A mystery that has enthralled Americans for nearly a century may be on its way to being solved.
New evidence released Friday revealed clues that may solve the mystery of what happened to aviator Amelia Earhart, Discovery News reports.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery announced that a new study suggests that dozens of radio signals once dismissed were actually transmissions from Earhart’s plane after she vanished during her attempted around-the-world flight in 1937.
The announcement was made at the start of a three-day conference in Washington dedicated to Earhart and the group’s search for the famous aviator’s remains and the wreckage of her plane.
On the conference website, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery called Earhart’s unanswered distress calls “The smoking gun that was swept under the rug.”
Discovery News reported that the group has determined 57 “credible” radio transmissions from Earhart after her plane went down.
It has been researching the disappearance of Earhart, her navigator, Fred Noonan, and her Lockheed Electra aircraft for 24 years. Its members have developed a theory that Earhart’s remains lie on Nikumaroro Island in the Western Pacific.
Nikumoro Island, then called Gardner’s Island, had been uninhabited since 1892, the group said. In its version of Earhart’s final days, she and Noonan landed there after failing to find another island. They landed safely and radioed for help, the hypothesis goes. Eventually, the Electra was swept away by the tide, and Earhart and Noonan could no longer use its radio to call for help. U.S. Navy search planes flew over the island, but not seeing the Electra, they passed on and continued the search elsewhere.
The discovery of what is believed to be an old jar of anti-freckle cream may also provide clues to this decades-old mystery. It is suspected that the cosmetic bottle found on Nikumaroro Island once belonged to Earhart.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery will launch an expedition to Nikumaroro Island on July 2, the 75th anniversary of Earhart’s disappearance. This is their ninth expedition.