The aviator was born in Kansas in 1897 and led an eventful childhood as a tomboy. Then discovering aviation upon seeing an air show, she knew that she wanted to learn how to fly. Her first plane was a yellow Kinner Airster biplane which she named, 'The Canary.' She flew it to a height of 14,000 feet, setting an altitude record for female pilots. Then, after Charles Lindberg's flight across the Atlantic, she became the first woman to do the same. Now she became a media celebrity and a household name: A hero to female pilots, proving that women can fly just like men.
Earning money from her celebrity endorsements, she began to fly competitively and raced around the country in an autogyro, setting more altitude records. By 1932 she made another Transatlantic crossing-this time alone. Continuing with more inspiring achievements, she began to set her sights on circumnavigating the globe. For this she would need a new, bigger plane.
The Lockheed Electra was modern and had two engines, making it adept for longer flights.
On July 2nd 1937 Amelia took off with her navigator Fred Noonan. There destination was supposed to be a small island between Hawaii and Australia. They never arrived.
Conspiracy theories arose. Some thought that she faked her death to lead a quiet life out of the media spotlight. Others believed the U.S. government was using Amelia to spy on the Japanese. Maybe she was the Japanese propagandist, 'Tokyo Rose,' broadcasting inflammatory remarks to U.S. servicemen during the war. Did she elope with her navigator? Or was she rescued from a Japanese prison and lived life as a banker in New York?
Now maybe we'll have an answer. An enhanced photo from 1937 may show plane parts sticking out of the water near an uninhabited island. So far scientists are trying to see if bone fragments found on Nikumaroro Island belong to Earhart or Noonan. In July a research vessel will set sail for the island to try to find more artifacts. One of the great mysteries of American history may finally be solved.