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    Charting of Japanese Mandated Islands in reference to Earhart
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2011 Feb 25, 03:21 -0800

    Frank wrote on the “History of the Intl date line” topic that that line, and others, were simply
    drawn for the convenience of the map maker and have no actual significance. I believe that Frank
    may have some information that can be used to dispel some misinformation about the loss of
    Amelia Earhart. Many people appear to believe that there was a wall around the Japanese
    Mandated Islands, and large areas of the surrounding seas, through which no ship or plane could
    travel without being attacked or imprisoned by the Japanese. I think that they get this idea from
    seeing straight lines drawn on charts, for the convenience of the map maker, to delineate the
    locations of the Mandated Islands. I have attached a 1925 map showing such lines. (The source
    of this chart is:
    http://www.archive.org/details/SouthSeaIslandsUnderJapaneseMandate )

    Many people believe that Earhart was on a spy mission to gather information and to photograph
    military installations on the Japanese Mandated Islands. A second theory is that Earhart was
    supposed to fake her own disappearance so as to give an excuse to the U.S. Navy to sail through
    these “forbidden waters,” ostensibly searching for Earhart but actually spying on Japanese
    installations. But, in fact, the lines on the chart do not outline the territorial seas of the Mandated
    Islands. The territorial seas extended out only three nautical miles from each individual island (or
    group of closely spaced islands) and outside of that limit was the high sea on which the U.S.
    Navy could operate anytime it wanted, including conducting air operation. Japanese installations
    could have been photographed quite well from aircraft at altitude only three nautical miles
    offshore. (The limit was changed to twelve nautical miles in 1982.) The U.S. Navy routinely
    conducts “Freedom of the Seas Exercises” in which it operates in international waters near the
    shores of countries that attempt to claim more than the internationally recognized limit of
    territorial seas. An example of this was the “Gulf of Sidra Incident” in 1981 where two U.S.
    Navy Tomcats splashed two Libyan Fitters which were approaching Navy carriers operating in
    international waters that were claimed by Libya.

    (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Sidra_incident_%281981%29 )

    ( I live five miles from the Reagan Library and I have seen the Tomcat that is on display there
    that is one of the Tomcats that splashed the Fitters.)

    Another famous example was the “Black Sea Bumping Incident” in 1988. Also think of the
    Soviet “spy trawlers” operating near the U.S. coast in international waters.

    The U.S. has always rigorously defended its rights to the freedom of the seas and would not have
    ceded control of the international waters near the Mandated Islands to the Japanese.

    Frank, do you have any information regarding mapping the Mandated Islands or the charting of
    their territorial seas that relate to this issue?

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