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Dallas Museum Director Skeptical of New Amelia Earhart Disappearance Evidence

A Dallas man is skeptical of new evidence which suggests missing aviator Amelia Earhart survived an island landing in the South Pacific 80 years ago.

"I'm pretty sure the Lockheed Electra, Amelia and Fred Noonan are probably at the bottom of the Pacific," said Bruce Bleakley, director of the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

A team of investigators from the History Channel uncovered the evidence, including a never-before-seen photo which they believe shows Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, alive in Japanese custody in the Marshall Islands.

"I don't know if I could recognize my own mother if that were her in the photograph," Bleakley said. "I'd say it's a long shot."

Bleakley once visited the small island where the photograph was taken.

"There was still some of the local natives there alive that remembered seeing the white woman and the white man at that time," said Bleakley, who flew onto the island in 1972 while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

But he doesn't believe navigator Fred Noonan would have taken Earhart so far off their original course.

"We would have to believe that he made an 850-mile error," Bleakley said. "I just don't think that's possible."

"The atmospheric conditions at the time, and the cloud cover at the time and several other factors probably combined to make it difficult for them to find this tiny little speck out in the middle of nowhere," Bleakley said.

The Frontiers of Flight Museum displays several items related to Earhart and her disappearance, including a model replica of her plane and a copy of the search grid the U.S. Navy used to look for her.

MORE: "Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence" airs Sunday, July 9, on the History Channel.

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