The death of famed female pilot Amelia Earhart has fuelled conspiracy theorists for decades.
She disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 as she attempted to fly around the world, but her body was never found. It wasn’t until January 5, 1939 that she was finally declared legally dead, and that was only after her husband, George Putnam, requested the seven-year waiting period for her to be declared ‘dead in absentia’ be waved so he could literally use her own money to fund the search and rescue efforts. Wild.
Well, an explosive new documentary by the History Channel claims to have evidence that Earhart survived the crash and was in fact imprisoned by the Japanese, who occupied the Marshall Islands archipelago during that time.
“A team of investigators from the History Channel has uncovered evidence, including a never-before-seen-photo, that they believe shows Earhart and her navigator alive in Japanese custody having survived that infamous crash in the Pacific,” said segment on NBC‘s Today promoting the doco.
Here’s the pic:
And if you zoom in nice and close, and have a squiz at the red circles kindly added by NBC, you’ll see what looks suspiciously like Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan.
(Image credit for both: National Archives / NBC.)
Shawn Henry, formally of the FBI and current NBC news analyst, said the pic appeared to be undoctored.
“When you pull out, and when you see the analysis that’s been done, I think it leaves no doubt to the viewers that that’s Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan,” he said.
It would support the Marshall Island theory, one of the major theories that would explain just what the hell happened to Earhart in 1937, which relies on eye-witness testimony from Marshall Islanders who claim to have seen the aircraft land and both Earhart and Noonan in Japanese custody.
The official U.S. position on Earhart’s death is that she ran out of fuel on the way to Howland Island and simply crashed into the Pacific Ocean. And then you’ve got the theory she landed on Nikumaroro Island when she couldn’t find Howland Island, and the two just lived out their (numbered) days as castaways.
Point is, it’s been 80 years, and people wanna know.
The doco exploring the discovery, ‘Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence‘, doesn’t air till Sunday in the United States; we’ll keep you updated if it airs in Australia.
Photos: Topical Press Agency / Getty.