“Fred Goerner”   

Fred Goerner is widely recognized as perhaps the premier researcher in the field of the Amelia Earhart disappearance. His original book, “The Search for Amelia Earhart,” became the reason d’ętre for the vast amount of Earhart books and commentary that followed in its wake. The Fred Goerner collection at the Chester Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas , houses one of the most extensive and at the same accurate documentations of the Earhart loss. 

Let me say at the outset here, that there is no definite proof  (I am talking about tangible evidence here) that Amelia Earhart was indeed in the custody of the Japanese and died in Japanese custody. [However] there is a lot of other evidence that points to that possibility. For example it was the late Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz who became sort of a second father during the last years of his life, who kept my nose to this story.  He indicated to me that there were things behind it all that had never been released. Through the observations of agents and submarines and the breaking of the Japanese codes and traffic analysis of Japanese IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) radio messages, the U.S. already had more than a fair idea of what was going on with respect to the various islands. To ask Earhart to over fly either the Carolines or the Marshalls was not only too dangerous for a flight that was already marginal, it was also to no purpose. Given the isolationist attitudes of many U.S. Congressmen and Senators, any revelation of such an intelligence endeavor would have spelled disaster to the military and the Roosevelt administration. It took me a lot of digging to finally convince myself of that point. I can only barely begin to discuss this whole matter in these few words, but suffice it to say, TIGHAR has a lot to learn about Japan 's pre-WWII activities in the Pacific and U.S. military intelligence during that period. I'm not saying this to down them, but rather to indicate that they have reached some unsupportable simplistic conclusions. A full study of all of this will be contained in my new book. One of the most important aspects of Japanese development of the mandated islands was the construction of radio stations with high frequency direction finding capabilities. As Vice Admiral Joseph Wenger told me, "By 1937 Japan had eleven (11) stations in the mandates. They were far better able to track the Earhart plane then we were." Admiral Wenger was an important part of OP-20-G (Naval Intelligence Communications) in the 1930's and during WWII. He later became Deputy director of NSA.

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