Amelia Earhart born on July 24, 1897, was an American aviator who was the first woman to fly solo across Atlantic. She was among the top 20 women who was issued a pilot’s license by The Federation Aeronatique.
On July 2, 1937, to commemorate her 40th birthday, Amelia Earhart along with her navigator Fred Noonan, departed in Lockheed Electra 10E, from Lae, Papua New Guinea to Howland Island to finish off her around the World flight. However, things didn’t go as planned and her plane never reached Howland Island. The US Coast Guard cutter Itasca was at Howland to assist Earhart with radio-bearings and a smoke plume.
It is assumed that the plane crashed in the middle of the sea. The search continues for two weeks by The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy but failed to locate both the plane and Earhart. Her husband, George Putnam requested civilian mariners to continue looking for the remains.
Two years later, Amelia and Fred were presumed dead but the sudden disappearance of Earhart with no traces to be found even after 81 years, allowed conspiracy theorists to conjure up different ideas of what could have happened to her. Here are the top three theories of where they might have ended up.
#1 Ocean Crash
It is presumed that the airplane might have run out of fuel when on its way to Howland and could have crashed in the Pacific Ocean.
The communications of the airplane were broken and there is no evidence extracted from the plan to find out exactly how far from the island it might be. Whereas in the Itasca’s radio logs, Earhart mentioned that she was near the island but she couldn’t see it yet and was running low on gas.
Even after various expedition carried out in 2002 and then again in 2006, around the island, they still ended up empty-handed.
#2 Marshall Island
Another theory is that the plane might have landed on Marshall Island that is under control by Japanese and Earhart and Noonan were mistaken for U.S. spies and captured.
Although some believe that they were killed after some time but some think they returned to the U.S. under different names. Her new name was Irene Craigmile and married in Guy Bolam and then became Irene Bolam and died in New Jersey in 1982.
A retired U.S. Colonel claimed that her second plan was if she couldn’t find Howland, she would head to the Marshall Islands and leave the airplane on that island. He has even written the book “Amelia Earhart Survived” where he indulged in this idea furthermore.
There is another investigation going on where the hypothesis is that Earhart and Noonan might have landed on Nikumaroro Island which is 350 nautical miles southwest of Howland.
Earhart’s last radio transmission said “KHAQQ [Electra’s call letters] to Itasca. We are online at 157 337.” According to researchers this line they were flying at, cuts the Howland Island navigation line and if they missed the island they might be on the way to the northwest that lies ocean whereas on the southwest is Nikumaroro.
Radio transmissions that were at the position at the time received 121 messages and it is assumed that 57 of those might be from Electra.
In Nikumaroro they found a lot of remnants, such as shoes, a navigation device, airplane parts that could be of Electra on the island. They also found 13 bones buried near the campfire.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery is still looking into this hypothesis and has carried out excursions in an attempt to prove this to be correct.