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Author Topic: Operation Doppelganger  (Read 14094 times)

Heath Smith

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Operation Doppelganger
« on: May 06, 2012, 08:10:53 AM »

Ok, this is obviously not  a real military operation but just a theory to float out there.

I am not sure if this conspiracy theory has been discussed previously but has anyone put forward the idea that the U.S. government was running an aerial photography spy mission where there were Electras sent out in the Pacific at the time when AE and FN went missing? Perhaps there were even more than one set of planes sent out to perform reconnaissance as some of the other theories suggest however it was not AE and FN, it was their look-a-likes. If the spies were somehow captured, perhaps the idea was that the world attention of the event would prevent any harm coming to them and they would be recovered.

I am sucker for eye witness testimony, especially of former U.S. military that claimed to have seen something unusual and after all these years stick to those claims. I am of course talking about the witnesses in Saipan that claimed to have seen a flying Electra with a matching registration number. For whatever reason, I find the entire notion that these guys fabricated such a story to be incredulous. There was no financial gain to be had and no motivation for putting forth such a story that I can see. At least a couple of these guys held paperwork in their hands. Even if you discount the eye witnesses native to Saipan that claimed to have seen a captured pair of aviators, a man and a woman, how can you discount what these veterans claim?

I believe they saw something. Surely the briefcase described must have existed. For myself, I also believe that a plane, was torched on the airfield as they described. Why would the military do something like this assuming that it was the actual AE Electra? They would not in my mind but they might destroy an aircraft that was never meant to be seen. Perhaps in hindsight they came to the conclusion that imitating the pair was not such a good idea after all and might be perceived in a negative light by the rest of the world.

If there was such a spy program, isn't there a 75 year limitation on how long that information can be classified? Could a simple FOIA request find the missing briefcase that was handed off to a higher ranking officer?

If you were to file a FOIA in search of the briefcase would this be directed at the DoD?

For entertainment here are a couple of links to a 2 part Unsolved Mysteries video on Youtube giving the background information on the story told by the veterans. Part1, Part2.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 08:16:39 AM by Heath Smith »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 08:39:46 AM »

It would certainly make a good storyline for a film if nothing else Heath. Could AE-FN Electra have made it to Mili Atoll as mentioned in the footage on YouTube?
 
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Heath Smith

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 09:14:57 AM »

It would certainly make a good storyline for a film if nothing else Heath. Could AE-FN Electra have made it to Mili Atoll as mentioned in the footage on YouTube?

As Gary had pointed out on the point of no return thread their range would be limited. I would guess that making it to Gardner or the Gilbert island chain would be outer limits of their available range once they had arrived where they thought Howland should be.

One area that I have not seen completely resolved is whether the Electra could have actually floated for hours or even days assuming a water landing where the plane remained intact.

If if the actual plane was recovered, say by the Japanese, it would have required extensive work to make it flyable again. I believe these soldiers saw a flying Electra and that would imply a different aircraft. To have the same registration numbers would suggest that this was some type of covert operation.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 09:36:14 AM »

To have the same registration numbers would suggest that this was some type of covert operation.

You also need a way to get all the twins (AE, FN, NR16020) out to the Pacific without anyone noticing what's going on--or, more accurately, without ever spilling the beans about the production, shipment, and takeoff of the duplicate.

It's all conceivable, of course.  You just need to deepen the number of problem solvers and folks in on the conspiracy ...
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 01:44:45 PM »


You also need a way to get all the twins (AE, FN, NR16020) out to the Pacific without anyone noticing what's going on--or, more accurately, without ever spilling the beans about the production, shipment, and takeoff of the duplicate.

It's all conceivable, of course.  You just need to deepen the number of problem solvers and folks in on the conspiracy ...
The problem with this conspiracy theory (and all the other conspiracy theories) is that no one in the U.S. can keep his mouth shut. E.g., as soon as the war was over the secret of the U.S. reading Japanese codes was out. The British managed to keep their secret about breaking the German codes until 1973.

For this new theory there must have been many teams assigned to each island landing force in case the plane was found on that particular island. And they would have to be out in front of the troops to get to the plane and destroy it before a bunch of regular soldiers saw it. Sound like a good doable plan to you?  The larger the group of people involved in the conspiracy the more probable that the secret will get out. My father told me that "two people can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead." Get three or four in on a secret and it starts to become a certainty that the secret will get out. Unless...Roosevelt had all those team members then taken out and shot.   Hummm... but then you have to take out the members of those firing squads and have them shot too.....

gl
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 02:38:25 PM »

My father told me that "two people can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead."

That's a keeper!   :)
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Heath Smith

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 04:46:06 PM »

Quote
The problem with this conspiracy theory (and all the other conspiracy theories) is that no one in the U.S. can keep his mouth shut.

As far as generalizations go, it is a good one. Loose lips also sink ships.

There have been many military operations that were not revealed for decades after the fact. The SR-71 Blackbird and the stealth aircraft come to mind. While there were many thousands involved in these projects, these did not become known to the public for many years. False flag operations like Operation Northwoods come to mind. Ideas to shoot down passenger jets that we could accuse Cuba of downing, hatched in the early 60s not discovered until the mid 1990s eventually are exposed. This would be small potatoes compared to other covert operations known to have existed. Don't forget the Gulf of Tonkin.

If you do not believe there was any true to the stories told by these guys, how do you write them off? Delusional? Pot smoking hippies wearing the uniform back in the 40s? Still sticking to the story today?

« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 04:47:53 PM by Heath Smith »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 05:31:23 PM »

If you do not believe there was any true to the stories told by these guys, how do you write them off?

Here's how I write them off.  If you have heartfelt testimony from folks who thought they saw AE--and NR16020--I'd be happy to add citations to the list. 

I don't have the material in hand, and don't remember whether it was in the old Forum or in EPAC e-mail, but we had a sincere service man who claimed to have seen NR16020 winched aboard his aircraft character from the reef at Niku.  TIGHAR checked his service record, found the logs of the ships he served on, and showed that he was never in the vicinity of Niku.

Of course, true believers would say that is because the logs were faked by liars, and the only service personnel who can be trusted are those who, unlike the brass, are pure of heart.  There were other considerations adduced in the argument, especially about the difficulty of maneuvering a Navy ship near enough to the reef to allow the retrieval of the aircraft.

The logs plus the seamanship difficulties seemed sufficient reason to discount this person's earnest testimony.  We did not attempt to arrive at a clinical judgment concerning his mental condition.  I personally classify it as "Helpful Witness Syndrome." 

You may, of course, put your money down on your opinion, and start collating all of the "I Saw Amelia" stories.  Then you can create an account of how all of the sincere witnesses could see her all over the Pacific during WWII.  For what it's worth (FWIW), I've decided to invest my time and money in the Niku Hypothesis.  "Your mileage may vary" (YMMV).
LTM,

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richie conroy

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 06:02:19 PM »

doubt people would miss a plane on a boat, given its position for the ride  :)

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Heath Smith

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 07:44:51 PM »


Quote
I personally classify it as "Helpful Witness Syndrome."

Just because you find one nutter claiming to have seen something that does not mean everyone else is a nutter.

If you do feel that way you could also lump Betty and Emily in to that category as well. Maybe they were just trying to be helpful as well?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 09:02:35 PM »

Just because you find one nutter claiming to have seen something that does not mean everyone else is a nutter.

An example is merely an example of a phenomenon.

It is not an exhaustive list of folks who have testified in all sincerity that they know exactly what happened to AE and FN.

The example shows what I mean by the term.

That is the function of giving examples.

Quote
If you do feel that way you could also lump Betty and Emily in to that category as well. Maybe they were just trying to be helpful as well?

Yes, of course.  Sincerity is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for being a good witness.

Unlike the case of the ham radio operators who reported hearing AE, the seaman who swore he saw the Electra being lifted aboard his ship from Gardner island, the fellow who sent us photographs of the crashed Electra, the man who found AE's engine on Gardner and had it slung over to Kanton, the man who saw AE and FN buried on Tinian, and the man who identified Earhart with his own eyes, with utmost sincerity and persistence, at present, the stories Betty and Emily told have not been disproven.

When you publish your list of credible witnesses who really did see AE, I'd be happy to add it to the page of alternative theories.  Meanwhile, imagining the kinds of evidence that could be gleaned from witnesses is not the same thing as actually organizing and presenting that evidence.
LTM,

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« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 09:05:40 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 04:05:11 AM »

They never claimed to see AE. They saw a brief case in safe that contained her personal belongings and a flying Electra with AE's registration number that was later burned at an airfield in Saipan. I doubt if anyone else is still alive that was there although more names are given in the unsolved mysteries video.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 10:03:07 AM »

As I understand it, the Japanese armed forces had in their posession at the time at least 5 Lockheed Electras. I have found the 2 that Lockheed themselves supplied prior to ww2. I believe 3 more were captured when New Guinea was invaded but I have lost the information on those 3 for the moment. They were used as passenger/transports for gold rush if I recall correctly. I'll see if I can find their registration numbers again.


List of foreign aircraft tested by Japanese forces from 1930 to WW2.
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« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 11:12:39 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 02:52:39 PM »

If you do not believe there was any true to the stories told by these guys, how do you write them off?

Here's how I write them off
I don't have the material in hand, and don't remember whether it was in the old Forum or in EPAC e-mail, but we had a sincere service man who claimed to have seen NR16020 winched aboard his aircraft character from the reef at Niku.  TIGHAR checked his service record, found the logs of the ships he served on, and showed that he was never in the vicinity of Niku.


Now i could quite be guilty of 'helpful witness syndrome here but as I remember the story went along these lines.

Said Aircraft Carrier was sailing close to the reef edge of Niku when they came upon the French of all people who were taking AE’s plane for the late Ayatollah of Iran.  This was on the old forum and there was an associated website.

As I say, “helpful witness here”

Looking on the old forum it was Don Iwanski  idea ref the A/C USS Constellation in 1980
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 03:05:54 PM by Chris Johnson »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Operation Doppelganger
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 11:37:23 AM »

I am sucker for eye witness testimony,

You said it.  I didn't.
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