Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will support a new public/private venture to find the plane of aviator Amelia Earhart and finally solve the mystery around her disappearance 75 years ago.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, TIGHAR, along with the support of Clinton, will begin the search for Earhart's remains in June around the island of Nikumaroro, in what is now the Pacific nation of Kiribati.
We can be as optimistic, audacious as Earhart, said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., according to MSNBC. There is great honor and possibility in the search itself.
TIGHAR will pay $500,000 for the search while the U.S. is providing logistical support.
Analysis of a photo from around the time of Earhart's disappearance shows what some believe could be a strut and a wheel of a plane protruding from the water. In 2010, researchers found bone fragments that were believed to belong to Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan. However, tests were inconclusive.
Earhart disappeared on July 2, 1937 en route to Howland Island from Lae, New Guinea. The wreckage of the Lockheed Electra, Earhart's plane was never discovered.
Theories of what could have happened to the female pioneer range from sensible to preposterous. The most widely accepted theory is that the plane ran out of fuel and was abandoned at sea. Some believe they crashed into the ocean.
Conspiracy theorists claim that Earhart was a US government agent captured by the Japanese before WWII. An Australian engineer claims he found a map that proved that Earhart and Noon turned around to try and refuel but crashed before getting on the landing strip. The most outlandish theory is that Earhart was still alive but assumed a different identity.
Clinton announced the partnership in an event Tuesday that would underscore America's spirit of adventure and courage, as embodied by Amelia Earhart, and our commitment to seizing new opportunities for cooperation with Pacific neighbors founded on the United States' long history of engagement in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a statement released by the State department.
The expedition in June will coincide with the 75th anniversary of Earhart's departure.