Amelia Earhart disappeared into the Pacific in 1937, but she's stayed in the public mind ever since. Now, a re-examination of a survey photograph taken near a remote island seems to show wreckage of her Lockheed Electra, giving rise to new answers -- and new speculation -- about the aviatrix's fate, MSNBC.com reports.
The photo was taken off Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island in the wide expanse of open water between Hawaii and Australia, by a British Colonial Service officer who was determining the island's suitability for colonization at the time, according to the report.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recover (TIGHAR) is launching a search for the wreckage.
"We will depart Honolulu on July 3rd aboard the University of Hawaii oceanographic research ship R/V Ka Imikai-O-Kanaloa," Ric Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News. "In about eight days we should get to Nikumaroro, where we will carry out a deep-water search for the wreckage."
Related: Amelia Earhart Mystery Closer to Solution?
The most enduring story about Amelia Earhart's disappearance is that she crashed into the ocean near Howland Island after running out of fuel. She was attempting the world's longest circumnavigation by air, on a route that took her over some of the loneliest parts of the globe.
Another long-legged story is that she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured by the Japanese, who were then engaged an aggressive expansion of its territories and would have looked askance at a potential bit of espionage.
However, Gillespie surmises that Amelia Earhart landed on the flat coral reef surrounding Nikumaroro, where she and Noonan could have survived "for a matter of weeks, possibly more."
The expedition is being filmed for a Discovery Channel documentary.
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