Could a sonar image show Amelia Earhart wreckage?

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Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean an exploration team thinks they found the wreckage.

In June 1928, Earhart achieved the milestone of being the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air, as a pa*senger alongside pilots Wilmer Stultz and Lou Gordon. This accomplishment brought her widespread fame on an international scale. Almost four years later, in May 1932, she made history once more by becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Later that same year, she also became the first woman to fly solo across North America and back. Additionally, in 1935, she achieved the distinction of being the first person, regardless of gender, to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California.

Amelia Earhart disappeared in July 1937 and was never seen or heard from again. Bettmann / Getty Images

Her mysterious vanishing has puzzled explorers for years, leading to extensive efforts and expenditures to locate her missing Lockheed 10-E Electra plane. Recently, a potential new lead has surfaced: a sonar image from a fall expedition shows an object resembling an airplane on the ocean floor near the suspected crash site.

An expedition last fall captured a sonar image of a roughly plane-shaped object near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean, which the team suggests could be Amelia Earhart’s vehicle. Deep Sea Vision via Instagram

Although the unclear picture does not provide definitive proof, Dorothy Cochrane, a curator specializing in aeronautics at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian, considers it “an intriguing image” that warrants a second look.

The expedition was led by Tony Romeo, a commercial real estate investor from South Carolina and a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer and pilot. In 2021, he sold off his real estate a*sets and dedicated $11 million to fund the journey, which included acquiring cutting-edge technology to aid in the exploration.

In the meantime, the sonar image does not provide enough detail for experts to make any definite conclusions. To accurately identify the object, future missions would need to capture detailed images containing the plane’s registration number, or at least show the submerged object’s dimensions and shape to see if it matches Earhart’s vehicle.

Further research is required to determine if the object is worth investigating, verify if it is the actual craft, and decide whether it should be recovered or left in place.



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