This clip, from a Discovery-Channel documentary on Amelia Earhart, contains historic footage of Earhart's last flight. She - and her navigator, Fred Noonan - are seen departing Lae, New Guinea on July 2, 1937. During this segment of her round-the-world effort - the longest of the entire journey - Earhart's red-winged, twin-engine Lockheed Electra 10E disappeared.
While studying this last-takeoff footage, a photo analyst recently noted something which could be very significant in solving the mystery of Earhart's disappearance.
As she rolled down the Lae runway, something happened to Earhart's plane (which had apparently been missed at the time and not noticed in the ensuing years because the video was unavailable). The analyst believes the incident could have substantially impaired, or eliminated, Earhart's ability to receive radio transmissions.
While searching for a tiny speck of hard-to-find land in the Pacific Ocean - called Howland Island - Earhart was sending messages which were received by Itasca, an American Coast Guard vessel. Itasca also sent messages to Earhart, but it appeared to Itasca's crew members that she never heard them.
The analysis contained in this video clip may explain why she never responded.
Recent analysis of contemporary messages - largely ignored, in 1937, as not credible or unimportant - have led some experts to believe Earhart and Noonan may have safely landed - at Nikumaroro, formerly known as Gardner Island (about 300 miles southeast of Howland Island) - before their plane was swept away by the sea surrounding the atoll.
An expedition - mounted by TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) - attempted to determine whether more could be learned about one of the 20th century's most-enduring mysteries. After a $2.2 million effort, however, questions remain unanswered and the mystery of Amelia's disappearance remains intact.
NOTE: Links to the Waitt Institute' web site - "Search for Amelia" - sometimes have internal server issues. We have alerted the site owners about the problem. For now, we have kept the links - for "round the world effort," "red-winged" and "tiny speck of hard-to-find land" - because they are so good. If the problem persists, however, we will deactivate the links.
Clip from "Finding Amelia," produced for the Discovery Channel. Copyright, Discovery Communications, LLC., all rights reserved. Clip online, courtesy Discovery Channel via YouTube, and provided here as fair use for educational purposes.