Amelia Earhart search yields debris

Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The group searching for Amelia Earhart says some debris found in the South Pacific could be the wreckage of the famed U.S. aviatrix's long-lost plane.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, or TIGHAR, said its recent search of the seafloor off a remote island indeed turned up some video of possible debris, which the expedition's leaders called "interesting."

"I have thus far made a cursory review of less than 30 percent of the expedition's video and have identified what appears to be an interesting debris field," TIGHAR forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman told Discovery News.

TIGHAR had theorized that Earhart's plane was forced to make an emergency landing on a coral reef off the shore of Nikumaroro island in 1937. While Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan likely made it to shore, the twin-engine plane they were using on their around-the-world flight was soon washed away and sank in deep water.

TIGHAR had hoped to find the plane relatively intact; however they have since concluded the undersea turbulence would have likely smashed the plane to bits over the years.

The debris found this year was located a safe distance from the wreck of a British ship that sank in the area in 1929.

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