Amelia Earhart photo debunked

Blogger Debunks the Amelia Earhart Photo

The photo purported by a recent History channel documentary to show Amelia Earhart was printed in a book two years before she vanished.

It’s been 80 years since Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan vanished without a trace on the last leg of their attempt to circumnavigate the globe. While we’re always eager for new evidence that may finally solve the mystery, it seems the photo unveiled by Monday night’s History channel documentary “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” is not it.

A researcher discovered the photo misfiled (definitely a conspiracy) in the National Archives. It depicts natives standing on a pier in the Marshal Islands, among them two blurry figures that may be American. In the water, a Japanese boat identified as the Koshu appears to be towing a barge carrying a plane resembling Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10-E Electra.

Throughout the special, experts examine the photo for authenticity and compare it to known photos of Earhart and Noonan. The result is a compelling narrative that reveals the duo were captured by the Japanese military in the Marshall Islands. Meanwhile, US intelligence did nothing for fear that the codebreaking efforts that allowed them to crack Japanese transmissions would be discovered.

This narrative is supported by claims the Marshall Islands natives have been making for years. The only problem is that by Tuesday, the morning after the documentary aired, a Japanese blogger’s quick search had already identified the photo as having been printed in a book in 1935, two years before Earhart’s final flight.

History channel responded to the claim on Twitter:

It was followed up with this:

Meanwhile, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has been continuing to investigate the theory that Earhart and Noonan made an emergency landing on an atoll in the Pacific where they eventually died. Last month TIGHAR lead an expedition to the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, where bones believed to match Earhart’s measurements were found beneath a tree (and subsequently lost) in 1940.

The team brought four forensic dogs trained to detect the smell of human bones. They centered on an area identified in 2001 where excavations revealed evidence of an American castaway, such as glass jars, a woman’s compact, a jackknife, and the remains of campfires.

As soon as the dogs began working the site, National Geographic reported Friday, the dogs hit on a spot at the base of a ren tree where Earhart may have died.

They didn’t find any bones, but dirt was collected which may yield DNA samples for analysis.

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