Were Bones Believed To Be Amelia Earhart Found On Gardner Island?

New information is turning the story of what happened to Amelia Earhart on its ear, and experts think it is now possible that Earhart didn’t die in a plane crash, but rather as a castaway on Gardner Island in Kiribati. The bones were initially found in 1940, but modern methods are telling us more about the remains that match Amelia Earhart’s height and ethnic origin.

This wouldn’t be the first that history has evolved when more details surfaced, but in the Earhart case, a new look at the evidence turned out to tell historians more about what happened, answering the question of what really happened to Amelia Earhart. For years, the descendants of slaves were unable to track down what became of their ancestors, sold by Georgetown University as a fundraising scheme, because they were working with limited information, says the Inquisitr. Now that additional documents have surfaced, today it is obvious that most of those slaves landed in Louisiana. Previously, people were told that the slaves disappeared, like those in the Jamestown Colony.

The new theory of what happened to Amelia Earhart and co-pilot Fred Noonan posits that they landed safely on Gardner Island. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery also says, according to US News, that Earhart made a number of efforts to call for help. These transmissions were picked up in Texas, Florida, and Melbourne, Australia.


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A press release put out by the group indicates that the bones found in 1940 were consistent with Amelia Earhart’s measurements. When the bones were first examined in 1940, a doctor concluded that they were male, but with modern methods, TIGHAR was able to get more information, and the bones were female, of the same ethnic origin as Amelia Earhart.

“The match does not, of course, prove that the castaway was Amelia Earhart but it is a significant new data point that tips the scales further in that direction.”

Amelia Earhart disappeared on June 2, 1937, attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world, says the Daily Mail. After a doctor claimed the castaway bones found were male, that conclusion was accepted, and the bones were not examined again until modern day. At the time the bones were examined in 1998, there were no photos of the bones from the 1940 examination.

Ric Gillespie of TIGHAR believes that Amelia Earhart did not land in the water, but on Gardner Island, 400 miles southeast of Howland Island, and both parties survived the landing. But how does he know?

“People started hearing radio distress calls from the airplane and they were verified.”

Amelia Earhart allegedly continued to send over 100 distress calls that were heard from Texas to Australia. Radio transmissions were heard by a housewife in Texas, and a 12-year-old girl in Florida.

“She must have landed with some fuel, otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to use the radio.”

Earhart told the people listening that she was injured and that Noonan was hurt even worse. Their last transmission was heard on June 6. Gerald Gallagher, a British colonial officer and pilot, was the one who found the bones. They were examined in 1940 and somehow misplaced until 1998, when they were identified as belonging to a tall, white female.

TIGHAR plans to go around the area next year with a submarine on the 80th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s flight. Sources say they have found the heel of a boot, potentially worn by Earhart, and several pieces of aluminum paneling that they are trying to connect to her plane.

What do you think happened to Amelia Earhart?

[Featured Image by Hewerdine/Getty Images]