For 80 years, the world has been mystified by the disappearance of American pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, who both disappeared, along with their plane, on July 2, 1937. Now, thanks to a recently discovered photo and an intriguing new documentary from HISTORY, the mystery of Amelia Earhart may finally be solved.
Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence examines the newly discovered black-and-white photo — the one you’ve probably seen by now circulating the internet in the last 24 hours — with the help of an assembled group of experts and researchers to prove whether or not the vague figures in the image are in fact Earhart and Noonan.
Former FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry takes us through the investigation behind verifying this image and how it was lost for so long. As it turns out, the photo was seemingly filed by mistake among a group of other photos as “declassified” in the National Archives, which is where it was found.
The documentary alleges Earhart did not crash and sink in the Pacific Ocean but crash-landed in the Marshall Islands and was taken captive by the Japanese military who believed she was a spy. The image in question portrays two seemingly white people — a man and a woman — on a dock along with a handful of island natives looking out at a giant military vessel carrying Earhart’s plane. Instead of dying at sea, as was previously thought, Henry’s investigation points to Earhart and Noonan dying as prisoners of the Japanese military — something the United States was allegedly aware of and covered up.
With the flair only HISTORY can provide, Henry shows us around to a gaggle of specialists and researchers who have spent years looking for answers. From original government documents to possible pieces of the plane found to interviews with eyewitnesses who said they saw Earhart on Saipan, Henry claws his way to what he believes is the truth behind what really happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.
Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence premieres Sunday, July 9 at 9pm ET on History.