The mystery of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan could finally see a conclusion and can be seen on a new documentary of the Discovery Channel. (Photo : US Library of Congress)
Objects spotted near Kiribati may have led researchers to believe it is the remains of Amelia Earhart's last flight 75 years ago.
The debris was found off the country's island of Nikumaroro using a high-definition video. The International Group of Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has since started an underwater search.
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Earhart went missing in 1937 after the plane disappeared across the south Pacific. She was 39-years-old and was declared dead in January 1939.
The search, costing up to $2.2 million, has been "plagued" by technical issues, according to Reuters, due to the challenging ocean conditions.
"It's still very early days, but we have man-made objects in a debris field in the place where we'd expect to find it if our theory on the airplane is correct," said TIGHAR Executive Director Ric Gillespie.
The executive director noted the obvious, they will not find a "nice intact airplane," and said the local environment off Nikumaroro is "very severe" as the ocean sweeps items away and "attempts to bury" them.
The research has used the Remote Operated Vehicle and the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to help detect the objects. The former vehicle is used to collect information related to multi-beam and side-scan, according to French Tribune. The latter vehicle produces high-definition video.
In early footage, according to British Colonial Service officer Eric Bevington on the Daily Mail, four parts of the plane can be seen, including a strut, wheel, a wom gear, and a fender. Some of the objects are expected to be on the ocean floor and TIGHAR are preparing for such a mission.
The US State Department is aware of the search and has given consent to continue. The Kiribati government is also cooperating with the efforts.
The search comes just before the Discovery Channel is set to air a special on TIGHAR's expedition, and the group is "rushing" to get a video featured on the show.
According to the Daily Mail, the "most widely accepted theory" regarding the plane's disappearance is the plane ran out of fuel. Other theories include Earhart survived the crash landing but eventually died from injuries and that she was sent to spy on Japan but was captured then executed.