A deep sea explorer named Tony Romeo believes he has found the missing plane that Amelia Earhart boarded on her last flight. Romeo, a pilot, former Air Force Intelligence Officer, and now CEO of Deep Sea Vision, did a scan of the ocean floor using an underwater drone in December of the area where it was believed Earhart crashed back in 1937 and the sonar imaging shows what Romeo claims to be the engine of plane that Earhart had boarded. The image was captured about 100 miles from Howland Island, where Earhart departed 87 years ago, an island halfway between Hawaii and Australia.
The mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance has been prevalent in the decades since she was last seen and heard from. After becoming a record-breaking female aviator, Earhart was flying around the world, which would have made her the first female pilot to circumnavigate the globe, when her radio contact with a coast guard in the United States dropped, shortly after reporting the plane was running low on fuel.
An extensive search was carried out for both Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan but was dropped 17 days after. They were both declared lost at sea and then eventually declared dead, no remains of either person or the plane were ever found. In the years since there have been conspiracy theories like Amelia crashing on a deserted island and starving to death or both she and Noonan were captured by the Japanese and killed, but the most likely conclusion is that the plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. Tony Romeo funded the deep sea search with the $11 million he received from selling his business a few years ago, the sonar image of the apparent twin engine of the Lockheed 10-E Electra plane was found 5000 miles underwater in the area of the Pacific Ocean, believed to be the location of the crash.
Romeo said, “you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that’s anything but an aircraft, for one, and two, that it’s not Amelia’s aircraft [...] There are no other known crashes in the area, and certainly not of that era, in that kind of design.” After working for 90 days combing the sea floor, the explorer stated that “it was a surreal moment” when the image was processed. He later posted the sonar image on Instagram.
Romeo and his team are planning to reinvestigate the site where the discovery was made within the next year or two to confirm if what they saw was part of Earhart’s plane. However exciting this news may be, there will always be sceptics, especially in a case such as this one, with such a huge magnitude.
Some experts have pointed out that sonar imaging isn’t photos but sound wave imaging, so how reliable is Romeo’s image? In the years since Earhart’s disappearance, there have been numerous instances of people claiming to have solved the mystery, from finding her remains or parts of the aircraft she was flying, but none have been proven. Moreover, aviation experts have said that the images that have been produced do not resemble the same aircraft model Earhart was in.
At this moment in time, the sonar images Tony Romeo has captured are not confirmed to be the actual remains of the aeroplane, so until further investigation takes place, there is no way to know for sure if this mystery has finally been solved.
Edited by Chloe Mansola
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