Amelia Earhart Search Renewed

A strange image on a photo from 1937, showing what could be the landing gear of Amelia Earhart’s plane, has jolted new life into the mystery of the trailblazing aviator’s disappearance.

Here’s a blurb from the story that ran on NPR:

Ric Gillespie, executive director and founder of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), told All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block earlier today that “this latest piece of information …. gives us the information we need to do the search we’ve long wanted to do … an underwater search for the wreckage of Amelia’s plane.”

In the photo, he said, “there’s something that shouldn’t be there… sticking up out of the edge of the water” and it looks to some experts like it might be a piece of her Lockheed Electra. It was taken from the air just months after Earhart disappeared, over a tiny island called Nikumaroro. That’s the island where some other evidence — including bone fragments — has been found that leads Gillespie and his colleagues to think they might have the right place.

I like this story. I particularly like the statement given by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in connection with this announcement:

“Amelia Earhart may have been an unlikely heroine for a nation down on its luck,” Clinton said, “but she embodied the spirit of an America coming of age and increasingly confident, ready to lead in a quite uncertain and dangerous world.”

“I’m thrilled to invite to this room today scientists and engineers, our aviators and our salvagers and everyone who still knows how important it is to dream and to seek,” Clinton added, according to a State Department transcript, “because even if you do not find what you seek, there is great honor and possibility in the search itself.”

Experts associated with the Earhart Project believe that Amelia Earhart and aviator Fred Noonan landed, and eventually died, on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati. The hunt will resume with an underwater search in July, 75 years after Earhart became, as the Earhart Project puts it, “America’s favorite missing person.”

Pretty apropos that Hillary got in her two cents worth on this topic, don’t you think? You can read the full text of the NPR story here.

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