Tags: anthropologist | bones | pacific island | amelia earhart

Anthropologist: Bones Found in 1940 on Pacific Island Are Likely Amelia Earhart's

Image: Anthropologist: Bones Found in 1940 on Pacific Island Are Likely Amelia Earhart's
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By    |   Wednesday, 07 March 2018 05:02 PM

An anthropologist from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, says bones discovered on a Pacific island in 1940 are likely the remains of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart.

Richard Jantz, director of UT's Forensic Anthropology Center, re-examined seven bone measurements using modern quantitative techniques, including photographs and measurements taken by seamstresses, to come to his conclusion. His results were published Wednesday in Forensic Anthropology.

Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared on July 2, 1937, during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island in the Pacific. The two were attempting to fly around the world. Plenty of theories have floated around since the two vanished, including one that Earhart was eaten by fierce coconut crabs.

Dr. D.W. Hoodless first examined the bones found on Nikumaroro Island in 1940, but concluded that they belonged to a man. A 2015 study found that Hoodless' methods were "sound and therefore his sex estimate was likely correct."

Jantz says forensic osteology "was not yet a well-developed discipline," when Hoodless conducted his analysis. "Evaluating his methods with reference to modern data and methods suggests that they were inadequate to his task; this is particularly the case with his sexing method. Therefore his sex assessment of the Nikumaroro bones cannot be assumed to be correct."

The bones have since been lost, but Jantz used bone measurement analysis to determine that the skeletal remains match estimates of Earhart's bone lengths.

"This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99% of individuals in a large reference sample," writes Jantz. "This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart."

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An anthropologist from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, says bones discovered on a Pacific island in 1940 are likely the remains of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart.
anthropologist, bones, pacific island, amelia earhart
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2018-02-07
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 05:02 PM
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