The Amundsen Mystery Still Unsolved


The more than 80-year-old mystery of the disappearance of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his airplane remains unsolved, as New Zealand explorer Rob McCallum and his team returned from their two-week search for the aircraft empty-handed.
 

The expedition focused on a small search area about 20 miles northwest of Bear Island, near where Amundsen's plane is thought to have gone down. But even with the help of new synthetic aperture sonar technology, an autonomous underwater vehicle, and two underwater robots, the team turned up nothing that could be identified as a part of Amundsen's French twin-engine flying boat, a Latham 47.

"We can say definitively that the aircraft is not within these 35 square miles of ocean, but we cannot say where it is," McCallum blogged on the expedition website, searchforamundsen.com. McCallum believes that the plane is either in a different area of the sea or has been destroyed by industrial fishing activity over the years.  

The expedition was successful in that it searched the area thoroughly enough to rule it out as the plane's final resting place, McCallum said. "But I do feel deflated for those who have tried so hard to find the Latham [and] the planners and organizers who have shepherded the project from its earliest beginning."

—Greer Schott

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