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OPINION: Amelia Earhart’s Saipan fate

JUNHAN B. Todiño’s Feb. 7 story, “Group to build Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan” is the best news this Earhart author and researcher has heard in many years.

I heartily congratulate the monument committee, led by Rep. Donald Barcinas, for their wisdom and fortitude in coming to their decision to memorialize this great American on the island where she met her untimely death at the hands of the pre-war Japanese who so mercilessly tyrannized the Saipan people.

The truth about the wretched deaths of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, has long been a sacred cow in the U.S. government establishment and it’s media allies, and practically since the earliest days of Earhart’s July 1937 disappearance, virtually everything disseminated about Earhart’s fate has been aimed at disinforming and misleading not only the American public, but the entire civilized world.

First it was the “Crashed-and-Sank” lie, an echo of the original Navy-Coast Guard 1937 report; then, after that canard became too ridiculous to swallow, a more recent but still long-debunked idea, that the fliers landed on Nikumaroro Atoll, in the Phoenix Chain, was pushed down our throats without surcease. Ignoring the massive body of available evidence supporting the fliers’ presence and deaths on Saipan, big media and history books tell us the fate of Amelia Earhart remains as much a mystery now as in the desperate days of the Navy’s futile search for the lost Electra. Nothing could be further from the truth; although numerous unanswered questions about the final flight remain, the common belief that the “Amelia Earhart Mystery” is an irresolvable enigma is known to be utter nonsense by those familiar with the facts.

Contrary to the Navy’s conclusion that Earhart’s Electra “most probably” crashed and sank within 120 miles of Howland Island, or the Nikumaroro myth that Earhart and Noonan found Nikumaroro and soon starved to death on an island where plentiful food sources and drinkable water were available, the lost fliers crash-landed at Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, were picked up by the Japanese and taken to Saipan, where they suffered wretched, lonely deaths, falsely accused as spies by their barbaric captors. The elder population of Saipan is well aware of this fact, but the insidious influence of decades of American media propaganda have taken its toll, and the truth is not to be found among most of Saipan’s younger people.

The establishment of the new memorial should bring renewed attention to Earhart’s Saipan fate to a degree not seen since Fred Goerner’s early 1960s Saipan investigations focused the light of truth on the Earhart case, and produced the great 1966 bestseller “The Search for Amelia Earhart,” a book that galvanized significant numbers of Americans to demand the truth about Amelia’s demise — a demand that fell on the deaf ears of a Congress and president who stonewalled all attempts to break through to the Earhart truth.

The U.S. government has long possessed the answers in the Earhart disappearance, but obstinately persists in its longstanding intransigence, insisting all the files in the case have been released, and dictating the terms of the debate at every turn. The solution to the so-called “Earhart Mystery” will never be found at the bottom of the Pacific or on a picked-over island in the Phoenix Group, myths the media regularly depicts as the only possible answers. The “hard evidence” that can bring final closure to the Earhart case has been locked away for nearly seventy years in the deepest recesses of our national security apparatus, its precise location known to a scant few caretakers of the priceless evidence — if it exists now at all.

It’s so darkly ironic that Earhart’s Electra 10E, NR 16020, was buried with tons of other war refuse under the As Lito Airfield (now the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport) after it was burned beyond recognition in July 1944 by American forces during the invasion of Saipan, according to former Army sergeant and Saipan veteran Thomas E. Devine, author of the 1987 book, “Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident,” and others who witnessed the plane’s destruction. Since nobody apparently knows exactly where the plane was bulldozed into rubble, we likely will never know how close the Earhart memorial will be to the true burial place of Amelia Earhart’s plane.

Thanks to the selfless efforts of Rep. Donald Barcinas and his committee, those of us who cherish the memory of Amelia Earhart and long for Goerner’s “Justice of Truth” regarding her tragic disappearance have renewed hope that we might live to see the only real and acceptable solution to the Earhart case — full U.S. government disclosure of the Saipan truth.

Mike Campbell is the author of “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.” For more information, go to http://www.EarhartTruth.com