Earhart Researchers Found "Debris Field"

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Researchers who combed the sea bottom off a remote Pacific island for Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra say raw video shows "manmade objects," but they are stopping short of saying the mystery of her disappearance has been solved. "It's still very early days but we have man-made objects in a debris field in the place we'd expect to find it if our theory about the airplane is correct," said Ric Gillespie, director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), in a statement Saturday. The news comes on the eve of the airing of a Discovery Channel program on the TIGHAR expedition to Nikumaroro in July. The group believes the Electra was swept offshore sometime after Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan made an emergency landing on the island.

Gillespie said that soon after they arrived at the island 1800 miles southwest of Hawaii they realized the conditions made it unlikely they would find a "nice intact airplane." Using a remotely piloted submersible they took a large volume of video of the sea floor but couldn't review it until they were back in Hawaii. Gillespie said more expert analysis of the video is needed. "We don't want to oversell this. It is more evidence. It is where it should be and that is encouraging," he said.