“You’d be hard-pressed to convince me that this is not an airplane and not Amelia’s plane.”
South Carolina-based ocean exploration company Deep Sea Vision claims to have found the aircraft of American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who famously disappeared back in 1937 while trying to become the first female pilot to circumnavigate the globe.
If confirmed, the discovery could be a huge development in one of aviation’s greatest mysteries.
With the help of an underwater drone equipped with a high-tech radar and a 16-member crew, Deep Sea Vision claims to have come across an object that closely resembles Earhart’s Lockheed Electra aircraft roughly 16,000 feet below the surface and 100 miles off Howland Island, a location where the two were supposed to land to refuel.
“All that combined, you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that this is not an airplane and not Amelia’s plane,” Deep Sea Vision founder Tony Romeo told NPR.
The Kansa-born pilot was the first female aviator to cross the Atlantic by herself, among many other aviation records. But during her epic 1937 journey, she and navigator Fred Noonan mysteriously disappeared while flying over the central Pacific Ocean, without leaving a trace.
Neither their bodies nor their plane have been recovered, despite many attempts over the decades.
Her disappearance prompted a huge number of conspiracy theories, which range from feasible to incredibly far-fetched.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Romeo likened the incident to “Taylor Swift just disappearing today.”
But did Deep Sea Vision really find their plane? Could it actually be Earhart’s? Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum curator Dorothy Cochrane told the WSJ that the location does check out.
Experts agree it’s impossible to tell for sure short of having a first-hand look. And given the purported wreck’s location, that likely won’t be an easy task.
But Romeo isn’t dismayed by the prospect — he’s more excited than ever.
“This is maybe the most exciting thing I’ll ever do in my life,” he told the WSJ. “I feel like a ten-year-old going on a treasure hunt.”