Sonar Images Capture What Seems To Be Amelia Earhart’s Missing Plane


Amelia Earhart’s disappearance without a trace remains a big blow in aviation history. The trailblazing aviator and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished on July 2, 1937, while attempting to navigate the globe. Her last radio transmission hinted at low fuel, and despite extensive searches, neither Earhart nor her plane were located.

Over the years, various expeditions have been launched to uncover the truth behind Earhart’s disappearance, but none have provided definitive answers. However, in a recent development, a South Carolina man claims that he might have discovered the plane Earhart was piloting when she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

Former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer Tony Romeo begins search for Amelia Earhart’s plane

Amelia Earhart's lost planeAmelia Earhart's lost plane
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), waving, seated outside cockpit on top of an Autogiro, in Los Angeles, shortly after she became the first woman to complete a solo coast-to-coast flight. August 1932.

Driven by fascination with the legendary pilot, Tony Romeo, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, embarked on an ambitious quest to locate Amelia Earhart’s lost plane. Romeo invested $11 million to finance the expedition, acquiring state-of-the-art equipment.

The expedition, launched from Tarawa, Kiribati, near Howland Island in early September, featured a 16-person crew aboard a search vessel that meticulously scanned 5,200 square miles of the ocean floor.

Amelia Earhart's lost planeAmelia Earhart's lost plane
AMELIA EARHART: THE FINAL FLIGHT, Diane Keaton, 1994, © Avenue Pictures Prod. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Tony Romeo discovers sonar images of what looks like Amelia Earhart’s lost plane

Approximately a month into their search, the team detected a sonar image suggesting an airplane positioned 5,000 meters underwater within 100 miles of Howland Island. Strikingly, this image went unnoticed until approximately 90 days into the expedition, when the team scrutinized the data.

Amelia Earhart's lost planeAmelia Earhart's lost plane
Aviator, Amelia Earhart, standing below her Bright Red Lockheed Vega airplane which she bought in 1929. She flew her ‘Little Red Bus’ from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 15 hours on May 20-21, 1932. She was second person after Lindbergh and first women to make a solo non-stop Atlantic flight (BSLOC_2021_3_3)

Despite the intriguing discovery, opinions among experts vary. Dorothy Cochrane, a curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, finds Romeo’s finding compelling, noting that the sonar image’s location aligns with the speculated crash site of Earhart. However, some experts have refrained from confirming the discovery and requested clearer images, including specific details like a serial number matching Earhart’s plane.


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