Expedition Begins to Uncover Fate of Amelia Earhart

Posted July 4th, 2012 at 1:55 am (UTC-5)
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An expedition is underway to resolve the mystery surrounding pioneering U.S. aviator Amelia Earhart, who disappeared 75 years ago this month.

A team of scientists and salvagers set sail Tuesday from Hawaii for an island near the remote South Pacific nation of Kiribati. They are searching for clues into Earhart's disappearance as she was flying from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island during her quest to fly around the world along the equator.

The team believes Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan landed on Nikumaroro Atoll and briefly survived, based on evidence gathered from the island during past expeditions. The $2-million expedition, financed entirely by private donations, will search the waters off Nikumaroro for the wreckage of Earhart's Lockheed Electra twin-engine airplane.

Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, accompanying a team of male pilots. Four years later she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo, and in 1935, she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean. Earhart also set a number of altitude records.