I discovered Amy Johnson because a building with her name on it was recently torn down in Croydon. It was not a particularly interesting building, but so few buildings are named for women and I’d never heard of Johnson, so of course I was curious about who she was. And boy, the stuff I learned!
Turns out Johnson was a pioneering aviator, and the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia (she took off from an airfield in Croydon for that particular flight). But that’s only the beginning of her awesomeness and intrigue. From BBC Inside Out:
Amy Johnson’s daredevil flying exploits made her an icon of her age.
But her glamorous life and career tragically ended in a mysterious plane crash in 1941.
Some say Amy was involved in the seedy unofficial business of flying a spy out of the country. Rumour has it that this could be a German lover.
Some reckon Amy was shot down by British anti-aircraft guns. Others have claimed that German planes could have taken her down.
Others said the crash was an elaborate plan to fake her own death.
Adventure! Romance! Espionage! Nazis! Can you imagine how cool a movie about Amy Johnson could be? She was Amelia Earhart meets Indiana Jones. She even looks — in that photo cribbed from her Wikipedia entry — like a golden-age movie star. I see Thomas Kretschmann as the German lover!
I’m in love with this movie already.
What little-known stories from where you live would make a great movie?
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