Can Rivets And Aluminum Solve Aviation’s Greatest Mystery?

In 1991, a riveted sheet of aircraft aluminum was found on the atoll of Nikumaroro. Some believe it may be part of a Lockheed Model 10 Electra, the plane that disappeared with Amelia Earhart.

Although the riveted scrap was found nearly twenty-five years ago and speculated to be the key to Earhart’s mysterious disappearance from seventy-seven years ago, we may finally get proof. 

“Last week’s announcement by the aircraft recovery group came after it was noticed that the 19-by-23-inch (48 by 58 centimeters) sheet of aluminum has a similar size and shape as a shiny patch that appears on the side of Earhart’s plane in a 1937 photograph from the Miami Herald. This retrofitted metal piece covered a custom window that appeared in earlier photographs of Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra.”

Sophisticated imaging technology may determine– through comparative analysis of the scrap’s specific rivet pattern and the rivets in the photo of the Electra, and other details– if the aluminum was once part of Earhart’s plane and prompt deeper exploration of Nikumaroro.  While it looks as though the scrap is a promising lead, skeptics, archaeologists, and historians won’t be ready to close the book on this mystery until the rest of the Electra is recovered and DNA proof is obtained through human remains.

What do you think of the Nikumaroro find and the current hypothesis? Do you believe we’ve finally gotten closer to an answer on this age-old aviation mystery– all thanks to some very specific rivet holes?   


One thought on “Can Rivets And Aluminum Solve Aviation’s Greatest Mystery?

  1. This is truly one of the most fascinating mysteries of the twentieth century. I’ve watched at least two documentaries about the mystery of Amelia Airheart, one of them on the History channel. This development would suggest that her plane seemingly dematerialized on July 2, 1937, has prompted a wide range of conspiracy theories, including the speculation that Earhart assumed a new identity on a remote island in the Pacific. The new discovery debunks the wide belief that Earhart and Fred Noonan, her navigator, didn’t actually crash into the Pacific Ocean. TIGHAR suggests the the pair had to make a forced landing on the coral reef of Nikumaroro after running out of fuel roughly 350 miles from their destination, Howland Island.

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