The news has been too full of war, disease and baseball.
Fortunately, the mystery of Amelia Earhart is always there to distract us when things get a little tedious. And this week the plot thickens with the revelation that a fragment of aluminum that was discovered 23 years ago is pretty much almost certainly identical, nearly, to a piece of metal that was attached to her plane to cover a window that had been removed during a stop-over in Miami in the weeks leading up to Earhart’s disappearance.
The aluminum was found on a coral atoll called Nikumaroro in the South Pacific, about 400 miles from the place Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were really trying to reach. The theory is that Earhart and Noonan managed to land and were able to send distress signals for a succession of nights until the plane was washed into the sea, where it may still rest, submerged but largely intact.
And if by chance the attention drawn to this battered metal shard should bring a few investors forward, particularly some who have exceptionally deep pockets and would like to finance the next Nikumaroro expedition in the summer of 2015, well, so be it.
If it turns out that the Earhart mystery is really about to end, my condolences to all the people who believed one or more of the vast assortment of other fantastic, fabricated fates for our “First Lady of the Air” – that she survived and somehow lived out her days as a suburban housewife in New Jersey, that she was captured by the Japanese and became Tokyo Rose, or that she was abducted by aliens and still rules a distant Earth-like planet.
The truth is precious, but often boring. That’s what makes imagination so special.
Last call for improbably Amelia Earhart scenarios! Going once … going twice …