TIGHAR Reports Potential New Amelia Earhart Crash Evidence
A screengrab from TIGHAR's high-definition underwater video shows a semicircle near the top and a round object off to right, consistent with the shape and dimension of what could be the upside-down landing gear of Earhart's plane.
Amelia Earhart and her Lockheed Electra in 1937.
August 22, 2012 - After reviewing a high-definition recorded video last month in the deep water off the coast of Nikumaroro Island, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) thinks it may have discovered pieces of Amelia Earhart's long-lost Lockheed Electra.
TIGHAR's underwater search began on July 12 near the uninhabited coral atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati. It's speculated that Earhart crashed or attempted to land in the area, and the search was performed by a torpedo-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
TIGHAR's initial reports did not note any significant findings, but when the group returned home and began analyzing a volume of multi-beam and side-scan data collected using the AUV, and hours of deep water high-definition video from the ROV, they came across some very interesting images.
"I have thus far made a cursory review of less than 30 percent of the expedition's video and have identified what appears to be an interesting debris field," TIGHAR forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman told Discovery News.
Forensic analysis of the picture found the mysterious object consistent with the shape and dimension of the upside-down landing gear of Earhart's airplane.
The specific dive location was selected for investigation after researchers evaluated a photo taken in October 1937, just three months after Earhart's disappearance, by British Colonial Service officer Eric R. Bevington, who was documenting a shipwrecked steamer. The image revealed what appears to be a man-made object sticking out of the water, which TIGHAR claims matches the shape of the newly discovered debris located in the area where the new discovery has been made.
"The Bevington photo shows what appears to be four components of the plane: a strut, a wheel, a wom gear, and a fender. In the debris field there appears to be the fender, possibly the wheel, and possibly some portions of the strut," Glickman said. Recovering the discovered debris is TIGHAR's next objective.