The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery
2366 Hickory Hill Road · Oxford, PA · 19363 · USA
610.467.1937 ·

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The Earhart Project in a Nutshell

This is what we think happened:

  • Having failed to find Howland Island, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan continued on the navigational line Amelia said they were following.
  • That line led them to uninhabited Gardner Island where Amelia landed the Electra safely on the island’s fringing reef. Pacific route
  • For the next several nights they used the aircraft’s radio to send distress calls.
  • Bearing mapRadio bearings taken on the signals crossed in the vicinity of Gardner Island.
  • One week after the flight disappeared, three U.S. Navy search planes flew over Gardner Island. By then, the distress calls had stopped. Rising tides and surf had swept the Electra over the reef edge.
  • The Navy fliers saw no airplane but they did see “signs of recent habitation.” They thought that all the islands in the area were inhabited so they moved on. In fact, no one had lived on Gardner since 1892.
  • Earhart (and possibly Noonan) lived for a time as castaways on the waterless atoll, relying on rain squalls for drinking water. They caught and cooked small fish, seabirds, turtles and clams. Amelia died at a makeshift campsite on the island’s southeast end. Noonan’s fate is unknown.
  • Whatever remains of the Electra lies in deep water off the island’s west end.

Click HERE for a two minute summary of the evidence.

Click HERE for other links within the Earhart Project.

Our special thanks to the corporate and individual sponsors of The Earhart Project, without whom nothing would be possible:
Photek Imaging Thursby Software Markertek
GeoEye Bella Energy White's Electronics

The Members of the TIGHAR Board of Directors.

And the loyal membership of TIGHAR.

To make a donation to the Earhart Project, click HERE.

The Earhart Project is funded by charitable contributions. Donations by check (payable to TIGHAR) or credit card (Visa, Discover, American Express or Master Card) may be sent to TIGHAR, The Earhart Project, 2366 Hickory Hill Road, Oxford, PA 19363, USA, or click on the link above to make your contribution. Confidential inquiries regarding sponsorship opportunities for individuals or corporations should be addressed to Executive Director Richard Gillespie (email

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