A group of researching hoping to find the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s plane should arrive at Nikumaroro Island sometime today. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) left Hawaii on July 2 and estimated arrival at the island early this morning local time. Once they are in position, they intend to immediately begin using sonar technology and an ROV to map the ocean floor.
Earhart, and her navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared on July 2, 1937, and the search for Earhart’s plane has been off-and-on again for the past 75 years. This time, the crew are using a photograph taken two months. after Earhart disappeared as their guide. The photograph appears to show the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra protruding from the water.
The TIGHAR expedition is led by Earhart historian and TIGHAR Executive Director Ricahrd E. Gillespie, author of the book Finding Amelia. He has been searching for Earhart’s plane since the founding of TIGHAR in 1988. Hopefully after this expedition, Gillespie will have to update his book.
The expedition will be at the site for ten days, and I will post updates as they are available. You can follow the expedition by visiting the TIGHAR website, their expedition reports, or their Facebook page. The group is still accepting donations to help pay for the expedition and you can help by visiting their donation page.
UPDATE: The group arrived at the island this morning at 1:30 AM local time (7:30 AM EDT). The intent was to begin scanning the ocean floor with the AUV, but after a 4-hour test run, the group began to have issues with the propulsion system on the AUV. Luckily the repair should be fairly simple and keep working. You can read the full report HERE.