Amelia Earhart went down in history for becoming the first female and solo aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She soared through life and resultingly made a career as a writer. However, in 1939 on January 5th, her death was confirmed, and now, further investigation has unveiled truths behind her mysterious disappearance.
Scientists have recently discovered an untapped clue that could have potential leads to details in Earhart's death. Earhart was a woman of power and determination, justifying her name in history. On July 2nd, 1937, Earhart's last words were heard as she channeled the central aviation center to help manage her out-of-control aircraft. Although she was not signaled at first, she spoke on her distress calls, "We must be on you, but cannot see you - but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet... We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait." Despite the cause of her disappearance remaining a mystery, a team of researchers at Penn State's Radiation Science and Engineering Centre (RSEC) have now found a collection of never-before-seen letters on a metal plate that has washed up upon the remote island of Nikumaroro.
It has been widely theorized that Earhart died when her plane plummeted into the western Pacific Ocean. However, when these researchers reviewed washed-up evidence, they found the letters and numbers "D24," "XRO," and either "335" or "385" scratched into the aluminum plates. What was clear to the researchers was the rust that had clearly been corroding for years in the ocean and had a similar but "not a precise match" to Earhart's Lockheed Electra, reported New York Post. To unveil more truth, the researchers uncovered the letters in the pannel using radioactive neutrons to potentially connect the dots to the missing aircraft. Kenan Ünlü, director of RSEC and professor of nuclear engineering, said, "We found what looks like stamped or painted marks that could be from the original manufacturer." He continued, "D24 and 335, or maybe 385. We don't know what they mean, but they are the first new information from this panel that has been examined by various experts with different scientific techniques for over 30 years." Since the discovery, forensic analysis has been conducted to hopefully match the panel with numbers, potentially connecting to Earhart's plane.
Though bones were discovered on Nikumaroro in 1940, 3 years after Earhart's disappearance but turned out to belong to a male, this still indicates to researchers that hidden remains should belong to the famous aviator. The scratches found on the plates are enough to investigate further. Ünlü says, "whether this information provides more evidence or disproves that the panel belonged to Earhart's plane, I'll be glad to know." Stay tuned. And in the meantime, check out these other gripping mysteries.