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. Todd

    The issue with Federal Tax Dollars is that its not relevant to our national security or interest nor does it favor our economic climate. The relevency of this project is and should be driven privately. If you want to donate your money to a fund a whim project no one is stopping you and if you want to give more money in taxes to fund other meaningless tasks as such then there is no limit to how much you can give :). Happy donating and go hug a tree for me please.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pork&beans

    Amelia Earhart would be a spokesperson for the LBGT community today.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. smir

    Amelia looks like Bruce Jenner on the CNN homepage

    July 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. smirk

    She looks like Bruce Jenner on the CNN homepage

    July 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. eroteme

    I wonder if we will ever hear the last of Earhart 'clues'.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KWS

    What's the point? Her plane went down, and she died. Find her, don't find her... nothing changes.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. z

    Why the extra weight of a cosmetics jar?

    July 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pork&beans

    You all are hilarious. Love the commentary.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cpc65

    No, no, no. Didn't anyone watch the season one episode of Star Trek Voyager "The 37's"? She and Fred, along with a number of other humans, were abducted by aliens and transported to the Delta Quadrant. Mystery solved!

    July 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Diamond

      This is the best comment ever!

      July 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andrew Diamond

    Would someone enjoy paying me to search for King Midus? The last place we think he was living, is earth. Would somebody be willing to finance my search. It shall require 5 million dollars and 10 years. I prefer steak for dinner each night.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tookie brownstonr

    Amelia was abducted by aliens. I'm sure of it.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. goingfast

    Are most of you people high school grads?

    July 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      I wouldn't go that high. Try elementary.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Hansen

      Nope but they are failed MENSA wannabees!

      July 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Juan Carlos Queipo

    Did they found the Lindbergh baby ?

    July 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Yes they did. The child apparently died during the kidnapping and was eventually found in the woods not far from the house where the ladder was put up to the second story bedroom window. It is believed the child was dropped while being carried down the ladder and then abondonned shortly thereafter.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David1958

    .'..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...'

    They found a comestics case? Then why haven't they found their remains? Maybe they tried to swim back to civilization and drowned at sea.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • craig

      If you bothered to read a bit you'd know that they have found bones. However it was impossible to determine if they were human or something else. Apparently you should start by following this more closely if you want to offer you opinion, that way at least what you say would be based upon the known and not something else.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roelof

    Ones woman did something outside the kitchen and got voting rights, everything went wrong. Before that we had some wars here and there. After woman got voting rights WW1, crisis, WW2, Iraqi war, Afghanistan war, crisis again.. probably a WW3 with a crisis. Somehow there are now woman that are getting hit by the crisis. It are all men that are getting hit. Woman are also bankers. Woman also work for public services, the services that get payed by tax. While men are getting fired because they work in construction.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • pork&beans

      And then, they decided they wanted to go shopping in their very own pickup truck.
      The pickup truck was once the cheapest form of transportation because it was meant for work.
      Now, it's more expensive than a high end sedan. Why, because ladies think they look good behind the wheel of one.
      Evolution truly exists.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
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