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The photo is, mostly, unremarkable. It shows an airplane looming darkly on a runway at Miami Municipal Airport in the spectral shadows just before dawn — probably a test as the photographer waited for the money shot moments later, when the aircraft would lift off with famed aviator Amelia Earhart at its controls, unknowingly headed to a mysterious appointment with fate.
Yet the picture — shot by a now-forgotten Miami Herald photographer just before Earhart departed the United States on her doomed flight around the world on June 1, 1937 — contains an odd detail visible on none of the other thousands of photos of her plane.
There on the fuselage, about two-thirds of the way from the plane's nose to its tail, is a rectangular patch that shines a peculiar silver on the aircraft's dusky skin. Could it be a clue — the clue — to what happened when Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan vanished somewhere over the trackless Pacific Ocean three months later?
Long-time Earhart investigator Ric Gillespie thinks so. He believes that the silvery patch reveals an unrecorded repair performed on Earhart's plane during her stopover in Miami. And he hopes that modern computer enhancements of that part of the photo will link it to a piece of possible airplane wreckage discovered a quarter century ago on a tiny Pacific island in the area where Earhart disappeared.
originally posted by: Moresby
It doesn't seem like anyone read the article. The article isn't really about that photo or the repair. But whether the rivet pattern on a scrap of metal found by Earhart researcher Ric Gillespie on Gardiner Island matches that patch. There's no real indication that it does.
Back in 1992, Gillespie claimed the scrap was from Earhart's plane, stating that ""every possibility has been checked, every alternative eliminated... There is only one possible conclusion: We found a piece of Amelia Earhart's aircraft." But other researchers noted that the rivet pattern was wrong.
Now he's back making a case for the scrap again. But other researchers suggest all he has, or ever had, was a piece of a PBY seaplane.
Long-time Earhart investigator Ric Gillespie thinks so. He believes that the silvery patch reveals an unrecorded repair performed on Earhart's plane during her stopover in Miami. And he hopes that modern computer enhancements of that part of the photo will link it to a piece of possible airplane wreckage discovered a quarter century ago on a tiny Pacific island in the area where Earhart disappeared. "If we can match a rivet pattern from the repair in the photograph to a rivet pattern on the wreckage, I think it would be beyond dispute that Noonan and Earhart weren't lost at sea, but made it to the island," said Gillespie, the executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).
originally posted by: butcherguy
I am not saying that the guy has a piece of AE's plane... but the photo and the repair are the point of the story.