Amelia Earhart's long-lost plane discovered in the Pacific, explorer claims after decades-old mystery

30 January 2024, 13:37 | Updated: 30 January 2024, 13:57

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Amelia Earhart's long-lost plane has been discovered in the Pacific, an explorer has claimed.

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Tony Romeo, a former US Air Force pilot and the CEO of Deep Sea Vision, said he believed he had solved one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

He and his team combed the ocean floor using an underwater vehicle as part of an $11 million expedition in December.

Sonar images appeared to show an object similar to the plane Earhart had been flying when it went missing in 1937.

The wreckage was found 100 miles from Howland Island, which sits halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were expected to land there in her attempt to be the first female pilot to circumnavigate the globe.

Nearly one year and six months after their disappearance, Earhart was officially declared dead.

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"It was a surreal moment," Mr Romeo told NBC.

"We'd been going for 90 days and the team was frustrated and, you know, everybody's kind of on each other's nerves at this point, disappointed.

"But you see that come across the screen and suddenly it's like, wow, that's different.

"You see weird rock formations and things on the bottom of the ocean, but you're not gonna see like that nice T-shape that an airplane forms."

Mr Romeo continued: "You'd be hard-pressed to convince me that's anything but an aircraft, for one, and two, that it's not Amelia's aircraft.

"There's no other known crashes in the area, and certainly not of that era in that kind of design with the tail that you see clearly in the image."

He said his team is now planning to return to the site this year or early next year with a camera and remotely operated vehicle to get better pictures of the wreckage and confirm what it is.

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