My theme will be History's Mysteries. I had a much darker theme in mind, but figured I should at least lighten it up a little bit, considering last year was about the Wild West, which was often rather gritty. Then again, some of these mysteries are, too. You all know I write horror, right? I just can't help myself!
I will also be posting as I normally would on Mondays and Wednesdays, because I know not everyone is participating in the A-to-Z. Hopefully, though, even if you aren't participating, you'll find these mysteries of interest.
Before I jump into the post, I want to give a shout-out to Arlee Bird, the wonderful man who created the A-to-Z Challenge. He's like the kind uncle of the blogosphere, and the day he contacted me about being a co-host was a big day for me. Since then, I've gotten the chance to get to know him, and I'm so glad I did. He's smart, sweet, creative, and interesting. He's done a lot in his life, and I always enjoy learning something new about him in his posts. Thank you for being you, Lee!
Anyone else tired of all the Anonymous posts popping up on your blogs all of a sudden? Blogger was keeping them out quite well, but about a month or two ago I got flooded. Not sure what happened with that, but I was finally forced to block Anonymous comments. I'm not sure I ever got a quality Anonymous comment, anyway, so it wasn't a big loss for me, but I wonder if others were impacted in the same way, and if it was a bigger deal for them? Darn Anonymous spammers! Anyone heard why the sudden change in spam settings for Blogger?
When Amelia was about twenty years old, she became fascinated with flight. However, it wouldn't be until years later that she would take flight lessons and scrape together enough money to buy a small, used, two-seat bi-plane. She promptly set a record for women, flying up to an altitude of 14,000 feet.
In 1928, she was invited to fly with Bill Schultz and Slim Gordon, becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. The flight from Newfoundland to Wales took about 21 hours, but earned Earhart accolades that would outlast her. She began participating in flying competitions after that, scrapping any pretense of a life without avionics.
In 1931, she married George Putnam (book publisher and publicist-does that last name ring a bell?), the man who had originally called her up and asked her to fly across the Atlantic. They schemed together to insure Amelia would be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Charles Lindbergh was the only one to have previously accomplished this.
On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart set off from Newfoundland. She was forced to land before reaching Paris, landing instead on a farm in Ireland. She had made it! The media adored her, as did everyone else, and she was presented with multiple awards, including the first Distinguished Flying Cross ever issued to a woman.
She set many more records over the years, but her final flight was the one that would truly go down in history. On June 1, 1937, Amelia Earhart took off from Miami with a navigator, Fred Noonan, with the intention of being the first woman to fly around the world. They made it to New Guinea and prepared for the final 7000 miles of their trip, ships on stand-by at the next destination, Howland Island. They dumped many supplies from the plane in order to get additional mileage so they could make it to the tiny island.
|By Copyright by Underwood and Underwood |
(not renewed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A massive search was undertaken, lasting until July 19, but no sign was ever found of Amelia Earhart. Theories as to what had happened to her included the plane going down in the sea (she had reported being low on gas), crash landing on an island and being eaten by cannibals, alien abduction, execution by the Japanese, that she and Fred were spies against the Japanese and were hidden away in a camp or prison somewhere, and that she actually faked her death and lived out her life anonymously elsewhere in the U.S.
The most compelling evidence, by far, is the discovery of human remains in 1940, on the island of Nikumaroro (Gardner Island, at that time). These remains were sent to Fiji, where they were declared to belong to a short man. Measurements were taken, and later [modern] analysis of the measurements showed they belonged to a taller woman. The bones had disappeared, making it impossible to re-check with current knowledge.
|By en:User:Bzuk uploaded it to wikipedia, User:Alaniaris re-uploaded it to Commons. (English Wikipedia, en:Image:Earhart.electra.jpeg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
However, in 2012, Richard Gillespie, a man who had spent millions of dollars and at least sixteen years searching for Earhart's remains, discovered evidence of her demise on that same island. They found a woman's Cat's Paw shoe heel that looked similar to those she wore in photos. In addition, they found a sextant box, thought to be Noonan's, and an empty bottle. The heel of a man's shoe was also found, and evidence of items that had been modified, such as shells, also turned up. In addition, natives questioned years later reported finding airplane parts in the area, including a wing, and told tales of a male and female ghost associated with bones they had found and thrown into the sea, hoping to calm the spirits. Items made of aluminum from various airplanes were found in a nearby ghost town village, one that had sprung up after Earhart's crash, then been abandoned. There were also plexi-glass portions found that could have come from a plane.
Finally, there was evidence of castaways in the form of fires where sea creatures had been cooked, including birds, sea turtles, clams, etc. The clams had been opened in a fashion more customary to Americans than islanders. A piece of metal was discovered that appeared to have been used to jimmy the clams open, but islanders usually snuck up on the giant clams when they were open and sliced them in such a way as to prevent them from closing, making it easy to harvest the meat.
Nothing definitive has been discovered, and Amelia Earhart remains a mystery, lost to history. Other theories are still being explored, but Gillespie is certain he's found the site of her death, and he's determined to continue his search until he finds definitive proof.
What do you think happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan? Do you want to know, or are mysteries better left unsolved?
May you find your Muse.
*Letter A by Ramsha, clker.com