By Tim Binnall
A San Diego man has come forward with a rather remarkable piece of history in the form of the last known letter to have come from Amelia Earhart's ill-fated final flight. According to a local media report, Hunter Person's mother had been friends with Fred Noonan, who served as the pioneering aviator's navigator on the doomed attempt to circumnavigate the globe, and exchanged four written correspondences with him during the 1930s. Although the family had known about the letters for decades, their existence was unknown to the world until Person recently decided to show them to experts at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
One of the pieces, which is understandably of particular interest, is a 17-page-long letter that was written by Noonan as he and Earhart were stopped in Java at a point in which they believed that their history-making journey was nearly complete. Postmarked June 23, 1937, the missive is the last known written correspondence from the pair prior to their disappearance a mere eight days later. The highly detailed letter contains a recounting of their journey to that point in time and includes all manner of insights with regards to challenges they faced as well as experiences from the various stop they had made along the way.
Having examined the letter, San Diego Air & Space Museum president James Kidrick marveled that "this is like someone's journal. This is like a diary, you know, it's a reveal that we just never expected. I never expected to ever read something like this ever." While it is unlikely that the correspondence contains some hidden clue that could finally unlock the mystery of what became of Earhart and Noonan just days after the missive was written, it does provide an eerie glimpse into what they may have been thinking before their journey came to an untimely end. Person now hopes to hand his mother's letter over to a museum or an individual who will appreciate the historic significance of the material and, hopefully, put them on display for the world to see.