Whatever Happened to Amelia Earhart?
By Katy Chahal
Katy is Founder and contributing story writer at The WiAA Project
We have heard so much about Amelia Earhart, but what really happened to her? Her plane and her remains were never found leading to different theories and speculations behind her disappearance.
A brief on her and her background:
According to her trainer, Neta Snook, one of the first female pilots, Amelia’s enthusiasm and her naturalness added to her inclination towards adventurism. Amelia’s first taste of flying was when she first flew at a California Air Show, paid $10 for the flight and this became her inspiration to study as a pilot. In 1923 she received her pilot’s licence, becoming the 16th certified pilot in the world and became an inspiration to many. In 1932, she became the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic.
But unfortunately, she was never found when attempting to fly around the world at the equator. In June 1937, flying west to east, Earhart made it about three-quarters of the way along her planned route of approximately 30,000 miles and landed at Lae, New Guinea. For the next and most dangerous leg, she would have to fly to the middle of the Pacific and land on tiny Howland Island, aided by her navigator, Fred Noonan. Once they left Lae, there were problems communicating with them by radio. As Earhart neared where she thought Howland Island should be, she reported her plane’s fuel was running low and that she couldn’t find the island. The last she was heard from in the air was on July 2, more than 20 hours after takeoff. She and Noonan never arrived at Howland Island, and the massive search effort was finally called off after more than two weeks of searching.
So what really happened to her. No one knows! And it is unlikely we will ever find the answer to her disappearance. Her tragic end has led to speculations for decades about what actually happened to her. Some blame Japan, some say that she was on a spy mission for President Roosevelt, some say the plane simply ran out of fuel and that she could have landed on a reef in the middle of nowhere, where it was virtually impossible to survive. No solid proof of her or her plane has ever been found. Earhart still remains to date an inspiration for women in the world.
As TIME once put it “Earhart vanished into Legend”