Watch Long-Lost Footage of Amelia Earhart Shortly Before She Vanished

In Depth

Here’s your chance to feast your eyes upon rare footage of Amelia Earhart, striking a pose shortly before her ill-fated final attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

The brief film captures Earhart’s game participation in a photo shoot, because hey, celebrity hasn’t changed that much in the last several decades. The AP reports the recently rediscovered footage was likely shot by John Bresnik, who accompanied his brother Al (Earhart’s official photographer) as he took several snaps before she set off from California. It sat around for decades before John’s son handed it over to the Paragon Agency, which is publishing a book, Amelia Earhart’s Last Photo Shoot, about her journey. (Anybody who buys the book can download the full video.) The AP says:

“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 because he’s in it.
So is Earhart, 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, clambers on top to pose for still photos and occasionally grins broadly, something she rarely did in her official photos.

Now, there’s some debate over whether this footage was actually shot right before she set off on her final journey in May. Richard Gillespie of the International Group For Historic Aircraft Recovery thinks it’s actually from her March 1937 attempt, when she made it to Hawaii but had to quit and try again. Either way, it’s a rare find and a glimpse at another side of Earhart. Check it out:

Photo via AP Images.

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