Published June 11, 2013
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A Delaware aircraft preservation group denies a Wyoming man's claim that it found Amelia Earhart's missing plane and withheld the news so it could continue to raise money for the search.
Mystery has surrounded Earhart's fate since her plane went missing in 1937 in the South Pacific.
Timothy Mellon, son of the late philanthropist Paul Mellon, filed a federal lawsuit in Wyoming last week against The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.
Mellon contends the group solicited $1 million from him last year without telling him it already had found Earhart's plane in 2010.
Idaho lawyer Bill Carter represents the group and was on its 2010 Earhart search mission. Carter says the group strongly denies Mellon's claim and would trumpet the discovery if it ever finds the plane.
Ric Gillespie, the executive director of TIGHAR, told FoxNews.com that the lawsuit is frivolous and although the group has promising leads in the search for Earhart’s missing plane, to this date, there has been no concrete evidence in the search.
“When you’ve got his kind of money, you can put together these kinds of lawsuits,” he said. “But our group has been totally open with any discovery.”
Gillespie said the most recent search for Earhart’s plane set his group back $350,000.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report