Amelia Earhart (1897-1937 (probably)) was a famous aviation pioneer in an age
when female pilots were extremely rare. She was decorated for her bravery and flying skill, and set many flying records of her time, both for women and for pilots of either sex. In 1932 she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo.
Earhart is probably most famous today for her mysterious disappearance over the central Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, along with second navigator Fred Noonan, during an attempted circumnavigation of the globe. Although the most commonly accepted theory is that Earhart's plane either simply ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean, or made an emergency landing on an uninhabited island, numerous conspiracy theories abound
, everything from failed espionage attempts
to secret identities
to Alien Abduction
. Recent archaeological excavations have most likely found her castaway site, but this will probably do nothing to halt the conspiracy theories.
Less well known is that Earhart was also a successful writer. She wrote many articles for Cosmopolitan
magazine, and published two best-seller books on her experiences as a pilot and as a female pilot, 20 Hrs., 40 Min.
and The Fun of It
Works that portray or mention Amelia Earhart in fiction include:
- She is a major character in G. Willow Wilson's comic, Air.
- In issue zero of the British Anthology Comic The Phoenix the character is featured in the strip, "Corpse Talk", which features an interview with a dead famous person.
- Amelia Earhart was a Puella Magi in the fanfic A History Of Magic, where it appears she faked her death and acted as a liaison between Puella Magi across Europe. She died trying to destroy Black Sabbath when it attacked Amsterdam.
- Amy Adams plays a wax figure of her that comes to life in the second Night at the Museum movie.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Earhart is one of the abductees appearing at the end.
- Amelia: Biopic starring Hilary Swank that tries to play it straight and true to the facts.
- The wartime film Flight for Freedom starred Rosalind Russell as Tonie Carter, a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Amelia Earhart. The movie popularized the conspiracy theory that Earhart and Noonan were on a secret spy mission for the U.S. government when they disappeared.
- Jane Mendelsohn's 1997 novel I Was Amelia Earhart is a fictionalized first-person account of Earhart's life, including the time after her disappearance.
- A Cahill from the Mardigals branch in The 39 Clues.
- Star Trek: Voyager: In "The 37s," Voyager's crew discover Earhart and other people from her age preserved in suspended animation on an alien planet. Turns out she was abducted by aliens after all!
- Ross from Friends is enamored with her in "The one with the lottery ticket". He even planned to build a theme park dedicated to her if he won the lottery.
- JAG: In the Pilot Movie, when learning a missing female aviator aboard the USS Seahawk, Admral Brovo makes a reference about Amelia Earheart to his aide while watching The Tonight Show.
Rear Admiral Al Brovo
: If Admiral Drake were smart, he'd make this RIO more famous than Amelia Earhart
. Lt. Commander Ted Lindsey
: She's missing, sir. Rear Admiral Al Brovo
: Did anybody tell FDR
? Lt. Commander Ted Lindsey
: Sir? Rear Admiral Al Brovo
: That Amelia Earhart was missing? Lt. Commander Ted Lindsey
: No, sir. She's not missing. well, I guess she is missing, sir. But that's not who I'm referring to: I meant Lieutenant Arutti. Rear Admiral Al Brovo
: Who's Lieutenant Arutti? Lt. Commander Ted Lindsey
: The female RIO that Jay Leno's talking about
, sir. She disappeared at sea last night.
- Earhart's disappearance was the subject of an In Search Of episode. The special largely focused on the theory that she was an American spy captured by the Japanese. Earhart also appears in the show's opening titles, under the heading "missing persons".
- Her disappearance was also the subject of an Unsolved Mysteries episode. It gave much attention to the theory that she and Noonan were Mistaken for Spies by the Japanese.
- An episode of the 1998 reboot of Fantasy Island had Earhart piloting the seaplane that brought the guests to the island.
- The short play Chamber Music is about a mental hospital with a ward full of women who all believe themselves to be famous historical figures. One of them says she's Amelia Earhart, and there are hints that she might in fact be Amelia Earhart, put in the hospital by mistake. At the very least, she seems to be quite rational and normal otherwise, as opposed to the other women, who are all highly paranoid and homicidal.
- The Musical Take Flight tells three parallel stories about the lives of Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and the Wright Brothers.
- She pops up as a Spirit Advisor to the titular character in the somewhat obscure musical Flight of the Lawn chair Man.
- In the play Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth its revealed that she went into hiding on a Native American reservation, with a man she fell in love with. She's never seen, but between acts the two main characters get drunk with her (on character already knowing about her, the other still being in shock that she just met Amelia Earhart).
- She's the focus of an episode of Time Warp Trio. Apparently, even in 2105 they still have no idea what happened her.
- In an episode of the Dilbert animated series, Amelia Earhart is found trapped behind a glass pane in a museum exhibit titled "The True Location of Amelia Earhart." See it here.
- In Time Squad the episode "Love At First Flight" had portrayed her as being so afraid of germs that she wouldn't even consider going outside, let alone fly a plane.
- According to The Simpsons, Charles Montgomery Burns was responsible for her disappearance.