Researchers Might Have Found Amelia Earhart's Plane
Researchers on an expedition to the South Pacific to discover the fate of Amelia Earhart and her navigator say they have spotted a field of manmade debris in an underwater video taken in waters off the Republic of Kiribati.
In July, a team searching for the wreckage of Amelia Earhart's plane was wrapping up an expedition and feeling downhearted. They had come away with apparently little to show for their $2.2 million worth of efforts.
But now those searchers says high-definition video from that trip shows promising evidence.
"We have man-made objects in a debris field," Ric Gillespie told the Los Angeles Times in an interview Monday morning. And those objects are "in a location where we had previously reasoned where airplane wreckage should be."
Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were lost on their July 2, 1937, flight from New Guinea to Howland Island in the central Pacific Ocean. Earhart was trying to become the first woman to fly around the planet.
Gillespie said they were rushing to get through the footage to be able to give something to the Discovery Channel, but noted they had only made it about 30% through the entire footage.
"We don't want to oversell this," Gillespie cautioned. "We have lots of clues. ... It looks like it might be the right stuff, but we need a lot more work done, and ultimately we're going to have to go back and recover it."
Gillespie is the executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery. TIGHAR has an exclusive agreement with the island nation of Kiribati to search for and recover any artifacts from the plane wreck -- which Gillespie and his wife and search partner, Pat Thrasher, are sure occurred there.