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Page 3 Profile: Amelia Earhart, aviator

Has the mystery been solved?

No, but tantalising new evidence suggests the riddle of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance could soon be over. The American aviation pioneer, who in 1932 became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to fly around the world along with flight navigator Fred Noonan. She was declared dead in 1939 at the age of 41.

Have they found her then?

The International Group for  Historic Aircraft Recovery (Tighar) believes the pair landed near the remote West Pacific island of Nikumaroro. A grainy sonar image of surrounding waters shows a distinct “anomaly” 600ft down, which they say could be the fuselage of the Lockheed Electra 10E aircraft. “It’s the right size, it’s the right shape, and it’s in the right place,” Tighar’s website says. They also found what could be an anti-freckle cream jar on the island. Earhart was not overly fond of her freckled complexion.

A grainy image and a jar of cream –  is that it?

Tighar’s theory is that Earhart and Noonan lived as castaways for a while. A collection of tools and animal bones found on the island support the theory. The organisation wants to return to Nikumaroro to carry out an underwater search, but need $3m (£2m). “It’s a lot of money, but it’s a small price to pay for finding Amelia,” director Richard Gillespie said.

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