previews the long term forensic analysis and MSS, Protecting Earhart
scheduled for publication this year. [Protecting
Earhart U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number: TXu 1-915-926]
From the 1970s on, several different accounts
from well known individuals described how at the end of World War Two, Amelia Earhart returned from war-torn
Japan to live in the United States with a new identity. First
hand accounts offered by people who met and/or knew her included NASA Astronaut, Wally
Schirra, U.S. Senator, Barry Goldwater, and former Seton Hall College President and past American Catholic Church emissary,
Monsignor James Francis Kelley.
|Below: Astronaut Wally Schirra
|In 1985 Schirra told reporter, Dean Magley he 'met the former Amelia Earhart at NASA' in the 1970s.
Among Admiral Chester Nimitz' disclosures to CBS radio journalist, Fred Goerner was his 1965 statement, "Earhart and her navigator did go down in the Marshalls and were picked up by the Japanese."
From The Search for Amelia Earhart
by Fred Goerner, Doubleday Books, 1966.
"You're onto something that
will stagger your imagination," were the 1962 spoken words of retired United States Navy Commander, John Pillsbury
to CBS investigative journalist, Fred Goerner regarding Goerner's quest to learn the true outcome of Amelia Earhart's
1937 world flight.
In a 1966 letter to Amelia's survived sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Fred Goerner described
to Muriel that Admiral Nimitz had disclosed the truth was "known and documented in Washington" about her sister, Amelia, who without public awareness had continued
to exist under the auspice of Japan after her world flight prematurely ended. Recall
how the Sino-Japanese War began on July 7, 1937... just five days after Earhart and Noonan went missing. So much quickly
strained the diplomatic relationship that had existed between the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. began placing embargos on exports
to Japan then, and in that midst, Japan chose to remain silent about its detainee, Amelia Earhart, as if she was part of a
political chess match taking place between the two countries.
As her later life close friend, Monsignor James Francis Kelley mentioned, "After all she'd been through, she
didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore." Basically, that translated to Amelia no longer wanting to be a public
figure, where before she had arguably been the most famous woman in the world. Simply put, Amelia wanted her continued post-war
existence to feature peace and privacy, and with Monsignor Kelley's, Jackie Cochran's, and J. Edgar Hoover's support and help;
changing her name, adjusting her appearance, and embarking on a new career [she was given a prominent position at a bank on
Long Island] was the most logical way for her to do it.
"She was intelligent, articulate, and had a commanding presence. She knew a
lot of important people including many high-ranking military officers, astronauts and flyers." Quote
from a three page profile of the Gervais-Irene Bolam written in 1993 by her survived sister-in-law, Mrs. John Bolam.
Forensic studies are very convincing. She was not an ordinary housewife as she claimed.
She was influential, knew many well placed people and was well traveled." John
Bolam, referring to Protecting Earhart's early in-progress Forensic Analysis results
in a 2002 Associated Press article by
Ron Staton. John Bolam was the survived brother of the Gervais-Irene's British husband, Guy Bolam who she wed
in 1958. John Bolam further stated that his brother, Guy [who died in 1970] had been a British
|1944, Seton Hall College, New Jersey
|J. Edgar Hoover & Monsignor Kelley [the two on left] lauded each other's war-time help.
|Two Photos Superimposed...
|The Gervais-Irene and her former self, Amelia Earhart
|The Gervais-Irene, 1965
|The Gervais-Irene in 1965...
|...blended with the 1933 photo of her former 'Amelia' self.
In 1990, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of
State, James Baker asking about a declassified Amelia Earhart World War Two file recently
discovered by a State Department employee. The State Department's official reply to Senator Inouye confirmed the previously
classified, 'Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems'
file indeed had been located in State Department archives. Incredibly enough, the State Department's Legislative Affairs representative, Ms. Janet G. Mullins, who replied
to the Senator, actually confirmed a post-VJ Day 'liberation radiogram' sent to the U.S. from a Japanese civilian internment
camp in China had 'concerned Amelia Earhart.' Writing about the State Department employee, Patricia Morton who had discovered the file, within
the context of her March 26, 1990 letter to Senator Inouye, Ms. Mullins included: "She
[Ms. Morton] located certain previously declassified documents concerning Earhart in 1945 civilian prisoner of war files at
the National Archives. Among these was a State Department copy of a Navy Department radiogram from Chungking, China dated
August 28, 1945 addressed to Earhart's husband." And, "In her private research, [about Amelia Earhart] Ms. Morton
has indicated that various classified documents exist, of which the Special War Problems records cited in your letter are
years after she went missing and six years after she was legally declared 'dead,'
an Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems '1945 civilian prisoner of war document' that 'concerned' Amelia Earhart had
been relegated to be left unknown by the public in the United States, the post-tense reality was that Amelia had survived
the duration of the war under Japan's stewardship, and Japan, the United States, and Amelia herself agreed to never let this
reality become known. In essence, at the end of World War Two it was mutually decided Amelia's 1937 'disappearance' was to
'officially' remain unchanged and unaddressed in a 'let's move on' manner, along with so many other end
of war agreements. In the fall of 1945, President Harry S. Truman perhaps described it best when he was interviewed by a journalist
who asked him how things would be different after World War Two(?)... to which Truman answered, "The only thing different
is the history you don't know."
In her 1987 autobiography edited by Maryann
Bucknum Brinley, of the year-long period before Amelia vanished, Jackie Cochran recalled, "I was closer
to Amelia than anyone else, even her husband, George Putnam."
In her earlier 1954 book, The Stars At Noon, Cochran discussed Amelia Earhart relative to her visit to the Dai Ichi
building in Japan right after VJ Day. While in Japan, she was also present during the arrest of Iva Toguri, who was incorrectly
identified as the illusive, Tokyo Rose. [Ms. Toguri was eventually pardoned by President Ford.] In 1949, Amelia's
mother, Amy Otis Earhart attended Iva Toguri's, 'Tokyo Rose' trial on a daily basis. Soon after, while discussing her
daughter's last flight she told the New York Times, "there were some things Amelia couldn't tell me," and how she
was "aware" the Japanese had picked her daughter up.
Jackie Cochran was green-lighted over to Japan right after the second atom bomb was dropped.
She arrived by way of Guam and the Philippines, and was received by top military brass and military Vicar General, Archbishop
Francis Spellman, [Spellman was later Cardinalized by the Catholic Church.] Jackie Cochran mentioned she retrieved "several files on Amelia Earhart" from the
newly seized Dai-Ichi building while she was in Tokyo. She also met with Pope Pius XII in Rome on her way home, and
years later was credited for helping to get her friend, General Dwight David Eisenhower to run for President. [Eisenhower
would later have his own guest quarters at the Floyd Odlum, Jackie Cochran ranch near Palm Springs, California where
he enjoyed playing golf during his reitrement.] It was no coincidence in 1991,
when former Seton Hall College President, Monsignor James Francis Kelley, who had known and taught English to Pope Pius
XII, and had known Francis Cardinal Spellman, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart as well, admitted he had been part
of the alliance with Jackie Cochran and Archbishop Spellman that ultimately secured Amelia's private return to the U.S.
and her name change to 'Irene.' Cochran, years later, when asked to elaborate on the 'Amelia Earhart files'
she found in Tokyo at the end of the war, tried to dismiss them as 'just some old newspaper clippings.' But in the context
of her 1954 book The Stars at Noon, said 'Earhart files' were mentioned separately from the newspaper clippings she
also found. Both mentions appeared in her book this way: "I did, however,
find numerous clippings and photographs about Amelia Earhart and Jimmy Doolittle and other American pilots, including myself.
There were several files on Amelia Earhart."
COMBINE the above with the State Department
file information forwarded to famous Earhart investigator, Joe Gervais in 1972. It was not made public until 1997 by
Brassey's of Washington DC and London, that misconstrued the information. In the 1970s a semi-retired
State Department archivist by the name of Arthur Dewayne Gibson of Verdunville, West Virginia had read both the 1966 Goerner
book and the 1970 Klaas-Gervais book that were inspired by the Earhart disappearance investigations of Paul Briand, Joe Gervais
and Bob Dinger. After his stealth perusal of 'still classified' WWII materials, Gibson reached out to Gervais and the two began a privately corresponding. Upon Gervais assuring strict
confidentiality, Gibson disclosed what he learned to Gervais. Their communications inspired Gervais to contact the Japanese
immigration department in Tokyo, as part of the contents of a file Gibson located included a Nipponese
Imperial Islands 'Naturalization Request' made by a 'Mrs. Putnam' on August 19, 1939. It may have not appeared so significant,
except the file folder it appeared in was labeled: "Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems." The sentence
Mr. Gibson copied from the file read, "Mrs. Putnam wishes the U.S. Government to henceforth consider her a national
of the Nipponese Imperial Islands" and it included a photo strip featuring Earhart and seven other individuals. Gibson
added the request was dated "August 19, 1939," and the file also mentioned she had "test flown" planes
for Japan before World War Two began, and it contained a photo of Amelia standing next to one of the Japanese planes, a 'Randy,'
of which only prototypes were ever manufactured. [NOTE: See one of the original letters pertaining to the Joe Gervais, A.D.
Gibson correspondences further below.]
following is a reprint of the query letter written by Joe Gervais on June 11, 1975 to the Nipponese Department of Immigration
and Naturalization, Tokyo, Japan:
Can you inform me who would be authorized to obtain
information from the record of a naturalized citizen of Japan. All I wish to know is the precise
date Mrs. G.P. Putnam became a citizen of Japan, probably sometime between July and September
of 1939 after completing the required twenty-four months residence in the Nipponese Imperial Islands of the Pacific."
Below is the July 3, 1975 reply sent to Gervais from Japan's Naturalized citizens division.
The sender was labeled 'Fifth Division Civil Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Justice, Tokyo Japan.' Amazingly, as if out of thin
air, it referenced the name 'Irene Craigmile' in tandem with Mrs. G.P. Putnam even though Gervais had only inquired about Amelia's married name of Mrs. G. P. Putnam:
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of inquiry
dated June 11, asking us whether Irene Craigmile or Mrs. G. P. Putnam was
naturalized to Japan. It is to our deep regret however, that we are not in a position to answer any inquiry as
to whether a certain person was naturalized to Japan, as a general rule, the records of naturalized persons being closed to
NOTE: Gervais did not include
the name "Irene Craigmile" in his query, yet somehow it appeared in the reply sent to him from Tokyo.
As noted, Joe Gervais based his request on the information afforded to him by
Arthur DeWayne Gibson. As for the date of 8/19/39, Germany's invasion of Poland did not occur until a short time after that,
and of course Pearl Harbor would not happen for another two years.
After she was reported
'missing,' Amelia's husband and business partner, George Putnam immediately suspected she ended up going down in the Marshall
Islands, as evidenced by a July, 1937 letter he sent to the White House where he included the question, "Is there any
way of ascertaining what the Japanese are actually doing, especially as regards a real search of the eastern fringe of the
Marshall Islands? That is one of the most fruitful possible locations for wreckage." [Excerpted from George Putnam's July 31, 1937 letter to White House Attorney, Marvin Macintyre.]
Where Amelia ended up in Japan's custody, did Japan let any harm
come to her? Not likely. Recall Amelia Earhart, just like Babe Ruth, was a loved American celebrity in Japan in the 1930s.
"I came back and worked till midnight. Heard about Amelia over the radio and felt even lower. I do
like her and I'll miss seeing her if she's gone but perhaps she'd rather go that way. Life might not have held such a happy
future for her." First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, a friend and confidant of Amelia's offered this curious comment
in a letter she wrote to her daughter the morning after Amelia was reported missing. It begged the question; what could
the First Lady have been aware of that led her to believe Amelia's future might not have been such a happy one? From the
book, Mother and Daughter, The Letters of Eleanor and Anna Roosevelt Edited by Bernard Asbell, 1982.
A CURIOUS FIND happened
to Machine Gunner, Robert E. Wallack of 'D' Company, 29th Marines during his WWII experience. As Part of the U.S.
occupation of Saipan in 1944, Wallack and his fellow Marines blew open a safe they had found in a bombed out Japanese
military officers' building. He described it first-hand in this manner: "After
the smoke cleared I grabbed a brown leather attache' case with a large handle and a flip lock. The contents were official
looking papers all concerning Amelia Earhart; maps, permits, and reports apparently pertaining to her around the world
flight. I wanted to retain this as a souvenir, but my Marine buddies insisted that it may be important and should be turned
in. I went down to the beach where I encountered a Naval officer and told of my discovery. He gave me a receipt for the
material and said that it would be returned to me if it were not important. I have never seen the material since."
From Randall Brink's book, Lost Star; The Search for Amelia Earhart, W.W. Norton, 1994.
From an official White House transcript: "This letter that Mrs. Roosevelt
wrote me about trying to get the report on Amelia Earhart... " "If we're going to release this, it's going to smear
the reputation of Amelia Earhart..." "I hope I've just got to never make it public."
Above: FDR Cabinet Member & Secretary of the Treasury, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. responds to a request
for 'offcial' White House report on Earhart's loss, made on behalf of Eleanor Roosevelt by her secretary, Malvina Scheider
on 5/13/1938. As noted Morgenthau, who oversaw the Coast Guard and FDR's secret service division, oddly referenced Amelia Earhart
as having "disregarded orders" before she was said to have 'vanished without a trace.' The inference of
'what happened' as well played off the rumor of Earhart and Noonan being intercepted by Japan as they entered its controlled
air space. This was believed and promoted by several ardent researchers. A few were also inclined to believe Amelia was
not planning to return right away from her flight. She had specified it was her 'last flight' after all, had purportedly
set up a temporary residence in Hawaii's Niihau Island with the sugar plantation 'Robinson family,' and she had mentioned
to at least one acquaintance she 'wasn't coming back.' Jackie Cochran felt both Amelia's career and her marriage had taken
heavy tolls on her that led to her plan for retirement from competitive flying, and a new life after she separated from her
manager and husband of six-years, George Putnam.
"She definitely came to the Marshall Islands,"
said Alfred Capelle. "I believe she came for some particular purpose - perhaps to try out some kind of equipment for
the military." United Nations
Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Alfred Capelle, Associated Press interview with Ron Staton; May
|The Gervais-Irene's photo superimposed...
|...with her former self, shown below with Orville Wright
|Orville Wright & Amelia Earhart
|She no longer wanted to be a public figure...
|...so in a way, the Amelia Earhart people recalled did forever vanish in 1937
|Manchester Boddy awarding Amelia Earhart
|Amelia, from a 1923 'into a mirror' taken self photo-portrait.
|Amelia and her future self...
|two photos superimposed
|An Earhart family secret(?) c. 'mid-1940s'
|'Irene Jr.' AKA the 'Non Gervais-Irene' also used the name, 'Irene Craigmile.'
[Amelia] stated she was turning north and they continued to hear her at intervals, her signals becoming fainter each time
received." Col H.H.C. Richards U.S. 02 Intelligence memo dated 11/1/1938. Released
by the FOIA in 1980, it refuted the earlier released White House version of Amelia's final words, that stressed how Amelia
never specified the final direction she chose to head-in after not locating Howland Island.
~A Forgotten Rumor~
recall the rumor of an out-of-wedlock, 'family secret' child Amelia had in 1924, four years before she became famous
in 1928 at the age of thirty. Although forgotten over time, where true his may have had something to do with Amelia's
highly enigmatic personna and her perpetual on-the-go existence during her nine years of fame. Amelia was known for her desir
more for privacy, her off-times unpredictability, and some of her decision making processes that appeared to be guided by
an evolved disdain she had for her celebrity public-life existence. A fantastic offering to be sure, then again, the entire
Irene-Amelia story is nothing less than fantastic. Recall here, how Amelia never really sought
fame. Although she was a rare woman pilot, she was actually a full time, live-in Social Worker at a settlement house in Boston
who had been in charge of children ranging from toddlers to teens. The rumor suggested Amelia had also been watching after
her own 'family secret' child, a four year old little girl who
had been placed among the children she was caring for at the settlement house where she lived and worked, at the time she
received an unnexpected phone call in 1928. The call was from George Putnam, who was reaching out to ask Amelia if she would
be interested in replacing the woman who was scheduled to become the first female passenger to fly in a plane across the Atlantic
Ocean. He told Amelia she had been recommended to him because she was a 'single woman who held a pilot's license.' Amelia
agreed to be interviewed and Putnam approved her to participate in the flight. After successfully accomplishing the feat,
Amelia instantly became famous and was greeted by a ticker-tape parade in New York upon her return. She embraced her newfound
celebrity then, although as 'just a passenger' she remarked how she merely did something "comparable to what a sack of
potatoes could have done." After she became famous, it was further suggested her 'family secret daughter' was taken in
by Amelia's new ZONTA figurehead friend, an attorney by the name of Irene Mary Rutherford O'Crowley, who with Amelia's private
omniscience and limited participation, ultimately raised the little girl to adulthood. Protecting Earhart offers how
said 'child' [whose biological father would most likely have been Lloyd Royer] grew to become the enigmatic 'Irene Jr.' AKA
'the Non Gervais-Irene' as identified in its ten year forensic analysis. Otherwise, the Non Gervais-Irene's true identity
remains unknown to this day.
In a two out of three way an old saying about 'greatness' could be applied to Amelia Earhart: "Some
people are born into greatness, some people achieve greatness, and some people have greatness thrust upon them."
By the end of her flying career, in Amelia's case, the latter two 'greatness' mentions were applied in reverse order: In 1928
Amelia had greatness thrust upon her first, before she more than certifiably achieved it four years later by becoming the
first woman to solo an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean.
|Joe Gervais Research Award event, Las Vegas, 2000
|Top row L-R: Tod Swindell, Mrs. & Mr John Bolam. Below: Joe Klaas & Joe Gervais
The following excerpts were
taken from a 1993 story written about the Gervais-Irene by Mrs. John Bolam, her survived sister in-law:
was intelligent, articulate, and had a commanding presence. She knew a lot of important people including many high-ranking
military officers, astronauts and flyers."
[Note: Colonel Reineck's book references
the Gervais-Irene being awarded a medal of appreciation by NASA. As well, astronaut Wally Schirra once mentioned he had 'met'
the woman who used to be known as Amelia Earhart.]
[Note: The late Arizona Senator, Barry Goldwater and General Douglass
MacArthur's widow, Jean were also friends of the Gervais-Irene.]
"Guy and Irene knew people
all around the world, some of which were well known figures in high places."
appeared to be completely familiar with any subject we might bring up about flying in the old days, such as types of planes,
instruments, early airports, etcetera."
Note: The original Irene Craigmile only flew for a brief amount
of time on Long Island. This is a known fact, for right after she earned her pilot's license in late May of 1933 she became
pregant out of wedlock and never flew again, leaving it highly improbable for her to have commanded the breadth of aviaton
knowledge described above.
"After Guy died, she still continued to manage the Radio Luxembourg
accounts while trekking around the world."
[Note: The Gervais-Irene actually took over as corporate President
of Radio Luxembourg following Guy's 1970 passing.]
"She thoroughly enjoyed life, people, events, theater,
travel, new heights. She was the epitome of a "'Classy Lady.'"
"Irene told us she was a
member of the 99s and the Zonta's, but others say her name does not appear in the records of either organization. Why then
would they ask her to speak at their national and international meetings?"
Note: Amelia Earhart was chiefly
instrumental in founding the 99s in 1929 and she served as its first President. She also became a prominent member of the
Zonta's after her 1928 induction, that featured a luncheon given in her honor hosted by the original Irene Craigmile's
farily prominent aunt, who would remain a good friend of Amelia's, attorney Irene Mary Rutherford O'Crowley. According
to the Woodbridge Tribune, from the mid-1940s on as 'Irene Craigmile,' the Gervais-Irene was listed in the Long Island
chapter of Zonta members, and due to her ability to speak several languages [just as Amelia could] in the 1950s she served
as the Zonta's 'International Relations Chairman.' Previously, Amelia's English friend and former publicist, Nina Brodrick
Price held the same post. However, there is no record of Irene Craigmile or Bolam ever having been a member of the
Below: Almost two decades after it was initially
discovered, the previous existence of a classified "Earhart, Amelia; Special War Problems" State Department
file was officially verified by the State Department in 1990. Part of its telling contents had been 'leaked' by State Department
archivist, Arthur Gibson in 1972. Another part of the file's contents were declassified after 1980 by the FOIA, to later be
found and revealed by State Department archivist, Patricia Morton in 1984, who in her spare time had been researching Amelia
Earhart's disappearance. The 1972 letter displayed below marks the first time an awareness of the file managed to make it
into the public realm, after Arthur Gibson reached out to confide in Earhart investigator, Joe Gervais about it.
|Envelope and typed correspondence, Gibson-Gervais letter. Below is a handwritten Gibson letter
| Below, handwrittem from Gibson to Gervais, 1972
|Note Mr. Gibson citing his inability to talk freely on the phone due to his relatives being present
Note: Click on the above letter for more details
on the Gibson-Gervais exchanges.
Look at the Disappearance
Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan
Good Questions, Eleven Detailed Answers
Question: Did Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan crash and sink
in the Pacific Ocean somewhere near Howland Island?
Answer: The unabridged 'official report' on what actually happened to Earhart and Noonan was
never released by FDR's White House administration, thus leaving the 'crashed and sank' version of their flight ending a convenient explanation by default. Historians found it difficult to accept.
It meant having to ignore a tonage of contradicting information to include the following 'known but less publicized' facts:
1.) Earhart and Noonan
never indicated they were in any mechanical trouble flight-wise, nor did they ever bring up the idea of ditching on the ocean.
2.) When they were last 'officially'
heard their plane was continuing to fly well with ample fuel remaining, enough for several hundred more miles of flight distance.
Note: Their destination of Howland
Island was 2,550 miles away from New Guinea where they took off from, and the fuel capacity of Earhart's Electra was 1,150 gallons, allowing for close to a 4,500 mile maximum range. So much afforded
Earhart and Noonan up to thousand more miles of flying distance after their last radio message was 'officially logged' at
8:44 A.M. on July 2, 1937. The distance range was verified by Robert B. Gross, the President of Lockheed Aircaft
who had been intrinsically involved with the final design of Earhart's unique Lockheed Electra 10E 'flying laboratory' airplane.
3.) An O-2 Intelligence 'internal follow-up
memo' from 1938 (found decades later) described how Earhart and Noonan radioed their final decision to "turn north"
after not locating Howland Island, with their continued radio calls growing weaker until they faded completely. This contradicted
the information released by the White House that described the duo's last direction as 'alternately flying north and south.'
Note: After it was pressured to do so, a full year after the Earhart incident occurred an adjusted 'radio
log' was released displaying Earhart and Noonan's last transmissions ending with "we are running north and south."
The internal follow-up memo included the ommitted content: "She [Earhart] stated she was turning north and they continued
to hear her at intervals, her signals becoming fainter each time received." Col. H. H. C. Richards, Air liaison Australia,
U. S. O-2 Intelligence memo excerpt dated 11/1/38.
4.) Colonel Richards' intelligence memo concurred with Bureau of Air Commerce Chief, Gene Vidal's
statement of Earhart having described to him how in the event of missing Howland Island she would abandon the effort while
she still had enough fuel to head for the Gilbert-Marshalls archipelago.
Note: Ultimately the misconstruation of 'fuel running low' referred to the allotment
dedicated to locating Howland Island, leaving Earhart and Noonan enough reserve fuel for their 'alternate land choice' or
'Plan B' option. CBS's Fred Goerner concurred; to any pilot flying over a vast ocean, six hours worth of flying time left
out of the plane's starting-out fuel supply of 35 hours would easily be called 'running low' on fuel if one is not finding
their intended destination on a vast ocean. As well, the two highly experienced fliers would not have futily continued to
look for Howland while other sure-strike civilized land masses remained in reach.
5.) In May of 1938, in
a White House transcripted reply to Eleanor Roosevelt, Presidential Cabinet member Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.
described how "Amelia Earhart absolutely disregarded all orders" and "if the White House were to ever release
the final report (on her disappearance) it would mean goodbye Amelia Earhart's reputation."
Note: In this revealing transcript one can actually
read Mr. Morgenthau conveying to the First Lady, "I hope I've just got to never make it public" while referring
to what actually happened to Amelia Earhart during her flights "last few minutes." Oddly enough, two months later
Morgenthau wrote another note to the First Lady saying he "found it possible" to release the report after all, but
there was nothing damaging to Earhart's reputation to be found in it, and certainly nothing revealing of what actually happened.
There is no doubt Morgenthau had managed to surreptitiously adjust the report in an effort to make it ambiguous. Most significantly,
the words "we are running north and south" appeared as Amelia's final 'officially recognized' radio transmission,
leaving all to perceive Amelia was alternately flying 'north and south' on her given line of position when she was last heard
from, ostensibly as she continued to look for Howland Island. This tactful strategy left the general public never knowing
the final direction Amelia chose to fly in, and to this day "we are now running north and south" (instead of
her truly conveyed final decision to "head north") are officially regarded as Amelia's final spoken words. Morgenthau
obviously knew such an edit amounted to a historically incorrect final statement supplied by the FDR administration. Most
people bought it though, accepting how Earhart and Noonan were last believed to be 'flying north and south' somewhere in the
area of Howland when their radio inexplicably fell silent. Later, the post-loss realizations conveyed with certainty, how
the two were still safely airborn at the time their last 'officially recognized' message was received, and while it was never
publicly conveyed, Amelia had expressed her final decision to 'head north' to the nearest civilized land mass she knew of
"against all orders" after she missed Howland Island. Because storm squalls (widely reported) prohibited her ability
to safely navigate back toward the British controlled Gilbert Islands that she had described as her 'Plan B' option, she and
Noonan determined their only alternative was to head farther north, toward Japan's Marshalls, and hope for the best.
Q: Was Amelia Earhart captured and imprisoned,
and/or executed by Japan?
According to WWII Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz in 1965, dating back to the pre-World War Two era it was
quietly "known and documented in Washington" as non-public information, that Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan
ended up in the Marshall Islands that were part of Japan's Imperial Mandated Islands. The U. S. never searched the Marshalls.
Note: Where Nimitz mentioned
Japan 'picked them up' in the Marshalls, he never said they were 'captured' and there is no hard-copy proof the duo was ever
imprisoned. 'Detained' was likely a more appropriate word. It is also highly doubtful Japan would have harmed 'pacifist' Earhart
in 1937, to include the absurd suggestion of executing her. It is additionally recalled, as recently as 2006 the United Nations
Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Alfred Capelle conveyed to the Associated Press how it was always 'common knowledge' in
his country that Earhart ended up there, adding how Japan's Naval authority 'helped' Earhart and Noonan, and his perception
of how Amelia ended up "serving a specific purpose." Ambassador Capelle felt the U. S. Government not wishing to
disclose such a reality about the duo's final disposition led to its necessary silence on the matter, and the default follow-up
'media invention' of the 'Earhart mystery.' Additional Note: Four weeks after Earhart and Noonan were declared 'missing'
Earhart's business manager-husband, George Putnam sent a note to the White House that included this somewhat revealing query
on his absence of inner knowledge: "Is there any way of ascertaining what the Japanese are actually doing? Especially
as regards a real search of the eastern fringe of the Marshall Islands? That is one of the most fruitful possible locations
for wreckage." Excerpt from a 7/31/37 George Palmer Putnam note to White House Attorney, Marvin Mcintyre.
Q: Was Amelia Earhart spying on Japan
when she vanished?
No information exists that confirms Amelia Earhart was physically engaged in espionage during her last flight. Investigative
Authors, Fred Goerner and Randall Brink did manage to locate curious documentation linking separate U. S. intelligence activity
to the timing and objective of Earhart's 1937 flight that fueled the 'she may have been spying' notion, focusing on Amelia's
flight leg in the equatorial Pacific region where Japan was suspected to be illegally fortifying its mandate islands. There
is little doubt Amelia agreed to do some overflying at some point for Naval Intelligence based on what Goerner and Brink turned
up. None the less, newsreel footage of 'pacifist' Amelia throughout her final flight reveals a casual looking person always,
and Amelia adored Japan and its culture where she was a loved American hero in the 1930s, just as Babe Ruth was.
Q: Did Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan
use more than one plane during their globe circling flight?
A: Based on espionage speculation, newsreel footage of Earhart and Noonan flying around the
world right up until their last takeoff from Lae, New Guinea reveals the same plane always being used. Not to mention such
a scenario would have potentialed great logistical difficulties. James Donahue however, author of The Earhart Disappearance;
The British Connection believed in the probability of a British sponsored plane similar looking to Earhart's Electra with
a man and woman flying duo on board, that was flying in the region of Japan's mandate Islands at the same time Earhart and
Noonan were. As well, Lloyd Royer, Amelia's former beau and business partner (who had helped ready her Electra for its world
flight at Lockheed in Burbank) did mention 'two' planes were being worked on for Amelia's second world flight attempt, after
her first attempt ended when she ground-loop 'crashed' in Hawaii.
Q: Did Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan end up on a desert island in the Pacific?
A: According to TIGHAR (a self-described
'historical aircraft recovery' club) it would have people believe such a thing. Since the 1980s TIGHAR has claimed the desert
island of Nikumororo (FKA 'Gardner Island' located hundreds of miles south of the equator) as the place where Earhart and
Noonan ended up and died. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum has long pointed out that TIGHAR has never offered any legitimate
'proof' such a thing happened. TIGHAR did find junk-like remnants on Nikumororo left behind by previous ship landings and
at least one attempt at habitation on the island, but that's about it. The club is basically a cottage industry that relies
on the 'official silence' regard towards the Earhart saga, while selling to the less informed a 'Gilligan's Island' style
ending for Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, instead of what controversial investigative research has always conveyed. Two 1990s
novels; I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn and Hidden Latitudes by Alison Anderson also described desert
island endings for Earhart and Noonan.
Q: Did Amelia Earhart take up with Japan after her disappearance?
A: There are certain indications of 'pacifist' Amelia having participated in Japan's plane building
industry in 1938, when the Pearl Harbor attack was still a few years away. Information leaked from the State Department in
1972 described Earhart as having worked in development there, to include having 'test flown' planes and participating in 'wind
tunnel' evaluations. It also described how Amelia had filed for naturalization to the Imperial Mandate Islands in August of
1939, just months before Hitler invaded Poland. Although the office of Secretary of State James Baker in 1990 confirmed the
existence of the 1972 'leaked' file with the heading "Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems" after being
pressed by Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii to do so, Baker's office declined to elaborate on the file's contents, or explain
why it ever existed at all for a person who was described to have 'disappeared without a trace' in 1937, four years before
the U. S. entered the war.
Were Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan both inadequate radio operators?
A: This long misconveyed rumor was just that; a misconveyed rumor. Both Earhart and Noonan were
fully capable of operating their radio equipment. They had done so without trouble three quarters of the way around the globe
before their disappearance. However, the oddity of two way radio contact never being made with Earhart during her described
approach to Howland Island remains a curious anecdote.
Q: What became of Fred Noonan?
A: Compared to Amelia, the trail of what actually became of Fred Noonan is much colder. Some
felt he segued immediately into military intelligence and was an instrumental advisor during World War Two. He was considered
among the best 'air over ocean' navigators in the world after all, having served as chief navigator on the first Pan Am Clipper
flights, and he was a capable seaman who had honed his navigating talent as a merchant marine. The story of his 'excessive
drinking' towards the end of the Earhart flight was a later described 'ruse' used to place the blame for Earhart's loss squarely
on his shoulders. Those who knew Noonan best described him as 'too professional' for such a suggestion. He recognized his
importance in the flight just as he knew the world was watching Amelia and himself. As well, it was later learned Howland
Island might not have been plotted accurately by U. S. Navy cartographers. Note: Before Earhart's planned arrival,
no plane had ever landed on Howland Island where a new airstrip awaited her, and it really was a 'speck' on the ocean that
needed to have been plotted exactly where it was in order for any navigator to locate it. The other more tantalizing description,
as pointed to above by Marshall Islands Ambassador Capelle, exists where the fliers may have never intended to land on Howland
at all. This has always appeared as an outlandish suggestion to most people, although some felt the reality (again) of two
way radio contact never being established with Earhart during her last 'official' hours of flight time may have been by design.
One Earhart research author, Paul Rafford who was a Pan Am radio operator during the period, even stressed such a scenario
as a 'probability.'
Was Amelia Earhart's disappearance covered up by means of a conspiracy?
A: 'Conspiracy' is a dark word lined with negative connotations. Perhaps it is improper to use
it when discussing Amelia Earhart's disappearance case, which appears complex beyond what such a word might stereotypically
imply. There is no doubt Amelia had help with her private survival, but it appears the choices she made were mostly hers,
and she merely appealed to a very few select close family and friends to enable her to see them through. Not to mention the
advent of World War Two likely threw a wrench into the works of her original intentions.
Q: Did Amelia Earhart die on July 2, 1937?
A: According to 'official' history,
Amelia was last heard from while she was still safely airborn on July 2, 1937. Newspapers reported she was presumed 'lost
at sea' shortly thereafter. Stories of her aircraft being bouyant were stretched to accommodate the hopeful, or of she and
Fred Noonan managing to float in their emergency life raft for days at sea (before exposure or even sharks did them in.) So
much dovetailed most final obituaries of her person to read, "died on or about July 2, 1937." However the physical
evidence is clear anymore; Amelia no doubt managed a safe ditching and continued to live on, before eventually assuming the
name of Irene Craigmile, making her one of three different women who used that same identity. She married Guy Bolam of England
in 1958, a distinguished fellow described as 'past linked' to the Council on Foreign Relations, or even England's MI6 program.
Guy died in 1970 and the former Amelia Earhart, known as Irene Craigmile Bolam died at Roosevelt Hospital in Edison, New Jersey
on July 7, 1982. To this day people have a hard time accepting such a reality, although in recent years the newly uncovered
'indisputable' information supporting such a truth has left it represent a no-longer deniable equation.
Q: Why has this story remained out of
the public eye for so long, and what is the most complete history of the Irene-Amelia conveyance?
A: There are a variety of reasons the Irene-Amelia conveyance
remained mothballed, and looking at the complet history of it all explains it best:
1.) To date the families of both Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile have never really cooperated
when it came to resolving the 'Did Amelia become Irene?' debate. It has remained that way since the time Amelia's sister,
Muriel Earhart Morrissey admitted she was 'friends' with the Gervais-Irene when she was first approached about it in 1967,
and especially since the Amelia/Irene story first broke to make national news in 1970. Both O'Crowley and Earhart family traditions
have always been to automatically dismiss the suggestion of Amelia Earhart's post-loss survival in any way, shape, or form.
Not to mention the Gervais-Irene never came forward herself. Rather, she was recognized and dragged into the public spotlight.
2.) There's the aforementioned long-standing
official silence on the matter exhibited by the U.S. Executive Branch. As highlighted above, the White House proved itself
instrumental by ignoring and refusing to make public information it was aware of about Earhart's loss from the time the incident
occurred. It eventually became clear a 'by default' invention of the 'Earhart mystery' started in 1937, and FDR's White House
constituency was at least partially responsible for it.
3.) The advent of World War Two in the years directly following Amelia's disappearance caused
people to pretty much forget about her loss and concentrate on the war effort. Four decades later, as former Seton Hall University
President, Monsignor James Francis Kelley explained about his close friend Irene; "After all she'd been through she didn't
want to be Amelia Earhart anymore."
4.) It was almost 1960 by the time serious researchers finally got around to investigating the Earhart disappearance
case. Paul Briand, Joe Gervais, and Bob Dinger were all military men who served in World War Two, and they were the first
to realize the true controversy of it all. Their efforts caused CBS to pay attention and 'take over' the reporting (so to
speak) of the new attention that was suddenly being paid to the Earhart-loss story. CBS did so by endorsing and co-sponsoring
an investigative book effort by Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner of San Francisco who dove-in to analyze the findings of Briand,
Gervais and Dinger. Goerner then gained the trust and cooperation of Admiral Chester Nimitz. Through Goerner, CBS chose to
exploit the Earhart story in the direction of her 'temporary' survival as a suspected 'spy.' As mentioned above, Admiral Nimitz
described how Earhart and Noonan ended up in the Marshall Islands and were 'picked up' there by Japan, and CBS's Fred Goerner
described that he believed he 'discovered' Earhart was held captive by Japan at the Koboyashi Royokan temporary housing facility
on Saipan, (actually a former hotel) a place where Japan's Naval Authority detained important prisoners. Evidently CBS supported
Goerner's conclusion that Earhart died of dysentery while she was sequestered there. The CBS/Goerner book also passed along
some macabre possible stories about Noonan's final fate, such as his beheading by Japanese guards after he threw a bowl of
soup at them during his jailed captivity. Japan rebuked the allegations and there is no doubt they were being truthful. Notably,
the earlier exploits of Gervais and Dinger were referenced in the 1966 Doubleday published book, The Search For Amelia
Earhart by Fred Goerner this way: On page sixty-nine in the book, Goerner reported that on July 7, 1960 USAF Captains,
Joe Gervais and Bob Dinger, who had been investigating Earhart's disappearance in the Pacific region where the incident occurred,
were summoned to the Fuchu Air Base in Japan to appear before a panel of U.S. 5th Air Force senior officers to present their
information regarding Amelia Earhart. (This was later verified by Gervais and Dinger.) Gervais and Dinger held signed statements
of seventy-two people pertaining to Earhart's post-loss survival among Japan's pre-war mandate islands. The Air Force refused
to divulge what Gervais and Dinger revealed to them about the post-loss Earhart situation, with one officer strongly dismissing
it. Still, this telling sentence released from the 'public' report of their interrogation appeared on the same page: "Nevertheless
most the interview with the two captains was kept secret, and the Air Force clamped a security classification on the claims
of Gervais and Dinger." Reality, according to Gervais in later years, displayed how the senior officers more accurately
clamped a security classification on information Gervais and Dinger 'found out' during their investigations, as opposed to
what they 'claimed.'
5.) It was not until 1965 after he'd been investigating Amelia Earhart's disappearance for over five years already,
that newly retired Air Force Major Joe Gervais was introduced to Irene Craigmile Bolam by Viola Gentry, one of Amelia's better
friends from the past and a well known pilot herself. Viola had expressed a great deal of interest in Gervais' Earhart investigative
research, to the point of arranging to pay Gervais' way to fly he and his family across the country, so he could lecture to
a group of well known retired pilots on what he had learned about the subject of Earhart's loss. Gervais felt 'flush' when
he first saw Mrs. Irene Bolam arrive at the event where he was to speak, and he noticed how she and her British husband were
regarded with very high esteem. He also reckonized that Viola was surprised Mrs. Bolam had decided to attend the Gervais lecture,
and Gervais boldy asked Viola to introduce him to Mr. and Mrs. Bolam. Gervais found Irene Bolam suspect right away. He believed
he instantly recognized her for who she once had been, and he spent the next five years trying to get her to come to the table
with her promise of 'telling him' about her 'gone friend Amelia' who she claimed to have known 'rather well.' But after that
day she proved evasive, breaking one date after another, and Viola became evasive as well and provided no further help. Of
course Gervais researched the past of 'Irene Craigmile' who Mrs. Bolam said her name was before she married Guy Bolam. He
found out Irene Craigmile had been a veritable nobody aviation wise, recalled by hardly a soul, and he could not figure out
why such a person and her British husband were regarded so importantly at the gathering of famous pilots.
6.) A writer named Joe Klaas met Joe
Gervais in 1967. He listened to Gervais' account and offered to write a book about the probability of Earhart's name changed
survival in accordance to Gervais' investigative research. Klaas stated he pitched only one publisher, McGraw-Hill and they
signed he and Gervais to a contract. Incredibly, McGraw-Hill, one of the most reputable publishers in the world, to include
of school textbooks with the subdivision of Harcourt-Brace-Jovanovich and separate headquarters in Washington DC and New York
City, published the book titled Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas in 1970 that all-but exploited Mrs. Bolam as the
'living' Amelia Earhart, without consulting her or formally seeking her permission to do so. It also implicated Howard
Hughes as who was likely involved with the Earhart cover-up, and Klaas suggested that Hughes had traded his H-1 plane plans
to Japan, who in turn used them to build its Japanese Zero fighter plane in exchange for Earhart's safety. Hughes,
still living and quite lucid at the time, with equal incredibility was never consulted either. Plus, a quick glance at aviation
history showed the Zero well in development before Earhart's 1937 incident. Mrs. Bolam [the gervais-Irene] sued for libel
and defamation, and the book Amelia Earhart Lives, after seven weeks as a best seller, was withdrawn from the stores.
Oddly enough, Mrs. Bolam never denied she was the living 'former' Amelia Earhart in her lawsuit, (she also refused to be fingerprinted
to prove her true identity, leaving the five-year summary judgment to be settled with a ten dollar consideration paid by herself
to Gervais and Klaas, and by Gervais and Klaas to her; and a separate five figure settlement was paid to her by McGraw-Hill
for citing factual errata, such as the book referring to Guy Bolam as her "alleged" husband when in fact the two
were legally wed in 1958) and when she passed away in 1982 the rumor still persisted that she indeed had formerly been known
as Amelia Earhart. Especially after others looked into the issue and realized the non-solid trail of her past and the same
controversies about her that Joe Gervais did. Years later, citing the 'hoax' Clifford Irving biography about Howard Hughes
that was also amazingly published by McGraw-Hill and immediately withdrawn just a year after Amelia Earhart Lives was,
with McGraw-Hill (incredibly again) never formally interfacing with Hughes; Joe Gervais reluctantly determined the possibility,
at least, of McGraw-Hill's potential 'hidden link' to the reclusive billionaire, who all along (Gervais felt) may have part
of the publishing of, and then the quick discrediting of both books.
[Note: It was known that famous pilot Jackie Cochran, Cochran's multi-millionaire husband
Floyd Odlum, Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart were all well acquainted with each other prior to Amelia's 'disappearance.'
(Amelia spent much time with Jackie Cochran during the year preceding her world flight, although one hardly reads about that
in any of Amelia's published biographies.) Both Hughes and Earhart were known to have been frequent visitors at the Odlum-Cochran
desert Ranch near Indio, California. Floyd Odlum, who had much business involvment with Hughes had also helped Earhart significantly,
to the point where Amelia dedicated her final book, Last Flight to him. Odlum, a huge FDR campaign contributor had
also purchased RKO Studios from Howard Hughes in 1942, and soon after he was highly involved with producing the Earhart spin-off
movie, 'Flight For Freedom' starring Rosalind Russell and Fred MacMurray in the name-changed Earhart and Noonan roles. George
Putnam helped with the screenplay, and the movie depicted Earhart as the first casualty of World War Two; one who had bravely
committed suicide by crashing her plane into the ocean in an effort to avoid being caught by Japan, who would have discovered
she had been on a secret mission for Uncle Sam as opposed to just 'flying around the world' on her own.] To this day the public
is not fully aware of the Cochran-Earhart connection as it was never covered in any conventional Earhart books. No matter,
of the year-long period before Amelia vanished Jackie Cochran, the first woman to break the sound barrier and one who played
a significant role in the Eisenhower presidential campaign wrote, "I was closer to Amelia than anyone else, even her
husband, George Putnam."
7.) Dominating opposing 'false' mitigators have existed since the 'Amelia became Irene' story first broke in
1970, to include Elgen Long who stepped into the media spotlight during the Amelia Earhart Lives book aftermath. Long
suddenly began to insist Amelia simply crashed and sank in 1937, and so much marked the end to her story. No surprise, Mr.
Long was friends with and had the full support of Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Amelia's lone sibling and survived younger sister
who also knew, and was a ZONTA sister and friend of the Gervais-Irene. Another contrarian was Bill Pymak who in 1989 founded
the Amelia Earhart Society. Prymak actually befriended Joe Gervais and even honored him, all the while telling people behind
his back that he was wrong about the woman he met in 1965. In turn, Prymak suggested people consider the ideas of one Jerome
Steigmann, who offered his odd yarn of describing Mrs. Bolam as a former Russian spy. (Some people actually took his malarkey
seriously.) In the 1990s, Mr. Prymak invited Mr. Steigmann to speak at his Earhart research symposiums. There Mr. Steigmann
would insist up and down how he had inside information from the CIA that 'proved' Amelia did not survive to change her name
to Irene Craigmile. With his smooth ways, Mr. Prymak managed to charm media representatives and other non-Earhart educated
individuals, who asked him about the Gervais-Irene claim, to which Bill Prymak always responded to negatively. Indeed, ever
since 1989 Prymak, to later be joined by his cohort, a Ukrainian Physicist by the name of Alex Mandel, a zealous Earhart image
protector, have gone to great lengths and expense to steer the public with the help of the media, into not paying serious
attention to the Gervais-Irene reality, and especially since the late 1990s when Beyond 37's Forensic Comparisons began to
shed a truthful light on it all. Bill Prymak's strong-arm influence over the National Geographic Channel's 2006 profile on
the 'Earhart Mystery,' still in reruns today with his name appearing in the credits, was an outright attempt made by he alone
to broadly cast new doubt on the forty year old Gervais-Irene claim. It appeared as a serious objective of his, for some odd
reason, to make sure people never believed in the Irene-Amelia reality. This includes after Joe Gervais died in 2005, who
went to his grave insisting the wool had been pulled over the public's eyes about the Amelia became Irene truth. The more
recent submission of Prymak's and Alex Mandel's 2007 false adjusted biography of Irene Craigmile Bolam to Wikipedia that is
still viewable today, is a testament of the duo's ongoing deceptive campaign. Such a Wikipedia diatribe of theirs includes
Mandel's false description of how a forensic detective named Kevin Richlin 'concluded' the Gervais-Irene and Amelia Earhart
could not have been the same person; something detective Richlin himself offers he did not do.
8.) There is also the aforementioned TIGHAR group headed
by Richard Gillespie, who since the 1980s has insisted Amelia Earhart made it to and died on the Island of Nikumororo. Basically
all three of these individuals; Long, Prymak, and Gillespie have been dominating media coverage about the Earhart mystery
for the last three decades, insisting at the same time, without proving it, how in no way did Amelia live to return to the
U.S. after changing her name to 'Irene.' In other words, through the highly differing opinions and conclusions they exhibited,
they all commonly agreed with equal determination, that Amelia Earhart most assuredly 'died over there long, long ago.'
Epilogue: The Earhart and O'Crowley Families Recalled, Reviewed and Considered
By Tod Swindell
2006 The Paragon Agency published an additional chapter for retired USAF Colonel Rollin Reineck's 2004 book, Amelia Earhart
Survived. My friend Rollin cited my manuscripts and research in the foreword as the chief reference material he used for
writing it. Beginning with my 2000-2004 compiled MS Protecting Earhart, and further adding it to by my 2003 screen
story, Amelia's Blessings, (Rollin heavily relied on 'Blessings' for his last chapter) I presented the results of objectively
conducted research that delved into the lives and family histories of both Amelia Earhart and the original Irene O'Crowley
Craigmile in a way never approached before, or by any means 'published.' The advent
of the internet in the 1990s, to include such research tools as Ancestry.com and other genealogical data bases helped create
new avenues available where the matter of Earhart's full life story was relevant to it, and perhaps I was, as I've been so
advised, the first to take advantage of it in further examining the Amelia/Irene connections. In my extended research I learned,
hands down, how the years of 1924 and 1934 in Amelia's life were recorded in a throw-away style by about every author who
ever tackled her life story. As well, from the time of her childhood until she found herself living with her family in Los
Angeles [where she first took up flying in 1921] at the age of twenty-six in 1923, Amelia had already lived an incredible
nomadic-like existence; one that included different elementary and home schooling stints, different high schools, and three
college experiences, to include as a twenty-two year old freshman in pre-med at Columbia University in New York where she
maintained a high 'B' average. Oddly enough, she never lasted more than a year at any college. Such a background of Amelia's,
no doubt, left her with an accute inability to conventionally exist as a so-called 'normal' person. She knew the east coast,
she knew the west coast. As a young adult she already recognized the differing advantages of what New York, Los Angeles, Chicago,
and Boston had to offer. She knew the midwest. She knew Canada. Plus she had originally hailed from the affluence of her mother,
Amy Otis Earhart. For instance Amelia's maternal grandfather, Alfred Otis was a Kansas judge who had once been the law partner
of George Washington Glick, (Otis & Glick) Kansas' ninth Governor. Two of Amelia's ancestors were well known during the
revolution in the late 1700s; Freemason James Otis had coined the famous phrase "Taxation without representation is tyranny"
and James' nephew, Harrison Otis was a Senator whose home remains as a Boston landmark today. Plus Amelia's mother, Amy was
somewhat of a determined adventurer herself who had been the first woman to scale Pikes Peak in Colorado. Indeed, independent
thinking Amy's primary influence over her two children, daughters both in Amelia and Muriel was life long recognized.
On the other hand Amelia's father, Edwin
Earhart aspired to become a railroad attorney. Except he had hailed from a much humbler family heritage. Edwin's career kept
his family on the road, and puportedly his inability to 'measure up' to the expectations of his wife's in-laws eventually
drove him to alcoholism. Oddly enough, back to Amelia, after making somewhat of a name for herself as a pilot in L.A.
by 1923, while dating two men at the same time; trying her hand at a major business venture in a gypsum mine with one and
going into business as a truck hauler with another, while also becoming an accomplished photographer; suddenly in January
of 1924 Amelia abruptly exited her family fold and moved by herself to the opposite side of Los Angeles a good distance from
where her family had been living. To read all accounts of 1924 in Amelia's life today, there is no doubt something stressful
caused her decision. Her mother soon joined Amelia, encouraged Amelia's sister Muriel to do the same, and before long all
three women were leaving Edwin behind and heading to Boston. The first half of 1924 became a story of both hardship and described
adventure for Amelia via her sinus troubles and much car travel for she and Amy. (Muriel went to Boston ahead of them.) The
last half was again about sinus trouble after Amelia and Amy arrived in Boston, where Amelia was described as admitted to
Boston General right after she arrived there to take care of it, followed by recovery and depression even... and moving in
with family friends, the Stablers of Great Neck, Long Island New York. There Amelia remained until the spring of 1925. In
all biographies of Amelia's life, photos identifying her from that entire 1924 time period do not appear, to include of her
described 'seven-thousand mile road trip' with her mother. One subdued rumor was Amelia left to conceal herself as a pending
unwed mother. As Amelia's friend, Marian Stabler who she lived with during the period recalled, "Amelia's habit of
concealment extended even to her closest friends." The 'pre-fame unwed pregnancy idea' was rebuffed by conventional
historians, who would rather deny any tarnishing of Amelia's heroic image. Still, things of said nature do happen to people.
In any case, ten years later in early 1934 Amelia's friend, the 'newly widowed' original Irene Craigmile, after becoming
pregnant out of wedlock and eloping with the man who fathered the child to make it legitimate, [Recall Amelia was well acquainted
with the original Irene and helped her to become a pilot in 1933, although no mention of their past friendship appears in
any of Amelia's biographies] the original Irene gave birth to a child, a son she named 'Clarence' [AKA 'Larry' or Clarence
Alvin Heller] and at that point in Amelia's own life story, once again one notices a distinct shift taking place.
Amelia's Connection to the Original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's Newark, New Jersey Family
The original Irene (nee O'Crowley) Craigmile's family
history displayed some historical prominence as well, and its own share of oddities. The original Irene's paternal grandmother,
Sarah Rutherford O'Crowley was of the same Rutherford clan from Ireland whom New Jersey's Rutherford Township was named for,
and she lived near to it her entire life. (East Rutherford is home of the New York Giants and Jets of the National Football
League.) Oddly enough, by the time the Irene-Amelia connection was first recognized by Joe Gervais in 1965, nary a clear-recognizable
family photograph of the original Irene existed anymore, and no clearly definable family pics existed of Irene Craigmile's
personal history from prior to 1940 either. Plus her past school and work records existed in sketchy forms, to include her
described senior year at Barringer High in New Jersey where the only record of her graduation appeared as hand entered in
red-ink after the fact with no photo to refer to. Why(?) became the question.
When Amelia and her pilot friend, Viola Gentry first met the original Irene Craigmile in 1928
following Amelia's 'Friendship' flight that brought her instant fame, it was at a ZONTA dinner gathering held in Amelia's
honor. Irene Mary Rutherford O'Crowley, the original Irene Craigmile's paternal aunt was a rare woman attorney and ZONTA member
who emceed the event, and she had invited her newlywed niece, Irene Craigmile along to introduce her to Amelia. Attorney Irene,
the first woman to pass the bar exam in New Jersey was a charter ZONTA member with her good friend, Nina Price. ZONTA is an
organization for career women still in existence today.
Attorney Irene and Amelia hit it off
and became fast friends, and before long Amelia was a ZONTA member as well. Attorney Irene also had a brother who was a well
known Urologist, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley who lived with his wife, Violet next to Attorney Irene and their mother,
Sarah. There was also Edna Madaline O'Crowley, their sister who married Frederic Horsford and moved to a different part of
New Jersey. (The two never had children.) Then there was their oldest sibling, Richard Joseph O'Crowley (Joe) who was the
original Irene's father. He was a plumber; not so well liked. But perhaps there was a reason for it. His only child, the original
Irene grew up without her mother since her pre-teens. Her mother, Bridgett Doyle O'Crowley died when the original Irene was
twelve, leading her father into despair, who reluctantly left his daughter to be further raised by his mother, Sarah and his
sister, attorney Irene.
the story went, the original Irene's birth certificate was never located. It was later professed she was born 'Irene Madaline
O'Crowley' on October 1, 1904, but for some reason 'head of household' Sarah listed her granddaughter's age as 'fourteen years'
in the 1920 census. In any case mother Sarah, her single thirty-five year old daughter Attorney Irene, and her only grandchild
in the original Irene all lived together with a live-in maid on Lombardy Street in Newark, New Jersey in 1920, according to
the U.S. Census Bureau.
the biggest thing to happen to the original Irene in the early 1920s was a trip she took to Europe. After she arrived back
she dated some and was said to be engaged to a physician once, but it fell through. Then she met Charles Craigmile, (who she
would soon marry) a Civil Engineer from Rantoul, Illinois who was fifteen years older than she. Just before their courtship
however, the original Irene had been pregnant with another man's child. Whether Charles was ever aware is uncertain. It is
believed though, the original Irene carried the child to term and gave birth to a son, with the understanding he would be
legally adopted by her Physician-Uncle Clarence and his wife Violet who were childless, leaving access to him always available
for Irene. Dr. Clarence, nearing fifty years old at the time with his wife Violet, named their new son, "Clarence Rutherford
O'Crowley Jr." His birth origin evidently ended up as a family secret, for when I interviewed New Jersey Star Ledger
writer Peggy O'Crowley in 2003, Clarence Jr.'s daughter, even she remarked how her father's legitimate O'Crowley birthright
still remained a family "bone of contention."
Then came the story of 'Irene Jr.' Evidently such a 1924 born anomally was taken in to be further
raised by the O'Crowleys as well when she was quite young. Where did she come from? Nobody in the public realm to this day
'officially' knows, but there appears to be a decent chance, at least, she was Amelia's own 1924 'born out of wedlock' and
'concealed daughter' the public was never made aware of. (Recall Amelia turned twenty-seven in 1924 and fame would not seek
and find her until after she turned thirty.) "Irene Jr." as she was called by the O'Crowleys, lived with Attorney
Irene and Sarah O'Crowley at first. Attorney Irene and her friend, the flamboyant publicist Nina Price were Amelia's friends
and were close to Amelia business wise, where Nina eventually served as the publicist for Amelia's 1932-33 launched luggage
and clothing lines with Attorney Irene advising on contractual matters. (In the meantime Charles Craigmile, the original Irene's
husband suddenly died of appenditcitis in 1931. Two years later the original Irene met her next husband to be, Alvin Victor
Heller who was one of her flight instructors for piloting aircraft, something earlier arranged by Amelia and Viola Gentry.)
Above: A few months after Irene died, a well known Newark, New Jersey newspaper ran two weeks of a
so-called 'investigative news article series' about her life. The purpose of the series was to once again raise the question
of who Irene Bolam really was, as if to purposefully instigate further debate about it. Then, after two weeks of teasing its
readers, it concluded the series by suggesting Mrs. Bolam's 'innocence.' The newspaper was The New Jersey News Tribune of
Woodbridge. It's Publisher, John Burk had been a good friend of Irene's. Mr. Burk (along with his wife) also volunteered to
host and emcee Irene's lavish Memorial Dinner, after he personally orchestrated and oversaw the news article series. The series
began in mid-October and ran until 10/29/82. In 2002 it was discovered 'photo forgeries' has been used to create a birth-to-death
linear progression of Irene's life in order to blend the images of the three different identified 'Irenes' into one. Above
Left: Article and photo from the October 29, 1982 New Jersey News Tribune. Apparently it didn't seem odd to anyone how
twelve years after the national hubbub over Mr. Heller's mother had died down, many people, to include Larry Heller and his
wife Joan were still questioning her true identity. Above Right: More excerpts from the 1982 news series. Notice the
Non Gervais-Irene's image used in the 'Irene Bolam's Prints A Secret' articles. The text insert above it references Robert
Myers, who with Barabra Wiley wrote the book Stand By To Die, Lighthouse Writers Guild, 1985. Meyers, who briefly knew
Amelia Earhart in the 1930s, also met and came to know Irene Bolam (the Gervais-Irene) in the 1970s, and concurred entirely
that she was the former Amelia Earhart.
Note: In December of 1982 the series briefly picked up again. By
then Larry Heller was quoted to say he "wished for the mystery of his mother's identity to remain a mystery." According
to the series and himself in 2006, Larry Heller had attempted to get Mrs. Bolam's fingerprints after she passed away. She
had donated her body to Rutgers Medical School though, and he was denied access to her remains. A decade earlier, when Mrs.
Bolam sued the authors of Amelia Earhart Lives, the suit labored on until the case she levied against them was eventually
settled for a ten dollar consideration fee paid by both sides, after she refused to allow her fingerprints to prove her identity.
(She settled separately with publisher McGraw-Hill for libel. Curiously, in the suit she never addressed nor denied herself
to have been previously known as Amelia Earhart.) No matter, the 'never quite resolved' story ended up mostly forgotten, until
some 1996 & 97' meetings with Retired Air Force Major Joe Gervais literally stifled all other post-Earhart loss information.
During the following years the first modern, privately conducted Irene-Amelia forensic comparison analysis was taking place.
It finally concluded in 2006, having solidly determined the Gervais-Irene had been previously known as 'Amelia Earhart' defying
the over-powering grain of 'official history' that staunchly refused to seriously address the suggestion.
|Amelia Earhart, age twenty-six.
|1923 into a mirror self-photo portrait. She would become famous in 1928.
|Amelia Earhart, 1933
|Classic Amelia, the blend begins.
|Orville Wright & Amelia
|Gervais-Irene & Amelia
|Two photos superimposed.
|Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
|Gervais-Irene,1965 / Amelia,1933
|Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
|Gervais-Irene,1963 / Amelia,1928
|Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
|Gervais-Irene,1976 / Amelia,1932
|Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
|Gervais-Irene,1978 / Amelia,1929
|Amelia's sister Muriel Grace with Grace McGuire
|Grace planned to fly around the world with Larry Heller in 2006.
|Irene Jr. & Clarence O'Crowley Jr.
|At the wedding of the Gervais-Irene & Guy Bolam. (Photo came from the Gervais-Irene's collection.)
No doubt Irene Jr., [AKA the
3rd Irene (Non-Gervais)] and Clarence Jr. grew up next door to each other and knew each other well. Later descriptions of
Irene Jr. described her as "16-17 years old in 1940" and an 'errand runner' and even a 'cook' for both attorney
Irene and Dr. Clarence in the late 1930s. It appears as evident Irene Jr. was also relied on when it came to sitting and
caring for Al and Irene Heller's 1934 born son, Clarence who the family called 'Larry.' (Notice how the O'Crowley
family featured three individuals named Clarence and three named Irene all living in proximity to each other.)
mentioned, by 1940 the trail of the original Irene was murky at best. No clear photo images displaying her after the early
1930s appeared, although in 1939 evidence of an 'annulment' her attorney aunt (Amelia's friend) had filed on Irene's behalf
to legally end her marriage to Alvin Victor Heller existed in the form of a file located in Nassau County's (Long Island)
Supreme Court permanent records division. According to the file, Irene and Al Heller's 'shotgun' marriage was short lived,
they had been astranged from each other for a few years, and Irene was seeking more child support because she was having trouble
supporting their little boy. It made no sense where the O'Crowleys were a prominent and wealthy family. The file also contained
scathing letters written by Al Heller to Irene, (none from Irene to Al) accusing her of evading him and purposefully limiting
his access to their little boy. He also formally complained about Irene's reputation through his attorney, describing her
as a woman who liked to drink a lot, and liked to sleep around with other men. He further mentioned that she had become pregnant
a few times by other men and had abortions performed to terminate them. He went so far as to describe that he knew Irene had
been pregnant with another man's child just before she married her first husband, Charles Craigmile in 1927. It hardly sounded
like the descriptions of the Gervais-Irene years later.
The circumstances added up. By the
1940s Irene Jr. and the Gervais-Irene had been tabbed with the original Irene' left over identity. In the end no one was
certain what became of the original Irene, where Irene Jr. originally came from, or even more significantly, someone who
matched Amelia Earhart from head to toe could suddenly appear from out of the blue in the 1940 using the original Irene's
identity. The evidence describing all of their individual existences clear though.
The description of Irene Jr. relocating to Scotland where
she had a child herself was not founded without reason: The Gervais-Irene, who initially stayed in Rumson, New Jersey after
World War Two, loved traveling to Scotland in her later years, and in the mid-1960s one Grace McGuire, who looks just like
a reincarnated version of Amelia relocated from Scotland to Rumson, New Jersey after she became an adult. Grace was born
in Scotland, describes herself as 'adopted and raised' there, and to this day she remains in contact with the original Irene's
1934 born son, Larry Heller. Grace also spent years as a close friend and traveling companion of Muriel Grace Earhart Morrissey,
Amelia's sister who died in 1998 at the age of ninety-eight, who also knew the Gervais-Irene just as Grace did. In 1987
Grace was photographed on Howland Island waving two flags; one of Scotland where she was born, and one of Kansas where Amelia
was born. In 2009 Grace appeared in a History's Detectives episode with her own Lockheed Electra model 10, the only one of
left of that particular Electra issue. [In past years Grace McGuire even described 'friends of hers at the White House'
who had helped her with storage plans for the rare iconic plane.] Three years earlier in 2006, the year I arranged with
Larry Heller to option right to his version of his mother's life story [Larry had identified Irene Jr. as his 'childhood
mother' prompting me to do so] Grace McGuire had scheduled an around the world flight adventure in her lockheed Electra,
with Larry Heller, a former Pan Am pilot and the original Irene's son, slated to serve as her navigator.
flight plans fell through due to logistical reasons, but the non-coincidence of the pairing remains: In the end the full
extent of the familial relationships described Larry Heller and Clarence Jr. as half brothers of the same mother who was
the original Irene Craigmile; Amelia's non-recognized daughter as Irene Jr. (AKA the Non Gervais-Irene, likely sired by
Amelia's past beau and business partner, Lloyd Royer) who was taken in by the original Irene Craigmile's O'Crowley family
as a young girl to be further raised out of the public eye; Irene Jr. as Grace McGuire's biological mother; and Grace as
the biological granddaughter of Amelia Earhart and therefore too, the biological niece of Amelia's sister, Muriel. This
appears anymore to exemplify and further enhance the basis for the enigma of Amelia Earhart, and was perhaps, at least part
of the reasoning for the latent 'media invention' of the 'mystery of Amelia Earhart.'
As a footnote, the potential of Clarence Jr. and Irene
Jr. as the biological parents of Grace McGuire, would leave Grace and Peggy O'Crowley half-sisters, with it already being
known Larry Heller is the godfather of Peggy O'Crowley.
[Note: Grace McGuire, a fairly public figure linked to both the original Irene's O'Crowley clan and
the Earhart's for many years, has described how she feels she is not-related to Amelia Earhart. Still, people continue to
question her true origin given she was adopted and she has never offered information she may or may not know about her true
biological family lineage. These elements also remain known: A rumor long existed where Amelia had a child out of wedlock
years before she became famous at the age of thirty, and the 1924 born 'Non Gervais-Irene' neatly fit said profile; Monsignor
Kelley of Rumson, New Jersey admitted in 1991 how his late dear friend, Irene (the Gervais-Irene) was formerly known as
Amelia Earhart; Monsignor Kelley avowed how his late friend, Irene stayed with him in Rumson, New Jersey for awhile when
she first returned to the United States and how she didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore; O'Crowley family friend Lucy
McDannel conveyed how by 1945 Irene Jr. (the Non Gervais-Irene) was "no longer intimate" with the O'Crowley's
as she had exited their family fold by then; In 1945 Grace McGuire was born in Scotland where she was adopted and raised;
Scotland was one of the Gervais-Irene's favorite places to go and visit as she had several friends there; As a young adult
of twenty-one Grace McGuire left Scotland for good and moved to Rumson, New Jersey close to both Monsignor Kelley and the
Gervais-Irene, and there Grace lived for many following years; Grace looked just like Amelia Earhart to a truly haunting
degree; Grace became a pilot and somehow acquired the last Lockheed Electra Model 10E airplane known to exist, a version
of the same plane Amelia last flew, and Grace had much help with past associates of Amelia's in getting it restored, as well
as 'friends of hers at the White House' who helped her to arrange to stowe the craft; Grace was known to be well acquainted
with Muriel Grace Earhart Morrissey (Amelia's now late sister) and she is still friends with Larry Heller, the original
Irene's survived son who had agreed to fly around the world with her in 2006 while serving as her navigator; Both Grace
and Muriel Grace knew the Gervais-Irene but never discussed it much; Grace McGuire also exhibits characteristics similar
to Amelia's old profile as one who is very smart, but also somewhat aloof and hard to pin down; And again, in the 1980s
Grace made the arduous trip to Howland Island, Amelia's last described destination where Grace was photographd waving two
flags, one of Scotland where she was born, and one of the state of Kansas where Amelia was born.]
"I hope I've just got to never make it public."
The above quote was part of presidential
cabinet member Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.'s reply to Eleanor Roosevelt on what actually became of Amelia Earhart. The First Lady
had sent a query to him about her gone friend some ten months after Amelia had supposedly "disappeared without a trace."
"You're onto something that will stagger your imagination."
S. Navy Commander, John Pillsbury's 1962 comment to CBS Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner on his investigation into Amelia Earhart's
1937 disappearance. Goerner's 1966 Doubleday book, The
Search For Amelia Earhart made the top-ten best seller list in the New York
Times. Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander of the U. S. Pacific Fleet during World War Two assisted Goerner on the project.
foundered on official silence in Tokyo and Washington, leaving the fate of Amelia Earhart an everlasting mystery." From Marylin Bender & Selig
Altschull's Pan Am aviation history book,The Chosen Instrument, 1982, Simon & Schuster