Researchers May Have Found Amelia Earhart's Plane for Real This Time

Illustration for article titled Researchers May Have Found Amelia Earharts Plane for Real This Time

Your never-ending thirst to figure out where in the world Amelia Earhart disappeared to has a new twist: The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has used sonar imaging to identify a location they believe is where Earhart's plane crashed in 1937, off of Gardner Island (now called Nikumaroro), in the Western Pacific Ocean.


"It’s exciting. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening," says TIGHAR of the blurry image (pictured in the inset above), which displays an "anomaly" on the bottom of the ocean floor. This could be huge; after all these years and false starts, we're super close to finding out what happened to a badass woman. But if you're finding it hard to put it into words what you're feeling, pilot Wolfgang Burnside – who flew TIGHAR around the area – sums it up thusly: "Bloody Hell!"


The scientists plan to "get back out there" and see what they can find, though first they have to "settle the debts from the last trip and raise the money for the next one", which you can help with by going to their website if you feel inclined. (It feels like Kickstarter would be perfect for a campaign like this, but it's already kinda crowded with the likes of Zach Braff and Veronica Mars and Zosia Mamet.)

I mean, the woman just vanished! Surely that's worth a few shekels, or a currency of equal value that they used in 1937 in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Sonar Image May Show Earhart's Plane [Newser]

The Earhart Project: Niku VII Analysis Update [TIGHAR]

Image via AP

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Isn't this a bit of a boondogle? I mean... it's cool and all, and if this were some eccentric billionaire funding the project themselves I'd be all "You do you, kid." But is this a physical object whose discovery his historically or scientifically relevant or important relative to the resources used to uncover it? I'm truly asking. Do we not know what kind of plane A.E. was flying? Would we be able to learn all that much from it that we couldn't learn from plans for the plane (considering the level of corrosion at this point, particularly)? I'm a history person, I considered archaeology for a while, so I understand the importance of the preservation of material culture. But pouring so much time and money into something so specific and clearly primarily of interest because of the cult of celebrity? Eeeeeeeeh...