Is this Amelia Earhart's lost plane, the Electra?
A grainy sonar image captured off an uninhabited tropical island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati might represent the remains of the famous aviator's plane, according to The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating Earhart's last, fateful flight.
Earhart was piloting the Electra, a two-engine plane, in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator, when she vanished on July 2, 1937.
The researchers had already identified a small debris field of objects at a depth of 200 feet in the waters of Nikumaroro island, some 300 miles southeast of Earhart's target destination, Howland Island.
The site features objects that appear consistent with analysis made by TIGHAR forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman of a grainy 1937 photograph of Nikumaroro's western shoreline by British Colonial Service officer Eric R. Bevington.
TIGHAR postulates that flood tides lifted the Electra and carried it over the reef edge, leaving behind the landing gear, which was inadvertently photographed by Officer Bevington three months later in October 1937.
A new twist in the search occurred last March when Richard Conroy, a member of TIGHAR's online Amelia Earhart Search Forum, spotted an anomaly in a sonar map posted online.
The anomaly appears to be the same size and shape of the Electra.
The anomaly lines up nicely with the object seen in the 1937 Bevington photo and in Jeff Glickman's analysis of the underwater image of the debris field.