On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart vanished somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Now, new evidence has come to light. Are researchers on the verge of solving one of the most spectacular unsolved mysteries of history?
Background on Amelia Earhart
Nearly 75 years ago, Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan vanished while attempting a circumnavigational flight around the Earth. For more than two decades, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has searched for them, focusing most of its efforts on tiny Gardner Island.
In less than a month, TIGHAR will return to Gardner Island, hoping to solve this enduring mystery once and for all. In preparation for the expedition, the group recently held a 3-day conference in Arlington, VA.
Three interesting pieces of evidence have been featured thus far. We’re planning to discuss all of them over the coming days. First up are five small pieces of glass recovered by TIGHAR over various expeditions. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about “post-loss radio signals.” And then, we’ll focus on a strange photograph.
Amelia Earhart’s Anti-Freckle Cream?
We already mentioned the small pieces of glass. Individually, they don’t amount to much. But when fully assembled, the glass forms a “nearly complete jar identical in shape to the ones used by Dr. C.H. Berry’s Freckle Ointment.” This particular product was marketed as an anti-freckle cream and was 11% mercury (!). Here’s a photo of it.
“It’s well documented Amelia had freckles and disliked having them.” ~ Joe Cerniglia, TIGHAR
TIGHAR believes Amelia and Fred failed to locate their intended destination, Howland Island. So, they flew 300 miles past it before finally landing on the flat coral reef of uninhabited Gardner Island.
“Broken shards from several glass containers have been recovered from the Seven Site, the archaeological site on the southeast end of Nikumaroro that fits the description of where the partial skeleton of a castaway was discovered in 1940.” ~ Ric Gillespie, Executive Director of TIGHAR
However, the anti-freckle jar is not without controversy. It’s not an exact match to surviving examples of the product. For example, it’s made of clear glass rather than opaque white glass. It’s also a slightly different size although this might not be a problem.
“The reassembled artifact jar does, however, fit nicely in a box in which freckle cream was marketed. The known Dr. Berry jars do not. So we know there was a jar of Dr. Berry’s Freckle Ointment of the same size as the artifact jar, but we don’t know whether it was clear glass.” ~ Ric Gillespie, Executive Director of TIGHAR
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
So, the glass fragments are interesting but ultimately, don’t really prove anything. Their presence, along with other clues, indicates a castaway lived on Gardner Island for a short while. Whether that castaway was Amelia and/or Fred remains to be seen.
Tomorrow, we’re going to take a look at a reinterpretation of some post-disappearance radio signals. And on Tuesday, we’ll examine a photograph taken three months after Amelia’s disappearance, possibly showing the landing gear of her Lockheed Electra aircraft. And of course, next month, we’ll be following TIGHAR’s big expedition back to Gardner Island where researchers hope to excavate Amelia’s plane from the deep waters off the island’s western end. So, stay tuned…there’s lots more to come!
Guerrilla Explorer’s Coverage of Amelia Earhart
- 7/3/11: Where is Amelia Earhart?
- 3/23/12: The Search for Amelia Earhart?
- 6/3/12: New Evidence for Amelia Earhart?
- 6/4/12: New Evidence for Amelia Earhart: Part II?
- 6/5/12: The Lost Photo of Amelia Earhart’s Plane?
- 6/23/12: The Baltic Anomaly: What is the next Anomaly?
- 7/3/12: The Search for Amelia Earhart Begins Today!
- 7/8/12: Amelia Earhart’s Lost Skeleton?
- 7/13/12: The Earhart Expedition: And so it Begins…
- 7/20/12: The Search for Amelia Earhart Nears an End