Title: The Search for Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan: Where We Stand and What Comes Next


The 2019 expedition to Nikumaroro Island, featuring National Geographic-sponsored deep-water exploration by Robert Ballard and terrestrial investigations led by Fred Hiebert and Tom King, marked a turning point in the search for Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.  At issue now is the future of research efforts.  What should be the next steps?  Did Ballard’s survey, described in October 2019 by National Geographic on TV, rule out the existence of Electra airplane parts in the deep water off the reef?  Did the negative results strengthen the case for other disappearance hypotheses?  How should future research be organized and by whom?  How will future media coverage be managed and sponsored?  This symposium is conceived as a summit meeting among those interested in solving the mystery and planning for further research efforts, whatever hypotheses they subscribe to.


This symposium will be part of The Archaeology Channel Conference on Cultural Heritage Media (archaeologychannel.org/Conference), which itself is a component of The Archaeology Channel International Film Festival (archaeologychannel.org/festival) (May 13-17, 2020), a leading film festival bringing together films, filmmakers and others interested in the genre of cultural heritage media from all over the world.  Many hypotheses propose to account for the 1937 disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, and all of them have a strong connection with media.  The disappearance has been referenced in many film dramas and documentaries as well as TV programs over the past 80 years.  Most recently, in 2019, National Geographic sponsored deep-water research by Robert Ballard as well as additional terrestrial research led by archaeologists Tom King and Fred Hiebert, described in an October 2019 National Geographic Channel documentary.  This symposium is organized to bring together interested parties, from dedicated researchers to those with a general knowledge, to consider the evidence and research strategies of past years as well as possible new approaches to address the mystery while sharing the research with the public through media.  The symposium will include a round-table discussion within which all participants can discuss and plan future research avenues and expeditions.

Symposium time: Saturday, May 16, 10 am to 5 pm

Symposium meeting location: Civic Winery, 50 East 11th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401

Rules and deadlines: Abstracts and Conference registrations for Symposium presenters are due by February 29.  All those who plan to present for the Conference are required to register by that deadline.  The registration fee, payable to Archaeological Legacy Institute, is $100.  Conference attendees who will not be presenting and wish to be able to attend Conference proceedings for all three days can register for $100 through March 31 and for $130 beginning April 1.  The Conference registration form is available via a link on the Conference Web page at https://www.archaeologychannel.org/events-guide/tac-conference-on-cultural-heritage-media.  Symposium participants should indicate “Amelia Earhart” next to “Symposium Participation” on the registration form.  Conference attendees also may obtain a one-day Conference pass for $50 or a single-presentation pass for $10, available at the door.

Where to Stay: A list of places to stay in downtown Eugene is available at https://www.archaeologychannel.org/events-guide/tac-conference-on-cultural-heritage-media/2908-2020-hotel-information.

Travel Recommendations: Eugene has a full-service airport with direct connections to many places, including Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.  It also has an Amtrak station and Festival-goers may qualify for an Amtrak discount.


Off-site co-Chairs of the symposium are Kenton Spading (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Joe Cerniglia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  Festival and Conference information queries also may be sent to Festival Director Rick Pettigrew (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  An on-site Chair will be named soon.