Aloha All,

I am certain that the recently published photograph will be met with a degree of resistance from various sources. Several organizations have had access to the photo for over a year and have aligned themselves against the possibility that it depicts Earhart and Noonan. TIGHAR has placed a prominent disclaimer regarding the photograph on their website. There is some bias associated with TIGHAR as its authenticity would mean their work and efforts at Nikumaroro (Gardner Island) was all for naught.

The History Channel may present the case of Earhart and Noonan crash landing near Barre Island at Mili Atoll. This presents several problems with known or assumed facts regarding Earhart and Noonan at or near the time of their crash. Mili Atoll is about 1,420 Kilometers from Howland Island and almost 2,000 Kilometers from Nikumaroro Island. In the final hours of the flight the radio transmissions from the Electra were being received at maxim power on the Itasca just off Howland Island. The signals were so strong (S5) that the voice was overmodulated. For this to be true the Electra needed to be within 113 miles or closer from the receiving radio. Such power levels could not be achieved with voice communications from 1,500 to 2,000 kilometers away. At the time of these transmissions Amelia was reporting that they did not have much fuel left.

This presents quite a dilemma as voice communications are considered in the daytime to be line of sight. In this case Amelia reported that their altitude was 1,000 feet so their horizon line of sight limitation would radically fall off after 113 miles from the receiver. During the daytime over the ocean the height of the ionosphere would not support any ducting or skip effects that would extend this distance. I believe at the time of these transmissions the Electra was at least within 113 miles from Howland Island. So, I am unsure what to make of this new photograph. There would need to be a lot more information provided. I consider the radio logs of the Itasca to be the only facts that we currently have that gives any hints regarding the distance from Howland Island to the Electra just prior to its downing.

I would like to think that Earhart and Noonan did survive the downing and were picked up by islanders. It is almost 1,650 kilometers from Howland Island to Jaluit where the photograph was taken. The History Channel will have to really pull a rabbit out of their hat to make this plausible.

If there was ever a mystery, this is it.