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Is this a piece of Earhart’s plane? (CNN) — Could search crews be just a few hundred feet from solving a mystery that has riveted millions for 76 years? That’s the question raised by tantalizing evidence published this week by teams trying to find out what happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart, who vanished along with navigator Fred Noonan during a doomed attempt to fly around the world in 1937. Yet that evidence has been met with skepticism in some quarters.
Debate about the mystery gained new currency this week after researchers publicized images recorded by search teams scanning the ocean floor nearly a year ago near Nikumaroro Island in the South Pacific.
The group said, “It’s the right size, it’s the right shape and it’s in the right place.”
Could it really be a piece of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra plane?
Louise Foudray, said: “We don’t want to shrug off the hard work anyone is doing. We do like the idea that people are still interested,” she said. “But we’re skeptical.”
Will the mystery of Earhart be solved and has Amelia Earhart’s plane been found? Many theories that have emerged. One is that Earhart’s plane was forced down by the Japanese around the Marshall Islands. Another is that Earhart secretly returned to the United States and the government gave her a new identity.
But in reality, Foudray said, “no one has yet to come up with anything conclusive.”
“So did (last summer’s) expedition actually succeed in locating the wreckage of the world’s most famous missing airplane? Or is this sonar target just a coral rock or ridge?” the organization says on its website. “Of course we’re not going to know until we can get back out there, but until then the anomaly is worth close study.”
Foudray said she’s heard all of the evidence and nothing solid has risen to the surface. And that includes the latest foray into the South Pacific deep.
“We don’t expect anything,” she said.