What happened to Amelia Earheart is still a mystery some 80 years later. Earheart and her navigator Fred Noonan, departed east of Oakland, California, in a modified twin-engine Lockheed Electra 10E and were last seen on July 2, 1937, in Lae, New Guinea, as they ventured toward Howland Island in one of the last legs of the journey. In 1940, a British officer found 13 human bones on an island and sent them to Fiji, where they were measured and unfortunately lost. Again, another roadblock to finding the truth. The remote island in the Pacific is called Nikumaroro.
This past weekend (June 24/17), a search party set sail for the remote island to look for more clues about the fate of her and that of her co-pilot. This is the first time an expedition has included a group of forensic dogs to be used to sniff for human remains. The border collies (named Berkeley, Piper, Marcy and Kayle) are specially trained to look for historic and prehistoric human remains. According to National Geographic Society’s archaeologist-in-residence, Fred Hiebert “No other technology is more sophisticated than the dogs. They have a higher rate of success identifying things than ground-penetrating radar.” But the environment of the island, which is hot, humid and full of thick vegetation, could prove a challenge.
Earhart was already a famous aviator by the time she set off for her round-the-world flight in June 1937. Among her many other records, she was the first woman, and second person after Charles Lindbergh, to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. I hope to be around when and if the mystery is solved of what happened to Amelia.