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Researchers Might Have Found The Wreckage Of Amelia Earhart's Plane

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Researchers Might Have Found The Wreckage Of Amelia Earhart's Plane

A wreck site in Papua New Guinea could be the key to answering the mystery that surrounds the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.

Researchers think there is a decent chance that a newly discovered site could contain the wreckage of Earhart's plane, a Lockheed Electra 10E.

The aviation pioneer famously disappeared alongside her navigator, Fred Noonan, while attempting to fly around the world. During a leg of this journey between Papua New Guinea and Howland Island - a remote uninhabited island in the Central Pacific - she was lost and never seen again.

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That was on 2 July 1937.

Amelia Earhart disappeared in 1937. Credit: PA
Amelia Earhart disappeared in 1937. Credit: PA

However, the new discovery off the coast of Papua New Guinea's Buka Island could provide the answer to the decades-old mystery.

Project Blue Angel, the brainchild of Bill Snavely, is the research project to investigate the wreckage in the hope of discovering what happened to Earhart.

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Snavely recently issued a statement that said: "The Buka Island wreck site was directly on Amelia and Fred's flight path, and it is an area never searched following their disappearance.

"What we've found so far is consistent with the plane she flew."

Amelia Earhart. Credit: PA
Amelia Earhart. Credit: PA

Snavely and his team have carefully tracked Earhart's route from her final departure point at Lae in Papua New Guinea, to try to determine what happened. He reckons that Earhart could have been running low on fuel and decided to turn back.

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In order to try to verify his claims, Snavely has sent several teams of divers down to inspect the wreck site, which lies some 100 feet beneath the ocean.

He continued: "While the complete data is still under review by experts, initial reports indicate that a piece of glass raised from the wreckage shares some consistencies with a landing light on the Lockheed Electra 10."

Blue Angel PR manager Jill Meyers, who is also an aerospace engineer and pilot, added: "Amelia's Electra had specific modifications done to it for this specific journey, and some of those unique modifications appear to be verified in the wreckage that's been found."

Wreckage found near Buka Island, Papua New Guinea, could be Earhart's plane. Credit: Project Blue Angel
Wreckage found near Buka Island, Papua New Guinea, could be Earhart's plane. Credit: Project Blue Angel
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This all seems pretty promising, although there is no guarantee at present that this is the site of Earhart's disappearance. Years of seismic activity and rough seas have left their mark on the wreckage, making it difficult to positively identify at this point due to erosion.

Snavely added: "While there is no way to be certain yet that this is definitively Amelia Earhart's Electra, the crash site may hold the clues to solving one of the world's greatest mysteries."

Project Blue Angel will lead another expedition in Spring that will utilise imaging technology to try to expand the research. Watch this space.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Interesting, Technology

Tom Wood
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