New Evidence Suggests Amelia Earhart Survived Crash-Landing In The Pacific, And We're Obsessed

A newly discovered photo suggests famous aviator Amelia Earhart, who vanished 80 years ago on a round-the-world flight, survived a crash-landing in the Marshall Islands.

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Like the conspiracy theories regarding John F. Kennedy's assassination, Marilyn Monroe's overdose, and Tupac Shakur's shooting, what exactly happened to legendary pilot Amelia Earhart when she went missing 80 years ago whilst attempting to circumnavigate the globe has long been one of the history's greatest mysteries.

The feminist icon, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, is widely believed to have gone missing during her attempt to fly over the Pacific in her airplane, the Lockheed Electra, while attempting to reach Howland Island for refuelling in 1937.

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The BBC reports that the official explanation is that Earhart failed to find the island, lost communication and ran out of fuel before crashing into the Pacific, despite the fact there is no evidence to support this theory.

As a result, Earhart's mysterious death has caused ongoing contentious debate on how the pilot and her navigator, Fred Noonan, really did meet their end.

However, a newly discovered photo suggests Earhart might have actually died in Japanese custody, and not in a plane crash, as is widely believed.

The black-and-white photograph, released by US television network NBC ahead of a documentary this weekend, has been in the vaults of the US National Archives and shows a group of people standing on a shipping dock. The photograph is marked as having been taken on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, presumably by a US spy.

The theory is that the seated person with her back to the camera in the photograph may well have been Earhart, while another figure on the far left in the photo is thought to be Noonan, according to the BBC.

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To the far right of the picture is believed to be Earhart's plane. NBC reports that it can be seen being towed away by a barge. Scale measurements appear to prove that the plane pictured measures 38ft-long – the same length as the Earhart's plane.

The photograph, if believed to be that of Earhart, would support theories that she crash-landed on or near the then-Japanese Marshall Islands, or that she made it to Nikumaroro island near Kiribati and died a castaway.

The new photograph has led the NBC documentary-makers to suggest the pilot was taken by the Japanese, later interned and eventually died a prisoner of war.

Despite the fact Japanese archives have no records of the pilot as a prisoner during this time, many documents from their archives were known to be lost, therefore it neither proves nor disproves the possibility that Earhart was in fact in Japanese custody.

Unsurprisingly, news that Earhart might not have died in a plane crash in the middle of the Pacific has blown the internet's mind.

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Sadly, we have a feeling this picture might just add for fuel to the ever-burning fire relating to Earhart's mysterious death.

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