Abbie Dissette

Amelia Earhart: the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, the first woman to fly nonstop coast to coast. She pushed the boundaries for gender equality in her time by not only becoming the first woman to complete many of these aviation achievements but also by being the first person to fly the 2,408-mile distance across Honolulu and Oakland, California solo while simultaneously having that be the first flight in which a civilian aircraft carried a two-way radio. She was an incredibly determined woman, but is known not for her accomplishments, but rather her vanishing.
Ever since her disappearance in 1933, individuals have wondered where Amelia Earhart could have ended up. Many believe that her plane simply ran out of fuel and crashed in the Pacific Ocean; others believe she managed to land and was taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese. That theory splits with many speculating she died or survived and moved to New Jersey under a pseudonym. However, the most interesting theory of them all is rooted with strong evidence that Amelia crash landed, survived, and eventually died on Gardner Island (now known as Nikumaroro).
Originally Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were planned to land on Howard Island, but being able to find the island, the two followed their navigational line that lead them to land their plane, the Electra, safely on the island’s fringing reef. The last in-flight radio message – there are rumors of many other distress calls being received from Earhart after the crash – heard by the Coast Guard was of Earhart relaying the plane’s nautical position: “We are on the line 157 337 …. We are running on line north and south.” The island is approximately 346 miles from Howard Island- well within the Electra’s range – and has long expanses of reef that dry during low tide and are flat enough for a pilot as experienced as Earhart to land an airplane.
What’s particularly intriguing about Gardner Island is the many artifacts believed to have belonged to Earhart and Noonan. There was a makeshift campsite set up on the island’s southeast side as well as a box that had once contained a sextant used for aeronautical purposes, remnants of a woman’s show that she was American based off the origin of the material, identical in size and style to what Earhart was said to wear, and, most compelling, there was a skeleton.
The bones found on the island have been the biggest issue with the conspiracy since the skeleton was discovered in 1940. Since the unearthing of this evidence, forensic analysis has developed and may mean that original examining doctor, D. W. Hoodless, had miscategorized just whom the bones belonged to. With the notes of the original examination, since the physical bones have been lost, acknowledgement that the weather and coconut crabs could have contaminated the skeleton, and photos taken of Amelia Earhart have confirmed that the bones could have very well belonged to the aviator.
However, there are holes in the theory. The fate of Noonan is still unknown, and the plane has never been discovered, plus the evidence is completely circumstantial. There is a strong possibility that this particular conspiracy could be confirmed in the near future thanks to the efforts of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). They’ve been diligently searching the island and the surrounding waters for evidence of the famed aviators disapperance.