Since I mentioned the paper that Tom Roberts, Joe Cerniglia and I are working on, dealing with the Saipan Captivity Hypotheses for Earhart's/Noonan's disappearance, the question's understandably been raised: Are we abandoning the Nikumaroro Hypothesis?
The answer is: Certainly not. I, at least, have three reasons for doing the paper:
1. We were asked to, by people in the Mariana Islands who think it would be useful to have a compact, critical analysis of the various "theories" that continue to prompt speculation;
2. We're sometimes criticised for not giving fair attention to hypotheses other than our own. I don't think that criticism itself is especially fair; one can't pursue every hypothesis, and the sensible approach seems to me to be to pursue the most likely. But it's true that we haven't spent a lot of time with the other propositions, and it's not a bad idea to do so.
3. It's an interesting exercise to try very hard, very deliberately, not simply to debunk an alternative proposition but to give it fair consideration, and that's what Tom, Joe and I intend to attempt.
So no, examining the Saipan Captivity Hypotheses doesn't reflect any falling-away from the Nikumaroro Hypothesis -- just an effort to meet what's perceived to be a need, to be fair, and to get a little brain-exercise.