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Whatever Happened to Ameila Earhart?

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  • #16
    Amy Johnson

    Hi Holly Dolly,

    Amy Johnson was a British aviatrix who flourished in the same period as Earhart did, but her achievements were centered more in Britain and it's empire (turned Commonwealth) than Amelia's (which were anchored in the U.S. and it's dependencies). She lived a bit longer than Amelia, dying in 1941 when she became a casualty of World War II. While working as an auxiliary in the British Air Force (she did what they termed "Taxi Duties" at home - taking cargos and personnel around the British Isles), she was killed in a crash. However the full story is still murky. Like many of the deaths in World War II (Leslie Howard, Glenn Miller, General Sikorski, Joseph Kennedy Jr.) much is still classified. From bits and pieces of what we know, Amy survived the crash of her plane in the Thames Estuary, but was drowned. But what is still obscure are the details of delays in her last flight, and the possibility she had a male passenger with her who also drowned.
    An interesting account of her demise (and of her stunning flight career in the 1930s) is found in Alexander McKee's GREAT MYSTERIES OF AVIATION (New York: Stein & Day, 1982), which also has chapters on Sikorski, Joe Kennedy, and Earhart.

    Best wishes,

    Jeff

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    • #17
      Hello Mike Covell:

      Recently I saw a documentary where they found pieces of what they believe might have been her airplane and a woman´s shoe but they cannot prove that it was her airplane.

      Maria

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      • #18
        Hi Maria,

        I heard of those discoveries in the 1990s. I think they should have been looked more thoroughly, but there was not enough of that plane's item that was found to make a thorough connection to Amelia's Lockeed Electra.

        Jeff

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        • #19
          I am currently reading "Finding Amelia" by Ric Gillespie. It is supposed to be the definitive book on her disappearance. Not biographical at all. It focuses entirely on her flight, her disappearance and the search for her. So far a little on the dry side but incredibly well documented.

          c.d.

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          • #20
            http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEdescr.html

            This site describes intense surveying and excavating of Gardner Island, and strongly suggests that that is where Amelia and Fred Noonan crash-landed when they ran short of fuel and were effectively lost. The suggestion is that they survived the crash, shortly after which the Electra was tide-washed out to sea, but died due to food- and water-shortage. Certain artifacts that have been found support this hypothesis, but there is no absolute proof.

            Graham
            We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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            • #21
              Hi Graham,

              Thanks for that link. Very interesting reading. The author of the book that I am reading (Ric Gillespie) is the founder of TIGHAR.

              He is of the apparently generally accepted opinion that Earhart had only average piloting skills at best.

              c.d.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Graham View Post
                http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEdescr.html

                This site describes intense surveying and excavating of Gardner Island, and strongly suggests that that is where Amelia and Fred Noonan crash-landed when they ran short of fuel and were effectively lost. The suggestion is that they survived the crash, shortly after which the Electra was tide-washed out to sea, but died due to food- and water-shortage. Certain artifacts that have been found support this hypothesis, but there is no absolute proof.

                Graham
                The description of the research into the bone fragment, supposed to be perhaps a part of a finger from Amelia Earhart seems iffy at best. They don't even seem certain whether it is a human or an animal bone.

                Chris
                Christopher T. George
                Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
                just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
                For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
                RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

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                • #23
                  Hi Chris,

                  The theory that she died on Gardner Island was well in place before the discovery of the finger fragment. They thought it was a possibility that it perhaps came from Earhart which is why they tested it.

                  c.d.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by c.d. View Post
                    Hi Chris,

                    The theory that she died on Gardner Island was well in place before the discovery of the finger fragment. They thought it was a possibility that it perhaps came from Earhart which is why they tested it.

                    c.d.
                    Okay. Thanks, c.d.

                    Chris
                    Christopher T. George
                    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
                    just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
                    For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
                    RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      On the Tighar site is a movie of the Electra taking off on its final flight, and apparently its external HF radio aerial is seen to be knocked off by something on the ground. I think this meant that Amelia could send but not receive, which if true would certainly account for going off-track.

                      There are also stories of human bones and various artifacts and bits of metal being found on Gardner Island when the British were trying to establish an agricultural colony on it some time after Amelia's disappearance. But I don't think any of these were positively connected either to Fred or Amelia or the Electra.

                      A perplexing mystery which I doubt will ever be solved.

                      Graham
                      We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        As I mentioned before, I am reading a book on Amelia's disappearance. The book talks about a 15 year old girl in St. Petersburg, Florida who claims to have heard a call for help from Amelia on her father's short wave radio. There was a lot of static and the words were very hard to hear and they also faded out completely from time to time. She recorded everything in a notebook. There is evidence that what she heard may have actually been from Amelia. One of the things she wrote was "George (husband George Putnam)...get the suitcase in my closet...California." That is certainly very strange coming from someone supposedly calling for help. However, the author found a letter that Amelia had written to her Mother a couple of years prior in which she instructed her Mother to burn the documents she had stored in a suitcase kept in her closet in her house in California. That letter did not become public till many years later which certainly lends credence to the girl's story.

                        c.d.

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                        • #27
                          That Tighar is a good group of people who are well respected and work diligently on many cases of missing airplanes.

                          I remember seeing on CNN and then a video that Tighar did that sealed the deal for me.

                          On Gardner they found a metal jar for freckle cream along with a pocket mirror and a button from a flight jacket. Since this island was in the middle of nowhere and uncharted at the time, there would have been no way a contemporary lady would have found herself on the island with those items. All of the items are recorded in Earharts inventory as well. With the location of the island that did it for me. I remember something about them having huge ..like giant crabs on that island that would have done away with the bodies in a day. If I remember right, these crabs could easily carry a human skull and not break a sweat. To me, this is better evidence then the bone fragment.

                          I am typing from memory so don't quote me on everything but its pretty well documented.

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                          • #28
                            Here is a link to the finding of the freckle cream jar:

                            http://abcnews.go.com/US/anti-freckl...ry?id=16475584

                            c.d.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Best book on AE's disappearance (IMO)

                              Greetings from a newbie to Casebook; I've been reading for a couple of months now.

                              I've read all of the major books about the Earhart disappearance, and IMHO the only one that makes any sense is _Amelia Earhart: the mystery solved_, by Elgen Long and his late wife. Long is a long-time Pacific commercial pilot with a great deal of experience in pre-GPS navigation and shortwave communications. The Longs gathered a considerable amount of primary source material and boiled it all down into a book. (Which is now widely available used via online vendors--that's how I've been gathering JtR books the last few months.)

                              One finding: Earhart and the _Itasca_ were using different time zones; the Longs collated a great many witness statements to clarify what happened when, removing one source of confusion. And Long also explains very cogently how truly bad (sorry, Amelia) Earhart's radio protocols were, and her appalling inability to use her brand-new on-board RDF (radio direction finder.) She tried it on a test flight, was unable to use it, and ignored the problem rather than resolving it before the flight.

                              Long's conclusion is that the Electra ran out of fuel and went into the water very near Howland Island. It seems obviously correct to me; AE was stressed and very low on fuel, and just before contact was lost (splash), was so close to the Itasca (by the strength of her radio transmissions) that people went on deck to see if they could hear or see the plane.

                              For Gardner Island to be the landing zone, you'd have to assume that AFTER she was so close to Howland, she made a turn and flew another couple of hours, finding Gardner after missing Howland, WITHOUT ever telling the Itasca by radio that she was doing so. This is too improbable (IMO) to be the case. She also could not have transmitted from Gardner unless she landed on the beach and still had fuel to run the plane's engine with the generator--very unlikely. And the girl who claimed to hear AE: shortwave listening was a popular pasttime in the Thirties and people worldwide were listening on AE's published frequencies, but this girl is the ONLY person who reported hearing this particular transmission.

                              And just saying, I've got suitcases in a closet in my home and I bet a bunch of you do, too. That doesn't mean that any of us are AE. And shortwave radio direction finding is largely useless outside of ground-wave or direct line-of-sight distance; any farther and the signal is being reflected off one or more layers of the atmosphere. (I've got >45years of shortwave communications experience myself and vouch for this.)

                              Seriously, read the Longs' book if you're interested in the AE disappearance; I find it unassailable and very convincing.
                              --Oscar the Casebook newbie

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                              • #30
                                G'day Oscar and welcome to casebook.

                                Yes Longs conclusions are at least logical, however the mystery remains, if correct where are the remains.
                                G U T

                                There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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