1937: Disappearance of the world’s most famous female pilot – Amelia Earhart

1937: Disappearance of the world’s most famous female pilot – Amelia Earhart
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Amelia Earhart, Los Angeles, 1928 X5665 – 1926 "CIT-9 Safety Plane" – California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Aerospace model 9 Merrill-type biplane designed by Albert Adams Merrill (Instructor in Aeronautics); 45hp Kinner engine; wingspan: 24'0"

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 2 July 1937
  • A film in which Amelia Earhart is portrayed by double Oscar winner Hilary Swank (which also resembles her physically), with Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor in supporting roles, was based on her story.  Amelia's disappearance over the Pacific even spurred some ufologists’ theories about how she was abducted by aliens.

On this day the most famous female pilot in history – Amelia Earhart – disappeared without a trace over the Pacific Ocean. 

This born American began flying at 22 and soon began breaking records set by best female pilots. 

So, she reached a record height of 4,267 meters with her plane and became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

 Even greater success was her solo Atlantic flyover, which mimicked the first venture of a man who has done this, the famous Charles Lindbergh, only five years after him. Completing this endeavor she became a celebrity in America and the world.

She was highly decorated by the United States Congress and awarded with the French Legion of Honor, and she also became a friend of the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

 Amelia became the first woman to fly across the entire United States, from coast to coast. The greatest venture in life she planned to make by circumnavigating the globe.

In 1937 she took off from Miami, flew over the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, India, Southeast Asia and reached the Pacific Ocean. 

Only 11,000 kilometers remained to the finish line (35,000 was already flown). However, on this day, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. 

She flew in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra 10E, which was last seen on takeoff from Papua New Guinea. 

Amelia communicated with the flight control by radio. Her last transmission at 8:43 in the morning was near Howland Island.

She did not report any problems, but has announced the imminent arrival to the landing site. After that, no intelligible signals were heard.

Some radio operators reported incomprehensible and weak signals for which it was not known whether they originated from Amelia.

Her disappearance caused a great sensation among the public. 

The search for the plane did not produce results. 

Many theories emerged after the disappearance, from her crashing and sinking into the ocean, to the ones about alien abduction.

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