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They compared the patch’s dimensions and features with the window of a Lockheed Electra being restored at Wichita Air Services in Newton, Kansas. “Its complex fingerprint of dimensions, proportions, materials and rivet patterns was as unique to Earhart’s Electra as a fingerprint is to an individual,” Rick Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News. He adds that the piece of the plane provides strong circumstantial evidence that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed on Nikumaroro’s coral reef and eventually died there as castaways. TIGHAR will continue to look for wreckage of the lost aircraft, thought to have washed into the ocean, next summer, beginning at a possible site 600 feet underwater.
The patch replaced a navigational window: A Miami Herald photo shows the Electra departing for San Juan, Puerto Rico on the morning of Tuesday, June 1, 1937 with a shiny patch of metal where the window had been.
“The Miami Patch was an expedient field repair," Ric Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News. "Its complex fingerprint of dimensions, proportions, materials and rivet patterns was as unique to Earhart’s Electra as a fingerprint is to an individual."
More eye-witness accounts place Earhart and Noonan in Garapan Prison on the island of Saipan during World War II, and there may be proof.
In 1944, 7 years after Earhart went missing, US marines overcame the Japanese forces on Saipan. One marine thinks he found crucial evidence during that mission which backs up the eye-witness accounts. Robert Wallack believe he found Earhart’s personal documents in a safe on the bombed-out military base. The documents, held in a briefcase, included Amelia’s passport and visas. If Wallack still had the documents the evidence would be compelling, but he turned them over to an officer, never to be seen again.
The only clues that remain are several questionable inscriptions found in the prison. If Earhart and Noonan were held in Garapan Prison, the big question is ‘What happened to them?’
The eye-witness accounts of their demise are varied. Some say that they were beheaded, others that Earhart died from dysentery and Noonan was shot. Wallack says he was shown to an unmarked grave site by a Saipanese woman who saw a white woman and a man buried there. But it all falls short of physical proof.
Senior officers in the US Navy including Admiral Chester Nimitz were quoted by reporters to have said the rumours of Earhart’s capture were true.
If the eye-witness accounts depicting Earhart as a POW are true it might explain the US Government’s history of secrecy over the whole Earhart mystery.
Another explanation for the secrecy could have it’s basis in yet another theory. Some argue that it was no accident that Earhart ended up in Japanese territory. They believe she was on a mission to help the US Navy gather intelligence and her famous flight was the perfect cover. Spy theorists believe Earhart was recruited shortly after an earlier round-the-world attempt had failed.
She had completed the first leg, flying from California to Hawaii. The second leg would take her across the Pacific from Honolulu to Howland Island but on take-off her aircraft span out of control and crashed. Earhart was lucky to get out alive. The theory is that while her plane was being repaired, the US military arranged to meet her.
Colonel Rollin Reineck, a veteran navigator from the Pacific in World War II, has spent 30 years scrutinising the Earhart mystery. He believes the US military offered to take over the logistics and funding for Earhart’s second round-the-world attempt. But there were strings attached.
originally posted by: nukedog
a reply to: CardiffGiant
It's just a long standing mystery. We don't feel the same way about it today as the people that were living in that time did.