The Wreck Photo
The seaman’s other photo showed the beach of a tropical island from just offshore. A group of perhaps 40 men in shorts are standing about on the beach and in the shallow water. Most are shirtless. The level beach extends several hundred feet inland and is bordered by a few tall palm trees behind which the vegetation and terrain rise steeply upward to high jungled hills in the distance. According to Carrington, HMS Adamant had put these men ashore on the uninhabited island for the purpose of gathering sand used in fighting engine room fires and also for a little recreation. The seaman did not recall the name of the island, if he ever knew it. Supposedly he walked along the beach with a friend until they noted a couple of large coconut palms that had been knocked down. Back in the bush they found the wreckage of a twin engined airplane and took the photo shown at right.
Early Speculation and Analysis
- September, 1997: Is this Earhart's Electra?
- November 21, 1997: Photographic Proof or Wishful Thinking?
- May, 1998: The Wreck Photo.
- October 10, 1998: Wreck Photo Update.
Final resolution: Ric Gillespie, October 10, 2006:
"After many years of research and head-scratching, I'm convinced that the Wreck Photo shows a Tachikawa KI-54 "Hickory" advanced trainer. My belief is based upon the visible structural components and especially upon the presence of a small circular inspection plate on the nose."
Earhart Project Research Bulletin: The Wreck Photo Resolved, November 13, 2009