Amelia Earhart Found? Scientists 'Confident' Pilot's Bones Discovered on South Pacific Island
Nearly 80 years ago, American pilot Amelia Earhart and navigator Frederick Noonan went missing during an attempt to circumnavigate the world and were declared dead in absentia. The mystery of what happened to the duo remains unsolved, but there may have just been a major breakthrough: we may finally know where Earhart ended up.
University of Tennessee anthropology professor and Forensic Anthropology Center researcher Richard Jantz recently re-examined a set of bone measurements for remains found on a remote island.
In the 1940s, the bones were measured by physician D. W. Hoodless and said to have belonged to a man. Using modern technology (which he co-created) and methods that were not available to scientists seven decades ago, Jantz found that original results were wrong.
Comparing the humerus and radius measurements to Earhart's actual measurements, he concluded that "until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers."
"Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century," Jantz wrote in the research paper, published in the journal Forensic Anthropology. "There are many examples of erroneous assessments by anthropologists of the period. We can agree that Hoodless may have done as well as most analysts of the time could have done, but this does not mean his analysis was correct."
Jantz and others believe that Earhart made it to the island of Nikumaroro, where she later died as a castaway.
The bones themselves are gone and all that remains are the measurements so Jantz and his colleagues can't be 100 percent sure of their findings, but they are confident that the bones did not belong to others known to have inhabited the island. The measurements fit and objects believed to have belonged to Earhart were found there, so it has to be her.