The recent History documentary “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” featured some bold theories about the fate of the famous lost aviator, but now the network says they’re investigating claims some of the evidence may have been inaccurate.
The documentary makes the claim that Earhart survived her infamous disappearance in 1937. A key piece of evidence in the doc is a photo the documentary claims shows Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan alive on a dock in the Marshall Islands in 1937, which at the time were controlled by Japan. This supposedly proves a longstanding theory that Earhart survived a crash-landing in the South Pacific and was then captured by the Japanese army.
Doubts about the photo appeared almost immediately. Smithsonian Magazine interviewed a museum curator, Dorothy Cochrane, who said that the photograph could be definitive, as it is “kind of a blurry photograph.” Cochrane also pointed to other, more concrete evidence against the documentary’s claims, including a number of radio calls received by the U.S. Coast Guard far away from the Marshall Islands.
Soon enough, Kota Yamano, a Japanese military history blogger, came up with proof that the photograph used in the documentary was not taken in 1937. Yamano found the same photograph in a Japanese coffee table book published in 1935, two years before Earhart’s flight, when she was still safe and sound in America.
Now History says it is investigating these new claims.
“I have never believed the theory that Earhart was captured by the Japanese military, so I decided to find out for myself,” Yamano said in an interview with the Guardian.”I find it strange that the documentary makers didn’t confirm the date of the photograph or the publication in which it originally appeared. That’s the first thing they should have done.”