Midwest Book Review published February 2013:
Published in the “Aviator” by Vietnam Helicopters Pilots Association (VHPA):
“Amelia Earhart Betrayed by VHPA Members Robert Wheeler and Harold Nicely is a historical novel based on the ill-fated around the world flight of Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan in 1937. But, as the title implies, the authors believe that Earhart and Noonan were involved in a fate influenced by far more than just bad luck.
There has been a lot of speculation over the last three-quarters of a century since Earhart’s flight disappeared in the Pacific. Theories abound and expeditions have been made in attempts to solve this mystery which continues to capture the imagination. Wheeler and Nicely have done a thorough job of documenting the factual aspects of Earhart’s flight and integrating their own theories of the fate that befell Earhart and Noonan.
The authors have brought the personalities of Earhart and Noonan back to life along with a well-developed cast of characters including the shifty and evil types worthy of the “usual suspects” in a movie such as Casablanca. Whatever your own understanding is about the possible fate of Earhart and Noonan, this book draws you in and provides a really great reading experience. ”
Posted on Amazon 11/19/12 by Brian D. Sheedy, an Earhart expert from Caicos Islands, “The government betrays America’s Sweetheart”
the imagined dialogue, which, of course few were privileged to hear. The salient facts of what happened to the Final Flight, has been well researched in the last twenty years, and as a result, the fact that Amelia and Fred were captured and imprisoned by the Japanese, following their 1937 crash in the Marshall Islands, is now an inarguable fact.It’s too bad that the early biographies, of which the movies were based, simply stated the pair ran out of fuel, after not being able to find Howland Island, in the mid-Pacific, and landed in the drink! The fact that the Navy and State Department encouraged this falsehood (to this day) made for the great ensuing mystery. This book handles the rest of the now known facts of the story with amazing accuracy, and the reader never thinks for a minute that their version isn’t dead-on accurate and completely plausible. The authors’ theory of where they landed, makes perfect sense, and as far as I know, it’s the first time it’s been brought forward. Most informed researchers agree that the Japanese met the Lockheed Electra wreck, and the pilots, on Mili Island, in the Japanese mandated Marshall Islands. This gave them authority over Amelia and Fred. BUT this book asserts the Japanese TOOK them there, after first finding them on the British-held Gardiner Island in the Kiribatis, where they actually crash-landed on the reef, and where Washington initially designated as their back-up landing site. But the Japs didn’t want to get caught there, so they picked up the crew and the Electra and got out of there pronto, for Mili. The Japanese handled all of this as Top Secret, and I’ve never seen this theory in print, but it makes total sense. It’s known that this assignment for Amelia, she agreed to, directly from FDR, in order to take photos of Japanese emplacements on Truk atoll, which she did. Six days stranded on Gardiner Island, AKA Nikumaroro, with no US attempt to find them there, took a terrible toll on them. Fred was badly wounded, and delirious, and Amelia had trouble taking care of him, plus her own delusions. She buried the important film she’d shot, up from the beach, in the palms, just before the Japs got there, and spent the rest of her time in captivity being tortured to reveal its
location. As creative as the authors were, they never do mention what finally happened to the film, which was disappointing. A couple of other flaws they’re guilty of, they get Amelia’s hometown wrong. She was from Atcheson, Kansas, not Hutchinson. And another jarring moment, was when they were ready to start their second trip from Burbank, to what the reader thought was Honolulu, all of a sudden, without notice or motivation, she lands in Miami. This is of course what really happened, but it’s a surprise to the reader in this book.Much research in other books, which feature interviews with Saipan natives, indicate that both Amelia and Fred survived the war in Garapan Prison until U.S. Forces captured Saipan in June of 1944, and they were then both assassinated and buried. The messer’s Wheeler and Nicely, have her dying in her sleep on Nov. 13th, 1937. When she was buried, Fred was shot and laid to rest in a grave dug next to her. The authors have brought an interesting corollary into the story, in that the Japs managed to get a U.S. news notice that her husband had already filed a power of attorney form to be able to properly dissolve and cash-in her estate. When they showed her that, she went into an emotional tail-spin, refusing to eat, and that’s how she finally died, after a summer of torture, beating, and degradation. And the State Department, from FDR down, covered up all they knew, and effectively made her a non-person to this day!One of the most shameful chapters in American History…turning their backs on America’s Sweetheart. This was an excellent, exciting page-turner! I hated it to end.
Praise for two expert pilots, Robert “Bob Wheeler and Harold “Fred” Nicely and AMELIA EARHART BETRAYED
“Very well written and probably spot on. I have been reading whatever I can about Amelia Earhart for over 20 years.” –Frederick Galea from Malta, Europe
“Wheeler and Nicely did one heck of a research job. The book informed as well as entertained.”–John Ray, Retired Flight Instructor, Instrument Flight Examiner and DOT Trained Accident Investigator, Retired Army
“Very believable! Difficult to know where fact ends and fiction begins. I felt like I was there.”–Steven Alford, Senior Airline Captain, Certified Flight Instructor, Retired Army CW5.
“It was roller-coaster of thrills and I couldn’t put it down!” –Michael Gerber, Computer Analyst from NJ
“Moving!” “I wept at the ending.”–Lisa D, Poet from NJ
“Tense and sometimes shocking”–Tom Pierce, Videographer from Vero Beach, FL
“Talk about government conspiracies! I learned so much and it was very realistic.”–Claudia M, Security Specialist from Las Vegas, NV
“It was GREAT! I learned a lot.”–Tara from West Virginia
“I became immersed. I felt the sand between my toes and was with Amelia all the way to Saipan.”–Marg from West Virginia
“So glad it was available on Kindle. Really hard to put down.”–Sandy from Clarksville, Ga
“I enjoyed reading it.”–Steve S. from West Virginia
“Your explanation of the missing miles makes sense. The book was interesting and obviously well-researched. It was good to get a pilot’s perspective.”–Lorieta from West Virginia
“Well done! And to think I knew you before you were famous!–Jane, nurse practitioner from Ohio
“Enjoyed reading it. Very interesting and different theory. Never heard that one before!–Dave, an Earhart enthusiast from Lakewood, Washington
“Loved the book! It was really interesting and I want to know more about Captain Black.”–Dr. Wayne, Dentist from West Virginia
Honoring Amelia Earhart
“She boosted the capabilities of trained and talented women.”
“She was a competent lady…didn’t get excited about little things.”
“She was very knowledgeable in her field…a can do woman.”
—George Palmer Putnam Jr., step-son of Amelia Earhart, in an interview with the author at his home on March 27, 2012