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Modern Mysteries

Bones are '99% likely' to be Amelia Earhart's

By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2018 · Comment icon 19 comments

It appears increasingly likely that Earhart's skeleton was found in 1940. Image Credit: PD - Wikimedia
A newly published study has strongly suggested that the famed aviator's remains were found back in 1940.
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 and that the aviator and her navigator Fred Noonan may have even survived for several days on a small island while awaiting rescue.

Of particular note was the discovery of human bones on a remote island in the region back in 1940.

While there has been a lot of debate over the years about who the bones belonged to, the most recent study seems to have all but confirmed that the skeleton was that of Amelia Earhart herself.
In 2016, forensic anthropologists Richard Jantz and Karen Burns found that "the morphology of the recovered bones, insofar as we can tell by applying contemporary forensic methods to measurements taken at the time, appears consistent with a female of Earhart's height and ethnic origin."

Now a newly published study on their findings has indicated that the measurements of the bones have more similarity to Earhart than 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample.

While this isn't absolutely conclusive, it does seem to suggest that the bones really were Earhart's.

Sadly though, confirming the discovery is impossible as the bones themselves were lost decades ago.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (19)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by .ZZ. 6 years ago
My wife would say: "I don't get it"
Comment icon #11 Posted by BorizBadinov 6 years ago
Problem is the bones were lost or dna analysis could likely be done and all doubt removed of yes or no. With all the underwater discoveries nowadays I'm sure it wont be long  till the plane wreckage is found.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
This is deja vu all over again. TIGHAR is far from an independent, impartial research org. Their funding is questionable and their research is not-at-all unbiased. They have pushed the island theory for years so they aren't going to offer up anything that goes against it. Several years ago the bones were "lost" (no DNA possible) so everything is based on photographs and written forensics.  Personally, I don't have a dog in the fight. She may as well have crashed there as anywhere, but these guys resurface every couple of years with some new headline to generate funding (do your own Google ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by susieice 6 years ago
The problem is the bones themselves aren't available for testing. The idea that there is a 99% chance they couldn't match anyone but her is a little iffy to me. In 1940, they were determined to be from a male. Science wasn't what it is now back then, so it's very possible they were wrong. Still, without genetic information, those bones could still be anyone's who's size was the same as hers, and that could be a lot of people.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
That's an awfully big 'maybe'. Like I said, I don't have a dog in this fight and they may well be right, but we've heard from these folks before and they aren't really putting anything new forward. Their evidence is still weak and their motives are suspect. That's a far cry from 99% certain for me.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
And to take it a step further, they are approximating her size from photographs using other objects for scale. There's a decent margin of error possible in that. It is too bad the bones have gone missing. With today's forensics and DNA with could get to that 99% right quick I suspect. 
Comment icon #16 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
University research professor: "Fido, bring back Earharts bones..."
Comment icon #17 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
Maybe if this becomes the accepted analysis some billionaire will fund search of the ocean floor around the island.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Nzo 6 years ago
I hope its her bones and its confirmed, just so that I don't have to hear about another Amilia Earhart story every 3 months like clockwork.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago


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