Forgotten photo may solve Amelia Earhart mystery

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Could Photo Finally Solve Amelia Earhart Mystery?


A recently resurfaced photograph may have finally solved the 77-year-old mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance.

Forgotten photo may solve Amelia Earhart mystery
(Image courtesy of: Miami Herald)
This patch, found on a remote Pacific Island by researchers with The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, is believed to have come from Earhart's plane Electra. (TIGHAR)
The patch is shown on the plane under this yellow arrow. (TIGHAR)
The shredded patch being held up against a reproduction of where on the plane it would have fit. (TIGHAR)
The patch covered the special window denoted at the back of the plane. (TIGHAR)
Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, is seen in this undated photo. (AP Photo)
FILE - An undated file photo shows American aviatrix Amelia Earhart. A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries. What happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing over the South Pacific 75 years ago? (AP Photo, File)
Amelia Earhart with her Lockheed Vega surrounded by crowd after she became the first woman to fly solo from Hawaii to California in 1935. Courtesy Air and Space Museum. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this undated photo, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane sits on top of a plane. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is wading into one of the 20th century?s most enduring mysteries: the fate of American aviator Amelia Earhart, disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. Clinton is meeting March 20, 2012, with historians and scientists from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which will launch a new search in June for the wreckage of Earhart?s plane off the remote island of Nikumaroro. (AP Photo)
FILE-- An undated file photo shows Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is meeting Tuesday March 20, 2012, with historians and scientists from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which will launch a new search in June for the wreckage of Earhart's plane off the remote island of Nikumaroro. (AP Photo)
FILE-- In a 1937 file photo aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, pose in front of their twin-engine Lockheed Electra in Los Angeles prior to their historic flight in which Earhart was attempting to become first female pilot to circle the globe. A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries. What happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing over the South Pacific 75 years ago? (AP Photo, File)
Amelia Earhart, noted flier, awaiting a call to the stand as an expert witness in an airplane accident case in which Paul Mantz, her technical adviser (shown with her), is involved in Los Angeles on May 16, 1937. (AP Photo)
Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan pose with map of the Pacific showing the route of their last flight, in Los Angeles, May 1937. (AP Photo)
Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)
A cabin crew of the Vietnam Air Force is seen onboard a flying AN-26 Soviet made aircraft during a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the southern sea between Vietnam and Malaysia Friday, March 14, 2014. Vietnam says it has downgraded but not stopped its search for the missing jetliner in the South China Sea and has been asked by Malaysian authorities to consider sending planes and ships to the Strait of Malacca. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
Officer Lang Van Ngan of the Vietnam Air Force looks out the window onboard a flying AN-26 Soviet made aircraft during a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the southern sea between Vietnam and Malaysia Friday, March 14, 2014. Vietnam says it has downgraded but not stopped its search for the missing jetliner in the South China Sea and has been asked by Malaysian authorities to consider sending planes and ships to the Strait of Malacca. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
Officer Lang Van Ngan of the Vietnam Air Force looks out the window onboard a flying AN-26 Soviet made aircraft during a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the southern sea between Vietnam and Malaysia Friday, March 14, 2014. Vietnam says it has downgraded but not stopped its search for the missing jetliner in the South China Sea and has been asked by Malaysian authorities to consider sending planes and ships to the Strait of Malacca. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen).
Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand over the location where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, Thursday, March 13, 2014. (AP Photo)
A Vietnamese air force pilot touches the controls of a transport plane on Sunday March 9, 2014 during the search and rescue operations for the Malaysian airliner vanished early Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Military radar indicates that the missing Boeing 777 jet may have turned back, Malaysia's air force chief said Sunday as scores of ships and aircraft from across Asia resumed a hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers. (AP Photo)
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An image, taken by the Miami Herald just moments before Earhart took off for her ill-fated 1937 attempt to fly around the world, holds a clue that one investigator claims links to wreckage found on a tiny island in the pacific.

The image shows an aluminum patch that was not noticed in any other photograph. Earhart investigator, Ric Gillespie, believes the patch matches the metal plate he discovered back in 1991 on a remote island. If correct, this supports the theory that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, survived a crash and died as a castaways.

Gillespie's Gardner Island discovery was initially dismissed 23 years ago because rivet patterns didn't match those of Earhart's plane, but if the plate is a patch, it would explain why the patterns are different. He told the Miami Herald, "If we can match a rivet pattern from the repair in the photograph to a rivet pattern on the wreckage, I think it would be beyond dispute that Noonan and Earhart weren't lost at sea, but made it to the island."

If Gillespie is correct, it would answer a lot of questions regarding what many believe to be one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. But it would also hint that Earhart and Noonen had long, slow, tragic deaths.

Have you met the other Amelia Earhart? Earhart left her television job at KUSA to recreate the 1937 flight of her namesake.
Forgotten photo may solve Amelia Earhart mystery
DENVER, CO - JUNE 17: Amelia Earhart with a portrait of her namesake at her Denver home on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Earhart has left her television job at KUSA to recreate the 1937 flight of her namesake. She talked about the upcoming around -the world aviation quest that will involve 17 stops and over 28,000 miles in a Pilatus PC-12NG. She departs on June 26th. (Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon)
TODAY -- Pictured: Pilot Amelia Rose Earhart (a distant relative of the famed aviator of the same name) appears on NBC News' 'Today' show on August 2, 2013 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 17: Amelia Earhart with a map of the world in her study at her Denver home on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Earhart has left her television job at KUSA to recreate the 1937 flight of her namesake. She talked about the upcoming around the world aviation quest that will involve 17 stops and over 28,000 miles in a Pilatus PC-12NG. She departs on June 26th. (Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon)
TODAY -- Pictured: Pilot Amelia Rose Earhart (a distant relative of the famed aviator of the same name) appears on NBC News' 'Today' show on August 2, 2013 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 17: Amelia Earhart with a globe and a portrait of her namesake at her Denver home on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Earhart has left her television job at KUSA to recreate the 1937 flight of her namesake. She talked about the upcoming around the world aviation quest that will involve 17 stops and over 28,000 miles in a Pilatus PC-12NG. She departs on June 26th. (Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 17: Amelia Earhart with a map of the world in her study at her Denver home on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Earhart has left her television job at KUSA to recreate the 1937 flight of her namesake. She talked about the upcoming around the world aviation quest that will involve 17 stops and over 28,000 miles in a Pilatus PC-12NG. She departs on June 26th. (Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Located in front of the 1860 home where Amelia Earhart was born in 1897
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