Amelia Earhart mystery solved? Scientist ’99 percent’ sure bones found belong to aviator


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A scientific research claims to shed new mild on the decades-long thriller of what occurred to Amelia Earhart.

Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor on the College of Tennessee, argues that bones found on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 have been probably Earhart’s stays. The analysis contradicts a forensic evaluation of the stays in 1941 that described the bones as belonging to a male. The bones, which have been subsequently misplaced, proceed to be a supply of debate.

Earhart, who was making an attempt to fly around the globe, disappeared with navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937, throughout a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island within the Pacific.


The primary girl to fly solo throughout the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart was probably the most well-known folks on the earth on the time of her disappearance. Thus, numerous theories have emerged about her destiny.

 (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Company by way of AP)

One well-publicized idea is that Earhart died a castaway after touchdown her aircraft on the distant island of Nikumaroro, a coral atoll  1,200 miles from the Marshall Islands. Some 13 human bones have been discovered on Nikumaroro, also called Gardner Island, three years after Earhart’s disappearance.

In 1941, the bones have been analyzed by Dr. David Hoodless, principal of the Central Medical Faculty, Fiji. Nevertheless, Jantz says that fashionable evaluation strategies might have delivered a unique outcome, significantly with regard to gender.

“When Hoodless carried out his evaluation, forensic osteology was not but a well-developed self-discipline,” he explains in a paper revealed within the journal Forensic Anthropology. “Evaluating his strategies close to fashionable information and strategies means that they have been insufficient to his job; that is significantly the case together with his sexing methodology. Due to this fact his intercourse evaluation of the Nikumaroro bones can’t be assumed to be appropriate.”

Hoodless used 19th-century forensic science and described the bones as probably belonging to a “brief, stocky muscular European,” based on Jantz. The 1941 evaluation described the stays belonged to a male round 5’5.5″.


Earhart’s pilot’s license, nonetheless, recorded her top as 5’eight” and her driver’s license as 5’7″. Pictures additionally present Earhart’s slender body. Noonan was 6’¼.”

FILE - In this file photo taken on or about July 2, 1937, American aviator Amelia Earhart, left, and her navigator, Fred Noonan, right, pose beside their plane with gold miner F.C. Jacobs at Lae, New Guinea just before Earhart and Noonan took off in a flight to Howland Island on July 2, during which they disappeared somewhere in the Pacific. (AP Photo, File)

Earhart’s navigator Fred Noonan is on the far proper of this picture

 (1937 AP)

Jantz says that the strategies utilized by Hoodless underestimated top in comparison with fashionable strategies.

Hoodless used three standards in his analysis – the ratio of the femur’s circumference to size, the angle of the femur and pelvis, and the subpubic angle, which is shaped between two pelvis bones. The subpubic angle is wider in girls than in males.

Jantz says that the subpubic angle is essentially the most dependable of Hoodless’ standards, however even that’s “topic to appreciable variation, a lot of which was little understood in 1941.”


The scientist additionally in contrast Hoodless’ measurements to information from 2,776 different folks, in addition to learning photographs of Earhart and her clothes measurements. “This evaluation reveals that Earhart is extra just like the Nikumaroro bones than 99 % of people in a big reference pattern,” stated Jantz. “This strongly helps the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart.”

Sept. 9, 2011: An original, unpublished personal photo of Amelia Earhart dated 1937, along with goggles she was wearing during her first plane crash are seen at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Another set of her goggles sold several years ago for more than $100,000.

Jantz informed Fox Information that that 2,776 people used within the reference group have been all People of European ancestry. They lived over the past half of the 19th century and a lot of the 20th century, he added.

Regardless of Jantz’s skepticism concerning the 1941 evaluation of the bones, some fashionable scientists have backed up the Hoodless outcomes.

Whereas some individuals are satisfied that Nikumaroro is Earhart’s remaining resting place, one other idea means that she met her finish on Mili Atoll within the Marshall Islands.

Final 12 months, controversy swirled round a photograph that was touted as offering a significant clue as to Earhart’s destiny.

The Related Press contributed to this text. Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers


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