Arundel firm looks for Earhart

September 10, 2001

Computers have narrowed the search for the remains of Amelia Earhart. Last spring, Nauticos, the a marine exploration company based in the Anne Arundel County community of Hanover, announced it would attempt to solve one of the great mysteries of the 20th century - the 1937 disappearance of the aviator in the South Pacific as she was attempting to circle the globe with her navigator, Fred Noonan.

Nauticos is not the only one looking for Earhart, but the company is convinced it has computed all the variables of the crash and narrowed the search area to fewer than 500 square miles off uninhabited Howland Island, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Included in those computations are detailed analyses of weather, radio waves and fuel consumption.

"With that information and some other parameters, we think we have narrowed it down to a small enough area so it can be searched with a high likelihood of success," said David Jourdan, the company president.

Another company dealing with undersea salvage is the Tampa, Fla.-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, which also has had success in finding sunken ships.

The company's co-founder, Greg Stemm, said technological advances have created opportunities that would have been unheard of 20 years ago. He said then, deep-sea salvagers depended on slow, underpowered manned submersibles to do the recovery work, whereas today the primary tool is the "remotely operated vehicle."

"Ten years ago we considered ourselves lucky to be able to search five square miles and the results were usually poor-quality images," Stemm said. "Today, we can search as much as 60 square miles per day."

Stemm described the world's sunken ships as "the greatest museum in the world" with artifacts dating to the earliest civilizations. "Today, technology is advancing so rapidly that we are quickly uncovering the mantle that has hidden these shipwrecks for so long," he said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.