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

Some Odd Rumors About Amelia Earhart

Home
Discovered Forensic Realities of Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile (Heller) (Bolam)
A Note From Irene-Amelia.com's Editor, Tod Swindell
A Less Recalled Look At Amelia Earhart's 1937 Disappearance
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?
Forensic Comparison Samples: The Amelia To Irene Congruence
A Closer Comparison Of Eyes & Faces; Amelia To Irene, Separating The Irenes
Will The Real Irene Craigmile Bolam Please Stand Up?
Amelia Earhart Miscellaneous: Monsignor Kelley Excerpt, NASA Astronaut Wally Schirra's Words.
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
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.

THE AMELIA 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 Was Pregnant When She Left On Her Last Flight' Rumor
12.) The 'She Became A New Jersey Housewife' Rumor
13.) The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter' Rumor
14.) The 'What Rumors Might Actually Be True' Rumor
15.) The 'Niihau Plan' Rumor
 
 

Introduction
 
After 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
 
Although 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
With Emperor 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
To Isoroku 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.
 
 
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. 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.
 
Among 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.
 
 
The '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

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.
 
 
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 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.'  

 
 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. 

The '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.) 

The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter' Rumor

'Irene Jr.' misidentified 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, 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
 
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...

The Niihau Plan Rumor
 
The Niihau Plan was an interesting postulation that merits some consideration. Delved into by investigators Rollin Reineck and Joe Gervais, purportedly Amelia had written George Putnam a 'Dear John' letter just before she left New Guineau and subsequently vanished. The letter was still being held by Putnam's last wife, Margaret Havilland in the 1970s 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 return immediately 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 remaining abroad after 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.

 
A Note About The Joe Gervais Claim
 
As mentioned, in 1965 at a gathering of well-known retired pilots in East Hampton on Long Island, New York, World War Two hero, USAF Major Joe Gervais (Ret.) met and photographed one of the three different women historically attributed to the same identity of 'Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile (Heller) (Bolam.) At the time of course, Joe Gervais had no idea three different women had used the same 'Irene' identity. The one he met is labeled in the forensic comparison analysis as 'the Gervais-Irene.' The study revealed how the Gervais-Irene appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s, and she head to toe matched Amelia physically, and their character traits matched as well. However, contrary to what became an assumed public opinion that the Gervais claim was 'debunked' in 1970 with all questions answered, the truth remained that official history, and both Amelia's and the original Irene's families chose not to seriously address what Major Gervais believed he recognized. This left the 'past identity' question of the Gervais-Irene to remain unanswered by any means of official historical authority. Twelve years later, in 1982 Larry Heller, the son of the original Irene was quoted to say he 'wished for the identity question to remain a mystery.' Mr. Heller always maintained his mother wasn't Amelia Earhart, and that was true. For Larry Heller's mother gave birth to him in early 1934 when Amelia was very much in the public eye. When I met with Mr. Heller twice in 2006, I confirmed with him my own certainty in the fact that his mother was not Amelia Earhart. (How could she have been? Impossible.) Still, the woman he instantly recognized as his mother among the 'Irene photos' I displayed to him, according to the "solid science" forensic comparison reality, was not at all the woman whose photograph Joe Gervais took in 1965, that later appeared in the 1970 McGraw-Hill book, Amelia Earthart Lives, even though according to history, she was supposed to have been.  Tod Swindell

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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