Sunday, July 16, 2017

Still Looking

Depending on who you listen to, Amelia Earhart has been found. Okay, not so much Amelia as clues to her whereabouts after she went missing in 1937. If you've ever complained about a flight of yours being late, imagine a delay of eighty years. I suppose her estate is due some free drink tokens and an upgrade to first class in perpetuity. The History Channel would like us to know that Ms. Earhart probably ended her days in Japanese custody on the island of Saipan. Which is a tragedy, and a relief. Probably more of a relief at this point, since all the possible fates she might have faced were mostly on a par with being held prisoner: crash and burn, eaten by sharks, and so on. The relief comes from knowing the end of the story.
If this really is the end. If she wasn't a spy. Or if she lived. Or whatever potential circumstances that have not as yet received their full History Channel treatment. If the Earhart file can now be closed, what and whom do we have left to settle with? Every so often, D.B. Cooper climbs to the top of the list of Persons Gone Missing. You remember D.B.? He wasn't flying a plane, but he was on a plane that he was hijacking back in 1971. Until he suddenly wasn't. He jumped out, with a parachute and two hundred thousand dollars ransom. And was never seen again. Eaten by bears? Swallowed up by the jet's engines? Inspiration for Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper? A year ago, the FBI closed the active investigation of the case, but they will still take any physical evidence that might lead to a conclusion to this mystery.
So how about Jimmy Hoffa? The former head of the AFL-CIO disappeared a few weeks after millions of dollars from the Teamster's pension fund did the very same thing. The happiest version of this story has Jimmy taking his ill-gotten gains and heading off to some tropical destination where he opened a school for local children staffed by expats not unlike himself. Or he was killed in some very messy way and disposed of in some even messier way. Buried in some shallow grave? Or in the end zone of Giants Stadium? Or maybe he's still alive?
That would be something.
And working for The History Channel.  

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