Scottish Tech Company Helps Find Amelia Earhart’s Lost Plane

A blurry sonar image sparks hope for solving the 87-year-old mystery

Amelia Earhart, the legendary American aviator who vanished in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world, may have finally been found. A Scottish tech company called Deep Sea Vision claims to have captured a sonar image of a small aircraft that could be Earhart’s Lockheed 10-E Electra. The image was taken at a depth of about 16,400 feet in the Pacific Ocean, near Howland Island, where Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were heading before they disappeared.

Deep Sea Vision is a marine robotics company that specializes in underwater exploration and mapping. The company used a state-of-the-art unmanned underwater drone, the Kongsberg Discovery HUGIN 6000, to scan more than 5,200 square miles of ocean floor in search of the plane. The drone can operate autonomously for up to 72 hours and has a high-resolution sonar system that can detect objects as small as one meter.

The company’s founder and CEO, Tony Romeo, said he was confident that the sonar image was that of Earhart’s plane, based on its shape, size, and location. He said he planned to return to the site with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to take more detailed pictures and confirm his hypothesis. He also said he hoped to recover the plane and bring it to the surface, if possible.

The enduring mystery of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was one of the most famous and influential women of the 20th century. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean, and the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to the mainland US. She also set many other records and awards, and was an advocate for women’s rights and aviation safety.

In 1937, Earhart embarked on her most ambitious and daring project: to fly around the world along the equator, covering about 29,000 miles. She was accompanied by Fred Noonan, a skilled navigator and former Pan Am pilot. They flew a specially modified Lockheed 10-E Electra, a twin-engine monoplane that could carry enough fuel for long-distance flights.

Scottish Tech Company Helps Find Amelia Earhart’s Lost Plane

They left Oakland, California, on May 20, 1937, and flew eastward, stopping at various locations in South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. They reached Lae, New Guinea, on June 29, having completed about 22,000 miles of the journey. They took off from Lae on July 2, intending to refuel at Howland Island, a tiny speck of land in the vast Pacific Ocean, about 2,550 miles away.

However, they never made it to Howland Island. They encountered bad weather, strong headwinds, and radio problems along the way. They communicated with a US Coast Guard ship, the Itasca, that was waiting for them near the island, but they could not see or hear each other clearly. Earhart’s last transmission was at about 8:43 a.m. local time, when she said, “We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait.” The line 157 337 referred to a navigational position that intersected Howland Island, but it was not precise enough to locate them. After that, they were never heard from again.

The US Navy and Coast Guard launched a massive search operation, covering an area of about 250,000 square miles, but they found no trace of the plane or the pilots. They were officially declared dead on January 5, 1939.

The quest for answers and closure

Since then, many theories and speculations have emerged about what happened to Earhart and Noonan. Some believe they crashed and sank in the ocean, while others believe they landed on a nearby island and died of starvation, exposure, or capture by the Japanese, who occupied some of the islands in the region at the time. Some even believe they survived and assumed new identities, or that they were part of a secret spy mission.

Numerous expeditions and investigations have been conducted over the years, using various methods and technologies, to try to find the plane or any evidence of their fate. Some have claimed to have found clues, such as bones, artifacts, or photographs, that could be linked to Earhart and Noonan, but none have been conclusively proven or widely accepted.

The latest discovery by Deep Sea Vision has reignited the interest and hope of many people who are fascinated by the mystery and admire the legacy of Earhart. If the sonar image is indeed that of her plane, it could provide the definitive answer and closure that many have been seeking for decades. It could also shed new light on the circumstances and challenges that Earhart and Noonan faced in their final moments.

However, not everyone is convinced by the claim. Some experts and skeptics have pointed out that the sonar image is too blurry and vague to identify the object as a plane, let alone Earhart’s plane. They have also questioned the credibility and motives of Deep Sea Vision, which is a relatively new and unknown company. They have urged caution and verification before jumping to conclusions.

One of the most prominent and respected researchers of the Earhart mystery is Richard Gillespie, the executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), a non-profit organization that has been investigating the case since 1988. TIGHAR has conducted 12 expeditions to Nikumaroro, an island about 350 miles south of Howland Island, where they believe Earhart and Noonan landed and survived for some time before perishing. They have found various artifacts and anomalies on the island that they believe are consistent with their hypothesis, but they have not found the plane or the remains of the pilots.

Gillespie said he was skeptical of Deep Sea Vision’s claim, and that he had seen similar sonar images before that turned out to be nothing. He said he would need to see more evidence and documentation before he could accept their claim. He also said he was not surprised by the claim, as he had seen many others over the years, and that he expected more to come in the future.

“The Earhart mystery is a very attractive target for publicity seekers and entrepreneurs,” he said. “It’s also a very difficult and expensive problem to solve. We have spent over 30 years and millions of dollars on our research, and we still have not found the smoking gun. But we are not giving up. We are still working on new leads and new technologies that could help us find the truth.”

By Axel Piper

Axel Piper is a renowned news writer based in Scotland, known for his insightful coverage of all the trending news stories. With his finger on the pulse of Scotland's ever-changing landscape, Axel brings the latest updates and breaking news to readers across the nation. His extensive knowledge of current affairs, combined with his impeccable research skills, allows him to provide accurate and comprehensive reporting on a wide range of topics. From politics to entertainment, sports to technology, Axel's articles are engaging and informative, keeping readers informed and up to date.

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