Earhart’s Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near the remote Howland Island

American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared without a trace on July 2 1937 at the age of 39. 

The pilot went missing during an attempt to fly a circumnavigational route around the world. 

Earhart’s Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near the remote Howland Island. 

Since that day, there have been countless conflicting theories about the fate met by the aviator and her navigator, Fred Noonan. 

Most recent of the theories emerged last week, with a previously unseen picture which researchers claimed showed the two missing people.


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Amelia Earhart mystery – researchers say they may have found the pilot’s grave on a deserted island

The photo found in US national archives has backed a popular theory that Earhart died while in Japanese custody, and not in a violent plane crash.

Some experts have said the image shows the pilot survived her 1937 crash in the Pacific.

But now a fresh theory has surfaced out of Nikumaroro, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean where the plane originally disappeared. 

Researchers took four cadaver dogs – trained to sniff out bones and remains – to search the island.

Amelia Earhart death mystery island grave

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan went missing without a trace on July 2 1937

The border collies found their target under the shade of a tree, the same place where bones washed up in 1940. 

It was also the same site where an expedition in 2001 discovered signs of an American castaway. 

These included evidence of campfires, a US knife, a woman’s compact, a zipper pull and glass jars. 

Archaeologist Dawn Johnson and physician Kim Zimmerman have taken soil from around the island grave, with samples sent to a DNA lab in Germany. 

Amelia Earhart death mystery island grave

Amelia Earhart disappeared while trying to fly a circumnavigational route around the world

But the chances of extracting DNA from this kind of tropical environment are rare, according to National Geographic. 

The new theory suggesting Earhart and Noonan died on the deserted island contradicts last week’s photo purporting to show them both in Japanese captivity. 

Eighty years on, most researchers agree on the ‘crash and sink’ theory, that the plane was brought down by poor visibility and lack of fuel, plunging to the bottom of the ocean. 

Earhart was declared dead two years after she disappeared but no conclusive trace of her, Noonan or their plane have ever been found.

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