A team of investigators are planning a search on a South Pacific island to see if they can recover the body or evidence that Amelia Earhart had died there using up-to-date technology. The investigation, which started Thursday, consists of a 15 member crew including engineers, environmentalists, a land developer, archaeologists, a sailboat designer, a team doctor and a videographer working with the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). This will be their ninth trip to the island Nikumaroro, a 2 ½ mile deserted island about 1,800 south of Hawaii.

The team will spend 17 days on the island looking for bones, aircraft parts, and other evidence to show that 39-year-old Earhart and 44-year-old navigator Fred Noonan survived a plane crash on a reef and landed on the island on July 2, 1937. Their theory is that the two lived on the island for up to several months while believed to be dead. The island is not a picturesque vacation getaway. There is a dense jungle, 100-degree heat, a shark-infested lagoon in the middle of the island, and hostile crabs.

This is one of many investigations to find Amelia Earhart since her disappearance. She was just finishing the last stretch of a month long, around-the-world flight which had started in Oakland, California in 1937. On July 2, the two left Lae, New Guinea for Holand Island, a 2,550 mile trip to the east when they vanished. A 16-day search ensued by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, but there was no sight of them. It was believed that the plane had run out of gas and crashed in the ocean. A conspiracy theory suggest that the two were captured and executed as spies on a Japanese island. In 1940, human bones were found on the Nikumaroro island at a campsite as well as pieces of airplane parts. One piece of Plexiglas had the same thickness and curature of an Electra window, the plane that Earhart was flying, though there was no serial number to be able to match it. There is also evidence of radio distress signals that may have come from Earhart. The bones were determined to be a mixed-race male, though they vanished in Fiji during World War II, but a doctor’s notes which were discovered in London in 1998 were reanalyzed by American forensic anthropologists who determined that they were more like the bones of a Caucasian female of Earhart’s age and height. This new expedition hopes to resolve some of the mystery, controversy, and confusion that so many theories and findings have created since Earhart’s disappearance.

For related articles visit http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070712/ap_on_re_us/search_for_amelia and http://www.tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEoverview.html.

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