Loss of Amelia Earhart : An American Mystery : 2 July 1937
Loss of Amelia Earhart : An American Mystery : 2 July 1937 Eighty-years ago, the famous woman aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were lost on a 2,000-mile flight from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island on the trans-Pacific portion of her attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
Her disappearance resulted in the largest U.S. Navy search since the disappearance of the tug Conestoga in 1921. The aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2) was dispatched from San Diego, along with her air group and escorts, to spend several weeks searching the remote (and poorly charted, and therefore dangerous) waters in the vicinity of tiny Howland Island. Earhart most likely ran out of fuel while trying to locate the island and crashed at sea.
However, given Earhart’s fame (and political connections at the highest levels), her disappearance is arguably considered one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time, and all manner of conspiracy theories and alternative hypotheses have been advanced to explain what happened (and which have sold countless books).
There is, however, no credible evidence that she was on any kind of spy mission of Japanese-administered islands on behalf of the U.S. government, although many have tried to make that case.
The fuel capacity of her aircraft and the distance off-track of the Japanese Mandate Islands make it virtually impossible that she would have deliberately gone so far off course (in the dark, no less), nor is it likely that she could have ended up there after missing Howland Island (450 nautical miles in a tangential direction).
There is some intriguing new information that outside researchers are working on that may soon become public, which suggests she somehow ended up in Japanese hands, but I remain highly skeptical given the fuel/time/distance issues involved.
Loss of Amelia Earhart : An American Mystery : 2 July 1937 Written by US Navy Admiral Samuel Cox