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Amelia Earhart's plane found? Sonar images may have pinpointed wreckage

Amelia Earhart's plane found? Sonar images may have pinpointed wreckage

By Rossella Lorenzi

Published May 29, 2013

Discovery News

A grainy sonar image captured off an uninhabited tropical island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati might represent the remains of the Electra, the two-engine aircraft legendary aviator Amelia Earhart was piloting when she vanished on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

Released by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating Earhart's last, fateful flight, the images show an "anomaly" resting at the depth of about 600 feet in the waters off Nikumaroro island, some 350 miles southeast of Earhart's target destination, Howland Island.

According to TIGHAR researchers, the sonar image shows a strong return from a narrow object roughly 22 feet long oriented southwest/northeast on the slope near the base of an underwater cliff. Shadows indicate that the object is higher on the southwest (downhill side). A lesser return extends northeastward for about 131 feet.

"It is truly an anomaly, and when you're looking for man-made objects against a natural background, anomalies are good," he added.

A number of artifacts recovered by TIGHAR during 10 expeditions have suggested that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, made a forced landing on the island's smooth, flat coral reef. Gillespie and his team believe the two became castaways and eventually died there.

There's a ton of fascinating information on the site, and lots of photos.


Asked by Ballad at 1:45 AM on May. 31, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I need to research this more. I've read a ton on Amelia Earhart and would love to know if this is actually her plane.
    I would be excited if it is!

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 1:50 AM on May. 31, 2013

  • I read the article. Very interesting. I love stuff like this.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:54 AM on May. 31, 2013

  • That's so cool.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 8:32 AM on May. 31, 2013

  • Interesting.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:05 AM on May. 31, 2013

  • That will be cool if they finally solve the mystery of what happened to her

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:13 AM on May. 31, 2013