Amelia Earhart, an American female aviator, mysteriously disappeared from the world in 1937. 80 years after the incident, a newly discovered photo from the National Archives may help unravel her disappearance.

In 1937, Earhart famously attempted, for the second time, to circumnavigate the globe, accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan. On July 2, they took off from Lae Airfield. On their final approach to Howland Island for refueling, they lost radio contact with the U.S. Coast Guard. On that day, Earhart and Noonan disappeared from the world.

After the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, there have been massive search operations.

They were not found, nor any traces of the plane, Electra. On July 19, 1937, they were officially declared lost by the U.S. Government. This did not stop countless other search operations and investigations on the disappearance which lead to theories and conspiracies.

Crash and sink theory

One popular theory, the Crash and Sink theory, explains that Earhart’s plane, Electra, ran out of gas while Earhart and Noonan were looking for Howland Island. Eventually, they crashed into the ocean near the island. However, there are no traces of Electra found. Earhart's stepson, George Palmer Putnam Jr., believes that "the plane just ran out of gas."

Gardner Island Hypothesis

The Gardner Island Hypothesis assumes that when Earhart and Noonan could not find Howland Island, they searched for other islands to land on instead.

It is believed that they landed on the island as castaways and eventually died there.

The International Group for Historic Aviation Recovery (TIGHAR) believes in the Gardner Island Hypothesis. They have sent search expeditions to the island since 1988. In the previous years, they were able to collect some artifacts including an aluminum panel, made according to 1930s manufacturing specifications, a piece of Plexiglass which might belong to Electra, and a woman's shoe dating from 1930 - resembling Earhart's footwear from photos.

Japanese capture theory

A newly discovered photo was found by retired U.S. Treasury agent Les Kinney in the former top-secret files at the National Archives. Kinney has wanted to unravel the mystery behind Earhart's disappearance.

The photo, believed to have been taken in 1937, was shown in History Channel’s documentary "Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence." The photo, taken at Jaluit Atoll, shows a Caucasian male and female on the dock, who are believed to be Earhart and Noonan, watching the Japanese ship Koshu towing a plane, believed to be Electra.

The documentary further explains that Earhart and Noonan crash-landed in the Marshall Islands, which was colonized by the Japanese at the time. Earhart and Noonan were then picked up by the Japanese military and, believed to be spies, were taken as prisoners. However, the Japanese authorities told NBC that there have no records of Earhart and Noonan in custody.