- On 10/03/2011
- In Expeditions
By Richard Shears - Mail Online
A diving team is being put together in Papua New Guinea to swim down to the wreckage of a rust-and-coral-covered plane in the hope of solving one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries - the 74-year-old disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
The 40-year-old American and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared while attempting to fly around the world in 1937 in a Lockheed Model 10 Electra plane and most theories say they crashed near Howland Island in the central Pacific.
She and her navigator had completed 22,000 miles of the journey when they arrived at Lae in New Guinea, as the country was then known, and just 7,000 miles across the Pacific remained before they were due to land back in the U.S.
They took off on July 2, 1937, heading for Howland Island, 2,500 miles away but ran into trouble near the island, if radio reports purporting to be theirs can be believed.
Miss Earhart radioed to a U.S. ship in the area, the Itasca: '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.'
The transmissions were the last anyone heard from the flyer and it was assumed the plane had crashed near Howland Island.