Having determined that the aircraft
in the photo is not a Lockheed Model 10, it doesn’t matter where the
photo was taken, but it’s interesting to speculate.
In August 1988, Capt. George Carrington,
USN (ret.) brought the Wreck Photo and another photo to Lockheed Aircraft
saying that they had been given to him by a former British seaman who had
served aboard the submarine tender HMS Adamant in the western Pacific
in late 1946 and early 1947. Carrington said that the seaman, who wished
to remain anonymous, had given him the pictures because the wrecked airplane
in one of the photos reminded him of Earhart’s airplane on the cover
of a book Carrington had just self-published describing his own theory about
Amelia Earhart’s disappearance (she was a spy).
|Agrihan Island, Northern Marianas
The seaman’s other photo showed the beach of a tropical island from
just offshore. A group of perhaps 40 men in shorts are standing about on
the beach and in the shallow water. Most are shirtless. The level beach extends
several hundred feet inland and is bordered by a few tall palm trees behind
which the vegetation and terrain rise steeply upward to high jungled hills
in the distance. According to Carrington, HMS Adamant had put these
men ashore on the uninhabited island for the purpose of gathering sand used
in fighting engine room fires, and also for a little recreation. The seaman
did not recall the name of the island, if he ever knew it. Supposedly he
walked along the beach with a friend until they noted a couple of large coconut
palms that had been knocked down. Back in the bush they found the wreckage
of a twin-engined airplane and took the photo.
A check of the logs of HMS Adamant revealed that for the period during which
the photo was allegedly taken – late 1946/early 1947) – she was
docked in Hong Kong. Prior to and after that period she called at various
ports around the western Pacific. The only uninhabited island she called
at during that period was Agrihan Island in the Northern Marianas. Agrihan
is a volcanic island, the highest in the Marianas Chain, and in 1946 was
uninhabited because the volcano had erupted in 1917.
Carrington’s book alleged that Earhart had been abducted and
taken to Saipan – an island in the Northern Marianas only 240 miles
from Agrihan. It may be that the sailor, thinking that the photo showed
a wrecked Electra, knew that it had been taken not far from Saipan
and thus might prove Carrington’s theory correct.