Researchers investigating the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart 75 years ago say underwater video of man-made debris may have revealed her final resting place.

Footage taken last month in the waters off Nikumaroro island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, shows evidence of what could be parts of Earhart's plane.

The hunt, carried out by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), utilised multi-beam sonar and focused on the island where the group believe Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, crash-landed and died.

The $2million July expedition had been plagued with technical problems, with many expressing disappointment it had not produced the dramatic, conclusive proof hoped for.

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amelia and fred

Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan are believed to have crash-landed and died

"This is just sort of the way things are in this world," TIGHAR president Pat Thrasher explained at the time. "It's not like an Indiana Jones flick where you go through a door and there it is. It's not like that - it's never like that."

Yet further scrutiny of the underwater footage has since been conducted away from Nikumaroro, and the results are encouraging.

"It's still very early days, but we have man-made objects in a debris field in the place where we'd expect to find it if our theory on the airplane is correct," TIGHAR director Ric Gillespie said.

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Underwater equipment is unloaded from a ship in Honolulu ahead of the TIGHAR voyage last month

Jeff Glickman, a forensic imaging specialist, confirmed the statement, pointing out to Discovery News he had "made a cursory review of less than 30 per cent of the expedition's video."

The debris in question is believed to be the landing gear of the Lockheed Electra Earhart was piloting when she disappeared.

Gillespie told Reuters he and his team had known they they would not find a "nice intact airplane."

He added the local environment is "very severe" because the ocean "tears things up and tries to bury" them.

Earhart and Noonan left Papua New Guinea on July 2, 1937, during a quest to circumnavigate the world along an equatorial route. They were never seen again.

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  • Earhart

    FILE - An undated file photo shows American aviatrix Amelia Earhart. A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries. What happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing over the South Pacific 75 years ago? (AP Photo, File)

  • Ameila Earhart With Airplane

    394033 03: (FILE PHOTO) Amelia Earhart stands June 14, 1928 in front of her bi-plane called 'Friendship' in Newfoundland. Carlene Mendieta, who is trying to recreate Earhart's 1928 record as the first woman to fly across the US and back again, left Rye, NY on September 5, 2001. Earhart (1898 - 1937) disappeared without trace over the Pacific Ocean in her attempt to fly around the world in 1937. (Photo by Getty Images)

  • Amelia Earhart

    FILE-- An undated file photo shows Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is meeting Tuesday March 20, 2012, with historians and scientists from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which will launch a new search in June for the wreckage of Earhart's plane off the remote island of Nikumaroro. (AP Photo)

  • Amelia Earhart Photo and Crash Goggles

    An original, unpublished personal photo of Amelia Earhart dated 1937, along with goggles she was wearing during her first plane crash are seen Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Photos of aviator Earhart, who vanished on her attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937, are set to be auctioned this weekend. Another set of her goggles sold several years ago for more than $100,000. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Amelia Earhart Head Shot

    394033 01: (FILE PHOTO) American aviator Amelia Earhart smiles May 22, 1932 upon arriving in London, England having become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic alone. Carlene Mendieta, who is trying to recreate Earhart's 1928 record as the first woman to fly across the US and back again, left Rye, NY on September 5, 2001. Earhart (1898 - 1937) disappeared without trace over the Pacific Ocean in her attempt to fly around the world in 1937. (Photo by Getty Images)

  • Pilot Amelia Earhart

    125345 14: Photo of pilot Amelia Earhart standing by her plane. (Photo by Getty Images)

  • Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan

  • Earhart

    FILE - In a March 10, 1937 file photo American aviatrix Amelia Earhart waves from the Electra before taking off from Los Angeles, Ca., on March 10, 1937. Earhart is flying to Oakland, Ca., where she and her crew will begin their round-the-world flight to Howland Island on March 18. (AP Photo, file)

  • Ric Gillespie, right, founder of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, watches equipment testing alongside Wolfgang Burnside from aboard a ship at port in Honolulu on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Gillespie is leading a month-long voyage to find plane wreckage from Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra, which disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

  • Wolfgang Burnside controls a remote-operated vehicle from the deck of a ship in Honolulu on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Cameras and lights on the vehicle will be used to search the ocean floor during a month-long voyage to find plane wreckage from Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra, which disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

  • Crew members lift an autonomous underwater vehicle from a ship to dockside waters in Honolulu on Sunday, July 1, 2012. The unmanned mapping vehicle will be used as part of a month-long voyage that begins Tuesday, July 11, 2012 to find plane wreckage from Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra, which disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

  • University of Hawaii ship Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa is anchored at harbor in Honolulu on Sunday, July 1, 2012. The ship will be used for of a month-long voyage that begins Tuesday, July 3, 2012 to attempt to find plane wreckage from Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra, which disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

  • A statue of the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart greets passersby at the pedestrian mall in downtown Atchison, Kan. on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. A new theory has emerged based on a photo taken three months after she disappeared in an attempt to make a flight around the world in 1937. (AP Photo/The St. Joseph News-Press, Eric Keith )

  • On a visit to the Amelia Earhart birthplace in Atchison, Kan., Karyn Mchorney and her daughter Emily look at photograph on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. A new theory has emerged based on a photo taken three months after she disappeared in an attempt to make a flight around the world in 1937. (AP Photo/The St. Joseph News-Press, Eric Keith )

  • On a visit to the Amelia Earhart birthplace in Atchison, Kan., Navy Lt. Cmndr. Kevin Mchorney shows his son Morgan a model of the Lockheed Model 10 Electra on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. A new theory has emerged based on a photo taken three months after she disappeared in an attempt to make a flight around the world in 1937. (AP Photo/The St. Joseph News-Press, Eric Keith )

  • A model of the Lockheed Model 10 Electra that Amelia Earhart was flying during an attempt to make a flight around the world in 1937 is shown in Atchison, Kan. on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. A new theory has emerged based on a photo taken three months after she disappeared in an attempt to make a flight around the world in 1937. (AP Photo/The St. Joseph News-Press, Eric Keith )

  • This image provided by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery and displayed at a U.S. State Department news conference on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, may provide a new clue in one of the 20th century's most enduring mysteries and could soon help uncover the fate of American aviator Amelia Earhart, who went missing without a trace over the South Pacific 75 years ago, investigators said. Enhanced analysis of a photograph taken just months after Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane vanished shows what experts think may be the landing gear of the aircraft, the small black object on the left side of the image, protruding from the waters off the remote island of Nikumaroro, in what is now the Pacific nation of Kiribati. Armed with that analysis by the State Department, historians, scientists and salvagers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, are returning to the island in July 2012 in the hope of finding the wreckage of Earhart's plane and perhaps even the remains of the pilot and her navigator Fred Noonan. (AP Photo/The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery)

  • Amelia Earhart

    FILE - In this undated photo, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane sits on top of a plane. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is wading into one of the 20th century's most enduring mysteries: the fate of American aviator Amelia Earhart, disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. Clinton is meeting March 20, 2012, with historians and scientists from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which will launch a new search in June for the wreckage of Earhart's plane off the remote island of Nikumaroro. (AP Photo)

  • Woman To Re-Create Earhart's Flight Across America

    394048 02: Dressed in historic clothing, aviatrix Carlene Mendieta checks the oil in her plane September 5, 2001 before departing Westchester County Airport in New York in an antique aircraft beginning her three-week flight in re-creating Amelia Earhart's 1928 record-setting flight across America and back. The flight, which is being called 'Amelia Earhart's Flight Across America: Rediscovering a Legend' will land in 23 cities along the historic route and cover approximately 5,500 miles at an average speed of 82 mph. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Undated picture taken in the 30' s of American fem

    FRANCE - JANUARY 1: Undated picture taken in the 30' s of American female aviator Amelia Earhart beeing at the controls of her plane. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly the Atlantic as a passenger, in 1928, and followed this by a solo flight in 1932. In 1935 she flew solo from Hawan to Califofrnia. In 1937, with Fred Noonan, they set out to fly round the world, but their plane was lost over the Pacific, 02 July. (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)