About This Remarkable Amelia Earhart Website

Welcome to Tod Swindell’s ‘Protecting Earhart’ website. Tod is a veteran of the film industry who over the years became a leading authority on the disappearance and missing person case of Amelia Earhart, a subject he began a deep research study of in the 1990s, that he continues to enhance to this day. His summation offers what he calls, “the closest thing to the truth” when it comes to what became of Amelia Earhart after she was declared ‘missing.’

In 2022, Tod began sharing the main elements of his investigative research findings on this newer platform. (His old 2007 launched dot-com website, ‘Irene-Amelia’ is still there but it is outdated and no-longer supported by its host company.)


On July 2, 1937, as she flew over the Pacific Ocean, Amelia Earhart’s radio went silent after she transmitted her plane’s 157-337 line of position. At the time she was attempting to locate Howland, a small Island situated near the equator. After not finding it, she and and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were declared ‘missing.’ Amelia gave no indication of being in trouble when her last transmission was received, yet the final record reflects that Earhart and Noonan were never seen nor heard from again.

It was publicly left uncertain what direction the duo ended up flying in, or where, when, and how their flight ended. However, according to a U.S. O-2 intelligence file discovered later, the duo did transmit an additional message telling of their decision to continue heading northward along their last given line. In time, a collection of substantiated accounts also surfaced that spoke of the two being sequestered and Amelia’s plane being impounded after they ditched in the lower Marshall Islands, a no-fly zone for the U.S. at the time.

The official account differed. It encouraged the public to accept that the duo likely crashed and sank into the Pacific Ocean at an unknown location. Over the years, however, different theories surfaced that offered other opinions. One claimed that the duo was captured and executed. Another claimed that they ditched on a desert island below the equator where they died as castaways. The only summation that continues to hold weight today, however, surfaced in 1970 by way of the confounding Irene O’Crowley Craigmile story. This became more emphasized in the 21st century, when a comparison study revealed that there was more than one person attributed to the same ‘Irene O’Crowley Craigmile’ identity, and one of them, based on her haunting physical and character traits congruence to Amelia Earhart, and who only appeared as ‘Irene’ in the U.S. after WWII, caused many to deduce that she was the somehow quietly survived, former Amelia Earhart, that the public was never supposed to know about.

Here you can take a look at Tod’s determinations about this and draw your own conclusion.

[Note: Be wary of Wikipedia’s ‘Irene Craigmile Bolam’ page, Mike Campbell’s ‘Earhart Truth’ blog, and TIGHAR’s slanted summations that do not accurately reflect the true story of Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, and that omit the 21st century determination of Irene’s physical plurality.]

Amelia Earhart in 1928, age 31.

Amelia Earhart After 1937, According To Tod Swindell:

Below are the three different 20th Century women who were historically attributed to the same name and identity of Irene O’Crowley Craigmile. The first image on the left displays the original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, a little known pilot who Amelia was acquainted with in the 1930s. The second image (in the middle) shows the Irene O’Crowley Craigmile who served as the adoptive mother to the original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile’s 1934 born son. The third image on the right, displays the post-1940 only Irene in a 1965 color photograph. Contrarians contend that the post-1940 only Irene was not the former Amelia Earhart with no basis for doing so.

The original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile in 1930, a brief pilot friend of Amelia’s

The 2nd Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, who served as the adoptive mother to the original Irene’s 1934 born son

The Post-1940 only Irene O’Crowley Craigmile in 1965, the one who was undeniable congruent to Amelia


Digital Transitions:

Digital Composite 1

Digital Composite 2

Digital Composite 3

How This Amazing Realization First Surfaced:

In 1970, a team of World War Two heroes who had deeply investigated Amelia Earhart’s missing person case concluded that Amelia Earhart somehow managed to survive after she was declared ‘missing’ in 1937. They asserted that Amelia had lived on, and after World War Two she surfaced in the United States newly known as ‘Irene.’ Their findings included that she lived into the 1980s after sharing the identity of Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, a 1930s pilot Amelia was once acquainted with.

The claim was rejected by the woman they pegged to have been the former Amelia Earhart, thus leading others to dismiss it out of hand. Researchers who tracked the story, however, noticed that the war heroes’ assertion was never disproved leading them to dig deeper, and in the 21st century, it was determined by them that the woman in question indeed was the former Amelia Earhart who had opted for privacy after the ordeals she experienced while she was missing.

Though greeted by official silence, four nationally published books, the last one issued in 2016, concluded that it was correct that Amelia Eahart lived-on after she went missing, and that in time she became known as ‘Irene.’

Forensic research revealed that Amelia Earhart had a 1930s’ pilot friend by the name of Irene O’Crowley Craigmile (who looked nothing like Amelia), and it was stressed that the ‘original’ Irene’s 1930s demise was obfuscated in order to allow the former Amelia Earhart to assume her leftover identity.

It is important to comprehend, as displayed on this website, that the follow up study determined there had been three different 20th century women who were attributed to the same Irene O’Crowley Craigmile identity, and that the post-World War Two Irene matched Amelia Earhart head-to-toe and character trait wise.

Today it is easier to comprehend the logic that led the survived Amelia Earhart to assume the ‘original’ Irene O’Crowley Craigmile’s leftover identity, that enable herself to further live privately, away from the public eye.

After the results of a 21st century human comparison analysis were closely reviewed, it showed that the World War Two heroes’ claim was never as outlandish as people once made it out to be.

oes Here

The person who was known as Irene O’Crowley Craigmile was born in 1904. New forensic research determined that three different people were attributed to her same identity. One of them, who matched Amelia Earhart physically and character trait wise, appeared nowhere identified as ‘Irene’ prior to the 1940s. By way of the different comparison exhibits displayed in Protecting Earhart’s study, to those not familiar with the odd circumstance of Amelia Earhart’s 1937 disappearance and subsequent ‘missing person’ case, this new fortified reality is important to comprehend.


Some Digital Composites

Digital Composite


Highlighted features Digital Composite


Highlighted face features Digital Composite with Amelia Earhart’s face features


The original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile was a little known pilot who Amelia Earhart knew in the 1930s.

The original Irene looked nothing like Amelia.

On the right, Image 1 and the Image 1 Enlargement show the original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile as she appeared in an old newspaper photo. Dated 1930, she is shown between her husband, Charles James Craigmile, and her father, Richard Joseph O’Crowley. [Note: Charles James Craigmile died in 1931, leaving the original Irene a widow.]

Another famous 1930s pilot who was a good friend of Amelia’s and the original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, was Viola Gentry. (See photos below.)

In 1932, Amelia Earhart, who was also a Zonta friend of the original Irene’s aunt, a prominent attorney by the name of Irene Rutherford O’Crowley, joined forces with Viola Gentry to help the newly widowed Irene O’Crowley Craigmile become a pilot.

Image 1

Charles James Craigmile, Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, Richard Joseph O’Crowley

Image 1

Obituary excerpts that appeared on September 23, 1931, in the Pompton Plains New Jersey newspaper.

Amelia Earhart and
Viola Gentry, 1932

Image 2

1932, Amelia Earhart on the wing, the Original Irene O’Crowley Craigmile and Viola Gentry standing, Viola’s husband, Jack, one of Irene’s flight instructors, in the pilot’s seat.

Amelia in 1931, next to the Pitcairn Autogyro she flew sponsored by Beech Nut Gum

The above-middle photograph taken in 1932, is among a select few remaining (none are very clear) that show the original Irene by the plane she purchased with some of the life insurance money she received after her husband, Charles, died. Viola Gentry’s husband, Jack Warren, in the pilot seat, was one of the original Irene’s early flying instructors.

Without explanation, by the 1940s, the original Irene’s physical presence was no longer evident. In time, with the exception of the photograph showing her in 1930 with her husband and father, other clear photos of the original Irene’s person proved to be non-extant.

Viola Gentry, a famous pilot herself and a good friend of Amelia’s, later became a key figure in this story by way of her 1930s friendship with the original Irene (the two resided in the same Brooklyn apartment building) followed by her later-life friendship to the post-1940 only, Irene O’Crowley Craigmile, who matched Amelia Earhart physically and character trait wise.

I am caught up in a situation where very little of me is free. I am being moved instead of moving. I want to become a plain, private person just as quickly as possible.” Revealing words from Amelia Earhart after she became famous.

“Over the nine years spanning her first and last transoceanic flights, Amelia Earhart became one of the most famous women in the world. The private Amelia disliked that fame intensely.” A quote from Amelia Earhart biographer, Doris Rich. (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.)


Digital Composite Transition Exhibit

Amelia Earhart in 1937, transitions into her future self, the post-1940 only Irene in 1965. Observe carefully as the images dissolve in and out of each other.

Amelia Earhart in 1937

Photo taken in 1965 by Joseph A. Gervais, USAF (Ret.) on the day that Viola Gentry introduced him to the post-1940 only Irene O’Crowley Craigmile

For people who have a hard time seeing the former Amelia Earhart
in the 1965 Joseph A. Gervais photo, consider the following:

“It is nearly impossible even for families to recognize a loved one after thirty years of absence, so greatly has the self altered. And a little reflection upon the changing quality of consciousness is sure to give us some insight into the numberless selves our surface minds and egos have become since first appearing in the world.”


Irene O’Crowley Craigmile

1965 was the years it was first suspected that the distinguished looking person on the right in Image A, who was known as Irene O’Crowley Craigmile from the mid-1940s until 1958, when she married Guy Bolam of England and became known as Mrs. Irene O’Crowley Craigmile Bolam, had previously been known as Amelia Earhart.

In 1970, it first was publicly asserted that she was the former Amelia Earhart, something she strongly denied within the context of a national news story, that for the most part people accepted.

In Image D the post-1940 only Irene O’Crowley Craigmile (Bolam) is shown facing the press in 1970, when she denounced the contents of a new book titled, Amelia Earhart Lives, held in the foreground. Amazingly, at the time no one thought to compare her to Amelia Earhart.

Decades later, in the 2000s, Protecting Earhart’s study of Amelia’s life story became the first one to include an Amelia to Irene, forensic comparison analysis.

After the post-1940 only Irene denied that she was previously known as Amelia Earhart, few bothered to evaluate the foundation of the story, that led to her press conference where she boldly stood firm. It also did not register to anyone back then, that the assertion stating that she had previously been known as Amelia Earhart, somehow managed to avoid being forensically addressed.

Keep going to learn more about the resilient nature of these unrecognized realities, that were swiftly dismissed out of hand by Amelia’s family and pseudo historians, leaving pop-culture to not take the Amelia became known as Irene claim seriously for the next half a century. [1970-2020]

The Post-1940 Only Irene
Image A

Post-1940 Only Irene O’Crowley Craigmile
Image D

[Viola Gentry was the individual who introduced Joseph A. Gervais to the post-1940 only Irene in 1965.]


Digital Composite:

Amelia Earhart

Digital Composite

The post-1940 only ‘Irene’ in 1970


Digital Composite

When realities surface they should be dealt with.

Protecting Earhart’s 21st Century forensic research and comparison analysis examined the life stories of three 1930s’ flying pals; Amelia Earhart, Viola Gentry, and Irene O’Crowley Craigmile.

The results it achieved surfaced the reality of more than one 20th Century woman having been attributed to the same, Irene O’Crowley Craigmile identity, and it left no doubt that the post-1940 only Irene O’Crowley Craigmile was hauntingly congruent to Amelia Earhart. It also revealed that Viola Gentry knew both the original Irene in the 1930s, and in her later life years, Viola knew the post-1940 only Irene as well. Perhaps tellingly, Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Amelia’s sister and only sibling, was also a friend of the post-1940 only Irene in her later life years. (There is no record of Muriel having been acquainted with the original Irene in the 1930s.)

Keep going to learn more.

Continue With The Study


The Protecting Earhart MSS, Forensic Analysis [Copyright registrations: TXu 1-915-926 & TXu 2-061-539] and documentary film. ‘Discovering Irene O’Crowley Craigmile profiles an Investigative Journalist’s comprehensive forensic research evaluation and human comparison analysis that concerned the subject of Amelia Earhart’s fate.

In the 1990s, after meeting some World War Two veterans who insisted that Amelia Earhart privately lived well beyond the war years, filmmaker/writer, Tod Swindell, became interested in the facts attributed to Amelia Earhart’s disappearance and subsequent missing person case. This led him to orchestrate a comprehensive forensic research study that was accompanied by an in-depth ‘Amelia to Irene’ comparison analysis, the first study of its kind to be doem to be done.

The overall study was inspired by the investigative research of Joseph A. Gervais [of the original 1960s ‘Operation Earhart’ investigation he conducted overseas and in Washington] and a long time collaborator of his, Randall Brink, who authored the 1994 best selling book, Lost Star The Search For Amelia Earhart (W.W. Norton). The study produced a vast collection of rare documents, analytical text, photographs, human physical and character trait comparisons, maps, charts, and past-obscured but once again revisited investigative research findings.

The condensed Protecting Earhart MSS features 415 total pages; 110 of which exclusively exhibit logistical and visual elements drawn from the overall ‘Amelia to Irene’ Comparison Analysis. From a layman’s viewpoint, the study results exhibit Amelia Earhart’s ongoing existence after World War Two with the re-purposed name of, ‘Irene O’Crowley Craigmile’ applied to her. (Her added surname of ‘Bolam’ happened by marriage in 1958.) It also examined the post-World War Two, ‘let’s move on‘ logic that left the general public out of the loop of the complexities that surrounded Amelia’s 1937 disappearance. Simply put, a year and a half after she was declared ‘missing‘ in 1937, Amelia Earhart was declared ‘dead without address’ AKA ‘dead in absentia‘, and this has never changed.

The intention to keep the name ‘Amelia Earhart’ as one that exclusively referred to a dead person after 1937, came into focus during the aftermath of World War Two. The reality of the post-1940 only Irene was left unexposed until the 1980s, when a close friend and confidant of the post-1940 Irene’s, former Seton Hall College President, Monsignor James Francis Kelley (1902-1996) began admitting to people that his friend, Irene, used to be known as Amelia Earhart.

When Monsignor Kelley avowed that his friend, Irene, used to be known as Amelia Earhart, he included that he had helped her to become Irene O’Crowley Craigmile to enable her to privately resurface in the United States. Non-believers tired to claim that the well-known monsignor was ‘senile’ and his mental condition caused him to fabricate the statements he made about his friend, Irene. People who knew Monsignor Kelley well, however, agreed that he was “very bright and alert” when he described what he did to them about Amelia Earhart quietly living on and becoming known as Irene.

It is believed that Amelia Earhart’s post-loss arrangement that allowed her to live as a new Irene O’Crowley Craigmile from the mid-1940s on was put in place under the omniscient guise of long time FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI’s WWII ‘Amelia Earhart’ file contents that were personally monitored by J. Edgar Hoover, indicated an awareness that he had gleaned about Amelia Earhart’s ongoing existence during the war years under the auspice of Japan.

J. Edgar Hoover was still the Director of the FBI when the ‘did Amelia become known as Irene’ assertion surfaced in 1970, and he was sure to remain silent about it, where otherwise he would have been expected to weigh-in with an FBI opinion. Hindsight also reveals that no one from the Federal Government of the United States offered an official opinion at all toward the Amelia-Irene matter after the controversy surfaced, and it has remained that way ever since.

It is also important to recall here, that the 1970 claim of Amelia living-on and becoming known as ‘Irene’ from the mid-1940s on, was never disproved.

The study portions displayed here are revealing of the overall Amelia-Irene controversy.