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The Jaluit Photo

There is a lot of Earhart news in the air between a dog-sniffing expedition and the photo that has surfaced suggesting that Amelia & Fred were captured and sent to Saipan. The former is comical. All we can say about the photo is it’s hard to fit with any real data, which clearly shows Amelia’s Electra to have been in the vicinity of Howland Island, the pilot sending increasingly desperate messages as she searched for her landing spot, running out of fuel. To have them actually at Jaluit atoll, over 1,000 miles to the northwest, one would have to assume that the Coast Guard and other elements of the government were in cahoots to fake the reports and radio transcripts. And it had to extend to all levels, as we interviewed the last surviving member of the crew, a cook, who said he heard the words coming from the radio room! Of course, that’s what the conspiracy theorists presume.


Others will soon jump to the task of trying to determine the provenance of the photo and second guess the interpretation. A site in the UK has already posted debunking the photo:

The article points out that the photo was taken in the 1940’s, long after Amelia and Fred were supposedly captured and taken eventually to Saipan, where (as the story goes) they died in prison in 1939. Note that the “captives” do not look like they are being guarded and are not wearing the same clothes as Fred and Amelia when they took off from Lae. I have been to Saipan and visited the jail there and talked to a historian who interviewed one of the jailers of the era. He said no Caucasian women were there during that time.


Of course, we’ll be among the first to congratulate anyone who comes up with real evidence. Meanwhile, we’ll continue the search for Amelia’s Electra in the deep waters off Howland Island, where we believe she went down.