Were human bounds found on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 actually the human remains of the revolutionary aviator Amelia Earhart? A new forensic analysis says yes!
A statement released by the University of Tennessee states that the testing shows that the bones "have more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample."
An anthropology professor Richard Jantz at the school said he used "modern quantitative techniques" to retest the bones. Previously, a 1941 forensic analysis concluded that the bones probably belonged to a male, according to The Chicago Tribune. Using a computer program he helped create, Jantz was able to analyze the bone’s estimated gender and ancestry. He compared the bones to measurements of Earhart. Jantz decided that "until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers."
His study has also been published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.
If Jantz’s analysis is correct this could put to sleep many of the theories surrounding Earhart’s disappearance.
Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, went missing in 1937 while trying to fly nonstop around the equator with navigator Fred Noonan.
According to one theory, they ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Earhart did say that she was running low on gas over the transmission radio, as she was nearing Howland Island. Some believe that they were taken hostage by the Japanese as U.S. spies. Theorists believe the two may have landed on the Marshall Islands, which were controlled by Japan.
One theory suggests that they were not only taken captive by Japan, but they were also returned to the United States with new names. Some believe that Earhart took the name Irene Craigmile and, later, Irene Bolam when she got married. A book entitled "Amelia Earhart Survived" suggests that Earhart did just that.
Now, with the new forensic analysis, the most convincing theory appears to be that Earhart and Noonan landed their plane on Nikumaroro Island, and lived as castaways for a while.
[Photo: Wikipedia Commons]