The 1997-2017 'Swindell Study' Of Amelia Earhart's 1937 Disappearance

About Monsignor James Francis Kelley

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"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


Below: Monsignor James Francis Kelley merely told the truth about his later life good friend, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam.


Monsignor James Francis Kelley, President of Seton Hall College from 1936 to 1949, knew Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and many other important world figures and celebrities.
From the late 1970s into the 1990s, Monsignor James Francis Kelley (1902-1996), a past president of Seton Hall College in New Jersey, repeatedly mentioned to certain individuals that his good friend, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, who died in 1982, used to be known as "Amelia Earhart." In 1987 he described to Rockville, Illinois TV reporter, Merrill Dean Magley that "after all she had been through [during the World War Two years] she didn't want to be Amelia anymore." After learning of this, opponents of the Irene-Amelia truth vehemently insisted the late Monsignor was 'crazy' in his old age to have said what he did. They described him as a "braggart" and a "bull shooter." His nephew, the late Red McBride, who edited the Monsignor's 1987 published memoire offered that his uncle suffered from later-life memory lapses by the time he died in 1996. As well, Red McBride always found it hard to believe his uncle's claim about his later life good friend having been previously known as "Amelia Earhart." Just the same, in a 1991 tape recorded conversation Monsignor Kelley had with Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, USAF (Ret.), the Monsignor sounded calm and lucid when he answered that his late friend Irene used to be known as "Amelia Earhart." Other individuals he mentioned the same thing to dating back to the 1970s were certain he was telling the truth. (See their recollections further down.) The forensic analysis did not commence until after Monsignor Kelley died, and the results left no doubt that he had told the truth about Amelia Earhart having changed her name to Irene at some point during the World War Two era.    

REINECK: I understand you were President of Seton Hall.

KELLEY: Yes, I was President of Seton Hall for many years.

REINECK: If I were to come back and talk to you would I be able to see some of the things you have of Amelia Earhart's?

KELLEY: Absolutely. Surely.

REINECK: We believe Jackie Cochran was sent to Japan to help bring Amelia home. Are you aware of that?

KELLEY: Yes, I was involved with that.

REINECK: Could you give me your address?

KELLEY: [Msgr. Kelley provides his Rumson, New Jersey address.]

REINECK: I'm going to try to come back to talk to you.

KELLEY: All Right.

REINECK: Thank you for your help.

KELLEY: What city are you in?

REINECK: Honolulu, Hawaii

KELLEY: Oh my gosh, and you're going to come over here?

REINECK: Yes sir. If you have things of hers [Earhart's] I would like to see them. Are you aware that she was Irene Bolam?


REINECK: Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam?

KELLEY: That's right, yes.

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer


Amelia Earhart, 1937




...the person she later became...

...Mrs. Irene Bolam in 1965

Monsignor James Francis Kelley
President of Seton Hall College from 1936 to 1949; held Doctorates in Philosophy and Psychology

Cover of Monsignor James Francis Kelley's autobiograpphy

Monsignor James Francis Kelley [1902-1996] was a long time President of Seton Hall College in New Jersey. He was given much credit for turning the school into a University in 1949. Father Kelley had many famous friends in government, politics, and show business, and he was a highly regarded figure in the Catholic Church, to include his having hosted Pope Paul VI as an overnight house guest in 1965, when the Pontiff became the first ever to visit the United States. According to his New York Times obituary, he also helped teach English to Pope Pius XII while he was being educated overseas.
In the 1970s, Monsignor Kelley first began breaking his silence to a few people who were close to him, about his friend, Mrs. Irene Bolam [the Gervais-Irene] having been previously known as 'Amelia Earhart.' He disclosed that it was true Amelia had survived her disappearance under Japan's stewardship, and she had quietly returned to the U.S. after the war. Opting for future privacy, he acknowledged Amelia assumed a different name for herself as well, one that he helped secure for her future use, that of 'Irene Craigmile.'
To his good friends, Donald DeKoster and Helen Barber, Father Kelley described how he was the person who had been 'assigned to receive Amelia' when she returned to the U.S., that he had 'helped with her physical and emotional rehabilitation,' and that he had been 'instrumental with her new-identity transformation.'
As seen in the news article clip to the left below, after the former Amelia Earhart died in 1982 known as Irene Bolam, Monsignor Kelley was still shying away from allowing the truth about her past to become public information:  

From a 10/18/82 New Jersey News Tribune article:
Msgr. Kelley later verified his late friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam used to be, 'Amelia Earhart'

Photo of Msgr. Kelley from his autobiography.
Past Seton Hall President, Msgr. James F. Kelley knew both Lindbergh and Earhart.

Admiral Nimitz and Senator Al Hawkes...
...receiving honorary Seton Hall degrees from Monsignor Kelley;

The Gervais-Irene [the former Amelia Earhart] and Monsignor Kelley at dinner in the 1970s.

In his 1987 published autobiography, Monsignor James Francis Kelley included the following passage in his "My Reasons For Writing This Book" chapter that begins on page 10:

"My reason for not wanting anyone else to do my story was that I knew many of my files contained some very personal and intimate stories about many people, prominent nationally and internationally. Some of them were now dead and I felt that to allow someone else to have access to these documents could result in the publication of data about deceased people who could not defend themselves."


In 1991 Monsignor Kelley described to USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck that he had written a chapter about his experience with Amelia Earhart for his book that was ommitted from the final edition. Colonel Reineck interviewed him at length and actually recorded one of their conversations. Below is a transcripted excerpt from his 1991 taped interview with Father Kelley. Colonel Reineck had tracked down the elderly Monsignor after he spoke with and learned the information he had disclosed over a decade earlier to Helen Barber and Donald DeKoster. Father Kelley plainly described how he had known Amelia and still had some items that she gave him in his Rumson home. Repeating the end of the conversation from above, the following passage can still be heard today from their taped conversation:

Col. Reineck: If you have things of hers [Earhart's] I would like to see them. Are you aware that she was Irene Bolam?

Msgr. Kelley: What?

Col. Reineck: Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam?

Msgr. Kelley: That's right, yes.

Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976
Monsignor Kelley's sister, Gertrude Kelley Hession (left) with the Gervais-Irene Bolam

Gervais-Irene [FKA 'Earhart'] in Yugoslavia-1976
...superimposed with classic Amelia photo...
...displays the congruence.

Monsignor James Francis Kelley & the Gervais-Irene Bolam

Monsignor Kelley's beautiful St. Croix, US Virgin Islands home.
Kelley's beautiful Rumson, NJ home. Gervais-Irene [FKA 'Earhart'] was a familiar guest at both homes

NOTE: In 1991, retired Air Force Major, Joe Gervais and retired Air Force Colonel, Rollin Reineck held a press conference in Hawaii to provide some recent updates pertaining to their ongoing investigation of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, to foremost include their belief that she had 'quietly survived' World War Two. Colonel Reineck soon after received a letter from a Mrs. Helen Barber, that described something her seasonal neighbor, Monsignor James Francis Kelley had shared with she and her husband a decade earlier. She referred Colonel Reineck to another couple she knew, Mr. and Mrs. Donald DeKoster of Detroit Michigan, (Mr. DeKoster was an auto industry executive) to additionally verify the information she had been made aware of. Both the Barbers and the DeKosters were fairly affluent and both owned winter homes in the Virgin Islands on St. Croix, near Monsignor Kelley's home there. The following statement was excerpted from the letter sent to Colonel Reineck by Mrs. Helen Barber of Wayne, Pennsylvania shortly after the press conference took place:

“Dear Colonel Reineck,

My husband and I read about your news conference in Hawaii. We are impressed by the integrity of your investigation into the Earhart matter and we simply had to contact you with a related experience we have kept to ourselves for many years. We have a home in the Virgin Islands where we spend winters and one of our neighbors down there is Monsignor James Francis Kelley. Monsignor Kelley owns a beautiful home on top of a hill on the island of St. Croix where our winter home is also located. In 1981 during a luncheon with him, he related to us how he was commissioned at the end of the war to help bring Amelia Earhart back from Japan. He said he was chosen to serve as her psychiatric priest. He also told me something about missing documents he had to get that she needed in order to help with her Identity change. The Monsignor told us that he received her as she was being subjected to an identity change. He told us that she stayed with him at his New Jersey home and I believe sometimes his St. Croix winter home while he helped with her emotional, spiritual, and psychiatric needs.” 

Above passage reprinted from a letter Helen Barber sent to Rollin Reineck in 1991. Reineck recorded different phone conversations he had with Mrs. Barber and Mr. Donald Dekoster, who both believed with certainty what Monsignor Kelley had told them. 

"Amelia Earhart survived and she eventually returned to the United States. There's no doubt about it anymore." USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck (Ret.), who met and spoke with Monsignor Kelley, from an interview with the National Geographic Channel, 2006.

Monsignor Kelley Was Awarded For His War Time Servitude
Note the 'Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.' and 'J. Edgar Hoover' References 
Beyond his Seton Hall accomplishments and the 1946 bust statue of his likeness commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution, Monsignor Kelley received many awards and commendations. One 'citation and medal' he received on July 11, 1941 was awarded to him by none other than U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. As previously mentioned, in 1938, Morgenthau, who oversaw FDR's Secret Service division, had refused to make public information withheld by the White House pertaining to Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. It is no coincidence the stated reason for the 1941 award given to Kelley by Morgenthau was: "For three years of Patriotic Service with integrity and diligence for the Treasury Department of the United States of America," where simple math shows three years prior to 1941 was 1938, the same year Henry P. Morgenthau, Jr. refused to release the White House final report on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

Two other post-WWII awards the Monsignor received were relevant as well: "June 18, 1946 - received citation from the War Department through Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Force, Carl Spatz [who Amelia's good pilot friend, Jackie Cochran spent time with on Guam just prior to her becoming the first American woman to enter Japan after VJ Day] and Secretary of the War, Robert P. Patterson," and a "November 20, 1946 citation from J. Edgar Hoover for assistance rendered during the war years to the Internal Security of the Nation through the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States Department of Justice." It's interesting to note here, how the Arthur Gibson classified State Department file leaked in 1972 labeled, "Earhart, Amelia: Special War Problems" bore the date of Sept. 7, 1946.... a date between the two dates listed above; June 18, 1946 and November 20, 1946. 1946 also marked the first year the former Amelia Earhart publicly emerged in the United States reidentified as, 'Irene Craigmile.'

Monsignor Kelley with N.J. Gov. Byrne and his wife
...and baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and his wife, and Sandy Palmer.

Monsignor Kelley & Pope Paul VI at the Vatican,
during a 1960s visit. Janey Blaylock is also in the photo.
Monsignor Kelley shown in a family picture...
...his sister, Gertrude in white on his left.

Msgr. Kelley's sister Gertrude & the Gervais-Irene
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976.

1944, Monsignor Kelley awards F.B.I. Director....
...J. Edgar Hoover Seton Hall's LLD with Archbishop Thomas Walsh.

"J. Edgar Hoover's fingerprints were all over Amelia Earhart's continued survival and her later name-change to Irene." Joe Gervais

Note: From 1970 on, to include after the Gervais-Irene died in July of 1982, people continued to question her past. Directly below, reprinted from above is Msgr. Kelley's telling quote that left the curious teetering on the brink of accepting historical reality:

Msgr. Kelley's reporter refusal...
...he later admitted his friend (the 'Gervais-Irene') used to be known as Amelia Earhart

Kelley's sister Gertrude & the Gervais-Irene
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia 1976.

The truthful nature of Monsignor Kelley's later admission that confirmed his long time friend, the Gervais-Irene was previously known as Amelia Earhart, became clearer after the Forensic Analysis discovered the Gervais-Irene appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s...  


The Gervais-Irene
Superimposed with Amelia Earhart photo begins...
Monsignor James Francis Kelley, 1946...
...with the Smithsonian Institution's commissioned bronz bust of his likeness.

...then after it was forensically ascertained that three different women had been attributed to the same 'Irene' identity, with the Gervais-Irene, who Kelley knew well, matching Amelia head-to-toe and character trait wise, Monsignor Kelley's past admission was naturally verified.

The Gervais-Irene...
...superimposed with Amelia Earhart.

With New Jersey Governor, Brenden Byrne...
...Monsignor Kelley being awarded a Doctorate of Law Degree

Msgr. Kelley with friends, Jackie Gleason and Ted Hussing
Monsignor Kelley with his friend, Ed Sullivan.

Kelley with Jack Warner of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Msgr. Kelley was also well acquainted with Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable.

Kelley with Betty Ford and Marge Montana

Monsignor Kelley's 1996 New York Times Obituary:

Msgr. James Kelley, 94, a President of Seton Hall

Published: September 14, 1996

Msgr. James F. Kelley, who became president of Seton Hall College at age 33 and guided its transformation from a tiny liberal arts college to a large university, died on Tuesday at the Medical Center of Ocean County in Brick, N.J. He was 94.

Monsignor Kelley was pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood, N.J., after leaving Seton Hall. He served the Ridgewood parish until retiring 20 years ago and moving to Rumson.

He was named president of Seton Hall on July 9, 1936, becoming the youngest college president in the United States. Eighteen days later, he turned 34.

The college in South Orange, N.J., then had two departments, liberals arts and sciences, and about 300 students. When he completed his presidency in 1949, after opening the doors to thousands of returning veterans, it had 11 undergraduate departments, 2 graduate divisions and more than 13,000 students. It now has about 9,500 students.

''He turned it into a university,'' Msgr. Walter Jarvis, who is 92 and taught at Seton Hall for 29 years, said yesterday, ''and his door was always open.'' Hall gained university status in 1950, a year after Monsignor Kelley stepped down.

''Monsignor Kelley has left a valuable legacy to generations of Seton Hall University students,'' said Msgr. Robert Sheeran, Seton Hall's current president.

In the first year of his presidency, Father Kelley ordered the creation of a division for female students, offering classes in late afternoons and evenings and on weekends. Before long, women were admitted as full-time students.

While Monsignor Kelley was president, Seton Hall's Walsh Gymnasium was built and the campus radio station, WSOU, was founded.

Born in Kearny, N.J., Monsignor Kelley attended Seton Hall Preparatory School and graduated from the college in 1924. He studied at the American College in Belgium from 1924 until 1928, when he was ordained in Louvain, Belgium. He received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Louvain in 1935.

On April 20, 1941, he was named a monsignor by Pope Pius XII, whom he had taught English in Belgium.

From 1947 to 1949, he was president of the New Jersey Association of Colleges and Universities. From 1951 to 1968, he was chaplain for the Ridgewood police and fire departments and the Ridgewood Knights of Columbus.

From 1960 to 1968, Monsignor Kelley was a member of the Ridgewood Juvenile Delinquency Committee. He was vice president of the Bergen County Narcotics and Drug Abuse Council from 1966 to 1967 and president from 1967 to 1968. He was also president of the Association of Bergen County Priests from 1966 to 1968.

NASA Astronaut, Wally Schirra Discusses Earhart
From the 1970s on, a variety of accounts surfaced describing Amelia Earhart's post-WWII continued existence in the U.S. under an assumed identity. One of them came from NASA Astronaut, Wally Schirra.

Below: Astornaut Wally Schirra
He told reporter, Dean Magley he 'met' the 'former' Amelia Earhart at NASA in the 1970s.

In 1988, Astronaut Wally Schirra described to Rockville, Illinois TV news reporter, Dean Magley, that he had met the woman previously known as Amelia Earhart at NASA's cape Kennedy in the 1970s. Dean Magley actually filmed a brief interview with Wally Schirra, where the famous astronaut mentioned "reliable people" had disclosed such a truth to him. The now-late Dean Magley had extensively interviewed Monsignor Kelley as well, and as a result of his separately conducted interviews with both men and other knowledgeable individuals he had engaged about it, Dean Magley was fully convinced that the Gervais-Irene Bolam had previously been known as 'Amelia Earhart.' Mr. Magley was equally convinced such a truth was something the public was left unaware of by intention. Below, note the Gervais-Irene's survived sister in law's 1993 comment about her late sister-in-law having known "astronauts."

Joe Gervais Research Award event, Las Vegas, 2000
Top row L-R: Tod Swindell, Mrs. & Mr John Bolam, lower, Joe Klaas & Joe Gervais

The following excerpts came from a 1993 story written about the Gervais-Irene Bolam by Mrs. John Bolam, her survived sister in-law shown in the above photo:
"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."
"Guy and Irene knew people all around the world, some of which were well known figures in high places."
"She 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."
"After Guy died, she still continued to manage the Radio Luxembourg accounts while trekking around the world."
"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: According to the Woodbridge Tribune, from the late 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 she had served as ZONTA's 'International Relations Chairman' just as Amelia's close English friend, Nina Brodrick Price previously had. However, there is no record of Irene Craigmile or Bolam ever having been a member of the 99s.]
[Note: Colonel Reineck referenced the Gervais-Irene Bolam having been awarded a medal of appreciation by NASA.]
[Note: The Gervais-Irene Bolam took over as  corporate President of Radio Luxembourg following Guy's 1970 passing.]  
[Note: Monsignor Kelley, one of Robert F. Kennedy's former attorneys, Benedict Ginsburg, Arizona Senator, Barry Goldwater, and Lady Mary Stewart of Scotland were some of the important friends the Gervais-Irene, FKA 'Earhart' had in her later-life years, as was Jean MacArthur, the survived widow of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. (See photo and story below.)]

A New Columbia University Graduate
1961, retired Gen. Douglas MacArthur, his wife, Jean & their son Arthur

The Gervais-Irene Bolam [FKA 'Earhart'] and Jean MacArthur were good friends throughout the 1960s and 70s. They would occasionally meet for lunch at the Waldorf Astoria where Jean resided for many years. [Jean MacArthur died in 2000 at the age of 101.]
In the 1960s, Arthur MacArthur IV, the only child of General Douglas and Jean MacArthur, disappeared. Where did he go? After his famous father died in 1964, Arthur, a graduate of Columbia University with an English degree, changed his name to 'David Jordan' to conceal his identity. He had been raised in the international spotlight. Born in Manila in 1938, his toddler image once adorned the cover of Life Magazine. After the end of WWII he and his mother spent much time in Tokyo while his father oversaw the rebuilding of Japan with Emperor Hirohito. Growing up full time overseas, when he turned thirteen years old he still had never been to the United States.
There is no doubt General MacArthur was aware of Amelia's continued survival in Japan's custody during the war years, and had helped spirit her non--publicized return to the United States. It is certain as well, he and his wife, Jean knew Amelia had changed her name to 'Irene' in order to live out the rest of her years as a non-public person. Their son, Arthur MacArthur IV had a similar yen. Named for his Civil War hero great grandfather, he had experienced the first 26 years of his life as the heir apparent to his father's legacy. His parents were never shy about vocalizing their desire for Arthur to embark on a military career. Except Arthur didn't want that. He'd had enough of 'war.' As a child it was all he knew, plus he always felt a different calling and no longer wished to be subjugated by his prominent heritage. He had a keen interest in music, literature, arts and the theatre. William Manchester, author of “American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur" said Arthur was "a fugitive from his father’s relentless love.” [courtesy] Today at the age of 78, David Jordan, FKA ''Arthur MacArthur IV" lives in relative obscurity in Greenwich Village, NY. Here, once again we're reminded of Monsignor Kelley's comment about his friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam: "After all she'd been through, she didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore." Jackie Cochran's quote about Amelia is also telling, "God, how the world hounded that woman." There's also a quote by Lou Foudray of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, "I believe she came back, but she wanted her privacy."
Clearly as well, with all he'd been through, seeking privacy after his father died, upon deciding he didn't want to be Arthur MacArthur IV anymore, the recent Columbia graduate thus changed his name to, 'David Jordan.'

Monsignor Kelley lived near and was acquainted with the original Irene Craigmile's prominent O'Crowley family of Newark, New Jersey that featured Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley and his sister, Attorney Irene Mary Rutherford O'Crowley, the original Irene's Uncle and Aunt. Monsignor Kelley also knew Charles Lindbergh when Lindbergh lived in Hopewell, New Jersey, and he knew Amelia Earhart as well, who he mentioned had 'changed her name to Irene in the interest of her future privacy.'
One of the Gervais-Irene's close later-life friends, a Princeton radio show host by the name of Diana Dawes described her own understanding of how the hushed demise of the original Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile enabled the former Amelia Earhart to acquire her identity during the World War Two era. No vast conspiracy, it is fairly certain General Douglas MacArthur, J. Edgar Hoover, the O'Crowley family, Amelia, and Monsignor Kelley had been key figures involved with making such a thing happen. Especially when one considers the timing of Henry P. Morgenthau's award to Kelley for his "Three Years of Patriotic Service to his Country" and the way it coincided with Amelia's good ZONTA friend, Attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley's 1939 to 1941 handling of the annulment of her niece's marriage to Al Heller..., thus enabling the name to return from 'Heller' to 'Craigmile.' 

Note: The information displayed here comes from Tod Swindell's Amelia Earhart Chronicles featuring the first ever, Amelia Earhart to Irene Bolam Forensic Comparison Analysis.
The chronicles are part of original copyrighted manuscripts and the forensic analysis Tod Swindell produced. WGAw registrations: "The Lost Electra" (1996), "A Simple Misunderstanding: Redefining Earhart for the New Century" (1999), "Protecting Earhart" (2004). Updated U.S. Copyright Office Registrations (2014 & 2017): TXu 1-915-926 (2014); TXu 2-061-539 (2017).

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