This 30,000-mile pole-to-pole flight, known as the Crossroads Flight, broke multiple records, and he made the first solo flight over Antarctica. He was the first to fly solo from Antarctica to Australia. At the end of the flight, a month after he started, he was met at the runway by 200 people, including his neighbor, former child star Shirley Temple.
After one honor in Paris, his wife joined him for the banquet. After much champagne that evening, he was back in his fancy Parisian hotel, giddy and grateful. "Aviation had been very kind to me," he told his wife. He wanted to give back to the field. But how? Marie K. Long was Elgen Long's loyal and unsalaried promoter and very press-savvy, and she had an idea.
What about once and for all determining how Amelia Earhart's disappeared? Hadn't he said he was appalled at the nonsense being bandied about? Wasn't he the most qualified man for this job?
Was she joking?
Of course not! Long was trained the same way as a navigator back in the day, celestial navigation. He'd had the training that Noonan had, to been taught to think like him, plus his crash investigation history. He had been a fearless pilot who wanted to break records like Amelia. His mindset and skillset matched what Amelia and Fred had been doing, and he was uniquely positioned to figure things out. As a pilot, he could also fly anywhere in the world to interview people.
And he did.
Before the lights went out in Paris, he was sold on his wife's idea. His decision couldn't come at a better time. The peak of the nonsense was a recent book by Joe Klaas that claimed Amelia Earhart was alive and living in Monroe, New Jersey, as Mrs. Guy Bolam. As they explained: Her life had been bartered by Japan so Emperor Hirohito would not be tried as a war criminal. A photo of Amelia in a kimono was included as part of Klaas's evidence, captioned: "Amelia Earhart being served in a Japanese tearoom."
“Until you are out there in the heat and the equatorial sun, it is impossible to realize just how vast the Pacific is. ”
Over five decades, Goerner was the first of many "serious amateur Earhart investigators" who Long would battle, and he was the one who has earned the most respect of the top aviation experts in the country. Long’s credibility was enormous, and he was the leading spokesperson for the theory of reason. The leading aviation museum directors and experts try not to go on record bashing individuals. They find that unseemly and have often been told not to do so. Still, off the record, they gush about Long’s work.