We have followed the saga of TIGHAR as they search for anomalies in a place where few think the Earhart plane actually went down. And, we have been consistently disappointed. Some think that this expedition by another explorer has a chance but they need funds too.
Dana Timmer, a pilot and four-time America’s Cup sailor, is one of many people still fascinated by Earhart’s disappearance. Timmer, who led a $1 million deep-sea search for the plane in 1999, believes Earhart’s twin-engined Lockheed Electra has already been found — researchers just didn’t realize it. He’s asking for nearly $2 million on Kickstarter to prove his theory right.
Amelia Earhart theories fall into three camps: the Howland Island theory, the Gardner Island theory, and the conspiracy theories, which range from Earhart being captured by the Japanese to living the rest of her life out secretly in New Jersey. Timmer is in the Howland Island camp, which holds that Earhart and Noonan crashed very close to their destination.
The expedition will be managed by Williamson and Associates, a company that conducts deep-sea surveys and has discovered a number of historic shipwrecks for clients ranging from the Discovery Channel to the US Navy. The plan is to depart from Samoa on the Sarsen, a survey vessel capable of being deployed for 40 days without refueling, and sail for five days to Howland Island with a team of documentarians and researchers. They’ll investigate the targets up close; if they don’t find the plane, they’ll scan as much of the area as they can.
There is no guarantee that Timmer is right, but there is good reason to think the plane went down near Howland Island. In her last transmissions, Earhart said they were close but running out of fuel. Her radio signal was strong enough that one of the radio operators on the US Coast Guard ship Itasca, which was waiting for them to refuel, walked out on deck to see if he could spot them.
Friend of Doubtful News, Brian Dunning (from Skeptoid.com) is quoted in this piece saying “The Electra is a very small target in a very large expanse of very deep water. If Earhart’s plane is ever going to be found, it’s going to be found by a science-based group like Expedition Amelia, and not by a group like TIGHAR interested only in selling a sensational story to TV networks without regard to facts.”
I like the odds on this one much better. Good luck to them on their efforts. The project is only at $14K of their goal. There’s a long way to go. There will be a video feed and eventual documentary. If found, the plane will be donated to the Smithsonian (noted in the Kickstarter piece).
Listen to the Skeptoid episode on Amelia Earhart here.
More Skeptoid on Earhart is here.