Examining the Controversy of Amelia Earhart's Disappearance and the Claim of her 'Private' Survival

Some Earhart Connected Rumors Later Surfaced

Home
A Statement From Irene-Amelia.com's Creator and Editor, Tod Swindell
Forensic Comparison Samples: The Amelia Earhart to Gervais Irene Bolam Congruence
Forensic Analysis Support: Amelia Earhart, Irene Bolam
A Less Recalled Look At Amelia Earhart's 1937 Disappearance
Monsignor James Francis Kelley & Astronaut Wally Schirra Discuss Amelia Earhart
A Closer Comparison Of Eyes & Faces; Forensically Separating The Irenes
The History of Amelia Earhart Mystery 'Investigative Research'
Controversial Amelia Earhart Forensic Argument Information
Detours Taken In Pursuit Of Answers; The Real Joe Gervais
About Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile (Heller) (Bolam); Did You Know?
An Amelia To Irene Forensic Reality, 1982 Published Forgeries Discovered
The 1982 New Jersey Tribune's Irene-Amelia Photo Page 10/29/82
Alex Mandel's and Gwen Gale's Wikipedia Anti Irene-Amelia Crusade
Amelia Earhart Press Notice Samples
A Few Odd Rumors About Amelia Earhart
Will The Real Irene Craigmile Bolam Please Stand Up?
Recap of the Forensic Comparison & Analysis Discoveries
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June, 1937: Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra 10E in Paramaribo during her world flight.

Introduction
 
After she went missing a variety of rumors about Amelia Earhart began to surface. A few appeared substantial enough that it made it hard for historians to clearly define Amelia's legacy. The rumors emanated from Amelia's pre-fame adult years into her thirtieth year, from her 'daily life' fame years until she went missing at age thirty-nine, and from some odd, if not controversial information that surfaced during her 'post-disappearance' years.
 
As time passed there appeared to be a subtle, 'let's move on' effort to keep at least some of these anecdotal soundbites from becoming widely known
 
Here is an overdue attempt, if anything, to examine part of the eyebrow-raising list of Earhart curiosities. A summation of each is included.  Take a look:

A FEW ODD POST-LOSS AMELIA EARHART RUMORS:
1.) The 'SPY' Rumor
2.) The 'She Was A Tokyo Rose' Rumor
3.) The 'She Lived In The Imperial Palace In Tokyo
 With Emperor 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 Rumor
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 Used To Swear Like A Sailor' Rumor
12.) The 'She Was Pregnant When She Left On Her Last Flight' Rumor
13.) The 'Castaways' Rumor
14.) The 'She Became A New Jersey Housewife' Rumor
15.) The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter' Rumor
16.) The 'What Rumors Might Actually Be True' Rumor
17.) The 'Niihau Plan' Rumor
 
 

1.) The 'SPY' Rumor
 
W
hile doing their investigative research, Authors Fred Goerner and Randall Brink found compelling documentation in Washington DC indicating something clandestine had been going on between Amelia and US Government Intelligence adjacent to her world flight. It was difficult to outright verify Amelia Earhart as actively being engaged in espionage, but there was enough to indicate if she hadn't been spying during her globe circling flight, she was lined up to do it before she returned to the United States. Randall Brink found the most reliable documented evidence, and additional testimony conveying how Lockheed had been readying another specially outfitted Electra for Amelia. Coupled with the other tantalyzing data Fred Goerner previously located in Washington DC in the 1960s, it can be said this particular 'rumor' did have a tangible foundation.
 
However, the rumor that Amelia had served as a kind of 'double agent,' supposedly with an obscure link to communist Russia, appeared to have no foundation at all beyond being invented by the now-late Jerome Steigmann, a self described 'private detective' who claimed the U.S. Government had paid him a lot of money to keep quiet about it.

 
 
 
2.) The 'Tokyo Rose' Rumor
 
Introduced by a variety of World War Two soldiers stationed in the Pacific theater, a significant coincidence exists where soon after Amelia's disappearance, Japan's Imperial Mandate Islands populations began referring to her as 'Tokyo Rosa' while she was being detained by Japan's Imperial Navy. Not so ironically, the
Japanese translation of 'Tokyo Rose' is "That held by the Chrysanthemum," with Japanese culture recognizing the Chrysanthemum as the Official Seal of the Emperor of Japan. 
 
The first Japan Radio NHK 'Tokyo Rose' broadcasts were heard by a U.S. Navy submarine in the Pacific a week prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. The suspicion of Amelia having survived under Japan's auspice combined with the familiar voice the soldiers heard caused many of them to convey the American woman's voice they were hearing might be Amelia Earhart's voice. Some actually stated they believed it was Amelia's voice. Tokyo Rose's voice had even been described as "fiendishly well coached" to sound like Amelia by George Putnam, who U.S. Naval Intelligence had sent to monitor her broadcasts while he was serving overseas, although Putnam negated the idea that it was Amelia herself doing the broadcasts.
 
According to Monsignor James Francis Kelley, as later conveyed by reporter, Dean Magley who interviewed him, the Gervais-Irene Bolam dreaded the connection being made where certain aspects of the Tokyo Rose scenario did seem to bear some weight. Several investigative researchers also felt that Amelia's tenure under Japan's auspice solely inspired the Tokyo Rose broadcasts invention.
 
The recognized history of Tokyo Rose was misleading, for Tokyo Rose was not the only American sounding woman doing broadcasts for Japan. After the war it was conveyed by military reports that a Japanese-American UCLA student named Iva Toguri (D'Aquino) found herself stuck in Japan during her visit home when the surprise Pearl Harbor attack occurred, and she was left no choice but to spend the duration of the war there. Iva Toguri admitted being coerced into doing NHK broadcasts as 'Orphan Annie,' although in court she testified she had been offered $2,000 to say she was 'Tokyo Rose' to the press right after VJ Day, and she accepted the offer unaware she was incriminating herself by doing so. Curiously, Amelia's last 'closest friend,' Jackie Cochran was 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, Amy told the New York Times she learned Amelia had survived for a non-specified time period in Japan's custody, that she 'knew' she had been allowed to radio from oversees, and she believed Amelia had possibly been involved with the U.S. Government on a "verbal orders" secret mission during her world flight.
 
Sadly, the result of the Tokyo Rose trial was Iva Toguri's false conviction. It took nearly three decades to correct the mistake, but as his last official act in 1977, President Gerald Ford finally pardoned Iva Toguri D'Aquino. She had always maintained her innocence, believing 'Tokyo Rose' was more of a generic term, not knowing many U.S. soldiers verified  there had been one specific American voiced female who identified herself as 'Tokyo Rose.' As well, Imperial Mandate Islanders always maintianed "Tokyo Rosa" referred to Emperor Hirohito's (the Chrysanthemum's) 'prized American Rose' who was Amelia Earhart, and that her non-publicized 'sequestered' existence was coveted by Japan during its war against the United States.
 
 
3.) The 'She Lived In The Imperial Palace In Tokyo
With Emperor Hirohito During The War' Rumor

Introduced in the form of a supposition via the 1970 book Amelia Earhart Lives, the idea was suggested 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 will never know," it's possible she may have visited the Imperial Palace during the World War Two years.
 
 
4.) The 'She Taught Improved English
To Isoroku Yamamoto In Boston' Rumor
 
Joe Gervais gave information he located about this to his lawyers, who turned it over to the New York State Supreme Court while Gervais, Klaas, and McGraw-Hill were being sued. Gervais had learned 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 avowed Isoroku Yamamoto had been a student of Amelia Earhart's when she taught an 'Improved English' Harvard extension night course to foreign students. After his research was confiscated, substantiating his account proved difficult for others, although it is true Earhart did teach such a course and Yamamoto was a student at Harvard before he relocated to Washington in 1926 to serve as a Japanese diplomat. It was and remains certain, Admiral Yamamoto and Emperor Hirohito were well aware of who Amelia Earhart was as she had become a loved hero in Japan during the 1930s--just as Babe Ruth did after he toured the country with his exhibition baseball teams in the mid-1930s. When it was reported Earhart and Noonan were missing in early July of 1937, two years before World War Two began and four years before the U.S. entered it, it is certain neither Emperor Hirohito nor Admiral Yamamoto would have let any harm come to the two fliers
after they were rescued, and if Amelia agreed to cooperate with her rescuers there is no doubt Japan would have quietly welcomed it while keeping her comfortable, given who she was. It proved a plausible suggestion, that in exchange for her continued cooperation, Japan agreed to liberate Fred Noonan into the hands of U.S. intelligence unbeknownst to the American public. Author, Randall Brink and Joe Gervais considered the possibility of Noonan, a smart and highly superior navigator, ending up as a Naval Intelligence officer (ONI) after assuming a new identity himself.
 
 
 
5.) The 'Howard 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 Earhart. On the other hand, and seemingly not including any Howard Hughes' involvement, two years after Amelia Earhart Lives referenced one of the Japanese Zero plane designers, Jiro Horikoshi, it was conveyed from a State Department file how 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.
 
 
6.) The 'She Applied To Become A Naturalized Citizen Of Japan In 1939' Rumor
 
According to information found in a secured State Department file revealed in confidence 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 (who appeared on an NBC special about Earhart) discovered a declassified file labeled the same way, "Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems" containing documentation dated August and September of 1945, yes, six years after she found it, in 1990 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 a 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, other than its contents had "concerned" Amelia Earhart.
 
Among his earlier exchanges with Gervais, Arthur Gibson specified how the file he found plainly described Amelia's August 19, 1939 request for naturalization (citizenship) in the Nipponese Imperial Islands, just prior to Germany's invasion of Poland. Gibson mentioned 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.
    

  
7.) The 'Love to Mother' Telegram Rumor
 
As mentioned, State Department Archivist, Patricia Morton found a declassified file labeled "Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems" archived among State Department files in 1984. 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 after Putnam had aligned Kamal with the FBI. Kamal was likely instrumental with Putnam and his FBI connections, no doubt overseen by J. Edgar Hoover himself. (Yes, the Earhart disappearance case was always that important.) To date 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 she had stayed with him for several weeks to recuperate at his Rumson, New Jersey home. Monsignor Kelley was President of Seton Hall College at the time.
 
 
8.) The 'She Was Abducted By Aliens' Rumor
 
Why not? The TV show Star Trek The Next Generation 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 its simpler conclusion based on
historical accounts and forensic comparisons.
 
 
9.) The 'She Became a Prostitute in Japan' Rumor

This 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.
 
 
10.) The 'She Was A Lesbian' Rumor
 
Because 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 likely. Moreover, Amelia 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.
 
 
11.) The 'She Used To Swear Like A Sailor' Rumor
 
Amelia Earhart was one of those rare, highly intelligent individuals who could express herself in a variety of impressive ways. Depending on her energy level for, opinion of, or general interest in a particular situation or subject matter, her mood code varied accordingly. The late Art Kennedy, a past friend and mechanic of Amelia's recognized this clearly. While Amelia could appear demure when lecturing to to any given audience, as Art Kennedy recalled in his book, Keeping 'Em Flying, "In her unique fashion she [Amelia] was quite a lady, although it is well known that she punctuated her airport conversation with a spectacular lexicon of aviation vulgarites." "She would get so frustrated that her language became unprintable and Burbank tower operators often found it necessary to reprimand her." Art Kennedy's use of the word 'often' is key, subtly verifying the 'rumor' of Amelia's occasional swearing habit in aviation circles as akin to the 'rumor' of Babe Ruth having been a good ballplayer.
 
 
12.) 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 her photographer friend, 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 there's a chance that Amelia had given birth to a child out of wedlock in 1924 and managed to conceal it, even 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 may have been 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 that the woman shown further below identified as "Irene Jr." was 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 say it was 'all in the family.'  

 
 13.) The Castaways Rumor

1990s cartoon from the Detroit News:
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Satire of TIGHAR expedition to Nikumaroro; Elvis' pick, Amelia's hairpin, Ric Gillespie, etc.

 
"The '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. 

14.) She 'She Became A New Jersey Housewife' Rumor
 
To 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.'
 
Monsignor 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."
 
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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.) 

15.) The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter' Rumor

'Irene Jr.' identified as Irene Bolam in 1982.
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Some believe she was AE's 1924 born 'love child' shown at age 58.

1985, Amelia's sister Muriel Grace & Grace McGuire
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Both knew the Gervais-Irene; Grace planned a world flight with the original Irene's son Larry Heller

Amelia Earhart
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Late 1936, while preparing for her world flight

3rd Irene (Non-Gervais) & Clarence O'Crowley Jr.
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Shown together in 1958 at the wedding of Irene & Guy Bolam

Same as above, older (Non Gervais-Irene)
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Lucy McDannel's described 'Irene Jr.'

The Gervais-Irene, 1946
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Some 'changes' left her hard to recognize.

Prior to adjustments...
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...AE was still there, just harder to recognize in the top photo.

The Gervais-Irene transformed:
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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, who would have arrived four years before Amelia became famous at the age of thirty in 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, although the child was not sired by Charles Craigmile. Later, 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 legible photo evidence of the original Irene beyond the 1930s, although it is clear anymore, both the Gervais-Irene and the 3rd Irene ended up using the original Irene's identity, and they participated in the continued upbringing of Larry Heller. (Larry's father, Al Heller moved away a few years after Larry was born.) Note:  Beyond 37's study determiend 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.

16.) The 'What Rumors Might Actually Be True' Rumor
 
And 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.
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1923 into a mirror self-photo portrait. She would become famous in 1928.

Below:
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Amelia, 1928, after the Friendship flight.

Below:
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Amelia Earhart, 1933

Below:
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Classic Amelia photo portrait.

Orville Wright & Amelia Earhart
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The Gervais-Irene & Amelia
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Two photos in an equal blend.
Irene-Amelia
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Irene-1963 / Amelia-1928, age thirty-one.
Irene-Amelia
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Irene-1965 / Amelia-1933
Irene-Amelia
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Irene-1976 / Amelia-1932
Irene-Amelia
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Irene-1978 / Amelia-1929

Notice wings below left shoulder.
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The Gervais-Irene
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February, 1978
Guy and Irene (Craigmile) Bolam, 1965.
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Photo taken by Joe Gervais after he met them.

Below: Look familiar?
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Prior to post-loss augmentations...

17.) The 'Niihau Plan' Rumor
 
The 'Niihau Plan' rumor merits some consideration. Investigators Rollin Reineck and Joe Gervais learned that Amelia had written George Putnam a 'Dear John' letter just before she left New Guineau and subsequently vanished. The letter was held by Putnam's last wife, Margaret Havilland, who refused to make it public due to its 'hurtful and damaging' nature. Accordingly, Amelia had informed him of her desire to separate, and of her decision to not immediately return to the United States as planned. So much would have 'ruined' Earhart's reputation if the public knew Amelia was opting out of her life of celebrity by way of jettisonning her relationship with the man who discovered her in 1928, and worked so hard the following nine years to help make her, at least arguably, the most famous woman on the planet.
 
'Word was, instead of coming right back to the mainland, Amelia had intended to remain in Hawaii for awhile, hopping back and forth between Niihau and Kauai. Hawaii was her last scheduled stop after Howland. Rollin Reineck and Joe Gervais felt it played into the overall decision to reverse her original flight plan of east to west, to its new direction of west to east. The logic allowed for Hawaii to be her last stop instead of her first. There were even indications from people who knew Amelia, that her failed first attempt to circle the globe that ended when she ground-looped her plane in Hawaii, was likely a 'rigged' event to enable more time for the preparation of another 'differently outfitted' plane and the change in her flight direction to eastward. Reineck concurred even more-so after his Monsignor Kelley research revealed Kelley's awareness of Amelia's alternate scenario, or plan. Soon after Reineck unearthed an obscure 'Department of Interior' map of Niihau from the 1930s featuring a landing strip no one knew about, that is no longer there today, and according to known history, never existed.
 
Joe Gervais had previously learned of Amelia having befriended the Robinson family that owned both the Island of Niihau and a large, private ranch on Kauai's southern coast. Amelia had met with family matriarch, Alice Gay Robinson during her aforementioned first 'failed' globe circling attempt in March of 1937 while she was in Hawaii. In the early 1980s, to friends of his in St. Croix, USVI, Monsignor James Francis Kelley (the Gervais-Irene's post World War Two close friend and 'confessor') mentioned that Amelia's original plan was to assume the role of a plantation owner on an Island in the Pacific. It was to serve as her cover while she otherwise conducted survey flights for the United States. According to Father Kelley, the plan fell apart when she missed Howland and accidentally ended up in the Marshalls. Reineck, a retired Air Force Colonel and former advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff especially felt there may have been something to it all, even in the face of others who called it absurd. Reineck had been stationed in Honolulu at Hickam Air Force Base before living in Hawaii for many years. It was no secret the Gay-Robinson sugar plantation was quite an impressive operation, nor was it a secret the Robinsons were very private family regarded with a kind of nobility status on the Islands as far away as Washington DC, ever since they acquired Niihau in the 1800s. The Robinsons were very strict when it came to allowing access to their lands, especially to the 'forbidden island' of Niihau. Amelia came to like Hawaii after her long stay there in 1935, and the Robinsons surely would have been able to keep her privately secured. The way things turned out though, in Reineck's opinion, was that Amelia, still not wanting to return to Putnam or to her life as a world-famous-pilot in the U.S. after Japan ended up receiving her instead, may have disclosed such a reality to her alternate new hosts, who in turn permitted her to remain in their Imperial Mandate Islands, going so far as to agree to her request of non-disclosure in exchange for a certain measure of cooperation she would afford in return.
 
Whatever the true circumstances were that caused it, there is no doubt Amelia ended up staying in Japan's Imperial Mandates for some time, more than likely by her own volition. So, no doubt feeling somewhat helpless, it was apparent the White House gravitated toward a 'let's move on' attitude as its only, albeit reluctant response to the information it had. Especially where circumstances dictated Amelia was able to disclose, if she chose to, her original plan and intention to not return to the U.S. right away. In any case it remains clear FDR and Morgenthau did know something about Earhart's final disposition that the American public did not know. Their glossed-over truth managed to stay buried for decades, until, thanks to the efforts of key private investigators who in the 1960s caused an overwhelming preponderence of evidence to surface that described how Amelia not only made it to the Marshall Islands, but she also continued to exist under the auspice of Japan prior to the outbreak of World War Two, and then during the war itself. Solidifying it as 'a mystery,' the U.S. and Japan never acknowledged or officially commented on it. It basically added up to Amelia wanting out, plain and simple, and first the U.S., and then Japan demonstrated their willingness to oblige her.
 
Additionally, investigative researcher, Randall Brink's hunch was possibly right about Fred Noonan having pre-arranged for himself to segue into a career as a U.S. Naval Intelligence officer instead of continuing on with his own 'usual' life, that had never been usual at all. Noonan's 'hard to accurately trace' background, his lonerism style and top navigator profile would have been perfect for such an assignment. Whatever his ultimate reality became as well though, the 'missing person' cases of both Earhart and Noonan were swiftly and solidly closed. Even the seven-year moratorium required to declare a missing person 'dead' was shortened to two years for Earhart and Noonan, leaving them legally described as 'no longer living' just as World War Two became a reality. It would be the 1970s before a leaked State Department file would reveal that Amelia ultimately ended up 'working with' Japan, and how she had also petitioned to become a Naturalized Citizen of Japan's Imperial Mandate Islands on August 19, 1939, a date just preceding Germany's invasion of Poland.

Click here to e-mail Irene-Amelia.com and/or Beyond 37', or just e-mail EarhartTruth@Irene-Amelia.com

Irene-Amelia.com was first launched in 2007. The comprehensive Forensic Analysis and Forensic Comparison Study it displays, 1.) Proved more than one person employed the same 'Irene' identity, and 2.) Displayed the head-to-toe congruence the Gervais-Irene shared with Amelia Earhart. The analysis first began in 1996 and was copyrighted in 2002. Tod Swindell's original manuscript, Protecting Earhart: The Beautiful Alter Ego and Silent Legacy of History's Most Famous Flying Heroine is housed and registered at the Writers Guild of America (west), #1033972. For information e-mail EarhartTruth@Irene-Amelia.com.
 
This website is dedicated to the late USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais (1924-2005) and the late USAF Col. Rollin C. Reineck (1920-2007). Both were World War Two heroes who learned the basic Irene-Amelia truth decades ago. A special thanks also goes out to Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, whose enormous help with supplying never before made public 'Irene' photo data in 2002 paved the way for the forensic comparison study to finally reach its realistic conclusion. Thanks as well to Bazzell Baz, who breathed new life into the endeavor in the late 1990s by daring to go where others didn't.
 
Major Gervais, who is 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 expounded on the enormous amount of Joe Gervais' investigative research and displayed the first nationally published photo of Irene Bolam, AKA the Gervais-Irene. Regardless of the fallout caused by Amelia Earhart Lives, Major Gervais and Colonel Reineck spent the last four decades of their lives working to advance the claim of Earhart's name-changed survival to authenticity after enduring their own long term investigative analysis of the evidence that supported it. Colonel Reineck's book Amelia Earhart Survived was published in late 2003 and was greatly inspired by the Irene-Amelia forensic studies. Portions of the study appeared in the Reineck book, although much more is displayed in Irene-Amelia.com. Beyond 37' and Irene-Amelia.com are owned and managed by Tod Swindell and Aether Pictures and Press of Pasadena, California.

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