‘Found’ at the wrong time
For a brief moment, it looked like one of the world’s longest running and most intriguing aviation mysteries had been solved when this documentary debuted in the US last month, making headlines across the world.
It features former FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry, who presents what he alleges is photographic evidence showing the fate of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who went missing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
The undated photograph in question purportedly shows Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan at a dock in the Marshall Islands.
Henry contends the pair was captured by the Japanese military, and later died in Saipan. Worse, he has other documents that he claims indicate that the US government knew they were in custody and may have covered it up.
In response, the Japanese government denied having any evidence that Earhart was ever in its custody (while also acknowledging the fact many records were destroyed in the war).
But since then it has been reported that a Japanese military history blogger named Kota Yamano located the photo in a Japanese book on the Pacific Islands published in 1935 — two years before Earhart’s disappearance.
It no doubt detracts from revelations made in the documentary.
Realistically, more than half the assertions made on TV could be challenged — it’s refreshing to watch a program in that light.
And for what it’s worth, the History Channel and Henry reacted with good grace: “The accuracy is obviously important,” he told NBC. “We want to follow the facts where they lead and we’re certainly going to do that.” 8.30pm, History. Monday,
Amelia Earhart, who went missing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937