According to a new study, numerous radio signals, previously dismissed, were found to be credible transmissions after Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10E “Electra” fell from the sky on July 2, 1937.
Generally, it was accepted that her plane ran out of fuel, crashing into the Pacific while she was looking for Howland Island, her final re-fueling stop before flying to Honolulu, then California.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), a group planning to search for the crash site and resting place of Earhart and her navigator friend Fred Noonan, said that the radio transmissions hit the air waves hours after she sent her last in-flight message.
When the search failed to find the missing plane, all the radio signals were dismissed as being bogus and have been ignored ever since.
Currently, using a series of high-tech equipment, tools, and models, TIGHAR could examine the 120 known reports of radio signals thought to have been sent from her plane hours after the crash to July 18, 1937. It was found that 57 of the 120 are credible.
The executive director of TIGHAR, Ric Gillespie, said the study results suggest that the plane was on its wheels, inland for days following the disappearance.
During her approach of Howland Island on July 2, 1937 at 7:42 am. Earhart called the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, stationed at Howland.
“We must be on you, but cannot see you — but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet,” said Earhart.
Her last message came at 8:43 am. – “We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait,” Earhart said.
According to TIGHAR, the numbers 157 and 337 are compass headings describing a navigational line that passed Howland Island and Gardner Island. This uninhabited island is where TIGHAR believes that Noonan and Amelia Earhart landed after they ran out of fuel and later died as castaways.