The Mystery of Amelia Earhart Essay Example
Although the vast majority thinks Amelia Earhart crashed and perished in the Pacific Ocean during her final flight, there is compelling evidence to suggest that she in fact died on the Japanese island of Saipan. A theory explains her dangerous plan, disappearance, death, and the cover-up behind it all. So, how did this all come about?
On June 1, 1937, Amelia Earhart decided to set out for her most dangerous flight yet. Her goal was to become the first person to fly around the globe at its widest point, the Equator. Her circumnavigation of the globe would go well for twenty-three days until Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan traveled to their pit stop for gas in Lea, New Guinea. When Earhart left New Guinea for her last pit stop, Howland Island, things took a turn. Earhart and Noonan disappeared into the vast water of the Pacific causing one of the biggest open water search parties the U.S. has ever had (Doncaster 18). Unfortunately, the pair never turned up, at least not in U.S. territory.
There are many conspiracy theories surrounding this disappearance, but the one that stands out the most is the Mariana theory. The Itasca, Earhart's “picket ship”, gathered that she was not on course when she left for Howland (Pearl 142-143). According to the 2017 History Channel documentary “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” produced by Jordan Peele, Earhart mentioned cloudy and overcast skies (38:25). The only clouds that day were north of Howland, proving that Earhart was,in fact, traveling more north due to a wind change (38:32-39:13). Earhart said in her message “cannot see you, but running low on gas” (39:32) and was told to turn back to the Gilberts if this had ever happened. However, if Earhart was more north of Howland and turned back toward the Gilberts, that would place her right on the Japanese island of Mili Atoll (40:20-40:48). Further investigation of this island would turn up metal from a plane that matched Earhart’s Electra and wheels to the Japanese dollies that transported it (46:50-47:55). When she crashed, the Japanese took the pair to Saipan where they were held in a Japanese prison (55:30-55:40). It is believed that this is where Earhart and Noonan met their death.
There are many eyewitnesses that put both Earhart and Noonan in prison on Saipan. In Thomas E. Devine’s 1987 book, “Eyewitness: the Amelia Earhart Incident,” Devine states that Earhart and Noonan were spotted on the Japanese island of Saipan. Within this book, many other natives have also said they indeed saw the pair there. One local historian, Genevieve Cabrera, told of her stories in an article about her Great -Aunt who worked at the prison holding Earhart and Noonan (Shaw 37). Her Aunt was assigned to do the prisoners laundry that day and said she saw Earhart, describing her as a boyish looking woman and that she was ill. (Shaw 37). Earhart was said to have had dysentery by many of the eyewitnesses and that it was possible that she died from it. Subsequently, Noonan was reportedly beheaded for throwing his soup at a Japanese officer (Hart 8-9). Two U.S. Marines later revealed that their captain took them to a Saipan cemetery in 1944 and were ordered to dig up two bodies. When the Marines asked why, their captain asked them if they had ever heard of Amelia Earhart (1:04:00-1:04:32).
If Earhart and Noonan why hasn’t the truth come out? Well at the time the Japanese had control over the Marshall Islands. They violated international law by pouring military resources into these islands (Hart 6-8). The Japanese did everything to keep this quiet. Admitting they had taken Earhart and Noonan would tell the U.S. about what they were doing. It is believed that the Japanese covered up the pairs death and told any natives who might have identified them to keep quiet (55:45- 56:05). It hasn’t been until recently that these people have come forward about what they saw on account of people advising them to keep their stories to themselves. Even our own government knew more than they said about this cover-up. There are many documents found in the archives throughout the 2017 History Channel documentary “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” produced by Jordan Peele, that state things the government had recorded but had not told America (0:00-1:24:00).
While the truth may never be told about what happened to Earhart and Noonan, we have learned about the compelling evidence placing them both in the Marshall Islands. It is believed they crashed on Mili Atoll, were taken to Saipan, and that it was covered up by the Japanese. Maybe one day this mystery will finally be laid to rest.