New photo suggests Amelia Earhart didn't die in a plane crash

The photo is part of a HISTORY special that airs this weekend.
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Amelia Earhart may have survived that plane crash.

Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from on July 2, 1937, when their plane vanished while she attempted to fly around the world. After failed search attempts, officials declared them dead, figuring their plane must have gone down somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Their remains were never found, and there's no proof of what actually happened to them.

But a newly discovered photo (it was hiding in the National Archives for nearly 80 years) may help solve that mystery, HISTORY says. The photo, labeled as being taken on the Marshall Islands, shows a ship towing a barge with a plane on the back, and on the dock nearby are two people who look a lot like Earhart and Noonan.

Those who examined the photo said it looks legit, and say wasn't doctored in any way, HISTORY notes.

The thought is Earhart's plane actually crashed in the Marshall Islands, located between Hawaii and the Philippines, and not the ocean. They survived the crash, but were captured by the Japanese military and held prisoner on the island of Saipan, where they eventually died.

This theory will be featured on a HISTORY special called Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. Watch a preview of the show below.

Oh, and fun fact: Earhart actually lived in St. Paul for a little while. She attended St. Paul Central High School during the 1913-1914 school year, when she was a junior, according to the Minnesota Historical Society. For more on Earhart's family's short time as Minnesotans, check out this MinnPost story.

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