The ocean exploration company Deep Sea Vision might have made a breakthrough in one of aviation's longest-standing mysteries.
They believe they have located Amelia Earhart's Lockheed 10-E Electra, which has been lost for nearly 87 years.
This discovery near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean, where Earhart was heading for a refueling stop, could finally shed light on her fate.
The Charleston-based team identified an anomaly resembling an aircraft at a depth of over 16,000 feet using advanced sonar technology. "I feel like a 10-year-old going on a treasure hunt," said Tony Romeo, CEO of Deep Sea Vision and former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer.
Romeo personally funded the $11 million search and led the team that scanned over 5,200 square miles (13467.9 square kilometers) of ocean floor.
Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared on July 2, 1937. Their disappearance sparked one of U.S. history's most extensive search and rescue missions.
Theories about their fate have varied widely, from crash-landing on an island to capture by Japanese forces.
However, experts urge caution in confirming the discovery.
"Until you physically take a look at this, there's no way to say for sure what that is," said underwater archaeologist Andrew Pietruszka. David Jourdan, president of deep ocean exploration company Nauticos, emphasized the challenges in sonar identification, pointing out the need to locate specific features such as the certification number on Earhart's plane.
Deep Sea Vision plans a return to the site for a detailed investigation. The goal is to provide definitive answers to a question that has intrigued the world for nearly a century: What happened to Amelia Earhart?