Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishment
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H.L. Mencken opens ŌThe Champion,Ķ one of his most memorable and entertaining essays with this question: ŌOf the forty-eight sovereign States of this imperial Federation, which is the worst?Ķ With his next sentence he clarifies his question: ŌIn what one of them is a civilized man most uncomfortable?Ķ The answer, as one who knows Mencken might expect, turns out to be that most thoroughly American of all the states, California.
Mencken was a journalist—albeit a truly great one—so he didnÕt define ŌworstĶ like a person of higher values might have. As I was reading the new and improved second edition of Mike CampbellÕs Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, a superior way of clarifying the question, as it applies to the countries on this globe, came to my mind. ŌIn what one of them is a virtuous, truth-telling man most unwelcome?Ķ
Now anyone who knows anything about the human race and its history knows that such people tend not to be welcome anywhere, particularly among those who have a close hold on power over the fellow members of their group. If, as is often the case, their power is built upon a foundation of lies—sometimes known as myths—their hostility is likely to be particularly great. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mike Campbell with his rock-solid story of pioneer aviator Amelia EarhartÕs capture by the Japanese in 1937, and the 21st century ruling establishment of the United States of America.
An Important Myth
As we all know, the prevailing myth about the popular aviatorÕs disappearance in the South Pacific as she failed to reach tiny Howland Island is that it remains a big mystery that likely will never be solved. The really interesting thing is that our press increasingly feels the need, more than three quarters of a century after the fact, to reinforce the myth with tales of efforts to locate traces of the lost airplane and its two occupants, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. We detailed some of these myth-reinforcing efforts in our review of the first edition of CampbellÕs book, ŌHillary Clinton and the Amelia Earhart Cover-up,Ķ published in 2012. It can be found in the concluding section entitled ŌContinued Media Misdirection.Ķ We note in that section that right in the forefront of the myth reinforcement was no less an establishment figure than the Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The essential outlines of the truth—as opposed to the myth—concerning what happened to Earhart, Noonan, and their twin-engine Lockheed Electra are by now well established through the testimony of a large number of witnesses. The airplane went down on an island in the Japanese-controlled Marshall Islands to the north of Howland Island. Earhart and Noonan were taken prisoner by the Japanese and treated as spies. From there they were transferred to the Japanese headquarters for the region, the island of Saipan, for incarceration and interrogation, with a likely intermediate stop at Kwajalein Atoll.
There are a number of questions that remain open at this point, but most of them are minor. After CampbellÕs latest effort, itÕs probably correct to say that itÕs no longer an open question that Earhart intentionally missed Howland Island. Uncle Sam was paying the piper and the tune he called was for her to Ōget lostĶ and to stumble into Japanese territory. The botched radio transmissions from EarhartÕs airplane could not have been those of a person running out of fuel, desperate to save her life before going down in the vast Pacific, whose only lifeline was the radio. President Franklin Roosevelt, a schemer of the highest order, we may safely speculate, was certain that the Japanese would treat the international celebrity Earhart well and would welcome the good publicity they would receive by rescuing her and then letting her go on her way. It was a very tragic miscalculation insofar as the fate of Earhart and Noonan was concerned. FDR had greatly underestimated the degree of suspicion and the level of barbarity of the Japanese militarists.
Our government certainly knew that Earhart and Noonan were in Japanese hands, but we couldnÕt let them know that we knew without giving away the game, a large part of it being that we were listening to Japanese radio communications, having broken their codes. Comparing what our decodes said with what we likely knew of EarhartÕs route would have been a good way to further nail down the code breaking.
We might have gained some valuable intelligence, intelligence that bears upon the question of our foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack, but in the process FDR had maneuvered himself into a position where his only political course of action was to abandon the fliers to their fate. From that time to the present it has been in the interests of the governments of the United States and of Japan to stick with the story that Earhart just got lost, ran out of fuel, and disappeared without a trace, or perhaps crash landed on tiny Gardner Island (now Nikumaroro) and survived there for a while.
Campbell doesnÕt make the connection, but at this point we canÕt help but notice the great similarities between the Earhart episode and our governmentÕs abandonment of large numbers of POWs in North Vietnam and Laos after the Vietnam War. President Richard Nixon and his top adviser Henry Kissinger had painted themselves into a corner by making secret promises that were politically impossible for them to keep, so badly did they want a peace agreement with the North Vietnamese. Chief among them was a promise of reparations for the damage that we had done to the country in the war. The Communists held back prisoners as a sort of collateral, and we never paid up. The truth makes both the Communist governments and the U.S. look bad, so the politically expedient course of action has been to leave the POWs to their fate, just as Earhart and Noonan were left to theirs.
Another great parallel in the two abandonments is that on one side are the governments and their compliant press and on the other side are large numbers of witnesses, many of whom are American military veterans. In the Earhart case, Campbell reminds us, that latter category includes three high ranking officers who might not have been eyewitnesses, but they have lent their authority to the story told by the many witnesses on Saipan and the Marshall Islands. They are Saipan veteran Marine General Graves Erskine, former Marine Commandant General Alexander A. Vandegrift, and the famous Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who had been the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Forces.
With the mention of those three illustrious military officers, we are reminded further of the Earhart parallels with another historical incident in which a famous military leader has taken strong issue with the position of the government and the press. The incident is the 1967 attack on the USS Liberty by Israel that left 34 American servicemen dead and 174 injured. The military officer who rejected the official story that it was an accident, a case of mistaken identity by the Israelis, was Admiral Thomas Moorer.
I am also reminded of my own experience in the U.S. Army that is recounted in my article, ŌA Condensation of Military Incompetence.Ķ I was on mid-tour leave in Japan in early 1968 from the Eighth Army in Korea. A traveling companion, a soldier stationed on the DMZ, had told me about hearing a large number of infiltrators who had come through their lines at night, he and his fellow sentinels had fired in the direction of the noise, but had not hit any enemy soldiers. When a 31-man squad ended up in the heart of Seoul my companion was certain that it was the same group, and his story checks out with what I later learned from talking with my outfitÕs inspectors from Eighth Army headquarters. Yet the official story from that day until now is that we knew nothing about any such infiltrators until a couple of Korean civilians many miles to the south encountered them, that is, we did not know of any such infiltrators who had come through our lines.
Preserving FDRÕs Reputation
A major reason why our ruling establishment cannot admit the truth in the Earhart case is what it would do to the reputation of President Roosevelt. According to the dominant myth, he was the great, wise man who led us on to victory in the Good War, a war that was forced upon him by the unanticipated Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
How great is the need to keep FDRÕs reputation intact was brought home to this writer in his reading of three recent books that are generally scathing in their criticism of the wartime presidentÕs policies, particularly with respect to the Communists. They are StalinÕs Secret Agents: The Subversion of RooseveltÕs Government by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in StalinÕs Russia by Tim Tzouliadis, and American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our NationÕs Character by Diana West. The key action that each of these authors took to protect the Roosevelt myth is summed up in this passage from my review of the latter book:
WestÕs most obvious intentional weakening of her argument is her failure to mention the anti-Communist Jewish journalist Isaac Don Levine. In my essay, ŌFDR Winked at Soviet Espionage,Ķ I fault another conservative journalist, Ann Coulter, when, in her book Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism she airbrushes Levine out of the picture as the man who set up and attended the fateful meeting in 1939 between Communist defector Whittaker Chambers and Roosevelt security chief Adolf Berle, in which Chambers revealed to Berle the existence of a Soviet spy cell that included State Department officials Alger and Donald Hiss, Treasury official Harry Dexter White, and even White House aide Lauchlin Currie. I further fault Tzouliadis and imminent Red exposer M. Stanton Evans for protecting FDR by falsely stating that Berle never informed Roosevelt of what Chambers had revealed. West goes them one better. She inexplicably leaves out any mention of the meeting itself.
These critics of Franklin Roosevelt surely knew that what they wrote about this episode was not true (or in WestÕs case, knew that it was much too important to be omitted). What this tells us is that preserving the reputation of FDR is such a big deal that even his putatively most severe critics would jeopardize their own reputations to cover up for the man.
That, in a nutshell, shows you what Mike Campbell is up against with his definitive books on the Earhart saga. I provided a sample of the establishment wall of rejection in my August 2015 article, ŌWikipediaÕs Greatest Misses:Ķ
The Amelia Earhart Wikipedia page has a very extensive ŌBibliography of cited sourcesĶ and ŌFurther reading.Ķ There is no trace of Campbell or his work there. One may survey the history of the site to see that references to Campbell and his work have been put up, but have been quickly taken down. It is obvious that the site is still closely policed and Amelia EarhartÕs disappearance continues to be a very important historical hot potato. So what we have here is a brand new mystery to solve: Who is making Mike Campbell disappear from Wikipedia, and why is it so important that he be made to disappear?
Campbell fleshes out his experience in his new concluding chapter:
When Sunbury Press publisher Larry Knorr accepted the first manuscript of this book for publication in the summer of 2011, I was grateful to finally find someone who believed in this work, but I knew the struggle had only begun. Since the bookÕs publication in June 2012, IÕve learned that the establishmentÕs hostility to the truth about Amelia Earhart is far worse than I imagined. This antipathy isnÕt limited to the media, but among our so-called journalists and news people, who should be the most interested, this resistance is greatest. Nearly every talk show host in the country has ignored my requests without even extending the civility of a response. Fox News, you ask? Not a chance. In fact, Fox News is among big mediaÕs very worst propagandists, slavishly touting Ric GillespieÕs bilge and barring any contrary opinions from their websiteÕs comments. In mid-June 2015, a week into TIGHARÕs eleventh Nikumaroro trip, Fox led a herd of outlets that published an Associated Press story that nearly canonized TIGHARÕs executive director, whoÕs never sailed for Nikumaroro without a boatload of media hype and corporate dollars.
Be warned. You will come away from reading Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, with a great feeling of frustration. ItÕs not a comfortable thing to know the true, tragic fate of this famous woman, and itÕs particularly exasperating to realize that virtually everyone you might know believes otherwise. Where is the serious concern for EarhartÕs ultimate fate by all those people, like Hillary Clinton, who claim to idealize her? To be fair, many well-meaning average citizens wonÕt really know why they think Earhart just mysteriously disappeared, but the new subtitle that Campbell has chosen for his second edition provides a clue: ŌPropaganda Versus Fact in the Disappearance of AmericaÕs First Lady of Flight.Ķ Around no war has so much propaganda been generated than World War II, and the official, media-supported story of Amelia EarhartÕs disappearance is very much a part of it.
At the same time, you might find reading Mike CampbellÕs opus to be a rare satisfying experience. For the time that it takes for you to read it, you will likely feel, as I did, that you are in the company of a person who really cares deeply about the truth. It virtually radiates from every page. Even if you hadnÕt learned a lot about a subject of much greater historical importance than you might have initially thought possible, you would have spent your time well to have shared it, as it were, with a man who, for the best of reasons, is very much unwelcome to our ruling establishment.
May 6, 2016