Forum logo How believable are the reported post-disappearance radio signals from the lost flight?

There were actually something over 300 post-loss radio messages reported and the expectation that Earhart was alive and about to be rescued dominated the press coverage of the search. Some, and probably most, of the reported messages were either hoaxes or misunderstandings. Others are harder to dismiss. If ANY are genuine, then the Electra did not go down at sea.

We have an immense file on this subject and have spent literally thousands of hours investigating the possible authenticity of various messages. The bottom line seems to be that one of two situations existed in the days following the disappearance.

1. Widespread wishful thinking combined with confusion, poor radio discipline, and a number of deliberate hoaxes resulted in an erroneous impression, even among highly skilled commercial and government operators, that transmissions were being sent from the lost aircraft.


2. The aircraft was on its landing gear somewhere in the Phoenix islands and was sending transmissions in voice and crudely sent code. The voice transmissions were barely intelligible at best and often came through as only a carrier wave. The code signals, probably sent using the push-to-talk switch on the mic, got through only as fragmentary phrases and were insufficient to enable the searchers to accurately interpret the intended information. The more credible messages stop abruptly around midnight of July 4.

For the full report on the post-loss radio signals and the 1937 search, see Finding Amelia.

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