A photograph recently discovered in the US National Archives shows almost-definitive proof that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, might have survived the crash-landing in the Pacific 80 years ago.
The legendary aviator notably disappeared somewhere in the South Pacific in 1937 in her attempt to become the first female pilot to circle the globe. Her fate has since become one of the world’s biggest mysteries that have yet to be solved.
Now, History Channel and Shawn Henry, a former executive assistant director of the FBI, have come forward with a two-hour documentary titled Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence to try to answer the question: What happened to Emilia Earhart?
Armed with a recently-unearthed photo apparently showing the trailblazing pilot and her navigator, Noonan, after they crash-landed on a remote South Pacific atoll, Henry offers up evidence refuting the theory that they ran out of fuel and died in a plane crash. Instead, they were taken captives by the Japanese on the island of Saipan.
Photographic evidence of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in the Marshall Islands has been found in the National Archives. pic.twitter.com/sCcJoGx4fK
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) July 5, 2017
“This absolutely changes history,” Henry says. “I think we proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she survived her flight and was held prisoner by the Japanese on the island of Saipan, where she eventually died.”
The Lost Evidence
The documentary’s theory has been floating around for decades now. But the newly discovered black and white picture is, so far, what makes the claim plausible.
According to the preview, former US Treasury agent named Les Kinney, who began looking into Earhart’s disappearance after he retired, rediscovered the photo in a mislabeled file at the National Archives. In it is a woman resembling Earhart sitting on the dock and a man which looks like Noonan. On the far right of the picture is a barge with an airplane on it which is presumably Earhart’s.
Henry he sought assistance from two different photo experts to analyzed the picture and both concluded that it had not been manipulated. Facial recognition expert Kent Gibson also compared known images of Noonan and Earhart with the people in the photographed and believes it’s “likely” they are the two lost aviators.
Earhart was last heard from on July 2, 1937. She was declared dead two years later after the U.S. concluded she had crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, although her remains were never found.
Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence on History this Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET.
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