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Thread: Amelia Earhart, 39, 1937

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    Post AP diary adds clue to Amelia Earhart mystery


    It's the coldest of cold cases, and yet it keeps warming to life. Seventy years after Amelia Earhart disappeared, clues are still turning up. Long-dismissed notes taken of a shortwave distress call beginning, "This is Amelia Earhart...," are getting another look.

    The previously unknown diary of an Associated Press reporter reveals a new perspective.

    A team that has already found aircraft parts and pieces of a woman's shoe on a remote South Pacific atoll hopes to return there this year to search for more evidence, maybe even DNA.

    If what's known now had been conveyed to searchers then, might Earhart and her navigator have been found alive? It's one of a thousand questions that keep the case from being declared dead, as Earhart herself was a year and a half after she vanished.

    The extraordinary new info is at this link:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070331/ap_on_re_us/search_for_amelia



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    What an amazing story. I have been captivated by the disappearance since I was a little girl. Thanks for this.

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    I read the article in the newspaper a day or so ago and was very intrigued. I came away with the impression that had people been aware that Amelia was truly lost, a more intensive search might have been conducted in the area where she last reported being.

    The article mentions the heel from a (possible man's) shoe was found, as well as an woman's entire shoe. Since this is an island where the natives did not wear shoes, it is intriguing to speculate where these items came from.

    I think someday this mystery will be solved once and for all.

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    Amelia Earhart, 39, 1937

    I have searched this site for a thread on Amelia Earhart and cannot find one. I find this hard to believe! Earhart's disappearence is the most famous cold case and tantalizing missing persons case in history and I thought for sure I would find a thread about her.
    It is possible she just crashed but there is a lot of theory's that she went down in the Marshall Islands and was captured by the Japanese and even speculation she was on a special top secret mission under FDR to 'crash' in the Marshall Islands and gather info. 2 teens with transistor radio insist they heard Amelia's distress calls the day after she disappeared. One of those people was still alive when the below article was written and she still insist on what she heard. At the time she had written it down in a note book and her father contacted the Coast Guard. Considering some of the artifacts that have been found on Gardner Island it seems plausible they crashed but survived for awhile.
    As far fetched as some of these theories may get I find her disappearence fascinating.
    Please point me in the direction of a thread about her on here if there is one and I shall delete this.

    http://www.ameliaearhart.com/home.php

    http://www.tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEoverview.html

    http://www.livescience.com/history/0...p_earhart.html

    http://www.tighar.org/TTracks/12_2/logjam.html Itasca Logs
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    I am so glad you started this!!!!

    i will dive in to discussion as soon as I have finished packing and moving, lol...

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    I've always been fascinated about Emilia's disappearance, would love to know what really became of her.

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    tighar.org is the best resource for Amelia. They have spent years, including visits, to possible sources of her disappearance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trino View Post
    tighar.org is the best resource for Amelia. They have spent years, including visits, to possible sources of her disappearance.
    I am going to check out that site.

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    Wow, so there really wasn't a thread for Amelia. I thought for sure someone would be like, old news here's the thread.

    tighar.org has a TON of information. Very interesting.

    The History Channel had a special on about her disappearence over the weekend which is what re-sparked my interest. I am excited to hear people's theories and sources of information. Can't spend much time right now - American Idol is on!
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    Not much discussion from me. I've followed tighar.org for years, and I think they've been serious in all their searches and are "right on" with theories about Nikumaroro. I note that tighar has changed it's format a bit, allowing people to discuss ideas.

    One thing that surprised me, however, from what I've read about Amelia is that she may not have been the best woman flier but the publicity generated by her husband made it seem so.

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    I am so glad someone started this. I just wrote an englsih paper on her. i have always wanted to know what really happened to her since I was a kid.

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    I also tend to go with the Nikumaroro theory. The discovery's they have found there are pretty convincing. In 2007, TIGHAR went back and found a lighter, a zipper and snaps, and most intriguing an AMERICAN pocket knife.
    The cover-up, sealed documents, etc that ensued suggest to me not some top secret mission but rather the Coast Guard trying to protect themselves from the mistakes which were made that day. The incidences of mis-communication are amazing. The Itasca broadcasting on the wrong frequency, using morse code when Amelia made it clear she didn't know morse code, etc.
    Eventhough I find Nikumaroro the most compelling I can't ignore the 'eye-witness' accounts that came out of the Marshall Island, Saipan and other locales in Japan. As we know, eye-witness accounts are not the most reliable but these people obviously saw people they believed could be Earhart and Noonan. They can't all be lying. But, of course, they could all be mistaken.
    Is it possible they landed at Nikumaroro, were there for a few days and then picked up by the Japanese? I know Niku was Britain's territory and it seems a little out of the way but......
    From http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question...cy/q0299.shtml - much longer article but I have just included the part about them possibly being taken prisoner.

    Other evidence that Earhart and Noonan ended up as Japanese prisoners comes from residents of various islands administered by Japan and US servicemen who served in the Pacific during the war. Many researchers have maintained that if Earhart could not find Howland Island, a contingency plan was to fly northwest to the Marshall Islands held by Japan. Natives of the Marshalls and the island of Saipan in the Marianas much further west have told tales of two American aviators, a man and a woman, being held there around 1937 to 1939. While it is virtually impossible the Electra could have flown all the way to Saipan, it is conceivable that Earhart and Noonan landed on or near the Marshalls and were brought to Saipan.

    One of the most popular of these theories claims the Electra crash-landed at the Mili Atoll where, after several days, its crew was picked up by a Japanese fishing boat. The flyers were then taken to another island, probably Jaluit, where Noonan received medical treatment for cuts received in the crash. The two were moved again to Kwajalein and ultimately imprisoned at Saipan. In 1960, a woman named Josephine Akiyama who had lived on Saipan came forward suggesting she had seen two Americans being held on the island in 1937. Four other native women also told stories of a thin foreign woman with short hair cut like that of a man who was on Saipan around the time. They said the woman had been a pilot who was captured spying after her plane crashed to the south. Additionally, some of the women remembered excitement about an aircraft with a broken wing being transported aboard a Japanese ship. The natives also said the foreigner was kept under guard and looked sickly. They went on to suggest that the woman was either killed or died of illness and was buried on the island.
    These stories caught the interest of a CBS Radio correspondent named Fred Goerner who traveled to Saipan in the 1960s looking for evidence to solve the Earhart mystery. While some 50 residents claimed to remember two American aviators, no official documentation of their presence could be located. Goerner hired divers to search Saipan's harbor for aircraft wreckage, and although some was found, it was from a Japanese plane and not the Electra. Goerner also looked into rumors from a US serviceman who said he was shown graves of the two flyers while stationed on Saipan in 1945. Although bodies were uncovered, they did not match those of Earhart or Noonan. Another US soldier who served on the island even claimed that he watched as fellow Americans destroyed a Lockheed Electra stored in a Japanese hanger at Saipan's airfield. Perhaps Goerner's most extreme contention is that US servicemen recovered the pair's bodies which may still be in the possession of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He also maintained that some of his theories were confirmed by no less than Admiral Chester Nimitz who commanded the US Pacific Fleet during the war. Despite the lack of success finding compelling evidence placing Earhart and Noonan on these islands, at least ten other expeditions to the Marshalls and Marianas have continued to seek clues to the fate of the famous flyers. One of the most recent was to the island of Tinian just south of Saipan. A US Marine named Saint John Naftel who was stationed on the island in 1945 says he was shown two graves where the Japanese had supposedly executed and buried Earhart and Noonan. Archaeologist Jennings Bunn tested the theory by organizing an excavation of the site, but no remains of any kind were found. Additional excavations have been conducted elsewhere on Saipan near locations where rumors suggest the aviators were held, but no trace of their remains have been found. Still other rumors place the pair on the island of Truk (now called Chuuk) or at a prisoner of war camp in the Philippines, China, or mainland Japan.
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    From what I've read, the TIGHAR people make a pretty compelling case for the Nikumaroro theory. My problem with the Japanese-capture theory is this: it would have taken an ironclad conspiracy of huge size. If as "they" say FDR knew about it when it happened, why has nothing turned up, even with all the efforts since the 80s to discredit his presidency? Then if there was no political conspiracy, evidence would certainly have been collected after the war and occupation of the Mandates. All the "evidence" we have is third-hand and conveniently omits such things as photos, aircraft parts, specific locations, etc.

    Problem with "secret" conspiracies is, someone usually speaks up. Until that happens convincingly, I'm going to have to relegate the capture theory to the Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

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    Sure, iconoclast I agree. I am just looking at different theories that have become prevalent over the last few decades. You make a good point regarding the efforts in the 80's to discredit FDR - if he was involved it would have most likely come out then.
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    This is a facinating case.
    And there are some compeling theories.
    Although I think If I had to pick one I think they probably did simply run out of fuel and take it in to the ocean though it wouldnt surprise me if one day the wreck is found.
    Wouldnt that be something,

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    Bumping!
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    Did u guys see the Unsolved Mysteries on Amelia Earhart? It was really interesting. There was this guy who was in the army. He says they arrived on this island that had been inhabited by the Japanese during part of the war, and he found all of these flight documents about Amelia. He showed them to his commanding officer who right away started yelling to have them BURNED. Right than and there. And supposedly he was told to NEVER tell anyone about them. Welp, he did eventually tell Unsolved Mysteries. A woman who was living on the island at the time, told Unsolved Mysteries the two of them were picked up and believed to have been spies. When neither of the crew revealed any secrets, they were believed to have been lying. She directed these people to where she believed Amelia was killed. No bones were found, but a blindfold was, and the woman had said that Amelia was blindfolded when she was killed right at that spot.

    Interesting... Very Interesting. Another person from an island close by said when he was a child, he and his friends played in the water in an airplane that had gone down in that water. They hadn't seen bodies, but they said they used to climb on the plane that had crashed in that water.

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    I have seen that before but i can't find it on UM website now.

    THe theory that Amelia and Fred ditched and ended up on Marshall Islands has been a prevailing one. Some people believe they really were spies working for FDR but that is the least viable theory, imo.

    I do tend to think they survived the initial crash. In the TIGHAR files they document the radio signals that went out in the days following the disappearence and those are pretty compelling.

    Since overview of the the 3 prevailing theories:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...iaearhart.html

    Hilary Swank is playing Amelia in a new movie. Hopefully it will be done well. I saw pics from set and Hilary really does look like her once she is in 'costume.' Amelia was a very striking, attractive woman - I could actually see someone like Cate Blanchete playing her but oh well.
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    I just read the story from the link you sent. Wow. Very interesting. Thank you.

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    http://www.tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEoverview.html

    It wasn’t until the summer of 1997, months after the expedition that found the campfire, that a file was found in the national archives of the Republic of Kiribati in Tarawa which confirmed the legend as historical fact with sixteen pieces of official British colonial correspondence. Human remains, the sole of a woman’s shoe, a Benedictine bottle, a campfire and other artifacts were indeed found on the island in 1940 at a site which fits the description of the one later found by TIGHAR. The Colonial Service officer in charge of the island suspected that the castaway who had died at the primitive campsite might have been Amelia Earhart. The bones and artifacts were sent to British headquarters in Fiji for examination and the matter was declared “strictly secret.” In April of 1941, an analysis of the bones by a physician concluded that the individual was probably a muscular middle-aged male of European descent, and that is where the matter appears to have ended. Later that year, other events in the Pacific overshadowed any remaining curiosity about an unidentified castaway on a minor atoll.

    With the war the findings of a man's remains wouldn't not have been that extraordinary but now looking back at the findings in the 40's it seems a good chance the evidence they found belonged to Amelia and Fred.

    I want to post the radio signals that were heard in the days after the crash that are believed to be Amelia trying to get help. I will have to dig around for it.
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    Diary of AP reporter who followed Amelia and was there at ISTASCA was found in 2007. This article talks about the distress calls heard.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,263087,00.html
    Meanwhile, several shortwave radio listeners as far away as the U.S. mainland were picking up the faint voices of a woman and a man, sending apparent distress calls. And both the Itasca and a New Zealand cruiser, HMS Achilles, reported what seemed to be Morse code "dashes."

    Among reports of voice messages, two from teenagers using shortwave antennas rigged by their fathers were most disturbingly credible.
    In Rock Springs, Wyo., Dana Randolph, 16, heard a voice say, "This is Amelia Earhart. Ship is on a reef south of the equator." Radio experts, aware that "harmonic" frequencies in mid-ocean often could be heard far inland, viewed the report as genuine.
    Turning the shortwave dial in St. Petersburg, Fla., 15-year-old Betty Klenck was startled to hear a woman say, "This is Amelia Earhart Putnam," followed by pleas for help and agitated conversation with a man who, the girl thought, sounded irrational.
    Having heard Earhart's voice in movie newsreels, she had no doubt that it was her.
    "In my mind, a picture of her and what she was saying lasted for years. I remembered it every night of my life," Betty Klenck Brown, now 84 and widowed, said in a recent telephone interview from her home in California.
    The man, she recalls, "seemed coherent at times, then would go out of his head. He said his head hurt ... She was trying mainly to keep him from getting out of the plane, telling him to come back to his seat, because she couldn't leave the radio.
    "She was trying to get somebody to hear her, and as the hours went by she became more frantic."
    Betty listened for nearly two hours, taking notes in a school composition notebook as the signals faded in and out. They ended when the fliers "were leaving the plane, because the water was knee-deep on her side," she said.
    She believes she may be the last living person to have heard Earhart's distress calls.
    Her father, Kenneth, who also heard the voices, contacted the Coast Guard at St. Petersburg, but was brushed off with assurances that the service was fully engaged in searching for the fliers, she said. "He got mad and chucked the whole thing because of the way he was treated."
    Both teenagers' accounts would support TIGHAR's premise that Earhart crash-landed on Gardner's flat reef at low tide, was able to run its right engine to power the radio, and escaped the aircraft before tides eventually carried it off the reef into deep water.
    On July 18, 16 days after Earhart and Noonan disappeared, the Navy and Coast Guard ended what the AP called "the greatest search ever undertaken in behalf of a lost flier." To justify the official finding that the Electra was lost at sea, the government dismissed the radio distress calls as hoaxes or misunderstandings.
    Betty Klenck Brown's response today: "I know I am right."
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    As I recall, a review of the 1940's report on the remains (conducted in '98 or '99 I think) indicated that the remains were in fact those of a tall female of European descent. The evidence found by TIGHAR on Nikumaroro is intriguing, to say the least. The shoe sole is known to be of similar size to that worn by Amelia, and is of brand she is believed to have worn (from photographic evidence). Much has been made of the sheetmetal found on the island, and I recall experts on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries stating that the rivet pattern did not match that of any area on an Electra. However, Amelia's plan had been modified, not to mention hastily repaired after it crashed on take-off from a repair stop at Pearl Harbor.

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    Hi Gaia227! I did not notice this thread until today. I have been a fan of Amelia since I read a biography about her when I was in the 1st grade. The book was not very big and the bio was brief but it was enough to get me hooked. I live in KS and when I found out that she spent a large portion of her life at her grandparent's in Atchison, KS I was really hooked. My parents took me to see her gp's home, library, etc. She has been a role model for me (not that I was as adventurous as Amelia) most of my life. I have read books and followed the stories of the recent development of the mystery off and on. I am just thrilled you started this thread and I look forward to reading all of the posts and links provided here to try to get up to date on this unsolved case.


    JUSTICE FOR TRAVIS

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelgal View Post
    Hi Gaia227! I did not notice this thread until today. I have been a fan of Amelia since I read a biography about her when I was in the 1st grade. The book was not very big and the bio was brief but it was enough to get me hooked. I live in KS and when I found out that she spent a large portion of her life at her grandparent's in Atchison, KS I was really hooked. My parents took me to see her gp's home, library, etc. She has been a role model for me (not that I was as adventurous as Amelia) most of my life. I have read books and followed the stories of the recent development of the mystery off and on. I am just thrilled you started this thread and I look forward to reading all of the posts and links provided here to try to get up to date on this unsolved case.

    I look forward to hearing your input as you have followed her life and kept up with her disappearence.

    I was looking at a big picture of her today and was struck at how stunning she was. Judging from the pics it appears she was very tall.

    She is a very interesting woman regardless of her mysterious end. She was a real trailblazer in aviation and more importantly in what was acceptable for a female in the 20's and 30's. She did not let convention keep her down. I have a lot of respect for her. She was definitely her own woman.
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    Ham guy here...

    I find it pretty very that some kids in the Rockies or Florida would be picking up Earhart's distress call. Why?

    She was broadcasting at 50W, and using a V-type antenna (i.e. "rabbit ears")

    If I want to send a message to you locally using 50W, I could use a cheap antenna to broadcast, though it wouldn't be very efficient. It's especially inefficient because Earhart would have wanted to broadcast in all directions, since she was lost, so the energy from her transmitter would be spread out. The V-type is good at receiving, but not so good at transmitting.

    Also, Earhart would have wanted to make sure her signal was picked up locally, i.e. by Navy ships and other possible rescuers. The way you position your antenna is different (and also the frequencies you use, but that is another matter.) Think about it this way: if I wanted to send a radio transmission to (say) Europe on limited power, I need to have my signal bounce off the ionosphere at some point between here and Europe, and back down. That means I need to effectively point my antenna 'up'. But that also means that my signal wouldn't get picked up between those points.

    Earhart and Noonan knew enough about radio to make sure that the signal was picked up locally. Sending it to a far-off land would only do them good if someone was listening on that particular frequency, at the time they were broadcasting.

    Second, the frequencies that Earhart and Noonan were using are HF frequencies (which is what you want for long-distance communications) but at the time were allocated for aviation-only use, and it's unlikely that some kids would not only have the equipment to change the tuning frequencies on the radio (probably a crystal change back then), but also modify their antenna so it could pick up transmissions ON that frequency (yes it matters, my antenna is fine for some transmissions and lousy for others), and at the right angle to the sky to hear them. Oh, and they'd have to know what frequency she was using, or be "in the right place at the right time."

    It's far more likely that the kids either lied or someone was playing a trick on them.

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