A team of adventurous researchers are about to embark on a new mission in a bid to solve the enduring mystery of long-missing pilot American pilot Amelia Earhart.
A 14-person crew from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery will set out in June on a $500,000 Niku VIII expedition to the Pacific island of Nikumaroro. They'll spend two weeks carrying out three search operations, seeking signs of Earhart and attempting to determine if there were enough edible plants there for her to survive.
Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan vanished on a flight in 1937 attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Recent finds indicate they may have survived a crash and lived for an indeterminate times on Nikumaroro. The team will focus on eight sites where potentially man-made objects were spotted on 1938 aerial photos.
The search will also explore underwater. A sonar-equipped submersible able to dive to depths of 1,000 feet will carry out a deep search, while a five-person scuba team will handle shallower waters.
There are indications that Earhart's Lockheed Electra might have crash landed near a reef close to shore. A metal piece spotted from the air appears "with a high level of certainty" to be a distinctive part of Earhart's plane, Discovery reported last year.
The researchers believe the mysterious "Bevington Object" spotted in a 1937 photo taken by British Colonial Service officer Eric Bevington could be the plane's landing gear.
The same group believes a broken freckle-cream jar from the 1930s found on the island belonged to Earhart.