Ever since Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared on their around-the-world flight on July 2, 1937, what happened to the two has been one of the great unsolved mysteries of the 20th Century.
A recently discovered photograph from the U.S. Government archives may actually provide an answer to all the speculation that has circled the case and HISTORY will present the evidence in a two-hour special Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence on Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The photo taken on Jaluit Atoll and uncovered by Former US Treasury Agent Les Kinney, who has been searching for an answer for 15 years as to what happened to Earhart, was filed away because it was considered to be a picture of Japanese movements in the Marshall Islands. No one guessed that it might provide a clue as to Earhart’s fate.
But if you look closely, you can see a Caucasian woman sitting on the dock with her back to the photographer, and to her far left is a man who very much resembles Noonan. The person who took the photograph is believed to have later been executed as a spy.
If that is Earhart and Noonan, it would mean they survived the crash. Of course, that raises more questions about what happened to them after their her rescue.
In Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, Former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry investigates evidence that Earhart survived her final flight, crash-landed in the Marshall Islands, and was captured by the Japanese military – dying in their custody on Saipan — and why there may have been a cover up.
The first step for Henry was to determine if the photograph is possibly Earhart and Noonan, and toward that end, he enlists the aid of photo recognition expert Kent Gibson, who rated the photo “very likely” to be Earhart and Noonan.
“When you pull out, and when you see the analysis that’s been done, I think it leaves no doubt to the viewers that that’s Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan,” Henry told NBC News.
Additionally, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” presents evidence verified by some of the most reputable professionals in the world including: plane parts found in an uninhabited island of the Marshall Islands by Earhart Investigator Dick Spink consistent with the aircraft that Earhart was flying in 1937; and an original interview with the last living eyewitness who claims to have seen Earhart and Noonan after their crash.
Will the 80-year-old mystery be solved? Tune in when Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence premieres Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HISTORY and form your own opinion.