Our Lost Clipper team has grown and evolved over the last twenty+ years starting with Guy Noffsinger and his Naval thesis in 1999.
Below is how the team has truly grown, now in it’s twentieth+ year of investigating the Amelia Earhart and Hawaii Clipper stories of 1937-1938.
Each person brings a unique set of skills to the table, strengthening the project as we forge ahead…
Guy is a US Navy, NASA, CBS, and a two-time Emmy Award recipient. With over two decades of television production experience as a director, producer, writer, editor and UAV pilot, Guy has participated in nearly every aspect of filmmaking from concept to completion.
He has played instrumental roles in many challenging locations to include remote exotic jungles, middle eastern deserts, desolate mountain tops and the backlots of Hollywood. Guy has a passion for historical storytelling and will literally go to the ends of the earth to reveal history’s mysteries.
Guy’s career began as an aviation photographer / videographer while on active duty for the US Navy of which many doors of experience and opportunities were opened. Those doorways included Cameo Productions, CBS News affiliate WKMG in Orlando Florida, the Golf Channel, numerous production companies and then eventually his own video production company based in Valencia California. Living in Los Angeles county opened even more doors to production opportunities and tremendous contacts and meetings with many household names.
A decade later Guy left California for the extremely rare and exciting opportunity to return to aviation (sort of… more like space) and become a Senior Special Projects Producer at NASA Television. Soon, Guy was promoted to Senior Producer in charge of production for the NASA Television Network (including 10 NASA field centers) and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2015 for his “Exceptional conception, planning, coordination and use of the NASA Ikhana Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to capture live capsule descent video during the Orion Space Capsule EFT-1 Mission.”
Guy is now the Director / Producer for a new federal agency, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet.gov), which has partnered with AT&T to build the nation’s first secured wireless network for fire, police and EMS communications.
Jeff is a once nominated and two-time documentary Emmy winner and multiple Telly Award receipient. As a Senior Video Production Specialist, Jeff is a graduate of the prestigious Ithaca College in New York and has honed his vast array of production skills into the well-respected Video Producer/Editor critical position within the Lost Clipper team. He met Guy Noffsinger shortly after completing his Naval thesis in 2001 at the Office of Naval Intelligence where the two worked together on various long-form projects.
Drawing from his varied experiences including field productions in Micronesia, historical nature filming with the world-famous National Parks Photographer Frank Lee Ruggles, to producing the festivals-worthy short film “The Great Realisation” and documentary “Tori Nelson: Fighting For Her Future,” Jeff has become a successful and well-recognized editor, webmaster for DEA Narcos and The Lost Clipper, social media expert and blogger. Jeff provides research, statistics, and logistics on ever-evolving state-of-the-art broadcast and non-linear editing hardware and software platforms. “I analyze and recommend such items to enhance and improve project workflow helping to create a more visually polished product for our viewers benefiting our current and future project objectives and mission.”
DEA Narcos’ Steve Murphy visited Micronesia earlier in 2018 (the 4th trip) as lead investigator on The Lost Clipper exploration along with the entire team, and became hooked on the adventure and intrigue of our story. “The hunt for the world’s very first aerial hijacking at the hands of rogue Japanese agents before World War II comes to a head here on the exotic shores of Micronesia. A never before told story is being revealed in startling details that span nearly eighty years and, if solved, could rewrite history as we know it.”
Stephen Murphy worked his up way from his start as a police officer in a small West Virginia town to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA. During his 37 years in law enforcement Steve was stationed all around the world, most notably as one of the two Americans present and involved in the hunt for the largest cocaine distributor in the world, Pablo Escobar. Murphy was present during the chase and eventual shooting resulting in the death of Escobar and took all the photographs seen in the media following the event.
Instead of accepting that he would never again work a drug trafficking case the size and scope of Escobar’s, Murphy continued to aggressively pursue local and international drug dealers just as he had pursued Escobar. His work ethic, conviction, integrity and character assisted him in climbing the ranks within DEA before his retirement in July 2013.
Murphy continues to serve in law enforcement roles, and lectures around the country on drug trafficking trends, security-related challenges and what it was like to pursue a criminal the magnitude of Escobar. He has appeared on a variety of television specials on Escobar’s death. Along with Javier Peña, he serves as a subject matter expert and senior consultant for the hit Netflix series Narcos and co-writers on their recent book “Manhunters. How We Took Down Pablo Escobar.” Steve and investigator, Morgan Wright, helm a bi-weekly “true crimes” podcast Game of Crimes with nearly 100,000 monthly downloads.
Now, looking forward, Steve is back again with his DEA Narcos partner Javier Peña to lead an investigation into a history making cold case. Just prior to World War II, the world’s most high-tech commercial airliner with secret military grade engines was on a seemingly routine mission – but was it? On board Pan Am Airways flight 229 Hawaii Clipper were fifteen passengers and crew bound for Hong Kong from San Francisco with three million dollars (46 million today) in gold backed bank notes. Why? Allegedly ransom for missing aviatrix Amelia Earhart. The plane -missing. The crew – allegedly murdered by rogue Japanese agents and buried on a remote Pacific Island. If Steve and Javier can find the remains of these fifteen Americans – the start date of World War II may have to be changed in our history books.
Steve Murphy’s BIO ONE SHEET
Javier Peña retired in 2014 as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Houston Field Division after 30 years of service with DEA.
In 1988, Peña volunteered for an assignment at the DEA office in Bogota, Colombia. Shortly thereafter, he was joined by partner Steve Murphy, and together they pursued the world’s first narco-terrorist, Pablo Escobar. SAC Peña spent six years hunting Pablo, resulting in the final chase and shooting of Escobar in 1993.
During his DEA career, Peña was stationed all over the world, including in San Francisco, the Caribbean and elsewhere. Using his leadership and expertise in dismantling highly sophisticated criminal networks and organizations, Peña led and contributed to a large number of successful investigations in the war on drugs and narco-terrorism.
Peña is a subject matter expert on the Medellin Cartel and has delivered more than 100 presentations on the subject and related areas, including sharing rare photos of original events that were captured during the rise and fall of the Cartel. Along with Steve Murphy, he serves as a subject matter expert and senior consultant for the hit Netflix series Narcos.
Javier has a heart for solving mysteries and the next one may be his biggest. With DEA Narcos partner Steve Murphy side by side – both former agents will now blaze a new trail on a cold case of an ancient organized criminal enterprise that may have helped start World War II in the Pacific. Together with Steve, Javier will work to interview people from across the world and search a small Pacific island to help solve an 80 year old cold case and bring closure to families still haunted by the very first hijacking of a commercial airliner – the Pan Am Airways Hawaii Clipper.
Javier Pena’s BIO ONE SHEET
Bill Stinnett, a retired and decorated police officer/investigator and owner/operator of the infamous Truk Stop and Dive Center, is THE one man who has single-handedly allowed the Lost Clipper project to be successful in navigating the very challenging clan system of Truk Lagoon. It is at The Truk Stop that the team has repeatedly stayed and build our logistical command center time and again.
Our host has been a longtime friend, supporter (financially, emotionally and personally) and logistics guru that has helped put a light on our path and made all previous visits to Chuuk successful since Day 1. Without his knowledge, expertise, Jedi-like police skills and local legendary status – this project would simply be dead in the water.
Jim Janicki is a pilot; an accredited celestial navigator and skipper for sailboats up to 50 foot in length; a licensed amateur radio operator (Call sign WB3FMS); accredited for search & rescue and has his own trained search dog named Sadie; a registered Professional Engineer; and a whole lot of stuff that would take a much longer post to convey. The long and short of it is, Jim is a big deal and will be the most creditable expert on this program adding authenticity backed as a certified professional with documented years of experience.
Jim is a global executive business leader experienced in highly regulated and complex industries. Direct multi-functional leadership enables him to create high performing global results by working effectively at the strategic level through implementation level of an organization. Best practice experience from across diverse industries, combined with high learning agility enables Jim to drive thought leadership and to develop / implement successful and novel growth or turnaround strategies. Experience in large Fortune 500 companies as well as mid-size companies, and small entrepreneurial business units provides him with experience to steer strategic business plans, culture, and organizational design for effective results at a wide scale of business.
Jim holds a solid track record of results & functional leadership across Operations, Commercial, R&D, Services, and Sales in diagnostics, bio-tech., high-tech., chemical, pharmaceutical, plastic, and other industries. He’s proficient with Lean, Six Sigma, Business Process Excellence, ISO 9000 / ISO13485, cGMPs, cGLPs, FDA/MHRA/EMEA/S-FDA and other global regulatory requirements.
We’ve known and worked with Jim for six or seven years in other ventures and find him to be a blast to talk and learn things from. He’s going to bring a lot to the table and offers a different view and opinions on a wide variety of subjects as you’ll note from his before-mentioned background.
AMELIA ROSE EARHART
Named by the Jaycees as one of the “Top Ten Young Americans,” Amelia Rose Earhart recreated and symbolically completed the 1937 flight of her namesake, Amelia Mary Earhart. Her 28,000-mile flight around the world in a single engine aircraft, the Pilatus PC-12NG, became a symbol of determination, courage and empowerment for anyone who has ever decided to seek new horizons.
As a child, Amelia’s family shared stories of a distant common relation to the first Amelia Mary Earhart, exciting her passion to learn anything and everything she could about the aviatrix’s adventurous spirit. When Amelia Rose began her own search to determine her exact connection to the famous flyer, she learned that a distant relation to Amelia was tied to the 1700’s, however a third and final search revealed that there was no definitive connection between the two women. The modern-day Amelia, an instrument and commercially rated pilot, decided that she didn’t need to be connected to her namesake by a bloodline relation in order to make her impact on the world. She decided that if she wanted to be related to Amelia, she would relate to the way she lived her life: with passion, conviction, and tenacity for exploration and adventure, which meant her flight around the world was a success.
Every major news network tracked Amelia’s 2014 flight through fourteen countries, over the course of 18 days, and 108.6 flight hours. The mission included a flyover at Howland Island, the tiny island atoll where Amelia Mary planned on landing after her departure from Papua New Guinea. As she flew over the South Pacific Ocean, Amelia used Twitter to announce the names of ten female high school students who received flight training scholarships to obtain their private pilot’s license.
Amelia is the president of the Fly With Amelia Foundation, a non-profit providing flight training scholarships to young women across America. She can be seen each morning on Denver’s NBC affiliate, KUSA-TVreporting on breaking news and traffic, is an active member of the Board of Directors at Wings Over the Rockies, Colorado’s Official Air and Space Museum and is currently working toward her multi-engine aircraft rating. Amelia produces a weekly segment on STEM Education, which can be enjoyed each Friday on Denver’s NBC TV station, KUSA Channel 9.
Fortune 500 Companies, The United States Air Force Academy, dozens of Universities and Civic Organizations, just to name a few, have been impacted and thousands have been jolted awake by Amelia’s contagious enthusiasm for action, her raw and charming leadership style and her ability to take audiences along on their own flight around the world with her story.
Award Winning Mr. Ollie Dale of Virtually Famous Productions out of Auckland, New Zealand and President at The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) provides epic land and aerial video/photography. Ollie joined the Lost Clipper team on their 4th adventure to Truk, Micronesia in January 2018 capturing the beautiful landscape and arial footage that the islands have to offer.
“I started my photographic career aboard a cruise ship in 2001. When I returned to New Zealand in 2003 I set myself up as a freelance photographer, and in 2005 started my company, PhotoNZ Ltd.
In 2008 I joined the NZ Institute of Professional Photography, was the Chairman of the Auckland region in 2009-10, and on the Honours Council from 2010-15. In that time, I achieved the level of Fellow of the NZIPP, and have judged at the Professional Photography Awards in NZ (Iris) and Australia (APPA). My Clients over the years have included many household names, the largest of which are Mazda, Microsoft, Vodafone, Flight Centre and the Auckland Airport. I now work 2 days a week at the Auckland Airport, creating photo and video content for their social channels and for all sorts of corporate communications.”
What’s in The Name?
The original “Virtually Famous” was a title for a small documentary I created in 2012, all about how social media was changing the landscape for photographers, and everyone.
I interviewed a number of people who influenced me and asked them about how they used Social Media to grow their brands, interact with followers and become virtually famous.
Olie’s work with the renowned photographer, Trey Ratcliff, and his eye to capture “the epic” will only enhance the story that needs to be told on the Lost Clipper Project.
We’ve teamed with Mr. Robert W. Perry of TOPOGRAPHIX® LLC out of Hudson, New Hampshire to provide Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveying services to help pinpoint and find those 15 Americans lost in 1938.
Bob explains Ground Penetrating Radar and how it rules out false possibilities before an actual dig, drastically saving time and money. Per the TOPOGRAPHIX website: “GPR Mapping is non-intrusive, sub-surface imaging that looks underground to develop a picture profile of what lays below the surface. We use GPR to determine the location of unmarked graves, headstones and burial vaults. We can also locate lost or available grave space, markers that have been moved and verify casket positioning.”
Using TOPOGRAPHIX’s Ground Penetrating Radar, we’ll now be able to investigate and map sub-surface areas for the locations of mass burial sites, underground evidence, and buried human and metallic remains.
Bob, like the other members of The Lost Clipper Crew, is an intrical part behind the search to uncover the true history of those 15 missing Americans lost in 1938.