Lost and found Amelia Earhart helmet sells for $825K
A helmet worn by aviator Amelia Earhart during a trans-Atlantic flight nearly a century ago fetched $825,000 Sunday, according to Texas-based Heritage Auctions.
Earhart was a passenger on that 1928 flight piloted by Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, where she became the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean. In 1932, the 34-year-old adventurer made history again by herself flying from Newfoundland, Canada, to Northern Ireland. No other female pilot had accomplished that feat. She disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a 1937 flight.
The leather flight cap that sold to an unidentified bidder also comes with a story that includes a lost, but found twist. Minnesota man Anthony Twiggs, who sold the helmet, said he inherited it from his mother when died more than 20 years ago. She was part of a crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, that swarmed Earhart after the aviator completed a 1929 race that had begun in California. Earhart’s helmet came off amid the celebration and was recovered by a boy who gave it to Twiggs’ mother, who was a schoolgirl at the time.
Twiggs, 67, spent decades trying to prove his mother’s recollection of events authenticated the helmet. Last fall, photo-matching technology showed that indeed the headgear belonged to Earhart.
He told the New York Times that his mom wasn’t impressed by the boy who tried earning her affection by giving her the helmet he’d acquired, though she was impressed by the artifact itself.
“My mother kept it for Amelia,” he said.
Earhart was declared dead in January of 1939. October marks the 100-year anniversary of her first aviation record, when she became the first woman to fly solo at an altitude above 14,000 feet.