WASHINGTON, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, March 12, Ric Gillespie, Executive Director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), showed aircraft debris that washed up on Nikumaroro, an uninhabited South Pacific atoll where Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are believed to have landed and ultimately perished as castaways. The debris is the subject of new materials analysis that may result in conclusive proof that the wreckage came from Amelia Earhart's aircraft.
- Gillespie also presented an overview of TIGHAR's eleventh Earhart expedition to Nikumaroro scheduled for September 15 to October 15, 2014.
- Terry Kerby, Chief Submersible Pilot and Operations Director for the University of Hawai'i Undersea Research Laboratory, explained how HURL's two three-person manned submersibles, Pisces IV and Pisces V, will be used to search for surviving wreckage from the Earhart aircraft.
- TIGHAR Underwater Archaeologist Kelly Gleason, Ph.D., described the long-term effects of a dynamic coral reef environment on aircraft structures and what the expedition might expect to find.
- TIGHAR Archaeologist Gary Quigg reviewed plans for onshore search operations. Other members of the expedition team provided comment and took questions.
Funding to complete the expedition's $2,000,000 budget is being sought from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Four berths on the expedition team have been reserved for sponsors who wish to participate in the search. Qualified sponsors will dive aboard the subs.
Twenty-five years of research and ten archaeological expeditions to the South Pacific have brought TIGHAR to the brink of conclusive proof of Earhart's fate. The organization's perseverance and scientific rigor in the face of controversy and adversity have become legendary. This year could see the answer to one of history's greatest mysteries.
SOURCE The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR)