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Finding Amelia Earhart in the Adirondacks

An old photograph taken off the coast of an uninhabited Pacific island in 1937 made big waves last week, after new analysis of the snapshot revealed what could be the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra—the plane Amelia Earhart was piloting as she attempted to circumnavigate the globe. That out-of-focus clue may solve the 75-year-old mystery of her disappearance: in July the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery will lead an expedition to the spot, hoping to pinpoint Earhart’s wreckage.

But an excavation of the Adirondack Life archives uncovered our own blurry Earhart sighting, and we don’t have to wait for high-tech analysis or a pricey deep-sea search to confirm it:

Earhart at Utica's airport in 1929, with Harold "Scotty" Scott (left), mechanic Hughie Jones (right) and an unidentified pilot. Photograph courtesy of Jan Burwell

In “Our Air Force” (October 2004), Elizabeth Folwell explains that Harold Scott, a floatplane pilot who ran an all-season sightseeing operation out of Inlet, came to the stranded aviator’s rescue: “His skill as a winter flier introduced him to Amelia Earhart, who was grounded in Utica by storms for a few days. She also had cold feet—truly. Scott loaned her a pair of wool socks and in his own plane led her aircraft out of the snowy Mohawk Valley so she could continue her cross-country voyage.”

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