Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sad End for Heroic Icon Turned Castaway

It has been 79 years since legendary female aviation icon Amelia Earhart went missing on her ambitious around the world flight with her navigator Fred Noonan. Over the years there had been many speculations as to what became of her and her famous Lockheed Electra. Some had speculated that she crashed into the sea while other suggested that she died as a prisoner of Imperial Japanese Forces in the South Pacific during WWII. Neither is true and the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has sought to prove that. TIGHAR has recently revealed a new theory based on evidence found on Nikumaroro Island. A skeleton recovered there in 1940 was initially ruled out as that of the iconic flier on the grounds the British Doctor at the time ruled to be that belonging to a male castaway. Using photo comparisons and Earhart's own measurements, TIGHAR has concluded that the recovered skeleton was indeed female. Other items such as a shattered mirror from a woman's compact, beauty products from the 1930's suggest that a woman had been on the remote atoll which had no drinkable water. Clam shells and the bottoms of bottles were laid out to collect rain water and it is likely that the bottled were used to boil drinking water. It is commonly believed that Fred Noonan did not survive long after the crash. What became of his remains is unknown. 
In 2012, TIGHAR announced that a photo taken in 1937 by a British Survey team showed the landing gear of what is believed to be a twin engine plane flipped upside down to be that of Earhart's Lockheed Electra. While this photo had been seen many times, the photo checked by U.S. State Department experts determined the component in the picture is the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra. Further evidence revealed that Earhart made over 100 distress calls in 1937 but no airline at the time responded. There are records of bon fires on the island at that time. TIGHAR now believes that Amelia Earhart survived weeks if not months after the crash but ultimately starved to death or died from dehydration. TIHHAR's executive director Ric Gillespie told CNN: "We believe she survived heroically, and alone, for a period of time, in terrible circumstances. History needs to tell her story right." We at American Mishima could not agree more. 
Godspeed Amelia Earhart. Godspeed.

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