Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific in 1937. But her plane did not. It was found by US Marines on Saipan in 1944.
22 years ago, one of my oldest friends said I should make a film about Amelia Earhart. "Why?" She said, "because her story has never been told."
Years went by, I decided after making a few theatrical films, I'd revisit the topic. I found new evidence. New eyewitnesses. They became the backdrop for a new project. I found a producer, was getting ready to launch - and an Earhart afficianado decided to make an Earhart film starring Hilary Swank. They asked me to work on it because of the extensive research I've done. The script ended with her disappearance - and mine began where theirs ended. Why not?
So I put my project on the shelf once again. I worked on "Amelia" pulling together far flung research and footage for the film. I tried to get anyone who would listen to hear what really happened to Amelia Earhart. Because I knew - I'd done the research, I'd filmed people speaking on camera about what they knew. Eyewitness accounts of the real story!
But they started dying. These noble soldiers, US Marines who found her plane on Saipan in 1944 would tell me their amazing story.. and then like all the WWII veterans - a thousand are dying a day now - they passed on into history. I had the footage of them telling their amazing stories. But now a slim chance of making a fictionalized version of the film.
And then someone found me on the internet - this guy had seen clips of my interviews online. He said "You should talk to my uncle and my dad - they have an amazing story to tell about Amelia Earhart's plane." I flew to Colorado. I interviewed these two brothers, who live on opposite sides of the state. They're true blue American heroes - who served in WWII, kept our country free. They came home with their stories about seeing Amelia Earhart's airplane, or hearing about it. Their friends and relatives laughed about it. "But they found her bones on a deserted island, didn't they?"
I knew better. I had already talked to a number of US Marines who ALSO saw her plane on Saipan. So I forced myself back into the project that would not come off my shelf. I tracked down a relative of the man who was sent by the US Navy to rescue Earhart on Saipan. I still need to film an interview with him. But the film needs to be edited properly, transferred to 35 mm, needs to be scored and put up onto the big screen.
Because this is a big story. This is a story about "America's Sweetheart." One of America's greatest heroes - and what really happened to her. Based on eyewitness reports. And what happened to her plane. Based on eyewitness reports.
This is new evidence. This is what I consider to be the strongest evidence ever presented - and I've seen it all. This is a story that will once and for all put to rest Amelia Earhart's memory. She was a hero to her very last day on this Earth - and absolutely no one has properly given her the credit for her sacrifice.
So why don't you join me? Join me and these US Marines, some alive, some dead, who told me their heartfelt, honest accounts of what they saw. And what they saw will startle you - it startled me.
The cost of the production includes footage I haven't been able to shoot for lack of funds: 1. An interview with the reclusive relative who can give complete and accurate details of what happened to Amelia Earhart and her Electra corroborating the many other eyewitnesses I've filmed, but he lives in a remote part of the US. 2. A trip to Saipan so I can, with the help of forensic scientists, dig up a piece of the plane WHERE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN DETAILED INSTRUCTION AS TO WHERE IT IS LOCATED. All I need is one piece. With the help of a forensic scientist schooled in this method of locating parts of downed planes, I will be able to prove to the world what happened to it. (Based on numerous eyewitness reports, and detailed maps, also used in the doc.) 3. A trip to Tokyo to interview a surviving witness (and search for others) to the events that took place in Saipan during WWII with regard to Amelia; this person has come forward to tell their story in print. But I would like to be able to go to Tokyo to film that portion of the story.
So - I've been living with this story for a long time. I need some help telling it. With your help, I will. Wouldn't it be fun to make history together? With your help we can together present to the world the conclusion to one of the most enduring mysteries ever!!!!
All I can say is that this documentary is based on Eyewitness accounts. It's easy to discredit one eyewitness, but I have written evidence from over 200 people, and I've filmed over a dozen. They're all saying roughly the same thing about what happened to her.
Good question. I'm not exactly sure. I can say that if you do the same research, turn over the same stones that I have, you'll come to the same conclusion. I think its because people think that solving a mystery like this is akin to saying space ships have begun arriving. Not sure why that is either. We live in a digital age, we have access to information like never before, I just took the time to read ALL the books on the topic, then follow those stories that had more than one eyewitness. A few got the story right in the beginning - Fred Goerner, CBS journalist for one, but made some conclusions based on "best guess" answers. I tried to avoid those - if someone didn't have a story to back it up - or I couldn't corroborate it in any way - I ignored it.
The short answer is yes. I have eyewitnesses to spy equipment being put into her plane. She was also quoted saying "Imagine me being a spy." But that doesn't mean she was in on some elaborate scheme - Julia Child used to bring intel to FDR around the same time. No one accuses her of being a "spy." However, her life was put in danger because of what they put on her plane,and ultimately why she paid the price - as if she had been.
No. As I've said it's based on eyewitness reports. The Justice system doesn't always like eyewitness reports because people can see things they thought they saw. But I tried to limit myself to events and stories that had more than one person tell it. I'm not basing it on any theory. There's no "why" here. Only "what happened" according to these people who were there. The why can only come to light when someone who sees this documentary fesses up.
I don't know. I do know that a number of witnesses saw them removed and who they were given to. What happened to them once (and if) they were returned is a matter of conjecture. Unless of course there's an eyewitness out there, or a relative of one, in that case I'd love to talk to them.
It's amazing to me that millions have been spent looking for her plane underwater, when over 200 people have claimed they saw her or her plane after she disappeared. Wouldn't it make sense to look above ground? That's what I've done in this documentary.. and painstakingly gotten eyewitnesses to pinpoint where they saw the plane. If I'm correct, I think I can prove it. I just need a little help to get there to show everyone where it is!
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- (44 days)