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Amelia Earhart mystery: Newly discovered footage may shed light on the aviator’s disappearance

connectVideoDocument signed by Amelia Earhart discovered in the attic box

An extremely rare document signed by Amelia Earhart that gives details of her ill-fated aircraft has surfaced after half a century hidden in an attic. The document and the corresponding archive is valued at $75,000.

Newly acquired shooting may shed new light on the mysterious fate of Amelia Earhart.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) says it has movies and which can help you in solving the Earhart mystery. The group spent 10 years in the negotiations for the acquisition of the 16-mm film, which shows Earhart’s Lockheed Electra taking off from Lae in Papua New Guinea on a short test flight on July 1, 1937, and the subsequent fueling operation.

Earhart famously disappeared during an attempt to fly around the world. The aviator and her navigator, Fred Noonan, went missing on July 2, 1937 during a flight from Papua-New Guinea to Howland Island in the Pacific ocean. Their fate was one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century and is still hotly debated in the 21st century.

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The key detail in the movie is an aluminium patch on the surface of the trunk, that may correspond to an aluminum fragment discovered in 1991 by TIGHAR on the remote island of Nikumaroro, a coral atoll, 1,200 miles from the Marshall Islands.

The photo from the film (TIGHAR Collection, used with permission)

“The key to a conclusive yes or no, is a comparison between the unique rivet pattern and the distortion on the artifact and the unique rivet pattern, and the distortion is visible in photos of the patch on the Electra,” said TIGHAR, on its website. “The problem is always the bad resolution in some of the historic photos show the patch.”

TIGHAR was contacted in 2008 by a woman who said she had photos and film footage of Earhart, Noonan and the plane in Lae. “The photos and films would be taken by a family member of the owner’s ex-husband, who was in the mining business during the New Guinea gold rush of the 1930’s and happened to be in Lae on July 1,” the group said, adding that the letter from the photographer, dated July 2, 1937, documents the film’s authenticity.

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One of the photos of the plane to refuel was particularly intriguing turned out the rear section of the Electra with the aluminum patch. Researchers are keen to see whether the image matches the aluminum fragment discovered in 1991.

The aluminum fragment discovered in 1991
(TIGHAR Collection, used with permission)

“Once we had the photos and movie in hand, we realized that the still pictures are actually taken from frames in the 16mm film,” said TIGHAR. “That is good news. The film was probably shot at twenty four frames per second. If the camera remained on the right rear of the plane for just one second, we have not one, but four and twenty pictures of the patch.”

“A forensic imaging perspective, as if you the lottery,” said TIGHAR’s forensic imaging expert Jeff Glickman, in the statement.

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TIGHAR is now engaged to the fragile, decades-old acetate film scanned at high resolution, a delicate and costly process. “Once the footage is safely displayed in a digital format, Jeff can start the laborious process of forensic analysis,” the group explained.

This May 20, 1937 photo, which by The Paragon Agency, shows aviator Amelia Earhart at the tail of her Electra aircraft, taken at the Burbank Airport in Burbank, California. (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Agency via AP)

TIGHAR Director Ric Gillespie told Fox News that the images will be released at some point in the future, but not right away.

One theory is that Earhart died as a castaway after landing her plane on Nikumaroro. A 13-human bones were found on Nikumaroro known as Gardner Island, three years after Earhart’s disappearance.

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Last year, a scientific study claimed that shed a new light on the enduring mystery.

Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Tennessee, argued that the bones found in the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 were probably Earhart’s remains. The research contradicts a forensic analysis of the remains in 1941, described the bones as belonging to a man. The bones, which were then lost, continue to be a source of discussion.

There are a number of competing theories about what ultimately happened to Earhart.

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While some are convinced that Nikumaroro is Earhart’s final resting place, another theory suggests that she met her end on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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