The plan for Niku VIII is built on the hard data gathered and the hard lessons learned during Niku VI and Niku VII.

Dates: Twenty-four day expedition, June 2015. Nai'a
Vessel: M/S Nai’a, 120 foot research motor sailer out of Fiji.
Search Technology: Small ROV for deep underwater search; SCUBA for shallow underwater search; metal detection and Mark I human eyeball for on-shore search.
Underwater Search Operations: Focus on known sonar targets.
Onshore Search Operations: Detailed survey of the beachfront and forest area in search of evidence of an initial Earhart/Noonan campsite.
Budget: $500,000.
The Plan

The 14-person TIGHAR team will depart Fiji on June 8 aboard Nai’a for the five day, one thousand mile voyage to Nikumaroro, arriving June 13. Three types of search operations will run concurrently over the next fourteen days:

ROV Operations ROV
A SeaBotix vLBV950 will be piloted by Ron Bernier of Advanced Remote Marine Services. The system has all the capabilities we need to investigate the anomaly and other potential targets: 1,000 foot+ depth, four LED light arrays of 1,080 lumens each, powerful thrusters to deal with the current, forward looking search sonar, high-definition real-time video, etc. The expedition ship will be moored over the target area to provide a stable platform.
SCUBA Operations overhead map
TIGHAR’s five-person dive team will make an intensive search from the point on the reef edge where the plane appears to have gone into the water (the 1937 Bevington Object location) down to the edge of the first underwater cliff.
Onshore Operations
TIGHAR’s four-person onshore search team will cover the area inland from the beach for signs of an initial survival camp. Eight points have been identified where objects that may be man-made appear in the 1938 aerial photos. To the extent possible, the entire area will be swept visually and with metal detectors.

Fiji Princess For the final day at Nikumaroro the TIGHAR team will be joined by 60 passengers aboard M/V Fiji Princess for the Betchart Expeditions Amelia Earhart Cruise. Four experienced TIGHARs, including Senior Archaeologist Dr. Tom King, will be aboard Fiji Princess to serve as lecturers and guides.

Nai’a will depart Nikumaroro on June 26, arriving back in Fiji on July 1.

Special Offer – The Niku VIII Search Reference Kit

The Niku VIII Search Reference Kit offers maps and photos in both print and digital format, including a NEW Grid Map based on the new GeoEye Foundation satellite photo. Click HERE to learn more.

Our special thanks to the corporate and individual sponsors of The Earhart Project, without whom nothing would be possible:

Photek Imaging
Digital Globe
Thursby Software
Sutton Inspection Bureau




Whites 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 Ric@tighar.org).

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