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Amelia Earhart wreckage clue possibly found on South Pacific island

March 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Seventy-five years after Amelia Earhart vanished without a trace, a new effort is being launched to find out what happened to her.

In 1937, the pioneering aviator was attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe when her plane disappeared somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean.

Now enhanced analysis of a photograph taken months after she vanished may show the landing gear of her plane off the remote island of Nikumaroro, part of the nation of Kiribati.

A team of historians and scientists from the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, with the support of the U.S. Departments of State and Transportation, will go to the island in July to search for the wreckage.

"Her legacy resonates today with anyone, girls or boys, who dreams of the stars," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The U.S. government is not paying for the expedition. It will be privately funded and filmed for television.

Ric Gillespie, executive director of the group, acknowledged that the evidence was "circumstantial" but "strong" but stopped short of predicting success. The new search is scheduled to last for 10 days in July and will use state-of-the-art underwater robotic submarines and mapping equipment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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