The mystery of whatever happened to Amelia Earhart might finally be solved. New research from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville suggests that the bones found on a remote island in the South Pacific could be the legendary female pilot’s.
Bone measurement analysis was done on the remains. The bones were previously measured and analyzed by physician D. W. Hoodless in 1940. Back then, he concluded that the bones were of a man.
Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology and director emeritus of UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center, re-examined the bone measurements.
Jantz used several modern techniques to study the remains, including Fordisc, a computer program that estimates sex, ancestry, and stature using skeletal measurements. He found that Hoodless’ conclusions were wrong. Jantz’s data show that the remains have more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample.
The new development is thanks to advancements in technology and forensic anthropology.
The paper states:
“Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century. There are many examples of erroneous assessments by anthropologists of the period. We can agree that Hoodless may have done as well as most analysts of the time could have done, but this does not mean his analysis was correct.”
Earhart is known for being the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
She mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while flying over the Pacific, and many believed she died in a plane crash. She and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were never seen again. One theory is that Earhart died as a castaway on the island of Nikumaroro. According to the paper:
“Earhart was known to have been in the area of Nikumaroro Island, she went missing, and human remains were discovered which are entirely consistent with her and inconsistent with most other people.”
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