Amelia in ’17 would be #fly­girl

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JENNIFER CHRISTMAN

I com­pletely geeked out on His­tory Chan­nel’s re­cent spe­cial Amelia Earhart: The Lost Ev­i­dence.

Well, af­ter watch­ing an episode of CBS’ Big Brother. It’s all about bal­ance.

Some 80 years later, we still only have com­pet­ing the­o­ries and no de­fin­i­tive an­swers about the dis­ap­pear­ance of the pi­o­neer­ing avi­a­tor in her at­tempt to cir­cum­nav­i­gate the globe. Per­haps Earhart didn’t, as the U.S. Navy quickly con­cluded, lose her way, run out of fuel and crash into the ocean. Maybe, as a never-seen photo that seems to show Earhart (just from the back — is that re­ally her? And when was it taken?) on a dock in the Ja­panese-con­trolled Mar­shall Is­lands sug­gests, she was taken cap­tive — and pos­si­bly ex­e­cuted — as a sus­pected spy.

Watch­ing the two-hour spe­cial made me won­der how all this might have played out if Earhart, who was born in 1897 and dis­ap­peared in 1937, had taken on such a mis­sion in 2017.

First, we’d all be gos­sip­ing about the re­la­tion­ship with nav­i­ga­tor Fred Noo­nan. Sure, Earhart was mar­ried to Ge­orge Put­nam, her book pub­lisher and pub­li­cist who was in­volved in plan­ning and fi­nanc­ing her mis­sion. But ev­ery­one in this nosy age would have found it juicy that a mar­ried woman was tak­ing this flight with an­other man. We would have sus­pected this was an af­fair wait­ing for “take­off.”

And what of this Noo­nan? He has a bit of a check­ered past that we would want to Face­book-stalk. He mar­ried his sec­ond wife two weeks (!) af­ter a di­vorce. And there were the al­co­hol ru­mors ( that mainly spread af­ter his death); some sug­gest he had been fired from a job at Pan Amer­i­can Air­lines for drink­ing. In which case, he had a bit of an “al­ti­tude” prob­lem.

We would have known the duo’s where­abouts through radar or at least pa­parazzi. Not to men­tion, ev­ery bit of their jour­ney would have been doc­u­mented with plenty of self­ies and videos on In­sta­gram, Twit­ter, Snapchat and Face­book with flat­ter­ing and fun fil­ters. Ooh, and there would be emoji and req­ui­site goofy word­play hash­tags. Maybe #breathof­fres­hearhart, #we­heart­earhart #morn­ing­noo­nan­night — any­thing to “lift” and “thrust” their avi­a­tion mis­sion into the so­cial me­dia spot­light.

If her plane still dis­ap­peared ( af­ter all, we still don’t know what hap­pened to Malaysia Air­lines Flight 370, a mys­tery since spring 2014), ca­ble news net­works

would buzz about it roundthe-clock — at least un­til the pres­i­dent’s next tweet. And a lengthy in­ves­ti­ga­tion would re­sult. But The Lost Ev­i­dence spe­cial re­veals the U.S. gov­ern­ment closed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion a mere two weeks af­ter Earhart dis­ap­peared. Only two weeks to find a missing

avi­a­tor when we wouldn’t give up on a lost Avon lip­stick in that short amount of time? That’s just “plane” wrong!

Still, if this jour­ney took place now, maybe mod­ern tech­nol­ogy would have kept them out of harm’s way. If the two got lost some­where, they could have just picked up a

phone and texted or called or Face­timed some­one. Per­haps Siri or an Ama­zon Echo could have as­sisted — “yaw’ll” re­al­ize they know ev­ery­thing.

Per­haps Earhart would have re­turned home safely. I like to think she would have “landed” all kinds of gigs. She’d go on to win Danc­ing

With the Stars, join Tay­lor Swift’s squad, write a tell-all book, de­sign a fash­ion line and be the sub­ject of at least one trashy tabloid movie ( un­like Amelia, that snore of a bi­og­ra­phy star­ring Hi­lary Swank in 2009). Maybe Transat­lantic At­trac­tion: The Unau­tho­rized Amelia Earhart Story on Life­time.


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