Enhanced analysis of a photograph taken just months after Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane vanished shows what may be the landing gear of the aircraft protruding from the waters off the remote island of Nikumaroro, in what is now the Pacific nation of Kiribati, 350 miles southeast of Howland Island.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has suggested Earhart may have flown without further radio transmissions for two and a half hours along the line of position she noted in her last transmission received at Howland, arrived at then-uninhabited Gardner Island (now Nikumaroro) in the Phoenix group, landed on an extensive reef flat near the wreck of a large freighter (the SS Norwich City) and ultimately perished.
A British colonial officer and licensed pilot radioed his superiors in 1940 to inform them that he had found a "skeleton... possibly that of a woman," along with an old-fashioned sextant box, under a tree on the island's southeast corner.
Artifacts discovered by TIGHAR after six expeditions on Nikumaroro have included improvised tools, an aluminum panel (possibly from an Electra), an oddly cut piece of clear Plexiglas the same thickness and curvature of an Electra window, bronze bearings which may have belonged to Earhart's aircraft, a zipper pull which might have come from her flight suit, and a size 9 Cat's Paw heel dating from the 1930s.
Earhart's surviving stepson, George Putnam Jr., has expressed enthusiasm for TIGHAR's research and circumstantial evidence.
TIGHAR said in 2010 it had found bones that appeared to be part of a human finger, but DNA testing proved inconclusive.
They announced on March 20, 2012 that they are launching a new search starting in June 2012 to find the wreckage of Earhart's Lockheed Electra off Nikumaroro.
I wonder if they need my help?