she went missing a variety of odd rumors surfaced pertaining to Amelia Earhart's full life story. This left the historical
jury cautious about Earhart, when it addressed the more curious
aspects of her personality and character traits. Especially when it came to some non-reported details of her
pre-fame adult years until she turned thirty years old in 1927, and her 'daily life' fame years from age thirty-one to age
In the decades after she went missing, it is clear Amelia's sister, Muriel,
their mother, Amy, and a few devoted others prevented certain anecdotal
soundbites about Amelia's past from becoming common knowledge. Today,
various Earhart-image-protectors sporting
differing theories about her final fate inadvertently keep the mystery of her disappearance
alive, solidifying the way Amelia Earhart's true-fate was designed
to remain obfuscated as far as the public-eye was concerned.
Here is an overdue attempt, if anything, to examine the sordid list of odd, post-loss
'Earhart rumors' that, notwithstanding the obfuscation excercises, still managed to surface. Each is followed by a brief explanation.
Take a look:
A FEW ODD POST-LOSS AMELIA EARHART RUMORS:
1.) The Rumor About Amelia Becoming Irene
2.) The 'SPY'
3.) The 'She Used To Swear Like A Sailor' Rumor
4.) The 'She
Was A Tokyo Rose' Rumor
5.) The 'She Lived In The Imperial Palace In Tokyo
With Emperor Hirohito
During The War' Rumor
6.) The 'She Taught Improved English
To Isoroku Yamamoto In Boston' Rumor
7.) The 'Howard
Hughes Traded His H-1 Racer Plans To Help Japan
Build Its Zero Fighter In Exchange For Earhart's Safety' Rumor
8.) The 'She Applied To Become A Naturalized Citizen Of Japan
In 1939' Rumor
9.) The 'Love to Mother' Telegram
10.) The 'She Was Abducted By Aliens' Rumor
11.) The 'She Became a Prostitute in Japan' Rumor
12.) The 'She
Was A Lesbian' Rumor
13.) The 'She Was Pregnant When She Left On Her Last Flight' Rumor
The 'She Became A New Jersey Housewife' Rumor
15.) The 'Amelia's Hidden Daughter'
16.) The 'What Rumors Might Actually Be True' Rumor
The 'Niihau Plan' Rumor
The Rumor Of Amelia Becoming Irene
In 1965 at a gathering of well-known retired pilots in
East Hampton of Long
Island, New York, USAF Major Joe Gervais met and photographed a woman who
had introduced herself to him as, 'Irene
Bolam.' At the time of course, Joe Gervais had no idea three different women,
including herself 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 not only head-to-toe matched Amelia physically, but their character traits matched
as well. Contrary to what became
the assumed public opinion that the Gervais
claim was 'debunked' in 1970 with all questions answered, the truth remained where official history, along with Amelia's and the original Irene's families chose not
to seriously address what Major Gervais had ascertained. 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 [about his mother] 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. After
I met with Mr. Heller, 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 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. So
much for that rumor. Tod Swindell
The 'SPY' Rumor
their investigative research, Authors Fred Goerner and Randall Brink found compelling
documentation in Washington DC indicating something clandestine was going on between Amelia and US Government Intelligence
during 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 was readying another specially outfitted Electra for Amelia, along with other tantalyzing
bits of information.
Amelia was also 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 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.
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 past swearing habit in aviation circles as akin to the
'rumor' of Babe Ruth having been a good ballplayer.
The 'She Was A Tokyo Rose' Rumor
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' with the understanding
Amelia had been detained there by Japan's Imperial Naval Authority. The first Japan Radio NHK 'Tokyo Rose' broadcasts were
heard a week prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. The suspicion of Amelia still existing under Japan's auspice combined with
the familiar voice the soldiers heard (later described as "fiendishly well coached" by George Putnam, who U.S. Naval
Intelligence had sent to monitor the 'Tokyo Rose' broadcasts while he was serving overseas) caused soldiers to convey
the American woman's voice they were hearing sounded like Amelia Earhart's voice. According to Monsignor Kelley in
later years, she dreaded the connection being made where certain aspects of it did seem to bear some weight.
Historically, a Japanese-American UCLA student named Iva Toguri (D'Aquino)
found herself stuck in Japan during her visit home when Pearl Harbor occurred, and she was left no choice but to spend the
duration of the war there. She admitted being coerced into doing NHK broadcasts as 'Orphan Annie' during the war, although
in court she testified she had been offered $2,000 to say she was 'the one and only Tokyo Rose' to the press right after VJ
Day, an offer she accepted not knowing she was incriminating herself. Curiously, 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, Amy told the New York Times she was 'aware' Amelia had survived in Japan's custody.
No matter, the a result of the Tokyo Rose trial had been Iva Toguri's false conviction. However,
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,
even though U.S. soldiers insisted there was one specific American sounding female who identified herself as 'Tokyo Rose'
during her NHK broadcasts. The Imperial Mandate Islanders maintianed the name referred to Tokyo's prized 'American Rose' (Earhart)
Japan had coveted and used to its advantage during the war. Note: A Japanese translation of 'Tokyo Rose' is "That held
by the Chrysanthemum," with Japanese history recognizing the Chrysanthemum as the Official Seal of the Emperor of Japan.
The 'She Lived In The Imperial Palace In Tokyo
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 at least visited the Imperial Palace during
the World war Two era.
The 'She Taught
To Isoroku Yamamoto In Boston' Rumor
Joe Gervais gave his research on this to his lawyers, who turned it over to the New
York State Supreme Court while he and McGraw-Hill were being sued. Gervais claimed he 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 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 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.
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
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 in 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.
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.
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.
The 'She Was Abducted By Aliens' Rumor
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
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.
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
The Niihau Plan Rumor
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.
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.
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
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.