A Reality Check About Amelia Earhart's Missing
Tod Swindell, the orchestrator of the first ever, Amelia Earhart to Irene Craigmile 'Forensic Research
Study and Human Comparison Analysis' explains how he became involved with the Amelia Earhart story and what the results of
his comprehensive study conveyed.
Swindell in 2014
Amelia Earhart 'Aficionado Extraordinaire'
always demonstrated a strong penchant for analyzing U.S. history's relationship with its ever evolving pop-culture arena.
This is how I was drawn into the Amelia Earhart story.
It is 2019 now.
Twenty three years ago, in 1996, while shopping a well researched WGA screenplay about Amelia Earhart's disappearance written by a film industry
colleague of mine, I was recommended to go meet with a distinguished World War Two veteran. He was a retired
USAF Major by the name of Joseph A. Gervais who lived on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada.
and I did meet then and we became good friends and collaborators from that point on, until his passing took place in 2005,
and let me tell you, he was one utterly amazing, savant-like Amelia Earhart historian. I can personally attest he
was incomparable in that regard.
miss Joe. History has mostly lost sight of him as well, and that's a shame because he was the last truth serum delivering
Amelia Earhart expert on the planet. (Well, I guess I'm still here.) Or put it this way: Here's a guy, Joe Gervais, who in
1970 all but single-handedly caused the so-called, 'mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance' to reach a fever-pitch of consternation
thanks to his simple assertion of a truth he came to recognize and understand... about Amelia Earhart.
On the left is USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais (Ret.)
accepting his Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers 'Lifetime Achievement' award in 2000. The 2002 photo above features Joe
and myself taking a break from filming 'Protecting Earhart' during our decade-long collaboration.
not surprising that few people recall Joe Gervais anymore. After all, Amelia Earhart's incomplete life story grew to be somewhat
of a taboo subject matter since the 1970s, something caused by Joe himself. Today, people who take the time to look
into the 1937 disappearance of the famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, are more in step with my personal rejuvenation of Joe's mind-bending
contribution to Amelia Earhart investigative research studies; a contribution that in time grew to be viewed as 'infamous'
in contrast to the intuitive brilliance that spawned it.
Because of this general consensus, most people find it hard to understand my viewpoint when
it comes to the story of Amelia Earhart's officially unresolved (according to history) but in recent years, solved
in a cumulative forensic way, 'missing person' case.
Sounds crazy, no? Yet it's true. When Amelia Earhart
purportedly disappeared in 1937, in legal terms she actually became a 'missing person.'
Joseph A. Gervais? In
1965, he encountered the woman who used to be known as Amelia Earhart and he spent the remainder of his days making
sure people did not forget he had done so--even to the endless stream of combatants he faced whose projections abetted official
history--when it came to all-but burying the important discovery he made.
Regardless, today a person would be hard pressed to
find anyone at the Smithsonian Institution, at the National Geographic Society, or on Capitol Hill who will freely volunteer
an opinion that states they are certain Joseph A. Gervais was incorrect to have claimed what he did way back then, and samplings
of the study results I made public in recent years are the reason for that.
Many of you are now asking: "How is it that Amelia
Earhart's missing person case is being referred to as "solved" and people in general are unaware of it?"
cut to the chase: It took almost fifty years for it to ultimately happen after initial efforts to do so began in the summer
of 1965, but for all intents and purposes, Amelia Earhart's missing person case ultimately was conclusively resolved,
or solved over the course of the past decade--even though said truth still remains to be officially endorsed to the
public. And there are a lot of reasons for that. For starters, a formal official review of
Amelia's missing person case has never taken place. Why? Amelia's survived family members have never
expressed an interest in doing such a thing. This foremost dates back to the attitude displayed by Amelia's sister, Muriel
(her only sibling) who died in 1998. Even though Muriel knew her survived sister as 'Irene Craigmile' in her later life years
(yes, she did) ever since the truth about Amelia's post-loss survival as Irene was discovered (in 1965)
and then revealed (in 1970) by Joseph A. Gervais, Muriel maintained the practice of instantly shunning anyone who
even dared to suggest that Irene Craigmile was her survived sister, and today, Muriel's daughter, Amy Kleppner (Amelia's niece)
continues to respect her late mother's same defiant code there.
Let me further explain another side of the coin, and
I'll cut to the chase again: Since the 1980s, Amelia Earhart cottage industries have been feeding news media outlets a wide
variety of hypothetical solutions within their individual attempts to explain what really happened to Amelia Earhart--that
had absolutely nothing to do with the truth. In the meantime, however, the purveyors of these off-base ideas had also
long been conjointly dismissing the missing person aspect of Amelia Earhart out of hand, that in turn managed to
obfuscate the most important forensic strides being made ever since the late 1990s, that ended up solving it
in the new millennium, and it all had to do with identifying the body evidence of Amelia Earhart.
Where do I come in? Beyond Colonel Reineck's above
words about my accomplishment, I never personally claimed to have 'solved the mystery' of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance.
Yet I did claim, and still do claim by virtue of having examined it closely since the 1990s, to have helped solved the
missing person case of Amelia Earhart after my study ended up clearly displaying how in 1965, retired USAF Major, Joseph
A. Gervais did recognize the 'body evidence' of Amelia Earhart re-identified as "Mrs. Irene Craigmile
I'm always sure to add that no one in the public realm knows for certain what happened to Amelia Earhart
and Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937, nor do they know what Amelia was doing or where she actually was from the time
she went missing in 1937 to the time she resurfaced in the United States known as "Irene." However, I do profess
to know that to solve a missing person case one must find the missing person, or one must find and produce the body
evidence of the missing person, and how CONCRETELY, in 1970, Joseph A. Gervais absolutely did produce the body evidence
of Amelia Earhart for all the world to see. He did so when a clear, 35MM photograph he took in 1965 of Amelia's living, renamed
body appeared in the 1970 nationally published book, Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas.
No, in 1965 the former
Amelia Earhart wasn't expecting it and she did not give Major Gervais permission to take the photograph when he asked her
if he could, but he snapped his camera shutter anyway right as she turned back to him to politely say, "no thank you"
to his request. After she realized he took the picture anyway she quietly said to him, "I wish you hadn't done that."
But he did do it. In the full frame version (below) of the photo that appeared in the book, you can see the former Amelia
Earhart's English husband who she wed in 1958, Guy Bolam, finishing telling her that he, "didn't think it was a good
idea" in response to Joe Gervais' request to photograph them.
Here, I'll recommend that you not pay attention to
the rest of the book Amelia Earhart Lives for now in favor of concentrating instead on the 1965 Joe Gervais taken
photograph of the woman that appeared in it. Do so as if you're watching the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination
and observing the stark reality its film gamma conveys. In other words, concentrate very hard on the Gervais photograph only,
and think as deeply as you can about it, while accepting the known fact that the woman featured in it appeared nowhere
identified as "Irene" prior to the end of World War Two.
Directly below is an enlargement of the 1965 Gervais
photograph next to the way it originally appeared in the book, along with a few of my many superimposed Irene-Amelia comparison
samples that displays only part of the overall head-to-toe body congruence--that the other comparisons in the analysis further
Irene Craigmile, 1965
Irene Craigmile, 1977
Here above we have the same person shown in younger and older
forms. There is no room for arguing this point anymore. Younger to older character traits also aligned. No, you are not
going to tell me the person identified as 'Irene Craigmile' in the above photographs is Amelia's 1930s pilot friend who
was the ORIGINAL Irene Craigmile. If you even try to tell me that, as politely as I can I will shut you down. (What do you
think, I'm some kind of idiot who spent twenty years studying a bizarre doppelganger equation? Get real.)
The TRUTH is, Amelia Earhart had a friend in the 1930s who was a budding
pilot by the name of Irene Craigmile, and she looked nothing like the Irene Craigmile displayed in the above photographs...
even though to this day 'official history' says the Irene Craigmile displayed above was the original Irene
Craigmile. For you see... we know now it is 'official history' that is incorrect there.
Above is an old newsprint photo of the original Irene
Craigmile shown in 1930 with her then-husband, Charles Craigmile, who died the following year, and her father, Richard Joseph
O'Crowley. (Higher contrast version of her underneath.)
The overall comparison study led to an epiphany that stated
Joe Gervais was entirely correct to have adhered to the truth he knew and professed all the way to his dying day in 2005,
and that anyone who ever doubted him or outright insisted he was wrong--was incorrect to have done so. This goes
for our nation's top college history professors, national news media moguls and influential news media lobbyists, Amelia's
extended family, and the many individuals who have occupied our government's highest halls from the 1970s on. Believe it
or not this is history's new smelling-salts of truth about Amelia Earhart, as difficult as it may be for so many people
to presently fathom.
When photo images of the post World War Two Irene Craigmile come into play with the comparison samples that
align her with Amelia, most people still have a hard time believing their own eyes when they transmit the reality
of what they're observing to their minds--a reality that states they are actually looking at older
versions of Amelia Earhart's body re-identified as 'Irene Craigmile.' Yet the reason people's minds have a hard time there
it is easy to understand: Ever since 1937, it was instilled in American pop culture that Amelia Earhart 'vanished without
a trace and she was never seen again.' This became the 'legend' of Amelia Earhart, one that evolved to become
a commonly known fact.
One might also wonder who the heck am I to tell you otherwise? I'm not affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution
or a higher education history department. I am a person, though, who recalls a line spoken at the end of the movie, The
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by a newspaper publisher, who said, "When legend becomes fact, print the legend."
He uttered this right after finding out that the legendary story about a man who shot the notorious outlaw, Liberty
Valance... was not true. So here, where the legend of what happened to Amelia Earhart says she, "disappeared without
a trace and she was never seen again," notice how this is all anyone has EVER seen reported in the news as a hard
fact about Amelia's final fate, even though it never actually happened. The legend became the fact.
Consider again the photograph above that Joe Gervais took in 1965. Granted, while living as Irene the former
Amelia Earhart had put on a little weight, but people often do that in their later life years. By 1970,
though, she had trimmed down significantly. As an example, here's how she looked when she appeared unaccompanied at the press
conference she held in November of 1970, to defy the just published suggestion that had blindsided her, offering
that she was really the survived 'Amelia Earhart' living incognito.
Incidentally, Joe Gervais said it best: "She handled the press like
the old pro she was that day." And once again, he was correct:
Amelia in 1935. 'Get me outta here!' "God, the world
hounded that woman," Jackie Cochran once said about Amelia Earhart.
As Irene at
her 1970 press conference.
Flanked by her former self images.
The book, Amelia Earhart Lives in the foreground. "I
am not a mystery woman and I am not Amelia Earhart!" (But she did used to be known as Amelia Earhart. Absolutely,
Hey, think about your own life and the way it was photographically
recorded from the time you were born, then think about this: What is clearly evident by virtue of what the comparison study
I orchestrated revealed, is that the woman identified as Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam in the 1965 Gervais photograph (and
at her press conference) appears nowhere in photographs identified as "Irene" prior to the World War Two years,
and, the study also displays how physically and character trait wise, the same woman matched Amelia Earhart's entire being
still arguing or outright fighting against the proof I delivered that edifies these realizations (you know who you are...)
or people looking for reasons to doubt it all are in denial and cannot be helped, unless they help themselves by looking
at the old Amelia Earhart missing person case differently than they have done before.
As well, while what
became of Amelia's long ago acquaintance, the original Irene Craigmile, still remains unknown, she is the actual person
who ended up missing forever those years ago. By virtue of the study results, this is evident now too.
Simply put, Joseph
A. Gervais was absolutely correct all those years ago when he unequivocally stated that Amelia somehow managed to live on
after she went missing in 1937, and her entire earthly being was later attributed to her old friend, Irene Craigmile's
left over identity for herself to use for the remainder of her days. As mentioned he kept repeating this truth he knew
to others from 1970 on, to include throughout Irene's five-year defamation law suit against him, and all the way to his
dying day in 2005. [Note:
Irene did not sue Joe Gervais nor publisher McGraw-Hill for implicating her as the former Amelia Earhart. She sued them
for some inaccurate statements in the book, Amelia Earhart Lives that she felt were damaging to her character. After
she refused to submit her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity, she settled with Gervais and author, Joe Klaas for
ten dollars consideration she paid to them and they each paid to her. She originally sued publisher McGraw-Hill for $1.5 million
but ended up only being rewarded $60k for its failure to better vet the information it allowed to be printed about her. For
example, in the book, Joe Klaas referred to her husband, Guy Bolam, (who died earlier in 1970) as her "alleged husband,"
and she was able to produce her 1958
marriage license as proof they had been legally married.]
Even though the book,
Amelia Earhart Lives turned into somewhat of a train-wreck, it's author, Joe Klaas was a brilliant writer who knew
how to lure people into the 'I found her' claim made by Joe Gervais. Hindsight, however, tells us that his book delved too
much into trying to explain howAmelia ended up where she did and what she was doing while she was missing, where it ought
to have focuse more on identifying her renamed body that Joe Gervais clearly photographed in 1965. Yet, no one is to blame
for that. The former Amelia Earhart proved far too strong and resourceful in her defiance against the book's overall content.
I am proud to have known Joe Klaas, who was a past World War Two prisoner of war held by Germany for twenty-five
months. I am also very proud to have known Joseph A. Gervais. He was a war hero who flew combat missions in World War
Two, Korea, and Vietnam before the Air Force honorably retired him as a Major in 1963. He was also a respected family man
known for his good character. And I am proud to have known Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, who so closely examined my study and
thoroughly believed what it revealed.
Oh yeah, by the way, it is easier for people to accept this now identifiable reality about
Amelia Earhart if they don't automatically reject it just because they are encouraged by others to do so. Rather, people
should try thinking for themselves about the information displayed in the comparison analysis, and perhaps wonder in some
kind of ethereal way, (as blatantly obvious as the 'Amelia became Irene' truth is now) if the universe of Amelia
herself has worked its way back in order to be recognized for the full life-long person she ended up being.
If you have a hard
time believing this... then take it from one who knows; living as 'Irene' in her later life years, especially in the 1960s
and 1970s, the former Amelia Earhart clearly emulated the great individual she was known to be until her death was recorded
in 1982. In contrast to this, in-depth research on the original Irene Craigmile illustrates that it would have been all-but
impossible for her person to posture herself in such a 'proud Amelia image way' had she lived a full life.
In 1998, as the former Amelia Earhart's later-life sister in law, Mrs. John Bolam
described her to be, "She had a commanding presence," and "She was the epitome of a classy lady."
As well, John Bolam himself, her survived brother in law, who with his wife was well settled with their combined determination
that stated their late sister in law could only have been the former Amelia Earhart, once told the Associate Press,
"She was not an ordinary housewife," admonishing how such an idea had been used to describe his late sister in law
time and again in newsprint.
And I'll add to that; the Irene Craigmile Bolam shown
directly below in 1977 does not embody the look of an ordinary housewife, and this is because, most definitely, she was previously
known as, "Amelia Earhart."