For several decades now, Americans have been fascinated with the rumors and legends surrounding the late Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean who mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific in an attempt to complete a flight around the world. Many believe that her plane went down and she, along with her aircraft, sank to the bottom of the ocean. However, recently a new theory has been making its way across the Internet and the news media, and it’s much more barbaric than what we originally thought.
During an interview with The New American magazine back in 2013, Art Crino of the John Birch Society told about a conversation he had with two off-duty marines on the island of Saipan while serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Crino recalls that one of the marines mentioned a teenage girl on the island who allegedly witnessed the death of none other than the late Amelia Earhart.
“Then the other marine says, ‘yeah, a few days ago, our sergeant was on patrol, and he came across this aluminum, twin-engine airplane under a canopy,’” Crino goes on to say. “And they charged towards it, and there were some people guarding it in strange U.S. uniforms, and they were very abrupt and rude and chased them away. So I concluded Amelia Earhart was buried here or her airplane is here someplace.”
After World War II came to an end, Crino recalls that the newspapers immediately switched to cover-up mode, working relentlessly to discredit the stories told by the marines. However, decades later in the year 1990, a crew from the television show Unsolved Mysteries interviewed the woman in Saipan who claimed to be the 11-year-old girl in the story. The crew then conducted a second interview with the marine who found the plane, and incredibly, Crino claims that both stories matched the ones he was told years ago during his time in the Navy.
While the theory that the late Amelia Earhart was captured and killed by the Japanese in Saipan is intriguing to say the least, it’s certainly not the only theory, nor is it necessarily the most plausible.
The official position of the United States government is that Amelia Earhart crashed into the open ocean just miles away from her destination. According to radio logs obtained by the U.S. Coast Guard, Earhart mentioned that she was running low on gas while searching for Howland Island. As this theory goes, Earhart never found that island, ran out of gas, and plummeted down into the ocean.
A decade and a half ago, the ocean research company Nauticos attempted to find Earhart’s plane in the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Nauticos president David Jourdan mentioned that his team was able to minimize their search area by studying Earthart’s radio transmissions and what we currently know about the plane’s fuel supply just before it went down. “We are confident it is in the area we are searching,” Jourdan said at the time. “Of course, we cannot guarantee it, because it could be on the outside edge, but we are sure it is in the vicinity.” Sadly, after conducting an extensive search using a high-tech sonar system, the team was unable to find what they were looking for.
We may never know the details surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart, but that doesn’t mean we should stop searching for answers. Even if the theory that Earhart was executed by the Japanese turns out not to be true, at the very least, it is a theory that has reignited our interest in the quest to find out what really happened to the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic.