JAPANESE HELPED LOOK FOR EARHART
On July 5, 1937, as the United States was searching the Pacific Ocean for Amelia Earhart’s missing airplane, the State Department got a phone call from the Japanese Embassy in Washington.
Tokyo wanted to know whether it could help. Relations between the two countries had been deteriorating since Japan attacked China in 1931, and were destined to end with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor and the calamity of World War II.
Earhart’s disappearance roared back into the news this week after the History Channel aired a documentary contending she survived her last flight and was captured by the Japanese. As proof, the report touted a blurry old photograph that purportedly showed Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.
But a Japanese military history blogger unearthed evidence that the photo was first published in a 1935 Japanese travelogue — two years before Earhart and Noonan set off on their doomed effort to circumnavigate the globe.