The Unreported Outcome of the 1937 Missing Person Case of Amelia Earhart

About The 'Original' Irene Craigmile

Home Page: Amelia Earhart
The 1980s and 1990s Words Of Monsignor James Francis Kelley On Amelia Earhart
Drumming Out False Earhart History
About Tod Swindell
Past Significant Amelia Earhart Disappearance Investigations
Comparing Amelia Earhart To Irene O'Crowley Craigmile (Surname 'Bolam' added in 1958)
About The Irene-Amelia Forensic Analysis Results
The Reality of Amelia Earhart Versus 'Freedom of the Press'
The Amelia Earhart We Barely Knew...
What President Roosevelt Knew, What The FBI Knew, & Amelia's Sister On Her friend, 'Irene'
Newspaper Fraud Tried To Hide The Truth In 1982



The Irene-Amelia Study deeply researched the life of the original Irene Craigmile, a once fledgling pilot Amelia Earhart was acquainted with in the 1930s. Amelia later assumed the original Irene's identity of for own her later-life use. Here is some information about the original Irene Craigmile.

©1997-2017 Amelia Earhart Compared To Irene Craigmile (Bolam) Forensic Research Analysis
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About The Original Irene Craigmile--a person Amelia Earhart was acquainted with in the 1930s:


From a 1982 newspaper article, above is the original Irene Craigmile with her child, a boy she named 'Clarence.' She gave birth to in him 1934, during her brief marriage to her former flying instructor, Al Heller. 

Below is a page from the 'September 1, 1932' Akron Beacon Journal. Outlined in white is Amelia Earhart, who had stunned the world just three months earlier by becoming the first woman solo a plane across the Atlantic. The original Irene Craigmile is outlined in black



The original Irene Craigmile was not yet a licensed pilot when this newspaper photo was taken. Further down is a brief writ of her life story.


'Irene Craigmile' is listed between charter 99's members, Viola Gentry and Edith Foltz. Irene Craigmile only flew briefly and never joined the 99's, the international organization for women pilots formed by Amelia Earhart and other women pilots in 1929. Amelia was the 99's first president.


After Amelia Earhart married George Putnam in 1931, for a while she went by the name of 'Amelia Earhart Putnam,' just as she is listed here between her fellow 99's charter members, Dorothea Leh and future 'National Air and Space Museum Wall of Honor' inductee, Abbie Dill (Haddaway).

Preface: The Real, 'Original' Irene Craigmile

"Among the more misconceived stories of the Twentieth Century was that of Amelia Earhart's long-ago pilot friend, Irene Craigmile. After The Swindell Study displayed her uncanny resemblance to Amelia, to a point where Digital Face Recognition said their faces were one in the same, old questions about Irene Craigmile required new answers. Before the Study, most people had dismissed the controversial assertion stating Amelia Earhart survived her disappearance and changed her name to Irene. In fact, after the idea of Amelia's ongoing survival with a different name was first introduced in 1970, it was swiftly and efficiently buried--almost as fast as it had surfaced. Four decades would have to pass before the Study's investigative research and comparison results proved there absolutely was something to the assertion, by displaying how Amelia Earhart and the original Irene Craigmile were entirely different looking human beings. It wasn't until after the war that the two suddenly looked like carbon copies of each other--and when all was said and done there was only one logical way to explain such an anomaly." Tod Swindell



Above, on the far left and on the far right are photos of the original Irene Craigmile during her brief flying days. The middle photo, dated '1937' identified her vacationing alone in Florida with her 1934 born son, Clarence. Below is the original Irene Craigmile in 1930 between her husband, Charles James Craigmile and her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. Her image is contrast enhanced underneath it. Note: Clear photo images of the original Irene Craigmile displaying her prior to the World War Two era proved to be non-extant.


©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'

The Original Irene Craigmile
A Brief Look At Her Life Story  By Tod Swindell
[Excerpted rom the MSS, Protecting Earhart, ©2017 and the 1997-2017 Swindell Study ©2017]

Almost from the time she was born in 1904, the original Irene Craigmile was subjected to a variety of difficult circumstances as she grew to adulthood--and as an adult as well.
Her birth name was 'Irene Madalaine O'Crowley,' although she was also known as 'Beatrice' and her middle name was at times spelled 'Madeline.' (Her birth certificate was never located.)
Seven years younger than Amelia Earhart, the original Irene Craigmile was an only child whose mother, Bridget 'Bessie' Doyle O'Crowley, died when she was twelve. The 1910 census had listed mother, Bessie, and daughter, Irene, living with Bessie's parents without Irene's father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. 
After Bessie died, the original Irene's father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley, remarried. His daughter had earlier been sent to live with her paternal grandmother and aunt in Newark, New Jersey. 
Since her paternal aunt's name was also 'Irene,' the original Irene became known as 'Beatrice' and she was commonly referred to that way. This led to friends and family informally calling her "Bee."
After high school, in 1922, the original Irene briefly attended Columbia University but chose not to keep pursuing a higher education for herself. She also twice became pregnant out of wedlock, the first time at age twenty-one and the second time at age twenty-eight, and she delivered sons both times, although she never had the opportunity to raise or know either beyond their childhoods.
Her first born son was adopted in 1926 to be raised by her uncle and aunt, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley and his wife, Violet. He was give the name, 'Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley Jr.'
It was also at her uncle Clarence and aunt Violet's home in Newark, New Jersey, that the original Irene's wedding to Charles Craigmile took place in December of 1928. Her newspaper wedding announcement listed "Beatrice O'Crowley to wed Charles James Craigmile." Mr. Craigmile worked as a Civil Engineer in New Jersey and was fourteen years older than his bride. He originally hailed from Rantoul, Illinois and was the son of a prominent judge.
Tragically, Charles James Craigmile died in 1931 after his appendix burst, less than three years after he and the original Irene were wed. A year after that, Amelia Earhart, who was a good Zonta organization friend of the original Irene Craigmile's aunt, helped introduce the original Irene to the world of piloting airplanes. (Note the above newspaper photo showing Amelia and the original Irene in the same photograph with other female pilots, before the original Irene was herself a licensed pilot.)
The original Irene's short adventure of flying planes took a hard turn as well, leading to the second of her two unwed pregnancies due to an affair she had with one of her flight instructors, Al Heller. The original Irene realized she was carrying Al's child at the same time she was awarded her pilot's license in late May of 1933. Al Heller agreed to elope with her to Ohio, and the two were married there in August of 1933, in order to legitimize their child to be. The original Irene barely flew again after that and let her pilot's license lapse in 1937.
She and Al's marriage soon disintegrated as well, to a point where civil communication between the two had ceased by the time Al relocated alone to Buffalo, New York in 1937. The annulment of their marriage and an ugly child visitation and custody rights battle commenced soon after that, with Amelia's Zonta friend, attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, the aforementioned original Irene Craigmile's aunt, helping to guide those processes.
It was also during that late 1930s time period that the trail of the original Irene Craigmile began to grow cold. 
According to record, the original Irene Craigmile never had a professional career but she was employed for awhile as a 'floor walker' at Macy's in the mid-1930s, that was basically a low pay shelf-straightening and light 'store security' position. In 1933 and 1934, Amelia Earhart had a boutique in the same Macy's where she sold her self-designed clothing and luggage.
The true fate of the original Irene Craigmile remains unknown in the public arena. What is decipherable today, is at some point, while she was still in her thirties, she no longer appeared in plain view and in due-time clear photo records of her person were expunged.
In 1982, a news article series that appeared in the New Jersey Tribune after Irene Craigmile Bolam's death was reported (amid renewed speculation that she had been the former Amelia Earhart after all) featured a conglomeration of photos from prior to the World War Two era that combined unclear images of the original Irene Craigmile with images of the woman who served as a surrogate mother for her 1934 born son, Clarence. It also featured some poorly executed photo forgeries to cloud the photographic trail of the original Irene Craigmile--and the person who used her name during her later-life years, the former Amelia Earhart. The newspaper's 'red-herring' effort was intent on leaving any remaining curious souls who observed the photos completely unaware that they were actually looking at images of three different human beings combined to appear as one life-long person; the original Irene Craigmile, the surrogate mother Irene Craigmile, and the former Amelia Earhart Irene Craigmile. 
Back to the progeny of the original Irene Craigmile:
As mentioned, the original Irene's first born son, that she delivered out of wedlock in 1926 two years before she married Charles Craigmile, was adopted and raised by her paternal uncle, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley, and his wife, Violet. The boy's given name was Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley Jr., and he grew up to raise a family of his own in Connecticut, until he died there in 2014. 
The original Irene's other son she gave birth to in 1934, whose father was Al Heller, as mentioned, ended up being raised as a child by a surrogate mother figure who he readily identified to have been his 'mother,' although he was also placed in a boarding school during the World War Two years. He lives today known as Clarence Alvin 'Larry' Heller.
In a section of The Swindell Study, in 2014, Larry Heller identified his surrogate mother in younger and older forms to have been the mother he recalled, and she was not the 'Irene' who matched Amelia Earhart after the mid-1940s. This is because after World War Two ended, Amelia Earhart, who had gone missing in 1937 and was declared "dead in absentia" in 1939, even though she did not actually die, had assumed the left over identity of the original Irene Craigmile for her own later life use. This left a total of three different human beings who in life had been attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile' identity.
Historically, the famous person who was known as 'Amelia Earhart' was to remain 'legally dead' forever after said declaration was made in 1939, even though her body lived-on to become known as 'Irene' ...until the death of Irene Craigmile Bolam was recorded in 1982.
Both of the original Irene's natural born sons were aware of the assertion of it, but appeared unaware that their biological mother's identity was additionally attributed to the former Amelia Earhart after the war years. It also remains uncertain if the original Irene Craigmile's first born son, Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley Jr., was ever made aware that the original Irene Craigmile was his true biological mother. In 2003, his daughter, New Jersey newspaper journalist, Peggy O'Crowley, mentioned that her father's biological O'Crowley birthright had always existed as "a family bone of contention." In other words his progeny was uncertain about his, and therefore their own biological lineage.
Larry Heller, the 1934 born son of Al Heller and the original Irene Craigmile, was always put-off by people who questioned if his mother was Amelia Earhart. He was justified to feel that way since the woman he recognized as his mother from his childhood on until her death was recorded in 1982, was an entirely different Irene Craigmile than the one whose post-World War Two image and character traits matched those of Amelia Earhart.



The second Irene Craigmile identified by her son, Clarence 'Larry' Heller as, "my mother, around 1940."
©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'


Above, a "1970s" dated photo of the Irene Craigmile Bolam identified by her son, adorning the cover of her Memorial Dinner program. Where Irene Craigmile Bolma's death was recorded on July 7, 1982... the question remains to this day: Who actually died in 1982, the Irene Craigmile Bolam shown above or the former Amelia Earhart (shown below) who used the same 'Irene' identity in her later life years? Where the program cover truly depicted the one who died, ostensiibly the former Amelia Earhart continued to live-on.


Above, the younger and older versions of the Irene Craigmile Bolam identified by her son are superimposed, displaying one in the same human being. She was not the same Irene Craigmile Bolam, AKA 'the former Amelia Earhart' who Joseph A. Gervais met and photographed in 1965, even though history says she should have been.

©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'

About "Truth"

"Truth is not a mystery -- its greatest secrets are yours to know through simple honesty and surrender to what that honesty reveals." John de Ruiter 



Above, Amelia Earhart in 1937, the year she went missing.


The two left and right photos superimposed. ©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'


Above is the 1965 Joseph A. Gervais photo he took of Irene Craigmile Bolam. This was not the same Irene Craigmile Bolam who appeared on the cover the Memorial Dinner program above, even though history still maintains she was. Anymore it is a plain reality that there were three different Twentieth Century women attributed to the same Irene Craigmile Bolam identity, and this one used to be known as Amelia Earhart. The United States Department of Justice and the Smithsonian Institution operate in a misleading manner by way of refusing to address the information gained in the new millennium--that fortified how the truth about Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence as 'Irene' was withheld from the general public dating back to the post-World War Two years. In essence, since its inception in 1997, The Swindell Study grew into an incontestable forensic reveal of this remarkable deception.

The conclusion about the past connective tissue that linked the original Irene Craigmile to Amelia Earhart:

Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after she went 'missing' in 1937, and her eventual assuming of the original Irene Cragmile's identity, that for the last half of her life she shared with Larry Heller's surrogate mother figure, now exists as the obvious known-truth about what became of Amelia Earhart--and it is a shame the world public continues to be misled about it.



Tod Swindell

This page is devoted to the original Irene Craigmile, a once budding pilot in the 1930s who was acquainted with Amelia Earhart. Joseph A. Gervais first became curious about who Irene Craigmile was in the 1960s while investigating what went wrong with Amelia Earhart's last flight. His years of research dedicated to finding the real Irene Craigmile preceded my own but were not as forensically extensive, especially in a comparative way. In 1965, when Joe Gervais met the woman who handed him a business card identifying herself as "Irene Craigmile," it was on the same day he noticed the great respect she commanded among other noteworthy pilots from the early days of aviation. He felt that not only did she look like an older version of Amelia, but he also wondered why he never heard of someone who was held in such high esteem by her peers, to include Amelia's former good pilot friend, Viola Gentry, who introduced him to her. As the story about Irene Craigmile played out after my comparison study began, it became evident that there had been more than one woman attributed to the same Irene Craigmile identity. To recap, the real Irene Craigmile's birth name was 'Irene O'Crowley.' Born in 1904, she married Charles Craigmile in the late 1920s and Amelia Earhart became famous in 1928, she did become acquainted with the original Irene Craigmile. Today no one knows what became of the original Irene Craigmile, and having to embrace this truth marks a sad realization. What my Study revealed is at some point in time while in her thirties, the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile no longer existed without her demise being a matter of public record. Whatever became of her, there is no doubt Amelia loved her and her survived sons, and greatly appreciated how her leftover name ended up helping her so profoundly. Amelia was proud to be known as 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' in her later-life years, no doubt in part, thanks to her memory of the original Irene's spirit. TS   


©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'

Above: In 1987, Diana Dawes, a former Princeton, New Jersey radio show host who was one of Irene Craigmile Bolam's better friends in the 1970s, recalled some revealing anecdotes about her late friend as newspapers around the country marked the 50th anniversary of Amelia Earhart's storied 'disappearance.' Ms. Dawes, who firmly believed her late friend, Irene had formerly been known as Amelia Earhart, mentioned on a high shelf in Irene's closet she noticed a uniform collection of "large leather bound ledger-books with the letters 'AE' embossed on their spines." In the above excerpt about the "christening dress," the former Amelia Earhart slips and refers to her long gone friend, the original Irene Craigmile, in a past-tense way when she replied to Diana's question, "That was Irene's."


As Amelia Earhart transitioned from her thirties to the way she looked in her early seventies (see below) no matter how one may try to soften the reality blow, it's as if the universe itself has finally delivered this landmark amazing truth to all. It did so by gifting us the recognizable older version of Amelia Earhart when she was known as 'Irene.' The following now exists as an absolute forensic certainty: After Amelia Earhart went missing in 1937 she did not die. She changed her name for the sake of her future privacy and continued living a meaningful and productive life to a ripe old age. Uell Andersen may have said it best when he mentioned how 'after thirty-years of absence it can be hard for families to recognize a loved one.' People do age and more often than not their features harden in the process. The samples shown here, featured among the hundreds of physical and character trait comparisons from the massive 1997-2017 conducted Swindell Study, speak for themselves:


From early adulthood on, as decades pass people do age and their facial features often harden and grow to look care-worn during the process.


Above, a photo of Amelia when she was thirty-one, taken by George Putnam.


The two left and right photos superimposed. ©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'


Above, photo of Irene Craigmile Bolam at her 1970 press conference.

Below: Welcome home, the former Amelia Earhart.



©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'


"Your work relating to Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile is absolutely outstanding. There is no other way to describe it." Amelia Earhart author-historian, Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, USAF (Ret.) responding to the long-term, Amelia Earhart compared to Irene Craigmile forensic research study conducted by Tod Swindell.



©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'

"Nothing is as invisible as the obvious." Richard Farson



©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'



©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'



©2017 'The 1997-2017 Swindell Study'

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About The Swindell Study
The Swindell Study [1997-2020; copyright registrations: TXu 1-915-926 & TXu 2-061-539] is an Investigative Journalist's forensic research evaluation combined with a human comparison analysis. The Study was orchestrated and chiefly executed by Tod Swindell, an independent researcher who developed a consuming interest in the facts attributed to Amelia Earhart's disappearance and missing person case. The complete Study consists of over ten-thousand pages and features rare documents, analytical text, photographs, comparisons, maps, charts, and past-obscured but again revisited investigative research findings. The condensed MSS features 415 total pages; 110 of which contain logistical and visual elements drawn from the 'Amelia to Irene' Comparison Analysis. The Study elaborates on--and plainly exhibits Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after World War Two with the re-purposed name of, 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.' (Surname of 'Bolam' added in 1958.) It also examined the post-war reasoning that left the general public out of the loop of Amelia's ongoing existence with a different name. Simply put, Amelia Earhart was declared 'dead in absentia' in 1939, and the intention after the war, as co-endorsed by the former Amelia Earhart herself and her only sibling, her sister, Muriel, was for it to always remain that way. The complete Study is available for review on a selective basis.
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