On July 2, 1937, Amelia Mary Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan departed the Lae Airfield in Morobe Province, Papua, New Guinea, in her Lockheed Electra 10E plane. She was embarking on the last leg of a 29,000-mile “Round the World” trip, which was scheduled to conclude when she landed at Howland Island, in the South Pacific. However, as reported by World History Project, Earhart, and her plane, vanished approximately 800 miles into the flight.
The details about Earhart’s last flight remain controversial. However, World History Project reports it is widely accepted that there were several “misunderstandings or errors” that contributed to a lack of communication to and from Earhart during her final approach to Howland. The communications, which were already sparse and difficult to understand, eventually ceased and the plane was declared missing.
As reported by National Geographic, the Coast Guard and Navy worked together to locate any sign of the missing plane. However, after two weeks, the United States government declared Earhart and Noonan lost at sea. The official report states the plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean after losing communication.
Although Earhart was declared dead in the weeks following the disappearance of her plane, a recently discovered photo suggests she may have actually survived the crash. As reported in 2017 by CNN, two people in the photo, which was taken in the Marshall Islands, resemble Earhart and Noonan. Some people also believe part of Earhart’s plane is visible in the photo.
Amelia Earhart's fate remains a point of controversy
As reported by CNN, the photo, and new theories about Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, were featured in a History Channel documentary titled “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.”
The photo, which was discovered by former US Treasury Agent Les Kinney, was in the National Archives for decades prior to its discovery. CNN reports a facial recognition expert compared the photo to known photos of Earhart and Noonan. The expert concluded Noonan and the man in the photo had a similar hairline, teeth, and nose. He also concluded that Earhart and the woman in the photo had similar torso measurements.
Some witnesses claimed they saw Earhart and Noonan alive after the plane disappeared. The sightings, along with the newly discovered photo, lend credibility to theories that Earhart and Noonan survived a crashed in the Marshall Islands, and were ultimately captured by the Japanese. However, there is no tangible evidence proving those theories are true.
As reported by CNN, Dorothy Cochrane, curator for the Aeronautics Department at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, said the photos, and the theory about the Japanese capture, are “interesting” but “not definitive.” Cochrane said she prefers to believe Earhart “had more of a quick exit via a crash … rather than capture by the Japanese.” Although she admitted the photos are intriguing, they are not enough to convince her that Earhart and Noonan survived the crash.
The mysterious photos was probably taken two years before Amelia Earhart vanished
The mysterious photo, which has been touted as proof that Earhart and Noonan survived the plane crash, was likely taken two years before the pair vanished. As reported by CNN a couple of weeks later in 2017, Matt Holly and another blogger found the same photo in a Japanese book titled “Naval Life Line; The View of our South Pacific: Photo Album of Southern Pacific Islands,” published in 1935.
Holly does not dispute that the photo was taken on a dock in the Marshall Islands. However, in Holly’s opinion, the photo was obviously taken before Earhart and Noonan vanished.
By 1937, the Marshall Islands were heavily occupied by Japan’s military. However, in his interview with CNN, Holly noted, “There is not a Japanese person on that dock. If it was 1937, there would be Japanese soldiers there.” Holly also said the person in the photo, who some have suggested is Amelia Earhart, is actually a man. In his opinion, the person “has an upper body group of a man.
As reported by CNN, representatives with The History Channel confirmed they are looking into Matt Holly’s claims in an effort to provide viewers with historically accurate information.
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