AMELIA EARHART MYSTERY:
CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS 75th ANNIVERSARY
OF EARHART'S LAST FLIGHT.
Re-analyzed Radio Signals
Say Top Earhart Mystery Buffs.
Jun. 1-3, 2012:
On the 75th Anniversary of the start of Amelia Earhart's last flight -- her attempted round-the-world flight in 1937 -- a weekend conference was held in Washington, D.C. by TIGHAR -- "The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery" -- an organization specializing in studying Earhart's disappearance.
Pioneer Kansas aviator Earhart (the world's most famous woman of her time) -- and her navigator Fred Noonan -- were attempting to top her many aviation records and firsts by becoming the first people to fly around the world "the long way" -- around the middle of the globe, roughly straddling the equator.
On the one of the last, and longest, legs of the journey -- the first-ever 2500-mile
flight from New Guinea to Howland Island, across the vast South Pacific -- the duo apparently ran out of gas within a few hundred miles of their destination, and disappeared. Neither were ever seen again, despite a massive naval and air search.
The 75th Anniversary TIGHAR conference included reports by various researchers, including TIGHAR Executive Director Ric Gillespie and Bob Brandenburg, who analyzed and evaluated records on various radio signals that were
reportedly heard on many parts of the globe at the time of the disappearance -- including some that the TIGHAR researchers now believe were mistakenly overlooked, or erroneously dismissed as hoaxes.
If correct, the analysis could reinforce TIGHAR's assertion that Earhart and Noonan missed Howland Island, and most likely landed on a reef of uninhabited Gardner Island, many miles away -- where their plane was then washed off the reef, and sank into the sea, leaving Earhart and Noonan, stranded, to die as lost castaways.
A photo (at right, click to enlarge) taken of the reef at Gardner Island, during the 1937 search, was recently analyzed by TIGHAR, who noticed a tiny, blurry image of an object projecting from the water, which TIGHAR resarchers believe may be a landing gear leg from the missing plane.
TIGHAR plans another of its various expeditions to the region, and is raising money for the effort, with hopes of some chance of arranging for deep-sea probes that can plumb the vast 17,000-foot ocean depths around Gardner Island in search of the wreckage of Earhart's airplane, a Lockheed Electra.
(The Electra was the last Lockheed design overseen by Kansas aviation pioneer Lloyd Stearman, who was Lockheed's president in the mid/late-1930s.)
Additional items, found on Gardner Island, have been held forth as possible indications that Earhart and Noonan were once there, but are inconclusive.
Critics caution that human artifacts on Gardner (Nikumaroro) are possibly the product of the various tiny groups of people who have, over the last 150 years, temporarliy inhabited the island -- ranging from south-sea native fishermen, to shipwreck survivors, to World War II sailors, to temporary colonists -- or may simply have been washed ashore from distant places.
Critics also note that the radio signal information is mostly old news, and TIGHAR's motives for its "news" and "findings" are somewhat suspect, because its existence is largely attributable to its ability to stimulate public interest in the Earhart disappearance mystery.
Nevertheless, the world's greatest disappearance mystery -- surrounding the last days of the most famous of all Kansas women, the most famous female aviator of all time -- remains one of the world's most popular and intriguing unsolved mysteries.
MORE... (with pictures, from
MSNBC.com & Discovery News)
TIGHAR 75th Anniversary Conference
TIGHAR -- "The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery"
Amelia Earhart's Story...
(Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum,
Return to the EVENTS & NEWS PAGE
FOR MORE INFORMATION,
Kansas Aviation Centennial Committee
Richard Harris, Chariman,