Tuesday, February 9, 2016

In Search Of... Amelia Earhart

Leonard Nimoy tracked down many mysteries in the 1970's on his famed thirty minute syndicated show In Search Of...

One of the biggest mysteries his show covered was the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. The disappearance had gotten more press attention at the time due to a book called Amelia Earhart Lives, written by Joe Klaas. Mr. Klaas was convinced by a retired general that Amelia Earhart had survived her crash, becoming a prisoner of the Japanese. Eager to get her back quietly (and to cover up her spy mission) the United States allegedly smuggled her back into the country disguised as a nun and she assumed the identity of Irene Craigmile Bolam, a woman she was familiar with. The book was a sensation, but Irene Craigmile Bolam was still alive and was extremely upset that she was being accused of hiding her real identity.

Rather than let the story blow over, Ms. Bolam filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit that resulted in the book being pulled from circulation. Copies of the book became hard to find and In Search Of... took advantage of the renewed interest to cover the controversy. It was just one of the theories examined in the half hour episode, but it is the most memorable one. The book has recently resurfaced along with a new write up recounting this theory. 

For the record, the episode of In Search Of... comes to the conclusion that Ms. Bolam most likely wasn't Amelia Earhart. Her family steadfastly refuses any and all attempts to disprove this theory once and for all. This theory, though, is not widely believed to be true.