South Carolina sonar specialists Deep Sea Vision may have located the final resting place of Amelia Earhart’s long-lost Lockheed 10-E Electra Special
The aircraft was last seen taking off from Lae, New Guinea around 1000hrs on July 2, 1937, while being piloted by the famed aviatrix with navigator Fred Noonan during the final stages of her record-setting attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Bound for Howland Island 2,243nm to the northeast across the South Pacific Ocean (including the International Date Line), they were never seen again. Their disappearance remains one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.
Now, some 76 years later, the company has discovered what appears to be the remains of an aeroplane, both the shape and size of an Electra, more than 16,000ft underwater within 100 miles of Howland Island. But more exploration is required to confirm the identity of the wreck.
Terry Romeo, a former USAF intelligence officer and current CEO of Deep Sea Vision noted that his $11m expedition to search was based on the ‘Date Line Theory’. Suggested in 2010, this theory attributes Earhart’s disappearance to simply forgetting to turn the calendar back one day after the aircraft passed the International Date Line. In doing so, celestial navigation would have suffered a gross westward error of 60 miles.
Begun in September 2023 and covering 5,200 square miles of the ocean floor, Deep Sea Vision’s search collected hundreds of terabytes of sonar data and images. While the image showing the object was captured about a month into the search, the team didn’t discover it until the tail end of the expedition – making it impractical to turn back to for a closer look. Deep Sea Vision has announced it will revisit the site – the exact location of which is being kept under wraps – either later this year or early next. Could we be one step closer to bringing one of the greatest aviation stories to a close?