Skip to comments.(Rant) Itís Time To Stop Looking For Amelia Earhart
Posted on 07/24/2012 5:19:19 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Its Time To Stop Looking For Amelia Earhart
On July 2nd, 1937, Amelia Earhart's attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world came to an abrupt end over the Pacific Ocean. She lost radio contact with Itasca, the Coast Guard ship that was serving as her radio contact, and the plane supposedly went down near the tiny atoll of Howland Island.
Now, 75 years and uncounted millions of dollars later, we haven't found a trace of Earhart, her plane, or Fred Noonan, her navigator. Today is Earhart's 115th birthday, and it's time for us as a society to stop dwelling on the past and move on. Since this is a year of big Earhart related anniversaries, there has been added focus on searching for the legendary pilot's plane and final resting place. The latest $2.2 million investigation into her disappearance has once again ended without any new leads or developments.
The agency that undertook the investigation, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recover (TIGHAR), issued the following statement:
We anticipated ten days of search operations. Due to equipment problems directly attributable to the severity of the underwater environment at Nikumaroro, we only had five days on site. In that time we saw no objects that we recognized as aircraft debris, but we have volumes of sonar data and many hours of high-definition video to review before we'll know the results of this expedition definitively.
Granted, they did not have the time they expected on their expedition and conditions were less than ideal. That said, based on history, TIGHAR probably wouldn't have found anything anyway.
Right after Earhart's plane went down, a massive 17-day, $4 million search spanning 250,000 square miles took place. In 2010 dollars, that is a $60 million investigation.
What did they find? Like the mysteries of Unsolved Mysteries, they found even less than squat.
There have also been recent searches that were just as inconclusive as the original search.
In 2011, divers claimed that they found the plane. That was immediately debunked. In 2010, there were claims that a "finger bone fragment" was found. First off, it didn't belong to Earhart. Secondly, what the hell would we learn from a finger bone? That she was good at pointing?
If we find Earhart's Lockheed Electra now, what will we learn? Not too much. The first airplane black box was installed in 1953, so there will be no data for us to guess what really happened to Earhart. And no, I'm not actually suggesting that the black box would be useful or intact after 75 years under the ocean if it existed in the first place. It's the mootest of moot points.
Earhart's story is fairly romanticized because of the mystery surrounding the disappearance. If we find the plane, it will ruin the facet that has made her such an enigma for 75 years and will raise more questions. Was it pilot error, weather problems, navigational issues, or a mechanical failure? Those are questions that will still probably never be answered.
Instead, the plane, or, more likely, pieces of the plane, would be in the National Air and Space Museum with a plaque that can't tell us more about what happened.
Since Earhart is 115 years old today (that's older than me!), even if she, or her navigator Fred Noonan, did somehow survive the crash and established a treetop residence on a remote island somewhere in the South Pacific, it's HIGHLY unlikely that they'll be wandering out to regale us with the story of what happened.
The two people that know what happened are dead. If the plane or their bodies are found, we'd have more theories but even then there's no guarantee we'll get a definitive answer. That would be even more frustrating than the current situation.
As humans, we naturally desire closure. We have curiosities that we need filled. But sometimes we just need to accept that we may never know what actually happened. This is one of those times.
It's time to make investments that encourage the continuation of Earhart's pioneering spirit and advance the future of airborne recordmakers and stop investing literally millions of dollars in a past we benefit little from understanding. We should encourage other aviation adventures that Earhart might have undertaken today.
We could be encouraging adventurers to set new altitude, speed, and duration records instead of finding possible hairs of Earhart's that were really pieces of a coconut shell.
If historians want to keep hunting good for them, but the media attention spent on every new (usually misleading) development would be better spent getting excited about new accomplishments not old accidents.
Otherwise, the reality of Earhart's bravery risks being confused with the mystery of her disappearance.
Well said! I think the chances of locating Bigfoot are much better than trying to find a lost 115 year-old pilot in the South Pacific who has been missing for 75 years.
If someone wanted to spend their own dollars looking for the wreckage, then I’m fine with that just don’t use my tax dollars.
My guess is someone wants to make a new movie....Follow the money...
Aside from the purely academic status boost you’d get from saying “I found her,” what possible value is there in locating the time-worn remains of a woman who failed to achieve a somewhat ridiculous goal in the first place?
That must be engineers...
Every few years a cable network looks into things like this in hopes of getting a show out of it.
Then we all forget about her until the next time. Doesn't bother me one way or the other.
Maybe we need somebody checking on those "Minor Outlying Islands" and making sure they're still there and haven't been invaded ...
The only mystery to me is why would a company name a line of luggage after someone that took off in an airplane and never arrived at her destination...
That veger chick was hot she died broke sad story let me find it
Well said! Two comments:
1/ There are old pilots, and bold pilots, but no old, bold [and, if I may add] inadequately prepared, minimally competent and ill-equipped pilots. Sadly, Earhart was pushed into this for financial reasons by George Putnam, her husband. Noonan was a drunk, fired from Pan Am. Earhart was too lazy or disinterested to learn Morse and didn’t even have a telegraph key on board.
2/ As for the boys at TIGHAR: “A foole and his monie be soone at debate, which after with sorrow repents him too late.” Thomas Tusser.
You are correct. Somehow I got the impression this article author has ideas that even private money should be used for the advancement of humanity and not for what the owners of said cash want to do. If I’m right, this is another, “All money ultimately belongs to society and we will determine how it’s spent screed”.
Earhart Dining Court, my a$$.
Don’t get me (or my 747 Capt wife) started on how the 99s and other groups drool over her.
Plane lands or crashes in ocean—if plane breaks up—either way it sinks and will be difficult to locate. Sea water is solvent to the human body. There’s nothing left of them in the ocean if thats where they ended up — most likely scenario.
That was a plot of an Star Trek Voyager episode called, The 37's. Earhart and others abducted in 1937 are found on a planet in the far off "Delta Quadrant" of the Milk Way Galaxy.
Persis Khambatta? She died of complications from open-heart surgery around 1997-98.
Not just any engineers, but top notch engineers.
Truth in advertising?
Emmy and Fred kicked in the auto pilot and played mile high club ... sumthin’ went wrong.
It would be interesting to find out exactly what happened to them. I think the odds are high that they crashed or crash landed in the open ocean.
It seems like there should be enough clues to locate approximately where they went down. I know the navy vessel which had been trying to communicate with them, said their radio transmission became very clear and loud not long before they ceased getting anything.
Almost certainly they went down close to where the ship was tho they never saw the plane.
Must admit though this is one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs.
Amelia - Joni Mitchell
She is probably dead anyway....
Heck, they’re still looking for Judge Crater..
LOL! You owe me a keyboard - post o’ the day!
Maybe Amelia had Zero’s birth certificate on her plane, and that’s what they’re REALLY looking for!
Don’t understand your comment?
It’s pretty weak tea compared to the Armstrong Engineering Building.
Right you are.
This complaint is just more Bloombergian nanny-statism, trying to tell us which mysteries we should care about and which we should leave alone.
Pardon me while I pour myself a big gulp and clean my glock!
Scott Adams has an alternative explanation @ 37 seconds in:
The people trying to find it are after one thing; fame.
The people trying to find her are after one thing; fame.
I doubt anyone is spending taxpayer dollars on that search. Ok with me! ;-)
No ... they’re cannibals! They ate her in the dining facility! : )
This isn’t going into the GGG list, because this op-ed is just a pathetic plea for attention by a fan of $500,000 cars.
Unsolved Mysteries — Amelia Earhart Part 1
Unsolved Mysteries — Amelia Earhart Part 2
>>Dont understand your comment?
Well, I know that Purdue has the Earhart papers, but I think if they were going to name a building (or dining “court”) after a famous aviatrix, they could have picked a few who were more successful in their endeavors. Could the papers have come with a Putnam $$ grant? Don’t know; maybe that was the influence...
(I’m an ERAU grad, BTW)
She was a prof @ Purdue and the university paid for her famous Lockheed Electra as a research project.
That’s most likely the reason.
What’s a Putnam grant?
Unless tax dollars are being used, I fail to see why so many losers care how many times or how long anyone spends looking for bigfoot; or Earhart.
I have read a couple of times that Earhart was not a particularly good pilot. Maybe not a bad one but her lack of skills may have had a part in what happened.
I remember Chuck Yeager said Jackie Cochran was a much better pilot than some of the other famous ones. Jackie was the first woman to break the sound barrier.
In fact Yeager considered her an outstanding pilot.
"Ask yourself, is it 'Bull*** Or Not?'" < /Henry Silva >
I have read that too. However, I am still intrigued by Amelia’s mystery and have no objection for those who want to try to figure it out. If she did die on that small island atoll (whatever it was) after the crash, it surely must have been a horrifying thing. All alone, no hope in sight. Incredible heat. I saw a TV program about the search a few years ago.