On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished during an attempt to fly around the world.
70-five years later, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, or TIGHAR, is dedicated to solving the disappearance of “Lady Lindy.” In July 2012, the organisation launched an underwater expedition near a remote island in the South Pacific called Nikumaroro in hopes of recovering aircraft wreckage.
The search was prompted by a photo taken three months after Earhart disappeared, which, according to TIGHAR, appeared to show the landing gear of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra plane sticking out of the water on a reef off of Nikumaroro.
The multi-million dollar expedition, which ended early due to rough seas and equipment issues, was initially deemed a failure since no wreckage was found. But the team did return with several hours of high-definition video.
Now, based on a preliminary review of the footage, TIGHAR says it has identified “a scattering of man-made objects on the reef slope off the west end of Nikumaroro” that resemble the objects in the 1937 photo. Meaning this “debris field” could be pieces of Earhart’s plane.
Though TIGHAR’s Executive Director Ric Gillespie says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
“We don’t want to oversell this. It’s more evidence. It is where it should be, and that is encouraging,” Gillespie told Reuters’ Malia Mattoch McManus. “If it does appear to be aeroplane wreckage, it becomes figuring out how to go back and look at it.”
Below: Arrows point to possible remnants from Earhart’s plane in a screenshot from the underwater video.
(Click to enlarge).
Photo: Discovery News/TIGHAR
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