Amelia Earhart buffs will likely to be tuning in to the History Channel at 9pm Eastern Sunday for a documentary that floats a provocative theory: Investigators say a newly surfaced photo shows Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan on a dock on one of the Marshall Islands, suggesting that they were rescued by the Japanese military after crashing and then imprisoned. A post at the Daily Beast, however, joins the skeptics: It notes that a Japanese author tracked down a surviving member of the Japanese ship that allegedly transported Earhart to Japan, and the telegraphist was adamant: The ship never spotted Earhart, alive or dead. Meanwhile, a competing theory that Earhart crash-landed on Nikumaroro Island is still alive after an unusual hunt involving forensic dogs.
Border collies sniffing around the island as part of a search by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, or TIGHAR, "alerted" near a tree on the island last week, meaning they seemed to detect human remains, reports National Geographic. Archaeologists digging at the site turned up nothing, but a long-shot hope remains: Investigators are sending samples of the soil to DNA specialists in Germany to see whether they can detect the remains of Earhart or Noonan. Results should be known in a matter of weeks. Daily Beast writer Clive Irving looks into both theories and find that each is lacking. The best bet, he writes, is that Earhart and Noonan are somewhere on the ocean floor. As for the History Channel theory, "they most certainly didn’t die in a Japanese prison."