Posted by Ancestry Team on October 23, 2009 in Collections

There are multiple theories surrounding the mysterious disappearance of iconic aviator Amelia Earhart, who vanished in 1937 while attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world. Today, has published a case file revealing some unique details into the investigation of what happened. The 73-page file consists of letters and telegrams sent in the 1960s by an interesting cast of historical characters, including Congressman J. Arthur Younger, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II and members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of State.

The records give those of us curious about Amelia’s past a first-hand view of the investigation into the claim that she and her navigator Fred Noonan were taken prisoner and executed in Saipan, which at the time was governed by Japan. Through the years, this adaptation of Earhart’s death has become one of the many theories surrounding the 39-year-old’s mystery-riddled disappearance.

Letter from J Arthur Younger

In the above letter, Congressman J. Arthur Younger requests an investigation be made into evidence from U.S. Army Sergeant Thomas Devine, who said he had seen Amelia Earhart’s grave while he was stationed in Saipan.

In the telegram below, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II explains that Japan has identified eight people who may have knowledge about Amelia Earhart’s disappearance in Saipan.

Letter from MacArthur

The Earhart file is part of the Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad collection on

Explore more details of the investigation here, and decide for yourself what really happened to Amelia Earhart. And if you’re still curious, go check out the movie “Amelia” coming out tonight. After learning more about the life of this amazing aviatrix, that’s exactly what I plan to do.


  1. Don Byers

    When I go to the “Reports of Deaths Abroad it basically gives from 1960 up…where is all this good stuff about Amelia???I am still looking..


    The evidence discussed suggested that she landed on an island not far from her destination and broadcast for many hours her location. Several people heard thise broadcast. She had no radio receiver.

    Natives reported seeing the aircraft but it is no longer there and believed to have dropped into deep water off the coast.

    There was to be a search in a year of so by deep water divers to search for the aircraft.

    Evidence of human remains were located and a few metal items found were suspected to belong to Amelia and her navigator.

    Would like to obtain followup info but have no record of who broadcast the documentory.

    Thanks for any assistance you can give. Tex Atkinson

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