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The most famous missing person in United States Amelia Earhart

Monday, December 27, 2010

The three bone fragments turned up on a deserted South Pacific island that lay along the course Amelia Earhart was following when she vanished. Nearby were several tantalizing artifacts: some old makeup, some glass bottles and shells that had been cut open.
Now scientists at the University of Oklahoma hope to extract DNA from the tiny bone chips in tests that could prove Earhart died as a castaway after failing in her 1937 quest to become the first woman to fly around the world.

"There's no guarantee," said Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a group of aviation enthusiasts in Delaware that found the pieces of bone this year while on an expedition to Nikumaroro Island, about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii.

"You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart's DNA, that's pretty good."
It could be months before scientists know for sure — and it could turn out the bones are from a turtle. The fragments were found near a hollowed-out turtle shell that might have been used to collect rain water, but there were no other turtle parts nearby.
Earhart's disappearance on July 2, 1937, remains one of the 20th century's most enduring mysteries. Did she run out of fuel and crash at sea? Did her Lockheed Electra develop engine trouble? Did she spot the island from the sky and attempt to land on a nearby reef?
"What were her last moments like? What was she doing? What happened?" asked Robin Jensen, an associate professor of communications at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., who has studied Earhart's writings and speeches.
Since 1989, Gillespie's group has made 10 trips to the island, trying each time to find clues that might help determine the fate of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.
Wally Earhart of Carson City, the fourth cousin of Amelia Earhart, says the U.S. government continues to perpetrate a “massive coverup” about her mysterious disappearance in the Pacific 72 years ago.
Because of the current surge in interest about the pilot's fate spurred by the recent release of the film “Amelia,” starring Richard Gere and Hilary Swank, it is time the American public “know the truth about Amelia's last days,” said Earhart, who will portray Abraham Lincoln as grand marshal of the Nevada Day parade today.
Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, did not die as claimed by the government and the Navy when their twin-engine Electra plunged into the Pacific on July 2, 1937, Wally Earhart said in an interview.
“They died while in Japanese captivity on the island of Saipan in the Northern Marianas,” claims Earhart, a 38-year Carson City resident who often portrays Lincoln and other historical figures at appearances sponsored by groups such as the Nevada Historical Society.
“The Navy and the federal government would have you believe that Amelia and Noonan died on impact when their plane ran out of gas while attempting to reach Howland Island during their flight around the world,” Earhart said.
“Their airplane did crash into the Pacific, but instead of dying, the pair was rescued by a nearby Japanese fishing trawler. The Electra airplane was still floating and the Japanese hauled it aboard their ship in a large net.

“The Japanese then transported Amelia Earhart, Noonan and the airplane to Saipan. Noonan was beheaded by the Japanese and Amelia soon died from dysentery and other ailments,” Wally Earhart continued. He added that the Japanese troops on the island cut the airplane into scrap and tossed the remnants into the Pacific.
“There are many people, including Japanese military and Saipan natives, who witnessed all these events on the island,” said Earhart, who disputes claims by several historical researchers that Amelia Earhart and Noonan were instantly killed when their plane hit the water or they died of starvation and disease on either Howland Island, Gardner Island or in the Marshall Islands.
Why do the government and Navy continue to “cover up” the true facts of the case?
There are two major theories, according to Wally Earhart.
One is that the Navy was “inept” in not finding and rescuing the aviators after their aircraft crashed. The other is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt “wanted the whole matter kept under wraps,” Earhart said.
Roosevelt had asked Earhart, a close family friend, to scout Japanese military installations in the Pacific during her flights in the region. This was kept a deep secret back in 1937 and it is being kept a secret today because Japan and the United States are good friends and military allies and the government doesn't want to drudge up old antagonisms,” Wally Earhart believes.
Earhart also noted that Amelia Earhart had close relations with Nevada.
“She loved Northern Nevada and often visited friends in Carson City and at Lake Tahoe. And she also made several flights across the state, stopping at a half-dozen cities,” Earhart added.
On one flight, while flying a small plane between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City in 1928, she was declared missing after making a forced landing in bad weather in a deserted area near the Nevada-Utah state line. Rescuers were called out when it was feared she had crashed into a mountain peak in isolated Lincoln County in eastern Nevada.
Searchers ultimately found Amelia sitting beside her downed plane. She was uninjured but the craft suffered a bent propeller and other minor damages.
In 1931, Earhart crossed Nevada in an autogiro, the forerunner of the helicopter, making landings at Wendover, Elko, Battle Mountain, Lovelock and Reno.
And in 1929, George Putnam, her future husband and millionaire heir to a publishing fortune, divorced his first wife, Dorothy, in Reno. Amelia Earhart and Putnam were married two years later. 


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