July 2, 1937 was supposed to be just another day in the attempt by the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan to fly around the world. Earhart had already flown 22,000 km of the 35,000 km journey and just needed to fly across the Pacific Ocean to complete the unprecedented worldwide flight. At about Midnight GMT, Earhart and Noonan left the island of Lae, New Guinea and headed for the very flat and relatively tiny Howland Island. Trouble began when it became impossible (possibly due to a broken antenna on Earhart’s plane) for Earhart and Noonan to find the island using radio navigation.
At 7:42 AM local time, Earhart radioed “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.” Earhart would make one last transmission at 8:43 AM repeating her position and then there would be silence.
Search efforts for Earhart and Noonan would begin roughly an hour after her last transmission and would continue until July 19, 1937. The search effort cost $4-million and the only tangential clue to Earhart’s fate was a report that “signs of recent habitation were clearly visible” on the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro. Although Earhart and Noonan were eventually declared legally dead, many still speculate that they spent some time as castaways on Nikumaroro. Recent investigations of the island have led to the discovery of items including American beauty products, pieces of plexiglass and aluminum and even the odd (possibly) human bone. Although this evidence may indicate that Earhart and Noonan arrived on Nikumaroro, we may never know what truly happened to these aviation pioneers.
So, as we wait for the day we find out what happened to Earhart, raise a glass in her honor by drinking an Amelia Earhart cocktail, a variation on the classic cocktail Aviation.
- 2 ounces strawberry puree
- 2 ounces Gin
- 2 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
- 1 teaspoon Creme de Violette
- 2 teaspoon simple syrup
- 1 ounce lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Tomorrow: A post-impressionist leaves France for the tropics.