Examining the Controversy of Amelia Earhart's Disappearance and the Claim of her 'Private' Survival

Home
A Statement From Irene-Amelia.com's Creator and Editor, Tod Swindell
Forensic Comparison Samples: The Amelia Earhart to Gervais Irene Bolam Congruence
Forensic Analysis Support: Amelia Earhart, Irene Bolam
A Less Recalled Look At Amelia Earhart's 1937 Disappearance
Monsignor James Francis Kelley & Astronaut Wally Schirra Discuss Amelia Earhart
A Closer Comparison Of Eyes & Faces; Forensically Separating The Irenes
The History of Amelia Earhart Mystery 'Investigative Research'
Controversial Amelia Earhart Forensic Argument Information
Detours Taken In Pursuit Of Answers; The Real Joe Gervais
About Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile (Heller) (Bolam); Did You Know?
An Amelia To Irene Forensic Reality, 1982 Published Forgeries Discovered
The 1982 New Jersey Tribune's Irene-Amelia Photo Page 10/29/82
Alex Mandel's and Gwen Gale's Wikipedia Anti Irene-Amelia Crusade
Amelia Earhart Press Notice Samples
A Few Odd Rumors About Amelia Earhart
Will The Real Irene Craigmile Bolam Please Stand Up?
Recap of the Forensic Comparison & Analysis Discoveries

August 2015

"You're onto something that will stagger your imagination."

1962, the words of retired United States Navy Commander, John Pillsbury to CBS investigative journalist, Fred Goerner--regarding Goerner's quest to learn the true outcome of Amelia Earhart's 1937 world flight. 

 

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Fred Noonan & Amelia Earhart, 1937
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Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra 10E in Paramaribo during her 1937 world flight.

"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's friend, Irene Craigmile in 1932
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Right after earning her pilot's license-1933-she became pregnant out of wedlock and never flew again

The Strange Case Of Irene Craigmile

In 1975, it was learned that Amelia Earhart's 1930s friend, Irene Craigmile had made a request to become a naturalized citizen of Japan in August of 1939, just before Germany invaded Poland. What was she doing over there? Why did she go there? Is it true she ended up being the American woman who broadcast as 'Tokyo Rose' over Japan's NHK airwaves during the war? An American citizen by the name of Iva Toguri was arrested in Japan at the end of the war as "the one and only Tokyo Rose" even though Iva had used a different name when she broadcast. Amelia's last "closest friend," Jackie Cochran was whisked over to Japan at the war's end and witnessed Iva's false arrest. Iva Toguri's 1949 trial in San Francisco was attended every day by Amelia Earhart's mother, Amy Otis Earhart. Iva Toguri said she thought 'Tokyo Rose' was a 'generic' term and she testified she was offered $2,000 to say she was 'Tokyo Rose' even though the name was never applied to her radio broadcasts. U.S. soldiers testified one specific woman with a pure American accent had consistently identifed herself as 'Tokyo Rose.' Iva Toguri testified that "Orphan Annie" was the only name she ever used during her broadcasts, never 'Tokyo Rose.' Iva was convicted anyway, but she was eventually pardoned, begging the question: Who was the real Tokyo Rose?

Iva Toguri, 1946
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For the FBI version of the 'Tokyo Rose' story scroll to the bottom of this page

 
Below: In 1965, Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Fleet during World War Two, became the first to publicly admit how Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan ended their 1937 world flight by ditching in the Marshall Islands. He also mentioned the withheld truth about it was quietly, "known and documented in Washington." Below are two examples from a series of several impressive stamps issued by the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 1987, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Earhart and Noonan's arrival at Mili Atoll and their rescue by Japan's Imperial Navy. Since it is clearly the case Earhart and Noonan survived their world flight, what became of them? Answer: Noonan's ultimate fate remains unclear. Otherwise, the answer to what happened to Amelia Earhart and her plane is displayed on this page and throughout Irene-Amelia.com.

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Marshallese natives witness the end results of Earhart's world flight at Mili

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Japan Navy's rescue of Earhart & Noonan and the plane recovery

The Gervais-Irene & Amelia Superimposed
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The Gervais-Irene was one of three different women who used the same 'Irene' identity

Below: Following decades of debate about her since the 1970s, it was finally confirmed; three different women were attributed the same singular identity of 'Irene Craigmile Bolam.'

The original Irene Craigmile, 1930
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The original Irene Craigmile in 1932

The 2nd Irene Craigmile, early 1940s
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The 3rd Irene Craigmile 1940s-1982
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aka 'The Gervais-Irene'

It also finally proved out after they were forensically compared, the 3rd Irene Craigmile and Amelia Earhart displayed a remarkable head-to-toe congruence: 

1963 Gervais-Irene photo taken in Japan.
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The Gervais-Irene was only known as 'Irene' from the 1940s until 1982.
Equally superimposed...
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...Amelia and the Gervais-Irene.
Amelia Earhart, age thirty in 1928.
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Photo taken after her Friendship flight.
     

Preface
 
The information shown here was mostly generated by a long-ago headline making story about a curious woman known as 'Irene Craigmile Bolam.' A 1970 book's amazing claim about her was quickly dismissed as a hoax by herself and the press, and the bizarre episode ended up nearly forgotten. (See the article below on the book, Amelia Earhart Lives.) Except the 'Irene controversy' never went away, and the people who looked into her story the most understood why. Irene Bolam's very existence truly was perplexing, and she was a big part of the reason people have long wanted to know what really happened to Amelia Earhart.
 
Those who have a hard time accepting the 'Irene realities' conveyed here might consider how strongly derided the story about her grew to be over the past decades by certain individuals, to include some who tried to convince the masses the claim about Irene was eventually proven false. You will see a forensic detective by the name of Kevin Richlin referenced in Wikipedia and elsewhere as 'the person' who finally proved the Irene-Amelia equation false in 2006. But Kevin Richlin never proved the equation false and he will tell you that himself. Best advice? While digesting the information provided here keep an open mind, and believe what you see with your own eyes.   

Below: The most recognized published books to have expounded on Amelia's post-loss survival.

CBS Journalist, Fred Goerner's 1966 classic...
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A New York Times Best Seller; ascertained Earhart ended up existing under Japan's auspice.
The 1970 Joe Klaas book w/Joe Gervais
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A New York Times best seller, asserted Amelia privately survived with Japan & U.S. awareness.
By Robert Myers & Barbara Wiley, 1985
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A first-person account; avowed Joe Gervais was right about the 'Irene' he met in 1965.
Randall Brink's 1994 'Best Seller'...
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Brink collaborated with Gervais & was invited to Irene's 1982 Memorial Dinner.
By Colonel Rollin Reineck, 2004
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Displayed portions of Beyond 37's study results, stated the Gervais-Irene was previously Earhart.
By David Bowman, 2005
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Beyond 37's overlay on the cover, Bowman was amazed the Gervais claim was still being asserted.

Note: 'Beyond 37' is a moniker for Irene-Amelia.com's forensic study.

The Gervais-Irene Controversy Began With This Book:

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'Amelia Earhart Lives' by Joe klaas. Published by McGraw-Hill, November 1970

Above: In 1970, world famous publisher, McGraw-Hill released Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas. The book was about retired Air Force Major, Joe Gervais' ten year investigation of Amelia Earhart's disappearance. What Major Gervais learned was that Amelia Earhart did not 'disappear' as purported, and really, people do not just 'up and disappear,' do they? Of course not. Joe Gervais had figured out, after meeting one 'Irene Bolam' in 1965 at an Early Birds of Aviation gathering on Long Island, and then investigating her background for the next five years, that as World War Two ended, Amelia Earhart, while undergoing the final stages of changing her name to 'Irene Craigmile,' had quietly returned to the United States after spending the war as an 'Alien at Liberty' overseas, all be her technically in Japan's custody. After reacclimating herself in the U.S. with the help of Monsignor James Francis Kelley of Rumson, New Jersey, she was given an executive level position at the People's National Bank of Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York, a heavy funder of military aviation contracts. As Amelia she became familiar with Long Island after moving to Great Neck there in 1924, where she lived with her friend, Marion Stabler's family before briefly reenrolling at Columbia University. Later, after Amelia suddenly became famous in 1928 while in her thirtieth year, she spent a great deal of time flying out of Floyd Bennet and Roosevelt Air Fields on Long Island over the course of the next decade. She befriended other well known female pilots there to include Viola Gentry and Elinor Smith, and she started the 99's women's flying organization on Long Island in 1929 and served as its first President. After she returned to Long Island as 'Irene Craigmile,' she worked in the banking industry for the next decade, ascending to become Vice President of the Great Neck National Bank by the early 1950s. After retiring from banking, in 1958 she married Guy Bolam of England, the owner of 'Radio Luxembourg' in Europe, a station that helped introduce the Beatles to Russia. For twelve years Guy and Irene Bolam devoted much time to world travels. They often visited friends they had in Japan and England, and attended to their business affairs in Luxembourg. After Guy died in 1970, Irene took over as the corporate president of Radio Luxembourg and continued to travel the world semi-regularly. She died at Roosevelt Hospital in Edison, New Jersey in the summer of 1982, five years after retiring from Radio Luxembourg.
 
The problem was, no one was ever supposed to know the amazing truth Joe Gervais uncovered. Irene Bolam was not about to go back to being Amelia Earhart again, and high-powered attorneys came out of the woodwork to help her make sure that wouldn't happen. She never endorsed the publication of Amelia Earhart Lives and she was very angry about it. This caused McGraw-Hill to pull its best selling book from the stores after seven weeks, (40,000 copies made it into circulation) and for the next five years, Joe Gervais and Joe Klaas were dragged through the New York court system as defendants in a summary judgment law suit Irene's attorneys litigated, that ended with a ten dollar consideration being paid by Irene Bolam to Gervais and Klaas, and a ten dollar consideration being paid by Gervais and Klaas to Irene Bolam. Irene ultimately refused to volunteer her fingerprints as proof positive of her identity. She also never denied that she used to be known as Amelia Earhart. [Note: At a press conference after the book came out, in the present tense she refuted the book's accusation of her being "a mystery woman" and its implication that she was really Amelia Earhart by viscerially stating, "I am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart!" Ironically, she wasn't lying, for she had not been Amelia Earhart in the United States since the 1930s, and living as Irene since the 1940s she had hid nothing about her lifestyle or profession.] Because Amelia Earhart Lives had referred to Irene's late husband, Guy as her "alleged husband," she sued McGraw-Hill for defamation noting the statement indicated she might have lived with Guy out of wedlock. After Irene produced her 1958 marriage license, the New York State Supreme Court agreed the book's reference to Guy Bolam as her "alleged husband" was a libelous statement and awarded her a 'high five-figure' settlement to be paid by McGraw-Hill.
 
It was amazing how quickly and strongly protected the Gervais-Irene became after Amelia Earhart Lives came out, and how disjointed and camouflaged the truth Joe Gervais discovered about Amelia Earhart ended up being. Still, back then anyone could have easily asked for family photo records and the linear life-story progression of the original Irene Craigmile, a person whose family Amelia had known in the 1930s, and they would have quickly realized the Gervais-Irene Bolam was not the original Irene Craigmile.

The original Irene Craigmile, 1930.
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Amelia's 1930s friend with her husband Charles Craigmile and her father, Joe O'Crowley

Note: A bio on the original Irene Craigmile can be found within the "Forensic Analysis Support" page.

Foreword
 
Until recent years most people believed enough was already known about the life story of Amelia Earhart. Just like people thought they knew all there was to know about Charles Lindbergh before 2005, the year it was confirmed he had led a double life from the 1950s to the 1970s using the alias of "Careu Kent" while working long stretches as a CIA operative in Europe, fathering three children there while doing so. Lindbergh's famous stateside wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh died in 2001 never knowing a thing about it.
 
With the Amelia Earhart story, the last few decades saw cottage industries claiming to know where her plane ended up. Their exuded confidence led to millions of dollars being donated to fund major expeditions, all of which failed. Make no mistake, donating money to find Amelia's plane was always a bad investment since Amelia's plane ended up nowhere near to where people thought it did. Most also do not realize how the mystery attributed to Amelia Earhart actually came to exist by default, as a result of the 'official silence' regard maintained toward the controversy surrounding her ever since she and her navigator, Fred Noonan were said to have 'disappeared without a trace' in 1937. 

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Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) AKA "Careu Kent" 1950s-1970s
Jamaica, 1976
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One of three 'Irenes,' the Gervais-Irene Bolam (1897-1982) AKA 'Amelia Earhart' prior to WWII.

This website displays an in-depth forensic analysis of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance, one that scrutinized key discoveries of past investigators summarily swept under the rug of official history--and subsequently left out of  high school and college textbooks. The upper-left page links examine the realities and obfuscations attributed to Earhart's disappearance, and they feature samples from the first-ever Forensic Comparison Analysis of the highly enigmatic, Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile (Heller) (Bolam) whose singular identity, as learned in recent years, was attributed to three different individuals. Rest assured, Amelia Earhart's 'post-disappearance' reality was never intentionally clouded by a vast conspiracy. More simply put, it was destined to remain purposefully ignored along with many other 'difficult to explain' outcomes caused by the geopolitical climates of the World War Two era. Akin to different nations' post-war viewpoints about certain controversies the war generated, so too did the 'pre-war and war-time' circumstances Amelia was subjected to after she went missing, always remain viewed by the United States and Japan with a let's move on attitude.
 
Read on, and see how this uniquely original and quite thorough 'forensic comparison study and analysis' finally unraveled the debacle of Amelia Earhart's 1937 world flight outcome.
 
* * *

The Gervais-Irene and Guy Bolam
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As seen in the 1970 book, 'Amelia Earhart Lives' by Joe Klaas

Closer: The Gervais-Irene (Craigmile) Bolam
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For the story on how Joe Gervais met her see the Forensic Analysis Support page.

Below: As mentioned above, no one realized it in the 1970s, but decades-later a private forensic study displayed how the Gervais-Irene and Amelia Earhart not only shared a head to toe physical congruence, but their character traits matched as well.  

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The Gervais-Irene Craigmile Bolam was identified nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s.
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...the Gervais-Irene superimposed with the 1933 Amelia photo.
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Amelia Earhart, 1933

Gervais-Irene's handwriting compared to Amelia's:
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From a 1967 letter she sent to Joe Gervais, with Amelia's own "Amelia M. Earhart" signature added.

Above: A Gervais-Irene to Amelia Earhart handwriting comparison, with the Gervais-Irene veritably admitting she was 'known' as both Irene and Amelia. Excerpted from a 1967 letter she wrote to Joe Gervais, she referred to two individuals; famous pilot Viola Gentry, and Early Birds of Aviation President, Elmo Pickerill, writing, "because they each knew us both well as Amelia Earhart and Irene Craigmile." Beyond 37's forensic study added Amelia's 'Amelia M. Earhart' signature to the document for comparison. This sample and a few others from the study were reprinted with permission in retired USAF Colonel, Rollin Reineck's book, Amelia Earhart Survived. Note: The "Amelia M Earhart" signature sample can be found on page 46 in the 1987 book, Amelia, My Courageous Sister by Muriel Earhart Morrissey and Carol L. Osborne. 

1932
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Amelia Earhart, Elinor Smith, Viola Gentry

Below: Viola Gentry and Guy Bolam, August, 1965
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The Gervais-Irene Bolam took this photo in East Hampton, Long Island, NY
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Above: A Gervais-Irene Bolam photo taken in Paris in 1965 superimposed with Amelia. Although known by different names in different eras, the head to toe phyiscal match, character trait congruences, common friends, various organizational alliances and numerous credible testimonials determined the Gervais-Irene and Amelia to have been one in the same human being. In spite of this, since the 1980s a network of Earhart 'image' protectors, to foremost include the Amelia Earhart Society's now late president, Bill Prymak, along with Mike Campbell, Dave Horner, Ron Bright, Richard Gillespie, Elgen Long, even members of the survived families of Amelia and Irene have cohesively rallied against this truth. They adhered to a common agenda of vitriol and ridicule to keep it from rising to the surface. To date, Wikipedia has only managed to depict a short, false profile of the late 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' due to their dominating influence over the controversy. In 2005, Alex Mandel, an Earhart fanatic who lives in the Ukraine, aligned himself with Bill Prymak and some of the others mentioned above, then wrote and published a twenty-five page anti Irene-Amelia diatribe on Wikisource. His article is filled with misinformation and merely displays the obsessive nature of those who put forth efforts to influence the public against accepting what really is anymore, the obvious forensic truth of Amelia's long-ago name change to 'Irene.'

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Head to toe... the Gervais-Irene matched Amelia.

 
How could such a thing have happened with the general public not knowing about it?
 

Note: Referenced above, the U.S. Press circuit steered clear of it in 1987, the year the Republic of the Marshall Islands commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Japan Naval Authority's rescue of Earhart and Noonan at Mili Atoll and its recovery of Earhart's plane there. It did so by issuing an impressive series of postage stamps:

The Marshall Islands Stamp Series
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From Earhart and Noonan's takeoff from New Guinea to their rescue at Mili Atoll

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Earhart and Noonan take off from New Guinea

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Marshallese natives witness the end results at Mili

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Coast Guard Cutter Itasca stationed by Howland Island

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Japan Navy's rescue of Earhart & Noonan and the plane recovery

Randall Brink's investigative book, 'Lost Star'
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Concluded Earhart's world flight ended at Mili Atoll of the Marshall Islands

U. N. Marshall Islands Ambassador, Alfred Capelle
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In 2002 he affirmed to Ron Staton of the Associated Press: Earhart definitely came to the Marshall's

"Amelia Earhart definitely came to the Marshall Islands in 1937."
The above was described in 2002 to Associated Press reporter, Ron Staton by Alfred Capelle, United Nations Ambassador to the Marshall Islands. Prior to the time U.S. Troops occupied it in 1944, Japan had been the ruling government authority in the Marshalls. Based on his country's own history of the time period, Ambassador Capelle believed Amelia Earhart's rescue and continued existence there remained non-public information due to the strained relationship between Japan and the U.S. during the onset of the Sino-Japanese War... that began just five days after Earhart was reported 'missing,' severly straining the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, and would soon be followed by the tense World War Two era. According to Capelle and scores of other Marshallese residents and officials who described their country's historical version of it, while she was there Amelia Earhart was commonly referred to as 'Tokyo Rosa' among their people during the World War Two era. A common Japanese translation of 'Tokyo Rose' is "that held by the chrysanthemum." Of note, the chrysanthemum flower has long adorned the seal of the Emperor of Japan.

Below: A 1944 USAAF reconnaissance photo of Taroa Island in the Marshall Islands taken during a bombing raid, reprinted from Randall Brink's best selling book, Lost Star: The Search For Amelia Earhart, W.W. Norton, 1993. Beyond 37's forensic study enlarged and rotated the insert, then placed an outline of Amelia's Electra over it revealing a match. As Brink noted, Japan manufactured no planes that would have compared to the Electra's design during the war. Different Marshallese accounts described how Amelia's wing-damaged plane had been transported to Taroa, to include two brothers who mentioned they had helped the Japanese military unload it there.

1944 U.S. Navy recon photo
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Taroa in the Marshalls where several accounts claimed Amelia's wing-damaged plane was taken
Beyond 37's insert blown-up and rotation...
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...and an outline of Amelia's Lockheed Electra 10E fitting well

Why should people at long last start believing and accepting these forensic realities? Because it is time to stop donating money to false plane hunts, and it is time to stop believing in Earhart history demigods. It is time to 'lift the veil' from the long withheld truth about Amelia Earhart.

The veiled Amelia Earhart
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From a 1923 'into the mirror' taken self photo-portrait.
Gervais-Irene & Amelia
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Two photos in an equal blend.

Below: In 1982, Irene Craigmile Bolam's 1934 born son offered some of his thoughts about the controversy still surrounding his mother, seventeen years after Joe Gervais first encountered her.

The 'Non Gervais-Irene,' 1940s
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Larry Heller instantly identified the woman in this photo as his 'mother'
The Gervais-Irene Bolam, c. 1950s
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FKA 'Amelia Earhart,' a different person than the woman Larry Heller identified as his 'mother.'

Above: In October of 1982, Larry Heller, the 1934 born son of the original Irene Craigmile (who was briefly married to Al Heller) indicated he was not sure who his mother really was to the Woodbridge New Jersey News Tribune. His request for her fingerprints after she died in 1982 was refused. (The Gervais-Irene donated her body to Rutgers Medical School; the school refused Mr. Heller access to it.) In December of 1982 Larry Heller then told the same newspaper that he 'wished for the question of his mother's identity to remain a mystery.' Rutgers Medical School later responded to a letter from Joe Gervais saying Irene's body had been "cremated and interned in a common grave." In 2006 and again in 2014, Larry Heller positively identified the woman above on the left as his 'mother.' Labeled the "Non Gervais-Irene" in the study, she had helped to rear Larry Heller from a young age even though she too was not the original Irene Craigmile, and was actually a generation younger than the original Irene. Larry Heller mentioned he believed the picture was taken in the early 1940s when he would have been 6 to 8 years old. Historically, the woman above on the right, the 'Gervais-Irene' who was a different person, also used Mr. Heller's mother's identity beginning in the 1940s. Of course the Gervais-Irene (FKA Amelia Earhart) appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s. It is also true, Amelia Earhart used to know the original Irene's family, the prominent O'Crowley's of Newark, New Jersey. In 1993 a past close friend of the Gervais-Irene's, one Diana Dawes who hosted a radio show in Princeton, New Jersey in the 1970s and 1980s, mentioned that the original Irene Craigmile's long-ago demise had been hushed, adding, "that's how Amelia was able to use her name."
 
~~~

"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, shown below. [Excerpted from Reineck's on camera interview with the National Geographic Channel, 2006.]

Monsignor James Francis Kelley
President of Seton Hall College from 1936 to 1949; held Doctorates in Philosophy and Psychology
A long time close friend of the Gervais-Irene, he admitted to several individuals she used to be 'Amelia Earhart'
 

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

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

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

Below: Excerpt from retired USAF Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck's 1991 taped interview with Monsignor James Francis Kelley. Reineck tracked down the elderly Monsignor after learning what he did from two of the Monsignor's good friends, Helen Barber and Donald DeKoster (see related text below.) 

Reineck: "Are you aware that she was Irene Bolam?"
Kelley: "What?"
Reineck: "Amelia Earhart was Irene Bolam?"
Kelley: "That's right, yes."

 
Monsignor James Francis Kelley (1902-1996) was President of Seton Hall College in New Jersey from 1936 to 1949. He was chiefly responsible for converting the college into a university his final year there. Father Kelley had many famous friends in government, politics, and show business, and he was a highly regarded figure in the Catholic Church. In the mid-1980s Monsignor Kelley began breaking his silence about his late close friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam. He ultimately disclosed to several individuals, that when Amelia returned from Japan he was the one who 'received' her, and he had monitored the process of her being nursed back to health. Monsignor Kelley also described how he had been instrumental with Amelia's identity change to 'Irene.'  

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Cover of Monsignor James Francis Kelley's autobiograpphy

Deriders of the Irene-Amelia equation claimed Monsignor Kelley had grown senile and that he fabricated what he told certain close friends and a few investigators about his friend, Irene. But Father Kelley was simply telling the truth when he said she used to be known as Amelia Earhart, and the people he said it to were convinced he did not make it up. In his 1987 published autobiography, Monsignor Kelley included the following passage in his "My Reasons For Writing This Book" chapter that begins on page ten, and there is no doubt one of the people he referenced was the Gervais-Irene:

"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."

Monsignor Kelley told Colonel Reineck that he wrote a chapter for his book about Amelia's incredible post-loss ordeals and his long term involvement with her, but he ultimately decided not to include it knowing the controversy it would have caused. Where he and Irene/Amelia were devoted close friends for decades, it speaks for itself that the names 'Amelia Earhart' and 'Irene Bolam' appear nowhere in Father Kelley's published memoirs. The following helps to explain the controversy he wished to avoid: 

Their close friendship was evident after WWII...
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...Irene (the Gervais-Irene) and Monsignor Kelley at dinner, mid-late 1970s.

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Monsignor Kelley's beautiful St. Croix, US Virgin Islands home.

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Monsignor Kelley's beautiful Rumson, NJ home. The Gervais-Irene 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 updates on their ongoing investigation of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, foremost including their certain belief that Amelia had 'quietly survived' World War Two. Colonel Reineck soon after received a letter from a Mrs. Helen Barber of Wayne, Pennsylvania 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 privy to. Both the Barbers and the DeKosters were fairly affluent and owned winter homes in the Virgin Islands on St. Croix, near Monsignor Kelley's home there. The following section was excerpted from the letter sent to Colonel Reineck by Mrs. Barber shortly after the press conference:

“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.” 

The above passage was reprinted from the letter Helen Barber sent to Rollin Reineck in 1991. Reineck recorded phone conversations he had with Mrs. Barber and Mr. Donald Dekoster, and both avowed their belief in what Father Kelley conveyed to them about Amelia Earhart. 

Monsignor Kelley & Gervais-Irene in 1980
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Kelley admitted he helped her change her identity from Amelia to Irene.

"It's hard for most people to comprehend, by the 1960s she barely recognized herself for who she used to be." 1987, Monsignor James Francis Kelley describing his late close friend, the Gervais-Irene Bolam to Rockford, Illinois TV reporter, Dean Magley. 

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

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

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 quote that left the curious teetering on the brink of discovery:
 

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

Kelley's sister Gertrude & the Gervais-Irene
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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 as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s...  

 

The Gervais-Irene
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Superimposed with Amelia Earhart photo begins...
Monsignor James Francis Kelley, 1946...
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...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...
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...superimposed with Amelia Earhart.

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

The Gervais-Irene Bolam, Yugoslavia-1976...
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...superimposed with classic Amelia photo...
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...reveals the congruence.

Monsignor Kelley Was Tellingly Awarded For His War Time Servitude
 
Beyond his Seton Hall accomplishments and the 1946 bust statue of his likeness commissioned by the Smithsonian, 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. (See photo & caption below.)
 
Elaborated on further down, in 1938, Morgenthau, who oversaw FDR's Secret Service division, had refused to make public certain information he was aware of that pertained to Amelia Earhart's 1937 world flight, even after Amelia's friends, Jackie Cochran and Eleanor Roosevelt asked him to do so. It is perhaps 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." Simple math shows three years prior to 1941 was 1938, the same year Henry P. Morgenthau, Jr. refused to release the White House report on Amelia Earhart's world flight. It makes sense that by 1938 Morgenthau and FDR were aware Amelia had been picked up by Japan in the Marshalls, just as Admiral Chester Nimitz described in 1965, that such a truth was "known and documented in Washington." Monsignor Kelley was advised of the matter early on as well and remained involved from that point on, as did his friend and Catholic Priest associate, World War Two military vicar, Archbishop Francis Spellman. It is likely Amelia's name change to Irene began at that time.
 
 

From FDR's Cabinet, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.
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His duties well exceeded his 'U.S. Secretary of the Treasury' job description.

 
"I know how Amelia Earhart absolutely disregarded all orders, and if we ever release this thing, goodbye Amelia Earhart's reputation." 1938 quote from FDR Presidential Cabinet Member, Henry P. Morgenthau, Jr. in response to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's query on why the White House refused to release the details it knew about Earhart's world flight ending. (See transcript excerpts further down.)
 
Originally glossed over, when it was ultimately determined that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan went down in the lower Marshall Islands that were part of Japan's Imperial Mandates, there is no doubt Henry Morgenthau Jr. and FDR eventually learned Japan's Imperial Navy had rescued the flying duo, leaving the question of what Amelia's continued existence in Japan's custody meant in the broad scheme of things as World War Two approached.
 

Two other awards the Monsignor received were also likely relevant: "June 18, 1946 - received citation from the War Department through Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Force, Carl Spatz [who Jackie Cochran spent time with on Guam just prior to her entering 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 that 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 listed above.
 
 

Since 1970, three nationally published books proclaimed how at some point after she went missing, Amelia Earhart changed her name to 'Irene' and she continued to live on in the United States subsequent to the World War Two years. Question: Why did the books miss gaining wide acceptance? Answer: 'Official silence' and multiple other theories confused the general public, thus leaving it unable to embrace the reality of Amelia Earhart's identity-change. It wasn't until more in-depth examinations and decades-later interviews (2006-2014) with the original Irene's son that the ultimate truth of Amelia's post-loss identity change was finally determined by: 1.) The forensic realization of three different women having used the same 'Irene' identity, 2.) The realization of the obvious head-to-toe and character trait congruence shared by Amelia and the Gervais-Irene, and 3.)  The realization of the Gervais-Irene having appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s.

The Joe Klaas-Joe Gervais book:
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A best-seller in 1970, it determined Amelia privately survived and later changed her name to Irene.
By Robert Myers & Barbara Wiley, 1985
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A first hand account; claimed Joe Gervais was right about the 'Irene' he met in 1965.
By Colonel Rollin Reineck, 2003
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Proclaimed the Gervais-Irene used to be known as 'Amelia Earhart.'

 
Pertaining to the above information and the published book accounts, there is virtually no-doubt Amelia Earhart spent time on Saipan and among the Marshall Islands when they were under Japan's mandated jurisdiction, although it remains uncertain she was continuously held by Japan against her will after she was initially rescued and detained, and only hearsay ever suggested she died while in Japan's custody. These realities led to a valid question perpetually asked since 1965, that was finally answered a half-century later:

Most definitely, the Gervais-Irene Bolam was previously known as 'Amelia Earhart'

Artist's photo-rendition of the Gervais-Irene
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One of three women attributed to the same identity. Click on image for the Congruence page.
The Gervais-Irene Bolam
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Proud with her wings on her left shoulder, she appeared nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s.

Orville Wright & Amelia Earhart
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The Gervais-Irene & Amelia Earhart superimposed
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Click on this image to go to the 'Forensic Realities' page.

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Amelia Earhart in her eightieth year (1977) living as 'Irene Craigmile Bolam'

Above: The 'Gervais-Irene' Bolam, who died in 1982, was nicknamed for retired Air Force Major, Joe Gervais. Major Gervais spent years studying Earhart's disappearance before he met her in New York in 1965 at a gathering of well known retired pilots. He found her superior knowledge of flying and aviation history fascinating, and her self-described 'close friendship' to Amelia Earhart curious in an odd, if not highly familiar way.

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Amelia's mother and sister, Amy Otis & Muriel "Pidge" Earhart. (Amelia's nickname was "Millie")

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Amelia's sister, Muriel

The Gervais-Irene, 1965.
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With British husband, Guy Bolam.

""Of course I knew Irene. She was a sister Zonta,"" Mrs. Morrissey said, referring to the professional organization to which both women belonged." As an answer to those who suggested Irene looked like an older version of her sister, Muriel offered, "There is practically no physical resemblance." Two 1982 newspaper article quotes from Amelia's sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey--who first acknowledged her friendship with Irene Bolam  (the Gervais-Irene) to CBS radio-journalist, Fred Goerner after the book Amelia Earhart Lives was published in 1970. Her "no physical resemblance" statement was initially contradicted by Joe Gervais, who recognized a strong resemblance between the Irene he met in 1965 and Amelia. Decades later Gervais was proven correct, when the forensic comparison study confirmed a complete head to toe congruence. The above photo of Muriel and her mother, Amy also shows Muriel practically looking like the Gervais-Irene's sister in a 'family resemblance' way when compared to the Gervais-Irene. 

Below Comparisons: After the forensic conclusion of three different women having been attributed to the same 'Irene' identity was accomplished, the Gervais-Irene's physical head-to-toe and personal character trait alignments with Amelia Earhart delivered the equation's undeniable reality.

Amelia Earhart, age twenty-six.
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1923 into a mirror self-photo portrait. She would become famous in 1928.

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Amelia Earhart, 1933

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Amelia, 1928

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Classic Amelia, the blend begins.

Orville Wright & Amelia
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Gervais-Irene & Amelia
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Two photos superimposed.
Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
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Gervais-Irene,1965 / Amelia,1933
Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
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Gervais-Irene,1963 / Amelia,1928
Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
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Gervais-Irene,1976 / Amelia,1932
Gervais-Irene & Amelia superimposed
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Gervais-Irene,1978 / Amelia,1929

Three Irenes and the Missing Person Case of Amelia Earhart
 
The Forensic Analysis Confirmed It: Three different women were attributed to the same 'Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile (Heller) (Bolam)' identity:

1

The National Geographic Channel ignored the new gained reality of 'three different women' having used the same 'Irene' identity when it profiled the ongoing debate over who Irene Bolam really was--or used to be. It also did not mention how the Gervais-Irene, who matched Amelia from head to toe, only appeared identified as 'Irene' from the 1940s on, until her death was recorded in 1982. The Irene Craigmile seen directly below was the original Irene, a past friend of Amelia's. Amelia assumed the original Irene's identity for herself during the WWII era desiring future privacy. Examining the Gervais-Irene shownto the far right (3) who was previously known as 'Amelia Earhart,' deviated septum rhinoplasty altered her nasal look, and dental work, cosmetic adjustments, and added weight left it difficult for people to recognize her familiar 1930s' image.  Why did she go to such great lengths to obscure who she used to be? As her long time friend, Monsignor James Francis Kelley later explained, "after all she had been through she didn't want to be Amelia Earhart anymore."  
 

The original Irene Craigmile, 1930.
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Amelia's friend, with her husband Charles and her father, Joe. She was seen no more after the 1930s.

2

3. 1947

Note: In 2006 and again in 2014, the original Irene's 1934 born son, Larry Heller, who clearly lived his life unaware of the human-triplicity attributed to his mother's name, identified both the younger and older images of the woman displayed below as his 'mother.' The problem was she wasn't the woman shown directly to the right, whose image appeared in the 1970 book Amelia Earhart Lives, even though according to history she should have been. The National Geographic Channel was made aware of the ID placement made by Mr. Heller, but it refused to comment on it or to display the 'mother' images he identified here in the Irene Bolam segment of its recent Amelia Earhart, 'Unsolved History' program.

The 'third' Irene (Non-Gervais) early 1940s.
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AKA 'Irene Jr.'

Below: 1982

Below...
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...older version of the Non Gervais-Irene, age 58, 1982.

3
 
Note: This woman's image appeared in the 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives. She identified herself as "Irene Bolam," the mother of Larry Heller. On paper she was his mother. Biologically, she was not.
   

the more familiar look...
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,,,prior to her post-disappearance adjustments.

1946, the Gervais-Irene Craigmile
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AKA 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' after her 1958 marriage to Guy Bolam of England

1965 Joe Gervais photo...
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The Gervais-Irene Craigmile Bolam. She was identified nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s.

The Non Gervais-Irene....
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An O'Crowley family secret?
Left and right photos...
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...displays same person in younger-older versions.
Non Gervais-Irene's true identity remains unknown,
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Her real estimated age was 'fifity-eight years' in 1982...

'Gervais-Irene' young
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Left and right images combined display the congruence.
The Gervais-Irene in 1965.
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AKA "Irene Bolam" from the photo displayed in the 1970 book 'Amelia Earhart Lives.'

The Gervais-Irene in 1977, harder exposure...
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...different angle added; all of her eighty years seen here.

In the 1950s, investigative researchers began unearthing important truths pertaining to Amelia Earhart's world-flight outcome. The vast majority of those who seriously delved into it drew the same conclusion: Without public awareness, Amelia Earhart continued to exist in Japan's care beyond July 2, 1937, the day she was said to have 'disappeared.' After 1970 a few felt equally strong that Amelia survived beyond World War Two and returned to the United States sporting a new identity. No matter, for decades conventional reality dismissed the suggestion of Amelia's incognito survival, until more recent years, beginning in the late 1990s, when renewed ingterest in the old controversy led to it being more seriously examined and scrutinized.

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Overview: The Historical Objective
 
This website is not connected to any Amelia Earhart research groups or plane-hunting cottage industries. In recent decades the pursuits of private clubs such as TIGHAR, Nauticos, and the Amelia Earhart Society received much media attention. However, while offering different theories in their attempts to explain what happened to Earhart and Noonan; TIGHAR's 'they died as castaways on a desert island,' the Amelia Earhart Society's 'they died while in Japan's custody after going down in the Marshall Islands,' and Nauticos' 'they died after crashing and sinking in the Pacific,' they diluted the more controversial aspects of Amelia Earhart's world flight and its aftermath, and they dismissed the possibility of her continued survival.
 
Introduced as a more in-depth academic alternative (as opposed to a donation gathering or money-making venture) from the time it was launched Irene-Amelia.com has ranked high among internet search engines. It thoroughly addresses the following questions:
 
1.) After not finding Howland Island, did Earhart and Noonan decide to fly hundreds of miles in a direction where they knew no civilization existed, and soon after die as castaways on a desert island?
 
2.)  In Japan's care, would Japan have optioned to let them die, or worse, to execute them after initially rescuing and helping the famous flying duo?
 
3.) With no less than four-to-five hours worth of fuel remaining when they were last heard from, would the duo have continued to all-but aimlessly fly around over the Pacific Ocean without even attempting Amelia's pre-described 'Plan B' option to reach her 'second choice' civilized land mass of the British controlled Gilbert Islands?
 
4.)  Is it plausible the general public was left unaware of something else that transpired after Earhart and Noonan went missing?
 
Consider the following:

"This is a powder keg. Any public discussion of it will furnish the torch for the explosion." U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Claude Swanson in 1938, refers to the 'official silence regard' concerning Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. From Emile Gauvreau's The Wild Blue Yonder, EP Dutton Co., 1944.

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Emile Gauvreau's 1944 classic WWII aviation book, 'The Wild Blue Yonder' is quoted above

"Numerous investigations foundered on official silence in Tokyo and Washington, leaving the fate of Amelia Earhart an everlasting mystery." From Marylin Bender & Selig Altschull's Pan Am aviation history book, The Chosen Instrument, 1982, Simon & Schuster. Note: 'Official silence' created the 'mystery' of Amelia Earhart.
 

Product Details
The Chosen Instrument by Selig Altschull and
Marylin Bender (Simon & Schuster, 1982) 

WWII Admiral Chester Nimitz
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Said it was "known and documented in Washington" that Earhart ended up in the Marshall Islands.

In 1965, former World War Two Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral Chester Nimitz admitted his own awareness of Earhart's
continued survival after her purported 'disappearance' to CBS Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner who was investigating the case:
 
1965 Nimitz Quote: "Amelia Earhart and her navigator did go down in the
Marshall Islands and were picked up by the Japanese."

After the U.S. occupied the Marshalls in 1944, liberating it from Japan, Admiral Nimitz was put in charge there. Admiral Nimitz also mentioned to Goerner how such a truth about Earhart was long ago "known and documented in Washington." [Note: Admiral Nimitz assisted Fred Goerner with his 1960s investigative journalism quest that peered into the controversial non-reported details of Earhart's last flight.] Admiral Nimitz was also acquainted with Monsignor James Francis Kelley.  

Henry P. Morgenthau Jr., second from right...
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...shown with his assitant, Stephen Gibbons, far right.
 
 
"This letter that Mrs. Roosevelt wrote me on trying to get the report on Amelia Earhart, if we're going to release this thing it's just going to smear the whole reputation of Amelia Earhart, I mean if we give it to this one man we've got to make it public. We can't let one man see it." The above quote came from U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr.'s May 13, 1938 Dictaphone recorded response to First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt's personal secretary, Malvina Scheider. Via the Coast Guard Cutter Itasca and additional relays pertaining to Amelia Earhart's disappearance, Morgenthau was the most closely apprised White House individual other than the President on the true circumstances of it all. Further down, notice Morgenthau's comment about Amelia having "absolutely disregarded all orders" and how the 'ruining' of her reputation and legacy was certain if the public were to find out what the White House knew. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Stephen Gibbons, (additionally shown in the photograph) was also in the loop of awareness as evidenced by his additional 1938 recorded comments. To this day the public remains unaware of the 'against all orders' decision Amelia made. It was clear though, the White House continued to remain uncertain of the entirety of Earhart's flight-ending details and its ultimate outcome, as evidenced by an O-2 Intelligence file (released by the FOIA in 1980) displaying questions asked in November of 1938 pertaining to whether Earhart and Noonan had been intercepted and brought down by Japanese fighter pilots. No certifiable information was produced confirming Japan had done such a thing, but the query revealed the U.S. was still fishing for information concerning the duo's actual fate at that time. Please continue.  
 
 

 

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HOW THE 'DISAPPEARANCE' OF AMELIA EARHART AND FRED NOONAN BEGAN:
 
ACCORDING TO HISTORY, ON THE MORNING OF JULY 2, 1937 Amelia Earhart sent her last 'officially recognized' radio transmission at 8:44AM as she and Fred Noonan continued to fly over the Pacific Ocean looking for Howland Island. Awaiting off-shore near Howland, the Coast Guard Cutter, 'Itasca' received messages from Amelia and transmitted back to her. Curiously, while the Itasca heard Amelia's transmissions fairly well, Amelia was unable to hear the Itasca's replies on either of her available frequencies. In the Itasca log's final recorded messages from Amelia, she mentioned her northwest-southeast line of position, "157-337" followed by her widely-contested final words, "We are running north and south." Her plane's fuel supply remained ample at that time; Amelia's Lockheed Electra had a distance range of 4,500 miles and the leg she and Noonan had flown from New Guinea to Howland was 2,550 miles. The duo's last coordinates were generally believed to have been, 'Somewhere In The Vicinity Northwest Of Howland Island, Far To The East-Southeast Of The Gilbert And Marshall Islands.' Even though Earhart and Noonan did not locate Howland--a tiny island amid a vast ocean expanse--they never reported any trouble flying and could easily have made it to another civilized land-mass with their 'Plan B' option. Of note, before she began her world flight Amelia had mentioned to Bureau of Air Commerce Chief, Gene Vidal how if she and Noonan had trouble locating Howland their 'Plan B' was to reserve enough fuel to head back to the British controlled Gilbert Islands, southernly adjacent to the Marshall Islands. (continued further down)

Below: After she was reported missing Amelia Earhart's image strangely began to require White House protection. This reply to a query made by First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt nine months after Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were declared 'missing persons' reveals the protective stance the White House was actively adhering to:

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In May of 1938 Eleanor Roosevelt's personal secretary, Malvina Scheider delivered the above message to the First Lady in response to a query she made on behalf of Jackie Cochran and Paul Mantz. The two wished to know why the White House refused to release the final recorded details of Amelia Earhart's July of 1937 disappearance. FDR's Cabinet member, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr. is referenced in the above note. (See his photo and other transcript inserts below.) Although it is clear the White House withheld information about Amelia Earhart's flight outcome, it never officially commented on why it refused to make it public. Among the information Morgenthau eventually did release, it was evident adjustments had been made to make it non-controversial. For example, its altered version of Earhart's final words included the phrase, "we are running north and south." So much left the public unaware of the final northern-heading Earhart and Noonan ultimately chose. It wasn't until 1983 that the discovered follow-up 'officially recorded' 0-2 Intelligence memo revealed Earhart had specified the duo's final heading as "north," matching her previous statement of 'heading for the Gilberts' if they didn't locate Howland.  

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A 'FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT' DECLASSIFIED 0-2 INTELLIGENCE REPORT revealed how after Amelia Earhart's last publicly relayed radio transmission was logged, she sent additional radio transmissions that were officially recorded. The report included how upon Earhart and Noonan abandoning their effort to locate Howland, "She (Amelia) stated she was turning north and they (Earhart and Noonan) continued to be heard at intervals." The 0-2 report also mentioned, "Her signals became fainter as she continued to head north." The report was issued in response to a rumor of Japanese military planes having shot Earhart's plane down after it entered its air space. Australian Air Laison, Colonel H.H.C. Richards conveyed in the 1938 generated 0-2 report that he believed the suggestion was "not the case." Or, Japan fighter planes did not shoot Amelia Earhart's plane down in his opinion. It was also true; for three days Pan Am's Makapu Point station in Hawaii recorded follow up radio transmissions described as 'likely sent from Earhart.' A degree of error bearing correction from the Coast Guard Cutter Itasca to Makapu showed the signals emanating from the direction of the lower Marshall Islands. To date however, no Earhart radio messages besides those exhibited in the Itasca's log that stopped while Earhart and Noonan were in the vicinity of Howland on the morning of July 2, 1937 were ever authorized for public review. Curiously, even the Itasca's radio log was withheld from the public for more than a year by Henry P. Morgenthau, Jr., a key member of FDR's Cabinet. A few months before he finally did make it public, Morgenthau sent a message to First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt displaying his reluctance to release the White House 'final report' on Earhart's flight ending, especially where it concerned a certain choice Earhart made that was "against all orders." He also edified for the First Lady how releasing it would 'ruin' Amelia Earhart's reputation. (continued further down)
 

Below: Two excerpts from Morgenthau's original May 13, 1938 transcripted response to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's request for information concerning the 'disappearance' of Amelia Earhart. 

From Morgenthau's conversation...
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...with the First Lady's secretary Malvina Scheider about the withheld Earhart disappearance report.
An additional transcript exerpt:
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The lack of a "proper search" referenced the U. S. never searching the Marshalls.

Note: Henry Morgenthau Jr. ended his conversation with Malvina Scheider by suggesting she 'make something up' to appease the First Lady's request. He did offer to personally tell the First Lady 'what happened' if she really wanted to know, but it was clear he didn't want to. Morgenthau professed to know a higher truth about Earhart's world flight outcome, and his assistant, Stephen Gibbons also mentioned the White House was privy to some kind of 'evidence' that would have been 'awful to have to make public' while indicating additional search efforts would be pointless. Morgenthau's comments were recorded while he was conducting a meeting on social security reform. Other people were in the room with he and Gibbons at the time, so he was careful while he spoke to Ms. Scheider on the phone. He didn't say it specifically, but he alluded to the idea of Earhart and Noonan having been intercepted, or perhaps even fired upon by Japan as they approached the Marshalls by way of 'wireless messages' pertaining to what Morgenthau described was, 'not a very nice story, what that woman went through her last few airborne minutes.' Realistically as well, it would have been an important objective for Morgenthau to steer the curious away from learning about Earhart's post loss reality if it pertained to a willingness she obliged Japan's Naval Authority with after her rescue. The matter of the Sino-Japanese War starting on July 7, 1937 (just five days after Earhart and Noonan went missing) that led to the U.S. imposing embargos on Japan and its endorsement of the Flying Tigers no-doubt exasperated Earhart's post-loss situation as well.
 
No one doubted Amelia's patriotism. As far as the 'Earhart and Noonan were spying' idea went, citing their doggedly researched foundations for it, Randall Brink and Fred Goerner, [even Amy Otis Earhart, Amelia's mother] determined there was a pre-planned alternate agend for Amelia's last flight. Whether those plans amounted to fly-over surveys Earhart and Noonan were to conduct for U.S. Naval Intelligence became the question. Randall Brink and Fred Goerner both felt, according to their investigative research findings in Washington DC, that the duo may have been asked to conduct fly-over surveys in an effort to detect illegal fortifications Japan was rumored to be building among its Mandate Islands. Similarly, Gervais and Reineck considered the duo might have also been set to begin or continue doing surveys in a different plane after making it to Hawaii (their last scheduled stop before their stateside return) where an extended layover had been been pre-arranged. It was later learned a long aviation double-runway had been surreptitiously constructed in the southwest wilderness section of Niihau at the same time the Howland Island runway was built for the Earhart flight. These hardly-used (if ever at all) Niihau runways are still visible by satellite today.  [See 'The Niihau Plan Rumor' at the bottom of the "A Few Odd Rumors About Amelia Earhart" page for more.]

U. N. Marshall Islands Ambassador, Alfred Capelle
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In 2002 he affirmed to Ron Staton of the Associated Press: Earhart definitely came to the Marshall's
2002 Associated Press Article by Ron Staton
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Staton interviewed Capelle at an Earhart Research Symposium
From the Marshall Islands stamp series
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The actual path of Earhart's Electra shows the reroute to the Marshalls
The Marshall Islands Stamp Series
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From Earhart and Noonan's takeoff from New Guinea to their rescue at Mili Atoll

After hearing of Gervais and Dinger's work...
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...CBS radio journalist, Fred Goerner's 1966 classic blew the lid off the Earhart truth.

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TODAY, MARSHALL ISLANDS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS continue to describe, just as they always have, how Amelia Earhart's arrival at the Marshall Islands in 1937 when it was under Japan's pre-WWII authority is legitimate history. They also feel American pride and a quiet post-war agreement between Japan and the U.S. (as opposed to a vast conspiracy) aimed at the protection of Earhart's legacy and essential 'post-war goodwill' to commence between to the two countries, were the main reasons for disallowing such a truth to be publicly endorsed. It is also at least arguable, after Amelia Earhart ended her world-flight in Japan's pre-war Imperial Mandate Islands and spent time on Japan's governed Island of Saipan as well, she may not have remained there entirely against her will. Beyond Japan's denial of ever mistreating Earhart, and Ambassador Capelle's 'specific reason' statement for why Amelia Earhart was in the Marshalls, no solid conveyance of Amelia Earhart's or Fred Noonan's deaths taking place has ever surfaced.
 
No matter, for after USAF Captains, Joe Gervais and Bob Dinger's 1960s Earhart investigative research caught the attention of CBS Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner, who found out their 'seventy eyewitness accounts' attesting to Earhart's survival and travels among Japan's Imperial Mandate Islands during the war had been confiscated in 1962 by high-ranking U.S. military officials stationed in Japan, Goerner's groundbreaking 1966 book, The Search For Amelia Earhart blew the lid off the long buried reality of Earhart's last flight outcome. It also caused an important question to arise: Where Earhart and Noonan did make it to civilized land and received aid from Japan, what became of them after that? It was clear by the end of the 1960s decade, as if to put a final lid on the story, the American public had been persuaded by more sensationalized theories to believe Earhart had either died of an illness Japan neglected, or in a more macabre way, from Japan having executed both she and Noonan.
 
Beyond the simple 'crashed and sank' idea, with all other suggestions of Earhart's fate rebuffed by 'official silence' in Tokyo and Washington, the Earhart disappearance case evolved to become an open playing field. So much so, by the 1980s, out of the blue and with no real historical foundation to support it, the U.S. Navy began to favor a more 'innocent' alternate ending for Earhart and Noonan with the introduction of a nonsensical idea suggesting the two flew so far off course in the opposite direction of civilization, that they ended up hundreds of miles south of Howland Island on the desert island of Gardner, now known as Nikamororo. A more romantic version of their demise to be sure, it offered how the two lived alone like Robinson Crusoe there until they died of hunger and dehydration. Even though the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum has always maintained no authentic evidence has ever been produced to support the claim, the 'castaways' scenario still remains an occasional reported-on news item, helping to sweep volumes of previously discovered investigation data under the rug of official U.S. history. In the meantime, since the 1970s any mention of Earhart and Noonan having privately continued to live out of the public eye for reasons unknown by the public, has perpetually remained ignored by official U.S. history. Recall however, there never was an official investigation that looked into the 1937 disappearance of Earhart and Noonan. Note how in 1960 Amelia Earhart would have only been sixty-three years old. So where she did survive her storied disappearance in Japan's care, it is likely she was still alive in 1960, and therefore as well, for years to follow while sporting a new identity.
 

PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT DURING PEARL HARBOR CONFERENCE. General MacArthur and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz on deck of the USS Baltimore with the President, July 1944.
 
Above: General Douglas MacArthur, President Franklin Roosevelt, Admiral Chester Nimitz on the USS Baltimore, July 1944. Famous figures from the World War Two era, there is no doubt they were all aware of the Earhart post-loss situation on a higher level than the general public was. In 1965 Admiral Nimitz plainly admitted it was quietly "known and documented in Washington" that Earhart and Noonan survived their flight ending and were "picked up" by Japan. The Gervais-Irene's later life friends in General MacArthur's widow, Jean MacArthur and United States Senator, Barry Goldwater of Arizona were perhaps also linked to a higher understanding of the Earhart story. As was often the norm when it came to regarding certain war-time controversies, at some point it was decided the official U.S. disposition about Amelia Earhart's disappearance would evermore be greeted with a let's move on attitude, or, "official silence." Thus it remained to evermore be officially recognized; After July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were technically considered 'missing persons' until they were both legally declared 'dead' a year and a half later, and according to official U.S. history, it has remained that way ever since.

BEYOND THE OBVIOUS Gervais-Irene to Amelia congruence, the vast amount of information accumulated since the 1960s that exposed the Irene-Amelia controversy speaks for itself, to include how the Forensic Comparison Study, along with the recent-years testimony of the original Irene's son, clearly revealed how three different women were historically attributed to the same 'Irene' identity.

Amelia Earhart, age 26, before she became famous.
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Gervais-Irene
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Gervais-Irene & Amelia
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Two photos superimposed.

How it began: In 1965 at a gathering of well-known retired pilots in the East Hamptons of Long Island, New York, a World War Two, Korean War, and Vietnam War veteran, USAF Major Joe Gervais (Ret.) met one of the three different women who were historically attributed to the same identity of 'Irene nee O'Crowley Craigmile Heller Bolam.' The 'Irene' he met is labeled in Beyond 37's study as 'the Gervais-Irene.' The study revealed how the Gervais-Irene appeared nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the 1940s. Contrary to what became the assumed public opinion that all questions had been answered about it, official history and both Amelia's and the original Irene's families avoided seriously addressing the controversy Major Gervais recognized, leaving the question of the Gervais-Irene's former identity to authoritatively remain unanswered. 

WWII hero & retired USAF Major Joe Gervais...
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...in 1983 on his way to Howland Island. Amelia never made there in 1937.

Above: Retired USAF Major, Joe Gervais (1924-2005). For years he doggedly investigated the background of the Irene he met and photographed in 1965. Against a barrage of less-informed naysayers and unforgiving public scrutiny, he always avowed she had previously been known as Amelia Earhart.
 
Below: The jacket flap text rom the 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas.

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Below: Some post-loss words and thoughts expressed by George Putnam and Jackie Cochran. 

George Palmer Putnam 'discovered' Amelia in 1928.
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After they wed in 1931, he served as Amelia's promoter and manager until 1937. (See excerpt, right.)

George Palmer Putnam:
"Is there any way of ascertaining what the Japanese are actually doing? Especially as regards a real search of the eastern fringe of the Marshall Islands? That is one of the most fruitful possible locations for wreckage." Excerpt from a 7/31/37 George Palmer Putnam note to White House Attorney, Marvin Mcintyre, four weeks after Amelia was reported missing.
Jackie Cochran:
During the year before Amelia vanished, Jackie Cochran (shown on the right with Amelia) recalled of that time period, "I was closer to Amelia than anyone else, even her husband, George Putnam." The quote was taken from Jackie Cochran's 1987 autobiography by Maryann Bucknum Brinley, and was telling of the growing trouble signs in Amelia's marriage. Jackie Cochran replaced Amelia as 'the most famous female pilot' in the United States after 1937. She too befriended First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, headed up the WASP (Woman's Air Service Pilots) contingency during World War Two, and with the help of her good friend, Chuck Yeager she became the first woman to break the sound barrier. Jackie had married multi-millionaire, Floyd Odlum who helped with the enormous cost of Amelia's last flight. Amelia dedicated her final book, Last Flight to Floyd as a thank you. Jackie Cochran was also instrumental in getting Eisenhower elected President, and Ike and Mamie often stayed with Jackie and Floyd in Indio in the 1960s. Curiously, in the 1970s, at a function honoring heroic female pilots of the past, when Amelia Earhart's name was mentioned Jackie Cochran audibly acknowledged that Amelia would 'never show her face here after what she did,' indicating her awareness of something patriotically awry Amelia became caught up with after she went missing in 1937, and 'present tense' hinting of her continued existence as well. 

Amelia with Jackie Cochran, 1937
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Shown at the Odlum-Cochran ranch near Indio, CA where Amelia 'often visited alone.'

Can a person change over time, to a point where they're no longer recognizable for who they used to be? Consider the following:

"We fancy ourselves as concrete things, something with boundaries, unchanging, and when we have occasion to refer to ourselves or examine ourselves introspectively, we believe we know what we refer to and are adamant in our avowal of self. The truth is we neither know ourselves nor are we the same from one moment in our lives to the next. If we think of ourselves as bodies, our changing self becomes apparent. It is nearly impossible even for families to recognize a loved one after thirty years of absence, so greatly has the self altered. And a little reflection upon the changing quality of consciousness is sure to give us some insight into the numberless selves our surface minds and egos have become since first appearing in the world." Uell Stanley Andersen (1917-1986)

Below are a few quotes displaying interesting, if not revealing sides of Amelia's private and public sides. The first two are from Susan Butler's 1997 Addison-Wesley Amelia Earhart biography, East To The Dawn. The 'Muhammed Ali' quote comes from Susan Ware's 1993 W.W. Norton Amelia Earhart biography, Still Missing; Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism.  

"...Amelia's habit of concealment extended even to her closest of friends..."

"...averse as she was to ceding control of her life in any circumstance to someone else."

 Then again, when it came to speaking her mind; "Amelia was about as shy as Muhammad Ali."

1966 Doubleday book by CBS Radio's Fred Goerner...
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A top ten New York Times 'Best Seller,' years later 'official silence' left few recalling it.

How Amelia Earhart's 'Disappearance Controversy' Re-Surfaced In The 1960s

These landmark investigative books from 1966 and 1970 combined for over fifteen years of documented research. They clearly revealed how over time the United States and Japan chose not to publicly disclose a higher awarenesses they shared about Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan's last flight. The books' authors along with other private investigators who inquired about their overwhelming amount of uncovered evidence, were greeted with official silence in Washington and Tokyo when they pressed for more information. Eventually, most gave up on trying to get an official response. Still, by the mid-1970s it had become clear in a forensic way that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan did not just crash and sink, nor did they disappear from the face of the earth, nor did they die of sickness on Saipan, nor were they executed by Japan for spying, nor did they perish on a remote desert island hundreds of miles south of the equator. A purpose was served though, for the introductions of these and other suggestions about the duo's final fate helped keep the 'mystery' idea going. Among those keenly aware of the Earhart disappearance saga, many accept the reality of the duo having survived under the auspice of Japan well beyond the day they went missing, even though the general public was just never clued in about it.

1970 McGraw-Hill book by Joe Klaas w/Joe Gervais
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First to pontificate that Amelia had 'privately survived.'

What Most Private Investigative Researchers Mistakenly Assumed:
 
The majority of serious Earhart disappearance investigators always agreed Mili Atoll of the lower Marshall Islands was where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan went down before they were rescued by Japan's Naval Authority. Japan denied holding them captive against their will and any suggestion of either of the two having died while in their care. None the less, a common thread grew to exist where past investigators mistakenly assumed Earhart and Noonan must have somehow died in the broad circle of the Pacific Islands region they last flew in. 1.) Researcher Richard Gillespie (of Tighar) stressed that the two died on the island of Nikamororo of hunger and dehydration after they went down there. The trouble with his decades old claim is there has never been any credible evidence introduced to support it. 2.) CBS Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner asserted the duo went down on Mili Atoll and later died on Saipan; Earhart of dysentery and Noonan at the hands of a Japanese jail guard. Yet, no hard evidence supported Goerner's 'how they died' theory either. 3.) Researcher Mike Campbell and Amelia Earhart Society President, Bill Prymak expressed their beliefs that Thomas Devine was right about Earhart having been executed on Saipan, but no hard evidence supported their claim either, and again, Japan denied ever harming Earhart. 4.) Researcher Elgen Long claimed Earhart and Noonan flew back and forth while looking for Howland, until they ultimately crashed into the sea where they sank and drowned, although in time few people agreed with him after they weighed the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that contradicted his hypothesis.
 
Official history never formally looked into Earhart's loss, and the above researchers professed Earhart surviving her flight ending ordeal was untrue, even though it was never proven untrue, leaving the following question to be asked: Was it possible Amelia Earhart could have survived after she was said to have 'disappeared', and she quietly continued to exist beyond World War Two with a new name and a strong desire for future privacy without the public knowing about it? The answer: Of course it was, and in time it became clear that was exactly what happened.
 

Where history treated Amelia Earhart unfairly, it is mainly because a difference existed between what the public thought it understood about the time period of her last flight, compared to what it did not later recall. One thing often overlooked was how Amelia was an anti-war pacifist who was not so affected by the growing negative feelings toward Japan in 1937, four years before Pearl Harbor happened. She was adhering to an isolationist stance, and during her last flight she wrote favorably of all nations she visited. Amelia also spoke several languages to include Japanese, she adored Japan's culture and she was a hero there in the 1930s just as Babe Ruth had been. She always chose to do things her own way, and in effect, when the Sino-Japanese war broke out on July 7, 1937--just five days after she was declared a missing person, she was pretty much gone forever from that point on.

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Another Gervais-Irene photo...
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...superimposed with Amelia.

"I think of God as a symbol for good, thinking good, identifying good in everybody and everything. This God I think of is not an abstraction, but a vitalizing, universal force, eternally present, and at all times available." Amelia Earhart

"Do not believe in what you've heard. Do not believe in tradition because it is handed down many generations. Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times. Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage. Do not believe in conjecture. Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders. But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it."

Buddah (563 B.C. - 483 B.C.)

 

 

The FBI version of Iva Toguri (other surname, "d’Aquino") and “Tokyo Rose”

Iva Toguri d’Aquino (National Archives Photo)
Iva Toguri d’Aquino. Photo courtesy
of the National Archives.

Following the Japanese surrender in September 1945, American troops began searching for Japanese military leaders and others who may have committed war crimes. The press—sometimes following, sometimes beating the military to the scene—did the same.

Two of these reporters, Henry Brundidge and Clark Lee, sought “Tokyo Rose,” the notorious siren who tried to demoralize American soldiers and sailors during the war by highlighting their hardships and sacrifices.

Through their legwork and contacts, the two reporters quickly identified one young American woman, Iva Toguri, who had made such broadcasts. Brundidge and Lee offered her a significant sum, which they later reneged on paying, for exclusive rights to interview her. Toguri agreed, signing a contract that identified her as Tokyo Rose.

The problem for Aquino, though, was that Tokyo Rose was not an actual person, but the fabricated name given by soldiers to a series of American-speaking women who made propaganda broadcasts under different aliases. As a result of her interview with the two reporters, Aquino came to be seen by the public—though not by Army and FBI investigators—as the mythical protagonist Tokyo Rose. This popular image defined her in the public mind of the post-war period and continues to color debate about her role in World War II today.[Irene-Amelia.com note: The statement "Tokyo Rose was not an actual person," contradicts the testimony former U.S. soldiers gave during the Tokyo Rose trial in 1949--who avowed there had been one specific American female voice with a pure accent who consistently identified herself as "Tokyo Rose," just as Iva Toguri had consistently identified herself as "Orphan Ann" and "Orphan Annie."] 

The Zero Hour

In November 1943, Toguri was asked to become a broadcaster for Radio Tokyo on the Zero Hour program. The program was part of a Japanese psychological warfare campaign designed to lower the morale of U.S. Armed Forces. The Zero Hour was broadcast every day except Sunday, from 6 p.m. until 7:15 p.m., Tokyo time. Toguri participated in most weekday broadcasts, but other women handled weekend duties.

Toguri was introduced on the program as “Orphan Ann,” “Orphan Annie.” Toguri’s average time on each program was about 20 minutes, during which she made propaganda statements and introduced popular records of the day, such as “Speak to Me of Love,” “In a Little Gypsy Tea Room,” and “Love’s Old Sweet Song.” The remainder of the program was devoted chiefly to news items from America and general news commentaries by other members of the broadcasting staff.

~~~

Click here to e-mail Irene-Amelia.com and/or Beyond 37', or just e-mail EarhartTruth@Irene-Amelia.com

Irene-Amelia.com was first launched in 2007. The comprehensive Forensic Analysis and Forensic Comparison Study it displays, 1.) Proved more than one person employed the same 'Irene' identity, and 2.) Displayed the head-to-toe congruence the Gervais-Irene shared with Amelia Earhart. The analysis first began in 1996 and was copyrighted in 2002. Tod Swindell's original manuscript, Protecting Earhart: The Beautiful Alter Ego and Silent Legacy of History's Most Famous Flying Heroine is housed and registered at the Writers Guild of America (west), #1033972. For information e-mail EarhartTruth@Irene-Amelia.com.
 
This website is dedicated to the late USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais (1924-2005) and the late USAF Col. Rollin C. Reineck (1920-2007). Both were World War Two heroes who learned the basic Irene-Amelia truth decades ago. A special thanks also goes out to Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, whose enormous help with supplying never before made public 'Irene' photo data in 2002 paved the way for the forensic comparison study to finally reach its realistic conclusion. Thanks as well to Bazzell Baz, who breathed new life into the endeavor in the late 1990s by daring to go where others didn't.
 
Major Gervais, who is considered by many to have been the most knowledgeable Amelia Earhart investigative researcher ever to pursue the truth, first suspected the Irene-Amelia reality in 1965. The controversial 1970 McGraw-Hill book by Joe Klaas, Amelia Earhart Lives expounded on the enormous amount of Joe Gervais' investigative research and displayed the first nationally published photo of Irene Bolam, AKA the Gervais-Irene. Regardless of the fallout caused by Amelia Earhart Lives, Major Gervais and Colonel Reineck spent the last four decades of their lives working to advance the claim of Earhart's name-changed survival to authenticity after enduring their own long term investigative analysis of the evidence that supported it. Colonel Reineck's book Amelia Earhart Survived was published in late 2003 and was greatly inspired by the Irene-Amelia forensic studies. Portions of the study appeared in the Reineck book, although much more is displayed in Irene-Amelia.com. Beyond 37' and Irene-Amelia.com are owned and managed by Tod Swindell and Aether Pictures and Press of Pasadena, California.

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