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Author Topic: Elgen Long 1927 - 2022  (Read 4120 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Elgen Long 1927 - 2022
« on: February 04, 2022, 07:08:26 AM »

Record-setting pilot and pioneering Earhart researcher Elgen Long died January 26, 2022. He was 94 years old. Elgen was our adversary and our friend. We mourn his passing.

We first met Elgen Long soon after TIGHAR was formed at a presentation he gave at the Sun 'n' Fun Airshow in Lakeland, Florida in 1986. At a time when the predominant explanation for Amelia Earhart's disappearance was that she had met her fate at the hands of the Japanese, Elgen was the first to speak out forcefully against the groundless conspiracy theories. In numerous public appearances and interviews he argued that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan had run out of fuel moments after her last radio message and gone down at sea near Howland Island. His crashed-and-sank theory echoed the U.S. Navy's findings and seemed to make a lot of sense. TIGHAR officially endorsed Long's theory until two years later when we learned of another explanation based on navigational logic and a different interpretation of Earhart’s last transmission. Further research revealed more supporting evidence and TIGHAR launched The Earhart Project to test the hypothesis that the flight ended at Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro.

There followed decades of intense debate and millions of dollars in competing expeditions but, throughout it all, Elgen was the perfect gentleman - cordial and collegial - while unswerving in his convictions. His 1999 book Amelia Earhart - The Mystery Solved, written with his wife Marie, is a treasure trove of information gleaned from dozens of interviews with surviving players in the Earhart saga. The Long's declared solution to the mystery argues backward from a preconceived premise, but the book is nonetheless an immensely valuable resource and a necessary part of any Earhart research library.

Elgen never accepted TIGHAR's solution to the Earhart mystery, and we never expected he would. His objections drove us to greater effort, and made our evidence stronger for his criticisms.

Happy landings Elgen. We'll miss you.

Jeff Lange

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Re: Elgen Long 1927 - 2022
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2022, 06:16:42 AM »

Always sad to lose a fellow theorist. But, perhaps (depending on  ones ideology) Elgen finally knows what REALLY happened to Amelia and Fred. RIP Mr. Long.
Jeff Lange

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