Metro Classifieds View all
- 27-year-old Pakistani male seeks job in sales and marketing. Has 4 years of experience. Has a valid UAE driverâ€™s licen...
- Professional data recovery services available. We recover data from crashed, deleted, formatted hard drives and all othe...
- Personal and auto loan available. Get loan for your personal needs or to buy a new or used car. Call or simply text - â€...
- Secure yourself as well as you family. Worried about your existing investments? Free consultancy is available. Call 0529...
- Personal loan/car loan available. Get your dream car in one day only. Requires a salary of Dh3,000. Personal loan requir...
- MKM Movers available for services. Houses, villas, offices and flats. Professional export packing. All furniture dismant...
- Bombastic offer for website design starting from Dh399 + free hosting. Call Noor at 0563740110....
- Appropriate software for your business. We find, evaluate, modify, create and support software specifically to your requ...
- Personal loan available with no salary transfer or bank statements. Minimum salary requirement is Dh5,000 only. Fast app...
- Experienced document controller seeks full-time job. Has excellent communication and administrative skills. Call 0567597...
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
|Source: Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group|
The disappearance of Amelia Earhart still perplexes the world
Amelia Earhart vanished 75 years ago, and her fate still perplexes the world - so much that a $2.2 million expedition is underway to solve the mystery. What happened to this internationally acclaimed pilot?
In the face of a mystery or lack of evidence, the imagination tends to fill in the gaps itself. We seem to have an innate need for finality, for a full, clear picture - a need that finds us preferring wild conjecture to the questions in our heads. Such is the case with the disappearance of early aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan. It's not enough to suppose that somewhere in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean lies a Lockheed Electra two-seat airplane that may only be found by sheer chance, if at all.
This leaves too much room for doubt, and a mystery has developed in the 70 years since she vanished. To some, Amelia Earhart was an American spy sent to carry out espionage against the Japanese, who caught and executed her. (Actually, the Japanese aided the search effort in the days following the disappearance.) To others, she survived the mission and was forced to become Tokyo Rose, the infamous war time radio personality. Perhaps the most bizarre conjecture is that she secretly returned to the U.S. and assumed the identity of Irene Craigmile Bolam, a wealthy and worldly woman who lived as a New Jersey housewife. This is, of course, not to mention the alien abduction hypothesis.
Even those who take more scientific approaches to the Earhart disappearance tend to maintain a certain fervent dedication to uncovering her final whereabouts. Numerous private expeditions have been carried out in the decades since the US Navy called off its search in the weeks after she vanished in July 1937. Despite the use of increasingly sophisticated sonar to scour the ocean bottom and modern archaeological techniques to comb tiny islands, the fate of Earhart and Noonan remains undetermined. This isn't to say that no evidence has been uncovered.
On July 2, 1937, Earhart and Noonan departed Lae, Papua New Guinea, for the longest stretch of their bid to be the first to circumnavigate the globe along the equator. Their destination was Howland Island, a 2.4 by 0.8 kilometres atoll rising a mere six meters from the South Pacific. They had around 11,265 kilometres left in their journey; this 24-hour flight to Howland covered about 4,023 kilometres. After they abandoned every unnecessary item aboard the plane, they still had only just enough fuel to make it to Howland. There could be no margin for error, and to ensure their safety, a Coast Guard cutter Itasca tracked them using radio and two additional ships were employed to serve as markers along the route.
Navigator Fred Noonan tried to use celestial navigation to find his way, but the skies were overcast during the stretch. The pair fell out of radio contact with the Coast Guard. After dawn, the Itasca picked up a transmission from Earhart. She said that by Noonan's reckoning the plane should be just over them. The Itasca was moored just off Howland Island, but Earhart said their fuel stores were running low. An hour later, another radio transmission came from Earhart: "We are running north to south," she said. That was the last transmission. Nothing more was ever heard from Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.
By the time she took her last jaunt, Earhart was an international heroine. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a massive search for Earhart by the US Navy, covering some 647,497 square kilometres of ocean - and spending $4 million in the midst of the Great Depression - to find evidence of her fate. Howland Island and the surrounding sea were scoured, yet no wreckage was discovered. It was as if Earhart and Noonan simply vanished into the mist. Once attention turned from Howland Island in the years to follow, however, possible clues to the disappearance of Earhart and Noonan would begin to turn up.
Toward the end of Navy search for Earhart in 1937, a destroyer was sent to an uninhabited atoll called Gardner Island, now known as Nikumaroro. Radio transmissions on the frequency Earhart had been using were being broadcast sporadically from that area. After two observation planes launched from the ship turned up no evidence of human life, the search of the island was called off.
Perhaps that would have been the end of the association between Earhart and the island, had it not been colonised by the British a year after her disappearance. In 1940, Gerald Gallagher, the lead official on the island, discovered evidence that a castaway had inhabited the island before it was colonised. Among the finds were the sole of a woman's shoe, a man's shoe, a liquor bottle, a container for a sextant (a navigational device), a human skull and bones.
These findings have led to many groups to see Nikumaroro as the key to unlocking the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. One of these groups, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, has launched several investigations of the island and turned up some interesting finds. Small pieces of bottle that show signs of use for cutting and sawing have been found. At an area on the island known as the Seven Site, something that appears to be a castaway camp has been found. Giant clam shells fragments suggest the shell was smashed open. A cache of bones of turtles, fish and birds display evidence of having been exposed to fire. In the remains of the village on Gardener (which was left uninhabited once more in 1963 after a long drought), crafts made by residents out of aluminum aircraft metal were left behind.
The idea that Earhart's aiplane broke up upon contact with the ocean and ended up used piecemeal for island handicrafts hasn't deterred some explorers from searching for the plane in the depths of the Pacific. Expeditions using sonar have focused on areas around Howland Island looking for the plane. To this day, it has never been found, nor have any pieces of metal been identified as parts from it.
With the so many pieces of evidence - including human remains - why has the mystery of Amelia Earhart still not been solved?
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to discovery has been the vast area that searches must encompass to undertake a concerted effort to find Earhart's plane. After combing a quarter of a million square miles of ocean immediately following the disappearance, the Navy yielded nothing. Later searches have focused on smaller areas, but ones that are still massive, often on the order of 2,590 square kilometres. Because of the loss of radio contact during the flight and overcast skies making celestial navigation impossible, no one is certain exactly where Earhart's plane went down.
The marine topography of the areas makes finding anything difficult as well. The atolls in the Pacific rise up suddenly from the depths and are surrounded by steep shelves that lead to the ocean floor.
Human error has also helped thwart the search for definitive proof. The remains found on Gardner Island were lost after they were examined in the early 1940s. Now that DNA matching could definitively prove or disprove the bones as Earhart's, they're no longer accounted for and no sample can be taken.
It's possible that the mystery of Earhart's disappearance may be solved in the future. As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, what are now small shards of glass or a piece from a giant clam shell might become definitive proof later on. It's also possible that Earhart's plane remains intact. An hour before their last transmission, Earhart told the Coast Guard she and Noonan were flying at a low altitude, around 304 metres. At around 161 km/h, the Lockheed Electra could conceivably have maintained its integrity.
If so, then the plane may still be in perfect shape, preserved in the oxygen-deprived depths of the South Pacific. In a silent and dark grave it may lie in wait to yield its secrets and end the mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance.
Add a comment
Comments submitted on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual/s whose content is submitted. CMM accepts no responsibility for the content of comments, including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.