New Earhart Search Planned

Rediscovered 1937 photo may show her plane near Pacific atoll

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 20, 2012 4:25 AM CDT | Updated Mar 20, 2012 6:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Some 75 years after Amelia Earhart and her navigator disappeared over the South Pacific in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe, the State Department is backing another search for her and her plane. The new search, to be launched this summer, will focus on deep waters around the remote atoll of Nikumaroro. A newly discovered photo taken just months after her disappearance in 1937 shows what some believe is part of her plane's landing gear, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hillary Clinton will discuss the search today, and praise Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo, as a pioneer for women and a model of American courage, according to State Department officials.

The remains of a castaway were found on the island a few years after Earhart disappeared, but DNA testing last year proved inconclusive. The new search is being funded with $500,000 of private money. The search team plans to set off from Hawaii on July 2, exactly 75 years after Earhart's last transmission. "We'll do our best to find Amelia," the search team's leader tells Discovery. "During the painful recovery from the Great Depression, Amelia Earhart inspired America with her courage and determination. America needs Amelia again."

Artifacts found on the island suggest that Earhart survived as a castaway for at least a few weeks, the search leader says.   (Library of Congress)
Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, is shown in this undated file photo.   (AP Photo)
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