National Archives new photo could be clue to Amelia Earhart mystery

Photographic evidence of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in the Marshall Islands found in the National Archives . PHOTO COURTESY: Photograph courtesy of Les Kinney/U.S. National Archives

NEW YORK (WFLA/NBC News) — Does a new photo prove that Amelia Earhart survived her final flight in 1937?

A never-before-seen photograph from U.S. Government archives that suggests Earhart was in the Marshall Islands and captured by the Japanese.

The photo came from History and the National Archives and shows a woman who resembles Earhart and a man who looks like her navigator Fred Noonan on a dock in the Marshall Islands, NBC reported. An NBC News analyst believes her plane can be seen on a barge in the background.

The History Channel is airing a documentary Sunday on Earhart and shared the photo with the Today show on Wednesday. They said the photo was likely taken by a spy who was later executed by Japan. It was thought that Earhart was held captive in Saipan, where she later died, NBC reported.

Earhart disappeared on July 2, 1937, as she attempted to become the first woman pilot to circumnavigate the globe. Reports said she crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

“Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” premieres Sunday, July 9 at 9pm on HISTORY.

Former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry leads a team of investigators in evaluating and testing the photograph with extensive recognition and proportional comparison technology. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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