Amelia Earhart Plane Search Turns Up New Clue - 2

The sonar image is overlayed on Google Earth to give a reference point for where it was taken.

Due to the “ping drops,” the length of the object cannot be precisely determined. According to the OIC scale, the length of the object could be as short as 34 feet long or as long as 39.5 feet.

The search has been going since shortly after she disappeared in 1937. Is it finally over?

“In other words, it could be the length of a Lockheed Electra with a slightly crushed nose, or the length of an intact 38.5 feet Lockheed Electra fuselage, or it could be about one foot too long to be an Electra fuselage,” Gillespie said.

This is the corrected view of the anomaly. The straight line against the sea floor suggests a manmade object, which has similar dimensions to Earhart's plane.

Based on the shadow, the OIC’s estimate for the height of the object is 5 feet 5 inches. The report warns that the accuracy of the measurement depends heavily on the surface upon which the shadow is cast.

“If the terrain immediately beyond the object is relatively flat, the estimate should be fairly good. If the terrain is a steep upslope, the measurement will be off,” Gillespie said

“It is worth mentioning, however, that the fuselage diameter of a Lockheed Electra is almost exactly 5 feet 5 inches,” he added.

According to Gillespie, the old and new analysis strongly contradict charges made last week that TIGHAR found the aircraft in 2010 but hid the discovery to raise money for another expedition.

Filed by Timothy Mellon, the son of philanthropist Paul Mellon and a major donor to TIGHAR's search for Amelia, the lawsuit alleges that the Delaware aircraft preservationist group captured underwater images of the Electra in a High Defintion ROV video shot during the 2010 expedition. Clearly showing some rope and a piece of what appears to be wire, the video is available on the TIGHAR YouTube channel.

Tim Stubson, a lawyer representing Mellon, told reporters that his client recruited experts who analyzed the footage and concluded that objects shown in the video are the wreckage.

“The anomaly is in a different place and at a different depth from where Mellon contends that he sees virtually all of the Electra wreckage, plus the remains of both Earhart and Noonan, her banjo – yes, her banjo-- a stamp collection, and rolls of toilet paper,” Gillespie said.

“Mellon's suit is frivolous and vicious. TIGHAR rejects his allegations in the strongest possible terms,” Gillespie said.

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