So yesterday I watched “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” on the History Channel. The show was great and presented a plausible case for what actually may have happened to Amelia based on the recently discovered photo below. CAUTION: SPOILERS BELOW!!!!
There have been so many theories as to what happened to Amelia when she mysteriously vanished in 1937 during her flight. Last night’s show presented the theory of Amelia’s survival and eventually capture by the Japanese. In a world prior to WWII (only 4 years prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States entry into WWII) tensions between Japan and the U.S. were evident. Was it possible that the Japanese viewed Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, as American spies? The show included several interviews with people, who recalled either treating or seeing two “white” people, a man and woman. One woman they interviewed, being a young girl at the time of the sighting in Saipan, recalls being confused by Amelia’s appearance. She appeared to look like a man, but the young girl was told that this “man” was indeed a woman. This would make sense. Amelia’s hair was cut short, her frame was lanky and would be described as boyish, and she was often wearing pants, something women during that time didn’t wear very often. (During WWII we see women wearing pants more, especially women who worked in factories and shipyards as Rosie the Riveters).
For many who say that this photograph and eye witness accounts finally solve the mystery of Amelia Earhart, they are wrong. If this is indeed the truth, there are still so many questions left to be answered and in the case of Amelia Earhart, there has always been more questions than answers. One such question is why, if our government knew that the Japanese were holding Amelia and Fred captive, didn’t they arrange for their release? Why keep it a secret? In a world on the brink of war, it makes some sense why they would remain silent. If the government had decided to reveal the information of Amelia’s capture and possible death, would it have made us enter the war sooner? We will never know. Amelia will continue to remain an enigma and a mystery. Her story and daring-do exploits will continue to enrapture us. One wonders also, what her reaction would have been to see the creation of the WASPS (Women Air Service Pilots) during World War II, to see young women follow in her footsteps and into the wild blue yonder. What kind of role would she have played in World War II (During WWI she served as a nurse with the Red Cross)? We can only ask ourselves what could have been and remember Amelia Earhart as we know her, a daring pioneer in women’s rights and women’s aviation instead of a prisoner. Possibly the first American casualty of World War II. Instead she will remain the woman who was adored by millions, a celebrity you might say, even to this day.