Amelia Earhart… Found?

Did We Finally Find Amelia Earhart?

Image Credit

Who Was Amelia Earhart?

Amelia Earhart, born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, was an iconic aviation pioneer in the early 20th century. Fascinated by flight from a young age, Earhart took her first airplane ride in 1920, at the World’s Fair, igniting her passion for aviation. In 1928, she gained international fame as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, albeit as a passenger. However, Earhart was determined to make her mark as a pilot, and in 1932, she accomplished a groundbreaking solo flight across the Atlantic, becoming the first woman to do so. This achievement solidified her reputation as one of the most skilled aviators of her time and earned her the admiration and respect of people worldwide.

Earhart decided to complete the ultimate challenge - fly around the world. She and her crew consisting of her navigator, Fred Noonan set out with their Lockheed Model 10 Electra on May 20th, 1937.

The first portions of her flight, which originated in Oakland, California, went relatively OK. They took her through the US, Central and South America, across the Atlantic, and then to India via Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the Red Sea. Earhart then crossed Australia, and landed her aircraft for the last time in Lae, Papa New Guinea.

Her publicity manager and husband, George Putnam, had planned for Amelia to be back in the United States on July 4th, Independence Day. The plan was for her to do a low pass over the Golden Gate Bridge and then make her arrival into Oakland just in time for sunset.

The 3rd to last leg of the flight was from Lae, to a small atoll, Howland Island. She never arrived. Earhart set out for Howland on July 2nd, at around 10:00 AM, fully laden with fuel for her long journey to the remote 6,500 x 1,500 foot strip of land over 2500 miles out into the Pacific.

They were to be guided in by the United States Coast Guard cutter Itasca, as the island would be extremely easy to miss, especially if shrouded in clouds. Most of the flight went off without a hitch, the crew of the Itasca staying in regular contact with Earhart and Noonan.

The scheduled arrival time of 10:00 AM (they had crossed the International Date Line) came and went, and the Itasca began to worry. They have been getting nothing but static from Earhart’s plane, aside from some indecipherable messages to garbled to understand.

The Search

Image Credit

Immediately after the plane was reported missing, the United States Coast Guard ship Itasca and a fleet of local fishing vessels launched an ultimately unsuccessful search in the waters around Howland Island. Given its remoteness, it took a few days for re enforcement in the form of more ships and aircraft to reach the presumed crash site. The search was called off on July 19th, and Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were declared “dead in absentia.” A number of private searches were launched in the following decade or so, but no trace of Amelia nor her plane were ever recovered.


Image Credit

In 1940, a British explorer on Gardner Island, another atoll near Howard Island where it was theorized she went down recovered a human skull. An anthropologist at the University of Sydney analyzed the remains and determined they were likely from a male, but not one of European decent like Noonan was. It was presumed they were from one of the many indigenous people who inhabited the island before they were forced out by colonists.

In 1988, a privately funded exploration, TIGHAR, recovered shards of glass from a bottle, and a vial of liniment that was from the time period Amelia was around. Experts have debated for decades whether this evidence was from the stricken flight, and no concrete conclusions have been made.

Recent Clues Emerge

Image Credit

Deep Sea Vision, a private deep sea exploration company that does mostly underwater pipeline mapping on government contracts annnounced that they detected what is believed to be Amelia Earhart’s plane on sonar, approximately 100 miles away from Howland Island at 16,000 feet down on the ocean floor.

“Some people call it one of the greatest mysteries of all time, I think it actually is the greatest mystery of all time,” said the company’s CEO Tony Romeo, a pilot and former US Air Force intelligence officer. “We have an opportunity to bring closure to one of the greatest American stories ever.”

While nothing is yet confirmed, this is arguably the solidest piece of evidence yet as to the whereabouts of Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan, and the stricken Electra.



Ahhh that was my plane I’ve been looking for it, false alarm guys


that’s some type of footage people would use from an alien sighting


yo @Ashton_Earhart they found your distant relative


Really interesting. Although it’s very possible this is an airplane from the Second World War.

1 Like

Oops, better let them know about that. Wouldn’t want them to get to excited.

Considering it’s a sonar image of an object 16,000 feet under the ocean, I’d say it’s pretty good.

Damn, that’s crazy.

In the press release from the exploration company, it was noted that there were no other (known) planes missing even remotely close to Howland Island. According to Reuters, they worked closely with archeologists and historians to validate their findings as much as possible. They hope to send a submarine before the year’s end to confirm their discovery is in fact Earhart’s Electra.


This could be significant and could be her after those years! That would be amazing but I think it ought to be left alone.
What about MH370 which still yet to be found. I accept I’m going slightly off topic here.

Does that apply for Japan too? And even if the historical records are accurate, is it possible that a civilian plane went down as the neighboring islands were under Japanese occupation, when the records might’ve been a bit more incomplete?

I don’t think it’s all that off topic. Another missing plane, in the depths of the Pacific. I personally think that someone knows something about the whereabouts of MH370, whether it be a government entity or someone else. I’m definitely no conspiracy theorist, but it does seem a little weird that we’d be fine with not knowing what happened to a massive 777, one of the safest planes on the planet with almost 250 people on board that just disappeared, after “only” 52 days of an official search.

1 Like

I think that they would factor in both sides of the fighting, yes. It is, of course, possible that something was missed. The other thing is that Howland Island is waaay the heck out there, and isn’t of any military/strategic value, so there wouldn’t be really any reason for a plane to be in that area.

I see. Do we know which direction the plane was found? This could be useful to get a better understanding of the situation, from the pilot’s eyes. All crash locations are a possibility, but one 100 miles west of the island is more likely than one 100 miles northeast.

1 Like

Maybe I can finally get the DNA test I’ve been dying for! Wouldn’t that be something!


I’m not certain which direction from Howard Island it was.

Guys this is my bad MSFS was a little too realistic last Saturday night…


To be fair based on the radar data it is in my opinion extremely clear that it was flown out there intentionally. It is thoroughly confirmed that the aircraft flew for hours after last contact and made several maneuvers that would have had to be commanded by a human at the controls or at least intentionally preprogrammed. That all but rules out any sort of system malfunction or anything that would be a more systemic issue with the aircraft. While it would be very cool to find it, and finding it would put to rest some of the conspiracy theories I feel quite comfortable sleeping at night with the data we have, a multimillion dollar and risky search would probably not change the way anything happens in the aviation industry. There has also been more searching after those initial 52 days in multiple capacities.

Same really with Earhart’s plane, the fact we never found it adds to the intrigue, but especially in that era of navigation and reliability an aircraft getting lost or experiencing a terminal issue enroute is not nearly uncommon enough to make this particular crash as big a deal as it is because of her celebrity status and the fact she was on a publicly tour. I don’t mean to downplay this, but the mystery leaves doors open and people think it is more interesting than it is.

I agree with your assessment on both points. MH370 has become so sensationalized at this point, especially since the Netflix documentary. We often forget that this is a very real incident, that affected hundreds of families. I think there is something to be said for continuing the search, in part for closure to the families and to determine what happened. It’s quite obvious based on all the evidence that a mechanical error or some other technical issue didn’t bring down MH370. The conspiracy theories are insane to me, like the whole “the plane was landed in Kazakstan” or “they brought the plane to a US Air Force base on Diego Garcia” thing. I don’t thing people should just go around making conclusions about what happened without solid evidence. All we can say for sure is that someone did something to the plane. Period.

As for Amelia Earhart, it’s interesting that if this were any other random aviator who went missing, most people wouldn’t bat an eye. Aviation was dangerous back then, and planes went down all the time. But, this wasn’t your average aviator - this was Amelia Earhart. As you mentioned, she was a major celebrity of her time, and her around the world journey was heavily publicized. When she goes missing, it’s a massive deal, something that still captivates the public to this day.


I get what you’re trying to say, but this is ironic. Thanks for the laugh.


Pretty cool if this is real, but seeing that and calling it Amelia Earhart’s plane is… a massive stretch to say the least.

Its a plane… well plane shaped thing… that might be a dc-3… that MIGHT be Amelia Earhart’s…

1 Like

Very possible, if it is indeed an airplane, that it was a military aircraft from the Pacific theater of WWII. You never really know the specific locations of wreckage because there were carrier battles all over the place. I found this battle that seemed to be in a similar location, all though very difficult to know for sure…

The Battle of Tarawa, focal point denoted by pin: