Anthropologist: Bones Found in 1940 on Pacific Island Are Likely Amelia Earhart's

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Theories abound on what happened to Earhart and her navigator Frederick Noonan once they disappeared July 2, 1937, during an attempt to fly around the world.

In 1940, the skeletal remains in question were found on Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific Ocean, which Hoodless said in the same year could not be Earhart's because they belonged to a man.

But Jantz dismisses that conclusion, writing that the "most prudent position concerning sex of the Nikumaroro bones is to consider them unknown".

Questioning Hoodless's analysis had less to do with his competence and more to do with the state of forensic anthropology at the time, Jantz said. His work was published in the journal Forensic Anthropology. "If the bones do not belong to Amelia Earhart, then they are from someone very similar to her". Here's the bombshell conclusion: "This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample".

In 1940, a skull and several other bones, bearing signs of having been nibbled by coconut crabs, were found beneath a palm tree by workers constructing a settlement, along with a sextant box, and, later, the heel of woman's shoe and debris believed to be from an airplane. Indeed, so confident is he of that theory, that he proposes to shift the burden to skeptics to disprove it.

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Amelia Earhart went missing in 1937, and almost 80 years after her mysterious disappearance, the late aviation pioneer's remains may have been found, according to a report by Daily Mail.

She and her her navigator, Fred Noonan, were declared dead two years later after the USA concluded she had crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, though their remains were never found.

Her tibia length was estimated from measurements of her clothing in the George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers at Purdue University. Also uncovered were a shoe "judged to have been a woman's", a box created to carry a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant manufactured in 1918, and a bottle of Benedictine, an herbal liqueur drink. "We can agree that [they] may have done as well as most analysts of the time could have done, but this does not mean [their] analysis was correct". Nor was there evidence that a Pacific Islander had ended up as a castaway.

The actual bones disappeared decades ago in Fiji, but we still have some of the measurements, including humerus and radius arm bones.

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. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (Tighar) has been investigating the bone measurements for years and released an update to its research in late 2016 that focused on the unusually long forearm measurements.

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