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im a former us navy veteran, and i have friends who have worked for the pentagon, and or were stationed at us air force bases, i can tell you for certain the plane you found on the shelf at gardner island isnt amelia earharts actual lost plane, that plane is the one that she crashed on takeoff from hawaii on a return trip from oakland to hawaii and back. on gardner, the wheel, the starboard wing, the window cover and some of the other wreckage are of her electra 10L, her plane was fished out of the water by a japanese seaplane tender and taken to Taroa island, and after the war removed by the us military and is now sitting in a warehose hangar at irwin air force base in california, heavly damaged unrestorable, a friend who was stationed there in 1965 saw it.
rear admiral chester nimitz told an AP reporter before he died, that amelia is alive and living under another name in japan, in 1942 she was brought to hawaii and sworn in the us army air corps, and flew surveillence missions, when she was shot down over lae and crashed laned in jungle, captured by japanese, and forced to tell them american secrets. after ww2 she was brought back to hawaii, placed under witness protection program, because of things she was forced to do for japan, it would of destroyed her reputation,
to make the story of her disappearence believable, personal items were collected and dropped on gardner island. ms earhart's fate was made up to keep earhart seeker busy on her whereabouts, as she lived to be 85 and died in october 1982 for the sake of amelia, she died on gardner island, lets leave it at that.
david morin, us navy ret.