The Hunt to Solve the Mystery of the Hawaii Clipper (2011-2012)


DATELINE:  December 31, 2011

SUCCESS!  Your contribution has enabled me to return to the island in February 2012 (visited previously in 2009) and use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to localize the 15 bodies for DNA identification.  After the suspected site is processed, the bodies will be recognized by the US Government for return to the United States (they will not intervene until a positive site ID is completed).  All funds raised will be used only for transportation (from the US to Micronesia and inter-island boat fees and costs associated with hiring local labor).

THANK YOU for your consideration and support.

Warm regards,


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DATELINE:  August 20, 2011

For the past six months, I have been interviewing people who all have significant insight into the mysterious disappearance of the Pan Am Hawaii Clipper.  The greatest source of detail has actually come in the shape of antique books written between 1936 and 1942.  It is their name, places and dates have been discovered have proven to be a valuable anchor in learning more about the details of that era.

DATELINE:  August 21, 2011

Sunday draws to a close and I find myself frustrated of the general lack of imagery of the passengers and crew available.  If a reader happens to know of any photos (I have some but they are not that great in quality) of Mark “Tex” Walker, George M. Davis, William McGarty, John W. Jewett, Howard L. Cox, T. B. Tatum, Dr. Earl B. McKinley, Dr. Fred C. Meier, Kenneth A Kennedy, Wah-Sun “Watson” Choy.  Any thoughts, advice or assistance is greatly appreciated.

DATELINE:  August 26, 2011

It’s Official! This week, we made an agreement to utilize a new ground penetrating radar system on the concrete slab.  I will be undergoing training at the GPR facility and then later this fall, the journey back to the islands is on.


DATELINE:  September 7, 2011

This week I will be travel to two locations and conduct video interviews for the documentary & book.  Additionally, I have hired an archivist to dive into a treasure trove of over 3 million photographs that could yield the best imagery to date of the passengers and crew of the Hawaii Clipper.  Wish us luck!

DATELINE:  September 8, 2011

Success!  I have found some long-lost photos of the passengers and crew of the Hawaii Clipper!  These will make a wonderful addition to the growing body of photographs and information being prepared for the book.

DATELINE:  September 15, 2011

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit and interview the child (now senior citizen) whose parent was aboard the vanished Hawaii Clipper.  To say it was an illuminating experience would do it no justice.  I learned more than I believe has ever been publicly disclosed, especially on camera.  I am grateful to all those that assisted and participated in the documentary taping.  More to come soon…

DATELINE:  September 20, 2011

Digging a bit further into a book about FDR, I came across a curious story about Vincent Astor, Amelia Earhart and others that were funded via ** ******* *** Bank to conduct “Unofficial” surveillance of the Japanese Mandate Islands in the late 1930s.  This is a great moment in understanding why some players in this Pacific chess game of espionage were located in strategic locations at specific times.   More to come!

DATELINE:  September 26, 2011

Today is a huge day.  Working with an archivist, we have discovered  37 antique photos that I will soon post on this site once they have been scanned.  For anyone interested in this blog, I hope the discovery will be worth the wait.  Thank you to all that have contacted me thru this blog as your wisdom and advice have proven fruitful.

DATELINE:  September 27, 2011

As promised, the following are some images that you will only find on http://www.lostclipper.  Thanks to all that helped them survive thru the years.

DATELINE:  October 11, 2011

Last week was great in that folks are finding long-lost images of the Hawaii Clipper and her passengers & crew.  THANK YOU for that!  I can’t tell you enough how significant each and very new piece of this puzzle is and that together, we all can help each other solve the mystery once and for all.  Attached are some of the latest “discoveries” made by our new family of researchers here on!

SPECIAL shout-out to Lee Sherman and Craig Giacometti for finding and scanning this original print. Here we see the Hawaii Clipper in her 1937 configuration (most likely in Alameda, CA) undergoing maintenance.

DATELINE:  October 21, 2011

TGIF.  It’s been a long couple of weeks working out a few details of my next Pacific trip.  However, things have shaped up and the icing on the cake has been the addition of a new set of images (almost doubles my personal library of the Hawaii Clipper and is passengers / crew).  Thanks again for all the folks that have reached out to me and offered valuable insight, information and photographs; without you this effort would not be nearly as complete as you have all made it.  We are, indeed, a family working together to make this project a successful effort.  Have a great weekend!

DATELINE:  October 22, 2011

Late additions to the archive.  One is a tin lapel pin in the shape of a Martin M-130 Flying Boat, a post card and a few other artifacts.  Enjoy!

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DATELINE:  November 7, 2011

A multi-talented group of explorers are sighing on for what could be an exciting visit to Micronesia in the coming months.  From areal reconnaissance and underwater cinematography to interviews in Japan, a really nice a solid body of evidence with a dash of intrigue will certainly add the flavor of story I’ve been hunting for.  Thanks for sticking with us!

DATELINE:  December 1, 2011

Well, for all of those of you who have asked to help but now sure how, here is your chance!!  Check out this new website:


DATELINE:  December 12, 2011

Just got back from a trip to Ohio and visited the Wright-Patterson Air Force base to interview a world war II engine specialist in reverse engineering.  Here are some of the photos of our research.  Thanks Julie for your amazing work!!!!

DATELINE:  December 15, 2011

A small college of photos while researching a similar engine used on the Hawaii Clipper.  Thank you again to all at Wright-Patt!!

DATELINE:  January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Thanks so much for all your thoughts, words of wisdom and wonderful advice.  We were successful in meeting the $3,600 goal to finance the return to Micronesia.  However this time, I am going back with GPR equipment, a multitude of maps and a lot clearer picture of the location of the passengers and crew of the Hawaii Clipper.  I am certain this journey will finally deliver the answers we all have been seeking.

Stay tuned, the journey has begun.  Let’s go hunting!


DATELINE:  January 15, 2012

Exciting news!  A friend of mine that also happens to be an amazing artist has designed a “rough” conceptual poster for the project.  He may call it a rough but I think it looks pretty darn amazing.  He well do a few tweaks next week but for now, I wanted to share it with you all.

I’ll be happy to pass on any comments you might have.  Also, last week I completed GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) training with the unit I will be bringing to Truk Lagoon.  A HUGE special thanks goes out to the folks at GSSI and specifically to Ken Corcoran who helped me with his sterling advice, expertise and extra effort in helping to use the unit on the other side of the planet.

DATELINE:  January 20, 2012

This was a very good week for finding accurate photography of our research targets.  Shown here, this image was recovered from the National Archives in Washington DC just yesterday depicting an Imperial Japanese Navy Hospital in Truk Lagoon soon after the war ended.  As you can see, it is in good shape and will be a prime candidate to start the ground evaluation in February.  Thanks for everyone’s input!

Imperial Japanese Navy Hospital in Truk Lagoon

DATELINE:  January 21, 2012

Superb !!! I wish you the very best of luck and commend & praise you for your commitment to the pursuit of the answer to this amazing mystery. I wish I could be there with you and very much wish I could have been in a position to help with many other aspects of the project but I also feel so fortunate to have found you a year or so ago !!

God Speed 
Ted Wyman

DATELINE:  February 8, 2012

One week to go before heading back to Truk Lagoon.  I can tell you it has been an exciting yet foreboding time for me because what is literally at stake.  Other than a GPR unit going missing in transit (and found), changes in travel plans, finances being altered and a host of their unforeseen circumstances, I still remain steadfast in pursuing this very worthy goal.

Will I actually find these long-lost flyers or have I wasted twelve years of my life looking for them?  Is this a fantasy or shortly to become a reality? These and a thousand other thoughts race thru my mind as the clock ticks closer to Chuuk time.  Stand by. Engines are set to throttle up.

DATELINE:   February 26, 2012

I write this entry from the islands of Chuuk Lagoon.  Being in the FSM for two weeks has been enlightening and frustrating at the same time.  I say this because, although the local clansmen have been open and accommodating, their respect driven nature (which can appear as being timid) and observance for tradition can make a request for information take days.

Traveling to and from the island, often in heavy seas, takes up to an hour and leaves me feeling beat up before I even set foot on dry land.  Then it’s a hot and humid hike thru the dense forest to interact with a local villager that often has a look like who the heck are you and why are you standing on my property.  Having a local guide will allow you to not only conduct a search but also keep your head on your shoulders because they do walk around with machetes (for clearing jungle, not cutting heads off).  🙂

I have solved some mysteries and discovered new ones… not the way I had planned this to go.  I examined multiple locations, scanned slab sites, and have only succeeded in ruling out slabs that do not have the entombed Americans.  To be clear, I am highly disappointed at my inability to locate their final resting place but at the same time encouraged that I DO know where they are not.  My friend Tony Johnson, who is working  the locations with me, reminds me this is a process of ruling out places to identify what remains.  I know he is correct but I still feel unsuccessful.

So, tonight I leave Chuuk Lagoon more informed, better educated, a treasure trove of new data but still unable to determine how far or near I actually walked next to their remains.  I know deep in my gut, that I am a stones throw from the slab, however the seventy-four years of tropical growth, the passage of time and loss of eye witnesses has become a huge barrier  and only extra continued effort will solve this mystery.  I leave this place believing more than ever before, that the missing passengers and crew  of Pan Am trip 229 could hear my voice if they were able.

DATELINE:   March 16, 2012

Time has certainly flown since my last post and I’m sincerely sorry for the delay.  I thought I would bounce back quicker from the time change however it took me over a week to “get right.” Since that time, I have still had to do some traveling but soon, I will be able to get back to pouring over all the hours and hours of video footage shot in Micronesia.  I plan to create a short video montage of what I saw on this last trip.

So the long and short of it is that I am still convinced the remains of the passengers and crew of the Hawaii Clipper are indeed on the island, but the jungle has really been aggressive in its takeover of all concrete slabs.  The best part of this trip was to finally dispel a lot of hearsay and myths.  For example, I was led to believe there were few concrete slabs on the island due to cost and necessity of having such heavy foundations in a remote tropical location.  Not true. Not by a long shot.

There are a tremendous amount of slabs, tall, short, thick, thin, you name it, it’s there.  Scanning some of those slabs was both difficult and arduous.  However, a brand new approach to discovering the actual location was developed out of it and I am happy to say, will save us time and effort int he future.  Joe Gervais and Charlie Hill, the two people who had really developed this research early on and had provided some materials actually missed quite a lot.  I wish Joe was still around these days so I could ask him why he made mention of things that were seemingly not important while ignoring obvious facts.  I understand he was actually looking for Amelia Earhart and not the clipper, however, I would have hoped that once he recognized the connection between Ron Jackson’s book China Clipper and his own in-person interviews; that he would have gone back and cleared up some of his research.  Charlie Hill too,in his book “Fix on the Rising Sun” collaborated with Joe to push the theory even further however neither man ever went back to Truk Lagoon to validate the research.  Charlie sadly and quite suddenly passed a couple of years ago as did Joe some years earlier.   Charlie said I was the last torch-bearer. I sincerely hope not.   Time has been my enemy and as the days turn into months and years, even the most vivid memories fades to shades of gray.  Stay tuned, more to come soon!

DATELINE:   March 18, 2012

As promised, a short video montage of my trip to Micronesia.  THANK YOU to everyone that helped financially, materially and spiritually.  You ALL are my foundation and strength.  A LOT more is on the way!

DATELINE:   June 18, 2012

Wow!  How time has flown.  As you may or may not have known, I have been overwhelmed by video productions outside my Hawaii Clipper endeavors so of course, updating this blog was put on hold.  I am happy to say that I have turned a corner and can now re-engage into this effort.

Although I may have been away for a bit, momentum actually never stopped on this project.  I have a new asset in the islands working to keep looking and interviewing some of the local populace about clues as to the final resting place of the passengers and crew of trip #229.

On the lighter side, my dear friend Bill took a couple of photos of what he called “the mother of all pot holes.”  He was not kidding.  If you ever wanted to know how difficult it could be navigating road obstructions on the island of Moen could be, check this out:

That’s the real deal… but I don’t remember seeing a tow truck around… who knows, may still be there when I return.

I heard (so this may be untrue) that the next morning this car was missing the two wheels so let that be a lesson to you on where you park your island car. Capice?

Also, looking from these photos, you will see the challenges that abound with regards to logistics.  In Chuuk (Truk Lagoon), roads were installed by the Japanese military and never maintained after the war.  On most of the islands, the remain as simple foot pathways where people may use the rare ATV, motorcycle or death-defining pick up driver.  I think in two or three years the road will be completed baring addition delays due to weather, corruption or technical / land owner disputes.  For the most part, you will eventually get to where you;re going.. but you may need a spine adjustment after you get there.   Hmm, now there is an idea, open a chiropractor’s off in Chuuk.   Hmmmmmmm.

DATELINE:   June 19, 2012

Great news!  I was interviewed by aviation Author / Writer John Geoghegan about the Hawaii Clipper documentary!  How cool is that!  I’m hopeful that as news trickles out about this effort that the momentum will increase. Thanks everyone for your continued well wishes and support!

DATELINE:   June 25, 2012

Fred Noonan: 1893 ~ 1937 (declared dead 20 June 1938)

Although much has been written about Amelia Earhart and her untimely demise in the South Pacific, comparatively little has been written about her navigator / flying companion Fred Noonan and the intricate connections he and AE had with Pan Am and the great flying clipper boats.  In this VERY brief synopsis, I will try to encapsulate some highlights of his career and its proximity to the Hawaii Clipper.

At 17, young Noonan started working as an enlisted seaman on the British vessel Crompton. From 1910 to 1935, roughly 25 years at sea (and land), he rose from a deck hand to boatswain’s Mate, all the way up to Quartermaster and Navigator.  Within that time, he met his first wife at a dance recital in New Orleans and later married her on July 11, 1927.   About that time he seriously considered entering the still wild and untamed world of aviation, and having successfully learned the art of celestial navigation while at sea, it seemed like a new way to move up the ladder of his career.   Not only did Noonan learn to be a fine navigator aboard aircraft, he became one of the very best, if not THE best of his time.

Starting with NYRBA (New York, Rio and Buenos Aires Line seaplane service in the mid 1930’s, the company merged with Pan Am on August 19, 1930), he quickly found himself in company with a wide-eyed set of aerial entrepreneurs and adventurers.  Although he did move around the company is a variety of roles such as field manager and instructor; navigation was his strength.  An alleged weakness however was alcoholism.  While most can argue that booze seriously hampered his career, I have found no evidence of that.  In past interviews of long since retired skippers of Pan Am flying boats that “Fred was a drunk and would sometimes get out of the seaplane and walk right off the pier into the ocean” were more rare than I would have been led to believe.  One might suppose falling off a dock could be the influence of exhaustion for example, the Alameda to Manila trip took twelve days and often exceeded the limits placed on crew rest by the Department of Commerce.  It was actually later proven by DoC flight surgeons that by routinely examining the crews of the clippers before and after each trans-pacific flight, dangerous levels of fatigue existed so there is truth there for sure.  Whether it be drunkenness, fatigue, emotional strain from his personal life or the combination of all those factors and more, the man was still a brilliant navigator.

I personally lean toward the assertion that Fred drank no more than anyone else and that early Amelia Earhart researcher Fred Goerner concocted the idea to help spice up his Search for Amelia book.  I believe there were mentioning’s in some her writings for the concern of his late night drinking and sleeping in past departure times, however his navigation abilities were usually quite sound and I think he was a good choice for navigation.  However, he may not have been the best person if you consider the huge need for communications and triangulation for position finding.  He was fond of AE and wrote to Bea, his second wife that she was a fine airman and could do the job as well as any man.  In another interview, the father of a Pan Am clipper that was also a clipper pilot for Pan Am and had worked with AE mentioned how she must cut a hole in her aircraft to accommodate a radio antenna and she snapped back “No one is cutting hole in my pretty airplane.”  He then recalled that he was convinced his face would flash thru her mind when she and Fred determined they were lost at sea and had they listened to him and others that said the same thing, that they might have actually located Itasca.

Flash forward almost exactly a year to July 29, 1938 and nearly a month after Fred was declared dead, the Hawaii Clipper is forever lost.  It has been proposed that Noonan was a desirable target to kidnap along with Earhart due to his very in-depth knowledge of Pan Am navigation, communication protocols and other potential sensitive information, however no one may ever know for sure. Both had both flown on the flying boat and many of the clipper crew had actually helped AE with preparations for her first trans-ocean flights including first officer Mark Walker, who was a highly skilled and exceptional pilot.  He was noted to actually participate with Howard Hughes and Earhart in some of the H1-Racer speed trials.   On one such event Walker was at the controls headed to Hawaii and following Earhart from behind.  These people knew and worked with each other and collectively mourned the loss of each other and their missing colleagues.  Pan Am was nearly at the focal point for many of Earhart’s flying aspirations, publicity events and personal life.  With Juan Trippe as a stanch supporter and of his fellow compatriots, she had a huge destiny to fulfill.

DATELINE:   June 30, 2012

Some of you have been asking to see photos of Chuuk (Truk Lagoon) from the air.  Why not I say so here goes.  Thru good fortune and some local connections, I was able to charter an aircraft and pilot that would fly me on the actual bombing routs used by the US Navy on Operation Hailstone in 1944.  For two days in February, Navy aviators pounded this area with relentless destruction however to their great credit, were able to keep civilian casualties to a miraculous low level.   The occupying Japanese Navy and Army forces did not fair to well however which they viewed (and still do) as direct retribution for the Pearl Harbor attack years earlier.

Surveying the islands now seventy plus years later, I am amazed at the growth of vegetation over a land once scared with massive construction and later, bombardment.  For example, one island in Chuuk (Truk Lagoon), once nearly 95% devoid of trees is now totally shrouded in 50-foot trees.  Although the scars upon the land may now be camouflaged, they are easily visible once you are back on the ground.  In the coming days I will show this visually with images of paths that were once boulevards. The general lack of road rebuilding are the unfortunate

My sorties over these islands showed me that while they are not massive in size, they are a great deal larger and far more difficult to traverse due to the complexity of the Chuukese society.

My dear friend Bill Stinnett, the kindest person in the entire South Pacific
The Truk Stop Hotel at 150mph

DATELINE:   July 9, 2012

Meet Francis Xavier Hezel, or as most folks know him, Fran.  He is one of the most knowledgeable people on Micronesia and its customs.  Fran is by trade a Jesuit Priest and has served the islands since 1963 and is a sterling educator, avid writer and go to man for most researchers like myself. Fran was kind enough to spend some time with me in Washington DC and posed for my camera while we ate pizza and spoke about the history of Truk Lagoon and the other islands before, during and after world war II. This is one great guy and I wish him the very best in all his endeavors and I thought you all should meet him too,  Check out his blog at

Francis X. Hezel

DATELINE:   July 10, 2012

Choy Wah Sun aka. Watson Choy

Watson was a very savvy entrepreneur. His parents had emigrated from China to California to take advantage of the opportunities of a growing nation. Back in the early days of the 20th century, Chinese migrants had few choices for employment. Other than working on a railroad in some far flung western territory, a laundry or in food service, there was little else to do. Generally the lack of understanding how different our great societies were, a language bearer and customs often undermined their intelligence, hard work ethic and desire to gain wealth. The outright discrimination stemmed from earlier national practices like the US Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Geary Act. Both legislations outlawed any Chinese from migrating to the US (the only time the law was used to single out a particular race to prevent immigration) and significantly contributed to a national bias.

Watson must have pondered to himself at sometime as to what opportunities were realistic for a man in a land where racism and bigotry were almost at their near height. The son of bean sprout farmers, surely he felt his chances of success were little.. or did he?  Watson developed a charm, whit and intelligence to open three successful restaurant enterprises and win public favor with anyone that knew him, even the upper class caucasians of New York City.  Soon, he was undergoing a new enterprise, one that could influence the lives of literally millions but at the same time, place his own life in jeopardy.

Choy was a card caring Republican, a member of a restauranteurs union and even a member of a fireman society.  From interviews with family members, Wah Sun had also had a driven personality and was wise beyond his years. In one instance, he successfully calculated by putting a restaurant with modern features, neon lighting and exotic nuances in the hustle & bustle of Journal Square (adjacent to a route many professionals and laborers took in and out of Jersey city on their way to the docks), the he could glean the eyeballs of thousands with his posh new digs. And that’s exactly what happened. The often shrewd but very savvy entrepreneur was certainly cut out to make things happen. One thing that did not happen so well however was his return visa application for an upcoming trip to China aboard the infamous Pan Am flying boat — Hawaii Clipper.

Although he raised a reported three million dollars from charitable giving of his patrons, friends and connected social elites to help the embattled Chinese government of Chang Kai Chek, he could not get a guarantee that once he left the states with his war funds, that he could get back in. In October of 1937 during a review of his application, he stated that he had never been outside the US and had only lived in California, New Jersey and New York and planned to reside in Boston, however, the US Department of Labor had qualms about his testimony.

His plan was to convert the hard cash into gold-backed bank notes that he could easily carry in a brief case and deliver to his brother Frank, a General in the Chinese Air Force, that would see to it’s safe transportation behind enemy lines. The very thought of such a journey to his ancestral homeland under siege was undoubtedly one of mixed emotion; to visit your home and perhaps see the friendly faces of family while at the same time, to know a slaughter is happening to those very same people and that his very presence could jeopardize his own life. Watson was not only a man of entrepreneurship; he was a man of courage and I believe because of his deep running conviction to help China, that rogue Japanese agents did successfully capture the Hawaii Clipper, hijack it to an Imperial Japanese Navy seaplane base in Truk Lagoon and then murder him and his fourteen fellow passengers and crew.

Frank Choy

On my second journey to that very island, I met with people convinced Wah Sun is still there, under a weathered concrete slab and awaiting his return ticket home. Although it has been over seventy years now and his 3 million in bank notes were allegedly recovered in Siapan by US Marines in 1944, he himself, must surly be brought back to his adopted county.

A later lawsuit on behalf of the Choy’s was filed for the sum of $52,718 against Pan Am Airways System in a Federal Court by his brother Frank, the administrator of Watsons’ estate.  Frank asked the court to penalize Pan Am $50,000 for wrongful death of his brother, $1000 for his baggage and a refund of his prepaid airfare of $1718.0.  The suit was later dropped.

DATELINE:   July 11, 2012
On a side note, famous actor turned aviation enthusiast Reginald Denny had a passion for aircraft, especially model and remote-controlled ones.   From his home and later, a well-appointed hobby shop, Denny successfully created hand-built custom airplane models that he sold to the public and in later years, over 15 thousand to the US military.
In this photo, he is shown next to a China Clipper M-130 flying boat balsa wood model (placed on the glass counter in front of the youngest boy.  It is a highly detailed cut-away version showing the interior construction and layout of the luxurious Pan Am airliner. Very cool indeed.
DATELINE:   August 3, 2012
In these photos, my new friend and contributor Larry Mclean documented a ceremonial cremation of fallen IJN / IJA servicemen by their relatives visiting Moen Island in “Truk Lagoon.”  I am sure this was more of a somber event, as it should be, because war and its victims should not be celebrated but respected and forgiven. The Chuukese have endured much and they too should be respected for their sacrifice at the hands of a fierce occupying force and the allied blockade that caused much suffering and starvation. I believe though that some good has come of it in the form of new friendships from all sides of the Pacific and at least in this small part of the world, each respects the other in peace. Thanks Larry for sending these.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. The boat in the Sherman/Giocometti image seems to be Panair XI-P, a one-off built by Stephens Bros. in 1937 at Stockton CA. It can also bee seen in some Treasure Island photos, so it makes sense that this is Alameda.
    If either of these gents could re-examine the photo and confirm the bow number, I’d be highly appreciative!
    Pat M
    Model boat builder:


  2. John Bayer says:

    Guy, love the site and applaud your efforts! Have been fascinated by this story since reading Mr. Hill’s book in 2001. Sorry to hear he has passed on. My only issue with his book from a accuracy perspective is the rolling in of the Earhart story near the end – but, as we both know, truth can be stranger than fiction.

    Could you possibly post a bibliography of the period books you refer to?

    This link from the National Archives also may be of some use to you:

    I am a long-time flying boat buff, former naval aircrewman and current Navy officer.

    Bonne Chance,
    John B


    1. Hi John and thanks so much for your thoughts and kind words. You have an excellent idea and I will make a list of the my entire library that has been collected over the years to support my research. As for the Earhart angle from Charlie’s work, there was enough history of the two stories sharing many similar attributes, however I am with you and that the focus should have stayed with the Hawaii Clipper. I have been in production of another film project lately but now am near completion so much much more to come on this project. Keep your eyes on this page.

      Be well and stay in touch!



      1. John Bayer says:

        Thank you, Guy….one more link I’m sure you’ve seen, but…

        Also would suggest Historian Mr. Hill Goodspeed at National Museum of Naval Aviation, a very good resource.

        John B


  3. Melissa Nesbitt says:

    Hi there –

    Earl Baldwin McKinley was my great-Grandfather, and I have always been fascinated by the mystery surrounding his disappearance. I never knew his daughter (my father’s mother), as she died when my father was a teenager, but I knew her brother (my Uncle Royce), and he was the one who first told me about his father and the Hawaii Clipper puzzle. Please do keep me informed! I wish you all the best on your journey.

    Melissa Nesbitt (nee Nichols)


    1. Hi Melissa and thanks so much for the well-wishes and information. Stay tuned as I hope to draw this entire mystery to a close. Any photographs that you may have of Earl would be great if you are willing to share.

      Best regards,



  4. Jamie Dodson says:


    I love your website and anything to do with Glenn Martin’s M-130 Ocean Transports. The mystery of the HAWAAIN CLIPPER has always fascinated me. I write historical fiction novels about Pan Am and the Pacific conquest. I strive to be as accurate as possible when I tell my tales of a young man who wants to be a clipper pilot in 1935/36.

    In my research I bought “Flying the Oceans: A Pilot’s Story of Pan Am, 1935-1955” by Horace Brock (May 1983). Brock believed that Turlenski lost situational awareness in a typhoon and spiraled into the ocean at 150 plus knots.

    Have you read it? Brock was the relief 1st Officer scheduled to fly the HAWAAIN CLIPPER bank to Alameda. He flew with Captain Turlenski earlier in the Caribbean and did not think much of his piloting skills. In fact, many crew refused to fly with Turlenski. Some of the old Pan Am flying boat hands told me that Preister was about to yank his ticket. However, I can no evidence of that in writing.

    It was a long time ago and still a great mystery. I wish you well in your hunt and will stay tuned. The truth is out there.

    Cheers! Jamie


    1. Hi Jamie,

      Thanks so much for checking in and yes, I have indeed read that book. While it is a very plausible ending to the Hawaii Clipper at the hands of a panicked Turletsky (his co-pilot Mark “Tex” Walker had made previous statments about him) he was one of the very few that would fly with him AND could control the aircraft. Also, I believe some debris whould have appeared in the near vininity since unlike Amelia Earhart, Pan Am had a fair idea just where they were. I pulled the detailed weather reports for the day of the disapearnce and two days on eaither side. There was no typhoon on or near thier flight path. IF, and that is a HUGE if, their bodies are indeed recovered from the slab, then all of the suspicians are mute.

      Stay tuned!


    2. John Geoghegan says:

      Jamie, I’m working on article about the disappearance of the Hawaii Clipper for an aviation magazine and would like to learn more about the references you mentioned to the pilot, Captain Leo Terletzky, in “Flying the Oceans”. Could you shoot me at email at: so we can discuss further. Kind regards, jg


  5. Ken says:

    Bravo on the is success. Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor just opened the latest exhibit on the early Clipper years celebrating 75 years of passenger flights to Hawaii. Your work will add another chapter to the grand history of a wonderful airline and the people who worked for it. We look forward to more data and details.


    1. Fantastic Ken, thanks so much!!!


  6. Jeff says:

    Sounds very intriguing!


  7. GTN says:

    Work is steadily progressing with a fully competed 20 chaptered outline. The documentary is also 50% filmed.. so far, so good!


  8. Jedsey says:

    Can’t wait for the movie!


    1. Guy says:

      You and me both Jedsey!


      1. joe parkes says:

        Guy, Have you met the Jesuits on Chuuk? I know them and I’ve been there several times. Joe Parkes, S.J., Greenville native, St. Peter’s Prep ’62.


      2. Hi there Joe, yes! Actually, Fran Hezel has been very kind and opend some doors for me… looks like I will be headed back again in perhaps 6 months. I am editing a short video of my trip, should be done very very soon. Thanks for checkign in!


    2. Eric says:

      Hey Guy I read your results from your trip. Sorry that you did not find the bodies. I was just checking out your video. Really cool. Just to remind you I sat next to you on our way to Tokyo Japan on Feb 12. I had a nice trip to the phlippines. I just wanted to tell you keep your drive and I have no doubt you will find the remains of the crew and have a great documentry. Eric


      1. Thanks Eric. Even though I was not successful at locating the burial location, I was successful at eliminating other suspect areas. A bonus was reconnecting with friends, establishing new connections and pushing the momentum forward. I feel the more I get others involved as apposed to the previous researchers to keep it secret, the more energy and momentum I can stir up to keep it going. Be well and stay in touch!


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