The circumstances surrounding Amelia Earhart’s mysterious death are beginning to become clearer, almost 70 years after her disappearance.
On 2 July, 1937 Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean as she tried to fly around the world at the equator. Back in 1991 a large piece of aluminum was found on Nikumaroro, which is an uninhabited small island that is located in the southwestern Pacific area of Kiribati.
Researchers have now confirmed that after extensive tests that this piece of debris did belong to Earhart’s aircraft, the Electra.
Discovery have reported that researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery have insisted that this aluminum sheet was part of a patch of metal that was installed on the vessel when Earhart stopped in Miami for eight days during her journey. The piece of aluminum was attached to replace a navigational window. A photo that was taken on Tuesday, June 1, 1937, shows the Electra leaving San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a shiny patch of metal where the window should have been.
Ric Gillespie, who is the executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, an organization has been investigating Earhart’s disappearance for decades, has now opened up about the discovery.
“The Miami Patch was an expedient field repair. Its complex fingerprint of dimensions, proportions, materials and rivet patterns was as unique to Earhart’s Electra as a fingerprint is to an individual.”
Comparisons were then made between the metal sheet that was found in Nikumaroro to a Lockheed Electra that is currently being restored at Wichita Air Services in Newton, Kansas. All of the elements completely matched up, and The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery have documented their findings in a report on their website.
You can look at a picture of the metal sheet below.
Clearly overjoyed with the discovery, Gillespie went on to declare that this is the first real evidence to have ben found that has a direct link with Amelia Earhart’s death.
“This is the first time an artifact found on Nikumaroro has been shown to have a direct link to Amelia Earhart.”
This new evidence has lead experts to predict that Earhart, alongside her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed on Nikumaroro’s “smooth, flat coral reef” surface on or around the 2nd July, 1937. They then became castaways on the atoll and eventually succumbed to their deaths there.
It was previously believed that the pair had crashed in the Pacific Ocean as they journeyed to their intended destination of Howland Island. Nikumaroro is around 350 miles southeast of Howland Island.