Al Capone’s vault! Mermaids! Aliens! Amelia Earhart!


I think we can now flush away that theory that Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese navy, based on one single photograph of previously vague provenance. It’s been tracked down. The photo was published in a Japanese travelogue in 1935. Earhart disappeared at sea in 1937. Unless the cause of the disappearance was that she flew into mysterious temporal wormhole that threw her plane back in time a few years…oh, crap. I just gave the wackos a new pseudoscientific conspiracy theory, didn’t I?

The History Channel ought to be embarrassed about their lack of diligence, though.

Kota Yamano, a military history blogger who unearthed the Japanese photograph, said it took him just 30 minutes to effectively debunk the documentary’s central claim.

Shouldn’t the History Channel’s fact checkers have caught this before the network invested in production and promotion of their ‘documentary’? Do they even have fact checkers?

Comments

  1. Dunc says

    Do they even have fact checkers?

    You’re joking, right? Of course not. What’s the point of fact checking something that you paid writers to make up?

  2. jrkrideau says

    Rupert Murdock bought the History Channel? It seems to be as accurate as Fox News.

  3. says

    Isn’t it much more likely* that the photo Yamano found is a fake (created by the US and Japanese government in order to cover up the Truth!) that was only “discovered” mysteriously AFTER the documentary came out?

     

     

    * No, no it’s not.

    also, THIS COMMENT NEEDS MORE ALL CAPS!!!!111!ELEVENTY!!!

    /my plan to get my own History Channel show

  4. devnll says

    Shouldn’t the History Channel’s fact checkers have caught this before the network invested in production and promotion of their ‘documentary’? Do they even have fact checkers?

    For a skeptic, your naiveté is adorable. On the HC, they’re called fact _writers_.

  5. Larry Kearney says

    The network of space aliens and angels living amongst us using fact checkers?

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  6. Rich Woods says

    I’m disappointed that the History Channel didn’t blame the Nazis for the death of Amelia Earhart.

    Standards are slipping at that channel. It’s never going to be what it once was.

  7. erichoug says

    Great, another one. Twenty years from now, there will still be morons pointing to this picture and talking about how the Japanese captured Amelia Earhart. But, of course by then she will have been tortured and exposed to enough radiation that she became Godzilla….

    …Actually, that’s awesome. Lets just all pretend that’s what happened.

  8. anthrosciguy says

    Facts sometimes get in the way of a good story, just as they have been known to do with a beautiful theory.

  9. robro says

    jrkrideau @ #2

    Rupert Murdock bought the History Channel? It seems to be as accurate as Fox News.

    Nope. That would be A&E Networks, a joint venture of Hearst Corporation and Disney-ABC Television. Hearst has a long history of sensationalist journalism loaded with xenophobia, what you might call tabloid journalism today. Disney is dedicated to creating fantasies. So, same difference.

  10. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Unless the cause of the disappearance was that she flew into mysterious temporal wormhole that threw her plane back in time a few years…

    Wasn’t that an episode of Torchwood? None of the people in the picture look like Captain Jack Harkness. ;)

  11. anchor says

    “Shouldn’t the History Channel’s fact checkers have caught this before the network invested in production and promotion of their ‘documentary’?”

    The History Channel should be compelled to air a retraction.

    BTW – they don’t have any ‘fact checkers’. Just a bunch who sit around telling each other stuff like, ‘Who’s to say it didn’t happen? Were you there?”

  12. blf says

    Unless the cause of the disappearance was that she flew into mysterious temporal wormhole that threw her plane back in time a few years…

    Wasn’t that an episode of Torchwood?

    Or Doctor Who, e.g., “Time-Flight“, albeit that was a Concorde & 140 million years into the past.

  13. kantalope says

    If 140 million was doable 3should not be any trouble at all. I’m sure it will all workout.

  14. whheydt says

    Many years ago–when the original Star Trek series was still in production–my wife was told the salient characteristic of the “research department” at media production companies. It exists to answer one and only one question: Can this get us sued? If the answer is “no”, then everything proceeds as planned. (I met her a few years after that, but “my wife” is the best description for this purpose as we’ve been married for 46 years.)

  15. dali70 says

    Next week on the History Channe, Did ancient aliens abduct Emila Earhart to help them in their quest to find mermaid bigfoot mountain picking pawnstar moonshiners? Tune in Sunday!

  16. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    Although that photo was certainly the centerpiece of the show, they also had live interviews with two people who claimed that as children, they had seen Earhart — or at least, a white woman with short hair and dressed in pants — in Japanese custody on Saipan.

    That said, they also dribbled away the last third of the show trying to find the remains of — a previous attempt to find remains. Big discovery? An old coke bottle which surely, or probably, or anyway maybe, might have been left by the prior diggers.

  17. Greta Samsa says

    At this point, I’m surprised they didn’t show clips from Voyager and ponder whether aliens actually were responsible. Apparently they built every major historical site, created us, and visit the White House every Saturday evening for brandy, so why not?

  18. KG says

    My theory is that the History Channel has been taken over by alien shape-shifting lizards, and is now churning out factitious rubbish as part of their cunning-but-definitely-evil plan to distract humanity while they contaminate our Precious Bodily Fluids.

  19. blf says

    My theory is that the History Channel has been taken over by alien shape-shifting lizards

    Other way around: The “History” Channel has taken over control of the alien shape-shifters, which is why they(the aliens) are no longer in control of either the White House or the baguette shop down the street. However, this does not explain Number 10, which remains an outlier.

  20. jrkrideau says

    @ 11 robo

    Ah, Hearst !

    The man who started the Spanish-American War. It is good to see the corporation is carry on his fine traditions of factless reporting. I imagine Murdock is envious, being a new arrival on the scene though he may be able to claim some credit for the Iraqi débâcle

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