|Debunked Earhart photo found at Japan’s National Diet Library|
|A Japanese blogger quickly laid waste to the History Channel’s proclamation that one of the 20th century’s biggest mysteries has been solved. THC’s documentary, Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence was centered on a photograph found in the National Archives by|
retired US Treasury Agent, Les Kinney and was hosted by lead investigator and former FBI official, Shawn Henry.
The premise of the show was/is that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan survived and did not crash at sea; that they made a hard landing far off course and were captured and later put to death by the Japanese that occupied the Marshal Islands at that time.
Young viewers most likely were hearing the idea that Earhart and Noonan died as prisoners of the Japanese for the first time; however, that theory has been offered up by various researchers for decades, some of which was reproduced in the doc.
To THC’s credit, the presentation of circumstantial evidence in support of show’s thesis was intriguing and doubly so with the culmination via the photograph of the dock at Jaluit Atoll, Jaluit Island which according to Kinney/Henry showed Earhart & Noonan alive and well.
Although there was no date associated with the photo (via the National Archives), Kinney stated that he believed the photo was taken before 1943; Earhart was lost on July 24th, 1937.
As a prelude to the documentary’s premiere, Henry had made the rounds to many of the morning news shows during the week, priming the pump for Sunday’s show. He discussed much of the in-depth, research that had taken place and proclaimed the Earhart mystery had finally been solved; that the photo was the apex and final confirmation, tying all the circumstantial evidence together….
But that wasn’t/isn’t the case. As a lead-up to the documentary, on July 5th, NBC broke the story of the photograph, presenting it to the public (seemingly) for the first time. As is often the case in today’s age—this sent independent, internet sleuths in motion and within days and much to The History Channel’s chagrin, the photograph’s origin had been determined, having been published in a “photo book of the south sea” in 1935—two years before Earhart’s disappearance.
Presumably, The History Channel, with all of their resources, spent months, if not longer on their research, along with Kinney who found the photo in 2012; in the documentary, various photographic experts were brought in to support the photo’s authenticity, verifying that it wasn’t doctored, as well as an expert in recognition analysis technology, who declared a high probability that the two Anglos were indeed Earhart and Noonan, thus proclaiming the photo as definitive evidence, solving one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.
Conversely, in a matter of days, the Japanese blogger, known as, Yamaneko Danshaku discovered the origin of said photo, which THC couldn’t or didn’t do in months (if not more) of investigation, with all their resources and published his initial findings the very night that the documentary aired.
Danshaku located the photo in a book, viewable at Japan’s National Diet Library. While the History Channel wipes the egg off their collective faces, they have announced, via a tweet that: