Though she vanished during her around-the-world flight in 1937, Amelia Earhart’s plane was never found, leaving behind one of the bigger mysteries in aviation.
However, that mystery may be solved. An “anomaly” has been discovered on a sonar image and the International Group for Historic Aviation Recovery believed it could be Earhart’s downed plane.
The image was captured off Nikumaroro island in the southwestern Pacific. It shows an object about 22 feet long, resting 600 feet underwater. The location is roughly 350 miles southeast of Earhart’s destination, which was Howland Island.
The group has made a number of discoveries over 10 expeditions, recovering several artifacts. It is their belief that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, made a forced landing on the island’s coral reef and became castaways, eventually dying there.
“What initially got our attention is that there is no other sonar return like it in the entire body of data collected,” Ric Gillespie, executive director of the group, tells Discovery News. “It is truly an anomaly, and when you’re looking for man-made objects against a natural background, anomalies are good.”
The group hopes to make another expedition to the island to investigate the anomaly, but it will depend on whether the non-profit is able to raise funding.