Last July, a new show debuting on the History Channel drew international headlines with claims that a never before seen photograph could finally unravel the near-century old mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart on her final flight in 1937. The grainy black and white photograph and accompanying expert analysis took the glove by storm, with media outlets including SOFREP, reporting on these findings as legitimate and based in fact. The picture reportedly showed Earhart, along with her co-pilot Fred Noonan sitting on a dock and in Japanese custody.
“The hairline is the most distinctive characteristic,” said Ken Gibson, a facial recognition expert who studied the image and claimed to confirm Fred Noonan is in the image. “It’s a very sharp receding hairline. The nose is very prominent.”
Of course, within days of the story breaking, a Japanese blogger was able to tear these claims to pieces by doing little more than visiting his local library. There, on page 44 of a book published in 1935 (two years before Earhart even departed on her trip) was the same photograph, proving without a shadow of a doubt that the image was not her, and that the History Channel hadn’t vetted their documents, or experts particularly well.