In July, I posted a series of posts about the expedition led by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) in search of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra. After spending two weeks scanning the ocean floor and overcoming a variety of technical issues, the group of researchers headed back to Hawaii to go through the sonar and ROV images. TIGHAR has not shared the final results of their search on their website because the Discovery Channel filmed the expedition.
Discovery Channel will air the results of the expedition this Sunday, August 19, at 10PM ET/9PM CT. The special, entitled “Finding Amelia,” will explore Earhart’s disappearance, the theories of the expedition’s leader Ric Gillespie, and the final results of the Niku VII expedition. Check your local listings and be sure to tune for what could prove to be a historic event.
The search for Amelia Earhart’s plane by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). The group spent the last nine days searching the waters around Nikumaroro Island using advanced sonar and ROV technology.
If you have been following TIGHAR’s daily reports, you know that the expedition has had some technical issues. Problems with the sonar technology and the ROV have not been uncommon. Despite these issues, the team was still able to collect a massive amount of data that they will begin to analyze on their return trip to Hawaii.
Yesterday was their final day at Nikumaroro, and their daily report indicates that they did not find any objects that appeared to be plane shaped, but some speculate that the plane may have broken up as it washed out to sea. If this is the case, they will need to analyze all the sonar scans and ROV images. This will be a challenge because there are pieces of the shipwreck of the SS Norwich City in the area.
The analysis of the data will certainly take some time, and I will post a full update as soon as their final report is published. In the meantime, you can continue to follow the expedition by visiting the TIGHAR website, reading their expedition reports, and following their Facebook page.
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.