Yet More Compelling Evidence That Amelia Earhart’s Plane Has Been Found

Researchers close in on Amelia Earharts missing plane
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A few weeks back a team of researchers shared interesting new evidence that they believe reveals the location of Amelia Earhart’s missing plane. The team, who are all members of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), showed sonar readings that indicate a man-made object had been found off the coast of a remote island in the South Pacific that is believed to be a possible final resting place for the famous aviator and her co-pilot. Since then, the sonar readings have been examined in greater detail and the results are even more compelling than previously thought.

While the early sonar readings seemed promising the data was incomplete due to what are known as “ping drops.” Ping drops occur when the sonar receiver fails to pick up all of the returned signals due to environmental issues or equipment error. This results in missing data that can be lacking in detail. To get a more complete look at the object they had found, the TIGHAR team turned over their data to Honolulu-based Oceanic Imaging Consultants. OIC took that information and processed it on their own specialized systems, filling in the missing “pings” where they could. When the data was further analyzed they discovered that the object in question looks surprisingly like the fuselage of a Lockheed Electra aircraft, the very plane that Earhart was piloting when she went missing.The mystery of what happened to Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan has been the subject of speculation for decades. Back in 1937, flying around the world was still a dangerous endeavor and crossing the Pacific Ocean was no small hurdle to pass. When they went missing, Earhart was in radio contact with Howland Island where she had hoped to take on fuel. The plane never arrived at that tiny outpost, however, and the search for Amelia and Fred has been on pretty much ever since.

Over the years, members of TIGHAR formed a theory that Earhart was off course when she made radio contact with Howland and wasn’t anywhere near her intended destination. They believe that she was much closer to the island of Nikumaroro, which is part of the Republic of Kiribati. Those theories proved to have some merit when a jar of anti-freckle cream was discovered on Nikumaroro a few years back. The cream was a brand that Erhart was known to use and was consistent with the era in which she lived.

That discovery prompted an expedition to the island last summer to search for further clues. At the time, the team was confident they would find the Electra aircraft sitting in a lagoon just off shore. Bad weather and poor sea conditions hampered their efforts, however, and they came away with no new evidence to support their claims.

It wasn’t until they returned home and began to pour through all of the data they had collected that the sonar image finally revealed itself. The discovery of this strange and unexplained object on the ocean floor has given them hope that they are on the right track to discovering Erhart’s final destination. With that in mind, the team is hoping to raise funds to return to Nikumaroro once more with the intention of solving this 76-year-old mystery once and for all.

Researchers Believe They Have Found Amelia Earhart’s Plane

Amelia Earhart's plane may have been found in the South Pacific
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A team of researchers who visited a remote island in the South Pacific last summer believe that they may have discovered the final resting place of Amelia Earhart’s plane. The team, which is part of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), say that one of their sonar readings taken during a visit to Nikumaroro, an island that is part of the Republic of Kiribati, reveals an object that is roughly the same size and shape of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra aircraft. The object is resting on a coral reef approximately 600 feet beneath the surface of the ocean.

The mystery of what happened to Earhart and her copilot Fred Noonan has been a matter of speculation since they went missing on July 2, 1937. The two aviators were attempting to circumnavigate the globe around the Equator when they apparently ran out of fuel and went down somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. They were en route to Howland Island at the time and radio broadcasts from Earhart seemed to indicate that she was lost and unable to find their destination, which was to have provided fuel to help complete their Pacific crossing.

Last year, TIGHAR sent a search team to Nikumaroro with the hopes of finding some clues as to what had become of Earhart and Noonan. Artifacts found on that island indicated that they may have crashed there and survived for some time as castaways. The team believed that Earhart had set her plane down on a coral reef and that they would find it submerged in a lagoon not far off shore. Their efforts to find the aircraft were hampered by rough seas, bad weather and rugged terrain, however, and the expedition actually ended early with the team thinking they had come up empty.But after returning home and analyzing the data from sonar readings obtained by remotely piloted underwater vehicles, they now believe they may have come across an important clue. From all of the readings that they gathered, only one shows anything of promise. Data from that reading indicates that there is a debris field that would be consistent with parts from an aircraft that extended for 130 feet across the reef. That debris ends at an object approximately 22 feet in length that is in the correct location for where the researchers expected the plane to be found. They say that it is “definitely not a rock,” indicating that whatever is down there is not of natural origins.

Whether or not the object they have found on radar is actually the missing Lockheed Electra remains a mystery. The TIGHAR team says they would like to go back out to search the area to determine just what it is that they’ve found. The expedition may have to wait, however, as it is estimated that it will cost $3 million to fund the search. For now, we’ll all just have to continue to speculate.