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Radio Signal Analysis Points to Amelia Earhart Discovery

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Amelia Earthart: Inspiration and Mystery
Book Review: Amelia Earthart, Young Air Pioneer

June 2, 2012

New information suggests that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, did not crash into the Pacific Ocean but instead landed on a tiny island and waited in vain for a response to their distress signals.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, long on the trail of the fate of the famed Earhart, has released the results of analysis of a collection or radio signals from 1937 to conclude that Earhart and Noonan landed their plane on Gardner Island (now known as Nikumaroro Island) and sent out radio calls for help for a few days before rising tides swept them away.

Using technology not available even a few years ago, the group has determined that many of the radio signals thought to be anomalies or hoaxes were, in fact, very real and very determined. Lacking any rescue, Earhart and Noonan likely died on the island, TIGHAR said.

Earhart and Noonan disappeared on July 2, 1937, in the final stages of a planned around-the-world flight. Their intended destination was Howland Island.

A massive search of the area turned up no evidence of either a crash or survivors. Subsequent searches and evidence has led many people, members of TIGHAR among them, to think that the pilot and navigator lived out their last days on the tiny island. Artifacts found a few years later include a type of bone-handled knife known to be carried by Earhart, part of a woman's shoe, and a woman's compact.

Spurred in large part by a new analysis of a photo of the time that could show the plane, the group will launch an expedition in July to search on and around tiny Nikumaroro, a small coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

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