Like a grand cinematic screenplay, a $2.2 million expedition is hoping to solve one of America’s most enduring mysteries: What happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago? The sober anniversary of this event has sparked renewed interest in this most cold-case of investigations.
Here are the facts. Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were flying from New Guinea to Howland Island, when they went missing on July 2nd, 1937 during her bid to become the first woman to fly around the world. Her demise has since fascinated generations of historians, feminists, and aviators.
Today, a group of scientists and salvagers are trekking from Honolulu to the remote island in the Pacific nation of Kiribati in hopes of finding wreckage of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra plane offshore. Their theory is she landed on a reef near the Kiribati atoll of Nikumaroro. Previous visits to the island have recovered artifacts that could have belonged to Earhart and Noonan; and experts say, an October 1937 photo of the island shoreline could include an image of the strut and wheel of a Lockheed Electra landing gear. This latest trip should last about a month, with ten days of searching and two weeks of traveling between the Pacific islands.
If the voyage succeeds, it could add to Earhart’s legacy, and could spark state-of-the-art programs similar to the Titanic documentary specials airing yearly on the History Channel; and even a motion picture starring, say, Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslet. Don’t think a bio-pic script isn’t in the works in Hollywood, I'm guessing.
As they say, bulletins as they break… We’ll keep you posted.
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