I'm sure you remember the story of Amelia Earhart. She was an American aviation pioneer and was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In July 1937, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan attempted to circle the globe along the equator.
The voyage turned out to be one of the great unsolved mysteries in history. Earhart's plane vanished somewhere in the South Pacific and was never to be found. Or so we thought. New evidence has come to light that might have solved the 80-year-old mystery.
Was Amelia Earhart captured and held prisoner?
For decades people have speculated about Earhart's disappearance. The consensus theory is that both Earhart and Noonan died when their plane crashed in the ocean. However, that theory may have just been proven wrong.
What we're talking about is photo evidence that could prove both Earhart and Noonan survived the flight. Former FBI official, Shawn Henry, said a recently discovered picture shows the two alive and well after their plane disappeared.
Image: Alleged photo of Amelia Earhart after she disappeared. (Source: Les Kinney/National Archives/History)
A facial recognition expert analyzed the photo to determine if Earhart and Noonan could be identified. The expert said, "it's very likely," that in fact, this is a photo of the pair. Henry believes, after investigating government documents, that Earhart was actually captured by the Japanese military and held prisoner.
Henry told People magazine, "This absolutely changes history. I think we proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she survived her flight and was held prisoner by the Japanese on the island of Saipan, where she eventually died."
An investigative team led by Henry compiled evidence for a documentary that is set to air this weekend on the History Channel. The photo was discovered by retired U.S. Treasury Agent Les Kinney in 2012 and is being made public now for the first time.
It's amazing how today's technology can be used to help solve decades-old mysteries like this. Who knows what we'll find out next?
If you want to see the full documentary, "Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence" is airing on the History Channel Sunday, July 9 at 9:00 p.m. EST.