Earhart was famously the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, as well as being an acclaimed author and a member of the National Woman’s Party.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has been researching her death for 22 years, after her mysterious disappearance in 1937 over the Pacific Ocean.
She was pronounced officially dead on January 5, 1939, with the U.S. government concluding she had run out of fuel and crashed at sea, the Huffington Post reports.
However, new investigations reveal that the aviator, born in 1897, actually landed and survived on or close to Nikumaroro Island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, 2,000 miles from Hawaii.
Earheart and her navigator Fred Noonan are thought to have lived in a temporary campsite on the island, which was last inhabited in 1892, drinking rainwater and eating clams, turtles, fish and birds.
The pair were routed to touch down on Howland Island some 350 miles away, but landed as they were running low on fuel, according to TIGHAR’s theory.
TIGHAR’s Ric Gillespie claimed that Earhart made more than 100 radio distress calls from the island between 2-6 July 1937, one of which was heard by a 16-year-old who was listening to the radio at home in Florida.
Another theory of her death was that Earhart was a spy who got shot down or taken prisoner by the Japanese.