She was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean and set several other records before vanishing during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937, or so the Amelia Earhart story goes. But an upcoming new book tells a vastly different story.
According to Fox News and The Daily Mail, W.C. Jameson, author of the forthcoming book Amelia Earhart: Beyond the Grave, claims to have found evidence that the aviator had been on a secret spy mission over Japan when she either crashed or was shot down and taken prisoner.
She and navigator Fred Noonan were held by the Japanese until 1945, and upon her release from the POW camp, she assumed a new identity, Irene Craigmile Bolam. This was largely due to the fact that the Roosevelt administration did not want to admit that they had asked Earhart to participate in a spy mission, as well as the fact that there was no attempt made to rescue her.
Roosevelt feared that he would appear to be “incompetent” and a “coward” if the truth ever came out, Jameson said, especially since he allowed a beloved figure to remain imprisoned for an eight year span. Earhart returned to the US under her new name and lived until 1982, he added.
Eyewitness accounts, missing Coast Guard records cited as evidence
Earhart’s fate has been one of the predominant aviation mysteries for eight decades. Officially, she and Noonan were en route to Howland Island, 1,700 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu in the Pacific Ocean, when the US Coast Guard station there lost contact with her plane.
The duo purportedly ran out of fuel and crashed within 40 miles of Howland Island, possible due to storms in the area, and were killed, according to The Daily Mail. However, Jameson called the story “suspect” and “fraught with problems and errors” and said that this conclusion was reached “in spite of the fact that not a single shred of evidence exists to support it.”
The author further claims that Earhart’s plane had been equipped with special cameras designed to photograph Japanese military installations on islands in the Pacific Ocean, and that upon their crash, she and Noonan buried a box in the sand before they were captured. This box likely stored some kind of secret information or evidence about their espionage activities, he said.
Jameson said that evidence of this activity was “quite abundant”—adding that after she vanished, flight logs from the Coast Guard station that last communicated with her were tampered. He also interviewed the nephew of a former US Army official, who said that it was “well known within high ranking intelligence circles” that Earhart had been “involved in an intelligence-gathering operation… ordered at the request of the highest echelons of government.”
His theory is that she and Noonan were forced to land on the Milli Atoll in the Marshall Islands, which was occupied by Japanese forces at the time. Eyewitness accounts place the duo there and add that they were later transferred to a POW camp on the mainland. She was held there until August 17, 1945, when a woman identified as a nun was rescued. Jameson believes this woman was Earhart, and that she assumed the identity of Bolam upon her return to the US.
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