Newly discovered photo suggests that Amelia Earhart may have survived crash landing in the Marshall Islands

Amelia Earhart

(ABC) — A newly discovered photograph suggests that American aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan may have survived the crash landing of their final flight more than 80 years ago.

The never-before-seen photo, provided by the National Archives, is presumed to show Earhart and Noonan after they crash-landed in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The photo came from a top secret Navy file, according to a new History channel special “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.”

In the special, which airs Sunday, former FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry investigates new evidence behind Earhart’s disappearance.

Earhart and Noonan were believed to have crashed and sunk in the South Pacific on July 2, 1937, as Earhart attempted to become the first pilot to circumvent the globe. She was the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

In June 2015, newly rediscovered footage believed to be shot in the spring of 1937 showed the last known recording of Earhart before she departed for her final flight.

But the newly unearthed photo suggests that a previous theory discussed decades ago, based on accounts of locals who claimed to have seen her, that Earhart and Noonan crashed in the Marshall Islands and survived could be accurate.

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