Let me introduce myself… Carol Linn Dow the screenwriter for the Allied Artists production of the feature film, “The Lost Flight of Amelia Earhart.” Please see the website www.ameliaearhartmovie.com which contains information on the forthcoming film.
After four years of writing and rewriting, The Lost Flight of Amelia Earhart is ready for development. We believe we have a captivating screenplay that will inspire and at the same time tell the true story of one of America’s pioneers of the sky. It is gripping and fascinating and brings to life a legend of one of the most famous women in the the world.
Courtesy of University of Texas Dallas Library
New developments in the Amelia Earhart story feature what may be the end of searches on the island of Nikumaroro. The Tighar group of researchers came back with very little evidence they could use in their ongoing quest for artifacts in their July 12, 2007, expedition. The effects of winds and Pacific storms have fairly well worn down whatever artifacts are left on the island. According to Tighar: “The island has been swept almost clean by Time, using the tools of wind and water. All that remains is the bits and pieces, traces and faint tracks, of the lives that were lived there, however briefly.”
Among the most important articles they found were the pull and slide of a zipper, both sides of a snap of the kind used on clothing , a small piece of flat mirror such as that found in a compact, remnants of a pocket knife, brown and green bottle glass, and bronze bearings. These findings are a small part of the picture that would be necessary to establish the fact that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan crashed and died on the island of Nikumaroro on July 2, 1937.
To date, the Tighar findings have not received the widespread acceptance which Richard Gillespie, the leader of the group, had originally aspired. The sextant’s case, which Tighar learned about from Gerald Gallagher, the officer in charge of the Phoenix Island Settlement Scheme, was painted over with black paint and was evidently being used for storage. There was no way to prove that it belonged to Fred Noonan, Earhart’s navigator. In fact, Tighar does not know if the box still exists (it was last known to be in Fiji in 1941), nor do they know for sure what it looked like.
Amelia Earhart’s shoes, which proved to be the effort of a book written by the Tighar head archaeologist, Tom King, turned out to be the wrong size. Earhart was a very small woman and probably wore a size 6-1/2. The Cat’s Paw heel which was found by Tighar on one of their expeditions came from a size 10 shoe.
Eric Bevington, an explorer of Gardner Island (Nikumaroro) in 1937, found the local natives there to be extremely helpful and friendly. If Earhart and Noonan had crashed on Nikumaroro, they could have undoubtedly survived on coconuts, crabs, and very tame seabirds that were there for the taking. The evidence that Tighar has presented so far appears to have originated with the wreck of the Norwich City, a pre-World War II freighter that ran aground off the reefs of Gardner Island. Artifacts from wrecked airplanes, construction crews, and explorers left a trial of debris that more normally translates to “junk” which appears to be near meaningless in assessing the Earhart loss. There were natives living in huts and villages that occasionally inhabited the island. They hauled in aluminum and scraps from the nearby islands which had a generous supply of wrecked airplanes from World War II..
The signs of recent habitation was mentioned about by Eric Bevington while he explored Gardner Island in 1937. An entry from his diary is printed below:
Thursday, October 14th (R.T.). The man who drank salt water on the walk yesterday was in a bad way this morning, but soon got better when the N.M.P. doped him. The more stern job of well digging constituted the morning’s programme. Maude took one side and I took the other with a party of natives. I also checked and assessed the bearing coconut trees. The choice of well sites was naturally left to the natives. On coming on my party in the bush, I found the blighters sitting down to another crab feast, so put them to work. Their first well had almost salt water. I stayed with them for three hours, then returned to camp at noon. Maude also had drawn a blank, though his water was a bit better. In the afternoon we got a canoe and Maude came in it, his lumbago being better, and I took him to all the points of special note I had visited the day before. It was a de luxe way of doing it, in a canoe gliding across the lagoon with natives paddling. We found many interesting things including signs of previous habitation. Maude verified the details of my report of the previous day’s trek by this means. Coming back we saw masses of shark up to 4 feet only. We also saw a frigate bird attack a booby making it vomit its fish up. It then eats what the booby bird has brought up. It is a truly amazing sight, and according to the books is the frigate’s standard way of getting its food. l have never seen a bird so clumsy on the wing as the booby. On returning to camp the water reports were better, though hardly good enough. The natives were all suffering from chronic diarrhea after their riotous living. Kerosene had run out and we couldn’t have a light in camp to keep the coconut crabs off. Maude and I didn’t worry a patch as they don’t eat humans (!) though they are alarming to look at. However when we had turned in we found that the natives had made a complete ring round us with their mats and were sleeping round us in a ring to protect us – and this of their own accord. They are an amazing crowd. What would one of the old school in Africa say to allowing natives to sleep near one? But this people are spotlessly clean, have no smell I can detect, and don’t know the meaning of body odour
I passed over the Tighar evidence as meaningless and sought instead the multitude of stories that were coming out of the Marshall islands and Saipan.
It has been too long, 70 years to date, that Earhart and Noonan were lost on their round-the-world flight. The physical evidence is sparse. It is fleeting away. Some of it may even buried under a supermarket parking lot on the Island of Saipan. States Carol, “ We don’t have physical evidence, but we do have paperwork we can chase down. For instance, the letter that a highly respected Marine General, Alexander Vandergrift, wrote to Fred Goerner, a CBS radio reporter, on August 10, 1971, stating that:
General Tommy Watson who commanded the 2nd Marine Division during the assault on Saipan and stayed on that island after the fall of Okinawa, on one of my seven visits of inspection of his division told me that Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan. That is the total knowledge I have of this incident.
Having known General Watson many years, I naturally accepted this information as being correct.’
“The passing of the Freedom of Information Act caused a paper chase to ensue that is still very much in the making even at this late date. Fred Goerner, the CBS radio reporter wrote in what is possibly the most famous book on Amelia Earhart that has ever been written, that Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz told me (Fred Goerner) that Amelia Earhart did go down in the Marshall Islands, and she was captured by the Japanese.”
720 ElDorado Lane
Delray Beach, Florida
10 August 1971
25 Presidio Terrace
San Francisco, Calif.
Dear Mr. Goerner:
Please pardon my delay answering your letter of June. I have been in the hospital and have not been too well since my return.
In writing to you, I did not realize that you wanted to quote my remarks about Miss Earhart, and I would rather that you would not.
General Tommy Watson who commanded the 2nd Marine Division during the assault on Saipan and stayed on that island after the fall of Okinawa, on one of my seven visits of inspection of his division told me that
Miss Earhart met her death on Saipan. That is the total knowledge I have of this incident.
Having known General Watson many years, I naturally accepted this information as being correct. General Watson, I am sorry to say, died some years ago and therefore cannot be contacted.
I am sorry if my remarks mislead you but I cannot add anything more to this report
/s/ A.A. Vandergrift
General USMC (Ret
When asked about a crash at sea, Ms. Dow responded, “the post loss transmission at Nauru Island pretty well disputes that claim. It was not only the post loss transmission that was heard at Nauru Island, there were other transmissions that were heard at Midway Island, the Hawaiian Islands, Wake Island, and a multitude of receptions that were heard by radio “hams” all the way into the central United States. However, because Earhart and Noonan did not have a Morse Code key, a goodly portion of the reported hearings have to be discarded as being a hoax. I personally believe that when Amelia Earhart could not find Howland Island, she swung her airplane around and backtracked towards the British held Gilbert Islands. But, possibly, because of their position which was (in all probability) too far north of course, the Marshall Islands suddenly loomed on the horizon as being the only choice she had to save herself, her navigator, and her airplane. The problem was Earhart did not fly far enough on the southbound leg of her search for Howland Island to make a landfall. If she had, she would have probably flown right over the smokestack of the Coast Guard Cutter Itasca.