The Truth About Amelia Earhart’s Disappearance Possibly Solved After Decades

After almost 90 years of wondering what happened to Amelia Earhart, we may finally have an answer!

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Amelia Earhart leaning out of plane.

Amelia Earhart was born July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. Her parents were Amy Otis Earhart and Edwin Staton Earhart and she had a little sister named Muriel. Growing up her family moved all across the United States finally settling in Illinois, where Earhart eventually graduated high school. She started college but left soon after at the start of World War I to work at a Canadian military hospital. There she became interested in flying and aviation.

Once the war was over, Earhart completed school and took her first plane ride in 1920. That is when she realized she had a true passion for flying and began lessons with another female pilot, Neta Snook. Earhart purchased a Kinner Airster biplane on her 25th birthday and set the record for women’s altitude record for 14,000 feet. Sadly, she soon had to sell it due to her family’s financial struggles as well as her parent’s divorce.

Earhart sitting in plane, waving to camera.
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Continuing to practice her flying skills in air shows, Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, as a passenger alongside Charles Lindbergh in 1928. In 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. After years of flying, she attempted to be the first woman to fly around the world in 1937. With just 7,000 miles left, Earhart’s plane unfortunately lost contact with the radio near the Howland Islands and was never found. But that might change very soon.

According to CNN, a team of marine robotics experts and underwater archaeologists with Deep Sea Vision may have found a clue that could finally put an end to the mystery people have been wondering about for decades. The team used sonar imaging during their exploration. Sonar imaging uses sound waves to measure the distance from the seafloor to the surface.

The imaging has spotted something more than 16,000 feet underwater, near the Howland Islands, that resembles a small aircraft. According to the CEO of Deep Sea Vision, Tony Romeo, a former US Air Force intelligence officer and pilot, “We have an opportunity to bring closure to one of the greatest American stories ever.” The team plans to return within the year to confirm their findings hopefully.

Sonar image and example of Earhart's plane side by side.
IMAGE VIA CBS NEWS

Although it will be some time before it is confirmed if the aircraft once belonged to Earhart, there is no doubt that the fierce pilot is a massive inspiration, setting the path for women everywhere for nearly 90 years.

If you’re interested in learning more about Amelia Earhart or teaching about her, below are five non-fiction books that go into further detail. The books range for various age groups if you are looking to teach your child more about Amelia and her effect on the world.

1. The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Mary S. Lovell

Close up photo of Earhart  with goggles and hat on, in the clouds.
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This biography dives deep into the story of Amelia Earhart, discussing things from her tomboy childhood to her love life to her fascination with aviation. The author uses documents, letters, and real interviews with friends and family as well as rival pilots to capture the life, persistence, and mystery of Earhart.

2. I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer

Cartoon Earhart running on a hill with a plane overhead.
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This book is perfect for children ages 5 to 8. It includes a detailed timeline to help keep track of Earhart’s life. It also includes photos and is written in comic book-style drawings, which will help keep children entertained. To make it more relatable to children, the author discusses moments in Earhart’s childhood that influenced her future.

3. Amelia Earhart: A Biography by Doris L. Rich

Photo of Earhart with goggles and hat on.
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In this biography, Rich goes over Earhart’s accomplishments of being the most famous female pilot and her fight for women’s rights. Rich downplays the mystery of Earhart’s disappearance by going into detail about her life. Rich calls refer to Earhart as “a woman of three centuries”, being she was born in the 19th century, living in the 20th, and is a proponent for women’s rights in the 21st century.

4. Who Was a Daring Pioneer of the Skies?: Amelia Earhart: A Who HQ Graphic Novel by Who Hq & Melanie Gillman

Illustrated cover Earhart  on a plane.
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This novel is perfect for middle schoolers eager to learn more about Earhart. The graphic novel goes into detail about Earhart’s determination and passion as she attempted to make her second journey around the globe. Full of color and illustrations, this book is bound to keep a child’s attention.

5. East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler

Side profile photo of Earhart with goggles and hat on her head.
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Based on journals and letters from Earhart’s personal life, this book follows the story of both Earhart’s early life, experience as a social worker and nurse, and career as one of the first women in aviation. It goes into detail about her life with her family and her jobs before she found her passion for flying.

Whether or not we ever find out exactly what happened to Amelia Earhart, it’s evident that she was and is still an inspiration to women all around the world. She has shown young girls and women to continuously fight for what they want, despite what the world and society may expect from them. Her passionate, determined outlook is a message that will continue to spread for a very long time.


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