By Benjamin Brown, ,
Published July 26, 2018
Dozens of people from around the world heard Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan radio for help after crashing into the Pacific Ocean and becoming stranded on a remote island, according to researchers.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) theorizes that Earhart and Noonan were able to employ their two-way radio in the downed Lockheed Electra to send pleas for help in their final days marooned on the then-deserted Gardner Island, also known as Nikumaroro, The Washington Post reported.
"Will have to get out of here," Earhart could be heard saying at one point, according to the paper citing TIGHAR's. research. "We can't stay here long."
A woman in Toronto heard the pilot say, “we have taken in water . . . we can’t hold on much longer.”
Earhart and Noonan could only use the radio for a few hours each night when the tide was low in order to not flood the engine as the plane rested out on the island's reef, The Post reported.
Authorities asked the public’s help to listen to the radio frequencies Earhart had been using on her trip following her disappearance on July 2, 1937 during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island as she attempted to become the first women to travel around the world, according to TIGHAR.
While most searchers heard nothing, some listeners scattered across North America heard Earhart’s cries for help, The Post reported, citing research from TIGHAR.
The day after the crash, a Kentucky woman claimed she heard the pilot say "KHAQQ calling," before saying she was "on or near little island at a point near" . . . and “something about a storm and that the wind was blowing," according to The Post.
The age-old mystery continues to baffle the scientific community, while some are convinced that Gardner Island is Earhart’s final resting place, another theory suggests that she met her end on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
As for the castaway theory, some 13 human bones were found on Gardner Island three years after Earhart’s disappearance. The bones, however, were subsequently lost.
Ric Gillespie, the director of TIGHAR, told The Post that the messages were sent out over a course of six days, and is evidence that Earhart and Noonan died as castaways, rather than the U.S. Navy’s claim that they died after the plane crashed and sunk somewhere in the Pacific.
"These active versus silent periods and the fact that the message changes on July 5 and starts being worried about water and then is consistently worried about water after that - there's a story there," Gillespie told the Post.
Four bone-sniffing dogs were recently brought to Nikumaroro as part of an expedition sponsored by TIGHAR and the National Geographic Society.
National Geographic reported July 7 that the dogs have located the spot where Earhart may have died. No bones, however, were found although plans have been made to send soil samples from the spot for DNA analysis in Germany.
Gillespie also told the Post he understands that he needs more data to support his theory.
Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.