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Amelia Earhart Breakthrough: Hidden Text on Aluminum Panel Could Prove Missing Aviatrix Died on Remote Island

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Sep. 3 2023, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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There's a new lead in the ongoing search for Amelia Earhart's plane, which disappeared during her attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world in 1937, RadarOnline.com has learned.

A recently surfaced photograph from a 2009 expedition in the Pacific Ocean appears to show an engine cover buried underwater near Nikumaroro Island, a remote atoll between New Zealand and Hawaii. The photograph has raised hopes that it could be a part of Earhart's plane.

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Ric Gillespie, the executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), has identified the object in the photo as a "Lockheed Electra engine cowling."

According to the Daily Mail, Gillespie's group has been investigating Earhart's disappearance since 1988. A forensic imaging specialist is currently analyzing the photo to determine if the engine cover is indeed from Earhart's twin-engined Lockheed Model 10E Special Electra.

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However, if the engine cover is confirmed to be from Earhart's plane, it would not explain why the plane crashed into the ocean.

Gillespie's theory that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed on Nikumaroro Island and eventually died there would also be disproven.

Gillespie's group has previously cited the locations of transmissions they believed could only have been sent by Earhart, as well as a photo taken in 1937 of the shoreline, which they believe could include the landing gear of the Electra.

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Despite reports from newcomers to the island that they had seen parts of planes, 1930s-era glass bottles, and bones by the remains of a campfire, no hard evidence has ever been found to confirm that Earhart and Noonan actually landed on Nikumaroro Island.

The discovery of never-before-seen letters on a metal plate in 2019 also brought a possible lead. However, further examination revealed that the panel was likely the remains of a World War II plane.

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The official US position on the disappearance of Earhart's plane is that it ran out of fuel on its way to Howland Island and crashed into the ocean. However, large-scale expeditions of the waters near Nikumaroro Island have yielded no evidence of the plane.

Another theory suggests that Earhart and Noonan landed on the Marshall Islands and were held captive by the Japanese. Some believers of this conspiracy theory even claim that the pair eventually returned to the US under assumed names.

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Amelia Earhart, known for being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and for setting a world altitude record in 1931, remains a prominent figure in aviation history.

The search for her plane and the truth behind her disappearance continues to captivate the public and researchers alike.

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