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On 10th mission, team hopes to find Earhart’s plane


Richard Gillespie and his team of searchers are returning to a tiny, remote island in the South Pacific next month, hoping to finally find proof that it’s the place where Amelia Earhart’s plane went down during her around-the-world flight in 1937. Gillespie and his team have searched tiny Nikumaroro Island and the reefs around it nine times already, finding evidence of campfires, food scraps, bottles and a woman’s compact mirror, but nothing to conclusively prove that whoever was living on the island was Earhart or her navigator on the flight. This time, the searchers will use side-scanning sonar to create a detailed map of the ocean floor around the island. Any spots that look unusual will get a second visit from a remotely operated submersible equipped with cameras to document the findings. Searchers zeroed in on Nikumaroro years ago based on the last known coordinates of Earhart’s flight and her planned route. The island is about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii, one of several places that explorers have looked for Earhart’s wrecked twin-engine Lockheed Electra 10E.