On the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s departure from the U.S. for her ill-fated world flight, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery will host “Earhart Search 75,” a three-day conference (June 1-3, 2012) to explore what has been learned in three-quarters of a century of efforts to discover Earhart’s fate. Researchers, scientists, historians, archaeologists, and forensic experts will present their findings on a wide range of topics in support of a variety of theories. See a full schedule here.
Earhart Search 75
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery
Friday, June 1 to Sunday, June 3, 2012
Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA
TIGHAR Members pay only $199 to attend the full conference if they register before May 15, 2012. After May 15, the cost will be $249 for TIGHAR members. Non-members pay $249 to attend the full conference of they register before May 15, 2012. After May 15, the cost will be $299. Register here!
Robert Brandenburg, LCDR, USN (Ret)
Bob Brandenburg is a retired naval officer with extensive Cold War experience in radio propagation analysis. His technical papers on the Earhart Post-Loss Radio Signals have shed important new light on events during the week following her July 2, 1937 disappearance.
Randall Jacobson, Ph.D.
Randy Jacobson is a TIGHAR Research Fellow with thirty-seven years of experience in oceanography and twenty years with TIGHAR’s Earhart Project. Randy compiled the 5,000-item database of government messages, memos, letters and logbook entries that has been a cornerstone of TIGHAR’s investigation.
Jason H. Byrd, Ph.D.
Jason Byrd is Associate Director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at University of Florida, Gainesville. Jason was a friend and colleague of Karen R. “Kar” Burns, Ph.D., who, for many years, was TIGHAR’s forensic anthropologist. Kar’s untimely death in January was a blow not only to TIGHAR but for forensic science in the service of international human rights and justice.
Thomas F. King, Ph.D.
Tom King is TIGHAR’s Senior Archaeologist and co-author of Amelia Earhart’s Shoes – Is the Mystery Solved? Tom has directed archaeological operations on six TIGHAR expeditions to Nikumaroro.
Colin Cobb is the owner of Titanic Walking Tours in Belfast Northern Ireland and the director of the Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House. Colin’s fascination with the Earhart story started with a visit to Londonderry to see the location of Amelia Earhart’s landing in Gallagher’s pasture at the conclusion of her epic 1932 solo crossing of the Atlantic.
Mike Kutzleb is President and Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix International, a diversified and internationally respected underwater services provider providing manned and unmanned underwater operations and engineering solutions to a number of industries and agencies. Phoenix will be the ROV/AUV contractor for Niku VII, this summer’s expedition to Nikumaroro.
Tom D. Crouch, Ph.D.
Tom Crouch is Senior Curator of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and author of The Bishop’s Boys – A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright. He will deliver the Earhart Search 75 keynote address, “Amelia Earhart: Why We Still Care”
Kristen Lubben is the Associate Curator at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her insightful essay “Amelia Earhart – Flight, Fame, and the New Woman” was featured in Amelia Earhart – Image and Icon.
Richard E. Gillespie
Ric Gillespie is Executive Director at TIGHAR and author of Finding Amelia – The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance. Ric has directed The Earhart Project since its inception in 1988 and has led nine expeditions to the Phoenix Islands.
Thomas M. McCulloch, Ph.D.
Tom McCulloch is Senior Archaeologist with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. He has been with the ACHP for about 25 years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has done archaeological research on a wide variety of prehistoric and historic-period sites in western Europe, eastern US, and Mexico.
Jeff B. Glickman
Jeff Glickman is a Board Certified Forensic Examiner and Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners. His forensic imaging analysis of historical photos has been crucial to TIGHAR’s investigation of the Earhart disappearance.
Richard Pyle was the Associated Press Bureau Chief in Saigon during the Vietnam War. In recent years, as a senior journalist at Associated Press headquarters in Manhattan, he covered the search for the answer to the Earhart mystery.
About TIGHAR’s Earhart Project
The Earhart Project is testing the hypothesis that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan landed, and eventually died, on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati. This is what we think happened:
- Having failed to find Howland Island, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan continued on the navigational line Amelia said they were following.
- That line led them to uninhabited Gardner Island where Amelia landed the Electra safely on the island’s fringing reef.
- For the next several nights they used the aircraft’s radio to send distress calls.
- Radio bearings taken on the signals crossed in the vicinity of Gardner Island.
- One week after the flight disappeared, three U.S. Navy search planes flew over Gardner Island. By then, the distress calls had stopped. Rising tides and surf had swept the Electra over the reef edge.
- The Navy fliers saw no airplane but they did see “signs of recent habitation.” They thought that all the islands in the area were inhabited so they moved on. In fact, no one had lived on Gardner since 1892.
- Earhart and Noonan lived for a time as castaways on the waterless atoll, relying on rain squalls for drinking water. They caught and cooked small fish, seabirds, turtles and clams. Amelia died at a makeshift campsite on the island’s southeast end. Noonan’s fate is unknown.
- Whatever remains of the Electra lies in deep water off the island’s west end.