In a significant development, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer claims to have discovered the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s plane, missing for 87 years, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Tony Romeo, an explorer, aims to launch a mission soon to locate the long-lost aircraft, a task that a massive U.S. search failed to achieve in 1937. Romeo, CEO of Deep Sea Vision, plans to use sonar data from a deep-sea drone to bring closure to this decades-old mystery.

Amelia Earhart, the renowned American aviator, made history in 1932 as the first woman and second person to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic. In an attempt to circumnavigate the globe with navigator Fred Noonan, their plane disappeared over the Pacific. Romeo believes that the wreckage lies over 5,000 meters below the ocean surface, about 160 km from Howland Island, halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Blurry sonar images from the deep-sea drone reveal a plane-like shape, potentially matching the size and distinctive features of Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10-E Electra. The 16-member crew of Deep Sea Vision spent over 100 days searching more than 13,400 square kilometers at the end of last year. Romeo hypothesizes that Earhart may have run out of fuel, landed on the ocean surface, and the plane sank to the bottom, undisturbed by light currents. While the first step is to confirm the discovery, Romeo envisions the subsequent step of raising and restoring the plane to the surface, acknowledging that this process could take years. The mission is driven by the desire to bring Amelia Earhart’s plane home and provide answers to one of America’s most enduring mysteries.