Amelia Earhart, one of the greatest aviator mysteries the world has ever known, now has another bizarre chapter opening up in the search for her plane. A Wisconsin man claims that Earhart’s plane was found in 2010 and it was kept under wraps so he would fund another expedition for the group who found it. The International Group for Historic Recovery (TIGHAR) has become famous for their search of Amelia Earhart’s resting place, but the son of the late philanthropist that funded this group claims they’ve found Earhart’s plane and kept it quiet, according to the Christian Science Monitor on June 12, 2013.
Timothy Mellon, son of the late Paul Mellon, filed a lawsuit accusing the recovery group of soliciting $1 million from him last year without telling him they had found her plane during their last underwater search two years ago.
The lawsuit claims that Earhart’s plane was found in the water off Nikumaroro Island, this deserted island is the same island where an old campsite was found that was believed to be that of Earhart’s and her navigator’s Fred Noonan.
Certain artifacts found suggested that the two lived out the rest of their lives on this deserted island. A sextant was found, which was the same type Noonan used for navigating. A jar of freckle cream was found, which is something Earhart used to buy and it would have probably taken some with her on her trip around the world.
An old shoe that was a woman’s and the size that Amelia wore was also among some of the objects found on that island. No remains were found, but experts on marine life explain that Nikumaroro Island is home to the biggest crabs known to man, coconut crabs.
The coconut crabs grow to the size of medium size dogs and they are the islands main residents. If Earhart and Noonan died on that island, their remains would have been carried off long ago by these crabs, leaving very little or no sign of humans if they did die there.
Amelia Earhart remains probably gone due to coconut crabs on Nikumaroro Island
Mellon’s suit claims that pictures were taken of the wreckage that is believed to be that of Earhart’s plane. Those pictures were taken during the 2010 TIGHAR group’s search. Lawyers for TIGHAR denies that they found Earhart’s plane and that the group is raising money for a 2013 search that was due to take place this summer.
Mellon is referring to underwater imagery taken by the groups previous exploration, which he believes shows the plane. Bill Carter, the lawyer for TIGHAR said that he’s looked at the imagery of those underwater videos and he just doesn’t see what Mellon is referring to.
Amelia Earhart: Sonar evidence of her plane found in bizarre turn of events? (Video)
The bottom line: The man who financed the exploration in 2010 claims they found Earhart’s plane after seeing the underwater imagery taken by TIGHAR’s 2010’s expedition. Mellon is saying the group hid their findings and solicited $1 million to go back to do more exploring to find the location of Earhart’s plane, which he says they’ve already found.
TIGHAR denies finding Earhart’s plane and said there’s no reason for them to sit on such findings and not share it with the world. They would gain nothing financially from keeping this a secret.