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History Investigates Amelia Earhart Doc Claims, Suspends Repeats

Variety logo Variety 7/19/2017 Daniel Holloway
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History has decided not make a documentary about Amelia Earhart available on streaming and on-demand platforms as it investigates challenges to evidence behind claims made in the two-hour special.

“Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” proposed that Earhart, who disappeared while piloting a plane over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, had survived a crash landing and been captured by the Japanese military. As evidence, it offered up a photo that analysts claimed was likely taken between 1937 and 1943. The special premiered earlier this month on the A+E Networks cable channel.

But on the heels of reports about the photograph and capture theory, a Japanese military blogger stepped forward last week with evidence that the photograph had been taken in 1935, two years before Earhart’s disappearance. The blogger cited a book allegedly published in 1935 containing the photograph.

That claim counters assessments by multiple analysts quoted in the History special, but itself has been challenged by an analyst who told History that the authenticity of the book may be questionable.

History said last week that it would investigate the photograph. The network decided to not move forward with scheduled re-airings of the special and to remove it from on-demand and streaming platforms as the investigation continues.

In a statement released last week, History said, “HISTORY has 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.”

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