Expert opinion sought to verify if Earhart landed in Taiping, says Perak exco member

IPOH: Discussions are still ongoing between the Perak Museum Board and related parties to check if famed woman aviator Amelia Earhart really landed in Taiping, says Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi.

“Since this involves historical fact, we will act accordingly," the Perak tourism and local government committee chairman told reporters after the closing ceremony of the geo-guides training programme here Sunday (Aug 14).

“We will seek the experts' opinion before (deciding on) any action.

"We might leave the mural in place with a disclaimer... but we are still discussing the matter."

ALSO READ: Amelia Earhart mural at centre of history dispute

She added that the Taiping Municipal Council had also done some fact-checking and found differing opinions on the issue.

"Painting over the mural will be a last resort," she said, referring to a 14.6m by 27.4m mural of Earhart on the wall of a shophouse in Taiping.

The mural was launched in 2019 and made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as “The Biggest Outdoor 3D Mural Painting”.

It bears the inscription “The first woman to fly solo around the world stopped to refuel at the Taiping aerodrome in Tekah on June 20, 1937.”

On July 23, history buffs disputed that Earhart made a stopover in Taiping, saying that instead, she landed at Singapore's Kallang airport to refuel.

ALSO READ: The trailblazing pioneer woman aviator who lived to fly

The "stopover" was during Earhart's attempt to fly around the world which began on June 1, 1937. She was accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan.

All contact was lost with Earhart on July 2, 1937 as she was flying from New Guinea towards tiny Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean to refuel.

Separately, Nolee said the porphyritic granite site at Gunung Bujang Melaka, Kampar is yet to be opened to the public due to safety issues.

“The site is located on privately-owned land and the facilities available at the site were only for the owner's use.

“After the place went viral people tried to enter the area, causing the owner to close it temporarily.

“The owner is also worried that if something were to happen to visitors, it might fall under their responsibility,” she said, adding that the Perak State Parks Corporation and the Mineral and Geoscience Department will be visiting the area.

“The local council and district officials have contacted us about it. Considering the uniqueness of the area, it can be a new geopark site. We will check the place first before deciding on anything,” she added.

On Aug 4, a 21-second video of the granite site went viral with many wanting to visit the area.

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