One of America’s most notable historic mysteries has once again gained the spotlight, as the History Channel will be airing Sunday night “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.”
Amelia Earhart, first female pilot to cross the Atlantic, disappeared over the Pacific in 1937 in an endeavor to fly around the world. No tangible evidence regarding the disappearance was brought to light; however, many theories and stories developed over time.
In a 2013 interview with The New American magazine, Art Crino, longtime Council member of the John Birch Society, shared his brief encounter with the puzzling piece of history. (See the video of the interview below.)
Crino served in the Navy during WWII from 1943-1945, part of that service being in Saipan, an island in the western Pacific Ocean captured by the United States from Japan in 1944. While there, one day on-shore he engaged in conversation with two off-duty Marines. One of the Marines mentioned to Crino a teenage girl on the island who claimed to have witnessed, what was assumed to be, the death of Amelia Earhart.
The man went on to say that in 1937, when the girl was 11 years old, she took a shortcut through a sugarcane field. She hid when she heard Japanese motorcycles approaching and noticed that they had stopped near her. As she watched, she saw a white lady who was blindfolded in one of the sidecars. The men took the woman to an already dug grave and the young girl heard a shot.
The other Marine went on to say that a few days before, their sergeant was on patrol and came across an aluminum twin engine airplane under a canopy. As they ran toward it, they were stopped by guards in odd U.S. uniforms, and made to leave.
This meeting, of course, left Crino with the conclusion that indeed, “Amelia Earhart was buried here, and her airplane is here someplace”.
After the war, Crino remembers writings in the newspapers discrediting the stories told by the Marines. However, in 1990, the television program Unsolved Mysteries traveled to Saipan and interviewed the woman who says she was the 11 year old girl in the story. They then traveled back to the U.S. to interview the Marine sergeant who found the plane. Crino notes that the stories were identical to the ones shared with him in 1944.
In 2008, according to Crino, Earhart’s niece obtained a replica plane from Lockheed and made a trip around the world, at the end of which was a large celebration at the Lockheed plant. A newspaper reporter at the celebration found an engineer who had worked on Earhart’s plane, and had been called out of retirement as a consultant on the replica. The reporter asked the engineer if the plane was an exact duplicate. His answer was yes, but noted the spy camera that had been placed in Earhart’s.
As these stories have emerged, research has become more aggressive, and there seems to be evidence that Earhart did not just disappear, but was captured. It also seems that much of this information was not a “mystery” to all, but has been covered up for reasons still to be known to the average American.
The History Channel’s documentary shows great promise as it presents the “lost evidence” to solve the 80-year-old mystery of a woman who may truly be called a hero.
Photo: Amelia Earhart