The bones found in Nikumaroro would belong to Amelia Earhart

The bones found in Nikumaroro would belong to Amelia Earhart


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The bone analysis carried out on the remains found on a remote island in the South Pacific show that they most likely belong to the legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in 1937 near the island of Nikumaroro when flying over the Pacific Ocean.

Richard Jantz, emeritus professor of anthropology and director emeritus of the Center for Forensic Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, re-examined seven bone measurements made in 1940 by D.W. Hoodless about bones found on a South Pacific island. At the time, Hoodless had concluded that the bones belonged to a man.

Study of the skeletal remains

Jantz, using various modern quantitative techniques including Fordisc, a software for determining a person's sex, ancestry, and height from bone measurements, found that Hoodless had incorrectly determined the sex of the remains.
This software, of which Jantz is one of the creators, is used by almost all certified forensic anthropologists not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

The data revealed that the bones are more similar to Earhart than to 99% of individuals in a large reference sample.

Jantz also compared the lengths of the bones to Earhart's. The length of humerus and radius was obtained from a photograph with a scalable object, which scale was provided by Jeff Glickman of Photek.

The length of your tibia It was estimated from the measurements of her clothes in Amelia Earhart Papers, from the George Palmer Putnam Collection, at Purdue University. A sewing historian took the measurements, which included the crotch length and waist circumference of Earhart's pants.

Based on this information, Jantz concludes that «Until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not Amelia Earhart's, the most compelling argument is that they are hers«.

Questioning Hoodless's analysis had less to do with its competition and more with the state of forensic anthropology at the time, Jantz explained.

«Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century«, Affirms in the document. «There are many examples of erroneous evaluations by different anthropologists of the period. We can agree that Hoodless may have done as well as most analysts of the time, but this does not mean that his analysis was correct.«.

About Amelia Earhart

Earhart was the first female aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone, Y mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while flying over the Pacific. Many assumed that her plane had crashed into the water, and both she and her navigator Fred Noonan were killed on the spot.

However, a group of researchers, including Jantz, they believe that he died as a castaway on the island of Nikumaroro.

In 1940, along with the bones, were found part of a shoe that was considered a woman, a box of sextant designed to contain a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant, manufactured around 1918 and similar to the one owned by Earhart's co-pilot, and a Benedictine liquor bottlesomething Earhart always carried with him.

Recently, a piece of Earhart's plane was discovered on the island of Nikumaroro.

The bones disappeared, and all that remained of them were metric data limited to four measurements of the skull and three of long bones: tibia, humerus and radius.

The conclusion of the Jantz investigation

Jantz came to that conclusion after researching other theories about bones. One of them is that the remains may have belonged to one of the 11 men who allegedly died in Nikumaroro in the Norwich City shipwreck in 1929, on the western reef of the island more than four miles from where the bones were found.

Too considered the possibility that they were the bones of a Pacific Islander.

He concluded that there was no documentation on the men and no evidence that any of them had survived the shipwreck to die as a castaway and in turn, the woman's shoe and the sextant box are not artifacts that can be associated with this fact.

There was also no evidence that a Pacific Islander had ended up as a castaway.

On the basis of all the evidence, in his document he states that Earhart “It is known that it was in the Nikumaroro area, it disappeared around here and human remains were discovered in the area that are totally consistent with it, and do not coincide with the other hypotheses«.

The study has been published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

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