An extensive search has been conducted this summer on behalf of the International Group For Historic Aircraft Recovery for Amelia Earhart's plane, which researchers believe may have crash-landed on the island of Nikumororo and gotten sucked under by the strong currents. New photographic evidence has the explorers excited that they've finally found what they've been looking for.
It has long been believed that Earhart crashed into the ocean, taking her legacy and that of her navigator, Fred Noonan, with it. But those who have studied Earhart's flight plan and the area she was believed to have gone down in think she actually survived the crash and managed to live on the island with Noonan for some time. Evidence found points to two people having lived there for a short time, and that part of the island hasn't been inhabited by humans.
The evidence researchers have found relating to the plane may not be much. The parts they have found are covered in mounds of coral and take a trained eye to spot in the murky depths of the ocean, and it's believed that the strong undersea turbulence has not been kind to the remains of the Lockheed Electra. Still, those on the expedition are hopeful that the video they've recovered from their excursion will help them identify exactly where the craft is, putting an end to a 75-year old mystery.
"Early media reports rushed to judgment in saying that the expedition didn't find anything," Ric Gillespie, TIGHAR executive director, said. "We had, of course, hoped to see large pieces of aircraft wreckage but as soon as we saw the severe underwater environment at Nikumaroro we knew that we would be looking for debris from an airplane that had been torn to pieces 75 years ago."