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It’s been 80 years since Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared somewhere in the Pacific Ocean on their mission to fly around the world. How they disappeared is one of those great, unsolved mysteries of the planet, like how the dinosaurs really died or how Donald Trump got elected. Earhart and Noonan disappeared on July 2, 1937 ,and though many theories have surfaced over the years (some more far-fetched than others), no one can be certain about what happened to them on or after that day. Up until now, most assumed that the two ran out of gas on their way to Howland Island and crashed somewhere in the ocean as a result. New evidence surfaced recently, however, that may indicate that the two did not die on July 2, as many believe.

Before this evidence came to light, the ‘Marshall Islands Theory’ was considered among the least likely and most conspiracy-sounding Earhart theories out there. With this new evidence though, it just might be the real story.

Historians suggest in this theory that Earhart’s plan if she couldn’t find Howland Island — which is tiny and uninhabited in an age before radar — was to head north to the Marshall Islands and land there. Since radio communications were spotty that day, they believe that the two landed in the Marshall Islands where they died after being captured by the island’s inhabitants. The new support for this theory comes from a newly discovered picture that was incorrectly filed in Les Kinney U.S. National Archives.

Amelia Earhart evidence
History Channel

Historians suggest that the woman sitting down on the pier is Earhart herself and the man farthest to the left is Noonan. Through analysis of Noonan’s hairline and body measurements and a shape in the back right that looks like it could be Earhart’s plane, they are suggesting — in a two-hour History Channel special — that this is Earhart and Noonan after they supposedly crashed.

Now, not to be the cynics who spoil the fun, but we can’t help but be a little skeptical here. The figure that’s supposed to be Earhart could be anybody (it’s just a person with short hair) and the figure that’s supposed to be Noonan doesn’t even look like a person. Plus, the original Marshall Islands theory suggests it’s possible that not only the two survived, but they made it back to the U.S. and lived the rest of their lives under aliases. That’s fun, but a little too far-fetched for our liking. We’re hoping that the History special has a little added insight into the case. After all, we can’t expect them to spill all their secrets before the special airs.

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