Man claims his uncle saw Amelia Earhart in 1937 on Saipan
A man in the South Pacific claims to have proof for the recently unearthed theory that Amelia Earhart and her navigator were executed by Japan in an elaborate cover up by the U.S.
William “Bill” Sablan told the Pacific Daily News his uncle saw who he believed to be the pair on Saipan, then under Japan’s control, 80 years ago after they’d gone missing.
His assertion lines up with the high-flying theory the famed aviator and Fred Noonan were captured by Japan during their trip around the world in 1937.
The History Channel ran a documentary in July that explored the theory, relying on a photo believed to show Earhart on a dock after her capture.
The image showed group of people on the Marshall Islands’ Jaluit Atoll featuring a short-haired woman with her back turned to the camera.
But a Japanese blogger threw cold water on the theory, noting the photo was taken two years before Earhart disappeared.
Sablan believes it could hold weight, however, after a 1971 conversation he had with an uncle in Saipan.
The Guam native, who grew up in Southern California, told the Pacific Daily News the uncle offered up the eery anecdote after he mentioned his dream of becoming a pilot.
The uncle, Tun Akin Tuho, said he was working in the mid-1930s at a prison on Saipan, which was then controlled by Japan, when a white American man and woman arrived in custody.
The woman, he added, had short hair and sporting men’s clothes.
They’d been traveling with a plane, which was abandoned in the ocean, Sablan told the Pacific Daily News.
The typically sedate prison was aflutter because the uncommon sighting of Americans.
“They had no reason to be there,” Sablan told the newspaper.
“They were bringing them to Saipan because Imperial Japan was notified about them,” he continued.
Within a couple of days, the couple had been executed.
The U.S. then recovered the bodies after World War II, he told the newspaper, but could never figure out what happened to the remains.
“Where those bodies are now is somebody’s own question to answer,” Sablan told the Pacific Daily News. “Nobody seems to know.”
The common belief is that Earhart and Noonan ran out of fuel after missing Howland Island where they were set to land on July 2, 1937.