An array of detailed aerial photos of the remote island where Amelia Earhart may have survived for a time as a castaway, has resurfaced in a New Zealand museum archive, raising hopes for new photographic evidence about the fate of the legendary aviator.
Found by Matthew O'Sullivan, keeper of photographs at the New Zealand Air Force Museum in Christchurch, the images lay forgotten in an unlabeled tin box in the museum's archives.
The box contained five sheets of contact prints -- for a total of 45 photos, complete with negatives -- and a slip of paper with the words "Gardner Island."
Now called Nikumaroro, the uninhabited tropical atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati is believed to be Earhart final resting place by researchers of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).
The legendary aviator disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.
A number of artifacts recovered by TIGHAR during 10 expeditions have suggested that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, did not crash in the Pacific Ocean, running out of fuel somewhere near their target destination Howland Island.