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Amelia Earhart Distress Calls Put Her 121-Year-Old Remains Forever on Tiny Gardner Island

Amelia Earhart Distress Calls Put Her 121-Year-Old Remains Forever on Tiny Gardner Island

Amelia Earhart (Smithsonian Institution via Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:14 AM EDT

Amelia Earhart distress calls in 1937 put the famed woman aviator forever on tiny Gardner Island in the Pacific Ocean, researcher Richard Gillespie has claimed after years of analyzing her reported radio messages.

Earhart’s 121st birthday is on Tuesday. There have been almost as many theories and hoaxes about her disappearance.

Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, put together a catalog of radio distress calls he said were received by both government agencies and individuals in the days after Earhart went missing, USA Today reported.

The researcher claimed his 30-page report verified Earhart's effort to call for help and he dismissed the prevailing theory that her plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Government officials, though, have dismissed the radio signals as hoaxes after searchers failed to find any trace of Earhart's plane.

"These signals give us a glimpse into those last days before they're really stuck (on Gardner Island)," Gillespie said, according to USA Today.

Gillespie’s report suggests that Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan, low on fuel, landed on the reef of Gardner Island, about 350 nautical miles south of Howland Island, the only site substantial enough to act as a landing strip.

"Earhart used 3105 kHz as her 'nighttime' frequency and 6210 kHz as her 'daytime' frequency," Gillespie's report said. "… Those nighttime signals were heard on 3105 kHz or on the second, fifth or sixth harmonic of that frequency. On the two occasions when credible signals were heard during Gardner daytime, both were heard on 24840 kHz, the 4th harmonic of 6210 kHz, Earhart's daytime frequency.”

"… There is, therefore, a clear correlation between the frequency upon which credible post-loss signals were heard, the time of day on Gardner Island, and Earhart's known use of her two primary frequencies."

Some “witnesses,” Gillespie's report said, from the U.S., Canada and the central Pacific heard "a woman, speaking English – and in some instances saying she was Amelia Earhart – requesting help on 3105 kHz or a harmonic of that frequency.”

"In one case, two widely separated credible sources, one in Wyoming and one in eastern Canada, simultaneously heard a woman saying she was Amelia Earhart and requesting help," the report said.

Gillespie acknowledged in the report that while there were hoaxes at the time, "These were not reports from people who heard hoax transmissions but rather reports from people who, for whatever reason, claimed to have heard something they did not hear."

Tom Crouch, a curator of aviation at the Smithsonian, said despite the report, he believes Earhart and Noonan simply crashed into the ocean, USA Today said.

"I don't think anybody has actually proven beyond the shadow of a doubt what happened to her," Crouch told the newspaper. "It's a big ocean and they were shooting for a tiny, little target. I think they just went down at sea."

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TheWire
Amelia Earhart distress calls in 1937 put the famed woman aviator forever on tiny Gardner Island in the Pacific Ocean, researcher Richard Gillespie has claimed after years of analyzing her reported radio messages.
amelia earhart, distress call
478
2018-14-24
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:14 AM
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