Yet another “hot lead” by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has fizzled under the bright light of logic based research. To TIGHAR’S credit, much of the undoing of the “2012 Dr. Berry’s Freckle Ointment Jar publicity storm” was due to their own research. All the freckle cream that was sold in the type of jar uncovered at the “7 Site” on Gardner Island (Nikumaroro) was opal glass (opaque white). The jar uncovered by TIGHAR is clear glass. The white film on the inside of the recovered glass was a compound containing Ammoniated Mercury, which was a major ingredient of freckle cream sold in the 1930’s. Ammoniated Mercury was also an ingredient of medicines dispensed by pharmacies for the treatment of Impetigo (a highly contagious bacterial skin infection); Tinea (Ringworm), very common in hot, damp climates; Pediculosis (head lice and crabs); Sub-acute and Chronic Eczema. Eczema is a skin disease that still calls for lotion to moisturize the skin. Ammoniated mercury has since been abandoned as a treatment for all the above problems. It should not be overlooked that a bottle that was used for hand lotion since the 1930’s was also found at the site.
The next fact TIGHAR presents that appears to kill the freckle cream theory, is the location of the recovery site: the “7 site” (TIGHAR’s designation) is three quarters of a mile from the 1944-1946 U.S. Coast Guard Loren Site. It is located four and a half miles from the point where TIGHAR places Earhart’s landing. TIGHAR depicts Earhart and Noonan as dying of thirst and hunger and unable to signal the planes from the USS Colorado that did the air search of the island seven days after they landed. Why would the couple walk four and a half miles from where their aircraft landed to the “7 site”? TIGHAR makes a point of saying that Molly Laxton, the wife of the Gardner Island Governor, lived on the island from the late 1940’s to the early 50’s. She lived at the opposite end of the island from the “7 site”; coincidentally that is closer to the “7 site” than Amelia’s proposed landing area. Mr. Gillespie and his researchers made an assumption that the jar contained freckle ointment and have based all their investigation on that premise. If you make an assumption and it’s wrong, chances are all the results of the ensuing investigation are wrong. In conclusion TIGHAR once again shot themselves in their freckled foot.