Most people like a good mystery. The lost continent of Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot. And of course, whatever happened to Amelia Earhart. And while some people just ready about the mystery and enjoy not knowing. Other folks go out looking for answers.
For Amelia Earhart the group out looking is TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery). This is a non-profit group that wants responsible aircraft archeology. Doesn't it seem odd that aircraft have been around long enough for archeology? And they have recently released a press release indicating that a piece of Earhart's plane was found. Actually it was found back in 1991 washed up on a beach of the island Nikumaroro. And this island is not too far, at least as planes fly, from her destination of Howland Island.
That piece of debris has been determined to be an aluminum patch that had been used to replace a window in Earhart's Lockheed Electra in Miami in June of 1937. The patch with its size and rivet hole positions matches the object found on the island. Given aircraft design, those patterns are almost like a fingerprint.
In addition, there is a sonar anomaly on the reef of Nikumaroro. About 600 feet below the surface. Which the people at TIGHAR hope to investigate using underwater robots and subs to see if it is the actual wreckage of the plane.
And if it is, that's even more evidence that Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan landed the plane, but on the reef. Where it eventually washed out into the ocean off the reef. Of course this makes the story sadder in some ways, since she survived the crash, or landing, and is supposed to have attempted to make radio contact for a few days afterwards. At least until the plane slipped down into the ocean. So she and perhaps Noonan lived out their lives never found on that island.
But to check out the possible plane below the surface, TIGHAR needs money. Underwater robots aren't cheap, and Nikumaroro is not on the beaten track, so they have to have a lot of supplies.
I'm not sure how well their fund-raising goes, but at lot of the time for these kind of mysteries, there's more money to be made on it remaining a mystery, than if it becomes solved. There's not too much money that can be made from knowing what happened to Amelia. Or Bigfoot, or Atlantis and ancient astronauts. But there is a fair amount of money that can be made from selling books about the mystery. Or TV shows on the “History” channel.
Do you think, if I wrote a book on Bigfoot kidnapping Amelia Earhart back in time to Atlantis, to help ancient astronauts could I get it in the non-fiction section at a book store? Or has that already been done?
If you want to read the TIGHAR press release or donate check out their web page at