COLUMBIA, S.C. — A grainy sonar image recorded by a private pilot has reinvigorated interest in one of the past century's most alluring mysteries: What happened to Amelia Earhart when her plane vanished during her flight around the world in 1937?
Numerous expeditions have turned up nothing, only confirming that swaths of ocean floor held no trace of her twin-tailed monoplane. Tony Romeo now believes his new South Carolina-based sea exploration company captured an outline of the iconic American's Lockheed 10-E Electra.
Archaeologists and explorers are hopeful. But whether the tousled-haired pilot's plane lies at the roughly 16,000-foot (4,800-meter) depth remains to be seen. And debates abound about the proper handling of whatever object is discovered.
Archivists are hopeful that Romeo's Deep Sea Vision is close to solving the puzzle — if for no other reason than to return attention to Earhart's accomplishments.
Regardless, the search is on for the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
How did Deep Sea Vision detect the object that could be Earhart's plane?
Romeo wanted more of an adventure than his commercial real estate career. His father flew for Pan American Airlines, his brother is an Air Force pilot and he has a private pilot's license himself. Hailing from an “aviation family,” he'd long held interest in the Earhart mystery.
Romeo said he sold his real estate interests to fund last year's search and buy a…