Was Amelia Earhart’s plane finally found? Some researchers believe they have discovered the truth behind what happened to her navigator and famed plane, which both vanished over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937.
Discovery News has reported, “New research strongly suggests that a piece of aluminum aircraft debris recovered in 1991 from Nikumaroro, an uninhabited atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, does belong to Earhart’s twin-engined Lockheed Electra.”
Indeed, researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) are saying this with a high degree of certainty.
Seventy-seven years ago, Earhart was attempting to set a world record by flying around the world at the equator. During one of Earhart’s stops, she stayed in Miami for 8 days, where the supposed aluminum sheet was installed as a patch to replace one of the windows on the Electra.
According to Discovery News, this could prove that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, made a forced landing on Nikumaroro’s smooth, flat coral reef. Some researchers strongly believe the two became castaways and eventually died on the tiny island, which is some 350 miles southeast of Howland Island.
Prior to this news, the belief was that the duo ran out of fuel somewhere near their target destination of Howland Island and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.
Further trips to Nikumaroro have recovered circumstantial evidence that leads researchers to believe this castaway theory. Additionally, forensic and sonar imaging has possibly found the plane’s landing gear and an object that is the right shape and size to be the Electra’s fuselage.
Visit Discovery News to see how investigators found and identified that aluminum sheet, and get details on their upcoming expedition to possibly recover larger portions of the plane.
Plus, if you’d like to hear more theories on what happened to Earhart, check out this video: