Delaware-based group examines new evidence in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart

What happened to aviator Amelia Earhart?  75 years after her disappearance, a Delaware-based organization says it may be closer solving the mystery.

Earhart vanished during a flight over the South Pacific in 1937.  Delawarean Rick Gillespie, Executive Director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, plans to board a research vessel in June with other scientists and head for a reef off the remote island of Nikumaroro. 

Gillespie said this week that newly enhanced analysis of a photo taken by a British survey team in 1937 appears to show the landing gear of the plane.  Previous explorations of the island have uncovered artifacts that may have belonged to Earhart. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lent her support to the mission, while praising Amelia Earhart’s role in history.  “Her legacy resonates today for anyone, girls and boys, who dreams about the stars,” Clinton said.  “She gave people hope and she inspired them to dream bigger and bolder.” 

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The June mission will be privately funded, and will be filmed by the Discovery Channel for a future program.

Gillespie has made a number of trips to the South Pacific to try to solve the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart.  During an interview on WHYY’s ‘First’ in early 2011, he explained his passion:  “Her disappearance is of great interest to people and the circumstances are fascinating in this iconic mystery.  It’s a vehicle that we can use to explore and demonstrate how you go about figuring out historical truths.”

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