International Museum Day, May 18
An Amelia Earhart symposium is planned for May 17-19, 2002, at the Museum to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the airport, and the 65th anniversary of the departure of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, her navigator for their final flight, around the world close to the equator!
The Amelia Earhart Society, the Western Aerospace Museum, The Port of Oakland, and The International Organization of Women Pilots, are sponsoring what is expected to be one of the largest gatherings of Amelia Earhart researchers and interested parties from all over the world.
Historians and aviation enthusiasts will remember that Earhart and Noonan disappeared on July 2, 1937, somewhere in the mid-Pacific Ocean after completing more than two-thirds of their flight around the world. Many theories have evolved over the years about the fliers' last few hours airborne over the central Pacific Ocean enroute to Howland Island.
Hundreds of serious researchers throughout the world have failed to conclusively uncover the final disposition of Earhart and Noonan. Many have written books summarizing their conclusions, realistic or fanciful.
The official position of the U.S. Government is that the pair perished in the ocean when they ran out of fuel and failed to find Howland Island.
However, the Freedom of Information Act has forced the release of many, but not all, classified U.S.Government and military documents. Some of the documents disclose previously unknown events and circumstances.
While much information has been gleaned from the recently released files, there are many files that have not been seen by researchers that may pertain to Earhart, in various government and private files including a section of State Department classified files called "Special War Problems"; in various military intelligence files, and in several collections of private files of people who were connected with Earhart and her last flight.