New evidence revealed that the legendary Amelia Earhart did not die on a plane crash; rather, she perished as a castaway.
Earhart is known as an aviation pioneer and as the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, making her one of the biggest woman figures in history. She was considered as a heroine in 1920s as she made her unbelievable air exploits.
In July 1937, however, as she was fulfilling her ambition to fly around the world, she and Fred Noonan mysteriously disappeared while flying on the Lockheed Electra over the Pacific Ocean, History.com said.
Since her disappearance, many theories emerged. Some said Earhart and Noonan crash-landed on a Japanese island where they were executed. Others said her plane ran out of fuel, crashed in the ocean and sank quickly.
The official report by the U.S. government said they were killed in a crash.
After 22 years of research, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has come up with full evidence proving that Earhart and Noonan did not die from a crash.
According to the New York Post, TIGHAR’s Ric Gillespie backed up all of the group’s theories and presented it, saying that contrary to what was previously believed, Earhart and Noonan landed on an island in the middle of the ocean after failing to navigate where Howland Island is.
The island is believed to be the Gardner Island, which is located southeast of Howland Island.
The theory that she was alive as they landed was proven by the radio distress calls traced from the disabled plane in the island, several days after the reported crash, New York Post notes.
It added that the distress calls, which included they landed in part water part land, were heard as far as Texas and Australia.
“People started hearing radio distress calls from the airplane and they were verified,” Gillespie said. “She’s out there calling for help.”
Rescue battleship arrived in the island a week later and Gillepie said by that time, the debris have been pulled by the tide in the deep waters. The rescuers did not see any body and the plane and since had written it off.
According to National Post, in Gillepie’s team’s three visits to the Gardner Island between 2001 and 2010, he found artifacts and traces of meals such as bones of birds and burned fish bones, proving that Earhart survived for months in the island.
They also found evidence that Earhart has learned to boil her own water while stuck in the deserted island.
“She apparently gathered water from small puddles after rain showers in a small bottle and used that to put in a larger bottle which stood in a fire,” said Gillespie.
Gillespie believes Earhart most likely died because of malnutrition or sickness.