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The Mysterious Vanishing of Amelia

A picture and an archaeological excavation could answer some questions of her disappearance

She captivated the world and then she made it cry. Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, on July 24, 1897. From a very early age she was captivated by the world of aviation, a world that was only owned and controlled by men.

In 1920, she attended an air show in Long Beach, California. She took a short plane ride, 10 minutes that changed her life forever. In 1928 Amelia became the first female who was part of a crew who crossed the Atlantic. She wanted to do it in the right seat, but she couldn’t due to “gender restrictions” at the time.

She took the chance on the same adventure on her own 4 years later. Against all odds and adverse weather conditions she became an international hero, setting up seven women’s speed and distance aviation records.

Her dreams were bigger than the Atlantic, and 5 years later, in 1937, Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan started a 29.000 mile journey around the world. After a communication received on the 2nd of July at 8:43 a.m., her voice disappeared for ever.

New evidence

A picture of Amelia and Noonan in Marshal Islands, when they were under Japanese administration, could be evidence that they hadn’t lost their lives in a crash. The “History Channel” in a recent documentary based all their research on this picture, using facial recognition and body comparison. The researchers found “striking similarities” that made them “very confident” that Earhart and Noonan ended up in Japanese custody rather than were dead. They are also looking for a 170 page document from the National Archives on Earhart where this was recorded, but it has never been found.

The photo shows a Japanese ship, Koshu, towing a barge with something that appears to be 38-feet-long — the same length as Earhart's plane.

For decades, locals have claimed they saw Earhart's plane crash before she and Noonan were taken away. Native schoolkids insisted they saw Earhart in captivity. The story was even documented in postage stamps issued in the 1980s. click here for more information

Forensic evidence

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) and the National Geographic Society starting an investigation to get forensic evidence that reveals the true story. According to previous evidence, they suggested that Earhart couldn’t find Howland Island and they performed an emergency landing 670 km away from their destination. They suggest that Noonan died instantly but Earhart survived a few days. She made fires and she tried to collect fresh water from plants but she couldn’t survive. Members of NatGeo and TIGHAR visited the island and they established a search perimeter using 4 dogs. One by one, they pointed out the same spot on the island, a tree where they think she died. No human remains were found.

They took some ground samples which were taken to confirm any DNA presence but according to the archaeologist Fred Hiebert, the conditions were not favourable due to the tropical weather characteristics of the island.

The search continues, Amelia was not only an adventurer but an inspiration for hundreds of women who are now flying on the left seat.

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