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What's Next

Gift to HillaryThis has been a tremendously successful year for TIGHAR. The State Department event in March, the Earhart Search 75 symposium in June 2012, the Niku VII expedition in July 2012, and the Discovery Channel show in August 2012 have catapulted TIGHAR to an unprecedented level of public attention and credibility. TIGHAR membership has nearly doubled. The Forum has almost 1,000 registered subscribers and untold thousands of readers. The TIGHAR Facebook page has over 4,5oo followers.

Niku VIIIn terms of research results, the new Bevington Photo image we got in England in April 2012 has led to a new parsing of Nessie that makes it much easier to see the components of the landing gear. The Niku VII expedition has given us a wealth of information about the underwater environment at Niku that we have only begun to tap.

But all of this comes at a price.  Errors by the contractor and technical difficulties during Niku VII meant that we were not able to see and investigate potentially important objects in real time and must now rely on analysis of HD video to figure out what we found. We also ended the expedition with significant debt that has since been retired.

So what’s next? A lot.

Niku VIII is scheduled for the autumn of 2014.

The exact size, shape, and objectives for Niku VIII are under development, and we’re looking for ideas and input. We’ll approach the design of Niku VIII by soliciting and evaluating suggestions for “modules,” specific tasks to be considered for inclusion in the expedition agenda.


We’ll recover the TBD in 2014 if the plan and the funding can be finalized in time.

We have a window of opportunity in the next twelve months where a lot of threads are weaving together into a fabric we can use. We are looking forward with great joy to having this wonderful project come to fruition.

Field Schools

We’ll hold a Field School in April or May of 2014.

It will be held on the Coffeen Nature Preserve at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Formal announcement soon, and registration will open at that time.

Earhart Project

The shape and scope of Niku VIII will depend on many questions that have yet to be answered.

    • Do we have underwater targets videoed during Niku VII that are worth investigating?
    • If so, how will we investigate them? Amateur divers? Commercial divers? ROV?
    • Should we investigate targets in the lagoon?
    • What onshore operations will we include?
    • If we investigate offshore targets can the same ship support onshore operations or do we need two boats?

Meanwhile, there are many avenues of Earhart Project research that need further work. The Bevington Photo is a classic example of important evidence that we’ve had for a long time but have only recently developed to its full potential. How many other “sleepers” do we have in the volumes of data and artifacts we’ve collected over the years? ¬†We’re currently assembling a list of topics that need further work. We’ll present the list to EPAC and the Forum. We’ll be looking for suggestions for more topics and for “champions” who will lead the research on a particular topic.


We’ll have a Researcher School in the spring of 2014.

We are planning a Researcher School (sort of like the Field School but without the mud and mosquitoes) to teach TIGHAR members how to do archival and on-line research. We’ve just started planning it, and we’ll keep you posted on details; but it will be a hands-on, real-world exercise led by experienced TIGHAR researchers and designed to introduce participants to the world where the important stuff happens.


Get in touch if you would like to participate in, or have ideas about, any of these activities.

610.467.1937 • ric@tighar.org

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