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Papua New Guinea, a remote island in the vast Pacific, so impenetrable is this jungle island that only the most adventurous travel here. This untamed land holds many secrets, it plays host to the greatest aviation mystery of all time. In 1937, Amelia Mary Earhart took off from Papua New Guinea, then vanished without a trace. Now her true fate is finally emerging, armed with new technology, experts are going back to the Pacific to find the queen of the skies.
International travel has never been easier, thousands of aircraft girdle the globe, guided to their destinations by satellite navigation systems. Pick any place on Earth and it’s only a plane ride away, it would never occur to us that our pilot might get lost, but in the pioneering days of aviation when Amelia Earhart was flying, getting lost was an occupational hazard. When she opened up the air routes we fly today she did so with little more than a compass to guide her.
In 1932 flying across the States was big news, especially when the pilot was a woman. Amelia Earhart’s daring and charm made her a media celebrity, people hungered for every detail of this remarkable woman’s life. When she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic, New York City gave her a hero’s welcome. In an age when most people had never seen an aeroplane, flying across an ocean was like going to the moon.
In 1937, Amelia announced her most ambitious project, to fly around the world. The first two thirds of the flight were successful, a month after she left the US Amelia reached the Pacific island of Papua New Guinea, California was only three days away. But she never made it.
“In Search of Amelia Earhart”, is a documentary, from the “World of Mysteries” series.
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