Sat, Jul 07, 2012
Latest Effort To Find Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra
A group of scientists and salvage experts are steaming towards the Kiribati atoll of Nikumaroro aboard a research vessel they hope will help them locate the wreckage of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra some 75 years after it was lost on the famous circumnavigation attempt.
TIGHAR, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, thinks that Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan landed the Electra on a reef just off the island's coast, and that they survived for a short time on the tiny speck in the Pacific. The airplane, they speculate, went over the edge of the reef into deeper water.
The Wall Street Journal reports that artifacts have been found on the island which could have belonged to Earhart or Noonan, but no definitive evidence has been found.
Among TIGHAR's funders is the Discovery Channel, which plans to air a documentary about the trip in August. Ric Gillespie, the founder and Executive Director of the group, said the wreckage "ought to be right down there," but added the only way to know for sure it to go look, and there is no guarantee they'll find anything off the coast of Nikumaroro.
The WSJ reports that another group thinks that will be the case, and plans to mount its third expedition to Howland Island later this year. Earhart and Noonan were thought to be near Howland when their plane went down.
TIGHAR fundraiser Patricia Webb said while they have received a great deal of support for the effort, the expedition is still about a half-million dollars short. The Kiribati government has signed an agreement with TIGHAR to work with the group should anything be found, and the expedition has the blessing of the U.S. State Department, which helped broker the deal.
The team plans to spend about 10 days on site searching for the long-lost Electra.
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