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The Mysterious Disappearance Of Amelia Earhart

Picture of Amelia Earhart walking in front of plane to illustrate story.

Reader Krystal R. hit me up this week on Twitter with a kind of story request I’d never gotten before: one for a conspiracy theory that involved a missing person or UFO’s. The first story that popped into my head was the story of the last flight of Amelia Earhart, which had both…


THE LAST FLIGHT OF AMELIA EARHART

Picture of Amelia Earhart as a pilot to show this story.There was no doubt about it, the plane was running out of fuel.

Amelia Earhart looked down onto the vast ocean below, but the scattered clouds left shadows on the water, making it impossible to tell which of the dark spots might be the tiny island she needed to land on.

Fear would have already overtaken the hearts of most people at this point, but she remained calm and relied on her training to try and find the way to the island. Plane technology was still quite primitive back then, so finding the way involved doing things like continually whistling into a radio microphone in hopes that a Coast Guard ship stationed in the area could use it to find her plane’s location.

Problem was, her radio wasn’t picking up their replies. The Coast Guard ship could hear her but she couldn’t hear them. So she and her navigator Fred Noonan kept trying everything they could think of to save themselves as their fuel level steadily dropped. It’s strange to think about it, but even these terrifying moments were the kind of things that had drawn Amelia Earhart to flying.


PUSHING THE LIMITS

You see, Amelia Earhart had spent her whole life pursuing adventure. This wasn’t an easy thing to do for a female during her time, as girls and women back then were expected to stay at home with feet firmly planted on the ground.

Picture of Amelia Earhart in cockpit of plane for life story.But even as a child she had made her own adventures. She loved to read and devoured adventure books, using them as inspiration for her tromps around the neighborhood. Her father was an alcoholic and that overshadowed much of what happened as she grew up, but lucky for her both her parents had encouraged her to be herself no matter what.

And when she became an adult she decided on the career that allowed the most adventure: pilot.

The early days of flying were dangerous and there was a mystique around pilots who pushed the limits of what had been done. A number of these pilots ended up dead, but those who survived were often hailed as heroes. It was a field considered too dangerous for most men, let alone a woman.

For Amelia Earhart though, it was all about the adventure. She broke record after record, earning worldwide fame for her abilities and swagger. Her fame even lead her to friendships with people like President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor (something that fueled conspiracy theories later on).

Picture of Amelia Earhart with Fred Noonan before last flight.

There was one record that she wanted to break more than anything though, one that would lead to the ultimate flying adventure. She wanted to fly around the world on a route following as close to the equator as humanly possible. This was a very dangerous trip to try though, so she bought a new plane and started to train for the long flight around the world. A stop near the end of the trip would be on a tiny island called Howland Island…


INTO THIN AIR

People on the Coast Guard ship were starting to get worried. Why wasn’t the radio on Amelia Earhart’s plane Amelia Earhart listening to plane radio communication.picking up their replies? They waited for each new radio transmission from her plane as her voice became clearer and clearer, meaning the plane was getting close. Then they heard her voice:

“We must be on you, but cannot see you —but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.”

It was so clear that people on the ship felt that the plane must be in the immediate vicinity. They burned oil out of the ship’s smokestacks in hopes that it would be visible from the plane. But the only reply they got was a garbled transmission that didn’t seem to mention it. Then …nothing.

The time went by yet the radio remained silent. A massive $4 million search was done of the area and nearby islands by the Coast Guard and Navy, but the plane had vanished into thin air. In it’s place theories began popping up as to what had happened to the plane, ranging from the obvious to deep conspiracy theories.


A VAST OCEAN OF THEORIES

Picture of newspaper front page from after Amelia Earhart's death.Some popular theories state the most likely scenario: that Amelia Earhart’s plane ran out of fuel and either crashed into the ocean or an island. Many people have become obsessed with combing through old photos of her plane or searching the various islands in the area for clues. It seems like every so often there’s news of debris being found that could be from her plane, but nothing has been verified 100% yet.

The most popular conspiracy theory about what happened to Amelia Earhart’s plane is that she had been asked to spy on the Japanese by President Roosevelt. This was during the time before WWII and there was much tension between the US and Japan. This theory states that her record breaking flight was a ruse so that she could fly over islands that Japan controlled to spy on them. According to this theory her plane was either shot down by the Japanese or crashed, leading to her capture, news of which was covered up by the government. There have been some Screenshot Amelia Earhart Star Trek Voyager Episode 37sUS military and Japanese people who have claimed to witness various elements of this theory, but none of their stories have been verified.

Then there’s the most out of this world theory of all, the UFO theory of her disappearance. Many people believe that her plane was intercepted by UFO’s and that’s why it disappeared into thin air even though it seemed to be so close to the Coast Guard ship. Sightings of UFO’s by pilots were on the rise at this time and became known during WWII as ‘foo fighters’. This theory of course can’t be proven, though an episode of Star Trek: Voyager imagined a possible scenario. The episode has members of the Voyager crew discovering Amelia Earhart on an alien planet, having been abducted long ago and kept in stasis.

Picture of Amelia Earhart in front of plane for life story.

No matter what theory you believe, there’s no denying that even though her plane seems to have vanished into thin air, her story has not. Even now she inspires others to find their own adventures, whether it’s to pursue a career in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible …or in expeditions to solve the mystery of what really happened to her.

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Mystery Of The Old School Fro Solved: Unzie The Albino

Some of you might remember this strange picture from a post a while back:

A picture of Unzie The Albino with white afro when he toured with Barnum and Bailey Circus.

I had randomly run into the picture and wondered what story could possibly be behind this guy in the tux sporting such a crazy afro.

Then the ever awesome reader of this blog Zombirella17 saw the post and quickly tracked down who the guy was. Turns out he was known as Unzie The Albino and his story is even more fantastical than his picture, if you can imagine that.

Unzie was born in New Zealand but was snatched up by the Barnum and Bailey Circus (some even say stolen as a child) to tour around Europe and eventually the U.S. as well.

Barnum and Bailey billed him as ‘The Australian Aboriginal Beauty’ and said that he was an albino Aborigine from the Outback, born into a tribe and worshipped as a sort of god by his own people.

They spun the story hard and even had ads with drawings showing a young Unzie living in stereotypically primitive conditions amongst Aboriginies and kangaroos.

But what’s up with that hair? Zombirella17 said:

A picture of Unzie The Albino with his hair tucked into his top hat.Extremely famous in his day (late 1800′s) and known for being very dapper and gentlemanly. His enormous ‘fro was of such a fine texture that he could tuck it all into his top hat.

During his act, he would joke that he didn’t dare tip his hat to the ladies, lest they think they had witnessed an explosion.

Lol that definitely would get people’s attention! Reportedly his hair grew so fast that it had to be trimmed twice a week, I’m not sure how accurate that is but it sure does make for a great story.

Unzie had quite a successful career touring with Barnum and Bailey, not surprising since who could see a guy in such a proper suit sporting a gigantic stark white afro and not want to stop in to find out more? Through the circus he got to have the experience of traveling the world at a time when most people usually didn’t get to travel beyond the next town over.

However he did drop out of the circus eventually and so dropped out of the history books as well, leaving us to wonder what happened to him.

Did he go to spend the rest of his days back in his home country or live quietly amongst English society with hair perpetually tucked into his top hat?

Some people even theorize that he wasn’t actually an albino but a man with very light colored eyes that bleached his hair, eyebrows, and mustache to get into the lucrative freak show business. And so all he would have had to do to blend back into anonymity is cut his hair and let it grow back into it’s normal color.

Either way and whoever he was he seems like he was a pretty awesome guy with a tight sense of style and showmanship. I doubt anyone who ever seen him ever forgot him ’cause I know I sure won’t!

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There’s Got To Be A Story Behind This Old School Fro

This morning I stumbled on an old black and white picture that definitely caught my eye.

It’s a picture of a guy wearing a tux and a lively white afro …I know there’s a story behind this but I can’t imagine what it could be. Got any ideas??

A black and white picture of a guy in a tuxedo and a white afro.
via Sarah Hickox

I love how the look on his face is very nonchalant too, like ‘Hey no biggie I’m just a guy wearing a tux and a GIGANTIC white afro, nothing at all unusual about this. Maybe I’ll go have a coffee in a second.’.

When I saw that picture I immediately thought of Phil Spector and the surprise fro he wore to court one day:

I don’t think anybody ever figured out what his fro was all about either. Maybe the world isn’t ready to know.

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