It has been 75 years since renowned aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over Pacific Ocean never to be seen again. Now, in what will be their 10th attempt in more than 20 years, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) believe they will be able to find new information on Nikumaroro island in Kiribati and a team of researchers are set to fly out to the island on the 2nd July 2012.
Since her disappearance, several rumors and conspiracy theories have circulated about the possible fate of Earhart, who was in the final stages of a round-the-world trip! Some say that she survived the crash, changed her name and lived a life of anonymity in New Jersey. Other theories suggested that she might have been captured and interrogated by Japanese imperial forces who believed her to be a spy and there are also stories that say she was just another victim to be sucked in to the mysterious Bermuda Triangle vortex!
TIGHAR believe that there is evidence to suggest that Earhart’s plane crashed on the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, but that she did actually survive the crash. In her final radio report, Earhart told operators that she was unable to find Howland, where she was supposed to stop for refueling and that she was running low.
At the time of Earhart’s disappearance, the tiny island of Nikumaroro was uninhabited, the first settlers to reach the island often spoke of pieces of aircraft wreckage and other clues that suggest Earhart may have survived on the island include the discovery of some Plexiglas, a jar of face cream, a penknife blade and a heel from a woman’s shoe! The skeletons of birds that appeared to have been roasted over a fire were also found.
The 20-strong team of researchers will have state of the art sonar beams that will map the ocean floor and a documentary about the mission will be made for the Discovery Channel.