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YouTube // TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart's Lost Plane Spotted in a 1936 Film

YouTube // TIGHAR

YouTube // TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart and her twin-engine Lockheed Electra disappeared on July 2, 1937. Now, nearly 80 years later, Discovery News reports that the plane has been rediscovered—in a 1936 film cameo.

The MGM romantic comedy Love on the Run, starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, features spies, a runaway bride, and an undercover reporter. The film also contains a scene in which Gable and Crawford don flying suit disguises and make a great escape in an airplane, to much comedic effect. The actual flying stunts were performed by pilot Paul Mantz, who was Earhart’s technical advisor. It’s the flyer's only appearance in the movie; in other shots, a scale model was used.

The scene was shot eight months before the plane’s final flight over the Pacific Ocean. Not long after its stint in Hollywood, the Lockheed Electra was delivered to Earhart for her 39th birthday. It’s unknown whether she was aware of its role in the movie.

The cameo was recently uncovered by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), a group dedicated to investigating Earhart’s disappearance.

In the clip of the scene below, you can see the registration number R1602 on the right wing of the aircraft at around the 1:08 minute mark. The quick appearance is how the plane was spotted and identified.

While this discovery is an exciting one for Earhart biographers and researchers, the hunt for the actual plane is still underway to this day. Next summer, a new expedition called Niku IX will send two submersibles to comb a one-mile-long stretch off the coast of an island called Nikumaroro.

Ric Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News: "An abundance of archival, photographic and artifact evidence suggests that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan made a successful landing on the island's fringing reef.”

Gillespie believes the pair died on the uninhabited, waterless atoll and that the plane was washed out to sea. The teams—with the help of technology like high definition cameras, mechanical arms, and lights—will search for plane fragments in the area as deep as 6500 feet. Niku IX will be the group’s 12th search around Nikumaroro.

[h/t LiveScience]

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Animals
Meet Piper: The Border Collie Making a Michigan Airport Safer for Travelers
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Birds may look harmless on solid ground, but in the sky they pose a big threat to any aircraft crossing their path. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, uses a low-tech approach to the problem: a border collie named Piper.

Great Big Story profiled Piper and his handler, airport operations supervisor Brian Edwards, in a recent video. Piper’s job as the airport’s wildlife control canine is chasing away large birds that could strike incoming and outgoing planes, potentially causing anything from dents to engine failure. In Michigan, this usually means large waterfowl like ducks and geese, but it can also include crows, gulls, and snowy owls.

After he’s deployed from a moving car, Piper heads for the birds, scattering them away from the tarmac and teaching them to associate the area with predators. Piper is just doing what most border collies would do in the presence of a flock of birds, only in this case he gets to wear stylish protective goggles while following his instincts.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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How to Win a Year of Free Flights From JetBlue
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JetBlue has an enticing offer for anyone resolving to travel more in 2018: Customers who book a non-refundable flight before December 15 will be automatically entered to win the airline's All You Can Jet Pass, Thrillist reports. That means a full year of free unlimited flights to 100 destinations in the U.S. and beyond.

If you already have, or are planning to, purchase a flight in the first half of December, no further steps are required: You're automatically in the running to receive one of the three available passes. And if you have no upcoming flights to book but a bad case of wanderlust, you’re also invited to enter. To do so, just mail a letter with your full printed name, address, phone numbers, and email address to: All You Can Jet Sweepstakes, Centra 360, 1400 Old Country Road, Suite 417, Westbury, NY 11590.

The randomly selected winner can start flying for free as soon as February 1, 2018.

All You Can Jet Pass flyers won’t be able to book multiple flights departing from the same city on the same day, and change and cancellation fees will still apply. Other than that, they can travel without limitations. Travelers get a complimentary plus-one for each flight they book, and they’re free to change their travel companion from trip to trip. There are zero blackout dates, so even on the busiest travel days of the year, winners can fly without paying a cent.

The free year of travel ends January 31, 2019. If they’re smart with their time, it’s possible for winners to visit every one of JetBlue's 100 destinations, including Jamaica, Los Angeles, and the Dominican Republic, by the time their pass expires. The only thing they'll need to worry about is finding the energy for all that travel.

[h/t Thrillist]

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