart, age twenty-six.
|1923 into a mirror self-photo portrait. She would become famous in 1928.
|Amelia, 1928, after the Friendship flight.
|Amelia Earhart, 1933
|Classic Amelia photo portrait.
|Orville Wright & Amelia Earhart
|The Gervais-Irene & Amelia
|Two photos in an equal blend.
|Irene-1963 / Amelia-1928, age thirty-one.
|Irene-1965 / Amelia-1933
|Irene-1976 / Amelia-1932
|Irene-1978 / Amelia-1929