(WICHITA, Kan.)—A new search for Amelia Earhart made headlines this week, and one Wichita man is keeping a close eye on those developments. David Mason spent a month on a south pacific island looking for her remains.
Her adventurous life captured the world's attention, but what happened to Amelia Earhart is still a mystery. But a new search for her plane may finally answer that question.
"The search they are going to be doing this summer is going to be underwater," said Wichitan David Mason. "That was one of the things we were lacking in 2007."
Mason is a Wichita businessman who, for an adventure, joined a 15-member crew that went looking Earhart's remains on a remote island in the South Pacific called Nikumaroro. That's where many believe the famed aviator crash landed in 1937.
"It was very, very remote," said Mason. "It took us 5 days to get there by boat. There have been more people who have put foot on both the North and South Poles than have ever set foot on this island."
The group found a few artifacts, including a zipper, part of a snap, even broken pieces of a ladies compact.
But nothing definitive, that may change because of a picture from 1940. Some say it shows the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra, the type of plane earhart flew 75 years ago.
The State Department recently enhanced the picture, which prompted a new search this June.
"Hopefully they will find the smoking gun, and it will be there," Mason said. "If not, than the mystery goes on."
No matter what happens this summer, Mason feels fortunate that he was a part of the search for the infamous Kansas flyer.
The team searching for Earhart's plane this summer will be headed by Oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard, who found the Titanic wreckage. He too has a Kansas connection, Ballard was born in Wichita.