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Has Amelia Earhart’s plane finally been found in Papua New Guinea?

The long-lost remains of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Elektra found in the south seas of the Pacific!… A giant snake guarding the plane wreckage!… And a secret cache of gold bullion! Sounds like the makings of a great action-adventure movie, if you ask me.


There are claims that one of the world’s great aviation mysteries – the disappearance of 1930s airwoman Amelia Earhart – has been solved in Papua New Guinea.

Locals believe a plane wreck could be the final resting place of Earhart who disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in 1937.

Even more incredibly they say there is gold bullion on board and that a giant snake is guarding the wreck.

An expert on Earhart’s disappearance, however, says the claim is “silly beyond description”.

The rumour mill, or coconut wireless as it is known, is always running hot on Bougainville. Many of the tall tales that fly around the island involve gold.

One of them was given prominence by the Post Courier newspaper this week with the front-page headline “Plane wreck believed to be Earhart”.

It said there are “strong indications” a wreck found off the coast of Bougainville was the plane flown by Earhart, who famously disappeared while attempting to become the first pilot to circle the globe close to the equator.

If that was not amazing enough, the report said there was bullion on board and a six-metre snake was guarding the wreck.

The man at the centre of the claim is local businessman Cletus Harepa, who is paying for divers to inspect the wreck.

“Somebody saw it when they were diving for fish and they saw the plane but they don’t know that that plane was Amelia’s plane,” he said.

He says a diver found two skulls in the cockpit and three boxes of gold bullion, but the bars were too heavy to carry to the surface.

Mr Harepa says he plans to use the potential spoils to help improve services on the island.

“The government can have some. I will have some. But what I want to do is improve the island. Get a good hospital, rich school, good water supply and maybe a small boat,” he said.

While Mr Harepa dismisses the story about the giant snake as rubbish, he remains confident the wreck will prove to be Earhart’s Lockheed Electra.

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