With July 29th quickly approaching, I reflect on all the July 29 anniversaries that have come and gone to mark the day that the Hawaii Clipper disappeared over the Pacific ocean, While the ultimate question of how or why is still being asked, I wonder about the numbers of people doing the asking and how those numbers are steadily shrinking. Often I am asked why do I care or why do you persist in this endeavor? Good question. I don’t have a simple answer.
Aside from personally meeting some of the children still effected by the loss of their father or relative and the effort / cost of visiting Chuuk Lagoon three separate times within six years, it has been one of those mysteries that I just can’t let go of. You’ve been there, watching a great movie with a cliff hanger or that book late at night that won’t allow you to go to sleep, well that is (partially) what the Hawaii Clipper legend is to me. Sure, I have wondered what will be written on that last page of the last chapter that tightly sums up my years of research and adventuring, but at this apparent late stage in the process, it has not been revealed to anyone what those words will be. I hope they will be definitive and factual. I hope they will answer questions and finally put to rest all the theories, conjectures and arguments as to who did what and why. Will they? Again, I hope so. However hope won’t solve the mystery, people will. I, along with the most amazing group of selfless individuals such as Jeff Riegel, Bill Stinnett, Corky Stinnett (the whole family really),Tony Johnson, Myron Hashiguchi, Dan Bailey, Larry Mclean, Fran Hezel, Mason Fritz, Ron Jackson, Charlie Hill, Joe Gervais, Dr. James Lee, Esther Sauceda, Jon Krupnick, Peter Leslie, and many, many more have not only made this dream possible but also worthwhile and honorable. As the time comes again to ponder what has been accomplished so far and what still remains to be done, I can only thank and honorably mention those and the unsung helpers. From distant archives, research floors, military bases and elsewhere that have literally labored to help keep the fire burning to my family and friends, all share a genuine stake in solving the Mystery of the Lost Clipper.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and from those who are still waiting to learn the ultimate fate of their still missing loved ones aboard trip #229 on July 29, 1938.
Rest in Peace.