Do clues to Amelia Earhart mystery lurk beneath the sea?
Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan before they famously disappeared in 1937.
July 2nd, 2012
02:04 PM ET

Do clues to Amelia Earhart mystery lurk beneath the sea?

A deep-sea expedition will launch from the shores of Honolulu on Tuesday in an attempt to solve the mystery of vanished aviator Amelia Earhart, according to the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.

The group will launch its Niku VII expedition 75 years after the first ship set sail in search of Earhart, her navigator Fred Noonan and their Lockheed Electra aircraft.

The initial launch was set for Monday, but was pushed back to Tuesday because of a scarcity of flights to Hawaii, according to the expedition’s daily reports Web page.

“Meanwhile, the technical staff is very glad of the extra day,” a recent blog post from the group said. “There are always glitches, stuff that doesn’t work quite the way it should, tests that need to be run, toothpaste to be bought, and the additional time will allow for these issues to be resolved while still in port where there are stores and cell phones and other markers of modern civilization.”

Once out of the port, the crew will set sail for Nikumaroro Island in the South Pacific, where researchers believe Earhart landed, was stranded and ultimately met her death during her doomed attempt at an around-the-world flight in 1937.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery has been investigating the mystery surrounding Earhart’s death for 24 years, has launched eight prior expeditions and has developed a comprehensive theory of her disappearance and last days on earth.

“This is the hi-tech deep water search we’ve long wanted to do but could never afford,” the group said on its website. The expedition is funded by corporate sponsors and charitable donations.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery theorizes that Earhart and Noonan landed on Nikumaroro Island - then called Gardner’s Island - after failing to find a different South Pacific island they were set to land on. The pair is believed to have landed safely and called for help using the Electra’s radio. And in a twist of fate, the plane was swept out to sea, washing away Earhart and Noonan’s only source of communication. U.S. Navy search planes flew over the island, but not seeing the Electra, passed it by and continued the search elsewhere.

"What makes this the best expedition is the technology we've been able to assemble to search for the wreckage of that airplane," Rick Gillespie, executive director for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, told CNN on Monday. "We have an autonomous vehicle. We have multibeam sonar above the University of Hawaii ship we're on right now. We have a remote-operated vehicle to check out the targets (and a) high-definition camera. We're all set."

At a conference in Washington, D.C., last month, the organization announced its newest study suggesting that dozens of radio signals once dismissed were actually transmissions from Earhart’s plane after she vanished. Discovery News reported that the group has discovered there were 57 “credible” radio transmissions from Earhart after her plane went down.

Earlier this year, the organization also discovered what is believed to be a cosmetics jar once belonging to Earhart on Nikumaroro Island.

"All these things we can't explain unless the woman we think was there, was there," Gillespie said.

More on Amelia Earhart:

Finding Amelia Earhart: New clues revealed

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Filed under: Aviation • History
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Rascal Rabble

    gag...who cares?

    July 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tactical Turtleneck

      And yet here you are, opening the link of the story and taking the time to comment. The first AND second person to comment also. Oh cruel irony.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      People with brains.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fly Moon

      You're an angry human!

      July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • griz5106

      I do. That's good enough for me. Actually, I think this is facinating.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rascal Rabble

    she's probally the reason why women today are labeled as bad drivers...

    July 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      A woman driver AND a male navigator. They were doomed from the start lol! Freddy boy got them lost because he wouldn't ask for directions and Amelia being the bad driver and all crashed the plane. In all seriousness though, I went to school in Atchison where Earhart grew up, she was one remarkable lady. Especially when you consider how women faired in "traditional" male roles during that time period.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jaybird

    Brave Souls .....bless you both

    July 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Aeseneth

    Mysogynist much, Rabble? History cares!

    July 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kyle Shannon

    This group hasn't found any evidence Amelia Earhart in 24 years...why do they still get media coverage? Just look at Google Earth, Nikumaroro is thousands of miles away from Howland Island. Their theory is bull crap and they take donations to go on vacations to the South Pacific

    July 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Foo Bar

      The distance between Nikumaroro Island and Howland Island is about 400 miles.

      Please check your facts before ranting like an idiot.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • VA

      I agree

      July 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      Its a scam to make money and sell a story.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • aleickwort

      Because two decades of hard work and good science has brought them very close to finding the smoking gun that will prove their theory. Are you a scientist?

      July 3, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Skippy

    Would be nice to get this "mystery" behind us...don't expect any real revelations.

    July 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve Lyons

    Next they can set search for Obama's birthplace . . . .

    Happy hunting.

    July 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin H

      Steve you're right – I want to know exactly where George Romney was born – because I question whether or not Mitch is a US citizen given that his father was foreign born. Are we sure Mitt can run for President?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. havegunwilltravel

    Right on. This is right there with another gem that can be found on today's CNN site: Coal slag heaps join pyramids on World Heritage list

    Give us a break

    July 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tecla

    Lots of stuff that ain't scientific...take how christians totally swept me from the 'history' pages of the historical doc ument 'the bible'...oh, that Peter was a scamp!!!

    July 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottcworden

      Tecla, why is it that atheists are so bitter? What's your point anyway? This has nothing to do with the article.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mnary


      They are bitter because they can't feel the same belief.. And their non belief leaves them no hope..
      And without hope, there is just "this" a beginning and a end..
      And that has to be a hard way to live.. so they ridicule those that do believe.. Hoping to make them feel as hopeless as they do..

      July 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David

    TIGHAR is the gift that keeps on giving for mainstream media. Why ruin a perfectly good mystery by solving it? I expect to see Earhart stories drip fed to the media every three months from these guys for the rest of my life while they travel the Pacific collecting turtle bones and bits of glass.

    July 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      TIGHAR is all about scamming some money and selling a story. Not so much about finding Amelia.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |

      money hungry thieves.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • aleickwort

      Not true at all. I've been following them forever. They are excellent scientists.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kato Kaelin's Revenge

    I think the Baltic Sea USO could have clues to her whereabouts.

    July 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. korgri

    There's this art gallery in Soho (NYC) and in the window they have a big repro of Warhol's Marilyn Monroe,
    like it's this timeless Rembrandt and not something we've seen so many times we have worn out all the
    wishes it would just go away; all so sick of Marilyn Monroe, jesus save us.
    However, looking in the drawer I found a whole booklet of Wish Concern Over What Happened To Amelia
    Earhart Would Go Away, so I am redeeming one of those coupons right here right now. cha-ching!

    July 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      korgi your an id10t. Wish you would go away! It's thinking like yours that is destroying the USA. Ignorance may indeed be bliss for you, but it isnt for real people with brains!

      July 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. no clues

    there are no clues no nothing

    July 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jackie


    July 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nadinesh

    What a waste of money! The corporations probably get a "charity" write-off for it too. Shameful.

    July 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
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