January 19, 2013 |
If only the summer search for Amelia Earhart had looked a little to the left. Maybe then Ric Gillespie would be happy. Maybe then he would have found the "any-idiot artifact" that removes all doubt that the famous aviatrix's 1937 attempt to circle the globe in a Lockheed Electra ended at the remote Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro. Not that July's venture came up empty. Organized by Gillespie and his Wilmington, Del.-based network of volunteers, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, the expedition made headlines by capturing tantalizing images of scattered underwater debris.
August 25, 2012 |
This summer's $2.2 million search for Amelia Earhart's plane was about 2,000 miles off, if Australian David Billings is right. In 1945, an Australian army unit came across an engine in dense jungle on New Britain, a western Pacific island now part of Papua New Guinea. The aircraft engineer believes it was one of Earhart's engines because numbers handwritten on a map, supposedly by a member of that unit, correspond to an an engine from Earhart's Lockheed Model 10 Electra. The plane vanished in July 1937, as the famous flier and navigator Fred Noonan were over the Pacific, trying to finish up a round-the-world flight.
August 15, 2012 |
Some media reports got it wrong. "Amelia Earhart search fails to find clues," read one July 24 headline. "Search for plane wreckage yields nothing," declared another. But it's way too soon to slap labels, like failure, on the recent $2.2 million undersea search near a remote Pacific island that was documented for a Discovery Channel special set to air Sunday at 10 p.m. "The jury is still very much out on this trip," said expedition organizer Ric Gillespie. ". . . "We're just now getting to the point were we can review the video to see what we saw. " Only this weekend was high-resolution video delivered to West Coast forensic imagining specialist Jeff Glickman for analysis, said Gillespie, executive director of a The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR)
July 25, 2012 |
The next few weeks might finally reveal what happened to the Amelia Earhart's attempted round-the-world flight 75 years ago. A $2.2 million expedition to a remote Pacific island is on its way back to Hawaii after gathering "volumes of sonar data and many hours of high-definition video," according to Monday's online update from TIGHAR, the Delaware-based group that organized the search. "Did TIGHAR's Niku VII expedition find the Earhart aircraft? It's far too early to say," reads the latest report at www.tighar.org . "Big pieces of airplane wreckage were not immediately apparent, but after 75 years in Nikumaroro's severe and unstable underwater environment, that is hardly surprising.
April 10, 2012 |
For most of the 25 years he's been investigating the disappearance of famed aviator Amelia Earhart, Ric Gillespie has gotten little traction. Experts and various self-proclaimed skeptics have dismissed, doubted, and debunked his theory that she and her navigator did not plunge into the vastness of the Pacific, but instead lived as castaways on a pinpoint of land called Nikumaroro. A smudge in a 74-year-old photograph turned everything around. A forensic analyst in Washington thought it looked more like an object than a photographic defect.
September 11, 2011
2 craft to explore moon's mysteries CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A pair of spacecraft rocketed toward the moon Saturday on the first mission dedicated to measuring lunar gravity and determining what's inside Earth's orbiting companion - all the way down to the core. NASA launched the near identical probes - named Grail-A and Grail-B - aboard a relatively small Delta II rocket to save money. It will take close to four months for the spacecraft to reach the moon, a long, roundabout journey.
May 19, 2010 |
Whatever it is - a chamber musical? operatic vaudeville? - Take Flight at Princeton's McCarter Theatre is enthralling. Taking flight as its subject and legendary aviators as its characters, it tunefully explores obsession through the interwoven stories of the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, and Amelia Earhart. With a complicated book by John Weidman (no wonder the show kept reminding me of his Sondheim collaborations Pacific Overtures and Road Show), edgy music by David Shire, who saves soaring melody for when he really needs it, and Richard Maltby Jr.'s sometimes clever, sometimes thrilling lyrics, Take Flight is an exciting work.
November 8, 2009 |
In September 1932, an airplane set off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, N.Y., attempting a nonstop flight to Rome. Four months before, Amelia Earhart had become the first woman - and only the second pilot after Charles Lindbergh in 1927 - to fly solo across the Atlantic. The September flight carried a pilot, a physician, and a nurse. All were lost at sea. The nurse had replaced Ida Mae Hampton of Northfield, N.J., near Atlantic City, who had declined an invitation to copilot what newspapers at the time called the "American Nurse" flight.
October 29, 2009 |
The movie Amelia shows the legendary aviation pioneer at the height of her career. But here's a little-known snippet of Earhart's bio: Before becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, she attended a finishing school in our neck of the woods. Letters, documents and artifacts from the Ogontz School for Young Ladies, which is now the site of Penn State Abington, offer a glimpse of a girl on her way to breaking barriers of speed, distance and gender. In a school dedicated to shaping the daughters of highest society into proper debutantes, "Amelia was the most illustrious of the alumnae," said Lillian Hansberry, archive coordinator, who will discuss Earhart's local connection in a Nov. 8 program on campus, "Amelia Earhart: From the Ogontz School to Worldwide Fame.