It's one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history: the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart. American explorer Tony Romeo now claims to have found the wreckage of the legendary pilot. According to the discoverer, it is located more than 5 kilometers deep at the bottom of the ocean, approximately halfway between Hawaii and Australia.
The tragic disappearance has captivated investigators for 87 years. While trying to be the first to fly around the world, the legendary pilot disappeared from the radar. Countless investigations and missions were launched to answer one question: What happened to Earhart?
A team of underwater archaeologists claim to have found evidence that could complete the story of the disappearance. Private company Deep Sea Vision tracked the wreckage using sonar data from a deep-sea drone. Slightly blurry sonar images from the drone show an airplane-like shape on the flat, sandy ocean floor.
Experts believe that what was found may be a Lockheed 10-E Electra, the plane that Earhart was traveling in when she disappeared. “We have the opportunity to conclude one of the greatest American stories of all time,” Tony Romeo, pilot and CEO of Deep Sea Vision, said on Instagram. The team began the expedition at the beginning of September. More than 13,000 square kilometers of ocean floor were examined. Romeo told CNN that experts will finish their research at the end of December.
Read more below the Instagram post:
The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. In 1932, she was the second person – and first woman – to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Three years later, she became the first female pilot to fly across the Pacific Ocean.
In an attempt to be the first to fly around the world, she disappeared. At 8:43 a.m. local time on July 2, 1937, Earhart sent a final message via radio, en route to her landing site, Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. After that, nothing was heard from her or her navigator, Fred Noonan.
Since then, countless scientists have tried to solve the puzzle. There are indications that the two made an emergency landing on Nikumaroro (an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean) and lived and died there due to a shipwreck. Possible wreckage has previously been found near the island.
According to experts, it is too early to determine whether the discovery is actually Earhart's device. “There could also be noise in the sonar data, or something geological,” Andrew Pietruszka, an underwater archaeologist, told CNN. “However, if I were looking for an Amelia plane and this discovery was in the data set, I would want to investigate it further.”
This is exactly what Romeo and his team set out to do. The CEO hopes to be back on site within a year. Experts want to investigate this discovery further using a remote-controlled vehicle (with a camera) and see if it can be brought to the surface.
The importance of such a task speaks for itself in relation to Romeo. “She's the most famous missing person in America, right? And as long as she's missing, there will always be someone looking for her. If we can help bring this story to a close and bring Amelia home, we'll be very excited.”
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