The Briefcase Affair



… What am I doing with Amelia Earhart’s briefcase when she crashed in the ocean?
—- Robert Wallack


Saipan photos provided by Gregg Hagley.  All Rights Reserved ©2007 Gregg Hagley.


One of the mysteries is Amelia Earhart’s briefcase.  A Marine in World War II
claims he discovered the briefcase in a safe in the war zone during the invasion
at Garapan, Saipan.  Robert E. Wallack, an eighteen year old machine-gunner
at the time, joined a dozen soldiers who were assigned to search for stragglers.

Among the rubble of bombed structures they found a metal safe, the only
object still intact. They crowded around hoping to find jewelry, cash, pearls,
or gold. According to Wallack, “We thought we would all become Japanese
millionaires.” The safe was locked. One of the dozen rigged the door with
explosives and blew the safe open. Each man grabbed an item and ran
outside to examine his prize. Wallack’s souvenir was a brown leather
attache’ case with a large handle and a flip lock. It was full of papers. After
Wallack’s initial disappointment, he began to sort through the contents.
There were maps, passports, travel documents, and permits.

They turned out be the personal papers of Amelia Earhart. Stunned at his
discovery, Wallack turned the papers over to an officer in the Navy. Since
then, tragically, the briefcase and its evidence has disappeared. For fifty
years, Wallack has been held under the weight of government silence in the
disappearance of Amelia Earhart’s briefcase. The Navy and the Marine Corps
both have shunned the evidence of what Robert Wallack found. In his
retirement, he has contacted countless veterans who served on Saipan,
but all the contacts have led to dead ends.

Wallack is very adamant about what he found. Researchers at Allied Artists
have contacted Robert Wallack, and we were very much impressed with
what he had to say. He believes that somewhere, someplace Amelia
Earhart’s briefacse is sitting in storage in a Naval or a Marine Corps
warehouse with the words “Top Secret” stamped on the box.

In the affair of the missing briefcase, there isn’t one briefcase that is missing
there are two.

As Earhart traveled around the world the second briefcase is believed
to have contained cancelled airmail postage envelopes. The cancelled stamps
on the envelopes were to be used and sold as a fund raising venture for
Earhart’s world flight. With every opportunity,  Earhart took her briefcase full
of cancelled envelopes to the local post office. There she had the local
postmaster hand cancel each of the envelopes with an airmail stamp.

In Feb 1944, on Kwajelein at Roi-Namur, three marines entered a Japanese
barracks and found a room outfitted for a woman. A W.B. Jackson said they
found a suitcase containing feminine items and a bound, locked book
lettered “10 Year Diary of Amelia Earhart.” They turned the suitcase and
other items over to an officer, and it was the last they heard of it. Also at
Kwajelein, in Feb 1944, soldiers discovered a briefcase in the ruins of the
airport. The briefcase was embossed with “A.E.” in gold leaf. This was reported
originally by Fred Goerner in his book “The Search for Amelia Earhart” published
in 1966 and later repeated nearly 40 years later by Eugene Sims, writing for
the Kwajelein Hourglass, a publication of the US Army at Kwajalein.

In World War II, the island of Roi Namur was a Japanese airbase with a large
landing strip. In her capture by the Japanese, Earhart evidently left a trail in
her imprisonment and the ensuing flight to Japanese headquarters in the
Central Pacific. Researchers at Allied Artists believe the trail led from the area
of the Marshall Islands, to the island of Roi Namur, then by long range
seaplane to Saipan and imprisonment at Garapan. None of these artifacts
have ever been recovered. Allied Artists requests that if any of our website
viewers have information on the whereabouts of any of these artifacts,
please contact us at [email protected] as soon as possible. It would be a great help in solving this age old mystery. Your finding will be researched and with your approval posted to this website.

From the Lost Flight of Amelia Earhart web site