An Interview with Dr. Tom King

The chief archaeologist for the TIGHAR research effort devoted to solving the Amelia Earhart disappearance mystery explains the clues his team is following.

The Interview:

Part 1:

Part 2:

The disappearance of Amelia Earhart, during her highly publicized attempt to fly around the world, is one of the most compelling mysteries of the twentieth century. Currently, four different research teams are hot on the trail of clues that may lead to an answer to the question of what happened to Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, on that fateful day, July 2, 1937.

One of the goals of The Archaeology Channel is to provide reliable information on archaeological subjects of public interest. We also wish to show that archaeology as a discipline is relevant and valuable to today's world. It may come as a surprise to some that archaeology has a key role to play in the resolution of the Earhart mystery. Indeed it does, and archaeologist Dr. Tom King is a central figure in the Earhart research effort of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). TIGHAR's 2001 archaeological survey and excavations on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro represent their sixth field expedition to that locality, where they believe Earhart and Noonan were marooned and died.

Dr. Richard Pettigrew of The Archaeology Channel interviewed Dr. King in person at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Denver on March 22, 2002, and then again over the telephone on March 27. The first segment (Part 1) covers the background of the Earhart disappearance and the second (Part 2) focuses on the TIGHAR research effort.

About Tom King:

Tom King

Thomas F. (Tom) King has worked in archaeology for some forty years. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Riverside, and did substantial research in California prehistory in the 1960s and 70s. In the late 1970s he was responsible for establishing the Micronesian Archaeological Survey, which has sponsored research in the western Pacific islands of Micronesia, and helped develop historic preservation programs in the area's island nations.

Early in his career he became concerned about the destruction of archaeological sites, American Indian and Micronesian spiritual places, and other historic properties, and has spent most of his career working in cultural resource management,as a Federal government official, in academic programs, and in the private sector. Today he works as a private consultant, mediator, writer and editor, affiliated with the National Preservation Institute. His work with TIGHAR on the Amelia Earhart project is his recreation. Besides Amelia Earhart's Shoes, the account of TIGHAR's work, King is the author of three textbooks dealing with historic preservation issues and practice, all published by Altamira Press. King lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and travels widely in his teaching and consulting practice.

Piece of Metal May Offer Clue to Disappearance of Amelia Earhart’s Plane (Miami Herald)

Amelia Earhart (AcePilots.com)

Amelia Earhart (National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)

Amelia Earhart - biography (Ellen's Place)

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Amelia Earhart Information (Naval Historical Center)

Amelia Earhart: A Timeline

Amelia Earhart's Shoes: Is the Mystery Solved? (Altamira Press)

The Earhart Project (TIGHAR)

Putnam, Amelia Earhart - 1968 (National Aviation Hall of Fame)

Transport Heroes: The Pioneers of Aviation (Nationwide Auto Transport)

Women In Aviation and Space History (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)