- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: AltaMira Press (August 20, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0759101302
- ISBN-13: 978-0759101302
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amelia Earhart's Shoes: Is the Mystery Solved?
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From Publishers Weekly
"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.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
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
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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I am of a scientific background and found the discussion coherent and the assumptions and theories logical. I would have liked a little more meat on the bones, so to speak, but the authors are living by donations to make whatever research opportunities they can - so it's okay. The presentation is scientific enough to satisfy nitpickers like me, but is definitely written for the layman. The tempo and style of the writing is very smooth, casual, and even self-deprecating at times. There were some very minor editing mistakes and presentation issues (my only real reason for not giving 5 stars), but forgivable, being a smaller publisher. If you liked the thought process and detective work of something like Jared Diamond's "Collapse" - but wanted something MUCH smaller or much more easily digested - this is a good choice. Not nearly as strict, detailed, or complete as "Collapse," but the same basic archeology and investigation principles.
Given that there was such (healthy) discord on the data and fieldwork, four authors, and competing groups - this book easily has one voice and should be well received by the other Earhart-philes out there. Kudos to the authors!
Written by a team of researchers, the book poses many questions right up front and provides transcripts from Earhart's fateful last few radio transmissions. They raise issues about Gardner Island, which could have been a logical emergency landing site, a theory made more likely by the bits of Plexiglas, steel, struts, shoes, ashes, and so forth, found on the island's shores and among the dense trees and foliage. The book peels back the layers like a good mystery novel, revealing new clues that sometimes turn out to be red herrings, and leading to deeper questions related to the island's native and military past. In the same way the researchers have spent years trying to unravel this story, with triumphs and disappointments, they lay it all out for the readers to experience the same emotions of the archaeological and historical struggle.
The narrative is full of facts and details, yet written in a style that is sometimes conversational and occasionally even tongue-in-cheek. We get a sense of the hard work, frustration, and crazed moments in the blistering heat that have defined the researchers' last two-plus decades.
All in all, it's a valuable piece in the Earhart puzzle, honest, hopeful, albeit incomplete. The mystery is not yet solved. There is more work to be done.
This is an academic work by a contingent of skilled scientific experts whose writings & basic investigative work was coordinated, in part & on behalf of TIGHAR (Int. Group of Historical Aircraft Recovery) & updated 2004. The 27 chapters describe a forensic approach to solve the mystery of aviatrix AE's disappearance enroute 2,223 miles to Howland Isle from Lae, New Guinea, July 2, 1937.
The book's format & length makes for difficult reading: -- it is based on best available scientific evidences & hypotheses of multiple disciplines of archeology, geophysics, aeronautics, anthropology, and review of both private & governmental archival information in addition to tabulating their search findings on tiny remote South Pacific Phoenix Isle "Gardner", but renamed Nikumaroro, or "Niku". Author was a principle TIGHAR investigator taking part in expeditions to Niku, & he writes with authority, -- having "been there, done that!"
Inclusion of more than 100 photos, illustrations, maps, etc., makes the reading more easily understood & tolerable: -- for it is not a book one picks up and being enchanted 'reads from cover to cover' without pause. For readers who want an up-to-date analysis of AE's disappearance this book is best read after the reader is thoroughly familiar with AE's character, avocations, skills, life experiences's and accolades by the press, politicians & the powerful, -- for Amelia was a complex person living in exciting, changing times on the cutting edge of new technologies.
Many of the chapters begin with stanzas of word parodies to be sung to certain melodies, attributable to TIGHAR but not author King. The parodies I found to be highly irregular, unsettling & not in best taste, so downgraded book from 5* to 4*.