Cover image for Amelia Earhart's shoes : is the mystery solved?
Amelia Earhart's shoes : is the mystery solved?
King, Thomas F.
Publication Information:
Walnut Creek, CA : AltaMira Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
viii, 376 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL540.E3 A74 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This text investigates the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan using the methods of modern science. A team of scientists use modern scientific techniques to examine evidence on Earhart's disappearance. Using archaeological survey; global positioning systems; remote sensing; forensics; a variety of laboratory analyses; and extensive archival research and interviewing, previous theories have been challenged and the search has been narrowed to the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro where increasing evidence points to the pilots having landed and perished.

Author Notes

Dr. Thomas F. King boasts thirty years of experience as a professional archaeologist and historic preservation expert, including extensive fieldwork in Micronesia. He serves as project archaeologist for The Earhart Project. The author of three books, Dr. King lives in Washington, D.C.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart?" has been an enduring question since she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared somewhere in the Pacific on July 2, 1937. Since then, the mystery has been "solved" by people who claim, among other things, that she was flying as a U.S. agent against the Japanese, that she died in a prisoner-of-war camp and that she was abducted by aliens. This book posits that due to bad weather, Earhart and Noonan missed their refueling stop on Howland Island in the mid-Pacific and landed on Nikumaroro, a small island south of their target. While most Earhart quests are based on imaginative, usually untested hypotheses, this volume is scrupulous in not making any unevidenced assertions. Working from a wide range of fields its authors are an archeological consultant, a geophysicist, a forensic anthropologist and an army engineer this book claims that human bones and a shoe found on Nikumaroro indicate that Earhart possibly landed and died there. Unlike other Earhart detectives, the authors repeatedly emphasize that their conclusions are tentative and conjectural. While their judgments are tantalizing and plausible, the fun of the book is being in on the excitement of the discoveries and the scientific testing of the hypothesis. Written in a colloquial, good-humored style that takes itself seriously but is not above cracking a joke to make a point, this is a must for "what happened to Amelia" fanatics, and also those who are interested in how science can be used to test the veracity of theories about historical mysteries. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

One of the enduring mysteries of the 20th century is the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in 1937 during their 'round-the-world flight. The International Group for Historic Aviation Recovery (TIGHAR), an organization of aviation archaeologists, has been on the trail of the plane and its passengers for nearly two decades. Here it makes a compelling case that they have found the fateful scene of the crash-landing on the uninhabited tropical island of Nikumaroro. Search parties have been to Nikumaroro five times to examine the reefs and nearby areas systematically and have found a piece of aluminum aircraft skin and a shoe that are consistent with the lost flight and its famous crew. There are competing theories about Earhart's disappearance, but in this engrossing description of the investigations, TIGHAR has produced one of the most cogent and plausible theories yet. This is a valuable and entertaining primer on the disappearance itself, and it just might hold the solution to one of aviation's greatest mysteries. Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This very readable book constitutes an interim report of The International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) on its investigations since 1989 of the 1937 disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on their round-the-world flight in a Lockheed 10E Electra. This account of that mystery reads much like a picaresque novel because of its episodic narration populated by a number of offbeat personalities. Those unfamiliar with this story will learn it along with the variety of hypotheses that have been put forward to explain why Earhart and Noonan vanished on their flight from Lae, New Guinea, to tiny Howland Island in the vast Pacific expanse. TIGHAR, on the basis of some suggestive field findings, has put forth a new, tentative hypothesis to explain the mystery: the hypothesis is that Earhart and Noonan made a forced landing on the even tinier Nikumaroro, an island in Kiribati, formerly named the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The only claim made in this well-told story is that TIGHAR's hypothesis is reasonable, based on their fieldwork, and it will require further research. General readers. M. Levinson formerly, University of Washington

Table of Contents

1 Where in the World Is Amelia Earhart?p. 1
2 The Lady in Questionp. 9
3 The Navigator and the Airplanep. 16
4 Disappearancep. 25
5 After the Search: Assumptions, Assertions, and Conspiracy Theoriesp. 37
6 Getting Hooked on Earhartp. 47
7 McKean, Gardner, and the PISSp. 63
8 First Time on Nikup. 77
9 Can't Find That Trainp. 95
10 Hope Springs Eternalp. 110
11 The Grave, the Skin, and the Shoesp. 119
12 "We Did It!" or Notp. 129
13 The Skeptic and the Kiwisp. 143
14 Back to the Windward Sidep. 149
15 The Shattered Shores of Nikup. 160
16 Harassed by Hina, Favored in Funafutip. 176
17 After the Stormp. 187
18 Kanton in the Rainp. 196
19 Bones for Realp. 206
20 Flesh on the Bonesp. 222
21 Whose Bones, and Where?p. 235
22 Meanwhile ...p. 249
23 Where the Plane Came Downp. 259
24 Trying to Make Sense of It Allp. 278
25 What Happened on the Night of July 2?p. 285
26 And Then? And Now?p. 306
27 Epilogue: 2001 and Beyondp. 333
Acknowledgmentsp. 375
Notesp. 383
Bibliographyp. 407
Indexp. 417
About the Authorsp. 437