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Researchers Claim Metal "Patch" Found On Pacific Island Is From Amelia Earhart 94

An anonymous reader writes Amelia Earhart disappeared in 1937, but scientists may have now uncovered where she ended up. Researchers have identified a piece of aluminum, which washed up on a remote Pacific island, as dated to the correct time period and consistent with the design of Earhart's Lockheed Electra. From the article: "The warped piece of metal was uncovered on a 1991 voyage to the island of Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has spent millions of dollars searching for Earhart's plane in a project that has involved hundreds of people. 'We don't understand how that patch got busted out of (the plane) and ended up on the island where we found it, but we have the patch, we have a piece of Earhart's aircraft,' TIGHAR executive director Ric Gillespie said."
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Researchers Claim Metal "Patch" Found On Pacific Island Is From Amelia Earhart

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  • by saloomy ( 2817221 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:02PM (#48274857)
    I had no idea Amelia Earhart was bionic and had metal patches!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:06PM (#48274883)

      Most people are able to quit aluminum with the patch.

    • Once you factor in the aliens, the fact that she was and undercover secret nazi, dark matter, quantum stuff, other dimensions, and the fact that the entire world is a simulation, it makes perfect sense.
      • Once you factor in the aliens, the fact that she was and undercover secret nazi, dark matter, quantum stuff, other dimensions, and the fact that the entire world is a simulation, it makes perfect sense.

        IT'S IN THE BIBLE, PEOPLE!!

    • that's a typo. She had a metal _snatch_.
  • by saloomy ( 2817221 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:06PM (#48274879)
    Was there a serial number? Was there an inscription? Did she leave a palm print?
    If I had spent millions of dollars, and involved hundreds of people, I'd sure grab on to even the remotest of possibilities so I didn't have to walk away empty handed!
    FTFA:
    The piece, which measures about 24 by 18 inches (61 cm by 46 cm), did not appear to be a standard part of a Lockheed Electra, but TIGHAR researchers recently began to look into the possibility it might have been installed on the plane as a patch after a window was removed, he said. On October 7, a TIGHAR team examined a plane at Wichita Air Services in Newton, Kansas, that was similar to Earhart's aircraft. Because the plane was being restored, it was possible to look at its interior and see where the sheet of metal recovered in 1991 would have fit, Gillespie said.

    Not conclusive... sorry!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are many photos of Earhart's Electra, surely one of them shows such the patch if this one is indeed from her aircraft. This is how I would gather evidence, but it would still not be conclusive, especially if it turned out that patching windows was a common modification on Electras.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:17PM (#48274945)

        They mention the plate was found in a photo in another article.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10942529/Amelia-Earhart-mystery-1937-photograph-could-be-clue-to-fate-of-aviator-who-disappeared-on-round-the-world-flight.html

        • The link from your article to the photograph hosted on the Miami Herald website is 404 Not Found. Surprising. What "Imaging Specialists" are they using? How can a 1937 photograph ID a particular piece of metal that is deformed and found at sea? The shape is... well... deformed! Surely its discolored.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The patch was added within 48 hours of when Earhart left on her attempt to fly around the world. So, the opportunity to get pictures of this feature were very rare. The patch was on the starboard side of the plane. Most of the press photographs that were taken of Earhart's plane during the attempted around the world flight were of Earhart and Noonan getting out/in on the port side. TIGHAR has two decent pictures they've been working from that show the installed patch on the plane.

        The window that was "patc

        • > around the world flight were of Earhart and Noonan getting out/in on the port side

          I recently wrote an article on a radar set from WWII and wanted to find images of aircraft with the system. The main antennas were located on the starboard wing. Oddly, almost every image I found, at *least* 80% of them, were taken showing the port side. I found this very odd. In this case, the hatch was on the right, so that doesn't explain it.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It looks like they ID'ed the play through a little thing called hope. After you spend that much money and only get a small piece of aluminum you have no choice but will it to be what you are looking for.
    • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:51PM (#48275087)

      The linked article sucks, doesn't even show it.
      Check this out:
      http://news.discovery.com/hist... [discovery.com]

      Looks pretty good to me.

      Also, Amelia Earharts crash site was never a mystery in the first place. They found her body in 1940, on this very same island
      http://news.discovery.com/hist... [discovery.com]

      A woman's shoe, an empty bottle and a sextant box whose serial numbers are consistent with a type known to have been carried by Noonan were all found near the site where the bones were discovered.

      So what are the odds that a white woman of earharts build, along with western womans shoe, and a sextent would be found on an island a few hundred miles from where earhart went missing and a piece of aluminum that would fit the window of her plane?

      • Bullshit.

        So what are the odds that a white woman of earharts build, along with western womans shoe, and a sextent would be found on an island a few hundred miles from where earhart went missing and a piece of aluminum that would fit the window of her plane?

        Pretty high if you sight the same group as the source but you left out some crucial details:

        "We know that in 1940 British Colonial Service officer Gerald Gallagher recovered a partial skeleton of a castaway on Nikumaroro. Unfortunately, those bones have now been lost," Gillespie said.

        So how are you so sure that it was her body? There is no positive ID. Don't feed me the old "well who else could it have been?" line. There is no positive ID. If you had the bones and could do DNA testing with

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 91degrees ( 207121 )

          Don't feed me the old "well who else could it have been?" line.

          Why not? There is a possibility it was Earhart. There's also the possibility it was some other white woman visiting an island a hundred miles away from any other land, with no indication of any means of arrival, and no record of this person. I'd have thought that it would have been quite a remarkable, well known woman to do this in the 1930's, and her disapperance would certainly have been equally remarkable.

          Occams razor says Amelia Earhart

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Seems odd that the bones would be found on a part of the island where they were unlikely to have been seen from the air (according to the article you linked to). Seems likely that both Earhart and Noonan would have been aware of that, and made some effort to go somewhere more visible or create some kind of sign visible from the air. Maybe they died before they washed up I suppose.

        I'm somewhat surprised they have not found the aircraft yet too. These days with advanced sonar and knowledge of sea currents we

        • Im unaware of what wildlife is on the island if any) but if she died she could have been dragged away by wildlife

          also, its possible that she made it to the island, and tried to find shelter ,and died

          none of this is proof to me, but its a possibility that makes more sense than she disappeared into thin air.
          • You're assuming she was healthy and able to move when the landed. Or even still alive.

            There are giant crabs on the island big enough to drag human body parts around. They assumed they ran off with the rest of the corpse. It's assumed the parts they found were where she died because the other objects were there and there's no reason the crabs would have drug them there.

            • im not making any assumptions, Im just throwing out possibilities, ill admit i have not paid much attention to this in quite some time.
      • "The rivet pattern and other features on the 19-inch-wide by 23-inch-long Nikumaroro artifact matched the patch and lined up with the structural components of the Lockheed Electra. TIGHAR detailed the finding in a report on its website."

        What sort of BS is this? Just look at the images right in the article:

        1) they DON'T line up. look at the guy holding the plate in front of the stringers. They're not even close!

        2) the holes in the plate are *clearly* smaller than the rivets. They look smaller than any rivet

      • They found her body in 1940

        Maybe, maybe not. [tighar.org]

        It is, of course, impossible to know whether the bones inspected by Dr. Hoodless in 1941 were in fact those of a white female, and if anything even less possible to be sure that they were those of Amelia Earhart. Only the rediscovery of the bones themselves, or the recovery of more bones from the same skeleton on the island, can bring certainty. What we can be certain of is that bones were found on the island in 1939-40, associated with what were observed to be womenâ(TM)s shoes and a

        • The bones found might have been from Amelia Earhart's body. When the measurements of the bones were looked at in 1998 was it noticed that they could have been Earhart's. Thankfully, the internet being what it is, everyone knows her body was found, and that this is an absolute, unquestionable fact.

          (How your message looks to a True Believer.)

        • You're picking apart one point. You're right, they could have been from a male.

          But...
          There's also many other coincidences there. All have equally plausible explanations. But everything combined? That's when it becomes implausible.

          You could tell me that in your life, you've rolled double sixes ten times. I'd believe that, that sounds reasonable. In all the times you've rolled dice? Sure! Then you tell me "All 10 of those times were in the past 5min" and I have to stop and say "No, that's not possible." See

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This article has additional info including the modification of Amelia's plane. http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/73_StepbyStep/73_Step_by_Step.html

    • Well, researchers just discovered that for the last 5 years, she's been hosting a show on CSPAN. She recently confirmed it to the two viewers on the latest episode. There were zero for all previous airings.
    • How did they ID the part? Through painstaking detective work, as documented in this report [tighar.org].

      • Your definition of "painstaking" may be different than mine.

        Mine is something like "lots of actual work".

        To be accurate to the article, your definition would have to be something like "We made up some shit in 1992 that turned out to be totally wrong and wouldn't stick when we threw it at the wall. We also had plenty of technical experts tell us we were full of crap, but we conveniently forgot to mention this to anyone. So we kept coming up with new shit for the last 25 years and repeatedly threw that at the

        • Your definition of "painstaking" may be different than mine.

          Yeah, mine matches the real world - yours and the one you falsely attribute to me... not so much.

          "And here we are, with a sum total effort of taking some photos and looking at them, while making up new shit about stuff that we have no evidence ever existed."

          Please demonstrate where they "made something up" and where their process went wrong. And take into account they have actual photographic evidence the patch existed. And actual compari

    • The piece, which measures about 24 by 18 inches (61 cm by 46 cm), did not appear to be a standard part of a Lockheed Electra, but TIGHAR researchers recently began to look into the possibility it might have been installed on the plane as a patch

      LOL, that's the most pathetic "evidence" I've seen in a while (and I've been the Creationist Museum). Basically, they found a metal plate and thought it might be from her plane. They took it back, found out that it didn't match any standard part on the plane. And then, rather than admit they were wrong, they still tried to pass it off as hers by saying it "could have been used as a patch." Yeah, I guess that's a possibility--just as it would be with any other random piece of metal that happens to be laying

    • The experts are not saying that it is 100% from her plane but that it would be consistent with a patch that went into her plane. My best guess would be a metallurgical analysis.
      • > The experts are not saying that it is 100% from her plane

        You're of course referring to the "experts" from Gillespie's TIGHAR group, which contains no actual experts.

        They did, however, contact *actual experts* shortly after they found the piece in 1991.

        Those *actual experts* flatly stated it is 100% NOT from her aircraft.

        http://articles.latimes.com/1992-03-30/news/vw-278_1_amelia-earhart

        "Not by any stretch of measurement or the imagination, they claim, could the piece be from Earhart's airplane."

        • Those *actual experts* were qualified only to testify about Lockheed's repair techniques (that the plane would be rebuilt to specs). However, they were not qualified to testify about whether or not the panel came from her specific Electra, as it could have received post factory modifications of which they (the experts) were unaware.

  • yet not a single thing from MH370 was found

  • Must have been knocked off by the Briori tractor beam.[1]
    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]
  • Patch 1 only fixes the big problems.
  • Earhart Click Bait (Score:4, Informative)

    by kolbe ( 320366 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @10:09PM (#48275169) Homepage

    Everything in this article is based on presumption and speculation.

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @10:39PM (#48275333)

    Wasn't there a LARGE conflict in the Pacific during the '40s.
    Wasn't there a lot of aluminum used on the ships and aircraft in this conflict?

    Thank you for playing ... NEXT!

    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      Gosh, I'm sure nobody thought of that. You should probably ring them up and tell them personally, I'm sure they'll be very grateful for your insight...
    • The Pacific is a large place, did any conflicts actually happen within reasonable distance of where this piece was found? If not, its reasonable to rule out that it came from anything involved in WW2.

      • Reasonable distance would matter based on time you have for the wreckage to drift. What they have is a dating of when the metal was likely produced but not necessarily when it washed ashore. It was discovered in 1991. So you're talking a top end of 46-50 years for debris. Nikumaroro Island rests in the South Pacific Gyre which rotates counter clockwise in the South Pacific between New Zealand and South America. The East Australia current feeds into the southern portion of the SP Gyre.

        I'd suspect that the ma

  • I was flying across the foarning ocean
    When I spotted one old plane...



    with compliments to Joni

  • The most unique part of this plane happens to be the only part found. Interesting and damn unlikely. Gillespie and friends have been "finding" clues for decades. Nothing new here...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed - this is more or less a scam to get sponsors to finance what is effectively a vacation for these folks in the beautiful South Pacific through their tax-exempt organization.

  • Oh. The old-metal-patch-found-on-a-Pacific-island story. Yawn. Put it with the shroud of Turin and some Big Foot fur, and make a road show out of it.
    • Come on... the Turin Shroud is a unique and genuinely mystifying artefact (and I say that as someone who doesn't believe in any god). This is... a chunk of metal. with some holes in it.
  • So they found a piece of her plane washed up on an island. Her plane very well might of crashed on the other side of world.
  • Bender was her copilot, and he wants his shiny metal ass back.

  • "millions of dollars searching for Earhart's plane"

    Can't people find better things to do with their money in the States besides pointless searches and developing/buying worthless, gadgety bodywear?

  • Ah yes, a romantic tale of courage, determination and pathos. The intrepid blonde adventuress and her stunningly handsome navigator forced down on a desolate island, doomed to a slow death of hunger and thirst. And yet with only hours to live, a romance can bloom among the giant crabs and tropical breezes... Hollywood- are you on this?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The real mystery about Amelia was whether she and Eleanor Roosevelt really were muff-diving buddies.

  • When someone says things like 'busted out of' I have little confidence in anything else they say. Ric Gillespie don't talk good. He ain't gettin me believin him or nuthin.
  • There are a lot of people who want to believe or not believe in certain outcomes, but this location in the Pacific has more verifiable nuggets of info that point more strongly in this direction than anywhere else.

    I hope further experimentation (expeditions) yield a result that either confirms or invalidates the theory convincingly - just like in science! ;-)

    I couldn't find the article in my search just now, but did recently read an account of a girl who claims to have listened to Earhart calling for help on

  • There is a budy of his that is an expert on metal patchs done to 1930s Electras.

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