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Due to family problems, she sold her airplane in 1924 and moved back East, where she took employment as a social worker.
Four years later, she returned to aviation bought an Avro Avian airplane and became the first woman to make a solo-return transcontinental flight.
TIGHAR contends that higher-order harmonics of the primary frequencies enabled the “accidental” reception of Earhart’s transmissions at greater distances, since those higher-frequency signals would be more prone to ionospheric propagation.
Reports came from the Pacific and the continental US, but poor reception appears to have precluded efforts to pin down the downed plane’s coordinates, although Earhart did report that she was on the 157°/337° track to Howland and down “on an uncharted island” that was “small, uninhabited.” The radio transmissions became progressively more desperate, with Earhart reporting that Noonan was injured and subsequently delirious.
From then on, she continued to set and break her own speed and distance records, in competitive events, as well as personal stunts promoted by her husband George Palmer Putnam.
Earhart's name became a household word in 1932 when she became the first woman--and second person--to fly solo across the Atlantic, on the fifth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's feat, flying a Lockheed Vega from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Ireland.
The commander of the US Coast Guard vessel Itasca, which was involved in the search, discounted the contemporary radio reception reports, saying that all available land areas had been searched.
He expressed doubt that Earhart and Noonan had made any radio transmissions at all after the plane disappeared on July 2, 1937.
In July 1937, a young teenager named Betty Klenck, listening to short-wave bands on her family’s radio, intercepted and transcribed pleas for help that TIGHAR calls “a remarkable record of perhaps the last communication” from Earhart and Noonan and “leave little doubt” that the 15-year-old heard a genuine distress call from the pair, transmitted from the aircraft Electra.
Klenck’s notebook, discovered in 2000, inspired TIGHAR’s effort to catalog all reception reports.