Big Picture Science Show

Big Picture Science Show: “Skeptic Check: Amelia Earhart”

micSeth Shostak, Molly BentleytodayJanuary 23, 2017 1

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    Big Picture Science Show: "Skeptic Check: Amelia Earhart" Seth Shostak, Molly Bentley


She’s among the most famous missing persons in history.  On the eightieth anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, mystery still shrouds her fate.  What happened during the last leg of her round-the-world trek?

Theories abound.  Perhaps she ran out of fuel, and plunged into the ocean … or was captured by the Japanese.  A non-profit international organization, TIGHAR, suggests she was a castaway, and offers up a new analysis of bones found on a Pacific atoll during the time of the Second World War. Their researchers will return to this possible landing spot to seek more clues this summer.

We consider these theories and weigh the new evidence surrounding Earhart’s puzzling last flight.  Also, why are we uncomfortable with open-ended mysteries?


  • Andrew McKenna – Researcher with TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery)
  • Claire Maldarelli – Editor at Popular Science Magazine
  • Andrew Maynard – Director of the Risk Innovation Lab, Arizona State University
  • John Norberg – Journalist and former writer on air and space for Purdue University


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