She was larger than life, a pioneer who mesmerized the nation by challenging the male-dominated skies with skill, intelligence and panache. But in 1937, before her 40th birthday, Amelia Mary Earhart disappeared while trying to circumnavigate the globe. An episode of "Star Trek: Voyager" found Earhart in another galaxy, where she chose to remain instead of returning to Earth, as good an explanation of what happened as any; metaphorically, perhaps the best. Earhart was born in 1897 and spent the first 11 years living with her grandparents in Atchison, Kan. Her father, an unsuccessful lawyer, remained in Kansas City where he worked claims for a railroad. In 1908, Earhart joined her parents in Des Moines, Iowa, where she saw her first airplane. "It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting," she commented.