Canine Investigators on the Trail of Amelia Earhart
Dogs are often trained for and used in search and rescue cases where they use scent to find and recover people. Now, researchers who have scent-trained four very smart pups are looking to make the discovery of a lifetime should the dogs be able to find the remains of famed aviator Amelia Earhart.
Earhart was last known to be on the final leg of her flight around the world, with her navigator Fred Noonan. They took off in July of 1937, headed toward Howland Island in the Pacific, and were never seen nor heard from again.
Though many expeditions have been conducted to find remains of Earhart or Noonan, or of their plane, they fail to come up with any concrete remnants of the crash or the aviators.
Now, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) is planning to take four scent-trained dogs to the last area experts believe she may have ended up in, the island of Nikumaroro.
Over the last three decades, TIGHAR has explored theories that place Earhart as a castaway on a remote island once she realized she was out of gas and would not make her intended destination. Several years ago, 13 bones believed possible to be Earhart’s were found on the island, meaning that researchers believe there is a good chance 193 more exist for the finding.
The four dogs—border collies named Berkeley, Piper, Marcy, and Kayle are believed to be top notch explorers, as they’ve been able to sniff out ancient burial sites that were nearly 1,500 years old and nine feet deep. The dogs will be sponsored by National Geographic, and will take a trans-Pacific flight and week-long ocean adventure to get to the island.
Researchers say that if there are indeed any bones found on this expedition, they’ll be sent back to the United States to be further analyzed and matched with a distant relative of Earhart’s.
The canine crew will spend eight days combing the remote island at their pleasure, sniffing out whatever smells the can that might lead to the resolution of one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. We wish them luck as they attempt to make investigatory history!
[Source: National Geographic]
More by Lori Ennis