argument top image

How did Amelia Earhart die? Show more Show less
Back to question

Amelia Earhart's disappearance and presumed death in the midst of her attempt to circumnavigate the globe by plane has long been an international interest. Many believe her plane crashed in Pacific and that she and her companion perished, but others believe in more unusual theories.

Amelia Earhart made it to Gardner Island (Nikumaroro) and perished there or surrounding waters. Show more Show less

The Gardner Island (Nikumaroro) hypothesis presumes that Earhart, an experienced aviator, would not have wasted time searching for Howland Island and would have turned southward instead.
< (2 of 4) Next position >

Amelia Earhart died when her plane crashed near Gardner Island (Nikumaroro)

Contrary to popular belief, Amelia Earhart did not die crashing near Howland, but crashing near Gardner Island, also known as Nikumaroro.

The Argument

There is additional evidence that supports the idea that the passengers of the Elektra did not die upon impact near Gardner Island, or very soon after landing. Instead, there may be evidence that Earhart and Noonan survived on the island for some time as castaways.[1] A week after Earhart disappeared, Navy planes from the USS Colorado searched Gardner Island and found signs of recent habitation. A great many pieces of skeletons, artifacts, and signs of habitation have been found since Earhart’s disappearance, all pointing to the fact that shipwrecks or castaways had found their way to the island in the past. By 1938, the island was colonized as part of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme, and colonists reported finding airplane parts, plausibly from Electra.[2] Furthermore, a colonial administrator discovered bones, two pairs of shoes (a man and woman’s), and a box that once held a sextant. TIGHAR estimates that the bones could come from a female roughly of Earhart’s build. Finally, at the Seven Site on the island, there is evidence of several campfires as well as the remains of birds, fish, turtles, and clams. Based on the way the clams were opened and the fish consumed, the products were obviously not eaten by a Pacific Islander.[3]

Counter arguments

Most detrimental to this theory is that the island was searched within a week of their disappearance.[4] With access to fresh water, Earhart and Noonan should have survived well beyond this timeline and would have subsequently been found during the search. Beyond this, though there is much evidence that castaways have existed on Gardner Island at various points of time, there has been no conclusively found evidence (specifically DNA evidence) linking anything to Amelia Earhart.

Proponents


Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/amelia-earhart-disappearance-theories-spd/#close
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/science/amelia-earhart-search-robert-ballard.html
  3. https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEdescr.html
  4. https://www.slideshare.net/inkspotter/amelia-earhart-earning-her-wings

This page was last edited on Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 15:38 UTC

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more before voting ↑

Discuss

Explore related arguments