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In the seventy years since the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan during a flight over the Central Pacific, their fate has remained one of history's most debated mysteries. Dozens of books have offered a variety of solutions to the puzzle, but they all draw on the same handful of documents and conflicting eyewitness accounts. Now a wealth of new information uncovered by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) allows this book to offer the first fully documented history of what happened. Scrupulously accurate and thrilling to read, it tells the story from the letters, logs, and telegrams that recorded events as they unfolded. Many long-accepted facts are revealed as myths.
Author Ric Gillespie, TIGHAR's executive director, draws on the work of his organization's historians, archaeologists, and scientists, who compiled and analyzed more than five thousand documents relating to the Earhart case. Their research led to the hypothesis that Earhart and Noonan died as castaways on a remote Pacific atoll. But this book is not a polemic that argues for a particular theory. Rather, it presents all of the authenticated historical dots and leaves it to the reader to make the connections. In addition to details about the Earhart's career and final flight, the book examines her relationship with the U.S. government and the massive search undertaken by the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy. For serious students of Earhart's disappearance, an accompanying DVD reproduces the documents, reports, and technical studies cited in the text, allowing instant review and verification of the sources.
Ric Gillespie is an internationally recognized authority on the Earhart disappearance whose writings have appeared in the Naval Institute's Proceedings and Naval History and in LIFE Magazine. He has led eight archaeological search expeditions to the Pacific.
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