Google Doodle honors Amelia Earhart's 115th birthday

The famed aviatrix is celebrated today on Google's search page with an image of her standing next to the plane she piloted for her cross-Atlantic flight.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Google's latest Doodle celebrates the birthday of one of history's most famous pilots.

Commemorating the 115th birthday of Amelia Earhart, today's Google Doodle portrays the pilot with her scarf fluttering in the wind as she stands next to a Lockheed Vega 5b, the same plane she flew when she completed her cross-Atlantic trip in 1932.

Earhart followed that voyage, in 1935, by becoming the first person to fly along across the Pacific. Of course, the aviatrix is better known today for her tragic disappearance in 1937 when she and navigator Fred Noonan attempted to fly around the world.

Despite an extensive search at the time, no traces of the two or their plane were ever found. For decades, the prevailing belief seemed to be that she and Noonan had died after crashing their plane into the ocean. But researchers at TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) believe the two actually managed to safely land on the island of Nikumaroro.

Several artifacts have been uncovered on the uninhabited island over the years, including bits of rouge, a bottle of hand lotion, and a mirror thought to be from a woman's compact. The plane itself may have been carried off a reef into the ocean by the rising tides and surf.

TIGHAR just kicked off a $2.2 million expedition to search for wreckage from the plane . Video and sonar data have so far failed to find anything, but the group is far from giving up at this point.

"This is just sort of the way things are in this world," TIGHAR President Pat Thrasher told CBS News. "It's not like an Indiana Jones flick where you go through a door and there it is. It's not like that -- it's never like that."

TIGHAR is also planning a trip next year to comb Nikumaroro island for any further evidence that Earhart and Noonan spent their last days on land.

Clicking on the Google Doodle brings up a page of search results where people can learn more about Earhart.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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