10 years ago
The article has a link to the Google map of the island. Fresh water would
have been the issue but they mention the island was inhabited later so
there must be water somewhere.
Looks to be about 1 x 3 miles with a lagoon in the center, pretty typical.
Amelia Earhart found?
posted at 8:01 pm on June 2, 2012 by Jazz Shaw
A bit of a Saturday night palate cleanser, and a story which I believe many
people will find interesting. (I know I did.) There are plenty of mysteries
which we simply may never know the answer to. Did Bruno Hauptmann really
kidnap the Lindbergh baby? What really happened at Roswell in 1947? Who
talked John Travolta into making Battlefield Earth? Perhaps those secrets
will never be revealed, but there?s one long standing case which may
finally be coming to a close. What happened to Amelia Earhart? (Hat Tip to
For decades, pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart was said to have
?disappeared? over the Pacific on her quest to circle the globe along a
29,000-mile equatorial route.
Now, new information gives a clearer picture of what happened 75 years
ago to Ms. Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, where they came down and
how they likely survived ? for a while, at least ? as castaways on a remote
island, catching rainwater and eating fish, shellfish, and turtles to
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), a non-
profit foundation promoting aviation archaeology and historic aircraft
preservation, reported new details Friday leading researchers to this
conclusion: Earhart and Noonan, low on fuel and unable to find their next
scheduled stopping point ? Howland Island ? radioed their position, then
landed on a reef at uninhabited Gardner Island, a small coral atoll now
known as Nikumaroro Island.
Using what fuel remained to turn up the engines to recharge the
batteries, they continued to radio distress signals for several days until
Earhart?s twin-engine Lockheed Electra aircraft was swept off the reef by
rising tides and surf. Using equipment not available in 1937 ? digitized
information management systems, antenna modeling software, and radio wave
propagation analysis programs, TIGHAR concluded that 57 of the 120 signals
reported at the time are credible, triangulating Earhart?s position to have
been Nikumaroro Island.
I?m not going to pretend that I was even aware of the existence of any
International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, but I?m glad they?re on
the job. The report goes on to say that in addition to the radio data from
the broadcasts mentioned above, they are taking a second look at artifacts
found on the then deserted island. They include broken glass, fish and bird
bones collected in, or associated with, ash and charcoal deposits, and a
?photo taken three months after Earhart?s flight shows what could be the
landing gear of her aircraft in the waters off the atoll.?
Of course, all of this could only mean that somebody was stranded there,
but it looks promising. They?re heading out there this year to search for
wreckage of the plane around the reef. Would it still be there more than
half a century later? The wave action and shifting sands, ocean storms,
etc. could make that a dicey proposition. If they do manage to find a piece
of an aircraft buried in the reef which matches the model flown by Earhart,
this is one mystery which may finally be solved. But other questions will
still remain. Were they injured, and if so, how badly? How long did they
survive? (With enough skills you should be able to live off the bounty of
the ocean and the reef for quite some time.)
I took a look at the Google satellite images for the island. Seems like
people could survive there for a while with a bit of luck and
resourcefulness. (Other people took to living there later on.) So what
eventually did them in and where are the remains? Did they attempt an
escape on a makeshift raft like Tom Hanks in Castaway after no rescue
arrived for a month or two? It?s a great mystery and I?m sure that
Discovery Channel or some such outlet will be doing a documentary on it for
us when the search gets underway.