Friday, July 21, 2017


There is a never-ending curiosity in people when confronted with an unanswered mystery.

People want to know what happened. It gives closure. And ending.

Without an ending, it leads to speculation, conspiracy theories, accusations and unprovable myths.

There have been a recent rash of stories on one of the great aircraft mysteries of the 20th century: the disappearance of famed female aviator Amelia Earhart. 

Many theories have been told about her ill-fated last trip across the Pacific Ocean. Some researchers claim that human bones have located a site on a remote Pacific atoll where  Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, may have died on their ill-fated attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937.

Search dogs were taken to Nikumaroro, part of the Republic of Kiribati, as part of the latest expedition to the atoll by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) and the National Geographic Society.

TIGHAR believes Ms Earhart managed to land on Nikumaroro - which was at the time an uninhabited British territory known as Gardner Island - but soon succumbed to hunger, thirst or illness. Evidence from this area includes parts of an aircraft hull, plexiglass from a cockpit, a zip made in Pennsylvania in the mid-1930s, a broken pocket knife of the same brand that was listed in an inventory of Ms Earhart's aircraft and the remains of a 1930s woman's compact.

This theory is allegedly supported by British colonial records in Fiji reporting the discovery of the partial skeleton of a castaway who perished shortly before the island was settled in 1938.

The TIGHAR expedition has coincided with the airing of a documentary on The History Channel in the US that claims a photo discovered in US archives proves that Earhart and Noonan were captured by the Japanese and transported to Jaluit in the Marshall Islands. The theory adds that they were both later executed. Les Kinney, a long-time proponent of the theory that  Earhart and Noonan were on a spying mission for the US government shortly before the outbreak of World War II, told the Associated Press the image shows Ms Earhart sitting on a sea wall with her back to the camera, Mr Noonan standing with a group of islanders and a Japanese survey ship identified as the Koshu towing a barge carrying the Electra.

Other researchers and government officials say they have been aware of the photo for several years but have discounted it for a number of reasons. The picture is too blurry to make any positive identification as to any subject.  TIGHAR also points out that the ship is too small to be the Koshu and that what Mr Kinney claims is the aircraft on a barge "is just an indistinct blob."

It has also been pointed out that the photograph is marked as being taken in 1940, three years after Earhart's disappearance. Recently, The Guardian reported that military history blogger Kota Yamano published the photo in its proper context, finding it after about 30 minutes of looking through Japan’s national library, on a page from a Japanese-language travel book on the South Seas. The book was published in 1935, two years before Amelia Earhart’s ill-fated plane took off, so she could not have been depicted in the History Channel story.

The Pacific islands have been an aircraft and vessel grave yard for centuries. During the war, island hopping for intelligence in military shipping lanes was a dangerous but vital activity. Because of the large scope of the Pacific Ocean, many planes had to ditch because of weather or fuel issues. Many remote islands could contain aircraft debris or human remains.

These stories are compelling because there was a famous person who went missing over the Pacific. No one truly knows what happened except for the fact that Earhart's plane did not arrive at its destination. Whether she crashed her plane or safely landed it, no one has any clear proof. Whether she survived an island plane crash is also speculation.

This is not unlike the fan speculation in LOST as to the origin story of Crazy Mother, the island guardian who "stole" Jacob and his brother from their mother when she was shipwrecked on the island. Crazy Mother killed her in order to raise her sons as future island guardians.

One fan theory was that Crazy Mother was Earhart, the long lost aviator. In the context of her plane traveling over the remote Pacific, Earhart may have had the same experience as Flight 815. She crashed on the island. She would have survived the crash like the 815ers. Her co-pilot may have succumbed to the smoke monster as it took Rousseau's crew. (It seemed that the smoke monster was more violent toward men than women.) Since time and space principles did not apply to the island, it is theorized that Earhart went back in time before the ancient Romans arrived on the island.

This would also pre-suppose that there was an island guardian before Earhart arrived in her 1937. That guardian must have also been trapped in the purgatory of guarding a timeless island from intruders. That guardian must have transferred his or her power to Earhart, making her an immortal being. But being immortal, as noted with both Jacob and MIB, has a terrible downside: the inability to live a normal life - - - being captured on an island with a limited to no purpose. You cannot even kill yourself to end the loneliness and frustration of being different.

The idea of having Earhart as an early guardian makes sense if you believe that her mental power channeled into creating later plane crashes on the island. It would have been something that she was familiar and could make survivors of a crash. She would have had to pass along this information to Jacob, as it appears he was the one who wanted and needed to have people come to the island so he could become mortal and die.