24 July 2012

Why Amelia?

There are lots of unsolved mysteries in the world, yet one of the most enduring is whatever happened to Amelia Earhart -- born this day in 1897.

With so many fascinating mysteries, why are so many people focused on Amelia?

She made her breakthrough flight (solo across the Atlantic) in 1928 and established her worldwide fame during the worst years of the Depression; a diversion to some, a hero to many. She fiercely promoted an interest in aviation, was a feminist before many even heard of the word (she refused to adopt her husband's surname, for example), and she had no problem working a job and earning her own money.

Then came the around-the-world flight attempt that changed history. After completing 22,000 miles of the journey, she took off for the next leg on the morning of 02 July 1937 and was, as they say, never seen again. Her disappearance was both a surprise and a shock -- and it remains as such 75 years later.

Did her plane ditch in the sea where she drowned along with her navigator? Did she land on an uninhabited island and die? Did she make it to a British-owned island and live a long, secret life? Was she spying for the government? Were they captured and executed by the Japanese? With so many unanswered questions, there is little wonder her life and disappearance still elicit so much interest.

As a journalist, I don't much like unsolved mysteries. Every mystery has a resolution, it's just up to someone to find it. Personally, I hope the Earhart mystery is never solved. There are just some things that are more interesting as mysteries.

You can read more about why the mystery endures here, and more about the woman herself here.

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