26 Jan 2007

Expert doubts report that Amelia Earhart plane found in PNG

3:33 pm on 26 January 2007

Doubt has been cast on reports from Papua New Guinea that the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the American aviatrix, Amelia Earhart, in 1937, had been solved.

Ms Earhart disappeared during an historic round the world flight after leaving Lae in PNG for Howland Island in the northern Pacific.

There are many theories about what happened to her and her co-pilot but the generally accepted view is that she went down in the sea in the north Pacific.

But there is a new claim that her plane crashed in the mountains of Morobe Province in PNG, with a government official in the Bulolo district saying he has found parts of her aircraft, including the serial number and registration tags.

An aviation historian and member of the Amelia Earhart Society in the United States, Robert Reuther, says this seems unbelievable.

"A complete new conclusion would be of great interest to everyone that is interested in her story and what might have happened to her, it would bring closure to the story and it would no longer be a mystery. So it is a great interest, but unlikely."

Aviation historian, Robert Reuther.