This Sunday, History Channel will release a new documentary featuring evidence that may prove that famed pilot Amelia Earhart, who was never found after her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, may have ended up as a Japanese prisoner of war.
For decades, it has generally been believed that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, crashed somewhere in the Pacific after their plane ran out of fuel and were never recovered. But a new picture discovered in the National Archives in 2012 by former U.S. Treasury Agent Les Kinney, may be a breakthrough clue in uncovering what happened to the two flyers.
In the undated photo, which was featured on NBC News, a man and woman believed to be Earhart and Noonan are sitting on a dock. In the distance, a plane believed to be Earhart’s signature Lockheed is being carried on a barge.
Former FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry, who led the investigation featured in the documentary, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” claims that Earhart and Noonan were believed to be spies by the Japanese and were taken to the island of Saipan, where they died in custody. Other evidence found in the investigation that lines up with the photo includes plane parts found on an island in the Pacific that were consistent with Earhart’s Lockheed.
“When you pull out, and when you see the analysis that’s been done, I think it leaves no doubt to the viewers that that’s Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan,” Henry told NBC News.
If this new evidence holds up, it would be quite the rebound for History Channel, which earlier this week posted a picture on Twitter to commemorate the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, only for the internet to point out that the picture used in the tweet featured George Washington and pre-dated the Civil War by nearly a century.
“Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” airs on History Channel this Sunday at 9 PM ET.