Amelia Earhart’s Plane Actually Spotted in 2010, Claims Lawsuit

    June 12, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Famed aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart never completed her 1937 circumnavigation attempt, and her disappearance has continually been one of the most-discussed events of the 20th century. To this day people continue to be fascinated with her story, and it has led to plenty of speculation and conspiracy theories.

And it’s not just talk that surrounds Earhart’s fateful flight. There are still active searches being performed – crews looking for the wreckage, looking to put a cap on the historic event.

Now, the organizers of one such search are facing a lawsuit from a man who says he was conned into paying for additional search missions, even though the wreckage had already been found.

A Wyoming Man, Timothy Mellon, has filed a federal lawsuit against The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) and their executive director Richard E. Gillespie. The lawsuit alleges that TIGHAR unlawfully took $1 million from Mellon for a 2012 expedition. According to him, TIGHAR had already found Earhart’s plane in 2010, about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii, and chose not to disclose that information.

Mellon points to a specific TIGHAR video from 2010, where he says the wreckage is visible.

“As a layman, it is hard to see, unless you know what you’re looking at it,” said Mellon’s attorney. “Much of it relates to the landing gear and parts that are unique to the landing gear.”

He added that his experts have come to a “definitive conclusion that that is in fact the wreckage, and it had been discovered two years before our client paid for another expedition.”

TIGHAR has responded to the claims, calling the lawsuit “entirely without merit.”

“We considered these claims and conducted our own assessment. Neither TIGHAR nor TIGHAR’s forensic expert could see anything in the video that can be linked to the Earhart disappearance,” says TIGHAR.

According to TIGHAR, Mellon believes that not only parts of the plane are visible, but also remain of a banjo, violin, guitar, a flyswatter, and even Earhart herself.

“Despite the lawsuit, TIGHAR will always be grateful to Mr. Mellon for his contribution to the 2012 expedition and respects his right to interpret the imagery in any way he chooses. TIGHAR also maintains that the allegations in the lawsuit are entirely without merit and TIGHAR will defend itself fully.”

A couple of weeks ago, TIGHAR revealed new sonar imagery that they say may show the Lockheed Model 10 Electra wreckage.

  • Valerie

    I can’t see anything that resembles anything.Just rock and dead corals.

    • Bob

      Like they always say, you have to be an “expert” to know what you’re looking at – LOL!

  • Scott Southee

    Good luck with that far-flung claim Mr. Mellon. Amyone who claims they can determine that this video clearly resembles an aircraft, yet alone differenciating Earhart’s Lockheed from any number of aircraft lost in WWII, is a stretch to the imagination, to say the least.

  • http://www.examiner.com/article/the-order-1886-announced-at-e3-for-sony-playstation-4-video Peter Trapasso

    Totally amazing! Amelia Earhart missing plane actually found in 2010 http://www.examiner.com/article/amelia-earhart-missing-plane-actually-found-2010

  • Rex

    If you give your money to someone looking for an old lost plane then you deserve to lose it. Try giving you money away to a much better purpose like a scholarship or hire more workers.

  • http://espalarms@yahoo.com mike

    pour the camera operator another one.
    they did not seem too interested in the 2 glimpses of what could be
    the sole of a shoe.
    nothing to prove it was earhart tho.
    i did see ET peeking out from under a rock.

  • Rich

    Nothing to see here folks, move along. Ya that looked like a wire cable of some sort, but it seemed in pretty good condition for being at the bottom of the Pacific for 65 years.

    Mellon sees a violin, banjo and a fly swatter? Really, like Earhart would have added that non-essential weight to her plane on a trans-Pacific flight. Waste of fuel.

  • Andre

    In my humble opinion, Mellon’s grounds for suing Tighar are shaky.

    But I also think that Tighar has for years vastly overstated the case for Earhart ending up on Nikumaroro Atoll. In 20 years of searching for Earhart, 7-8 expeditions to Nikumaroro, they’ve never found anything that can be clearly linked to of Earhart. Instead, each expedition produces some obscure object which, according to Tighar, might be that smoking gun and thus yet another costly expedition is needed to follow up. By the second or third expedition an objective analysis of the results obtained should have led them to call it quits.

    As for Tighar’s objectivity, it maintains a forum/talk board to discuss Tighar’s findings. When people point out weaknesses in Tighar’s ‘evidence’ those people are blocked from making further posts. That is not the sign of an objective organization.

  • h.van asten

    The story is part of the nonsense hypotheses by TIGHAR abour the aircraft having been alighted on an island Gardner after having missed its destination Howland . Aircraft & crew have never been even in the vicinity of that island , since the additionally to be flown distance was too long for the remaining fuel load . TIGHAR has in the course of years invented concoction after concoction to keep their business going , without any proof or evidence of their “clues” of which the majority if not everyhing is ridiculous .

  • Carol Richards

    So…let me make sure I have this right: Those sections of cable/rope/whatever have been down there since 1937 and still look good as new? How does that happen?

  • Sammy Jones

    If TIGHAR had found Amelia’s plane, they’d be dancing on the coral.

    Now TIGHAR’s marketing of their.campaign hasn’t been real straightforward over the years. Thassa fact Jack… Jar of freckles cream!

    Their charter says they would place the plane with an unrelated museum. Presumably they’d fold their tents. Maybe they’d branch out so they could.keep the donations flowing.. Who knows? But Amelia’s plane isn’t there anyway.

    And, even funnier… The money is spent… On the expedition. What’s the point in suing someone who has no money?