Despite a flurry of reporting to the contrary, the mystery of Earhart’s final resting place has not been — and may never be — solved. NYU WIRELESS founder Ted Rappaport recently discussed the subject with snopes.com.
Rappaport is an expert in wireless communication and an engineering professor at New York University and is also an active amateur radio operator who communicates around the world using high frequencies (HF) close to those used by Earhart. He told us: “It is possible that her transmission could have traveled for 1,000 to 2,000 miles or even more into darkness, or along the sunlight/darkness boundary, but the distance into the daylight direction would have been much smaller, on the order of 100-200 miles.” If she was transmitting using voice modulation, he says, the distances would be only slightly smaller than if she was transmitting Morse code.
This would suggest she was within 200 miles, probably closer, to Howland when their gas was “running low.” Indeed, the Coast Guard assumed based on their radio communication with her that she went down in a sector between 40 miles and 200 miles from Howland Island.