Has the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance finally been solved?

The pilot could have lived as a castaway after crash landing in 1937.

Amelia Earhart The pioneering pilot prepares for a flight in the cockpit Image Creative Commons

The biggest mystery in the history of aviation might finally have been solved, after new details emerged about the fate of Amelia Earhart.

The pioneering pilot, who was the first women to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, went missing during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937, and little was known about her disappearance… until now.

For nearly 80 years people have speculated about the fate of Earhart and her navigator Dred Noonan, with some believing that they crashed into the ocean, or landed on a Japanese island and were captured.

However, according to research conducted by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, they are now thought to have landed on a desert island and lived as castaways.

Earhart was heading to Howland Island, halfway between Australia and Hawaii, at the time, but the group believes that they were instead forced to land on the uninhabited Gardner Island 350 miles away.

Take an in-depth look at the search for Amelia Earhart below:

After crashing on July 2, 1937, the pair made distress calls using the aircraft’s radio, and the last call made reference to rising water.

Rescue planes flew over Gardner Island a week after the disappearance, but by that time the calls had stopped, and the plane is thought to have been swept out to sea.

Despite searchers spotting “signs of recent habitation”, they thought the island was inhabited and moved on.

Sadly, a woman’s skeleton was found by a British Colonial Service officer on the island in 1940, which suggests that the pilot could have died soon after landing on the island.

Earhart’s story has fascinated historians for decades, and Hilary Swank played her in the biopic Amelia in 2009.

Film fans will also remember that Amy Adams also portrayed Earhart in Night at the Museum 2.

Watch the trailer for Amelia below:

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.