American underwater exploration company Deep Sea Vision said it found the plane of American aviator Amelia Earhart, who disappeared more than 85 years ago while attempting to circumnavigate the world, in the Pacific Ocean.
However, it may take years to confirm the discovery, the Washington Post writes.
The Deep Sea Vision team, founded by Tony Romeo, a former US Air Force intelligence officer, spent three months surveying the bottom of the Pacific Ocean using an autonomous underwater vehicle called the HUGIN 6000, which can reach depths of nearly 6 kilometers.
During the expedition, the device captured an image of an object with “contours that reflect the unique twin tails and scale of the legendary Earhart aircraft.” If the discovery is confirmed, it will be a crucial clue in the disappearance of the plane, the underwater reconnaissance company said.
The whereabouts of Earhart, her navigator and the plane remain “one of the great mysteries of our time,” Amelia Earhart Museum Executive Director Mindy Love Pendergraft said.
“We hope they can be found and the world will have a clearer understanding of what happened on that fateful day“, she says.
The Deep Sea Vision team is keeping the exact location of the plane a secret, but will return there for further research. If it really is an Earhart plane and it’s still “structurally intact,” it could be lifted out of the water, the company says.
|Image: Deep Sea Vision
What is known about Earhart and her last flight
Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
She embarked on a round-the-world voyage in the summer of 1937 with her navigator, Fred Noonan. They took off from the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea and headed for the small island of Howland in the Pacific Ocean, where they were to rendezvous with the US Coast Guard to refuel.
The Coast Guard at Howland Island received powerful radio messages from Earhart indicating they were nearby, but the aircraft carrier and her navigator never made it to the island and were pronounced dead after months of searching.
Since then, this mystery has fascinated generations, giving rise to many theories about what really happened.
Some say the plane ran out of fuel and Earhart and Noonan drowned in the Pacific before reaching Howland. Others speculate that Earhart died after crash landing on a deserted island.
However, the truth about that flight remains a mystery.
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