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Where Is Amelia Earhart?

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Where is Amelia Earhart?

Amelia Earhart is thought to be one of the greatest female pilots to have ever lived. Everyone has heard of the great Amelia Earhart, but not everyone knows where she is. The strangest part is that on July 2, 1937, Amelia and her co-pilot Fred Noonan disappeared without a trace. (Keko, Don. "What Happened To Amelia Earhart?" 1 Nov. 2009.) The resting place of Amelia's body has remained a mystery since, but recent research has proven that Earhart and Noonan crash-landed on an island in the South Pacific, called Nikumaroro.

Earhart was a self-directed, unafraid, independent woman who feared nothing. Amelia was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. Many people admired her persistence in everything she did, one of them an officer in the Royal Flying Corps. He invited her to come watch him fly his plane at Armor Heights Airfield. Not long after she fell in love with aviation and set her sights to flying. From then on she had dreamed of flying around the world. Earhart broke countless records on many occasions and lived for proving people wrong. When Amelia announced that she was going to fly her Lockheed Electra around the world no one believed she could do it.

Earhart then started making plans for her 27,000 mile solo flight that would take her from Oakland to Honolulu, across the pacific to New Guinea and Northern Australia, then via South Asia to Arabia and the west coast of Africa, across the South Atlantic to Brazil and then


back home. ("Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart." Professional Development Collection 1 Dec. 2010. EBSCO.) The plans for the big trip were coming together and Amelia decided to bring along Fred Noonan. Noonan was an expert in aerial navigation and had already crossed the Pacific eighteen times. Noonan was an expert in aerial navigation and had already crossed the Pacific eighteen times. (Long, Elgen M., and Marie K. Long. The Mystery Solved New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.)

On March 17, 1937, at 4:37 P.M., Earhart took off on her first leg of the world flight. The flight lasted sixteen hours and Amelia was terribly tired. A week later Earhart took off again, landing in Puerto Rico. After several months of smooth flying Earhart and Noonan knew the flight was going to be smooth flying. On July 2, Earhart and Noonan boarded the plane and started down the runway leaving Lae, an island north of Australia. Shortly after they were in the air, Earhart realized that her radio was not receiving messages. More than twenty hours after leaving Lae, Earhart and Noonan still hadn't reached Howland Island. At 8:43 AM, Earhart radioed, "We are on the line 157-337. We will repeat this message in 6210 kilocycles." (Lorenzi, Rosella. "Signs of Amelia Earhart's Final Days?" 3 June 2010.) About a minute later Earhart radioed again. "We are running on line north and south." That was the last time anyone would hear Amelia Earhart's voice. Earhart and Noonan were legally declared dead eighteen months after the disappearance. (Thompson, Paul. "Will Bone Fragment Finally Solve Mystery of What Happened to Amelia Earhart?" 18 Dec. 2010.)

Ric Gillespie, head of T.I.G.H.A.R. (The International Group for Historic Airplane Recovery) foundation, has been in charge of Amelia's disappearance for about several


years now. According to Gillespie, Howland Island is less than a mile long. The island is barely visible in overcast conditions and Earhart and Noonan were trying to find this island after flying all night long. At the time of this flight Amelia was unfamiliar with her newfangled directional gear and may have even broken her radio antenna during the flight. (McNeil Jr., Donald G. "The Sea Still Claims but Not for Eternity" The New York Times 13 June 2009.)It is said that Earhart and Noonan had to crash land on the island Nikumaroro because of low fuel.

Earhart and Noonan were forced to crash on the island going at flying speeds of closely 60 miles an hour. Earhart would have only needed about seven hundred feet of unobstructed space to land and slow the plane down. (Gillespie, Ric. Finding Amelia. Annapolis: International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, 2006.) On low tide Nikumaroro's reef is smooth enough that Earhart and Noonan wouldn't have had much trouble landing. Gillespie believes that Earhart's plane landed on the reef, just North of the wreck and was later broken up by the swelling surf. From here on out Earhart and Noonan were forced to live as castaways. Gillespie stated " We noticed that the forest can be an excellent source of water for a castaway. After



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