It is one of the greatest and long-lived mysteries of the skies, what happened to Amelia Earhart? Along with recent MH 370 aviation mysteries, Amelia’s last journey across the Pacific skies, on July 2, 1937, still fascinates. She may have crashed with copilot, Noonan, due to low fuel, and died on impact on a remote island. Or they could have landed and lived on for a while, or even been taken by Japanese soldiers.
Sorry, I’m just another writer trying to make sense of it all. But although I, like everyone else, have no definitive answer. Keep reading and you may learn something. If you love mysteries, like me, Amelia’s story is a treat.
Evidence Lost in Time
The problem in solving this aviation mystery is that evidence found years ago has vanished. With modern forensic technology, we could once and for all know if the skeletal bones found decades ago were hers. But someone lost them! Add to this the small shoe, alcohol bottle and even one claim of freckle cream jar. I mean who else on a remote South Pacific Island would need freckle cream? Parts of her plane, Elektra, were also reported found.
But just when this 84-year mystery trail seems to end with the crash and loss of the ill-fated aviators, somewhere near their destination of Howland Island, other theories arise to confound the issue. And very intriguing theories they are.
New Theories about Amelia’s Fate
In his compelling book, Earhart Enigma, Dave Horner, a thorough researcher of the mystery, offers the theory, along with evidence, that Earhart and Noonan survived a crash into the Pacific, miles off course near Saipan. This theory extends to Japanese soldiers capturing the two aviators.
Japanese troops were amassing on the islands preparing for their part in WWII. There is reference to a fascinating French message in a bottle, sent from a prison perhaps from Amelia. A Saipan woman now claims to have seen Amelia and Fred Noonan when she was 11 years old. She also asserts she witnessed their execution by shooting, but was sworn to silence by her family for fear of Japanese reprisals on the local people.
Was the Truth silenced?
To compound this theory is damning evidence and testimony that the radio logs on Howland Island seem to be false and point to a cover up of the true events of July 2,1937. The last link supplies interesting reading on theories of capture as well.
Which leads to terrible suppositions that US President may have known Amelia’s true fate, but because of military tension with Japan, chose to silence the truth. Why else would masses of vital US troops have been dispatched to the islands when they were needed elsewhere? Why put a 25-year classified document stamp on evidence available at the time of the crash?
Amelia, First Lady of the Skies
Whatever happened to Amelia, it does not lessen her achievements but, adds to the tragedy of her loss. A woman lost in time in a spiral of never-ending mystery.
Amelia’s legacy was to encourage other female aviators to enter what was then, a man’s world. She helped found, as their first president, the Ninety Nines, an organization that still exists for women pilots.
Amelia was the sixteenth woman to get a pilot’s license and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She broke seven distance and speed records in the early 1930s. A century ago, on Oct 22, 1922, she set a world record for female aviation in her bright yellow airplane called ‘The Canary’. She soared to 14,000 feet, the highest altitude for a woman. Amelia was the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to the American mainland. She disappeared in the Pacific while trying to circumnavigate the globe. It was July 2, 1937.
Amelia Earhart is an inspiration to all women who dare to dream and dream big. Societal limitations were not going to stop Amelia and they shouldn’t stop you. While still a child, Amelia displayed an adventurous and independent nature, yet she was not selfish. She cared for wounded soldiers in World War I, as a nurse’s aide.
In 1920, Amelia took her first flight in an aeroplane. She bought her first plane in 1921. In 1928, promoters were looking for the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Besides her piloting feats, Earhart was known for encouraging women to reject constrictive social norms and to pursue various opportunities. She encouraged other women to have big dreams. In 1933, she launched a functional clothing line, which was designed “For the woman who lives actively.”
Heedless of what happened to Amelia, she joins the ranks of women who were female pioneers who changed the world. Amelia did what she loved and loved what she did.
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Joni Scott is an Australian author with two published novels: Whispers through Time and The Last Hotel. She co-hosts an edifying women’s blog called whisperingencouragement.com with fellow author Wendy Tendys. Read many more interesting articles about women and for women on this site.