On July 2, 1937, the Lockheed Electra monoplane, piloted by Amelia Earhart, mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. The legendary pilot was only thirty-nine years old. US President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the largest research rescue operation in US history, but the wreckage of the plane was never found. However, eighty years later, new details about the last flight of Amelia Earhart became known. What actually happened?
Childhood and youth
Amelia Mary Earhart was born in 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. At the age of 10, the girl first saw the plane, but he did not really inspire her. “It was a strange wooden structure, and it didn't look interesting at all,” Amelia recalled in the future. Only ten years after this incident, Earhart became seriously interested in aviation.
Amelia graduated from Hyde Park High School in Chicago in 1915, where she intensively studied natural sciences. Later, the girl studied at college in Ogonz, near Philadelphia, where she played hockey, studied French and German. In 1918, in her sophomore year, Amelia dropped out of college and went to serve as a Red Cross nurse at a military hospital in Toronto, Canada, where her sister Muriel lived. Amelia and Muriel enjoyed watching the pilots at the local airfield. It was then that the girl finally fell in love with airplanes. In 1919, Earhart returned to the United States.
The event that forever changed Amelia's life happened when a military pilot, Frank Hawks, took a girl on a plane over Los Angeles. “By the time I got two or three hundred meters above the ground, I already knew that I wanted to become a pilot,” Amelia said later. It was December 28, 1920.
A week later, Earhart signed up for a flight school course. Her first instructor was Snook, a well-known pilot at that time, nicknamed "Curly". Amelia worked in a photography studio and a receptionist for the Los Angeles Telephone Company to pay for flight lessons. For six months she managed to save money for her first plane. It was a used two-seat Kinner Airster biplane.
Due to its bright yellow color, Earhart named her plane "Canary". On December 15, 1921, the girl successfully passed her final exams and received a flying license. Already two days later, she attended the first flight exhibition. On October 22, 1922, Amelia Earhart set her first aviation record. She became the first female pilot to climb 4200 meters. Later, the pilot set another record, flying 2,600 miles in 19 hours without a stopover.
In 1923, Amelia got married and sold the Canary, her first and most beloved plane. In 1924 she bought her second aircraft, which she named the "Kinner". Her fellow pilots described Amelia as a persistent and brave girl with great willpower. “Women should try to do the same as men. When they fail, their failure should be just a challenge to others,”Amelia said.
In 1932, Earhart became the first female aviator to fly a single non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The pilot took off in Newfoundland, Canada, crossed the North Atlantic and landed in Northern Ireland, covering 2,000 miles in just 15 hours.
In 1937, the girl announced her most ambitious project - to travel around the world. She practically fulfilled her dream before radio contact with her plane was lost forever. For 80 years, it remained a mystery what actually happened to Amelia Earhart.
The journey began on May 20, 1937. By the beginning of July, Earhart, accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, had already flown more than 22 thousand miles (about 80% of the entire route). According to Novate.ru, on July 2, Amelia's plane took off from the small town of Lae, West Guinea, hoping to reach Howland, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. After twenty hours of flight, radio communication with the aircraft was lost.
According to the report of the coast guard boat, communication was unstable for a long time. Amelia's last words were that they had little fuel left and the island was nowhere to be seen. After Earhart and the co-pilot were reported missing, a massive search and rescue operation began. For two weeks, US Navy ships surveyed an area of 220,000 square miles, but the plane was never found.
In total, there are two versions of the death of Amelia Earhart.
According to the first, a skeleton was found on the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro in 1940. For a long time it was believed that this is the skeleton of a man, however, a new examination carried out in 2016 proved that the remains are in fact female. Moreover, the growth of the skeleton and the approximate age correspond to the date of the possible disaster. A flight jacket and freckle cream were also found on the island.
In 2017, an American documentary about Amelia Earhart was released, which, among other things, mentioned a photograph found in the Museum of the United States Congress. It allegedly depicts Amelia and Noonan with a group of Japanese people on Jaulith Island, Marshall Islands. This suggests that Earhart was captured by Japanese soldiers.
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