I think in Earhart's case it was her outspokeness regarding women being able to compete with men, and how flying was a great equalizer. That feminist edge gave her extra interest with her own generations, and the mystery of her disappearance (tied into whether she was spying for the U.S. against Japan) clinched it.
But the other names I listed were as deserving of remembrance as Earhart was. By just mentioning them I did a little bit to remind people they existed at one time...and accomplished great things.
I have a few unsolved mysteries books, and conspiracy books which more or less argue the aforementioned points. All of which sound suprisingly plausible.
I fear however that there is probably a mundane explaination for her vanishing.
This is one for Adam and Jamie at Mythbusters!!
I enjoy Mythbusters, too. But yes, you're very right there. It may be just people trying to make an extraordinary story.
Earhart has gotten tried of media publicity and she says, "Catch me if you can!" Well, we've been looking for her ever since! XD
I finally finished the biography of Earhart that I began last year (I kept putting it down when other matters occupied my attention). Again, the title is AMELIA: A LIFE OF THE AVIATION LEGEND by Donald M. Goldstein and Katherind V. Dillon (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 1997). It was an interesting book, and it certainly tackled the intriguing open ended question that will forever bother us all: what happened to Amelia and Fred on July 2, 1937.
They go over and dismiss all the main theories, about secret missions (one even suggests Earhart was spying for Japan, not the U.S.), and even the idea that Amelia and Fred got back secretly to the U.S. and lived into old age under fake names and identities (Amelia in New Jersey). More than likely they both died on July 2, 1937 when their plane crashed (out of gasoline) into the Pacific within 100 miles of Howland Island. The authors point out that Amelia made a critical error regarding proper radio transmission gear (she threw it off the plane to lighten the plane's weight for stretching the gasoline supply's effectiveness). But there were serious blunders between her and the radio tracking from the Itasca, Lae, Howland Island, and even Honolulu. Coast guard and navy tracking and wireless connections were a confused mess. One ends up thinking that Earhart and Noonan were lucky they got two thirds of the way around the world before the fatal crash.
It was a really dreadful end for them. But probably better than in the hands of the Japanese Kampetai on spy charges.
Did anyone else see the episode of CSI where Adam and Jamie were studying an experiment carried out by one of the CSI's with clipboards at the ready? They both gave a thumbs up after the explosion. I thought I was dreaming until I rewound the tape and watched it again.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze