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. ummm....


    If you have seen other pictures of women from that era you'd understand that was a typical look. Not to sound like a misogynist, but women of that time just were not very attractive compared to women of today. The same holds true for the men.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • shock and awe

      Sure, men and women really evolved in 75 years. We look totally different now.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hillary

      She was Lesbianeze. Thats all. Its the Rosie look.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yes, because Errol Flynn and Clarke Gable were ugly, right? And don't even get me started about the beautiful women of the era. Ridiculous comment to go with your ridiculous username.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cate

      Yes, women today are so attractive with their fake hair, fake tan, bleached teeth and skeletal bodies. This is the golden age of attractiveness. Buy it in a bottle.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Miss Demeanor

      It was "back in the day when men were men were men... and so were the women.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chris

    taken by the "others"

    July 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    Just think of all the wonderful things this will bring to the world once evidence is found where she went down. Why this might bring world peace, or a cure for cancer, or maybe even equality of the races.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • don

      maybe i will win the lotto

      July 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBQ

      There's nothing better than the flock of do nothing armchair quarterbacks that stories like this bring out.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • RF Burns

      You are a dunce. This is privately funded. What's it to you?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Absurd

      Waste of fuel and resources............. They are GONE! focus on other relevant tasks at hand. How much will this cost? 50 Million? 100 Million?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Linds

    She was married, genius.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • cpc65

      So was Rock Hudson, genius.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Find her dead body and crash the funeral of the greatest woman who ever lived. Think of the lives saved.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Woo

      Just wanted to say I agree - I read a research paper on her disappearance that my mother wrote about 45 years ago when she attended UH. I found it so interesting that I have followed the progress on her case since then– it would be nice to finally let the evidence have her say - God bless to all...

      July 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mion

    I think they already found out what happened to her.

    In 1940, part of a skeleton washed up on Nikumaroro, one of Kiribati's islands. Not only did the bones' measurements match up to Earhart's, but they were found along with a pocketknife that resembled hers, a piece of glass from a broken airplane window, and the exact same navigating system that Earhart had been using. Nikumaroro is also a few hundred miles from the island that Earhart had decided to be her destination in the first place.

    It might be inconclusive, and we don't know whether she had died on impact or survived on the island for a few weeks...but it's a pretty safe bet to say that the skeleton is hers.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arno

      That's the way I see it...

      July 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. northernCA

    Amelia was one but another great female flyer adventurer was Beryl Markham who in 1936 became the first PERSON to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She wrote the book "West With The Night". Ernest Hemingway who knew her fairly well in Africa thought the book was bloody wonderful.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jon

    Interesting theory but I wouldn't get my hopes up; the likelihood is far and away that she went into the drink. RIP.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Airheart Africa Fund

    A fund established to find the missing funds of other funds.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      That's funny!

      July 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |

    this is not news....get a life...been 75 years...please.....people still live in a time warp searching for WHAT!!!!!!!!! plane and dusty bone...let her rest if you have any class...

    July 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |

    i agree!!! lol

    July 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ken

    That's funnier!

    July 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tutuvabene

    This is what scientists, adventurers and journalists do when the well is dry for things to find or write about. Waste their time finding Amelia Earhardt. Does the world really care about Earhardt? No. Who is really obsessed with finding her remains? No one. I think it's safe to assume that she is dead. The money for such expeditions can be better spent elsewhere.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Robert Shaperio

    Any of you guys out there think she was hot. Little makeup and a short skirt and she wouod be smoking.

    July 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • tutuvabene

      Emphasis on the "was" since she'd be 113 now.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Amy

    Let her RIP

    July 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
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