Amelia Earhart in March, 1937
Amelia Earhart was famous for many things. She was an aviation pioneer who was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was a member of the National Women's Party, a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, a charter member of the Ninety-Nines (a professional organization of women pilots), and a career counselor to women students at Purdue University.
But what she is best known for is her failed attempt to circumnavigate the globe by air in 1937.
She had been planning the attempt for a few years, and although it would not be the first time a person had circled the globe by air, the route she choose would follow the equator which would make it the longest route. Amelia first made the attempt in March of 1937, when technical problems forced her to give up the attempt. For her next attempt she choose a new plane, a Lockheed Electra 10E, which was modified to fit a larger fuel tank.
She wasn't flying alone. It was important to have a navigator along. Air navigation maps were new and often inaccurate. So who would be best qualified to help navigate an airplane across the ocean? A ship's captain. She selected two: Captain Harry Manning, captain of the transatlantic ship the President Roosevelt which had brought Amelia back from Europe in 1928 after her flight across the Atlantic, and Fred Noonan, a licensed ship captain who had worked for the pioneering airline Pan Am, where he was responsible for navigating the route and training the pilots for the Pacific Ocean air routes between San Francisco and Manila. The plan was to fly the Pacific portion with Noonan, the Atlantic portion with Captain Manning ... and the final leg by herself.
The flight started in Oakland, California on May 20, 1937, and the plan was to triumphantly return to Oakland on July 4th. There were planned stops for rest, refueling and repairs, and for the most part the flight was progressing successfully.
Amelia Earhart, 1928
With the trip almost completed, on July 2nd Amelia and Noonan left Lae Airfield in New Guinea, headed for Howland Island, a small uninhabited island about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. The United States Coast Guard ship The Itasca was stationed at the the tiny island, ready to guide her in by radio and then allow her to refuel.
But Amelia never made it to Howland Island.
Amelia Earhart Flight Route
Radio transmission was difficult and sketchy, and it's been suggested that the different equipment in Amelia's plane and The Itasca made it impossible for them to communicate on the same radio frequency. The Itasca couldn't hear her well, and when they heard her say "We must be on you, but cannot see you - but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio" they knew that she couldn't hear The Itasca at all. At one point Amelia started whistling over the radio, hoping that The Itasca could locate her better with a continuous signal. The Itasca used their oil fired boilers to create black smoke, hoping that Amelia could see the black puffs of smoke in the air to help her locate the island, but if she saw it she didn't give any indication that she did.
So what happened? Nobody knows. The search for Amelia's plane officially began just one hour after her last transmission, and the search lasted for 17 days, until July 19th. After the official search ended her husband paid for additional private searches. New theories and "evidence" occasionally pop up, but no conclusive clues to her disappearance have ever been found.
It is most likely that Amelia ran out of fuel and crashed into the water, or landed on another island and either died on impact or survived for a few days. During the search some reported hearing radio signals for the first few days, but there were so many planes and boats searching for her that it is impossible to know if the signals came from Amelia or from fellow searchers.
Several theories have surfaced over the years ...
She was shot down by the Japanese ... and they captured her airplane to copy the technology for their own. (This was before the start of World War II, but while international tensions were rising). It was also reported that she had been kept alive and years later was one of the many "Tokyo Rose" women, American-sounding women used by the Japanese to send demoralizing messages to American soldiers over the radio during WWII. The theory was accepted enough that Amelia's husband listened to the Tokyo Rose recordings, but said he didn't recognize any as his wife's voice.
Another theory is that she faked her own death then moved to New Jersey, remarried and changed her name to Irene Craigmile Bolam. This theory was proclaimed in a book published in 1970. It was later disproved, and Mrs. Bolam was not at all pleased with the attention she received from the false allegation. The publisher quickly removed the book and paid a private settlement to Mrs. Bolam.
We like this theory ... She was captured by aliens. ... 'nuff said!
Amelia Earhart. Because of a gap between her front teeth, she was advised to smile with her mouth closed for formal photos.
Amelia left a letter to her husband, to be opened in case the flight was her last, stating: "Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." ... It seems that she knew her failure could be just as inspiring as her success.
Would you like the excitement of circumnavigating the globe - without the danger? FiberWild!'s new Sock of the Month: World Traveler series is called Around the World in 12 Socks. You'll visit 12 exciting places around the world and knit a new sock inspired by the landscape and culture of each location, all without ever leaving your favorite knitting chair! The odds of you mysteriously disappearing while knitting around the world are fairly slim, and the only equipment failure you will experience is that awful "ping" you hear when you drop a knitting needle on the hardwood floor.
Pack your bags (I mean your knitting bag, of course!) ... and let's fly! Happy Knitting! ... Scout
Join us in our latest Sock of the Month adventure ... World Traveler!
Twelve Sock patterns inspired by places around the globe!
First Stop: Japan ... May, 2017
Our 2016-2017 Sock of the Month: World Traveler Series promises unique and colorful patterns based on exciting destinations from around the world. Amy's plan is to feature several different sock techniques along with super yummy yarns in 12 adventurous designs!
Join the sock knitting fun and see where our newest Sock of the Month series will take you!
Thank you all for the amazing entries ideas. We were blown away by your feedback ... you sock knitters are such a creative bunch! We had a blast going through them and coming up with ways to bring the ideas to life.
Below are the winning ideas! We have indicated winners by name and sock name. If there is more than one name listed, that means there were two outstanding entries mentioning the same place and we are using aspects of each idea in the design.
Note: Scout has two exotic mystery destinations in mind, but he's not talking! All I we can get from him is a meow and a puuurrrr! So, in no particular order ... the winning sock ideas are ...
World Travler Series
Colleen Grant "Nuances
of the Nabataeans"
"Stranded in Mykonos"
"Springtime in Amsterdam"
"Chapel's Holy Twilight"
Scout's Mystery Destination!
Scout's Mystery Destination!
Thanks again to everyone who entered and congrats to the winners!
Coming May 1st
Our first World Traveler destination is a spring time trip to Japan, featuring the "Spring in Japan" socks!
Amy, our Sock Knitting Guru
Amy's at it once again with her popular monthly sock designs ... this time inspired by places around the globe. Our 2016-2017 World Traveler Series, will start May 2017 with a new sock pattern each month through April 2018. For updates on each pattern as they arrive and fun giveaways, follow us on social media.
You're also encouraged you to create project pages and share progress photos with the FiberWild and Friends group on Ravelry ... or share pix on your favorite social media with hashtags #FiberWildSockoftheMonth and #SockKnitAdventure
Other Sock of the Month Series
Twelve sock projects now in one awesome eBook ...
Choose individual ePatterns or the complete collection!
2016 was the Centennial Anniversary of America's National Park Service and we celebrated with a monthly series of great sock patterns inspired by twelve different National Parks. Throughout 2016 our friends and family visited several of National Parks ... the Rockies, Yellowstone, Denali and the Redwoods just to name a few. They took Amy's socks with them and snapped some amazing pictures, now featured in our eBook of 12 sock patterns!
National Parks Series 2016-2017
Amy, our Sock Knitting Guru
Amy absolutely loves to design and knit socks! So after our 2015-2016 Space Series, she followed up with a series of designs inspired by the spectacular beauty of our National Parks. Shop the individual patterns ... or get all 12 designs in our eBook for only $19.95!
You're also encouraged you to create project pages and share progress photos with the FiberWild and Friends group on Ravelry ... or share pix on your favorite social media with hashtag #FiberWildSockoftheMonth
Outer Space Series 2015-2016