Aviator survived for days on Pacific reef, new research suggests

Amelia Earhart did not simply disappear on July 2, 1937, says a non-profit organization devoted to aviation history.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has released new details about what happened during the aviator’s question to circle the globe. The information has led researchers to the following conclusion, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor:

“Earhart and (navigator Fred) Noonan, low on fuel and unable to find their next scheduled stopping point – Howland Island – radioed their position, then landed on a reef at uninhabited Gardner Island, a small coral atoll now known as Nikumaroro Island.

“Using what fuel remained to turn up the engines to recharge the batteries, they continued to radio distress signals for several days until Earhart’s twin-engine Lockheed Electra aircraft was swept off the reef by rising tides and surf.”

Those radio signals were dismissed as bogus, TIGAR executive director Richard Gillespie told Discovery News, though new research suggests almost half of them were credible. “The results of the study show a body of evidence which might be the forgotten key to the mystery,” he said. “It is the elephant in the room that has gone unacknowledged for nearly 75 years.”

TIGAR researchers will head to the Pacific reef next month to see if they can locate the submarines using submersibles.

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