Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
Consisting of a single paragraph, the letter indicated that a Mr. Earl Ellis, who represented himself as a delegate of the New York Hughes Company, had applied to the Foreign Affairs Ministry for a visa. As the reason for his request, Mr. Ellis stated he desired to make a business inspection tour of the Marshall-Caroline Islands. The final sentence read: "An expression of your Ministry is requested as to whether the permission may be given, or not."

Dated 9 November, the answer indicated that the Japanese had little doubt as to Ellis' true mission in the South Seas. Granting permission to issue the visa, it requested that detailed reports on his travels be submitted periodically.

This was the only evidence to be found.

A final attempt to find the missing pieces of the puzzle was made in 1950, when LtCol Waite W. Worden was sent to the Carolines. Arriving at the island of Koror in late March, his search led him to Ngerdako Gibbon. Ngerdako was the native wife of an Englishman, William Gibbon, now deceased.
An old, wrinkled woman of 65, Ngerdako told Worden that Ellis came to the island on a Japanese ship. Soon after his arrival he contacted her husband, the only English speaking person on Koror at the time. Ellis stayed at their house for about a week. At the end of that time, he asked Gibbon to find him a house in the native area where he could live in privacy. After some negotiations by Gibbon, a house was provided by the island's tribal chief.

During his stay on Koror, about a month and a half, Ellis drank heavily-sake, beer, whiskey, anything he could get. Once, when he ran out of liquor, the American showed up at Gibbon's house and demanded something to drink. When Gibbon told him there was no liquor in the house, Ellis tried to rip the walls apart, thinking there was a supply of whiskey hidden there.

Ngerdako said that Ellis would "walk around" during the day looking things over. But, she said, she didn't know what he was looking for. He was constantly followed by the Japanese. Frequently, he would find them peering in the windows of his house at night. Many times, she said, he rushed out of the house and beat up Japanese who were loitering close by.

One morning, according to Ngerdako, Ellis went "crazy drunk." By 1700 he was dead. Ngerdako and her husband built a coffin for Ellis and buried him in the native cemetery the next day.

Shortly thereafter, a man "who looked like an Englishman" arrived from japan. At the stranger's insistence, Ellis' body was dug up and cremated on a pile of rocks. The man, who identified himself as "Mr. Lorenz," put the ashes in a small box he had brought with him. He left Koror on the next ship, taking the small box with him.

Jose Tellei contributed other fragments to the account of Pete Ellis' last days. In 1923, Tellei had been the chief of native police under the Japanese regime. He said the Japanese Commissioner of Police ordered him to have Ellis watched at all times. The policemen assigned to the job were told not to carry police insignia, and to wear civilian clothing.

Tellei was present when Ellis' body was cremated. There was, he told Worden, a great mystery about what happened to Ellis' personal effects. They had been stored in the Government Building. When Mr. Lorenz's ship arrived, Tellei went to the building to get them. Though he had searched for a long time, he never was able to find the boxes.

Riddle Unsolved
How did Ellis die?
Perhaps the answer lies in the tragic medical record of a man whose consuming obsession had driven him beyond all human endurance. Perhaps it was the death of a man who had failed in an endless search.
Perhaps not.

The chances of finding the solution to the riddle grow slimmer with each passing day. But Marines of this and other generations will long remember the legendary prophet whose strange fate remains one of history's insoluble mysteries.

At MCS Quantico students of Amphibious Warfare School attend classes in Ellis Hall. To those who know the story of LtCol "Pete" Ellis, the final line of the inscription on the bronze memorial plaque whic

- See more at: https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/....3oLp1wnI.dpuf
Just wow. This is one great story. International intrigue, human frailty, secret Japanese military preparations for a future conflict, odd witness (missionary, lone British subject), lots of alcohol, mysterious US military orders... Why hasn't this ever been made into a grainy black and white movie set in a lush South Seas setting? Maybe because there is no satisfactory conclusion ...