Saturday

Tighar at it again!


No, wait!  We didn't miss Amelia's plane.  We found a debris field near the island where we've been taking people to for the past 20 years!  Hold on!  Don't leave yet!

During the invasion of Saipan, US Marines found her plane.
I can't fathom why the media keeps buying this story. It's hilarious.

Consider the facts.  These trips to Gardner Isle have resulted in a comb, freckle goop, some turtle bones.  Nothing else. Really? You think that if she had actually been there, there might have been anything else?

There's been a deep sea expedition - millions have been spent on finding - nothing.  Oh wait. A debris field. "Could this be the resting place of Amelia Earhart's Electra?" Oh my!





And how did this come about? A photo dug out of the archives, of what may or may not have been Nessie, or a piece of an aircraft in 1937 in the water.  So the guy who took the photo - he didn't notice it, just happened to catch this landing gear bobbing in the water.  What could it be?

I don't even get the logic of what we're talking about here.  A photo of what may or may not be a landing gear in the water near Gardner? What the heck does that have to do with Earhart's Electra?  It's crazy.  There's not a single shred of any evidence, eyewitness or otherwise that she went anywhere near Gardner.

Wow.  Denial is not a river in Egypt.

and now - for some other details - actual eyewitness reports from people who saw her, saw the plane, and saw what happened to it.  C'mon guys - reporters - get out your pencils.  Do some homework, please!

Over 200 islanders saw her or Fred Noonan after 1937 in and around the Marshall Islands.  These people have been interviewed in books and on film. (Oliver Knaggs, many others, Fred Goerner, etc).

US Marines found her plane on June 18th, 1944 at Aslito airfield.  If you watch the film that's referenced here you will see them speak for themselves on camera.   They decoded the message that said they'd found her plane (and not some look alike plane) they guarded her plane, and they destroyed her plane.

Full stop.
Bob Wallack, US Marine, found her briefcase on Saipan in 44.


They buried it off the runway at Aslito airfield.  They covered it in dirt.  The aluminum has not deteriorated.  It is still there.  The runway hasn't changed. The documentary film "Earhart's Electra" SHOWS WHERE the spot on the runway is.  You want to become the person who found AMELIA EARHART'S AIRPLANE?  Don't go to Gardner.  Don't go undersea.  Take some equipment, get some permits and start digging where these US Marines claim they saw her plane, saw it destroyed on the runway.  It's within a fifty yard radius of the maps in this film. It's still there. Waiting for someone with a shovel. Get to work.

End of story.

Honor her memory properly. Tell the truth.
Have a nice trip, and don't forget to thank me at Oscar time.

UPDATE:

Well, here I am on Saipan and we are digging for AE's Electra.. I got a comment from Tom King, the chief researcher at Tighar about this post... from last August.  It's Feb 19th, I've been on Saipan for three weeks, our crew has been here for six.  I've interviewed 15 different islanders who saw a European woman, or an American flyer, or Amelia Earhart after 1937.  That goes along with the 200 or so that Fred Goerner, Oliver Knaggs, Don Wilson, etc have collected over the years.

Don't get me wrong.  I respect the science behind Tighar's research.  I just don't understand the logic of it.

Here's a reply I wrote to someone who sent me Tom King's report on their research about eyewitness reports on Saipan....

 I've been working on the eyewitness accounts for 30 years. What Tom King's report is missing is pretty fundamental - Devine was not the first GI to see the plane.  He may have been the first person to report it (and pretty adamantly as well, reporting to his congressman, calling the media and everyone he could find to do so after the war - not exactly someone out to make a buck from his account).  Devine has details in his account that are factually incorrect, but that doesn't make his entire testimony incorrect.

For example, in the official govt record on the reply to Devine's accusations, they claim because he inaccurately identified a fisherman's hut at Susupe, his entire account was suspect. (Special agent Patton's report from 1960)  I find this kind of reverse reasoning silly, and not worth examining.  It's not that Devine saw the plane on Aslito airfield - it's that six other GI's saw the plane.  Devine corroborated a number of details that the other GI's claimed.  So that makes his testimony worth examining.

The first people to see the plane at Aslito were Marines on June 19, 1944. I know that detail because the wire operator who decoded the message did so for Col. Lewis Wallace on that date.  As he said to me during his interview in Tupelo Mississippi "I remember it as if it was yesterday."  Combined with numerous other corroborated details he gives, I found his testimony, Douglas Bryce's testimony, Andrew Bryce's testimony, Robert Wallack's testimony and many others (as recounted in the second of Devine's book (with M. Campbell) where he solicited accounts from GI's who'd been there) credible and verifiable.

I'm here on Saipan interviewing people in their 80's who recall these events. Some are chomorro. Some are American veterans. And I've just found a Japanese man who claims he was here when she was executed.  I'm tracking down his details as we speak.

So we are left with - why ignore the eyewitness accounts?  It's not just Devine.  So far we have 12 GI's who claim they saw her Electra here.  Are they all liars?  Are they all besmirching their uniform by making up this fantastic detail that her plane was here?  To me it borders on the ridiculous that people would not follow up on these reports.  The only logical conclusion that I can get from people not following up on the over 200 eyewitness reports (from Georner, the priest's extensive interviews with Matilde Arriola and others, Don Wilson's many people, Oliver Knagg's filmed interviews in Mili, Jaluit, Mike Harris's interviews (always incorrectly ascribed to TC Brennan, who was just accompanying Mike) - the only possible reason people have not followed up on these is "egocentric americanism" - if a person doesn't speak English then their account must be suspect.

At least I hope that's the reason and not some more nefarious conspiracy to obfuscate the facts.  I choose not to follow that path, as my experience working with people in the defense dept, homeland security and CIA - (during my research for the film "Salt") is they love to solve a mystery as much as the next fellow.

I wish the folks at Tighar the best - I'm here on Saipan (EarhartOnSaipan) with a small crew with determination and a desire to know the truth.  We didn't come here with any preconceived idea about WHY she wound up in Saipan. We came because we wanted to follow the evidence.  We are following up on good reporting done by Fred Goerner, by Oliver Knaggs.  We have numerous eye witness accounts that have never been published as to her presence here on the island, we have numerous eye witness accounts by US soldiers who saw her plane, or came across other evidence she was here, we are currently looking at sites that have never been examined before.  And we'll let you know what we find.

2 comments:

Tom King said...

There's something to be said for Rich's unwavering religious faith, but in the event some reader is interested in an alternative view of the Saipan stories, let me refer you to http://issuu.com/guampedia/docs/marianas_world_war_ii, pp 131-201. And for a sobersided summary of what TIGHAR's actually done and found on Nikumaroro, see my article, "Amelia Earhart on Nikumaroro: a Summary of the Evidence," in Pacific Studies, December 2012 (not yet available online).
Tom King, Senior Archaeologist, TIGHAR

Rich Martini said...

I respect the science behind Tighar's research. I just don't understand the logic of it. I've been working on the eyewitness accounts for 30 years. What Mr. King's report is missing is pretty fundamental -Thomas Devine was not the first GI to see her plane. He may have been the first person to report it (and pretty adamantly as well, reporting to his congressman, calling the media and everyone he could find to do so after the war - not exactly someone out to make a buck from his account). Devine has details in his account that are factually incorrect, but that doesn't make his entire testimony incorrect.
For example, in the official govt record on the reply to Devine's accusations, they claim because he inaccurately identified a fisherman's hut at Susupe, his entire account was suspect. (Special agent Patton's report from 1960) I find this kind of reverse reasoning silly, and not worth examining. It's not that Devine saw the plane on Aslito airfield - it's that six other GI's saw the plane. Devine corroborated a number of details that the other GI's claimed. So that makes his testimony worth examining.
The first people to see the plane at Aslito were Marines on June 19, 1944. I know that detail because the wire operator who decoded the message did so for Col. Lewis Wallace on that date. As he said to me during his interview in Tupelo Mississippi "I remember it as if it was yesterday." Combined with numerous other corroborated details he gives, I found his testimony, Douglas Bryce's testimony, Andrew Bryce's testimony, Robert Wallack's testimony and many others (as recounted in the second of Devine's book (with M. Campbell) where he solicited accounts from GI's who'd been there) credible and verifiable. I'm here on Saipan interviewing people in their 80's who recall these events. Some are Chomorro. Some are American veterans. And I've just found a Japanese man who claims he was here when she was executed. I'm tracking down his details as we speak.
So we are left with - why ignore the eyewitness accounts? It's not just Devine. So far we have 12 GI's who claim they saw her Electra here. Are they all liars? Are they all besmirching their uniform by making up this fantastic detail that her plane was here? To me it borders on the ridiculous that people would not follow up on these reports. The only logical conclusion that I can get from people not following up on the over 200 eyewitness reports (from Georner, the priest's extensive interviews with Matilde Arriola and others, Don Wilson's many people, Oliver Knagg's filmed interviews in Mili, Jaluit, Mike Harris's interviews (always incorrectly ascribed to TC Brennan, who was just accompanying Mike) - the only possible reason people have not followed up on these is "egocentric americanism" - if a person doesn't speak English then their account must be suspect. At least I hope that's the reason and not some more nefarious conspiracy to obfuscate the facts. I choose not to follow that path, as my experience working with people in the defense dept, homeland security and CIA - (during my research for the film "Salt") is they love to solve a mystery as much as the next fellow. I wish the folks at Tighar the best - I'm here on Saipan (EarhartOnSaipan) with a small crew with determination and a desire to know the truth. We didn't come here with any preconceived idea about WHY she wound up in Saipan. We came because we wanted to follow the evidence. We are following up on good reporting done by Fred Goerner, by Oliver Knaggs. We have numerous eye witness accounts that have never been published as to her presence here on the island, we have numerous eye witness accounts by US soldiers who saw her plane, or came across other evidence she was here, we are currently looking at sites that have never been examined before. And we'll let you know what we find. Thanks for commenting. Rich

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