The mystery of Amelia Earhart’s doomed flight just might have been solved.
A photograph from the National Archives shows a woman and man on a dock who resemble Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. The first man on the left is believed to be Noonan, while the fourth person on the left, thought to be a woman crouching or sitting on the dock, could possibly be Earhart.
The photo shows a Japanese ship, Koshu, towing a barge an object that is approximately 38 feet in length — the same length of Earhart and Noonan’s plane.
While the photo is a bit blurry, the History Channel has composed a new special concerning the new findings called “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” which will premiere on Sunday, July 9.
According to NBC News, experts from the History Channel and Shawn Henry, former executive assistant director for the FBI, are confident the photo is legitimate.
“When you pull out, and when you see the analysis that's been done, I think it leaves no doubt to the viewers that that's Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan,” Henry told NBC News.
“The hairline is the most distinctive characteristic,” said Ken Gibson, a facial recognition expert. “It's a very sharp receding hairline. The nose is very prominent.”
“We believe that the Koshu took her to Saipan, and that she died there under the custody of the Japanese,” Gary Tarpinian, the executive producer of the History special, told NBC News.
Saipan-born Josephine Blanco Akiyama also claims that she saw Earhart in Japanese custody.
The U.S. government declared Earhart and Noonan dead two years after their disappearance in 1937. It is believed that their plane was blown off course and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. However, no confirmed remains have been found.
While it still appears Earhart and Noonan’s plane did actually crash, the new photo suggests the two aviators survived.