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Fourth echelon

Washington man thinks he knows what happened to Amelia Earhart

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A $500,000 search operation will once again scour the Pacific island of Nikumaroro next month for signs of Amelia Earhart's plane. But if you ask Dick Spink, they're looking in the wrong place.

Spink, a high school teacher from Washington state, has spent $50,000 searching for Earhart's final landing spot on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands. National Geographic shares the casual origins of Spink's quest: While dining with Marshallese friends three years ago, Spink mentioned Earhart's July 1937 disappearance.

"She landed on our island, and my uncle watched her for two days," was the response he got. Intrigued, Spink kept asking others questions. "I heard a consistent story from too many people in the Marshalls to dismiss it," he says.



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