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Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591143187
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591143185
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ric Gillespie, a recognized authority on Earhart's disappearance, has led eight archaeological search expeditions to the Pacific. A resident of Wilmington, DE, he has written about the subject for Life and Naval History.

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Customer Reviews

It got so boring I nearly gave up on the book.
Anon E. Mouse
A CD with supportive evidence is included with the book I find the theory presented by Mr. Gillespie as a very plausible explanation of Earhart's disappearance.
Amazon Customer
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in what happened to Amelia Earhart in 1937.
Troy Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Anon E. Mouse on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Those of you with an interest in the fate of Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, probably are aware that there are three credible competing, though not necessarily mutually exclusive, theories:

(1) They simply ran out of gas over the Pacific (probably to the northwest of Howland Island, her intended target), landed in the drink, and fell to the bottom. Absent any other information, this is the most logical (and least interesting) conclusion, and is the one favored by Elgen and Marie Long (see their book "Amelia Earhart - The Mystery Solved" ISBN 0684860058). Nauticos, a deep sea salvage firm, has looked for the Electra (her plane) on the ocean floor but has not found it. This theory is based in part on radio signal strength indications aboard the Itasca (stationed at Howland Island awaiting her arrival), which they used to determine her approximate location, and which Gillespie references indirectly only once in this book.

(2) They were captured by the Japanese (either it was planned this way in advance or the Japanese just took advantage of the situation when it arose). Before you roll your eyes and put this in the crop circle/bigfoot category (as I did when I first heard it), be aware that there is credible evidence supporting this, some of which Gillespie mentions in this book (although he never once mentions that the Japanese might have captured her). For example, in the book he mentions that Fred Noonan's wife said the most likely thing Fred would have done would be to backtrack to the nearest known island, which would have been in the Marshall Islands (under Japanese control at the time), and the Amelia Earhart Foundation also believed she backtracked (see page 235).
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. on September 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unsolved mysteries are a surefire way to get published and possibly turn a fast dollar or two. All it takes is a theory about what happened, bolstered by assertions presented as facts and some talent for writing the story. That's why the market is saturated with books that promise the reader "the True Story".

Amelia Earhart's disappearance on one of the last legs of her 1937 round-the-world flight is no exception. Theories, books and True Stories abound. What is exceptional and noteworthy is the approach Ric Gillespie and the organization he heads, TIGHAR, takes to solving this mystery. The TIGHAR approach is refreshingly, relentlessly fact-driven. Over the course of more than a decade, Ric and TIGHAR's members have laborously chased down primary sources of information about the flight, and and have carefully constructed a theory based on these facts that unravels -- minute by minute -- what happened. The TIGHAR theory is that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, couldn't locate their destination (a tiny speck of land in the Central Pacific, Howland Island) and used their emergency fuel reserve for a flight to an alternative landing site, fetching up on an uninhabited tropical hellhole named Gardner Island. This theory is detailed on TIGHAR's Web site, and in the book "Amelia Earhart's Shoes" by Thomas F. King (also highly recommended as a companion volume to "Finding Amelia").

In "Finding Amelia", Ric provides the thoroughly-researched story of the Coast Guard and US Navy search for Amelia that took place over the entire month of July, 1937.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jennifer on September 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This highly technical read is not for the mere curious reader or fan of this great American woman. This book contains a vivid picture of the search for America's sweetheart of 1937,Amelia Earhart and her navigator ,Fred Noonan. An intricate compilation of radio transmissions provides a picture of an overwhelmed search party, miscommunicated information and an under skilled pilot. This is not the whole picture and if one seeks a glimpse into the woman behind the incident this is not the book for you
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Fowler on September 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows that Amelia Earhart did not finish her around-the-world flight in 1937 - and that is about the ONLY thing that anyone interested in finding out what happened next can agree on. Did she and navigator Fred Noonan crash at sea? Were they executed by the Japanese after a secret spy mission? Did Amelia somehow survive and end up living in the US under an assumed name? Was that Star Trek: Voyager episode the true solution?

Up until now, more than a dozen books have hashed out numerous theories, with various degrees of credibility, but all have had one thing in common - they "solve" the mystery with a mixture of carefully selected facts, speculation unsupported by any contemporaneous records, unscientifically-interpreted evidence (photos, etc.), and not a few WAGs.

"Finding Amelia" strips away the legends and myths that have grown up around Earhart and her last flight, and for the first time all of the contemporary records from the actual time are laid out in chronological order, explained and then left to stand on their own. All of the post-loss radio messages. All of the hoaxes. All of the painfully inept attempts by the US government to find Amelia in time to save her from herself. To his credit, author Ric Gillespie makes no attempt to say the mystery is finally solved.

While not solved, the mystery of Amelia and Fred's disappearance is in many ways finally REsolved, because all of the information is laid out in the same order that it happened. Facts are not selectively used, broad assumptions are not stated as fact, and all of the materials used to prepare the manuscript are available for the reader's immediate review on the accompanying DVD. It's a good read that will keep you turning the pages until the very end, where a surprising Epilogue sets your mind wandering down a whole new path.
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