In a surprising turn of events, Tom Wright unravels the 84-year-old mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, America’s first female solo aviator. With reliable mathematical evidence, Mr. Wright can prove that Miss Amelia, and her navigator, were given incorrect true heading on the fatal day of July 2, 1937.
“Did you know that a 157-337 heading can be represented by BOTH a 67° true heading, based on the position of the sun and a 67° compass heading near Howland Island? One of the last things Amelia Earhart said over the radio was, “We Are On-Line 157-337”. For the longest time, people have thought that a 157-337 heading was connected to the position of the sun on the morning of July 2nd 1937”, says Tom Wright.
According to WIKIPEDIA, between the March equinox and the September equinox at the equator, the sun rises within 23.44° north of due east. 23.44° north of the equator would be a 66.56° true heading (67° rounded up). Amelia’s navigator Fred Noonan who was an expert in his field could then use the position of the sun to navigate towards Howland Island.
On a closer look at Howland Island, one can see that it is 2556 miles or 2221 nautical miles from Lae. It is also known that Howland is 0.8113° north latitude (55.7 miles), north of the equator and that Lae is 6.7155° south latitude (461.3 miles) south of the equator. [Note: According to marinebiology.org the earth is not round and the distance between degree latitudes range from 68.7 miles apart near the equator to 69.4 miles apart near the north and south poles].
By this. It’s evident that the latitude distance between Lae and Howland is 517.09 miles. If the 2556 miles and the 517.09 miles are used, calculating the true heading becomes easy. By this, one can get a 78.3 degree (78° rounded down) true heading.
With a true heading of 78°, that means if true north is 0° and the equator is 90°, a 67 degree true heading is 11° north of Howland Island. If the magnetic declination, which is the difference between true north and magnetic north, is less than 11° east, this would put a 67 degree compass heading north of Howland Island. At the time of writing this article, the magnetic declination near Howland was 9.79° east.
According to ngdc.noaa.gov, one can look up historical magnetic declinations. On July 2nd 1937 the magnetic declination was 9.49° east. This means a 78 degree true heading is a 68.5 degree compass heading, which means a 67 degree compass heading is 1.5° north of Howland. A 67 degree compass heading with a magnetic declination of 9.49° east is a 76.5 degree true heading.
Now we know a 67 degree compass heading (76.5 degree true heading) is north of Howland, and we know that if we use 2556 miles and 517.09 miles, we get a 78.3 (78) degree true heading. Did you know if we use 2221 (nautical miles) and 517.09 (miles) to calculate the true heading we would end up with a 76.54 degree true heading OR a 67.05 degree compass heading near Howland Island? Now we know that a 67 degree compass heading was possible, did you also know that there was a third person with a direct connection to the flight? Clarence Williams was the person that supplied all the information and map strips for Amelia’s flight from Lae to Howland.
Mr. Williams also prepared a detailed map strip for her trip from Honolulu to Oakland with times and compass headings for the whole route. This document is called GREAT CIRCLE CHARTS, HONOLULU TO OAKLAND, HONOLULU TO L.A. He has created the same type of document with detailed flight instructions from Lae to Howland.
“My question is, ‘What if Clarence Williams made a mathematical error by using 2221 (nautical miles) instead of 2556 (miles) when calculating the true heading, accidentally putting them on a 76.5° true heading (67° compass heading near Howland)’”, asks Mr. Wright.
That would put them 1.5° or 87 miles north of Howland Island? Their flight would look like this. They flew 2556 miles on a 76.5° true heading then turned right 90° onto a compass heading of 157-337 towards Howland, eventually running out of fuel.
“In conclusion, there are two possible reasons why Amelia Earhart was on line 157-337. Unfortunately, everyone involved with the flight and that could answer any questions has passed away. Until Amelia’s airplane is located, we may never know what happened on the morning of July 2nd 1937”, says the researcher, Tom Wright.
Mr. Wright’s discoveries give the possibility of what happened all those years ago. For the eight decades that this has remained a mystery, many have speculated about the true causes, giving birth to countless fictional and non-fictional records of what may have gone down in that momentous night.
For more information, please visit: https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/what-happened-to-amelia-earhart
Contact Person: Thomas Wright
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Country: United States