Thanks Jamie for your message and I too must keep an open mind as I have been at this for over 16 years and am susceptible to target fixation (tunnel vision). Proof to another possible ending for the clipper may be found in the news papers from September 1938. In one article from the Reno Gazette dated September 14th, it tells how debris from the clipper washed up on the Philippine shores of a small fishing village called Malaga (west of Samar). The clipper transmitted its last radio message 500 miles east of Malaga and the bits of wreckage were received by the local postal inspector from Catbalgoan – the capital of Samar province.
Here is one version of the story that could mean a crash at sea due to the weather or even a bomb? As the AP article states – no pieces had yet been authenticated and it is one of the theories I had been researching.
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Interesting twist in the plot. I hope to hear more about this. Thanks for the update.