Scott Inoue says this photo shows him with Barack Obama Jr. as classmates at Noelani Elementary School in Honolulu in 1969.
The release of two sets of State Department documents through a Freedom of Information Act request has given new life to the puzzle of how Barack Obama could have attended third grade in Hawaii, as claimed by a classmate, while he has stated he was living in Indonesia at the time.
The indication Obama attended third grade in 1969 at Noelani Elementary School in Honolulu comes from an old photograph made public by classmate Scott Inoue. The informal photo shows Obama and Inoue against a background of what appears to be Christmas drawings by schoolchildren posted on a classroom bulletin board.
“The photo shows Barack Obama’s arm around me in the third grade at Noelani in 1969,” Inoue told WND. “My mother wrote that inscription on the bottom of the photograph at the time the picture was taken.”
The inscription reads: “Scott & Barry 3rd grade 1969.”
WND asked Inoue how Obama could have been with him in Hawaii in the third grade, contrary to the accepted narrative placing Obama in Indonesia at the time.
“I don’t have any explanation,” he said.
Obama’s Honolulu kindergarten class
“Truthfully, I didn’t even remember that Barack Obama was in my class at Noelani until that 1966-1967 kindergarten class photo surfaced, showing Barack and me in it,” Inoue said. “Then my mother found the picture of the two of us together in third grade, in 1969. Otherwise, I probably would never have remembered.”
How many times did Obama leave Indonesia?
The State Department Freedom of Information Act documents establish Obama must have accompanied his mother in October 1967 when she flew on Japan Airlines to Jakarta, Indonesia. Dunham filed a form with the State Department Oct. 21, 1971, to obtain an exception allowing her to enter the United States on her then-expired 1965-issued U.S. passport No. 777788.
As WND has previously reported, Obama was included as a child on his mother’s passport until Aug. 13, 1968, when Dunham applied to the State Department to exclude him, identifying him with an Indonesian name as Barack Hussein Obama II (Soebarkah).
Arriving in Indonesia in October 1967, Barry Soetoro was registered for school immediately and started classes in January 1968.
As WND reported, the Associated Press published a photograph of Obama’s registration card at Indonesia’s Francis Assisi school in Indonesia. The document showed “Barry Soetoro” was enrolled with serial number 203 to begin school in the Catholic Franciscan Assisi Primary School, in Jakarta Jan. 1, 1968, and that he was enrolled in Class 1B. It also identified him as an Indonesian citizen whose religion was Muslim.
An AP spokesman affirmed to WND that the photograph of the registration card was authentic.
“In Indonesia, I had spent two years at a Muslim school, two years at the Catholic school,” Obama wrote on page 154 of his autobiography “Dreams from My Father,” establishing he had been in Indonesia from 1968 to 1971, from the age of 6 until 10.
Obama also wrote on pages 53-54 of “Dreams from My Father” that he traveled back from Indonesia alone late in 1971 to arrive in Honolulu before his father was scheduled to visit during Christmas and New Year’s 1971.
The Oct. 21, 1971, exception request filled out by Dunham to regain entry to the United States on her expired 1965-issued passport documents she traveled from Jakarta to Honolulu on Pan American Airlines Flight 812, leaving Oct. 20, 1971, and arriving in Honolulu Oct. 21, 1971.
Obama also states on page 62 of “Dreams from My Father” that his father, Barack Obama Sr., traveled from Kenya to Hawaii two weeks after his mother traveled from Indonesia to Hawaii and that his father returned to Kenya and his mother returned to Indonesia after New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 1972.
There is nothing in “Dreams from My Father” to suggest Obama left Indonesia twice to return to Hawaii. The only trip back to Hawaii from Indonesia ever discussed by Obama in his autobiography is the trip home in 1971 to see his father.
As WND has reported, Noelani Elementary School has refused requests to release any records pertaining to Obama’s school attendance.
Inoue told WND he doesn’t remember how long Obama was at Noelani Elementary in 1969.
“I’m not sure he was there the whole year. I just don’t remember. It was a long time ago, and my memory that far back is not very clear,” he said.
Still, Inoue is convinced the photo is authentic and the handwriting is his mother’s, written in 1969.
“That’s my mother’s handwriting at the bottom of the photo,” Inoue said. “She wrote that inscription at the bottom of the photo in 1969, at the time the photo was taken.”
He doubted his mother would have been mistaken.
Tracing back from 1966-1967 as their school year together in Kindergarten, Obama and Inoue would have been in first grade during school year 1967-1968; second grade during 1968-1969; and third grade during 1969-1970.
This timeline would have made Mrs. Inoue’s inscription the correct year for third grade, except that Obama left Hawaii for Indonesia in October 1967 and enrolled Jan. 1, 1968, at the Catholic Franciscan Assisi Primary School, in Jakarta, for the first of his two years at that school.
After attending the Catholic Franciscan Assisi Primary School, the official Obama school timeline has him enrolled at Sekolah Dasar Negeri Besuki, a public school in the Menteng District of Jakarta.
The exact date Obama enrolled at the Sekolah Dasar Negeri Besuki public school remains unclear, as no school registration documents have yet surfaced.
But the official Obama school timeline remains that he left Hawaii at age 6, in 1967, and did not return to Hawaii until in 1971, at 10 years old.
Even Inoue remains confused.
In concluding the interview, he asked, “If you ever figure it out, would you please let me know?”
Inoue currently works as a chiropractor in Stockton, Calif..
The State Department released two separate batches of Freedom of Information Act documents July 29 relating to Dunham’s passport records. The first set was released to Christopher Strunk. The second set was released to Kenneth Allen.
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