The Denver Post - - NEWS -

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.

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