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    Thursday, August 22, 2019-4:12:57A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Local residents’ stories are evidence of Earhart’s presence on Saipan, says Marie Castro

MARIE S.C. Castro, who believes that Amelia Earhart died in captivity on Saipan, said the testimonies of local residents are “real and tangible evidence of her presence here.”

She said these residents include Matilde F. Arriola and her family who had actual communications with Earhart, and Joaquina M. Cabrera, who washed the aviator’s clothes.

“These two women had no reasons to come out with imaginary, fabricated stories about an American woman,” Castro said. “These are facts of Saipan’s history.”

A former nun and a retired teacher, Castro noted that telling a lie was forbidden by the island’s religious culture. “We were brought up by family traditions in an entirely religious environment, and lying was forbidden and it rarely happened.”

She said there were other local residents who saw Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan on island.

“Their description of the woman was mostly the same, and many selected Amelia’s photo out of lineups shown to them by investigators such as Fred Goerner, Joseph Gervais and Donald Kothera.

The author of “Without a Penny in My Pocket: My Bittersweet Memories Before and After WWII,” which mentioned stories surrounding Earhart, Castro has also published “My Life and Amelia Earhart’s Saipan Legacy.”

She said she and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee will continue their advocacy for the construction of a monument on Saipan that honors the aviator.

Earhart and Noonan disappeared in July 1937 during an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe.