Amelia Earhart search renewed with new photographic evidence

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Amelia Earhart stands as one of the most intriguing mysteries of the 20th century.  In 1937 her plane disappeared as it flew over the central Pacific Ocean.  Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were never heard from again, but fascination with their vanishing persists to this day.

Earhart was an important icon for America in the 1930s.  At a time of severe economic depression she was a symbol of hope and ambition.  She was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and pioneered the career of women aviation.  Among setting records in aviation history she was also a best-selling author for books she wrote about her experiences flying.

“After midnight the moon set and I was alone with the stars. I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, and I need no other flight to convince me that the reason flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the esthetic appeal of flying.”- Amelia Earhart

An elegant writer, she also encouraged girls to pursue careers that may not be traditional for women at the time, especially aviation.  She was a key part of an organization for female pilots called the Ninety-Nines and even took a position as a visiting faculty member at Purdue University.  From these positions she was able to counsel women on careers and inspire them.  Earhart was a proud member of the National Women’s Party and eagerly supported the Equal Rights Amendment from its early stages.

Many myths and speculations fly around the disappearance of this incredible woman. There are conspiracy theories that she was a U.S. spy and was captured on the island of Japan where she may have remained during the duration of WWII.  There are also historians who believe that the Lockheed Model 10 Electra that the female aviator piloted simply crashed into the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, making it practically untraceable.  More hopeful conclusions that have been draw are that Earhart was able to land the plan on a small, remote island and even survive for a period of time.

The resurrection of Earhart in the media spotlight comes from the new analysis of a photo which researchers speculate could possibly contain the image of landing gear of an aircraft protruding from the waters off the island of Nikumaroro.  In July, 75 years after her disappearance,  scientists from  The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) are journeying to the island to look for wreckage of the Lockheed Electra as well as perhaps the remains of the famous aviator and pilot.  Previous visits to the island before the photo was discovered have resulted in the discovery of objects that may have belonged to Earhart and Noonan, keeping those involved in the new search hopeful.

Experts have hypothesized that the photo, taken a short amount of time after the disappearance, may show the plane’s wreck crashed on the reef surrounding the island.  In the time that has passed the plane would have washed into deeper waters nearby.  This new evidence has the capability to narrow the search from an impossible tens of thousands of miles radius to something more manageable.

Hillary Clinton is in full support of the search and lending her high profile status to the new research.  She has been giving statements voicing the opinion that the spirit that Amelia Earhart embodied could be exactly what a modern United States needs.  As the day of the expedition draws gradually nearer the nation will watch and hopefully keep the words of Hillary Clinton in their minds.

“She embodies the spirit of an America coming of age and increasingly confident, ready to lead in a quite uncertain and dangerous world.  She gave people hope and she inspired them to dream bigger and bolder.”


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