In 2018, a British research team discovered the wreckage of a plane and a scattered human skeleton while conducting underwater exploration activities on the island of Nikumaroro in the South Pacific. After four years of testing and analysis, American scientists finally determined that the skeleton belonged to Amelia Earhart.
In the 1930s, Amelia was a household name in the United States. She was the first female pilot to receive the Medal of Honor for Flying Cross and the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. During the round-the-world flight, she encountered an accident, and the US military spent $4 million to find it to no avail. In the following decades, speculations about Amelia’s death have been divided, and now with the appearance of her skeleton, the inside story that she fell into the careful layout of the US military and died has also surfaced.
, who was born in 1897, has a gentle nickname, but she has been a “King of Children” since she was a child. She climbs trees, uses rifles to fight mice and other games that boys love to play. will participate.
At the age of 20, Amelia became a volunteer in a hospital when she visited her sister in Canada. Soon she contracted the Spanish flu, which was then a pandemic, and had to stay at her sister’s house to recuperate. During this period of recuperation, she suddenly became very interested in machinery and began to study.
In late 1920, Amelia and her father met Frank Hawkes at the Air Expo in Long Beach. An outstanding pilot in the U.S. Air Force during World War I, Frank has been engaged in commercial flight promotion since his retirement. Amelia’s father paid $10 to put her daughter on a plane for 10 minutes, and after getting off the plane, Amelia told her father, “I knew it the moment I got up, I had to learn how to Fly!” My father was stumped. The cost of learning to fly a plane was $1,000. In those years, the American economy was sluggish, and his income was barely enough to make ends meet.
Her parents could not be counted on, so Amelia had to work hard, photographer, truck driver, telephone company stenographer, as long as she could make money. After a year of hard work, Amelia finally managed to scrape together enough money to find pilot Anita Snook: “I want to learn to fly, can you teach me?”
The aviation base where Amelia learned to fly is far from her home, and she takes a bus to the bus terminal every day, and then walks 6 kilometers. After starting her studies, Amelia bought a flight jacket, but was ridiculed because a brand new jacket meant she was a “novice”. In order not to be looked down upon by others, Amelia slept in the jacket for the next few days until it was wrinkled and worn. In addition, in order to be more like a qualified female pilot, she also cut her long hair short like other girls.
Among all the trainees, Amelia is the most hardworking, and her hard work pays off. After 7 years, she finally became a qualified pilot. In 1927, female aviator Amy Guest planned to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. However, there are many crises along the way, and Amy backs down, giving Amelia her chance. Amelia was also hesitant. Her father tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Go, haven’t you always wanted to fly freely in the sky?”
According to the plan, Amelia flew a Lockheed Vega from Newfoundland. took off from Port Grace and the destination was Paris, France. But 14 hours and 54 minutes later she was forced to land in Northern Ireland when strong northerly winds blew the plane off course. Although she didn’t make it to Paris, Amelia became the second and first woman to fly solo, nonstop across the Atlantic. As soon as she got off the plane, Amelia was warmly welcomed, and she didn’t know how to deal with the media’s long guns and short guns. In August of the same year, Amelia flew from Los Angeles on the east coast of the United States to Newark on the west coast, becoming the first woman to fly over the United States alone and without stopping.
The huge accolades made Amelia a household name in America, and she was constantly invited to various events. In 1930, Amelia was invited to the U.S. military’s annual pilot graduation celebration. At the celebration, someone introduced Anna Eleanor to her. Amelia was flattered, Eleanor was President Roosevelt’s wife: “I also want to learn to fly a plane, I wonder if you can teach me!” Amelia stammered: “Dear madam, I… I…” Before Amelia could continue, Eleanor interrupted her: “That’s it, I’ll find you when I’m free.” Eleanor was so busy, Amelia felt that she Just say it casually. But a few days later, she received a letter from Roosevelt not only expressing her admiration, but also asking her to teach Eleanor how to fly.
The president spoke up, and Amelia could no longer find a reason to refuse. Under her guidance, Eleanor’s driving skills improved rapidly. After a day of studying, Eleanor invites Amelia to rest at a nearby café. During the period, Eleanor talked about flying around the world. It turned out that male pilots had completed the feat a few years ago, while female pilots had been blank. “If you want to be the first person like this, I think I can help.” Eleanor’s suggestion came to Amelia’s heart. To complete a round-the-world flight is the lifelong dream of many pilots, but there are too many factors to consider, such as special aircraft, dangers along the way, and huge costs. Seeing Amelia’s hesitation, Eleanor smiled knowingly: “As long as you dare to take risks, I can help you solve everything.”
With the help of Eleanor, Lockheed Martin soon A special plane was developed, and the company provided $500,000 in funding. Amelia drew up a detailed flight plan: from San Francisco, via Hawaii, Australia and India, across Africa to the South American continent, and back to New York.
On March 17, 1937, Amelia set off from Oakland on her first attempt to travel around the world. The journey from the continental United States to Hawaii was very smooth, but just as she was on her way from Hawaii to Howland Island, there was a sudden gust of wind. Blowing, the plane fell to the ground and was damaged and needed repairs.
Three months later, Amelia and navigator Fred Noonan set off again. This time, they chose to travel from the US to Puerto Rico, then via Venezuela, Brazil, across the Atlantic to Africa, and then across the continent to India. After this successful flight, Amelia decided to circumnavigate the equator. On the day of the expedition, almost all the newspapers in the United States sent reporters to the scene, and they took precious photos. Eleanor also came to say goodbye, with a letter from Roosevelt.
According to the flight route, set sail from Oakland, California, USA, across five continents, to Howland Island in the center of the Pacific Ocean. On the way, Amelia needs to fly over the vast sea that is more than 11,000 kilometers long, and the last stop is from Lae to Howland Island. The ocean from Lae to Howland Island is 4,113 kilometers long and is the most dangerous. Under normal circumstances, it takes 18 hours to sail.
On the day of the flight, Amelia was in very good shape, excited and excited. However, just after five hours of flight, the sky was suddenly covered with dark clouds, the visibility was quite low, the wind speed reached 42 kilometers per hour, and it was still sailing against the wind, and the resistance was very large. Amelia was well aware that she would not be able to reach her destination within 18 hours, and she immediately radioed to the ground command post. But the strange thing is that the contact signal sent by Amelia only lasted eight seconds, and it was impossible for the ground command station to lock Amelia’s position. And precisely at this time, the radio of the ground command station was also broken, and it could only listen, but could not send a signal. The staff asked Amelia to re-report her location, but Amelia couldn’t hear it at all, and the staff spoke a lot of contact words to instruct her on what to do, but Amelia couldn’t receive all of them.
Amelia and Noonan in the air were like birds that lost their way. In front of them was a dense cloud with a visibility of 2 to 3 meters, and below them was a faintly visible boundless sea. Amelia told herself to calm down, and Noonan next to her told her to fly in the direction of the sun first, and then wait for a reply from the ground station. But this wait was another hour. Seeing that the fuel was about to run out, Amelia had to send out a radio distress signal: “We should be there, but we can’t see anything. There is not enough fuel. The situation is very urgent.”
Amelia Ya was completely desperate, and the ground command station was also in chaos. After three hours, the staff finally repaired the fault, and the call Amelia sent them an hour ago came from the machine: “We have reached the final position, 157377 , please reply, I will repeat the call!” But no matter how the staff called, the other party was silent.
The news was quickly reported to President Roosevelt. Facing the reporters who came in droves, Roosevelt made a televised speech, saying that the US government would find Amelia at all costs. Eleanor also reassured Amelia’s parents in an interview that even if the U.S. military is used, Amelia’s safety will be guaranteed.
Soon, the U.S. Navy dispatched six ships and 64 aircraft to conduct search and rescue in an area of nearly 680,000 square kilometers in the central Pacific Ocean. According to the wireless power supply of the ground command post, Amelia should be on a desert island called Gardiner Island, 480 kilometers southeast of Howland Island. A search team came to the island quickly and almost turned the island over. Upside down, no clues were found. For a time, the entire United States was worried about Amelia’s safety.
Some people boldly speculate that when the plane’s fuel was about to run out, Amelia flew to the nearby Marshall Island. This island belongs to the Japanese-occupied area. When the two of them entered the island, they were immediately captured by the Japanese. He was immediately transferred to Saipan, where he was imprisoned in Garapan Prison. “I beg the government to save Amelia and Noonan!” Amelia’s parents wrote a letter of help to Eleanor, Eleanor asked Amelia’s parents to rest assured, in fact, just after the accident happened , President Roosevelt ordered the military to get in touch with Japan, and tried to enter Marshall Island for search and rescue, and is now waiting for Japan’s reply.
A week later, Amelia’s parents received heartbreaking news that the U.S. military had decided to suspend search and rescue after a $4 million fee due to Japan’s denial of U.S. access. “I know you can’t accept such news, but we did our best. Amelia is our hero! Although the US military has stopped the search and rescue, I will call on the civilian forces to continue searching.” Eleanor promised.
The truth was revealed The
military spent so much manpower and material resources, but there was still no news of Amelia, and soon rumors appeared one after another. Some people speculate that Amelia is a spy for the US military and may live incognito on Saipan; some people say that she actually survived successfully, quietly changed her identity, and now moved to New Jersey, and even got married and lived a different life; Melia and Noonan crashed into the Pacific Ocean, killing both immediately; some thought they had reached Howland Island, but were eaten by local cannibals.
Compared with other accounts, more than half of Americans believe that Amelia is a spy for the US military, on the grounds that she had close ties with the military in the six months before the accident, and the military not only designed the plane for her, but also sponsored her to fly. Expenses for activities. This statement has also been verified by some American soldiers. In 1944, when the US Marines captured Saipan, an American soldier found evidence in a Japanese officer’s safe, which contained Amelia’s briefcase, which contained Amelia’s photo and a book. Passport, visa with her name on it and maps of all parts of the Pacific. But the drama happened again. The American soldier gave the briefcase to his boss, and finally lost it in the hands of the leader.
In 2021, Richard Jack, a professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee, decided to restart the investigation into Amelia’s disappearance. When he sorted out the information, he found that in 1940, someone found 13 human bones under a tree on Nikumaroro Island, and then officials at the time telegraphed that these were Amelia’s remains. In 2018, a British research team found aircraft wreckage and DNA during underwater exploration activities on Nikumaroro Island, and even found a zipper on a suspected Amelia flight suit. Richard obtained some bones from the military through relationships. He calculated the skeleton data based on Amelia’s photos, and re-analyzed the early data using modern forensic technology. Melia’s skeletal data similarity is over 99%.
The bones were confirmed to be Amelia’s, but Richard was puzzled by the fact that Amelia’s bones were scattered in multiple places on the beach at the time, a situation that did not fit the characteristics of a plane crash. In addition, the military said at the time that it had stopped searching for Amelia, but the military has been investigating for decades. “Unless Amelia has some secrets from the military, it’s impossible for them to dig three feet to find her? Besides, Amelia’s remains have been found, so why not conduct DNA confirmation?” In order to investigate the truth, Richard decides to go to Nikumaroro Island in person.
On Nikumaroro Island, Richard quickly found clues. He found that the coconut crabs on the island were inextricably linked with the mystery. The reason why Amelia only had a dozen bones left No other remains were seen, it is likely that they were dismembered by coconut crabs. There are a lot of coconut crabs on Nikumaroro Island. They are huge. During the day, these coconut crabs hide. They not only dig holes, but are also good at climbing trees. They often hide between tree trunks or under coral reefs. Will be sent out collectively to forage. Coconut crabs also like to drag the remains of the carcass back to their holes after eating the carrion.
In order to further explore the dismemberment characteristics of coconut crabs on this island, Richard did an experiment. He put the carcass of a pig in the wild and recorded the process of dismembering coconut crabs with a camera. In the process, the coconut crab removed the pig’s carrion within two weeks, and subsequently moved its bones. Richard is excited: This at least shows that coconut crabs can drag bones. Although it is not fully understood how far they can drag, the reason why missing female pilot Amelia can’t find large remains , was cut up by these coconut crabs until only the bones were left.
At this point, Richard came to a bold conclusion: the U.S. military used Amelia’s fame to build momentum, launched a round-the-world flight with great fanfare, then encountered an emergency in the middle, and then pretended to make an emergency landing on the Japanese-occupied Marshall Island. , and the purpose of all this is to find an excuse for the US Navy to take advantage of the search and rescue of her and check out the Marshall Islands. In order to deceive the Japanese side, it is an illusion to say that Amelia landed on Marshall Island in a planned way, that the aircraft ran out of fuel and that the ground command signal could not be received. In other words, Amelia actually shouldered a national mission. Her circumnavigation was a espionage activity carefully planned by President Roosevelt. In order to achieve the goal, Roosevelt first asked his wife to lobby Amelia to fly around the world, and then instructed the aircraft manufacturing company to do so. Manipulated on the plane.
The results of such an investigation have caused an uproar among the American people, but the U.S. military has refused to make any response to the doubts. In fact, there are also unclear explanations for this result, such as where Nuonan went. Perhaps this is irrelevant. In the past 80 years, Amelia has always been followed and discussed. There is no doubt that this is a legendary mystery that the world can’t stop exploring.