Bones Found on Tiny Polynesian Island Could Belong to Amelia Earhart, Study Says

Bones that were discovered some 80 years ago on a remote island in the Pacific may be those of Amelia Earhart.

Remains found on Nikumaroro Island could be those of the doomed aviator, according to a recent forensic study conducted by a University of Tennessee researcher.

In a statement recently released by the university, officials said the analysis showed that the bones “have more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample.”

The study used cutting edge quantitative techniques to estimate gender, ancestry, and stature from skeletal measurements recorded before the bones were discarded decades ago.

The data were compared to precise measurements of Earhart’s humerus and radius lengths made from a photograph, as well as measurements of her clothing.

“Until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers,” wrote study author Richard Jantz, a UT anthropology professor.

The study was recently published in the journal Forensic Anthropology

In addition to these scientific findings, there has long been circumstantial evidence to suggest Earhart landed on Nikumaroro, now a part of Kiribati, in 1937.

Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared on July 2 of that year while experts say they were en route to Howland Island, a tiny speck of land about 400 miles from Nikumaroro.

While many have long speculated their plane crashed in the Pacific, the study supposes they made it to land, just not the land they intended.


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Leading Amelia Earhart Researcher Blasts New Evidence: ‘This Photo Is Absurd’ provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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