This past Sunday, July 2, 2017, marked the 80th Anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart on her round the world flight. Today’s (July 5) news headlines have rocked the world, with a new possibility: Amelia Earhart is found? Or at least her fate is closer to being found.
NBC news broadcast a story on the Today Show that had the whole TV crew mesmerized. Let me say clearly, I don’t usually put a lot of stock into NBC (or other networks) reporting. It tends to be shallow and lacks substance and critical thinking. This may be an exception. One reason is that NBC is reporting a story that is being done by the History Channel, which is slightly more reputable than NBC http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amelia-earhart-may-have-survived-crash-landing-never-seen-photo-n779591 .
According to the story, a photo in the National Archives has been discovered from 1937 (the years of Earhart’s disappearance) that shows a Caucasian man and woman on a dock in the Marshall Islands. That in and of itself is not earth shattering. However, consider that the Japanese occupied the islands at the time and had driven out westerners, so there were virtually no Caucasians in the Marshall Islands in 1937.
In the photo there is a Caucasian man with his face towards the camera. He has a sharply receding hairline and a protruding nose. Earhart’s navigator (the only other crewman aboard the plane) was a man named Fred Noonan. He has a sharply receding hairline and a protruding nose. In my opinion, after having seen the photo in question, the man definitely looks like Noonan.
Amelia Earhart and Navigator Fred Noonan in 1937. This is not the National Archives photo in question.
The evidence for Earhart is not as convincing. There is a woman with her back to the camera. She is sitting and looking to the side. The entire face is not exposed. She is wearing pants and has a short bob haircut, Earhart trademarks, but this evidence is not convincing in and of itself.
Photographs can be doctored, but according the report, this photograph does not appear to be tampered with.
Other evidence that lends some credence to the story. Locals have long reported that some islanders saw Earhart and Noonan in Japanese custody and that she was taken away by a ship. The rumors are so strong that some commemorative stamps were produced in the 1980s, celebrating the story.
Additionally, a ship in the background appears to be towing a piece of machinery that is 38 feet long. The same measurement as the Lockheed Electra flown by Earhart.
Nikumaroro Island (FKA Gardner Island) long rumored to be the crash landing site
One word of caution. There are been NUMEROUS stories through the years about Earhart. Her bones have reportedly been found. Fragments of her airplane have been found, especially on Nikumaroro Island. A sole of a shoe have been found on Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner) Island. Never have these stories been completely verified, at least in my mind. Sometimes it borders on the “Elvis Sighting” level. I will say that this photo, if it is authentic, is some of the best evidence that Earhart may have survived, or at least Noonan.
For a full explanation of the round the world venture and all of the possibilities of what could have occurred, see Session 4 of Doctor Aviation. Take your Mind to Flight