Speed Reads

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Amelia Earhart probably wasn't captured by the Japanese after all

A documentary pointing to evidence that Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese and died in their captivity has apparently been disproved by a Japanese blogger, The Guardian reports. The documentary, which aired on the History Channel this weekend, relied on a photograph of two unidentified white people who experts said could have been Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. Only, blogger Kota Yamano quickly found the same photograph had been published in a Japanese book two years before Earhart disappeared.

"I have never believed the theory that Earhart was captured by the Japanese military, so I decided to find out for myself," Yamano told The Guardian. "I was sure that the same photo must be on record in Japan." Yamaha added it took him just 30 minutes to disprove the theory after he searched "Jaluit atoll" between 1930 and 1940.

"The photo was the 10th item that came up," Yamano said. "I was really happy when I saw it. I find it strange that the documentary makers didn't confirm the date of the photograph or the publication in which it originally appeared. That's the first thing they should have done."

Once again, Earhart's disappearance is subsumed in mystery. Read more about why we're mesmerized by her vanishing here at The Week.

Update 2:49 p.m.: The History Channel writes that they have "a team of investigators exploring the latest developments about Amelia Earhart and we will be transparent in our findings. Ultimately, historical accuracy is most important to us and our viewers."