Earhart's Wreckage Not Caught on Video, Say Experts

Court battle continues over donations to search

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 17, 2014 6:10 AM CDT
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(Newser) – News from another, far older search for a missing plane: Experts yesterday filed court statements saying underwater video at the heart of a lawsuit doesn't show Amelia Earhart's plane after all, the AP reports. At the center of the saga, and suit, is the claim from a donor to TIGHAR, the group in charge of the search, who believes the organization found Earhart's plane in 2010 but kept a lid on the news in order to grab more money from donors. Experts for that donor, Timothy Mellon, made statements of their own earlier this year attesting that objects seen in the controversial video, shot in 2010, were "consistent with" the plane's parts.

Now, however, expert witnesses for TIGHAR—The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery—are saying quite the opposite. "I am entirely unconvinced, and not even mildly suspicious, that the 2010 TIGHAR expedition produced evidence of an aircraft debris field," says a biology professor with the Boston University Marine Program. Richard Gillespie, head of TIGHAR, seconds that finding. "When we have seen aircraft wreckage underwater, it's very apparent that's what it is," Gillespie says, calling assertions to the contrary "mind-boggling." He says discussions are underway to see if the lawsuit, set to head to trial in August, can be resolved.

Amelia Earhart stands next to a Lockheed Electra 10E.
Amelia Earhart stands next to a Lockheed Electra 10E.   (AP Photo/File)
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