Tony Romeo, a former Air Force intelligence officer and CEO of Deep Sea Vision, thinks the blurry images from the ocean floor show the plane that disappeared in 1937.
Tue 30 Jan 2024 04:02, UK
A pilot and explorer believes he has solved one of aviation's greatest mysteries and discovered the location of Amelia Earhart's plane.
Tony Romeo, a former Air Force intelligence officer and CEO of Deep Sea Vision, sold commercial real estate last year to finance his deep-sea exploration in the Pacific.
He combed the ocean floor with sonar technology in the area where Earhart is suspected to have crashed in 1937 in an effort to find the missing plane.
His team captured sonar data from a reconnaissance mission in December by an underwater drone and found an image of a faint, aircraft-like shape, which Mr Romeo believes is the twin-engine Lockheed 10-E Electra of the lost pilot.
The picture was taken about 100 miles off Howland Island, halfway between Australia and Hawaii.
Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were expected to land there in July 1937 to refuel during her attempt to become the first woman pilot to circumnavigate the globe.
But they never came, and she was declared dead two years later, after the United States concluded that she had crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, but her remains were never found.
Mr Romeo is adamant that the plane he found is Earhart's, despite the poor quality of the photo, he told sister station Sky News. NBC News: “You'd be hard-pressed to convince me that it wasn't Amelia's plane, except for planes one and two.
“There are no other known wrecks in the area, and the tailed design that you can clearly see in the picture is certainly not from that period.”
Mr Romeo's team plans to return to the site with a camera and drone this year or early next year.
“The next step is confirmation, and there's a lot we need to know about that. And there seems to be some vulnerability. I mean, it's been sitting there for 87 years at this point,” he said.
On her last trip, the team used an unmanned submersible to scan 5,200 square miles of the ocean floor.
According to the Wall St. Journal, an image of the suspected plane was found resting 5,000 meters underwater.
“I think it's the greatest mystery of all time,” Mr Romeo said. “Certainly the most enduring aviation mystery of all time.”