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Adventure Amelia: A Conversation with Explorers in the Search for Amelia Earhart

Held at the Fox Theatre Atchison during the annual Amelia Earhart Festival, ADVENTURE AMELIA offers you the opportunity to hear first-hand from explorers and experts dedicated to uncovering the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her Lockheed Electra 10-E.

The discussion will be moderated by Dorothy Cochrane, Curator, Aeronautics Department, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Featured panelists include:

This program is open to the public free of charge, courtesy of The Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum. Space is limited and registration is required.

Get ready to be inspired by the panelists’ stories, discoveries, and expert takes. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to delve into the world of history, exploration and discovery!

SPONSORSHIPS: Sponsorship opportunities are available! Contact Maggie Collins at maggie@howestreetgroup.com if you or your company would like to support the Museum in making these programs possible.  

MEDIA INQUIRIES: For media interested in covering the programs or scheduling interviews, please contact Vanessa@VCommunications.LLC or call 913.980.3167.

Additional Information

On July 2, 1937, the world heard from Amelia Earhart for the last time. She and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared during her attempt to circumnavigate the world. In the final stages of completing the record-breaking flight, Amelia, Fred and the Lockheed Electra 10-E aircraft vanished over the Pacific Ocean — becoming one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

Since then, many explorers have unsuccessfully attempted to locate Amelia and the airplane she was piloting. A new discovery announced in January 2024 by Deep Sea Vision, a marine robotics company, has captured the world’s attention and has some believing Amelia’s plane may have at last been found.

Deep Sea Vision, founded by featured panelist Tony Romeo, scanned more than 5,200 square miles of the Pacific Ocean floor with a 16-person crew, using an advanced unmanned underwater drone, before finding what could be the legendary American aviator’s Lockheed Electra 10-E.

This program, hosted by the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, will take place during the Amelia Earhart Festival (July 18 – 20). The Festival, held every year on the third weekend in July, is the annual celebration of Amelia’s birthday in her hometown of Atchison, Kansas.

Program Moderator


Dorothy Cochrane Curator, Aeronautics Department – Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Dorothy Cochrane is a curator in the Aeronautics Division of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. She is responsible for the Museum’s collections of general aviation aircraft and flight materiel, aerial cameras, and the history of women in aviation.

The co-author of The Aviation Careers of Igor Sikorsky, Dorothy has written about Amelia Earhart, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, women in aviation and general aviation. Cochrane is the curator for the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery and the Thomas W. Haas We All Fly aviation gallery at the National Air and Space Museum, as well as exhibits at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

She earned her private pilot license in 1994 and is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Featured Panelists


Tony Romeo, J.D. CEO, Deep Sea Vision

Tony Romeo was born and raised in Forks, Washington, and attended the U.S. Air Force Academy where he graduated #1 in the military order of merit. He served as an Air Force Intelligence officer before entering the private sector. After the Air Force, Tony launched a software start-up which was sold and eventually acquired by Zillow. In 2016 he went back to school to get his law degree and license. Following a few years in contract litigation and real estate investing, Tony decided to launch Deep Sea Vision, a marine robotics company specializing in deep ocean exploration. With this career move, Tony became an owner of one of the most advanced underwater drones, a HUGIN 6000, and the leader of a small team with a passion for exploring and solving ocean mysteries.

As founder and CEO of Deep Sea Vision, Tony aims to bring closure to the mystery about what happened to Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, when they vanished over the Pacific Ocean in her Lockheed Electra 10-E aircraft. His company is also planning an expedition to the Indian Ocean in search of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 aircraft. Tony lives in Charleston, South Carolina with his wife and two young children – who, unfortunately, are not quite old enough yet to join him on an expedition.


Lloyd Romeo Project Manager, Deep Sea Vision

Lloyd Romeo is originally from Long Island, New York. Having grown up with a father who was a pilot for PanAm, Lloyd lived in Japan, Egypt, Yugoslavia, and Hong Kong.

Lloyd received his pilot’s license at age 20. He earned an Aeronautics Degree from Farmingdale SUNY and later studied MicroComputer Engineering at the University of California at Irvine. Lloyd retired in 2022 after 35 years of service as a Controls Engineer at Opto 22, an industrial controls company.

Lloyd lives in Temecula, California, where he enjoys his hobby of building and flying radio control airplanes. Fascinated with exploring the ocean, Lloyd also enjoys adventures on land, including climbing Mt. Fuji and hikes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Rod BlocksomeNauticos Explorer and Radio Communication Expert

Rod Blocksome has extensive experience in the search for Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10-E, including 25 years of research and analysis for Nauticos LLC, a deep ocean exploration company. He has participated in three search expeditions in the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island in 2002, 2006 and 2017, and expects to return for a fourth.

In 2020, Rod led the replication and measurement of Earhart’s radio transmissions and reception over the Atlantic Ocean with Dynamic Aviation, an aerospace company in Bridgewater, Virginia.

Growing up on a western Kansas wheat farm, Rod became interested in radio communications in high school before attending Kansas State University where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a Communications-Electronics Officer during the Vietnam Era. In 2010, Rod retired from Rockwell Collins, an aerospace manufacturing company, where his 42-year career included communications equipment design, systems engineering and engineering management.

Gary LaPook Navigation Consultant, The Stratus Project

Based in California, Gary LaPook has been interested in the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her plane since the 1990s and his expertise in diverse fields is invaluable to the search. Gary learned celestial navigation in the 1960s and is an experienced pilot of over 30 years. In the 1980s he became a practicing solicitor, working for a firm that specialized in aircraft crashes.

As a navigation consultant with The Stratus Project, a U.K. based search for Amelia’s plan, Gary is considered the most knowledgeable and experienced celestial navigator in the world today. His expertise offers an invaluable perspective in the search for Amelia’s Lockheed Electra 10-E and the unique challenges faced by Earhart’s navigator, Fred Noonan.

Liz SmithDate Line Theory Expert and Documentary Producer

Liz Smith is a seasoned documentary producer and science writer. With over 20 years in the field, she’s known for her work on the PBS ocean science TV series, Changing Seas, for which she’s received three Regional EMMY Awards.

With more than a cumulative year at sea, Liz has sailed aboard research vessels in the Pacific, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Gulf of Mexico. She has explored and documented 2,000-year-old Greek and Roman shipwrecks, searched for Amelia’s Lockheed Electra 10-E aircraft, assisted with search and recovery operations off the coast of Syria, and worked with ocean explorer Dr. Robert Ballard to bring live feeds from the deep sea into the classroom.

Liz began her career as an Astrophysics TV Producer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Astronomy and a Master of Fine Arts in Science and Natural History Filmmaking. She is a Fulbright Specialist, member of MENSA, and holds certifications as a scuba diver, single-engine private pilot, and NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute EMT. She was also a scholarship recipient and member of the San Diego chapter of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots co-founded by Amelia Earhart.

With Gratitude to our Sponsors

Event Details: At a Glance


July 19
11:00 am – 12:30 pm


Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum
View Organizer Website


Fox Theatre Atchison

612 Commercial Street

Atchison, Kansas 660002