The Amelia Earhart Vanishing Gets Nuclear Treatment
Scientists at Penn State University are using their nuclear reactor to analyze an old metal sheet found in the area where Earhart vanished.
UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA — Decades have passed since Amelia Earhart famously vanished in 1937. Now, scientists at Penn State University are analyzing a metal patch found on a small Pacific Island in 1991, to determine if the piece belonged to Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane, which she was flying around the world when she disappeared.
The team is using the university's Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, which can send powerful beams through the patch to uncover paint particles or eroded etchings that are not visible to the naked eye.
The process created a digital scan of the patch's external and internal makeup.
After examining the scans, the team identified ax marks along the edges of the panel, which they say were created in the 1930s — around the time Earhart's plane took flight.
They also noticed that one edge of the metal was repeatedly bent until it separated from whatever it was originally attached to.
The team says that the first images showed new discoveries, but they plan to reveal the findings in late spring 2021, following more experiments to confirm or deny what has been observed.
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