Proof that Amelia Earhart May Have Survived Crash-Landing?

This isn’t genealogy but it certainly qualifies as history. One of the biggest mysteries of the last century is “What ever happened to Amelia Earhart?” All sorts of speculation has circulated over the years. However, researchers now believe they have proof. A photo discovered in the National Archives shows a woman who resembles Amelia Earhart on a dock in the Marshall Islands.

The photo, found in a long-forgotten file in the U.S. National Archives, shows a woman who resembles Earhart and a man who appears to be her navigator, Fred Noonan, on a dock. The discovery is featured in a new History Channel special, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” that airs Sunday. The television program’s home page may be found at:

An article describing the recently-discovered photograph and the television program may be found in the NBC News web site at:

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who sent messages to me telling about the newly-discovered photograph.


Several yrs ago, I was listening to a program on NPR called The Story. A woman told how, when she was a teenager, she heard who she believed to be Amelia on a short wave radio. She wrote down what she was hearing and kept the notebook. It made a lot of sense. You can listen to and/or download the episode here:


I feel the Title overlooks the distinction between data, evidence and proof. This photo is barely data.


Whoever these people are, they look nothing like Japanese prisoners. They seem to be in a casual setting, and are not restrained in any visible way. There are no Japanese soldiers present, and none of the vessels have Japanese flags.


The Japanese didn’t enter WWII until 1941 when they attached Pearl. However, she might have flown over a secret Japanese Island facility and they shot her down. I’m not sure if the Marshall Islands were under the jurisdiction of the Japanese at the time, this story and facts need to be checked.


    Japan was at war with China years before Pearl Harbor in 1941. They were actively conquering the various island nations in the 1930s.


It was a great show and there was much more evidence than the photo. The Japanese thought she was a spy and if the US had stepped in at the time, we would have been drawn into the war much sooner. No definite proof, such as DNA, but enough to make a really good case.


If the show gets good rating, they’ll follow up with episodes featuring grainy photos of Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, Yeti, UFOs, and Ted Cruz’s father on a grassy knoll.


    When I watched to program, I was less impressed with the one photograph and more impressed with the supplemental evidence presented with the program. For instance, computerized photo analysis shows the man in the photograph has a receding hairline identical to that of a different photograph of Fred Noonan taken a few months before the disappearance. He also has a nose that has an identical shape to that of the man in the photograph.

    The woman in the photograph not only has the same hairstyle as Amelia Earhart, but also has the same shape body (visible from the waist up) and is the same size when measured from the top of the head to the armpits. She also has the same athletic “build” as Amelia Earhart. All this was on a small island with a tiny native population and no other known westerners. The man and woman of interest in the fuzzy photo obviously are westerners.

    The ship in the background has been identified as one rumored many years ago as being involved in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. The picture shows a fuzzy outline of something on a barge being towed behind the ship. While not positively identified, the “fuzzy shape” was easily measured by photography experts and is the same size as the twin-engine Lockheed Electra that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were flying in.

    That, plus evidence from eyewitnesses (some appear on film as they passed away years ago while two other living, but elderly eyewitnesses, were interviewed just for this program) all makes for a rather compelling case.

    Added together, all this certainly isn’t proof but it it does make for a very interesting set of circumstances!


    I didn’t see the show but I don’t find the photo convincing. As many others have pointed out, if they were captured by the Japanese, where are the Japanese guards in the photo? Also I’ve read elsewhere that the photo has been looked at before by a news organization which reported it was in an envelope marked 1940 and later. But most importantly, these shows present a case without a counter argument. They often sound convincing but there needs to be point, counter point.


Update, so much for my saying the photo was from an envelope marked post 1940. My information (or the envelope) was wrong. Turns out the photo was published in 1935! (At least according to a Japanese blogger.)
To be continued, I’m sure. While I didn’t see this show, I will concede that this type of show can be very interesting and I have an innate desire to see these old mysteries solved. Maybe that explains our interest in genealogy!


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