"What we're hoping for is that smoking gun diagnostic artifact, something called the 'any idiot artifact,'" Gillespie said. At the same time, Gillespie acknowledged that no matter what his team finds, there will always be people who ardently stick to their long-developed theories of what happened to the infamous pilot.
"She's turned into this legend that has been an inspiration and continues to be an inspiration. All the elements are there of a real mystery, [including] an iconic American pioneer. It will almost be a shame to solve it," Gillespie said before a pause and a laugh. "Almost. We really want to solve this thing."
In March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her support and encouragement for a new search for Earhart, who she said was one of her childhood heroes.