Michael's Dispatches

Truth Wanted: $10,000 Reward (Update 14 December 2015 -- Reward is now $20,000)

02 November 2015

I offer $10,000 (now $20,000) to the first person who can prove Laura Hillenbrand's allegations of this massive Japanese War Crime on Tinian Island in 1944.

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From her book referencing Tinian island in 1944:

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Bestselling author Laura Hillenbrand twice accused Japanese of murdering 5,000 Koreans on Tinian Island in 1944.  I contacted her publisher who declines to comment, or to provide an interview with Hillenbrand.  I interviewed Ms. Hillenbrand about ten years ago on a separate matter.  The outcome of my interview was positive to Ms. Hillenbrand.

Our research team discovered Hillenbrand’s Tinian errors by accident while researching a related topic.

Ms. Hillenbrand casts the accusation twice:

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Shortly after the 1944 period described in Ms. Hillenbrand’s book, the United States invaded the tiny island of Tinian after what is said to be the most massive bombardment of a single island during the Pacific war.  (Japan notwithstanding.)

The fighting was particularly brutal with many Japanese and civilians committing suicide, including throwing their children and themselves off cliffs, and in some cases being murdered by Japanese Soldiers.  Thousands more disappeared into the hills and caves.

Many later surrendered, or we blew up their caves and sealed them shut in some cases.

Soon, Tinian was the busiest airport in the world.  Tinian became the US military’s airbase that launched the planes to firebomb and drop two atomic bombs on Japan.

The island was flooded with US troops and there were no allegations from that period that any mass murder of 5,000 Koreans had occurred.

Contemporary reports show that thousands of civilians remained, including almost 2,400 Koreans.  Hillenbrand wrote that more than twice this number were killed.

Other documents soon after the war, describe in detail the conditions on Tinian:

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http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001150096

The 1957 book above was written decades before current controversies were manufactured by China, making the work innocent of any political or social pressures of 2015. 

An estimate of the Tinian population before our 1944 invasion:

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http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001150096

An account from the same book after our invasion:

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Census from the same source after our invasion:

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The New York Times reported that many Koreans were still on the island, and that Koreans donated $666.35 to our war effort.

The following account is from the book above.  We checked the New York Times archives.  New York Times confirmed this account in 1945:

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Ms. Hillenbrand must face reality.  Facts matter.  Her book is marketed as nonfiction and is basis for a major motion picture directed by Angela Jolie.  The book contains fiction.  We could write it off to sloppiness, but I alerted her publisher who brushed it aside. 

We checked Ms. Hillenbrand’s sources listed in the appendix.

She cites two sources.

One source fraudulent.  We contacted a party cited who responded that their company was not involved in the report attributed to their company.  Ms. Hillenbrand is remiss in her duties in citing this ‘source.’  They are not a source and deny involvement.

The other citation is hearsay and appears to be based on a memorial on Tinian.

It is a fact that Koreans and Chinese are erecting memorials around the world based on false historical accounts.  It is a fact that we are in the middle of a major information war directed from China at Japan, at the United States, and others.  Ms. Hillenbrand fell into their trap.  She was tricked, but now her publisher is digging in their heels.

Ms. Hillenbrand’s claim provides basis for the US to have either engaged in a massive cover up of war crimes on the island by not reporting it, or gross negligence by the US Marines and Navy that scoured the island and surveyed the PoWs and civilian internees after the war.

By implication, Hillenbrand’s accounts in Unbroken accuse the USMC and US Navy in being complicit by not reporting war crimes, or being incompetent by not finding the mass murder of 5,000 people on a tiny island.

It is crucial to keep in mind that we firebombed and conducted two atomic attacks on Japan, from Tinian.  If we knew that 5,000 Koreans were murdered there, it was in our best interest to advertise the crime as justification for burning down dozens of Japanese cities.  But there is no mention.  Not a peep.

Ms. Hillenbrand cites no source documents, yet takes as gospel one fraud and one hearsay.  We have been unable to locate any source documents that support Hillenbrand's claim.

The New York Times article from Tinian in 1945 is a direct refutation.

Some say the burden of proof is on the accused. This is nonsense, like something from former East Germany or North Korea.  The burden is on the accuser.

If someone accused US forces of murdering 5,000 Afghans, I would be on an airplane to Afghanistan to prove or disprove the allegations. If it happened, we would own it.  If it did not, we should not carry the disgrace and burden, or reparations.

Ms. Hillenbrand did not visit any locations, or even meet the heroic subject of her book until after the book was published. 

A larger question is why wasn’t Louis Zamperelli’s own excellent autobiography promoted?  He was alive and had an inspiring book which doesn’t contain these fictions.

Some folks make a wild leap of imagination and reply, "So, you are saying Japanese committed no war crimes? What about Bataan or the Death Railway?"

I was just at Bataan and the Death Railway this year.  War crimes definitely occurred.  There is proof.

I also researched in Burma and found proof of some war crimes and also interviews with eyewitnesses who greatly liked Japanese.  I was also down in Indonesia and Malaysia researching these same topics this year, and Thailand, and Japan, with more to come.

Believe it or not, Japanese were widely revered by many locals in various countries.  I have made video interviews with elderly people in numerous countries who liked Japanese in World War II, even saying the same words in the Philippines, Burma, and Thailand: “They treated us like brothers and sisters.”  (Interesting that people from different cultures used the same words.)

This is a mixed bag.  Like taking soil samples.  Some places have great respect for Japanese, and in others there were truly war crimes.  Sound familiar?  The same can be said about us.

In the United States, justice and truth are important.  We are not North Koreans.  We are Americans.  Every case must be taken on its merits, even if we are talking about an enemy or former enemy.  Only with truth can justice be served.

Alleging that 5,000 people were mass murdered is at least 5,000 war crimes.  There is no statute of limitations on war crimes.

Others say, “Are you a holocaust denier?”  An author and magazine journalist actually said that to me after he was duped into the Chinese trap, in Korea.  He is naïve though he writes for a major US magazine.

Source document evidence and proof of Nazi war atrocities could fill a cubic mile of library space.  The fastest speed-reader on earth could not read it all in a lifetime.  Yet evidence that Japanese murdered all 5,000 Koreans on Tinian has not been unearthed.   Quite the contrary.

The time has arrived for Hillenbrand to put up or shut up.  My money is where my mouth is.

If someone finds proof from US archives or some highly credible source, that will be $10,000 (now $20,000) well spent from my pocket exonerating Ms. Hillenbrand.  This offer supercedes and nullifies the previous offer of $1,000.

There are other problems with the book, but this is enough for now.

$10,000 (now $20,000) is on the table.  Waiting for the first person to claim it.

I can pay by check, PayPal, or money order.  Go for it.

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