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MUFONET-BBS GROUP - MUTUAL UFO NETWORK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS - WIRE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 旼컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴커 =START= XMT: 14:53 Mon Mar 16 EXP: 15:00 Mon Mar 23 쿌MELIA EARHART LANDED SAFELY ON ISLAND BEFORE DYING OF 쿟HIRST, RESEARCHERS SAY 쿥ASHINGTON (MARCH 16) UPI - Amelia Earhart landed safely on 쿪 remote, uninhabited Pacific Island in 1937 and survived 쿯or about a week before she and her navigator died of 퀃hirst, investigators concluded Monday. 쿝ichard Gillespie of TIGHAR, the International Group for 쿓istoric Aircraft Recovery, displayed fragments from an 쿪irplane wreck, a shoe, and a bottle cap found last year on 쿙ikumaroro Island to support the organization's theory about 쿐arhart's disappearance. ''For 55 years her fate has been a mystery,'' said Gillespie 쿪t a news conference. ''Today that mystery has been 퀂olved.'' 쿐arhart was famous during the 1930s for setting airplane 퀂peed and altitude records. She was the first woman to cross 퀃he Atlantic in an airplane. She and her navigator, Fred 쿙oonan, disappeared in the South Pacific on July 2, 1937, 퀇hile attempting to fly around the world. No trace of the 쿪viators or the aircraft was ever found despite a search by 퀃he U.S. Navy. 쿒illespie said that scientific and historic analysis showed 쿬onclusively that a piece of aluminum from an aircraft belly 쿪nd an antenna wire were from Earhart's twin-engine Lockheed 쿐lectra. The woman's shoe was the same size and appearance 쿪s shoes worn by Earhart. 쿟he bottle cap was manufactured in the 1930s, he said, and 쿺atched a medicine bottle known to have been carried by the 퀇oman aviator. 쿐arhart's plane vanished shortly before it was scheduled to 쿹and on Howland Island, about 350 miles from Nikumaroro 쿔sland, which is 2,000 southwest of the Hawaiian Islands. 쿚ver the years, investigators have proposed a number of 퀃heories about the disappearance. One idea was that Earhart 퀁an out of gasoline and the plane crashed into the ocean. 쿌nother said that Earhart was forced down on a Japanese-held 쿶sland, where she was secretly executed as a spy. 쿒illespie's theory is that Earhart was unable to find 쿓owland Island. As her fuel ran low, she flew a ''line of 쿾osition'' toward the rising sun, which would have taken her 쿭irectly over Nikumaroro Island, then known as Gardner 쿔sland. 쿐arhart landed easily on the flat coral reef where there 퀇ere plenty of fish, crabs and other food, but no fresh 퀇ater, Gillespie said. Temperatures on the island often 퀁each 120 degrees Fahrenheit. He estimated that without 퀇ater, the two aviators could have survived for only a week. 쿌nalysis showed that the recovered metal shard from the 쿾lane's belly had been torn off by an ocean wave. Gillespie 퀂aid that after landing, the plane was washed out to sea by 쿪 storm. 쿟IGHAR submitted the plane parts, which had been dug out of 퀃he sand by a recent storm, to the National Safety 쿟ransportation Board for scientific analysis. The NSTB 쿬onfirmed that the parts had come from an airplane 쿺anufactured before World War II, but took no stand as to 퀇hether the fragments were actually from the Earhart plane. 쿒illespie character ''She was findable, but the Navy didn't 쿯ind her,'' he said. 쿟IGHAR plans to return to the island next year to conduct an 퀅nderwater search for the remainder of the plane. 쿒illespie conceded that not all investigators are convinced 퀃hat the new evidence has solved the mystery, but that he 퀁emained confident. ''All of the evidence points to this 퀂olution,'' he said. =END=

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