Amelia Earhart was looking to be the first pilot to go around the world, but her plane disappeared in the Pacific Ocean in July 1937.
The time: 20:14 GMT, July 2, 1937. The message from the airmen to the US Coast Guard Itasca indicates the position of the Electra aircraft. Then the silence. The plane disappeared, flown by Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.
From that moment on, a veil of mystery was drawn over the fate of the fierce American pilot. What happened to her and her companion?
When it will be 84 years since its disappearance in the Pacific Ocean, scientists at Penn State University analyze new evidence, in light of current technology.
Researchers will use a nuclear reactor to examine a metal patch found on a small Pacific island in 1991. They are trying to find out if the piece belonged to Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed 10-E Electra model.
The university’s Breazeale nuclear reactor will examine the patch for paint chips. Or, any other detail that gives you more clues about its origin.
Amelia Earhart’s Story
Earhart set out on June 1, 1937 from Oakland. Her goal: to be the first aviator to fly around the world. They passed through Miami, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Caripito (Venezuela), Africa, East India and South Asia.
When they were preparing to stop at the Howland Islands to refuel, they did not make it. They disappeared. They just disappeared.
Although the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt mobilized forces to search for the pilot and her companion, they were never able to find them. It was speculated that they died as castaways, even finding some human remains, but without confirming that they were those of Earhart or Noon.
The metal panel of the Electra?
In 1991 a metal panel was found on Nikumaroro, a Pacific island. Now they want to analyze it with new technology.
« We can use these techniques to examine the surface images and make a qualitative and quantitative determination of the ingredients, » said Daniel Beck.
Beck directs the engineering program at the Penn State Radiation Science and Engineering Center.
The interest is to examine it to confirm that it was part of the Electra. Its origin is expected to be confirmed or denied by the spring of this year. It will mean one more step in the goal of solving the mystery of Amelia Earhart.