By Paul Richardson
Since 41 year old Amelia Earhart disappeared July 2, 1937 on her second attempt to lay claim as the first woman to fly around the world, many wild and fascinating theories have emerged. Since no trace of her has ever been found, perhaps one theory is as good as another.
But just when you think you’ve heard them all, another one pops up.
This time, in a book by W.C. Jameson, his story is Mrs. Earhart was actually on a sanctioned spy mission for President Roosevelt. The round the world stunt was just a ploy.
In 1937, Japanese hostilities were already raging in the Pacific Islands, so it seems only natural that anyone passing thru the area would be asked to notice anything going on.
But Jameson’s book goes on to claim the Roosevelt administration, which he says knew of her fate, made no attempts to rescue her because the president did not want to admit the famed, female aviator was on a spy mission.
Jameson claims to have found evidence showing Earhart’s plane was equipped with cameras to record Japanese military installations in the Pacific.
The author writes that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were shot down or forced to land in Japanese territory and held prisoner for the duration of the war.
So far, this is nothing we haven’t heard before. But here’s the good part.
Earhart was freed in 1945, and returned to the United States under a new identity, Irene Craigmile Bolam, so as not to embarrass Roosevelt, according to Mr. Jameson, and lived out her life in the U.S. until her death in 1982 in New Jersey.
Dozens of theories about the nature of Earhart’s disappearance have sprung up over the years and this is yet another. It remains one of the most debated unsolved mysteries in America even today.
Various teams who believe the often cited “crashed-and-sank” theory, an explanation supported by curators at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, have tried to pinpoint the crash location using sophisticated equipment to scan the ocean floor and employing computer models, based on the strength of Earhart’s radio transmissions. No one has found a single verified plane part or bone fragment or any other trace.
All this makes for good reading, but it seems highly unlikely that if Mrs. Earhart was captured and imprisoned, she would have survived eight years in a POW camp.
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