Here we go again…
I would invite–and challenge–all professional writers and news reporters to do a little research on the history of the “TIGHAR” organization before publishing their press releases as news.
Since the 1990s, this organization has repeatedly made claims of having discovered “evidence” of Amelia Earhart having crashed at their preferred expedition site, Gardner Island (“Nikumororo”). Again and again, they have conducted these commercial expeditions and every time, they have brought back some form of “evidence” of Amelia Earhart having been there.
This “evidence” is merely a repetition of a very old pattern of bogus findings and is not a “clue” in the Amelia Earhart story. This is but the latest in a twenty-year series of specious and misleading statements issued by this organization, “TIGHAR”, designed to garner attention to itself and to promote its for-profit fantasy-expedition “research” into the Amelia Earhart story.
The entire Phoenix Islands area was thoroughly searched at the time of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, in July, 1937. Since then, here was a British colonial settlement (the last) on the island throughout much of the mid-twentieth century, as well as U.S. military installations built there and staffed during and after WWII, with scores of people living there and visitng in the intervening years. Any evidence of Amelia Earhart’s having ever been there would have been discovered decades ago.
Last month, the “TIGHAR” organization issued a press release, stating that they had discovered a photograph purporting to show the landing gear of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra sticking up out of the Gardner Island lagoon. The idea of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra landing gear protruding out of the surface of the lagoon at low tide and not being seen at some point in the last 75 years is patently absurd.
Analyses of radio direction-finder and aeronautical navigation data, along with official documents and the testimony of credible witnesses, have conclusively shown that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were in the Marshall Islands group and never closer than a thousand miles from Gardner Island.
The “TIGHAR” organization has fixated on Gardner (aka “Nikumaroro”) Island, because it suits their profit-making tour business, which escorts its customers on paid expeditions every year or so, and has for many years. A simple check of the press history of the organization will reveal many instances of so-called “discoveries” of “evidence” (airplane parts, bottles, shoes, etc.) from this same location, all of which have been swiftly debunked by actual bona fide historical experts, not “experts” associated with this commercial, for-profit company.
This latest publicity-seeking exploit, which also involves a ploy to co-opt the U.S. State Department into lending its imprimatur to the group’s business activities–will die down quickly, and, in all likelihood, will re-surface in a few months with new “evidence” to compel adventurers to pay handsomely for the TIGHAR “historians” to escort them on another two-week expedition to the Central Pacific.