Ep. 21: Jean-Paul Joe Schmoe: Amelia Earhart
This week Shannon scares Emma with planes and gigantic crabs in retaliation for all the times Emma has made her cry to tell the incredible story of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, who disappeared in the Pacific in the 30s. Were they stranded and eventually eaten by crabs? (ew. no thank you.) Were they captured? Sucked up into space? Come listen to our theories and all of our shoutouts to Tom King, archeologist extraordinare!
Speaker A: Hello.
Speaker B: Hello.
Speaker A: I'm Shannon.
Speaker B: I'm Emma.
Speaker A: And welcome to this podcast doesn't exist.
Speaker B: This is so weird. We're doing this over zoom right now. I am at my parents house. I'm currently in my mother's closet, and it is very weird not sitting on a couch with you right now.
Speaker A: I know. I feel like we both kind of look like Madame Leotta from Mansion, and I just feel like I'm leaning into the microphone. Hopefully this is good. Tell us.
Speaker B: I have a feeling that our audio is a little bit better, but it's only because we each have our own microphone, so we get to hang on to it.
Speaker A: Except not because Emma didn't want to hold her, because, quote, my hands would get tired.
Speaker B: My hands would get tired if I held it up. It's not even just my hand. It would be my arm. My arm would get tired.
Speaker A: You're telling me that this is not even £1 microphone? We don't fitness shame on this podcast. But maybe carry some books around.
Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker A: Do, um, you have thoughts about our audio quality? You can reach us on Instagram at this podcast doesn't exist. You can slide into our DMs. You can also play bingo with the card found in our, uh, Lincoln bio.
Speaker B: Please play bingo. Shannon worked very hard on our bingo.
Speaker A: You can't see my face because that's kind of our thing. You're never going to see our faces. I don't know.
Speaker B: We haven't made are you? We haven't made a decision currently. No, you're not. It's just going to be our voices and text on a screen.
Speaker A: Although most of you know us in real life, so you can picture the faces.
Speaker B: Yeah, that's true. Shannon has a particular face, apparently, that other people like the Shannon face. Um, yeah, there you go. Incredulous. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Speaker A: Yeah. All right. Well, Emma, we have a lot to get to today.
Speaker B: I know. Shannon told me she has 19 pages of notes. And guys, that is so many notes.
Speaker A: Caveat. I use size 14 font. There are several photos, and there's at least one page of notes or of sources. What if it was just one page of notes?
Speaker B: One page of 18 pages of photos and sources?
Speaker A: I just actually screen share a, uh, national Geographic documentary for the podcast.
Speaker B: How.
Speaker A: To Get Taken Down Off the Internet.
Speaker B: Yes. All right, who's going to find us?
Speaker A: Big Brother is listening.
Speaker B: Tony's listening.
Speaker A: Yeah, but he's not going to report us. We don't even use his real name.
Speaker B: Tony is not his real name.
Speaker A: Oh, he didn't tell you. Awkward.
Speaker B: My own husband.
Speaker A: All right, well, let me minimize you and minimize the auto.
Speaker B: Stop looking at me.
Speaker A: Well, I still see you over here in the corner, which is nice because I can see you react to things.
Speaker B: This will be fun.
Speaker A: Yeah. So I started this notes document. You know how on the Internet, when you're going to indicate an action. You do the little Asterisks on either side. So for this one, I just put joke about Emma's flight anxiety in the Asterisks and then sorry, Tony.
Speaker B: Dude, this is a plane.
Speaker A: It's plane related. But I don't think it'll rev up your specific anxiety because this is old school planes.
Speaker B: It's still anxietyinducing. I mean, the flight 589 or whatever it was the Sabina flight that freaked me out to no end.
Speaker A: I think there's enough in this episode to make you forget because, Emma, there are so many twists and turns, and I thought about doing like a shopping list at the beginning of this episode to be like, we've got blank, we've got blank. But I also didn't want to give it away.
Speaker B: Right at the top. Is this something that I know?
Speaker A: Oh, yeah. But you may not know how deep it goes. I was telling Emma and shout out to Shelby. Um, I was telling them in our little video chat that I feel like the guy I've been informed it's from Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Speaker B: Yes, it is, Charlie.
Speaker A: Uh, but the meme with the red string and all of the lines because that's literally how I was feeling. I woke up 45 minutes before my alarm this morning.
Speaker B: I don't know how you stayed up later than me and woke up earlier than me and I barely made my way out of bed.
Speaker A: I'm just very excited.
Speaker B: I'm so glad.
Speaker A: All right, so here we go.
Speaker B: Let's get into it.
Speaker A: We're going to get into it. First, though, I'm going to say shout out to Ruth, who specifically asked about this in our podcast reaction group chat. I hope I do this epic tale justice. Oh, great author. Alright, so today, Emma, um, we are talking about Amelia Earhart.
Speaker B: Damn it. I knew it.
Speaker A: Why do you sound sad or angry?
Speaker B: I am very excited, but when you said that it was it was suggested by Ruth, I was like, oh, no, I think I know what this is because planes are involved. It's Amelia Earhart.
Speaker A: All right.
Speaker B: I'm so excited.
Speaker A: Here we go. I'm going to give you what I've dubbed the Wiki highlights because there's so much about the end part of this story that we can't spend very much time in the early days. But I do want to lay a little bit of a foundation. Many of us have heard of Amelia Earhart. If you haven't heard of her, like, where are you? Maybe you're not American. I don't know. Um, but I'm going to give you kind of a rundown of her resume.
Speaker B: Resume.
Speaker A: So Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. There you go. Uh, all right. In 1918, she and a friend attended the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and witnessed a flying demonstration by a World War One ace flash pilot who decided to have a little bit of fun and take a dive at these two young women, probably thinking he was going to spook them. I'm sure he didn't get super close, but it's still planes are relatively new in 1918.
Speaker B: Oh my God.
Speaker A: Um, but I loved this quote that she said. I did not understand it at the time, but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it switched by. So that was kind of her first encounter more directly with flight.
Speaker B: I like that she called it swished.
Speaker A: It's just switched. It's just saying hi.
Speaker B: It dive bomb me. It just switched.
Speaker A: I picture her as like a Disney princess and the plane is like a little animal. But after a ten minute flight of her own in 1919, earhart knew that she wanted to learn to fly on her own. She worked a variety of jobs, including photographer, truck driver, and stenographer at the local telephone company. And she managed to save up the $1,000 for flying lessons. Apparently her parents helped contribute to this kind of start fund as well, even though her mother was like, this is not a good idea.
Speaker B: But $1,000 at that time. Well, yes, incredible amount of money.
Speaker A: Well, because it wasn't just for the lessons. It was kind of a security deposit.
Speaker B: Right?
Speaker A: Like, planes are very expensive. They're not just going to let you be like, oh, I paid $20, here I go. So, in order to reach the airfield, earhart had to take a bus to the end of the line and then walk 4 miles to get to the airfield, which is 6 km for any non American listeners out there. Uh, there you go. Just, uh, wait. Tom king. Just wait is all I'm going to say.
Speaker B: Tom, this is my ploy to make sure that you listen to every episode, just saying your name every single episode so that you listen. Because that was the only way that I feel like I got you to listen to any of our episodes. So you're welcome. Continue listening and wait for your shout out.
Speaker A: Yes, wait for it. I can't give it away so early in the podcast.
Speaker B: I know, I'm really bad about that. Sorry.
Speaker A: You're just excited. But everyone you can cross off real person shout out on your bingo card at least three times over at this point.
Speaker B: Yeah, that's true. We already shouted out Ruth and Shelby.
Speaker A: Yeah, Tony.
Speaker B: Tony is real.
Speaker A: Yes, the husband is real. I was at the husband's real. Alright, so Amelia, um, Earhart, she actually learned to fly from another female aviator named Anita, nickname Snook. Uh, which I love.
Speaker B: Snook.
Speaker A: The only snookie I care about.
Speaker B: Why have I never heard of her?
Speaker A: Because, um, patriarchy.
Speaker B: Oh, okay.
Speaker A: Probably.
Speaker B: And she didn't die in an airplane. Uh, related way, maybe?
Speaker A: Why would you say that, Emma? We don't know. I don't know what happened to Miss Snook. I didn't research her.
Speaker B: That's okay. I'll look into her later because I really like her name.
Speaker A: We love it. And I love this anecdote So when Amelia Earhart decided, I'm going to go all in. I'm going to be a pilot, she cut her hair short and she bought a leather jacket, but she didn't want to stand out like a sore thumb. Like, oh, here's this kind of rich white girl who just bought a jacket and wants to, uh, think she can fit in. So she actually slept in the jacket for three days to make it look worn out, which I kind of love.
Speaker B: That's really sweet. Yeah, horrible sleep, but sweet.
Speaker A: All right, now I'm going to share my little screen with you because this is how we're doing Photos. Um, so in case you didn't know, that's what Amelia Earhart looks like. She's cute. And my caption is, if you don't have a crush, you're wrong, because Amelia Earhart, guys, is so cute.
Speaker B: She's adorable. She really is adorable.
Speaker A: I love her.
Speaker B: And she's one of those women of history that she's so iconic because she's so singular in who she is. I love it. Yeah.
Speaker A: In the, um, media, she was referred to sometimes as Lucky Lindy or Lady Lindy, because apparently she looked similar to fellow aviator Charles Lindberg, which I think is interesting.
Speaker B: It's rude. Yeah.
Speaker A: I was like, or she can just be Amelia Earhart. All right, so on October 22, 1922, earhart flew her plane, nicknamed the Canary, because it was bright yellow to an altitude of 14,000ft or 4300 meters, setting a world record for female pilots, which I'm like, rude. We don't need to, okay. She can just be a doctor or a pilot without being a female doctor or a female pilot. Although I do love throughout many of these articles, they refer to Earhart as an aviatrix, which I just love. It sounds so, like yeah, fancy.
Speaker B: It does. Out of all that, I was having this conversation with my dad the other night. There's no real difference between an actor and an actress or a hero or a heroine or whatever. And he, um, was like, yeah. I mean, the route is the same, so it doesn't make logical sense to really change it. It's just the way that we've done it. And I was like, yeah, but we don't have to continue. Yeah.
Speaker A: I refer to myself as an actor, not as an actress.
Speaker B: Yeah. I wonder, would there be a female version of a book binder? We were talking about the binding. Uh, it sounds like a wear corsets, like, constantly. Or I put people in corsets, more likely, maybe.
Speaker A: I don't know.
Speaker B: Anyway.
Speaker A: Like Madame de la Crois from Bridgeton.
Speaker B: Oh, yeah, the mojo. I finished Bridgeton, and I started out.
Speaker A: With so stay tuned for some Scottish legends coming from Emma. In future episodes, maybe. On May 15, Amelia Earhart became the 16th woman in the United States to be issued a pilot's license. Her license is number 6017 by the Federation Aeronautic International, or FAI. So she was only, uh, the 16th woman in the US.
Speaker B: That's crazy, though, that there were 15 other women before her that I haven't heard of. Yes. Other than that lindberg's wife. I think she was.
Speaker A: I know not. I will say there's a really good episode of stuff you, uh, missed in history class about Amelia Earhart. And I think either in that episode or in an additional episode, they talk about kind of female pilots in the early 1009, hundreds in the US. So check them out. They're cool.
Speaker B: Cool.
Speaker A: In 1928, she was the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic via airplane. She was accompanying, uh, Pilot Wilmer Stoltz. But she herself, she described that journey and her, uh, role in it as a stack of potatoes because, literally, she broke that record, technically. But she was the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic. So, not to be content with being a stack of potatoes, she became the first woman to fly solo across the North Atlantic continent and back in August 1928. So that same year okay. She competed in flying competitions and continued to advocate for women's participation in the field of aviation, which is me kind of summing up the middle of her career, um, as quickly as possible, because there's so much to talk about. So she's awesome. In 19, uh, 32, she became the first woman to make a nonstop, solo, transatlantic flight. She did this in a Lockheed Vega Five B, which we, uh, stood in front of. We did? Oh, yeah, we did. I looked for that picture, but I'm pretty sure it's on your phone.
Speaker B: It is on my phone. So, for my Hendu my, uh, bachelorette party before my wedding to Tony, who is real, um, we did a scavenger hunt around the museums in DC. And one of the things to find was Amelia Earhart's plane. And Shannon, um, stood in front of it, and I took a picture, and she looked all cute, and she was wearing a little bandana around her head, so she looked very aviatrics. So it was cute.
Speaker A: It was cute.
Speaker B: But yeah. That's a nice plane. Yeah.
Speaker A: And she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for that achievement, for crossing the Atlantic alone, nonstop. And then in 1935, she became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor, to quote, woman students. I'm like that's. Such a weird way to describe students, but okay.
Speaker B: But that's so cool.
Speaker A: She was also a member of the National Women's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Speaker B: Of course she was. But how could she not be?
Speaker A: Truly? All right, so now we get to the journey. That was all the background. This is the journey. You're okay? Not quite yet. Okay.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: So, early in 1936, earhart began planning a trip that would take her around the globe. So, while other people had flown around the world previously, hers would be the longest journey because she would be roughly following the line of the equator okay. Which is the thickest part of the globe. So the longest flight distance.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: So she received funding from Purdue University, which I'm like, man, it must be nice to have a job where people pay you to do stuff instead of you have to pay to go to school.
Speaker B: Yeah. Really?
Speaker A: Performing arts. Um, so, in July of 1936, she had a Lockheed Electra Tene built at the Lockheed Aircraft Company to her specifications, uh, which included extensive modifications to the fuselage to incorporate many additional fuel tanks. Which makes sense, because if you're flying long distances, you don't want to have to stop all the time.
Speaker B: No.
Speaker A: Because sometimes there are oceans you don't want to stop, or you may not be able to stop.
Speaker B: Sometimes there are oceans of the planet.
Speaker A: In case you didn't know.
Speaker B: Whoever met that percentage is yes.
Speaker A: So, initially, Earhart chose Captain Harry Manning to be her navigator for this journey. He had been the captain of the President Roosevelt, which is the ship that brought her back from Europe in 1928. So after she was a sack of potatoes, she came back on this boat called the President Roosevelt, and he was the captain. He was also a pilot and a skilled radio operator who knew Morse code. So a handy guy to have.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: However, on a previous CrossAmerica flight, um, that had Amelia Earhart, this Captain Manning, and Earhart's husband, George Putnam, aboard, captain Manning's navigation had been kind of questionable. The discrepancy was written off as kind of being minor because the flight path that they were on was very close to state lines. So he said they were in this state when actually they were in this other state. But it was really close. So people were like, It's, uh, fine, it's all good. But later on, um, Putnam, uh, who's Earhart's husband, and her business partner, Paul Mance, who was himself a Hollywood stunt pilot, they decided they needed to put Manning's navigation skills to a test. With a night flight, his navigation was deemed to be 20 miles off, which is actually within the generally accepted 30 miles radius, or, um, like, 30 miles. What am I trying to say?
Speaker B: This short graph.
Speaker A: You know what I mean? Like, the allowable difference.
Speaker B: Yeah, I can't think of the word.
Speaker A: We're not good at math. We don't remember, but you get it. So, by general aviation standards, he was deemed to be acceptable. But Earhart's team wasn't really willing to take any chances.
Speaker B: If 30 miles is the max in terms of, like, the threshold for that, it still seems like an incredibly high amount to have be 20 miles off.
Speaker A: This is also 1930, though. Like, the 1930 planes had only been around for, what, like, 20 years.
Speaker B: That point I keep forgetting.
Speaker A: Yeah, you keep forgetting that this is old school.
Speaker B: I keep forgetting history.
Speaker A: So, aviation contacts in the Los Angeles community pointed the team to a gentleman by the name of Fred Newman as an excellent follow up choice. So he had experience in both flight navigation and maritime navigation because he was at one point a ship captain. He had just left the airline, Pan Am, where he had a lot, um, of experience flying Pacific routes, which will be important. Le Terre so the original plan was for Fred Newman to navigate the Hawaii to Holland Island section, um, of the journey, which was particularly difficult. And then Manning would take over to continue with, um, Earhart to Australia, and then she would proceed on her own for the remainder of the journey, which I don't know how I would feel about that, but I guess you're going from Australia to Hawaii. So that's relatively straightforward in terms of distance.
Speaker B: Yeah. And if you're going well, you're going from a big island to a tiny island. I was going to say you're going from a tiny island to a big island. So you can see it. Fine.
Speaker A: No, not quite, but no.
Speaker B: Wrong way. Yes.
Speaker A: So that was the plan initially. So, on March 1737, earhart and her crew flew the first leg of the trip from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii. And this group on this plane included Earhart, both Noon and Manning, as well as her business partner, Paul Mans, who is acting as their technical advisor. Okay, so when they reach Hawaii, there's some technical adjustments that need to be made. So the electra had to be serviced at the US. Navy's Luke Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor.
Speaker B: Fine.
Speaker A: Um, like doing some fine tuning. Again, this is a plane that was commissioned specifically for this trip. So making some adjustments. Um, cool. Three days later, they attempt to take off to officially start their around the world journey. On board were Earhart as the pilot, Nunin as navigator, and Manning as radio operator. So, technically, she had both navigators on board. But Noonan would be navigating and Manning wouldn't take over navigation until later in the journey. However, the plane never made it off the ground. So, during the takeoff run, there was what was called an uncontrolled ground loop, which general, very not informed Wikipedia explanation. Um, a ground loop is where things get out of balance enough that one wing is tipping to the ground and the other one is in the air. And you obviously can't fly if you're discombobulated. So, there was, um, an uncontrolled ground loop. The forward landing gear collapsed, both propellers hit the ground and the plane skidded on its belly, damaging a portion of the runway. So, Earhart and some of the reporters that were present indicated that one of the tires blew out. But others, including Captain Harry Manning, cited pilot error. Um, we're not quite sure. Some people say one thing, some say the other. In either case, the plane was not fit to fly and had to be returned to the lockheed factory for repairs. So returned to California to reset. Manning had already, um, taken a leave of absence from his regular affairs, his job, his family, whoever. He was like, hey, I'm going to be flying around the world. And, um, he cited these delays and these challenges and he officially cut ties with the project. So he's no longer going to be flying around the world.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: And I loved this quote. It said he, um, ended his association with the trip, leaving only Earhart with noonan. Neither of them were skilled radio operators anywho. That's fairbike. On June 1, Amelia Earhart and Fred Newman depart from Miami, Florida, on their second attempt at an around the world flight. So, in the interim between the two attempts, weather patterns had, um, shifted, which is why they opted instead for a west to east approach. Before, they were trying to do California to Hawaii and onward and onward, but now they're going west to east to east. Yes, they're going I mean, technically, the real first leg was California to Florida, but they didn't publicize that they were in Miami when, um, they were starting. So after numerous stops in South America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, they arrived at Lay, New Guinea, on June 29 and 37. At this stage, about 22,000 miles of the journey had been completed. The remaining 7000 miles would be over the Pacific. And then we have another photo.
Speaker B: Photos.
Speaker A: Alrighty, so this is Amelia Earhart and adorable. And Fred Newman. This is taken, um, prior, um, to their journey to their flight.
Speaker B: They look adorable. And he also looks even though I know he's not at that moment, he looks like an old man. Like the way that he's standing, he's just like, nah, he needs to stand up.
Speaker A: I did see an article. I didn't, uh, end up including it, but recently, I say recently, some of the, the last couple of years, they came, um, up with AI technology to kind of animate old photos. And they have one of Emilia or Heart where it's kind of like a GIF in that it's just kind of like blinking and like smiling and shifting around. But it's cool to kind of see these historical figures come to life.
Speaker B: That would be awesome.
Speaker A: Yeah, terrifying. But awesome not terrifying.
Speaker B: I don't know. AI as a thing scares me anyway.
Speaker A: Well, they specifically said in the article that they keep it to a short loop and they don't colorize it to prevent deep fakes. I think it's fair. Like, people on the internet would have Amelia Earhart saying field day.
Speaker B: Yeah, field day. That's fair.
Speaker A: All right, so this next emma, we are in a plane, so you may want to buckle up.
Speaker B: Crap. Uh, all right, well, it has to be can I have one across my shoulders, too?
Speaker A: You could do like an army pilot.
Speaker B: Yeah, I was just about to ask. I want an army pilot. Seat belt. Because I don't want one just around my waist, because that never has made me feel safe. No, I need, uh, top, uh, gun style, like plug in plugin.
Speaker A: All right.
Speaker B: Ready? Okay, great. Because this tightened it. That was me tightening it.
Speaker A: Oh, good. I was worried you got punched accidentally in your mum's closet. The creepy monkey crawled out of the cabinet after you.
Speaker B: I honestly don't know where the monkey is because he's not in his normal spot.
Speaker A: He's right behind me.
Speaker B: I want to make dirty laundry.
Speaker A: No, I want to text your mom and be like, sneak up behind no.
Speaker B: She'S at her office. Luckily, she's getting WiFi put in in her office, so she's, like, gone for the morning. Thankfully, I'm the only person here, so if anything happens to me, it's the monkey's fault.
Speaker A: Yeah, well, hopefully not. This next section of my notes, I've just titled Trouble with A, uh, capital T. That rhymes with P, then stands for pool. Musical reference.
Speaker B: You're welcome. Took me a minute.
Speaker A: Emma didn't jump on board.
Speaker B: I remember watching you in that musical, and that's the only exposure I have to that musical. Really?
Speaker A: You haven't seen the Dick Van Dyke version? No, to be fair, if I have.
Speaker B: I don't remember it fair.
Speaker A: All right, well, trouble right here in the South Pacific. On july 2, 1937, earhart and noonan took off from lay airfield. Their intended destination was Howland Island, a flat sliver of land 6500ft long and 1600ft wide and 2556 miles away. I'm not going to read all of that in kilometers. I'm sorry. So many numbers, you know, miles.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: I feel like the whole rest of the world is able to conceptualize the conversion, and we're like, me, boom. I don't know.
Speaker B: Correct.
Speaker A: When they took off from Lay Airfield, some witnesses reported seeing a radio antenna that may have been damaged during takeoff. But no radio antenna was found on the runway, so that's kind of a disputed report. There were overcast weather conditions, which is always a complication with flight, especially when it's 19 and 37. And they may have been using outdated maps. Later investigations showed that Newton's chart of the islands position was off by five nautical miles. And I just wrote how. Question mark. Question mark. Because they didn't explain what the later investigations were. I am assuming that there were multiple copies of the chart, because I'm like, well, if there was only one and it went down with him, how did you know it was off? So they must have had multiple copies.
Speaker B: Also five. It makes me laugh, because nautical miles are, like, 1.3 miles. It's not all that much more than a mile. Well, I'm like, why.
Speaker A: If you are a sailor, right in and let us know. What the heck?
Speaker B: I also don't know if I'm exact and exactly how much of more than a mile it is, but I know it's just about that.
Speaker A: As we know, Tony has informed Emma that she should never speak with confidence on anything she has not specifically researched for this podcast.
Speaker B: Yeah. And he will continue to tell me that, because apparently I do it a lot outside of my own life. It will be like a movie that I haven't seen. And I'm like, uh, yeah, that's the plot.
Speaker A: And it's like, totally what happens.
Speaker B: What? And I'm like, yeah, that's it. It's mostly because I don't want to continue the conversation or I'm misremembering something.
Speaker A: You're like. Shut it down. Shut it down.
Speaker B: Stop.
Speaker A: You just, um, fully embody, uh, the Kathy Clay attitude of strong and wrong.
Speaker B: Uh.
Speaker A: So, um, during the flight, noonan may have been able to do some celestial navigation to determine their position. They also noted in one, um, of these articles what are you doing?
Speaker B: Celestial navigation sounds like they're in space. I know what it means. I know that he's charting himself with the stars of where they are. But, like, celestial navigation sounds like, well, we made it to space, and now we are traveling from start to start.
Speaker A: Emma, we'll get there. Don't worry.
Speaker B: What?
Speaker A: Yes, don't worry. So they made a note in one of these articles that the plane would cross the international date line during the flight, which, failing to account for the date line, uh, could account for a one degree or 60 miles position error.
Speaker B: 60 miles?
Speaker A: Yes.
Speaker B: Dang. Sorry.
Speaker A: I love Emma getting mad at scientific, um, Facts is my favorite segment of this podcast.
Speaker B: I'm not mad, I'm just surprised.
Speaker A: True. So apparently, throughout this flight, um, Earhart actually had to drop an altitude just due to the heavy cloud cover. Um, and then at 843 on July 2, earhart radioed the Ataska the following message KHAQQ, which were the electra's call letters. So her plane's, uh, call letters to Ataska. We are on line one, uh, 57337. So the Ataska was a us. Coast Guard ship that had been stationed very close to the island that they are, um, traveling to, to Holland Island to be a navigational assist for the plane, as well as to fairy news reporters that were tracking their journey. They just sent it as a support because, as previously mentioned, the island that they're going for is very small, it's very skinny. Um, that's what that ship was doing, and she was trying to communicate with it. They sent up smoke plumes to help to try and visually assist Airhart as well as contact via radio through several different methods, as is the case with a lot of this research, which I'll get into further in a little bit. There's so much of it, it's so dense that if you're very interested, um, you can go and check that out. I didn't have the mental capacity to get into all of the technicalities of the radio, but there are different wavelengths and, um, different methods, and none of them were successful, unfortunately, in making contact. Earhart didn't. Actually have that, uh, much training on her newly installed equipment. Nor did Nunan, as we previously noted, neither of them were very skilled radio communicators. So that's less than ideal.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: And, um, she was able to make contact with the Ataska, but they could not get her on the right frequency to receive their messages. And then we're going to share the screen again. All of these photos you can find, uh, on our Instagram. So this is a radio log from the paper from the Ataska. And you can see, um, that these are her call signs, like signal. I don't really understand what any, uh, of it means, but they have.
Speaker B: Wow, that's really cool.
Speaker A: Yes. If any of, uh, you are friends with me on Facebook, as some of you are, this, uh, is why at 130 in the morning this morning I was posting on Facebook. No spoilers, but you all, I love the National Archives. Um, I do. There's so much there is so much.
Speaker B: There's that there's the photograph of Elvis and Nixon shaking hands and meeting.
Speaker A: Yes. Yes. There's your callback to a previous episode friends. If you're looking for that on your ring, you're welcome.
Speaker B: I wore my Elvis shirt the other day and got a lot of compliments. So I'm real happy about that.
Speaker A: You're so snazzy.
Speaker B: I was schnazzy my bedazzled. Elvis shirt makes me happy.
Speaker A: We love that. So Earhart was able to communicate at several points that they were running low on fuel and that they were looking for this island. They were looking for the Ataska. She was not seeing them. Earhardt's transmissions seemed to indicate that she and Noonan believed they had reached the Holland's charted position, which was incorrect by the aforementioned five nautical miles, which is about 10 km. But the island in question is only 10ft high. So it's both skinny and short.
Speaker B: What.
Speaker A: Some postulate that because it has such a low profile, it just didn't stand out against the sea when you're looking down on it from the sky, especially when it's coupled with heavier cloud cover. So they could have just flown over it and not even realized it was known.
Speaker B: So it's 10ft high on a good day. How long is it?
Speaker A: It is starting back. Here we go. It is, um, 6500ft long, which is 2000.
Speaker B: Okay. So it's pretty long, but not at all that tall, right? Golly.
Speaker A: Yeah. So some postulate, um, that they didn't see. It also five nautical miles. They may not have been looking in the right place or expected to see it. Maybe they saw it, but they were like, that's not the correct island, because we're not kind of like Flight 19 in the Bermuda. Maybe they totally flew over it, but they thought it was a different set of islands. So at some point, like I said, her last transmission, um, was KHAQQ to Ataska. We are online. 15733 seven. And then they were not able to make contact anymore, and they assumed that the flight had gone down, that the plane had gone down. 66 aircraft and nine ships were involved in the search and rescue effort to locate Earhart and Nunan. It was authorized by FDR himself. Um, it took two weeks and cost $4 million. After that, Earhart's husband, George Putnam, hired civilian ships to continue on in the search. Anytime I hear, like, civilian ships, it just reminds me of Dunkirk. I know that's not related at all, but that's what I think of it's.
Speaker B: Not little fishermen in their tiny boats chugging along. That's true. Maybe they were.
Speaker A: Yeah. I mean, we're in the South Pacific. They're a waterbased system. That's true. So, in 1939, two years after their disappearance, there's been no sign of these aviators. Amelia Earhart and Fred Newman are declared dead in absentia by the US. Government.
Speaker B: That's so sad. Poor George.
Speaker A: Yeah. So those are the facts as we know them, and now we get into the theories.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: And, uh, y'all you better get your bingo cards ready, because there are some unexpected things in this. So prepare yourself.
Speaker B: So excited. Okay. I'm ready for the Charlie Dave at all.
Speaker A: Um, yes, we're starting. We have, uh, one that has a lot of evidence, and then we have some kind of kooky ones, and then we circle back to another one with more evidence.
Speaker B: Okay. I'm excited.
Speaker A: There's a group called the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery shortened Tiger like, T-I-G-H-A-R.
Speaker B: They used the because they were like, Tiger. Doesn't sound right.
Speaker A: Tiger. So they believe that Earhart ultimately landed on Gardner Island, which is a nearby deserted island that is now called Niku Moro, which is just a fun thing to say, but it makes my brain trip every time I look at it. When she couldn't locate, uh, Holland Island, that she landed on Gardner Island instead, and then they perished as passed away because nobody could find them. So, in her last communication, the quote line one five seven, uh, three three seven indicates that the plane was flying on a northwest to south east navigational line that bisected Howland Island. If they missed Howland, they would either fly northwest or southeast, back and forth to try and find it. To the northwest is just open ocean for miles and miles and miles and miles. To the southwest is NICU Moro. So it would make more sense that, based on the information they had, they would go southwest because there's a better chance that there's land, which is what Flight 19 should have done. Just keep going west. You're going to hit Texas or Florida or Mexico. But anyway, um, refer to an earlier episode if you'd like to hear me get mad about that. Go ahead. So, a week following their disappearance, on July 2, a week later, a military plane that was part of the rescue effort flew over Gardner Island and issued the following report. Quote here signs of recent habitation were clearly visible, but repeated circling and zooming failed to elicit any answering wave from possible inhabitants. And it was finally taken for granted that none were there. At the eastern end of the island, a tramp steamer of about 4000 tons. So a boat lay high and almost dry, uh, head onto the coral beach with her back broken in two places. The lagoon at Gardner looked sufficiently deep and certainly large enough so that a sea plane or even an airboat could have landed or taken off in any direction with little, if any, difficulty given a chance. It is believed that Miss Earhart could have landed her aircraft in this lagoon and swam or waited ashore. End quote. So we'll come back to that bandage camp a little bit later.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: So when Gardner Island was temporarily colonized by the British in skeletal remains, 13 bones, to be exact, were found near evidence of campfires and animal bones consistent with hunting, and also based on the way that the clams were opened and the fish was consumed, aka the heads were not eaten. The person that was around these campfires was probably not a Pacific Islander.
Speaker B: So interesting.
Speaker A: That's pretty notable. However, there's been a lot of back and forth about this skeleton. First of all, they refer to it as a skeleton. It's 13 bones. It's not a complete skeleton. So, in 1941, a scientist claims after his analysis that the skeletal remains are a man. But in 1998, University of Tennessee anthropologist Richard Yance reinterpreted them as coming from a woman of European ancestry and about Earhart's height. 2015, I wrote JK, we're back to thinking it's a man. However, in 2018, a study found that historical records of the bones measurements oh, because, by the way, the bones, uh, were then lost after they were analyzed in 1941 because no one can keep track of anything.
Speaker B: He's so angry.
Speaker A: Yeah. Anyway, um, so in 2018, the historic records of these bones measurements match Earharts measurements closer than 99% of the general population.
Speaker B: Okay, so they're hers. I mean, maybe based upon the evidence.
Speaker A: So they use an inseam length and the waist circumference from a pair of Earhart's trousers, obviously, that she didn't take with her on the, um, trip. But they use those to help compare with the historical records of these bone measurements.
Speaker B: Well, I'm hoping they were paying attention to the style of the day, uh, because your waste in the 30s was much higher. Anyway. Never mind.
Speaker A: That's a good question. I don't know.
Speaker B: I don't either.
Speaker A: All right. So, Emma yes. I am so glad this next part, I am so glad that I did not learn about it last night, because it is horrifying.
Speaker B: Oh, yeah? Yeah. Is it the thing that you sent me? Not the thing you sent me, but the thing you told me you were going to preemptively get me back for scaring you in our, uh, next week's episode.
Speaker A: Yes. Uh, correct. So what happened to the rest of the skeleton? The average adult skeleton, in case you didn't know, which I didn't know, has 206 bones.
Speaker B: Makes sense.
Speaker A: So where are the other 193 bones of bones person? The answer might be coconut crabs.
Speaker B: Oh, no. I'm like cannibalism for some reason, that was more interesting than coconut crabs. And now I'm terrified.
Speaker A: Yeah, you should be. This is from National Geographic, which essentially this whole podcast should be brought to you by National Geographic, because I cited, I think, six different articles, and that was a conservative constraint on my part.
Speaker B: Wow.
Speaker A: I could have kept going, but I was like, you know what? We're recording in 30 minutes. I should wrap it up. So, this is a quote from Nagio. As the largest land invertebrates on the planet, coconut crabs can measure up to 3ft across and clock in at over £9. In short, they are too big.
Speaker B: Correct. National Geographic. Correct.
Speaker A: Emma, you get to see a Coca.
Speaker B: Uh crap. Oh, my God.
Speaker A: Look at it. Isn't that terrifying? Oh, my God. Isn't it just horrifying?
Speaker B: Oh, my God.
Speaker A: And then it'll be more horrifying in a second. Hold on.
Speaker B: Great. Thanks.
Speaker A: So, these crabs are omnivorous and are notorious as, quote, robber crabs for dragging prey back to their underground burrows. Scientists did a study where they brought a pig carcass to this specific island and the crab zema stripped the flesh, uh, from the body in two weeks.
Speaker B: Oh, my gosh.
Speaker A: Emma is just clutching her face in horror. You look like Edvard Munch. The scream.
Speaker B: Oh, my gosh.
Speaker A: And then here we go. The most unexpected shout out. You didn't expect to read Tom King. I don't know why you're still in school getting a doctorate when you're already an archaeologist. Here's another quote from Nat Geo. This tells us crabs drag bones, says Tom King, the group's former chief archeologist, but it doesn't tell us how far.
Speaker B: That's hilarious.
Speaker A: A year after the experiment, they discovered some bones had been dragged, 60ft from the body, but they couldn't account for all the remains. So crabs are terrifying. And actually, as horrifying as this is, it might actually be helpful in terms of if there is DNA evidence to be found, it would have a better chance of survival in an underground crab burrow than it would out on the surface because it's incredibly hot and humid.
Speaker B: Fair. However, the idea of having to investigate, uh, that borough and having to deal with the crab not wanting you in there is a little too much for me.
Speaker A: Well, that's why you and I are podcasters, not scientists.
Speaker B: Hell, yeah.
Speaker A: Also, the article, specifically, it's in the show notes, if anyone else is ready to be terrified. It talks about how during the day it's fine because it's really hot, but at night, the crabs will circle you. Oh, my God. So, yeah, that's my preemptive strike against whatever you're going to freak me out with in, like, uh, an hour next week.
Speaker B: You're welcome.
Speaker A: Yeah, thanks.
Speaker B: All right. That was so gross. I hated that so much.
Speaker A: Yeah, but aren't you, like I'm so glad I read that at 830 in the morning and yeah.
Speaker B: You wouldn't have slept.
Speaker A: No, I wouldn't. Also further reason to never go on survivor. Uh, nothing like they're in Fiji, but Fiji, uh, is, like, relatively close. I mean, in terms of ocean, it's like, a thousand miles away. Anyway, we're leaving the carnivorous. Uh, omnivorous crazier.
Speaker B: Perfect. Leave them there.
Speaker A: Yes. So on this island, other artifacts that have been found include US. Made items such as a jackknife, a woman's compact, a zipper pull, and glass jars, including a jar for freckle cream, which Earhart was known to use.
Speaker B: That's interesting. I remember this from college of there being a class where we were studying something along the lines of, like, gilded age or whatever. And from, like, the middle of the 18 hundreds through to the 1950s, it was, like, gross to have freckles.
Speaker A: Well, yeah, because that meant you were out in the sun, and only poor people go in the sun.
Speaker B: Emma so silly. I'm covered in front of me, and I never go out in the sun.
Speaker A: If I did not have diabetes, I would be so down to go time traveling back to broke Europe because they loved themselves a curvy pale lady. They were like, that means you're rich because you eat and you don't go outside. I would have fit in so well.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: Hair toss.
Speaker B: Hair toss. Um, I know you can't see. I know that, but it was very funny.
Speaker A: So also on this island, they've discovered a sextant, uh, which is a navigation device. And based on the make and model, essentially, um, that they've researched, this is the sort that Fred Newton would, uh, have used during that time period.
Speaker B: Okay. So I'm thoroughly convinced of this theory currently.
Speaker A: Well, just wait. My next note. Missing plane, question mark. No problem. The tide swept it away. Okay, so the tide was extremely low at the time of Earhart's last communication to the Alaska, indicating that she might have been able to land on the exposed reef of the island in her plane. And then the rest, um, of this next bit is from national geographic.
Speaker B: What part of this is not from national geographic?
Speaker A: The parts that are from Wikipedia and a couple of there's actually a lot of sources. I'm really many of them are national geographic.
Speaker B: Well, I mean reputable source. It's true. Absolutely.
Speaker A: I had to give them two different emails because in order to get three free articles a month, you have to sign up. But I already reached my three we.
Speaker B: Got to get you a subscription guy. Share this with your friends so that we can get people to do ads with us so that Shannon could have a national geographic subscription.
Speaker A: Thank you. Don't say that because then if my dad listens to this, he will 100% get me the magazine for Christmas. And then I'll feel really guilty because I will never read it. But I'll be I'll feel bad that I'll have it.
Speaker B: Mr. McCarthy, you heard here first. Don't get it.
Speaker A: Online, dad. Online. Because then I can use it for research for this podcast online.
Speaker B: All right.
Speaker A: Anyway, shout out to our nonsponsor, but should be a sponsor, not geo the line of position radio message was the last confirmed transmission from earhart, but radio operators received 121 messages over the next ten days. Of those, at least 57 could, um, have been from the Electra. So I guess based on the frequency and other technical stuff that I don't understand, but they narrowed it down to 57. Wireless um, station took direction bearings on six of them. Quote, four cross near the Phoenix Islands, said Tom King, Tiger senior archaeologist, in a previous interview. Quote, most messages were at night when the tide was low. So the tides are an important factor in this. Also, some people theorize that these messages came at night because it gets very hot inside an aluminum airplane during the day in the South Pacific. If the plane was just on the.
Speaker B: Beach and the crabs were out.
Speaker A: No, the crabs are out at night.
Speaker B: I know. So radio messages, right?
Speaker A: Yeah. Oh, so they're hiding in the plane.
Speaker B: From the crabs, is what I'm saying. Yeah.
Speaker A: Got you.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: Although the crabs don't like attack living people.
Speaker B: You don't know that.
Speaker A: I do. I read the article.
Speaker B: They don't know that.
Speaker A: They're waiting for you to die so they can scavenge your weight.
Speaker B: I now have an image of a line of crabs at night just on the edge of the shore, just, like, snapping their little claws and going, we're waiting. I don't like that at all.
Speaker A: Well, I don't either, but I think you'll like this next part better.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: So, in 2017, a team of four forensic dogs and their handlers traveled to the island to investigate. So these dogs are trained by the Institute for Canine Forensics good job, babies. And they have discovered human remains as old as 1500 years and as deep as 9ft.
Speaker B: Wow.
Speaker A: So they are very accurate, apparently. You need to go look at the article about this because I, um, could not include this photo. But there are photos of these joggos wearing their little special booties and cooling vests because it's very hot in the South Pacific. And these are like border collies. So they're very fluffy dogs. And each of them gets their own feature photo with their name and their handler's information. So please go look at the article.
Speaker B: Do you remember any of their names?
Speaker A: Marcy Berkeley. I should have written it down. I literally was like, write it down. I was going to want to know. I'm sorry. Flying through.
Speaker B: No, it's fine. I'll look it up.
Speaker A: Yes, if you would like to know the dog's names, you can go check it out. It's a National Geographic article. So all four of the dogs, at separate times, alerted at the base of one particular tree, indicating that at some point, human remains were decomposing there. And they did bring something else I learned. If you don't want to donate your body to, um, doctor research, you could donate your body to Science for, like, the what is the name of this institute for canine, um, Forensics. You can donate your bones because then they use them as, like, controls. So they'll plant bones in a particular environment to make sure the dogs, like, their sniffers, are working?
Speaker B: Essentially, yeah.
Speaker A: So you could donate your skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company for a production of Hamlet. You could donate it to the Canine Forensics for training dogs, all kinds of things.
Speaker B: I really like the idea that my will is just going to be filled with what to do with my body and not with my stuff.
Speaker A: I was going to say, isn't this a much more fun idea than being turned into a creepy vase?
Speaker B: I'm still interested in the vase, but I am considering having them chop, um, my head off and then have that as part of the dogs and the rest of me that you've made in two of us.
Speaker A: I'll let you and Tony work that one out. Yeah.
Speaker B: Sorry, babe. No.
Speaker A: He'll be like, what? Yes.
Speaker B: Um.
Speaker A: Excavation near this tree that was alerted upon by these dogs revealed no bones. So they took soil samples that were sent off to the lab to test for residual DNA. But there was inconclusive evidence, um, probably due to the warm temperatures and the humid environment of the island, both in terms of it made it harder for these border collies to work. Apparently, they don't do well in temperatures higher than 80 degrees, like metal with their, uh, fair, and also not ideal in terms of, um, preserving DNA. DNA likes cold environments, so surface, probably not. But they did say they did make a point in the article to point out that these dogs do not necessarily go where the remains are. They go where the scent is the strongest. So if remains have been scuttled away into an underground borough by a terrifying crab monster, it's possible that the scent is just stronger at the tree, but the actual remains are elsewhere. Okay, but they were only there for a certain amount of time, um, because.
Speaker B: It'S too hot for the babies.
Speaker A: Yes. Also, the dogs, they indicated in addition, um, to the heat and conditions on the ground, they had to fly 12 hours and then take, like, a four day boat trip to get to the island. That is a lot of information about the Gardnerisland Nikkarro, um, Islandtheory, which is the main theory of the International Group for Historic Eric Craft Recovery, also known as Tiger. That's their main bread and butter. Their website is in the show notes. And you guys, they have kind of a two minute overview summation. So if you're just kind of ready to get it in passing, which, I.
Speaker B: Don'T know why you'd need the two.
Speaker A: Minute version after you listen to this, but maybe you just want to check it out. But they also have an itemized list of all of the evidence that's been collected so far. So again, I could have gone all the way down, but I have other theories to bring you up next. Get your, uh, bingo, uh, card ready because our next theory is aliens.
Speaker B: Oh yes. They're hanging out with Flight 19.
Speaker A: Yes. So apparently this area of the South Pacific is a quote, hotbed for otherworldly activity. Here's a quote from USA Today conspiracy uh, theorists imagine that the Easter Island heads were built by aliens using lasers. That there's a skyscraper built by extraterrestrials at the bottom of the Pacific. And the froglike statues of Marchesca Island depict an ancient alien race. Unquote conspiracists claim that, um, earhart, uh, was in fact not lost at sea, but rather beamed up by alien investigators to be examined and or cryogenically frozen and or with the way to create a whole new race of life on another planet. And my follow up questions did they not take Fred? If not, where's Fred? If not, where's? Fred's body. Uh, and where is the plane? Like, did they take all of it.
Speaker B: Right out of the atmosphere?
Speaker A: I mean, I will say this theory only popped up in one of the many articles I looked at, so it's a little short one, but I had to include it because I know you love a weird alien situation.
Speaker B: Well, the most exciting part about that is the fact that it's unexplainable, inexplicable. I hate that word because it's like inconceivable. Yeah. But it's also unable to be proven either right or wrong. So yeah, that's true yet.
Speaker A: Alright, trucking right along cause we have more to talk about. The next theory is that Amelia Earhart actually survived and assumed a new identity.
Speaker B: Why was George not nice?
Speaker A: I don't know. Okay, so this theory posits that she moved uh, to New Jersey.
Speaker B: Why?
Speaker A: Which like, why would you, no offense, family that's listening. But the taxes, it's so crowded, all the things. She moved to New Jersey, remarried, and changed her name to Irene Bolem. Bolem unclear. USA Today is where I got, um, this little tidbit. Author W. C. Jameson wrote in Amelia, uh, Earhart Beyond the Grave that he had interviewed the nephew of a former US. Army official who said it was common knowledge in, quote, high ranking intelligence circles that Earhart was, quote, involved in an intelligence gathering operation.
Speaker B: Well, I don't disbelieve that. That would be something that I think the US. Government, especially at that point in time, would have been interested in doing. Especially if she was fully willing to be like, I'm going to do this to set a record. And they were like, great, can you also maybe do this while you're doing it? And we'll fund it and, like, finagle stuff? So I don't disbelieve that at all. The nephew thing is like, dude, you don't know what you're talking about.
Speaker A: Yes.
Speaker B: Right.
Speaker A: Like, if anybody asked me what my dad's job was in the Army, I'd be like, I don't know. He got deployed a bunch of places. Um, he was in Intelligence, which as a kid, I thought meant computers, because intel was like, the computer chip. I guess that's what and I was like, my dad is not good at computers. What?
Speaker B: Sorry, Mr. McCarthy.
Speaker A: It's okay. He's better now. He shouts at the Alexa less.
Speaker B: That's good.
Speaker A: Jody is training him good. So this idea that she moved to New Jersey and, um, became Irene was originally presented in the book amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Closs. However, this theory is a little hard to believe because, um, the real Irene submitted a one $5 million lawsuit against him, saying that his claims were untrue. She was a banker. She already had a life. So this is a little hard to believe.
Speaker B: Uh, yeah, dude, if you're making up a theory, and I don't know if he maybe he fully believed it, but I'll go for somebody who's still alive and hanging out and able to fight back, and then he probably is like, well, she only fought back because it's true, and that kind of thing.
Speaker A: So I don't know, I guess but if it was really her, though, she probably has enough money both from her previous endeavors and potentially the US. Government, then why would she need $1.5 million? And if she really was her you know what I mean? That just doesn't hold up.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: But as we previously alluded to, some claim that this new identity theory is true in tandem with the fact that Amelia Earhart was a spy.
Speaker B: A spy.
Speaker A: A spy. Bingo.
Speaker B: Card.
Speaker A: There you go. Um, evidently working for FDR and his administration, um, Randall Brink, who wrote the book Lost, um, Star, theorizes that Earhart never intended to fly to Holland Island. Instead, she and Nunan were tasked to document Japanese island installations for the US. Government. When they were detected by the Japanese and shot down or forced to land, she got too famous. Like, she got too popular that she could no longer be a spy. So she had to fake her death, slash her disappearance, and change her identity to become a new person. I wrote kind of a dick move to not include your husband and then get remarried, if you ask me whether or not you're a spy.
Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, if that is the case, that she's living in New Jersey with a new family, it might be that she's somewhere in Nova Scotia just hanging out, but maybe not now.
Speaker A: She'd be yeah, probably not. Um yeah, she was born in 18.
Speaker B: Now, no, she's definitely not alive anymore. But again, I don't disbelieve that she would be recruited in that way. I do kind of disbelieve that both her and Frank were recruited in that way.
Speaker A: Fred. Fred Newman.
Speaker B: Fred Newman. Sorry, Fred, but I only say that because the other guy, um, Manning, who pieced out of the thing, um, it was already something that they had planned. So maybe it was like it was planned beforehand. He dipped out because something happened. And then once they were going to start up in Miami, that's when FDR's administration was like, yo, can you also do these things?
Speaker A: But I don't know, I find it a little like I think it's easy for our brains to be like, oh, yeah, she was a spy. Because there are other instances of famous, particularly women, using their celebrity as kind of hiding in plain sight to do covert operations. However, no government documents that's from FDR's personal files or the Navy or army intelligence have ever surfaced that reference Earhart as a covert agent, which, like we said, she would be, what, over 120.
Speaker B: Years old at that point. It's well beyond declassification.
Speaker A: So she's definitely passed in whatever case. So I feel like not like, oh, the army needs promo, but they like to release interesting stories that are positive in a way.
Speaker B: But we also have learned that the government doesn't and can't keep secrets from, uh, people for all that long because people like to tell secrets. So even if it were something that were true, we would probably know it unless there was absolutely no documentation on it. It was just like a handshake agreement kind of situation of like, when she got back, she would give a report and then they would get things running. But I feel like it wouldn't work that way.
Speaker A: The National Archive does have a letter that Amelia Earhart wrote to FDR before she set off on her around the world trip because she was actually very close friends, um, with the First Lady.
Speaker B: That makes sense to me. Yes. Eleanor was a badass, um, yes.
Speaker A: So the next theory is that Amelia Earhart, after crash landing, be forced to land something along those lines, was forced into a role of Tokyo Rose, which, uh, was the title assigned to any Englishspeaking, uh, woman on the World War II airwaves who was reading off Japanese propaganda. I think for this theory to work, we definitely have to assume that Earhart, um, was being held captive. They didn't really go into it super depth, but I don't see the bridge to, like, yeah, she was this American aviator to now I'm supporting the Japanese. I think it was definitely a captive situation. Her husband, George Putnam, personally investigated this theory, listening to many recordings to confirm that it was not his lost wife's voice.
Speaker B: That's so sad, because you know that he's probably listening to it going like a. Little bit hoping that it's her voice, because, one, he wants to hear her voice again, and two, he wants to see if she's still alive. Like, oh, I can't imagine that kind of heartache. Oh, my gosh.
Speaker A: Well, this is going to make you sadder.
Speaker B: Oh, great.
Speaker A: I thought this was I'm going to choose to view it as a cute fact, because not only were they married, but then they continued to work closely together. I think in other circumstances, this would be not cute and instead disrespectful of boundaries, but we're going to look at it, uh, as cute. Okay. He asked Amelia Earhart to marry him six times before she agreed.
Speaker B: Oh, that's kind of cute. Though my parents didn't get married until my dad asked a second time, because the first time he asked, my mom was actually dating somebody else, and he knew it.
Speaker A: My mom and dad, um, they got divorced when I was in grade school. But I still think this is a funny story, especially if, you know, my dad. Apparently, when he asked my mom to marry him for the first time, they'd only been dating for, like, six months, and she thought he was joking.
Speaker B: Uh oh.
Speaker A: Which, if you've met my father, he's a very jokey, joke kind of guy.
Speaker B: That makes sense if he were just like, Nudge, nudge, marry me, and she were like, Haha. And he's like, Wait, no, wait.
Speaker A: Just kidding.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: At least that's how the story has been told to me. We'll see how many of my family members listen to this, and if I get a correction, text or talk over the dinner table. All right, so next, I believe this is our final yes, our final theory, and our second of the more edited, supported carries on with this Tokyo Rose idea in that she and Noonan were taken prisoner by the Japanese. So in 2017, just like mere weeks before the dog sniffer, forensic dogs went out and alerted on the tree, which is kind of interesting because these are competing theories, right? Yeah, it's just interesting. So, in 2017, a photo was rediscovered in the National Archives that seemed to indicate that both Earhart and Noonan survived their fuel situation and made it to the Jalyat Atoll in the Japanese controlled Marshall Islands. And so this photo served as the primary source for a new History Channel documentary. I was not able to watch this documentary, but it looks very interesting. So historians and even a former executive assistant director for the FBI have damaged this photo and have deemed it to be undocumed. I'm going to share my screen again and again. You can see these on the Instagram. So this is the original photo. Pretty small, but they have a lovely little zoomed in version here. Um, so you'll see, there are two Caucasian individuals and the woman they assume it to be a woman because the hair is too long to be in fashion for a man. And it's also similar to Amelia, uh, Earhardt's signature short haircut. Uh, this figure is also wearing pants, but they're sitting on the edge of a dock. Um, their back is to the camera, so it's hard to make any sort of facial recognition. The man in the photo is standing over to the left. We have the zoomed in photo on the Instagram as well. And the hairline in particular is a very specific hairline. It's very sharply receding on one side. And this is almost identical to existing photos of Fred Newton. So that's what they point to, of like, this is them. It's totally them.
Speaker B: Totally.
Speaker A: Totally, totally. That's so interesting.
Speaker B: It really does look like Amelia Earhart from being told that's probably her, or potentially her, but also the fact that there are two Caucasian people, um, on that dock. Yes. And only two.
Speaker A: They also point to the fact that the female figure, the presumed Amelia Earhart, is looking over to the right. There's a Japanese barge that is towing and, uh, unclear object. I'm going to stop sharing my screen with Emma so I can read my notes again.
Speaker B: Sorry.
Speaker A: It's okay. So the Japanese photo, the photo shows a Japanese ship called Koshu towing a barge with something that appears to be 38 ft long, which is apparently the same length as Earhardt's plane.
Speaker B: Very specific to get from a photograph.
Speaker A: Okay. But people can do that. You know that guy on tickle, you.
Speaker B: Can figure out how tall people are. He's like, yeah.
Speaker A: And their hand next to a stop sign. People can do that. But science people. So, locals of this island have stories of seeing Amelia Earhart's plane crash land. And these stories have been passed down from generation to generation. They even immortalized these events in a series of postage stamps in the 1980s. So, like, there's one, like, showing the plane crashing and one like that the plane is being towed by a barge and all these things. And then it's theorized that from this island, from the Marshall Islands, that Amelia Earhart and Fred, um, Newton were taken to Saipan, where their fate is unknown, but they would be prisoners of war at that point. So probably not, um, a positive ending. It's thought that this photo in question that was discovered in the National Archives, um, may have been taken by an individual who was spying on the Japanese on the behalf of the United States, which could explain why no action was taken. If this photo did make it to anyone of importance, they couldn't reveal their source. Yes, which is unfortunate, but I guess technically, um, in this theory, a series of events, earhart and Newton are civilians and this person is a covert operative. So they would choose to protect that source, which is unfortunate. NBC News has a, um, nice little short two minute clip that sums up this theory pretty nicely. Talks about the new documentary. It's in the show Notes if you wanted to take a look. And then, Emma, here's the other thing that had me so excited about the.
Speaker B: National Archives last night.
Speaker A: Uh, at 130 in the morning, there is so in the Amelia Earhart section of the National Archives.
Speaker B: Oh, I love that. There's a section.
Speaker A: Yes. There's a typewritten letter dated January 7, 1939. And this letter, Emma, is pertaining to the contents of a literal message in a bottle. So this bottle washed ashore in the Bordeaux region of France on October 30, 1938. So a year and change after their plane went down, supposedly. Um, okay, so, um, it was discovered on October 30, 1938, and then was, um, typewritten up to transmit to the appropriate authorities, which is why it's dated January 7, 1939. Okay, so this bottle contained three items. One was a paper that had the following written in French god guide this bottle. I confide my life and that of my companions to it. Two, a lock of chestnut colored hair. Three, another letter, again in French, describing the author's experience being captured by the Japanese and imprisoned in the Marshall Islands. Their letter claims that Earhart, her male mechanic, is how he's referred to, and several other Europeans were also imprisoned. The full text of this letter is available at the National Archive. Link that's in the show notes. Also, you can sign up for the National Archives newsletter and you can become a civilian transcriber.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: I'm so excited.
Speaker B: I've already done that a couple of times.
Speaker A: I'm so excited.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: So I'm going to show Emma this document. Um, let me click on the correct, uh, thing. It didn't really work to.
Speaker B: Include it.
Speaker A: In the Instagram just because when you, um, zoom in, it's kind of blurry, but that's fair.
Speaker B: Wait, it was written in French?
Speaker A: It was. And then it was typed up to transmit to the appropriate authorities. But I have been a prisoner at, um, Jalia Marshalls by the Japanese in the prison. Uh, there. I have seen Amelia Earhart ABHR. And in another cell, her mechanic, a man, as well as several other European prisoners, held on charge of alleged spying on large fortifications erected on the atoll.
Speaker B: Okay, so this isn't from my assumption when you first read it, was that it was written by her.
Speaker A: No, it was by someone I assumed to be a Frenchman.
Speaker B: Okay, that makes so much more sense. How does Amelia Earhart know French? And that it would get to France?
Speaker A: I apologize. No, it's okay. So, yeah, this person and then they go on to talk about how, um, their specific situation, how they got captured. Actually, Amelia, um, Earhart isn't actually mentioned that much. So I would argue, if we're looking at it with a skeptics lens, I would argue that perhaps they included Amelia Earhart as, like, credibility not credibility, but to make people give care about their situation. Because who knows about random from France?
Speaker B: Jean Paul Schmidt exactly.
Speaker A: Yeah. I will note that this correspondence was not declassified until March 1, 1977.
Speaker B: Whoa.
Speaker A: That's 44 years ago. Just yesterday at the time of recording. I will say, though, that maybe is not indicative of anything like fancy or spy related. In high school, I spent two summers working in a museum, uh, and one of my project was going through old, um, microfiche, because it degrades and can actually be quite flammable, uh, which is why in old Hollywood, the film reels would just spontaneously catch on fire, which, uh, is not great when you have a warehouse full of flammable films. So one of my jobs was to go through all this old military microfiche and print off the first couple of pages so that they would know kind of what's on it and if it would be worth duplicating or if they had it already in the system. However, if I encountered anything that had classified top secret, Secret, anything like that, I had to stop, take it off the reel, put it in a pile, and then go to the declassification vault and get buzzed in by a guy with a Lanyard. And then they would take them, and I'd get them back, like, a day later, and they'd be like, yeah. These are now declassified troop rations from 1944. No longer classified. So it's possible that this message in a bottle letter just didn't get to that point get noticed until 1977.
Speaker B: But that's fair.
Speaker A: Also, Japanese authorities have told NBC and other sources that they have no records indicating that, uh, Earhart was ever in Japanese custody, which I think is pretty fair. I know governments like to protect their information, but Japan, historically, is pretty much an ally to the US. So I don't see why they would.
Speaker B: Yeah, and also, at this point, it doesn't matter. Like, they could say, well, we did have her. If it was true, we had her in a prisoner of war camp. We have record of that. But I think maybe it's like a celebrity thing of like, oh, my gosh, you kill Amelia Earhart. How dare you? I don't know.
Speaker A: See, I don't agree that it doesn't matter. I feel like someone with a better understanding of the international politics would probably have a more nuanced discussion. But I feel like, for instance, if it was China or Russia, um, that had had her, either they would have made a big deal of the fact that they had her, or they would never tell us because they, like, feeling that they have the upper handle.
Speaker B: You know what? That's totally fair.
Speaker A: Also, hate to burst your bubble if you're on board with this theory, because, um, basic research, like half an hour of research by this one reporter, revealed that this photo in question was actually published in a 1935 Japanese language Travelog, about the islands of the South Pacific. It is very interesting that the man, uh, in this photo and Fred newton do look very, very similar, like, they've done computer analysis, and it's a very high likelihood of facial recognition match. But, yeah, this photo is from two years before they even left on their final journey. Um, also goes to show that the History Channel is an entertainment, uh, channel that has a historical bent. They're not actually scientists, because literally in the article, this person was like, yeah, I searched in this Japanese research database, and this is the 10th item that showed up. It took me less than half an hour. And then they probably went and made, like, a two hour documentary about this photo and Amelia Earhart.
Speaker B: That's why Ancient Aliens is on the History Channel.
Speaker A: Yes. Because it's entertainment. I was going to say wrap it up, but that's not quite true. To wrap up this portion, the official belief of the US. Government is that after running, um, out of fuel, earhart and Noonan crashed their plane into the Pacific Ocean while attempting to reach Holland Island, which is approximately 946 miles from the Marshall Islands. So where it's theorized she was being held prisoner by the Japanese, and approximately 406 miles from Niku Moro Island, which is where the sniffer dogs were in 2002. And in 2006, the Deep Sea Company Nauticofs, um, looked for Earhart's plane near the spot where she last radioed, but the, uh, plane was not recovered. And I wrote, obviously, we need to get James Cameron on this issue.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: Again, if you're interested, I would check out Tiger. Um, and National Geographic is your first stop, because there are a lot of expeditions in various parts of the region looking for Amelia Earhart throughout the years. I could not go through all of them.
Speaker B: Obviously not.
Speaker A: No. And then we have a couple more recent news stories that I thought were of note. Um, so a skull fragment that may be from the original skeleton found on NICU Moro was found in a storage facility in a museum on a nearby island, uh, and is currently being tested to see if it's a genetic match for any of Emilia Earhart's relatives. Again, similar to the Tom and Shoot case. Maybe we'll get some 23 and Me problem solving in this future.
Speaker B: That's really exciting.
Speaker A: Right? We love that.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: Next we have Daniel Beck. He's a pilot who also manages the, uh, engineering program for the Penn State Radiation Science and Engineering Center, or ARSEC, which is home to the Briezeol Nuclear Reactor. I don't think it's the Marshall Islands documentary, but he saw a different National Geographic documentary about Earhart, and he got in contact with, um, someone at Tiger. And there's a metal panel that's been recovered from the storm debris on Nikki Moro, and they ran this metal panel through a neutron beam. There was a lot of science that I did not quite understand, but here's a helpful little quote.
Speaker B: Okay?
Speaker A: If there's paint or writing or a serial number, things that have been eroded or we can't see with the naked eye, we can detect those that's that they'd be able to tie it to Amelia Earhart's name somehow. At the time of the article, it indicated that they, um, were still doing research. And they did point out which I think is a helpful thing to remember, especially for those of us who don't do science ever. Even if they don't find anything of note, it's actually still helpful, uh, that they've done this research because it disqualifies that particular piece of evidence for future reference. So nobody else wastes time being like, no, it is her plan. They can be like, no, actually, the serial number is for this such and such from 1954, whenever. So that's cool. So in 2019. So relatively, um, recently, Robert Ballard and his team led an expedition to Nico Moro in search for pieces of Earhart's plane. Now, Emma, does the name Robert Ballard ring a bell to you for any reason?
Speaker B: Yes, it does, but I don't know why.
Speaker A: Oh, wow. You may recall that he discovered the, uh, wreckage of the Titanic.
Speaker B: Yes. Okay, good. All right. I knew it. Yeah. So Tony has actually been on the, um, submarine that they use to find the Titanic because his grandfather worked at, uh, Woods Hole, which is the Marine Institute in Cape Cod. Um, and he was friends with Ballard.
Speaker A: I'm so mad right now.
Speaker B: At least that's as far as I know. Again, I should say nothing with confidence until I get confirmation, um, from Tony.
Speaker A: Well, stay tuned for our corrections episode, I guess.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: All right. Unsurprising. I have another quote from National Geographic.
Speaker B: Yay.
Speaker A: So Tiger pinpoints the northwest side of the island as the site of the Plains Landing, where a ship called the S. S. Norwich City wrecked in, and where the island's lagoon opens to the sea in high tide. Three months after Earhart and Newman's disappearance, a British officer scouting the island for colonization took a photograph of the shipwreck. Various analysts claimed that a blurry shape to the left of it could be the Electra's landing gear. People who lived on the island after it was colonized later told Tygar investigators that they had found aluminum wreckage near the lagoons entrance. So let me share my screen real quick.
Speaker B: Share your screen? Share screen.
Speaker A: Here. Is this 1929 shipwreck. But remember, this photo is from 1937. Yes. Three months after their disappearance. So this shipwreck was from 1929. They just left it there.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: And then this indistinct object here is supposedly, um, potentially the landing gear of Amelia Earhart's plane. I think that photo is less significant than reports from Native people, um, who.
Speaker B: Later or not Native people, I guess.
Speaker A: People it doesn't specify. But people who later moved onto the island talk about how they found aluminum wreckage. And one of the articles was talking about how you can tell that they had that as a resource because they used it in their buildings and things like that. So there was evidence of aluminum, but until we get, um, neutron analysis from.
Speaker B: Whatever mhm Jimmy neutron analysis?
Speaker A: You know, that's what it's called, right?
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: Neutron Beam.
Speaker B: Yeah. Did they maybe think did Amelia and Fred maybe think that that wreckage was the ship that they were communicating with, potentially. And so they were like, oh, that must be the eyelid. We finally found it, even though it's definitely bigger than that.
Speaker A: Yeah, I don't know. That's a fair point. Nobody mentioned that. But I think under heavy cloud cover, perhaps maybe that was part of the thought process, too. So, Robert Ballard used sonar to analyze the island and its surrounding waters. Apparently, he circled it, like, four or five times, the island. They sent ROV's, Argus, and Hercules around the island to look for airplane wreckage with the cameras. And these camera feeds were monitored around the clock by his scientists. However, there were no conclusive discoveries by this team. Um, they did learn a lot based on this 1029 rec of how debris moves underwater in this particular islands case. So if they find definitive evidence, um, on land, like DNA evidence with the sniffer dogs or the killer crabs or whatever, then they, um, could return to the area. And Robert Ballard said he knows exactly where he would continue the search if that returns. And then, uh, I just wanted to end on this one photo and this quote, which I think just, um, sums up the spirit of Amelia Earth. Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. She said, I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
Speaker B: That's incredible.
Speaker A: This photo is also in the National Archives, and it was actually taken before, uh, their final take off. So one of the last photos of her ever taken, and that Emma Ruth and other fellow listeners, including chief archaeologist, uh, Tom King, is the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Thank you.
Speaker B: Very well done.
Speaker A: I'm sorry. It's really long.
Speaker B: No, I loved it. It was so good. I loved it. So there's always, like, those morbid fascinations and stuff, and I had Bonnie and Clyde and Anastasia and all that kind of stuff, but Amelia Earhart was one, uh, of those things where I was like, it'd be so cool to figure out what happened to her. And this was so much better than I could have imagined.
Speaker A: Obviously, I was aware of her, and as I mentioned, towards the top, I had listened while I was working in that museum with the Declassification Vault. I had listened to the podcast about her, um, but I had no idea that the theories ran so deep.
Speaker B: That's so cool, though.
Speaker A: I love it. So, I mean, I guess if I had to pick one, I would go with the Niko Moro island.
Speaker B: Erie. I think that might have convinced me.
Speaker A: But it's one of those things when it's such a big mystery, it will not be acceptable solved until there is, like, a giant stroke of evidence. So somebody's got to go deal with the killer crabs.
Speaker B: Oh, God, not me. I vote not me.
Speaker A: Not it.
Speaker B: Good Lord, those things.
Speaker A: Tom King, follow up with us about your studies on this island.
Speaker B: I feel so bad, uh, now, because he's probably going to be like, guys, stop saying my name. Stop it.
Speaker A: Okay, but this is legitimately in the research. Yeah, mine was justified.
Speaker B: Mine was not. I'm just being annoying, and I'm so sorry.
Speaker A: Yeah, annoying, affectionate, same difference.
Speaker B: Yeah. We're friends, right? Tom.
Speaker A: If you would, um, like to affirm your friendship, whether or not you are Tom King, you can reach out to us on Instagram. Please let us know. Are you our friend? Are you just a fan? Are you just a listener?
Speaker B: Please.
Speaker A: This podcast doesn't exist.
Speaker B: And that's where all of these photos will be as well. And if you have any other theories about Amelia Earhart, if you also know a Tom King, maybe you've been on the submarine. I was wrong. He was on the ship that the submarine went from. That makes more sense because he was a kid that Tony was on. If you've ever get into a National Geographic, um, Khole, let us know. We want to know these things. We want to know all your spooky stories, too. We want to be able to do another mailbag. And right now, we have maybe, like, three stories, but we want more. And we love to make it a Ruth Jordan and Haley Centric episode, but we also acknowledge that we probably need more friends. So please let us read those. Let us know. Yes.
Speaker A: And if you have episode suggestions, please let us know. Obviously, we are listening, and we will check it out.
Speaker B: Seriously. And you can send those to our email at email@example.com. Uh, thank you for listening, friends. Thank you for telling us. Shannon. This was so good. This is so, so good.
Speaker A: You're welcome. And remember this podcast.
Speaker B: I had to do it so quietly.
Speaker A: I don't think that worked. Do we want to do Just One of us doing it?
Speaker B: No, it worked because you're recording on yours and I'm recording on mine. Alright.
Speaker A: So it's your problem to line it up.
Speaker B: Yes, ma'am. Okay, bye.
Speaker A: Okay, bye.