A Wyoming judge dismisses a fraud case Friday, but it was not at all your typical fraud case. News 13's Jeff Platt has more on the story.
In 1937 Amelia Earheart and the Lockheed Electra plane left New Guinea, never to be seen or heard from again. Now a Pennsylvania base expedition organization thinks clues in the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island hold the key and that's how this whole case got started.
The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is still one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the world and Timothy Mellon, a Wyoming man, donated a fair sum of money to the organization the international group for historic aircraft recovery, or T.I.G.H.A.R to help find answers; answers his lawyers say T.I.G.H.A.R already had.
Stubson, Mellon's attorney said, "We did think that there was good solid evidence to show that T.I.G.H.A.R knew that this wreckage was there at the time they solicited the contribution from Mr. Mellon."
Mellon thought he saw evidence of the Electra in footage from an undersea expedition done by T.I.G.H.A.R's two years before he made the contribution. Attorneys on both sides of the case argued whether or not Mellon's observation were correct.
Stubson said, "Obviously we thought we had the evidence otherwise we wouldn't have brought the case and pursued the case."
Masterson, the attorney representing T.I.G.H.A.R said, "We've said all along that there is no reason to believe the things Mr. Mellon saw, are there."
The judge agreed with Masterson and T.I.G.H.A.R's assessment, that there was not enough evidence to proceed to a trial by jury. Stubson disagrees and thinks what Mellon saw on the video is indeed Earhart's plane.
Stubson said, "We do believe that they've found wreckage of the Earhart Electra."
But Ric Gillispie, executive director, of T.I.G.H.A.R says if after 26 years of searching for the Electra if he found it; everyone would know.
Gillespie said, "There's sure to be a lot of celebration when we do, if we do, finally come up with something that is conclusive."
He did however add as a result of this case T.I.G.H.A.R is going to start taking a few extra precautions when excepting funds in the future.
Gillespie said, "It's just like a marriage, sometimes it's a good idea to have a prenuptial agreement if things go sour after a while."
Mellon and Stubson will now consider whether or not they will appeal the judge's decision. They have thirty days.