Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic for which she received the Distinguised Flying Cross. She set a number of other flying records until she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 during an attempt to fly around the world.
Before her Lockheed Model 10 Electra disappeared, she was heading toward Howaland Island. No trace of her was found and her fate remains one of the great historical mysteries.
Last year, five pieces of glass that fit together to form a small jar that resembled the ones that held Dr. Berry’s Freckle Ointment were found on the island of Nikularoro. The ointment was used to fade freckles in the 1930’s. Earhart had freckles and it was well known that she did not like them.
This, along with some buttons and a lady’s compact, have led some researchers to conclude Earhart survived the crash of her plane and lived out her life as a castaway.
Now, a sonar image has picked up an object that some people think may be wreckage from Earhart’s plane. Though the image was taken in July 2012, it wasn’t seen publicly until the following March. The object in the image is narrow with a shape similar to an airplane wing and is 22 feet long. It lodged in the side of an underwater cliff off the coast of Nikularoro.
Though these things aren’t definitive, they are certainly building a case that Earhart survived the crash. Now the question that researchers are debating is, “How long did she live afterwards?”