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Author Topic: The Electra Book  (Read 4276 times)

Ric Gillespie

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The Electra Book
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:04:00 AM »

I really wanted to get the writing finished by the end of 2017 but events intervened that required my attention – primarily, negotiating agreements related to the unconventional 2017 expedition to Nikumaroro; responding to the bogus History Channel documentary; and providing historical research and forensic support for Dr. Jantz’s forthcoming anthropological paper on the identity of the castaway whose bones were found in 1940.  That work is now completed and I’ve been able to resume writing.

I've now completed the draft of Chapter Three “The Realization of a Dream “ March - July 1936
If you'll go to
you'll find PDFs of the three completed chapters.  Please give them a read and let me know what you think.

There are five more chapters to be written:

Chapter Four: Teething Troubles  August 1936 - September 1936
Chapter Five: The Flying Laboratory  October 1936 - February 1937
Chapter Six:  “Honolulu crack-up” March 1937
Chapter Seven: “Like broken bones” April 1937 – May 1937
Chapter Eight:   “One more good flight” May 1937 - June 1937

About Chapter Three
The earlier chapters deal with Lockheed’s development of the Model 10 Electra and the negotiations that resulted in Purdue University’s sponsorship of Earhart’s Model 10E Special.  Those chapters are necessarily text-heavy with relatively few photos.  In Chapter Three, the Earhart airplane becomes a reality. Presenting photos of Amelia and the Electra in their correct historical context makes images that are familiar to anyone who has followed the Earhart saga more informative and poignant. Chapter Three also introduces the first of many full color illustrations of the Electra derived from the meticulous drawings made by TIGHAR member Bill Harney.

Photos, Illustrations, and Documents
As with the first two chapters, the layout of Chapter Three as presented in the PDF is for review purposes.  We expect the final, printed book to be in a large-format coffee-table style.  Photos and illustrations will be much larger than in these draft versions.  The printed book will also include an appendix with easy-to-read facsimiles of all the historical paperwork on the airplane including Lockheed forms and memoranda and Bureau of Air Commerce license applications, inspection reports, certificates and correspondence.

About the book in general
This book is a “prequel” to my 2006 book “Finding Amelia – The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance” published by the Naval Institute Press.  I have decided to end the book with the June 1, 1937 takeoff from Miami that began the second ill-fated world flight attempt.  I covered the world flight itself, the disappearance, and the government search in my first book.  No need to re-plow that ground.

Like the first book, this is an exhaustively researched and footnoted history book that presents the documented facts in what I hope is an engaging, easy-to-follow narrative.

This is a story that has never been fully told. This book should clear up common misconceptions and mythology about the Earhart Electra but, more importantly, permit a better understanding of why the Earhart saga ended in tragedy.

How soon I can get the remaining chapters written will largely depend on how the fundraising goes, but I’m hoping to have Chapter Four ready for review in February.
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