Legendary American aviator Amelia Earhart went missing over the South Pacific in 1937, never to be seen again.

But now 75 years later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the  Obama administration has given $500,000 to help finance the search for Earhart's missing plane.

The wreckage of the Lockheed Electra plane is believed to be located off the remote island of Nikumaroro, in the Pacific nation of Kiribati.

Earhart and her Irish American navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared on July 2, 1937 traveling from Lae in New Guinea to Howland Island. At the time of her disappearance, Earhart was making a bid to become the first woman to fly around the world.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the new search group believes that Earhart and Noonan could have landed on the island, which was then known as Gardner Island, and perhaps survived for a short time. However, other historians contend they crashed into the ocean.

To date all attempts to find the wreckage of the plane have failed.

Last year, in one possible break in the case, divers in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, said they found the wreckage on Buka Island, some 400 miles from Lae.

However, the new search will focus on Nikumaroro, which lies 1,800 miles further east.

One senior U.S. official told the Daily Mail that new analysis of a recent photo of the island shows what some believe could be a strut and wheel of the plane protruding from the water.

The Obama administration takes no position on the purported evidence recovered to date.

The new expedition, which will be a joint public and private venture, coincides with the 75th anniversary of Earhart's ill-fated attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world.

State Department officials say Clinton will lend her high profile to the search whilst commemorating Earhart's legacy as a pioneer for women and a model of American courage.

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