A newly discovered photograph of legendary American aviator Amelia Earhart suggests that she may have actually survived her final flight in 1937 before being captured by the Japanese.
NBCâ€™s Today Show previewed an upcoming History Channel documentary on Earhartâ€™s disappearance Wednesday. The network said that the new evidence â€œcould rewrite history.â€
Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, took off from Oakland, Calif. in May 1937 for an attempt at the longest around-the-world flight in history. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished somewhere over the Pacific Ocean during the final leg of their record setting attempt.
Following robust search and rescue efforts, Earhart was officially declared dead in absentia January 5, 1939, and the mystery of her demise has remained unsolvedÂ ever since.
Now, 80 years later, a photograph is raising new questions about her disappearance.
â€” Molly Ward (@mollyalisonward) July 5, 2017
The photo appears to show Earhart sitting on a dock, with Noonan standing on the left side of the photograph. NBC News analyst Shawn Henry said that the photo appears to be legitimate.
â€œWhen you pull out, and when you see the analysis thatâ€™s been done, I think it leaves no doubt to the viewers that thatâ€™s Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan,â€ Henry told NBC.
Henry is also one of the investigators behind an upcoming History Channel documentary specialÂ entitled, â€œAmelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.â€
â€” TBR Feed (@TheBFRoom) July 5, 2017
Investigator Les Kinney first discovered the photo in 2012, but itsÂ finding wasnâ€™t publicized until now. For decades, locals claimed that they saw Earhartâ€™s plane crash and witnessed the two Americans being taken away.
A local lawmaker told the Japan Times that his father sawÂ the two Americans under guard. Another woman claimed that the two men were led away by Japanese soldiers, where they were shot and buried in pre-made grave sites.
â€” marlenÃ© (@SeptembersSong9) July 5, 2017
The History Channel special airs Sunday, July 9.
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