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Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:32 AM

Amelia Earhart and the problem with History Channel documentaries [View all]

So, there was some media splash to promote a documentary on the History Channel about an alleged photograph of Amelia Earhart.

The problem with "I've got a theory" documentaries on that channel and elsewhere is that while it provides the promoter of the theory with a platform to promote that theory, it's not as if they are produced on the basis of actual research beyond whatever supports the promoter's theory. So, yes, they are convincing, compelling, etc. ... because everything that lines up with the theory is presented. Things that don't line up... not so much.

One of the obvious holes in the History Channel documentary was where, exactly, did the photograph come from, beyond "found mis-filed in the National Archives". Pretty obviously, if the photographer was working for the Japanese, then it might be worth a look to see where the photograph turns up in Japan...


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/11/blogger-discredits-claim-amelia-earhart-was-taken-prisoner-by-japan

Claims made in a US documentary that the pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart crash-landed on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean and was taken prisoner by the Japanese appear to have been proved false by a photograph unearthed in a travel book.

The History Channel documentary, Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, which aired in the US on Sunday, made the claim that the American and her navigator, Fred Noonan, ended up in Japanese custody based on a photograph discovered in the US national archives that purported to show them standing at a harbour on one of the islands.

The film said the image “may hold the key to solving one of history’s all-time greatest mysteries” and suggested it disproved the widely accepted theory that Earhart and Noonan disappeared over the western Pacific on 2 July 1937 near the end of their attempt at a history-making flight around the world.

But serious doubts now surround the film’s premise after a Tokyo-based blogger unearthed the same photograph in the archives of the National Diet Library, Japan’s national library.

The image was part of a Japanese-language travelogue about the South Seas that was published almost two years before Earhart disappeared. Page 113 states the book was published in Japanese-held Palau on 10 October 1935.

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