Tuesday 30 January 2024

Amelia Earhart Plane Found?

There has been a breakthrough in the search for a missing aircraft, the MH370 of past generations. Amelia Earhart was one of the most famous aviators on earth. "Aviator" is a word we hardly use in the modern world where the average person has probably flown long distances many times for weekends in the sun. It's hard to imagine era when such activities were as groundbreaking as space exploration; but it wasn't that long ago in historical terms, barely a century. Amelia Earhart was a pioneer of both aviation records and of popularizing routine air transport. In May of 1932 she crossed the Atlantic Ocean solo, just five years after Lindbergh; but that was just the first of her dreams. In 1937 she departed for a flight around the entire world with her co-pilot and navigator Frederick Noonan. Although aviators had achieved circumnavigations before, this mission was going to be more ambitious, being longer and with a female pilot for the first time. Earhart had a very feminist attitude to her trade and was proud of being not only the first person, but first "Woman!" to achieve many of her goals. What's more, their aircraft, a converted airliner, contained scientific instruments for gathering information about the earth's upper atmosphere. Earhart and Noonan took off from Oakland, California USA on May the 25th and headed eastwards. They stopped in various places to refuel and rest; Florida, South America, central Africa, India, Indonesia and Australia. Eventually, with their journey almost complete, they headed out across the Pacific from Lae, New Guinea, taking off at 10 AM on July the 29th. They planned to land at Howland Island in the middle of the ocean. In those days there was no air traffic control or GPS and radar was experimental technology. The only way anybody knew where the plane was came from radio communications between the ground and Earhart and Noonan, and they had to work out their position themselves by dead reckoning with a map and compass, a sextant/chronometer and radio direction finder. On their journey they got lost. The aviators sent some calm but frightened transmissions to the island explaining their predicament and adding several times "we're running low on gas." The US Navy and Coastguard searched the area where they thought the plane might be, but no trace of it was ever found, until very recently. Two years after she disappeared, a coroner declared Amelia Earhart to be dead.
There have been no end of theories and recovery quests over the eighty-seven years since Amelia Earhart vanished and none have solved the mystery, until maybe now. Deep Sea Vision is an organization similar to Ocean Infinity, the company that helped in the underwater search for MH370. They have been scanning the seabed using sonar and an ROV, a submarine drone, and have discovered something unusual. Lying on the ocean floor, over 16,000 feet deep, is an object that resembles an aeroplane, and it is the right shape to be a Lockheed Electra 10, the aircraft Earhart and Fred Noonan were in. It lies about a hundred miles away from Howland Island. The fact that the airframe is intact leads us to postulate that as her plane ran out of fuel, Earhart carried out a controlled belly landing in the sea. The plane then sank before she and Noonan could escape from it in the life raft. Or they did escape and the raft sank too before the search parties could find it. There's no way to be sure one way or the other until the discovery is either confirmed or debunked. The team plan to return to the site with more sophisticated deep-sea search equipment as soon as possible. Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2024/01/30/travel/amelia-earhart-missing-plane-pacific-ocean-scn/index.html. If it turns out to be the real thing, will it be possible to raise the wreck from that depth? I don't know; but, then again, should we? This debate began after Titanic sank? It is a missing aircraft, the source of much conjecture and a very interesting historical artefact, but it is also a grave. Maybe it is better just to leave it in peace and make it a memorial to a brave, ambitious and dedicated lady... not to mention her white male co-pilot of course.
See here for more information: https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.com/2023/12/will-we-find-mh370-in-2024.html.
And: https://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.com/2018/08/third-rail-radio-programme-42.html.


Anonymous said...

Wow ben u r a fin GENIUS

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Well, one can only try...