'I know what I saw and I saw the lady!' Revealed, the Pacific islanders who insist Amelia Earhart WAS taken prisoner by the Japanese after crashing on remote atoll Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan have not been heard of since July 1937 when they took off from New Guinea on 30th leg of round the world flight Some claim they crashed into the sea near their intended destination - but residents of the Marshall Islands say the plane came down on Mili atoll Descendants recall stories of an American lady 'with short hair' and a man Doctor claimed he treated duo on a Japanese ship before they left the area Islanders living on a remote Pacific atoll have told MailOnline they are convinced that Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese after her plane crashed there nearly 80 years ago. Friends and descendants of islanders who insist they saw the American aviator and her navigator Fred Noonan after their Lockheed Electra plane crashed in the Marshall Islands have told what they have learned about the adventurous pair who vanished during a round-the-world flight. Islanders who claim to have seen the couple on board a Japanese ship in 1937 after their plane came down have since died - but not before they relayed stories of seeing Amelia and Noonan in a remote part of the Marshall Islands. Mystery: Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan had made it most of the way around the world when they disappeared in July 1937 - sparking an enduring hunt to get to the bottom of what happened Crash landing? Marshall Islanders claim their plane came down here, the Mili atoll, before Earhart and Noonan were captured by the Japanese and taken to Saipan and thrown in prison Their accounts lend credence to a persistent theory that the U.S. fliers were captured and taken onto a Japanese ship to the island of Saipan, 1,450 miles south of Tokyo, where they were imprisoned on suspicion of being U.S. spies. Once there, the theory goes, they met grizzly ends. Noonan, some claim, was executed, while Earhart was left to rot in prison, eventually dying of dysentary. Towards the end of the Second World War, it is claimed, their bodies - which had been buried in the Catholic cemetery - were dug up on the orders of the U.S. intelligence services. Some claim - including a relative of Earhart - that the U.S. government knew what had happened to the adventurous duo all along, but the strained politics of the years running up to the war prevented them from acting. All of this, of course, is conspiracy theory which goes against the generally held belief that the Electra crashed into the ocean nearer to Howland Island, their planned destination. But those who live on the Marshall Islands are absolutely certain of two things: that Earhart crashed onto the small atoll, and that she and Noonan were taken away by the Japanese. Bilimon Amram went to his grave insisting he not only saw Earhart and Noonan on the Koshu Maru, but also spoke to the navigator about the leg he broke when the plane crashed. Identity: Locals reported that the woman was American and had 'short hair' and long boots Abandoned: Despite being a hero, some claim she was left to her fate as the Japanese believed she was a spy Tales: There are many stories of sightings of a couple of Americans on the Marshall Islands at the time. They include stories told by the late Bilimon Amram (left) to his friend Charles Domnick (right) Theories: U.S. businessman Jerry Kramer also heard Amaram's story of treating Noonan for a broken leg on a Japanese boat - and was even shown where she was jailed in Saipan by people who swore she was there Amram's friend Charles Domnick, 73, told MailOnline: 'He told me he saw both of them on the Japanese vessel and spoke to Noonan. They were both sitting on the deck. He had no doubt about that.' Domnick said he went to Amram's warehouse in the late 1960s, where his friend swore that he had accompanied a Japanese doctor to the Koshu Maru to look after an injured American. 'He told me he was working as a medical assistant at the time but he said they weren't allowed to go inside the vessel. What he was allowed to do was carry the medical kit onto the deck. 'Amram told me that the injured American man and the woman were sitting on the deck and the man had a broken leg - or some sort of serious problem with his leg - and together he and the Japanese doctor fixed it up. 'Amram said the woman had short hair and long boots. He and the doctor didn't talk to her - they just treated the guy, had a conversation about his leg, and then they left. 'As they were leaving, he said he saw on the far side of the ship that there was a plane hanging there, with one wing broken. 'That was as much as they saw - that was what he told me and he had no reason to tell me that and I had no reason not to believe him.' Domnick said that when he asked Amram if he was sure about what he had witnessed, his friend said forcefully: '"Hey guy" - that's what he always called me - "I know what I saw and I saw the lady!' Domnick recalled. '"She was definitely American, not Japanese, and I did help fix Noonan's leg".' Possibilities: If the claims are right, Earhart and Noonan were more than 850 miles off course. They were meant to land on Howland Island (centre), although others say they crashed nearer Gardner Island (bottom, far right). After crashing in the Marshalls, it is calimed they were taken to Japanese base at Saipan (top left) With the Japanese setting up bases throughout the Pacific in preparation for an all-out war that was to follow five years later, local people agree today that it would be highly unlikely an American woman would be sitting on board a Japanese ship - unless she was Amelia Earhart. Domnick said Amram's credentials were impeccable and he had no reason to make up such a story. Years later, he worked as a doctor in Majuro and he was also in charge of what later became the Department of Public Health. Domnick wasn't the only person to hear Amram's tales. A relative of Amram, who has asked not to be identified, recalled how he had been trained by the Japanese to be a medic. The relative added: 'I remember him telling how he got on the boat and he saw the American lady and a guy.' Jerry Kramer, a U.S. businessman who has lived on Majuro since the 1960s, told MailOnline he had been a good friend of Amram and could 'absolutely confirm the story that he told about helping to treat the navigator and seeing Amelia Earhart'. But he goes one step further with the story. Asked if he believed that the American aviators came down on Mili, Kramer said: 'Absolutely! In fact, after I first came to Majuro in 1962, the next year I went to Saipan and then people there showed me where she was in jail. 'And they told me they'd followed the story of her voyage from the Marshalls.' More hints: It is claimed wheels like these were used by the Japanese to take the plane off the island Artifacts: These are other pieces of metal found on Mili. Most have been discounted as not coming from Earhart's plane, but the long piece of metal on the left may be significant and is being tested As MailOnline previously reported, islanders have claimed that the damaged aircraft was hauled across the island from the ocean side to the lagoon side on rail car wheels similar to those used by Japanese troops to move bombs. Rusty remains of those trollies are still to be seen on the island. Kramer's son Daniel, who joined a team of 11 researchers on an expedition to Mili atoll last January, pointed the team towards an area where the shorter trees indicated their relative youth compared to taller, older trees. the find seems to support the theory that the aircraft was towed across the islands on the trolley by some 40 Marshallese villages, with trees having been cut down to make way for the rails. 'While others were looking down with their metal detectors, searching for parts of the plane Daniel was looking up at the trees,' said Kramer. 'He told the team that this was nearly 80 years ago and the old palm trees were quite tall. But there was a patch of trees which were younger and shorter and he said he believed this was where the palms had been cut down to make a track for the plane.' Domnick has also heard reports of an American woman and man crashing on one of the small islands lying to the north of the Mili atoll from his uncle Tamaki Myazoe. At the time of Earhart's disappearance, Myazoe - who was half-Japanese, half-Marshallese - was helping load the Koshu Maru with coal.