Clue In Old Photo Leads To New Search For Amelia Earhart's Plane | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Clue In Old Photo Leads To New Search For Amelia Earhart's Plane

Play associated audio

New analysis of a photo taken in 1937 has led investigators to think it might show a piece of the landing gear from aviator Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane, which disappeared in June that year somewhere in the South Pacific.

And at the State Department today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other officials gathered to announce that a privately funded search effort led by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will be going to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in July to see if they can find any evidence of the aircraft, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan.

"Amelia Earhart may have been an unlikely heroine for a nation down on its luck," Clinton said, "but she embodied the spirit of an America coming of age and increasingly confident, ready to lead in a quite uncertain and dangerous world."

"I'm thrilled to invite to this room today scientists and engineers, our aviators and our salvagers and everyone who still knows how important it is to dream and to seek," Clinton added, according to a State Department transcript, "because even if you do not find what you seek, there is great honor and possibility in the search itself."

Ric Gillespie, executive director and founder of TIGHAR, told All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block earlier today that "this latest piece of information .... gives us the information we need to do the search we've long wanted to do ... an underwater search for the wreckage of Amelia's plane."

In the photo, he said, "there's something that shouldn't be there... sticking up out of the edge of the water" and it looks to some experts like it might be a piece of her Lockheed Electra. It was taken from the air just months after Earhart disappeared, over a tiny island called Nikumaroro. That's the island where some other evidence — including bone fragments — has been found that leads Gillespie and his colleagues to think they might have the right place.

The search, Gillespie added, will focus on an underwater reef slope.

We'll add the broadcast conversation Melissa had with Gillespie to the top of this post later. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams All Things Considered.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Requiring every center that performs abortions to meet all the standards of a surgical center is excessively restrictive, says the federal district court judge who blocked the state rule Friday.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.