Amelia Earhart’s Lost Aircraft Finally Found?

( – Almost 90 years after pilot Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared, new images have emerged that may shed light on their final flight. Deep Sea Vision, a company based in South Carolina, has released a sonar image that its founder, Tony Romeo, believes shows an airplane submerged 16,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

The company used a submersible named Hugin with a crew of 16 members to scan over 5,200 square miles of the ocean floor, beginning its mission back in September 2023. The image was one of many thousands captured by the submersible’s powerful sonar, and the plane-like shape was initially overlooked, remaining unnoticed by the team for three months.

Romeo, who previously worked as an intelligence officer for the US Air Force, invested $11 million into the mission to find Amelia Earhart’s missing Lockheed 10-E Electra plane, which vanished, apparently without trace, in the summer of 1937. Romeo said that although the images could yet turn out to show an unusual rock formation, he firmly believed it to be evidence of the legendary pilot’s plane.

Prior to her disappearance, Earhart had made a name for herself as a skilled and adventurous pilot, often referred to as an “aviatrix” – the female equivalent of “aviator”. At the age of 30, she became the first woman to fly a plane across the Atlantic Ocean. Her trans-Atlantic flight took place in 1928, and over the following years, she gained international fame and renown for her aerial endeavors. Into the 1930’s she continued to impress with more and more difficult feats, including becoming the first pilot to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in 1934. She intended to become the first woman to fly around the world in 1937, beginning her doomed trip with navigator Fred Noonan on June 1st. They completed 22,000 miles of their trip before apparently sending out distress signals on July 2ns. They were never heard from again, and Earheart was declared dead in 1939.

While Romeo believes his team has located the remains of the plane, which he says Earheart likely attempted to gently land on the water in an emergency, some disagree with his assessment. Ric Gillespie, executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), believes that Earhart managed to land not in the sea, but on Gardner Island, now known as Nikumaroro Island, 350 miles away from her intended destination of Howland Island. Richard L. Jantz, an anthropology professor, supported this theory after studying human remains found there in 1940. Jantz determined that they were most likely Earhart’s remains. Romeo has confirmed that he intends to take his Deep Sea Vision team back to the site where the sonar image was taken, where he hopes to find further evidence to support his theory.

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