I find it rather interesting that within the past month there has been renewed speculation about two air-flight losses some 80 years ago but no observation of the similar directions taken by those doing the speculating.

Chronologically, the first was the loss of Amelia Earhart at sea in July 1937, generally thought to have been before she made it as far east as the Marshall Islands.

Because of recently released photos taken at the Marshalls that year, some now speculate that she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, actually made it to the Marshalls but were taken into captivity by the Japanese, who controlled the islands, and eventually died on Saipan. Strong evidence but unknown motivation.

Then, 12 months later, Pan Am’s so-called Hawaii Clipper, flying from San Francisco to Manila, was presumably lost at sea. But the new speculation is that it, too, stopped at the Marshall Islands to refuel, and the Japanese again confiscated the plane and disposed of it and all the passengers at sea. Their motivation would have been to intercept $3 million in cash that was headed to China to assist the Chinese resistance to the Japanese occupation. Strong motivation but slight evidence.

Similar occurrences but no sure proof.

John Parker

Falmouth