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What Happened To Amelia Earhart?

Updated on June 1, 2011
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart | Source

In July, 1937 famous woman aviator, Amelia Earhart made an attempt to fly around the world near the Equator in her Lockheed Model 10 Electra. On July 2nd her plane disappeared and was never seen again. The plane was thought to have gone down nearHolland Island, as this was her next scheduled stop.

Earlier this year in March a plane was found at the bottom of the ocean in Papua, New Guinea off the coast of Bougainville. Divers have been sent down to explore the wreckage and found two skeletons and three boxes of gold bullion. Local businessman, Cletus Harepa is funding the exploration of the plane. According to Harepa, the plane was found by someone who was diving for fish. The remains have not been recovered as yet, so they have not yet been studied and confirmed as Amelia Earhart or her navigator, Fred Noonan.

The possible solution to this seventy-four year old mystery might be the beginning of another one. Why would Earhart have three boxes of gold on her plane when she had been so concerned about having the least amount of weight as possible on the trip? Lae was Earhart’s last stop before she and her navigator disappeared. It has been rumored that residents on Lae used female pilots to smuggle gold out of Lae on the PNG mainland in the 1930’s. Is it possible that Earhart’s navigator, Fred Noonan, (who was known to be an alcoholic) made this attempt to smuggle the gold without Earhart’s knowledge? And if this was the case, it could account for the fact that the plane went down.

Not everyone believes that the aircraft that was found is Amelia’s. American, Ric Gillespie is a leading expert on the Earhart mystery; and he has spent the past 22 years trying to locate her final resting place. “There is simply no way the Earhart aircraft could be anywhere near Papua New Guinea," he said.

Mr Gillespie believes radio transmissions and other evidence indicates Earhart landed on Nikumaroro atoll in the Central Pacific, where she and her navigator later perished from a lack of food and water. However, her plane has never been found there either.

At this point, it seems that part of this mystery might be close to being ing solved. Hopefully, DNA analysis will provide the truth as to who the people in the found plane are. If it turns out to be Earhart’s plane, it would be nice to finally be able to give Amelia the burial she deserves.


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    • Christine B. profile image

      Christine B. 6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Maybe soon we will finally find out the truth of what happened to her. :o)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Ah, yes, an everlasting mystery, indeed! What a sad fate for such a courageous lady!

    • cheerfulnuts profile image

      cheerfulnuts 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      It's sad and weird for someone to disappear just like that. I agree with you - this great woman deserves a burial. I hope people will eventually find her. Great hub!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Great hub. This is one of my favourite mysteries and it would be great to finally be able to put all the pieces together. Hopefully with our modern technology a few mysteries of the past might yet be solved. Really enjoyed this hub!