Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Mystery bones likely belonged to Amelia Earhart, says study

Mystery bones likely belonged to Amelia Earhart, says study

Bones found almost 80 years ago on a remote South Pacific island are very likely those of aviator Amelia Earhart, a researcher says. It's authored by Richard Jantz, a professor emeritus in the department of anthropology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and he returns to the original measurements of the bones to argue that they did once belong to a woman.

Scientists strongly believe a skeleton found on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro are the intrepid aviator's.

Hoodless used three criteria in his research: the ratio of the femur's circumference to length, the angle of the femur and pelvis, and the subpubic angle, which is formed between two pelvis bones.

A 1940 British Colonial Service expedition to the island found a human skull, bones, part of the sole of a woman's shoe, a box for a sextant and a bottle of Benedictine.

"There was suspicion at the time that the bones could be the remains of Amelia Earhart", Jantaz wrote in the study.

The new Forensic Anthropology study challenges this claim as "forensic osteology was not yet a well-developed discipline at the time".

Although the bones were lost many years ago, Jantz used several modern forensic anthropology techniques, including a computer program called Fordisc that uses skeletal measurements to estimate sex, ancestry and stature. Researchers said almost every certified forensic anthropologist in the world uses the program. The researcher obtained precise measurements of Earhart's humerus and radius lengths from a photograph as well as measurements of her clothing.

The bones have more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample, according to the study.

Another point of Jantz's reveals that an analysis was done comparing the recent Nikumaroro bones to those of 2,776 other people, where only 17 people with dimensions more similar than Earhart were found; with just two of them being female remains.

The latest chapter in the Amelia Earhart saga comes eight months after a brouhaha over whether she and Noonan might have died while in Japanese custody. He believes they were tortured and died in custody. "His conclusion, was that the bones belonged to a European, but a European male", and that they were about 5'6" - shorter than Earhart's 5'9".

In 1998, the group took Hoodless' measurements of the Nikumaroro bones and analyzed them through a robust anthropological database.

Due to these findings, Jantz said "the most convincing argument" is that the bones belonged to Earhart.

While some people are convinced that Nikumaroro is Earhart's final resting place, another theory suggests that she met her end on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

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