Is it possible the bones of Amelia Earhart were found back in 1940?
Researchers through The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) believe they may be a step closer to figuring out the mystery surrounding what actually happened to Amelia Earhart when she disappeared during her flight around the world back in 1937.
According to History, TIGHAR researchers have spent more than 25 years trying to figure out what happened to Amelia Earhart during her attempted voyage around the world. One theory is that the plane did not actually crash into the Pacific Ocean. Some believe that she and her co-pilot were able to land the plane on a remote and uninhabited island called Nikumaroro. It is believed that instead of dying in a crash in the Pacific Ocean, the two died while stranded as castaways on a remote island.
TIGHAR researchers have been able to recover a number of artifacts during their investigation on the island of Nikumaroro. The island the researchers believe Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot were stranded and eventually died on is roughly 350 miles southwest of where the intended destination, Howard Island, is located. Some of the items include what many believe to be personal items of Amelia and her co-pilot including a women’s mirror, flight jacket buttons, and anti-freckle facial cream. The cream is believed to be the cream Amelia was known for using in the 1940s. The researchers have also discovered aluminum metal sheets which match the dimensions and features of the plan that Earhart was attempting to fly around the world in.
It was back in 2013 that sonar images were first released of an anomaly located 660 feet under the water that was believed to be the remains of Earhart’s twin-engine.
According to The Huffington Post, the artifacts were not the only thing the researchers discovered on the island. Back in 1940, a partial skeleton was also found on the remote island.
Could these bones belong to Amelia or her co-pilot?
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recoveryannounced on their website on October 22 that the measurements of the bones indicated that they could have belonged to Amelia Earhart. When the bones were initially discovered, the idea that they could have belonged to Earhart was quickly dismissed because a British doctor claimed the bones were that of a male. It was not until 1998 that TIGHAR researchers reviewed the records regarding the bones and determined that the findings appeared to be consistent with the height and ethnic origin of Amelia Earhart.
It was just recently that forensic anthropologists noticed the forearms in the collection of bones appeared to be longer than what was considered average. Once this discovery was made, researchers spent time studying the photos of Earhart in order to figure out if her arms were longer than average. After studying the findings on the bones and the pictures, TIGHAR concluded that the skeleton in question was “virtually identical” to Amelia Earhart.
While these new findings do not confirm or prove that the bones found on the island were that of Amelia Earhart, the new data does increase the likelihood of that being the case.
TIGHAR credits their forensic imaging specialist, Jeff Glickman, for analyzing historical photos of Earhart in order to estimate the measurements of her bones. He focused specifically on her humerus (the upper arm bone) and her radius (the lower arm bone). After analyzing the pictures of Earhart, he determined that the ratio was almost an exact match to the bones found on the island.
At this time, TIGHAR is currently planning another expedition to the island in order to see if they can uncover anything else. This will be the 12th expedition the organization has taken to the island. This expedition is currently slated to take place next year in honor of the 80th anniversary of the disappearance of Earhart and Noonan’s disappearance. Could they also discover the bones of the co-pilot if they look hard enough?
What do you think about the fact that the bones of Amelia Earhart were found back in the 1940s? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Everett Historical/ShutterStock]