Amelia Earhart made radio calls after landing, died castaway on a remote island

Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, disappeared mysteriously in June 1937.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:September 11, 2016 3:01 pm
amelia earhart, amelia earhart pilot, amelia earhart plane, amelia earhart disappearance, amelia earhart solo pilot, gardener island, pacific ocean, world news Amelia Earhart was also an author and founder of The Ninety-Nines, a group for female pilots. (Photo: Wikipedia)

In the books of aviation history, the name Amelia Earhart stands tall. She was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was also an author, writing books on her experiences as a pilot and also had a big hand in forming The Ninety-Nines, an organisation specifically for female pilots.

She is, however, also famous because of her mysterious disappearance in June 1937, while she was on a flying voyage across the world, a 29,000 mile trip on her airplane.

According to a report on the news website Daily Mail, four months into her trip, Earhart was trying to find the Howland island when she started to run low on fuel. According to earlier records, she was last heard alive on June 2, and is believed to have been drowned in the Pacific Ocean.

However, newer findings believe that she may have landed on Gardner island, also known by its other name Nikumaroro, which lies around 400 miles southeast of the Howland island.

According to Ric Gillespie, member of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), Earhart was castaway to the island and that’s where she died and he has evidence to provide for the same.

He believes that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, landed on the Garnder island. While they may have been injured while landing, they were definitely alive. “People started hearing radio distress calls from the airplane and they were verified,” the news website Daily Mail quoted him as saying during a lecture in August.

According to Gillespie, nearly 100 radio calls were made from June 2 onwards and these were heard all over, all the way from Texas to Australia. He also speculated that the pair would have some remaining fuel in the aircraft when they landed which enabled them to use radio communication.

No one, however, found the pair and the last call was logged on June 6.

Bones were found on the island in 1940 by Gerald Gallagher, who was a British colonial officer and a licensed pilot. The bones were examined in Fiji where they were first identified as belonging to a male but that conclusion was later revised. The bones were said to have belonged to a tall female.

Members of the TIGHAR also claimed that the aluminium they found on the island was fitted and molded the way it would in the 1930s. Gillespie, however, said that no remains of any plane were found, purporting that the plan had likely drowned.

TIGHAR plans to search the sea with submarines in 2017, the year that marks the 80th anniversary of Earhart’s disappearance.