Amelia Earhart, Morph

23 Mar

Amelia Earhart – the ex US First Lady and current Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is behind a new attempt to discover what happened to the most famous female aviator of all-time.

Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and disappeared with her navigator Fred Noonan almost 75 years ago while trying to become the first woman to fly around the world.

The new bid to solve one of the biggest mysteries of all-time has been sparked by analysis of a photo from the time of her disappearance which appears to show the strut and wheel of Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra aircraft sticking out of the water by a reef close to the shore of the island of Nikumaroro. The island was previously known as Gardner Island and is now part of the island nation of the Republic of Kiribati.

A few years ago a search of the island discovered a broken mirror from a woman’s compact, US bottles and parts of a pocket knife. Add to this the fact that the New Zealand military found 2 sets of human remains, one male one female, in 1941 and the evidence is really starting to mount that this may be where Earhart and Noonan crashed after they took off from Lae in eastern New Guinea on 02 July 1937.

The latest suspected crash site is some 200 odd miles south of the pair’s destination of Howland Island. The new bid to solve the mystery of Earhart’s disappearance has come from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). They met with Clinton earlier this week to discuss the privately funded $500k mission.

The new bid to solve the mystery will be officially launched this June and the mystery of her disappearance has been described by Robert Ballard, the man who found the wreck of the Titanic in 1985,as such: “If you ever want a case of finding a needle in a haystack, this is the top of the list.”

Morph – the children’s tv classic from the 70’s & 80’s is to make a return.

The animated Plasticine man will appear in a one-off special made by Aardman Animations for CBBC. Ricky’s Radical Reinventions will feature animator Ricky Martin showing children how things can be made using many of the everyday objects around their homes. The programme will be concerned with sound and shows how a loudspeaker can be made from some unlikely objects.

Morph turns up as he and his cousin Chas are living in the back of Ricky’s van and they both soon get into the act by building an extra-large sound system using balloons, magnets and some cardboard.

Seeing the Plasticine duo will probably be quite nostalgic for many parents and maybe grandparents of today’s children. Morph first appeared in 1977 with the late great Tony Hart who sadly died in 2009. Morph appeared on his own in the first few episodes but was then joined by the rather more badly behaved Chas for the rest of his appearances. His most recent appearance on UK tv screens was when he had a brief cameo in Ashes to Ashes in 2009.

Morph was always closely linked in the public’s mind with Tony Hart and in a tribute to the artist after his death there was a flashmob of Morph characters outside the Tate Modern.

The executive producer for Aardman said of the new programme: “It’s so exciting for us to team up Morph and Chas, Aardman’s first and original creations by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, with a brand new young and exciting talent like Ricky Martin, who Aardman took on as a graduate from Bristol’s UWE.”

The Morph special will first show on CBBC this Monday (26 March) at 6.15pm.

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