A newly discovered photo could be the clue that solves one of America’s greatest mysteries: Where is Amelia Earhart?
The legendary aviator disappeared somewhere in the South Pacific in 1937 as she was attempting to become the first female pilot to circle the globe. Her fate has been shrouded in mystery for 80 years.
Now a long-lost photograph, discovered in the National Archives, shows what some believe is the trailblazing pilot after she was taken prisoner by the Japanese.
It was taken on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, about 2,500 miles from Hawaii.
A new History Channel documentary, Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, utilizes forensic analysis to determine whether the figure seen in the image is Earhart.
The woman in the photo has short hair and broad shoulders that appear to match earlier photos taken of Earhart. A man standing at the far left of the image is a dead ringer for Earhart’s navigator, Fred Noonan.
The man has a distinctive hairline, which is said to match that of Noonan.
In the background is a Japanese ship towing an object that looks to be about 38 feet long, the exact length of the plane Earhart and Noonan were flying when they vanished.
The special’s executive producer Gary Tarpinian spoke to Inside Edition about the shocking photograph.
“We believe it is Amelia Earhart — it is Fred Noonan on the Marshall Islands — and that we can prove,” he said. “Amelia Earhart is a great American, a great woman, and you can stay she started the feminist movement in a way in showing what could be done. We think we owe it to her to tell the real story.”
One theory put forth by the documentary is that the two captured Americans were taken to a Japanese prison on the island of Saipan, where both later died.
The photograph is the first hard evidence that she survived a crash.