Autonomous underwater vehicle being unloaded

An autonomous underwater vehicle that will utilize sonar to search the deep waters for signs of Amelia Earhart’s aircraft is prepped for the expedition.

The University of Hawaiʻi research vessel Kaʻimikai-O-Kanaloa set sail Tuesday, July 3, as part of a historic expedition to solve what is considered to be one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century: what happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing in 1937 during her attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world?

TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery), the world’s leading aviation archaeological foundation, marked the 75th anniversary of Earhart’s disappearance with the departure of its 10th expedition searching for evidence of her long-lost Lockheed Electra aircraft.

The 18-person research crew aims to locate, identify, and photograph any and all surviving aircraft wreckage that they believe may be in the deep waters surrounding Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner Island), an uninhabited coral atoll in the southwestern-Pacific Republic of Kiribati.

The 26-day expedition and its findings will be captured by a film crew from Discovery Channel and aired as a documentary in August.

Watch the KITV video, which includes comments by UH Marine Center Port Operations Manager Ross Barnes. The UH Marine Center is operated by the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at UH Mānoa.

Other coverage of the expedition and the university’s involvement includes the Associated Press, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, Discovery News, Hawaii News Now, KHON, MSNBC and The Washington Post.

— Images used are courtesy of FedEx, a corporate sponsor of the project. Additional images and the latest information on the expedition are available on the FedEx blog.

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