What Happened to Amelia Earhart?

Justin Tyler

Amelia Earhart’s disappearance shocked the world as many believed she would make her flight around the world. After her disappearance many theories have been made of what might have happened to her. There are many theories out there, but there is no real evidence to any of them, as no one really knows what happened to her. 

To this day no one really knows what happened to Amelia Earhart on July 2, 1937, which results in many theories being made on what happened to her. One week after her disappearance on July 9, 1937 the U.S navy started a mission to find Amelia and Noonan, with planes and ships over 250,000 square miles, they were never found, according to History.com Editors.

Expeditions on Nikumaroro were launched, they found a skeleton that had a 99% similarity to Earhart according to Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology. This theory suggests that Earhart and her Navigator Fred Noonan survived the plane crash and lived for some time on the island until they ran out of supplies and died.

Many people claimed to have seen Amelia Earhart, there is also a photo which many believe shows Amelia. People from the Marshall islands claimed to have seen Amelia Earhart after her disappearance, saying that there was an, “American lady pilot” in custody in Saipan in 1937, according to, History.com Editors. This could be a possible and reasonable theory because in 1937 the Japanese held the Marshall islands. Which goes right into the next theory, many of her admirers believed that she was a spy, and that she was flying over Japanese fortifications in the pacific. This could explain this theory, there is also another aspect of this theory, some people have said that they believe that Earhart and Noonan were tortured and executed in Saipan by the Japanese, which gives some detail on what might have happened after they had taken them to Saipan, but as said no one really knows what happened to them.

Over many years theories about Amelia Earhart’s disappearance have been made, but none of them have real evidence to support them. The next mystery, is where many people get suspicious, in june 1937, after her aircraft was repaired and ready, she came to Miami where she and her navigator would start the journey. But as they prepare to leave, Earhart left behind important navigation equipment that is essential when traveling, especially when attempting to fly around the world. 

Nikumaroro Island had been a place of theories, as many people believe is where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan stranded in 1937, two photos had been revealed, that could possible be a clue to the mystery. This picture shows one person sitting on a dock, and one standing next to someone. There is also a plane in the background behind the ship, this could be Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed plane. According to sources this photo was taken in the Marshall Islands before 1943, because the U.S Airforce conducted more than 30 bombing runs on jaluit in 1943-44. Also a big detail in the background is the Japanese military vessel Koshu Maru which could have taken Earhart and Noonan after they crashed. This supports the theory that Earhart and Noonan were taken by the Japanese.

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Another picture that supports the theory that Earhart and Noon stranded on Nikumaroro Island is

This photo taken from Google Earth, shows Nikumaroro Island, in the middle of the picture we can clearly see that there is a big A in the forest of the Island. The picture above gives a better look. Theories around this picture are that when Amelia stranded at nikumaroro island, she cut out a big A in the forest to get attention from planes. To prove that this isn’t a fake picture I went on google Earth to the exact same location and this is what I found:  

As seen the two lines from the A are still there but the middle part is missing,  this could be because the other picture is older than this one. 

Lastly this picture gives a clue of where Amelia Earhart’s plane could be. East of Hawaii there is and Island called Palmyra atoll, on which as seen in the next picture is an abandoned runway. On the south right site there is a plane parked next to the runway, which can be clearly seen from Google Earth. So as this theory goes Earhart crashed on the Island which is only a couple hundred miles from her last known location, and was was then taken prisoner by the Japanese Army.

Here is the picture:

For the most part this is just a theory, there are other explanations on why this airplane is there. On the Island of Palmyra, which is east of Hawaii, there is an old abandoned Lockheed airplane with two engines which is similar to Amelia Earhart’s lockheed plane. This opens up new theories around Amelia Earhart, many believe that this is her plane, which to a certain point is possible, because the distance between Amelia Earhart’s last known location and Palmyra atoll is just a couple hundred miles. But there is a story of why this airplane is on the island. On the morning of Saturday, 5th January 1980 a lockheed 18 learstar was on it’s way from Honolulu, Hawaii to bring 7 amateur radio operators to Palmyra. While landing on the runway the plane steered of the runway into trees. This explains the abandoned airplane on the island but still, many people believe that this is Amelia Earhart’s plane.

Still no one knows what happened to them, and there is no prove that what is seen in these pictures has anything to do with Amelia Earhart. But it gives a better picture of what could have happened to them. After 80 years still no one knows anything about what happened that day in 1937, there is information and theories out there but nothing to prove it, her disappearance remains a mystery to this day.