The Different Lives of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart: A True Story

Home Page: Amelia Earhart
Misguided Efforts To Solve The Earhart Mystery
About Tod Swindell
The Most 'Important' Amelia Earhart Disappearance Investigations From Years Gone By
Comparing Amelia Earhart To Irene O'Crowley Craigmile (Surname 'Bolam' added in 1958)
About The Irene-Amelia Forensic Analysis Results
The Reality of Amelia Earhart Versus 'Freedom of the Press'
The Amelia Earhart We Barely Knew...
What President Roosevelt Knew, What The FBI Knew, & Amelia's Sister On Her friend, 'Irene'
The Truthful Words Of Monsignor James Francis Kelley About Amelia Earhart
About The 'Original' Irene Craigmile
The Universal Truth About Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart: A True Story
Yellow Journalism Tried To Hide The Truth In 1982
Reality Check: The 'Missing Person Case' Of Amelia Earhart

2020 Amelia Earhart Vision

 The True Story of Amelia Earhart

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer



The True Story of Amelia Earhart
In Two Parts
By Tod Swindell

Part I
Ever since the question over Irene Craigmile Bolam's true identity first made national news in 1970, consider how easy it would have been at any time for the U.S. justice department to have proved this story untrue, if in fact, it was untrue.
To look into the past of almost any person's full Twentieth Century existence in the United States in order to verify his or her life-long identity is generally easy for a United States official to do. Yet when it came to the high-level controversy over Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam's life-long identity, said verification never happened and anymore it is clear so much was the intention.
It speaks for itself that the debate over Amelia Earhart resurfacing in the United States as 'Irene Craigmile' after World War Two lasted well into the new millennium with no official resolve attained. One might have thought the Smithsonian Institution would have wanted to put an end to it. Or Amelia's family.
The reason they didn't was because they couldn't, for what apparently were long-ago important reasons the public never knew.
That is until several years ago, when the profound truth of Amelia Earhart's post-loss continued existence began staring back at the general public in no uncertain terms.
What became of Amelia Earhart after July 2, 1937 is now known thanks to an extensive evaluation that involved decades worth of forensic research done by individuals dedicated to learning the truth; and to the recent-years 'indisputable results' of a long-term human comparison analysis that displayed Amelia Earhart continuing to live well beyond July 2, 1937.
Anymore it is undeniable that Amelia Earhart survived her well storied "disappearance." Except in the interest of avoiding post World War Two discourse (and to Amelia, in the interest of her own future privacy) she ended up resurfacing in the United States after the war years as a non-public figure with a different name applied to her person... and a new career.
Hard to believe, but true.
It appears evident enough that Amelia Earhart's new post-war life of anonymity was enabled by a uniquely orchestrated Witness Protection Program achieved under the guise of the U.S. justice department in cooperation with Japan's new post-war democratic government--and winks-and-nods from a post-war England as well.
This may be hard for some people to come to terms with, but it does best explain how after Amelia Earhart was declared "dead in absentia" in January of 1939, years later, during the aftermath of VJ Day, the United States, Japan, and Amelia herself, for reasons only they truly understood to the fullest, worked together to make sure her '1939 death declaration' would never change. 
Here, to answer the question of why the general public was left in the dark about Amelia's post-loss reality one might consider the following quote from the 1982 Pan Am Airways anthology, The Chosen Instrument by Marylin Bender and Selig Altschul: "Numerous investigations foundered on official silence in Tokyo and Washington, leaving the true fate of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan an everlasting mystery."
Expounding on this, it is clear the majority of people who deeply studied the subject of the Earhart-Noonan missing persons case, recognized how amid reparation agreements made between the United States and Japan during the post-VJ Day months, the still slightly open door was slammed tight on what actually happened to the duo--and it was concretely to remain that way from that point on. It is a solid projection as well; General Douglas MacArthur, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and Japan's Emperor Hirohito were all instrumental in the initial establishment of this accord, with assistance rendered by the Catholic Church.
How It First Became Known
If you are not in-step with the incredible saga of Joseph A. Gervais (1924-2005) that concerned his 1965 encounter with and subsequent pursuit of Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, it is because it was never conveyed in an easy-to-understand way. Really, I am the first person to do such a thing.
I first met and came to know Joseph A. Gervais and his wife, Thelma, in 1996 at their Las Vegas home, courtesy of a long-time Gervais' friend and collaborator, 1994 Lost Star author, Randall Brink.
Randall Brink, Joseph A. Gervais, and myself all remained friends and collaborators from that point on, until Joe's passing took place in 2005.
Rest assured, the important truths about Amelia Earhart presented here have remained unaddressed by the United States Department of Justice ever since the 'tip of the Earhart iceberg reality' Joseph A. Gervais discovered and first publicly surfaced, took place in 1970.
People have said, people have written, and some people still do say and write that Joseph A. Gervais was crazy to always adhere to his most important determination about Amelia Earhart's fate--that being--she survived and changed her name. In the past twenty years I have also seen myself called 'crazy' in spoken and written ways for endorsing his viewpoint. Except I exist today among the more sane Amelia Earhart historians on the planet, to go along with a few Amelia Earhart historians who came before me. Randall Brink's knowledge of the subject matter is formidable, to be sure, and out of respect for the amazing amount of investigative research our late friend, Joseph A. Gervais, did on the subject of who Mrs. Bolam really was, or used to be, Randall always left the door open to it.
The majority of others, however, proved themselves deficient within the Earhart truth-seeking arena by automatically refuting Joseph A. Gervais' Amelia became Irene postulation.
In my case, after learning one had never been done before, I chose to subject it to a forensic analysis and by doing so gained the self-assurance required to stand up and say it was 'justifiable' for Joseph A. Gervais to claim he solved the missing person case of Amelia Earhart those years ago, by way of displaying her physical body evidence in a nationally publicized way.
Looking back at it, the all-but instant dismissal of the 1970 Gervais' assertion about Amelia's post-loss existence as Irene, caused the general public to miss how important his declaration was those decades ago, and its aftermath left people missing how important it should have remained in the years that followed.
Anymore it is certain, though, the bell-of-truth that Joseph A. Gervais rang by way of the clear 35MM color photograph he took of the former Amelia Earhart in 1965--that was widely published in 1970--proved itself impossible to un-ring.
It can therefore be said, how two years after Abraham Zapruder inadvertently filmed the killing of President John F. Kennedy, Joseph A. Gervais inadvertendly photographed the rebirth of Amelia Earhart, all-be-her after she had been renamed "Irene Craigmile" two decades earlier. 
Many individuals have tried to un-ring this long subdued bell-of-truth over the years, but they couldn't do it. In today's world one cannot easily hide or disguise a corpus delicti [i.e. 'body evidence'] nor is it easy for anyone to justifiably claim that a person's body, dead or alive, isn't what it naturally evidences (or evidenced) itself to be.
Still not convinced? Then here's a challenge for you: At the top of this page, take a look at the same 35MM medium close-up color photograph Joseph A. Gervais took of Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam in 1965, and then try to locate any clear photos of the same woman from prior to the mid-1940s. You will not be able to do it because photos of her do not exist from prior to the mid-1940s, unless of course, the same Mrs. Bolam displayed in it appears as her former self, 'Amelia Earhart' within them.
It is also interesting to note how all the while, on record, not one official United States historian ever expressed a certain opinion toward the belief Joseph A. Gervais maintained the last forty years of his life. Basically, on any official level his 'Amelia became Irene' assertion was perpetually met by official history deflections, or avoided entirely.
And here it is. Brace yourself, because you're about to learn the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart after July 2, 1937, and the way it happened.
No, Amelia did not disappear. People don't do that. She also did not continue to fly around aimlessly in radio-silence after missing Howland Island until her plane ran out of gas, thus causing it to crash and sink into the ocean. She and Fred Noonan were a lot smarter than that. Rest assured as well, Japan's military never put them in front of a firing squad, and their bodies were never eaten by giant crabs on the desert island of Nikumaroro.
Forget about all the malarkey about her 1937 loss that has been thrown around over the years. It is time to 'get real' about Amelia Earhart.
The Summer of 65' 
In the summer of 1965, at a gathering of mostly retired, all be them highly respected pilots in New York, a former air force captain who had flown planes in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam met and believed he recognized the woman who used to be known as Amelia Earhart. The man was Joseph A. Gervais, and after deeply studying the woman's background for the next five years, he ascertained his belief about her was correct, and surfaced his realization to a national news level in 1970.
His deduction was well founded, but Joe Gervais underestimated the power of the long-withheld truth he discovered. Back then, one didn't just call out the still-living, 'identity cloaked' Amelia Earhart.
As things went, desiring to continue with the privacy she had sought and coveted for herself after the World War Two years, and for what she considered to be historically prudent reasons as well, the former Amelia Earhart denied the assertion Joe Gervais made about her. Except the controversy over who she really was, or used to be, never went away, even after she died in 1982, and then into the new millennium. Consider this again as well; in 2015, fifty years after Joe Gervais met and photographed Mrs. Bolam, many people were still wondering who she really was, or used to be, because no person or entity had ever 'officially' put an end to the debate over her true identity.
After commencing with it in 1997, my 'Protecting Earhart' long-term forensic comparison analysis that was designed to determine if the decades-old Gervais' assertion about the woman was or wasn't correct, proved that it was correct. World academia is just now starting to catch up to this newfound historical reality. The stately looking, wings-adorned elder woman featured in the photograph above, shown in her true eightieth year, definitely did used to be known as Amelia Earhart.
It is hard to blame doubters for there is so much to know about this story, foremost to include how over the years there have been well meaning people 'in the know about it' who preferred the general public not pay attention to the truth about Amelia Earhart's world-flight outcome, for what they as well believed to be prudent historical reasons.
For years these people remained legion and to a certain extent their historical preference about Amelia is still being honored today. It is plain enough a kind of high level, post-World War Two pact involving the United States and Japan steered the veracity of what actually happened to Amelia Earhart in 1937 away from being publicly recognized and accepted. The only hiccups along the way were the 1960s investigation efforts of Joe Gervais and Fred Goerner, followed by Gervais' 1970 assertion about 'Mrs. Irene Bolam' that became a national news item. When the story of his incredible proclamation broke, though, the mere notion of Amelia Earhart's ongoing name-changed existence seemed just too unbelievable on the surface, abetting all naysayers.
No matter; the realities the forensic study revealed in the last twenty years left a caveat that exposed the underbelly truth of Amelia's post-loss existence as 'Irene,' and the 'Protecting Earhart' website, features a good sampling of younger-to-older superimposed photographs displaying Amelia Earhart prior to 1938 as compared to her later-life self.
Love her unconditionally, because ready or not, the woman famously known as Amelia Earhart in the United States more than eighty years ago... is finally coming home, as 'Irene.'
End Part I
Part II begins after the following images and explanatory comments:




Above: Two comparison samples showing the post-World War Two only
Irene Craigmile's image equally combined with Amelia Earhart's image.


The post-World War Two only Irene Craigmile was not the original Irene Craigmile. Since 1970, however, when she was correctly implicated to have been the former Amelia Earhart, her own denials and other obfuscations about her past left people believing she wasn't the former Amelia Earhart. Amelia's family and the original Irene Craigmile's family also denied it, and the Smithsonian Institution played it down enough to where people felt further suspicion toward who she really was, or used to be, was unnecessary.
In the meantime, the U.S. federal government offered no opinion about it. 
Now, a recently conducted Digital Face Recognition analysis affirmed the compared facial templates below were attributable to the same human being:




1965, Irene Craigmile Bolam transitions....
...a 1935 photo of...
...her former Amelia Earhart self

Above on the far left, shown in a 1965 photo taken in Cocoa Beach, Florida, is the same Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam who was photographed that same year in New York by Joseph A. Gervais. 
Setting the record straight: It wasn't until the new millennium arrived that the forensic analysis displayed the face prints, head sizes, necks, shoulders, arm lengths, hands, heights, foot sizes, handwriting, and voice resonances to all be congruent within the Amelia-to-Irene comparisons. Not to omit how friends, relatives, and locations frequented displayed their own before and after alignments. As well, the Irene Bolam who Joseph A. Gervais met and photographed in 1965 appeared nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s. Here, Tod Swindell's forensic analysis displayed the reality of there having been three different Twentieth Century women attributed to the same "Irene Craigmile Bolam" identity, and how one of them, the 1965 Joseph A. Gervais photographed Irene was previously known as Amelia Earhart.

The original Irene Craigmile, "1930"

Joseph A. Gervais photographed Irene Craigmile Bolam, "1965"

The Irene Craigmile Bolam positively identified by her only child in 2014 as taken in "the 1970s"

Above are the three different Twentieth Century women who were historically identified as one in the same, "Irene Madeline O'Crowley Craigmile Heller Bolam."
Traditionally, Amelia Earhart's extended family and the Smithsonian Institution made a habit of encouraging the public to not take seriously or dismiss out of hand what was first publicly asserted about Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam by Joseph A. Gervais in the 1960s. This could be due to the historical convenience of not wanting to alter pop culture's status-quo viewpoint about Amelia Earhart it has long maintained toward her heroic legacy and the so-called "mystery" of her disappearance. Anymore however, the observable forensic reality of Amelia Earhart living well beyond the World War Two era in the United States after assuming another identity... has segued into existing today as an obvious, albeit 'subcultural' historical true-hood.

The Gervais-Irene Bolam
Newspaper photo, as 'Mrs. Irene Bolam' in Japan, 1963

Amelia photo added

Superimposed reveals her earlier and later self-images

Photo from after the Friendship flight


Amelia, 1937




"Special recognition goes to Tod Swindell, who undertook an extensive, in-depth forensic analysis of the Gervais-Irene Bolam and Amelia Earhart to show the world they were one in the same person." USAF Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck, reprinted from the Preface of his 2004 book, Amelia Earhart Survived.
Note: My late friend, USAF Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, included the above supportive words in his book after he evaluated my forensic research that unravelled the 'Amelia became Irene' truth, the origin of which stemmed from Joe Gervais and author, Joe Klaas, who originally introduced the postulation of Amelia's continued survival as 'Irene' in their 1970 book, Amelia Earhart Lives. After I commenced with my study in 1997, Colonel Reineck recognized how important the realization was of a serious forensic analysis never having been done before, that compared the highly enigmatic, Irene Bolam to Amelia Earhart. I was inspired to do one after the odd controversy over Mrs. Bolam was somewhat rejuvenated in 1994 by way of Randall Brink's ground-shaking expose', Lost Star: The Search For Amelia Earhart. Today, only Randall and I remain, and both of us are greatly indebted to the magnanimous efforts of the researchers that sided with Joe Gervais, mostly World War Two heroes, whose efforts preceded our own. Thanks to them, it is now easy to identify how three different women were attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' identity in the Twentieth Century, with one of them having been previously known as 'Amelia Earhart.'  Tod Swindell, 2018

Below: About The 1970 Book, Amelia Earhart Lives By Joe Klaas
Directly below is the book that started it all, Amelia Earhart Lives. Although it was chocked with some far-out suppositions in its attempt to explain what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in 1937, it did manage to feature the 1965 photograph of the former Amelia Earhart when she was known as "Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam," taken by Joseph A. Gervais when the two met each other.
Following the book's release it ended up being ceaselessly ridiculed after the former Amelia Earhart strongly negated it, no doubt for her own good reasons. Fortunately for her, many people who looked at the 1965 Gervais taken photograph had a hard time seeing through to who she used to be. She did look different, but she was still there, and she is still there and always will be there. The forensic tale-of-the-tape proved it out. Once the bell-ring of the photo's inclusion in the book took place, nothing could un-ring it. World War Two hero, Joseph A. Gervais always knew this, and he never stopped repeating it to others to his dying day in 2005.

Based on the research findings of Joe Gervais...
'Amelia Earhart Lives' by Joe klaas. Published by McGraw-Hill, November 1970

The Gervais-Irene and Guy Bolam
From the 1970 book, 'Amelia Earhart Lives' by Joe Klaas


Amelia Earhart, 1937

The Gervais-Irene Bolam
August 8, 1965

...superimposed shows the obvious congruence...

Part II
Amelia Earhart: A True Story
By Tod Swindell
When Joseph A. Gervais met Mrs. Bolam and her English husband, Guy in 1965, he was introduced to them by Viola Gentry, a good pilot-friend of Amelia's in the 1930s. Viola had asked Joe to come to New York and lecture to her club of pilot friends about the investigative research he had done on Amelia Earhart's disappearance.
Viola appeared surprised when Mrs. Bolam showed up at the luncheon where Joe Gervais was to lecture. Somewhat flustered himself, Joe noticed an 'air of importance' about Mrs. Bolam, beyond feeling that he recognized her for who she used to be. After asking Viola to introduce him to her, Joe cautiously asked Mrs. Bolam if she ever knew Amelia Earhart? She replied to him that she had 'known Amelia Earhart well' and that she had 'often flown with her.' He asked if she would be willing to meet him again and she said 'yes' and gave him her business card that listed her name as 'Irene Craigmile' on it. That had been her name before she married Guy Bolam in 1958.
It turned out, a woman by the name of 'Irene Craigmile' did know Amelia Earhart in the 1930s. Born Irene O'Crowley to Richard Joseph O'Crowley and his wife, Bessie Doyle O'Crowley, she was mostly raised by her maternal and paternal extended families. She became Irene Craigmile in 1927, when she married Charles Craigmile, a civil engineer from Rantoul, Illinois.  

Below: The original Irene Craigmile, 1930


Shown between her husband, Charles "James" Craigmile, and her father, Richard Joseph "Joe" O'Crowley

Charles Craigmile tragically died in 1931. The following year, just a few months after Amelia became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, the Akron Beacon Journal of Ohio published a photograph displaying both Amelia Earhart and the recently widowed, Irene Craigmile within it. The two were shown among a group of women aviators visiting the hospitalized pilot, Louise Thaden there:

The Akron Beacon Journal, September 1, 1932

Above: Amelia Earhart outlined in white, Irene Craigmile outlined in black.


Above: 'Irene Craigmile' is listed after Viola Gentry


Above: After Amelia married George Putnam in 1931, for a short while she took his name, as shown here

More about the Original Irene Craigmile
When the above newspaper photograph was taken, the recently widowed, Irene Craigmile was not-yet a licensed pilot. She began taking flying lessons in the fall of 1932, after Amelia and Viola Gentry helped sign her up at Floyd Bennet Field on Long Island. She learned to fly there and at Roosevelt Field until she earned her pilot's license in late May of 1933. Except while she was earning it, she realized she was pregnant with her last flight instructor, Alvin Heller's child. The two eloped to be married that August, and later their son, Clarence Alvin 'Larry' Heller was born in early March of 1934.
Before she realized she was pregnant in 1933, the original Irene Craigmile had barely logged any solo-piloting hours. She barely ever flew again following her last pregnancy, and failed to renew her pilot's license after 1936.
From there the trail of the original Irene grows cold. Clear, legible photographs of her no longer exist, and it is hard to know what ultimately became of her, beyond a later life friend of Mrs. Irene Bolam's, Diana Dawes, in 1992 offering her awareness that the original Irene 'died' at some point and the announcement of it was withheld, thus enabling Amelia to continue on with her still extant identity. Only sketchy records remain of the original Irene, including how her marriage to Alvin Heller, who had relocated alone to Buffalo, New York in the mid-1930s, was legally annulled 'by long distance' at the end of the 1930s. There was also a child custody battle Al Heller did not win that carried into the early 1940s.
Al and the original Irene's son, Larry Heller, grew up to become a Pan Am pilot and resides in Florida today, but it is evident he never really knew his biological mother, the original Irene Craigmile. Larry Heller did have a mother figure growing up as a child, but who she actually was remains a subject of debate. She did not look that much like Amelia Earhart, to be sure, and she appeared to be about a generation younger than she should have been. Take a look:


Left and right: In 2006, and again in writing in 2014, Clarence Heller, the son of the original Irene Craigmile, positively identified this woman to have been his late mother in both younger and older forms. He provided the esitmated dates applied to each photo as well. She did not look like Amelia Earhart, to be sure, she did not used to be known as Amelia Earhart. 




This woman shown in younger and older forms, was identified as "Irene Craigmile" in 1946 on the left, of the People's National Bank of Long Island's Mineola Branch. On the right she is seen again in 1965, in the picture Joe Gervais took of her after she became known as, "Mrs. Irene Bolam" by virtue of her 1958 marriage to Guy Bolam of England. She was identified nowhere as 'Irene' prior to the mid 1940s, even though she was legally attributed to the same identity of Clarence Heller's mother. For the sake of distinguishing the different Irene's from each other, Protecting Earhart's study labeled this one, "the Gervais-Irene." Overcoming decades of ridicule and cynicism, any further the truth stands to exist where there is no doubt this particular Irene Bolam used to be known as Amelia Earhart.



Neither one of the two different Irene Craigmiles displayed above appeared to resemble the original Irene Craigmile in the grainy photo below. Born in 1904, no clear, distinguishable photo images of the original Irene Craigmile have ever been located. Even her son, Larry Heller attested he didn't have any photos of his mother pre-dating the 1940s. This includes family group photos, wedding pictures, school class pictures, or any other photos.

The original 'real' Irene, 1930

The above photo identifies Irene Craigmile (breifly known then as "Irene Heller") with her son, Clarence, in 1937 while on a trip in Florida after separating from Al Heller. Al and Irene's marriage was soon after annuled reverting Irene's surname back to "Criagmile." In her annulment file, Irene cited 'improvidence' as one of her complaints about Al Heller. Even so, during the depression few could afford a nice car (the one in the photo is a 1937 Luxury Plymouth) and a travel trailer, not to leave out toy cars for their children and Florida vacations. Of note, Amelia Earhart began her world flight journey from Miami, Florida on June 1, 1937. Al Heller, who acknowledged having 'met' Amelia Earhart in the 1930s, would later become a senior vice president of the greater Miami Aviation Association. His son, Clarence Heller grew up to become a 747 pilot for Pan Am, Amelia's world flight navigator, Fred Noonan's old company that featured a major hub in Miami.

Once again, add all of the above knowledge to the fact that the 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' who Joe Gervais met and photographed in 1965, appears nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s.
Let me repeat that: The 'Irene Craigmile Bolam' who Joe Gervais met and  photographed in 1965, appears nowhere identified as 'Irene' prior to the mid-1940s.
This leaves a deduction based on logical reasoning supported by forensic evidence: Where the Irene Craigmile Bolam who Joe Gervais photographed in 1965 appears anywhere prior to the mid-1940s, she does so identified as 'Amelia Earhart.'
[Forensic Evidence: "That suitable for argumentation in a court of law."]

 About the Original Irene Craigmile's O'Crowley Family
As the story goes, the original Irene Craigmile's mother, Bridget nee-Doyle O'Crowley, died in 1917 when her only child, Irene, was twelve. Before Bridget died, census records revealed she had been raising her daughter alone with her parents in New Jersey. After Bridget died, from that point on census records show Irene being further raised by her father's family, most specifically by her father's sister, an attorney by the name of Irene Rutherford O'Crowley who lived with her mother, Sarah, in Newark, New Jersey.
It is evident when the original Irene was twenty-one she had a child out of wedlock that was adopted and raised by her uncle and aunt, Dr. Clarence Rutherford O'Crowley and his wife, Violet. [Note: Protecting Earhart's MSS includes a detail of the O'Crowley family lineage and life events. The O'Crowleys had been a prominent New Jersey family.]
How Amelia Earhart Was Able To Become Irene Craigmile
Amelia Earhart was a good friend of the original Irene Craigmile's aunt, the attorney, Irene Rutherford O'Crowley who practiced law in New Jersey and New York. Amelia's former flying pal, Viola Gentry, who introduced Joe Gervais to the former Amelia Earhart and her husband, Guy Bolam in 1965, later told him this was how Amelia originally came to 'know' Irene Craigmile, through Irene's attorney-aunt who had been Amelia's friend and a fellow ZONTA organization member with her as well. This information is documeted in Amelia Earhart Lives.
The ZONTA organization, founded in Buffalo, New York in 1919, was and still is an international organization of professional women. Amelia joined ZONTA after she became famous in 1928, and was soon befriended by two of its more prominent members, Nina Broderick Price of England, and Attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley of Newark, New Jersey, the original Irene Craigmile's aunt.
Nina Price and Attorney Irene O'Crowley were very good friends and ZONTA chapter presidents who had helped launch the Amelia Earhart brand products line in the early to mid-1930s. Nina was a flamboyant publicist and dress designer who helped Amelia in those areas, and Attorney Irene worked on the legal contracts side that helped to establish the Amelia Earhart brand luggage-line based in Newark, something she continued to be involved with into the 1960s.
Today the ZONTA's still award Amelia Earhart Scholarships to aspiring young women.
How And When The Amelia-To-Irene Change Took Place
It appears evident enough how at some point during the World War Two years, Attorney Irene Rutherford O'Crowley cooperated with the U.S. justice department and one Monsignor James Francis Kelley of Rumson, New Jersey, with an arrangement for Amelia to be able to assume the still-extant identity value of Attorney Irene's niece, Irene Craigmile for Amelia to use after the war years.
Monsignor Kelley was the president of Seton Hall College at the time the war ended, and he helped Amelia become the new Irene Craigmile after her return to the United States, and he served, as he later described it, as her "emotional healing therapist" while doing so. [Monsignor Kelley held doctoral degrees in psychology and philosophy.]
From the 1970s into the 1990s, Monsignor Kelley explained facets of this incredible truth he knew to a variety of different people, and a few of them later went on record describing what he had told them. In 1991, five years before he died, Monsignor Kelley himself confirmed his past long-time friend, the late Irene Bolam, used to be known as Amelia Earhart in a recorded interview. This did not become public information until the new millennium arrived, and people who had a hard time believing his conveyance claimed later-life 'senility' must have caused him to make up the things he said about his late friend, Irene having been previously known as Amelia Earhart. Those who he spoke to about it, though, insisted he was lucid while doing so, and the forensic analysis itself later revealed he had not made it up at all.
Amelia's Life As Irene
After she became Irene, Amelia was never known to pilot a plane again. She was given various positions in the banking industry on Long Island after the war until she married Guy Bolam. She became a ZONTA member again as 'Irene Craigmile' and served as president of the Long Island ZONTA chapter in the 1950s. After she married Guy Bolam, the two traveled abroad frequently until Guy died in 1970. Through Guy's enterprise, Radio Luxembourg in Europe, that she became president of herself after Guy died, it can be said the former Amelia Earhart was part of the same radio station that helped introduce the Beatles to Soviet Russia in the 1960s. She also knew a few NASA astronauts and "2001: A Space Odyssey" had been a favorite movie of hers.
When Joe Gervais pegged Mrs. Bolam for who she used to be in 1965, then tried to introduce it by way of the book, Amelia Earhart Lives in 1970, the former Amelia Earhart sued the publisher of the book, McGraw-Hill, the book's author, Joe Klaas, and she sued Joe Gervais as well, whose assertion about Mrs. Bolam inspired Joe Klaas to write the book.
It's worth recalling here how in 1965, even though Mrs. Bolam had agreed to meet again with Joe Gervais, she subsequently proved herself evasive and never did.
Her lawsuit reached the New York Supreme Court and lasted five years. Mrs. Bolam's Attorney, Benedict Ginsberg, who had once worked for Robert F. Kennedy, sought 1.5 million dollars in damages. Except Mrs. Bolam, who had not been involved in the book's writing process, did not sue the publisher and authors for inferring she was the former Amelia Earhart. She sued them for libel. For instance, the book had referred to her late husband, Guy, (who died the same year the book came out) as her "alleged husband," when in fact they had been legally married.
McGraw-Hill ended up remitting a high five-figure settlement to the former Amelia Earhart, and it removed the remaining copies of Amelia Earhart Lives from the stores. [Author, Joe Klaas, estimated about forty-thousand copies of the book made it into circulation before it was withdrawn, and it has since been republished.] In an interesting twist as well, she settled her differences with Joe Gervais and Joe Klaas by way of the opposing parties swapping ten dollars of consideration, after she refused to submit her fingerprints as proof-positive of her identity. She wasn't in want of money, after all, and after five years most people had chalked-up the Gervais' assertion about her past as a hoax. It wasn't a hoax, but Mrs. Bolam wasn't about to wreck the remaining years of her life by way of admitting who she used to be. So much explaining would have been demanded if she had admitted it, not only from herself, but from a slew of prominent, high-level individuals.
The former Amelia Earhart died seven years after her 'summary judgment' lawsuit ended. She had prearranged to donate her body to Rutgers College of Medicine. According to the school when later contacted, she was cremated and interned in a common, unmarked grave.
At the time of her death, many people, including some who had been close to her in her later years, continued to suspect Mrs. Bolam used to be the famous pilot, Amelia Earhart. In a New Jersey newspaper article that appeared a few months after her passing, even her son's wife, Joan Heller, was quoted to have said she and her husband were "no longer sure" about the question of her past identity. As well, to myself in 2006, Clarence Heller admitted he held no photos of his mother dated prior to the 1940s. And although Mr. Heller consistently denied over the years that his mother was Amelia Earhart, he was merely telling the truth. Clarence Heller was legitimately born to Al and Irene Heller on March 5, 1934. 
The bottom line: Anymore it is absolutely certain that the ongoing suspicion about the late Gervais-Irene Bolam's true past was justifiable, because it was true that she used to be known as, 'Amelia Earhart.'
There You Have It
So this was and is the true story of what became of Amelia Earhart after July 2, 1937. Be that as it may, it is still unclear when it comes to what really happened after she and Fred Noonan were declared 'missing.' It is widely assumed that within days after the duo failed to locate Howland Island, Japan rescued them in the lower Marshall Islands where they had endured an emergency ditching.
The later added deducement that featured Amelia's continued survival, states that right when Japan was about to declare war on China, she and Noonan strayed too far north during their Plan-B attempt to reach the Gilbert Islands, and they ended up in Japan's off-limits Marshall Islands instead. There they were picked up and detained, and at least Amelia ended up remaining in Japan's custody until the end of World War Two.
While various aspects of the above descriptions have been corroborated by different Amelia Earhart historians over the years, to explain why Amelia's Marshall Islands ditching is still an assumption today is academic: The only official record of Amelia's loss shows that she went missing on July 2, 1937, and after not being found she was legally declared 'dead' in early January of 1939.  
Therefore, technically, where the July 2, 1937 Marshall Islands ditching assertion still remains an assumption, within the constraints of it, to go along with Amelia's body evidence showing up as Irene Craigmile eight years later in the United States, what really happened to her on that July 2, 1937 day, supplemented by where she ended up later, how she was treated, and how she spent her days while she was gone... anymore exists as the 'real' mystery of Amelia Earhart. Take heart in knowing, it is safe to believe the former Amelia Earhart took much of the answers to those questions to her grave with her.
Today, all we really know for certain in a forensic reality way, is that several years after Amelia Earhart went missing she managed to surface in the United States as Irene Craigmile, and she worked in the banking industry known by that name until she married Guy Bolam of England in 1958, and the general public was never supposed to know who she used to be, even after she died in 1982.
Believe it or not, it's that simple.






1923, 1978
1933, 1965
1928, 1963

1932, 1976

1928, 1977




Irene & Amelia superimposed


Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam, 1965 (FKA 'Amelia')
Photo credit: Joseph A. Gervais USAF (Ret.)


Above: Amelia on the right


Irene & Amelia superimposed


Irene & Amelia superimposed


Irene dominant



Amelia & Irene

...superimposed shows the obvious congruence...

zzzzbolam1A2.jpg the Gervais-Irene Bolam in 1965

Note: The above human congruence does not exhibit a doppelganger-like coincidence. Head-to-toe and character trait wise, my forensic analysis that compared the Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam who Joseph A. Gervais met and photographed in 1965 to Amelia Earhart, merely displays the same human being in younger and older forms. Her birth name was "Amelia Mary Earhart." She was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897, and she died on July 7, 1982 in Edison, New Jersey, then known as "Irene Craigmile Bolam." Her father was "Samuel Stanton 'Edwin' Earhart," who was born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1867, and who died in Los Angeles, California in 1930. Her mother was "Amelia Otis Earhart" who was born in Atchison, Kansas in 1869, and who died in Medford, Massachusetts in 1962. Her sister and only sibling was "Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey" who was born in Kansas City, Kansas on December 29, 1899, and who died in Medford, Massachusetts on March 2, 1998.
Amelia's sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, was also a ZONTA member who did know her sister, Amelia in her later life years as 'Irene,' although she never openly acknowledged her awareness of past as 'Amelia.' She was also known to admonish anyone who suggested her ZONTA friend, Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam was actually her sister going by a different name, and it steadfastly remained that way until her passing in 1998. Her daughter, Amy carries on the same tradition today.
When Joseph A. Gervais and his wife, Thelma met with Muriel in 1967, and suggested to her the idea that Amelia was still alive but going by a different name, Muriel replied to him, "Even if that were true, Major Gervais, wouldn't it be best to leave it alone?"
Food for thought. Tod Swindell

Once a world-famous pilot...


...the former Amelia Earhart in 1965

About The Swindell Study
The Swindell Study [1997-2020; copyright registrations: TXu 1-915-926 & TXu 2-061-539] is an Investigative Journalist's forensic research evaluation combined with a human comparison analysis. The Study was orchestrated and chiefly executed by Tod Swindell, an independent researcher who developed a consuming interest in the facts attributed to Amelia Earhart's disappearance and missing person case. The complete Study consists of over ten-thousand pages and features rare documents, analytical text, photographs, comparisons, maps, charts, and past-obscured but again revisited investigative research findings. The condensed MSS features 415 total pages; 110 of which contain logistical and visual elements drawn from the 'Amelia to Irene' Comparison Analysis. The Study elaborates on--and plainly exhibits Amelia Earhart's ongoing existence after World War Two with the re-purposed name of, 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile.' (Surname of 'Bolam' added in 1958.) It also examined the post-war reasoning that left the general public out of the loop of Amelia's ongoing existence with a different name. Simply put, Amelia Earhart was declared 'dead in absentia' in 1939, and the intention after the war, as co-endorsed by the former Amelia Earhart herself and her only sibling, her sister, Muriel, was for it to always remain that way. The complete Study is available for review on a selective basis.
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