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# Skeleton Offers Clue to Amelia Earhart's Fate

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According to researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating the last, fateful flight taken by Earhart nearly 80 years ago, "there is a newly discovered similarity" between Amelia Earhart and partial skeletal remains found on the remote atoll in 1940.

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I have always been interested in this story..If it is indeed Amelia Earhart and all of her calls for rescue went on deaf ears then what a shame for her and her navigator.. What a great piece of history but a terrible way to die...

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If true then its time to bring Amelia home ...

~

Edited by third_eye
Amelie Amelia ... oops
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The article talks about using ratios and getting the ratios accurate to 2 digits. Error analysis tells us that to get 2 digits of accuracy we need to have the numerator and divisor to at least 2 digits of accuracy. Let's take an example of what happens with 3 digits of precision.

For example, let's suppose that the bones were originally measured to be 307mm and 425mm with a measurement accuracy of 2mm. I took these from a report so that I would have values in the proper range.

307/435 = 0.7057

305/437 = 0.6979

309/433 = 0.7136

The differences are around .007, which is just slightly larger than 2/300.

I am messing with the third digit. Can someone measure a photo and obtain an accurate value for a bone length? The bone is not visible in the photo. I think that the precision of the measurement has not been given and would certainly be important information to provide.

I certainly question these measurements and will do so until we see some idea of the precision of the measurements. Until that time the notion that these measurements match up is an open question.

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This is a peculiar story. I just read some more from the CNN site and it suggests that the bone measurements have been available to TIGHAR since 1998. In fact, the initial bone report was in 1998 and that is posted in the TIGHAR site. The article mentions that people familiar with measuring bones did the work. That still does not get past the precision issues.

Found a site posting some of the measurements and we see that the measurements are given to the nearest 0.1 cm. At best the measurements are to the nearest 0.1cm or an error of 0.05cm. That gives us a 0.0027 range in the ratios from 0.7534 to 0.7589. That is the best possibility.

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The British doctor's notes showed a humerus, or upper arm bone, measuring 32.4 centimeters long. The radius, or lower arm bone, was 24.5 centimeters. Thus the radius-to-humerus ratio was 0.756.

Here is what TIGHAR stated.

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"In other words, if the castaway was a middle-aged, ethnically European woman, she had forearms considerably longer than the average," TIGHAR said in its news release.

My question is: How does this compare to other groups of people? I certainly don't know.

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I forgot to mention that this new theory of theirs seems to invalidate much of their speculation over the years.

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Took at look at an article which examined the height estimates based on skeletal measurements and the article shows that it is important to have an understanding of the origin of the person to determine the height. There is more uncertainty with some populations than others. Leads me to wonder if their claim of unusually long forearms is correct or not.

I'm wondering if this recent recycling of what appears to be an old story is nothing more than TIGHAR trying to collect funds for a trip when they know that some of their other ideas are not going to work out.

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Finally found the photo that was used. It is in this article. As you can see the forearms are visible, but the shoulders are covered.

I cannot see how someone could get anything better than 2 digits of precision from the photo and I doubt that second digit is that good. Yet, they post a 2 digits of precision result.

From the original article

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"Working with Dr. Jantz to identify the correct points on the shoulder, elbow and wrist for comparing bone length, Glickman found that Earhart's humerus to radius ratio was 0.76 — virtually identical to the castaway's," TIGHAR said.

This is the TIGHAR report on the photo analysis once again showing the photo that was used

The image was scanned in and is a few thousand pixels in one dimension. More pixels does not necessarily translate into greater precision. The issue is how well positions can be determined on the image. Specific pixels were chosen as the endpoints of the bones. Oddly, they extend results to 4 digits of precision in the report, when only 3 are potentially available. Then the final ratio is given without error bars. The claim in the report is that traditional error analysis is not available.

I believe that is not the case. The single pixel line in the report should be replaced with a range of pixels that might be the position. That would show the uncertainty in the position. Then, they use that to determine the lengths showing the uncertainty. Finally, they compute the ratio and show the uncertainty.

We can do that here. I changed the results in the report by 5 pixels. I got ratios from 0.73 to 0.78. Two pixels goes from 0.75 to 0.77. Go 10 pixels and it is 0.71 to 0.81.

A slight change in the position of the bones and the numbers change quite a bit. I don't want to say it, but I'll ask it. Is there a possibility that the results in the report were adjusted to match the skeleton found on the island?

BTW, don't forget this from the report in the OP:

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Statistically, women born in the late 19th century had an average radius to humerus ratio of 0.73.

Edited by stereologist
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In the spring of 1941, the bones arrived in Fiji, where a local doctor examined them and concluded they came from a short, stocky man. The bones and objects subsequently disappeared,

1997, the original paperwork turned up.

Analyzed and attributed to a male by a British doctor, the bones were later lost.

Although the files/papers are very interesting, the fact that someone was incompetent enough to lose the bones, you have to wonder how accurate the papers are?  the local doctor thought they were a mans and then the bones go missing.

It could  indicate they had landed and eventually both died on the island as castaways. Unfortunately, there was an "issue" with the pieces of wreckage found, so it is possible the bones belonged to neither Amelia or Fred.

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Hope it  is her , so this mystery can be solved,,can DNA be found in the bones

Edited by docyabut2
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24 minutes ago, docyabut2 said:

Hope it  is her , so this mystery can be solved,,can DNA be found in the bones

Bones contain mitochondrial DNA but it's hard to know whether or not an analysis is viable in this case.

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11 hours ago, docyabut2 said:

Hope it  is her , so this mystery can be solved,,can DNA be found in the bones

The bones went missing around 1941. The only thing left is the report which has measurements in it.

As I pointed out the supposed match is a bit contrived. A choice a few pixels over in the image results in a no match.

In the past TIGHAR has found little and used it to get further funding. I think this is the same.

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It's too bad that some of the most puzzling discoveries were ones that took place decades ago. Finding remains such as the ones in the article would be probably lead to a more fruitful find.

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Ok heres my thought on this. I've never heard how tall and what build Noonan had. Is it possible that he made it out of the plane and just grabbed whatever he could before sinking. Could this be his skeletal remains with some of Amelia's belongings and she is just still in the plane somewhere nearby? Maybe in the anomaly on the ocean floor that needed more looking into? Just my two cents

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TIGHAR has a long history with Amelia Earheart in which they offer very little. The so-called underwater anomaly is nothing more than something they used to get funding. The photograph analysis appears to be nothing more than a funding idea.