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  • June 1st, 1937, the living legend and  so-calledQueen of the AirAmelia Earhart  

  • is met with raucous fanfare at Miami's  municipal airport. She's already become  

  • the first woman to fly non-stop solo across  the Atlantic, and now with her navigator,  

  • Fred Noonan, she's going to try and become  the first woman to circumnavigate the globe

  • She climbs into her twin-engine  Lockheed Electra and looks to the side;  

  • her husband is waving in the distance, with  a look of joy and trepidation on his face.  

  • As the media takes snaps and the crowd jostles to  get a better look, she fastens down the hatch and  

  • starts the engines. She signals to have the wheel  chocks removed and minutes later the plane is in  

  • the air. Next stop, San Juan, Puerto Rico, over  a thousand miles away, and then the world beyond

  • Except somewhere on her journey, she, her  navigator, and every single part of that  

  • plane disappeared. She got much farther than  Puerto Rico; she almost fulfilled her dream,  

  • but something happened. The question is, whatHer disappearance has become one of the great  

  • unsolved mysteries of modern times. Was she captured by the Japanese?  

  • Did she become a castaway and die a slow and  painful death? Did she disappear on purpose,  

  • change her name, and become someone elseor did she simply crash into the ocean,  

  • for her plane and her body never to be seen again? Some of our younger viewers might now be thinking,  

  • who was Amelia Earhart? Well, she was only  the most famous female aviator of all time  

  • who not only broke records but became an almost  mythical figure. She was the inspiration for  

  • movies and books; she was a trailblazer who defied  expectations, who greatly impacted the equal  

  • rights movement, and whose grit and daring earned  the praise of the president and the public alike

  • If she was taken captive, she would certainly  have been a catch for her captors. But first,  

  • let's look at how she got into doing things the  people of the times didn't expect women to do

  • She was born on July 24, 1897, to a fairly  well-off family in the city of Atchison,  

  • Kansas. Her mother was a great influence  on her, telling Amelia and her younger  

  • sister that they should not act like good  little girls as their friends did. They  

  • could do what they wanted, be who they wanted. As a child, she loved to explore, go rat-hunting  

  • in the local town, and play a bit harder than  other girls did, which got her the reputation  

  • for being a bit of a tomboy. At age seven she  took her first flight, a painful one at that.  

  • She flew from the roof of a shed inside a wooden  cart she and her uncle had made. Bruised and a  

  • little bit broken, she got out of the box and  said to her sister, “It's just like flying!” 

  • Life had its up and downs, but throughout her  teens, Earhart never faltered from the path of  

  • wanting to do stuff only men seemed to do. One of  those things was flying, but then World War One  

  • got in the way. After seeing injured soldiers  when she was visiting her sister in Toronto,  

  • the 23-year signed up to volunteer at a hospital. A year later, in 1918, she was nursing people to  

  • health who had come down with the Spanish Flu. She  herself got pneumonia and other health problems,  

  • which led to a lengthy stay in hospital and  later at her sister's home. What did she do  

  • with her downtime? She read, and she readlot, especially about mechanical engineering

  • An audacious pilot was in the making. When she was better, she got the  

  • opportunity of a lifetime when in California  she came across the flying ace Frank Hawks.  

  • He offered to give the young woman a ride in  his aircraft, to which she said, yes, yes,  

  • yes. She later said about that experience, “By  the time I had got two or three hundred feet off  

  • the ground. I knew I had to fly.” And by God, did she fly

  • She trained. Ser cut her hair short so as  not to attract too much attention from all  

  • the male pilots. She even slept in her leather  aviator jacket to make it look worn out like all  

  • the men's jackets. In short, she became a pilot  and a good one at that. By the time she was 25,  

  • she set a world record for flying at an altitude  of 14,000 feet (4,300 meters). A year later,  

  • she was given her pilot's license, becoming  only the 16th woman in the US to get one

  • Ok, so in 1927, the world-famous Charles  Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo  

  • across the Atlantic. Earhart saw that and thought,  “I want to do that.” But first, people wanted to  

  • see a woman do the same trip as a passengerThe PR people started thinking about who would  

  • make a suitable passenger and they came up with  one Amelia Earhart. On June 17, 1928, at age 31,  

  • she got in a plane with pilot Wilmer Stultz. Together they did the trip and Earhart now  

  • found herself being something of a celebrityBut when they landed her face did not denote  

  • much happiness. When asked how she felt she  said, “I was just baggage, like a sack of  

  • potatoesmaybe someday I'll try it alone.” We'll fast-forward quite a few years now and  

  • tell you that this woman became a household  name. She got married, she promoted aviation,  

  • especially for women, and she became the first  woman to fly solo across North America and back,  

  • among other records that she set. Then in 1932, she did exactly what  

  • Mr. Lindbergh had done. She flew solo across  the Atlantic. She set off from Newfoundland  

  • in a Lockheed Vega 5B and 14 hours, 56 minutes  later she landed in Ireland close to a farm. A  

  • laborer on that farm ran up to her plane and  asked had she come far, her response was,  

  • From America.” He was more than a bit surprised. It was after that she became even more of a  

  • celebrity, even becoming a favorite of First Lady  Eleanor Roosevelt. But there was one more mission  

  • to accomplish. That was to become the first  woman ever to circumnavigate the entire globe

  • This is where things get dark. Suffice to  say, back then this was some risky venture

  • On March 17, 1937. She made her first attempt  with navigator Fred Noonan and Harry Manning.  

  • The latter was a skilled navigator but alsodab hand at operating a radio. As you'll see,  

  • Manning could possibly have ensured  we wouldn't be telling this story

  • The trip didn't go as planned. The flight left from Oakland,  

  • California, and later landed in Honolulu, HawaiiWhen it took off from there on its way to a small  

  • island in the Pacific, things went wrong. Some  people said on the take-off the tire had blown,  

  • but others said there had been some pilot  error. Whatever happened, the plane was in  

  • a serious state of disrepair. It was over. For the second trip, and this is important,  

  • Manning declined to go. He felt too many  things had gone wrong the first time. This  

  • judgment saved his life...well, possiblyif you believe Earhart and Noonan died

  • They were now without a skilled radio operator. The two of them took off from Miami on June 1,  

  • 1937, and as you know, lots of people were  there to wave them off. They sailed through  

  • the first part of the journey, making stops  in South America to refuel. They did the  

  • same in Africa, in the Indian subcontinent  and they also stopped in Southeast Asia

  • When they arrived at Lae, New Guinea, on June 29,  1937, they'd already circumnavigated much of the  

  • world. They'd traveled 22,000 miles (35,000 kmand only had another 7,000 miles (11,000 km) to  

  • go over the Pacific. Their next stop would  be Howland Island, a tiny place pretty much  

  • smack in between Hawaii and Australia. The termthe middle of nowherecouldn't  

  • be more suitable. Nonetheless, the US had builtsmall landing strip there and that's whereEarhart  

  • could refuel. The Japanese bombed the island a few  years later, but that's a story for another day

  • Anyway, so Earhart and Noonan were in good  spirits and ready to leave New Guinea.  

  • Close to Howland island, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter  called the Itasca was waiting to guide them down  

  • safely onto the landing strip...The  crew would be waiting a long time

  • That day the skies were thick with cloudsIt wasn't a good day for flying. On the way,  

  • they had radio transmission problems and it  was known that they only had just enough fuel  

  • to make the journey. At some point, the Itasca  lost contact with the plane for the last time.  

  • That was it. They were gone. For the next 80  plus years, people would be asking what happened  

  • to that plane. Why was none of it ever found? It wasn't as if an incredibly big search mission  

  • wasn't undertaken. We are talking about the most  famous female pilot ever, a celebrity that was  

  • known and loved by people in the US and beyond. So what are the facts we do know

  • At one point during the journey, everything was  going fine. Earhart communicated that she was  

  • flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet, but she said  the clouds were thick so she said she was going to  

  • reduce her altitude. Two hours later, she reported  that she was flying at an altitude of 7,000 feet

  • We also know there were some problems with  radio communication from the plane to the ship.  

  • When Earhart was just 200 miles (320 km) away  she radioed the ship and said get ready for us.  

  • That ship was using something called a direction  finder, which is a technology that uses radio to  

  • direct a plane. Noonan by the way had earlier  doubted how well this technology worked

  • Basically, how it does work is two radio  transmitters connect from two vehicles,  

  • in this case, a ship and a plane. So, by  doing this, they know how far away they are  

  • from each other. What's important, thoughespecially in this case, is that the ship  

  • and plane are on the same radio frequency. It's also said Earhart was not very familiar  

  • with the direction-finding system. One thing for  sure is, while she kept using the radio so her  

  • plane could be detected by the ship, the ship  itself at times couldn't find the plane's 3105  

  • kHz frequency. The radio guy on the ship said  later that he wassitting there sweating blood  

  • because I couldn't do a darn thing about it.” But, the plane was so close at that point. In  

  • the last call they received from Earhart  she said she thought they were only 100  

  • miles (160 km) away. This is one of  the last things she said on the radio

  • ITASCA WE MUST BE ON YOU BUT CANNOT SEE  U BUT GAS IS RUNNING LOW BEEN UNABLE TO  

  • REACH YOU BY RADIO WE ARE FLYING AT A 1000 FEET.” The next call also said that the plane was almost  

  • at the island, but they weren't sure of their  position. Earhart couldn't hear what the ship was  

  • saying, so she requested for Morse Code. A message  was sent and Earhart received it, but she said she  

  • still wasn't able to get a position on the island. There were more problems with the radio and then  

  • there was silence, although, and this  is important, claims were made that they  

  • received a signal from the planepossibly as it landed somewhere

  • Some of those signals seemed to lead in the  direction of a place called Gardner Island  

  • (now Nikumaroro island), which wasn't too  far from Howland island. It's thought they  

  • could have also landed on other islands knowing  that if they didn't their fate was in the ocean

  • Ok, so here are some interesting  and later some outlandish theories

  • A massive search operation ensued, with the  U.S. Navy and Coast Guard for months going over  

  • 250,000 square miles of ocean, not to mention  all the spots nearby where it was thought the  

  • plane would have crashed. They found nothing. As you know, some radio signals pointed to the  

  • possibility that the plane landed on Gardner  Island. This place was uninhabited, although  

  • humans had lived there in the past. The US Navy  flew over the island and reported that there were  

  • no signs of life, but was there a possibility that  Earhart and Noonan had become real-life castaways

  • This is what the report said after looking over  the island, “Here signs of recent habitation  

  • were clearly visible but repeated circling and  zooming failed to elicit any answering wave from  

  • possible inhabitants and it was finally  taken for granted that none were there.” 

  • But it also said this about a lagoon,  “Given a chance, it is believed that  

  • Miss Earhart could have landed her aircraft  in this lagoon and swum or waded ashore.” 

  • It was believed she wasn't there. Then  in 1940, the Brits landed on that island  

  • and there they found a human skeleton. They were  believed to be male bones, but unfortunately,  

  • those bones were later lost. Still, precise  measurements were made of the bones. That  

  • crew also found a shoe and a sextant boxwhich is navigational equipment. One of the  

  • officers said this about the bones, “The  bones look more than four years old to me  

  • but there seems to be a very slight chance  that this may be remains of Amelia Earhart.” 

  • Then in 1989, theGroup for Historic Aircraft  Recoveryended up on the island. After exploring  

  • the place, it concluded that someone could have  lived there. They analyzed the measurements of  

  • the bones that were found there and concluded  that they were from a European woman of the  

  • same height as Earhart. Later, anthropologists  from the University of Tennessee also analyzed  

  • the measurements of the bones. In their  statement, they wrote that the boneshave  

  • more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent  of individuals in a large reference sample.” 

  • This has also been questioned, not debunkedhowever. It's been an ongoing argument for years

  • It was later discovered that the sextant box  is believed to have come from the USS Bushnell  

  • that was in the area after Earhart went  missing. In 2019, a bigger ocean exploration  

  • took place and that didn't find any of  the missing wreckage of Earhart's plane

  • That's the castaway theory. But what about the  bones of Noonan, or what about the plane? It  

  • would have had to have crashed in the ocean  with only Earhart making it to the island.  

  • That's certainly a long shot. You should also  know that as well as the US Navy doing searches,  

  • Earhart's husband sponsored searches of all  the nearby islands and nothing was ever found

  • What if they landed in the  Japanese-held Marshall Islands

  • The Japanese could have thought they were  spies. The theory goes that this happened and  

  • the Japanese tortured and killed them. It could  be the reason that the plane was never found

  • They could have possibly made it there with  the fuel they had but only if they'd flown  

  • directly there. That's unlikely, but then  there was a woman interviewed many years  

  • later who said she'd seen Earhart and  Noonan being executed by the Japanese.  

  • In recent books, other Marshall Islanders  were quoted as saying they saw the two  

  • in the hands of the Japanese. Then in 2017, a documentary came  

  • out calledAmelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.”  It talks about a photo that really exists that  

  • shows two people that look at Earhart and Noonan  on the islands. That photo has since been credited  

  • to a Japanese travel guide that was published  in October 1935, so it couldn't have been them

  • Ok, so what did happen to that plane? Well, there was the theory that Earhart  

  • was a spy for Franklin D. Roosevelt. We know he  liked her, but that theory was just a silly rumor

  • Possibly the strangest theory is that Earhart  and Noonan flew off together into the sunset  

  • and disappeared on purpose. That theory goes  that Earhart somehow survived the flight and  

  • changed her name to Irene Craigmile BolamWe don't even know what happened to Noonan

  • It's proposed that she became a wealthy banker  from New Jersey under that name. But why on  

  • Earth would she have done that, is the question  you might ask? Well, in 1965 a man called Joseph  

  • Gervais was asked to speak at an event for retired  pilots. One of Earhart's friends introduced him  

  • to Bolam, and when he met her, he said he knew  right then that she was the real Amelia Earhart

  • He started to research her past and still thought  she was Earhart. Then, more research led to the  

  • publication of the book, “Amelia Earhart Lives.”  This led to a lawsuit, but people didn't give  

  • up. When Bolam died in 1982 a researcher asked  to take fingerprints of her. This was denied

  • Criminal forensic experts have since said the  women weren't the same, but that hasn't stopped  

  • more writers from saying this is not true. Bolam  might have had an uncanny resemblance to Earhart  

  • and even flown planes, but prior to Earhart going  missing, Bolam had been married twice and had had  

  • one kid. How could Earhart have lived two lives? We'd like to tell you what happened to Amelia  

  • Earhart, but the fact is, she is likely going  to be on the missing person's list forevermore

  • Now you need to watch, “Did Pan Am Flight 914  Really Land 37 Years Later.” Or, for a very  

  • different kind of disaster story watch, “Plane  Crash Leads To Unbelievable Survival Story.”

June 1st, 1937, the living legend and  so-calledQueen of the AirAmelia Earhart  

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Proof That Amelia Earhart Actually Survived

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    Summer posted on 2021/04/07
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