Film appears from before Amelia Earhart disappeared
Film appears from before Amelia Earhart disappeared Aviator Amelia Earhart with her Electra plane's propeller, taken by Albert Bresnik at Burbank Airport in Burbank, California (AP photos)
Film appears from before Amelia Earhart disappeared
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It was a clear spring day in 1937 when Amelia Earhart was ready to make history by flying around the world. She brought her personal photographer to a small Southern California airport to document the journey's beginning.

Al Bresnik took dozens of still photos. They included a few that have likely been seen by millions. His brother John, who tagged along, made a very dark, grainy 3.5-minute home movie almost nobody saw until now.

The film, "Amelia Earhart's Last Photo Shoot," is being released this month by The Paragon Agency publishing house. Included will be an 80-page book of the same name. It documents a journey that ended tragically short of the finish line when Earhart's plane vanished somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

A downloadable copy of the film is being provided to those who buy the book. Paragon publisher Doug Westfall said he eventually plans to donate the fragile original to an archive or museum. It was given to him by John Bresnik's son.

The film was taken with a 16-millimeter camera. It sat on a shelf in the office of his father for more than 50 years until his death in 1992, said Bresnik's son, also named John. After that, it sat in the younger man's home in Escondido, California, for about 20 more years.

"I didn't even know what was on the film until my dad died and I took it home and watched it," Bresnik said recently. "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.' "

He can't say with certainty that his father took the film, although he knows his uncle didn't. That's because he's in it.

So is Earhart. She is looking jaunty and more playful than the public persona she sometimes projected. Dressed in a smart pantsuit rather than her standard flight jacket, she shows people around the plane. She clambers on top to pose for still photos and occasionally grins broadly, something she rarely did in her official photos.

"It shows a more feminine side of her," says Nicole Swinford. She wrote the accompanying book.

Like all things Earhart, it comes with controversy.

Richard Gillespie, executive director of the International Group For Historic Aircraft Recovery, said the film is obviously authentic. But he believes it was taken in March 1937 and not in May, as Swinford concludes.

It was in March that Earhart made her first attempt to become the first woman to circle Earth when she left from California. She only got as far as Hawaii. There, she crashed her twin-engine Electra L-10E on takeoff. The plane had to be shipped home for repairs.

"You can tell from the way the airplane's configured," said Gillespie. He has studied Earhart for nearly 30 years. "The airplane as shown in the film is very clearly the pre-repaired airplane."

Whatever the date of the photo shoot, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, left what's now known as Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on May 21, 1937, for a second try. This time they headed east. Gillespie doubts there was a photo shoot before that flight. That's because she left quietly that time.

Earhart and Noonan were about two-thirds through their journey when they left New Guinea on July 2 for Howland Island. It is a tiny speck of land in the Pacific, midway between Australia and Hawaii. In one of her last radio transmissions, the pilot said she thought they were near but couldn't see the island. And they were low on fuel.

The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Earhart was one of the most recognizable celebrities of her time. And Westfall acknowledged that plenty of people may have taken her photo during stops on that trip.

But this appears to be the final film heralding her departure from California on the first leg of what would be her final flight.

"Then she left us forever," Westfall said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why might this sentence not be true: This appears to be the final film heralding her departure from California on the first leg of what would be her final flight.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/film-appears-amelia-earhart-disappeared/

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COMMENTS (27)
  • MaxRen
    6/19/2015 - 11:08 a.m.

    This is one of the coolest articles I have seen. Footage from before Amelia Earhart disappeared? So awesome. It is amazing what historical things can be found.

  • Bluegirl01234
    6/23/2015 - 09:52 a.m.

    I think that it is impressive to be the first women to go all around the Pacific ocean... And she did it solo And she is one of the most recognizable cleberties of her time I'm Impressed

  • meghangracehaney
    6/23/2015 - 10:00 a.m.

    Do you know that she did crash and people don't know.all the facts and that some of this could be not real. And that people might be lieing.

  • Bluegirl01234
    6/23/2015 - 10:41 a.m.

    That is true because I think that it did menshion that she had crashed if not then they should menshion that because that was an vary important part in her life

  • Bluegirl01234
    6/23/2015 - 10:41 a.m.

    That is true because I think that it did menshion that she had crashed if not then they should menshion that because that was an vary important part in her life

  • Estella-Par
    6/23/2015 - 09:04 p.m.

    This story talks about how Amelia Earhart tried to fly solo around the world. She disappeared and crashed in the Pacific Ocean never to be seen again. This story is telling people that a video of her final flight was taped. I thought about the 'Critical Thinking Challenge' and I thought about my answer so here it is, I think that sentence may not be true because maybe she survived the crash. That would be amazing! Amelia Earhart could still be alive today! Or it could mean that that was her first attempt to go around the world. I think this story was very interesting and made me think more about the possibility's of what could have happened to Amelia Earhart.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    7/06/2015 - 09:02 p.m.

    I think that it is wonderful for Al Bresnik to have taken dozens of pictures of Amelia Earhart who has vanished. I think that Amelia Earhart was an amazing person to have wanted to fly around the world since I think that traveling is exciting. From shown evidence that Al Bresnik's film is authentic, I think that Al Bresnik is considered to be legendary since he was able to make a film about a missing person.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why might this sentence not be true: This appears to be the final film heralding her departure from California on the first leg of what would be her final flight.
    Answer: This sentence may not be true since other people might be making a similar film heralding her departure from California to her final flight.

  • GrantBRed
    7/09/2015 - 08:53 p.m.

    Matt is take us to swimming at Jon and Michelle house for fun. Mom is stay home Grant and Todd play Basket Ball at my house, Katrina is watch Grant tomorrow Morning at 9:00am. Dad going to work tomorrow at 7:30am Josh Birthday tomorrow night at 6:30pm. Grant is looking at the phantom of the opera movie on Netflix long time ago on May 1st 2015 Grant is running tomorrow night at 6:45pm.
    Matt is done at work now at 6:00pm. Brenna Is done work for hospital that's true Becky Grant going to work tomorrow at Chase with Matt at 11:00am. Grant come about 12:39pm. Grant back to work Grant took a half day 1:45pm. Grant done off work Grant going to Thurston High School on Monday July 13,2015.

  • GrantBRed
    7/16/2015 - 05:20 p.m.

    April,
    Brenna is right cancel speech Grant going in the talent show at 9:00am Grant is sing and dance Katrina watch Grant and Josh and Brenna. Bye April E-mail for Grant. I see you on Thursday. at 11:00am?

  • Luisv-Der
    7/20/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    I agree with you Bluegirlo1234. That is impressive that she went solo around the pacific ocean. she was probably tired. I am so impressed that she did it.

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