Transcript: Amelia Earhart | Nov 04, 2019

Old clips show images of a woman sitting in a plane cockpit.

The narrator says AMELIA EARHART'S
LIFE WAS A TRIUMPH OF BRAVERY,
AND PUBLICITY.
BY HER 30S, SHE HAD FOUND FAME
WITH AN ARRAY OF SPECTACULAR
FLYING FEATS.
THE AMERICAN FLYER WAS GUTSY,
SINGLE-MINDED...
AND OPENED NEW HORIZONS FOR
WOMEN.

Amelia is slim, tall and has short wavy light brown hair.

A female voice as Amelia says "WOMEN MUST TRY
TO DO THINGS AS MEN HAVE TRIED.
WHEN THEY FAIL, THEIR FAILURE
MUST BE BUT A CHALLENGE TO
OTHERS."

The narrator says BUT HER ACHIEVEMENTS
WEREN'T ALL THEY SEEMED.

A woman with short straight gray hair says AMELIA WASN'T THE BEST WOMAN
PILOT.
SHE WAS THE BEST PUBLICIZED
PILOT.

The narrator says SHE WAS THE PRODUCT
OF AN UNRIVALLED MARKETING
MACHINE...
THAT WOULD MAKE HER FEEL LIKE A
FRAUD.
BECAUSE OF THIS, SHE WOULD
EMBARK UPON ONE OF THE MOST
DANGEROUS CHALLENGES EVER
ATTEMPTED BY MAN OR WOMAN.
DETERMINED TO LIVE UP TO HER
HEROINE STATUS, AMELIA'S
ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT AND
UNQUESTIONED COURAGE WOULD TAKE
HER TO THE LIMITS.

A woman with short wavy gray hair says THAT IS ASTONISHING, THAT SHE
SHOULD HAVE LUNGED ACROSS THE
PACIFIC NOT HAVING COVERED ALL
EVENTUALITIES.

The narrator says IT WAS A JOURNEY THAT WOULD
ULTIMATELY COST HER HER LIFE.
THIS IS THE STORY OF AMELIA
EARHART, THE HEROINE WHO
COULDN'T LIVE UP TO HER
AMBITION.

A montage of images showing famous women in history rolls.

The name of the show "Extraordinary Women. Amelia Earhart."

Baby pictures of Amelia appear.

The narrator says THE MOST FAMOUS FEMALE AVIATOR
IN HISTORY WAS BORN IN 1897.
AMELIA EARHART AND HER YOUNGER
SISTER MURIEL'S CHILDHOOD WAS
SPENT ENJOYING THE WEALTH OF
THEIR MOTHER AMY'S PARENTS.

A caption reads "Mary S. Lovell. Biographer, Amelia Earhart."

Mary is in her seventies, with short straight gray hair and wears a white sweater and a floral jacket with red lining.

She says AMELIA'S GRANDFATHER WAS A
SUCCESSFUL JUDGE, HIGHLY
RESPECTED MEMBER OF THE
COMMUNITY, AND SO WHILE SHE WAS
LIVING WITH HER GRANDPARENTS,
THEY LIVED IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST
HOUSES IN ATCHISON, KANSAS,
IN THE MIDWEST.

The narrator says AMELIA'S YOUNG LIFE WAS A
FAIRLY HAPPY ONE.

Mary says SHE WAS VERY CLOSE TO HER
FATHER, WHO SORT OF SPOILED HER
IN MANY WAYS.
AMELIA WAS A BIT OF A TOMBOY, I
THINK POSSIBLY THAT'S WHY SHE
WAS CLOSER TO HER FATHER, WHO
ENCOURAGED HER.
HE BOUGHT HER A LITTLE AIR RIFLE
TO CLEAR THE BARN OF RATS.
SHE WAS JUST A TOMBOY.

The narrator says SHE WAS ALSO FIERCELY
INDEPENDENT.
WHEN SHE GRADUATED FROM SCHOOL
IN 1916, AMELIA BOYCOTTED THE
CEREMONIAL CELEBRATIONS.
HER CLASS PHOTO WAS CAPTIONED
"THE GIRL IN BROWN WHO WALKS
ALONE."
(SHELLS EXPLODING)

The narrator says IN 1917, IN THE MIDST OF WORLD
WAR ONE, 20-YEAR-OLD AMELIA
VISITED TORONTO, CANADA.
THE SIGHT OF WOUNDED MEN
RETURNING FROM THE TRENCHES IN
FRANCE MADE HER DETERMINED TO
PLAY A PART IN THE WAR EFFORT.
THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER OF 1918,
AMELIA WORKED LONG HOURS AS A
VOLUNTARY AID DETACHMENT NURSE.

Mary says THAT WAS REALLY A SORT OF
LACKEY AROUND THE WARDS.
I MEAN, THIS WASN'T A GLAMOUROUS
JOB, THIS WAS CLEANING UP...
LOOKING UP, YOU KNOW, HOLDING A
SICK PAIL FOR A YOUNG MAN.
HELPING REMOVE THEIR SOILED
DRESSINGS.
YOU KNOW, JUST HARD WORK, AND
SHE WORKED HARD.

The narrator says AFTER THE WAR, AMELIA
ENROLLED AS A STUDENT AT
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN NEW
YORK, TAKING COURSES IN
CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGICAL
SCIENCES.
AND TRUE TO CHARACTER, SHE WAS
PHOTOGRAPHED CLIMBING TO THE
TOP OF THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY,
DRESSED IN A FULL-LENGTH SKIRT
AND HAT.
BUT SHE WOULDN'T LAST A YEAR.
HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS IN
TURMOIL, DUE TO HER FATHER'S
FALTERING CAREER, AND
ALCOHOLISM.
AMELIA'S FATHER, EDWIN,
PERSUADED HIS FAMILY TO JOIN
HIM AS THEY ATTEMPTED TO START
AFRESH IN LOS ANGELES.
WITH HER EDUCATION SACRIFICED
AND A TROUBLED HOME LIFE,
AMELIA FOUND AN EXTRAORDINARY
MEANS OF ESCAPE.

Mary says SHE WAS TAKEN TO A
FLY-IN BY HER FATHER-- UM, JUST
A DAY WHERE THEY SAW AIRPLANES,
THESE VERY RARE THINGS.
DON'T FORGET, IN THE TWENTIES,
FLYING HAD ONLY BEEN AROUND TEN
YEARS, AND AS SOON AS SHE SAW AN
AIRPLANE, SHE THOUGHT "I WANT TO
DO THAT."

The narrator says AFTER TAKING A HOST OF PART
TIME JOBS, IN 1921, AMELIA TOOK
UP FLYING LESSONS, AND BECAME
HOOKED.
SO MUCH SO, SHE EVEN BOUGHT A
PLANE.
PURCHASED SHORTLY BEFORE HER
24TH BIRTHDAY, IT WAS BRIGHT
YELLOW, AND SHE NAMED IT "THE
CANARY."

Mary says I THINK THE PLANE COST
SOMETHING LIKE 700 DOLLARS, HER FIRST
AIRPLANE.

The caption changes to "Clare Walker. Chairman, RAeS Women Aviation and Aerospace Committee."

Clare is in her sixties, with short wavy gray hair and wears a beige blazer and a black statement necklace.

She says HER MOTHER ACTUALLY PUT MONEY
INTO THE KITTY.
THE ATTITUDE OF HER PARENTS AND
HER FAMILY, HER SISTER AS WELL,
WAS REALLY EXTREMELY UNUSUAL.
EVEN TODAY, FAMILIES WILL BE
OPPOSED TO THEIR DAUGHTERS OR
SISTERS FLYING.

The narrator says HER OBSESSION WITH FLYING
GREW, AND IT FED HER PASSION
FOR DARING AND ADVENTURE.
SHE LATER WROTE...

Amelia says "WHETHER IT WAS
CONSIDERED THE THING TO DO OR
NOT WAS IRRELEVANT.
AS A LITTLE GIRL, I HAD RIDDEN
MY BUGGY IN THE STABLE.
I HAD ONCE CLIMBED UP ON A
DELIVERY HORSE.
I HAD JUMPED OVER A FENCE THAT
NO BOY MY AGE HAD DARED TO JUMP.
AND I KNEW THERE WAS MORE FUN
AND EXCITEMENT IN LIFE THAN I
WOULD HAVE TIME TO ENJOY."

The narrator says IN 1924, AMELIA MOVED TO NEW
YORK.
SHE TOOK UP SEVERAL TEACHING
POSTS BEFORE FINDING A JOB AS A
SOCIAL WORKER IN BOSTON.
HER EXPENSIVE FLYING HABIT HAD
HAD TO TAKE A BACK SEAT.
BUT AN EVENT WAS ABOUT TO
ELECTRIFY THE WORLD.

A song plays that says LINDBERGH, OH WHAT A
FLYING FOOL WAS HE
LINDBERGH, HIS NAME WILL
LIVE IN HISTORY
OVER THE OCEAN...

The narrator says IN 1927, FORMER US AIR MAIL
PILOT, CHARLES LINDBERGH, MADE
THE FIRST SOLO NON-STOP FLIGHT
FROM NEW YORK TO PARIS, IN HIS
SINGLE-ENGINE PLANE, THE SPIRIT
OF ST. LOUIS.
ACHIEVED IN A TIME OF 33 HOURS
AND 30 MINUTES, HIS PRIZE WAS
A MASSIVE 25,000 DOLLARS.
THE CHALLENGE HAD ALREADY
CLAIMED THE LIVES OF SEVERAL
PILOTS, SO LINDBERGH'S
ACHIEVEMENT MADE HIM AN INSTANT
HERO.
LINDBERGH'S FEAT REAWAKENED
AMELIA'S PASSION AND NEED FOR
ADVENTURE.
BY EARLY 1928, AMELIA HAD
RESUMED FLYING.
AND SHE STARTED TO GET COLUMN
INCHES IN THE LOCAL BOSTON
NEWSPAPERS.
SHE QUICKLY CAUGHT THE
ATTENTION OF ONE PARTICULAR
MAN, GEORGE PALMER PUTNAM.
40-YEAR-OLD PUTNAM HAD CORNERED
THE MARKET IN ADVENTURE BOOKS.
WITH A VERY SUCCESSFUL
BACKGROUND IN JOURNALISM AND
PUBLISHING, HE'D QUICKLY
SECURED THE RIGHTS TO
LINDBERGH'S BOOK.

A picture of a man with short brown hair appears.

The narrator says FEMALE PILOTS, INCLUDING GERMAN
THEA RASCHE, WERE JOSTLING FOR
THE CHANCE TO BECOME THE FIRST
WOMAN TO CROSS THE ATLANTIC,
KNOWING THAT SUCCESS WOULD
BRING INSTANT INTERNATIONAL
FAME, AND RICHES.
THE LIVES OF TWO WOMEN HAD
ALREADY BEEN CLAIMED BY THE
END OF 1927, AND MORE WOULD
FOLLOW.
BUT IT DIDN'T STOP OTHERS
COMING FORWARD, WILLING TO
GIVE IT A CRACK.
IN AN ERA WHERE FEMALE AVIATORS
WERE RARE, AND OFTEN BEAUTIFUL
AND GLAMOUROUS, PUTNAM
RECOGNIZED THE MONEYMAKING
POTENTIAL, AND WANTED ONE.
LUCKILY FOR HIM, AMELIA WAS
ALREADY CONSIDERING THE
CHALLENGE.

Mary says HE DIDN'T SEE THIS
REALLY AS A WOMAN FLYING THE
ATLANTIC, HE SAW THIS AS A BEST
SELLER.
AMELIA WAS ASKED TO GO AND SEE
HIM IN HIS OFFICE.
HE WAS BUSY WITH SOMETHING ELSE
WHEN SHE ARRIVED, AND HE KEPT
HER WAITING.
AND AFTERWARDS HE RECALLED THAT
SHE WAS VERY SORE ABOUT THAT,
SHE WAS AS SORE AS WET HEN.
(LAUGHING)
FOR HAVING BEEN KEPT WAITING, SO
SHE WASN'T FRIGHTFULLY IMPRESSED
WITH THIS MAN WHO WAS TOO BUSY
TO SEE HER, BUT I THINK THE
SECOND OR THIRD MEETING, SHE
REALIZED THAT THERE WAS A LOT
MORE TO GEORGE THAN SHE HAD SEEN
INITIALLY.

The narrator says GEORGE WASN'T JUST IMPRESSED
WITH AMELIA'S FEISTINESS.
HE WAS ALSO TAKEN WITH HER
LOOKS.
IN FACT, PUTNAM WAS IMMEDIATELY
STRUCK WITH HER SIMILARITY TO
LINDBERGH.

Clare says THERE WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY
PHYSICAL RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN
THEM, PARTICULARLY WHEN SHE WAS
DRESSED IN A FLYING COAT AND A
FLYING HELMET-- SHE LOOKED VERY
LIKE HIM.

The narrator says PUTNAM WAS CONVINCED HE'D
FOUND THE PERFECT CANDIDATE TO
FLY THE ATLANTIC.
AND THE PERFECT MARKETING
ANGLE.

Mary says IN HIS PUBLICITY HANDOUTS,
I'M QUITE SURE HE SLIPPED IN
THIS TITLE "LADY LINDY," BECAUSE
VERY SOON AFTERWARDS, THE
NEWSPAPERS STARTED CALLING HER...
REFERRING TO HER AS LADY LINDY.

The narrator says BUT PUTNAM DOWNPLAYED ONE
PARTICULAR DETAIL.
AMELIA WOULDN'T ACTUALLY BE
FLYING THE PLANE.
WITH NO MULTI-ENGINE FLYING
EXPERIENCE, SHE'D HAVE TO BE
CONTENT WITH BEING A PASSENGER.
THE ACTUAL FLYING WOULD BE DONE
BY TWO MEN, THE EXPERIENCED
WILMER STULTZ, AND FLIGHT
ENGINEER LOU GORDON.
ON THE MORNING OF THE THIRD OF
JUNE, 1928, THE TRIO CLIMBED
INTO THE FRIENDSHIP, A
TRI-MOTOR FOKKER SEAPLANE, AND
THE CREW SET OFF FROM BOSTON,
EN ROUTE TO NEWFOUNDLAND.
THE FINAL DESTINATION WAS TO BE
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND.
MEANWHILE, THE PUTNAM PUBLICITY
WAGON SWUNG INTO ACTION.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
DESCRIBED
AMELIA AS "LOOKING MORE LIKE
LINDBERGH THAN LINDBERGH
HIMSELF."
PRAISING HER STRIKING PHYSIQUE
AND FLYING SKILLS.
IT EVEN SUGGESTED THAT AMELIA
WAS "THE GREATEST WOMAN AVIATOR
IN THE COUNTRY," DESPITE THE
FACT THAT SHE WASN'T ACTUALLY
PILOTING THE PLANE.
INSTEAD, AMELIA SAT CROUCHED IN
THE REAR OF THE PLANE, WRITING
IN HER LOG BOOK UNDER
INSTRUCTION FROM PUTNAM.
ONLY IF THE CONDITIONS WERE
GOOD ENOUGH WOULD SHE BE
ALLOWED TO TAKE THE CONTROLS.
BUT ATROCIOUS WEATHER
THROUGHOUT WOULD PREVENT IT.
SHE WOULD LATER ADMIT THAT SHE
WAS GENUINELY FRIGHTENED.
AS THE AIRCRAFT DROPPED TO
AVOID A STORM, SHE RECORDED IN
HER LOG...

Amelia says SLOW DESCENT
FIRST, IT TAKES A LOT TO MAKE MY
EARS HURT.
5,000 FEET NOW, AWFULLY WET.
WATER DRIPPING IN WINDOW.
PORT MOTOR COUGHING, IT SOUNDS
AS IF ALL THE MOTORS ARE
CUTTING.
BILL OPENS HER WIDE TO TRY TO
CLEAR.
SOUNDS ROTTEN ON THE RIGHT.

The narrator says AFTER AND EVENTFUL 20 HOURS
AND 40 MINUTES IN THE AIR, THE
JOURNEY FINALLY CAME TO AN END.
BUT NOT IN SOUTHAMPTON.

Mary says WHEN THEY SAW LAND COME, THEY
HAD NO IDEA WHERE THEY WERE, BUT
THEY COULD LAND, AND THAT'S WHAT
THEY DID.
THEY FOUND A SHELTERED COVE,
THEY PUT DOWN, THEY LANDED, THEY
FOUND THEY WERE IN A LITTLE
VILLAGE CALLED BURRY PORT IN
SOUTH WALES.

The narrator says LOCALS WERE INITIALLY PUZZLED
BY THE IMPROMPTU ARRIVAL, BUT
AS WORD OF AMELIA'S LANDING
QUICKLY SPREAD, A CROWD OF
2,000 GATHERED TO SHARE THE
HISTORIC MOMENT.
THE THREE WERE BROUGHT TO
SHORE.
AND SPENT THE NIGHT, BEFORE
TAKING OFF THE NEXT MORNING FOR
THEIR INTENDED DESTINATION.
THERE WAS AN IMPRESSIVE
RECEPTION IN SOUTHAMPTON, BUT
FOR ALL THE HYPE, TO AMELIA,
THE ACHIEVEMENT FELT HOLLOW.

Mary says OUT OF THE CORNER OF
HER EYE, SHE COULD SEE STULTZ
AND GORDON HANGING AROUND ON THE
FRINGE OF THINGS, NOT KNOWING
WHAT TO DO, YOU KNOW.
AND SHE WAS TRYING ALL THE TIME
TO BRING THEM INTO IT, BUT THEY
WOULDN'T.
I THINK THEY PROBABLY HAD
INSTRUCTIONS FROM GEORGE.
GEORGE PUTNAM, YOU KNOW, THAT
THE GLORY HAD TO BE AMELIA'S.

The narrator says IN THE COMING DAYS,
AMELIA'S NAME WAS FLASHED
AROUND THE WORLD.
IN LONDON, SHE WAS FETED BY THE
GREAT AND THE GOOD.
SPECIAL GUEST AT A LUNCHEON
GIVEN BY THE WOMEN'S COMMITTEE
OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, AMELIA
WAS SEATED BETWEEN LADY ASTOR
AND WINSTON CHURCHILL.
BUT THE RECEPTION IN
THE STATES WAS EVEN GREATER.
SHE WAS GREETED WITH A CIVIC
PARADE IN NEW YORK.
BUT CONSIDERING AMELIA HADN'T
EVEN TOUCHED THE CONTROLS, THE
TRIUMPH WAS OF PUBLICITY RATHER
THAN PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT.
NOW SHE WAS DETERMINED TO MAKE
A NAME FOR HERSELF ON MERIT.
SO SHE RACKED UP A HOST OF
FLYING FEATS.

Mary says SHE WAS FLYING FROM
COAST TO COAST TO GET RECORDS.
SHE WAS TRYING TO WIN AIR RACES.
UH, SHE WAS TRYING TO SET TIME
RECORDS FROM CITY TO CITY.

The narrator says IN 1929, AMELIA HELPED FORM
THE NINETY-NINES, THE FIRST
PILOTS' ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN,
NAMED AFTER ITS TOTAL
MEMBERSHIP, AND BECAME ITS
FIRST PRESIDENT.
IN 1930, SHE SET THE WOMEN'S
WORLD FLYING SPEED RECORD OF
181.18 MILES PER HOUR.
AMELIA'S FATHER PASSED AWAY
THAT SAME YEAR, BUT SHE FOUND
COMFORT WITH GEORGE PUTNAM.
IT WAS CLEAR THAT OVER THE TWO
YEARS, THE PAIR HAD BECOME MORE
THAN FRIENDS.
PUTNAM'S WIFE HAD ALREADY
CONCEDED THAT AMELIA HAD WON
HER HUSBAND'S AFFECTION AND
LEFT HIM.

Mary says I DON'T THINK AMELIA WAS
EXPECTING GEORGE TO PROPOSE
MARRIAGE-- I DON'T KNOW, I THINK
SHE WAS SUCH A MODERN PERSON IN
OUTLOOK, SHE WAS QUITE HAPPY FOR
THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO GO ON
BEING WHAT IT WAS.
GEORGE WAS A ROMANTIC AT HEART,
AMELIA WASN'T A ROMANTIC.
I THINK SHE WAS A VERY PRAGMATIC
PERSON, AND I THINK PROBABLY HER
INITIAL REACTION WAS "WHY?"
YOU KNOW, "WHY SHOULD WE
BOTHER?"

The narrator says AFTER NUMEROUS PROPOSALS, IN
1931, AMELIA FINALLY ACCEPTED.

Mary says ON THEIR WEDDING DAY, HE WAS
HANDED A LETTER SAYING "OKAY,
I'LL MARRY YOU, BUT I WANT YOU
TO KNOW I'M NOT GOING TO HOLD
YOU TO ANY MEDIEVAL CODE OF
FAITHFULNESS, AND NOR DO I
EXPECT TO BE SIMILARLY BOUND."

Amelia says "YOU MUST KNOW
AGAIN MY RELUCTANCE TO MARRY.
MY FEELING THAT I SHATTER
THEREBY CHANCES IN WORK WHICH
MEAN MOST TO ME.
I FEEL THE MOVE JUST NOW AS
FOOLISH AS ANYTHING I COULD DO.
I MUST EXTRACT A CRUEL PROMISE,
AND THAT IS YOU WILL LET ME GO
IN A YEAR IF WE FIND NO
HAPPINESS TOGETHER.
I WILL DO MY BEST IN EVERY WAY,
AND GIVE YOU THAT PART OF ME YOU
KNOW AND SEEM TO WANT."

Mary says A LOT OF BRIDEGROOMS WOULD BE
VERY SHOCKED TO GET A LETTER
LIKE THAT FROM THEIR-- THEIR
BRIDE ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING.
BUT GEORGE BEING GEORGE, HE
ACCEPTED IT.
HE... HE KEPT AMELIA ON A VERY
LOOSE REIN AND THAT SUITED HER.

The narrator says THE SIMPLE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
TOOK PLACE IN GEORGE'S MOTHER'S
GARDEN IN CONNECTICUT.
AMELIA WORE A SIMPLE BROWN SUIT
AND CREAM BLOUSE, AND WAS
PRESENTED WITH A BORROWED RING
WHICH SHE WOULD NEVER AGAIN
WEAR AFTER THAT DAY.

The caption changes to "Melinda Benson. Member of the Ninety-Nines."

Melinda is in her forties, with long straight brown hair in a side part and wears a gray blazer and a delicate necklace.

She says I THINK AT FIRST SHE PROBABLY
SAW IT AS A BUSINESS
ARRANGEMENT, YOU KNOW.
BUSINESS WAS BUSINESS.
BUT I THINK DEEP DOWN THE DID
LOVE HIM.
SHE NEEDED GEORGE.

The narrator says IN DECEMBER, 1930, AMELIA HAD
BECOME THE FIRST WOMEN TO FLY
AN AUTOGIRO.
A CROSS BETWEEN AN AIRPLANE AND
A HELICOPTER, THE AIRCRAFT WAS
DEEMED UN-STALLABLE, BUT TOOK
A LOT OF SKILL TO FLY.
IN 1931, SHE SET AN UNOFFICIAL
ALTITUDE RECORD OF 18,415 FEET.
AMELIA WAS A DAB HAND,
AND GEORGE ENGINEERED AN
OPPORTUNITY.
WHEN AMELIA COMPLETED THE FIRST
SOLO TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHT IN
AN AUTOGIRO LATER THAT YEAR, IT
WAS EMBLAZONED WITH THE BEECH
NUT PACKING AND FOOD COMPANY
LOGO, PART OF A LUCRATIVE
MARKETING DEAL.
BY NOW IT WAS A FAMILIAR
ROUTINE.
THREE YEARS BEFORE, GEORGE HAD
SECURED A DEAL FOR AMELIA TO
ENDORSE LUCKY STRIKE CIGARETTES
EVEN THOUGH SHE DIDN'T SMOKE.

Clare says IF THERE WAS ONE THING GEORGE
KNEW ABOUT, IT WAS MARKETING AND
PR.
HE ARRANGED LECTURE TOURS FOR
HER, INTERVIEWS FOR HER.
SHE HAD TO RECORD EVERY STEP ON
THE WAY ON HER FLIGHTS, SO BOOKS
WERE PUBLISHED UNDER HER NAME,
ARTICLES, INTERVIEWS.
SO SHE WAS A HUGE PERSONALITY.

The narrator says BUT FOR ALL THIS APPARENT
SUCCESS, AMELIA KNEW HER
ACHIEVEMENTS FELL SHORT.
IN 1930, ENGLISH AVIATOR AMY
JOHNSON HAD GAINED WORLDWIDE
RECOGNITION WHEN SHE BECAME THE
FIRST WOMAN TO FLY THE 11,000
MILE JOURNEY ALONE, FROM
BRITAIN TO AUSTRALIA, IN HER
GYPSY MOTH, "JASON."

Mary says IT SUDDENLY OCCURRED TO HER
THAT SHE HAD ACQUIRED HER FAME
ON A FALSE PREMISE.
THAT SHE WAS FAMOUS FOR BEING
THE FIRST WOMAN TO FLY ACROSS
THE ATLANTIC, BUT IN FACT, SHE
HADN'T BEEN THE FIRST WOMAN TO
FLY ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.

The narrator says AMELIA HAD RECENTLY BOUGHT
A RED SINGLE-ENGINE LOCKHEED
VEGA AND WAS KEEN TO TEST IT
TO ITS LIMITS.
HER PLAN WAS TO CROSS THE
ATLANTIC, THIS TIME LANDING IN
PARIS.

Clare says IT WAS UNFINISHED BUSINESS
FOR HER, I THINK SHE FELT A BIT
OF A FRAUD.
AND I GUESS SHE KNEW THAT IF SHE
DIDN'T DO IT SOLO, SOMEBODY
ELSE WOULD ALWAYS TAKE THE
CREDIT FOR IT, SO IT HAD TO BE
SOLO.
AND SHE HAD TO PROVE SHE COULD
DO IT.

The narrator says AFTER A STAGE-MANAGED AND
SLIGHTLY AWKWARD MOMENT WITH
GEORGE...

A black and white clip shows Amelia getting on a small aircraft.

George says WELL, YOU'RE OFF, HOW'S IT
LOOK IN THERE?

Amelia says EVERYTHING IS READY.

George says FINE, GOODBYE.

Amelia says GOODBYE.

George says OKAY.
(SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

The narrator says AMELIA DEPARTED ON THE 20TH
OF MAY, 1932, AHEAD OF A 2,000
MILE FLIGHT ACROSS THE
ATLANTIC.
FOR ALL HER FAME, AMELIA WAS
STILL INEXPERIENCED, WITH
SURPRISINGLY FEW FLYING HOURS
BEHIND HER.
AND LIKE HER PREVIOUS CROSSING,
THE CONDITIONS WERE
TREACHEROUS.

(THUNDER BOOMING)

Mary says AWFUL WEATHER, TERRIBLE
WEATHER.
HER BOOK DETAILING THE DETAILS
OF THAT FLIGHT, THE MECHANICAL
PROBLEMS THAT SHE HAD, WHERE HER
EXHAUST PIPE, YOU KNOW, SPLIT,
AND SHE HAD NAKED FLAMES WITHIN
A FOOT OF A LEAKING PETROL PIPE.
I MEAN, YOU CAN IMAGINE, CAN'T
YOU, HOW TERRIFYING THAT MUST
HAVE BEEN.

The narrator says SHE ALSO HAD TROUBLE WITH THE
VEGA'S RUDIMENTARY NAVIGATIONAL
AIDS.

Mary says SHE HAD NO IDEA, WHEN DAWN
BROKE, WHAT THE LAND WAS IN
FRONT OF HER, BUT SHE LANDED
ANYWAY, AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE
A PASTURE IN NORTHERN IRELAND.
SHE WAS A LONG WAY OFF PARIS.
IN FACT, HAD SHE BEEN ANOTHER
FIVE DEGREES OFF, SHE'D HAVE
FLOWN UP INTO THE NORTH SEA AND
NEVER BEEN SEEN AGAIN.

The narrator says AMELIA WAS SOME 200 MILES
OFF COURSE, AND ONCE AGAIN
FOUND HERSELF AMIDST SURPRISED
LOCALS.
SHE THEN FLEW ON TO LONDON AND
PARIS, AND AGAIN WAS THE CENTRE
OF ATTENTION.

A clip shows Amelia saying WELL IT'S A GREAT PLEASURE
FOR ME TO BE HERE IN ENGLAND, I
REALLY HAD NO OBJECTIVE WHEN I
STARTED.
I JUST WANTED TO COME ACROSS AND
JUSTIFY MY PREVIOUS COMING.
(TRUMPET SOUNDING)

The narrator says BUT IT WAS BACK HOME IN THE
STATES, AMELIA WOULD GET A REAL
IDEA OF THE EXTENT OF HER
PUTNAM-STYLE CELEBRITY.

Amelia rides a car across the street as a crowd cheers for her.

An announcer says THE LADY BIRD'S
HOME, AND THE BIG TOWN'S TRYING
TO SHOW HER THAT IT THINKS A
WHOLE LOT OF AMELIA EARHART.
ENGLAND AND FRANCE AND ITALY AND
THE OTHERS WERE MARVELLOUS TO
THE FAMOUS WOMAN FLYER, BUT
SHE'S BACK HOME WITH HER OWN
PEOPLE NOW, AND AFTER ALL,
HOME IS BEST.

The narrator says IN CELEBRATION OF HER
EXPLOITS, SHE BECAME THE FIRST
WOMAN TO BE AWARDED THE
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS.

Clare says THERE'S NOTHING THEY LIKE
MORE-- THE PUBLIC LIKE MORE THAN
A HOMESPUN HEROINE WHO'S ALSO
DOWN TO EARTH, AND COULD BE THE
GIRL NEXT DOOR, SO SHE DID
ACHIEVE HUGE FAME, AND WITH FAME
COMES RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH
PRESIDENTS AND STARS, AND OTHER
MAJOR PERSONALITIES.

The narrator says AMELIA'S SUCCESS CAUGHT THE
EYE OF RISING POLITICIAN AND
AVIATION ENTHUSIAST FRANKLIN D.
ROOSEVELT.

At his inauguration, Roosevelt says I, FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT,
DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL
FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

The narrator says FOLLOWING HIS INAUGURATION
IN 1933, AMELIA BECAME AN
OCCASIONAL GUEST AT THE WHITE
HOUSE.
SHE EVEN TREATED ELEANOR
ROOSEVELT, HERSELF A FRUSTRATED
AVIATOR, TO AN IMPROMPTU NIGHT
FLIGHT OVER WASHINGTON.
AMELIA'S PROFILE WAS SKY-HIGH.
AND SHE AND GEORGE MADE THE
MOST OF IT.
SHE MARKETED HER OWN RANGE OF
LUGGAGE, AND EVEN DESIGNED HER
OWN CLOTHING COLLECTION.
AND SHE WOULD LEND HER TALENTS
TO AN EVEN MORE LUCRATIVE
CAUSE.

Mary says INITIALLY IN THE UNITED
STATES, PEOPLE WERE A BIT WARY
ABOUT FLYING, BECAUSE THEY
REALLY WERE GENUINELY FRIGHTENED
OF AIRPLANES CRASHING.
AMELIA GENUINELY SAW THE FUTURE
OF AVIATION AS SOMETHING FOR THE
MASSES.

The narrator says IN EUROPE, AMELIA HAD SEEN
THE EXTENT TO WHICH AIR TRAVEL
WAS FLOURISHING-- AS A VIABLE
BUSINESS AND AS A CONVENIENT
MEANS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
BUT IN THE 1920S AND EARLY
1930S, AMERICANS STILL HEAVILY
RELIED ON THE RAIL SYSTEM TO
TRAVEL LARGE DISTANCES.
BY THE MID-THIRTIES, AMELIA WAS
SPEARHEADING THE CAMPAIGN FOR
CHANGE.
SHE STARTED WORKING WITH
LINDBERGH ON A TRANSCONTINENTAL
AIR SERVICE, THE FORERUNNER OF
TWA.
AND WORKED HARD TO PROMOTE
BOSTON-MAINE AIRWAYS, A
FLEDGLING AIRLINE IN WHICH
GEORGE WAS A PRINCIPLE
STOCKHOLDER.
IT WOULDN'T TAKE LONG FOR AIR
TRAVEL IN THE US TO PROSPER AS
AMERICA ENTERED THE GOLDEN AGE
OF AIR TRAVEL.
MEANWHILE, AMELIA'S OWN FLYING
ACHIEVEMENTS CONTINUED TO
ACCUMULATE.
SHE CHASED COAST TO COAST
RECORDS, AND FLEW FROM MEXICO
CITY TO NEW YORK.
AND IN 1935, AMELIA
SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A FLIGHT
FROM HAWAII TO CALIFORNIA.
AFTER THE 2,408 MILE JOURNEY,
AMELIA'S RED VEGA BOUNCED INTO
OAKLAND AIRPORT.
A CROWD OF MORE THAN 3,000
WERE THERE TO GREET HER.

The announcer says ANOTHER NATIONAL
HEROINE, AMELIA EARHART PUTNAM,
WON NEW PLAUDITS WITH HER FLIGHT
FROM HAWAII TO OAKLAND.
SHE BECAME THE FIRST TO SOLO
ACROSS THE PACIFIC.

The narrator says BUT EVEN THIS APPARENT
GROUND-BREAKING ACHIEVEMENT WAS
OVERHYPED BY GEORGE'S
PROMOTION.

A clip shows Amelia addressing the crowd and reporters.

She says WELL, IT WAS 19 HOURS AND
A FEW MINUTES, I DON'T KNOW JUST
EXACTLY HOW MANY, I ESTIMATED
THAT IT WOULD BE 19 HOURS AND 9
MINUTES, I THINK I HIT IT JUST
ABOUT RIGHT.
YOU MEAN...

The narrator says GEORGE'S PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN
BOASTED THAT AMELIA HAD BECOME
THE ONLY PERSON TO FLY SOLO
ACROSS BOTH THE PACIFIC AND
ATLANTIC OCEANS.
BUT SHE HADN'T FLOWN ACROSS THE
PACIFIC.
SHE HAD IN FACT ONLY FLOWN A
THIRD OF IT.

The announcer says AMELIA EARHART'S
ABOUT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A NEW
THRILL FOR THE AIR-MINDED.
A PARACHUTE TOWER, CONSTRUCTED
AT...

The narrator says GEORGE CONTINUED THE HYPE.

The announcer says --FOR TRAINING IN
PARACHUTE JUMPING-- AND THERE
SHE GOES UP FOR A TRIAL HOP...

The narrator says THE CAMERA-SHY AMELIA WAS
NEVER PLACED FAR AWAY FROM A
GOOD PHOTO OPPORTUNITY.

A clip shows Amelia parachuting from a high tower.

The announcer says AND THERE SHE
COMES, SHOOTING THE WORKS!
NOW AIN'T THAT SOMETHING?

An old clip show an officer take Amelia's fingerprints and say MAY I HAVE YOUR NAME PLEASE?

Amelia says MY NAME IS AMELIA EARHART.

The officer says AND YOU OCCUPATION?

Amelia says I'M A FLYER.

The narrator says ONCE AGAIN, AMELIA RECOGNIZED
A GAP BETWEEN PEOPLE'S
PERCEPTION OF HER, AND HER
ACTUAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

Clare says THERE WERE A LOT OF
WOMEN DOING AMAZING THINGS.
FLYING THROUGH AFRICA, OVER
DESERT, OVER JUNGLE.
JEAN BATTEN WAS CREATING A HUGE
STIR.
SHE WAS THE FIRST PERSON EVER TO
FLY FROM LONDON TO NEW ZEALAND,
SO THAT WAS A PHENOMENAL
ACHIEVEMENT.

Mary says AMELIA WASN'T THE BEST WOMEN
PILOT, SHE WAS THE BEST
PUBLICIZED PILOT.

The narrator says IN 1931, AMERICAN PILOT WYLIE
POST AND HIS NAVIGATOR HAROLD
GATTY, COMPLETED A ROUND-THE-
WORLD TRIP IN EIGHT DAYS, 15
HOURS AND 51 MINUTES.
TWO YEARS ON, POST REPEATED THE
FEAT ALONE, REPLACING HIS
NAVIGATOR WITH A COMPASS, AND
BEATING HIS OWN TIME BY 21
HOURS.
AMELIA KNEW THAT
A ROUND-THE-
WORLD FLIGHT WOULD VALIDATE HER
PROFILE AS AMERICA'S GREATEST
FEMALE FLYER.

Clare says I DON'T THINK AMELIA DID
THINGS TO OUTDO OTHER WOMEN.
UM, STRANGELY I DON'T GET THE
FEELING THAT SHE WAS HUGELY
COMPETITIVE-- "IF SO AND SO IS
DOING THIS, I MUST DO THAT."
I STILL GET THE IMPRESSION SHE
WAS PITTING HERSELF AGAINST
HERSELF.

The narrator says BY 1936, AMELIA WAS PLANNING
HER OWN RECORD-BREAKING TRIP.
UNLIKE POST, WHO HAD TAKEN THE
SHORTEST NORTHERN ROUTE, AMELIA
WANTED TO FLY AROUND THE WIDEST
POINT OF THE EARTH, FLYING AS
CLOSE TO THE EQUATOR AS
POSSIBLE.
IT WAS A MASSIVE UNDERTAKING,
AND SHE'D NEED A SPECIAL
AIRCRAFT.
IN 1935, AMELIA HAD BECOME A
CONSULTANT AT PURDUE
UNIVERSITY, IN THE DEPARTMENT
FOR THE STUDY OF CAREERS FOR
WOMEN.
THAT YEAR, PURDUE PUT FORWARD A
DONATION OF 80,000 DOLLARS, ENABLING
AMELIA TO PURCHASE A LOCKHEED
ELECTRA.
THE TWELVE-SEAT, TWIN ENGINE,
ALL METAL PLANE, WAS WELL
EQUIPPED FOR LONG-DISTANCE
FLYING.
BUT EVEN SO, THE DISTANCE
ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN WAS
FORMIDABLE.
THE ELECTRA WOULD HAVE TO FLY
TO ITS MAXIMUM FUEL CAPACITY
AND BEYOND.
SHE WOULD NEED MILITARY-SCALE
HELP.
IN NOVEMBER 1936, AMELIA WROTE
TO HER FRIEND, FDR...

Writing a letter, a woman as Amelia says DEAR MR.
PRESIDENT, FOR SOME MONTHS, MR.
PUTNAM AND I HAVE BEEN PREPARING
FOR A FLIGHT WHICH I HOPE TO
ATTEMPT, PROBABLY IN MARCH.
ROUGHLY IT IS FROM SAN FRANCISCO
TO HONOLULU, HONOLULU TO
BRISBANE, AS FAR WEST AS
KARACHI, ACROSS CENTRAL AFRICA
TO DAKAR, DAKAR TO NATAL, AND
THEN TO NEW YORK.
THE CHIEF PROBLEM IS THE JUMP
WESTWARD TO HONOLULU.
I AM DISCUSSING WITH THE NAVY A
POSSIBLY REFUELLING IN THE AIR,
OVER MIDWAY ISLAND.

The announcer says WITH HER PUBLISHER
HUSBAND, GEORGE PALMER PUTNAM,
AMELIA EARHART TESTED OUT HER
NEWEST PLANE.
THE FLIGHT SHE PROPOSED TO MAKE
IS ONE THAT HAS NEVER BEEN
ACCOMPLISHED, AROUND THE WORLD
BY THE EQUATOR.

The narrator says BUT BOTH THE NAVY AND HER
GOOD FRIEND, AND AVIATION
PIONEER, EUGENE VIDAL, WEREN'T
CONFIDENT THAT AMELIA WAS A
SKILLED ENOUGH PILOT TO REFUEL
IN THE AIR.
INSTEAD, THEY SUGGESTED HOWLAND
ISLAND AS A VIABLE REFUELLING
STOP.
A SMALL, UNINHABITED ATOLL,
HOWLAND WAS HALF WAY BETWEEN
AUSTRALIA AND HAWAII.
ONLY HALF A MILE WIDE, AND A
MILE AND HALF LONG, THE NAVY
AGREED TO BUILD A RUNWAY ON IT
ESPECIALLY FOR AMELIA.
THE ONLY DIFFICULTY FOR HER
WOULD BE FINDING IT IN THE
VASTNESS OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

Mary says SHE WANTED TO DO IT
INITIALLY SOLO, BUT EVENTUALLY
SHE WAS TALKED OUT OF THAT BY
HER ADVISORS.
GEORGE, WHO WAS VERY NERVOUS
ABOUT THE WHOLE THING, OTHER
PEOPLE THAT SHE CONSULTED SAID
NO, SHE WOULD HAVE TO HAVE A
NAVIGATOR WITH HER.
AND THE NAVIGATOR THAT SHE CHOSE
WAS FRED NOONAN.

Melinda says HE HAD TO BE IN
THERE, I MEAN, HE WAS SUCH AN
EXPERIENCED NAVIGATOR.
HE'D COME FROM A SEA BACKGROUND,
HE'D COME FROM A MERCHANT
BACKGROUND.
THAT WAS HIS-- HE'D GOT UP TO
OFFICER STATUS AND HE'D DONE
WELL.
BUT HIS NAVIGATION SKILLS WERE
EXCELLENT.

The narrator says THE FLIGHT WAS SET FOR MARCH,
1937.
BUT AFTER ONLY THE FIRST LEG,
THE TRIP WAS ABANDONED,
FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT ON
TAKEOFF IN HAWAII.
GEORGE PUBLICLY LAID THE BLAME
ON A BURST TIRE, THOUGH OTHERS
SUSPECTED PILOT ERROR.

Mary says IT HAD TO BE BROUGHT BACK
CRATED UP, AND REBUILT.
I THINK, INITIALLY, SHE THOUGHT
THAT WAS PROBABLY GOING TO BE
THE END OF THAT PARTICULAR
RECORD BREAKING ATTEMPT.
BUT MONEY WAS FOUND BY PURDUE
UNIVERSITY TO REBUILD THE
AIRPLANE.

The narrator says THE NEW TAKEOFF DATE WAS SET
FOR THE END OF MAY.
BUT AMELIA AND HER TEAM DECIDED
TO REVERSE THE ROUTE, FLYING
THE OPPOSITE WAY AROUND THE
GLOBE, IN AN ATTEMPT TO AVOID
ADVERSE WEATHER.

A map shows Amelia's destinations around the globe.

The narrator says THE TINY ISLAND OF HOWLAND
WOULD NOW BE THE PENULTIMATE
STOP OVER THE LAST STRETCH OF
THE JOURNEY, THOUGH IT MEANT
FLYING AGAINST PREVAILING
WINDS.
BY NOW, GEORGE WAS GENUINELY
NERVOUS ABOUT HIS WIFE'S SAFETY
ON SUCH A COLOSSAL TRIP.
BUT HE HAD BEEN PERSUADED THAT
THIS WOULD BE HER LAST BIG
CHALLENGE.
DAYS BEFORE HER DEPARTURE,
AMELIA HAD TOLD A FRIEND...

Amelia says I HAVE A
FEELING THERE IS JUST ABOUT ONE
MORE FLIGHT LEFT IN MY SYSTEM,
AND I HOPE THIS IS IT.
ANYWAY, WHEN I FINISH THIS JOB,
I MEAN TO GIVE UP LONG DISTANCE
STUNT FLYING.

The narrator says WHILE AWAITING THE DEPARTURE
DATE IN THEIR CALIFORNIA HOTEL,
AMELIA AND GEORGE HAMMED IT UP
FOR THE CAMERAS.

An old clip shows George sitting next to Amelia.

George says HOW ABOUT TAKING ME ALONG?

Amelia says WELL, GASOLINE IS WAY MORE
VALUABLE THAN YOU ARE ON A LONG
FLIGHT.

George says YOU MEAN THAT 180 POUNDS OF
GASOLINE YOU'RE TAKING WOULD BE
MORE USEFUL THAN 180 POUNDS OF
HUSBAND?

Amelia says YOU GUESSED RIGHT.

The narrator says IF GEORGE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT
THE FLIGHT, HE KNEW AMELIA WELL
ENOUGH TO REALIZE HE WAS
POWERLESS TO CHANGE HER MIND.
ON THE FIRST OF JUNE 1937,
AMELIA AND NAVIGATOR NOONAN SET
OFF FROM MIAMI, FOLLOWING THEIR
TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHT FROM
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA.
ANOTHER 27,000 MILES OF FLYING
LAY AHEAD.
HER NEW ROUTE WOULD TAKE HER
FROM MIAMI TO BRAZIL, ACROSS
THE ATLANTIC TO DAKAR.
OVER THE DESERTS OF AFRICA TO
STOPS IN INDIA, SINGAPORE,
AUSTRALIA, AND NEW GUINEA,
BEFORE THE ISLAND HOP BACK TO
THE STATES.

Mary says BUT THEY WERE ALL LONG
LEGS OF FLYING, NOT MUCH REST IN
BETWEEN.
WHEN SHE LANDED, HOURS AND HOURS
AND HOURS WOULD BE TAKEN UP
REFUELLING, WHICH HAD TO BE
STRAINED THROUGH A CHAMOIS
LEATHER, TO MAKE SURE THERE WERE
NO BITS IN THERE, YOU KNOW, THAT
COULD STOP THE ENGINE IN MID-
FLIGHT.
THE REFUELLING WOULD TAKE
ANYTHING UP TO 10 TO 12 HOURS.

The narrator says AMELIA STAYED IN REGULAR
WRITTEN CONTACT WITH HER
HUSBAND.
FROM KARACHI SHE WROTE...

Amelia says I WISH YOU WERE
HERE, SO MANY THINGS YOU WOULD
ENJOY.
PERHAPS SOMEDAY WE CAN FLY
TOGETHER TO SOME OF THE REMOTE
PLACES OF THE WORLD, JUST FOR
FUN.

The narrator says THERE WERE FREQUENT HAZARDS.
ON TAKING OFF FOR BURMA ON THE
17TH OF JUNE, AMELIA WROTE...

Amelia says THAT TAKEOFF
WAS PRECARIOUS.
PERHAPS AS RISKY AS ANY WE HAD.
THE PLANE CLUNG FOR WHAT SEEMED
LIKE AGES TO THE HEAVY STICKY
SOIL BEFORE THE WHEELS FINALLY
LIFTED, AND WE CLEARED WITH
NOTHING AT ALL TO SPARE THE
FRINGE OF TREES AT THE
AIRDROME'S EDGE.

The narrator says MONSOONS AND LENGTHY REPAIRS
TO THE ELECTRA OFTEN DELAYED
THE JOURNEY.
(WIND HOWLING, THUNDER CRASHING)
BUT ON 29TH JUNE, AMELIA AND
NOONAN REACHED LAE, PAPUA NEW
GUINEA, HAVING COMPLETED 22,000
MILES OF THEIR JOURNEY.
THE REMAINING 7,000-MILE
PASSAGE ACROSS THE PACIFIC
WOULD BRING THE GREATEST
CHALLENGE YET.
AMELIA WROTE HER LAST
COMMISSIONED ARTICLE FOR THE
HERALD TRIBUNE...

Amelia says LOCKHEED STANDS
READY FOR LONGEST HOP, WAITED
WITH GASOLINE AND OIL TO
CAPACITY.
THIS EVENING I LOOK EASTWARD
OVER THE PACIFIC.
I SHALL BE GLAD WHEN WE HAVE THE
HAZARDS OF ITS NAVIGATION BEHIND
US.

The narrator says ON THE 2ND OF JULY, LOADED
WITH MORE THAN A THOUSAND
GALLONS OF GASOLINE, THE
ELECTRA MADE ITS FINAL
DEPARTURE, FROM LAE.

Mary says IT WENT TO THE VERY END OF
THE RUNWAY, AND THEN DROPPED TO
THE END OF THE RUNWAY AND JUST
SKIPPED OVER THE WAVES AS IT
TOOK OFF.
SHE COULDN'T HAVE HAD ANY MORE
FUEL IN THAT AIRPLANE.

The narrator says IT WOULD BE 2,556 MILES TO
HOWLAND ISLAND.
AFTER THAT, HONOLULU AND THE
FINAL PACIFIC HOP STOOD BETWEEN
THEM AND THE GREATEST EVER
ACHIEVEMENT IN AVIATION
HISTORY.
NOONAN WOULD USE HIS
CHRONOMETER, OCTANT, DRIFT
SIGHT AND COMPASS TO GUIDE
THEM THERE.
BUT RIGHT FROM THE START, THERE
WERE PROBLEMS.

Mary says HOWLAND ISLAND WAS AN
ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.
THE CHANCES WERE AGAINST HER
MAKING THAT LANDFALL, WITH THE
NAVIGATIONAL AIDS THAT WERE
AVAILABLE TO THEM.
I MEAN, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WHEN
SHE WAS AIMING FOR PARIS AND SHE
ENDED UP IN IRELAND.

The narrator says AMELIA AND NOONAN HAD ALSO
BEEN GIVEN OUTDATED INFORMATION
ABOUT THE WIND.
THE PAIR HAD WORKED OUT THAT
HOWLAND WOULD BE REACHED IN A
LITTLE OVER 18 HOURS, BUT WITH
THE ACTUAL WIND SPEED BEING 10
KNOTS STRONGER THAN THEY HAD
BEEN TOLD, THE FLIGHT COULD
TAKE ANYTHING UP TO AN HOUR
LONGER.
THEN THE WEATHER CONDITIONS
DETERIORATED, CAUSING
DIFFICULTY FOR NOONAN.

Clare says HE WAS NAVIGATING BY THE
STARS.
NOW IF YOU THEN FLY INTO A
STORM, WHERE ARE THE STARS?
THEY'VE GONE, AND THAT MAKES
CELESTIAL NAVIGATION AN
IMPOSSIBILITY.

The narrator says AMELIA DID WHAT SHE COULD TO
FLY THE ELECTRA EFFICIENTLY,
BUT THERE WAS AN EVEN BIGGER
PROBLEM.

Control tower says KILO, HOTEL, ALPHA, QUÉBEC,
QUÉBEC, DO YOU READ?

The narrator says IT HAD BEEN PRE-PLANNED THAT
THE CREW OF THE US COAST GUARD
CLIPPER, ITASCA, WOULD GUIDE
HER TO THE ISLAND.
BUT NEITHER AMELIA OR NOONAN
HAD A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF THE
RELATIVELY NEW USE OF RADIO
NAVIGATION.

Clare says IT CERTAINLY DIDN'T HELP THAT
NEITHER OF THEM WERE EXPERTS AT
RADIO, AND NEITHER OF THEM WERE
GOOD AT MORSE.
THAT IS ASTONISHING, THAT SHE
SHOULD HAVE LUNGED ACROSS THE
PACIFIC NOT HAVING COVERED ALL
EVENTUALITIES.
I MEAN, THERE ARE GOLDEN RULES
IN AVIATION.
AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE.
THOSE ARE THE THREE THINGS THAT
WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE, AND YOU
REALLY HAVE TO BE EXPERT AT ALL
THREE.

The narrator says TO KEEP THE ELECTRA AS LIGHT
AS POSSIBLE, VITAL RADIO
EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING AN AERIAL
FOR THE RELAYING OF MORSE CODE
HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND.
BUT THE ITASCA CONTINUED TO
USE MORSE CODE FOR 90 percent OF THEIR
COMMUNICATION.
IT WOULD MEAN INFORMATION ABOUT
THE CHANGE IN CONDITIONS WAS
TRANSMITTED TO THE PAIR BUT
NEVER RECEIVED.

Control tower says KILO, HOTEL, ALPHA, QUÉBEC,
QUÉBEC... DO YOU READ?

The narrator says TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THE
FREQUENCIES AMELIA USED WEREN'T
SUITED TO DIRECTION-FINDING.
AND SHE WAS WORKING TO
GREENWICH MEAN TIME, WHILE
THE ITASCA USED US NAVY TIME,
CREATING A 30 MINUTE
DISCREPANCY IN THEIR SCHEDULES.
TO CAP IT ALL, DIRECTION FINDER
EQUIPMENT ON HOWLAND ISLAND
WASN'T WORKING BECAUSE OF A LOW
BATTERY.
AT 7:42AM LOCAL TIME, OVER
NINETEEN HOURS AFTER SHE LEFT
LAE, THE ITASCA RECEIVED A
MESSAGE FROM AMELIA.

Amelia says WE MUST BE ON YOU,
BUT CANNOT SEE YOU.
GAS IS RUNNING LOW.
BEEN UNABLE TO REACH YOU BY
RADIO.
WE ARE FLYING AT ALTITUDE 1,000
FEET.

Clare says WELL, THEY'RE NOW BEGINNING
TO ASK THEMSELVES SOME SEVERE
QUESTIONS, YOU KNOW, "WHERE IS
THE BOAT?
WE CAN'T SEE IT.
WHERE IS THE ISLAND?
WE CAN'T SEE THAT, ARE WE WHERE
WE THOUGHT WE ARE?"

The narrator says AT 7:58 AM, ANOTHER MESSAGE
FROM AMELIA WAS RECEIVED.

Amelia says WE ARE CIRCLING BUT
CANNOT HEAR YOU.
GO AHEAD ON 7-500.

Clare says THERE'S A LIMIT TO HOW FAR
YOU CAN GO, YOU DO NOT WANT TO
KEEP LUNGING FORWARD INTO THE
WILD BLUE YONDER NOT KNOWING
WHERE YOU'RE GOING, OR WHAT'S
THERE, OR IF YOU'RE IN THE RIGHT
PLACE.
IT MUST HAVE BEEN TERRIFYING.

Control tower says KILO, HOTEL, ALPHA, QUÉBEC,
QUÉBEC, DO YOU READ?

The narrator says 45 MINUTES LATER, THE ITASCA
PICKED UP ANOTHER MESSAGE
FROM THE ELECTRA.

Amelia says WE'RE ON THE LINE OF
POSITIONING 157-337.
WE'LL REPEAT THIS ON 6210
KILOCYCLES.
WE ARE RUNNING NORTH AND SOUTH.

The narrator says THIS MESSAGE WOULD BE
AMELIA'S LAST.
WITH NO ISLAND OR REEF OR WATER
LESS THAN 30 FEET DEEP WITHIN
350 MILES OF HOWLAND ISLAND,
THE LIKELIHOOD IS THAT SHORTLY
AFTER 8:43 AM, AMELIA WAS
FORCED TO DITCH THE PLANE.
AND THE ELECTRA WOULD ALMOST
CERTAINLY HAVE BROKEN UP DURING
A HIGH-SPEED LANDING ON WATER.
BASED ON THE STRENGTH OF THE
MESSAGES RECEIVED BY THE
ITASCA, IT IS BELIEVED THAT
AMELIA WAS WITHIN 100 MILES OF
HOWLAND WHEN SHE DISAPPEARED.

The announcer says ON THE LAST LAP OF
HER MAGNIFICENT FLIGHT AROUND
THE WORLD BY WAY OF THE EQUATOR,
MISS AMELIA EARHART WAS LOST IN
MID-OCEAN.
ON THE 2,500 MILE HOP TO HOWLAND
ISLAND, SHE WAS REPORTED
MISSING.

Mary says THE UNITED STATES HELPED A
GREAT DEAL, IT WAS THE BIGGEST
SEARCH-- YOU KNOW, SEA SEARCH
EVER MOUNTED.

The narrator says THE SEARCH, HEAVILY FUNDED BY
GEORGE PUTNAM, COVERED 250,000
SQUARE MILES, AND CONTINUED FOR
MORE THAN TWO WEEKS.
BUT NEITHER AMELIA, NOONAN, OR
THE PLANE WERE EVER SEEN AGAIN.
MANY EVENTS SEEM TO HAVE
CONTRIBUTED TO AMELIA'S
DISAPPEARANCE.
MAPS PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS
MONTH REVEALED HOWLAND WAS
ACTUALLY SIX MILES FURTHER EAST
THAN GIVEN ON AMELIA'S CHARTS.

Clare says THE ITASCA MADE MISTAKES,
AMELIA MADE MISTAKES.
THERE WASN'T THIS UNDERSTANDING,
OF, IT SEEMS TO ME, HOW CRITICAL
THAT LEG WAS.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER PEOPLE JUST
ASSUMED THAT FRED NOONAN WAS SO
GOOD THAT HE WOULD FIND HOWLAND
ISLAND, AND THAT AMELIA WAS SO
GOOD THAT SHE WOULD GET THERE.

The narrator says AMELIA WASN'T OFFICIALLY
DECLARED DEAD UNTIL JANUARY
1939.
IN THE AFTERMATH, A WHOLE HOST
OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES EMERGED.
SOME CLAIMED THAT AMELIA WAS
LIVING AS A CASTAWAY ON AN
ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC.
OTHERS SUGGESTED THAT SHE'D
SURVIVED AND BEEN TAKEN
PRISONER.

Clare says THERE WERE A LOT OF JAPANESE
OCCUPIED ISLANDS AROUND AT THE
TIME, SO SUDDENLY, SHE WAS
CAPTURED BY THE JAPANESE,
EXECUTED ON THIS ISLAND,
EXECUTED ON THAT ISLAND...
EVEN A CRAZY STORY ABOUT
SOMEBODY SEEING HER WORKING AS A
PROSTITUTE FOR... SERVICING
JAPANESE SOLDIERS.

The narrator says IT WAS EVEN CLAIMED THAT
AMELIA HAD BEEN WORKING AS A
SPY FOR ROOSEVELT, USING HER
FLIGHT TO SECRETLY PHOTOGRAPH
JAPANESE TERRITORIES, BEFORE
BEING SAFELY RETURNED TO THE
UNITED STATES AND GIVEN A NEW
IDENTITY.
IN 1970, A FORMER PILOT,
IRENE BOLAM, WAS FORCED TO
PUBLICLY REFUTE CLAIMS SHE
WAS THE MISSING FLYER.

An old clip shows Irene Bolam at a press conference saying WELL, I'M NOT AMELIA EARHART,
AND I THINK ANYONE WHO ATTEMPTS
TO MAKE CAPITAL OUT OF SUCH A
FINE PERSON IS USING A VERY POOR
APPROACH TO LIFE.

The narrator says THE HUMAN NEED FOR A
CONCLUSION TO UNEXPLAINED
MYSTERY OF AMELIA AND NOONAN'S
FATE HAS SEEN FREQUENT SEA
SEARCHES FOR THE MISSING
ELECTRA, AND NUMEROUS ISLANDS
SCOURED FOR TRACES OF EVIDENCE.
THE MYSTERY CONTINUES TO THIS
DAY AS INVESTIGATIONS THROW UP
MORE AND MORE POSSIBILITIES.
BUT AMELIA'S LEGACY REMAINS A
PROFOUND AND COMPLEX ONE.

Clare says OKAY, ONE CAN FEEL GUTTED
THAT SHE LOST HER LIFE, BUT YOU
NEED PEOPLE LIKE THAT, WHO ARE
PREPARED TO SAY "WE'LL PAY THE
ULTIMATE PRICE FOR PUSHING THOSE
BOUNDARIES."

The narrator says AMELIA EARHART MAY HAVE
BENEFITED FROM THE POWER OF
PUBLICITY, BUT THE EASY GOING
AND MODEST GIRL NEXT DOOR MADE
A LONG-LASTING CONNECTION WITH
PEOPLE, AND HER PIONEERING
ACHIEVEMENTS HAVE ENSURED THAT
HER APPEAL ENDURES.

Melinda says ANYBODY WHO TALKS ABOUT THE
NINETY NINES, THE FIRST THING
THEY MENTION IS AMELIA EARHART,
AND THAT'S STILL TODAY.
THERE WAS A CHALLENGER IN HER,
THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT IN HER.
AND A DAMN GOOD PILOT.

Mary says THE ODD THING ABOUT AMELIA'S
LEGACY IS IT REALLY ISN'T TIED
UP IN AVIATION.
AVIATION IS THERE, BUT AMELIA'S
LEGACY ISN'T THAT.
AMELIA IS SEEN AS A WOMAN WHO
TRIES AND SUCCEEDS.
SHE IS A ROLE MODEL FOR THE
YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY.
HERE IS A GIRL WHO TOOK ON
SOMETHING THAT WAS A MAN'S
PRESERVE, SHE SUCCEEDED AT IT.

The narrator says IN HER LAST LETTER TO HER
HUSBAND, AMELIA WROTE...

Amelia says PLEASE KNOW
THAT I AM QUITE AWARE OF THE
HAZARDS.
I WANT TO DO IT BECAUSE I WANT
TO DO IT.
WOMEN MUST TRY TO DO THINGS AS
MEN HAVE TRIED.
WHEN THEY FAIL, THEIR FAILURE
MUST BE BUT A CHALLENGE TO
OTHERS.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Narrator, Sophie Okonedo.

Executive producer, Matthew Barrett.

Produced and directed by Kim Hogg.

Produced by WMR Productions in association with BBC Worldwide.

Copyright 2011, World Media Rights.

Logo: BBC.

Watch: Amelia Earhart