New Amelia Earhart Footage Unearthed, But It Doesn’t Capture Aviatress Before Doomed Flight

As researchers comb the Pacific island where she may have spent her final days, new footage of Amelia Earhart has emerged after 80 years in hiding.

The new footage was shot the same year she departed for her fateful flight, but whether or not it actually captures the pilot mere days before is up for interpretation, the New York Daily News reported.

Also under contention is who actually shot the grainy, three-and-a-half minute home movie. But many believe the brother of Al Bresnik — her personal photographer — is behind the camera. John Bresnik kept the 16-millimeter film on a shelf in his office for 80 years until his death in 1992.

His son, also John, inherited it, and kept it in his house another 20, though he isn’t 100 percent certain his father shot the footage, either.

“I didn’t even know what was on the film until my dad died and I took it home and watched it. It just always sat it in a plain box on a shelf in his office, and on the outside it said, ‘Amelia Earhart, Burbank Airport, 1937.’ “

This year, Bresnik contacted the Paragon Agency, ABC News reported. They are releasing a book, Amelia Earhart’s Last Photo Shoot, and those who buy it get a free download. The author and her publisher name John as the filmmaker and contend that it captures the famous aviatress mere days before she departed California for the flight that ended in tragedy and mystery.

“You see Albert on the ground with his big camera,” said the book’s author, Nicole Swinford. “He’s on his back and he’s shooting upwards towards Amelia and she’s, like, kind of towering over him, towards this plane. It’s how the world saw Amelia, as this heroine, and she was this sign of hope in the Great Depression.”

According to Swinford, the footage was recorded at Burbank Airport in May, 1937. It captures Earhart in a persona different from the one she usually maintained in her public life — she is casual and cheerful and dressed in a pantsuit, rather than her flight jacket. She shows people around her Lockheed Electra, poses for photos, hops into the cockpit, and strolls on the tarmac, CNN added. Her husband, George Putnam, and navigator, Fred Noonan, are seen nearby.

And the aviatress is smiling, which she didn’t often do in official photos.

“It shows a more feminine side of her,” Swinford noted.

As amazing as it would be for this brief home movie to document her final moments before vanishing in July, 1937, it most likely does not, claims a man who’s studied her for 30 years and is leading the expedition to finally answer a mystery that has reigned for nearly a century.

That man is Richard Gillespie, executive director of the International Group For Historic Aircraft Recovery, and while believes the new footage is legit, he thinks it was taken in March, not May, as those behind the release contend.

Earhart left for her first attempt to fly around the world in March, which ended when she crashed her Electra in Hawaii. It was repaired afterward. That is the tell-tale sign of the movie’s date, Gillespie asserts.

“You can tell from the way the airplane’s configured. The airplane as shown in the film is very clearly the pre-repaired airplane.”

And when she left for her second attempt in May, she departed with little fanfare. Richard doubts there was a photo shoot that time.

[Photo Courtesy of Getty Images]

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