A sonar image shows what looks like an object shaped like an airplane, resting underwater within 100 miles of Howland Island
There could now be a major development in what happened to Amelia Earhart amid the search for her crashed plane.
It's an enduring mystery that has captured the imagination of people for generations.
There is new hope in the decades-long search to solve the mystery and find the wreckage of her plane.
A sonar image now shows what some say could be part of her Lockheed 10-E Electra aircraft sitting on the ocean floor.
Earhart set out on a journey around the world in 1937 after becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
Tony Romeo, the head of the exploration company Deep Sea Vision, recently searched across 5,200-square miles of the Pacific Ocean floor using an unmanned submersible.
In the final leg of the expedition, the team captured a sonar image of what looks like an object shaped like an airplane. It's resting underwater within 100 miles of Howland Island, near where Earhart was believed to have gone down after refueling in Papua, New Guinea.
"We always felt that Earhart would have made every attempt to land the aircraft gently on the water. The sonar image suggests that may be the case," said Romeo, who wasn't surprised to find the aircraft intact.
Romeo is also raising hope that some of Earhart's maps and charts could be found.
"We plan to bring closure to a great American story," he said.
Sonar experts are giving credibility to the image, saying it deserves closer inspection. The Deep Sea Vision team now plans to return to the same location to get better images.