Can You Help Solve a 77-Year-Old Mystery?

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What happened to famed aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who set off on a round-the-world-flight in 1937, and then disappeared over the Pacific?

Rafu Shimpo reporter interviews Amelia Earhart. (Rafu photo archives/Iwata family collection)

Rafu Shimpo reporter interviews Amelia Earhart. (Rafu photo archives/Iwata family collection)

The Earhart disappearance is an enduring mystery that has intrigued Dr. Tom King, an archaeologist with The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). King has pursued a long fascination with the question of Earhart’s disappearance and seeks assistance from the Los Angeles Nikkei community in tracking down a rumor concerning a multiracial Nikkei woman who might have been confused with Earhart.

The account of Earhart’s execution as a spy, says King, appears to be based on reports by Chamorro women on the island of Saipan. They described a “beautiful” and “well-dressed” woman who was captured and executed by Japanese authorities as a spy on Saipan sometime during World War II.

Some thought this woman was Earhart; however, the executed woman was described as being of mixed Japanese-European ethnicity, and in some accounts, as having come from Los Angeles.

King wonders — who might this multiracial Nikkei woman from Los Angeles be? He seeks information from anyone who may know of a Nikkei woman from Los Angeles who may have gone to Saipan, perhaps to work, before the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific and never returned.

King, who recently co-authored an analysis of “Earhart-on-Saipan” theories, can be contacted at [email protected]

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