Amelia Earhart and the unsolved mystery surrounding her fate could be on the verge of resolution. Researchers believe they have finally located a section of Earhart’s lost plane. An aluminum sheet could be the patch that once covered a window on Earhart’s plane, according to reports. The debris was originally found and recovered in 1991 on Nikumaroro Island and dismissed by experts. However, new photographic evidence has suggested that the debris could in fact be a segment of the famed aviator’s plane, Electra.
Earhart was a woman ahead of her time. A famed female aviator, recording-setting, and groundbreaking American pilot, as well as the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. On July 2, 1937, while attempting a flight around the world via the equator, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Her disappearance and ultimate fate remains one of the world’s great unsolved mysteries. Following her disappearance, many researchers and fans have devoted countless hours trying to determine what happened to her. Alas, her plane, Electra, was never found and so the mystery remained.
Recently, new evidence related to the famed aviator has emerged that suggests the previously recovered and dismissed debris is in fact a section of Amelia Earhart’s plane. The new evidence lies within a recently discovered photograph of the female aviator from her stopover in Miami during her 1937 flight. According to researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which is a non-profit organization, the picture depicts a navigational window near the tail of Earhart’s plane was patched during her stay. According to experts, it was an improvised repair, so it did not match the rest of the plane. Therefore, that detail is the very reason the patch was dismissed after its initial discovery in 1991.
If the article is proven to be a section of Electra, researchers contend it supports the idea that Earhart landed on the island following her disappearance in 1937 and subsequently died from starvation on the island 77 years ago.
Once the Miami photograph of the famed aviator resurfaced, the previously recovered debris was viewed in an entirely different light. Once dismissed by experts, researchers now contend the aluminum sheet is as unique to the Electra as a fingerprint is to an individual.
According to researchers, the legitimacy of the debris lies in its dimensions, composition, and rivet patterns. They are said to be a match to those depicted in the recently located Miami photo. Moreover, the fact that the aluminum sheet was found on Nikumaroro Island provides additional evidence for the theory that Earhart and Fred Noonan, who was the famed aviator’s navigator, could have landed safely on the island, yet ultimately starved to death.
However, there are a number of theories related to Earhart and the unsolved mystery surrounding her fate. Some have suggested that the plane ran out of fuel mid-flight and it crashed into the Pacific Ocean, while others have speculated her plane was forced down by the Japanese around the Marshall Islands.
Now that it is believed a recovered section of Amelia Earhart’s plane has been located, Richard Gillespie, a researcher at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery who has spent 26 years investigating the famed aviator’s crash, wants to return to Nikumaroro Island to look for the rest of the plane. The debris was originally found and recovered in 1991 on the island. Moreover, another researcher has reported spotting something unusual in the sonar imagery of the island, and theorizes it is worth further investigation. The researchers contend the new research on the debris may reinforce the possibility that the anomaly is the rest of Earhart’s Electra aircraft.
By Leigh Haugh
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