Amelia Earhart, 75 Years Later
On her last radio transmission, Amelia Earhart's voice was "hurried, frantic," according to Commander Warner K. Thompson, commander of the Coast Guard cutter Itasca. She knew she was in trouble. "KHAQQ to Itasca," the famous aviator transmitted. "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat message. We will repeat this on 6210 Kilocycles. Wait. We are running on line north and south." She would not be heard from again.
Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan had set out on their round-the-world flight just one month earlier, on June 1, 1937, from Florida, 75 years ago today.
This weekend, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) is holding a three-day conference in Arlington, Virginia, presenting information about the organization's upcoming July 2012 expedition to the island of Nikumaroro (in the Republic of Kiribati). The organization believes that Earhart and Noonan landed, and eventually died, on Nikumaroro, and hope its July expedition will supply the forensic evidence needed to prove it.
In this photograph, Earhart sits in the unfinished fuselage of the Lockheed Electra in which she planned to circumnavigate the globe.
Unidentified photographer for Acme Newspictures, Inc. Courtesy the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.