Amelia Earhart embarked on her second attempt to circumnavigate the world in 1937. Her first trip earlier that year ended as quickly as it began, so her sights were set high for this trip to be the one that worked out.
If she succeeded, she would become the first female aviator to circumnavigate the Earth.
Amelia flew along the equator, starting in California and working her way to Florida and Puerto Rico before dipping into South America. From there, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Senegal. Then she traveled throughout Southeast Asia and to Australia. Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were last seen in Papua New Guinea, from which they were to embark on a 2,556-mile flight to Howland Island in the South Pacific.
It was the last stop before they headed to Hawaii, the second-to-last leg of their journey.
Amelia’s last radio communication with the US Coast Guard was at 8:43 a.m. on July 2. An extensive search was done for the aviator and her navigator, but they were declared lost at sea on July 19. In the years since, many different theories have arisen as to what might have happened to the pair. The US government and the Smithsonian maintain their belief that the plane crashed, killing both of them instantly.
Last year, one of the other theories was thrust into the spotlight again with rumors that a photo had surfaced showing what appeared to be Amelia Earhart imprisoned by the Japanese. While the person’s face isn’t clear in the photo, many believe that, proportionally, it matches what Amelia would look like if sitting in that position. The photo was later dismissed as a fake, published two years before the aviator’s disappearance, but others aren’t convinced. It’s been over 80 years, and Amelia remains an important figure whose whereabouts in her final days matter. Check out this video, which takes an in-depth look at the photo, and see what you think…
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