Just weeks ago, it seemed that one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century was on the verge of getting solved. A new photo purportedly showed that American aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Ted Noonan ended up somewhere in the Marshall Islands after their crash. This was a big break, and History Channel even did a two-hour special titled "Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence" to shed some light on the theories regarding the photo.

Photograph was published at the wrong time

However, not long after the TV special aired, a Japanese blogger stepped forward to prove that the photo was in fact taken two years before the Earhart incident.

"The photograph was first published in Palau under Japanese rule in 1935, in a photo book," the Japanese blogger stated on his website, complete with the said photo and its original caption.

The book was some kind of travel book, which fortunately was also listed on the website of Japan's National Library. Sure enough, the travel book was listed on the Japanese Library website as being published in 1935 — two years before Earhart and Noonan went missing in 1937.

Translators from NBC News also interpreted the caption on the photo as being taken in Jabor, a town in the Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Jabor was described as "an exceptionally good port" that comes alive when goods that come from the mainland are delivered by large ships.

Coincidentally, the caption also claimed that the steamboat in the picture also helped in the (eventual) search for Amelia Earhart. But as the photo shows, the ship existed at least two years before the pilot went missing.

History Channel to conduct an investigation

According to the NBC, the History Channel wasted no time in addressing the dispute.

The channel said that they would investigate the Japanese blogger's statements and that their investigation will be transparent. Their findings will be shared with the public and they promised that in the end, the most important thing is that they present the historical findings as accurately as they can. This accuracy, they said, is the most important thing for the viewers and the network itself, they reported in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the veracity of the theories presented upon the emergence of the photo may be compromised. One of the leading theories is that Amelia Earhart and Ted Noonan were captured by Japanese authorities some time after their crash. Now that there is doubt regarding the photo's origins, this theory could be called into question, as well.