MADISON, WI (WMTV/CNN) – At 100, Curtis Knutson has a lifetime of memories.
“I was drafted April 15, 1941,” Knutson said.
In Jan. of 1943, he was stationed in New Guinea. There he met a man whose story has kept him wondering for years.
“Standing outside of the gateway was this native New Guinean and beside him, he was standing beside this big brown American style suitcase,” Knutson said.
He said seeing a suitcase in that area was unheard of so he asked the man where it was from.
“He said that suitcase belonged to Amelia Earhart,” Knutson said.
He said the man told him the day before he arrived that Earhart’s plane had crashed into the harbor of what was once known as Hollandia, New Guinea.
He said he believes after leaving in 1937, she turned around after her radio wasn’t working and went back to New Guinea where she became a Japanese prisoner of war.
He believes that she was released and took off the day before he arrived in 1943, but her plane had a mechanical issue and crashed into the harbor.
He shared this theory with the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.
They said it is unlikely, but he said that between the history channel’s documentary and what he’s researched, he’s most convinced by what he heard more than 70 years ago.
“I still think that if somebody wants Amelia Earhart’s plane, they should be able to find it in the harbor at Hollandia,” Knutson said.
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