Amelia Earhart’s Bones Were Probably Found Nearly 80 Years Ago & It Could Change Everything.
Bones found on a remote Pacific island in 1940 that were originally thought to belong to a man are very likely those of famed aviator Amelia Earhart, a new study claims.
The bones themselves have been lost, but by comparing measurements of the bones found on Nikumaroro Island to Earhart’s body composition reveal they were more than likely those of the famed aviator, according to Richard L. Jantz’s study “Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones,” published in the journal “Forensic Anthropology.”
“To address the question of whether the Nikumaroro bones match estimates of Amelia Earhart’s bone lengths, I compare Earhart’s bone lengths with the Nikumaroro bones using Mahalanobis distance,” Jantz stated. “This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample. This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart.”
Nikumaroro Island, or Gardner Island, is about 400 miles southeast of Earhart’s intended destination, Howland Island.
The bones were found when a working party brought to the island for the Phoenix Island Settlement Scheme found a human skull, the study states. When the officer in charge learned of the discovery, he ordered a more thorough search, and additional bones were found. Also uncovered were a shoe “judged to have been a woman’s,” a box designed to carry a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant manufactured in 1918, and a bottle of Benedictine, an herbal liqueur drink.
“There was suspicion at the time that the bones could be the remains of Amelia Earhart,” Jantz wrote in his study.
Fordisc, a computer program used to estimate sex, ancestry and stature from skeletal measurements, was used in the analysis. Jantz co-created the program, which is used by almost every board-certified forensic anthropologist in the world, ScienceDaily.com reported.
Earhart’s measurements — her height, weight, body build, limb lengths and proportions — were reconstructed by using information by her pilot’s and driver’s licenses, as well as numerous photos.
Earhart was last heard from on July 2, 1937, as she attempted to become the first woman pilot to circumnavigate the globe.
She and her her navigator, Fred Noonan, were declared dead two years later after the U.S. concluded she had crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, though their remains were never found.