This month, ocean explorer Dr. Robert Ballard who is best known for finding the Titanic in 1985 is in the Pacific Ocean as he looks to solve the mystery of pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart and end speculation about what actually happened to her.
Disappearing in the Pacific Ocean in 1937 at the age of 39 alongside navigator Fred Noonan, Earhart’s name has become synonymous with adventure, bravery and mystery which Ballard hopes to uncover.
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart
National Geographic Society’s archaeologist-in-residence, Fredrik Hiebert has joined Ballard and the team in the search for Earhart’s remains. Jointly funded by National Geographic Partners and National Geographic Society and will be filmed for upcoming documentary Expedition Amelia. The expedition is conducted onboard the EV Nautilus owned by the Ocean Exploration Trust under the direction of Chief Operating Officer and Expedition Leader Allison Fundis.
The month long journey departed Samoa to a remote Pacific atoll called Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati on 7 August, 2019. Nikumaroro is part of the Phoenix Island Protected Area and is the largest and deepest mid-ocean World Heritage site making the expedition a huge task which Ballard and the team are ready for.
“We have an incredible team in place of experts, scientists and explorers who are working diligently to map out this ambitious expedition. Using state-of-the-art technology and decades of evidence collected in regard to her disappearance, I would say we have a real shot at rewriting history by solving one of the greatest mysteries of our time.” Says Ballard.
Ballard continues. “I have always been intrigued by the story of Amelia Earhart because she shocked the world doing what everyone thought was impossible, much like what I have attempted to do my entire career as a deep-sea explorer. Also, like Amelia, I was born in Kansas, so it is only appropriate that a Kansan solves this riddle.”