Final Chapter In Earhart Mystery?
She is one of the most famous aviatrix -- women pilots, in the world. Her story is further fascinating because of the mystery surrounding her disappearance in 1937. Was she captured by the Japanese and held a prisoner of war? Did she survive and live anonymously?
Recently, human bones and other artifacts have been discovered on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. They may have belonged to Amelia Earhart and her copilot. If this is true, then quite likely Earhart and her navigator did not simply vanish on July 2, 1937. They were waiting to be rescued, but help did not reach them.
This year is the 75th anniversary of her disappearance. TIGHAR (The International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery) will go out to the island of Nikumaroro in Kiribati in July, to analyze these clues. They hope to maybe even recover the aircraft that was flown by Earhart and conclusively explain the mystery surrounding the disappearance.
Amelia Earhart became the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean. She inspired women to dream about careers in flying and follow their dreams. She set her sights very high and wanted to fly around the world along the equator over a 29,000 mile route.
Earhart and her flight companon, Fred Noonan began their journey from Miami, Florida and travelled east. After covering nearly 22,000 miles, their last flight from New Guinea proved fateful. They were unable to locate their next stop – Howland Island. Meanwhile, their aircraft lost radio contact midway across the Pacific. The plane also ran out of fuel and it is believed they were forced to land on a deserted island in the Pacific.
An Unfinished Journey
Earhart and her copilot continued to send radio signals using the spare fuel in their aircraft from the island. The aircraft may have eventually been knocked off the reef into the ocean by vicious rising tides and surf waves, depriving them of fuel. We may never really know the complete details.
In 1937, equipment for radio transmission was not sophisticated. Many signals were received by radio stations from the Pacific during that time. Using the latest digital equipment and sophisticated software, TIGHAR has recently analyzed these radio signals. They conclude that 57 of the 120 signals reported at the time of the missing aircraft were infact genuine and from Earhart. Had the right technology and equipment like what we have today been available, it may have been possible to pinpoint the location of the crash site.
Meanwhile, waiting to be rescued, Earhart and Noonan might have survived as castaways on the remote and uninhabited island of Nikumaroro in Kiribati, probably surviving on fish, shellfish and turtles and collecting rainwater for drinking. Will the latest expedition provide closure to the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart? The world will be watching very closely.