Amelia Earhart

The Mystery Solved

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When Amelia Earhart disappeared on July 2, 1937, she was flying the longest leg of her around-the-world flight and was only days away from completing her journey. Her plane was never found, and for more than sixty years rumors have persisted about what happened to her.
Now, with the recent discovery of long-lost radio messages from Earhart's final flight, we can say with confidence that she ran out of gas just short of her destination of Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. From the beginning of her flight, a series of tragic circumstances all but doomed her and her navigator, Fred Noonan.
Authors Elgen M. and Marie K. Long spent more than twenty-five years researching the mystery surrounding Earhart's final flight before finally determining what happened. They traveled over one hundred thousand miles to interview more than one hundred people who knew some part of the Earhart story. They draw on authoritative sources to take us inside the cockpit of the Electra plane that Earhart flew and recreate the final flight itself. Because Elgen Long began his own flying career not long after Earhart's disappearance, he can describe the equipment and conditions of the time with a vivid first-hand accuracy. As a result, this book brings to life the primitive conditions under which Earhart flew, in an era before radar, with unreliable communications, grass landing strips, and poorly mapped islands.
Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved does more than just answer the question, What happened to Amelia Earhart? It reminds us how daring early aviators such as Earhart were as they risked their lives to push the technology of the day to its limits -- and beyond.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743202176 | 
  • January 2000
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Tragedy Near Howland Island

Friday morning, July 2, 1937, Lae, New Guinea. It was not yet ten o'clock, but the tropical sun already beat down unmercifully on the twin-engine Lockheed Electra. Inside the closed cockpit, Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, could feel the heat build as they taxied away from the Guinea Airways hangar.

The heavily loaded plane lumbered slowly across the grassy airfield toward the far northwest corner. Soon they would take off southeastward toward the shoreline, to take advantage of a light breeze blowing off the water. When they reached the jungle growth at the end of the field,... see more

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