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Modern Mysteries

Has Amelia Earhart's skeleton been found ?

By T.K. Randall
November 4, 2016 · Comment icon 14 comments

Did Amelia Earhart survive as a castaway on a Pacific island ? Image Credit: Harris and Ewing
The bones of a castaway found on a Pacific island in the 1940s could be those of the famed aviator.
When Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in her Lockheed Model 10 Electra in 1937, the question of what happened to her would go on to become one of the most enduring mysteries of the modern age.

In recent years however clues have been found suggesting that Earhart's plane may have gone down somewhere in the remote Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro.

One such clue - a partial skeleton discovered on an island in the region back in the 1940s - is perhaps the strongest evidence yet that the aviator survived for several weeks as a castaway.
The badly damaged bones were found alongside animal remains and a campfire. A woman's shoe was also found there, as was a box that would have contained a nautical navigational device known as a sextant - something Earhart's navigator Fred Noonan would have been carrying.

While researchers have been unable to track down the actual bones themselves, measurements taken by a British doctor at the time seem to confirm that they match up with Earhart's build.

The find was detailed in a document entitled "Discovery of Human Remains on Gardner Island" which was found in the national archives in Kiribati by World War II historian Peter McQuarrie.

"The match does not, of course, prove that the castaway was Amelia Earhart, but it is a significant new data point that tips the scales further in that direction," said a spokesman for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

Source: Live Science | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by stereologist 8 years ago
I forgot to mention that this new theory of theirs seems to invalidate much of their speculation over the years.
Comment icon #6 Posted by stereologist 8 years ago 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... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by stereologist 8 years ago
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 This is the TIGHAR report on the photo analysis once again showing the photo that was used [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
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... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by docyabut2 8 years ago
Hope it  is her , so this mystery can be solved,,can DNA be found in the bones 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Clair 8 years ago
Bones contain mitochondrial DNA but it's hard to know whether or not an analysis is viable in this case.
Comment icon #11 Posted by stereologist 8 years ago
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.
Comment icon #12 Posted by CryptoAce 8 years ago
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.
Comment icon #13 Posted by McFakename 8 years ago
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
Comment icon #14 Posted by stereologist 8 years ago
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.

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