by HB Auld, Jr.
Today is a significant anniversary in American flight history. “Eighty-five years ago today on July 2, 1937, the Lockheed aircraft carrying American aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan left Lae, New Guinea. The pair were attempting to fly around the world when they lost their bearings during the most challenging leg of the global journey: Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island, a tiny island 2,227 nautical miles away, in the center of the Pacific Ocean.
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca was in sporadic radio contact with Earhart as she approached Howland Island and received messages that she was lost and running low on fuel.” (The History Channel)
Throughout the almost one century since Amelia and Fred were declared lost, various hypotheses have been offered, most of them eventually proven as either false or unlikely.
The most likely answer to the flight is offered up by Mike Campbell, a world-renowned Earhart researcher and expert. His three books on her last flight all detail her ditching her Lockheed Electra 10E airplane in the Marshall Islands near the Mili Atoll, where she was captured by the Japanese and taken to the island of Saipan.
More than 100 eyewitnesses, including US Army and Marine Corps military members and many Saipan natives, have detailed Amelia and Fred’s imprisonment in Garapan Jail on Saipan and their subsequent execution by beheading by Japanese soldiers. Her aircraft, which was seen by Soldiers and Marines on Saipan, some of whom eventually rose in the ranks to General, was eventually burned and it and Amelia and Fred were buried under what is now a large airport tarmac there.
The conclusion to their flight was even revealed to a world-famous CBS reporter, Fred Goerner, by no less than US Navy Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. The cover-up of her final flight by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the US Government is greatly detailed in Mike’s blog and books.
For much more on the final flight of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan that began eighty-five years ago today, see Mike Campbell’s web blog: earharttruth.wordpress.com and his excellent most recent book, Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last. That book is more than 400-pages long with hundreds of footnotes, photographs, and eyewitness accounts to the end of this daring pair of aviators.