What Really Happened to Amelia Earhart?

February 24th, 2012
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On Saturday, March 3, 10:30 a.m., Richard E. Gillespie, Executive Director of TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery), based in Wilmington, Delaware, will be presenting a program at the Delaware Public Archives entitled “What Really Happened to Amelia Earhart?”  2012 marks the 75th anniversary of her disappearance. In 1937, Amelia Earhart set out to be the first person to circle the globe by air in the area close to the equator. On July 2, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan failed to arrive as planned on Howland Island in the Central Pacific.  Since that time, their disappearance has become one of the most baffling mysteries of the 20th century.   At the time of her disappearance, Amelia Earhart was arguably the most famous woman of her generation and is, even today, certainly the most well-known woman aviator of all time.  It is known that Amelia Earhart made at least one stop in Delaware, in March 1929, to consider purchasing a plane from the Bellanca Company based near the town of New Castle.

 This program will reveal the findings this non-profit group has uncovered since it inaugurated the Earhart Project in 1988. The group is dedicated to investigating the Earhart/Noonan disappearance according to accepted academic standards and sound scientific methodology.

The presenter, Richard E. Gillespie, founded The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery in 1985 and has served as the Executive Director of TIGHAR since its inception.  A former accident investigator and risk manager for the aviation insurance industry, Gillespie is the author of the book, Finding Amelia – The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance




Pilots Elinor Smith, George Haldeman, and Amelia Earhart at the Bellanca Airfield in New Castle beside a Bellanca CH-300 Airplane. Smith set the 1929 solo endurance record for women, and Haldeman was the pilot for the first nonstop flight from New York to Cuba in 1929. Both feats were accomplished in a Bellanca CH-300 Airplane. Earhart visited the Bellanca Airfield in March 1929 to consider buying a Bellanca Airplane.

The program is free to the public.  No reservations are required.  For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail thomas.summers@state.de.us. 

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