|Amelia with her Lockheed Electra|
Yes indeed! What are the odds of the announcement today that Amelia Earhart has been found... on International Women's Day no less!
Bones found on a remote Pacific island are most likely those of the lost aviator Amelia Earhart, a new forensic study has concluded.
The pilot, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, disappeared over the Pacific in 1937 while attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by air.
In the decades since numerous theories and conspiracies have emerged as to her fate, including that she was captured and held by the Japanese.
However a new study by a professor at the University of Tennessee, Richard L. Jantz, has concluded that bones found on the island of Nikumaroro three years after her disappearance are those of the missing pilot.
The bones were initially ruled out as those of Earhart after a first examination concluded they were male.
Professor Jantz has argued that forensic techniques were not fully developed at the time and that the bone measurements closely match Earhart’s records.
He said: "The only documented person to whom they may belong is Amelia Earhart."
|Amelia Earhart Barbie Doll released on the same day!|
At the time of her disappearance the 39-year-old was trying to reach Hawaii before completing her journey onto California.
It had previously been accepted that the pair perished when their plane crashed close to Howland Island in the central Pacific Ocean, amid poor visibility and low fuel levels.
In her last radio transmission, Earhart said they could not find the island and their Lockheed Electra L-10E was running low on fuel.
For weeks the area was searched by the US Navy, but the plane was never found and Earhart was legally declared dead in 1939.
In 1940 an exploration party sent by the Phoenix Island Settlement Scheme, which aimed to colonise remote islands, stumbled across bones on Nikumaroro.
The officer in charge then ordered a wider search of the area which turned up more bones, part of a woman’s shoe and personal artefacts including a sextant box and a bottle of the herbal liqueur, Benedictine.
The remains were examined by the principal of the Central Medical School, Fiji of the Dr. D. W. Hoodless, who concluded they belonged to a “stocky male” around 5ft 5ins.
As bones have since been lost, Professor Jantz, an expert in forensic anthropology at the University of Tennessee, used the bone measurements taken by Hoodless and compared them with what is known of Earhart's body type.
Professor Jantz used Earhart’s driver’s and pilot’s licence records and photos of the aviator to piece together her bone measurements.
Summing up the process, he said: “If the skeleton were available, it would presumably be a relatively straightforward task to make a positive identification, or a definitive exclusion.
“Unfortunately, all we have are the meagre data in Hoodless’s report and a premortem record gleaned from photographs and clothing.
“From the information available, we can at least provide an assessment of how well the bones fit what we can reconstruct of Amelia Earhart.”
What ever happened to Amelia Earhart?