Earhart Photo Story Apparently Debunked


To comment go to Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.


Well, that didn’t take long.  Two days before the History Channel aired its two-hour special, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” clued in by the saturation promotion our propaganda was giving it, I smelled a rat.  What I concluded in “Press Touts Dubious Earhart Photo” was that it was likely that these scoundrels were now steering us away from the truth through the use of #4 and #9 of the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression.  These are, respectively, “Knock down straw men” and “Come half clean.”


I might have gone further and noted that these two techniques were being wheeled up to the front to supplement the propaganda workhorse #1, which is “Dummy up” and a subcategory of #13, which is creating and publicizing distractions. 


Up to the airing of this program, our press had virtually blacked out any news of the mountain of evidence that points to Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, having been captured by the Japanese.  As author Mike Campbell points out in his review, which we shall get to later, the History Channel did present some quite solid evidence, never before aired by the national news media, that the unfortunate flyers did become prisoners of the Japanese and died at their hands.  In effect, they came half clean.  But they needed to fill up two hours, and like the “double agent” Christopher Ruddy in the Vince Foster death case, they had to supply a bit more than one questionable photograph to buy credibility with their viewers. 


What good new information they offered, however, was overwhelmed by the phony photo straw man that got knocked down a lot faster than I thought that it would.  And to show you how closely the press propagandists have conformed to the fourth truth-suppression technique, we repeat it here in full:


Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors (or plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.


What we have here is almost a textbook example of a planted false story.  A photograph had been “discovered” in the U.S. National Archives, apparently misfiled, standing alone without any context, which one might interpret as showing Noonan and Earhart lolling around on a dock in Jaluit Harbor in the Marshall Islands.  Within a couple of days, though, a mainstream left-wing publication in Britain, The Guardian, reported that a Japanese history enthusiast had discovered the identical photograph in an old Japanese travel book.  One must wonder how such a travel-book photo came to be there all by its lonesome in the National Archives.  The photo, as it turns out, was from a travel book published in Palau in 1935, two years before Earhart’s disappearance. 


Now notice what The Guardian does with this information.  The headline they give their article online is “Blogger discredits claim Amelia Earhart was taken prisoner by Japan,” and the lead sentence of the story is as follows:


Claims made in a US documentary that the pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart crash-landed on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean and was taken prisoner by the Japanese appear to have been proved false by a photograph unearthed in a travel book.


See the sleight of hand.  The debunking of this photo does nothing whatsoever to undermine the little bit of good evidence that the History Channel presented for the flyers having been captured by the Japanese, much less the cornucopia of evidence that Mike Campbell has assembled in his book Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last.  That evidence remains as strong as it was before the program—with its big press build-up—ever aired. 


CBS, for its part, went even a little further.  Check out this lead sentence in the story that it got from the Associated Press:


NEW YORK -- A Japanese military history buff has apparently undermined a new theory that Amelia Earhart survived a crash-landing in the Pacific Ocean during her historic attempted round-the-world flight in 1937.


New theory?  It’s only been around since at least the summer of 1944 when a number of American soldiers witnessed the intentional destruction of a Lockheed Electra bearing the identification numbers of Earhart’s plane on Saipan after the island had been taken from the Japanese in a battle that lasted more than three weeks.  One of those soldiers was Thomas Devine, who would eventually write Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident.  Campbell is only the latest of many authors who have written about their experience, which included as well the discovery of what appeared to be Amelia Earhart’s briefcase.  Very tellingly, none of this very powerful evidence was in the History Channel special.


USA Today gives its debunking a slightly different twist in its torturous lead sentence:


The History Channel is investigating claims made by a Japanese history buff that undermines a recent special that purported a long-forgotten photo showed Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese. 


The entire special, concluding that the Japanese captured Earhart and Noonan, was not undermined by the recent revelations emanating from Japan, only the authenticity of the photograph.  But according to the dictates of #4 in the truth suppression techniques that is the impression we are supposed to get, and if that’s too subtle for you, that’s what the press falsely tells has transpired.


The Washington Post appeared to do somewhat better than the rest of the media because its reporter, Amy Wang, did interview Mike Campbell extensively, giving him the sort of attention to which he is completely unaccustomed when it comes to the mainstream press, and she even quoted him accurately.  But The Post also did a pretty effective job of neutralizing him by also quoting at length the mainstream press’s favorite distraction from the truth, Ric Gillespie.  Gillespie is the guy who periodically mounts big, expensive expeditions looking for traces of Earhart or her airplane in places where there is no chance that they could be found.  The reader is left with the impression that the matter is “impossibly complex and the truth [is] unknowable.” That, by the way, is from #10 of the ever-popular truth suppression techniques.


In fact, the truth of what happened to Earhart and Noonan has not been any great mystery for quite a long time now, and one doesn’t have to rely upon Campbell’s reaction to the History Channel special as filtered through The Post (whose article by Cleve R. Wootson, Jr. and Amy B. Wang did not even appear in the newspaper’s print edition).  One can take it straight from Campbell’s web site:


History’s “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence”: Underhanded attack on the Marshall’s-Saipan Truth


The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.


--George Orwell


If I wanted to produce a TV documentary that pretends to provide evidence in support of the truth as we know it — Amelia Earhart’s Marshall Islands landing and death on Saipan — while at the same time cunningly undermining this evidence by predicating its entire existence on sensational claims about a bogus photo that are soon entirely discredited, I couldn’t do better than Morningstar Entertainment’s “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” which premiered July 9 on History, formerly and better known as the History Channel.


Here’s History’s promotion of the program on its website: “The disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937 is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time. Now, 80 years later, former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry investigates new, astonishing evidence behind the disappearance of America’s first female aviator in History’s two-hour special ‘Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.’”


Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? That’s the idea – to hook the unwary into watching this snake oil. But for those who truly understand the Earhart story, such as your humble correspondent, History and Morningstar Entertainment, which produced this program, practically gave their whole game away when they announced that the Earhart disappearance is “one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.” This is a verifiable lie. As I constantly stress, this great American travesty, this great myth of the Earhart “mystery,” simply doesn’t exist. It’s nothing more than a cultural construct that’s been sold for 80 years to an unwitting, inattentive public. The fact that it’s believed by nearly everyone doesn’t change the truth. (To read the rest of the article, go to Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last).


For my speculation about why denial of the truth of Earhart’s capture by the Japanese is so important to our rulers, please see “Amelia Earhart Truth Versus the Establishment.”


David Martin

July 13, 2017





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