Another possible breakthrough comes in the search for Amelia Earharts

Another possible breakthrough comes in the search for Amelia Earhart’s plane – 86 years after the plane disappeared: report – New York Post


September 2, 2023 | 9:45 p.m

Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan (right) pose next to their aircraft with gold miner FC Jacobs shortly before their ill-fated final flight in 1937. AP

There’s a new lead in the nearly nine-decade search for Amelia Earhart’s plane, which disappeared without a trace in 1937 during her ill-fated attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the world.

A photo from a 2009 Pacific Ocean expedition around Nikumaroro Island – a remote atoll between New Zealand and Hawaii – appears to show an engine cover buried underwater that may have been part of the groundbreaking flying aircraft, the Chron reported on Saturday.

“There is an object visible in the photo that appears to be a Lockheed Electra engine cowling,” Ric Gillespie, executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), told the outlet.

A forensic imaging specialist is analyzing the photo, said Gillespie, whose group has led the Earhart Project since 1988, which investigates the 1937 disappearance of Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan.

Amelia Earhart, seen before taking off from Lae, New Guinea, on July 2, 1937, en route to Howland Island. She never arrived. EPA experts are analyzing a photo taken near a remote Pacific island that appears to show an engine cover buried underwater, hoping it could be linked to Earhart’s plane. AP

“The resemblance to an engine cowling and propeller shaft was not noticed until years later and the exact location was not known at the time, meaning attempts to locate the object again were unsuccessful,” Gillespie added.

If the tests show that the engine cover came from Earhart’s twin-engine Lockheed Model 10E Special Electra, that wouldn’t explain why the plane crashed into the sea – but it would disprove Gillespie’s theory that Earhart and Noonan landed on Nikumaroro and eventually died.

To support their stance, Gillespie’s group cites the locations of transmissions they believed could only have been sent by her, as well as a 1937 photo of the coast in which the group believes Electra’s undercarriage can be seen could be.

A year after the disaster, Britain colonized the island and new arrivals reported seeing parts of airplanes, glass bottles from the 1930s and bones at the remains of a campfire that researchers believed belonged to a woman of Earhart’s stature, according to National Geographic could come from.

However, no hard evidence was ever found that the duo landed on the uninhabited atoll.

The most recent “big breakthrough” came late last year, when scientists at Penn State’s Radiation Science and Engineering Center found never-before-seen letters on a metal plate recovered from the island in 1991.

A possible lead in the case emerged last year when investigators found rivets in a metal plate recovered from Nikumaroro Island in the 1990s. However, it later emerged that the artifact was likely the ruins of a World War II aircraft.Portal

The panel had rivet punctures similar to those found on Earhart’s plane, but were later determined by experts to be “not an exact match” and likely part of the ruins of a World War II plane that crashed several years later.

The official US position, according to National Geographic, is that the plane ran out of fuel en route to Howland Island and crashed into the sea.

Howland Island is about 400 miles from Nikumaroro Island and was supposed to be Earhart’s final refueling stop before flying to California and completing her historic 29,000-mile journey.

Large-scale expeditions into the waters surrounding the tiny island failed to find any evidence of her aircraft.

A third theory was that Earhart and Noonan landed in the Marshall Islands and were held hostage by the Japanese.

Some followers of this conspiracy theory believe that they eventually returned to the United States under assumed names.

Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and set a world altitude record of 18,415 feet in 1931.

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