70-five years ago on July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished during an attempt to fly around the world.
In honour of Earhart’s disappearance, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), in partnership with FedEx, has launched an underwater search off a remote island in the South Pacific in hopes of recovering any surviving aircraft wreckage.
The search was prompted by a photograph from 1937 (shown below) that appears to show the landing gear of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra aircraft sticking out of the water on a reef off of Nikumaroro.
According to TIGHAR:
Aircraft debris reportedly found and used by island residents in later years, and aircraft parts found by TIGHAR in the abandoned village strongly suggest that the aircraft broke up in the relatively shallow surf zone. No large components (engines, main beam, etc.) seem to have washed ashore, nor has any debris been seen during scuba-depth surveys of the reef slope. This expedition will test the hypothesis that the more massive parts of the aircraft traveled down the reef slope and came to rest in, as yet, unexplored depths.
The expedition ship, loaded with 29,000 pounds of underwater search equipment, will leave Honolulu tomorrow for Nikumaroro. It’s expected to return on July 27.
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