Kenneth James Moore

AUTHOR | HISTORIAN | HUMANITARIAN

Author of what may be the most captivating international crime thriller of our day!

 

Former US Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis:

Dear Ken, thank you my friend. You always think out of the box and see opportunities
while others are frozen in the current time.

Lt. General Frank Sackton, former World War Two troop commander in the Pacific and Professor of Public Administration at Arizona State University:

A world class story from a world class author and adventurer.

 

The Hunt for the Life of Riley

As told by Kenneth James Moore

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Brigadier General Paul Tibbetts, Pilot of the Enola Gay,

More people than I contributed to the final defeat of the Japanese. Your uncle was one of them. He’d be proud of you. I know I am.

 

The Hunt for the Life of Riley

By Kenneth James Moore

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Brigadier General Paul Tibbetts, Pilot of the Enola Gay,

More people than I contributed to the final defeat of the Japanese. Your uncle was one of them. He’d be proud of you. I know I am.

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Biography

 Kenneth James Moore was born in 1949 in Tacoma, Washington. With his parents at the age of seven, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where his father became a senior executive for Sears. The Moore family shifted back to the States in January of ’64, settling in Phoenix, Arizona where Ken graduated from Arcadia High School. He attended Arizona State University as an undergraduate and Georgetown University as a graduate student. Political science and international relations were his calling. From high school through college, Ken worked as a lakeside lifeguard and local martial arts instructor.

FORGING A CAREER PATH.

Mentored by a former professor, himself a Cold War counter intelligence officer, Ken spent a year long stint as a volunteer alongside Admiral Bobby Inman, the founder of the National Security Agency during its construction phase. With Congressional funding delayed and many being let go, Ken was asked to “hang in there” being offered a full-time starting position of GS-3, Clerk Typist. Fearful of a windowless career in the steno pool, seeing his ambition of being an analyst dashed, Ken respectfully​said “No thanks” and moved on.

 

“In my world, there exists a vast distinction between fairy tales and analytical, historical research. One can enrich the other, but only one can approximate the truth.”

-Kenneth James Moore

 

Ken and the love of his life, his wife Patricia, then moved to Southern California. Believing he had a knack for real estate, Ken landed a job at Beverly Hills Securities in Beverly Hills, California, as a commercial loan officer. He quickly moved to the investment banking side of the house.

That’s when Ken says, he started to “really listen,” fully immersing himself in his client’s needs. Having done so, he was able to retire at the age of 45 and along with Patt, live out their days in comfort. But fate still had a few more challenges in mind for Ken, the first of many of which he would narrowly escape with his life.

In 1994, Ken was the victim of a horrific automobile accident. Rehabilitation consumed every moment of the next four years of his pain-riddled existence as he relearned to talk, walk, and swallow solid foods.  Demonstrating the character of this man, Ken set out to virtually rehab himself…by himself. Ken says,

It was the grimmest of times. It was especially hard on Patt, who could do little but stand by and watch.  I couldn’t look up to the sky.  If I did, all I could see was the inside of a giant box, pressing down on me as a panic attack ensued.

Ken rehabbed not at any specialized center but in his backyard, doing of all things, yard work.

I couldn’t get into a car. I couldn’t drive. Not being able to look up without inducing a panic attack, I opted for yard work.  I’d crawl on my hands and knees out the back door to the house then lie on the lawn for as long as it took to acclimate to the “new” environment.  Always hunched over, I’d run to the lawn tools storage shed, work a few minutes then crawl back into the house and into bed, deadly frightened and in cold sweats.  A few minutes a day led to a few hours and ultimately day-long, lawn maintenance ventures in the Arizona heat.

Never knowing how to leave a job undone, haunting him was the promise Ken made to his mother at age seven, pledging to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of her youngest brother during WWII, Ken’s uncle, Lt. Billy Weber, a B-29 Bomber pilot and his crew.

I had been so lucky all of my life. My uncle hadn’t and yet somehow, I knew Billy was a far better human being than I could ever hope to be.  I had recovered my health, I have a deeply adoring and abiding relationship with my wife. Together, we have two remarkably gifted kids. What did Uncle Billy have? No one knew where or how he perished, why he and his crew officially “vanished without a trace,” never returning to base nor where his body lie. My uncle didn’t even have a god damn headstone. I had made a promise to my mom. No matter what it took, I was going to fulfill that promise before leaving this earth.

Who would go to such lengths to painstakingly construct complex brick and cement furnaces near the top of a volcano? Soon it was learned. It was the occupying army of World War Two’s Imperial Japanese.

As it turned out, 5,000 women had been fed alive into these particular ovens. Their aggressors didn’t merely dehumanize their victims.  The Japanese turned them into inanimate objects labeling them, “Zaimoku” or pieces of wood.”

As a strong male voice for women’s rights throughout his adult life, this find caused Ken to first crumble then shout:

WANTON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN HAS GOT TO STOP.

With decades of research in hand, just four years following his devastating accident, Ken was on a multi-leg, 26-hour flight to Tinian Island, North Field, Runway Alpha in the Mariana archipelago where his uncle’s plane nicknamed “The Life of Riley” last took to the air. There Ken, now 50, was scuba diving in the Mariana trench, hiking inactive volcanoes, immersed in the most disease-ridden of jungle climes, looking for additional clues.

There was nothing linear about the “Hunt For The Life Of Riley” There was no “X marks the spot.” Numerous distractions and a litany of rabbit holes appeared.  One, in particular, led to “Pieces of Wood.”

THE NOVEL PIECES OF WOOD and the subject of VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

In 1998, while Ken and his partner Glen Palacios, were searching for clues regarding the disappearance of The Life of Riley and its crew, the two men found themselves on a calderas plain inside an inactive volcano. There, immersed in the jungle brush, Ken spotted an eerie, unnatural silhouette. It was the backside of first one, then another—and as the two men moved closer —a series of large, semi-circular, meticulously crafted, ornately decorated brick structures—some still barely standing, others crumbled to the earth. Ken reflects on the discovery:

We walked the circumference of each, poked and prodded with machetes, opening the front door of one.  At 6’,1” and 210 pounds, there was just enough room for me to fit.  So I did. I crawled in. Pawing through the mounds of a thick, accumulation of dust below me, I lifted from the earthen powder, various pieces of colored material, a shoe and then what I thought was the detached limb of a children’s doll. It wasn’t. It was a femur of a once living human being with what once was a red shoe, now faded and blotched, still attached to its foot. I had crawled inside a human incinerator.

Women’s rights and their freedom from abuse is tantamount to the establishment of a civilized society. The story of these women and all who fell at the hands of Imperial Japan across half of the globe from 1931-1945, and all throughout Western society who suffer yet today from a litany of abusive behavior, needs to be told here and now and then again-and-again as a guide for all to expand their values to ones more intersectional, bringing past and present together for a far more promising tomorrow. Maybe my uncle Billy, pointed me in the direction of the ovens knowing all along what I had come to learn: that violence against women and America’s Missing In Action although each massive in number, dwell near voiceless in society’s shadows too easily overlooked, too easy when noticed, to turn one’s head and look away.

Ken found Uncle Billy’s giant B-29 bomber in 1999, off the coast of Alamagon Island in the northern region of the Mariana archipelago, in 80 feet of water–1,600 miles from the where the U.S. military officially said it had gone down.  News reports of the find brought other MIA families from around the world asking Ken for help in finding their missing relative. Through 2012, Ken and a handful of others, sponsored some plus-minus 400 MIA “search and rescue” and research volunteers.  Affectionately, these remarkably selfless men and women became known as “Moore’s Marauders.”

 

 

Ken Leads the Marauders
in Worldwide
Humanitarian Efforts

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