sonar search of atoll perimeter. Onshore search of eastern beach area
for possible campsite reported seen in 1944. Excavation of small grave
on southern arm of atoll. Further examination of abandoned village at
Sonar search negative. Search for campsite negative. Grave found to
contain bones of an infant. Remnants of shoes found near grave site.
Additional aircraft debris found in village.
remnants are consistent with shoes worn by Earhart. Some aircraft debris
is consistent with WWII B-24 (probably brought from Sydney Island).
Other aircraft debris is not consistent with any known WWII type and
is consistent with Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10E Special.
Operations: Interview former residents of Nikumaroro. (Nikumaroro was originally settled by
Gilbertese islanders under British authority in late 1938. The colony
was abandoned and the residents resettled to the Solomon Islands in
Results: The people’s
folklore includes a story that the first work party on Nikumaroro in
1938 found the bones of a white man and woman, identifiable as such
from the remnants of clothing and shoes they wore.
Vessel: M/V Matagi Princess II, 85 ft. dive excursion vessel.
Port of Embarkation: Taveuni, Fiji
logistical data in preparation for NIKU III. Try again to locate campsite
on eastern beach with help of newly acquired photographic evidence.
Additional aircraft components from abandoned village.
data gathered. Search for campsite successful, but site proved to be
associated with the Gilbertese settlement. Additional artifacts found
in village are consistent with Earhart's aircraft.
See Niku VI for full details. To read the report to the Phoenix Islands Protection Area Committee, including artifact reports, click HERE.
Fiji Bone Search III: May 7 – 22, 2011
The search of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and other sites in Suva, Fiji, for the bones discovered by Gallagher and sent to Fiji for identification. See Fiji III Final Report.
Solomons Research II: August 2011
From August 20-30, 2011, John Clauss, Nancy Farrell, Karl Kern, Baoro Laxton Koraua and Gary F. Quigg, of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) conducted a research expedition in the Solomon Islands consisting of oral history interviews with former residents of Nikumaroro Island (Kiribati) as well as a thorough examination of relevant archival materials in the Solomon Islands National Archives. See Solomons Islands Research.
Niku VII: June/July 2012
On July 3, 2012 – the 75th anniversary of the U.S.S. Colorado’s departure to search for Earhart – TIGHAR’s Niku VII expedition sailed from Honolulu to conduct a search for the Earhart Electra in the waters adjacent to Nikumaroro. Click HERE for more details.
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