Amelia Earhart And Her Disappearance

Amelia Earhart And Her Disappearance

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. Earhart openly defied traditional gender roles from a young age. She played basketball, took a course on auto repair, and shortly attended college. Earhart also served as a red cross nurse in Toronto, Canada during World War l. During this, she would spend time watching pilots of the Royal Flying Corps. Once the war had ended, she returned to the United States. She later enrolled at Columbia University in New York. Earhart started flying lessons with Neta Snook, a female pilot instructor. To pay for the flying lessons, Earhart got a job where she worked as a filing clerk for the Los Angeles Telephone Company. Later in 1921, Earhart had enough money to purchase her very own airplane, a secondhand Kinner Airster. She nicknamed her yellow airplane “The Canary.”


In December 1921, Earhart passed her flight test where she earned the National Aeronautics Association license. Two days after receiving her license, she went on her first flight exhibition at the Sierra Airdrome in Pasadena, California. Throughout her journey, Earhart set many records and accomplishments such as becoming the first-ever woman to fly alone above 14,000 feet and even becoming the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Later in 1932, she became the first woman to fly alone across the whole U.S., as well as becoming the first person to fly alone from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. She was also known for promoting opportunities for women. She placed third in the All-Women’s Air Derby, the first airplane race for women. Earhart helped form The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. 


In 1973, Earhart started her flight around the world where she flew a twin-engine Lockheed 10E Electra and flew with navigator Fred Noonan. They took off from Oakland, California, then flew to Miami, then toward South America, across the Atlantic to Africa, and finally east to India and Southeast Asia. On June 29 they reached Lae, New Guinea. Once they reached Lae they had flown 22k miles and still had 7,000 miles to go to reach Oakland.


During her flight around the world, Earhart had disappeared. She and Noonan had departed into Howland Island, and in their next refueling stop was the last time Earhart would be seen alive. They had lost radio connection and disappeared en route. After hearing nothing from Earhart and Noonan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a two-week search for them, but their bodies were never found. After complete silence, Earhart and Noonan were declared lost at sea on July 19, 1937. Scholars and aviation enthusiasts have come up with a lot of theories about what could have happened to the pair. The official theory declared by the U.S. government was that the pair had crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Many people believe that this could have been a “crash and sink,” meaning they believed that the airplane Earhart was flying ran out of fuel while in the search for Howland Island. Over the past years, many expeditions have tried to find the plane, but all of them have failed. In 2007, TIGHAR, which is The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, searched the sea where they speculate Earhart and Noonan could have been lost, but no sign of their bodies had been found.


TIGHAR also seems to believe that one of the pair could have potentially survived but died days later after being stranded on the island. Many theories have surrounded this incident, such as the theory where people believe that Earhart and Noonan were executed by the Japanese. Another theory suspects that the pair were spies for the Roosevelt administration and took on new identities when returning to the US. To this day, many theories surround this case, and the government chooses to believe that the pair had crashed in the Pacific Ocean and accidentally drowned.