Tags: amelia earhart | theory | castaway

Amelia Earhart Latest Theory Recasts Her as Just a Castaway

Amelia Earhart Latest Theory Recasts Her as Just a Castaway

Amelia Earhart, Los Angeles, 1928. (Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Friday, 16 September 2016 03:23 PM

Amelia Earhart's latest disappearance theory puts the famous 1930s aviatrix back stranded on a Pacific island after she and navigator Fred Noonan crashed there while attempting to fly around the globe.

The theory by Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, recasts Earhart as simply a castaway instead of the victim of all sorts of other mishaps and conspiracies.

Gillespie posted a YouTube video of a presentation he made to The Collider in Asheville, North Carolina. On it, he pitches the idea that Earhart and Noonan ended up stranded on Gardner Island in the western Pacific Ocean.



Gardner Island, also known as Nikumaroro, is part of the Phoenix Islands, according to the website Atlas Obscura. Part of the Republic of Kiribati, the island is a coral atoll 4.5 miles long, 1.5 miles wide and is part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.

Earhart, who was attempting to become the first woman to fly around the world, and Noonan were never heard from again after radio contact was lost July 2 while they were flying from New Guinea to tiny Howland Island, according to History.com.

Gillespie, a pilot and accident investigator, said he has taken 11 expeditions to the island and is trying to make another trip, noted the Washington Post.

"We've been testing this hypothesis for 28 years," Gillespie said. "This supposed new theory is actually the oldest theory. We found a tremendous amount of support for it."

Gillespie pointed to Earhart's radio signals asking for help that some investigators believe originated around the Gardner Island area, reported the Post. He said a photo taken from a 1937 British expedition of the island showed part of the landing gear from Earhart's plane in a reef there.

"On an uninhabited island, there shouldn't be anything sticking up out of the water," Gillespie said, adding that professional radio operators heard 47 messages believed to be from Earhart.

Earhart and Noonan may have survived on small fish, seabirds, turtles and clams, and used rain as drinking water before dying on the island, noted the Post, but the theory has been met with doubters.

Elgen Long, a former U.S. Navy combat pilot who has investigated Earhart's disappearance for nearly four decades, told the Post in 2014 that he believed Earhart's plane crashed and sank within 100 miles of Howland Island.

"You'll never convince true believers that they aren't right," said Long. "You’re just confusing them with facts. …The inescapable conclusion is that shortly after 0843 IST, Earhart was forced to ditch the plane somewhere within 100 miles of Howland Island."

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Amelia Earhart's latest disappearance theory puts the famous 1930s aviatrix back stranded on a Pacific island after she and navigator Fred Noonan crashed there while attempting to fly around the globe.
amelia earhart, theory, castaway
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2016-23-16
Friday, 16 September 2016 03:23 PM
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